Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007;39(5):1016-25. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

c-Myc overexpression sensitizes Bim-mediated Bax activation for apoptosis induced by histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) through regulating Bcl-2/Bcl-xL expression.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Genome Institute of Singapore, Genome Building, #02-01, 60 Biopolis Street, Singapore 138672, Singapore.


Overexpression of the oncogene c-Myc sensitizes many apoptotic signals through the activation of mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. However, the underling mechanism has not been clearly defined. Here, we investigated the effect of c-Myc expression on histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA)-induced apoptosis in rat fibroblast cells possessing various c-Myc levels. In Rat 1a cells overexpressing c-Myc, SAHA-induced enhanced the cell death response relative to the parental cells; whereas Rat 1a cells lacking c-Myc were refractory to SAHA treatment. We demonstrated that SAHA selectively induced the expression of pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein Bim, leading to Bax activation in c-Myc-expressing cells. Where c-Myc was absent, Bim, despite its induction by SAHA, failed to activate Bax and was unable to induce apoptosis. These results indicate that c-Myc is dispensable for Bim induction by SAHA, but is required for subsequent Bax activation. We further show that the expression levels of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2/Bcl2-xL were much elevated in Myc-null cells compared with the c-Myc-expressing cells; furthermore, depletion of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL in these cells restored the ability of SAHA to induce apoptosis by enhancing Bax activation. These data indicate that SAHA induces apoptosis through Bim-triggered Bax activation and that c-Myc regulates this process by modulating Bcl-2/Bcl-xL. Our results provide novel insight into the mechanism whereby Myc sensitizes the apoptotic signals; furthermore, our data suggest that cancer cells with deregulated Myc might be more sensitive to SAHA treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center