HOTAIR is a long intervening non-coding RNA (lincRNA) that associates with the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) and overexpression is correlated with poor survival for breast, colon and liver cancer patients. In this study, we show that HOTAIR expression is increased in pancreatic tumors compared to non-tumor tissue and is associated with more aggressive tumors. Knockdown of HOTAIR (siHOTAIR) by RNA interference shows that HOTAIR plays an important role in pancreatic cancer cell invasion and as reported in other cancer cell lines. In contrast, HOTAIR knockdown in Panc1 and L3.6pL pancreatic cancer cells that overexpress this lincRNA decreased cell proliferation, altered cell cycle progression, and induced apoptosis, demonstrating an expanded function for HOTAIR in pancreatic cancer cells compared to other cancer cell lines. Results of gene array studies showed that there was minimal overlap between HOTAIR-regulated genes in pancreatic vs. breast cancer cells and HOTAIR uniquely suppressed several interferon-related genes and gene sets related to cell cycle progression in pancreatic cancer cells and tumors. Analysis of selected genes suppressed by HOTAIR in Panc1 and L3.6 pL cells showed by knockdown of EZH2 and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays that HOTAIR-mediated gene repression was both PRC2-dependent and -independent. HOTAIR knockdown in L3.6pL cells inhibited tumor growth in mouse xenograft model, further demonstrating the pro-oncogenic function of HOTAIR in pancreatic cancer.
HOTAIR; invasion; cell cycle progression; pro-oncogenic; prognostic
Androgen-insensitive DU145 and PC3 human prostate cancer cells express high levels of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4, and treatment of cells with methyl 2-cyano-3,11-dioxo-18β-olean-1,12-dien-30-oate (CDODA-Me) inhibited cell growth and downregulated Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 expression. CDODA-Me (15 mg/kg/d) was a potent inhibitor of tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model (PC3 cells) and also decreased expression of Sp transcription factors in tumors. CDODA-Me-mediated downregulation of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 was due to induction of the transcriptional repressor ZBTB4 which competitively binds and displaces Sp transcription factors from GC-rich sites in Sp1, Sp3, Sp4 and Sp-regulated gene promoters. ZBTB4 levels are relatively low in DU145 and PC3 cells due to suppression by microRNA (miR) paralogs that are members of the miR-17-92 (miR-20a/17-5p) and miR-106b-25 (miR-106b/93) clusters. Examination of publically available prostate cancer patient array data showed an inverse relationship between ZBTB4 and miRs-20a/17-5p/106b/93 expression, and increased ZBTB4 in prostate cancer patients was a prognostic factor for increased survival. CDODA-Me induces ZBTB4 in prostate cancer cells through disruption of miR-ZBTB4 interactions and this results in downregulation of pro-oncogenic Sp transcription factors and Sp-regulated genes.
ZBTB4; CDODA-Me; Sp; miR-17-92; miR-106b
The objective of this study was to demonstrate the anti-skin cancer and chemopreventive potential of 1,1-bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-chlorophenyl methane) (DIM-D) using an in vitro model.
In vitro cell cytotoxicity and viability assays were carried out in A431 human epidermoid carcinoma cell line and normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) respectively by crystal violet staining. Apoptosis induction in A431 cells (DIM-D treated) and NHEK cells pretreated with DIM-D (2 hr) prior to UVB irradiation, were assessed. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in DIM-D pretreated NHEK cells (2 hr) prior to UVB exposure was also determined. Immunocytochemistry and western blot analysis was performed to determine cleaved caspase 3 and DNA damage markers in DIM-D treated A431 cells and in DIM-D pretreated NHEK cells prior to UVB irradiation.
The IC50 values of DIM-D were 68.7±7.3, 48.3±10.1 and 11.5±3.1 μM whilst for Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) were 419.1±8.3, 186.1±5.2 and 56.7±3.1 μM for 24, 48 and 72 hr treatments respectively. DIM-D exhibited a significantly (p<0.05) greater induction of DNA fragmentation in A431 cells compared to EGCG with percent cell death of 38.9. In addition, DIM-D induced higher expression in A431 cells compared to EGCG of cleaved caspase 3 (3.0-fold vs. 2.4-fold changes), Nurr1 (2.7-fold vs. 1.7-fold changes) and NFκB (1.3-fold vs. 1.1-fold changes). DIM-D also exhibited chemopreventive activity in UVB-irradiated NHEK cells by significantly (p<0.05) reducing UVB-induced ROS formation and apoptosis compared to EGCG. Additionally, DIM-D induced expression of Nurr1 but reduced expression of 8-OHdG significantly in UVB-irradiated NHEK cells compared to EGCG and UV only.
Our results suggest that DIM-D exhibits Nurr1-dependent transactivation in the induction of apoptosis in A431 cells and it protects NHEK cells against UVB-induced ROS formation and DNA damage.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) is a member of the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors with important regulatory roles in cellular growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Using proteomic analysis, we demonstrated expression of PPARγ protein in a series of 260 newly diagnosed primary AML samples. Forced expression of PPARγ enhanced the sensitivity of myeloid leukemic cells to PPARγ agonists CDDO- or 15d15DPGJ2-induced apoptosis, through preferential cleavage of caspase-8. No effects on cell cycle distribution or differentiation were noted, despite prominent induction of p21 in PPARγ-transfected cells. In turn, antagonizing PPARγ function by siRNA or pharmacological PPARγ inhibitor significantly diminished apoptosis induction by CDDO. Overexpression of co-activator protein DRIP205 resulted in enhanced differentiation induction by CDDO in AML cells through PPARγ activation. Studies with DRIP205 deletion constructs demonstrated that the NR boxes of DRIP205 are not required for this co-activation. In a Phase I clinical trial of CDDO (RTA-401) in leukemia, CDDO induced an increase in PPARγ mRNA expression in 6 of 9 patient samples; of those, induction of differentiation was documented in 4, and of p21 in 3 patients, all expressing DRIP205 protein. In summary, these findings suggest that cellular levels of PPARγ regulate induction of apoptosis via caspase-8 activation, while the co-activator DRIP205 is a determinant of induction of differentiation, in response to PPARγ agonists in leukemic cells.
PPARgamma; DRIP205; AML; CDDO; differentiation; apoptosis
Toxicology and careers in toxicology, as well as many other scientific disciplines, are undergoing rapid and dramatic changes as new discoveries, technologies, and hazards advance at a blinding rate. There are new and ever increasing demands on toxicologists to keep pace with expanding global economies, highly fluid policy debates, and increasingly complex global threats to public health. These demands must be met with new paradigms for multidisciplinary, technologically complex, and collaborative approaches that require advanced and continuing education in toxicology and associated disciplines. This requires paradigm shifts in educational programs that support recruitment, development, and training of the modern toxicologist, as well as continued education and retraining of the midcareer professional to keep pace and sustain careers in industry, government, and academia. The Society of Toxicology convened the Toxicology Educational Summit to discuss the state of toxicology education and to strategically address educational needs and the sustained advancement of toxicology as a profession. The Summit focused on core issues of: building for the future of toxicology through educational programs; defining education and training needs; developing the “Total Toxicologist”; continued training and retraining toxicologists to sustain their careers; and, finally, supporting toxicology education and professional development. This report summarizes the outcomes of the Summit, presents examples of successful programs that advance toxicology education, and concludes with strategies that will insure the future of toxicology through advanced educational initiatives.
NR4A2 (Nurr 1) is an orphan nuclear receptor with no known endogenous ligands and is highly expressed in many cancer cell lines including Panc1 and Panc28 pancreatic cancer cells. Structure-dependent activation of NR4A2 by a series of 1,1-bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(aromatic)methane (C-DIM) analogs was determined in pancreatic cancer cells transfected with yeast GAL4-Nurr1 chimeras and a UASx5-luc reporter gene or constructs containing response elements that bind NR4A2. Among 23 different structural analogs, phenyl groups containing p-substituted trifluoromethyl, t-butyl, cyano, bromo, iodo and trifluoromethoxy groups were the most active compounds in transactivation assay. The p-bromophenyl analog (DIM-C-pPhBr) was used as a model for structure-activity studies among a series of ortho-, meta- and para-bromophenyl isomers and the corresponding indole 2- and N-methyl analogs. Results show that NR4A2 activation was maximal with the p-bromophenyl analog and methylation of the indole NH group abrogated activity. Moreover, using GAL4-Nurr1 (full length) or GAL-Nurr1-A/B and GAL4-Nurr1-(C-F) chimeras expressing N- and C-terminal domains of Nurr1, respectively, DIM-C-pPhBr activated all three constructs and these responses were differentially affected by kinase inhibitors. DIM-C-pPhBr also modulated expression of several Nurr1-regulated genes in pancreatic cancer cells including vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and the immunohistochemical and western blot analyses indicated that DIM-C-pPhBr activates nuclear NR4A2.
DIM analogs; NR4A2/Nurr1; structure-activity
3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) is the major in vivo product of the acid-catalyzed oligomerization of indole-3-carbinol present in cruciferous vegetables. 1, 1-bis (3′-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl) methanes [C-substituted diindolylmethanes (C-DIMs)] are a new class of anticancer compounds derived from indole 3-carbinol. Despite rapidly increasing knowledge regarding mechanisms responsible for the chemopreventive properties of DIM-C-pPhC6H5, there have been relatively few studies determining the absorption and pharmacokinetic properties of DIM-C-pPhC6H5 to explore its clinical utility.
In this study, we assessed the solubility, lipophilicity and Caco-2 cell permeability of methylene-substituted DIM. Pharmacokinetic properties in rats were determined following i.v. and oral administration of a novel analog of DIM. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined using noncompartmental and compartmental techniques with WinNonlin® 5.0 software. To explore potential In Vitro–In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC) between the in vitro permeability values, and the oral absorption pharmacokinetics, we employed deconvolution of i.v. and oral data using a three compartment Exact Loo–Riegelman method.
The oral absorption and disposition were described by a three compartment model with combined zero-order/Michaelis–Menten limited systemic uptake using differential equations, at physiologically relevant doses. The saturation model obtained accounts for a nonlinear change in Cmax/Dose, and the absolute bioavailability (0.13 ± 0.06) was also dose dependent. The absorption rate profile of DIMC-pPhC6H5 across Caco-2 cells was significantly different than in vivo. Conclusions: The pharmacokinetic absorption model presented represents a useful basis for obtaining plasma level predictability for poorly bioavailable, highly lipophilic drugs, such as the DIM analog DIM-C-pPhC6H5.
Anticancer; Pharmacokinetic model; Chemoprevention; DIM; Anticarcinogen
Celastrol (CSL) is a naturally occurring triterpenoid acid that exhibits anticancer activity, and in KU7 and 253JB-V bladder cells, CSL induced apoptosis, inhibited growth, colony formation and migration and CSL decreased bladder tumor growth in vivo. CSL also decreased expression of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 and several Sp-regulated genes/proteins including vascular endothelial growth factor, survivin and cyclin D1 and fibroblast growth factor receptor-3, a potential drug target for bladder cancer therapy, has now been characterized as an Sp-regulated gene downregulated by CSL. The mechanism of Sp downregulation by CSL was cell context-dependent due to activation of proteosome-dependent (KU7) and -independent (253JB-V) pathways. In 253JB-V cells, CSL induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inhibitors of ROS blocked CSL-induced growth inhibition and repression of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4. This response was due to induction of the Sp repressors ZBTB10 and ZBTB4 and downregulation of miR-27a and miR-20a/17-5p, respectively, which regulate expression of these transcriptional repressors. Thus, the anticancer activity of CSL in 253JB-V cells is due to induction of ROS and ROS-mediated induction of Sp repressors (ZBTB4/ZBTB10) through downregulation of miR-27a and miR-20a/17-5p.
The orphan nuclear receptor TR3 (NR41A, Nur77) is overexpressed in most lung cancer patients and is a negative prognostic factor for patient survival. The function of TR3 was investigated in non-small cell lung cancer A549 and H460 cells, and knockdown of TR3 by RNA interference (siTR3) inhibited cancer cell growth and induced apoptosis. The prosurvival activity of TR3 was due, in part, to formation of a p300/TR3/Sp1 complex bound to GC-rich promoter regions of survivin and other Sp-regulated genes (mechanism 1). However, in p53 wild-type A549 and H460 cells, siTR3 inhibited the mTORC1 pathway and this was due to activation of p53 and induction of the p53-responsive gene sestrin 2 which subsequently activated the mTORC1 inhibitor AMPKα (mechanism 2). This demonstrates that the pro-oncogenic activity of TR3 in lung cancer cells was due to inhibition of p53 and activation of mTORC1. 1,1-Bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-hydroxyphenyl)methane (DIM-C-pPhOH) is a recently discovered inhibitor of TR3 which mimics the effects of siTR3. DIM-C-pPhOH inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in lung cancer cells and lung tumors in murine orthotopic and metastatic models, and this was accompanied by decreased expression of survivin and inhibition of mTORC1 signaling, demonstrating that inactivators of TR3 represent a novel class of mTORC1 inhibitors.
TR3; Nur77; NR4A1; mTORC1; c-DIMs; lung cancer
The wild-type (WT) Cprlox/lox (cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase, Cpr) mouse is an ideal model to assess the contribution of P450 enzymes to the metabolic activation and disposition of environmental xenobiotics. In the present study, we examined the effect of in utero exposure to benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] aerosol on Sp4 and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)–dependent systems as well as a resulting behavioral phenotype (object discrimination) in Cpr offspring. Results from in utero exposure of WT Cprlox/lox mice were compared with in utero exposed brain-Cpr-null offspring mice. Null mice were used as they do not express brain cytochrome P4501B1–associated NADPH oxidoreductase (CYP1B1-associated NADPH oxidoreductase), thus reducing their capacity to produce neural B(a)P metabolites. Subsequent to in utero (E14–E17) exposure to B(a)P (100 μg/m3), Cprlox/lox offspring exhibited: (1) elevated B(a)P metabolite and F2-isoprostane neocortical tissue burdens, (2) elevated concentrations of cortical glutamate, (3) premature developmental expression of Sp4, (4) decreased subunit ratios of NR2B:NR2A, and (5) deficits in a novelty discrimination phenotype monitored to in utero exposed brain-Cpr-null offspring. Collectively, these findings suggest that in situ generation of metabolites by CYP1B1-associated NADPH oxidoreductase promotes negative effects on NMDA-mediated signaling processes during the period when synapses are first forming as well as effects on a subsequent behavioral phenotype.
NMDA receptor; neuronal activity; neurogenesis; synaptogenesis; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; benzo(a)pyrene; susceptibility-exposure paradigm; B(a)P metabolites; object discrimination task
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) was initially identified as a receptor that bound 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related environmental toxicants; however, there is increasing evidence that the AHR is an important new drug target for treating multiple diseases including breast cancer. Treatment of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative MDA-MB-231 and BT474 breast cancer cells with TCDD or the selective AHR modulator 6-methyl-1,3,-trichlorodibenzofuran (MCDF) inhibited breast cancer cell invasion in a Boyden chamber assay. These results were similar to those previously reported for the antimetastic microRNA-335 (miR-335). Both TCDD and MCDF induced miR-335 in MDA-MB-231 and BT474 cells and this was accompanied by downregulation of SOX4, a miR-335-regulated (inhibited) gene. The effects of TCDD and MCDF on miR-335 and SOX4 expression and interactions of miR-335 with the 3'-UTR target sequence in the SOX4 gene were all inhibited in cells transfected with an oligonucleotide (iAHR) that knocks down the AHR, thus confirming AHR-miR-335 interactions. MCDF (40 mg/kg/day) also inhibited lung metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells in a tail vein injection model, demonstrating that the AHR is a potential new target for treating patients with ER-negative breast cancer, a disease where treatment options and their effectiveness are limited.
Ah receptor; miR-335; antimetastasis
Curcumin inhibits growth of several cancer cell lines, and studies in this laboratory in bladder and pancreatic cancer cells show that curcumin downregulates specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 and pro-oncogenic Sp-regulated genes. In this study, we investigated the anticancer activity of curcumin and several synthetic cyclohexanone and piperidine analogs in colon cancer cells.
The effects of curcumin and synthetic analogs on colon cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis were determined using standardized assays. The changes in Sp proteins and Sp-regulated gene products were analysed by western blots, and real time PCR was used to determine microRNA-27a (miR-27a), miR-20a, miR-17-5p and ZBTB10 and ZBTB4 mRNA expression.
The IC50 (half-maximal) values for growth inhibition (24 hr) of colon cancer cells by curcumin and synthetic cyclohexanone and piperidine analogs of curcumin varied from 10 μM for curcumin to 0.7 μM for the most active synthetic piperidine analog RL197, which was used along with curcumin as model agents in this study. Curcumin and RL197 inhibited RKO and SW480 colon cancer cell growth and induced apoptosis, and this was accompanied by downregulation of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 and Sp-regulated genes including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-MET), survivin, bcl-2, cyclin D1 and NFκB (p65 and p50). Curcumin and RL197 also induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), and cotreatment with the antioxidant glutathione significantly attenuated curcumin- and RL197-induced growth inhibition and downregulation of Sp1, Sp3, Sp4 and Sp-regulated genes. The mechanism of curcumin-/RL197-induced repression of Sp transcription factors was ROS-dependent and due to induction of the Sp repressors ZBTB10 and ZBTB4 and downregulation of microRNAs (miR)-27a, miR-20a and miR-17-5p that regulate these repressors.
These results identify a new and highly potent curcumin derivative and demonstrate that in cells where curcumin and RL197 induce ROS, an important underlying mechanism of action involves perturbation of miR-ZBTB10/ZBTB4, resulting in the induction of these repressors which downregulate Sp transcription factors and Sp-regulated genes.
Curcumin; ROS induction; Sp transcription factors; MicroRNAs
We hypothesized that the anticancer activity of cannabinoids was linked to induction of phosphatases.
Materials and Methods
The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) and the synthetic cannabinoid WIN-55,212 (WIN) on LNCaP (prostate) and SW480 (colon) cancer cell proliferation were determined by cell counting; apoptosis was determined by cleavage of poly(ADP)ribose polymerase (PARP) and caspase-3 (Western blots); and phosphatase mRNAs were determined by real-time PCR. The role of phosphatases and cannabinoid receptors in mediating CBD- and WIN-induced apoptosis was determined by inhibition and receptor knockdown.
CBD and WIN inhibited LNCaP and SW480 cell growth and induced mRNA expression of several phosphatases, and the phosphatase inhibitor sodium orthovanadate significantly inhibited cannabinoid-induced PARP cleavage in both cell lines, whereas only CBD-induced apoptosis was CB1 and CB2 receptor-dependent.
Cannabinoid receptor agonists induce phosphatases and phosphatase-dependent apoptosis in cancer cell lines; however, the role of the CB receptor in mediating this response is ligand-dependent.
Cannabinoids; apoptosis; protein tyrosine phosphatases; dual-specificity phosphatases
Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is highly effective for treating colon cancer patients postdiagnosis; however, the mechanisms of action of aspirin in colon cancer are not well defined. Aspirin and its major metabolite sodium salicylate induced apoptosis and decreased colon cancer cell growth and the sodium salt of aspirin also inhibited tumor growth in an athymic nude mouse xenograft model. Colon cancer cell growth inhibition was accompanied by downregulation of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 proteins and decreased expression of Sp-regulated gene products including bcl-2, survivin, VEGF, VEGFR1, cyclin D1, c-MET and p65 (NFκB). Moreover, we also showed by RNA interference that β-catenin, an important target of aspirin in some studies, is an Sp-regulated gene. Aspirin induced nuclear caspase-dependent cleavage of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 proteins and this response was related to sequestration of zinc ions since addition of zinc sulfate blocked aspirin-mediated apoptosis and repression of Sp proteins. The results demonstrate an important underlying mechanism of action of aspirin as an anticancer agent and, based on the rapid metabolism of aspirin to salicylate in humans and the high salicylate/aspirin ratios in serum, it is likely that the anticancer activity of aspirin is also due to the salicylate metabolite.
