Oncogenic Ras sensitizes cells to apoptosis by Par-4

Aysegul Nalca, Shirley Guofang Qiu, Nadia El-Guendy, Sumathi Krishnan, Vivek M. Rangnekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Certain mutations in the mammalian ras gene are oncogenic and are often detected in human cancers. Oncogenic Ras induces the transcription activity of NF-κB that confers cell survival. Oncogenic Ras also down-modulates the expression of Par-4, a transcriptional repressor protein, that is essential but not sufficient on its own to induce apoptosis. Here we show that reintroduction of Par-4 by transient transfection leads to apoptosis in cells expressing oncogenic Ras but not in those that lack oncogenic Ras expression. Par-4 abrogates oncogenic Ras-inducible NF-κB transcription activity but does not interfere with cytoplasmic activation, or the DNA binding activity, of NF-κB. Because abrogation of NF-κB transcription activity is sufficient to cause apoptosis in cells expressing oncogenic Ras, our findings identify Par-4 as a novel example of a pro-apoptotic protein that selectively inhibits oncogenic Ras-dependent NF-κB function at the transcription level and suggest a mechanism by which Par-4 expression may selectively induce apoptosis in oncogenic Ras-expressing cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29976-29983
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 15 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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