Bortezomib (velcade) induces p27Kip1 expression through S-phase kinase protein 2 degradation in colorectal cancer

Document Type



Centre for Regenerative Medicine


S-phase kinase protein 2 (SKP2), an F-box protein, targets cell cycle regulators including cycle-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 via ubiquitin-mediated degradation. SKP2 is frequently overexpressed in a variety of cancers. We investigated the role of SKP2 and its ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in colorectal carcinoma using a panel of cell lines, clinical samples, and the NUDE mouse model. Using immunohistochemical analysis on a large tissue microarray of 448 samples, an inverse association of SKP2 expression with p27Kip1 protein levels was seen. A colorectal cancer (CRC) subset with high level of SKP2 and low level of p27Kip1 showed a decreased overall survival (P = 0.0057). Treatment of CRC cell lines with bortezomib or expression of small interfering RNA of SKP2 causes down-regulation of SKP2 and accumulation of p27Kip1. Furthermore, treatment of CRC cells with bortezomib causes apoptosis by involving the mitochondrial pathway and activation of caspases. In addition, treatment of CRC cells with bortezomib down-regulated the expression of XIAP, cIAP1, and survivin. Finally, treatment of CRC cell line xenografts with bortezomib resulted in growth inhibition of tumors in NUDE mice via down-regulation of SKP2 and accumulation of p27Kip1. Altogether, our results suggest that SKP2 and the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway may be potential targets for therapeutic intervention for treatment of CRC.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Cancer Research