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) inhibits cancer cell growth and there is a controversy regarding the cancer chemoprotective effects of pharmacologic doses of this compound which exhibits pro-oxidant activity. We hypothesized that the anticancer activity of pharmacologic doses of ascorbic acid (< 5 mM) is due, in part, to reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent downregulation of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 and Sp-regulated genes. In this study, ascorbic acid (1 – 3 mM) decreased RKO and SW480 colon cancer cell proliferation and induced apoptosis and necrosis and this was accompanied by downregulation of Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 proteins. In addition, ascorbic acid decreased expression of several Sp-regulated genes that are involved in cancer proliferation [hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-Met), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclin D1], survival (survivin and bcl-2), and angiogenesis [vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2)]. Other pro-oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide exhibited similar activities in colon cancer cells and cotreatment with glutathione inhibited these responses. This study demonstrates for the first time that the anticancer activities of ascorbic acid are due, in part, to ROS-dependent repression of Sp transcription factors.
Ascorbic acid; colon cancer; ROS; peroxide; Sp downregulation
Methyl 2-cyano-3,11-dioxo-18β-olean-1,12-dien-30-oate (CDODA-Me) and the corresponding 2-trifluoromethyl analog (CF3DODA-Me) are derived synthetically from the triterpenoid glycyrrhetinic acid, a major component of licorice. CDODA-Me and CF3DODA-Me inhibited growth of highly invasive ARO, DRO, K-18 and HTh-74 thyroid cancer cells and this was due, in part, to decreased expression of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 that are overexpressed in these cells. CDODA-Me and CF3DODA-Me also decreased expression of Sp-dependent genes, such as survivin and vascular endothelial growth factor, and induced apoptosis. In addition, pituitary tumor-transforming gene-1 (PTTG-1) protein and mRNA levels were also decreased in thyroid cancer cells treated with CDODA-Me or CF3DODA-Me and this was accompanied by decreased expression of PTTG-1-dependent c-Myc and fibroblast growth factor 2 genes. RNA interference studies against Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 proteins showed that in thyroid cancer cells, PTTG-1 was an Sp-dependent gene. This study demonstrates for the first time that drugs, such as CDODA-Me and CF3DODA-Me, that decrease Sp protein expression also downregulate PTTG-1 in thyroid cancer cells and therefore have potential for clinical treatment of thyroid cancer and other endocrine neoplasias where PTTG-1 is a major pro-oncogenic factor.
PTTG-1; Sp proteins; thyroid cancer; anticancer agents
The human POK family members are transcription factors with a POZ domain and zinc fingers that act primarily as transcriptional repressors. Several members of this family are involved in oncogenesis and this prompted us to assess whether expression levels of individual POK family members are associated with clinical outcomes in cancer. We have observed that ZBTB4 is downregulated in breast cancer patients, and that its expression is significantly correlated with relapse-free survival. Further integrative analysis of mRNA and microRNA (miR) expression data from the NCI-60 cell lines revealed an inverse correlation between ZBTB4 and oncogenic miRs derived from the miR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues. The experimental results using MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells confirm that miRNAs derived from these clusters, containing miR-17-5p, miR-20a, miR-106a, miR-106b and miR-93, negatively regulate ZBTB4 expression. Overexpression of ZBTB4 or restoration of ZBTB4 by using an antagomir inhibit growth and invasion of breast cancer cells, and this effect is due, in part, to ZBTB4-dependent repression of the specificity protein 1 (Sp1), Sp3, and Sp4 genes, and subsequent downregulation of several Sp-dependent oncogenes, in part, through competition between ZBTB4 and Sp transcription factors for GC-rich promoter sequences. These results confirm that ZBTB4 functions as a novel tumor suppressor gene with prognostic significance for breast cancer survival, and the oncogenic miR-17-92/ZBTB4/Sp axis may be a potential therapeutic target.
