Activation of forkhead box O transcription factors by oncogenic BRAF promotes p21cip1-dependent senescence

Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) is a potent tumor-suppressive mechanism that is thought to come at the cost of aging. The Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are regulators of life span and tumor suppression. However, whether and how FOXOs function in OIS have been unclear. Here, we show a role for FOXO4 in mediating senescence by the human BRAF(V600E) oncogene, which arises commonly in melanoma. BRAF(V600E) signaling through mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase resulted in increased reactive oxygen species levels and c-Jun NH(2) terminal kinase-mediated activation of FOXO4 via its phosphorylation on Thr(223), Ser(226), Thr(447), and Thr(451). BRAF(V600E)-induced FOXO4 phosphorylation resulted in p21(cip1)-mediated cell senescence independent of p16(ink4a) or p27(kip1). Importantly, melanocyte-specific activation of BRAF(V600E) in vivo resulted in the formation of skin nevi expressing Thr(223)/Ser(226)-phosphorylated FOXO4 and elevated p21(cip1). Together, these findings support a model in which FOXOs mediate a trade-off between cancer and aging.

P.L. de Keizer, L.M. Packer, A.A. Szypowska, P.E. Riedl-Polderman, N.J.F. van den Broek, A. de Bruin, T.B. Dansen, R. Marais, A.B. Brenkman, B.M.T. Burgering
Authors from the NMC: 
2010; 70 (21): 8526-8536
Published in: 
Cancer Research
Date of publication: 
November, 2010
Status of the publication: