Caveolin-1 (CAV1) may be upregulated by hypoxia and acts in a tumor-dependent manner. We investigated CAV1 in tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) and its association with clinical outcomes, and studied in vitro possible ways for CAV1 accumulation in the tumor microenvironment (TME).
TSCC cases (N = 64) were immunohistochemically stained for CAV1. Scores were separately assessed in the tumor and TME and plotted for association with recurrence and survival (univariate analysis with log-rank test). In vitro studies were performed on a 3D myoma organotypic model, a mimicker of TME. Prior to monoculturing HSC-3 tongue cancer cells, the model underwent modifications in oxygenation level (1%O2 hypoxia to upregulate CAV1) and/or in the amount of natural soluble factors [deleted by 14-day rinsing (rinsed myoma, RM), to allow only HSC-3-derived factors to act]. Controls included normoxia (21%O2) and naturally occurring soluble factors (intact myoma, IM). HSC-3 cells were also co-cultured with CaDEC12 cells (fibroblasts exposed to human tongue cancer). CAV1 expression and cellular distribution were examined in different cellular components in hypoxic and rinsed myoma assays. Twist served as a marker for the process of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Exosomes isolated from HSC-3 media were investigated for containing CAV1.
Expression of CAV1 in TSCC had a higher score in TME than in the tumor cells and a negative impact on recurrence (p = 0.01) and survival (p = 0.003). Monocultures of HSC-3 revealed expression of CAV1 mainly in the TME-like myoma assay, similar to TSCC. CAV1+, alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) + and Twist + CAF-like cells were observed surrounding the invading HSC-3, possibly reflecting EMT. RM findings were similar to IM, inferring action of HSC-3 derived factors, and no differences were seen when hypoxia was induced. HSC-3-CaDEC12 co-cultures revealed CAV1+, αSMA+ and cytokeratin-negative CAF-like cells, raising the possibility of CaDEC12 cells gaining a CAF phenotype. HSC-3-derived exosomes were loaded with CAV1.
Accumulation of CAV1-TME in TSCC had a negative prognostic value. In vitro studies showed the presence of CAV1 in cancer cells undergoing EMT and in fibroblasts undergoing trans-differentiation to CAFs. CAV1 delivery to the TME involved cancer cell-derived exosomes.
Tongue cancer; Caveolin-1; Survival; Myoma organotypic model; Tumor microenvironment; Cancer-associated fibroblasts; Exosomes; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1), a principal structural component of caveolar membrane domains, contributes to cancer development but its precise functional roles and regulation remain unclear. In this study, we determined the oncogenic function of Cav-1 in preclinical models of pancreatic cancer and in human tissue specimens. Cav-1 expression levels correlated with metastatic potential and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in both mouse and human pancreatic cancer cells. Elevated levels in cells promoted EMT, migration, invasion and metastasis in animal models, whereas RNAi-mediated knockdown inhibited these processes. We determined that levels of Cav-1 and the Forkhead transcription factor FoxM1 correlated directly in pancreatic cancer cells and tumor tissues. Enforced expression of FoxM1 increased Cav-1 levels, whereas RNAi-mediated knockdown of FoxM1 had the opposite effect. FoxM1 directly bound to the promoter region of Cav-1 gene and positively transactivated its activity. Collectively, our findings defined Cav-1 as an important downstream oncogenic target of FoxM1, suggesting that dysregulated signaling of this novel FoxM1-Cav-1 pathway promotes pancreatic cancer development and progression.
Progression; angiogenesis; transcription factor; EMT; biomarkers
Caveolin-1 (Cav1) is an integral membrane, scaffolding protein found in plasma membrane invaginations (caveolae). Cav1 regulates multiple cancer-associated processes. In breast cancer, a tumor suppressive role for Cav1 has been suggested; however, Cav1 is frequently overexpressed in aggressive breast cancer subtypes, suggesting an oncogenic function in advanced-stage disease. To further delineate Cav1 function in breast cancer progression, we evaluated its expression levels among a panel of cell lines representing a spectrum of breast cancer phenotypes. In basal-like (the most aggressive BC subtype) breast cancer cells, Cav1 was consistently upregulated, and positively correlated with increased cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and migration and invasion. To identify mechanisms of Cav1 gene regulation, we compared DNA methylation levels within promoter ‘CpG islands' (CGIs) with ‘CGI shores', recently described regions that flank CGIs with less CG-density. Integration of genome-wide DNA methylation profiles (‘methylomes') with Cav1 expression in 30 breast cancer cell lines showed that differential methylation of CGI shores, but not CGIs, significantly regulated Cav1 expression. In breast cancer cell lines having low Cav1 expression (despite promoter CGI hypomethylation), we found that treatment with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor induced Cav1 expression via CGI shore demethylation. In addition, further methylome assessments revealed that breast cancer aggressiveness associated with Cav1 CGI shore methylation levels, with shore hypermethylation in minimally aggressive, luminal breast cancer cells and shore hypomethylation in highly aggressive, basal-like cells. Cav1 CGI shore methylation was also observed in human breast tumors, and overall survival rates of breast cancer patients lacking estrogen receptor α (ERα) negatively correlated with Cav1 expression. Based on this first study of Cav1 (a potential oncogene) CGI shore methylation, we suggest this phenomenon may represent a new prognostic marker for ERα-negative, basal-like breast cancer.
Cav1; CpG island shore; DNA methylation; breast cancer
Caveolin-1 (Cav1) is a scaffold protein and pathogen receptor in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic infection of gastric epithelial cells by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a major risk factor for human gastric cancer (GC) where Cav1 is frequently down-regulated. However, the function of Cav1 in H. pylori infection and pathogenesis of GC remained unknown. We show here that Cav1-deficient mice, infected for 11 months with the CagA-delivery deficient H. pylori strain SS1, developed more severe gastritis and tissue damage, including loss of parietal cells and foveolar hyperplasia, and displayed lower colonisation of the gastric mucosa than wild-type B6129 littermates. Cav1-null mice showed enhanced infiltration of macrophages and B-cells and secretion of chemokines (RANTES) but had reduced levels of CD25+ regulatory T-cells. Cav1-deficient human GC cells (AGS), infected with the CagA-delivery proficient H. pylori strain G27, were more sensitive to CagA-related cytoskeletal stress morphologies (“humming bird”) compared to AGS cells stably transfected with Cav1 (AGS/Cav1). Infection of AGS/Cav1 cells triggered the recruitment of p120 RhoGTPase-activating protein/deleted in liver cancer-1 (p120RhoGAP/DLC1) to Cav1 and counteracted CagA-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements. In human GC cell lines (MKN45, N87) and mouse stomach tissue, H. pylori down-regulated endogenous expression of Cav1 independently of CagA. Mechanistically, H. pylori activated sterol-responsive element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1) to repress transcription of the human Cav1 gene from sterol-responsive elements (SREs) in the proximal Cav1 promoter. These data suggested a protective role of Cav1 against H. pylori-induced inflammation and tissue damage. We propose that H. pylori exploits down-regulation of Cav1 to subvert the host's immune response and to promote signalling of its virulence factors in host cells.
Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) mainly affects children in the developing countries who are at risk to progress to gastric cancer (GC) as adults after many years of persistent infection, especially with strains which are positive for the oncogenic virulence factor CagA. Eradication of H. pylori by antibiotics is a treatment of choice but may also alter the susceptibility to allergies and other tumor types. Thus, novel diagnostic or prognostic markers are needed which detect early molecular changes in the stomach mucosa during the transition of chronic inflammation to cancer. In our study, we found that the tumor suppressor caveolin-1 (Cav1) is reduced upon infection with H. pylori, and CagA was sufficient but not necessary for this down-regulation. Loss of Cav1 was caused by H. pylori-dependent activation of sterol-responsive element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1), and this event abolished the interaction of Cav1 with p120 RhoGTPase-activating protein/deleted in liver cancer-1 (p120RhoGAP/DLC1), a second bona fide tumor suppressor in gastric tissue. Conclusively, Cav1 and DLC1 may constitute novel molecular markers in the H. pylori-infected gastric mucosa before neoplastic transformation of the epithelium.
Basal phenotype breast cancers (BPBC) are often associated with apparent epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The role of progesterone (P4) in regulating EMT of BPBC has not been reported.
The EMT relevant biology was investigated in vitro using human BPBC cell models (MDA-MB468 and MDA-MB231) with P4, PR agonist (RU486), and PR antagonist (R5020) treatments. The essential role of membrane progesterone receptor α (mPRα) in the P4-regulated EMT was demonstrated by knocking down the endogenous gene and/or stably transfecting exogenous mPRα gene in the BPBC cell models.
The expression of snail and down-stream EMT proteins such as occludin, fibronectin, and E-cadherin was significantly regulated by P4 incubation, which was accompanied by cell morphological reversion from mesenchymal to epithelial phenotypes. In searching for the cell mediator of P4' action in the MDA-MB468 (MB468) cells, it was found that mPRα but not the nuclear PR has an essential role in the P4 mediated EMT inhibition. Knocking down the expression of mPRα with specific siRNA blocked the P4's effects on expression of the EMT proteins. In another BPBC cell line - MDA-MB231 (MB231), which is mPRα negative by Western blotting, P4 treatment did not alter cell proliferation and EMT protein expressions. Introduction of the exogenous mPRα cDNA into these cells caused cell proliferation, but not EMT, to become responsive to P4 treatment. In further studies, it was found that activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway is necessary for the P4-induced EMT reversion. To define the potential inter-mediate steps between mPRα and PI3K, we demonstrated that mPRα, caveolin-1 (Cav-1), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are colocalized in the membrane of caveolar vesicle and the P4-repressed EMT in MB468 cells can be blocked by EGFR inhibitor (AG1478) and PI3K inhibitor (wortmannin).
Our data suggest that the signaling cascade of P4 induced mesenchymal repression is mediated through mPRα and other caveolae bound signaling molecules namely Cav-1, EGFR, and PI3K. This novel finding may have great impact on fully understanding the pathogenesis of BPBC and provide an essential clue for developing a targeted therapeutic strategy for treatment of BPBC.
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), which is the most common form of glaucoma, has been associated with a heterogeneous genetic component. A genome-wide association study has identified a common sequence variant at 7q31 (rs4236601 [A]) near the caveolin genes in patients with POAG. Caveolins are a family of integral membrane proteins which participate in many cellular processes, including vesicular transport, cholesterol homeostasis, signal transduction, cell adhesion and migration. The goal of this study was to investigate the expression and regulation of caveolin 1 (CAV-1) and caveolin 2 (CAV-2) in normal and glaucoma trabecular meshwork (TM) cells.
CAV-1 and CAV-2 protein expression was quantified by immunoblot analysis using lysates isolated from primary and immortalized TM cells or TM tissue dissected from normal and POAG eyes. The localization of caveolins in TM cells was assessed by immunofluorescent microscopy. CAV-1 and CAV-2 protein expression was also investigated in TM cells at various time points after subjecting the cells to known glaucomatous insults like dexamethasone (DEX) and tumor growth factor beta2 (TGF-β2) treatment. Phosphorylation of CAV-1 at tyrosine 14 in normal and glaucoma TM cell lines was evaluated using a specific monoclonal antibody (Ab). The 5′ upstream region of the CAV-1 gene was amplified and the sequence variant rs4236601 (A/G polymorphic site) and several putative transcription factor-binding sites were modified by in vitro mutagenesis. The effect of nucleotide sequence modifications in the CAV-1 upstream region on gene expression was assayed in a luciferase-based system in TM and non-TM cells.
CAV-1 and CAV-2 are expressed in TM cells, with localization to the cytoplasm and perinuclear region. DEX increased CAV-1 expression in immortalized glaucoma TM cells by 2.8±0.1 (n=3) fold at 24 h and 2.5±0.1 (n=3) fold at 48 h, compared to 1.3±0.06 (n=3) fold at 24 and 48 h in immortalized normal TM cells. Phosphorylation of CAV-1 at Tyr14 was reduced by 3.2±0.15 (n=3) fold in glaucomatous TM cells when compared to normal TM cells. In POAG and normal TM tissue, CAV-1 expression was found to be uniform. CAV-2, on the other hand, was variable in independent normal and glaucoma TM tissue. Substitution of a G for an A at base pair −2,388 upstream of the start codon of CAV-1, corresponding to the minor allele rs4236601 [A], increased transcriptional activity in TM and non-TM cells when compared to the native sequence. Deletion analysis of putative transcription factor binding sites in the CAV-1 promoter region caused cell-specific effects on gene expression.
CAV-1 and CAV-2 are expressed in normal and glaucoma tissue and TM cell lines. Phosphorylation of Tyr14 in CAV-1 and transcriptional regulation of CAV-1 expression may have a role in glaucomatous alterations in TM cells.
The role of caveolin-1 (CAV1) in cancer is highly controversial. CAV1 suppresses genes that favor tumor development, yet also promotes focal adhesion turnover and migration of metastatic cells. How these contrasting observations relate to CAV1 function in vivo is unclear. Our previous studies implicate E-cadherin in CAV1-dependent tumor suppression. Here we use murine melanoma B16F10 cells, with low levels of endogenous CAV1 and E-cadherin, to unravel how CAV1 affects tumor growth and metastasis, and to assess how co-expression of E-cadherin modulates CAV1 function in vivo in C57BL/6 mice. We find that overexpression of CAV1 in B16F10(cav-1) cells reduces subcutaneous tumor formation, but enhances metastasis relative to control cells. Furthermore, E-cadherin expression in B16F10(E-cad) cells reduces subcutaneous tumor formation, and lung metastasis when intravenously injected. Importantly, co-expression of CAV1 and E-cadherin in B16F10(cav1/E-cad) cells abolishes tumor formation, lung metastasis, increased Rac-1 activity and cell migration observed with B16F10(cav-1) cells. Finally, consistent with the notion that CAV1 participates in switching human melanomas to a more malignant phenotype, elevated levels of CAV1 expression correlated with enhanced migration and Rac-1 activation in these cells.
E-cadherin; molecular switch; CAV1; tumour suppression; metastasis; melanoma model
Caveolin-1 (CAV1) has significant roles in many primary tumors and metastasis, despite the fact that malignant cells from different cancer types have different profiles of CAV1 expression. There is little information concerning CAV1 expression and role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progresion and metastasis. The role of CAV1 in HCC progression was explored in this study. We reported that CAV1 was overexpressed in highly invasive HCC cell lines compared with poorly invasive ones. The immunohistochemical staining was obviously stronger in metastatic HCC samples than in the non-metastatic specimens via tissue microarrays. Furthermore, CAV1 overexpression enhanced HCC cell invasiveness in vitro, and promoted tumorigenicity and lung metastasis in vivo. By contrast, CAV1 stable knockdown markedly reduced these malignant behaviors. Importantly, we found that CAV1 could induce EMT process through Wnt/β-catenin pathway to promote HCC metastasis. We also identify MMP-7 as a novel downstream target of CAV1. We have determined that CAV1 acts as a mediator between hyperactive ERK1/2 signaling and regulation of MMP-7 transcription. Together, these studies mechanistically show a previously unrecognized interplay between CAV1, EMT, ERK1/2 and MMP-7 that is likely significant in the progression of HCC toward metastasis.
Dedifferentiation and loss of hepatocyte polarity during primary culture of hepatocytes are major drawbacks for metabolic analyses. As a prominent profibrotic cytokine and potent inducer of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), TGF-β contributes to these processes in liver epithelial cells. Yet, a distinction between culture dependent and TGF-β driven hepatocyte dedifferentiation has not been shown to date.
