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1.  The Role of Dickkopf-3 Overexpression in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma 
Ninety percent of patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) ultimately die of their disease highlighting the need for novel therapeutic targets. The goal of this study was to define the functional significance of overexpression of Dickkopf-3 (DKK3) in EAC.
DKK3 expression was analyzed by real-time PCR in 95 chemonaive and 21 chemoresistant EACs. The EAC cell line OE33 was stably transfected with DKK3 (OE33/DKK3) and evaluated using WST-1, matrigel, endothelial tube formation, and chemosensitivity assays. Tumorigenesis was evaluated by injecting 1×106 OE33/DKK3 and vector cells in NOD/SCIDγ mice.
DKK3 was overexpressed (> 2-fold) in 75.8% (72/95) of EACs. DKK3 protein was present at moderate to high levels in 46.8% (29/62) of EACs on tissue microarray. Stable transfection of DKK3 significantly increased proliferation (p<0.05) and matrigel invasion (p<0.001). Levels of SMAD4, a key mediator of the TGFß pathway, increased after activin treatment of OE33/DKK3, and siSMAD4 significantly decreased matrigel invasion suggesting that DKK3 acts through the TGFβ pathway. OE33/DKK3 increased endothelial tube formation, were significantly more resistant to 5-FU and cisplatin, and DKK3 expression was significantly higher in chemoresistant EACs (p<0.005). In NOD/SCIDγ mice, OE33/DKK3 cells resulted in tumors at all sites (8/8) while vector cells grew in only 1/8 sites. Nodal metastases were also significantly increased in patients with EACs highly overexpressing DKK3, 28/32 (88%) versus 42/63 (68%) (p<0.05).
These findings suggest that DKK3 may be important in mediating invasion in EAC and could be a novel target in the treatment and prevention of metastatic disease.
PMCID: PMC4515149  PMID: 26093488
2.  Longitudinal Forced Vital Capacity Monitoring as a Prognostic Adjunct after Lung Transplantation 
Rationale: After lung transplantation, spirometric values are routinely followed to assess graft function. FEV1 is used to characterize chronic allograft dysfunction, whereas the course of FVC change has been less acknowledged and rarely used.
Objectives: To better understand the temporal relationship and prognostic ability of FEV1 and FVC decline after lung transplantation.
Methods: Serial FEV1 and FVC values were studied among 205 bilateral lung transplant recipients. Different decline patterns were characterized and evaluated for prognostic value via restricted mean modeling of mortality and times to other pertinent events.
Measurements and Main Results: Baseline FEV1 was achieved earlier than baseline FVC (median, 296 vs. 378 d; P < 0.0001). Decline in FEV1 or FVC from their respective post-transplant baselines occurred in 85 patients (41%). Fifty-nine of 85 (69%) had an isolated FEV1 decline, with 80% later meeting the FVC decline criterion. This subsequent FVC decline was associated with worsening FEV1 and lower median survival. Twenty-five of 85 patients (29%) demonstrated concurrent FEV1 and FVC decline. Patients with concurrent decline had higher 1- and 5-year mortality rates (1-yr, 53% vs. 18%, P < 0.0001; 5-yr, 61% vs. 48%, P = 0.001). These patients were more likely to have rapid-onset of spirometry decline (P = 0.05) and lower FEV1% predicted (P = 0.04) at presentation.
Conclusions: FVC decline from its post-transplant baseline provides valuable prognostic information. Concurrent FEV1 and FVC decline identifies patients with fulminant, rapid deterioration and is the strongest clinical predictor of poor survival. Subsequent FVC decline in patients with an initial isolated FEV1 decline identifies disease progression and portends poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4532826  PMID: 25922973
bronchiolitis obliterans; rejection; prognosis; chronic lung allograft dysfunction
3.  Non-coding RNA LINC00857 is predictive of poor patient survival and promotes tumor progression via cell cycle regulation in lung cancer 
Oncotarget  2016;7(10):11487-11499.
We employed next generation RNA sequencing analysis to reveal dysregulated long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in lung cancer utilizing 461 lung adenocarcinomas (LUAD) and 156 normal lung tissues from 3 separate institutions. We identified 281 lncRNAs with significant differential-expression between LUAD and normal lung tissue. LINC00857, a top deregulated lncRNAs, was overexpressed in tumors and significantly associated with poor survival in LUAD. knockdown of LINC00857 with siRNAs decreased tumor cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion in vitro, as well as tumor growth in vivo. Overexpression of LINC00857 increased cancer cell proliferation, colony formation and invasion. Mechanistic analyses indicated that LINC00857 mediates tumor progression via cell cycle regulation. Our study highlights the diagnostic/prognostic potential of LINC00857 in LUAD besides delineating the functional and mechanistic aspects of its aberrant disease specific expression and potentially using as a new therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC4905488  PMID: 26862852
non-coding RNA; LINC00857; lung adenocarcinoma; prognosis; diagnosis
4.  Paired Exome Analysis of Barrett’s Esophagus and Adenocarcinoma 
Nature genetics  2015;47(9):1047-1055.
Barrett’s esophagus, is thought to progress to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) through a step-wise progression with loss of CDKN2A followed by p53 inactivation and aneuploidy. Here, we present whole exome sequencing from 25 pairs of EAC and Barrett’s and five patients whose Barrett’s and tumor were extensively sampled. Our analysis revealed that oncogene amplification typically occurred as a late event and that TP53 mutations often occur early in Barrett’s progression, including in non-dysplastic epithelium. Reanalysis of additional EAC exome data revealed that the majority (62.5%) of EACs emerged following genome doubling and that tumors with genomic doubling had different patterns of genomic alterations with more frequent oncogenic amplifications and less frequent inactivation of tumor suppressors, including CDKN2A. These data suggest that many EACs emerge not through gradual accumulation of tumor suppressor alterations but rather through a more direct path whereby a TP53-mutant cell undergoes genome doubling, followed by acquisition of oncogenic amplifications.
PMCID: PMC4552571  PMID: 26192918
5.  IGFBP2 modulates the chemoresistant phenotype in esophageal adenocarcinoma 
Oncotarget  2015;6(28):25897-25916.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) patients commonly present with advanced stage disease and demonstrate resistance to therapy, with response rates below 40%. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of resistance is crucial for improvement of clinical outcomes. IGFBP2 is a member of the IGFBP family of proteins that has been reported to modulate both IGF and integrin signaling and is a mediator of cell growth, invasion and resistance in other tumor types. In this study, high IGFBP2 expression was observed in a subset of primary EACs and was found to be significantly higher in patients with shorter disease-free intervals as well as in treatment-resistant EACs as compared to chemonaive EACs. Modulation of IGFBP2 expression in EAC cell lines promoted cell proliferation, migration and invasion, implicating a role in the metastatic potential of these cells. Additionally, knockdown of IGFBP2 sensitized EAC cells to cisplatin in a serum-dependent manner. Further in vitro exploration into this chemosensitization implicated both the AKT and ERK pathways. Silencing of IGFBP2 enhanced IGF1-induced immediate activation of AKT and reduced cisplatin-induced ERK activation. Addition of MEK1/2 (selumetinib or trametinib) or AKT (AKT Inhibitor VIII) inhibitors enhanced siIGFBP2-induced sensitization of EAC cells to cisplatin. These results suggest that targeted inhibition of IGFBP2 alone or together with either the MAPK or PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in IGFBP2-overexpressing EAC tumors may be an effective approach for sensitizing resistant EACs to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4694874  PMID: 26317790
IGFBP2; esophageal cancer; chemotherapy resistance; ERK; AKT
6.  Osteopontin (OPN/SPP1) isoforms collectively enhance tumor cell invasion and dissemination in esophageal adenocarcinoma 
Oncotarget  2015;6(26):22239-22257.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, thus understanding the molecular basis for EAC invasion and metastasis is critical. Here we report that SPP1/OPN was highly overexpressed in primary EACs and intracellularly localized to tumor cells. We further demonstrate that all known OPN isoforms (OPNa, b, c, 4 and 5) were frequently co-overexpressed in primary EACs. Distinct pro-invasion and dissemination phenotypes of isoform-specific OPNb and OPNc stable transfectants were observed. Expression of OPNb significantly enhanced cell migration and adhesion to laminin. In contrast, OPNc cells showed significantly decreased cell migration yet increased cell detachment. Enhanced invasion, both in vitro and in vivo, was observed for OPNb- but not OPNc-expressing cells. Inhibition of RGD integrins, one family of OPN receptors, attenuated OPNb cell migration, abrogated OPNb cell adhesion and significantly reduced OPNb cell clonogenic survival but did not affect OPNc phenotypes, indicating that OPNb but not OPNc acts through integrin-dependent signaling. Differential expression of vimentin, E-cadherin and β-catenin in OPN stable cells may account for the variation in cell adhesion and detachment between these isoforms. We conclude that while all OPN isoforms are frequently co-overexpressed in primary EACs, isoforms OPNb and OPNc enhance invasion and dissemination through collective yet distinct mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4673160  PMID: 26068949
OPN/SPP1 isoforms; co-overexpression; collective function; esophageal adenocarcinoma
7.  Transcriptome Meta-Analysis of Lung Cancer Reveals Recurrent Aberrations in NRG1 and Hippo Pathway Genes 
Nature communications  2014;5:5893.
