Suppression of acetylpolyamine oxidase by selected AP-1 members regulates DNp73 abundance: mechanistic insights for overcoming DNp73-mediated resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs

Cell Death Differ. 2014 Aug;21(8):1240-9. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.41. Epub 2014 Apr 11.


Enhanced resistance to chemotherapy has been correlated with high levels of Delta-Np73 (DNp73), an anti-apoptotic protein of the p53 tumor-suppressor family which inhibits the pro-apoptotic members such as p53 and TAp73. Although genotoxic drugs have been shown to induce DNp73 degradation, lack of mechanistic understanding of this process precludes strategies to enhance the targeting of DNp73 and improve treatment outcomes. Antizyme (Az) is a mediator of ubiquitin-independent protein degradation regulated by the polyamine biosynthesis pathway. We show here that acetylpolyamine oxidase (PAOX), a catabolic enzyme of this pathway, upregulates DNp73 levels by suppressing its degradation via the Az pathway. Conversely, downregulation of PAOX activity by siRNA-mediated knockdown or chemical inhibition leads to DNp73 degradation in an Az-dependent manner. PAOX expression is suppressed by several genotoxic drugs, via selected members of the activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factors, namely c-Jun, JunB and FosB, which are required for stress-mediated DNp73 degradation. Finally, chemical- and siRNA-mediated inhibition of PAOX significantly reversed the resistant phenotype of DNp73-overexpressing cancer cells to genotoxic drugs. Together, these data define a critical mechanism for the regulation of DNp73 abundance, and reveal that inhibition of PAOX could widen the therapeutic index of cytotoxic drugs and overcome DNp73-mediated chemoresistance in tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors / metabolism*
  • Polyamine Oxidase
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trp73 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • delta Np73 protein, human
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors