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1.  High expression of Tumor Endothelial Marker 7 is associated with metastasis and poor survival of patients with osteogenic sarcoma 
Gene  2007;399(2):137-143.
Our objective is to identify genes regulating metastasis of osteogenic sarcoma (OGS) since metastasis is the primary cause of mortality among patients with OGS. To identify such genes, we first created a database of differentially expressed genes between six low-grade and six high-grade OGS tumors, and between a normal immortalized osteoblast cell line (FOB) and four commercially available OGS-derived cell lines. We specifically searched for surface-proteins over-expressed in high-grade OGS, since we hypothesize that tumor-cell specific surface markers are key to metastasis. A gene encoding Tumor Endothelial Marker7 (TEM7) was selected as a candidate for further study. TEM7 expression pattern was assessed by RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunostaining. TEM7 mRNA was abundantly expressed in SAOS cells (derived from high-grade OGS), but not in FOB or MG63 cells (derived from low-grade OGS). Virtually no expression of TEM7 protein was observed in FOB cells but abundant expression was noted in SAOS and TE85 cells. Employing immunostaining of 92 human OGS specimens (50 high grade and 42 low-grade) collected before chemotherapy show 97% (37 of 38) of high-grade OGS specimens with metastasis have high TEM7 staining. Further, we found that elevated expression of TEM7 correlated with poor survival (p<0.04) of affected patients. Inhibiting TEM7 function by siRNA inhibited invasion and migration of OGS cells with metastatic potential. Our results suggest TEM7 expression level closely parallels histology-based prognostication of OGS metastasis and, therefore, it is a therapeutic target. This is the first demonstration of a link between TEM7 and cancer metastasis.
PMCID: PMC2066185  PMID: 17560052
TEM7; Osteogenic sarcoma; Metastasis; siRNA; Tumor marker
2.  Expression Profile of Tumor Endothelial Marker 7 and a Putative Ligand in the Rat Spinal Cord and Dorsal Root Ganglion 
Asian Spine Journal  2007;1(2):65-74.
Study Design
To analyze the expression profile of tumor endothelial marker 7 (TEM7) in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion (DRG).
To investigate the expression profile of TEM7 in the spinal cord and DRG of adult and developing rats.
Overview of Literature
Tumor endothelial marker 7 (TEM7) is a putative transmembrane protein that is highly expressed in the tumor endothelium and in cerebellar neurons.
In the present study, the expression profile of TEM7 in the spinal cord and DRG of the rat was investigated using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, the secreted recombinant ectodomain of TEM7 was employed to label the expression of a putative ligand of TEM7 in the spinal cord and DRG.
Specific TEM7 mRNA localization was observed in the motor neurons of the spinal cord and sensory neurons of the DRG. Glial cells and vascular endothelial cells did not show hybridization signals. Immunohistochemical analysis with a specific polyclonal antibody revealed a similar localization profile for TEM7 mRNA expression. In the spinal cord, weak labeling was observed in the gray matter. The TEM7 ectodomain localized the expression of a putative ligand of TEM7 in the neurilemmal structures and perineurium of the spinal nerve roots. In the DRG, ligand labeling was observed in the endoneurium and perineurium of the spinal nerves, and extracellular matrix around the sensory neurons. A developmental study has shown that TEM7 mRNA expression in the motor neurons of the spinal cord and DRG increased with age during postnatal development.
These findings indicate that TEM7 plays a role as a transmembrane receptor in neuronal populations of the spinal cord and DRG.
PMCID: PMC2857480  PMID: 20411127
Tumor endothelial marker; Spinal cord; Dorsal root ganglion; Ligand
3.  Characterization of TEM1/endosialin in human and murine brain tumors 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:417.
TEM1/endosialin is an emerging microvascular marker of tumor angiogenesis. We characterized the expression pattern of TEM1/endosialin in astrocytic and metastatic brain tumors and investigated its role as a therapeutic target in human endothelial cells and mouse xenograft models.
In situ hybridization (ISH), immunohistochemistry (IH) and immunofluorescence (IF) were used to localize TEM1/endosialin expression in grade II-IV astrocytomas and metastatic brain tumors on tissue microarrays. Changes in TEM1/endosialin expression in response to pro-angiogenic conditions were assessed in human endothelial cells grown in vitro. Intracranial U87MG glioblastoma (GBM) xenografts were analyzed in nude TEM1/endosialin knockout (KO) and wildtype (WT) mice.
TEM1/endosialin was upregulated in primary and metastatic human brain tumors, where it localized primarily to the tumor vasculature and a subset of tumor stromal cells. Analysis of 275 arrayed grade II-IV astrocytomas demonstrated TEM1/endosialin expression in 79% of tumors. Robust TEM1/endosialin expression occurred in 31% of glioblastomas (grade IV astroctyomas). TEM1/endosialin expression was inversely correlated with patient age. TEM1/endosialin showed limited co-localization with CD31, αSMA and fibronectin in clinical specimens. In vitro, TEM1/endosialin was upregulated in human endothelial cells cultured in matrigel. Vascular Tem1/endosialin was induced in intracranial U87MG GBM xenografts grown in mice. Tem1/endosialin KO vs WT mice demonstrated equivalent survival and tumor growth when implanted with intracranial GBM xenografts, although Tem1/endosialin KO tumors were significantly more vascular than the WT counterparts.
TEM1/endosialin was induced in the vasculature of high-grade brain tumors where its expression was inversely correlated with patient age. Although lack of TEM1/endosialin did not suppress growth of intracranial GBM xenografts, it did increase tumor vascularity. The cellular localization of TEM1/endosialin and its expression profile in primary and metastatic brain tumors support efforts to therapeutically target this protein, potentially via antibody mediated drug delivery strategies.
PMCID: PMC2793264  PMID: 19948061
4.  Broad Expression Analysis of Human ANTXR1/TEM8 Transcripts Reveals Differential Expression and Novel Splizce Variants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43174.
Tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8; ANTXR1) is one of two anthrax toxin receptors; the other is capillary morphogenesis gene 2 protein (CMG2; ANTXR2). TEM8 shows enhanced expression in certain tumor endothelia, and is thought to be a player in tumor vasculature formation. However, a comprehensive expression profile of individual TEM8 variants in normal or cancerous tissues is lacking. In this work we carried out an extensive analysis of all splice variants of human TEM8 in 12 digestive tissues, and 8 each fetal and adult tissues, 6 of them cognate pairs. Using variant-specific primers, we first ascertained the status of full-length transcripts by nested PCR. We then carried out quantitative analysis of each transcript by real-time PCR. Three splice variants of TEM8 were reported before, two single-pass integral membrane forms (V1 and V2) and one secreted (V3). Our analysis has revealed two new variants, one encoding a membrane-bound form of the receptor and the other secreted, which we have designated V4 and V5, respectively. All tissues had V1, V2, V3, and V4, but only prostate had V5. Real-time PCR revealed that all variants are present at different levels in various tissues. V3 appeared the most abundant of all. To ascertain its functionality for anthrax toxin, we expressed the newly identified form V4 in a receptor-negative host cell, and included V1 and V2 for comparison. Cytotoxicity, toxin binding, and internalization assays showed V4 to be as efficient a receptor as V1 and V2.
PMCID: PMC3422265  PMID: 22912819
5.  Prognostic values of tumor endothelial markers in patients with colorectal cancer 
AIM: Tumor endothelial markers (TEMs) are a newly discovered family of endothelial markers associated with tumor specific angiogenesis. This study sought to examine the levels of expression (qualitatively and quantitatively) for TEMs in human colon cancer.
METHODS: Human colorectal cancer tissues (n = 48) and normal background tissues (n = 31) were obtained after surgery. RNA was extracted from frozen sections for gene amplification. The expression of TEMs (TEM-1 to TEM-8) was assessed using RT-PCR and their transcript levels were determined using real-time-quantitative PCR (Q-RT-PCR).
RESULTS: TEM-1 (P = 0.01), TEM-7 (P = 0.04), TEM-7R (P = 0.03), TEM-8 (P = 0.001) significantly raised in colon cancer tissues compared with the levels detected in normal background tissues. The expressions of TEM-2 and TEM-6 were found to be not significantly different between tumor tissues and normal tissues (P>0.05). Patients who had cancer penetrating into and through the muscularis propria of the bowel wall and developed nodal involvement (Dukes C) exhibited significantly higher levels of TEM -8 compared to patients who were node negative (P<0.05). TEM-7 and TEM-7R showed high level of transcripts in Dukes C, but they were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: The level of the expression of TEM-1, TEM-7, TEM-7R and TEM-8 (but not TEM-2 and TEM-6) were associated with both nodal involvement and disease progression, and may therefore, have a prognostic value in colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC4250673  PMID: 15761964
Colon cancer; Angiogenesis; Tumor endothelial markers; Dukes stages
6.  Tumor Endothelial Marker 8 Amplifies Canonical Wnt Signaling in Blood Vessels 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e22334.
Tumor Endothelial Marker 8/Anthrax Toxin Receptor 1 (TEM8/ANTXR1) expression is induced in the vascular compartment of multiple tumors and therefore, is a candidate molecule to target tumor therapies. This cell surface molecule mediates anthrax toxin internalization, however, its physiological function in blood vessels remains largely unknown. We identified the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) as a model system to study the endogenous function of TEM8 in blood vessels as we found that TEM8 expression was induced transiently between day 10 and 12 of embryonic development, when the vascular tree is undergoing final development and growth. We used the cell-binding component of anthrax toxin, Protective Antigen (PA), to engage endogenous TEM8 receptors and evaluate the effects of PA-TEM8 complexes on vascular development. PA applied at the time of highest TEM8 expression reduced vascular density and disrupted hierarchical branching as revealed by quantitative morphometric analysis of the vascular tree after 48h. PA-dependent reduced branching phenotype was partially mimicked by Wnt3a application and ameliorated by the Wnt antagonist, Dikkopf-1. These results implicate TEM8 expression in endothelial cells in regulating the canonical Wnt signaling pathway at this day of CAM development. Consistent with this model, PA increased beta catenin levels acutely in CAM blood vessels in vivo and in TEM8 transfected primary human endothelial cells in vitro. TEM8 expression in Hek293 cells, which neither express endogenous PA-binding receptors nor Wnt ligands, stabilized beta catenin levels and amplified beta catenin-dependent transcriptional activity induced by Wnt3a. This agonistic function is supported by findings in the CAM, where the increase in TEM8 expression from day 10 to day 12 and PA application correlated with Axin 2 induction, a universal reporter gene for canonical Wnt signaling. We postulate that the developmentally controlled expression of TEM8 modulates endothelial cell response to canonical Wnt signaling to regulate vessel patterning and density.
PMCID: PMC3148219  PMID: 21829615
7.  Prognostic value of tumour endothelial markers in patients with endometrial cancer 
Oncology Letters  2010;1(1):203-207.
Endometrial cancer is one of the more frequent and most lethal gynaecological cancer types. Since it occurs more frequently in elderly and overweight patients, a pre-operative staging method would be beneficial. The growth of solid neoplasms is always accompanied by neovascularisation. Tumour endothelial markers (TEMs) are a group of recently described endothelial cell surface markers that appear to be specific to neoplastic tissue. This study aimed to investigate the potential usefulness of TEM assessment in the endometrium by comparing the transcriptional expression of TEMs in the normal endometrium with endometroid adenocarcinoma tissue. Tissues were lysed and the RNA was extracted, assessed and reverse transcribed in one batch. Real-time quantitative PCR was performed for TEM-1, -2, -6, -7, -7r and -8. GAPDH, β-actin and ribosomal protein L13A (RPL13A) were used as control genes. TEM-8 showed the highest expression level in all of the groups. TEM-1 showed higher expression levels in the normal endometrium than in the tumour tissues. For the remaining TEMs, we found a higher expression in the cancer samples than in the normal endometria. Statistical significance of this difference was achieved for TEM-1, -2 and-7. No clear correlation was noted between the tumour stage and the level of TEM-1, -6 and -8 expression. Apart from TEM-6, the highest expression in FIGO I cancer stages was noted in the remaining TEMs. Our results showed that for most of these tumour endothelial markers, gene expression was slightly higher in the endometrial carcinoma tissue samples than in the endometrium of normal cycling women. However, with the possible exception of TEM-8 and -6, absolute expression levels were generally low, indicating that most TEMs may only be specifically expressed in a restricted number of cancer types (e.g., colorectal). Therefore, TEMs may not be useful in the context of endometrial cancer.
PMCID: PMC3436417  PMID: 22966283
tumour endothelial markers; endometrium; endometrial cancer
8.  Activated Human T Cells Express Alternative mRNA Transcripts Encoding a Secreted Form of RANKL 
Genes and immunity  2013;14(5):336-345.
Receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB -ligand (RANKL), encoded by the gene TNFSF11, is required for osteoclastogenesis, and its expression is upregulated in pathologic bone loss. Transcript variants of TNFSF11 mRNA have been described that encode a membrane-bound and a putative secreted form of RANKL. We identify a TNFSF11 transcript variant that extends the originally identified transcript encoding secreted RANKL. We demonstrate that this TNFSF11 transcript variant is expressed by the human osteosarcoma cell line, Saos-2, and by both primary human T cells and Jurkat T cells. Of relevance to the production of RANKL in pathologic bone loss, expression of this secreted TNFSF11 transcript is upregulated in Jurkat T cells and primary human T cells upon activation. Furthermore, this transcript can be translated and secreted in Jurkat T cells in vitro and is able to support osteoclast differentiation. Our data highlight the complexity of the TNFSF11 genomic locus and demonstrate the potential for the expression of alternate mRNA transcripts encoding membrane-bound and secreted forms of RANKL. Implications of alternate mRNA transcripts encoding different RANKL protein isoforms should be carefully considered and specifically examined in future studies, particularly those implicating RANKL in pathologic bone loss.
PMCID: PMC3740552  PMID: 23698708
RANKL; TNFSF11; secreted RANKL; T cells; inflammatory bone loss
9.  A Novel Tumor-Promoting Function Residing in the 5′ Non-coding Region of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(5):e94.
Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) is one of the key regulators of tumor development, hence it is considered to be an important therapeutic target for cancer treatment. However, clinical trials have suggested that anti-VEGF monotherapy was less effective than standard chemotherapy. On the basis of the evidence, we hypothesized that vegf mRNA may have unrecognized function(s) in cancer cells.
Methods and Findings
Knockdown of VEGF with vegf-targeting small-interfering (si) RNAs increased susceptibility of human colon cancer cell line (HCT116) to apoptosis caused with 5-fluorouracil, etoposide, or doxorubicin. Recombinant human VEGF165 did not completely inhibit this apoptosis. Conversely, overexpression of VEGF165 increased resistance to anti-cancer drug-induced apoptosis, while an anti-VEGF165-neutralizing antibody did not completely block the resistance. We prepared plasmids encoding full-length vegf mRNA with mutation of signal sequence, vegf mRNAs lacking untranslated regions (UTRs), or mutated 5′UTRs. Using these plasmids, we revealed that the 5′UTR of vegf mRNA possessed anti-apoptotic activity. The 5′UTR-mediated activity was not affected by a protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide. We established HCT116 clones stably expressing either the vegf 5′UTR or the mutated 5′UTR. The clones expressing the 5′UTR, but not the mutated one, showed increased anchorage-independent growth in vitro and formed progressive tumors when implanted in athymic nude mice. Microarray and quantitative real-time PCR analyses indicated that the vegf 5′UTR-expressing tumors had up-regulated anti-apoptotic genes, multidrug-resistant genes, and growth-promoting genes, while pro-apoptotic genes were down-regulated. Notably, expression of signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1) was markedly repressed in the 5′UTR-expressing tumors, resulting in down-regulation of a STAT1-responsive cluster of genes (43 genes). As a result, the tumors did not respond to interferon (IFN)α therapy at all. We showed that stable silencing of endogenous vegf mRNA in HCT116 cells enhanced both STAT1 expression and IFNα responses.
