Lung cancer is the worldwide leading cause of death from cancer. Tobacco usage is the major pathogenic factor, but all lung cancers are not attributable to smoking. Specifically, lung cancer in never-smokers has been suggested to represent a distinct disease entity compared to lung cancer arising in smokers due to differences in etiology, natural history and response to specific treatment regimes. However, the genetic aberrations that differ between smokers and never-smokers’ lung carcinomas remain to a large extent unclear.
Unsupervised gene expression analysis of 39 primary lung adenocarcinomas was performed using Illumina HT-12 microarrays. Results from unsupervised analysis were validated in six external adenocarcinoma data sets (n=687), and six data sets comprising normal airway epithelial or normal lung tissue specimens (n=467). Supervised gene expression analysis between smokers and never-smokers were performed in seven adenocarcinoma data sets, and results validated in the six normal data sets.
Initial unsupervised analysis of 39 adenocarcinomas identified two subgroups of which one harbored all never-smokers. A generated gene expression signature could subsequently identify never-smokers with 79-100% sensitivity in external adenocarcinoma data sets and with 76-88% sensitivity in the normal materials. A notable fraction of current/former smokers were grouped with never-smokers. Intriguingly, supervised analysis of never-smokers versus smokers in seven adenocarcinoma data sets generated similar results. Overlap in classification between the two approaches was high, indicating that both approaches identify a common set of samples from current/former smokers as potential never-smokers. The gene signature from unsupervised analysis included several genes implicated in lung tumorigenesis, immune-response associated pathways, genes previously associated with smoking, as well as marker genes for alveolar type II pneumocytes, while the best classifier from supervised analysis comprised genes strongly associated with proliferation, but also genes previously associated with smoking.
Based on gene expression profiling, we demonstrate that never-smokers can be identified with high sensitivity in both tumor material and normal airway epithelial specimens. Our results indicate that tumors arising in never-smokers, together with a subset of tumors from smokers, represent a distinct entity of lung adenocarcinomas. Taken together, these analyses provide further insight into the transcriptional patterns occurring in lung adenocarcinoma stratified by smoking history.
Lung cancer; Smoking; Gene expression analysis; Adenocarcinoma; EGFR; Never-smokers; Immune response
Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and a significant cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Prior studies have demonstrated that smoking creates a field of molecular injury throughout the airway epithelium exposed to cigarette smoke. We have previously characterized gene expression in the bronchial epithelium of never smokers and identified the gene expression changes that occur in the mainstem bronchus in response to smoking. In this study, we explored relationships in whole-genome gene expression between extrathorcic (buccal and nasal) and intrathoracic (bronchial) epithelium in healthy current and never smokers.
Using genes that have been previously defined as being expressed in the bronchial airway of never smokers (the "normal airway transcriptome"), we found that bronchial and nasal epithelium from non-smokers were most similar in gene expression when compared to other epithelial and nonepithelial tissues, with several antioxidant, detoxification, and structural genes being highly expressed in both the bronchus and nose. Principle component analysis of previously defined smoking-induced genes from the bronchus suggested that smoking had a similar effect on gene expression in nasal epithelium. Gene set enrichment analysis demonstrated that this set of genes was also highly enriched among the genes most altered by smoking in both nasal and buccal epithelial samples. The expression of several detoxification genes was commonly altered by smoking in all three respiratory epithelial tissues, suggesting a common airway-wide response to tobacco exposure.
Our findings support a relationship between gene expression in extra- and intrathoracic airway epithelial cells and extend the concept of a smoking-induced field of injury to epithelial cells that line the mouth and nose. This relationship could potentially be utilized to develop a non-invasive biomarker for tobacco exposure as well as a non-invasive screening or diagnostic tool providing information about individual susceptibility to smoking-induced lung diseases.
Prior microarray studies of smokers at high risk for lung cancer have demonstrated that heterogeneity in bronchial airway epithelial cell gene expression response to smoking can serve as an early diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer. As a first step in applying functional genomic analysis to population studies, we have examined the relationship between gene expression variation and genetic variation in a central molecular pathway (NRF2-mediated antioxidant response) associated with smoking exposure and lung cancer. We assessed global gene expression in histologically normal airway epithelial cells obtained at bronchoscopy from smokers who developed lung cancer (SC, n = 20), smokers without lung cancer (SNC, n = 24), and never smokers (NS, n = 8). Functional enrichment analysis showed that the NRF2-mediated, antioxidant response element (ARE)-regulated genes, were significantly lower in SC, when compared with expression levels in SNC. Importantly, we found that the expression of MAFG (a binding partner of NRF2) was correlated with the expression of ARE genes, suggesting MAFG levels may limit target gene induction. Bioinformatically we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in putative ARE genes and to test the impact of genetic variation, we genotyped these putative regulatory SNPs and other tag SNPs in selected NRF2 pathway genes. Sequencing MAFG locus, we identified 30 novel SNPs and two were associated with either gene expression or lung cancer status among smokers. This work demonstrates an analysis approach that integrates bioinformatics pathway and transcription factor binding site analysis with genotype, gene expression and disease status to identify SNPs that may be associated with individual differences in gene expression and/or cancer status in smokers. These polymorphisms might ultimately contribute to lung cancer risk via their effect on the airway gene expression response to tobacco-smoke exposure.
Tobacco smoking is responsible for over 90% of lung cancer cases, and yet the precise molecular alterations induced by smoking in lung that develop into cancer and impact survival have remained obscure.
We performed gene expression analysis using HG-U133A Affymetrix chips on 135 fresh frozen tissue samples of adenocarcinoma and paired noninvolved lung tissue from current, former and never smokers, with biochemically validated smoking information. ANOVA analysis adjusted for potential confounders, multiple testing procedure, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis, and GO-functional classification were conducted for gene selection. Results were confirmed in independent adenocarcinoma and non-tumor tissues from two studies. We identified a gene expression signature characteristic of smoking that includes cell cycle genes, particularly those involved in the mitotic spindle formation (e.g., NEK2, TTK, PRC1). Expression of these genes strongly differentiated both smokers from non-smokers in lung tumors and early stage tumor tissue from non-tumor tissue (p<0.001 and fold-change >1.5, for each comparison), consistent with an important role for this pathway in lung carcinogenesis induced by smoking. These changes persisted many years after smoking cessation. NEK2 (p<0.001) and TTK (p = 0.002) expression in the noninvolved lung tissue was also associated with a 3-fold increased risk of mortality from lung adenocarcinoma in smokers.
Our work provides insight into the smoking-related mechanisms of lung neoplasia, and shows that the very mitotic genes known to be involved in cancer development are induced by smoking and affect survival. These genes are candidate targets for chemoprevention and treatment of lung cancer in smokers.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disorder associated to cigarette smoke and lung cancer (LC). Since epigenetic changes in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) are clearly important in the development of LC. In this study, we hypothesize that tobacco smokers are susceptible for methylation in the promoter region of TSGs in airway epithelial cells when compared with non-smoker subjects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of detection of genes promoter methylation in sputum specimens, as a complementary tool to identify LC biomarkers among smokers with early COPD.
We determined the amount of DNA in induced sputum from patients with COPD (n = 23), LC (n = 26), as well as in healthy subjects (CTR) (n = 33), using a commercial kit for DNA purification, followed by absorbance measurement at 260 nm. The frequency of CDKN2A, CDH1 and MGMT promoter methylation in the same groups was determined by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP). The Fisher’s exact test was employed to compare frequency of results between different groups.
DNA concentration was 7.4 and 5.8 times higher in LC and COPD compared to the (CTR) (p < 0.0001), respectively. Methylation status of CDKN2A and MGMT was significantly higher in COPD and LC patients compared with CTR group (p < 0.0001). Frequency of CDH1 methylation only showed a statistically significant difference between LC patients and CTR group (p < 0.05).
We provide evidence that aberrant methylation of TSGs in samples of induced sputum is a useful tool for early diagnostic of lung diseases (LC and COPD) in smoker subjects.
The abstract MUST finish with the following text: Virtual Slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1127865005664160
DNA methylation; Sputum; Lung cancer; COPD
A study of the relation between smoking habits and lung cancer in male industrial workers over a period of three years has confirmed the earlier findings in doctors that the death-rate from lung cancer correlates closely with the number of cigarettes smoked. Of 54,460 men studied 68.7% were current cigarette smokers. The annual mortality rate from lung cancer was 0.33 per thousand in non-smokers and ex-smokers, and 1.2 per thousand for all cigarette smokers, and higher in heavy smokers.
Heavy cigarette smokers who retained the cigarette in the mouth between puffs (“drooping” cigarette habit) had an annual mortality rate of 4.1 per thousand.
