Foxo-dependent Par-4 Upregulation Prevents Long-term Survival of Residual Cells Following PI3K-Akt Inhibition.
Tumor recurrence is a leading cause of death and is thought to arise from a population of residual cells that survive treatment. These residual cancer cells can persist, locally or at distant sites, for years or decades. Therefore, understanding the pathways that regulate residual cancer cell survival may suggest opportunities for targeting these cells to prevent recurrence. Previously, it was observed that the proapoptotic protein (PAWR/Par-4) negatively regulates residual cell survival and recurrence in mice and humans. However, the mechanistic underpinnings on how Par-4 expression is regulated are unclear. Here, it is demonstrated that Par-4 is transcriptionally upregulated following treatment with multiple drugs targeting the PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling pathway, and identify the Forkhead family of transcription factors as mediators of this upregulation. Mechanistically, Foxo3a directly binds to the Par-4 promoter and activates its transcription following inhibition of the PI3K-Akt pathway. This Foxo-dependent Par-4 upregulation limits the long-term survival of residual cells following treatment with therapeutics that target the PI3K-Akt pathway. Taken together, these results indicate that residual breast cancer tumor cell survival and recurrence requires circumventing Foxo-driven Par-4 upregulation and suggest that approaches to enforce Par-4 expression may prevent residual cell survival and recurrence. Mol Cancer Res; 16(4); 599-609. ©2018 AACR.
Damrauer, JS; Phelps, SN; Amuchastegui, K; Lupo, R; Mabe, NW; Walens, A; Kroger, BR; Alvarez, JV
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