These findings suggest that cancer cells have a survival system that is regulated by vegf mRNA and imply that both vegf mRNA and its protein may synergistically promote the malignancy of tumor cells. Therefore, combination of anti-vegf transcript strategies, such as siRNA-based gene silencing, with anti-VEGF antibody treatment may improve anti-cancer therapies that target VEGF.
Shigetada Teshima-Kondo and colleagues find that cancer cells have a survival system that is regulated by vegf mRNA and that vegf mRNA and its protein may synergistically promote the malignancy of tumor cells.
Editors' Summary
Normally, throughout life, cell division (which produces new cells) and cell death are carefully balanced to keep the body in good working order. But sometimes cells acquire changes (mutations) in their genetic material that allow them to divide uncontrollably to form cancers—disorganized masses of cells. When a cancer is small, it uses the body's existing blood supply to get the oxygen and nutrients it needs for its growth and survival. But, when it gets bigger, it has to develop its own blood supply. This process is called angiogenesis. It involves the release by the cancer cells of proteins called growth factors that bind to other proteins (receptors) on the surface of endothelial cells (the cells lining blood vessels). The receptors then send signals into the endothelial cells that tell them to make new blood vessels. One important angiogenic growth factor is “vascular endothelial growth factor” (VEGF). Tumors that make large amounts of VEGF tend to be more abnormal and more aggressive than those that make less VEGF. In addition, high levels of VEGF in the blood are often associated with poor responses to chemotherapy, drug regimens designed to kill cancer cells.
Why Was This Study Done?
Because VEGF is a key regulator of tumor development, several anti-VEGF therapies—drugs that target VEGF and its receptors—have been developed. These therapies strongly suppress the growth of tumor cells in the laboratory and in animals but, when used alone, are no better at increasing the survival times of patients with cancer than standard chemotherapy. Scientists are now looking for an explanation for this disappointing result. Like all proteins, cells make VEGF by “transcribing” its DNA blueprint into an mRNA copy (vegf mRNA), the coding region of which is “translated” into the VEGF protein. Other, “noncoding” regions of vegf mRNA control when and where VEGF is made. Scientists have recently discovered that the noncoding regions of some mRNAs suppress tumor development. In this study, therefore, the researchers investigate whether vegf mRNA has an unrecognized function in tumor cells that could explain the disappointing clinical results of anti-VEGF therapeutics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers first used a technique called small interfering (si) RNA knockdown to stop VEGF expression in human colon cancer cells growing in dishes. siRNAs are short RNAs that bind to and destroy specific mRNAs in cells, thereby preventing the translation of those mRNAs into proteins. The treatment of human colon cancer cells with vegf-targeting siRNAs made the cells more sensitive to chemotherapy-induced apoptosis (a type of cell death). This sensitivity was only partly reversed by adding VEGF to the cells. By contrast, cancer cells engineered to make more vegf mRNA had increased resistance to chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. Treatment of these cells with an antibody that inhibited VEGF function did not completely block this resistance. Together, these results suggest that both vegf mRNA and VEGF protein have anti-apoptotic effects. The researchers show that the anti-apoptotic activity of vegf mRNA requires a noncoding part of the mRNA called the 5′ UTR, and that whereas human colon cancer cells expressing this 5′ UTR form tumors in mice, cells expressing a mutated 5′ UTR do not. Finally, they report that the expression of several pro-apoptotic genes and of an anti-tumor pathway known as the interferon/STAT1 tumor suppression pathway is down-regulated in tumors that express the vegf 5′ UTR.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that some cancer cells have a survival system that is regulated by vegf mRNA and are the first to show that a 5′UTR of mRNA can promote tumor growth. They indicate that VEGF and its mRNA work together to promote their development and to increase their resistance to chemotherapy drugs. They suggest that combining therapies that prevent the production of vegf mRNA (for example, siRNA-based gene silencing) with therapies that block the function of VEGF might improve survival times for patients whose tumors overexpress VEGF.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is discussed further in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Hughes and Jones
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about all aspects of cancer, including information on angiogenesis, and on bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF therapeutic (in English and Spanish)
CancerQuest, from Emory University, provides information on all aspects of cancer, including angiogenesis (in several languages)
Cancer Research UK also provides basic information about what causes cancers and how they develop, grow, and spread, including information about angiogenesis
Wikipedia has pages on VEGF and on siRNA (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC2386836  PMID: 18494554
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;282(13):9834-9845.
Anthrax toxin, a three-component protein toxin secreted by Bacillus anthracis, assembles into toxic complexes at the surface of receptor-bearing eukaryotic cells. The protective antigen (PA) protein binds to receptors, either tumor endothelial cell marker 8 (TEM8) or capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2), and orchestrates the delivery of the lethal and edema factors into the cytosol. TEM8 is reported to be over-expressed during tumor angiogenesis, whereas CMG2 is more widely expressed in normal tissues. To extend prior work on targeting of tumor with modified anthrax toxins, we used phage display to select PA variants that preferentially bind to TEM8 as compared to CMG2. Substitutions were randomly introduced into residues 605-729 of PA, within the C-terminal domain 4 of PA, which is the principal region that contacts receptor. Candidates were characterized in cellular cytotoxicity assays with CHO cells expressing either TEM8 or CMG2. A PA mutant having the substitutions R659S and M662R had enhanced specificity toward TEM8 over-expressing CHO cells. This PA variant also displayed broad and potent tumoricidal activity to various human tumor cells, especially to HeLa and A549/ATCC cells. By contrast, the substitution N657Q significantly reduced toxicity to TEM8 but not CMG2 over-expressing CHO cells. Our results indicate that certain amino acid substitutions within PA domain 4 create anthrax toxins that selectively kill human tumor cells. The PA R659S/M662R protein may be useful as a therapeutic agent for cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC2530824  PMID: 17251181
11.  Epstein-Barr virus latent gene transcription in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells: coexpression of EBNA1, LMP1, and LMP2 transcripts. 
Journal of Virology  1992;66(5):2689-2697.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome-positive nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) regularly express the virus-coded nuclear antigen EBNA1, but not other EBNAs, and a subset of tumors also appear to be latent membrane protein LMP1 positive; the status of NPCs with respect to a second virus-coded latent membrane protein LMP2 is unknown. In the present work the EBV-NPC cell interaction has been analyzed at the RNA level with reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction-based amplification to detect specific latent viral mRNAs. All four transplantable NPC cell lines studied and 17 of 18 fresh snap-frozen NPC biopsy specimens expressed an EBNA1 mRNA with a BamHI Q/U/K splice structure exactly like that recently identified in group I Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell lines and shown to be driven from a novel viral promoter, Fp. The BamHI Y3/U/K-spliced EBNA1 mRNA characteristic of virus-transformed B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) was never found in NPCs. These same NPC biopsy specimens were then analyzed for evidence of the various LMP transcripts which are constitutively expressed in LCLs but down-regulated in BL cells. While only 3 of 18 tumors gave a clear LMP1 mRNA-specific signal after first-round amplification with either of two sets of polymerase chain reaction primers, the majority proved to be LMP1 mRNA positive after second-round amplification with nested primers. A rather similar pattern of results was obtained with respect to LMP2B mRNA expression, such transcripts being detectable only in a subset of tumors, and then at apparently low levels. In contrast, clear evidence of LMP2A mRNA expression was obtained in 17 of 17 fresh biopsies. The predominant form of EBV infection in NPCs, with coexpression of EBNA1 and LMP mRNAs, is therefore quite distinct from that seen in BL cells (in which EBNA1 is the only expressed mRNA) and in LCL cells (in which all six EBNA and three LMP transcripts are present). This third form of EBV latency may not be restricted to NPC but may have more general relevance in the context of EBV infection in vivo.
PMCID: PMC241023  PMID: 1313894
12.  Enhanced expression of cathepsin L in metastatic bone tumors. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  1996;11(2):144-148.
