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J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 13;285(33):25196-202. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.119446. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Altered VEGF mRNA stability following treatments with immunosuppressive agents: implications for cancer development.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology and Transplantation Research Center, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The high incidence of cancer and its aggressive progression is a common and major problem in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. The calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) may have protumorigenic effects and can promote the overexpression of several molecules inducing tumor growth. We have recently demonstrated that CNIs can mediate the transcriptional activation of the angiogenic cytokine vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and promote a rapid progression of human renal cancer. Here, we investigated whether the CNI cyclosporine (CsA) and the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (RAPA) could alter the mRNA stability of VEGF in 786-0 and Caki-1 renal cancer cells. Following actinomycin D treatment, we observed that CsA increased, whereas RAPA decreased the VEGF mRNA stability as observed by real time PCR. It is established that the mRNA-binding protein HuR may play a critical role in VEGF mRNA stability. By using HuR-siRNA, we found that the knockdown of HuR significantly decreased the CNI-induced VEGF mRNA stability. By Western blot analysis, it has been observed that CNI treatment induced the translocation of HuR from the nucleus to the cytoplasm; CNIs also induced the association between HuR and PKC-delta and promoted the phosphorylation of HuR. Finally, we found that the inhibition of PKC-delta using a dominant negative plasmid significantly decreased the CsA-induced cytoplasmic translocation of HuR and VEGF mRNA stability. Together, targeting the pathways that promote CNI-induced transcription as well as the mRNA stability of VEGF might serve as novel therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of cancer in immunosuppressed patients.

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