The mortality from coronary thrombosis in smokers was nearly three times that in non-smokers. A mortality gradient with rising consumption of cigarettes was observed.
Some correlation between smoking and cancer of other sites and from non-neoplastic lung disease was observed in older men, but no correlation was found with other cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular diseases.
Rationale: Wood smoke–associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common in women in developing countries but has not been adequately described in developed countries.
Objectives: Our objective was to determine whether wood smoke exposure was a risk factor for COPD in a population of smokers in the United States and whether aberrant gene promoter methylation in sputum may modify this association.
Methods: For this cross-sectional study, 1,827 subjects were drawn from the Lovelace Smokers' Cohort, a predominantly female cohort of smokers. Wood smoke exposure was self-reported. Postbronchodilator spirometry was obtained, and COPD outcomes studied included percent predicted FEV1, airflow obstruction, and chronic bronchitis. Effect modification of wood smoke exposure with current cigarette smoke, ethnicity, sex, and promoter methylation of lung cancer-related genes in sputum on COPD outcomes were separately explored. Multivariable logistic and poisson regression models were used for binary and rate-based outcomes, respectively.
Measurements and Main Results: Self-reported wood smoke exposure was independently associated with a lower percent predicted FEV1 (point estimate [± SE] −0.03 ± 0.01) and a higher prevalence of airflow obstruction and chronic bronchitis (odds ratio, 1.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.52–2.52 and 1.64 (95% confidence interval, 1.31–2.06, respectively). These associations were stronger among current cigarette smokers, non-Hispanic whites, and men. Wood smoke exposure interacted in a multiplicative manner with aberrant promoter methylation of the p16 or GATA4 genes on lower percent predicted FEV1.
Conclusions: These studies identify a novel link between wood smoke exposure and gene promoter methylation that synergistically increases the risk for reduced lung function in cigarette smokers.
wood smoke; cigarette smokers; airflow obstruction; gene promoter methylation in sputum DNA
Wnt5a is overexpressed during the progression of human non-small cell lung cancer. However, the roles of Wnt5a during smoking-related lung carcinogenesis have not been clearly elucidated. We investigated the associations between Wnt5a and the early development of cigarette smoke related lung cancer using human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells (NHBE, BEAS-2B, 1799, 1198 and 1170I) at different malignant stages established by exposure to cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). Abnormal up-regulation of Wnt5a mRNA and proteins was detected in CSC-exposed transformed 1198 and tumorigenic 1170I cells as compared with other non-CSC exposed HBE cells. Tumor tissues obtained from smokers showed higher Wnt5a expressions than matched normal tissues. In non-CSC exposed 1799 cells, treatment of recombinant Wnt5a caused the activations of PKC and Akt, and the blockage of Wnt5a and PKC significantly decreased the viabilities of CSC-transformed 1198 cells expressing high levels of Wnt5a. This reduced cell survival rate was associated with increased apoptosis via the down-regulation of Bcl2 and the induction of cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase. Moreover, CSC-treated 1799 cells showed induction of Wnt5a expression and enhanced colony-forming capacity. The CSC-induced colony forming efficiency was suppressed by the co-incubation with a PKC inhibitor. In conclusion, these results suggest that cigarette smoke induces Wnt5a-coupled PKC activity during lung carcinogenesis, which causes Akt activity and anti-apoptosis in lung cancer. Therefore, current study provides novel clues for the crucial role of Wnt5a in the smoking-related lung carcinogenesis.
Smoking is responsible for 90% of lung cancer cases. There is currently no clinically available gene test for early detection of lung cancer in smokers, or an effective patient selection strategy for adjuvant chemotherapy in lung cancer treatment. In this study, concurrent coexpression with multiple signaling pathways was modeled among a set of genes associated with smoking and lung cancer survival. This approach identified and validated a 7-gene signature for lung cancer diagnosis and prognosis in smokers using patient transcriptional profiles (n=847). The smoking-associated gene coexpression networks in lung adenocarcinoma tumors (n=442) were highly significant in terms of biological relevance (network precision = 0.91, FDR<0.01) when evaluated with numerous databases containing multi-level molecular associations. The gene coexpression network in smoking lung adenocarcinoma patients was confirmed in qRT-PCR assays of the identified biomarkers and involved signaling pathway genes in human lung adenocarcinoma cells (H23) treated with 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). Furthermore, the western blotting results of p53, phospho-p53, Rb and EGFR in NNK-treated H23 and transformed normal human lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) support their functional involvement in smoking-induced lung cancer carcinogenesis and progression.
smoking; lung cancer diagnosis and prognosis; gene signature; signaling pathway; coexpression networks
Melanoma antigens (MAGE) are frequently expressed in lung cancer and are promising targets of anticancer immunotherapy. Our preliminary data suggested that MAGE may be expressed during early lung carcinogenesis, raising the possibility of targeting MAGE as a lung cancer prevention strategy. The purpose of this study was to investigate MAGE activation patterns in the airways of chronic smokers without lung cancer. MAGE-A1, -A3 and -B2 gene expression was determined in bronchial brush cells from chronic former smokers without lung cancer by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). The results were correlated with clinical parameters. The 123 subjects had a median age of 57 years, a median of 40 pack-years smoking history, and had quit smoking for at least one year prior to enrollment. Among the subjects, 31 (25%), 38 (31%), and 46 (37%) had detectable MAGE-A1, -A3 and -B2 expression, respectively, in their bronchial brush samples. Expression of MAGE-A1 and -B2 positively correlated with pack-years smoking history (P=0.03 and 0.03, respectively). The frequency of expression did not decrease despite a prolonged smoking cessation period. In conclusion, MAGE-A1, -A3 and -B2 genes are frequently expressed in the bronchial epithelial cells of chronic smokers without lung cancer, suggesting that chronic exposure to cigarette smoke activates these genes even before the malignant transformation of bronchial cells in susceptible individuals. Once activated, the expression persists despite long-term smoking cessation. These data support the targeting of MAGE as a novel lung cancer prevention strategy.
melanoma antigens; airway; smokers; lung cancer; prevention
EGFR mutations underlie the sensitivity of lung cancers to erlotinib and gefitinib and can occur in any patient with this illness. Here we examine the frequency of EGFR mutations in smokers and men.
We determined the frequency of EGFR mutations and characterized their association with cigarette smoking status and male sex.
We tested 2,142 lung adenocarcinoma specimens for the presence of EGFR exon 19 deletions and L858R. EGFR mutations were found in 15% of tumors from former smokers (181 of 1,218; 95% CI, 13% to 17%), 6% from current smokers (20 of 344; 95% CI, 4% to 9%), and 52% from never smokers (302 of 580; 95% CI, 48% to 56%; P < .001 for ever v never smokers). EGFR mutations in former or current smokers represented 40% of all those detected (201 of 503; 95% CI, 36% to 44%). EGFR mutations were found in 19% (157 of 827; 95% CI, 16% to 22%) of tumors from men and 26% (346 of 1,315; 95% CI, 24% to 29%) of tumors from women (P < .001). EGFR mutations in men represented 31% (157 of 503; 95% CI, 27% to 35%) of all those detected.
A large number of EGFR mutations are found in adenocarcinoma tumor specimens from men and people who smoked cigarettes. If only women who were never smokers were tested, 57% of all EGFR mutations would be missed. Testing for EGFR mutations should be considered for all patients with adenocarcinoma of the lung at diagnosis, regardless of clinical characteristics. This strategy can extend the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors to the greatest number individuals with the potential for substantial benefit.
Background Cigarette smoking is responsible for a massive loss of life in both developed and developing countries. This article develops an alternative to the Peto–Lopez method for estimating the number or fraction of smoking-attributable deaths in high-income countries.
Methods We use lung cancer death rates as an indicator of the damage caused by smoking. Using administrative data for the population aged ≥50 years from 20 high-income countries in the period from 1950 to 2006, we estimate a negative binomial regression model that predicts mortality from causes other than lung cancer as a function of lung cancer mortality and other variables. Using this regression model, we estimate smoking-attributable deaths based on the difference between observed death rates from lung cancer and expected rates among non-smokers.
Results Combining the estimated number of excess deaths from lung cancer with those from other causes, we find that among males in 1955 the smoking-attributable fraction was highest in Finland (18%); among women, no country exceeded 1%. By 2003, Hungary had the highest fraction of smoking-attributable deaths among males (32%), whereas the USA held that position among women (24%). Our estimates are remarkably similar to those produced by the Peto–Lopez method, a result that supports the validity of each approach.
