NCK2 Is Significantly Associated With Opiates Addiction in African-Origin Men.

NCK2 Is Significantly Associated with Opiates Addiction in African-Origin Men.

ScientificWorldJournal. 2013; 2013: 748979
Liu Z, Guo X, Jiang Y, Zhang H

Substance dependence is a complex environmental and genetic disorder with significant social and medical concerns. Understanding the etiology of substance dependence is imperative to the development of effective treatment and prevention strategies. To this end, substantial effort has been made to identify genes underlying substance dependence, and in recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have led to discoveries of numerous genetic variants for complex diseases including substance dependence. Most of the GWAS discoveries were only based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a single dichotomized outcome. By employing both SNP- and gene-based methods of analysis, we identified a strong (odds ratio = 13.87) and significant (P value = 1.33E – 11) association of an SNP in the NCK2 gene on chromosome 2 with opiates addiction in African-origin men. Codependence analysis also identified a genome-wide significant association between NCK2 and comorbidity of substance dependence (P value = 3.65E – 08) in African-origin men. Furthermore, we observed that the association between the NCK2 gene (P value = 3.12E – 10) and opiates addiction reached the gene-based genome-wide significant level. In summary, our findings provided the first evidence for the involvement of NCK2 in the susceptibility to opiates addiction and further revealed the racial and gender specificities of its impact. HubMed – addiction


PUMA and BIM Are Required for Oncogene Inactivation-Induced Apoptosis.

Sci Signal. 2013; 6(268): ra20
Bean GR, Ganesan YT, Dong Y, Takeda S, Liu H, Chan PM, Huang Y, Chodosh LA, Zambetti GP, Hsieh JJ, Cheng EH

The clinical efficacy of tyrosine kinase inhibitors supports the dependence of distinct subsets of cancers on specific driver mutations for survival, a phenomenon called “oncogene addiction.” We demonstrate that PUMA and BIM are the key apoptotic effectors of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in breast cancers with amplification of the gene encoding human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and lung cancers with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutants. The BH3 domain containing proteins BIM and PUMA can directly activate the proapoptotic proteins BAX and BAK to permeabilize mitochondria, leading to caspase activation and apoptosis. We delineated the signal transduction pathways leading to the induction of BIM and PUMA by tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Inhibition of the mitogen-activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase (MEK)-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway caused increased abundance of BIM, whereas antagonizing the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway triggered nuclear translocation of the FOXO transcription factors, which directly activated the PUMA promoter. In a mouse breast tumor model, the abundance of PUMA and BIM was increased after inactivation of HER2. Moreover, deficiency of Bim or Puma impaired caspase activation and reduced tumor regression caused by inactivation of HER2. Similarly, deficiency of Puma impeded the regression of EGFR(L858R)-driven mouse lung tumors upon inactivation of the EGFR-activating mutant. Overall, our study identified PUMA and BIM as the sentinels that interconnect kinase signaling networks and the mitochondrion-dependent apoptotic program, which offers therapeutic insights for designing novel cell death mechanism-based anticancer strategies. HubMed – addiction


BIM, PUMA, and the Achilles’ Heel of Oncogene Addiction.

Sci Signal. 2013; 6(268): pe12
Roulston A, Muller WJ, Shore GC

Cancer cells undergo extensive genetic and epigenetic rewiring to support the malignant phenotype, and yet cell survival and proliferation often remain dependent on one or a limited number of driver mutations. This is the concept of oncogene addiction, the elucidation of which has led to substantial progress in therapeutic interventions. However, because resistance mechanisms often emerge, explicating the pathways that connect therapeutic oncogene inactivation to the cell death machinery is critical to exploiting additional synthetic lethal opportunities. HubMed – addiction