Genetic knock out of the transcriptional co-repressor carboxyl-terminal-binding protein (CtBP) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts results in up-regulation of several genes involved in apoptosis. We predicted, therefore, that a propensity toward apoptosis might be regulated through changes in cellular CtBP levels. Previously, we have identified the homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 as such a regulator and demonstrated that HIPK2 activation causes Ser-422 phosphorylation and degradation of CtBP. In this study, we found that c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1 activation triggered CtBP phosphorylation on Ser-422 and subsequent degradation, inducing p53-independent apoptosis in human lung cancer cells. JNK1 has previously been linked to UV-directed apoptosis. Expression of MKK7-JNK1 or exposure to UV irradiation reduced cellular levels of CtBP via a proteasome-mediated pathway. This effect was prevented by JNK1 deficiency. In addition, sustained activation of the JNK1 pathway by cisplatin similarly triggered CtBP degradation. These findings provide a novel target for chemotherapy in cancers lacking p53.
Wang, Su-Yan; Iordanov, Mihail; and Zhang, Qinghong, "c-Jun NH2-terminal Kinase Promotes Apoptosis by Down-Regulating the Transcriptional Co-repressor CtBP" (2006). Faculty Research. 25.