Alternate AChE-R variants facilitate cellular metabolic activity and resistance to genotoxic stress through enolase and RACK1 interactions

Inbal Mor, Tal Bruck, David Greenberg, Amit Berson, Leticia Schreiber, Dan Grisaru, Hermona Soreq*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumorogenic transformation is a multifaceted cellular process involving combinatorial protein-protein interactions that modulate different cellular functions. Here, we report apparent involvement in two independent tumorogenic processes by distinct partner protein interactions of the stress-induced acetylcholinesterase AChE-R and N-AChE-R variants. Human testicular tumors showed elevated levels of N-terminally extended N-AChE-R compared with healthy tissue, indicating alternate promoter usage in the transformed cells. Two-hybrid screens demonstrate that the C-terminus common to both N-AChE-R and AChE-R interacts either with the glycolytic enzyme enolase or with the scaffold protein RACK1. In vitro, the AChE-R C-terminal peptide ARP elevated enolase's activity by 12%, suggesting physiological relevance for this interaction. Correspondingly, CHO cells expressing either human AChE-R or N-AChE-R but not AChE-S showed a 25% increase in cellular ATP levels, indicating metabolic significance for this upregulation of enolase activity. ATP levels could be reduced by AChE-targeted siRNA in CHO cells expressing AChE-R but not AChE-S, attributing this elevation to the AChE-R C-terminus. Additionally, transfected CHO cells expressing AChE-R but not N-AChE-R showed resistance to up to 60 μM of the common chemotherapeutic agent, cis-platinum, indicating AChE-R involvement in another molecular pathway. cis-Platinum elevates the expression of the apoptosis-regulator p53-like protein, p73, which is inactivated by interaction with the scaffold protein RACK1. In co-transfected cells, AChE-R competed with endogenous RACK1 for p73 interaction. Moreover, AChE-R-transfected CHO cells presented higher levels than control cells of the pro-apoptotic TAp73 as well as the anti-apoptotic dominant negative ΔNp73 protein, leading to an overall decrease in the proportion of pro-apoptotic p73. Together, these findings are compatible with the hypothesis that in cancer cells, both AChE-R and N-AChE-R elevate cellular ATP levels and that AChE-R modifies p73 gene expression by facilitating two independent cellular pathways, thus conferring both a selective metabolic advantage and a genotoxic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 25 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Enolase
  • Glycolysis
  • RACK1
  • p73


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