Regulation of GST-MDA-7 toxicity in human glioblastoma cells by ERBB1, ERK1/2, PI3K, and JNK1-3 pathway signaling

Adly Yacoub, Pankaj Gupta, Margaret A. Park, Mohammed Rhamani, Hossein Hamed, David Hanna, Guo Zhang, Devanand Sarkar, Irina V. Lebedeva, Luni Emdad, Costas Koumenis, David T. Curiel, Steven Grant, Paul B. Fisher, Paul Dent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The present studies defined the biological effects of a GST fusion protein of melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7), GST-MDA-7 (1 and 30 nmol/L), on cell survival and cell signaling in primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7, in a dose- and time-dependent fashion killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics; 1 nmol/L caused arrest without death, whereas 30 nmol/L caused arrest and killing after exposure. Combined inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and AKT function was required to enhance 1 nmol/L GST-MDA-7 lethality in all cell types, whereas combined activation of MEK1 and AKT was required to suppress 30 nmol/L GST-MDA-7 lethality; both effects are mediated in part by modulating c-Jun NH 2-terminal kinase (JNK) 1-3 activity. The geldanamycin 17AAG inhibited AKT and ERK1/2 in GBM cells and enhanced GST-MDA-7 lethality. JNK1-3 signaling promoted BAX activation and mitochondrial dysfunction. In GBM6 cells, GST-MDA-7 (30 nmol/L) transiently activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, which was modestly protective against JNK1-3-induced toxicity, whereas GST-MDA-7 (300 nmol/L) caused prolonged intense p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, which promoted cell death. In GBM12 cells that express full-length mutant activated ERBB1, inhibition of ERBB1 did not modify GST-MDA-7 lethality; however, in U118 established glioma cells, stable overexpression of wild-type ERBB1 and/or truncated active ERBB1vIII suppressed GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data argue that combined inhibition of ERK1/2 and AKT function, regardless of genetic background, promotes MDA-7 lethality in human primary human glioma cells via JNK1-3 signaling and is likely to represent a more ubiquitous approach to enhancing MDA-7 toxicity in this cell type than inhibition of ERBB1 function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-329
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008


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