Repression of breast cancer cell growth by proteasome inhibitors in vitro: Impact of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Cancer Biology and Therapy, 2015, 16 (5), pp. 780 - 789
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© 2015 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Mitogen activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) has emerged as an important protein mediating breast cancer oncogenesis and chemoresistance to cancer chemotherapies, especially proteasome inhibitors. In this in vitro study, we utilized the breast cancer epithelial cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, in comparison to MCF-10A control cells, to examine the impact of MKP-1 on breast cancer cell growth and repression by proteasome inhibitors. We confirm that proteasome inhibitors MG-132 and bortezomib induce MKP-1 protein upregulation and we show that one of the ways in which bortezomib increases MKP-1 in breast cancer cells, in addition to inhibition of ubiquitin-proteasome system, is via upregulation of MKP-1 mRNA expression in p38 MAPK-mediated manner. Notably, these effects are specific to cancer cells, as bortezomib activated p38 MAPK and induced MKP-1 in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, but not in control cells (MCF-10A). We took a dual approach toward targeting MKP-1 to show that bortezomib-induced effects are enhanced. Firstly, treatment with the non-specific MKP-1 inhibitor triptolide reduces breast cancer cell growth and augments proteasome inhibitor-induced effects. Secondly, specific knock-down of MKP-1 with siRNA significantly repressed cell viability by reduced cyclin D1 expression, and enhanced repression of cancer cell growth by proteasome inhibitors. Taken together, these results indicate that removing the unwanted (MKP-1-inducing) effects of bortezomib significantly improves the efficacy of proteasome inhibition in breast cancer cells. Thus, future development of drugs targeting MKP-1 offer promise of combination therapies with reduced toxicity and enhanced cell death in breast cancer.
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