Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-14 (14)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  PDGFRα Regulates Follicular Cell Differentiation Driving Treatment Resistance and Disease Recurrence in Papillary Thyroid Cancer 
EBioMedicine  2016;12:86-97.
Dedifferentiation of follicular cells is a central event in resistance to radioactive iodine and patient mortality in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). We reveal that platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) specifically drives dedifferentiation in PTC by disrupting the transcriptional activity of thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF1). PDGFRα activation dephosphorylates TTF1 consequently shifting the localization of this transcription factor from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. TTF1 is required for follicular cell development and disrupting its function abrogates thyroglobulin production and sodium iodide transport. PDGFRα also promotes a more invasive and migratory cell phenotype with a dramatic increase in xenograft tumor formation. In patient tumors we confirm that nuclear TTF1 expression is inversely proportional to PDGFRα levels. Patients exhibiting PDGFRα at time of diagnosis are three times more likely to exhibit nodal metastases and are 18 times more likely to recur within 5 years than those patients lacking PDGFRα expression. Moreover, high levels of PDGFRα and low levels of nuclear TTF1 predict resistance to radioactive iodine therapy. We demonstrate in SCID xenografts that focused PDGFRα blockade restores iodide transport and decreases tumor burden by > 50%. Focused PDGFRα inhibitors, combined with radioactive iodine, represent an additional avenue for treating patients with aggressive variants of PTC.
Graphical Abstract
Image 1
•PDGFRα induces dedifferentiation of papillary thyroid cancer cells.•This depends on decreased phosphorylation and decreased nuclear targeting of TTF1.•Loss of nuclear TTF1 decreases thyroglobulin production and NaI transport.•PDGFRα expression is prognostic of PTC recurrence and treatment resistance.•Blocking PDGFRα activation is a potential therapeutic target.
Treatment of papillary thyroid cancer historically relied upon a combination of surgery and radioactive iodine ablation with few alternatives if the disease progresses. We found that platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) is a key driver of metastatic disease and resistance to radioactive iodine therapy. PDGFRα expression can be tested in tumor specimens to predict aggressive disease. In addition, we show that targeting PDGFRα could restore sensitivity to radioactive iodine treatment that might slow disease growth and spread.
PMCID: PMC5078607  PMID: 27682510
Platelet derived growth factor receptor; Metastases; Papillary thyroid cancer; TTF1(Nkx2-1)
2.  Recent advances in targeting the autotaxin-lysophosphatidate-lipid phosphate phosphatase axis in vivo 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2015;30(4):272-284.
Extracellular lysophosphatidate (LPA) is a potent bioactive lipid that signals through six G-protein-coupled receptors. This signaling is required for embryogenesis, tissue repair and remodeling processes. LPA is produced from circulating lysophosphatidylcholine by autotaxin (ATX), and is degraded outside cells by a family of three enzymes called the lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs). In many pathological conditions, particularly in cancers, LPA concentrations are increased due to high ATX expression and low LPP activity. In cancers, LPA signaling drives tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, resistance to chemotherapy and decreased efficacy of radiotherapy. Hence, targeting the ATX-LPA-LPP axis is an attractive strategy for introducing novel adjuvant therapeutic options. In this review, we will summarize current progress in targeting the ATX-LPA-LPP axis with inhibitors of autotaxin activity, LPA receptor antagonists, LPA monoclonal antibodies, and increasing low LPP expression. Some of these agents are already in clinical trials and have applications beyond cancer, including chronic inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC4946318  PMID: 27533936
cancer; chronic inflammation; cytokines; monoclonal antibodies; wound repair
3.  Oxidative stress contributes to the tamoxifen-induced killing of breast cancer cells: implications for tamoxifen therapy and resistance 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:21164.
