Endogenous IGFBP-3 mediates intrinsic apoptosis through modulation of Nur77 phosphorylation and nuclear export

Allyson Agostini-Dreyer, Amanda E. Jetzt, Hillary Stires, Wendie S. Cohick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In nontransformed bovine mammary epithelial cells, the intrinsic apoptosis inducer anisomycin (ANS) induces IGFBP-3 expression and nuclear localization and knockdown of IGFBP-3 attenuates ANS-induced apoptosis. Others haveshownin prostate cancer cells that exogenous IGFBP-3 induces apoptosis by facilitating nuclear export of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 and its binding partner, retinoid X receptor-α (RXRα). The goal of the present work was to determine whether endogenous IGFBP-3 plays a role in ANS-induced apoptosis by facilitating nuclear transport of Nur77 and/or RXRα in nontransformed cells. Knockdown of Nur77 with siRNA decreased ANSinduced cleavage of caspase-3 and-7 and their downstream target, PARP, indicating a role for Nur77 in ANS-induced apoptosis. In cells transfected with IGFBP-3, IGFBP-3 associated with RXRα but not Nur77 under basal conditions, however, IGFBP-3 co-precipitated with phosphorylated forms of both proteins in ANS-treated cells. Indirect immunofluorescence and cell fractionation techniques showed that ANS induced phosphorylation and transport of Nur77 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and these effects were attenuated by knockdown of IGFBP-3. These data suggest that endogenous IGFBP-3 plays a role in intrinsic apoptosis by facilitating phosphorylation and nuclear export of Nur77 to the cytoplasm where it exerts its apoptotic effect. Whether this mechanism involves a physical association between endogenous IGFBP-3 and Nur77 or RXRαremains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4141-4151
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology

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