The role of Ribonucleotide reductase (RR) subunits in different cancers has been intensively studied in our laboratory. RRM2B was identified as a p53-inducible RR subunit that involves in various critical cellular mechanisms such as cell cycle regulation, DNA repair and replication, and mitochondrial homeostasis, etc. However, little is known about the p53-independent regulation of RRM2B in cancer pathology. In this study, we discovered tumor suppressor FOXO3 as the novel regulator of RRM2B. FOXO3 directly bound to and transcriptionally activated the promoter of RRM2B, and induced the expression of RRM2B at RNA and protein levels. Moreover, Overexpression of RRM2B and/or FOXO3 inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells. The cancer tissue microarray data also demonstrated a strong correlation between the co-expression of FOXO3 plus RRM2B and increased disease survival and reduced recurrence or metastasis in lung cancer patients. Our results suggest a novel regulatory control of RRM2B function, and imply the importance of FOXO signaling pathway in DNA replication modulation. This study provides the first time evidence that RRM2B is transcriptionally and functionally regulated independent of p53 pathway by FOXO3, and it establishes that FOXO3 and RRM2B could be used as predictive biomarkers for cancer progression.
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