Yubin Guo;Qing Ye;Pan Deng;Yanan Cao;Daheng He;Zhaohe Zhou;Chi Wang;Yekaterina Y. Zaytseva;Charles E. Schwartz;Eun Y. Lee;B. Mark Evers;Andrew J. Morris;Side Liu;Qing-Bai She
Dysregulation of polyamine metabolism has been linked to the development of colorectal cancer (CRC), but the underlying mechanism is incompletely characterized. Here, we report that spermine synthase (SMS), a polyamine biosynthetic enzyme, is overexpressed in CRC. Targeted disruption of SMS in CRC cells results in spermidine accumulation, which inhibits FOXO3a acetylation and allows subsequent translocation to the nucleus to transcriptionally induce expression of the proapoptotic protein Bim. However, this induction is blunted by MYC-driven expression of miR-19a and miR-19b that repress Bim production. Pharmacological or genetic inhibition of MYC activity in SMS-depleted CRC cells dramatically induces Bim expression and apoptosis and causes tumor regression, but these effects are profoundly attenuated by silencing Bim. These findings uncover a key survival signal in CRC through convergent repression of Bim expression by distinct SMS- and MYC-mediated signaling pathways. Thus, combined inhibition of SMS and MYC signaling may be an effective therapy for CRC.