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Molecular and cellular biology

Nrf2- and ATF4-dependent upregulation of xCT modulates the sensitivity of T24 bladder carcinoma cells to proteasome inhibition.


PMID 25002527

Abstract

The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway degrades ubiquitinated proteins to remove damaged or misfolded protein and thus plays an important role in the maintenance of many important cellular processes. Because the pathway is also crucial for tumor cell growth and survival, proteasome inhibition by specific inhibitors exhibits potent antitumor effects in many cancer cells. xCT, a subunit of the cystine antiporter system xc (-), plays an important role in cellular cysteine and glutathione homeostasis. Several recent reports have revealed that xCT is involved in cancer cell survival; however, it was unknown whether xCT affects the cytotoxic effects of proteasome inhibitors. In this study, we found that two stress-inducible transcription factors, Nrf2 and ATF4, were upregulated by proteasome inhibition and cooperatively enhance human xCT gene expression upon proteasome inhibition. In addition, we demonstrated that the knockdown of xCT by small interfering RNA (siRNA) or pharmacological inhibition of xCT by sulfasalazine (SASP) or (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine (CPG) significantly increased the sensitivity of T24 cells to proteasome inhibition. These results suggest that the simultaneous inhibition of both the proteasome and xCT could have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of bladder tumors.

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