Expression of a dominant-negative mutant inhibitor-kappaBalpha of nuclear factor-kappaB in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma inhibits survival, proinflammatory cytokine expression, and tumor growth in vivo.

Authors:
Duffey DC, Chen Z, Dong G, Ondrey FG, Wolf JS, Brown K, Siebenlist U, Van Waes C
Associated Labs:
Dan Rockey Laboratory (National Institute of Health)
Cancer Res. 1999 Jul 15. 59(14):3468-74.
PMID: 10416612
We demonstrated recently that constitutive expression of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-6, IL-8, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is correlated with activation of transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB/Rel A (p50/p65), which binds the promoter region within each of the genes encoding this repertoire of cytokines. NF-kappaB can be activated after signal-dependent phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitor-kappaBalpha and has been reported to promote cell survival and growth. In the present study, we expressed a phosphorylation site mutant of inhibitor-kappaBalpha (IkappaBalphaM) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma lines UM-SCC-9, -11B, and -38 to determine the effect of inhibition of NF-kappaB on cytokine expression, cell survival in vitro, and growth in vivo. After transfection with IKBalphaM, only a few UM-SCC-9 clones were obtained that stably expressed the mutant IkappaB, suggesting that expression of a mutant IkappaBalpha may affect survival of the transfected UM-SCC cell lines. After cotransfection of IkappaBalphaM with a Lac-Z reporter, we found that the number of surviving beta-galactosidase-positive cells in the three cell lines was reduced by 70-90% when compared with controls transfected with vector lacking the insert. In UM-SCC-9 cells that stably expressed IkappaBalphaM, inhibition of constitutive and tumor necrosis factor-a induced NF-kappaB activation, and production of all four cytokines was observed. Although UM-SCC-9 IkappaBalphaM-transfected cells proliferated at the same rate as vector-transfected cells in vitro, a significant reduction in growth of tumor xenografts was observed in SCID mice in vivo. The decreased growth of UM-SCC-9 IkappaBalphaM-transfected tumor cells accompanied decreased immunohistochemical detection of the activated form of NF-kappaB in situ. These results provide evidence that NF-KB and IkappaBalpha play an important role in survival, constitutive and inducible expression of proinflammatory cytokines, and growth of squamous cell carcinoma. NF-kappaB could serve as a potential target for therapeutic intervention against cytokine and other immediate-early gene responses that contribute to the survival, growth, and pathogenesis of these cancers.

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