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Impairment of the Pin1/E2F1 axis in the anti-proliferative effect of bortezomib in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Biochimie (2015-03-10)
Rossella Farra, Barbara Dapas, Daniele Baiz, Federica Tonon, Sara Chiaretti, Giannino Del Sal, Alessandra Rustighi, Nicola Elvassore, Gabriele Pozzato, Mario Grassi, Gabriele Grassi
ABSTRACT

The modest efficacy of available therapies for Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) indicates the need to develop novel therapeutic approaches. For the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib (BZB), potentially attractive for HCC treatment, the mechanism of action is largely unknown. The BZB effect on E2Fs and the E2Fs control on the peptidylproline cis-trans isomerase (Pin1), prompted us to explore the BZB effect on the Pin1-E2F1 axis. The tumorigenic cell line HuH7 together with the non-tumorigenic cells IHH and the human pluripotent stem cell derived hepatocytes (hPSC-H), were used as cellular models of HCC and normal liver cells, respectively. BZB reduces HuH7 growth as shown by cell counting, cell vitality test and cell cycle analysis; this is paralleled by the decrease of Pin1, E2F1, cyclin A2 and of the hyper-phosphorylated pRB. Pin1-E2F1 axis impairment justifies the anti-proliferative effect since Pin-E2F1 depletion decreases HuH7 growth while the over-expression rescues BZB-induced inhibition of proliferation. Moreover, Pin1-E2F1 promote HuH7 growth via the up-regulation of cyclin D1, cyclin E, cyclin A2, E2F2 and in part E2F3. Finally, in the control cells IHH and hPSC-H, BZB effect on cell vitality is not irrelevant, a fact correlated to the cellular proliferation rate. Thus, BZB effect on healthy liver tissue may not be entirely negligible hence caution should be exercised in its use in liver regeneration processes. For the first time we prove the functional involvement of the Pin1-E2F1 axis in the anti-proliferative effect of BZB indicating Pin1-E2F as an attractive target to control HCC cell growth.

MATERIALS
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