Identification of the factors critical to the tumor-initiating cell (TIC) state may open new avenues in cancer therapy. Here we show that the metabolic enzyme glycine decarboxylase (GLDC) is critical for TICs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). TICs from primary NSCLC tumors express high levels of the oncogenic stem cell factor LIN28B and GLDC, which are both required for TIC growth and tumorigenesis. Overexpression of GLDC and other glycine/serine enzymes, but not catalytically inactive GLDC, promotes cellular transformation and tumorigenesis. We found that GLDC induces dramatic changes in glycolysis and glycine/serine metabolism, leading to changes in pyrimidine metabolism to regulate cancer cell proliferation. In the clinic, aberrant activation of GLDC correlates with poorer survival in lung cancer patients, and aberrant GLDC expression is observed in multiple cancer types. This link between glycine metabolism and tumorigenesis may provide novel targets for advancing anticancer therapy.
Both EZH2 and NF-κB contribute to aggressive breast cancer, yet whether the two oncogenic factors have functional crosstalk in breast cancer is unknown. Here, we uncover an unexpected role of EZH2 in conferring the constitutive activation of NF-κB target gene expression in ER-negative basal-like breast cancer cells. This function of EZH2 is independent of its histone methyltransferase activity but requires the physical interaction with RelA/RelB to promote the expression of NF-κB targets. Intriguingly, EZH2 acts oppositely in ER-positive luminal-like breast cancer cells and represses NF-κB target gene expression by interacting with ER and directing repressive histone methylation on their promoters. Thus, EZH2 functions as a double-facet molecule in breast cancers, either as a transcriptional activator or repressor of NF-κB targets, depending on the cellular context. These findings reveal an additional mechanism by which EZH2 promotes breast cancer progression and underscore the need for developing context-specific strategy for therapeutic targeting of EZH2 in breast cancers.
Genetic and epigenetic defects in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling play important roles in colorectal cancer progression. Here we identify DACT3, a member of the DACT (Dpr/Frodo) gene family, as a negative regulator of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling that is transcriptionally repressed in colorectal cancer. Unlike other Wnt signaling inhibitors that are silenced by DNA methylation, DACT3 repression is associated with bivalent histone modifications. Remarkably, DACT3 expression can be robustly derepressed by a pharmacological combination that simultaneously targets both histone methylation and deacetylation, leading to strong inhibition of Dishevelled (Dvl)-mediated Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and massive apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells. Our study identifies DACT3 as an important regulator of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in colorectal cancer and suggests a potential strategy for therapeutic control of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in colorectal cancer.
RIG-I is a critical RNA virus sensor that serves to initiate antiviral innate immunity. However, posttranslational regulation of RIG-I signaling remains to be fully understood. We report here that RNA viruses, but not DNA viruses or bacteria, specifically upregulate lectin family member Siglecg expression in macrophages by RIG-I- or NF-κB-dependent mechanisms. Siglec-G-induced recruitment of SHP2 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase c-Cbl to RIG-I leads to RIG-I degradation via K48-linked ubiquitination at Lys813 by c-Cbl. By increasing type I interferon production, targeted inactivation of Siglecg protects mice against lethal RNA virus infection. Taken together, our data reveal a negative feedback loop of RIG-I signaling and identify a Siglec-G-mediated immune evasion pathway exploited by RNA viruses with implication in antiviral applications. These findings also provide insights into the functions and crosstalk of Siglec-G, a known adaptive response regulator, in innate immunity.
The Rb-E2F pathway drives cell cycle progression and cell proliferation, and the molecular strategies safeguarding its activity are not fully understood. Here we report that E2F1 directly transactivates miR-449a/b. miR-449a/b targets and inhibits oncogenic CDK6 and CDC25A, resulting in pRb dephosphorylation and cell cycle arrest at G1 phase, revealing a negative feedback regulation of the pRb-E2F1 pathway. Moreover, miR449a/b expression in cancer cells is epigenetically repressed through histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation, and epigenetic drug treatment targeting histone methylation results in strong induction of miR-449a/b. Our study reveals a tumor suppressor function of miR-449a/b through regulating Rb/E2F1 activity, and suggests that escape from this regulation through an aberrant epigenetic event contributes to E2F1 deregulation and unrestricted proliferation in human cancer.Supplemental material is available at http://www.genesdev.org.
Inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDACIs) are a new generation of anticancer agents that selectively kill tumor cells. However, the molecular basis for their tumor selectivity is not well understood. We investigated the effects of HDACIs on the oncogenic Rb-E2F1 pathway, which is frequently deregulated in human cancers. Here, we report that cancer cells with elevated E2F1 activity, caused either by enforced E2F1 expression, or by E1A oncogene expression, are highly susceptible to HDACI-induced cell death. This E2F1-mediated apoptosis is neither p53-nor p73-dependent but proceeds through selective induction of proapoptotic BH3-only protein Bim. We show that Bim is a direct target of E2F1 and that HDAC inhibition promotes the recruitment of E2F1 to the Bim promoter. Moreover, silencing of Bim by specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) effectively abolishes the E2F1-mediated cell death sensitization to HDACIs. These findings suggest that the oncogenic E2F1 pathway participates in HDACIs-induced apoptosis in cancer cells and underscore the importance of Bim as a key mediator of oncogene-induced apoptosis. Our study provides an important insight into the molecular mechanism of tumor selectivity of HDACIs and predicts that, clinically, HDACIs will be more effective in tumors with high E2F1 activity.histone deacetylase inhibitors ͉ tumor selectivity ͉ oncogene
When innate immune cells such as macrophages are challenged with environmental stresses or infection by pathogens, they trigger the rapid assembly of multi-protein complexes called inflammasomes that are responsible for initiating pro-inflammatory responses and a form of cell death termed pyroptosis. We describe here the identification of an intracellular trigger of NLRP3-mediated inflammatory signaling, IL-1β production and pyroptosis in primed murine bone marrow-derived macrophages that is mediated by the disruption of glycolytic flux. This signal results from a drop of NADH levels and induction of mitochondrial ROS production and can be rescued by addition of products that restore NADH production. This signal is also important for host-cell response to the intracellular pathogen Salmonella typhimurium, which can disrupt metabolism by uptake of host-cell glucose. These results reveal an important inflammatory signaling network used by immune cells to sense metabolic dysfunction or infection by intracellular pathogens.DOI:
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