The Tumor Suppressor Gene, RASSF1A, Is Essential for Protection against Inflammation -Induced Injury.

TitleThe Tumor Suppressor Gene, RASSF1A, Is Essential for Protection against Inflammation -Induced Injury.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGordon M, El-Kalla M, Zhao Y, Fiteih Y, Law J, Volodko N, Mohamed A, El-Kadi AOS, Liu L, Odenbach J, Thiesen A, Onyskiw C, Ghazaleh HA, Park J, Lee SB, Yu VC, Fernandez-Patron C, Alexander TR, Wine E, Baksh S
JournalPloS one
Date Published2013

Ras association domain family protein 1A (RASSF1A) is a tumor suppressor gene silenced in cancer. Here we report that RASSF1A is a novel regulator of intestinal inflammation as Rassf1a(+/-) , Rassf1a(-/-) and an intestinal epithelial cell specific knockout mouse (Rassf1a (IEC-KO) ) rapidly became sick following dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) administration, a chemical inducer of colitis. Rassf1a knockout mice displayed clinical symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease including: increased intestinal permeability, enhanced cytokine/chemokine production, elevated nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells (NFκB) activity, elevated colonic cell death and epithelial cell injury. Furthermore, epithelial restitution/repair was inhibited in DSS-treated Rassf1a(-/-) mice with reduction of several makers of proliferation including Yes associated protein (YAP)-driven proliferation. Surprisingly, tyrosine phosphorylation of YAP was detected which coincided with increased nuclear p73 association, Bax-driven epithelial cell death and p53 accumulation resulting in enhanced apoptosis and poor survival of DSS-treated Rassf1a knockout mice. We can inhibit these events and promote the survival of DSS-treated Rassf1a knockout mice with intraperitoneal injection of the c-Abl and c-Abl related protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor, imatinib/gleevec. However, p53 accumulation was not inhibited by imatinib/gleevec in the Rassf1a(-/-) background which revealed the importance of p53-dependent cell death during intestinal inflammation. These observations suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation of YAP (to drive p73 association and up-regulation of pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax) and accumulation of p53 are consequences of inflammation-induced injury in DSS-treated Rassf1a(-/-) mice. Mechanistically, we can detect robust associations of RASSF1A with membrane proximal Toll-like receptor (TLR) components to suggest that RASSF1A may function to interfere and restrict TLR-driven activation of NFκB. Failure to restrict NFκB resulted in the inflammation-induced DNA damage driven tyrosine phosphorylation of YAP, subsequent p53 accumulation and loss of intestinal epithelial homeostasis.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE