Disruption of a regulatory loop between DUSP1 and p53 contributes to hepatocellular carcinoma development and progression.

Altered expression of dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) is common in tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and is predictive of tumor progression and poor prognosis. However, the tumor suppressive role of DUSP1 has yet to be clearly elucidated.
The molecular mechanisms of tumor suppression that were investigated were induction of apoptosis, cell cycle inhibition, and regulation of p53. Additionally, the antitumor effect of DUSP1 was assessed using a mouse model. Associated signaling pathways in HCC cells and tissues were examined.
Downregulation of DUSP1 expression was significantly correlated with poor differentiation (p<0.001) and advanced HCC stage (p=0.023). DUSP1 expression resulted in HCC suppression and longer survival (p=0.0002) in a xenoplant mice model. DUSP1 inhibited p38 MAPK phosphorylation and subsequently suppressed HSP27 activation, resulting in enhanced p53 phosphorylation at sites S15, S20, and S46 in HCC cells. Enhanced p53 activation induced the expression of target genes p21 and p27, which are linked to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Thus, DUSP1 was potentially linked to p53 activation via the p38 MAPK/HSP27 pathway. Wild-type but not mutant p53 transcriptionally upregulated DUSP1 via its DNA-binding domain. DUSP1 and p53 might collaborate to suppress tumors in hepatocarcinogenesis via a positive regulatory loop.
Our results revealed that disruption of a positive regulatory loop between DUSP1 and p53 promoted HCC development and progression, providing a rationale for a therapeutic agent that restores DUSP1 in HCC.
AuthorsPei-Pei Hao, Hua Li, Mi-Jin Lee, Yun-Peng Wang, Jong-Hyun Kim, Goung-Ran Yu, Sang-Yeop Lee, Sun-Hee Leem, Kyu-Yun Jang, Dae-Ghon Kim
JournalJournal of hepatology (J Hepatol) Vol. 62 Issue 6 Pg. 1278-86 (Jun 2015) ISSN: 1600-0641 [Electronic] Netherlands
PMID25617504 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
CopyrightCopyright © 2015 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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