Mucin 2 (MUC2) is a mucin molecule aberrantly expressed by ovarian cancer cells. Previous in vitro studies have indicated that MUC2 promotes cancer growth and metastasis through a tumor-associated macrophage (TAM)-dependent mechanism. However, this mechanism has never been linked to clinical oncology, and its prognostic significance needed to be clarified. Here, we collected 102 consecutive ovarian cancer specimens and used the multiple immuno-histo-chemical/-fluorescent technique to determine the correlations between the MUC2 expression status, the ratio of M1/M2 TAMs and the densities of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)+ TAMs and COX-2+ cancer cells. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariate Cox regression analysis were used to evaluate the prognostic influences of these parameters. As a result, we found that the MUC2 overexpression (immunostaining ++/+++) was significantly correlated with a reduced ratio of M1/M2 TAMs (p<0.001), an increased density of COX-2+ TAMs (p<0.001) and an increased density of COX-2+ cancer cells (p=0.017). Moreover, most of the M2 TAMs (93%-100%) and COX-2+ TAMs (63%-89%) overlapped; and the COX-2+ cancer cells were frequently observed near the COX-2+ TAMs. In the Cox regression analysis, MUC2 overexpression was found to be an independent prognostic factor for ovarian cancer patients, of which the hazard ratio (HR) was 2.354 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.031-10.707, p=0.005). Also, the reduced ratio of M1/M2 TAMs and the increased densities of COX-2+ TAMs and COX-2+ cancer cells were demonstrated to be the predictors of poor prognosis, among which the reduced M1/M2 ratio possessed the highest HR (1.767, 95% CI: 1.061-6.957, p=0.019). All these findings revealed that MUC2 can concurrently exert M2-polarizing and COX-2-inducing effects on TAMs, by which it causes an imbalanced TAM M1-/M2-polarization pattern and induces local PGE2 synthesis (in both TAMs and cancer cells). The positive feedback between local PGE2 synthesis and TAM M2-polarization accelerates ovarian cancer progression.
Implantation of a blastocyst in the uterus is a multistep process tightly controlled by an intricate regulatory network of interconnected ovarian, uterine, and embryonic factors. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) ligands and receptors are expressed in the uterus of pregnant mice, and BMP2 has been shown to be a key regulator of implantation. In this study, we investigated the roles of the BMP type 1 receptor, activin-like kinase 2 (ALK2), during mouse pregnancy by producing mice carrying a conditional ablation of Alk2 in the uterus (Alk2 cKO mice). In the absence of ALK2, embryos demonstrate delayed invasion into the uterine epithelium and stroma, and upon implantation, stromal cells fail to undergo uterine decidualization, resulting in sterility. Mechanistically, microarray analysis revealed that CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (Cebpb) expression is suppressed during decidualization in Alk2 cKO females. These findings and the similar phenotypes of Cebpb cKO and Alk2 cKO mice lead to the hypothesis that BMPs act upstream of CEBPB in the stroma to regulate decidualization. To test this hypothesis, we knocked down ALK2 in human uterine stromal cells (hESC) and discovered that ablation of ALK2 alters hESC decidualization and suppresses CEBPB mRNA and protein levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis of decidualizing hESC confirmed that BMP signaling proteins, SMAD1/5, directly regulate expression of CEBPB by binding a distinct regulatory sequence in the 3′ UTR of this gene; CEBPB, in turn, regulates the expression of progesterone receptor (PGR). Our work clarifies the conserved mechanisms through which BMPs regulate peri-implantation in rodents and primates and, for the first time, uncovers a linear pathway of BMP signaling through ALK2 to regulate CEBPB and, subsequently, PGR during decidualization.
A couple is defined as infertile when failing to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. Infertility affects more than 10% of couples. The implantation of the embryo in the uterus is one of the most critical steps of pregnancy, and it has been estimated that 75% of pregnancy fails because of peri-implantation defects. An intricate network of molecular pathways regulates the peri-implantation process. It is known that the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathways are part of this network, and herein we investigated how one of the BMP signaling receptors interacts with other factors in the uterus. Our results show an essential and conserved role of this BMP receptor during the implantation of the embryo in mice and humans. Furthermore, we discovered that BMPs act in a linear pathway upstream of two other key regulators of implantation, CEBPB and PGR.
The role of Notch signaling in the maintenance of adult murine prostate epithelial homeostasis remains unclear. We found that Notch ligands are mainly expressed within the basal cell lineage, while active Notch signaling is detected in both the prostate basal and luminal cell lineages. Disrupting the canonical Notch effector RBP-J impairs the differentiation of prostate basal stem cells and increases their proliferation in vitro and in vivo, but does not affect luminal cell biology. Conversely, ectopic Notch activation in adult prostates results in a decrease of basal cell number and luminal cell hyper-proliferation. TGFβ dominates over Notch signaling and overrides Notch ablation-induced proliferation of prostate basal cells. However, Notch confers sensitivity and positive feedback by up-regulating a plethora of TGFβ signaling components including TGFβRI. These findings reveal crucial roles of the self-enforced positive reciprocal regulatory loop between TGFβ and Notch in maintaining prostate basal stem cell dormancy.
prostate stem cells; Notch; TGFβ; RBP-J
Early embryo miscarriage is linked to inadequate endometrial decidualization, a cellular transformation process that enables deep blastocyst invasion into the maternal compartment. Although much of the cellular events that underpin endometrial stromal cell (ESC) decidualization are well recognized, the individual gene(s) and molecular pathways that drive the initiation and progression of this process remain elusive. Using a genetic mouse model and a primary human ESC culture model, we demonstrate that steroid receptor coactivator-2 (SRC-2) is indispensable for rapid steroid hormone-dependent proliferation of ESCs, a critical cell-division step which precedes ESC terminal differentiation into decidual cells. We reveal that SRC-2 is required for increasing the glycolytic flux in human ESCs, which enables rapid proliferation to occur during the early stages of the decidualization program. Specifically, SRC-2 increases the glycolytic flux through induction of 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2, 6-bisphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3), a major rate-limiting glycolytic enzyme. Similarly, acute treatment of mice with a small molecule inhibitor of PFKFB3 significantly suppressed the ability of these animals to exhibit an endometrial decidual response. Together, these data strongly support a conserved mechanism of action by which SRC-2 accelerates the glycolytic flux through PFKFB3 induction to provide the necessary bioenergy and biomass to meet the demands of a high proliferation rate observed in ESCs prior to their differentiation into decidual cells. Because deregulation of endometrial SRC-2 expression has been associated with common gynecological disorders of reproductive-age women, this signaling pathway, involving SRC-2 and PFKFB3, promises to offer new clinical approaches in the diagnosis and/or treatment of a non-receptive uterus in patients presenting idiopathic infertility, recurrent early pregnancy loss, or increased time to pregnancy.
Failure of an embryo to correctly implant into the endometrium is a common cause of pregnancy failure or early embryo miscarriage. Although advances in our understanding of oocyte and embryo development have significantly increased pregnancy success rates, these rates remain unacceptably low due in part to an endometrium that is unreceptive to embryo implantation. Using experimental mouse genetics and a primary human cell culture model, we show here that the development of a receptive endometrium requires steroid receptor coactivator-2, a factor which modulates the response of an endometrial cell to the pregnancy hormone, progesterone. Specifically, we show that SRC-2 increases progesterone-dependent glycolysis in the endometrial cell to provide energy and biomolecules for the next round of cell division. For an endometrium to be receptive to embryo implantation, specific endometrial cells (termed stromal cells) need to divide and numerically increase just prior to development of the receptive state. Therefore, SRC-2 is critical for the metabolic reprogramming of the endometrium to a receptive state, which provides the pretext for considering this factor and its metabolic targets in the design of future clinical approaches to diagnose and therapeutically treat those women at a high risk for early pregnancy loss.
The significance of mTOR activation in uterine leiomyosarcoma (ULMS) and its potential as a therapeutic target were investigated. Furthermore, given that effective therapies likely require combination mTOR blockade with inhibition of other targets, coupled with recent observations suggesting that Aurora-A kinase (Aurk-A) deregulations commonly occur in ULMS, the preclinical impact of dually targeting both pathways was evaluated.
Immunohistochemical staining was used to evaluate expression of activated mTOR componentry in a large (>200 samples) ULMS tissue microarray. Effects of mTOR blockade (using rapamycin) and Aurk-A inhibition (using MLN8237) alone and in combination on human ULMS cell growth, cell-cycle progression, and apoptosis were assessed in cellular assays. Drug interactions were determined via combination index (CI) analyses. The anti-tumor effects of inhibitors alone or in combination were evaluated in vivo.
Enhanced mTOR activation was seen in human ULMS samples. Increased pS6RP and p4EBP1 expression correlated with disease progression; p4EBP1 was found to be an independent prognosticator of patient outcome. Rapamycin inhibited growth and cell cycle progression of ULMS cell strains/lines in culture. However, only a cytostatic effect on tumor growth was found in vivo. Combining rapamycin with MLN8237 profoundly (and synergistically) abrogated ULMS cells’ growth in culture; interestingly, these effects were seen only when MLN8237 was pre-administered. This novel therapeutic combination and scheduling regimen resulted in marked tumor growth inhibition in vivo.
mTOR and Aurk-A pathways are commonly deregulated in ULMS. Preclinical data support further exploration of dual mTOR and Aurk-A therapeutic blockade for human ULMS.
uterine leiomyosarcoma; TMA; mTOR; Aurora kinase A; MLN8237
CYP2C19 encodes a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes, which play a central role in activating and detoxifying many carcinogens and endogenous compounds thought to be involved in the development of cancer. In the past decade, two common polymorphisms among CYP2C19 (CYP2C19*2 and CYP2C19*3) that are responsible for the poor metabolizers (PMs) phenotype in humans and cancer susceptibility have been investigated extensively; however, these studies have yielded contradictory results.
Methods and Results
To investigate this inconsistency, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of 11,554 cases and 16,592 controls from 30 case-control studies. Overall, the odds ratio (OR) of cancer was 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23–1.88, P<10-4] for CYP2C19 PMs genotypes. However, this significant association vanished when the analyses were restricted to 5 larger studies (no. of cases ≥ 500 cases). In the subgroup analysis for different cancer types, PMs genotypes had an effect of increasing the risks of esophagus cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma as well as head neck cancer. Significant results were found in Asian populations when stratiﬁed by ethnicity; whereas no significant associations were found among Caucasians. Stratiﬁed analyses according to source of controls, significant associations were found only in hospital base controls.
Our meta-analysis suggests that the CYP2C19 PMs genotypes most likely contributes to cancer susceptibility, particularly in the Asian populations.
The patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model is likely to reflect human tumor biology more accurately than cultured cell lines because human tumors are implanted directly into animals; maintained in an in vivo, three-dimensional environment; and never cultured on plastic. PDX models of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have been developed previously but were not well characterized at the molecular level. HNSCC is a deadly and disfiguring disease for which better systemic therapy is desperately needed. The development of new therapies and the understanding of HNSCC biology both depend upon clinically relevant animal models. We developed and characterized the patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model because it is likely to recapitulate human tumor biology.
We transplanted 30 primary tumors directly into mice. The histology and stromal components were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression analysis was conducted on patient tumors and on PDXs and cell lines derived from one PDX and from independent, human tumors.
Five of 30 (17%) transplanted tumors could be serially passaged. Engraftment was more frequent among HNSCC with poor differentiation and nodal disease. The tumors maintained the histologic characteristics of the parent tumor, although human stromal components were lost upon engraftment. The degree of difference in gene expression between the PDX and its parent tumor varied widely but was stable up to the tenth generation in one PDX. For genes whose expression differed between parent tumors and cell lines in culture, the PDX expression pattern was very similar to that of the parent tumor. There were also significant expression differences between the human tumors that subsequently grew in mice and those that did not, suggesting that this model enriches for cancers with distinct biological features. The PDX model was used successfully to test targeted drugs in vivo.
The PDX model for HNSCC is feasible, recapitulates the histology of the original tumor, and generates stable gene expression patterns. Gene expression patterns and histology suggested that the PDX more closely recapitulated the parental tumor than did cells in culture. Thus, the PDX is a robust model in which to evaluate tumor biology and novel therapeutics.
Patient-derived xenograft; Translational animal models; Gene expression; Head and neck cancer
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) induced liver disease is the leading indication for liver transplantation (LTx). Reinfection and accelerated development of fibrosis is a universal phenomenon following LTx. The molecular events that lead to fibrosis following HCV infection still remains poorly defined. In this study, we determined microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression profiles in livers from chronic HCV patients and normals using microarrays. Using Genego software and pathway finder we performed an interactive analysis to identify target genes that are modulated by miRNAs. 22 miRNAs were up regulated (>2 fold) and 35 miRNAs were down regulated (>2fold) compared to controls. Liver from HCV patients demonstrated increased expression of 306 genes (>3 fold) and reduced expression of 133 genes (>3 fold). Combinatorial analysis of the networks modulated by the miRNAs identified regulation of the phospholipase C pathway (miR200c, miR20b, and miR31through cellular proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (cSrc)), response to growth factors and hormones (miR141, miR107 and miR200c through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases, and regulation of cellular proliferation (miR20b, miR10b, and miR141 through cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 or CDK-interacting protein 1 p21). Real time PCR (RT-PCR) validation of the miRNA in HCV infected livers demonstrated a 3.3 ±0.9 fold increase in miR200c. In vitro transfection of fibroblasts with miR200c resulted in a 2.2 fold reduction in expression of tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type 13 or FAS associated phosphatase 1 (FAP-1) and 2.3 fold increase in expression of cSrc. miR200c transfection resulted in significant increases in expression of collagen and fibroblast growth factor (2.8 and 3.4 fold, p<0.05). Therefore, we propose that HCV induced increased expression of miR200c can down modulate the expression of FAP1, a critical regulator of Src and MAP kinase pathway that play an important role in the production of fibrogenic growth factors and development of fibrosis.
Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in normal developmental cellular
processes, but it may also be co-opted by a subset of cancer cells, to enable them to invade and
form metastases at distant sites. Several gene transcription factors regulate EMT, including Snail1,
Snail2, Zeb1, Zeb2, and Twist; ongoing studies continue to identify and elucidate other drivers.
Specific micro ribonucleic acids (RNAs) have also been found to regulate EMT, including the
microRNA-200 (miR-200) family, which targets Zeb1/Zeb2. Cancer “stem cells”
– with the ability to self-renew and to regenerate all the cell types within the tumor
– have been found to express EMT markers, further implicating both cancer stem cells and EMT
with metastasis. Microenvironmental cues, including transforming growth factor-β, can direct
EMT tumor metastasis, such as by regulating miR-200 expression. In human tumors, EMT markers and
regulators may be expressed in a subset of tumor cells, such as in cells at the invasive front or
tumor–microenvironment interface, though certain subtypes of cancer can show widespread
mesenchymal-like features. In terms of therapeutic targeting of EMT in patients, potential areas of
exploration could include targeting the cancer stem cell subpopulation, as well as microRNA-based
therapeutics that reintroduce miR-200. This review will examine evidence for a role of EMT in
invasion and metastasis, with the focus being on studies in lung and breast cancers. We also carry
out analyses of publicly-available gene expression profiling datasets in order to show how
EMT-associated genes appear coordinately expressed across human tumor specimens.
EMT; epithelial; mesenchymal transition; tumor microenvironment; miR-200; cancer stem cells
Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, but its effect on inflammation in colitis remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of LMWH on dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, in which acute colitis progresses to chronic colitis, and to explore the potential mechanism involved in this process. C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into control, DSS, and DSS plus LMWH groups (n = 18). Disease activity was scored by a disease activity index (DAI). Histological changes were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. The mRNA levels of syndecan-1, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-10 were determined by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Protein expression of syndecan-1 was detected by immunohistochemistry. The serum syndecan-1 level was examined by a dot immunobinding assay. LMWH ameliorated the disease activity of colitis induced by DSS administration in mice. Colon destruction with the appearance of crypt damage, goblet cell loss, and a larger ulcer was found on day 12 after DSS administration, which was greatly relieved by the treatment of LMWH. LMWH upregulated syndecan-1 expression in the intestinal mucosa and reduced the serum syndecan-1 level on days 12 and 20 after DSS administration (P<0.05 vs. DSS group). In addition, LMWH significantly decreased the expression of both IL-1β and IL-10 mRNA on days 12 and 20 (P<0.05 vs. DSS group). LMWH has therapeutic effects on colitis by downregulating inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting syndecan-1 shedding in the intestinal mucosa.
The treatment of breast cancer patients could potentially be advanced by having a more complete understanding of breast cancer biology, including a catalog of recurrently altered genes. Over the last decade, thousands of human breast tumors have been profiled for gene expression and DNA copy number alterations, and ongoing efforts in DNA sequencing are establishing the set of somatically mutated genes. Much of the molecular data being generated resides in the public domain, available as a resource for further research. The challenge then becomes how to best utilize all these data, to mine them for candidate biomarkers and targets, which is the subject of this review. Some examples of integrative analysis and combining results from diverse data sets are also presented.
We studied resistance to endocrine and HER2-targeted therapies using a xenograft model of estrogen receptor positive (ER)/HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. Here, we report a novel phenotype of drug resistance in this model.
MCF7/HER2-18 xenografts were treated with endocrine therapy alone or in combination with lapatinib and trastuzumab (LT) to inhibit HER2. Archival tumor tissues were stained with hematoxylin & eosin and mucicarmine. RNA extracted from tumors at early time points and late after acquired resistance were analyzed for mucin4 (MUC4) expression by microarray and quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. Protein expression of the MUC4, ER and HER2 signaling pathways was measured by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting.
