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Cancer letters

Targeting NF-κB RelA/p65 phosphorylation overcomes RITA resistance.


PMID 27721021

Abstract

Inactivation of p53 occurs frequently in various cancers. RITA is a promising anticancer small molecule that dissociates p53-MDM2 interaction, reactivates p53 and induces exclusive apoptosis in cancer cells, but acquired RITA resistance remains a major drawback. This study found that the site-differential phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) RelA/p65 creates a barcode for RITA chemosensitivity in cancer cells. In naïve MCF7 and HCT116 cells where RITA triggered vast apoptosis, phosphorylation of RelA/p65 increased at Ser536, but decreased at Ser276 and Ser468; oppositely, in RITA-resistant cells, RelA/p65 phosphorylation decreased at Ser536, but increased at Ser276 and Ser468. A phosphomimetic mutation at Ser536 (p65/S536D) or silencing of endogenous RelA/p65 resensitized the RITA-resistant cells to RITA while the phosphomimetic mutant at Ser276 (p65/S276D) led to RITA resistance of naïve cells. In mouse xenografts, intratumoral delivery of the phosphomimetic p65/S536D mutant increased the antitumor activity of RITA. Furthermore, in the RITA-resistant cells ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCC6 was upregulated, and silencing of ABCC6 expression in these cells restored RITA sensitivity. In the naïve cells, ABCC6 delivery led to RITA resistance and blockage of p65/S536D mutant-induced RITA sensitivity. Taken together, these data suggest that the site-differential phosphorylation of RelA/p65 modulates RITA sensitivity in cancer cells, which may provide an avenue to manipulate RITA resistance.

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EHU072241 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human ABCC6 (esiRNA1)