The cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are major players in drug metabolism. More than 2,000 mutations have been described, and certain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been shown to have a large impact on CYP activity. Therefore, CYPs play an important role in inter-individual drug response and their genetic variability should be factored into personalized medicine. To identify the most relevant polymorphisms in human CYPs, a text mining approach was used. We investigated their frequencies in different ethnic groups, the number of drugs that are metabolized by each CYP, the impact of CYP SNPs, as well as CYP expression patterns in different tissues. The most important polymorphic CYPs were found to be 1A2, 2D6, 2C9 and 2C19. Thirty-four common allele variants in Caucasians led to altered enzyme activity. To compare the relevant Caucasian SNPs with those of other ethnicities a search in 1,000 individual genomes was undertaken. We found 199 non-synonymous SNPs with frequencies over one percent in the 1,000 genomes, many of them not described so far. With knowledge of frequent mutations and their impact on CYP activities, it may be possible to predict patient response to certain drugs, as well as adverse side effects. With improved availability of genotyping, our data may provide a resource for an understanding of the effects of specific SNPs in CYPs, enabling the selection of a more personalized treatment regimen.
Cabozantinib is an inhibitor of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, including MET and VEGFR2. In a phase II clinical trial in advanced prostate cancer (PCa), cabozantinib treatment improved bone scans in 68% of evaluable patients. Our studies aimed to determine the expression of cabozantinib targets during PCa progression and to evaluate its efficacy in hormone-sensitive and castration-resistant PCa in preclinical models while delineating its effects on tumor and bone. Using immunohistochemistry and tissue microarrays containing normal prostate, primary PCa, and soft tissue and bone metastases, our data show that levels of MET, P-MET, and VEGFR2 are increasing during PCa progression. Our data also show that the expression of cabozantinib targets are particularly pronounced in bone metastases. To evaluate cabozantinib efficacy on PCa growth in the bone environment and in soft tissues we used androgen-sensitive LuCaP 23.1 and castration-resistant C4-2B PCa tumors. In vivo, cabozantinib inhibited the growth of PCa in bone as well as growth of subcutaneous tumors. Furthermore, cabozantinib treatment attenuated the bone response to the tumor and resulted in increased normal bone volume. In summary, the expression pattern of cabozantinib targets in primary and castration-resistant metastatic PCa, and its efficacy in two different models of PCa suggest that this agent has a strong potential for the effective treatment of PCa at different stages of the disease.
Conflicting findings in both interventional and observational studies have resulted in a lack of consensus on the benefits of ω3 fatty acids in reducing disease risk. This may be due to individual variability in response. We used a multi-platform lipidomic approach to investigate both the consistent and inconsistent responses of individuals comprehensively to a defined ω3 intervention.
The lipidomic profile including fatty acids, lipid classes, lipoprotein distribution, and oxylipins was examined multi- and uni-variately in 12 healthy subjects pre vs. post six weeks of ω3 fatty acids (1.9 g/d eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and 1.5 g/d docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]).
Total lipidomic and oxylipin profiles were significantly different pre vs. post treatment across all subjects (p=0.00007 and p=0.00002 respectively). There was a strong correlation between oxylipin profiles and EPA and DHA incorporated into different lipid classes (r2=0.93). However, strikingly divergent responses among individuals were also observed. Both ω3 and ω6 fatty acid metabolites displayed a large degree of variation among the subjects. For example, in half of the subjects, two arachidonic acid cyclooxygenase products, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and thromboxane B2 (TXB2), and a lipoxygenase product, 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) significantly decreased post intervention, whereas in the other half they either did not change or increased. The EPA lipoxygenase metabolite 12-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (12-HEPE) varied among subjects from an 82% decrease to a 5,000% increase.
Our results show that certain defined responses to ω3 fatty acid intervention were consistent across all subjects. However, there was also a high degree of inter-individual variability in certain aspects of lipid metabolism. This lipidomic based phenotyping approach demonstrated that individual responsiveness to ω3 fatty acids is highly variable and measurable, and could be used as a means to assess the effectiveness of ω3 interventions in modifying disease risk and determining metabolic phenotype.
The role of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in promoting tumorigenesis is well-established, and significant effort is being made to further characterize surface markers on MDSCs both for better diagnosis and as potential targets for therapy. Here we show that the B cell receptor adaptor molecule CD79a is unexpectedly expressed on immature bone marrow myeloid cells, and is upregulated on MDSCs generated in multiple different mouse models of metastatic but not non-metastatic cancer. CD79a on MDSCs is upregulated and activated in response to soluble factors secreted by tumor cells. Activation of CD79a on mouse MDSCs, by crosslinking with a specific antibody, maintained their immature phenotype (CD11b+Gr1+), enhanced their migration, increased their suppressive effect on T cell proliferation, and increased secretion of pro-tumorigenic cytokines such as IL-6 and CCL22. Furthermore, crosslinking CD79a on myeloid cells activated signaling through Syk, BLNK, ERK and STAT3 phosphorylation. In vivo, CD79+ myeloid cells showed enhanced ability to promote primary tumor growth and metastasis. Finally we demonstrate that CD79a is upregulated on circulating myeloid cells from lung cancer patients, and that CD79a+ myeloid cells infiltrate human breast tumors. We propose that CD79a plays a functional role in the tumor promoting effects of myeloid cells, and may represent a novel target for cancer therapy.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) exhibit some level of basal signaling even in the absence of a bound agonist. This basal or constitutive signaling can have important pathophysiological roles. In the past few years, a number of high resolution crystal structures of GPCRs have been reported, including two crystal structures of constitutively active mutants (CAM) of the dim-light receptor, rhodopsin. The structural characterizations of CAMs are impeded by the lack of proper expression systems. The thromboxane A2 receptor (TP) is a GPCR that mediates vasoconstriction and promotes thrombosis in response to the binding of thromboxane. Here, we report on the expression and purification of a genetic variant and CAM in TP, namely A160T, using tetracycline-inducible HEK293S-TetR and HEK293S (GnTI¯)-TetR cell lines. Expression of the TP and the A160T genes in these mammalian cell lines resulted in a 4-fold increase in expression to a level of 15.8 ±0.3 pmol of receptor/mg of membrane protein. The receptors expressed in the HEK293S (GnTI-)-TetR cell line showed homogeneous glycosylation. The functional yield of the receptors using a single step affinity purification was 45 µg/106 cells. Temperature- dependent secondary structure changes of the purified TP and A160T receptors were characterized using circular dichroism (CD) spectropolarimetry. The CD spectra shows that the loss of activity or thermal sensitivity that was previously observed for the A160T mutant, is not owing to large unfolding of the protein but rather to a more subtle effect. This is the first study to report on the successful high-level expression, purification, and biophysical characterization of a naturally occurring, diffusible ligand activated GPCR CAM.
The purpose of this work was to reveal the metabolic features of mitochondria that might be essential for inhibition of apoptotic potential in prostate cancer cells. We studied mitochondria isolated from normal prostate epithelial cells (PrEC), metastatic prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP, PC-3, DU145; and non-prostate cancer cells - human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cells; and normal human lymphoblastoid cells. PrEC cells contained 2 to 4 times less mitochondria per gram of cells than the three PC cell lines. Respiratory activities of PrEC cell mitochondria were 5-20-fold lower than PC mitochondria, depending on substrates and the metabolic state, due to lower content and lower activity of the respiratory enzyme complexes. Mitochondria from the three metastatic prostate cancer cell lines revealed several features that are distinctive only to these cells: low affinity of Complex I for NADH, 20-30 mV higher electrical membrane potential (ΔΨ). Unprotected with cyclosporine A (CsA) the PC-3 mitochondria required 4 times more Ca2+ to open the permeability transition pore (mPTP) when compared with the PrEC mitochondria, and they did not undergo swelling even in the presence of alamethicin, a large pore forming antibiotic. In the presence of CsA, the PC-3 mitochondria did not open spontaneously the mPTP. We conclude that the low apoptotic potential of the metastatic PC cells may arise from inhibition of the Ca2+-dependent permeability transition due to a very high ΔΨ and higher capacity to sequester Ca2+. We suggest that due to the high ΔΨ, mitochondrial metabolism of the metastatic prostate cancer cells is predominantly based on utilization of glutamate and glutamine, which may promote development of cachexia.