Cathepsin L is a kind of cystein proteases which are known to facilitate the invasion and metastasis of tumor cells by degrading the components of basement membrane and extracellular matrix. This study was undertaken to investigate the expression of cathepsin L by Northern blot analysis with radiolabeled cDNA specific for cathepsin L in six normal tissues, two osteosarcoma cell lines, MG-63 and Saos-2, six primary bone tumors and six metastatic bone tumors. In six normal tissues, the highest level of cathepsin L was expressed in liver with the descending order of liver > lung > thymus > ovary > kidney > esophagus. One of the two osteosarcoma cell lines established from the primary sites expressed a high level of cathepsin L mRNA. Out of six primary bone tumors, three (50%) expressed cathepsin L mRNA, while all (100%) of six metastatic bone tumors expressed the mRNA. These results demonstrating the higher frequency of expression of cathepsin L in metastatic bone tumors suggest that cathepsin L may participate in tumor invasion and metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3053936  PMID: 8835762
13.  Patterns of Gene Expression and a Transactivation Function Exhibited by the vGCR (ORF74) Chemokine Receptor Protein of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(7):3421-3439.
The ORF74 or vGCR gene encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV; also called human herpesvirus 8) has properties of a ligand-independent membrane receptor signaling protein with angiogenic properties that is predicted to play a key role in the biology of the virus. We have examined the expression of vGCR mRNA and protein in primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell lines, PEL and multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD) tumors, Kaposi's sarcoma lesions and infected endothelial cell cultures. The vGCR gene proved to be expressed in PEL cell lines as a large spliced bicistronic mRNA of 3.2 kb that also encompasses the upstream vOX2 (K14) gene. This mRNA species was induced strongly by phorbol ester (TPA) and sodium butyrate treatment in the BCBL-1 cell line, but only weakly in the HBL6 cell line, and was classified as a relatively late and low-abundance delayed early class lytic cycle gene product. A complex bipartite upstream lytic cycle promoter for this mRNA was nestled within the intron of the 5′-overlapping but oppositely oriented latent-state transcription unit for LANA1/vCYC-D/vFLIP and responded strongly to both TPA induction and cotransfection with the KSHV RNA transactivator protein (RTA or ORF50) in transient reporter gene assays. A vGCR protein product of 45 kDa that readily dimerized was detected by Western blotting and in vitro translation and was localized in a cytoplasmic and membrane pattern in DNA-transfected Vero and 293T cells or adenovirus vGCR-transduced dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVEC) as detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunohistochemistry with a specific rabbit anti-vGCR antibody. Similarly, a subfraction of KSHV-positive cultured PEL cells and of KSHV (JSC-1) persistently infected DMVEC cells displayed cytoplasmic vGCR protein expression, but only after TPA or spontaneous lytic cycle induction, respectively. The vGCR protein was also detectable by immunohistochemical staining in a small fraction (0.5 to 3%) of the cells in PEL and MCD tumor and nodular Kaposi's sarcoma lesion specimens that were apparently undergoing lytic cycle expression. These properties are difficult to reconcile with the vGCR protein's playing a direct role in spindle cell proliferation, transformation, or latency, but could be compatible with proposed contributions to angiogenesis via downstream paracrine effects. The ability of vGCR to transactivate expression of both several KSHV promoter-driven luciferase (LUC) reporter genes and an NFκB motif containing the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene may also suggest an unexpected regulatory role in viral gene expression.
PMCID: PMC136009  PMID: 11884567
14.  The novel chemokine receptor CXCR7 regulates trans-endothelial migration of cancer cells 
Molecular Cancer  2011;10:73.
Migration of metastatic tumor cells from the bloodstream into lymph nodes is thought to be facilitated by expression of the chemokine receptors CCR7, CXCR4 and, for B cell-derived tumors, CXCR5. Expression of their respective chemokine ligands (CCL19, CCL21, CXCL12 and CXCL13) by endothelial cells inside the lymph nodes facilitates the trans-endothelial migration (TEM) of these cells through high endothelial venules into the lymph node parenchyma. It is known that CXCR7, a second CXCL12 receptor, regulates TEM of CXCR4+CXCR7+ tumor cells towards a CXCL12 source. In this study, we set out to assess the potential stimulation by CXCL12 of tumor cell TEM towards other chemokines and whether CXCR7 might be able to regulate such effects.
The human Burkitt's lymphoma cell line NC-37, which expresses CXCR4, CXCR5, CXCR7 and CCR7, was selected as a model system. TEM of these cells through a human HUVEC endothelial cell monolayer was used as the main model system for these studies. Regulation of their TEM behavior by various concentrations of the various cognate chemokines for the above-mentioned receptors, placed in either the source or target wells of modified Boyden chamber migration plates, was assessed by quantifying the number of cells migrated under each experimental condition.
Exposure of CXCR4+CXCR7+ cancer cells to CXCL12 greatly potentiated their TEM towards the chemokines CCL19 and CXCL13. This CXCL12-potentiated TEM was inhibited by the second CXCR7 chemokine ligand, CXCL11, as well as CXCR7-specific small molecule antagonists and antibodies. In contrast, the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 was less effective at inhibiting CXCL12-potentiated TEM. Thus, CXCR7 antagonists may be effective therapeutic agents for blocking CXCL12-mediated migration of CXCR4+CXCR7+ tumor cells into lymph nodes, regardless of whether the cancer cells follow a CXCL12 gradient or whether serum CXCL12 stimulates their migration towards CCR7 and CXCR5 chemokines in the lymph nodes.
PMCID: PMC3123309  PMID: 21672222
15.  Characterization of RNA in exosomes secreted by human breast cancer cell lines using next-generation sequencing 
PeerJ  2013;1:e201.
Exosomes are nanosized (30–100 nm) membrane vesicles secreted by most cell types. Exosomes have been found to contain various RNA species including miRNA, mRNA and long non-protein coding RNAs. A number of cancer cells produce elevated levels of exosomes. Because exosomes have been isolated from most body fluids they may provide a source for non-invasive cancer diagnostics. Transcriptome profiling that uses deep-sequencing technologies (RNA-Seq) offers enormous amount of data that can be used for biomarkers discovery, however, in case of exosomes this approach was applied only for the analysis of small RNAs. In this study, we utilized RNA-Seq technology to analyze RNAs present in microvesicles secreted by human breast cancer cell lines.
Exosomes were isolated from the media conditioned by two human breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-436. Exosomal RNA was profiled using the Ion Torrent semiconductor chip-based technology. Exosomes were found to contain various classes of RNA with the major class represented by fragmented ribosomal RNA (rRNA), in particular 28S and 18S rRNA subunits. Analysis of exosomal RNA content revealed that it reflects RNA content of the donor cells. Although exosomes produced by the two cancer cell lines shared most of the RNA species, there was a number of non-coding transcripts unique to MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-436 cells. This suggests that RNA analysis might distinguish exosomes produced by low metastatic breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-436) from that produced by highly metastatic breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231). The analysis of gene ontologies (GOs) associated with the most abundant transcripts present in exosomes revealed significant enrichment in genes encoding proteins involved in translation and rRNA and ncRNA processing. These GO terms indicate most expressed genes for both, cellular and exosomal RNA.
For the first time, using RNA-seq, we examined the transcriptomes of exosomes secreted by human breast cancer cells. We found that most abundant exosomal RNA species are the fragments of 28S and 18S rRNA subunits. This limits the number of reads from other RNAs. To increase the number of detectable transcripts and improve the accuracy of their expression level the protocols allowing depletion of fragmented rRNA should be utilized in the future RNA-seq analyses on exosomes. Present data revealed that exosomal transcripts are representative of their cells of origin and thus could form basis for detection of tumor specific markers.
PMCID: PMC3828613  PMID: 24255815
Exosomes; Microvesicles; Next generation sequencing; Breast cancer; Biomarkers
16.  Cytokine, activation marker, and chemokine receptor expression by individual CD4+ memory T cells in rheumatoid arthritis synovium 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(5):415-423.
IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, LT-α, CD154, and TNF-related activation-induced cytokine (TRANCE) were expressed by 2-20% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial tissue CD4+ memory T cells, whereas CD4+ cells that produced IL-2, IL-4, or IL-6 were not detected. Expression of none of these molecules by individual CD4+ cells correlated with the exception of TRANCE and IL-10, and TRANCE and TNF-α . A correlation between expression of IL-10 and CCR7, LT-α and CCR6, IFN-γ and CCR5, and TRANCE and CXCR4 was also detected.
In RA large numbers of CD4+ memory T cells infiltrate the inflamed synovium [1,2,3]. The accumulated CD4+ memory T cells in the RA synovium appear to be activated, because they express cytokines and activation markers [4,5,6,7,8]. Expressed cytokines and activation markers should play important roles in the pathogenesis of RA. However, the frequency of cytokine expression by RA synovial CD4+ T cells has not been analyzed accurately. Recently, the roles of chemokine and chemokine receptor interactions in T-cell migration have been intensively examined. Interactions of chemokine and chemokine receptors might therefore be important in the accumulation of the CD4+ T cells in the RA synovium. Accordingly, correlation of cytokine and chemokine receptor expression might be important in delineating the function and potential means of accumulation of individual CD4+ memory T cells in the RA synovium.
In the present study we analyzed cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ , TNF-α , and LT-α ), activation marker (CD154 [CD40 ligand] and TRANCE - also called receptor activator of nuclear factor κ B ligand [RANKL] or osteoclast differentiation factor [ODF]), and chemokine receptor expression by individual CD4+ memory T cells isolated from rheumatoid synovium and blood. To achieve this we employed a single-cell reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. This technique made it possible to correlate mRNAs expressed by individual CD4+ memory T cells in the synovium and blood.
Materials and method:
Synovial tissues from three RA patients and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from two RA patients and a normal donor were analyzed.
Cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and LT-α ) and activation marker (CD154 and TRANCE) expression by individual CD4+CD45RO+ T cells from RA synovium or blood were analyzed using a single-cell RT-PCR. In brief, single CD4+CD45RO+T cells was sorted into each well of a 96-well PCR plate using a flow cytometer. cDNA from individual cells was prepared, and then the cDNA was nonspecifically amplified. The product was then amplified by PCR using gene-specific primers to analyze cytokine and activation marker expression.
Cytokine and activation marker expression by individual CD4+CD45RO+T cells from RA synovial tissues was analyzed using a single-cell RT-PCR method. Expression of mRNAs was analyzed in 152 individual synovial tissue CD4+CD45RO+ T cells sorted from three RA patients in which T-cell receptor (TCR) Cβ mRNA was detected. Frequencies of CD4+ memory T cells expressing cytokine and activation marker mRNA in RA synovium are shown in Table 1. IL-2, IL-4, and IL-6 were not expressed by the synovial tissue CD4+CD45RO+ T cells, whereas 2-20% of cells expressed the other cytokine mRNAs.
Few correlations between cytokine and activation marker mRNAs were observed. Notably, no cells contained both IFN-γ and LT-α mRNAs, cytokines that are thought to define the T-helper (Th)1 phenotype [9]. However, the frequency of TRANCE-positive cells in IL-10-positive cells was significantly higher than that in IL-10-negative cells (Table 2). Moreover, the frequency of TRANCE-positive cells in TNF-α-positive cells was also significantly higher than that in TNF-α-negative cells.
Varying percentages of CD4+ memory T cells expressed CC and CXC chemokine receptors. The frequency of CCR5-positive cells in IFN-γ-positive cells was significantly higher than that in IFN-γ-negative cells, whereas the frequency of CCR6-positive cells in LT-α-positive cells was significantly higher than that in LT-α-negative cells, and the frequency of CCR7-positive cells in IL-10-positive cells was significantly higher than that in IL-10-negative cells. Furthermore, the frequency of CXCR4-positive cells in TRANCE-positive cells was significantly higher than that in TRANCE-negative cells.
Expression of cytokine and activation marker mRNAs was also analyzed in 48 individual peripheral blood CD4+CD45RO+ T cells from two RA patients. IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and LT-α were not expressed by the peripheral CD4+CD45RO+ T cells, whereas 4-17% of cells expressed the other markers. The most striking difference between synovial tissue and peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells was the presence of LT-α expression in the former, but not in the latter. IFN-γ and TNF-α were not expressed by normal peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells, although they were expressed by RA peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells.
The present study employed a single-cell PCR technology to analyze cytokine expression by unstimulated RA synovial tissue CD4+ memory T cells immediately after isolation, without in vitro manipulation. The results confirm the Th1 nature of rheumatoid inflammation. It is noteworthy that no individual synovial CD4+ memory T cells expressed both IFN-γ and LT-α mRNAs, even though these are the prototypic Th1 cytokines [9]. These results imply that, in the synovium, regulation of IFN-γ and LT-α must vary in individual cells, even though both Th1 cytokines can be produced.
The present data showed that CCR5 expression correlated with IFN-γ but not with LT-α expression by synovial CD4+ memory T cells. It has been reported that CCR5 expression is upregulated in RA synovial fluid and synovial tissue T cells [10,11,12] and that CCR5 Δ 32 deletion may have an influence on clinical manifestations of RA [13], suggesting that CCR5 might play an important role in RA. Recently, it has been claimed that CCR5 was preferentially expressed by Th1 cell lines [14,15]. However, in the present study CCR5 was not expressed by all IFN-γ-expressing cells. Moreover, CCR5 expression did not correlate with expression of LT-α by RA synovial CD4+ memory T cells. Therefore, it is unclear whether CCR5 is a marker of Th1 cells in RA synovium.
IL-10 expression correlated with CCR7 expression by RA synovial CD4+ memory T cells. Recently, it was reported [16] that in the blood CCR7+CD4+ memory T cells express lymph-node homing receptors and lack immediate effector function, but efficiently stimulate dendritic cells. These cells may play a unique role in the synovium as opposed to in the blood. By producing IL-10, they might have an immunoregulatory function. In addition, IL-10 expression also correlated with expression of TRANCE. Although it is possible that IL-10 produced by these cells inhibited T-cell activation in the synovium, TRANCE expressed by these same cells might function to activate dendritic cells and indirectly stimulate T cells, mediating inflammation in the synovium. These results imply that individual T cells in the synovium might have different, and sometimes opposite functional activities.
LT-α expression correlated with CCR6 expression by synovial CD4+ memory T cells. It has been reported that CCR6 is expressed by resting peripheral memory T cells [17], whereas LT-α expression is associated with the presence of lymphocytic aggregates in synovial tissue [7]. The correlation between the expression of these two markers therefore suggests the possibility that CCR6 may play a role in the development of aggregates of CD4+ T cells that are characteristically found in rheumatoid synovium.
TRANCE is known to be expressed by activated T cells, and can stimulate dendritic cells and osteoclasts [18]. Of note, TRANCE-mediated activation of osteoclasts has recently been shown [19] to play an important role in the damage to bone that is found in experimental models of inflammatory arthritis. It is therefore of interest that TRANCE was expressed by 3-16% of the RA synovial CD4+ memory T cells. Of note, 67% of TNF-α-positive cells expressed TRANCE. In concert, TNF-α and TRANCE expressed by this subset of CD4+ memory T cells might make them particularly important in mediating the bony erosions that are characteristic of RA.
Interestingly, there was a correlation between expression of IFN-γ and IL-10 in RA peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells. In RA peripheral blood, CD154 expression correlated with that of CXCR3 by CD4+ memory T cells. It has been claimed [15] that CXCR3 is preferentially expressed by in vitro generated Th1 cells. However, in the present study CXCR3 did not correlate with IFN-γ expression. Although IFN-γ and TNF-α mRNAs were expressed in vivo by peripheral blood CD4+ T cells from RA patients, LT-α mRNA was not detected, whereas IFN-γ , TNF-α , and LT-α were not detected in samples from healthy donors. These findings indicate that RA peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells are stimulated in vivo, although they do not express LT-α mRNA. The present studies indicate that the frequencies of CD4+ memory T cells that expressed IFN-γ in the blood and in the synovium are comparable. These results imply that activated CD4+ memory T cells migrate between blood and synovium, although the direction of the trafficking is unknown. The presence of LT-α mRNA in synovium, but not in blood, indicates that CD4+ memory cells are further activated in the synovium, and that these activated CD4+ memory T cells are retained in the synovium until LT-α mRNA decreases.
