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1.  Protease-activated receptors (PARs)—biology and role in cancer invasion and metastasis 
Cancer Metastasis Reviews  2015;34:775-796.
Although many studies have demonstrated that components of the hemostatic system may be involved in signaling leading to cancer progression, the potential mechanisms by which they contribute to cancer dissemination are not yet precisely understood. Among known coagulant factors, tissue factor (TF) and thrombin play a pivotal role in cancer invasion. They may be generated in the tumor microenvironment independently of blood coagulation and can induce cell signaling through activation of protease-activated receptors (PARs). PARs are transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are activated by a unique proteolytic mechanism. They play important roles in vascular physiology, neural tube closure, hemostasis, and inflammation. All of these agents (TF, thrombin, PARs—mainly PAR-1 and PAR-2) are thought to promote cancer invasion and metastasis at least in part by facilitating tumor cell migration, angiogenesis, and interactions with host vascular cells, including platelets, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells lining blood vessels. Here, we discuss the role of PARs and their activators in cancer progression, focusing on TF- and thrombin-mediated actions. Therapeutic options tailored specifically to inhibit PAR-induced signaling in cancer patients are presented as well.
PMCID: PMC4661218  PMID: 26573921
PAR-1; PAR-2; Tissue factor; Thrombin; Cancer invasion; Metastasis; Microenvironment
2.  Convergence of eicosanoid and integrin biology: 12-lipoxygenase seeks a partner 
Molecular Cancer  2015;14:111.
Integrins and enzymes of the eicosanoid pathway are both well-established contributors to cancer. However, this is the first report of the interdependence of the two signaling systems. In a screen for proteins that interacted with, and thereby potentially regulated, the human platelet-type 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX, ALOX12), we identified the integrin β4 (ITGB4).
Using a cultured mammalian cell model, we have demonstrated that ITGB4 stimulation leads to recruitment of 12-LOX from the cytosol to the membrane where it physically interacts with the integrin to become enzymatically active to produce 12(S)-HETE, a known bioactive lipid metabolite that regulates numerous cancer phenotypes.
The net effect of the interaction was the prevention of cell death in response to starvation. Additionally, regulation of β4-mediated, EGF-stimulated invasion was shown to be dependent on 12-LOX, and downstream Erk signaling in response to ITGB4 activation also required 12-LOX.
This is the first report of an enzyme of the eicosanoid pathway being recruited to and regulated by activated β4 integrin. Integrin β4 has recently been shown to induce expansion of prostate tumor progenitors and there is a strong correlation between stage/grade of prostate cancer and 12-LOX expression. The 12-LOX enzymatic product, 12(S)-HETE, regulates angiogenesis and cell migration in many cancer types. Therefore, disruption of integrin β4-12LOX interaction could reduce the pro-inflammatory oncogenic activity of 12-LOX. This report on the consequences of 12-LOX and ITGB4 interaction sets a precedent for the linkage of integrin and eicosanoid biology through direct protein-protein association.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12943-015-0382-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4453211  PMID: 26037302
12-lipoxygenase; α6β4 integrin; Eicosanoid; Migration; Apoptosis
3.  Platelet-type 12-lipoxygenase induces MMP9 expression and cellular invasion via activation of PI3K/Akt/NF-κB 
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of death in males in the United States. Using human prostate cancer specimens, the authors have previously shown that elevated expression levels of 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX) occurred more frequently in advanced stage, high-grade prostate cancer, suggesting that 12-LOX expression is associated with carcinoma progression and invasion. Previous reports from their group and others have shown that 12-LOX is a positive modulator of invasion and metastasis; however, the mechanism remains unclear. In this work, a new link between 12-LOX and the matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) in prostate cancer angiogenesis is reported. This study demonstrated that overexpression of 12-LOX in prostate cancer PC-3 cells resulted in elevated expression of MMP9 mRNA, protein and secretion. Exogenous addition of 12(S)-hydroxy eicosatetraenoic acid, the sole and stable end product of arachidonic acid metabolism by 12-LOX, is able to increase MMP9 expression in wild-type PC-3 cells. Furthermore, using pharmacological and genetic inhibition approaches, it was found that 12-LOX activates phosphoinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt, which results in nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-driven MMP9 expression, ensuing in enhanced chemoattraction of endothelial cells. Specific inhibitors of 12-LOX, PI3K or NF-κB inhibited MMP9 expression in 12-LOX-expressing PC-3 cells and resulted in the blockade of the migratory ability of endothelial cells. In summary, the authors have identified a new pathway by which overexpression of 12-LOX in prostate cancer cells leads to augmented production of MMP9 via activation of PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling. The role of 12-LOX-mediated MMP9 secretion in endothelial cell migration may account for the proangiogenic function of 12-LOX in prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC4269488  PMID: 23526143
12-lipoxygenase; matrix metalloproteinase; MMP9; NF-κB; prostate cancer; angiogenesis
4.  Platelets and cancer: a casual or causal relationship: revisited 
Cancer metastasis reviews  2014;33(1):231-269.
