Thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP) is a novel tumor suppressor that is down-regulated in several cancer tissues and tumor cell lines. Overexpression of TXNIP causes cell cycle arrest at the G1/S checkpoint in the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HuH-7. TXNIP contains putative phosphorylation sites, but the effects of its phosphorylation have not been fully characterized. TXNIP also contains two α-arrestin domains (N-arrestin and C-arrestin) whose functions are not fully understood. Here, we reveal an association between TXNIP and cell cycle regulatory proteins (p27kip1, Jun activation domain-binding protein 1 (JAB1), Cdk2, and cyclin E), suggesting its participation in cell cycle regulation. We observed phosphorylation of TXNIP and used both in vivo and in vitro kinase assays to demonstrate that TXNIP can be phosphorylated by p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Furthermore, we also identified Ser361 in TXNIP as one of the major phosphorylation sites. Cell cycle analysis showed that Ser361 phosphorylation participates in TXNIP-mediated cell cycle arrest. In addition, the C-arrestin domain may also play an important role in cell cycle arrest. We also showed that phosphorylation at Ser361 may be important for the association of TXNIP with JAB1 and that the C-arrestin domain is necessary for the nuclear localization of this molecule. Collectively, these studies reveal that TXNIP participates in cell cycle regulation through association with regulatory proteins, especially JAB1, and that C-arrestin-dependent nuclear localization is important for this function. This work may facilitate the development of a new cancer therapy strategy that targets TXNIP as a key molecule inhibiting cancer cell growth via cell cycle blockade at the G1/S checkpoint.
- cell cycle
- p38 MAPK
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology