Role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway in RRR-alpha-tocopheryl succinate-induced differentiation of human MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells.Mol Carcinog. 2002 Apr; 33(4):228-36.MC
RRR-alpha-tocopheryl succinate (vitamin E succinate, VES) induces differentiation of human breast cancer cells. Previous studies ruled out transforming growth factor-beta and c-jun N-terminal kinase involvement in VES-induced differentiation but implicated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs). Here we show that dominant-negative mutants of either mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) 1 or ERK1 blocked VES-induced differentiation of MDA-MB-435 cells, as measured by induction of cytokeratin 18 and p21 (Waf1/Cip1) proteins. Blockage of c-jun protein expression using c-jun antisense oligonucleotides or expression of an inducible dominant-negative c-jun mutant protein inhibited VES-induced differentiation. Elevated expression of wild-type c-jun alone was sufficient to induce cellular differentiation. A role for p21 (Waf1/Cip1) is implicated, in that p21 antisense oligomers blocked VES-induced differentiation. In summary, MEK1, ERK1, the transcription factor c-jun, and the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 (Waf1/Cip1) play a part in VES-induced differentiation of human MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells.