Targeting the p27 E3 ligase SCF Skp2 results in p27and Skp2-mediated cell-cycle arrest and activation of autophagy

Qing Chen, Weilin Xie, Deborah J. Kuhn, Peter M. Voorhees, Antonia Lopez-Girona, Derek Mendy, Laura G. Corral, Veronique Plantevin Krenitsky, Weiming Xu, Laure Moutouh De Parseval, David R. Webb, Frank Mercurio, Keiichi I. Nakayama, Keiko Nakayama, Robert Z. Orlowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


Decreased p27 KlP1 levels are a poor prognostic factor in many malignancies, and can occur through up-regulation of SCF skP2 E3 ligase function, resulting in enhanced p27 ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation. While proteasome inhibitors stabilize p27 KiP1 agents inhibiting SCF skp2 may represent more directly targeted drugs with the promise of enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity. Using high-throughput screening, we identified Compound A (CpdA), which interfered with SCF skP2 ligase function in vitro, and induced specific accumulation of p21 and other SCF skp2 substrates in cells without activating a heatshock protein response. CpdA prevented incorporation of Skp2 into the SCF skp2 ligase, and induced G- 1/S cell-cycle arrest as well as SCF skp2and p27-dependent cell killing. This programmed cell death was caspase-independent, and instead occurred through activation of autophagy. In models of multiple myeloma, CpdA overcame resistance to dexamethasone, doxorubicin, and melphalan, as well as to bortezomib, and also acted synergistically with this proteasome inhibitor. Importantly, CpdA was active against patient-derived plasma cells and both myeloid and lymphoblastoid leukemia blasts, and showed preferential activity against neoplastic cells while relatively sparing other marrow components. These findings provide a rational framework for further development of SCF skp2 inhibitors as a novel class of antitumor agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4690-4699
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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