Conclusions We provide a simple and straightforward method for estimating the proportion of deaths attributable to smoking in high-income countries. Our results demonstrate that smoking has played a central role in levels, trends and international differences in mortality over the past half century.
Smoking, mortality; smoking/mortality; high-income populations; lung neoplasms; cause of death
Data from a hospital based case-control study of lung cancer in Western Europe were used to examine changes in the risk of developing lung cancer after changes in habits of cigarette smoking. Only data for subjects who had smoked regularly at some time in their lives were included. The large size of the study population (7181 patients and 11 006 controls) permitted precise estimates of the effect of giving up smoking. Risks of developing lung cancer for people who had given up smoking 10 or more years before interview were less than half of those for people who continued to smoke. The reduction in risk was seen in men and women and in former smokers of both filter and non-filter cigarettes but varied by duration of smoking habit before giving up. The protective effect of giving up became progressively greater with shorter duration of smoking habit. The risks after not smoking for 10 years for both men and women who had previously smoked for less than 20 years were roughly the same as those for lifelong non-smokers. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked a day or switching from non-filter to filter cigarettes also lowered the risk of developing lung cancer but not to the extent associated with giving up smoking.
To study potential risk factors for the development of lung cancer in patients with scleroderma and explore the chronological relationship between onset of scleroderma symptoms and subtypes of lung cancer.
Linkage of two population‐based registers to identify lung cancer cases and gender‐matched controls with scleroderma, followed by retrospective case note review for clinical details.
Patients with scleroderma who smoke are seven times more likely to develop lung cancer than non‐smokers (p = 0.008). Smokers with scleroderma and cancer smoke more than smokers with scleroderma without cancer (p = 0.019). Pulmonary fibrosis and anti‐topoisomerase antibody do not increase the risk of lung cancer. Peripheral lung tumours occur earlier after the onset of scleroderma symptoms than bronchogenic tumours (p = 0.05).
Smokers with scleroderma should be monitored for the presence of lung cancer and counselled to quit smoking. The earlier development of peripheral lung tumours is not consistent, with pulmonary fibrosis being an aetiological factor.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality not only in the United States but also around the world. In North America, lung cancer has become more predominant among former than current smokers. Yet in some countries, such as China, which has experienced a dramatic increase in the cigarette smoking rate during the past 2 decades, a peak in lung cancer incidence is still expected. Approximately two-thirds of adult Chinese men are smokers, representing one-third of all smokers worldwide. Non–small cell lung cancer accounts for 85% of all lung cancer cases in the United States. After the initial diagnosis, accurate staging of non–small cell lung cancer using computed tomography or positron emission tomography is crucial for determining appropriate therapy. When feasible, surgical resection remains the single most consistent and successful option for cure. However, close to 70% of patients with lung cancer present with locally advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. Chemotherapy is beneficial for patients with metastatic disease, and the administration of concurrent chemotherapy and radiation is indicated for stage III lung cancer. The introduction of angiogenesis, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, and other new anticancer agents is changing the present and future of this disease and will certainly increase the number of lung cancer survivors. We identified studies for this review by searching the MEDLINE and PubMed databases for English-language articles published from January 1, 1980, through January 31, 2008. Key terms used for this search included non–small cell lung cancer, adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, bronchioalveolar cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, lung cancer epidemiology, genetics, survivorship, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, bevacizumab, erlotinib, and epidermal growth factor receptor.
Background: Protease activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a transmembrane G protein coupled receptor preferentially activated by trypsin and tryptase. The protease activated receptors play an important role in most components of injury responses including cell proliferation, migration, matrix remodelling, and inflammation. Cigarette smoking causes an inflammatory process in the central airways, peripheral airways, lung parenchyma, and adventitia of pulmonary arteries.
Methods: To quantify the expression of PAR-2 in the central airways of smokers and non-smokers, surgical specimens obtained from 30 subjects undergoing lung resection for localised pulmonary lesions (24 with a history of cigarette smoking and six non-smoking control subjects) were examined. Central airways were immunostained with an antiserum specific for PAR-2 and PAR-2 expression was quantified using light microscopy and image analysis.
