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1.  MicroRNAs As Biomarkers For Clinical Features Of Lung Cancer 
Metabolomics : open access  2012;2(3):1000108-.
Each year about 1.4 million people die from lung cancer worldwide. Despite efforts in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, survival rate remains poor for this disease. This unfortunate situation is largely due to the fact that a high proportion of cases are diagnosed at advanced stages, highlighting the great need for identifying new biomarkers in order to improve early diagnosis and treatment. Recent studies on microRNAs have not only shed light on their involvement in tumor development and progression, but also suggested their potential utility as biomarkers for subtype diagnostics, staging and prediction of treatment response. This review article summarizes the impact of microRNAs on lung cancer biology, and highlights their role in the detection and classification of lung cancer as well as direct targets for drug development.
PMCID: PMC4159950  PMID: 25221729
2.  SOX15 and other SOX family members are important mediators of tumorigenesis in multiple cancer types 
Oncoscience  2014;1(5):326-335.
SOX genes are transcription factors with important roles in embryonic development and carcinogenesis. The SOX family of 20 genes is responsible for regulating lineage and tissue specific gene expression patterns, controlling numerous developmental processes including cell differentiation, sex determination, and organogenesis. As is the case with many genes involved in regulating development, SOX genes are frequently deregulated in cancer. In this perspective we provide a brief overview of how SOX proteins can promote or suppress cancer growth. We also present a pan-cancer analysis of aberrant SOX gene expression and highlight potential molecular mechanisms responsible for their disruption in cancer. Our analyses indicate the prominence of SOX deregulation in different cancer types and reveal potential roles for SOX genes not previously described in cancer. Finally, we summarize our recent identification of SOX15 as a candidate tumor suppressor in pancreatic cancer and propose several research avenues to pursue to further delineate the emerging role of SOX15 in development and carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4278306  PMID: 25594027
SOX; SOX15; oncogene; tumor suppressor; development; cancer
3.  Integrin-linked kinase as a target for ERG-mediated invasive properties in prostate cancer models 
Carcinogenesis  2012;33(12):2558-2567.
Approximately half of prostate cancers (PCa) carry TMPRSS2-ERG translocations; however, the clinical impact of this genomic alteration remains enigmatic. Expression of v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene like (avian) gene (ERG) promotes prostatic epithelial dysplasia in transgenic mice and acquisition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) characteristics in human prostatic epithelial cells (PrECs). To explore whether ERG-induced EMT in PrECs was associated with therapeutically targetable transformation characteristics, we established stable populations of BPH-1, PNT1B and RWPE-1 immortalized human PrEC lines that constitutively express flag-tagged ERG3 (fERG). All fERG-expressing populations exhibited characteristics of in vitro and in vivo transformation. Microarray analysis revealed >2000 commonly dysregulated genes in the fERG-PrEC lines. Functional analysis revealed evidence that fERG cells underwent EMT and acquired invasive characteristics. The fERG-induced EMT transcript signature was exemplified by suppressed expression of E-cadherin and keratins 5, 8, 14 and 18; elevated expression of N-cadherin, N-cadherin 2 and vimentin, and of the EMT transcriptional regulators Snail, Zeb1 and Zeb2, and lymphoid enhancer-binding factor-1 (LEF-1). In BPH-1 and RWPE-1-fERG cells, fERG expression is correlated with increased expression of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and its downstream effectors Snail and LEF-1. Interfering RNA suppression of ERG decreased expression of ILK, Snail and LEF-1, whereas small interfering RNA suppression of ILK did not alter fERG expression. Interfering RNA suppression of ERG or ILK impaired fERG-PrEC Matrigel invasion. Treating fERG-BPH-1 cells with the small molecule ILK inhibitor, QLT-0267, resulted in dose-dependent suppression of Snail and LEF-1 expression, Matrigel invasion and reversion of anchorage-independent growth. These results suggest that ILK is a therapeutically targetable mediator of ERG-induced EMT and transformation in PCa.
PMCID: PMC3510737  PMID: 23027626
5.  Molecular features in arsenic-induced lung tumors 
Molecular Cancer  2013;12:20.
