Research Papers:

Downregulation of amplified in breast cancer 1 contributes to the anti-tumor effects of sorafenib on human hepatocellular carcinoma

Ming Li _, Wei Wang, Yuzhen Dan, Zhangwei Tong, Wenbo Chen, Liping Qin, Kun Liu, Wengang Li, Pingli Mo and Chundong Yu

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:29605-29619. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8812

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Ming Li1,2,3,4,*, Wei Wang1,3,*, Yuzhen Dan1, Zhangwei Tong1, Wenbo Chen1, Liping Qin1, Kun Liu1,5, Wengang Li2,4, Pingli Mo1, Chundong Yu1,2,3

1State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology, Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

2Xiamen City Key Laboratory of Biliary Tract Diseases, Chenggong Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

3Engineering Research Center of Molecular Diagnostics, Ministry of Education, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

4Department of Hepatobiliary Pancreas and Vessel Surgery, Chenggong Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

5Department of Pathology, Chenggong Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Chundong Yu, e-mail: [email protected]

Pingli Mo, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: sorafenib, AIB1, HCC, cell death, mRNA translation

Received: October 14, 2015    Accepted: March 28, 2016    Published: April 18, 2016


Multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib represents a major breakthrough in the therapy of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Amplified in breast cancer 1 (AIB1) is frequently overexpressed in human HCC tissues and promotes HCC progression. In this study, we investigated the effects of sorafenib on AIB1 expression and the role of AIB1 in anti-tumor effects of sorafenib. We found that sorafenib downregulated AIB1 protein expression by inhibiting AIB1 mRNA translation through simultaneously blocking eIF4E and mTOR/p70S6K/RP-S6 signaling. Knockdown of AIB1 significantly promoted sorafenib-induced cell death, whereas overexpression of AIB1 substantially diminished sorafenib-induced cell death. Downregulation of AIB1 contributed to sorafenib-induced cell death at least in part through upregulating the levels of reactive oxygen species in HCC cells. In addition, resistance to sorafenib-induced downregulation of AIB1 protein contributes to the acquired resistance of HCC cells to sorafenib-induced cell death. Collectively, our study implicates that AIB1 is a molecular target of sorafenib and downregulation of AIB1 contributes to the anti-tumor effects of sorafenib.

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