Therapy resistance is a major limitation to the successful treatment of cancer. Here, we identify Bcl2-like 13 (Bcl2L13), an atypical member of the Bcl-2 family, as a therapy susceptibility gene with elevated expression in solid and blood cancers, including glioblastoma (GBM). We demonstrate that mitochondria-Associated Bcl2L13 inhibits apoptosis induced by a wide spectrum of chemo- and targeted therapies upstream of Bcl2-Associated X protein activation and mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization in vitro and promotes GBM tumor growth in vivo. Mechanistically, Bcl2L13 binds to proapoptotic ceramide synthases 2 (CerS2) and 6 (CerS6) via a unique C-terminal 250-Aa sequence located between its Bcl-2 homology and membrane anchor domains and blocks homo- and heteromeric CerS2/6 complex formation and activity. Correspondingly, CerS2/6 activity and Bcl2L13 abundance are inversely correlated in GBM tumors. Thus, our genetic and functional studies identify Bcl2L13 as a regulator of therapy susceptibility and point to the Bcl2L13-CerS axis as a promising target to enhance responses of therapy-refractory cancers toward conventional and targeted regimens currently in clinical use.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Apr 15 2014|
- Bcl-2 protein family
- Intrinsic apoptosis signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas