Research Papers:

N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 promotes oxaliplatin-triggered apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells via enhancing the ubiquitination of Bcl-2

Xiao Yang, Fan Zhu, Chaoran Yu, Jiaoyang Lu, Luyang Zhang, Yanfeng Lv, Jing Sun and Minhua Zheng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:47709-47724. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17711

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Xiao Yang1,2,*, Fan Zhu1,2,*, Chaoran Yu1,2,*, Jiaoyang Lu1,2, Luyang Zhang1,2, Yanfeng Lv3, Jing Sun1,2 and Minhua Zheng1,2

1Department of General Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, P.R.China

2Shanghai Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, P.R.China

3Department of Colorectal Surgery, Second Hospital of Shandong University, Shandong University, Jinan 250000, P.R.China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Minhua Zheng, email: ZhengMHrjhospital@163.com

Jing Sun, email: jingsun1982@sina.cn

Yanfeng Lv, email: yanfenglv1979@sina.com

Keywords: apoptosis, colorectal cancer, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, NDRG1, Bcl-2

Received: November 15, 2016    Accepted: April 14, 2017    Published: May 09, 2017


N-myc downstream-regulated gene1 (NDRG1) has been identified as a potent tumor suppressor gene. The molecular mechanisms of anti-tumor activity of NDRG1 involve its suppressive effects on a variety of tumorigenic signaling pathways. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of NDRG1 in the apoptosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. We first collected the clinical data of locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) patients receiving oxaliplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy in our medical center. Correlation analysis revealed that NDRG1 positively associated with the downstaging rates and prognosis of patients. Then, the effects of over-expression and depletion of NDRG1 gene on apoptosis of colorectal cancer were tested in vitro and in vivo. NDRG1 over-expression promoted apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells whereas depletion of NDRG1 resulted in resistance to oxaliplatin treatment. Furthermore, we observed that Bcl-2, a major anti-apoptotic protein, was regulated by NDRG1 at post-transcriptional level. By binding Protein kinase Cα (PKCα), a classical regulating factor of Bcl-2, NDRG1 enhanced the ubiquitination and degradation of Bcl-2, thus promoting apoptosis in CRC cells. In addition, NDRG1 inhibited tumor growth and promoted apoptosis in mouse xenograft model. In conclusion,NDRG1 promotes oxaliplatin-triggered apoptosis in colorectal cancer. Therefore, colorectal cancer patients can be stratified by the expression level of NDRG1. NDRG1-positive patients may benefit from oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy regimens whereas those with negative NDRG1 expression should avoid the usage of this cytotoxic drug.

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