Background/Aims: The FRA16D fragile site gene WWOX is a tumor suppressor that participates in p53-mediated apoptosis. The c-jun N-terminal kinase JNK1 interacts with WWOX and inhibits apoptosis. We investigated the function of WWOX in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the effect of JNK inhibition on WWOX-mediated apoptosis. Methods: Allelic imbalance on chromosome 16 was analyzed in 73 HCCs using 53 microsatellite markers. WWOX mRNA in HCC cell lines and primary HCCs was measured by real-time RT-PCR. Effects of WWOX on proliferation and apoptosis and the interaction between WWOX and JNK inhibition were examined. Results: Loss on chromosome 16 occurred in 34 of 73 HCCs. Of 11 HCC cell lines, 2 had low, 7 intermediate, and 2 had high WWOX mRNA. Of 51 primary tumors, 23 had low WWOX mRNA. Forced expression of WWOX in SNU387 cells decreased FGF2-mediated proliferation and enhanced apoptosis induced by staurosporine and the JNK inhibitor SP600129. Conversely, knockdown of WWOX in SNU449 cells using shRNA targeting WWOX increased proliferation and resistance to SP600129-induced apoptosis. Conclusions: WWOX induces apoptosis and inhibits human HCC cell growth through a mechanism enhanced by JNK inhibition.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas