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Silencing of human phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 4 sensitizes breast cancer cells to tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced apoptosis and cell growth arrest.

Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Up-Regulation, Apoptosis, metabolism, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53, pharmacology, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA Interference, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf, Protein Binding, genetics, Phosphatidylethanolamine Binding Protein, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1, drug effects, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Humans, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Female, Cyclin E, Cyclin A, Cell Proliferation, Cell Line, Tumor, pathology, Breast Neoplasms, Blotting, Western

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      The current therapeutic approach is not so effective in breast cancer patients. Alternative treatment protocols aimed at different targets need to be explored. We recently reported a novel phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein, human phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 4 (hPEBP4), as an antiapoptotic molecule. The finding led us to explore a promising approach for breast cancer therapy via silencing the expression of hPEBP4. hPEBP4 expression in clinical breast specimens was examined by Tissue Microarrays. RNA interference was used to silence hPEBP4 expression in MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells and the effects on cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, as well as underlying mechanisms, were investigated. hPEBP4 was found to be expressed in up to 50% of breast cancers but in only <4% of normal breast tissues. Silencing of hPEBP4 potentiated tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in MCF-7 cells, which was due to the increased mitogen-activated protein kinase activation and the enhanced phosphatidylethanolamine externalization. Further investigation showed that silencing of hPEBP4 in MCF-7 cells promoted TNF-alpha-induced stability of p53, up-regulation of phospho-p53ser15, p21waf/cip, and Bax, and down-regulation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, which were shown to depend on extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase activation by hPEBP4 silencing. Moreover, the increased proportion of cells in the G0-G1 phase of cell cycle was observed in hPEBP4-silenced MCF-7 cells on TNF-alpha treatment and the expression of cyclin A and cyclin E was down-regulated more significantly. The antiapoptotic effect and the preferential expression pattern in breast cancer tissues make hPEBP4 a new target for breast cancer therapy. Silencing of hPEBP4 expression may be a promising approach for the treatment of breast carcinoma.

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