Prohibitin attenuates colitis-associated tumorigenesis in mice by modulating p53 and STAT3 apoptotic responses

Arwa S. Kathiria, William L. Neumann, Jennifer Rhees, Erin Hotchkiss, Yulan Cheng, Robert M. Genta, Stephen J. Meltzer, Rhonda F. Souza, Arianne L. Theiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Although inflammatory bowel disease is associated with higher risk of colorectal cancer, the precise pathogenic mechanisms underlying this association are not completely understood. Prohibitin 1 (PHB), a protein implicated in the regulation of proliferation, apoptosis, and transcription, is decreased in intestinal inflammation. In this study, we have established a key function for PHB in mediating colitis-associated cancer. Wild-type and transgenic (Tg) mice specifically overexpressing PHB in intestinal epithelial cells were subjected to a classical two-stage protocol of colitis-associated carcinogenesis. In addition, wild-type and p53 null human cell models were used to assess PHB interaction with STAT3 and p53. Wild-type mice exhibited decreased mucosal PHB protein expression during colitis-associated carcinogenesis. Tg mice exhibited decreased susceptibility in a manner associated with increased apoptosis, p53, Bax, and Bad expression plus decreased Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 expression. PHB overexpression in wild-type but not p53 null human cells increased expression of Bax, Bad, and caspase-3 cleavage. In wild-type p53 cells, PHB overexpression decreased basal and interleukin-6-induced STAT3 activation and expression of the STAT3 responsive genes Bcl-xL and Bcl-2. PHB coimmunoprecipitated with phospho-STAT3 in addition to p53 in cultured cell lysates and colon mucosa. This is the first study to show interaction between PHB and STAT3 in vivo. In summary, our findings suggest that PHB protects against colitisassociated cancer by modulating p53- and STAT3-mediated apoptosis. Modulation of PHB expression in intestinal epithelial cells may offer a potential therapeutic approach to prevent colitis-associated carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5778-5789
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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