Lung cancer is emerging as a paradigm for disease molecular subtyping, facilitating targeted therapy based on driving somatic alterations. Here, we perform transcriptome analysis of 153 samples representing lung adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, large cell lung cancer, adenoid cystic carcinomas and cell lines. By integrating our data with The Cancer Genome Atlas and published sources, we analyze 753 lung cancer samples for gene fusions and other transcriptomic alterations. We show that higher numbers of gene fusions is an independent prognostic factor for poor survival in lung cancer. Our analysis confirms the recently reported CD74-NRG1 fusion and suggests that NRG1, NF1 and Hippo pathway fusions may play important roles in tumors without known driver mutations. In addition, we observe exon skipping events in c-MET, which are attributable to splice site mutations. These classes of genetic aberrations may play a significant role in the genesis of lung cancers lacking known driver mutations.
PMCID: PMC4274748  PMID: 25531467
8.  MAP3K3 expression in tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes is correlated with favorable patient survival in lung cancer 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11471.
MAP3K3 is involved in both the immune response and in tumor progression. Its potential biological role in vitro in lung cancer cell lines and the association of mRNA/protein expression patterns with clinical outcome of primary lung tumors were investigated in this study. Silencing MAP3K3 using siRNA in lung cancer cell lines resulted in decreased cell proliferation, migration and invasion. These effects were associated with down-regulation of the JNK, p38, AKT, and GSK3β pathways as determined using phospho-protein and gene expression array analyses. However, MAP3K3 mRNA and protein overexpression in primary lung tumors correlated significantly with favorable patient survival. Gene cluster and pathway analyses of primary tumor datasets indicated that genes positively-correlated with MAP3K3 are significantly involved in immune response rather than the cell cycle regulators observed using in vitro analyses. These results indicate that although MAP3K3 overexpression has an oncogenic role in vitro, in primary lung adenocarcinomas it correlates with an active immune response in the tumor environment that correlates with improved patient survival. MAP3K3 may potentially not only serve as diagnostic/prognostic markers for patients with lung cancer but also provide an indicator for future investigations into immunomodulatory therapies for lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4650617  PMID: 26088427
9.  Imaging in thoracic oncology: case studies from Multidisciplinary Thoracic Tumor Board (part 1 of 2 part series) 
Cancer Imaging  2013;13(3):429-439.
Multidisciplinary tumor board conferences foster collaboration among health care providers from a variety of specialties and help to facilitate optimal patient care. Typical cases from thoracic tumor board conferences include patients with known or suspected bronchogenic and esophageal carcinomas, as well as less common diseases such as thymomas and mesotheliomas. In most instances, the clinical questions revolve around the best options for establishing a diagnosis, staging the disease and directing treatment. This article describes and illustrates the clinical scenarios of three patients who were presented at our tumor board, focusing on management issues and the role of imaging. These patients had non-small cell lung cancer and mediastinal lymph node metastases; a small, growing ground glass nodule; and oligometastatic non-small cell lung cancer, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3858104  PMID: 24325900
Lung cancer; tumor board; multidisciplinary care; stage IIIA; ground glass nodule
10.  Imaging in thoracic oncology: case studies from Multidisciplinary Thoracic Tumor Board 
Cancer Imaging  2013;13(3):440-447.
