PRP4 Kinase Domain Loss Nullifies Drug Resistance and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cells
Muhammad Bilal Ahmed 1, Salman Ul Islam 1, Jong Kyung Sonn 2, and Young Sup Lee 1, *
1School of Life Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea, 2Department of
Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
Received November 7, 2019; Revised April 23, 2020; Accepted April 26, 2020.; Published online June 24, 2020.
© Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.

We have investigated the involvement of the pre-mRNA processing factor 4B (PRP4) kinase domain in mediating drug resistance. HCT116 cells were treated with curcumin, and apoptosis was assessed based on flow cytometry and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cells were then transfected with PRP4 or pre-mRNA-processing-splicing factor 8 (PRP8), and drug resistance was analyzed both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we deleted the kinase domain in PRP4 using GatewayTM technology. Curcumin induced cell death through the production of ROS and decreased the activation of survival signals, but PRP4 overexpression reversed the curcumin-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. PRP8 failed to reverse the curcumin-induced apoptosis in the HCT116 colon cancer cell line. In xenograft mouse model experiments, curcumin effectively reduced tumour size whereas PRP4 conferred resistance to curcumin, which was evident from increasing tumour size, while PRP8 failed to regulate the curcumin action. PRP4 overexpression altered the morphology and rearranged the actin cytoskeleton, triggered epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and decreased the invasiveness of HCT116 cells. The loss of E-cadherin, a hallmark of EMT, was observed in HCT116 cells overexpressing PRP4. Moreover, we observed that the EMT-inducing potential of PRP4 was aborted after the deletion of its kinase domain. Collectively, our investigations suggest that the PRP4 kinase domain is responsible for promoting drug resistance to curcumin by inducing EMT. Further evaluation of PRP4-induced inhibition of cell death and PRP4 kinase domain interactions with various other proteins might lead to the development of novel approaches for overcoming drug resistance in patients with colon cancer.
Keywords: colorectal cancer, curcumin, EMT, HCT116, kinase domain, PRP4, PRP8
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30 June 2020 Volume 43,
Number 6, pp. 501~590

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