Tamoxifen is the accepted therapy for patients with estrogen receptor-α (ERα)-positive breast cancer. However, clinical resistance to tamoxifen, as demonstrated by recurrence or progression on therapy, is frequent and precedes death from metastases. To improve breast cancer treatment it is vital to understand the mechanisms that result in tamoxifen resistance. This study shows that concentrations of tamoxifen and its metabolites, which accumulate in tumors of patients, killed both ERα-positive and ERα-negative breast cancer cells. This depended on oxidative damage and anti-oxidants rescued the cancer cells from tamoxifen-induced apoptosis. Breast cancer cells responded to tamoxifen-induced oxidation by increasing Nrf2 expression and subsequent activation of the anti-oxidant response element (ARE). This increased the transcription of anti-oxidant genes and multidrug resistance transporters. As a result, breast cancer cells are able to destroy or export toxic oxidation products leading to increased survival from tamoxifen-induced oxidative damage. These responses in cancer cells also occur in breast tumors of tamoxifen-treated mice. Additionally, high levels of expression of Nrf2, ABCC1, ABCC3 plus NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone-1 in breast tumors of patients at the time of diagnosis were prognostic of poor survival after tamoxifen therapy. Therefore, overcoming tamoxifen-induced activation of the ARE could increase the efficacy of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4756695  PMID: 26883574
4.  Multiple mechanisms underlying acquired resistance to taxanes in selected docetaxel-resistant MCF-7 breast cancer cells 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:37.
Chemoresistance is a major factor involved in a poor response and reduced overall survival in patients with advanced breast cancer. Although extensive studies have been carried out to understand the mechanisms of chemoresistance, many questions remain unanswered.
In this research, we used two isogenic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines selected for resistance to doxorubicin (MCF-7DOX) or docetaxel (MCF-7TXT) and the wild type parental cell line (MCF-7CC) to study mechanisms underlying acquired resistance to taxanes in MCF-7TXT cells. Cytotoxicity assay, immunoblotting, indirect immunofluorescence and live imaging were used to study the drug resistance, the expression levels of drug transporters and various tubulin isoforms, apoptosis, microtubule formation, and microtubule dynamics.
MCF-7TXT cells were cross resistant to paclitaxel, but not to doxorubicin. MCF-7DOX cells were not cross-resistant to taxanes. We also showed that multiple mechanisms are involved in the resistance to taxanes in MCF-7TXT cells. Firstly, MCF-7TXT cells express higher level of ABCB1. Secondly, the microtubule dynamics of MCF-7TXT cells are weak and insensitive to the docetaxel treatment, which may partially explain why docetaxel is less effective in inducing M-phase arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7TXT cells in comparison with MCF-7CC cells. Moreover, MCF-7TXT cells express relatively higher levels of β2- and β4-tubulin and relatively lower levels of β3-tubulin than both MCF-7CC and MCF-7DOX cells. The subcellular localization of various β-tubulin isoforms in MCF-7TXT cells is also different from that in MCF-7CC and MCF-7DOX cells.
Multiple mechanisms are involved in the resistance to taxanes in MCF-7TXT cells. The high expression level of ABCB1, the specific composition and localization of β-tubulin isoforms, the weak microtubule dynamics and its insensitivity to docetaxel may all contribute to the acquired resistance of MCF-7TXT cells to taxanes.
PMCID: PMC3900991  PMID: 24447372
Breast cancer; Taxane; Doxorubicin; Chemoresistance; MCF-7 cell; ABC proteins; β-tubulin isoforms; Microtubule dynamics
5.  Lipin-1 and lipin-3 together determine adiposity in vivo☆ 
Molecular Metabolism  2013;3(2):145-154.
The lipin protein family of phosphatidate phosphatases has an established role in triacylglycerol synthesis and storage. Physiological roles for lipin-1 and lipin-2 have been identified, but the role of lipin-3 has remained mysterious. Using lipin single- and double-knockout models we identified a cooperative relationship between lipin-3 and lipin-1 that influences adipogenesis in vitro and adiposity in vivo. Furthermore, natural genetic variations in Lpin1 and Lpin3 expression levels across 100 mouse strains correlate with adiposity. Analysis of PAP activity in additional metabolic tissues from lipin single- and double-knockout mice also revealed roles for lipin-1 and lipin-3 in spleen, kidney, and liver, for lipin-1 alone in heart and skeletal muscle, and for lipin-1 and lipin-2 in lung and brain. Our findings establish that lipin-1 and lipin-3 cooperate in vivo to determine adipose tissue PAP activity and adiposity, and may have implications in understanding the protection of lipin-1-deficient humans from overt lipodystrophy.
