Author(s): Gurumurthy S, Hezel AF, Sahin E, Berger JH, Bosenberg MW,
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Abstract Lkb1 is a central regulator of cell polarity and energy metabolism through its capacity to activate the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-related family of protein kinases. Germ line-inactivating mutation of Lkb1 leads to Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, which is characterized by benign hamartomas and a susceptibility to malignant epithelial tumors. Mutations in Lkb1 are also found in sporadic carcinomas, most frequently in lung cancers associated with tobacco carcinogen exposure. The basis for Lkb1-dependent tumor suppression is not defined. Here, we uncover a marked sensitivity of Lkb1 mutant mice to the chemical carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA). Lkb1(+/-) mice are highly prone to DMBA-induced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin and lung. Confirming a cell autonomous tumor suppressor role of Lkb1, mice with epidermal-specific Lkb1 deletion are also susceptible to DMBA-induced SCC and develop spontaneous SCC with long latency. Restoration of wild-type Lkb1 causes senescence in tumor-derived cell lines, a process that can be partially bypassed by inactivation of the Rb pathway, but not by inactivation of p53 or AMPK. Our data indicate that Lkb1 is a potent suppressor of carcinogen-induced skin and lung cancers and that downstream targets beyond the AMPK-mTOR pathway are likely mediators of Lkb1-dependent tumor suppression.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Integrative Oncology