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CLU blocks HDACI-mediated killing of neuroblastoma. Tumour Biol 2011 Apr;32(2):285-94



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-79953772135   2 Citations


Clusterin is a ubiquitously expressed glycoprotein with multiple binding partners including IL-6, Ku70, and Bax. Clusterin blocks apoptosis by binding to activated Bax and sequestering it in the cytoplasm, thereby preventing Bax from entering mitochondria, releasing cytochrome c, and triggering apoptosis. Because increased clusterin expression correlates with aggressive behavior in tumors, clusterin inhibition might be beneficial in cancer treatment. Our recent findings indicated that, in neuroblastoma cells, cytoplasmic Bax also binds to Ku70; when Ku70 is acetylated, Bax is released and can initiate cell death. Therefore, increasing Ku70 acetylation, such as by using histone deacetylase inhibitors, may be therapeutically useful in promoting cell death in neuroblastoma tumors. Since clusterin, Bax, and Ku70 form a complex, it seemed likely that clusterin would mediate its anti-apoptotic effects by inhibiting Ku70 acetylation and blocking Bax release. Our results, however, demonstrate that while clusterin level does indeed determine the sensitivity of neuroblastoma cells to histone deacetylase inhibitor-induced cell death, it does so without affecting histone deacetylase-inhibitor-induced Ku70 acetylation. Our results suggest that in neuroblastoma, clusterin exerts its anti-apoptotic effects downstream of Ku70 acetylation, likely by directly blocking Bax activation.

Author List

Subramanian C, Jarzembowski JA, Halsey SM, Kuick R, Opipari AW Jr, Castle VP, Kwok RP


Jason A. Jarzembowski MD, PhD Sr Associate Dean, CEO CSG, Professor in the Pathology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Antigens, Nuclear
Biomarkers, Tumor
Cell Line, Tumor
Cell Survival
DNA-Binding Proteins
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
Ku Autoantigen
bcl-2-Associated X Protein