Obatoclax, a Pan-BCL-2 Inhibitor, Downregulates Survivin to Induce Apoptosis in Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cells Via Suppressing WNT/β-catenin Signaling
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a highly prevailing cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Aberrant expression of antiapoptotic BCL-2 family proteins is closely linked to neoplastic progression and chemoresistance. Obatoclax is a clinically developed drug, which binds antiapoptotic BCL-2, BCL-xL, and MCL-1 for inhibition to elicit apoptosis. Survivin is an antiapoptotic protein, whose upregulation correlates with pathogenesis, therapeutic resistance, and poor prognosis in
... CRC. Herein, we provide the first evidence delineating the functional linkage between Obatoclax and survivin in the context of human CRC cells. In detail, Obatoclax was found to markedly downregulate survivin. This downregulation was mainly achieved via transcriptional repression, as Obatoclax lowered the levels of both survivin mRNA and promoter activity, while blocking proteasomal degradation failed to prevent survivin from downregulation by Obatoclax. Notably, ectopic survivin expression curtailed Obatoclax-induced apoptosis and cytotoxicity, confirming an essential role of survivin downregulation in Obatoclax-elicited anti-CRC effect. Moreover, Obatoclax was found to repress hyperactive WNT/β-catenin signaling activity commonly present in human CRC cells, and, markedly, ectopic expression of dominant-active β-catenin mutant rescued the levels of survivin along with elevated cell viability. We further revealed that, depending on the cell context, Obatoclax suppresses WNT/β-catenin signaling in HCT 116 cells likely via inducing β-catenin destabilization, or by downregulating LEF1 in DLD-1 cells. Collectively, we for the first time define survivin downregulation as a novel, pro-apoptotic mechanism of Obatoclax as a consequence of Obatocalx acting as an antagonist to WNT/β-catenin signaling.