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Serum- and glucocorticoid- inducible kinase 2, SGK2, is a novel autophagy regulator and modulates platinum drugs response in cancer cells

Authors
  • Ranzuglia, Valentina1
  • Lorenzon, Ilaria1
  • Pellarin, Ilenia1
  • Sonego, Maura1
  • Dall’Acqua, Alessandra1
  • D’Andrea, Sara1
  • Lovisa, Sara1
  • Segatto, Ilenia1
  • Coan, Michela1
  • Polesel, Jerry2
  • Serraino, Diego2
  • Sabatelli, Patrizia3, 4
  • Spessotto, Paola1
  • Belletti, Barbara1
  • Baldassarre, Gustavo1
  • Schiappacassi, Monica1
  • 1 Division of Molecular Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO), IRCCS,
  • 2 Epidemiology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO), IRCCS,
  • 3 Institute of Molecular Genetics, National Research Council,
  • 4 Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Oncogene
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group UK
Publication Date
Aug 27, 2020
Volume
39
Issue
40
Pages
6370–6386
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/s41388-020-01433-6
PMID: 32848212
PMCID: PMC7529585
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

For many tumor types chemotherapy still represents the therapy of choice and many standard treatments are based on the use of platinum (PT) drugs. However, de novo or acquired resistance to platinum is frequent and leads to disease progression. In Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (EOC) patients, PT-resistant recurrences are very common and improving the response to treatment still represents an unmet clinical need. To identify new modulators of PT-sensitivity, we performed a loss-of-function screening targeting 680 genes potentially involved in the response of EOC cells to platinum. We found that SGK2 (Serum-and Glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 2) plays a key role in PT-response. We show here that EOC cells relay on the induction of autophagy to escape PT-induced death and that SGK2 inhibition increases PT sensitivity inducing a block in the autophagy cascade due to the impairment of lysosomal acidification. Mechanistically we demonstrate that SGK2 controls autophagy in a kinase-dependent manner by binding and inhibiting the V-ATPase proton pump. Accordingly, SGK2 phosphorylates the subunit V1H (ATP6V1H) of V-ATPase and silencing or chemical inhibition of SGK2, affects the normal autophagic flux and sensitizes EOC cells to platinum. Hence, we identified a new pathway that links autophagy to the survival of cancer cells under platinum treatment in which the druggable kinase SGK2 plays a central role. Our data suggest that blocking autophagy via SGK2 inhibition could represent a novel therapeutic strategy to improve patients’ response to platinum.

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