Knockdown of β-catenin controls both apoptotic and autophagic cell death through LKB1/AMPK signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines
- Knockdown of β-catenin controls both apoptotic and autophagic cell death through LKB1/AMPK signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines
- Hyo Won Chang; Yoon Se Lee; Hae Yun Nam; Myoung Wol Han; Hyo Jung Kim; So Young Moon; 전혜성; Jung Je Park; Thomas E. Carey; Sung Eun Chang; Seong Who Kim; 김상윤
- β-catenin; LKB1/AMPK; Apoptosis; Head and neck neoplasm; Autophagy
- Issue Date
- Cellular signalling
- VOL 25, NO 4, 839-847
- The Wnt/β-catenin pathway regulates the viability and radiosensitivity of head and neck squamous cancer cells (HNSCC). Increased β-catenin predisposes HNSCC patients to poor prognosis and survival. This study was conducted to determine the mechanism by which β-catenin regulates the viability of HNSCC. AMC-HN-3, -HN-8, UM-SCC-38, and -SCC-47 cells, which were established from human head and neck cancer specimens, and underwent cell death following β-catenin silencing. β-Catenin silencing significantly induced G1 arrest and increased the expression of Bax and active caspase-3, which demonstrates the sequential activation of apoptotic cascades following treatment of HNSCC with targeted siRNA. Intriguingly, β-catenin silencing also induced autophagy. Here, we confirm that the number of autophagic vacuoles and the expression of type II light chain 3 were increased in cells that were treated with β-catenin siRNA. These cell death modes are most likely due to the activation of LKB1-dependent AMPK following β-catenin silencing. The activated LKB1/AMPK pathway in AMC-HN-3 cells caused G1 arrest by phosphorylating p53 and suppressing mTOR signaling. In addition, treating AMC-HN-3 cells with LKB1 siRNA preserved cell viability against β-catenin silencing-induced cytotoxicity. Taken together, these results imply that following β-catenin silencing, HNSCC undergo both apoptotic and autophagic cell death that are under the control of LKB1/AMPK. To the best of our knowledge, these results suggest for the first time that novel crosstalk between β-catenin and the LKB1/AMPK pathway regulates the viability of HNSCC. This study thus presents new insights into our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in β-catenin silencing-induced cell death.
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