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Respir Res. 2018 Oct 25;19(1):206. doi: 10.1186/s12931-018-0910-0.

FBXO17 promotes cell proliferation through activation of Akt in lung adenocarcinoma cells.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, the Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care Medicine, The University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Montefiore, NW 628, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, the Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA. mallampallirk@upmc.edu.
4
Department of Cell Biology, Physiology, and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA. mallampallirk@upmc.edu.
5
Medical Specialty Service Line, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA, 15240, USA. mallampallirk@upmc.edu.
6
Department of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care Medicine, The University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Montefiore, NW 628, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA. mallampallirk@upmc.edu.
7
Department of Medicine, the Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA. zhaoy3@upmc.edu.
8
Department of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care Medicine, The University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Montefiore, NW 628, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA. zhaoy3@upmc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, mediated in part, by ubiquitin E3 ligases, is critical in regulating cellular processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. FBXO17 was recently identified as an F-box protein that targets glycogen synthase kinase-3β to the E3 ubiquitin ligase protein complex for polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Here, we identified that in several lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, FBXO17 cellular protein was detected at relatively high levels, as was expression in a subset of lung cancers. Hence, we investigated the effects of FBXO17 on cell proliferation.

METHODS:

Single cell RNA sequencing analysis was performed on a resection of a non-small cell lung carcinoma tumor to examine FBXO17 expression. Multiple lung cancer cell lines were immunoblotted, and The Cancer Genome Atlas was analyzed to determine if FBXO17 expression was amplified in a subset of lung cancers. A549 cells were transfected with empty vector or FBXO17-V5 plasmid and immunoblotted for Akt pathway mediators including PDK1, ERK1/2, ribosomal protein S6, and CREB. Cell proliferation and viability were analyzed by trypan blue exclusion, BrdU incorporation and an MTS-based fluorometric assay. Studies were also performed after transfecting with sifbxo17. Samples were used in an RNA microarray analysis to evaluate pathways affected by reduced FBXO17 gene expression.

RESULTS:

We observed that overexpression of FBXO17 increased A549 cell proliferation coupled with Akt activation. Ectopically expressed FBXO17 also increased ERK1/2 kinase activation and increased phosphorylation of RPS6, a downstream target of mTOR. We also observed an increased number of cells in S-phase and increased metabolic activity of lung epithelial cells expressing FBXO17. FBXO17 knockdown reduced Akt Ser 473 phosphorylation approaching statistical significance with no effect on Thr 308. However, ERK1/2 phosphorylation, cellular metabolic activity, and overall cell numbers were reduced. When we analyzed RNA profiles of A549 cells with reduced FBXO17 expression, we observed downregulation of several genes associated with cell proliferation and metabolism.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data support a role for FBXO17 abundance, when left unchecked, in regulating cell proliferation and survival through modulation of Akt and ERK kinase activation. The data raise a potential role for the F-box subunit in modulating tumorigenesis.

KEYWORDS:

Akt; FBXO17; Lung cancer; Proliferation

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