Theranostics 2019; 9(4):1096-1114. doi:10.7150/thno.29673

Research Paper

Interaction between p53 and Ras signaling controls cisplatin resistance via HDAC4- and HIF-1α-mediated regulation of apoptosis and autophagy

Xiaofei Zhang1,2*, Zihao Qi1,2*, Huijing Yin1,2, Gong Yang1,2,3✉

1. Cancer Institute, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, 200032, China
2. Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China
3. Central Laboratory, the Fifth People's Hospital of Shanghai Fudan University, Shanghai, 200240, China
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

The interplay between p53 and RAS signaling regulates cancer chemoresistance, but the detailed mechanism is unclear. In this study, we investigated the interactive effects of p53 and RAS on ovarian cancer cisplatin resistance to explore the potential therapeutic targets.

Methods: An inducible p53 and RAS mutants active in either MAPK/ERK (S35 and E38) or PI3K/AKT (C40) or both (V12) were sequentially introduced into a p53-null ovarian cancer cell line-SKOV3. Comparative microarray analysis was performed using Gene Chip Prime View Human Gene Expression arrays (Affymetrix). In vitro assays of autophagy and apoptosis and in vivo animal experiments were performed by p53 induction and/or cisplatin treatment using the established cell lines. The correlation between HDAC4 and HIF-1α or CREBZF and the association of HDAC4, HIF-1α, CREBZF, ERK, AKT, and p53 mRNA levels with patient survival in 523 serous ovarian cancer cases from TCGA was assessed.

Results: We show that p53 and RAS mutants differentially control cellular apoptosis and autophagy to inhibit or to promote chemoresistance through dysregulation of Bax, Bcl2, ATG3, and ATG12. ERK and AKT active RAS mutants are mutually suppressive to confer or to deprive cisplatin resistance. Further studies demonstrate that p53 induces HIF-1α degradation and HDAC4 cytoplasmic translocation and phosphorylation. S35, E38, and V12 but not C40 promote HDAC4 phosphorylation and its cytoplasmic translocation along with HIF-1α. Wild-type p53 expression in RAS mutant cells enhances HIF-1α turnover in ovarian and lung cancer cells. Autophagy and anti-apoptotic processes can be promoted by the overexpression and cytoplasmic translocation of HDAC4 and HIF1-α. Moreover, the phosphorylation and cytoplasmic translocation of HDAC4 activate the transcription factor CREBZF to promote ATG3 transcription. High HDAC4 or CREBZF expression predicted poor overall survival (OS) and/or progression-free survival (PFS) in ovarian cancer patients, whereas high HIF-1α expression was statistically correlated with poor or good OS depending on p53 status.

Conclusion: HIF-1α and HDAC4 may mediate the interaction between p53 and RAS signaling to actively control ovarian cancer cisplatin resistance through dysregulation of apoptosis and autophagy. Targeting HDAC4, HIF-1α and CREBZF may be considered in treatment of ovarian cancer with p53 and RAS mutations.

Keywords: p53, Ras, HDAC4, HIF-1α, CREBZF, Cisplatin resistance

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How to cite this article:
Zhang X, Qi Z, Yin H, Yang G. Interaction between p53 and Ras signaling controls cisplatin resistance via HDAC4- and HIF-1α-mediated regulation of apoptosis and autophagy. Theranostics 2019; 9(4):1096-1114. doi:10.7150/thno.29673. Available from http://www.thno.org/v09p1096.htm