The ErbB receptors, Ras proteins and nucleolin are major contributors to malignant transformation. The pleiotropic protein nucleolin can bind to both Ras protein and ErbB receptors. Previously, we have demonstrated a crosstalk between Ras, nucleolin and the ErbB1 receptor. Activated Ras facilitates nucleolin interaction with ErbB1 and stabilizes ErbB1 levels. The three oncogenes synergistically facilitate anchorage independent growth and tumor growth in nude mice.
In the present study we used several cancer cell lines. The effect of Ras and nucleolin inhibition was determined using cell growth, cell death and cell motility assays. Protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry. We found that inhibition of Ras and nucleolin reduces tumor cell growth, enhances cell death and inhibits anchorage independent growth. Our results reveal that the combined treatment affects Ras and nucleolin levels and localization. Our study also indicates that Salirasib (FTS, Ras inhibitor) reduces cell motility, which is not affected by the nucleolin inhibitor.
These results suggest that targeting both nucleolin and Ras may represent an additional avenue for inhibiting cancers driven by these oncogenes.
The cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene 7 (mda-7) was identified by subtractive hybridization as a protein whose expression increased during the induction of terminal differentiation, and that was either not expressed or was present at low levels in tumor cells compared to non-transformed cells. Based on conserved structure, chromosomal location and cytokine-like properties, MDA-7, was classified as a member of the interleukin (IL)-10 gene family and designated as MDA-7/IL-24. Multiple studies have demonstrated that expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in a wide variety of tumor cell types, but not in corresponding equivalent non-transformed cells, causes their growth arrest and rapid cell death. In addition, MDA-7/IL-24 has been noted to radiosensitize tumor cells which in part is due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ceramide that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppress protein translation. Phase I clinical trial data has shown that a recombinant adenovirus expressing MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7 (INGN-241)) was safe and had measurable tumoricidal effects in over 40% of patients, strongly arguing that MDA-7/IL-24 could have significant therapeutic value. This review describes what is presently known about the impact of MDA-7/IL-24 on tumor cell biology and its potential therapeutic applications.
MDA-7; IL-24; Apoptosis; Autophagy; Ceramide; ROS; Ca2+; Clinical trial; Signal transduction; PERK; ER stress; MCL-1
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The present studies focused on defining the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that correlated with inactivation of ERK1/2 and activation of JNK1-3. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent on protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK−/− cells. JNK1-3 signaling activated BAX, whereas inhibition of JNK1-3, deletion of BAX, or expression of dominant-negative caspase-9 suppressed lethality. GST-MDA-7 also promoted a PERK-, JNK-, and cathepsin B–dependent cleavage of BID; loss of BID function promoted survival. GST-MDA-7 suppressed BAD and BIM phosphorylation and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methylade-nine, expression of HSP70 or BiP/GRP78, or knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data show that GST-MDA-7 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is causal in the activation of multiple proapoptotic pathways, which converge on the mitochondrion and highlight the complexity of signaling pathways altered by mda-7/IL-24 in glioma cells that ultimately culminate in decreased tumor cell survival.
The novel cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene-7 (mda-7) was identified by subtractive hybridization in the mid-1990s as a protein whose expression increased during the induction of terminal differentiation, and that was either not expressed or was present at low levels in tumor cells compared to non-transformed cells. Based on conserved structure, chromosomal location and cytokine-like properties, MDA-7, has now been classified as a member of the expanding interleukin (IL)-10 gene family and designated as MDA-7/IL-24. Multiple studies have demonstrated that expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in a wide variety of tumor cell types, but not in corresponding equivalent non-transformed cells, causes their growth arrest and ultimately cell death. In addition, MDA-7/IL-24 has been noted to be a radiosensitizing cytokine, which in part is due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ceramide that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress. Phase I clinical trial data has shown that a recombinant adenovirus expressing MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7 (INGN-241)) was safe and had measurable tumoricidal effects in over 40% of patients, which strongly argues that MDA-7/IL-24 may have significant therapeutic value. This review describes what is known about the impact of MDA-7/IL-24 on tumor cell biology and its potential therapeutic applications.
MDA-7: melanoma differentiation associated gene 7
An underlying mechanism for multi drug resistance (MDR) is up-regulation of the transmembrane ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins. ABC transporters also determine the general fate and effect of pharmaceutical agents in the body. The three major types of ABC transporters are MDR1 (P-gp, P-glycoprotein, ABCB1), MRP1/2 (ABCC1/2) and BCRP/MXR (ABCG2) proteins. Flow cytometry (FCM) allows determination of the functional expression levels of ABC transporters in live cells, but most dyes used as indicators (rhodamine 123, DiOC2(3), calcein-AM) have limited applicability as they do not detect all three major types of ABC transporters. Dyes with broad coverage (such as doxorubicin, daunorubicin and mitoxantrone) lack sensitivity due to overall dimness and thus may yield a significant percentage of false negative results. We describe two novel fluorescent probes that are substrates for all three common types of ABC transporters and can serve as indicators of MDR in flow cytometry assays using live cells. The probes exhibit fast internalization, favorable uptake/efflux kinetics and high sensitivity of MDR detection, as established by multidrug resistance activity factor (MAF) values and Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical analysis. Used in combination with general or specific inhibitors of ABC transporters, both dyes readily identify functional efflux and are capable of detecting small levels of efflux as well as defining the type of multidrug resistance. The assay can be applied to the screening of putative modulators of ABC transporters, facilitating rapid, reproducible, specific and relatively simple functional detection of ABC transporter activity, and ready implementation on widely available instruments.
The death rate for pancreatic cancer approximates the number of new cases each year and when diagnosed current therapeutic regimens provide little benefit in extending patient survival. These dire statistics necessitate the development of enhanced single or combinatorial therapies to decrease the pathogenesis of this invariably fatal disease. Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a potent cancer gene therapeutic because of its broad-spectrum cancer-specific apoptosis-inducing properties as well as its multi-pronged indirect anti-tumor activities. However, pancreatic cancer cells demonstrate inherent resistance to mda-7/IL-24 that is caused by a block of translation of mda-7/IL-24 mRNA in these tumor cells. We now reveal that a dietary agent perillyl alcohol (POH) in combination with Ad.mda-7 efficiently reverses the mda-7/IL-24 ‘protein translational block' by inducing reactive oxygen species thereby resulting in MDA-7/IL-24 protein production, growth suppression and apoptosis. Pharmacological inhibitor and siRNA studies identify xanthine oxidase as a major source of superoxide radical production causing these toxic effects. Since both POH and Ad.mda-7 are being evaluated in clinical trials, combining a dietary agent and a virally delivered therapeutic cytokine provide an innovative approach for potentially treating human pancreatic cancer.
mda-7/IL-24; POH; reactive oxygen species; cancer-selective apoptosis; xanthine oxidase
A potentially less toxic approach for cancer therapy comprises induction of tumor cells to lose growth potential irreversibly and terminally differentiate. Combining this scheme termed ‘differentiation therapy of cancer’ with subtraction hybridization to human melanoma cells resulted in the cloning of melanoma differentiation associated (mda) genes displaying elevated expression as a consequence of induction of terminal differentiation. One originally novel gene, mda-7, was found to display elevated expression in normal melanocytes and nevi with progressive loss of expression as a consequence of melanoma development and progression to metastasis. Based on structure, biochemical properties and chromosomal location, mda-7 has now been reclassified as interleukin (IL)-24 a member of the expanding IL-10 family of cytokines. In vitro cell culture and in vivo animal studies indicate that mda-7/IL-24 selectively induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in multiple human cancers (including melanomas), without harming normal cells, and promotes profound anti-tumor activity in nude mice containing human tumor xenografts. Based on these remarkable properties, a Phase I Clinical trial was conducted to test the safety of administration of mda-7/IL-24 by a replication incompetent adenovirus (Ad.mda-7; INGN 241) in patients with advanced solid cancers including melanoma. mda-7/IL-24 was found to be safe and to promote significant clinical activity, particularly in the context of patients with metastatic melanoma. These results provide an impetus for further clinical studies, and document a central paradigm of cancer therapy, namely translation of basic science from the “bench to the bedside.”
