Research Papers:

Mitotic cell death caused by follistatin-like 1 inhibition is associated with up-regulated Bim by inactivated Erk1/2 in human lung cancer cells

Kieun Bae, Kyoung Eun Park, Jihye Han, Jongkwang Kim, Kyungtae Kim and Kyong-Ah Yoon _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:18076-18084. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6729

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Kieun Bae1, Kyoung Eun Park1, Jihye Han1, Jongkwang Kim1, Kyungtae Kim1, Kyong-Ah Yoon1,2

1Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Gyeonggi, Korea

2College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to:

Kyong-Ah Yoon, e-mail: kayoon@ncc.ac.kr

Keywords: FSTL1, lung cancer, apoptosis, Bim, Erk1/2

Received: June 26, 2015     Accepted: November 25, 2015     Published: December 22, 2015


Follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1) was identified as a novel pro-inflammatory protein showing high-level expression in rheumatoid arthritis. The protective effect of FSTL1 via the inhibition of apoptosis was reported in myocardial injury. However, the functional mechanism of FSTL1 in cancer is poorly characterized, and its proliferative effects are ambiguous. Here, we examined the effects of FSTL1 on cellular proliferation and cell cycle checkpoints in lung cancer cells. FSTL1 inhibition induced the cellular portion of G2/M phase in human lung cancer cells via the accumulation of regulators of the transition through the G2/M phase, including the cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1)-cyclin B1 complex. An increase in histone H3 phosphorylation (at Ser10), another hallmark of mitosis, indicated that the knockdown of FSTL1 in lung cancer cells stimulated a mitotic arrest. After that, apoptosis was promoted by the activation of caspase-3 and -9. Protein level of Bim, a BH3 domain-only, pro-apoptotic member and its isoforms, BimL, BimS, and BimEL were up-regulated by FSTL1 inhibition. Degradation of Bim was blocked in FSTL1-knockdown cells by decreased phosphorylation of Bim. Increased BimEL as well as decreased phosphorylated Erk1/2 is essential for cell death by FSTL1 inhibition in NCI-H460 cells. Taken together, our results suggest that the knockdown of FSTL1 induces apoptosis through a mitotic arrest and caspase-dependent cell death. FSTL1 plays the important roles in cellular proliferation and apoptosis in lung cancer cells, and thus can be a new target for lung cancer treatment.

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