Human platelets arise as subcellular fragments of megakaryocytes in bone marrow. The physiologic demand, presence of disease such as cancer, or drug effects can regulate the production circulating platelets. Platelet biology is essential to hemostasis, vascular integrity, angiogenesis, inflammation, innate immunity, wound healing, and cancer biology. The most critical biological platelet response is serving as “First Responders” during the wounding process. The exposure of extracellular matrix proteins and intracellular components occurs after wounding. Numerous platelet receptors recognize matrix proteins that trigger platelet activation, adhesion, aggregation, and stabilization. Once activated, platelets change shape and degranulate to release growth factors and bioactive lipids into the blood stream. This cyclic process recruits and aggregates platelets along with thrombogenesis. This process facilitates wound closure or can recognize circulating pathologic bodies. Cancer cell entry into the blood stream triggers platelet-mediated recognition and is amplified by cell surface receptors, cellular products, extracellular factors, and immune cells. In some cases, these interactions suppress immune recognition and elimination of cancer cells or promote arrest at the endothelium, or entrapment in the microvasculature, and survival. This supports survival and spread of cancer cells and the establishment of secondary lesions to serve as important targets for prevention and therapy.
PMCID: PMC4186918  PMID: 24696047
Platelet; TCIPA; Metastasis; Thrombosis; Extravasation; CTC
5.  Emerging targets in lipid-based therapy☆ 
Biochemical pharmacology  2012;85(5):673-688.
The use of prostaglandins and NSAIDS in the clinic has proven that lipid mediators and their associated pathways make attractive therapeutic targets. When contemplating therapies involving lipid pathways, several basic agents come to mind. There are the enzymes and accessory proteins that lead to the metabolism of lipid substrates, provided through diet or through actions of lipases, the subsequent lipid products, and finally the lipid sensors or receptors. There is abundant evidence that molecules along this lipid continuum can serve as prognostic and diagnostic indicators and are in fact viable therapeutic targets. Furthermore, lipids themselves can be used as therapeutics. Despite this, the vernacular dialog pertaining to “biomarkers” does not routinely include mention of lipids, though this is rapidly changing. Collectively these agents are becoming more appreciated for their respective roles in diverse disease processes from cancer to preterm labor and are receiving their due appreciation after decades of ground work in the lipid field. By relating examples of disease processes that result from dysfunction along the lipid continuum, as well as examples of lipid therapies and emerging technologies, this review is meant to inspire further reading and discovery.
PMCID: PMC4106802  PMID: 23261527
Cancer; Bioactive lipids; Raman; Therapeutics; Biomarkers; Drug synergism
Experimental cell research  2010;316(10):1706-1715.
12-lipoxygenase, an arachidonic acid metabolizing enzyme of the lipoxygenase pathway, has been implicated as a major factor in promoting prostate cancer progression and metastasis. The ability of 12-LOX to aggravate the disease was linked to its proangiogenic role. Recent studies clearly demonstrated that 12-LOX enhances the expression and secretion of the angiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) thus providing a direct link between this enzyme and its angiogenic properties. In the present study we have investigated the relationship between 12-LOX and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a transcription factor involved in the regulation of VEGF expression under hypoxic conditions in solid tumors. Our findings have revealed that HIF-1 is one of the target transcription factors regulated by 12-LOX and 12(S)-HETE, in hypoxic tumor cells of the prostate. Regulation of HIF-1α by 12-LOX adds to the complexity of pathways mediated by this enzyme in promoting prostate cancer angiogenesis and metastasis. We have evidence that 12-LOX increases the protein level, mRNA, and functional activity of HIF-1α under hypoxic conditions, one of the mechanisms by which it upregulates VEGF secretion and activity.
PMCID: PMC3420817  PMID: 20303950
12-Lipoxygenase; Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α (HIF-1α); angiogenesis; prostate cancer; hypoxia
7.  Laccase Expression in Murine Pulmonary Cryptococcus neoformans Infection  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(5):3124-3127.
Cryptococcus neoformans laccase expression during murine infection was investigated in lung tissue by immunohistochemistry and immunogold electron microscopy. Laccase was detected in the fungal cell cytoplasm, cell wall, and capsule in vivo. The amount of laccase found in different sites varied as a function of the time of infection.
PMCID: PMC1087372  PMID: 15845520
8.  Complex Function for SicA, a Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Type III Secretion-Associated Chaperone 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(8):2262-2268.
Salmonella enterica encodes a type III secretion system within a pathogenicity island located at centisome 63 that is essential for virulence. All type III secretion systems require the function of a family of low-molecular-weight proteins that aid the secretion process by acting as partitioning factors and/or secretion pilots. One such protein is SicA, which is encoded immediately upstream of the type III secreted proteins SipB and SipC. We found that the absence of SicA results in the degradation of both SipB and SipC. Interestingly, in the absence of SipC, SipB was not only stable but also secreted at wild-type levels in a sicA mutant background, indicating that SicA is not required for SipB secretion. We also found that SicA is capable of binding both SipB and SipC. These results are consistent with a SicA role as a partitioning factor for SipB and SipC, thereby preventing their premature association and degradation. We also found that introduction of a sicA null mutation results in the lack of expression of SopE, another type III-secreted protein. Such an effect was shown to be transcriptional. Introduction of a loss-of-function sipC mutation into the sicA mutant background rescued sopE expression. These results indicate that the effect of sicA on sopE expression is indirect and most likely exerted through a regulatory factor(s) partitioned by SicA from SipC. These studies therefore describe a surprisingly complex function for the Salmonella enterica type III secretion-associated chaperone SicA.
PMCID: PMC111276  PMID: 10735870

Results 1-8 (8)