Results: PAR-2 expression was found in bronchial smooth muscle, epithelium, glands, and in the endothelium and smooth muscle of bronchial vessels. PAR-2 expression was similar in the central airways of smokers and non-smokers. When smokers were divided according to the presence of symptoms of chronic bronchitis and chronic airflow limitation, PAR-2 expression was increased in smooth muscle (median 3.8 (interquartile range 2.9–5.8) and 1.4 (1.07–3.4) respectively); glands (33.3 (18.2–43.8) and 16.2 (11.5–22.2), respectively); and bronchial vessels (54.2 (48.7–56.8) and 40.0 (36–40.4), respectively) of smokers with symptoms of chronic bronchitis with normal lung function compared with smokers with chronic airflow limitation (COPD), but the increase was statistically significant (p<0.005) only for bronchial vessels.
Conclusions: PAR-2 is present in bronchial smooth muscle, glands, and bronchial vessels of both smokers and non-smokers. An increased expression of PAR-2 was found in bronchial vessels of patients with bronchitis compared with those with COPD.
Cigarette smoking is associated with a reduction in the risk for endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women and it has been suggested that this is because smoking has an anti-oestrogenic effect. To investigate this, concentrations of oestrone, oestradiol and oestriol were measured in 24 h urine samples from 167 premenopausal women (53 smokers, 114 non-smokers) and 200 post-menopausal women (54 smokers, 146 non-smokers). Among premenopausal women there were no significant differences in oestrogen excretion between smokers and non-smokers. Among post-menopausal women, geometric mean excretion rates for oestrone and oestradiol did not differ significantly between groups, but oestriol excretion was 19% lower (95% confidence interval -34% to -1%) in smokers than in non-smokers. This may partly explain the reduced risk for endometrial cancer among post-menopausal smokers.
CD14, a co-receptor for endotoxin, plays a significant role in the inflammatory response to this environmentally important pollutant. The C-159T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CD14 gene promoter is reported to affect expression of CD14, with TT homozygous persons having higher CD14 expression. This SNP has been linked to pathogenesis of asthma and with cardiovascular diseases in smokers. We hypothesize that CD14 also plays a role in development of COPD in smokers who are exposed to inhaled endotoxin by cigarette smoking and to endotoxin released from Gram-negative microbes colonizing their airways. To assess the effect of the C-159T SNP of the CD14 gene promoter on lung function and GOLD score in smokers with COPD, we recruited 246 smokers with COPD with a range of 10–156 pack-year smoking exposures. We found that the C-159T single gene polymorphism of the CD14 gene promoter may play a role in modulating severity of obstructive impairment in smokers with COPD: The TT genotype was associated with lower lung function in smokers with a moderate smoking history. However, the CC genotype was associated with decreased lung function in heavy smokers (>56 pack-years). The result on CC genotype in risk for COPD is analogous with the effect of this genotype in risk for asthma. CD14 may be a factor in the pathophysiology of COPD, as it is in asthma and smoking-related cardiovascular diseases.
Rationale: Oxidative stress is a key contributor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pathogenesis caused by cigarette smoking. NRF2, a redox-sensitive transcription factor, dissociates from its inhibitor, KEAP1, to induce antioxidant expression that inhibits oxidative stress.
Objectives: To determine the link between severity of COPD, oxidative stress, and NRF2-dependent antioxidant levels in the peripheral lung tissue of patients with COPD.
Methods: We assessed the expression of NRF2, NRF2-dependent antioxidants, regulators of NRF2 activity, and oxidative damage in non-COPD (smokers and former smokers) and smoker COPD lungs (mild and advanced). Cigarette smoke–exposed human lung epithelial cells (Beas2B) and mice were used to understand the mechanisms.
Measurements and Main Results: When compared with non-COPD lungs, the COPD patient lungs showed (1) marked decline in NRF2-dependent antioxidants and glutathione levels, (2) increased oxidative stress markers, (3) significant decrease in NRF2 protein with no change in NRF2 mRNA levels, and (4) similar KEAP1 but significantly decreased DJ-1 levels (a protein that stabilizes NRF2 protein by impairing KEAP1-dependent proteasomal degradation of NRF2). Exposure of Bea2B cells to cigarette smoke caused oxidative modification and enhanced proteasomal degradation of DJ-1 protein. Disruption of DJ-1 in mouse lungs, mouse embryonic fibroblasts, and Beas2B cells lowered NRF2 protein stability and impaired antioxidant induction in response to cigarette smoke. Interestingly, targeting KEAP1 by siRNA or the small-molecule activator sulforaphane restored induction of NRF2-dependent antioxidants in DJ-1–disrupted cells in response to cigarette smoke.