mda-7/IL-24; apoptosis; metastatic melanoma; Phase I Clinical Trial
“Differentiation therapy” provides a unique and potentially effective, less toxic treatment paradigm for cancer. Moreover, combining “differentiation therapy” with molecular approaches presents an unparalleled opportunity to identify and clone genes mediating cancer growth control, differentiation, senescence, and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Subtraction hybridization applied to human melanoma cells induced to terminally differentiate by treatment with fibroblast interferon (IFN-β) plus mezerein (MEZ) permitted cloning of melanoma differentiation associated (mda) genes. Founded on its novel properties, one particular mda gene, mda-7, now classified as a member of the interleukin (IL)-10 gene family (IL-24) because of conserved structure, chromosomal location, and cytokine-like properties has become the focus of attention of multiple laboratories. When administered by transfection or adenovirus-transduction into a spectrum of tumor cell types, melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) induces apoptosis, whereas no toxicity is apparent in normal cells. mda-7/IL-24 displays potent “bystander antitumor” activity and also has the capacity to enhance radiation lethality, to induce immune-regulatory activities, and to inhibit tumor angiogenesis. Based on these remarkable attributes and effective antitumor therapy in animal models, this cytokine has taken the important step of entering the clinic. In a Phase I clinical trial, intratumoral injections of adenovirus-administered mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was safe, elicited tumor-regulatory and immune-activating processes, and provided clinically significant activity. This review highlights our current understanding of the diverse activities and properties of this novel cytokine, with potential to become a prominent gene therapy for cancer.
mda-7/IL-24; Differentiation therapy of cancer; Programmed cell death; Antitumor bystander activity; Radiosensitization; Angiogenesis; Cell signaling; Phase I clinical trial
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death in women. Current interventional approaches, including debulking surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation have proven minimally effective in preventing the recurrence and/or mortality associated with this malignancy. Subtraction hybridization applied to terminally differentiating human melanoma cells identified melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), whose unique properties include the ability to selectively induce growth suppression, apoptosis, and radiosensitization in diverse cancer cells, without causing any harmful effects in normal cells. Previously, it has been shown that adenovirus-mediated mda-7/IL-24 therapy (Ad.mda-7) induces apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells, however, the apoptosis induction was relatively low. We now document that apoptosis can be enhanced by treating ovarian cancer cells with ionizing radiation (IR) in combination with Ad.mda-7. Additionally, we demonstrate that mda-7/IL-24 gene delivery, under the control of a minimal promoter region of progression elevated gene-3 (PEG-3), which functions selectively in diverse cancer cells with minimal activity in normal cells, displays a selective radiosensitization effect in ovarian cancer cells. The present studies support the use of IR in combination with mda-7/IL-24 as a means of augmenting the therapeutic benefit of this gene in ovarian cancer, particularly in the context of tumors displaying resistance to radiation therapy.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains one of the most deadly solid tumor malignancies worldwide. We recently find that the loss of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) activities promotes the diethylnitrosamine (DEN) induced hepatocellular carcinogenesis and tumor progression, which associates with an abundant accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. This finding suggests that the ROS/ER stress plays a role in TLR2 modulated carcinogenesis of HCC. To investigate the mechanism of TLR2 activity defending against hepatocarcinogenesis, the TLR2-deficient mice were treated with or without antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) before DEN administration. We found that pretreatment of these animals with NAC attenuated carcinogenesis and progression of HCC in the TLR2-deficient mice, declined ROS/ER stress, and alleviated the unfold protein response and inflammatory response in TLR2-deficient liver tissue. Moreover, the NAC treatment significantly reduced the enhanced aggregation of p62 and Mallory-Denk bodies in the DEN-induced HCC liver tissue, suggesting that NAC treatment improves the suppressive autophagic flux in the TLR2-deficient liver. These findings indicate that TLR2 activity defends against hepatocarcinogenesis through diminishing the accumulation of ROS and alleviating ER stress and unfold protein response mediated inflammatory response in the liver.
