Cancer-selective targeting of the NF-κB survival pathway with GADD45β/MKK7 inhibitors.
Bottom Line: Here, we identify the interaction between the NF-κB-regulated antiapoptotic factor GADD45β and the JNK kinase MKK7 as a therapeutic target in MM.Using a drug-discovery strategy, we developed DTP3, a D-tripeptide, which disrupts the GADD45β/MKK7 complex, kills MM cells effectively, and, importantly, lacks toxicity to normal cells.Hence, cancer-selective targeting of the NF-κB pathway is possible and, at least for myeloma patients, promises a profound benefit.
Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Centre for Cell Signalling and Inflammation, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: To investigate the possible contribution of GADD45β to MM pathogenesis, we examined whether GADD45β mediated the NF-κB-dependent survival function and inhibition of JNK signaling in MM cells. As with PCs from patients (Figure 1A), GADD45B was expressed at high levels in MM cell lines compared with most other cancer cell lines tested (Figure S2G, discussed below). Importantly, this high GADD45B expression in MM cells markedly diminished upon the silencing of RelA, thus demonstrating its dependence on constitutive NF-κB activity (Figure 2A; Figure S2C). Moreover, similar to the effects of RelA-targeting hairpins (Figures S2A–S2C), the introduction of GADD45β-specific shRNAs, but not of MKK7-specific or of nonspecific shRNAs, induced potent JNK activation and apoptosis in all but two of the MM cell lines tested, namely, the RPMI-8226 and KMM-1 cell lines, which exhibited almost undetectable levels of GADD45β and significantly lower levels of MKK7 than those GADD45β-dependent MM cell lines (Figures 2B and 2C; Figures S2G–S2K, further discussed below). Similar results were observed using additional GADD45β-targeting hairpins, thus confirming the gene-silencing efficiency and specificity of the shRNAs used (Figures S2H, S2J, S2L, and S2M). Strikingly, the extent of JNK activation induced by the silencing of GADD45β in sensitive MM cell lines was similar to that observed with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)/ionomycin stimulation, which potently induces JNK (Figure 2C; Figures S2I and S2J). By contrast, GADD45β downregulation had no effect on IKK/NF-κB, ERK, or p38 activity. As seen with the inhibition of IKKβ/NF-κB (Figures S2D and S2E), both the silencing of JNK1 and the treatment with SP600125 effectively reversed apoptosis in GADD45β-silenced MM cells (Figures 2D and 2E; Figures S2N–S2P). Hence, GADD45β promotes the survival of MM cells by inhibiting JNK-mediated apoptosis. Collectively, these findings identify GADD45β as an essential NF-κB-regulated survival factor and selective MKK7/JNK-axis inhibitor and, therefore, as a potential therapeutic target in MM.
Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Centre for Cell Signalling and Inflammation, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK.