NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor, MLN4924 (Pevonedistat) induces NOXA-dependent apoptosis through up-regulation of ATF-4

Xiaojun Liu, Yanan Jiang, Jianfu Wu, Wenjuan Zhang, Yupei Liang, Lijun Jia, Jinha Yu, L. S. Jeong, Lihui Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


It has been reported that MLN4924 can inhibit cell growth and metastasis in various kinds of cancer. We have reported that MLN4924 is able to inhibit angiogenesis through the induction of cell apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo models. Moreover, Neddylation inhibition using MLN4924 triggered the accumulation of pro-apoptotic protein NOXA in Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). However, the mechanism of MLN4924-induced NOXA up-regulation has not been addressed in HUVECs yet. In this study, we investigated how MLN4924 induced NOXA expression and cellular apoptosis in HUVECs treated with MLN4924 at indicated concentrations. MLN4924-induced apoptosis was evaluated by Annexin V-FITC/PI analysis and expression of genes associated with apoptosis was assessed by Quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting. As a result, MLN4924 triggered NOXA-dependent apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in HUVECs. Mechanistically, inactivation of Neddylation pathway caused up-regulation of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4), a substrate of Cullin-Ring E3 ubiquitin ligases (CRL). NOXA was subsequently transactivated by ATF-4 and further induced apoptosis. More importantly, knockdown of ATF-4 by siRNA significantly decreased NOXA expression and apoptotic induction in HUVECs. In summary, our study reveals a new mechanism underlying MLN4924-induced NOXA accumulation in HUVECs, which may help extend further study of MLN4924 for angiogenesis inhibition treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • ATF-4
  • Apoptosis
  • HUVECs
  • MLN4924
  • Neddylation


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