Publications

Activation of S6 signaling is associated with cell survival and multinucleation in hyperplastic skin after epidermal loss of AURORA-A Kinase

Ryan, W.K., Fernandez, J., Peterson, M.K. et al.

The role of mitosis in the progression of precancerous skin remains poorly understood. To address this question, we deleted the mitotic Kinase Aurora-A (Aur-A) in hyperplastic mutant p53 mouse skin as an experimental tool to study the G2/M transition in precancerous keratinocytes and AUR-A's role in this process. Epidermal Aur-A deletion (Aur-AepiΔ) led to marked keratinocyte enlargement, pleomorphism, multinucleation, and attenuated induction of cell death. This phenotype was characteristic of slippage after a stalled mitosis. We also observed altered or impaired epidermal differentiation, indicative of a partial skin barrier defect. The upregulation of mTOR/PI3K signaling was implicated as a mechanism by which keratinocytes may evade cell death after AUR-A deficiency. This was evidenced by the ectopic expression of the pathway readout, p-S6, in the basal layer of Aur-AepiΔ skin and its mitotic upregulation in isolated keratinocytes. We further tested whether our findings were extended to skin carcinoma cells. The chemical inhibition of AUR-A led to a similar mitotic delay, polyploidy/multinucleation, and attenuated cell death in skin cancer cell lines. Moreover, inhibition of mTOR/PI3K signaling ameliorated the effects caused by the deficiency of AUR-A activity but was also associated with the persistence of mitotic p-S6 detection in surviving cancer cells. These results show the induction of multinucleation/polyploidy may be a compensatory state in keratinocytes that allows for cellular survival and maintenance of partial barrier function in face of aberrant cell division or differentiation. Moreover, mTOR/PI3K signaling is active in the mitosis of hyperplastic keratinocytes expressing mutant p53 and is further enhanced by stalled mitosis, indicating a potential resistance mechanism to the use of anti-mitotic drugs in the treatment of skin cancers.

Citation

Ryan, W.K., Fernandez, J., Peterson, M.K. et al. "Activation of S6 signaling is associated with cell survival and multinucleation in hyperplastic skin after epidermal loss of AURORA-A Kinase" Cell Death and Differentiation (2018): doi: 10.1038/s41418-018-0167-7