Multidisciplinary tumor board conferences foster collaboration among health care providers from a variety of specialties and help to facilitate optimal patient care. Generally, the clinical questions revolve around the best options for establishing a diagnosis, staging the disease and directing treatment. This article describes and illustrates the clinical scenarios of three patients who were presented at our thoracic Tumor Board, focusing on management issues and the role of imaging. These patients had invasive thymoma; concurrent small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer; and esophageal cancer with celiac lymph node metastases, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3858864  PMID: 24325879
Lung cancer; small cell lung cancer; non-small cell lung cancer; esophageal cancer; invasive thymoma; tumor board
11.  Expansion of CTCs from early stage lung cancer patients using a microfluidic co-culture model 
Oncotarget  2014;5(23):12383-12397.
The potential utility of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to guide clinical care in oncology patients has gained momentum with emerging micro- and nanotechnologies. Establishing the role of CTCs in tumor progression and metastasis depends both on enumeration and on obtaining sufficient numbers of CTCs for downstream assays. The numbers of CTCs are few in early stages of cancer, limiting detailed molecular characterization. Recent attempts in the literature to culture CTCs isolated from metastatic patients using monoculture have had limited success rates of less than 20%. Herein, we have developed a novel in-situ capture and culture methodology for ex-vivo expansion of CTCs using a three dimensional co-culture model, simulating a tumor microenvironment to support tumor development. We have successfully expanded CTCs isolated from 14 of 19 early stage lung cancer patients. Expanded lung CTCs carried mutations of the TP53 gene identical to those observed in the matched primary tumors. Next-generation sequencing further revealed additional matched mutations between primary tumor and CTCs of cancer-related genes. This strategy sets the stage to further characterize the biology of CTCs derived from patients with early lung cancers, thereby leading to a better understanding of these putative drivers of metastasis.
PMCID: PMC4323004  PMID: 25474037
expansion of CTCs; early stage lung cancer; microfluidic co-culture
12.  Image directed lymph node sampling for lung cancer staging 
Cancer Imaging  2014;14(Suppl 1):P32.
PMCID: PMC4242620
13.  TGM2 A Cell Surface Marker in Esophageal Adenocarcinomas 
Esophageal adenocarcinomas (EAC) are aggressive cancers that are increasing in incidence and associated with a poor prognosis. The identification of highly expressed genes in EAC relative to metaplastic Barrett’s esophagus (BE) may provide new targets for novel early cancer detection strategies using endoscopically administered, fluorescently labeled peptides.
Gene expression analysis of BE and EACs were used to identify the cell surface marker transglutaminase 2 (TGM2) as overexpressed in cancer. The expression of two major isoforms of TGM2 was determined by qRT-polymerase chain reaction in an independent cohort of 128 EACs. Protein expression was confirmed by tissue microarrays and immunoblot analysis of EAC cell lines. TGM2 DNA copy number was assessed using single nucleotide polymorphism microarrays and confirmed by qPCR. TGM2 expression in neoadjuvantly treated EACs and following small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown in cisplatin-treated EAC cells was used to determine its possible role in chemoresistance.
TGM2 is overexpressed in 15 EACs relative to 26 BE samples. Overexpression of both TGM2 isoforms was confirmed in 128 EACs and associated with higher tumor stage, poor differentiation, and increased inflammatory and desmoplastic response. Tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry confirmed elevated TGM2 protein expression in EAC. Single nucleotide polymorphism and qPCR analysis revealed increased TGM2 gene copy number as one mechanism underlying elevated TGM2 expression. TGM2 was highly expressed in resistant EAC after patient treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy/radiation suggesting a role for TGM2 in chemoresistance.
TGM2 may be a useful cell surface biomarker for early detection of EAC.
