Fhit modulation of the Akt-survivin pathway in lung cancer cells: Fhit-tyrosine 114 (Y114) is essential.

PMID 16407838


The Fhit tumor suppressor binds and hydrolyses diadenosine polyphosphates and the Fhit-substrate complex has been proposed as a proapoptotic effector, as determined by infection of susceptible cancer cells with adenoviruses carrying wild-type fragile histidine triad (FHIT) or catalytic site mutants. The highly conserved Fhit tyrosine 114 (Y114), within the unstructured loop C-terminal of the catalytic site, can be phosphorylated by Src family tyrosine kinases, although endogenous phospho-Fhit is rarely detected. To explore the importance of Y114 and identify Fhit-mediated signaling events, wild-type and Y114 mutant FHIT-expressing adenoviruses were introduced into two human lung cancer cell lines. Caspase-dependent apoptosis was effectively induced only by wild-type but not Y114 mutant Fhit proteins. By expression profiling of FHIT versus mutant FHIT-infected cells, we found that survivin, an Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (IAP) family member, was significantly decreased by wild-type Fhit. In addition, Fhit inhibited activity of Akt, a key effector in the phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase (PI3K) pathway; loss of endogenous Fhit expression caused increased Akt activity in vitro and in vivo, and overexpression of constitutively active Akt inhibited Fhit-induced apoptosis. The results indicate that the Fhit Y114 residue plays a critical role in Fhit-induced apoptosis, occurring through inactivation of the PI3K-Akt-survivin signal pathway.