Oncogenic K-Ras triggers cellular senescence by raising intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species. K-Ras- expressing cells need to bypass the oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) barrier to progress to higher grades of malignancy. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer and adenocarcinoma is the most common type of NSCLC. K-Ras mutations represent the most common molecular change in lung adenocarcinomas. Progression from pre-malignant lesions to malignant adenocarcinomas is a hallmark of NSCLC pathogenesis. Our proposed investigations will directly address Provocative Question #1 by identifying and functionally characterizing novel molecular mechanisms that control the transition from premalignant lung lesions to adenocarcinomas and whose inhibition has the potential to prevent NSCLC development. Central hypothesis: we advance the novel paradigm that caveolin-1 controls the fate of lung epithelial cells in response to oncogenic Ras. We propose that oncogenic K-Ras induces senescence in premalignant lung lesions through a caveolin-1-mediated pro-oxidative signaling and that downregulation of caveolin-1 expression is necessary to bypass OIS and drive the progression to malignant adenocarcinomas. This hypothesis will be tested by pursuing three specific aims:
Aim 1 : Determine how caveolin-1 promotes oncogenic K-Ras-induced cellular senescence. Hypothesis: inhibition of MTH1 function by caveolin-1 is promoted by oncogenic K-Ras via mTOR activation, which leads to enhanced purine oxidation, sustained DNA damage response (DDR) and cellular senescence in lung epithelial cells.
Aim 2 : Identify how oncogenic K-Ras-expressing cells bypass OIS. Hypothesis: a selective pressure exists in oncogenic K-Ras-expressing cells that downregulates caveolin-1 gene expression to elude OIS.
Aim 3 : Determine if a lack of caveolin-1 promotes the progression to adenocarcinomas in mouse models of oncogene-induced lung cancer. Hypothesis: Caveolin-1-mediated OIS is a tumor suppressor mechanism: the genetic ablation of caveolin-1 inhibits the formation of premalignant and senescent-positive lung lesions in favor of malignant and senescent-negative adenocarcinomas. These investigations propose the novel concept that targeting K-Ras-dependent signaling that bypasses OIS through downregulaton of caveolin-1 expression, which will be identified in this proposal, is an alternative and better therapeutic option then targeting K-Ras itself: it will allow the selective inhibition of pro-tumorigenic K- Ras signaling while rescuing pro-senescent K-Ras pathways. This new information has the potential to directly impact the development of novel therapeutic interventions to prevent the progression to lung adenocarcinomas.
Lung cancer is the most frequent type of cancer. In the United States, lung cancer accounted for approximately 13% of all cancer diagnoses and 27% of all cancer deaths in 2015. It is the second most diagnosed cancer in both men and women, but it is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and women. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer and adenocarcinoma is the most common type of NSCLC. Progression from pre-malignant lesions to malignant adenocarcinomas is a hallmark of NSCLC pathogenesis. Our proposed investigations will identify and functionally characterize novel molecular mechanisms that control the transition from premalignant lung lesions to malignant adenocarcinomas. New information that will be obtained from our studies has the potential to directly impact the future development of novel therapeutic interventions to prevent the progression to lung adenocarcinomas.
|Volonte, Daniela; Vyas, Avani R; Chen, Chen et al. (2018) Caveolin-1 promotes the tumor suppressor properties of oncogene-induced cellular senescence. J Biol Chem 293:1794-1809|