Phosphorylation of paxillin confers cisplatin resistance in non-small cell lung cancer via activating ERK-mediated Bcl-2 expression

D. W. Wu, T. C. Wu, J. Y. Wu, Y. W. Cheng, Y. C. Chen, M. C. Lee, C. Y. Chen, H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Paxillin (PXN) is required for receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated ERK activation, and the activation of the Raf/MEK/ERK cascade has been linked with Bcl-2 expression. We hypothesized that phosphorylation of PXN by the EGFR/Src pathway might contribute to cisplatin resistance via increased Bcl-2 expression. We show that cisplatin resistance was dependent on PXN expression, as evidenced by PXN overexpression in TL-13 and TL-10 cells and PXN knockdown in H23 and CL1-5 cells. Specific inhibitors of signaling pathways indicated that the phosphorylation of PXN at Y118 and Y31 via the Src pathway was responsible for cisplatin resistance. We further demonstrated that ERK activation was also dependent on this PXN phosphorylation. Bcl-2 transcription was upregulated by phosphorylated PXN-mediated ERK activation via increased binding of phosphorylated CREB to the Bcl-2 promoter. A subsequent increase in Bcl-2 levels by a PXN/ERK axis was responsible for the resistance to cisplatin. Animal models further confirmed the findings of in vitro cells indicating that xenograft tumors induced by TL-13-overexpressing cells were successfully suppressed by cisplatin combined with Src or ERK inhibitor compared with treatment of cisplatin, Src inhibitor or ERK inhibitor alone. A positive correlation of phosphorylated PXN with phosphorylated ERK and Bcl-2 was observed in lung tumors from NSCLC patients. Patients with tumors positive for PXN, phosphorylated PXN, phosphorylated ERK and Bcl-2 more commonly showed a poorer response to cisplatin-based chemotherapy than did patients with negative tumors. Collectively, PXN phosphorylation might contribute to cisplatin resistance via activating ERK-mediated Bcl-2 transcription. Therefore, we suggest that Src or ERK inhibitor might be helpful to improve the sensitivity for cisplatin-based chemotherapy in NSCLC patients with PXN-positive tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4385-4395
Number of pages11
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - Aug 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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