ZBTB4; miR-17-92 cluster; breast cancer; prognostic; Sp transcription factors
NR4A1 (Nur77, TR3) is overexpressed in pancreatic tumors and activation of TR3 by 1,1-bis(3′-indolyl)-1-(p-methoxyphenyl)methane (DIM-C-pPhOCH3) inhibits cell and tumor growth and induces apoptosis. Microarray analysis demonstrates that in L3.6pL pancreatic cancer cells DIM-C-pPhOCH3 induces genes associated with metabolism, homeostasis, signal transduction, transcription, stress, transport, immune responses, growth inhibition and apoptosis. Among the most highly induced growth inhibitory and proapoptotic genes including activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), p21, cystathionase, dual specificity phosphatase 1 and growth differentiation factor 15, RNA interference studies demonstrated that induction of all but the later gene by DIM-C-pPhOCH3 were TR3-dependent. We also observed that DIM-C-pPhOCH3 induced Fas ligand and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and induction of TRAIL was ATF3 dependent. Results of this and previous studies demonstrate that TR3 is unique among nuclear receptors since nuclear TR3 is activated or deactivated by diindolylmethane derivatives to induce different apoptotic and growth inhibitory pathways that inhibit pancreatic cancer cell and tumor growth.
Dynamic analysis of the uptake and metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their metabolites within live cells in real time has the potential to provide novel insights into genotoxic and non-genotoxic mechanisms of cellular injury caused by PAHs. The present work, combining the use of metabolite spectra generated from metabolite standards using multiphoton spectral analysis and an “advanced unmixing process”, identifies and quantifies the uptake, partitioning, and metabolite formation of one of the most important PAHs (benzo[a]pyrene, BaP) in viable cultured rat liver cells over a period of 24 hr. The application of the advanced unmixing process resulted in the simultaneous identification of 8 metabolites in live cells at any single time. The accuracy of this unmixing process was verified using specific microsomal epoxide hydrolase inhibitors, glucuronidation and sulfation inhibitors as well as several mixtures of metabolite standards. Our findings prove that the two-photon microscopy imaging surpasses the conventional fluorescence imaging techniques and the unmixing process is a mathematical technique that seems applicable to analysis of BaP metabolites in living cells especially for analysis of changes of the ultimate carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene-r-7,t-8-dihydrodiol-t-9,10-epoxide. Therefore, the combination of the two-photon acquisition with the unmixing process should provide important insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which BaP and other PAHs alter cellular homeostasis.
Benzo[a]pyrene; microsomal epoxide hydrolase inhibitor; aryl hydrocarbon receptor; EROD activity; BaP metabolites; multiphoton spectral analysis
Mdm2 is a multifunctional protein that modulates nuclear receptor-mediated transactivation. In this study, we show that Mdm2 significantly enhanced estrogen receptor α (ERα) and ERα/specificity protein (Sp)-mediated transactivation in MCF-7 and ZR-75 breast cancer cells. This was demonstrated by both Mdm2 overexpression and knockdown experiments by RNA interference. ERα interacted with wild-type Mdm2 and deletion mutants of Mdm2 containing amino acids 1–342 (C-terminal deletion) and 134–490 (N-terminal deletion), but not 134–342. In contrast, only wild-type but not mutant Mdm2 enhanced ERα-mediated transactivation. Protein-protein interactions in vitro were 17β-estradiol (E2)-independent, whereas fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments in living cells showed that E2 enhanced ERα-Mdm2 interactions. Subsequent RNA interference and mammalian two-hybrid experiments suggested that Mdm2 did not directly interact with endogenous coactivators such as the steroid receptor coactivators but played a role in enhancing ERα-mediating gene expression and estrogen-responsiveness through interactions with ERα.
Mdm2; ERα; ERα/Sp; coactivation
Ethyl 2-((2,3-bis(nitrooxy)propyl)disulfanyl)benzoate (GT-094) is a novel NO chimera containing an NSAID and NO moieties and also a disulfide pharmacophore that in itself exhibits cancer chemopreventive activity. In this study, the effects and mechanism of action of GT-094 were investigated in RKO and SW480 colon cancer cells. GT-094 inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in both cell lines and this was accompanied by decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and these responses were reversed after cotreatment with the antioxidant glutathione. GT-094 also downregulated genes associated with cell growth [cyclin D1, hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-Met), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)], survival (bcl-2, survivin), and angiogenesis [vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2)]. Results of previous RNA interference studies in this laboratory has shown that these genes are regulated, in part, by specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 that are overexpressed in colon and other cancer cell lines and not surprisingly, GT-094 also decreased Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 in colon cancer cells. GT-094-mediated repression of Sp and Sp-regulated gene products was due to downregulation of microRNA-27a (miR-27a) and induction of ZBTB10, an Sp repressor that is regulated by miR-27a in colon cancer cells. Moreover, the effects of GT-094 on Sp1, Sp3, Sp4, miR-27a and ZBTB10 were also inhibited by glutathione suggesting that the anticancer activity of GT-094 in colon cancer cells is due, in part, to activation of an ROS-miR-27a:ZBTB10-Sp transcription factor pathway.
