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Oncogene. 2018 May;37(22):2936-2952. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0180-9. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

KPNB1 inhibition disrupts proteostasis and triggers unfolded protein response-mediated apoptosis in glioblastoma cells.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 200031, Shanghai, China.
2
School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science and Technology, 200237, Shanghai, China.
3
Institute of Neuroscience, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 200031, Shanghai, China. xiongzhiqi@ion.ac.cn.
4
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049, Beijing, China. xiongzhiqi@ion.ac.cn.
5
School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, 201210, Shanghai, China. xiongzhiqi@ion.ac.cn.

Abstract

The nuclear import receptor karyopherin β1 (KPNB1) is involved in the nuclear import of most proteins and in the regulation of multiple mitotic events. Upregulation of KPNB1 has been observed in cancers including glioblastoma. Depletion of KPNB1 induces mitotic arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells, but the underlying mechanism is not clearly elucidated. Here, we found that downregulation and functional inhibition of KPNB1 in glioblastoma cells induced growth arrest and apoptosis without apparent mitotic arrest. KPNB1 inhibition upregulated Puma and Noxa and freed Mcl-1-sequestered Bax and Bak, leading to mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and apoptosis. Moreover, combination of Bcl-xL inhibitors and KPNB1 inhibition enhanced apoptosis in glioblastoma cells. KPNB1 inhibition promoted cytosolic retention of its cargo and impaired cellular proteostasis, resulting in elevated polyubiquitination, formation of aggresome-like-induced structure (ALIS), and unfolded protein response (UPR). Ubiquitination elevation and UPR activation in KPNB1-deficient cells were reversed by KPNB1 overexpression or inhibitors of protein synthesis but aggravated by inhibitors of autophagy-lysosome or proteasome, indicating that rebalance of cytosolic/nuclear protein distribution and alleviation of protein overload favor proteostasis and cell survival. Chronic activation of eIF2α/ATF4 cascade of UPR was responsible for the upregulation of Puma and Noxa, apoptosis and ABT-263 sensitivity. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that KPNB1 is required for proteostasis maintenance and its inhibition induces apoptosis in glioblastoma cells through UPR-mediated deregulation of Bcl-2 family members.

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