In conclusion, CD4+ memory T cells are biased toward Th1 cells in RA synovium and peripheral blood. In the synovium, IFN-γ and LT-α were produced by individual cells, whereas in the rheumatoid blood no LT-α-producing cells were detected. Furthermore, there were modest correlations between individual cells that expressed particular cytokines, such as IL-10, and certain chemokine receptor mRNAs.
PMCID: PMC17818  PMID: 11056676
chemokine receptor; cytokine; rheumatoid arthritis; T lymphocyte
17.  Regulation of differential processing of mouse immunoglobulin mu heavy-chain mRNA. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1987;15(11):4603-4615.
The switch between the synthesis of membrane-bound and secreted IgM during B cell differentiation is accomplished by producing, from a single gene, two alternative forms of mu heavy-chain mRNA that differ only in their 3' termini. The precursor mu RNA is either polyadenylated at the first poly(A) site, for secreted mu mRNA, or spliced between the C4 and M1 exons, for membrane-bound mu mRNA, in a mutually exclusive manner. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of the differential processing of mouse mu mRNA, we analyzed the expression of various mouse mu gene constructs stably transfected into mouse cell lines. In B cell lines, processing of the exogenously transfected mu gene transcripts accurately reflected the developmental stage of the recipient cells: both secreted and membrane-bound mu mRNAs are produced in early-stage B cells while secreted mu mRNA is primarily produced in late-stage B cells. In fibroblast cell lines, mu mRNAs transcribed from the Moloney murine sarcoma virus LTR promoter were processed primarily to the secreted form. Thus, production of the secreted form seems to be the non-regulated processing pattern. When the splicing signal of the C4-M1 intron was mutagenized, polyadenylation at the first poly(A) site occurred efficiently regardless of the recipient cell lines. On the other hand, when the polyadenylation signal was mutagenized, the splicing occurred efficiently in early-stage B cells, but only weakly in late-stage B cells and fibroblast cells. These results suggest that the splicing of the C4-M1 intron is stimulated in early-stage B cells.
PMCID: PMC340883  PMID: 3108856
18.  Development of 124I-Immuno-PET Targeting Tumor Vascular TEM1/Endosialin 
Tumor endothelial marker 1 (TEM1/endosialin) is a tumor vascular marker highly overexpressed in multiple human cancers with minimal expression in normal adult tissue. In this study, we report the preparation and evaluation of 124I-MORAb-004, a 124I-labeled humanized monoclonal antibody targeting an extracellular epitope of human TEM1 (hTEM1), for its ability to specifically and sensitively detect vascular cells expressing hTEM1 in vivo.
MAb MORAb-004 was directly iodinated with 125I and 124I, and in vitro binding and internalization parameters were characterized. The in vivo behavior of radioiodinated-MORAb-004 was characterized in mice bearing subcutaneous ID8 tumors enriched with mouse endothelial cells expressing hTEM1, or control tumors, by biodistribution studies and small animal immuno-PET studies.
MORAb-004 was radiolabeled with high efficiency and isolated in high purity. In vitro studies demonstrated specific and sensitive binding of MORAb-004 to MS1 mouse endothelial cells expressing hTEM1, with no binding to control MS1 cells. 125I-MORAb-004 and 124I MORAb-004 both had an immunoreactivity of approximately 90%. In vivo biodistribution experiments revealed rapid, highly specific and sensitive uptake of MORAb-004 in MS1-TEM1 tumors at 4 h (153.2 ± 22.2 percent of injected dose per gram [%ID/g]), 24 h (127.1 ± 42.9 %ID/g), 48 h (130.3 ± 32.4 %ID/g), 72 h (160.9 ± 32.1 %ID/g), and 6 d (10.7 ± 1.8 %ID/g). Excellent image contrast was observed with 124I-immuno-PET. MORAb-004 uptake was statistically higher in TEM1-positive tumors versus control tumors, as measured by biodistribution and immuno-PET studies. Binding specificity was confirmed by blocking studies using excess nonlabeled MORAb-004.
In our preclinical model, with hTEM1 exclusively expressed on engineered murine endothelial cells that integrate into the tumor vasculature, 124I-MORAb-004 displays high tumor–to–background tissue contrast fordetection of hTEM1 in easily accessible tumor vascular compartments. These studies strongly suggest the clinical utility of 124I-MORAb-004 immunoPET in assessing TEM1 tumor-status.
PMCID: PMC4089496  PMID: 24525208
Immuno-PET; TEM1; Endosialin; MORAb-004; mononclonal antibodies
19.  Overexpression of Metastatic Tumor Antigen in Osteosarcoma: Comparison between Conventional High-Grade and Central Low-Grade Osteosarcoma 
The metastatic tumor antigen (MTA) gene is a recently identified metastasis-associated gene which has implications in the signal transduction or regulation of gene expression. However, the expression of MTA in osteosarcoma and its potential relationship with metastasis have not been examined, forming the basis of this study.
Materials and Methods
We compared the expression levels of the MTA1 protein between 32 cases of high-grade osteosarcomas and 21 cases of low-grade osteosarcomas by immunohistochemistry. In addition, the mRNA expression levels of MTA1, 2, 3 in these osteosarcoma cell lines and control fibroblasts were evaluated by real-time quantitative PCR.
MTA1 immunoreactivity was present in 81.25% of high-grade osteosarcoma specimens. Its expression was predominantly localized to the nucleus or cytoplasm of osteosarcoma cells. Thirteen (86.6%) of 15 patients who died of osteosarcomas displayed strong MTA1 expression. Both primary bone and pulmonary metastatic lesions exhibited MTA1 expression. All low-grade osteosarcomas were negative for MTA1 except for focal weak reactivity in two cases. The tested high-grade osteosarcoma cell lines showed marked amplification of MTA1 and MTA2 mRNA compared to control cells.
These results suggest that MTA might be involved in the progression of high-grade osteosarcoma, particularly in hematogenous metastasis of osteosarcoma.
PMCID: PMC2785936  PMID: 19956373
Metastatic tumor antigen (MTA); Osteosarcoma
20.  Inhibition of Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) With Immunochemogene Treatment in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer 
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) causes resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. We used immunochemogene treatment composed of a stealth nanoparticle formulation, consisting of clamp PNA against mRNA of FOXC2, anti-CD44 chimeric MAb, and vinorelbine, in an attempt to eradicate metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) cells and inhibit metastasis by blocking EMT.
Tumor cells from patients with stage IV chemoresistant CRC characterized by upregulation of FOXC2, CD44, and bcl-2 were obtained surgically. We synthesized antisense clamp peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligomers (DNA analogs), in which the 6 mer homopyrimidine triplex [(PNA)2/RNA)] hybridized to the 5-end (Leader), and the 10 mer purine/pyrimidine duplex (PNA/RNA) hybridized to the 3-end (Trailer) of the AUG start codon region on the mRNA of FOXC2. The uncharged and hydrophilic antisense clamp PNA anti-FOXC2 was incorporated in the polar phase, and the vinorelbine molecules were entrapped in the acyl-chains of the lipid phase. This was surrounded by the stealth/biocompatibility polymer layer and biological recognition layer with linked chimeric MAbs against CD44 of the nanoparticle formulation. This was used to treat xenograft animal models developed from CRC cells obtained from the stage IV patients. Tumor cells were analyzed with microarray, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blot (WB), Southern blot (SB), immunoblotting (LC-MS/MS), immunofluorescence staining, immunohistochemistry (IHC), fluorescent activated cell sorter (FACS), confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), MTT, and flow cytometry.
