Inhibition of phosphorylation of BAD and Raf-1 by Akt sensitizes human ovarian cancer cells to paclitaxel

Seiji Mabuchi, Masahide Ohmichi, Akiko Kimura, Koji Hisamoto, Jun Hayakawa, Yukihiro Nishio, Kazushige Adachi, Kazuhiro Takahashi, Emi Arimoto-Ishida, Yuki Nakatsuji, Keiichi Tasaka, Yuji Murata
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2002 September 6, 277 (36): 33490-500
We studied the roles of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K)-Akt-BAD cascade, ERK-BAD cascade, and Akt-Raf-1 cascade in the paclitaxel-resistant SW626 human ovarian cancer cell line, which lacks functional p53. Treatment of SW626 cells with paclitaxel activates Akt and ERK with different time frames. Interference with the Akt cascade either by treatment with PI-3K inhibitor (wortmannin or LY294002) or by exogenous expression of a dominant negative Akt in SW626 cells caused decreased cell viability following treatment with paclitaxel. Interference with the ERK cascade by treatment with an MEK inhibitor, PD98059, in SW626 cells also caused decreased cell viability following treatment with paclitaxel. Treatment of cells with paclitaxel also stimulated the phosphorylation of BAD at both the Ser-112 and Ser-136 sites. The phosphorylation of BAD at Ser-136 was blocked by treatment with wortmannin or cotransfection with the dominant negative Akt. On the other hand, the phosphorylation of BAD at Ser-112 was blocked by PD98059. We further examined the role of BAD in the viability following paclitaxel treatment using BAD mutants. Exogenous expression of doubly substituted BAD2SA in SW626 cells caused decreased viability following treatment with paclitaxel. Moreover, because paclitaxel-induced apoptosis is mediated by activated Raf-1 and the region surrounding Ser-259 in Raf-1 conforms to a consensus sequence for phosphorylation by Akt, the regulation of Raf-1 by Akt was examined. We demonstrated an association between Akt and Raf-1 and showed that the phosphorylation of Raf-1 on Ser-259 induced by paclitaxel was blocked by treatment with wortmannin or LY294002. Furthermore, interference with the Akt cascade induced by paclitaxel up-regulated Raf-1 activity, and expression of constitutively active Akt inhibited Raf-1 activity, suggesting that Akt negatively regulates Raf-1. Our findings suggest that paclitaxel induces the phosphorylation of BAD Ser-112 via the ERK cascade, and the phosphorylation of both BAD Ser-136 and Raf-1 Ser-259 via the PI-3K-Akt cascade, and that inhibition of either of these cascades sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to paclitaxel.

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