Ubiquitin-Specific Protease 6 n-Terminal-like Protein (USP6NL) and the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Signaling Axis Regulates Ubiquitin-Mediated DNA Repair and Temozolomide-Resistance in Glioblastoma

I. Chang Su, Yu Kai Su, Hao Yu Chuang, Vijesh Kumar Yadav, Syahru Agung Setiawan, Iat Hang Fong, Chi Tai Yeh, Hui Chuan Huang, Chien Min Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant glioma, with a 30–60% epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation. This mutation is associated with unrestricted cell growth and increases the possibility of cancer invasion. Patients with EGFR-mutated GBM often develop resistance to the available treatment modalities and higher recurrence rates. The drug resistance observed is associated with multiple genetic or epigenetic factors. The ubiquitin-specific protease 6 N-terminal-like protein (USP6NL) is a GTPase-activating protein that functions as a deubiquitinating enzyme and regulates endocytosis and signal transduction. It is highly expressed in many cancer types and may promote the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. We hypothesized that USP6NL affects GBM chemoresistance and tumorigenesis, and that its inhibition may be a novel therapeutic strategy for GBM treatment. The USP6NL level, together with EGFR expression in human GBM tissue samples and cell lines associated with therapy resistance, tumor growth, and cancer invasion, were investigated. Its pivotal roles and potential mechanism in modulating tumor growth, and the key mechanism associated with therapy resistance of GBM cells, were studied, both in vitro and in vivo. Herein, we found that deubiquitinase USP6NL and growth factor receptor EGFR were strongly associated with the oncogenicity and resistance of GBM, both in vitro and in vivo, toward temozolomide, as evidenced by enhanced migration, invasion, and acquisition of a highly invasive and drug-resistant phenotype by the GBM cells. Furthermore, abrogation of USP6NL reversed the properties of GBM cells and resensitized them toward temozolomide by enhancing autophagy and reducing the DNA damage repair response. Our results provide novel insights into the probable mechanism through which USP6NL/EGFR signaling might suppress the anticancer therapeutic response, induce cancer invasiveness, and facilitate reduced sensitivity to temozolomide treatment in GBM in an autolysosome-dependent manner. Therefore, controlling the USP6NL may offer an alternative, but efficient, therapeutic strategy for targeting and eradicating otherwise resistant and recurrent phenotypes of aggressive GBM cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1531
JournalBiomedicines
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • DNA repair
  • drug resistance
  • glioblastoma
  • ubiquitin-proteasome system
  • USP6NL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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