Journal Article

The metastasis suppressor, N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), upregulates p21 via p53-independent mechanisms

Zaklina Kovacevic, Sutharshani Sivagurunathan, Helena Mangs, Sherin Chikhani, Daohai Zhang and Des R. Richardson

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 32, issue 5, pages 732-740
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
The metastasis suppressor, N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), upregulates p21 via p53-independent mechanisms

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The metastasis suppressor, N-myc downstream regulated gene-1 (NDRG1), has been shown to markedly reduce metastasis of numerous tumors. The current study was focused on further elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind the antitumor function of NDRG1. We have identified for the first time that NDRG1 upregulates the potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21. This effect was observed in three different cancer cell types, including PC3MM and DU145 prostate cancer cells and H1299 lung carcinoma cells, and occurred independently of p53. In addition, reducing NDRG1 expression using short hairpin RNA in PC3MM and DU145 cells resulted in significantly reduced p21 protein levels. Hence, p21 is closely correlated with NDRG1 expression in these latter cell types. Examining the mechanisms behind the effect of NDRG1 on p21 expression, we found that NDRG1 upregulated p21 via transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms in prostate cancer cells, although its effect on H1299 cells was posttranscriptional only. Further studies identified two additional NDRG1 protein targets. The dominant-negative p63 isoform, ΔNp63, which has been found to inhibit p21 transcription, was downregulated by NDRG1. On the other hand, a truncated 50 kDa MDM2 isoform (p50MDM2), which may protect p21 from proteasomal degradation, was upregulated by NDRG1. The downregulation of ΔNp63 and upregulation of p50MDM2 are potential mechanisms by which NDRG1 increases p21 expression in these cells. Additional functional studies identified that NDRG1 inhibits cancer cell migration, suggesting that p21 is a molecular player in its antimetastatic activity.

Journal Article.  6117 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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