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Potassium channel KCNA1 modulates oncogene-induced senescence and transformation.

Hélène Lallet-Daher, Clotilde Wiel, Delphine Gitenay, Naveenan Navaratnam, Arnaud Augert, Benjamin Le Calvé, Stéphanie Verbeke, David Carling, Sebastien Aubert, David Vindrieux, David Bernard

Cancer Res., 2013 Aug 15 , 73, 5253-65

Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) constitutes a failsafe program that restricts tumor development. However, the mechanisms that link oncogenesis to senescence are not completely understood. We carried out a loss-of-function genetic screen that identified the potassium channel KCNA1 as a determinant of OIS escape that can license tumor growth. Oncogenic stress triggers an increase in KCNA1 expression and its relocation from the cytoplasm to the membrane. Mechanistically, this relocation is due to a loss of protein kinase A (PKA)-induced phosphorylation at residue S446 of KCNA1. Accordingly, sustaining PKA activity or expressing a KCNA1 phosphomimetic mutant maintained KCNA1 in the cytoplasm and caused escape from OIS. KCNA1 relocation to the membrane induced a change in membrane potential that invariably resulted in cellular senescence. Restoring KCNA1 expression in transformation-competent cells triggered variation in membrane potential and blocked RAS-induced transformation, and PKA activation suppressed both effects. Furthermore, KCNA1 expression was reduced in human cancers, and this decrease correlated with an increase in breast cancer aggressiveness. Taken together, our results identify a novel pathway that restricts oncogenesis through a potassium channel-dependent senescence pathway.