Arsenic is a well-known human carcinogen, which potentially affects ~160 million people worldwide via exposure to unsafe levels in drinking water. Lungs are one of the main target organs for arsenic-related carcinogenesis. These tumors exhibit particular features, such as squamous cell-type specificity and high incidence among never smokers. Arsenic-induced malignant transformation is mainly related to the biotransformation process intended for the metabolic clearing of the carcinogen, which results in specific genetic and epigenetic alterations that ultimately affect key pathways in lung carcinogenesis. Based on this, lung tumors induced by arsenic exposure could be considered an additional subtype of lung cancer, especially in the case of never-smokers, where arsenic is a known etiological agent. In this article, we review the current knowledge on the various mechanisms of arsenic carcinogenicity and the specific roles of this metalloid in signaling pathways leading to lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3626870  PMID: 23510327
Arsenic; Arsenite; Lung cancer; Epigenetic; Reactive oxygen species; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases; NFE2-related factor 2
6.  Arsenic, asbestos and radon: emerging players in lung tumorigenesis 
Environmental Health  2012;11:89.
The cause of lung cancer is generally attributed to tobacco smoking. However lung cancer in never smokers accounts for 10 to 25% of all lung cancer cases. Arsenic, asbestos and radon are three prominent non-tobacco carcinogens strongly associated with lung cancer. Exposure to these agents can lead to genetic and epigenetic alterations in tumor genomes, impacting genes and pathways involved in lung cancer development. Moreover, these agents not only exhibit unique mechanisms in causing genomic alterations, but also exert deleterious effects through common mechanisms, such as oxidative stress, commonly associated with carcinogenesis. This article provides a comprehensive review of arsenic, asbestos, and radon induced molecular mechanisms responsible for the generation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in lung cancer. A better understanding of the mode of action of these carcinogens will facilitate the prevention and management of lung cancer related to such environmental hazards.
PMCID: PMC3534001  PMID: 23173984
7.  Induction of Human Squamous Cell-Type Carcinomas by Arsenic 
Journal of Skin Cancer  2011;2011:454157.
Arsenic is a potent human carcinogen. Around one hundred million people worldwide have potentially been exposed to this metalloid at concentrations considered unsafe. Exposure occurs generally through drinking water from natural geological sources, making it difficult to control this contamination. Arsenic biotransformation is suspected to have a role in arsenic-related health effects ranging from acute toxicities to development of malignancies associated with chronic exposure. It has been demonstrated that arsenic exhibits preference for induction of squamous cell carcinomas in the human, especially skin and lung cancer. Interestingly, keratins emerge as a relevant factor in this arsenic-related squamous cell-type preference. Additionally, both genomic and epigenomic alterations have been associated with arsenic-driven neoplastic process. Some of these aberrations, as well as changes in other factors such as keratins, could explain the association between arsenic and squamous cell carcinomas in humans.
PMCID: PMC3235812  PMID: 22175027
8.  Arsenic Exposure and the Induction of Human Cancers 
Journal of Toxicology  2011;2011:431287.
Arsenic is a metalloid, that is, considered to be a human carcinogen. Millions of individuals worldwide are chronically exposed through drinking water, with consequences ranging from acute toxicities to development of malignancies, such as skin and lung cancer. Despite well-known arsenic-related health effects, the molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood; however, the arsenic biotransformation process, which includes methylation changes, is thought to play a key role. This paper explores the relationship of arsenic exposure with cancer development and summarizes current knowledge of the potential mechanisms that may contribute to the neoplastic processes observed in arsenic exposed human populations.
PMCID: PMC3235889  PMID: 22174709
9.  Human Cancer Long Non-Coding RNA Transcriptomes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25915.
Once thought to be a part of the ‘dark matter’ of the genome, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as an integral functional component of the mammalian transcriptome. LncRNAs are a novel class of mRNA-like transcripts which, despite no known protein-coding potential, demonstrate a wide range of structural and functional roles in cellular biology. However, the magnitude of the contribution of lncRNA expression to normal human tissues and cancers has not been investigated in a comprehensive manner. In this study, we compiled 272 human serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) libraries to delineate lncRNA transcription patterns across a broad spectrum of normal human tissues and cancers. Using a novel lncRNA discovery pipeline we parsed over 24 million SAGE tags and report lncRNA expression profiles across a panel of 26 different normal human tissues and 19 human cancers. Our findings show extensive, tissue-specific lncRNA expression in normal tissues and highly aberrant lncRNA expression in human cancers. Here, we present a first generation atlas for lncRNA profiling in cancer.
PMCID: PMC3185064  PMID: 21991387

Results 1-9 (9)