Conclusions: NRF2-dependent antioxidants and DJ-1 expression was negatively associated with severity of COPD. Therapy directed toward enhancing NRF2-regulated antioxidants may be a novel strategy for attenuating the effects of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of COPD.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; NRF2; DJ-1; oxidative stress; antioxidants
Metastasis is a multistep process and the main cause of mortality in lung cancer patients. We previously showed that EGFR mutations were associated with a copy number gain at a locus encompassing the TWIST1 gene on chromosome 7. TWIST1 is a highly conserved developmental gene involved in embryogenesis that may be reactivated in cancers promoting both malignant conversion and cancer progression through an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The aim of this study was to investigate the possible implication of TWIST1 reactivation on the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype in EGFR mutated lung cancer. We studied a series of consecutive lung adenocarcinoma from Caucasian non-smokers for which surgical frozen samples were available (n = 33) and showed that TWIST1 expression was linked to EGFR mutations (P<0.001), to low CDH1 expression (P<0.05) and low disease free survival (P = 0.044). To validate that TWIST1 is a driver of EMT in EGFR mutated lung cancer, we used five human lung cancer cell lines and demonstrated that EMT and the associated cell mobility were dependent upon TWIST1 expression in cells with EGFR mutation. Moreover a decrease of EGFR pathway stimulation through EGF retrieval or an inhibition of TWIST1 expression by small RNA technology reversed the phenomenon. Collectively, our in vivo and in vitro findings support that TWIST1 collaborates with the EGF pathway in promoting EMT in EGFR mutated lung adenocarcinoma and that large series of EGFR mutated lung cancer patients are needed to further define the prognostic role of TWIST1 reactivation in this subgroup.
This is a retrospective study of 520 patients with lung cancer, seen at the Tata Memorial Hospital between 1963 and 1970. Matched controls were obtained from those patients who came to the hospital within the same period and who were diagnosed as not having cancer. The patients and controls were matched for age, sex and community. As reported in other studies, an association was found between smoking habit and lung cancer. The relative risk of all types of smokers to non-smokers is 2·45, of bidi smokers 2·64 and of cigarette smokers 2·23. There is a preponderance of the group of epidermoid carcinomata among smokers as against adenocarcinomata. The probable reasons for the reported low incidence of lung cancer in this population have been discussed.
Background: COPD is an inflammatory disorder characterised by chronic airflow limitation, but the extent to which airway inflammation is related to functional abnormalities is still uncertain. The interaction between inflammatory cells and airway smooth muscle may have a crucial role.
Methods: To investigate the microlocalisation of inflammatory cells within the airway smooth muscle in COPD, surgical specimens obtained from 26 subjects undergoing thoracotomy (eight smokers with COPD, 10 smokers with normal lung function, and eight non-smoking controls) were examined. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to quantify the number of neutrophils, macrophages, mast cells, CD4+ and CD8+ cells localised within the smooth muscle of peripheral airways.
Results: Smokers with COPD had an increased number of neutrophils and CD8+ cells in the airway smooth muscle compared with non-smokers. Smokers with normal lung function also had a neutrophilic infiltration in the airway smooth muscle, but to a lesser extent. When all the subjects were analysed as one group, neutrophilic infiltration was inversely related to forced expiratory volume in 1 second (% predicted).
Conclusions: Microlocalisation of neutrophils and CD8+ cells in the airway smooth muscle in smokers with COPD suggests a possible role for these cells in the pathogenesis of smoking induced airflow limitation.
Data from a case-control study on lung cancer were used to evaluate how changes in cigarette habits, mainly smoking cessation, switch from non-filter to filter brands, from dark to light tobacco, or from handrolled to manufactured cigarettes, and reduction in daily consumption influence lung cancer risk. The results presented concern all males, exclusive cigarette smokers, involved in the study, i.e. 1,057 histologically confirmed lung cancer and 1,503 matched controls. The general decrease in lung cancer risk with the years since cessation was also found in each subgroup of cigarette exposure defined by duration of smoking, daily consumption and type of cigarettes smoked. Among smokers who had given up smoking from less than 10 years earlier, the lung cancer risks were two-fold higher for those who had stopped smoking for coughing or health reasons than for those who had stopped smoking for reasons other than health problems. A decrease in lung cancer risk, although not significant, was found in people who switched from non-filter brands to filter brands and from dark to light tobacco and in smokers who reduced their daily consumption of cigarettes by more than 25% as compared to smokers who had not changed habits.
