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J Biol Chem. 2004 Nov 26;279(48):49617-23. Epub 2004 Sep 17.

Identification of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene (NAG-1) as a novel downstream target of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/GSK-3beta pathway.

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Laboratory of Environmental Carcinogenesis, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.


The signaling pathway of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, which is involved in cell survival, proliferation, and growth, has become a major focus in targeting cancer therapeutics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene (NAG-1) was previously identified as a gene induced by several anti-tumorigenic compounds including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma ligands, and dietary compounds. NAG-1 has been shown to exhibit anti-tumorigenic and/or pro-apoptotic activities in vivo and in vitro. In this report, we showed a PI3K/AKT/glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) pathway regulates NAG-1 expression in human colorectal cancer cells as assessed by the inhibition of PI3K, AKT, and GSK-3beta. PI3K inhibition by LY294002 showed an increase in NAG-1 protein and mRNA expression, and 1l-6-hydroxymethyl-chiro-inositol 2(R)-2-O-methyl-3-O-octadecylcarbonate (AKT inhibitor) also induced NAG-1 expression. LY294002 caused increased apoptosis, cell cycle, and cell growth arrest in HCT-116 cells. Inhibition of GSK-3beta, which is negatively regulated by AKT, using AR-A014418 and lithium chloride completely abolished LY294002-induced NAG-1 expression as well as the NAG-1 promoter activity. Furthermore, the down-regulation of GSK-3 gene using small interference RNA resulted in a decline of the NAG-1 expression in the presence of LY294002. These data suggest that expression of NAG-1 is regulated by PI3K/AKT/GSK-3beta pathway in HCT-116 cells and may provide a further understanding of the important role of PI3K/AKT/GSK-3beta pathway in tumorigenesis.

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