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Cancer Res. 2009 Jun 1;69(11):4733-41. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4282. Epub 2009 May 12.

KLF6-SV1 is a novel antiapoptotic protein that targets the BH3-only protein NOXA for degradation and whose inhibition extends survival in an ovarian cancer model.

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Departments of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Defects in apoptosis are not only a hallmark of cancer initiation and progression but can also underlie the development of chemoresistance. How the tightly regulated cascade of protein-protein interactions between members of three competing protein families regulating the apoptotic cascade is subverted in tumor cells is incompletely understood. Here, we show that KLF6-SV1, whose overexpression is associated with poor survival in several different cancers and is an alternatively spliced isoform of the Krüppel-like tumor suppressor KLF6, is a critical prosurvival/antiapoptotic protein. KLF6-SV1 binds the proapoptotic BH3-only protein NOXA, which results in their mutual HDM2-dependent degradation. In turn, this increases the intracellular concentration of the prosurvival binding partner of NOXA, Mcl-1, and effectively blocks apoptosis. In an ovarian cancer model, systemically delivered small interfering RNA against KLF6-SV1 induces spontaneous apoptosis of tumor cells, decreases tumor burden, and restores cisplatin sensitivity in vivo. Moreover, i.p. delivery of siKLF6-SV1 RNA halts ovarian tumor progression and improves median and overall survival (progression-free for >15 months; P < 0.0002) in mice in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, KLF6-SV1 represents a novel regulator of protein interactions in the apoptotic cascade and a therapeutically targetable control point.

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