PMCID: PMC4170218  PMID: 24828664
Esophageal adenocarcinoma; TGM2; Cell surface biomarker
14.  Epigenetic inactivation of microRNA-34b/c predicts poor disease-free survival in early stage lung adenocarcinoma 
The microRNA-34b/c (miR-34b/c) has been considered a tumor suppressor in different tumor types and it is a known transcriptional target of the tumor suppressor gene TP53. The main objectives of this study were to investigate the clinical implications of miR-34b/c methylation in early stage lung adenocarcinoma (AC) patients and to determine the functional role of miR-34b/c re-expression in lung AC cell lines.
Experimental Design
Aberrant methylation and expression of miR-34b/c were assessed in 15 lung AC cell lines and a cohort of 140 early stage lung AC. Lung AC cell lines were transfected with miR-34b/c and the effects upon cell proliferation, migration, invasion and apoptosis were investigated.
Aberrant methylation of miR-34b/c was detected in 6 (40%) of 15 lung AC cell lines and 64 out of 140 (46%) primary lung adenocarcinomas. Expression of miR-34b/c was significantly reduced in all methylated cell lines and primary tumors, especially in those harboring a TP53 mutation. Patients with high levels of miR-34b/c methylation had significantly shorter disease-free survival and overall survival as compared to patients with unmethylated miR-34b/c or low level of miR-34b/c methylation. Ectopic expression of miR-34b/c in lung AC cell lines decreased cell proliferation, migration and invasion.
Epigenetic inactivation of miR-34b/c by DNA methylation has independent prognostic value in early stage lung AC patients with surgically resected tumors. Re-expression of miR-34b/c leads to a less aggressive phenotype in lung AC cell lines.
PMCID: PMC4161219  PMID: 24130071
microRNA; DNA methylation; microRNA-34b/c; lung adenocarcinoma; TP53
15.  CHK1 levels correlate with sensitization to pemetrexed by CHK1 inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer cells 
Overexpression of checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) is associated with poorer patient outcome and therapeutic resistance in multiple tumor models. Inhibition of CHK1 has been proposed as a strategy to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents, especially in p53-deficient tumors. In this study, we evaluated the effects of a novel CHK1 inhibitor, MK-8776, in combination with pemetrexed (PMX) on cell proliferation and survival in a panel of p53 mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines.
We examined CHK1 expression in 442 resected lung adenocarcinoma specimens using Affymetrix U133A gene expression arrays. We correlated CHK1 mRNA expression with patient survival, tumor differentiation and genomic complexity. We evaluated CHK1 levels in NSCLC cell lines and identified four p53 mutant cell lines with variable CHK1 expression (H1993, H23, H1437 and H1299) based on publicly available gene expression data. We confirmed differential CHK1 mRNA and CHK1 protein levels by qRT-PCR, ELISA, Western Blot analysis (WB) and immunohistochemistry. We examined cell line sensitization to PMX in response to CHK1 inhibition with MK-8776 using WST-1 and clonogenic survival assays.
We found that elevated CHK1 expression in primary lung adenocarcinomas correlates with poor tumor differentiation and significantly worse patient survival. Tumors with elevated CHK1 mRNA levels have a higher number of gene mutations and DNA copy number gain or amplifications. CHK1 inhibition by MK-8776 enhances sensitivity of NSCLC cell lines to PMX. CHK1 mRNA and protein expression are variable among NSCLC cell lines, and cells expressing higher levels of CHK1 protein are more sensitive to the CHK1 inhibition by MK-8776 as compared to low CHK1 expressing cells.
These findings suggest that CHK1 levels may not only serve as a biomarker of poor prognosis in surgically-resected lung adenocarcinomas, but could also be a predictive marker for CHK1 inhibitor sensitivity, pending in vivo and clinical confirmation.
PMCID: PMC4073640  PMID: 24113549
CHK1; Lung; Chemosensitivity; NSCLC; Patient survival; Genomic complexity
16.  Sensitive capture of circulating tumour cells by functionalised graphene oxide nanosheets 
Nature nanotechnology  2013;8(10):735-741.