Sparstolonin B (SsnB) is a novel bioactive compound isolated from Sparganium stoloniferum, an herb historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an anti-tumor agent. Angiogenesis, the process of new capillary formation from existing blood vessels, is dysregulated in many pathological disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, tumor growth, and atherosclerosis. In functional assays, SsnB inhibited endothelial cell tube formation (Matrigel method) and cell migration (Transwell method) in a dose-dependent manner. Microarray experiments with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) demonstrated differential expression of several hundred genes in response to SsnB exposure (916 and 356 genes, respectively, with fold change ≥2, p<0.05, unpaired t-test). Microarray data from both cell types showed significant overlap, including genes associated with cell proliferation and cell cycle. Flow cytometric cell cycle analysis of HUVECs treated with SsnB showed an increase of cells in the G1 phase and a decrease of cells in the S phase. Cyclin E2 (CCNE2) and Cell division cycle 6 (CDC6) are regulatory proteins that control cell cycle progression through the G1/S checkpoint. Both CCNE2 and CDC6 were downregulated in the microarray data. Real Time quantitative PCR confirmed that gene expression of CCNE2 and CDC6 in HUVECs was downregulated after SsnB exposure, to 64% and 35% of controls, respectively. The data suggest that SsnB may exert its anti-angiogenic properties in part by downregulating CCNE2 and CDC6, halting progression through the G1/S checkpoint. In the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, SsnB caused significant reduction in capillary length and branching number relative to the vehicle control group. Overall, SsnB caused a significant reduction in angiogenesis (ANOVA, p<0.05), demonstrating its ex vivo efficacy.
MicroRNAs, non-coding 20–22 nucleotide single-stranded RNAs, result in translational repression or degradation and gene silencing of their target genes, and significantly contribute to the regulation of gene expression. In the current study, we report that miR-182 expression was significantly upregulated in prostate cancer tissues and four cell lines, compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia tissues and normal prostatic epithelial (RWPE-1) cells. Ectopic overexpression of miR-182 significantly promotes the proliferation, increases the invasion, promotes the G1/S cell cycle transition and reduces early apotosis of PC-3 cells, while suppression of miR-182 decreased the proliferation and invasion, inhibits the G1/S cell cycle transition and increase early apotosis of PC-3 cells. Additionally, we demonstrated that miR-182 could downregulate expression of NDRG1 by directly targeting the NDRG1 3′-untranslated region. In conclusion, our results suggest that miR-182 plays an important role in the proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by directly suppressing the tumor supressor gene NDRG1. We uncovered a new epigenetic regulation of NDRG1.
The myeloid translocation gene 16 product MTG16 is found in multiple transcription factor–containing complexes as a regulator of gene expression implicated in development and tumorigenesis. A stable Tet-On system for doxycycline–dependent expression of MTG16 was established in B-lymphoblastoid Raji cells to unravel its molecular functions in transformed cells. A noticeable finding was that expression of certain genes involved in tumor cell metabolism including 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 and 4 (PFKFB3 and PFKFB4), and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoenzyme 1 (PDK1) was rapidly diminished when MTG16 was expressed. Furthermore, hypoxia–stimulated production of PFKFB3, PFKFB4 and PDK1 was inhibited by MTG16 expression. The genes in question encode key regulators of glycolysis and its coupling to mitochondrial metabolism and are commonly found to be overexpressed in transformed cells. The MTG16 Nervy Homology Region 2 (NHR2) oligomerization domain and the NHR3 protein–protein interaction domain were required intact for inhibition of PFKFB3, PFKFB4 and PDK1 expression to occur. Expression of MTG16 reduced glycolytic metabolism while mitochondrial respiration and formation of reactive oxygen species increased. The metabolic changes were paralleled by increased phosphorylation of mitogen–activated protein kinases, reduced levels of amino acids and inhibition of proliferation with a decreased fraction of cells in S-phase. Overall, our findings show that MTG16 can serve as a brake on glycolysis, a stimulator of mitochondrial respiration and an inhibitor of cell proliferation. Hence, elevation of MTG16 might have anti–tumor effect.
We report the discovery of a novel dual inhibitor targeting fungal sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51 or Erg11) and human 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) with improved potency against 5-LOX due to its reduction of the iron center by its phenylenediamine core. A series of potent 5-LOX inhibitors containing a phenylenediamine core, were synthesized that exhibit nanomolar potency and >30-fold selectivity against the LOX paralogs, platelet-type 12-human lipoxygenase, reticulocyte 15-human lipoxygenase type-1, and epithelial 15-human lipoxygenase type-2, and >100-fold selectivity against ovine cyclooxygenase-1 and human cyclooxygnease-2. The phenylenediamine core was then translated into the structure of ketoconazole, a highly effective anti-fungal medication for seborrheic dermatitis, to generate a novel compound, ketaminazole. Ketaminazole was found to be a potent dual inhibitor against human 5-LOX (IC50 = 700 nM) and CYP51 (IC50 = 43 nM) in vitro. It was tested in whole blood and found to down-regulate LTB4 synthesis, displaying 45% inhibition at 10 µM. In addition, ketaminazole selectively inhibited yeast CYP51 relative to human CYP51 by 17-fold, which is greater selectivity than that of ketoconazole and could confer a therapeutic advantage. This novel dual anti-fungal/anti-inflammatory inhibitor could potentially have therapeutic uses against fungal infections that have an anti-inflammatory component.
Tumor suppressor maspin is a differentially regulated gene in the progression of many types of cancer. While the biological function of maspin in blocking tumor invasion and metastasis is consistent with the loss of maspin expression at the late stage of tumor progression, the differential expression and the biological significance of maspin in early stage of tumor progression appear to be complex and remain to be elucidated. In the current study, we examined the expression of maspin in 84 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cases (stages I–III) and 55 non-tumor adjacent esophageal tissue specimens by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. The correlation of maspin with clinicopathological parameters was analyzed. Compared to normal esophageal squamous tissue where 80% (47/55) of the cases expressed maspin at a low to moderate level, all ESCC specimens (100% (84/84)) were positive for maspin expression at a moderate to high level. ESCC with low or moderate maspin expression had significantly shorter postoperative survival rates compared to those that had high maspin expression (p<0.001). Since the correlation of maspin with ESCC histology and the correlation of maspin with ESCC prognosis seem to be at odds, we further investigated the biological function of maspin in ESCC using the established ESCC cell lines. The expression of maspin in five human esophageal squamous cancer cell lines (T12, E450, KYSE150, EC109, and KYSE510) was examined by the Western blot. ESCC cell line KYSE510 that did not express maspin and was stably transfected by maspin cDNA or an empty vector. The resulting transfected cells were characterized in vitro. Maspin expression significantly inhibited cell proliferation, motility and matrigel invasion. Taken together, our data suggest that the transient up-regulation of maspin in the early development of ESCC may be a defense mechanism against further transition towards more malignant phenotypes, ultimately slowing down ESCC tumor progression.
Host immune peptides, including cathelicidins, have been reported to possess anticancer properties. We previously reported that LL-37, the only cathelicidin in humans, suppresses the development of colon cancer. In this study, the potential anticancer effect of FK-16, a fragment of LL-37 corresponding to residues 17 to 32, on cultured colon cancer cells was evaluated. FK-16 induced a unique pattern of cell death, marked by concurrent activation of caspase-independent apoptosis and autophagy. The former was mediated by the nuclear translocation of AIF and EndoG whereas the latter was characterized by enhanced expression of LC3-I/II, Atg5 and Atg7 and increased formation of LC3-positive autophagosomes. Knockdown of Atg5 or Atg7 attenuated the cytotoxicity of FK-16, indicating FK-16-induced autophagy was pro-death in nature. Mechanistically, FK-16 activated nuclear p53 to upregulate Bax and downregulate Bcl-2. Knockdown of p53, genetic ablation of Bax, or overexpression of Bcl-2 reversed FK-16-induced apoptosis and autophagy. Importantly, abolition of AIF/EndoG-dependent apoptosis enhanced FK-16-induced autophagy while abolition of autophagy augmented FK-16-induced AIF−/EndoG-dependent apoptosis. Collectively, FK-16 induces caspase-independent apoptosis and autophagy through the common p53-Bcl-2/Bax cascade in colon cancer cells. Our study also uncovered previously unknown reciprocal regulation between these two cell death pathways.
Oleanolic acid (3β-hydroxy-olea-12-en-28-oic acid) is a natural pentacyclic triterpenoic acid found in many fruits, herbs and medicinal plants. In the past decade, increasing evidence has suggested that oleanolic acid exhibits inhibitory activities against different types of cancer including skin cancer and colon cancer, but not leukemia. We report here that a derivative of oleanolic acid, olean-12-eno[2,3-c] , , oxadiazol-28-oic acid (designated OEOA) effectively blocks the proliferation of human leukemia cells. OEOA significantly reduces cell proliferation without inducing cell death in three types of leukemia cell lines, including K562, HEL and Jurket. Moreover, exposure of K562 cells to OEOA results in G1 cell cycle arrest, with a concomitant induction of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 and downregulation of cyclins and Cdks that are essential for cell cycle progression. Interestingly, OEOA also enhances erythroid differentiation in K562 cells through suppressing the expression of Bcr-Abl and phosphorylation of Erk1/2. These findings identify a novel chemical entity for further development as therapeutics against leukemia.
Chemotherapy is one of the three most common treatment modalities for cancer. However, its efficacy is limited by multidrug resistant cancer cells. Drug metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) and efflux transporters promote the metabolism, elimination, and detoxification of chemotherapeutic agents. Consequently, elevated levels of DMEs and efflux transporters reduce the therapeutic effectiveness of chemotheraputics and, often, lead to treatment failure. Nuclear receptors, especially pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) and constitutive androstane activated receptor (CAR, NR1I3), are increasingly recognized for their role in xenobiotic metabolism and clearance as well as their role in the development of multidrug resistance (MDR) during chemotherapy. Promiscuous xenobiotic receptors, including PXR and CAR, govern the inducible expressions of a broad spectrum of target genes that encode phase I DMEs, phase II DMEs, and efflux transporters. Recent studies conducted by a number of groups, including ours, have revealed that PXR and CAR play pivotal roles in the development of MDR in various human carcinomas, including prostate, colon, ovarian, and esophageal squamous cell carcinomas. Accordingly, PXR/CAR expression levels and/or activation statuses may predict prognosis and identify the risk of drug resistance in patients subjected to chemotherapy. Further, PXR/CAR antagonists, when used in combination with existing chemotherapeutics that activate PXR/CAR, are feasible and promising options that could be utilized to overcome or, at least, attenuate MDR in cancer cells.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has a poor prognosis due to late diagnosis and a lack of effective therapeutic options. Thus, it is important to better understand its molecular mechanisms and to develop more effective treatments for the disease. The ternary complex factor Net, which exerts its strong inhibitory function on transcription of proto-oncogene gene c-fos by forming ternary complexes with a second transcription factor, has been suspected of being involved in pancreatic cancer and other tumors biology. In this study, we found that the majority of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tissues and cell lines had weak or no expression of Net, whereas significantly high level of Net expression occurred in paired adjacent normal tissues we studied. Furthermore, using in vitro and in vivo model systems, we found that overexpression of Net inhibited cell growth and survival and induced cell apoptosis in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell PL45; the mechanisms by which Net inhibited the cell cycle progression were mainly through P21-Cyclin D1/CDK4 Pathway. Our data thus suggested that Net might play an important role in pancreatic carcinogenesis, possibly by acting as a tumor suppressor gene.
