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Cancer Res. 2006 May 1;66(9):4715-24.

Survival signaling by Notch1: mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent inhibition of p53.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. skumar@mcbl.iisc.ernet.in

Abstract

Notch signaling is believed to promote cell survival in general. However, the mechanism is not clearly understood. Here, we show that cells expressing intracellular domain of human Notch1 (NIC-1) are chemoresistant in a wild-type p53-dependent manner. NIC-1 inhibited p53 by inhibiting its activating phosphorylations at Ser(15), Ser(20), and Ser(392) as well as nuclear localization. In addition, we found that inhibition of p53 by NIC-1 mainly occurs through mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) using phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) pathway as the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin treatment abrogated NIC-1 inhibition of p53 and reversed the chemoresistance. Consistent with this, rapamycin failed to reverse NIC-1-induced chemoresistance in cells expressing rapamycin-resistant mTOR. Further, ectopic expression of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), a translational regulator that acts downstream of mTOR, inhibited p53-induced apoptosis and conferred protection against p53-mediated cytotoxicity to similar extent as that of NIC-1 overexpression but was not reversed by rapamycin, which indicates that eIF4E is the major target of mTOR in Notch1-mediated survival signaling. Finally, we show that MCF7 (breast cancer) and MOLT4 (T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia) cells having aberrant Notch1 signaling are chemoresistant, which can be reversed by both PI3K and mTOR inhibitors. These results establish that Notch1 signaling confers chemoresistance by inhibiting p53 pathway through mTOR-dependent PI3K-Akt/PKB pathway and imply that p53 status perhaps is an important determinant in combination therapeutic strategies, which use mTOR inhibitors and chemotherapy.

PMID:
16651424
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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