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Mol Cancer. 2011 Apr 20;10:44. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-10-44.

Role of bile salt in regulating Mcl-1 phosphorylation and chemoresistance in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Author information

1
National Hepatobiliary & Enteric Surgery Research Center, Department of Surgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, PR China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Glycochenodeoxycholate (GCDA) is one of the major human bile salts. Bile salts stimulate cell survival and proliferation through the mitogen-activated protein kinase, but the downstream signaling mechanism(s) remains enigmatic. Mcl-1 is an antiapoptotic molecule of the Bcl2 family that is extensively overexpressed in tumor tissues of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

RESULTS:

Here we found that exposure of HepG2 cells to GCDA results in activation of ERK1 and ERK2 and phosphorylation of Mcl-1 in a PD98059 (MEK inhibitor)-sensitive manner. GCDA stimulates Mcl-1 phosphorylation in cells expressing WT but not T163A Mcl-1 mutant, indicating that GCDA-induced Mcl-1 phosphorylation occurs exclusively at the T163 site in its PEST region. GCDA-induced Mcl-1 phosphorylation at T163 enhances the half-life of Mcl-1. Treatment of HepG2 cells with GCDA facilitates Mcl-1 dissociation from Mule (a physiological Mcl-1 ubiquitin E3 ligase). Specific depletion of Mcl-1 from HepG2 cells by RNA interference increases sensitivity of HepG2 cells to chemotherapeutic drugs (i.e. cisplatin and irinotecan). In addition to activation of the ERK/Mcl-1 survival pathway, GCDA can also induce dose-dependent apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites of DNA lesions, which may partially neutralize its survival activity.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that bile salt may function as a survival agonist and/or potential carcinogen in the development of HCC. Molecular approaches that inactivate Mcl-1 by blocking its T163 phosphorylation may represent new strategies for treatment of HCC.

PMID:
21507240
PMCID:
PMC3107804
DOI:
10.1186/1476-4598-10-44
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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