Retinoic acid/alpha-interferon combination inhibits growth and promotes apoptosis in mantle cell lymphoma through Akt-dependent modulation of critical targets

Jessica Dal Col, Katy Mastorci, Damiana Antonia Fae, Elena Muraro, Debora Martorelli, Giorgio Inghirami, Riccardo Dolcetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is characterized by a profound deregulation of the mechanisms controlling cell-cycle progression and survival. We herein show that the combination of 9-cis-retinoic acid (RA) and IFN-α induces marked antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in MCL cells through the modulation of critical targets. Particularly, IFN-α enhances RA-mediated G 0-G 1 cell accumulation by downregulating cyclin D1 and increasing p27 Kip1 and p21 WAF1/Cip1 protein levels. Furthermore, RA/IFN-α combination also induces apoptosis by triggering both caspases-8 and -9 resulting in Bax and Bak activation. In particular, RA/IFN-α treatment downregulates the antiapoptotic Bcl-xL and Bfl-1 proteins and upregulates the proapoptotic BH3-only Noxa protein. Sequestration of Mcl-1 and Bfl-1 by upregulated Noxa results in the activation of Bid, and the consequent induction of apoptosis is inhibited by Noxa silencing. Noxa upregulation is associated with nuclear translocation of the FOXO3a transcription factor as consequence of RA/IFN-α-induced Akt inhibition. Pharmacologic suppression of Akt, but not of TORC1, increases Noxa protein levels and downregulates Bfl-1 protein supporting the conclusion that the inhibition of the Akt pathway, the resulting FOXO3a activation and Noxa upregulation are critical molecular mechanisms underlying RA/IFN-α- dependent MCL cell apoptosis. These results support the potential therapeutic value of RA/IFN-α combination in MCL management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1825-1835
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Volume72
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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