Here, we show that in both settings, mesenchymal markers are induced. However, upregulation of Snai1 and downregulation of E-Cadherin are restricted to TGF-β effects, neglecting a full EMT of culture dependent hepatocyte dedifferentiation. Mechanistically, the latter is mediated via FAK/Src/ERK/AKT pathways leading to the induction of the oncogene caveolin-1 (Cav1). Cav1 was recently proposed as a new EMT marker, but our results demonstrate Cav1 is not up-regulated in TGF-β mediated hepatocyte EMT, thus limiting validity of its use for this purpose. Importantly, marking differences on Cav1 expression exist in HCC cell lines. Whereas well differentiated HCC cell lines exhibit low and inducible Cav1 protein levels - by TGF-β in a FAK/Src dependent manner, poorly differentiated cell lines display high Cav1 expression levels which are not further modulated by TGF-β.
This study draws a detailed distinction between intrinsic and TGF-β mediated hepatocyte dedifferentiation and elucidates cellular pathways involved. Additionally, by evaluating the regulation of the oncogene Cav1, we provide evidence to argue against Cav1 as a reliable EMT marker.
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) has been recently identified to be over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and promote HCC cell motility and invasion ability via inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the mechanism of aberrant overexpression of Cav-1 remains vague. Here, we observed that Cav-1 expression was positively associated with GLI1 expression in HCC tissues. Forced expression of GLI1 up-regulated Cav-1 in Huh7 cells, while knockdown of GLI1 decreased expression of Cav-1 in SNU449 cells. Additionally, silencing Cav-1 abolished GLI1-induced EMT of Huh7 cells. The correlation between GLI1 and Cav-1 was confirmed in tumor specimens from HCC patients and Cav-1 was found to be associated with poor prognosis after hepatic resection. The relationship between protein expression of GLI1 and Cav-1 was also established in HCC xenografts of nude mice. These results suggest that GLI1 may be attributed to Cav-1 up-regulation which plays an important role in GLI1-driven EMT phenotype in HCC.
Deguelin is known to suppress the growth of cancer cells; however, its anti-metastatic effects have not been studied so far in any cancer model. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the anti-metastatic potential of deguelin in vivo and in TGFβ1-stimulated cells. Our results demonstrate that tumor growth, peritoneal-dissemination and liver/lung metastasis of orthotopically implanted PanC-1-luc cells were significantly reduced in deguelin-treated mice along with the induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, deguelin-treated tumors showed increased epithelial signature such as increased expression of E-Cadherin and cytokeratin-18 and decreased expression of Snail. Similar observations were made when PanC-1, COLO-357 and L3.6pl cells were treated in vitro with deguelin. Moreover, E-cadherin was transcriptionally up-regulated and accumulated in the membrane fraction of deguelin-treated cells as indicated by increased interaction of E-Cadherin with β-catenin. TGFβ1-induced down-regulation of E-Cadherin and up-regulation of Snail were abrogated by deguelin treatment. In addition, deguelin inhibited TGFβ1-induced Smad3 phosphorylation and Smad4 nuclear translocation in PanC-1 cells. Furthermore, when TGFβ1-induced NFkB activation was inhibited, TGFβ1-induced Snail up-regulation or E-Cadherin down-regulation was blocked. Deguelin also significantly down regulated the constitutive phosphorylation and DNA binding of NFkB in a dose dependent manner. Interestingly, overexpression of either NFkB or Snail completely abrogated deguelin-mediated EMT inhibition, whereas overexpression of NFkB but not Snail rescued cells from deguelin-induced apoptosis. Hence, deguelin targets NFkB to induce reversal of EMT and apoptosis but downstream effectors might be different for both processes. Taken together, our results suggest that deguelin suppresses both pancreatic tumor growth and metastasis by inducing apoptosis and inhibiting epithelial to mesenchymal transition.
NFkB; TGF-β; RKIP; Snail; Metastasis; Apoptosis
Slug, a member of the Snail family of transcription factors, has a crucial role in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by suppressing several epithelial markers and adhesion molecules, including E-cadherin. A recent study demonstrated that no relationship exists between Slug and E-cadherin in pancreatic cancer. Another study showed that in malignant mesothelioma effusions Slug was associated with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression, but that there was no association with E-cadherin. F-ascin is an actin-bundling protein involved in filopodia assembly and cancer invasion and metastasis of multiple epithelial cancer types. In this study, we investigated Slug, E-cadherin, and MMP-9 expression using immunohistochemistry in 60 patients with pancreatic cancer and their correlation with carcinoma invasion and metastasis. Additionally, we observed the effects of Slug on invasion and metastasis in the pancreatic cancer cell line PANC-1. Alterations in Slug, MMP-9, and E-cadherin were determined by RT-PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Alterations in MMP-9 and F-actin cytoskeleton were determined by immunofluorescence staining, flow cytometry (FCM), or gelatin zymography. Slug, E-cadherin, and MMP-9 expression in pancreatic cancer was significantly associated with lymph node metastases and we found a significant correlation between Slug and MMP-9 expression; however, no significant correlation was observed between Slug and E-cadherin expression. Slug transfection significantly increased invasion and metastasis in PANC-1 cells and orthotopic tumor of mouse in vivo, and significantly upregulated and activated MMP-9; however, there was no effect on E-cadherin expression. Slug promoted the formation of lamelliopodia or filopodia in PANC-1 cells. The intracellular F-actin and MMP-9 was increased and relocated to the front of the extending pseudopodia from the perinuclear pool in Slug-transfected PANC-1 cells. These results suggest that Slug promotes migration and invasion of PANC-1 cells, which may correlate with the reorganization of MMP-9 and remodeling of the F-actin cytoskeleton, but not with E-cadherin expression.
E-cadherin; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; F-actin cytoskeleton; matrix metalloproteinase; metastasis; pancreatic carcinoma; Slug
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a form of renal replacement therapy whose repeated use can alter dialytic function through induction of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and fibrosis, eventually leading to PD discontinuation. The peritoneum from Cav1−/− mice showed increased EMT, thickness, and fibrosis. Exposure of Cav1−/− mice to PD fluids further increased peritoneal membrane thickness, altered permeability, and increased the number of FSP-1/cytokeratin-positive cells invading the sub-mesothelial stroma. High-throughput quantitative proteomics revealed increased abundance of collagens, FN, and laminin, as well as proteins related to TGF-β activity in matrices derived from Cav1−/− cells. Lack of Cav1 was associated with hyperactivation of a MEK-ERK1/2-Snail-1 pathway that regulated the Smad2-3/Smad1-5-8 balance. Pharmacological blockade of MEK rescued E-cadherin and ZO-1 inter-cellular junction localization, reduced fibrosis, and restored peritoneal function in Cav1−/− mice. Moreover, treatment of human PD-patient-derived MCs with drugs increasing Cav1 levels, as well as ectopic Cav1 expression, induced re-acquisition of epithelial features. This study demonstrates a pivotal role of Cav1 in the balance of epithelial versus mesenchymal state and suggests targets for the prevention of fibrosis during PD.
caveolin-1; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; fibrosis; MEK-ERK1/2 pathway; peritoneal dialysis
Caveolin-1 (CAV1) is the main structural component of Caveolae which are plasma membrane invaginations that participate in vesicular trafficking and signal transduction events. Although evidence has recently accumulated describing the function of CAV1 in several cancer types, its role in melanoma tumor formation and progression remains poorly explored. Here, by employing B16F10 melanoma cells as an experimental system, we directly explore the function of CAV1 in melanoma tumor growth and metastasis. We first show that CAV1 expression promotes proliferation, while it suppresses migration and invasion of B16F10 cells in vitro. When orthotopically implanted in the skin of mice, B16F10 cells expressing CAV1 form tumors that are similar in size to their control counterparts. An experimental metastasis assay demonstrates that CAV1 expression suppresses the ability of B16F10 cells to form lung metastases in C57Bl/6 syngeneic mice. Additionally, CAV1 protein and mRNA levels are found to be significantly reduced in human metastatic melanoma cell lines and human tissue from metastatic lesions. Finally, we demonstrate that following integrin activation, B16F10 cells expressing CAV1 display reduced expression levels and activity of FAK and Src proteins. Furthermore, CAV1 expression markedly reduces the expression of integrin β3 in B16F10 melanoma cells. In summary, our findings provide experimental evidence that CAV1 may function as an antimetastatic gene in malignant melanoma.
In the current study we investigated the role of caveolin-1 (cav-1) in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PC) cell migration and invasion; initial steps in metastasis. Cav-1 is the major structural protein in caveolae; small Ω-shaped invaginations within the plasma membrane. Caveolae are involved in signal transduction, wherein cav-1 acts as a scaffolding protein to organize multiple molecular complexes regulating a variety of cellular events. Recent evidence suggests a role for cav-1 in promoting cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis; however, the molecular mechanisms have not been described. The small monomeric GTPases are among several molecules which associate with cav-1. Classically, the Rho GTPases control actin cytoskeletal reorganization during cell migration and invasion. RhoC GTPase is overexpressed in aggressive cancers that metastasize and is the predominant GTPase in PC. Like several GTPases, RhoC contains a putative cav-1 binding motif.
Analysis of 10 PC cell lines revealed high levels of cav-1 expression in lines derived from primary tumors and low expression in those derived from metastases. Comparison of the BxPC-3 (derived from a primary tumor) and HPAF-II (derived from a metastasis) demonstrates a reciprocal relationship between cav-1 expression and p42/p44 Erk activation with PC cell migration, invasion, RhoC GTPase and p38 MAPK activation. Furthermore, inhibition of RhoC or p38 activity in HPAF-II cells leads to partial restoration of cav-1 expression.
Cav-1 expression inhibits RhoC GTPase activation and subsequent activation of the p38 MAPK pathway in primary PC cells thus restricting migration and invasion. In contrast, loss of cav-1 expression leads to RhoC-mediated migration and invasion in metastatic PC cells.
Pancreatic cancer; RhoC GTPase; caveolin-1; cell migration; metastasis; MAPK
Much evidence highlights the importance of polyamines for VSMC (vascular smooth muscle cell) proliferation and migration. Cav-1 (caveolin-1) was recently reported to regulate polyamine uptake in intestinal epithelial cells. The aim of the present study was to assess the importance of Cav-1 for VSMC polyamine uptake and its impact on cell proliferation and migration. Cav-1 KO (knockout) mouse aortic cells showed increased polyamine uptake and elevated proliferation and migration compared with WT (wild-type) cells. Both Cav-1 KO and WT cells expressed the smooth muscle differentiation markers SM22 and calponin. Cell-cycle phase distribution analysis revealed a higher proportion of Cav-1 KO than WT cells in the S phase. Cav-1 KO cells were hyper-proliferative in the presence but not in the absence of extracellular polyamines, and, moreover, supplementation with exogenous polyamines promoted proliferation in Cav-1 KO but not in WT cells. Expression of the solute carrier transporters Slc7a1 and Slc43a1 was higher in Cav-1 KO than in WT cells. ODC (ornithine decarboxylase) protein and mRNA expression as well as ODC activity were similar in Cav-1 KO and WT cells showing unaltered synthesis of polyamines in Cav-1 KO cells. Cav-1 was reduced in migrating cells in vitro and in carotid lesions in vivo. Our data show that Cav-1 negatively regulates VSMC polyamine uptake and that the proliferative advantage of Cav-1 KO cells is critically dependent on polyamine uptake. We provide proof-of-principle for targeting Cav-1-regulated polyamine uptake as a strategy to fight unwanted VSMC proliferation as observed in restenosis.
We demonstrate that caveolin-1 negatively regulates vascular smooth muscle cell polyamine uptake and show that caveolin-1-regulated polyamine uptake is critical for proliferative advantage of caveolin-1 deficient cells, providing proof-of-principle for targeting this mechanism as a strategy to fight unwanted proliferation.
caveolin-1; cell cycle; ornithine decarboxylase; polyamine transporter; polyamine; vascular smooth muscle cell; ASMC, aortic smooth muscle cell; Cav-1, caveolin-1; CEA, carotid endarterectomy; DFMO, difluoromethylornithine; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; HBSS, Hanks balanced salt solution; [3H]Put, [3H]putrescine; HRP, horseradish peroxidise; [3H]Spd, [3H]spermidine; HSP90, heat-shock protein 90; KO, knockout; ODC, ornithine decarboxylase; PI, propidium iodide; qRT-PCR, quantitative real-time PCR; VSMC, vascular smooth muscle cell; WT, wild-type
High levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which is produced by stromal, endothelial and cancer cells and has multiple complex effects on cancers, correlate with poor cancer prognosis. To more definitively study the role of endogenously produced PAI-1 in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) PANC-1 cell line biology, we used anti-PAI-1 shRNA to create stable PAI-1 deficient cells (PD-PANC-1s). PD-PANC-1s exhibited a heterogeneous morphology. While the majority of cells exhibited a cuboidal shape similar to the parental PANC-1 or the vector-infected control cells, numerous large cells with long filopodia and a neuronal-like appearance were observed. Although both Vector-control cells and PD-PANC-1s expressed mRNAs that are characteristic of mesenchymal, neural and epithelial phenotypes, epithelial marker RNAs were up-regulated (e.g. E-cadherin, 32-fold) whereas mesenchymal marker RNAs were down-regulated (e.g. Thy1, 9-fold) in PD-PANC-1s, suggesting mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. Neural markers exhibited both up- and down-regulation. Immunocytochemistry indicated that epithelial-like PD-PANC-1s expressed E-cadherin and β-catenin in significantly more cells, while neural-like cells exhibited robust expression of organized β-3-tubulin. PAI-1 and E-cadherin were rarely co-expressed in the same cells. Indeed, examination of PAI-1 and E-cadherin mRNAs expression in additional cell lines yielded clear inverse correlation. Indeed, infection of Colo357 PAC cells (that exhibit high expression of E-cadherin) with PAI-1-expressing adenovirus led to a marked decrease in E-cadherin expression and to enhanced migration of cells from clusters. Our results suggest that endogenous PAI-1 suppresses expression of E-cadherin and differentiation in PAC cells in vitro, supporting its negative impact on tumor prognosis.
Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1; E-cadherin; Differentiation; Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Snail, a potent repressor of E-cadherin expression, plays a key role in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in epithelial cancer. Recently, EMT and stemness programs are found linked together. In the current study, the expression of Snail and its contribution to cancer stem cell (CSC) marker expression, invasiveness, self-renewal, clonogenicity, and tumorigenicity of pancreatic cancer cells were studied. Our results showed that Snail was highly expressed in CSChigh cell line Panc-1. Stable, short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated Snail knockdown decreased invasion in Panc-1 cells, in line with increased E-cadherin expression and its translocation from the nucleus to the membrane. Snail silencing in Panc-1 also inhibited CSC marker ALDH expression, together with decreased sphere and colony forming capacity, which was highly consistent with the expression of stem cell associated transcription factors like Sox2 and Oct4. In mouse xenograft models, knockdown of Snail led to a reduced number of tumor-bearing mice and a reduced average size of tumors, which had a stronger membrane staining of E-cadherin and lighter staining of Oct4. Collectively, these findings implicate Snail is required for the maintenance of stem cell-like phenotype in pancreatic cancer, and inhibition of Snail could be an efficient strategy to treat pancreatic cancer by targeting CSCs.
Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a major structural protein of caveolae, specialized plasma membrane invaginations that are involved in a cell-specific fashion in diverse cell activities such as molecular transport, cell adhesion, and signal transduction. In normal adult mammals, Cav-1 expression is abundant in mesenchyme-derived cells but relatively low in epithelial parenchyma. However, epithelial Cav-1 overexpression is associated with development and/or progression of many carcinomas. In this study, we generated and characterized a transgenic mouse model of Cav-1 overexpression under the control of a mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) long terminal repeat promoter, which is predominantly expressed in specific epithelial cells. The MMTVcav-1+ transgenic mice were fertile, and females bore litters of normal-size with no obvious developmental abnormalities. However, by age 11 months, the MMTVcav-1+ mice demonstrated overtly different phenotypes in multiple exocrine organs when compared with their nontransgenic MMTVcav-1− littermates. Cav-1 overexpression in MMTVcav-1+ mice produced organ-specific abnormalities, including hypotrophy of mammary glandular epithelia, bronchiolar epithelial hyperplasia and atypia, mucous-cell hyperplasia in salivary glands, elongated hair follicles and dermal thickening in the skin, and reduced accumulation of enzymogen granules in pancreatic acinar cells. In addition, the MMTVcav-1+ transgenic mice tended to have a greater incidence of malignant tumors, including lung and liver carcinomas and lymphoma, than their MMTVcav-1− littermates. Our results indicate that Cav-1 overexpression causes organ-specific, age-related epithelial disorders and suggest the potential for increased susceptibility to carcinogenesis.
MMTV-promoter; Cav-1 overexpression; parenchymal epithelia; exocrine organs
We have recently proposed a new model for understanding tumor metabolism, termed: “The Autophagic Tumor Stroma Model of Cancer Metabolism”. In this new paradigm, catabolism (autophagy) in the tumor stroma fuels the anabolic growth of aggressive cancer cells. Mechanistically, tumor cells induce autophagy in adjacent cancer-associated fibroblasts via the loss of caveolin-1 (Cav-1), which is sufficient to promote oxidative stress in stromal fibroblasts. To further test this hypothesis, here we created human Cav-1 deficient immortalized fibroblasts using a targeted sh-RNA knock-down approach. Relative to control fibroblasts, Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts dramatically promoted tumor growth in xenograft assays employing an aggressive human breast cancer cell line, namely MDA-MB-231 cells. Co-injection of Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts, with MDA-MB-231 cells, increased both tumor mass and tumor volume by ∼4-fold. Immuno-staining with CD31 indicated that this paracrine tumor promoting effect was clearly independent of angiogenesis. Mechanistically, proteomic analysis of these human Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts identified >40 protein biomarkers that were upregulated, most of which were associated with (i) myofibroblast differentiation or (ii) oxidative stress/hypoxia. In direct support of these findings, the tumor promoting effects of Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts could be functionally suppressed (nearly 2-fold) by the recombinant overexpression of SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2), a known mitochondrial enzyme that de-activates superoxide, thereby reducing mitochondrial oxidative stress. In contrast, cytoplasmic soluble SOD1 had no effect, further highlighting a specific role for mitochondrial oxidative stress in this process. In summary, here we provide new evidence directly supporting a key role for a loss of stromal Cav-1 expression and oxidative stress in cancerassociated fibroblasts, in promoting tumor growth, which is consistent with “The Autophagic Tumor Stroma Model of Cancer”. The human Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts that we have generated are a new genetically tractable model system for identifying other suppressors of the cancer-associated fibroblast phenotype, via a genetic “complementation” approach. This has important implications for understanding the pathogenesis of triple negative and basal breasts cancers, as well as tamoxifen-resistance in ER-positive breast cancers, which are all associated with a Cav-1 deficient “lethal” tumor microenvironment, driving poor clinical outcome.
oxidative stress; caveolin-1; cancer associated fibroblast; triple negative breast cancer; angiogenesis; mitochondria; tumor stroma; superoxide disumutase (SOD2); collagen 6 (COL6A1, COL6A2); myofibroblast differentiation
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a crucial role in cancer metastasis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of heat treatment on tumor growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT in pancreatic cancer cells and tried to ascertain the mechanism related to any observed effects. Human pancreatic cancer cell lines (BxPC-3, PANC-1 and MIAPaCa-2) were stimulated by TGF-β1, and evaluated for morphological changes using immunofluorescence and EMT-related factors (i.e., E-cadherin, Vimentin, Snail or ZEB-1) using RT-PCR. To examine the effect of heat on EMT, the cancer cells were heat-treated at 43°C for 1 h then stimulated with TGF-β1. We then evaluated whether or not heat treatment changed the expression of EMT-related factors and cell migration and also whether Smad activation was inhibited in TGF-β signaling. After being treated with TGF-β1, pancreatic cancer cells resulted in EMT and cell migration was enhanced. Heat treatment inhibited TGF-β1-induced changes in morphology, inhibited the expression of EMT-related factors, and attenuated TGF-β1-induced migration in pancreatic cancer cells. Additionally, we observed that heat treatment blocked TGF-β1-induced phosphorylation of Smad2 in PANC-1 cells. Our results suggest that heat treatment can suppress TGF-β1-induced EMT and opens the possibility of a new therapeutic use of hyperthermia as a potential treatment for cancer metastasis.
pancreatic cancer; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; heat treatment; hyperthermia; TGF-β1
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.
Caveolins are markers of caveolae, invaginations in the plasma membrane, and there are three members of the family in vertebrates. Caveolins participate in many important cellular processes, including vesicular transport, cholesterol homeostasis, signal transduction, and tumor suppression.
The caveolin gene family has three members in vertebrates: caveolin-1, caveolin-2, and caveolin-3. So far, most caveolin-related research has been conducted in mammals, but the proteins have also been found in other animals, including Xenopus laevis, Fugu rubripes, and Caenorhabditis elegans. Caveolins can serve as protein markers of caveolae ('little caves'), invaginations in the plasma membrane 50-100 nanometers in diameter. Caveolins are found predominantly at the plasma membrane but also in the Golgi, the endoplasmic reticulum, in vesicles, and at cytosolic locations. They are expressed ubiquitously in mammals, but their expression levels vary considerably between tissues. The highest levels of caveolin-1 (also called caveolin, Cav-1 and VIP2I) are found in terminally-differentiated cell types, such as adipocytes, endothelia, smooth muscle cells, and type I pneumocytes. Caveolin-2 (Cav-2) is colocalized and coexpressed with Cav-1 and requires Cav-1 for proper membrane targeting; the Cav-2 gene also maps to the same chromosomal region as Cav-1 (7q31.1 in humans). Caveolin-3 (Cav-3) has greater protein-sequence similarity to Cav-1 than to Cav-2, but it is expressed mainly in muscle cells, including smooth, skeletal, and cardiac myocytes. Caveolins participate in many important cellular processes, including vesicular transport, cholesterol homeostasis, signal transduction, and tumor suppression.
Pancreatic cancer is the most aggressive cancer worldwide with poor response to current therapeutics. Alisertib (ALS), a potent and selective Aurora kinase A inhibitor, exhibits potent anticancer effects in preclinical and clinical studies; however, the effect and underlying mechanism of ALS in the pancreatic cancer treatment remain elusive. This study aimed to examine the effects of ALS on cell growth, autophagy, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and to delineate the possible molecular mechanisms in human pancreatic cancer PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. The results showed that ALS exerted potent cell growth inhibitory, pro-autophagic, and EMT-suppressing effects in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells. ALS remarkably arrested PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells in G2/M phase via regulating the expression of cyclin-dependent kinases 1 and 2, cyclin B1, cyclin D1, p21 Waf1/Cip1, p27 Kip1, and p53. ALS concentration-dependently induced autophagy in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, which may be attributed to the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (Erk1/2) but activation of 5′-AMP-dependent kinase signaling pathways. ALS significantly inhibited EMT in PANC-1 and BxPC-3 cells with an increase in the expression of E-cadherin and a decrease in N-cadherin. In addition, ALS suppressed the expression of sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and pre-B cell colony-enhancing factor/visfatin in both cell lines with a rise in the level of acetylated p53. These findings show that ALS induces cell cycle arrest and promotes autophagic cell death but inhibits EMT in pancreatic cancer cells with the involvement of PI3K/Akt/mTOR, p38 MAPK, Erk1/2, and Sirt1-mediated signaling pathways. Taken together, ALS may represent a promising anticancer drug for pancreatic cancer treatment. More studies are warranted to investigate other molecular targets and mechanisms and verify the efficacy and safety of ALS in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
alisertib; pancreatic cancer; cell cycle; autophagy; EMT; Sirt1
Response gene to complement-32 (RGC-32) is comprehensively expressed in many kinds of tissues and has been reported to be expressed abnormally in different kinds of human tumors. However, the role of RGC-32 in cancer remains controversial and no reports have described the effect of RGC-32 in pancreatic cancer. The present study investigated the expression of RGC-32 in pancreatic cancer tissues and explored the role of RGC-32 in transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human pancreatic cancer cell line BxPC-3.
Immunohistochemical staining of RGC-32 and E-cadherin was performed on specimens from 42 patients with pancreatic cancer, 12 with chronic pancreatitis and 8 with normal pancreas. To evaluate the role of RGC-32 in TGF-β-induced EMT in pancreatic cancer cells, BxPC-3 cells were treated with TGF-β1, and RGC-32 siRNA silencing and gene overexpression were performed as well. The mRNA expression and protein expression of RGC-32 and EMT markers such E-cadherin and vimentin were determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blot respectively. Finally, migration ability of BxPC-3 cells treated with TGF-β and RGC-32 siRNA transfection was examined by transwell cell migration assay.
We found stronger expression of RGC-32 and higher abnormal expression rate of E-cadherin in pancreatic cancer tissues than those in chronic pancreatitis tissues and normal pancreatic tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that both RGC-32 positive expression and E-cadherin abnormal expression in pancreatic cancer were correlated with lymph node metastasis and TNM staging. In addition, a significant and positive correlation was found between positive expression of RGC-32 and abnormal expression of E-cadherin. Furthermore, in vitro, we found sustained TGF-β stimuli induced EMT and up-regulated RGC-32 expression in BxPC-3 cells. By means of siRNA silencing and gene overexpression, we further demonstrated that RGC-32 mediated TGF-β-induced EMT and migration in BxPC-3 cells.
The results above indicated that RGC-32 might be a novel metastasis promoting gene in pancreatic cancer and it enhances metastatic phenotype by mediating TGF-β-induced EMT in human pancreatic cancer cell line BxPC-3.
Response gene to complement-32; Pancreatic cancer; Transforming growth factor -β; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Migration