Post-treatment, we observed downregulation of CD44 and Fra-2, and induction of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). The clamp PNA inhibited translation of FOXC2, resulting in activation of Jak2/Stat5a genes, which led to suppression of EMT of cancer cells. This blocked CRC metastatic invasion by reversing the mesenchymal phenotype; reconstituted homotypic adhesion; and promoted differentiation in CRC cells. Undifferentiated epithelial cells undergoing EMT exhibited overexpression of FOXC2, and this expression was lost when these cells returned to their initial differentiated epithelial state, blocking invasion and metastasis. Inhibition of EMT downregulated EGFR and inactivated NF-kB, inhibiting its downstream signaling pathway. Epithelial cell junction proteins claudin 4, claudin 7, and E-cadherin were overexpressed, upregulating beta-catenin; while mesenchymal markers vimentin and fibronectin were downregulated. Downregulation of Twist, Snail, and transcription 3 and 5 blocked the migratory potential of tumor cells, inhibiting metastasis. Calcium-independent cell-cell adhesion molecules EpCAM and TROP2 were upregulated. Vinorelbine blocked tumor cells at G2/M cell cycle, and phosphorylated bcl-2. This circumvented resistance to anoikis, inducing apoptosis in tumor cells due to lack of adhesion, inhibiting invasion and metastasis. In addition to the induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis or programmed cell death (PCD) type I in tumor cells, bcl-2 downregulation caused release of beclin-1 and upregulation of bcl-2–interacting mediator of cell death (BIM), inducing type II PCD or autophagy. TEM exhibited bystander killing effect of tumor cells by adjacent cells, and activated phagocytic cells such as macrophages. DNA synthesis and metabolic activity of tumor cells were inhibited according to BrdU and MTT tests, respectively.
This immunochemogene treatment induced epithelial differentiation by reversing the mesenchymal phenotype, promoted homotypic adhesion, inhibited the multigene signature indicative of EMT, blocking metastatic cell motility/invasiveness, and eradicated mCRC cells resistant to EGFR inhibitors by induction of PCD type-I and type-II, apoptosis and autophagy, leading to a bystander killing effect.
PMCID: PMC3056306
21.  HES1, a target of Notch signaling, is elevated in canine osteosarcoma, but reduced in the most aggressive tumors 
Hairy and enhancer of split 1 (HES1), a basic helix-loop-helix transcriptional repressor, is a downstream target of Notch signaling. Notch signaling and HES1 expression have been linked to growth and survival in a variety of human cancer types and have been associated with increased metastasis and invasiveness in human osteosarcoma cell lines. Osteosarcoma (OSA) is an aggressive cancer demonstrating both high metastatic rate and chemotherapeutic resistance. The current study examined expression of Notch signaling mediators in primary canine OSA tumors and canine and human osteosarcoma cell lines to assess their role in OSA development and progression.
Reverse transcriptase - quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was utilized to quantify HES1, HEY1, NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 gene expression in matched tumor and normal metaphyseal bone samples taken from dogs treated for appendicular OSA at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Gene expression was also assessed in tumors from dogs with a disease free interval (DFI) of <100 days compared to those with a DFI > 300 days following treatment with surgical amputation followed by standard chemotherapy. Immunohistochemistry was performed to confirm expression of HES1. Data from RT-qPCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) experiments were analyzed using REST2009 software and survival analysis based on IHC expression employed the Kaplan-Meier method and log rank analysis. Unbiased clustered images were generated from gene array analysis data for Notch/HES1 associated genes.
Gene array analysis of Notch/HES1 associated genes suggested alterations in the Notch signaling pathway may contribute to the development of canine OSA. HES1 mRNA expression was elevated in tumor samples relative to normal bone, but decreased in tumor samples from dogs with a DFI < 100 days relative to those with a DFI > 300 days. NOTCH2 and HEY1 mRNA expression was also elevated in tumors relative to normal bone, but was not differentially expressed between the DFI tumor groups. Survival analysis confirmed an association between decreased HES1 immunosignal and shorter DFI.
Our findings suggest that activation of Notch signaling occurs and may contribute to the development of canine OSA. However, association of low HES1 expression and shorter DFI suggests that mechanisms that do not alter HES1 expression may drive the most aggressive tumors.
PMCID: PMC3701487  PMID: 23816051
Hes-1; HES1; Notch; Osteosarcoma; RT-PCR; RT-qPCR; Immunohistochemistry; Canine; Microarray
22.  Osteoblasts are target cells for transformation in c-fos transgenic mice 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1993;122(3):685-701.
We have generated transgenic mice expressing the proto-oncogene c-fos from an H-2Kb class I MHC promoter as a tool to identify and isolate cell populations which are sensitive to altered levels of Fos protein. All homozygous H2-c-fosLTR mice develop osteosarcomas with a short latency period. This phenotype is specific for c-fos as transgenic mice expressing the fos- and jun-related genes, fosB and c-jun, from the same regulatory elements do not develop any pathology despite high expression in bone tissues. The c-fos transgene is not expressed during embryogenesis but is expressed after birth in bone tissues before the onset of tumor formation, specifically in putative preosteoblasts, bone- forming osteoblasts, osteocytes, as well as in osteoblastic cells present within the tumors. Primary and clonal cell lines established from c-fos-induced tumors expressed high levels of exogenous c-fos as well as the bone cell marker genes, type I collagen, alkaline phosphatase, and osteopontin/2ar. In contrast, osteocalcin/BGP expression was either low or absent. All cell lines were tumorigenic in vivo, some of which gave rise to osteosarcomas, expressing exogenous c- fos mRNA, and Fos protein in osteoblastic cells. Detailed analysis of one osteogenic cell line, P1, and several P1-derived clonal cell lines indicated that bone-forming osteoblastic cells were transformed by Fos. The regulation of osteocalcin/BGP and alkaline phosphatase gene expression by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 was abrogated in P1-derived clonal cells, whereas glucocorticoid responsiveness was unaltered. These results suggest that high levels of Fos perturb the normal growth control of osteoblastic cells and exert specific effects on the expression of the osteoblast phenotype.
PMCID: PMC2119671  PMID: 8335693
23.  Acute-phase serum amyloid A production by rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(2):142-144.
Acute-phase serum amyloid A (A-SAA) is a major component of the acute-phase response. A sustained acute-phase response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased joint damage. A-SAA mRNA expression was confirmed in all samples obtained from patients with RA, but not in normal synovium. A-SAA mRNA expression was also demonstrated in cultured RA synoviocytes. A-SAA protein was identified in the supernatants of primary synoviocyte cultures, and its expression colocalized with sites of macrophage accumulation and with some vascular endothelial cells. It is concluded that A-SAA is produced by inflamed RA synovial tissue. The known association between the acute-phase response and progressive joint damage may be the direct result of synovial A-SAA-induced effects on cartilage degradation.
Serum amyloid A (SAA) is the circulating precursor of amyloid A protein, the fibrillar component of amyloid deposits. In humans, four SAA genes have been described. Two genes (SAA1 and SAA2) encode A-SAA and are coordinately induced in response to inflammation. SAA1 and SAA2 are 95% homologous in both coding and noncoding regions. SAA3 is a pseudogene. SAA4 encodes constitutive SAA and is minimally inducible. A-SAA increases dramatically during acute inflammation and may reach levels that are 1000-fold greater than normal. A-SAA is mainly synthesized in the liver, but extrahepatic production has been demonstrated in many species, including humans. A-SAA mRNA is expressed in RA synoviocytes and in monocyte/macrophage cell lines such as THP-1 cells, in endothelial cells and in smooth muscle cells of atherosclerotic lesions. A-SAA has also been localized to a wide range of histologically normal tissues, including breast, stomach, intestine, pancreas, kidney, lung, tonsil, thyroid, pituitary, placenta, skin and brain.
To identify the cell types that produce A-SAA mRNA and protein, and their location in RA synovium.
Materials and methods:
Rheumatoid synovial tissue was obtained from eight patients undergoing arthroscopic biopsy and at joint replacement surgery. Total RNA was analyzed by reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for A-SAA mRNA. PCR products generated were confirmed by Southern blot analysis using human A-SAA cDNA. Localization of A-SAA production was examined by immunohistochemistry using a rabbit antihuman A-SAA polyclonal antibody. PrimaryRA synoviocytes were cultured to examine endogenous A-SAA mRNA expression and protein production.
A-SAA mRNA expression was detected using RT-PCR in all eight synovial tissue samples studied. Figure 1 demonstrates RT-PCR products generated using synovial tissue from three representative RA patients. Analysis of RA synovial tissue revealed differences in A-SAA mRNA levels between individual RA patients.
