Inhibition of proteasome activity by bortezomib in renal cancer cells is p53 dependent and VHL independent

Susan A.J. Vaziri, Dale R. Grabowski, Jason Hill, Lisa R. Rybicki, Robert Burk, Ronald M. Bukowski, Mahrukh K. Ganapathi, Ram Ganapathi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Antiproliferative effects of proteasome inhibitors are suggested to be primarily due to effects on nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-dependent pathways and the induction of apoptosis. The objective of this study was to elucidate the mechanistic basis for the antiproliferative effects of the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, in human clear cell renal cell cancer cells (CCRCC). Materials and Methods: von Hippel Lindau (VHL) mutation/methylation status and cytotoxic response to bortezomib was determined in a panel of CCRCC cell lines. Effects on target protein/gene expression and the role of p53 in bortezomib-mediated cytotoxicity, inhibition of proteasome activity, survivin transcript and protein expression as well as induction of p21 expression was determined in CCRCC that differed in their intrinsic sensitivity to bortezomib. Results: VHL status was not associated with cytotoxic response to bortezomib treatment. Cytotoxicity in cell lines that differed in intrinsic sensitivity to bortezomib correlated with sustained inhibition of proteasome activity, survivin expression and induction of p21 expression. Stable down-regulation of p53 expression by siRNA led to attenuation of bortezomib effects, survivin down-regulation and p21 induction, suggesting that cellular effects are p53-dependent. Conclusion: These results demonstrate that the antiproliferative effects of bortezomib in CCRCC cells are VHL independent and dependent on pathways regulated by p53.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2961-2969
Number of pages9
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Bortezomib
  • Proteasome
  • Renal cancer
  • VHL
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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