The spread of cancer throughout the body is driven by circulating tumour cells (CTCs)1. These cells detach from the primary tumour and move from the blood stream to a new site of subsequent tumour growth. They also carry information about the primary tumour and have the potential to be valuable biomarkers for disease diagnosis and progression, and for the molecular characterization of certain biological properties of the tumour. However, the limited sensitivity and specificity of current methods to measure and study these cells in patient blood samples prevent the realization of their full clinical potential. The use of microfluidic devices is a promising method for isolating CTCs2, 3; however, the devices are reliant on three-dimensional structures, which limit further characterization and expansion of cells on the chip. Here we demonstrate an effective approach to isolate CTCs from blood samples of pancreatic, breast and lung cancer patients, by using functionalised graphene oxide nanosheets on a patterned gold surface. CTCs were captured with high sensitivity at low concentration of target cells (73% ± 32.4 at 3–5 cells/mL blood).
PMCID: PMC4017624  PMID: 24077027
17.  Exome and whole genome sequencing of esophageal adenocarcinoma identifies recurrent driver events and mutational complexity 
Nature genetics  2013;45(5):478-486.
The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has risen 600% over the last 30 years. With a five-year survival rate of 15%, identification of new therapeutic targets for EAC is greatly important. We analyze the mutation spectra from whole exome sequencing of 149 EAC tumors/normal pairs, 15 of which have also been subjected to whole genome sequencing. We identify a mutational signature defined by a high prevalence of A to C transversions at AA dinucleotides. Statistical analysis of exome data identified significantly mutated 26 genes. Of these genes, four (TP53, CDKN2A, SMAD4, and PIK3CA) have been previously implicated in EAC. The novel significantly mutated genes include chromatin modifying factors and candidate contributors: SPG20, TLR4, ELMO1, and DOCK2. Functional analyses of EAC-derived mutations in ELMO1 reveal increased cellular invasion. Therefore, we suggest a new hypothesis about the potential activation of the RAC1 pathway to be a contributor to EAC tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3678719  PMID: 23525077
18.  Development and Validation of a qRT-PCR Classifier for Lung Cancer Prognosis 
This prospective study aimed to develop a robust and clinically-applicable method to identify high-risk early stage lung cancer patients and then to validate this method for use in future translational studies.
Patients and Methods
Three published Affymetrix microarray data sets representing 680 primary tumors were used in the survival-related gene selection procedure using clustering, Cox model and random survival forest (RSF) analysis. A final set of 91 genes was selected and tested as a predictor of survival using a qRT-PCR-based assay utilizing an independent cohort of 101 lung adenocarcinomas.
The RSF model built from 91 genes in the training set predicted patient survival in an independent cohort of 101 lung adenocarcinomas, with a prediction error rate of 26.6%. The mortality risk index (MRI) was significantly related to survival (Cox model p < 0.00001) and separated all patients into low, medium, and high-risk groups (HR = 1.00, 2.82, 4.42). The MRI was also related to survival in stage 1 patients (Cox model p = 0.001), separating patients into low, medium, and high-risk groups (HR = 1.00, 3.29, 3.77).
The development and validation of this robust qRT-PCR platform allows prediction of patient survival with early stage lung cancer. Utilization will now allow investigators to evaluate it prospectively by incorporation into new clinical trials with the goal of personalized treatment of lung cancer patients and improving patient survival.
PMCID: PMC3167380  PMID: 21792073
Lung cancer; qRT-PCR; Prognosis
19.  Decreased selenium binding protein-1 (SELENBP1) in esophageal adenocarcinoma results from post-transcriptional and epigenetic regulation and affects chemosensitivity 
The chemopreventive effects of selenium have been extensively examined but its role in cancer development or as a chemotherapeutic agent have only recently been explored. Because Selenium Binding Protein 1 (SELENBP1, SBP1, hSP56) has been shown to bind selenium covalently and selenium deficiency has been associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), we examined its role in EAC development and its potential effect on chemosensitivity in the presence of selenium.
Experimental Design
SELENBP1 expression level and copy number variation were determined by oligonucleotide microarrays, real-time RT-PCR, tissue microarrays, immunoblotting and SNP arrays. Bisulfite sequencing and sequence analysis of RT-PCR-amplified products explored epigenetic and post-transcriptional regulation of SELENBP1 expression, respectively. WST-1 cell proliferation assays, senescence-associated β-galactosidase staining, immunoblotting, and flow cytometry were performed to evaluate the biological significance of SELENBP1 overexpression in selenium-supplemented EAC cells.
