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Cancer Sci. 2008 Dec;99(12):2485-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2008.00979.x. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Involvement of thioredoxin-binding protein 2 in the antitumor activity of CD437.

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Division of Molecular and Genetic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Tottori University, Nishi-cho 86, Yonago, Tottori 683-8504, Japan.


The present authors previously reported that a synthetic retinoid, CD437, induces endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis in ovarian adenocarcinoma cells in spite of no response to natural retinoids. However, the precise mechanism of its proapoptotic action has not been fully determined. The present study herein demonstrates that apoptosis induction of ovarian adenocarcinoma SKOV3 cells by CD437 involves the upregulation of thioredoxin-binding protein 2 (TBP2) by a mechanism that is dependent on the intracellular calcium concentration. TBP2 is known to bind to and suppress thioredoxin (TRX) activity whereas TRX has an anti-apoptotic effect by inhibiting apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1). The activation of ASK1 and its downstream molecule, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, was observed after induction of TBP2 by CD437. Interestingly, CD437 induced the association of TBP2 with TRX and, in turn, facilitated the dissociation of ASK1 from TRX. Moreover, blockade of TBP2 induction by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly attenuated the cytotoxic effect of CD437. These results suggest that TBP2 plays a critical role in the mechanism by which CD437 exerts proapoptotic action against SKOV3 cells.

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