Fatty acids are involved in multiple pathways and play a pivotal role in health. Eicosanoids, derived from arachidonic acid, have received extensive attention in the field of cancer research. Following release from the phospholipid membrane, arachidonic acid can be metabolized into different classes of eicosanoids through cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenases, or p450 epoxygenase pathways. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely consumed as analgesics to relieve minor aches and pains, as antipyretics to reduce fever, and as anti-inflammatory medications. Most NSAIDs are nonselective inhibitors of cyclooxygenases, the rate limiting enzymes in the formation of prostaglandins. Long term use of some NSAIDs has been linked with reduced incidence and mortality in many cancers. In this review, we appraise the biological activities of prostanoids and their cognate receptors in the context of cancer biology. The existing literature supports that these lipid mediators are involved to a great extent in the occurrence and progression of cancer.
The cancer stem cell (CSC) model depicts that tumors are hierarchically organized and maintained by CSCs lying at the apex. CSCs have been “identified” in a variety of tumors through the tumor-forming assay, in which tumor cells distinguished by a certain cell surface marker (known as a CSC marker) were separately transplanted into immunodeficient mice. In such assays, tumor cells positive but not negative for the CSC marker (hereby defined as CSC+ and CSC− cells, respectively) have the ability of tumor-forming and generating both progenies. However, here we show that CSC+ and CSC− cells exhibit similar proliferation in the native states. Using a cell tracing method, we demonstrate that CSC− cells exhibit similar tumorigenesis and proliferation as CSC+ cells when they were co-transplanted into immunodeficient mice. Through serial single-cell derived subline construction, we further demonstrated that CSC+ and CSC− cells from CSC marker expressing tumors could invariably generate both progenies, and their characteristics are maintained among different generations irrespective of the origins (CSC+-derived or CSC−-derived). These findings demonstrate that tumorigenic cells cannot be distinguished by common CSC markers alone and we propose that cautions should be taken when using these markers independently to identify cancer stem cells due to the phenotypic plasticity of tumor cells.
Changes in the expression of glycosyltransferases directly influence the oligosaccharide structures and conformations of cell surface glycoproteins and consequently cellular phenotype transitions and biological behaviors. In the present study, we show that all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) modulates the N-glycan composition of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) by manipulating the expression of two N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases, GnT-III and GnT-V, via the ERK signaling pathway. Exposure of various cells to ATRA caused a remarkable gel mobility down-shift of ICAM-1. Treatment with PNGase F confirmed that the reduction of the ICAM-1 molecular mass is attributed to the decreased complexity of N-glycans. We noticed that the expression of the mRNA encoding GnT-III, which stops branching, was significantly enhanced following ATRA exposure. In contrast, the level of the mRNA encoding GnT-V, which promotes branching, was reduced following ATRA exposure. Silencing of GnT-III prevented the molecular mass shift of ICAM-1. Moreover, ATRA induction greatly inhibited the adhesion of SW480 and U937 cells to the HUVEC monolayer, whereas knock-down of GnT-III expression effectively restored cell adhesion function. Treatment with ATRA also dramatically reduced the trans-endothelial migration of U937 cells. These data indicate that the alteration of ICAM-1 N-glycan composition by ATRA-induced GnT-III activities hindered cell adhesion and cell migration functions simultaneously, pinpointing a unique regulatory role of specific glycosyltransferases in the biological behaviors of tumor cells and a novel function of ATRA in the modulation of ICAM-1 N-glycan composition.
Nucleotide excision repair (NER) removes many types of DNA lesions including those induced by UV radiation and platinum-based therapy. Resistance to platinum-based therapy correlates with high expression of ERCC1, a major element of the NER machinery. The interaction between ERCC1 and XPA is essential for a successful NER function. Therefore, one way to regulate NER is by inhibiting the activity of ERCC1 and XPA.
Here we continued our earlier efforts aimed at the identification and characterization of novel inhibitors of the ERCC1-XPA interaction. We used a refined virtual screening approach combined with a biochemical and biological evaluation of the compounds for their ability to interact with ERCC1 and to sensitize cells to UV radiation. Our findings reveal a new validated ERCC1-XPA inhibitor that significantly sensitized colon cancer cells to UV radiation indicating a strong inhibition of the ERCC1-XPA interaction.