The combination of the potent anti-HER2 regimen LT with either tamoxifen (Tam+LT) or estrogen deprivation (ED+LT) can cause complete eradication of ER-positive/HER2-overexpressing tumors in mice. Tumors developing resistance to this combination, as well as those acquiring resistance to endocrine therapy alone, exhibited a distinct histological and molecular phenotype—a striking increase in mucin-filled vacuoles and upregulation of several mucins including MUC4. At the onset of resistance, MUC4 mRNA and protein were increased. These tumors also showed upregulation and reactivation of HER2 signaling, while losing ER protein and the estrogen-regulated gene, progesterone receptor.
Mucins are upregulated in a preclinical model of ER-positive/HER2-overexpressing breast cancer as resistance develops to the combination of endocrine and anti-HER2 therapy. These mucin-rich tumors reactivate the HER2 pathway and shift their molecular phenotype to become more ER-negative/HER2-positive.
Breast cancer; mucin4; mucinated phenotype; mucins; endocrine therapy; HER2 therapy; drug resistance
While breast cancer mortality rate has seen a steady decline in the last few decades, advances in better treatment and diagnostic tools remain important as we come into the age of personalized therapy. In this report, we describe our studies of SGK3’s role in breast cancer. SGK3 (also known as CISK) is a member of the AGC family of kinases. Our previous work indicates that SGK3 functions downstream of the PI 3-kinase cascade and shares molecular and biochemical similarities with Akt. Here we show that SGK3 expression is linked to estrogen receptor (ER) both in breast caner cell lines and in primary tumor samples. Our analysis also indicated a positive correlation between SGK3 expression and tumor prognosis. Importantly, our immunochemistry analysis of human tumor samples established a clinical link between SGK3 expression and ER+ tumors. These findings implicate SGK3 as an additional component to a complex and heterogeneous disease, and point to the potential benefits of incorporating SGK3 into the process of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
SGK3; CISK; estrogen receptor; breast cancer; immunohistochemistry; PI 3-kinase
Clinicopathologic features and biochemical recurrence are sensitive, but not specific, predictors of metastatic disease and lethal prostate cancer. We hypothesize that a genomic expression signature detected in the primary tumor represents true biological potential of aggressive disease and provides improved prediction of early prostate cancer metastasis.
A nested case-control design was used to select 639 patients from the Mayo Clinic tumor registry who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1987 and 2001. A genomic classifier (GC) was developed by modeling differential RNA expression using 1.4 million feature high-density expression arrays of men enriched for rising PSA after prostatectomy, including 213 who experienced early clinical metastasis after biochemical recurrence. A training set was used to develop a random forest classifier of 22 markers to predict for cases - men with early clinical metastasis after rising PSA. Performance of GC was compared to prognostic factors such as Gleason score and previous gene expression signatures in a withheld validation set.
Expression profiles were generated from 545 unique patient samples, with median follow-up of 16.9 years. GC achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.75 (0.67–0.83) in validation, outperforming clinical variables and gene signatures. GC was the only significant prognostic factor in multivariable analyses. Within Gleason score groups, cases with high GC scores experienced earlier death from prostate cancer and reduced overall survival. The markers in the classifier were found to be associated with a number of key biological processes in prostate cancer metastatic disease progression.
A genomic classifier was developed and validated in a large patient cohort enriched with prostate cancer metastasis patients and a rising PSA that went on to experience metastatic disease. This early metastasis prediction model based on genomic expression in the primary tumor may be useful for identification of aggressive prostate cancer.
Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are emerging as key regulators of cell survival and growth. The transcriptional activity and subcellular localization of FOXO are tightly regulated by post-translational modifications. Here we report that IKBKE regulates FOXO3a through phosphorylation of FOXO3a-Ser644. The phosphorylation of FOXO3a resulted in its degradation and nuclear-cytoplasmic translocation. Previous studies have shown that IKBKE directly activates Akt and that Akt inhibits FOXO3a by phosphorylation of Ser32, Ser253 and Ser315. However, the activity of Akt-nonphosphorytable FOXO3a-A3 (i.e., converting 3 serine residues to alanine) was inhibited by IKBKE. Furthermore, overexpression of IKBKE correlates with elevated levels of pFOXO3a-S644 in primary lung and breast tumors. IKBKE inhibits cellular function of FOXO3a and FOXO3a-A3 but, to a much less extent, of FOXO3a-S644A. These findings suggest that IKBKE regulates FOXO3a primarily through phosphorylation of SerS644 and that IKBKE exerts its cellular function, at least to some extent, through regulation of FOXO3a.
Mitochondrial-nucleus cross talks and mitochondrial retrograde regulation can play a significant role in cellular properties. Transmitochondrial cybrid systems (cybrids) are an excellent tool to study specific effects of altered mitochondria under a defined nuclear background. The majority of the studies using the cybrid model focused on the significance of specific mitochondrial DNA variations in mitochondrial function or tumor properties. However, most of these variants are benign polymorphisms without known functional significance. From an objective of rectifying mitochondrial defects in cancer cells and to establish mitochondria as a potential anticancer drug target, understanding the role of functional mitochondria in reversing oncogenic properties under a cancer nuclear background is very important. Here we analyzed the potential reversal of oncogenic properties of a highly metastatic cell line with the introduction of non-cancerous mitochondria. Cybrids were established by fusing the mitochondria DNA depleted 143B TK- ρ0 cells from an aggressive osteosarcoma cell line with mitochondria from benign breast epithelial cell line MCF10A, moderately metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-468 and 143B cells. In spite of the uniform cancerous nuclear background, as observed with the mitochondria donor cells, cybrids with benign mitochondria showed high mitochondrial functional properties including increased ATP synthesis, oxygen consumption and respiratory chain activities compared to cybrids with cancerous mitochondria. Interestingly, benign mitochondria could reverse different oncogenic characteristics of 143B TK- cell including cell proliferation, viability under hypoxic condition, anti-apoptotic properties, resistance to anti-cancer drug, invasion, and colony formation in soft agar, and in vivo tumor growth in nude mice. Microarray analysis suggested that several oncogenic pathways observed in cybrids with cancer mitochondria are inhibited in cybrids with non-cancerous mitochondria. These results suggest the critical oncogenic regulation by mitochondrial-nuclear cross talk and highlights rectifying mitochondrial functional properties as a promising target in cancer therapy.
The 1306 C>T, 1171 5A>6A, and 1562C>T polymorphisms of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2, MMP3, and MMP9 genes, respectively, have been found to be functional and may contribute to head and neck carcinogenesis. However, the results of case-control studies examining associations between MMP polymorphisms and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk remain inconclusive. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to further evaluate the role of these polymorphisms in HNC development.
We searched PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, MEDLINE, Embase, and Google Scholar to identify all published case-control studies of MMP2-1306 C>T, MMP3-1171 5A>6A, and MMP9-1562 C>T polymorphisms and HNC risk in the meta-analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the association between these polymorphisms and HNC risk.
Thirteen studies were included in this meta-analysis. For MMP2-1306 C>T polymorphism, significant associations were observed under three genetic models both in overall comparison and in a hospital-based subgroup, and in oral cavity cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer under dominant model as well. For MMP3-1171 5A>6A and MMP9-1562 C>T polymorphisms, no association was found in overall comparison; however, in subgroup analyses based on ethnicity and tumor site, significant associations were detected between the MMP3-1171 5A>6A polymorphism and HNC risk in a European population and pharyngeal/laryngeal cancer under two genetic contrasts.
This meta-analysis suggests that the MMP2-1306 C>T polymorphism is associated with HNC risk, as is the MMP3-1171 5A>6A polymorphism specifically in some subgroups. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted.
Liposarcoma can be an aggressive, debilitating and fatal malignancy. In this study, we identifed microRNAs (miRNAs) associated with the differentiation status of liposarcoma to gain insight into the basis for its progression. miRNA expression profiles determined in human tumors and normal fat specimens identified a de-differentiated tumor expression signature consisting of 35 miRNAs. Deregulated miRNA expression was confirmed in a second independent sample cohort. The miR-155 was the most overexpressed miRNA and functional investigations assigned an important role in the growth of de-differentiated liposarcoma cell lines. Transient or stable knockdown of miR-155 retarded tumor cell growth, decreased colony formation and induced G1-S cell cycle arrest in vitro and blocked tumor growth in murine xenografts in vivo. We identified casein kinase 1α (CK1α) as a direct target of miR-155 control which enhanced β-catenin signaling and cyclin D1 expression, promoting tumor cell growth. In summary, our results point to important functions for miR-155 and β-catenin signaling in progression of liposarcoma, revealing mechanistic vulnerabilities that might be exploited for both prognostic and therapeutic purposes.