GT-094; NO-NSAID; Sp proteins; colon cancer; miR-27a:ZBTB10
ESR1 is one of the most important transcription factors and therapeutic targets in breast cancer. By applying systems-level re-analysis of publicly available gene expression data, we uncovered a potential regulator of ESR1. We demonstrated that orphan nuclear receptor NR2E3 regulates ESR1 via direct binding to the ESR1 promoter with concomitant recruitment of PIAS3 to the promoter in breast cancer cells, and is essential for physiological cellular activity of ESR1 in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cells. Moreover, expression of NR2E3 was significantly associated with recurrence-free survival and a favourable response to tamoxifen treatment in women with ER-positive breast cancer. Our results provide mechanistic insights on the regulation of ESR1 by NR2E3 and the clinical relevance of NR2E3 in breast cancer.
breast cancer; genomics; microarray; NR2E3; nuclear receptor
The purpose of this study was to determine the anticancer efficacy of 1,1-bis (3′ indolyl)-1-(p-biphenyl) methane (DIM-C-pPhC6H5) by inhalation delivery alone and in combination with i.v. docetaxel (Doc) in a murine model for lung cancer. An aqueous DIM-C-pPhC6H5 formulation was characterized for its aerodynamic properties. Tumor-bearing athymic nude mice were exposed to nebulized DIM-C-pPhC6H5, Doc, or combination (DIM-C-pPhC6H5 plus Doc) using a nose-only exposure technique. The aerodynamic properties included mass median aerodynamic diameter of 1.8 ± 0.3 μm and geometric standard deviation of 2.31 ± 0.02. Lung weight reduction in mice treated with the drug combination was 64 % compared to 40 % and 47 % in mice treated with DIM-C-pPhC6H5 aerosol and Doc alone respectively. Combination treatment decreased expression of akt, cyclinD1, survivin, Mcl-1, NF-kB, IKBα, P-IkBα, VEGF, and increased expression of JNK2 and Bad compared to tumors collected from single-agent treatment and control groups. DNA fragmentation was also enhanced in mice treated with the drug combination mice compared to Doc or DIM-C-pPhC6H5 alone. Combination treatment decreased expressions of VEGF & CD31 compared to single agent treated and control groups. These results suggest that DIM-C-pPhC6H5 aerosol enhanced the anticancer activity of Doc in a lung cancer model by activating multiple signaling pathways. The study provides evidence that DIM-C-pPhC6H5 can be used alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of lung cancer using the inhalation delivery approach.
Nose-only; lung cancer; inhalation; chemotherapy; DIM-C-pPhC6H5
The paper by Pansoy and coworkers investigates the effects of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) ligand 3-methylcholanthrene (3MC) on recruitment of the AHR complex to human promoters in T47D breast cancer cells. The results are particularly important because they can be compared with a prior study using the potent AHR ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in the same cell line. The chromatin immunoprecipitation and promoter-focused microarrays (ChIP-chip) demonstrated that after treatment of T47D cells with 1μM 3MC, there were 241 AHR-3MC bound regions and many of these contained AHR-responsive elements. However, they also observed interactions with regions that do not contain these responsive elements, and subsequent analysis of selected target genes show that 3MC-dependent AHR binding did not necessarily predict Ah-responsiveness because induction, repression, and no effects were observed. A prior study with TCDD demonstrated that both 3MC and TCDD induced AHR binding to 127 common regions; however, there were significant differences in ligand (3MC vs. TCDD)-dependent AHR bound regions. The results illustrate the complexity of AHR signaling and also demonstrate that compared with TCDD as a reference ligand, 3MC is a selective AHR modulator.
AhR; ChIP; AhR binding sites; ligand differences