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Targeting homeostatic mechanisms of endoplasmic reticulum stress to increase susceptibility of cancer cells to fenretinide-induced apoptosis: The role of stress proteins ERdj5 and ERp57

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Penny Lovat, Dr Jane Renwick, Dr David Hill, Professor Mark Birch-MachinORCiD, Dr Chris RedfernORCiD


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Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) malfunction, leading to ER stress, can be a consequence of genome instability and hypoxic tissue environments. Cancer cells survive by acquiring or enhancing survival mechanisms to counter the effects of ER stress and these homeostatic responses may be new therapeutic targets. Understanding the links between ER stress and apoptosis may be approached using drugs specifically to target ER stress responses in cancer cells. The retinoid analogue fenretinide [N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) retinamide] is a new cancer preventive and chemotherapeutic drug, that induces apoptosis of some cancer cell types via oxidative stress, accompanied by induction of an ER stress-related transcription factor, GADD153. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that fenretinide induces ER stress in neuroectodermal tumour cells, and to elucidate the role of ER stress responses in fenretinide-induced apoptosis. The ER stress genes ERdj5, ERp57, GRP78, calreticulin and calnexin were induced in neuroectodermal tumour cells by fenretinide. In contrast to the apoptosis-inducing chemotherapeutic drugs vincristine and temozolomide, fenretinide induced the phosphorylation of eIF2α, expression of ATF4 and splicing of XBP-1 mRNA, events that define ER stress. In these respects, fenretinide displayed properties similar to the ER stress inducer thapsigargin. ER stress responses were inhibited by antioxidant treatment. Knockdown of ERp57 or ERdj5 by RNA interference in these cells increased the apoptotic response to fenretinide. These data suggest that downregulating homeostatic ER stress responses may enhance apoptosis induced by oxidative stress-inducing drugs acting through the ER stress pathway. Therefore, ER-resident proteins such as ERdj5 and ERp57 may represent novel chemotherapeutic targets. © 2007 Cancer Research UK All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Corazzari, M., Lovat, P.E., Armstrong, J.L., Fimia, G.M., Hill, D.S., Birch-Machin, M.A., Redfern, C.P.F., Piacentini, M.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 2007

Volume: 96

Issue: 7

Pages: 1062-1071

Print publication date: 10/04/2007

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1827


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603672

PubMed id: 17353921


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