Liposarcoma; miRNA; CK1α; β-catenin; cyclin D1
Oncogenic PI3K/mTOR activation is frequently observed in human cancers and activates cell motility via p27 phosphorylations at T157 and T198. Here we explored the potential for a novel PI3K/mTOR inhibitor to inhibit tumor invasion and metastasis. An MDA-MB-231 breast cancer line variant, MDA-MB-231-1833, with high metastatic bone tropism, was treated with a novel catalytic PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, PF-04691502, at nM doses that did not impair proliferation. Effects on tumor cell motility, invasion, p27 phosphorylation, localization, and bone metastatic outgrowth were assayed. MDA-MB-231-1833 showed increased PI3K/mTOR activation, high levels of cytoplasmic p27pT157pT198 and increased cell motility and invasion in vitro versus parental. PF-04691502 treatment, at a dose that did not affect proliferation, reduced total and cytoplasmic p27, decreased p27pT157pT198 and restored cell motility and invasion to levels seen in MDA-MB-231. p27 knockdown in MDA-MB-231-1833 phenocopied PI3K/mTOR inhibition, whilst overexpression of the phosphomimetic mutant p27T157DT198D caused resistance to the anti-invasive effects of PF-04691502. Pre-treatment of MDA-MB-231-1833 with PF-04691502 significantly impaired metastatic tumor formation in vivo, despite lack of antiproliferative effects in culture and little effect on primary orthotopic tumor growth. A further link between cytoplasmic p27 and metastasis was provided by a study of primary human breast cancers which showed cytoplasmic p27 is associated with increased lymph nodal metastasis and reduced survival. Novel PI3K/mTOR inhibitors may oppose tumor metastasis independent of their growth inhibitory effects, providing a rationale for clinical investigation of PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in settings to prevent micrometastasis. In primary human breast cancers, cytoplasmic p27 is associated with worse outcomes and increased nodal metastasis, and may prove useful as a marker of both PI3K/mTOR activation and PI3K/mTOR inhibitor efficacy.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-012-2389-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
p27; PI3K/mTOR; Cancer invasion; Motility; Metastasis
Distant recurrences after antineoplastic treatment remain a serious problem for breast cancer clinical management, which threats patients’ life. Systemic therapy is administered to eradicate cancer cells from the organism, both at the site of the primary tumor and at any other potential location. Despite this intervention, a significant proportion of breast cancer patients relapse even many years after their primary tumor has been successfully treated according to current clinical standards, evidencing the existence of a chemoresistant cell subpopulation originating from the primary tumor.
To identify key molecules and signaling pathways which drive breast cancer chemoresistance we performed gene expression analysis before and after anthracycline and taxane-based chemotherapy and compared the results between different histopathological response groups (good-, mid- and bad-response), established according to the Miller & Payne grading system. Two cohorts of 33 and 73 breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were recruited for whole-genome expression analysis and validation assay, respectively. Identified genes were subjected to a bioinformatic analysis in order to ascertain the molecular function of the proteins they encode and the signaling in which they participate. High throughput technologies identified 65 gene sequences which were over-expressed in all groups (P ≤ 0·05 Bonferroni test). Notably we found that, after chemotherapy, a significant proportion of these genes were over-expressed in the good responders group, making their tumors indistinguishable from those of the bad responders in their expression profile (P ≤ 0.05 Benjamini-Hochgerg`s method).
These data identify a set of key molecular pathways selectively up-regulated in post-chemotherapy cancer cells, which may become appropriate targets for the development of future directed therapies against breast cancer.
Because of the high risk of recurrence in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGS-OvCa), the development of outcome predictors could be valuable for patient stratification. Using the catalog of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we developed subtype and survival gene expression signatures, which, when combined, provide a prognostic model of HGS-OvCa classification, named “Classification of Ovarian Cancer” (CLOVAR). We validated CLOVAR on an independent dataset consisting of 879 HGS-OvCa expression profiles. The worst outcome group, accounting for 23% of all cases, was associated with a median survival of 23 months and a platinum resistance rate of 63%, versus a median survival of 46 months and platinum resistance rate of 23% in other cases. Associating the outcome prediction model with BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation status, residual disease after surgery, and disease stage further optimized outcome classification. Ovarian cancer is a disease in urgent need of more effective therapies. The spectrum of outcomes observed here and their association with CLOVAR signatures suggests variations in underlying tumor biology. Prospective validation of the CLOVAR model in the context of additional prognostic variables may provide a rationale for optimal combination of patient and treatment regimens.
The microRNA-200 family restricts epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis in tumor cell lines derived from mice that develop metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. To determine the mechanisms responsible for EMT and metastasis regulated by this microRNA, we conducted a global LC-MS/MS analysis to compare metastatic and non-metastatic murine lung adenocarcinoma cells which had undergone EMT due to loss of miR-200. An analysis of syngeneic tumors generated by these cells identified multiple novel proteins linked to metastasis. In particular, the analysis of conditioned media, cell surface proteins, and whole cell lysates from metastatic and non-metastatic cells revealed large scale modifications in the tumor microenvironment. Specific increases were documented in extracellular matrix proteins, peptidases, and changes in distribution of cell adhesion proteins in the metastatic cell lines. Integrating proteomic data from three sub-proteomes, we defined constituents of a multilayer protein network that both regulated and mediated the effects of transforming growth factor TGFβ. Lastly, we identified extracellular matrix proteins and peptidases that were directly regulated by miR-200. Taken together, our results reveal how expression of miR-200 alters the tumor microenvironment to inhibit the processes of EMT and metastasis.
