JNK interacting protein 1 (JIP-1) protects LNCaP prostate cancer cells from growth arrest and apoptosis mediated by 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)

T Ikezoe, Y Yang, H Taguchi, H P Koeffler
British Journal of Cancer 2004 May 17, 90 (10): 2017-24
12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) stimulates protein kinase C (PKC) which mediates apoptosis in androgen-sensitive LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. The downstream signals of PKC that mediate TPA-induced apoptosis in LNCaP cells are unclear. In this study, we found that TPA activates the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)/c-Jun/AP-1 pathway. To explore the possible role that the JNK/c-Jun/AP-1 signal pathway has on TPA-induced apoptosis in LNCaP cells, we stably transfected the scaffold protein, JNK interacting protein 1 (JIP-1), which binds to JNK inhibiting its ability to phosphorylate c-Jun. TPA (10(-9)-10(-7) mol l(-1)) caused phosphorylation of JNK in both wild-type and JIP-1-transfected (LNCaP-JIP-1) cells. It resulted in phosphorylation and upregulation of expression of c-Jun protein in the wild-type LNCaP cells, but not in the JIP-1-transfected LNCaP cells. In addition, upregulation of AP-1 reporter activity by TPA (10(-9) mol l(-1)) occurred in LNCaP cells but was abrogated in LNCaP-JIP-1 cells. Thus, TPA stimulated c-Jun through JNK, and JIP-1 effectively blocked JNK. TPA (10(-12)-10(-8) mol l(-1)) treatment of LNCaP cells caused their growth inhibition, cell cycle arrest, upregulation of p53 and p21waf1, and induction of apoptosis. All of these effects were significantly attenuated when LNCaP-JIP-1 cells were similarly treated with TPA. A previous study showed that c-Jun/AP-1 blocked androgen receptor (AR) signaling by inhibiting AR binding to AR response elements (AREs) of target genes including prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Therefore, we hypothesised that TPA would not be able to disrupt the AR signal pathway in LNCaP-JIP-1 cells. Contrary to expectation, TPA (10(-9)-10(-8) mol l(-1)) inhibited DHT-induced AREs reporter activity and decreased levels of PSA in the LNCaP-JIP-1 cells. Taken together, TPA, probably by stimulation of PKC, phosphorylates JNK, which phosphorylates and increases expression of c-Jun leading to AP-1 activity. Growth control of prostate cancer cells can be mediated through the JNK/c-Jun pathway, but androgen responsiveness of these cells can be independent of this pathway, suggesting that androgen independence in progressive prostate cancer may not occur through activation of this pathway.

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