Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Cancer Biology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Mien-Chie Hung

Committee Member

Dihua Yu

Committee Member

Elsa Flores

Committee Member

Hui-Kuan Lin

Committee Member

Andrew Bean

Abstract

Proinflammatory cytokine TNFa plays critical roles in promoting malignant cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and tumor metastasis in many cancers. However, the mechanism of TNFa-mediated tumor development remains unclear. Here, we show that IKKa, an important downstream kinase of TNFa, interacts with and phosphorylates FOXA2 at S107/S111, thereby suppressing FOXA2 transactivation activity and leading to decreased NUMB expression, and further activates the downstream NOTCH pathway and promotes cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Moreover, we found that levels of IKKa, pFOXA2 (S107/ 111), and activated NOTCH1 were significantly higher in hepatocellular carcinoma tumors than in normal liver tissues and that pFOXA2 (S107/111) expression was positively correlated with IKKa and activated NOTCH1 expression in tumor tissues. Therefore, dysregulation of NUMB-mediated suppression of NOTCH1 by TNFa/IKKa-associated FOXA2 inhibition likely contributes to inflammationmediated cancer pathogenesis. Here, we report a TNFa/IKKa/FOXA2/NUMB/NOTCH1 pathway that is critical for inflammation-mediated tumorigenesis and may provide a target for clinical intervention in human cancer.

Keywords

TNFalpha, IKKalpha, FOXA2, liver cancer