Natural products are frequently used for adjuvant chemotherapy in cancer treatment. 23-O-(1,4'-bipiperidine-1-carbonyl) betulinic acid (BBA) is a synthetic derivative of 23-hydroxybutulinic acid (23-HBA), which is a natural pentacyclic triterpene and the major active constituent of the root of Pulsatillachinensis. We previously reported that BBA could reverse P-glycoprotein (P-gp/ABCB1)-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR). In the present study, we investigated whether BBA has the potential to reverse multidrug resistance protein 7 (MRP7/ABCC10)-mediated MDR. We found that BBA concentration-dependently enhanced the sensitivity of MRP7-transfected HEK293 cells to paclitaxel, docetaxel and vinblastine. Accumulation and efflux experiments demonstrated that BBA increased the intracellular accumulation of [3H]-paclitaxel by inhibiting the efflux of [3H]-paclitaxel from HEK293/MRP7 cells. In addition, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyses indicated no significant alteration of MRP7 protein expression and localization in plasma membranes after treatment with BBA. These results demonstrate that BBA reverses MRP7-mediated MDR through blocking the drug efflux function of MRP7 without affecting the intracellular ATP levels. Our findings suggest that BBA has the potential to be used in combination with conventional chemotherapeutic agents to augment the response to chemotherapy.
In many types of cancers, a side population (SP) has been identified based on high efflux capacity, thereby enriching for chemoresistant cells as well as for candidate cancer stem cells (CSC). Here, we explored whether human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) contains a SP, and whether its gene expression profile is associated with chemoresistance, CSC and prognosis. After dispersion into single cells and incubation with Hoechst dye, we analyzed human PDAC resections specimens using flow cytometry (FACS). We identified a SP and main population (MP) in all human PDAC resection specimens (n = 52) analyzed, but detected immune (CD45+) and endothelial (CD31+) cells in this fraction together with tumor cells. The SP and MP cells, or more purified fractions depleted from CD31+/CD45+ cells (pSP and pMP), were sorted by FACS and subjected to whole-genome expression analysis. This revealed upregulation of genes associated with therapy resistance and of markers identified before in putative pancreatic CSC. pSP gene signatures of 32 or 10 up- or downregulated genes were developed and tested for discriminatory competence between pSP and pMP in different sets of PDAC samples. The prognostic value of the pSP genes was validated in a large independent series of PDAC patients (n = 78) using nCounter analysis of expression (in tumor versus surrounding pancreatic tissue) and Cox regression for disease-free and overall survival. Of these genes, expression levels of ABCB1 and CXCR4 were correlated with worse patient survival. Thus, our study for the first time demonstrates that human PDAC contains a SP. This tumor subpopulation may represent a valuable therapeutic target given its chemoresistance- and CSC-associated gene expression characteristics with potential prognostic value.
This study investigated the underlying mechanism of 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid (ACCA), on the growth of breast cancer cells and normal immortal epithelial cells, and compared their cytotoxic effects responses. Treatment of breast cancer cells (MCF-7, T47D, and MDA-231) with ACCA resulted in dose- and time-dependent decrease of cell proliferation, viability in colony formation assay, and programmed cell death (apoptosis) with minimal effects on non-tumoral cells. The ability of ACCA to suppress growth in cancer cells not expressing or containing defects in p53 gene indicates a lack of involvement of this critical tumor suppressor element in mediating ACCA-induced growth inhibition. Induction of apoptosis correlated with an increase in Bax protein, an established inducer of programmed cell death, and the ratio of Bax to Bcl-2, an established inhibitor of apoptosis. We also documented the ability of ACCA to inhibit the migration and invasion of MDA-231 cells with ACCA in vitro. Additionally, tumor growth of MDA-231 breast cancer cells in vivo was dramatically affected with ACCA. On the basis of its selective anticancer inhibitory activity on tumor cells, ACCA may represent a promising therapeutic drug that should be further evaluated as a chemotherapeutic agent for human breast cancer.
