Glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) is a tumor suppressor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). High rates of Gnmtknockout mice developed HCC. Epigenetic alteration and dysregulation of several pathways including wingless-type MMTV integration site (Wnt), mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Janus kinase and signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) are associated with HCC development in Gnmtknockout mice. We hypothesized that GNMT may regulate signal transduction through interacting with other proteins directly. In this report, we identified a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor (DEP domain containing MTOR-interacting protein [DEPDC6/DEPTOR]) as a GNMT-binding protein by using yeast two-hybrid screening. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay demonstrated that the C-terminal half of GNMT interact with the PSD-95/Dlg1/ZO-1 (PDZ) domain of DEPDC6/DEPTOR. Immuno histo chemical staining showed that 27.5% (14/51) of HCC patients had higher expression levels of DEPDC6/DEPTOR in the tumorous tissues than in tumor-adjacent tissues, especially among HCC patients with hepatitis B viral infection (odds ratio 10.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-11.3) or patients with poor prognosis (death hazard ratio 4.51, 95% CI 1.60-12.7). In terms of molecular mechanism, knockdown of DEPDC6/DEPTOR expression in HuH-7 cells caused S6K and 4E-BP activation, but suppressed Akt. Over expression of DEPDC6/DEPTOR activated Akt and increased survival of HCC cells. Over expression of GNMT caused activation of mTOR/raptor downstream signaling and delayed G2/M cell cycle progression, which altogether resulted in cellular senescence. Furthermore, GNMT reduced proliferation of HuH-7 cells and sensitized them to rapamycin treatment both in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, GNMT regulates HCC growth in part through interacting with DEPDC6/DEPTOR and modulating mTOR/raptor signaling pathway. Both GNMT and DEPDC6/DEPTOR are potential targets for developing therapeutics for HCC.
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - 1 Feb 2012|