RhoB expression is reduced in most invasive tumors, with loss of RhoB expression correlating significantly with tumor stage. Here, we demonstrate that upregulation of RhoB by the potent anticancer agent NSC126188 induces apoptosis of NUGC-3 human gastric carcinoma cells. The crucial role of RhoB in NSC126188-induced apoptosis is indicated by the rescue of NUGC-3 cells from apoptosis by knockdown of RhoB. In the presence of NSC126188, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling was activated, and the JNK inhibitor SP600125 reduced RhoB expression and suppressed the apoptosis of NUGC-3 cells. Knockdowns of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MKK) 4/7, JNK1/2 and c-Jun downregulated RhoB expression and rescued cells from apoptotic death in the presence of NSC126188. The JNK inhibitor SP600125 suppressed transcriptional activation of RhoB in the presence of NSC126188, as indicated by a reporter assay that used luciferase under the RhoB promoter. The ability of NSC126188 to increase luciferase activity through both the p300-binding site and the inverted CCAAT sequence (iCCAAT box) suggests that JNK signaling to upregulate RhoB expression is mediated through both the p300-binding site and the iCCAAT box. However, the JNK inhibitor SP600125 did not inhibit the upregulation of RhoB by farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTI)-277. The p300-binding site did not affect activation of the RhoB promoter by FTI-277 in NUGC-3 cells, suggesting that the transcriptional activation of RhoB by NSC126188 occurs by a different mechanism than that reported for FTIs. Our data indicate that NSC126188 increases RhoB expression via JNK-mediated signaling through a p300-binding site and iCCAAT box resulting in apoptosis of NUGC-3 cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research