Journal Article Antagonistic Interactions between Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase and Retinoic Acid Receptor Signaling in Colorectal Cancer Cells

Imajo, Masamichi  ,  Kondoh, Kunio  ,  Yamamoto, Takuya  ,  Nakayama, Kei  ,  Nakajima-Koyama, May  ,  Nishida, Eisuke

37 ( 15 ) 2017-08 , American Society for Microbiology
Deregulated activation of RAS/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling and defects in retinoic acid receptor (RAR) signaling are both implicated in many types of cancers. However, interrelationships between these alterations in regulating cancer cell fates have not been fully elucidated. Here, we show that RAS/ERK and RAR signaling pathways antagonistically interact with each other to regulate colorectal cancer (CRC) cell fates. We show that RAR signaling activation promotes spontaneous differentiation of CRC cells, while ERK activation suppresses it. Our microarray analyses identify genes whose expression levels are upregulated by RAR signaling. Notably, one of these genes, MKP4, encoding a member of dual-specificity phosphatases for mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, mediates ERK inactivation upon RAR activation, thereby promoting the differentiation of CRC cells. Moreover, our results also show that RA induction of RAR target genes is suppressed by the ERK pathway activation. This suppression results from the inhibition of RAR transcriptional activity, which is shown to be mediated through an RIP140/histone deacetylase (HDAC)-mediated mechanism. These results identify antagonistic interactions between RAS/ERK and RAR signaling in the cell fate decision of CRC cells and define their underlying molecular mechanisms.

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