The integrated stress response (ISR) is a critical mediator of cancer cell survival, and targeting the ISR inhibits tumor progression. Here, we have shown that activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a master transcriptional effector of the ISR, protects transformed cells against anoikis — a specialized form of apoptosis — following matrix detachment and also contributes to tumor metastatic properties. Upon loss of attachment, ATF4 activated a coordinated program of cytoprotective autophagy and antioxidant responses, including induced expression of the major antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). HO-1 upregulation was the result of simultaneous activation of ATF4 and the transcription factor NRF2, which converged on the
Souvik Dey, Carly M. Sayers, Ioannis I. Verginadis, Stacey L. Lehman, Yi Cheng, George J. Cerniglia, Stephen W. Tuttle, Michael D. Feldman, Paul J.L. Zhang, Serge Y. Fuchs, J. Alan Diehl, Constantinos Koumenis
ATF4-mediated autophagy provides cytoprotection against anoikis.