Proteomics; EMT; metastasis
In breast carcinomas, increased levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) can act as a mitogen to augment tumorigenesis through the regulation of MAPK and AKT signaling pathways. Signaling through these two pathways allows IGF-1 to employ mechanisms that favor proliferation and cellular survival. Here we demonstrate a subset of previously described tumor suppressor and oncogenic microRNAs (miRNAs) that are under the direct regulation of IGF-1 signaling. Additionally, we show that the selective inhibition of either the MAPK or AKT pathways prior to IGF-1 stimulation prevents the expression of previously described tumor suppressor miRNAs that are family and cluster specific. Here we have defined, for the first time, specific miRNAs under the direct regulation of IGF-1 signaling in the estrogen receptor positive MCF-7 breast cancer cell line and demonstrate kinase signaling as a modulator of expression for a small subset of microRNAs. Taken together, these data give new insights into mechanisms governing IGF-1 signaling in breast cancer.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a clonal stem cell malignancy whose pathogenesis is driven by constitutive activation of the breakpoint cluster region–v-abl Abelson murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (BCR-ABL1) kinase. Although BCR-ABL1 activation is present in all patients with CML, patients can present in 3 different phases characterized by an increasingly worse prognosis and diminished responsiveness to tyrosine kinase inhibitors: chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blastic phase. The biologic basis for progression from chronic phase to blastic phase and for regulating the homeostasis of tyrosine kinase inhibitor-resistant CML stem cells is not entirely understood.
To shed some light into these aspects of CML biology, the authors used reverse phase protein arrays probed with 112 individual monoclonal antibodies to compare protein expression patterns in 40 samples of leukemia-enriched fractions from patients with CML (25 in chronic phase, 5 in accelerated phase, and 10 in phase).
An analysis of variance (significance cutoff, P < .01) unveiled a set of proteins that were overexpressed in blastic phase, including heat-shock protein 90 (hsp90); retinoblastoma (Rb); apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF); serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A); B-cell leukemia 2 (Bcl-2); X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (Xiap); human homolog of Drosophila Mad (mothers against decapenta-plegic) and related Caenorhabditis elegans gene Sma, family member 1 (Smad1); single-stranded DNA binding protein 2 alpha (SSBP2α); poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP); GRB2-associated binding protein 2 (Gab2); and tripartite motif containing 24 (Trim24). It is noteworthy that several of these proteins also were overexpressed in the CD34-positive compartment, which putatively contains the CML stem cell population.
The results from this study indicated that reverse phase protein array analysis can unveil differentially expressed proteins in advanced phase CML that can be exploited therapeutically with targeted approaches.
chronic myeloid leukemia; protein expression; reverse phase protein array; signature; blastic phase; chronic phase; proteomics
Prediction of prostate cancer prognosis is challenging and predictive biomarkers of recurrence remain elusive. Although prostate specific antigen (PSA) has high sensitivity (90%) at a PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL, its low specificity leads to many false positive results and considerable overtreatment of patients and its performance at lower ranges is poor. Given the histopathological and molecular heterogeneity of prostate cancer, we propose that a panel of markers will be a better tool than a single marker. We tested a panel of markers composed of the anti-apoptotic protein FLIP and its transcriptional regulators Sp1 and Sp3 using prostate tissues from 64 patients with recurrent and non-recurrent cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy as primary treatment for prostate cancer and were followed with PSA measurements for at least 5 years. Immunohistochemical staining for Sp1, Sp3, and FLIP was performed on these tissues and scored based on the proportion and intensity of staining. The predictive value of the FLIP/Sp1/Sp3 signature for clinical outcome (recurrence vs. non-recurrence) was explored with logistic regression, and combinations of FLIP/Sp1/Sp3 and Gleason score were analyzed with a stepwise (backward and forward) logistic model. The discrimination of the markers was identified by sensitivity-specificity analysis and the diagnostic value of FLIP/Sp1/Sp3 was determined using area under the curve (AUC) for receiver operator characteristic curves. The AUCs for FLIP, Sp1, Sp3, and Gleason score for predicting PSA failure and non-failure were 0.71, 0.66, 0.68, and 0.76, respectively. However, this increased to 0.93 when combined. Thus, the “biomarker signature” of FLIP/Sp1/Sp3 combined with Gleason score predicted disease recurrence and stratified patients who are likely to benefit from more aggressive treatment.