Hypoxia-induced p53 modulates both apoptosis and radiosensitivity via AKT.
Leszczynska KB., Foskolou IP., Abraham AG., Anbalagan S., Tellier C., Haider S., Span PN., O'Neill EE., Buffa FM., Hammond EM.
Restoration of hypoxia-induced apoptosis in tumors harboring p53 mutations has been proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy; however, the transcriptional targets that mediate hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis is reliant on the DNA-binding and transactivation domains of p53 but not on the acetylation sites K120 and K164, which, in contrast, are essential for DNA damage-induced, p53-dependent apoptosis. Evaluation of hypoxia-induced transcripts in multiple cell lines identified a group of genes that are hypoxia-inducible proapoptotic targets of p53, including inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase (INPP5D), pleckstrin domain-containing A3 (PHLDA3), sulfatase 2 (SULF2), B cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2), cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 2 (CYFIP2), and KN motif and ankyrin repeat domains 3 (KANK3). These targets were also regulated by p53 in human cancers, including breast, brain, colorectal, kidney, bladder, and melanoma cancers. Downregulation of these hypoxia-inducible targets associated with poor prognosis, suggesting that hypoxia-induced apoptosis contributes to p53-mediated tumor suppression and treatment response. Induction of p53 targets, PHLDA3, and a specific INPP5D transcript mediated apoptosis in response to hypoxia through AKT inhibition. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of AKT led to apoptosis in the hypoxic regions of p53-deficient tumors and consequently increased radiosensitivity. Together, these results identify mediators of hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis and suggest AKT inhibition may improve radiotherapy response in p53-deficient tumors.