Cell survival signaling is important for the malignant phenotypes of cancer cells. Although the role of receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) in cell survival signaling is well documented, whether RIP1 is directly involved in cancer development has never been studied. In this report, we found that RIP1 expression is substantially increased in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues and cell lines. RIP1 expression in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) was significantly induced by cigarette smoke extract (CSE) or benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE), the active form of the tobacco-specific carcinogen benzo (a) pyrene (BaP). In RIP1 knockdown HBECs, BPDE-induced cytotoxicity was significantly increased, which was associated with induction of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), mainly hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) including JNK, ERK and p38. Scavenging ROS suppressed BPDE-induced MAPK activation and inhibiting ROS or MAPKs substantially blocked BPDE-induced cytotoxicity, suggesting ROS-mediated MAPK activation is involved in BPDE-induced cell death. The H2O2-reducing enzyme catalase is destabilized in an ERK- and JNK-dependent manner in RIP1 knockdown HBECs and application of catalase effectively blocked BPDE-induced H2O2 accumulation and cytotoxicity. Importantly, BPDE-induced transformation of HBECs was significantly reduced when RIP1 expression was suppressed. Altogether, these results strongly suggest an oncogenic role for RIP1, which promotes malignant transformation through protecting DNA-damaged cells against carcinogen-induced cytotoxicity associated with excessive ROS production.

Citation Format: Qiong Wang, Wenshu Chen, Xiuling Xu, Bilan Li, Weiyang He, Mabel T. Padilla. Suppressing excessive reactive oxygen species accumulation by RIP1 potentiates BPDE-induced transformation of human bronchial epithelial cells. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 2910. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-2910