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The anoikis effector Bit1 displays tumor suppressive function in lung cancer cells.

PloS one (2014-07-09)
Xin Yao, Scott Jennings, Shubha Kale Ireland, Tri Pham, Brandi Temple, Mya Davis, Renwei Chen, Ian Davenport, Hector Biliran
ABSTRACT

The mitochondrial Bit1 (Bcl-2 inhibitor of transcription 1) protein is a part of an apoptotic pathway that is uniquely regulated by integrin-mediated attachment. As an anoikis effector, Bit1 is released into the cytoplasm following loss of cell attachment and induces a caspase-independent form of apoptosis. Considering that anoikis resistance is a critical determinant of transformation, we hypothesized that cancer cells may circumvent the Bit1 apoptotic pathway to attain anchorage-independence and tumorigenic potential. Here, we provide the first evidence of the tumor suppressive effect of Bit1 through a mechanism involving anoikis induction in human lung adenocarcinoma derived A549 cells. Restitution of Bit1 in anoikis resistant A549 cells is sufficient to induce detachment induced-apoptosis despite defect in caspase activation and impairs their anchorage-independent growth. Conversely, stable downregulation of Bit1 in these cells significantly enhances their anoikis resistance and anchorage-independent growth. The Bit1 knockdown cells exhibit significantly enhanced tumorigenecity in vivo. It has been previously shown that the nuclear TLE1 corepressor is a putative oncogene in lung cancer, and we show here that TLE1 blocks Bit1 mediated anoikis in part by sequestering the pro-apoptotic partner of Bit1, the Amino-terminal Enhancer of Split (AES) protein, in the nucleus. Taken together, these findings suggest a tumor suppressive role of the caspase-independent anoikis effector Bit1 in lung cancer. Consistent with its role as a tumor suppressor, we have found that Bit1 is downregulated in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues.

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