Research Papers:

Aberrant expression of JNK-associated leucine-zipper protein, JLP, promotes accelerated growth of ovarian cancer

Ji Hee Ha, Mingda Yan, Rohini Gomathinayagam, Muralidharan Jayaraman, Sanam Husain, Jinsong Liu, Priyabrata Mukherjee, E. Premkumar Reddy, Yong Sang Song and Danny N. Dhanasekaran _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:72845-72859. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12069

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Ji Hee Ha1,2,*, Mingda Yan1,*, Rohini Gomathinayagam1,2, Muralidharan Jayaraman1,2, Sanam Husain3, Jinsong Liu4, Priyabrata Mukherjee1,3, E. Premkumar Reddy5, Yong Sang Song6, Danny N. Dhanasekaran1,2

1Stephenson Cancer Center, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

2Department of Cell Biology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

3Department of Pathology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA

4The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

5Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA

6Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Seoul 151-921, Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Danny N. Dhanasekaran, email: [email protected]

Keywords: JLP, JNK, scaffold, ovarian cancer, SPAG9

Received: July 27, 2016     Accepted: September 10, 2016     Published: September 16, 2016


Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecologic cancer with poor prognosis. Etiological factors underlying ovarian cancer genesis and progression are poorly understood. Previously, we have shown that JNK-associated Leucine zipper Protein (JLP), promotes oncogenic signaling. Investigating the role of JLP in ovarian cancer, our present study indicates that JLP is overexpressed in ovarian cancer tissue and ovarian cancer cells. Transient overexpression of JLP promotes proliferation and invasive migration of ovarian cancer cells. In addition, ectopic expression of JLP confers long-term survival and clonogenic potential to normal fallopian tube-derived epithelial cells. Coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization analyses demonstrate the in vivo interaction of JLP and JNK, which is stimulated by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), an oncogenic lipid growth factor in ovarian cancer. We also show that LPA stimulates the translocation of JLP-JNK complex to the perinuclear region of SKOV3-ip cells. JLP-knockdown using shRNA abrogates LPA-stimulated activation of JNK as well as LPA-stimulated proliferation and invasive migration of SKOV3-ip cells. Studies using ovarian cancer xenograft mouse model indicate that the mice bearing JLP-silenced xenografts exhibits reduced tumor volume. Analysis of the xenograft tumor tissues indicate a reduction in the levels of JLP, JNK, phosphorylated-JNK, c-Jun and phosphorylated-c-Jun in JLP-silenced xenografts, thereby correlating the attenuated JLP-JNK signaling node with suppressed tumor growth. Thus, our results identify a critical role for JLP-signaling axis in ovarian cancer and provide evidence that targeting this signaling node could provide a new avenue for therapy.

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