Regulation of Polyamine Analogue Cytotoxicity by c-Jun in Human MDA-MB-435 Cancer Cells

Yi Huang, Judith C. Keen, Erin Hager, Renee Smith, Amy Hacker, Benjamin Frydman, Aldonia L. Valasinas, Venodhar K. Reddy, Laurence J. Marton, Robert A. Casero, Nancy E. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Several polyamine analogues have efficacy against a variety of epithelial tumor models including breast cancer. Recently, a novel class of polyamine analogues designated as oligoamines has been developed. Here, we demonstrate that several representative oligoamine compounds inhibit in vitro growth of human breast cancer MDA-MB-435 cells. The activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcriptional factor family members, c-Jun and c-Fos, are up-regulated by oligoamines in MDA-MB-435 cells, suggesting a possible AP-1-dependent induction of apoptosis. However, the use of a novel c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor, SP600125, suggests that inhibition of c-Jun activity sensitized tumor cells to oligoamine-induced cell death. To directly test this hypothesis, cells were stably transfected with the dominant-negative mutant c-Jun (TAM67), which lacks the NH2-terminal transactivation domain. Cells overexpressing TAM67 exhibit normal growth kinetics but demonstrate a significantly increased sensitivity to oligoamine cytotoxicity and attenuated colony formation after oligoamine treatment. Furthermore, oligoamine treatment leads to more profound caspase-3 activation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage in TAM67 transfectants, suggesting that c-Jun acts as an antiapoptosis factor in MDA-MB-435 cells in response to oligoamine treatment. These findings indicate that oligoamine-inducible AP-1 plays a prosurvival role in oligoamine-treated MDA-MB-435 cells and that JNK/AP-1 might be a potential target for enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of polyamine analogues in human breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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