Tumor suppressor PAR-4 acts in part by modulating sensitivity to apoptosis, but the basis for its activity is not fully understood. In this study, we describe a novel mechanism of antiapoptosis by NF-κB, revealing that it can block PAR-4-mediated apoptosis by downregulating trafficking of the PAR-4 receptor GRP78 from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface. Mechanistic investigations revealed that NF-κB mediated this antiapoptotic mechanism by upregulating expression of UACA, a proinflammatory protein in certain disease settings. In clinical specimens of cancer, a strong correlation existed between NF-κB activity and UACA expression, relative to normal tissues. UACA bound to intracellular PAR-4 in diverse cancer cells, where it prevented translocation of GRP78 from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface. This pathway of antiapoptosis could be inhibited by suppressing levels of NF-κB or UACA expression, which enhanced endoplasmic reticulum stress and restored GRP78 trafficking to the cell surface, thereby sensitizing cancer cells to apoptosis by extracellular PAR-4 or GRP78 agonistic antibody. In summary, our results identify a novel intracellular pathway of apoptosis mediated by NF-κB through UACA elevation, which by attenuating endoplasmic reticulum stress and GRP78 translocation to the cell surface can blunt the sensitivity of cancer cells to apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research