PMCID: PMC3953701  PMID: 24634820
Gene family; Knockout mouse; Adipogenesis; Triacylglycerol; Glycerolipid biosynthesis
6.  Inhibition of autotaxin production or activity blocks lysophosphatidylcholine-induced migration of human breast cancer and melanoma cells 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2009;48(9):801-809.
Increased expression of autotaxin is linked to several malignancies including glioblastoma, breast, renal, ovarian, lung and thyroid cancers. Autotaxin promotes metastasis as well as cell growth, survival, and migration of cancer cells. These actions could depend on the non-catalytic effects of autotaxin on cell adhesion, or the catalytic activity of autotaxin, which converts lysophosphatidylcholine into lysophosphatidate in the extracellular environment. Both lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidate have been reported to stimulate migration through their respective G-protein coupled receptors. The present study determines the roles of autotaxin, lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidate in controlling the migration two cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, which produce little autotaxin and MDA-MB-435 melanoma cells that secrete significant levels of autotaxin. Lysophosphatidylcholine alone was unable to stimulate the migration of either cell type unless autotaxin was present. Knocking down autotaxin secretion, or inhibiting its catalytic activity, blocked cell migration by preventing lysophosphatidate production and the subsequent activation of LPA1/3 receptors. We conclude that inhibiting autotaxin production or activity of could provide a beneficial adjuvant to chemotherapy for preventing metastasis in patients with high autotaxin expression in their tumors.
PMCID: PMC2736327  PMID: 19204929
lysophosphatidate; lysophosphatidylcholine; metastasis
7.  Role of the autotaxin–lysophosphatidate axis in cancer resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy☆ 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2012;1831(1):74-85.
High expression of autotaxin in cancers is often associated with increased tumor progression, angiogenesis and metastasis. This is explained mainly since autotaxin produces the lipid growth factor, lysophosphatidate (LPA), which stimulates cell division, survival and migration. It has recently become evident that these signaling effects of LPA also produce resistance to chemotherapy and radiation-induced cell death. This results especially from the stimulation of LPA2 receptors, which depletes the cell of Siva-1, a pro-apoptotic signaling protein and stimulates prosurvival kinase pathways through a mechanism mediated via TRIP-6. LPA signaling also increases the formation of sphingosine 1-phosphate, a pro-survival lipid. At the same time, LPA decreases the accumulation of ceramides, which are used in radiation therapy and by many chemotherapeutic agents to stimulate apoptosis. The signaling actions of extracellular LPA are terminated by its dephosphorylation by a family of lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPP) that act as ecto-enzymes. In addition, lipid phosphate phoshatase-1 attenuates signaling downstream of the activation of both LPA receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases. This makes many cancer cells hypersensitive to the action of various growth factors since they often express low LPP1/3 activity. Increasing our understanding of the complicated signaling pathways that are used by LPA to stimulate cell survival should identify new therapeutic targets that can be exploited to increase the efficacy of chemo- and radio-therapy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Advances in Lysophospholipid Research.
PMCID: PMC3584168  PMID: 22954454
Ceramide; Lipid phosphate phosphatase; Metastasis; Phospholipase D; Sphingosine kinase; LPA2
8.  Lysophosphatidate Induces Chemo-Resistance by Releasing Breast Cancer Cells from Taxol-Induced Mitotic Arrest 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20608.
Taxol is a microtubule stabilizing agent that arrests cells in mitosis leading to cell death. Taxol is widely used to treat breast cancer, but resistance occurs in 25–69% of patients and it is vital to understand how Taxol resistance develops to improve chemotherapy. The effects of chemotherapeutic agents are overcome by survival signals that cancer cells receive. We focused our studies on autotaxin, which is a secreted protein that increases tumor growth, aggressiveness, angiogenesis and metastasis. We discovered that autotaxin strongly antagonizes the Taxol-induced killing of breast cancer and melanoma cells by converting the abundant extra-cellular lipid, lysophosphatidylcholine, into lysophosphatidate. This lipid stimulates specific G-protein coupled receptors that activate survival signals.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this study we determined the basis of these antagonistic actions of lysophosphatidate towards Taxol-induced G2/M arrest and cell death using cultured breast cancer cells. Lysophosphatidate does not antagonize Taxol action in MCF-7 cells by increasing Taxol metabolism or its expulsion through multi-drug resistance transporters. Lysophosphatidate does not lower the percentage of cells accumulating in G2/M by decreasing exit from S-phase or selective stimulation of cell death in G2/M. Instead, LPA had an unexpected and remarkable action in enabling MCF-7 and MDA-MB-468 cells, which had been arrested in G2/M by Taxol, to normalize spindle structure and divide, thus avoiding cell death. This action involves displacement of Taxol from the tubulin polymer fraction, which based on inhibitor studies, depends on activation of LPA receptors and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.