BACKGROUND--The concentration of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), known as a marker of malignant transformation and chronic inflammation, is increased in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained from smokers compared with fluid from non-smokers. This study investigated the mechanism and biological significance of CEA production in the lungs of smokers by evaluating protein and mRNA expression in non-carcinomatous lung parenchymal tissues and in cell lines derived from human fetal lung. METHODS--Lung parenchymal tissue free from cancer or an inflammatory lesion was obtained from five non-smokers (four with lung cancer, one with pulmonary mycetoma), five ex-smokers (all with lung cancer except for one with mesothelioma), and 14 smokers (nine with lung cancer, five with emphysema) at surgery or necropsy. Cancer tissue was also collected simultaneously from the subjects with lung cancer. CEA protein in the tissue homogenates was measured by enzyme linked immunoassay. CEA mRNA expression in the non-carcinomatous parenchymal tissue and cancer tissue was evaluated by in situ hybridisation using CEA specific riboprobe and was semiquantitated by counting the number of silver grains per cell. CEA mRNA expression was also compared in three cell lines derived from human fetal lung (IMR-90, MRC-9, and CCD-14Br) after in vitro stimulation with medium exposed to cigarette smoke or air. Chemoattractant activity of purified CEA for neutrophils and monocytes was also studied in vitro. RESULTS--CEA content in non-carcinomatous lung tissue was increased in smokers with emphysema (mean (SD) 38.0 (9.2) ng/mg protein) or with lung cancer (38.2 (21.6)) compared with non-smokers (11.0 (5.4)) or ex-smokers (5.9 (2.2)). CEA mRNA expression in non-carcinomatous tissue, expressed by average number of grains per cell, was also increased in smokers with emphysema (mean (SD) 11.2 (4.1)) or with lung cancer (14.0 (8.4)) compared with non-smokers (3.1 (0.6)) or ex-smokers (4.0 (1.7)). CEA content in carcinomatous tissues was 42.8 (37.3) for non-smokers, 38.2 (42.4)) for ex-smokers, and 59.0 (22.5) for smokers. The CEA content in carcinomatous tissue was higher than in non-carcinomatous tissue, but there was no difference between non-smokers, ex-smokers, and smokers. The numbers of grains per cell in carcinomatous tissue were higher than in non-carcinomatous tissues, but not different among non-smokers (30.3 (3.9)), ex-smokers (38.3 (13.8)), and smokers (44.3 (5.2)). CEA mRNA expression in the cell lines was upregulated after the incubation with smoke-treated medium. Purified CEA was chemoattractant for neutrophils but not for monocytes in vitro. CONCLUSIONS--mRNA and protein expression of CEA were increased in the normal lung tissue from smokers compared with non-smokers or ex-smokers. Since CEA content and mRNA expression were no different between smokers with non-small cell lung cancer and those with non-carcinomatous disease, it is unlikely that CEA expression in non-carcinomatous lung parenchymal tissue was influenced by the presence of the tumour and is consistent with the effect of smoking. This is supported by in vitro studies which show that cigarette smoke could induce CEA mRNA expression in fetal lung derived cells. In addition, CEA might play a part in recruitment of neutrophils into the lower respiratory tract.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the risk of lung cancer in lifelong non-smokers exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. DESIGN: Analysis of 37 published epidemiological studies of the risk of lung cancer (4626 cases) in non-smokers who did and did not live with a smoker. The risk estimate was compared with that from linear extrapolation of the risk in smokers using seven studies of biochemical markers of tobacco smoke intake. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Relative risk of lung cancer in lifelong non-smokers according to whether the spouse currently smoked or had never smoked. RESULTS: The excess risk of lung cancer was 24% (95% confidence interval 13% to 36%) in non-smokers who lived with a smoker (P < 0.001). Adjustment for the effects of bias (positive and negative) and dietary confounding had little overall effect; the adjusted excess risk was 26% (7% to 47%). The dose-response relation of the risk of lung cancer with both the number of cigarettes smoked by the spouse and the duration of exposure was significant. The excess risk derived by linear extrapolation from that in smokers was 19%, similar to the direct estimate of 26%. CONCLUSION: The epidemiological and biochemical evidence on exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, with the supporting evidence of tobacco specific carcinogens in the blood and urine of non-smokers exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, provides compelling confirmation that breathing other people's tobacco smoke is a cause of lung cancer.