SELENBP1 expression decreased significantly in Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma progression. Both epigenetic and post-transcriptional mechanisms appeared to modulate SELENBP1 expression. Stable overexpression of SELENBP1 in methylseleninic acid-supplemented Flo-1 cells resulted in enhanced apoptosis, increased cellular senescence, and enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity. Although inorganic sodium selenite similarly enhanced cisplatin cytotoxicity, these 2 forms of selenium elicited different cellular responses.
SELENBP1 expression may be an important predictor of response to chemoprevention or chemosensitization with certain forms of selenium in esophageal tissues.
PMCID: PMC2953959  PMID: 20332323
20.  Expression and Effect of Inhibition of the Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzyme E2C on Esophageal Adenocarcinoma1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2006;8(12):1062-1071.
Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of cyclins plays a critical role in cell cycle progression and tumorigenesis. We examined the expression of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C (UBE2C) during progression from Barrett's metaplasia to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) and the effects of targeting this enzyme on EA-derived cell lines. Using oligonucleotide microarrays UBE2C expression was elevated in 73% (11 of 15) of EAs relative to Barrett's metaplasia. Tissue microarray showed elevated UBE2C in 70% (7 of 10) of dysplastic samples and in 87% (58 of 67) of tumors relative to metaplastic samples. Transfection of dominant-negative UBE2C into Seg-1 cells decreased proliferation (P = .04) and increased mitotic arrest compared to vector controls (63.5% vs 6.8%; P < .001). Transfection of UBE2C small interfering RNA also caused inhibiton of cell proliferation and distortion of the cell cycle, with maximal increase of G2 cells (155% of mock cells) at 72 hours and of S-phase cells (308% of mock cells) at 24 hours. Treatment of Seg-1 cells with the proteasome inhibitor MG-262 (1 nM-1 µM) showed decreased proliferation (P = .02). EA-derived cells expressing UBE2C are sensitive to treatment with MG-262 and to silencing of UBE2C, suggesting that patients with EAs overexpressing UBE2C may benefit from agents targeting this ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme.
PMCID: PMC1783715  PMID: 17217624
Esophageal adenocarcinoma; ubiquitin; UBE2C; proteasome inhibitor; siRNA
21.  l-Type Amino Acid Transporter-1 Overexpression and Melphalan Sensitivity in Barrett's Adenocarcinoma1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2004;6(1):74-84.
The L-type amino acid transporter-1 (LAT-1) has been associated with tumor growth. Using cDNA microarrays, overexpression of LAT-1 was found in 87.5% (7/8) of esophageal adenocarcinomas relative to 12 Barrett's samples (33% metaplasia and 66% dysplasia) and was confirmed in 100% (28/28) of Barrett's adenocarcinomas by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry revealed LAT-1 staining in 37.5% (24/64) of esophageal adenocarcinomas on tissue microarray. LAT-1 also transports the amino acid-related chemotherapeutic agent, melphalan. Two esophageal adenocarcinoma and one esophageal squamous cell line, expressing LAT-1 on Western blot analysis, were sensitive to therapeutic doses of melphalan (P < .001). Simultaneous treatment with the competitive inhibitor, BCH [2-aminobicyclo-(2,1,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid], decreased sensitivity to melphalan (P < .05). In addition, confluent esophageal squamous cultures were less sensitive to melphalan (P < .001) and had a decrease in LAT-1 protein expression. Tumors from two esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines grown in nude mice retained LAT-1 mRNA expression. These results demonstrate that LAT-1 is highly expressed in a subset of esophageal adenocarcinomas and that Barrett's adenocarcinoma cell lines expressing LAT-1 are sensitive to melphalan. LAT-1 expression is also retained in cell lines grown in nude mice providing a model to evaluate melphalan as a chemotherapeutic agent against esophageal adenocarcinomas expressing LAT-1.
PMCID: PMC1508631  PMID: 15068672
Esophageal adenocarcinoma; L-type amino acid transporter-1; amino acid transporters; melphalan; chemotherapy

Results 1-21 (21)