S-Space Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology (융합과학기술대학원) Dept. of Molecular and Biopharmaceutical Sciences (분자의학 및 바이오제약학과) Journal Papers (저널논문_분자의학 및 바이오제약학과)
Nuclear Factor Erythroid-Derived 2-Like 2-Induced Reductive Stress Favors Self-Renewal of Breast Cancer Stem-Like Cells via the FoxO3a-Bmi-1 Axis
- Kim, Do-Hee; Jang, Jeong-Hoon; Kwon, Ok-Seon; Cha, Hyuk-Jin; Youn, Hyo-Jin; Chun, Kyung-Soo; Surh, Young-Joon
- Issue Date
- Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, Vol.32 No.18, pp.1313-1329
- Aims: A subpopulation of cancer cells, termed cancer stem cells (CSCs), has stemness properties, such as self-renewal and differentiation, which drive cancer recurrence and tumor resistance. CSCs possess enhanced protection capabilities to maintain reduced intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) compared with nonstem-like cancer cells. This study investigated whether reductive stress could regulate self-renewal activity in breast CSCs. Results: We found that manifestation of stemness in breast cancer stem-like cells was associated with an elevated production of reduced glutathione (GSH) maintained by upregulation of glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) and consequently, lowered ROS levels. This was accompanied by upregulation of phospho-AMP-activated protein kinase, FoxO3a, and Bmi-1. Notably, expression of nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) protein was substantially increased in cells undergoing sphere formation. We noticed that expression of Bmi-1 was inhibited after introduction of Nrf2 short interfering RNA into MCF-7 mammosphere cells. Silencing of Nrf2 expression suppressed the xenograft growth of subcutaneously or orthotopically injected human breast cancer cells. Innovation: Association between Nrf2 and self-renewal signaling in CSCs has been reported, but the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unresolved. This study demonstrates the Nrf2-mediated signaling pathway in maintenance of reductive stress in breast CSCs. Conclusion: Nrf2 overactivation in breast CSCs upregulates GCLC expression and consequently enhances GSH biosynthesis with concurrent reduction in intracellular ROS accumulation, thereby provoking the reductive stress. The consequent upregulation of nuclear FoxO3a and its binding to the promoter of the gene encoding Bmi-1 account for the self-renewal activity of breast cancer stem-like cells and their growth in a xenograft mouse model.