NER is a major factor in acquiring resistance to platinum-based therapy. Regulating the NER pathway has the potential of improving the efficacy of platinum treatments. One approach that we followed is to inhibit the essential interaction between the two NER elements, ERCC1 and XPA. Here, we performed virtual screening against the ERCC1-XPA interaction and identified novel inhibitors that block the XPA-ERCC1 binding. The identified inhibitors significantly sensitized colon cancer cells to UV radiation indicating a strong inhibition of the ERCC1-XPA interaction.
Hypoxia is known to play critical roles in cell survival, angiogenesis, tumor invasion, and metastasis. Hypoxia mediated over-expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) has been shown to be associated with therapeutic resistance, and contributes to poor prognosis of cancer patients. Emerging evidence suggest that hypoxia and HIF pathways contributes to the acquisition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), maintenance of cancer stem cell (CSC) functions, and also maintains the vicious cycle of inflammation-all which lead to therapeutic resistance. However, the precise molecular mechanism(s) by which hypoxia/HIF drives these events are not fully understood. Here, we show, for the first time, that hypoxia leads to increased expression of VEGF, IL-6, and CSC signature genes Nanog, Oct4 and EZH2 consistent with increased cell migration/invasion and angiogenesis, and the formation of pancreatospheres, concomitant with increased expression of miR-21 and miR-210 in human pancreatic cancer (PC) cells. The treatment of PC cells with CDF, a novel synthetic compound inhibited the production of VEGF and IL-6, and down-regulated the expression of Nanog, Oct4, EZH2 mRNAs, as well as miR-21 and miR-210 under hypoxia. CDF also led to decreased cell migration/invasion, angiogenesis, and formation of pancreatospheres under hypoxia. Moreover, CDF decreased gene expression of miR-21, miR-210, IL-6, HIF-1α, VEGF, and CSC signatures in vivo in a mouse orthotopic model of human PC. Collectively, these results suggest that the anti-tumor activity of CDF is in part mediated through deregulation of tumor hypoxic pathways, and thus CDF could become a novel, and effective anti-tumor agent for PC therapy.
In general, drug metabolism has to be considered to avoid adverse effects and ineffective therapy. In particular, chemotherapeutic drug cocktails strain drug metabolizing enzymes especially the cytochrome P450 family (CYP). Furthermore, a number of important chemotherapeutic drugs such as cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, tamoxifen or procarbazine are administered as prodrugs and have to be activated by CYP. Therefore, the genetic variability of these enzymes should be taken into account to design appropriate therapeutic regimens to avoid inadequate drug administration, toxicity and inefficiency.
The aim of this work was to find drug interactions and to avoid side effects or ineffective therapy in chemotherapy.
Data sources and methods
Information on drug administration in the therapy of leukemia and their drug metabolism was collected from scientific literature and various web resources. We carried out an automated textmining approach. Abstracts of PubMed were filtered for relevant articles using specific keywords. Abstracts were automatically screened for antineoplastic drugs and their synonyms in combination with a set of human CYPs in title or abstract.
We present a comprehensive analysis of over 100 common cancer treatment regimens regarding drug-drug interactions and present alternatives avoiding CYP overload. Typical concomitant medication, e.g. antiemetics or antibiotics is a preferred subject to improvement. A webtool, which allows drug cocktail optimization was developed and is publicly available on http://bioinformatics.charite.de/chemotherapy.
Human metastasis-associated gene 1 (MTA1) is highly associated with the metastasis of prostate cancer; however, the molecular functions of MTA1 that facilitate metastasis remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that the silencing of MTA1 by siRNA treatment results in the upregulation of E-cadherin expression by the phosphorylation of AKT (p-AKT) and decreases the invasiveness of prostate cancer cells. We show that MTA1 is expressed in over 90% of prostate cancer tissues, especially metastatic prostate cancer tissue, comparing to non-expression in normal prostate tissue. RT-PCR analysis and Western blot assay showed that MTA1 expression is significantly higher in highly metastatic prostate cancer PC-3M-1E8 cells (1E8) than in poorly metastatic prostate cancer PC-3M-2B4 cells (2B4). Silencing MTA1 expression by siRNA treatment in 1E8 cells increased the cellular malignant characters, including the cellular adhesive ability, decreased the cellular invasive ability and changed the polarity of cellular cytoskeleton. 1E8 cells over-expressing MTA1 had a reduced expression of E-cadherin, while 1E8 cells treated with MTA1 siRNA had a higher expression of E-cadherin. The expression of phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT) or the inhibition of p-AKT by wortmannin treatment (100 nM) significantly altered the function of MTA1 in the regulation of E-cadherin expression. Alterations in E-cadherin expression changed the role of p-AKT in cellular malignant characters. All of these results demonstrate that MTA1 plays an important role in controlling the malignant transformation of prostate cancer cells through the p-AKT/E-cadherin pathway. This study also provides a new mechanistic role for MTA1 in the regulation of prostate cancer metastasis.