Double minute chromosomes are cytogenetic manifestations of gene amplification frequently seen in cancer cells. Genes amplified on double minute chromosomes include oncogenes and multi-drug resistant genes. These genes encode proteins which contribute to cancer formation, cancer progression, and development of resistance to drugs used in cancer treatment. Elimination of double minute chromosomes, and therefore genes amplified on them, is an effective way to decrease the malignancy of cancer cells. We investigated the effectiveness of a cancer drug, gemcitabine, on the loss of double minute chromosomes from the ovarian cancer cell line UACC-1598. Gemcitabine is able to decrease the number of double minute chromosomes in cells at a 7500X lower concentration than the commonly used cancer drug hydroxyurea. Amplified genes present on the double minute chromosomes are decreased at the DNA level upon gemcitabine treatment. Gemcitabine, even at a low nanomolar concentration, is able to cause DNA damage. The selective incorporation of double minutes chromatin and γ-H2AX signals into micronuclei provides a strong link between DNA damage and the loss of double minute chromosomes from gemcitabine treated cells. Cells treated with gemcitabine also showed decreased cell growth, colony formation, and invasion. Together, our results suggest that gemcitabine is effective in decreasing double minute chromosomes and this affects the biology of ovarian cancer cells.
Acetic acid-induced apoptosis in yeast is accompanied by an impairment of the general protein synthesis machinery, yet paradoxically also by the up-regulation of the two isoforms of the heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) chaperone family, Hsc82p and Hsp82p. Herein, we show that impairment of cap-dependent translation initiation induced by acetic acid is caused by the phosphorylation and inactivation of eIF2α by Gcn2p kinase. A microarray analysis of polysome-associated mRNAs engaged in translation in acetic acid challenged cells further revealed that HSP90 mRNAs are over-represented in this polysome fraction suggesting preferential translation of HSP90 upon acetic acid treatment. The relevance of HSP90 isoform translation during programmed cell death (PCD) was unveiled using genetic and pharmacological abrogation of HSP90, which suggests opposing roles for HSP90 isoforms in cell survival and death. Hsc82p appears to promote survival and its deletion leads to necrotic cell death, while Hsp82p is a pro-death molecule involved in acetic acid-induced apoptosis. Therefore, HSP90 isoforms have distinct roles in the control of cell fate during PCD and their selective translation regulates cellular response to acetic acid stress.
We evaluated the potential of an investigational histone methylation reversal agent, 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep), in improving the chemosensitivity of pancreatic cancer to nucleoside analogs (i.e., gemcitabine). DZNep brought delayed but selective cytotoxicity to pancreatic cancer cells without affecting normal human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPDE) cells. Co-exposure of DZNep and gemcitabine induced cytotoxic additivity or synergism in both well- and poorly-differentiated pancreatic cell lines by increased apoptosis. In contrast, DZNep exerted antagonism with gemcitabine against HPDE cells with significant reduction in cytotoxicity compared with the gemcitabine-alone regimen. DZNep marginally depended on purine nucleoside transporters for its cytotoxicity, but the transport dependence was circumvented by acyl derivatization. Drug exposure studies revealed that a short priming with DZNep followed by gemcitabine treatment rather than co-treatment of both agents to produce a maximal chemosensitization response in both gemcitabine-sensitive and gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells. DZNep rapidly and reversibly decreased trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 but increased trimethylation of lysine 9 in an EZH2- and JMJD1A/2C-dependent manner, respectively. However, DZNep potentiation of nucleoside analog chemosensitization was found to be temporally coupled to trimethylation changes in lysine 27 and not lysine 9. Polymeric nanoparticles engineered to chronologically release DZNep followed by gemcitabine produced pronounced chemosensitization and dose-lowering effects. Together, our results identify that an optimized DZNep exposure can presensitize pancreatic cancer cells to anticancer nucleoside analogs through the reversal of histone methylation, emphasizing the promising clinical utilities of epigenetic reversal agents in future pancreatic cancer combination therapies.
Although previous meta-analyses have suggested an association between aspirin use and risk of gastric cancer, current evidence is inconsistent. Additionally, it remains unclear whether there are frequency-risk and duration-risk relationships and if a threshold of effect exists.
We identified studies by searching MEDLINE and PUBMED databases and reviewing relevant articles. We derived the summary risk estimates using fixed-effects or random-effects model based on homogeneity analysis. The dose-response meta-analysis was performed by linear trend regression and restricted cubic spline regression. Potential heterogeneity was tested using the Q statistic and quantified with the I2 statistic. Subgroup analyses and Galbraith plots were used to explore the potential sources of heterogeneity. Publication bias was evaluated with funnel plots and quantified by the Begg's and Egger's test.
Fifteen studies were included in this meta-analysis. There was an overall 29% reduced risk of gastric cancer corresponding to aspirin use (RR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.60–0.82). We found there are nonlinear frequency-risk and linear duration-risk relations between aspirin use and gastric cancer. A monotonically decreasing relation was observed only for low-frequency (≤4.5 times/week) aspirin intake (10% decreased risk for once/week, 19% for twice/week and 29% for 4.5 times/week), and the frequency threshold of aspirin use is 4.5 times per week. Regarding those with duration of aspirin use, there was a tendency towards stronger risk reduction of gastric cancer for longer aspirin use (10% decreased risk for 4 years, 19% for 8 years and 28% for 12 years), and no duration threshold was observed.
Our findings suggest that long-term (≥4 years) and low-frequency (1–4.5 times per week) aspirin use is associated with a statistically significant, dose-dependent reduction in the risk of gastric cancer.
Colon cancer is one of the most common malignant cancers worldwide but the current therapeutic approaches for advanced colon cancer are less efficient. This study investigated associations between the expression of nuclear transcription factor SOX4 and various clinicopathologic parameters as well as patients’ survival. Expression levels of nuclear SOX4 were analyzed by immunohistochemistry; the data comprised colon tissues from 263 patients with colon cancer. Paired t tests were used to analyze the differences in nuclear SOX4 expression between tumor and non-tumor tissues from each patient. Two-tailed Χ2 tests were performed to determine whether the differences in nuclear SOX4 expression and clinicopathologic parameters were significant. Time-to-event endpoints for clinicopathologic parameters were plotted using the Kaplan-Meier method, and statistical significance was determined using univariate log-rank tests. Cox proportional hazard model was used for multivariate analysis to determine the independence of prognostic effects of nuclear SOX4 expression. Overexpression of nuclear SOX4 was significantly correlated with depth of invasion (P = 0.0041), distant metastasis (P<0.0001), and stage (P = 0.0001). Patients who displayed high expression levels of nuclear SOX4 achieved a significantly poorer disease-free survival rate, compared with patients with low SOX4 expression levels (P<0.001). Univariate Cox regression analysis showed that overexpression of nuclear SOX4 was a clear prognostic marker for colon cancer (P = 0.001). Overexpression of nuclear SOX4 may be used as a marker to predict the outcome of patients with colon cancer.
Breast tumor metastasis is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Breast tumor cells frequently metastasize to brain and initiate severe therapeutic complications. The chances of brain metastasis are further elevated in patients with HER2 overexpression. In the current study, we evaluated the anti-metastatic effects of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in a novel murine model of breast tumor metastasis. The MDA-MB-231-BR (BR-brain seeking) breast tumor cells stably transfected with luciferase were injected into the left ventricle of mouse heart and the migration of cells to brain was monitored using a non-invasive IVIS bio-luminescent imaging system. In order to study the efficacy of PEITC in preventing the number of tumor cells migrating to brain, mice were given 10 µmol PEITC by oral gavage for ten days prior to intra-cardiac injection of tumor cells labeled with quantum dots. To evaluate the tumor growth suppressive effects, 10 µmol PEITC was given to mice every day starting 14th day after intra-cardiac cell injection. Based on the presence of quantum dots in the brain section of control and treated mice, our results reveal that PEITC significantly prevented the metastasis of breast cancer cells to brain. Our results demonstrate that the growth of metastatic brain tumors in PEITC treated mice was about 50% less than that of control. According to Kaplan Meir’s curve, median survival of tumor bearing mice treated with PEITC was prolonged by 20.5%. Furthermore as compared to controls, we observed reduced HER2, EGFR and VEGF expression in the brain sections of PEITC treated mice. To the best of our knowledge, our study for the first time demonstrates the anti-metastatic effects of PEITC in vivo in a novel breast tumor metastasis model and provides the rationale for further clinical investigation.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third major cause of cancer related deaths in the world. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) is widely used for the treatment of colorectal cancer but as a single-agent renders low response rates. Choline kinase alpha (ChoKα), an enzyme that plays a role in cell proliferation and transformation, has been reported overexpressed in many different tumors, including colorectal tumors. ChoKα inhibitors have recently entered clinical trials as a novel antitumor strategy.