In order to identify the cells that expressed A-SAA mRNA in RA synovial tissue, we analyzed primary human synoviocytes (n = 2). RT-PCR analysis revealed A-SAA mRNA expression in primary RA synoviocytes (n = 2; Fig. 2). The endogenous A-SAA mRNA levels detected in individual primary RA synoviocytes varied between patients. These findings are consistent with A-SAA expression in RA synovial tissue (Fig. 1). Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) levels were relatively similar in the RA synoviocytes examined (Fig. 2). A-SAA protein in the supernatants of primary synoviocyte cultures from four RA patients was measured using ELISA. Mean values of a control and four RA samples were 77.85, 162.5, 249.8, 321.5 and 339.04 μg/l A-SAA, respectively, confirming the production of A-SAA protein by the primary RA synoviocytes. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to localize sites of A-SAA production in RA synovial tissue. Positive staining was present in both the lining and sublining layers of all eight RA tissues examined (Fig. 3a). Staining was intense and most prominent in the cells closest to the surface of the synovial lining layer. Positively stained cells were evident in the perivascular areas of the sublining layer. In serial sections stained with anti-CD68 monoclonal antibody, positive staining of macrophages appeared to colocalize with A-SAA-positive cells (Fig. 3b). Immunohistochemical studies of cultured primary RA synoviocytes confirmed specific cytoplasmic A-SAA expression in these cells. The specificity of the staining was confirmed by the absence of staining found on serial sections and synoviocyte cells treated with IgG (Fig. 3c).
This study demonstrates that A-SAA mRNA is expressed in several cell populations infiltrating RA synovial tissue. A-SAA mRNA expression was observed in all eight unseparated RA tissue samples studied. A-SAA mRNA expression and protein production was demonstrated in primary cultures of purified RA synoviocytes. Using immunohistochemical techniques, A-SAA protein appeared to colocalize with both lining layer and sublining layer synoviocytes, macrophages and some endothelial cells. The detection of A-SAA protein in culture media supernatants harvested from unstimulated synoviocytes confirms endogenous A-SAA production, and is consistent with A-SAA mRNA expression and translation by the same cells. Moreover, the demonstration of A-SAA protein in RA synovial tissue, RA cultured synoviocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells is consistent with previous studies that demonstrated A-SAA production by a variety of human cell populations.
The RA synovial lining layer is composed of activated macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes. The macrophage is the predominant cell type and it has been shown to accumulate preferentially in the surface of the lining layer and in the perivascular areas of the sublining layer. Nevertheless, our observations strongly suggest that A-SAA is produced not only by synoviocytes, but also by synovial tissue macrophage populations. Local A-SAA protein production by vascular endothelial cells was detected in some, but not all, of the tissues examined. The reason for the variability in vascular A-SAA staining is unknown, but may be due to differences in endothelial cell activation, events related to angiogenesis or the intensity of local inflammation.
The value of measuring serum A-SAA levels as a reliable surrogate marker of inflammation has been demonstrated for several diseases including RA, juvenile chronic arthritis, psoriatic arthropathy, ankylosing spondylitis, Behçet's disease, reactive arthritis and Crohn's disease. It has been suggested that serum A-SAA levels may represent the most sensitive measurement of the acute-phase reaction. In RA, A-SAA levels provide the strongest correlations with clinical measurements of disease activity, and changes in serum levels best reflect the clinical course.
A number of biologic activities have been described for A-SAA, including several that are relevant to the understanding of inflammatory and tissue-degrading mechanisms in human arthritis. A-SAA induces migration, adhesion and tissue infiltration of circulating monocytes and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. In addition, human A-SAA can induce interleukin-1β, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and soluble type II tumour necrosis factor receptor production by a monocyte cell line. Moreover, A-SAA can stimulate the production of cartilage-degrading proteases by both human and rabbit synoviocytes. The effects of A-SAA on protease production are interesting, because in RA a sustained acute-phase reaction has been strongly associated with progressive joint damage. The known association between the acute-phase response and progressive joint damage may be the direct result of synovial A-SAA-induced effects on cartilage degradation.
In contrast to noninflamed synovium, A-SAA mRNA expression was identified in all RA tissues examined. A-SAA appeared to be produced by synovial tissue synoviocytes, macrophages and endothelial cells. The observation of A-SAA mRNA expression in cultured RA synoviocytes and human RA synovial tissue confirms and extends recently published findings that demonstrated A-SAA mRNA expression in stimulated RA synoviocytes, but not in unstimulated RA synoviocytes.
PMCID: PMC17807  PMID: 11062604
acute-phase response; rheumatoid arthritis; serum amyloid A; synovial tissue
24.  The Cell Surface Structure of Tumor Endothelial Marker 8 (TEM8) is Regulated by the Actin Cytoskeleton 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2010;1813(1):39-49.
Tumor Endothelial Marker 8 (TEM8) is an integrin-like cell surface protein upregulated on tumor blood vessels and a potential vascular target for cancer therapy. Here, we found that the ability of an anti-TEM8 antibody, clone SB5, to recognize the extracellular domain of TEM8 on the cell surface depends on other host-cell factors. By taking advantage of SB5’s ability to distinguish different forms of cell-surface TEM8, we identified alpha-smooth muscle actin and transgelin, an actin binding protein, as intracellular factors able to alter TEM8 cell surface structure. Overexpression of either of these proteins in cells converted TEM8 from an SB5-exposed to an SB5-masked form and protected cells from SB5-saporin immunotoxins. Because the predominant form of TEM8 on the cell surface is not recognized by SB5, we also developed a new monoclonal antibody, called AF334, which is able to recognize both the SB5-exposed and the SB5-masked forms of TEM8. AF334-saporin selectively killed TEM8-positive cells independent of TEM8 cell surface structure. These studies reveal that TEM8 exists in different forms at the cell surface, a structure dependent on interactions with components of the actin cytoskeleton, and should aid in the rational design of the most effective diagnostic and therapeutic anti-TEM8 monoclonal antibodies.
PMCID: PMC3014418  PMID: 21129411
Angiogenesis; endothelial; actin cytoskeleton; TEM8; ANTXR1
25.  Identification of colorectal cancer metastasis markers by an angiogenesis-related cytokine-antibody array 
AIM: To investigate the angiogenesis-related protein expression profile characterizing metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with the aim of identifying prognostic markers.
METHODS: The expression of 44 angiogenesis-secreted factors was measured by a novel cytokine antibody array methodology. The study evaluated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (sVEGFR)-1 protein levels by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) in a panel of 16 CRC cell lines. mRNA VEGF and VEGF-A isoforms were quantified by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (Q-RT-PCR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 expression was analyzed by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: Metastasis-derived CRC cell lines expressed a distinctive molecular profile as compared with those isolated from a primary tumor site. Metastatic CRC cell lines were characterized by higher expression of angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), macrophage chemoattractant proteins-3/4 (MCP-3/4), matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), and the chemokines interferon γ inducible T cell α chemoattractant protein (I-TAC), monocyte chemoattractant protein I-309, and interleukins interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-1α, as compared to primary tumor cell lines. In contrast, primary CRC cell lines expressed higher levels of interferon γ (IFN-γ), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), IL-6, leptin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), placental growth factor (PlGF), thrombopoietin, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and VEGF-D, as compared with the metastatic cell lines. VEGF expression does not significantly differ according to the CRC cellular origin in normoxia. Severe hypoxia induced VEGF expression up-regulation but contrary to expectations, metastatic CRC cell lines did not respond as much as primary cell lines to the hypoxic stimulus. In CRC primary-derived cell lines, we observed a two-fold increase in VEGF expression between normoxia and hypoxia as compared to metastatic cell lines. CRC cell lines express a similar pattern of VEGF isoforms (VEGF121, VEGF165 and VEGF189) despite variability in VEGF expression, where the major transcript was VEGF121. No relevant expression of VEGFR-2 was found in CRC cell lines, as compared to that of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and sVEGFR-1 expression did not depend on the CRC cellular origin.
CONCLUSION: A distinct angiogenesis-related expression pattern characterizes metastatic CRC cell lines. Factors other than VEGF appear as prognostic markers and intervention targets in the metastatic CRC setting.
PMCID: PMC3281220  PMID: 22363134
Colorectal cancer metastasis; Cytokine-antibody array; Angiogenesis; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Biomarkers

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