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siRNA Knockdown of REDD1 Facilitates Aspirin-Mediated Dephosphorylation of mTORC1 Target 4E-BP1 in MDA-MB-468 Human Breast Cancer Cell Line

Authors Savukaitytė A, Gudoitytė G, Bartnykaitė A, Ugenskienė R, Juozaitytė E

Received 17 June 2020

Accepted for publication 11 December 2020

Published 5 February 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 1123—1133


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Harikrishna Nakshatri

Aistė Savukaitytė,1 Greta Gudoitytė,1 Agnė Bartnykaitė,1 Rasa Ugenskienė,1,2 Elona Juozaitytė3

1Oncology Research Laboratory, Institute of Oncology, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania; 2Institute of Biology Systems and Genetic Research, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania; 3Department of Oncology and Hematology, Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kaunas Clinics, Kaunas, Lithuania

Correspondence: Aistė Savukaitytė Email

Background: Mutations within genes encoding components of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR (phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mechanistic target of rapamycin) signaling axis frequently activate the pathway in breast cancer, making it an attractive therapeutic target. Inhibition of mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) activity upon aspirin treatment has been reported in breast cancer cells harboring PI3KCA (phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha) mutation and is considered to account for anticancer action.
Methods: MDA-MB-468 (harbors mutated PTEN (phosphatase and TENsin homolog)), MCF-7 (PI3KCA-mutated), MDA-MB-231 (no PI3K pathway mutations) cancer cell lines and MCF10A non-cancerous breast epithelial cells were employed for the assessment of modulation of mTORC1 signaling by aspirin. Targeted amplicon-based next-generation sequencing using the Ion Torrent technology was carried out to determine gene expression changes following drug treatment. Western blot was performed to analyze the expression and phosphorylation of proteins. Knockdown by siRNA approach was applied to assess the role of REDD1/DDIT4 (DNA damage-inducible transcript 4) in mTORC1 inhibition by aspirin.
Results: We show a decline in phosphorylation of mTORC1 downstream substrate 4E-BP1 (eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1) in response to treatment with aspirin and its metabolite salicylic acid in MDA-MB-468, MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and MCF10A cell lines. We further demonstrate a novel molecular response to aspirin in breast cancer cells. Specifically, we found that aspirin and salicylic acid increase the expression of REDD1 protein, that is known for its suppressive function towards mTORC1. Unexpectedly, we observed that siRNA knockdown of REDD1 expression facilitated aspirin-mediated suppression of mTORC1 downstream substrate 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in the MDA-MB-468 cell line. REDD1 downregulation slightly encouraged reduction in 4E-BP1 phosphorylation by aspirin in MCF-7 cells but did not elicit a reproducible effect in the MDA-MB-231 cell line. siRNA knockdown of REDD1 did not affect the expression of phosphorylated form of 4E-BP1 following aspirin treatment in MCF10A non-cancerous breast epithelial cells.
Conclusion: The current findings suggest that REDD1 downregulation might improve the anticancer activity of aspirin in a subset of breast tumors.

Keywords: aspirin, breast cancer, REDD1, mTORC1 signaling, 4E-BP1

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