ChoKα specific inhibitors, MN58b and TCD-717, have demonstrated a potent antitumoral activity both in vitro and in vivo against several tumor-derived cell line xenografts including CRC-derived cell lines. The effect of ChoKα inhibitors in combination with 5-FU as a new alternative for the treatment of colon tumors has been investigated both in vitro in CRC-tumour derived cell lines, and in vivo in mouse xenografts models. The effects on thymidilate synthase (TS) and thymidine kinase (TK1) levels, two enzymes known to play an essential role in the mechanism of action of 5-FU, were analyzed by western blotting and quantitative PCR analysis. The combination of 5-FU with ChoKα inhibitors resulted in a synergistic effect in vitro in three different human colon cancer cell lines, and in vivo against human colon xenografts in nude mice. ChoKα inhibitors modulate the expression levels of TS and TK1 through inhibition of E2F production, providing a rational for its mechanism of action.
Our data suggest that both drugs in combination display a synergistic antitumoral effect due to ChoKα inhibitors-driven modulation of the metabolization of 5-FU. The clinical relevance of these findings is strongly supported since TCD-717 has recently entered Phase I clinical trials against solid tumors.
13-Methyltetradecanoic acid (13-MTD), a saturated branched-chain fatty acid purified from soy fermentation products, induces apoptosis in human cancer cells. We investigated the inhibitory effects and mechanism of action of 13-MTD on T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (T-NHL) cell lines both in vitro and in vivo. Growth inhibition in response to 13-MTD was evaluated by the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay in three T-NHL cell lines (Jurkat, Hut78, EL4 cells). Flow cytometry analyses were used to monitor the cell cycle and apoptosis. Proteins involved in 13-MTD-induced apoptosis were examined in Jurkat cells by western blotting. We found that 13-MTD inhibited proliferation and induced the apoptosis of T-NHL cell lines. 13-MTD treatment also induced a concentration-dependent arrest of Jurkat cells in the G1-phase. During 13-MTD-induced apoptosis in Jurkat cells, the cleavage of caspase-3 and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP, a caspase enzymolysis product) were detected after incubation for 2 h, and increased after extending the incubation time. However, there was no change in the expression of Bcl-2 or c-myc proteins. The appearance of apoptotic Jurkat cells was accompanied by the inhibition of AKT and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) phosphorylation. In addition, 13-MTD could also effectively inhibit the growth of T-NHL tumors in vivo in a xenograft model. The tumor inhibition rate in the experimental group was 40%. These data indicate that 13-MTD inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis through the down-regulation of AKT phosphorylation followed by caspase activation, which may provide a new approach for treating T-cell lymphomas.
Human adenoviruses are known to persist in T-lymphocytes of tonsils, adenoids and intestinal tract. The oncogenic potential of different adenovirus types has been widely studied in rodents, in which adenovirus inoculation can induce multiple tumors such as undifferentiated sarcomas, adenocarcinomas and neuroectodermal tumors. However, the oncogenic potential of this virus has never been proven in human subjects. Using a highly sensitive broad-spectrum qRT-PCR, we have screened a set of different human sarcomas including leiomyosarcoma, liposarcoma and gastro intestinal stroma tumors. Primers binding the viral oncogene E1A and the capsid-coding gene Hexon were used to detect the presence of adenovirus DNA in tumor samples. We found that 18% of the tested leiomyosarcomas and 35% of the liposarcomas were positive for the presence of adenovirus DNA, being species C types the most frequently detected adenoviruses. However, only in one sample of the gastro intestinal stroma tumors the virus DNA could be detected. The occurrence of adenovirus in the tumor sections was confirmed by subsequent fluorescence in-situ-hybridization analysis and co-staining with the transcription factor Bcl11b gives evidence for the presence of the virus in infiltrating T-lymphocytes within the tumors. Together these data underline, for the first time, the persistence of adenovirus in T-lymphocytes infiltrated in muscular and fatty tissue tumor samples. If an impaired immune system leads to the viral persistence and reactivation of the virus is involved in additional diseases needs further investigation.
