The JNK inhibitor SP600129 enhances apoptosis of HCC cells induced by the tumor suppressor WWOX

Ileana Aderca, Catherine D. Moser, Manivannan Veerasamy, Ahmad H. Bani-Hani, Ruben Bonilla-Guerrero, Kadra Ahmed, Abdirashid Shire, Sophie C. Cazanave, Damian P. Montoya, Teresa A. Mettler, Lawrence J. Burgart, David M. Nagorney, Stephen N. Thibodeau, Julie M. Cunningham, Jin Ping Lai, Lewis R. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of hepatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Apoptosis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • JNK
  • WWOX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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