Hippo/Mst1 Stimulates Transcription of the Proapoptotic Mediator NOXA in a FoxO1-Dependent Manner
MetadataShow full item record
The proapoptotic protein Noxa, a member of the BH3-only Bcl-2 protein family, can effectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells, although the relevant regulatory pathways have been obscure. Previous studies of the cytotoxic effects of a-tocopheryl succinate (a-TOS) on cancer cells identified a mechanism whereby a-TOS caused apoptosis requiring the Noxa-Bak axis. In the present study, ab initio analysis revealed a conserved FoxObinding site (DBE; DAF-16 binding element) in the NOXA promoter, and specific affinity of FoxO proteins to this DBE was confirmed by fluorescence anisotropy. FoxO1 and FoxO3a proteins accumulated in the nucleus of a-TOS-treated cells, and the drug-induced specific FoxO1 association with the NOXA promoter and its activation were validated by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Using siRNA knockdown, a specific role for the FoxO1 protein in activating NOXA transcription in cancer cells was identified. Furthermore, the proapoptotic kinase Hippo/Mst1 was found to be strongly activated by a-TOS, and inhibiting Hippo/Mst1 by specific siRNA prevented phosphorylation of FoxO1 and its nuclear translocation, thereby reducing levels of NOXA transcription and apoptosis in cancer cells exposed to a-TOS. Thus, we have demonstrated that anticancer drugs, exemplified by a-TOS, induce apoptosis by a mechanism involving the Hippo/Mst1-FoxO1-Noxa pathway. We propose that activation of this pathway provides a new paradigm for developing targeted cancer treatments.
Cancer Cell Biology