Routine use of antibiotics at subtherapeutic levels in animal feed drives the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Development of antibiotic-alternative approaches to disease control and prevention for food animals is imperatively needed. Previously, we showed that butyrate, a major species of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) fermented from undigested fiber by intestinal microflora, is a potent inducer of endogenous antimicrobial host defense peptide (HDP) genes in the chicken (PLoS One 2011, 6: e27225). In the present study, we further revealed that, in chicken HD11 macrophages and primary monocytes, induction of HDPs is largely in an inverse correlation with the aliphatic hydrocarbon chain length of free fatty acids, with SCFAs being the most potent, medium-chain fatty acids moderate and long-chain fatty acids marginal. Additionally, three SCFAs, namely acetate, propionate, and butyrate, exerted a strong synergy in augmenting HDP gene expression in chicken cells. Consistently, supplementation of chickens with a combination of three SCFAs in water resulted in a further reduction of Salmonella enteritidis in the cecum as compared to feeding of individual SCFAs. More importantly, free fatty acids enhanced HDP gene expression without triggering proinflammatory interleukin-1β production. Taken together, oral supplementation of SCFAs is capable of boosting host immunity and disease resistance, with potential for infectious disease control and prevention in animal agriculture without relying on antibiotics.
The molecular mechanism that controls the proliferation and differentiation of prostate epithelial cells is currently unknown. We previously identified a 44-kDa protein (p44/wdr77) as an androgen receptor-interacting protein that regulates a set of androgen receptor target genes in prostate epithelial cells and prostate cancer. In this study, we found that p44 localizes in the cytoplasm of prostate epithelial cells at the early stage of prostate development when cells are proliferating, and its nuclear translocation is associated with cellular and functional differentiation in adult prostate tissue. We further demonstrated that cytoplasmic p44 protein is essential for proliferation of prostate epithelial cells, whereas nuclear p44 is required for cell differentiation and prostate- specific protein secretion. These studies suggest a novel mechanism by which proliferation and differentiation of prostate epithelial cells are controlled by p44’s location in the cell.
Rho GTPases are key regulators of tumour cell invasion and therefore constitute attractive targets for the design of anticancer agents. Several strategies have been developed to modulate their increased activities during cancer progression. Interestingly, none of these approaches took into account the existence of the well-known antagonistic relationship between RhoA and Rac1. In this study, we first compared the invasiveness of a collection of colorectal cancer cell lines with their RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42 activities. A marked decrease of active Cdc42 and Rac1 correlated with the high invasive potential of the cell lines established from metastatic sites of colorectal adenocarcinoma (LoVo, SKCo1, SW620 and CoLo205). Conversely, no correlation between RhoA activity and invasiveness was detected, whereas the activity of its kinase effector ROCK was higher in cancer cell lines with a more invasive phenotype. In addition, invasiveness in these colon cancer cell lines was correlated with a typical round and blebbing morphology. We then tested whether treatment with PDGF to restore Cdc42 and Rac1 activities and/or with Y27632, a chemical inhibitor of ROCK, could decrease the invasiveness of SW620 cells. The association of both treatments substantially decreased the invasive potential of SW620 cells and this effect was accompanied by loss of membrane blebbing, restoration of a more elongated cell morphology and re-establishment of E-cadherin-dependent adherens junctions. This study paves the road to the development of therapeutic strategies in which different Rho GTPase modulators are combined to modulate the cross-talk between Rho GTPases and their specific input in metastatic progression.