CIP2A-mediated Akt activation plays a role in bortezomib-induced apoptosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells

Yu-Chin Lin, Kuei-Chiu Chen, Ching-Chow Chen, Ann-Lii Cheng, Kuen-Feng Chen
Oral Oncology 2012, 48 (7): 585-93
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a worldwide disease with aggressive course and dismal outcome. Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, has been approved clinically for hematological malignancies and demonstrated to have activities against solid tumors in vitro through inhibition of NF-kB activity. Here, we disclose that bortezomib induced apoptosis of HNSCC cells in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A)-mediated PP2A dependent Akt activation. HNSCC cells, including Ca9-22, SAS, and SCC-25, were treated with bortezomib and evaluated for viability, apoptosis, and signal transduction. Three HNSCC cells, including Ca9-22, SAS, and SCC-25, were sensitive to bortezomib with marked growth inhibition and apoptosis. We found phospho-Akt (p-Akt, Ser473) played a significant role in bortezomib-induced apoptosis. The activity of PP2A was significantly increased after the treatment of bortezomib without alternation of PP2A level or the dynamic interaction of PP2A-Akt. Silencing PP2A by small interference RNA (siRNA) abolished bortezomib-induced Akt inhibition and apoptosis. In addition, bortezomib inhibited CIP2A in pre-translational level in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Over-expression of CIP2A up-regulated p-Akt and protected HNSCC cells from bortezomib-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, xenograft model showed that bortezomib down-regulated CIP2A and p-Akt in SAS tumor cells. CIP2A is demonstrated to be a new therapeutic target of bortezomib in HNSCC.

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