Based on the growing deal of data concerning the biological activity of flavonoid-rich natural products, the aim of the present study was to explore in vitro the potential anti-tumoral activity of Citrus Bergamia (bergamot) juice (BJ), determining its molecular interaction with cancer cells. Here we show that BJ reduced growth rate of different cancer cell lines, with the maximal growth inhibition observed in neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) after 72 hs of exposure to 5% BJ. The SH-SY5Y antiproliferative effect elicited by BJ was not due to a cytotoxic action and it did not induce apoptosis. Instead, BJ stimulated the arrest in the G1 phase of cell cycle and determined a modification in cellular morphology, causing a marked increase of detached cells. The inhibition of adhesive capacity on different physiologic substrates and on endothelial cells monolayer were correlated with an impairment of actin filaments, a reduction in the expression of the active form of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) that in turn caused inhibition of cell migration. In parallel, BJ seemed to hinder the association between the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and FAK. Our data suggest a mechanisms through which BJ can inhibit important molecular pathways related to cancer-associated aggressive phenotype and offer new suggestions for further studies on the role of BJ in cancer treatment.
Ion channels and ion fluxes control many aspects of tissue homeostasis. During oncogenic transformation, critical ion channel functions may be perturbed but conserved tumor specific ion fluxes remain to be defined. Here we used the tumoricidal protein-lipid complex HAMLET as a probe to identify ion fluxes involved in tumor cell death. We show that HAMLET activates a non-selective cation current, which reached a magnitude of 2.74±0.88 nA within 1.43±0.13 min from HAMLET application. Rapid ion fluxes were essential for HAMLET-induced carcinoma cell death as inhibitors (amiloride, BaCl2), preventing the changes in free cellular Na+ and K+ concentrations also prevented essential steps accompanying carcinoma cell death, including changes in morphology, uptake, global transcription, and MAP kinase activation. Through global transcriptional analysis and phosphorylation arrays, a strong ion flux dependent p38 MAPK response was detected and inhibition of p38 signaling delayed HAMLET-induced death. Healthy, differentiated cells were resistant to HAMLET challenge, which was accompanied by innate immunity rather than p38-activation. The results suggest, for the first time, a unifying mechanism for the initiation of HAMLET’s broad and rapid lethal effect on tumor cells. These findings are particularly significant in view of HAMLET’s documented therapeutic efficacy in human studies and animal models. The results also suggest that HAMLET offers a two-tiered therapeutic approach, killing cancer cells while stimulating an innate immune response in surrounding healthy tissues.
EpCAM is expressed at low levels in a variety of normal human epithelial tissues, but is overexpressed in 70–90% of carcinomas. From a clinico-pathological point of view, this has both prognostic and therapeutic significance. EpCAM was first suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of epithelial cancers in the 1990s. However, following several immunotherapy trials, the results have been mixed. It has been suggested that this is due, at least in part, to an unknown level of EpCAM expression in the tumors being targeted. Thus, selection of patients who would benefit from EpCAM immunotherapy by determining EpCAM status in the tumor biopsies is currently undergoing vigorous evaluation. However, current EpCAM antibodies are not robust enough to be able to detect EpCAM expression in all pathological tissues. Here we report a newly developed EpCAM RNA aptamer, also known as a chemical antibody, which is not only specific but also more sensitive than current antibodies for the detection of EpCAM in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary breast cancers. This new aptamer, together with our previously described aptamer, showed no non-specific staining or cross-reactivity with tissues that do not express EpCAM. They were able to reliably detect target proteins in breast cancer xenograft where an anti-EpCAM antibody (323/A3) showed limited or no reactivity. Our results demonstrated a more robust detection of EpCAM using RNA aptamers over antibodies in clinical samples with chromogenic staining. This shows the potential of aptamers in the future of histopathological diagnosis and as a tool to guide targeted immunotherapy.