Ubiquitin carboxy terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1) belongs to the UCH proteases family that deubiquitinates ubiquitin-protein conjugates in the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Previous research showed that UCH-L1 was expressed in mouse retinal cells and testicular germ cells, and its function was associated with apoptosis. But it is still unclear whether UCH-L1 is concerned with apoptosis in tumor cells. In order to clarify the role of UCH-L1 in tumor cells, multi-drug resistance (MDR) human breast carcinoma cell line MCF7/Adr, that expresses relatively high UCH-L1, and its parental cell line MCF7, that expresses relatively low UCH-L1, were chosen for this study. We transfected pcDNA3.1-UCH-L1 plasmid and UCH-L1 siRNA into MCF7 and MCF7/Adr cells, respectively. Using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, Western blot, Hoechst 33258 staining assay and flow cytometry, we found that over-expression of UCH-L1 in MCF7 cells induced apoptosis. On the other hand, silencing of UCH-L1 in MCF7/Adr cells led to the opposite effect. Moreover, to explore the mechanism underling these observations, we further investigated the expression of phospho-Akt and its downstream signal phospho-IκB-α and other signal molecules including Fas, Fas-L, Trail, DR4, DR5, Bax, cytochrome C, active caspase-3, phospho-p53, phospho-Mdm-2, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, p21 and p27. The results indicated that the process of apoptosis triggered by UCH-L1 is, at least in part, probably through Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signal pathway. Our findings suggest that modulating the ubiquitination and deubiquitination pathway could be a novel method for tumor therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research