Antagonism of Tumoral Prolactin Receptor Promotes Autophagy-Related Cell Death

Yunfei Wen, Behrouz Zand, Bulent Ozpolat, Miroslaw J. Szczepanski, Chunhua Lu, Erkan Yuca, Amy R. Carroll, Neslihan Alpay, Chandra Bartholomeusz, Ibrahim Tekedereli, Yu Kang, Rajesha Rupaimoole, Chad V. Pecot, Heather J. Dalton, Anadulce Hernandez, Anna Lokshin, Susan K. Lutgendorf, Jinsong Liu, Walter N. Hittelman, Wen Y. ChenGabriel Lopez-Berestein, Marta Szajnik, Naoto T. Ueno, Robert L. Coleman, Anil K. Sood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Therapeutic upregulation of macroautophagy in cancer cells provides an alternative mechanism forcell death. Prolactin (PRL) and its receptor (PRLR) are considered attractive therapeutic targets because of their roles as growth factors in tumor growth and progression. We utilized G129R, an antagonist peptide of PRL, to block activity of the tumoral PRL/PRLR axis, which resulted in inhibition of tumor growth in orthotopic models of human ovarian cancer. Prolonged treatment with G129R induced the accumulation of redundant autolysosomes in 3D cancer spheroids, leading to a type II programmed cell death. This inducible autophagy was a noncanonical beclin-1-independent pathway and was sustained by an astrocytic phosphoprotein (PEA-15) and protein kinase C zeta interactome. Lower levels of tumoral PRL/PRLR inclinical samples were associated with longer patient survival. Our findings provide an understanding of the mechanisms of tumor growth inhibition through targeting PRL/PRLR and may have clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-500
Number of pages13
JournalCell Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 24 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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