This work demonstrates a previously unknown consequence of lysophosphatidate action that explains why autotaxin and lysophosphatidate protect against Taxol-induced cell death and promote resistance to the action of this important therapeutic agent.
PMCID: PMC3103588  PMID: 21647386
9.  Phosphatidate degradation: Phosphatidate phosphatases (lipins) and lipid phosphate phosphatases 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2009;1791(9):956-961.
Three lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs) regulate cell signaling by modifying the concentrations of a variety of lipid phosphates versus their dephosphorylated products. In particular, the LPPs are normally considered to regulate signaling by the phospholipase D (PLD) pathway by converting phosphatidate (PA) to diacylglycerol (DAG). LPP activities do modulate the accumulations of PA and DAG following PLD activation, but this could also involve an effect upstream of PLD activation. The active sites of the LPPs are on the exterior surface of plasma membranes, or on the luminal surface of internal membranes. Consequently, the actions of the LPPs in metabolizing PA formed by PLD1 or PLD2 should depend on the access of this substrate to the active site of the LPPs. Alternatively, PA generated on the cytosolic surface of membranes should be readily accessible to the family of specific phosphatidate phosphatases, namely the lipins. Presently, there is only indirect evidence for the lipins participating in cell signaling following PLD activation. So far, we know relatively little about how individual LPPs and specific phosphatidate phosphatases (lipins) modulate cell signaling through controlling the turnover of bioactive lipids that are formed after PLD activation.
PMCID: PMC2875194  PMID: 19250975
Diacylglycerol; lysophosphatidate; phosphatidate; phospholipase D; triacylglycerol synthesis
The Biochemical journal  2009;419(3):611-618.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a lipid mediator that stimulates cell proliferation and growth and is involved in physiological and pathological processes such as wound healing, platelet activation, angiogenesis and the growth of tumors. Therefore, defining the mechanisms of LPA production and degradation are of interest in understanding the regulation of these processes. Extracellular LPA synthesis is relatively well understood whereas the mechanisms of its degradation are not. One route of LPA degradation is de-phosphorylation. A candidate enzyme is the integral membrane exophosphatase lipid phosphate phosphohydrolase type 1 (LPP1). We report here the development of a mouse wherein the LPP1 gene (Ppap2a) was disrupted. The homozygous mice, which are phenotypically unremarkable, generally lack LPP1 mRNA and multiple tissues exhibit a substantial (35–95%) reduction in LPA phosphatase activity. Compared to wild type littermates, Ppap2atr/tr animals have increased levels of plasma LPA and LPA injected intravenously is metabolized at a four-fold slower rate. Our results demonstrate that LPA is rapidly metabolized in the bloodstream and that LPP1 is an important determinant of this turnover. These results indicate that LPP1 is a catabolic enzyme for LPA in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2677185  PMID: 19215222
LPA; LPP1; lipid phosphatase; LPA metabolism; PAP2a; exophosphatase
11.  Concurrent Lpin1 and Nrcam mouse mutations result in severe peripheral neuropathy with transitory hind limb paralysis 
Peripheral neuropathy is a broad category of disorders with a diverse etiology, grouped together by their common pathogenic effect on the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Because of the heterogeneity observed to be responsible for these disorders, a forward genetics method of gene discovery was employed to identify additional affected pathways. In this report we describe the mutant mouse line 20884, generated by N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis, which is characterized by adult-onset transitory hind limb paralysis. Linkage mapping revealed that two point mutations are responsible for the phenotype: a partial loss-of-function mutation in the gene for phosphatidate phosphatase Lpin1 and a truncation mutation in the gene that encodes the neuronal cell adhesion molecule NrCAM. To investigate how the 20884 Lpin1 and Nrcam mutations interact to produce the paralysis phenotype, the double mutant and both single mutants were analyzed by quantitative behavioral, histological, and electrophysiological means. The Lpin120884 mutant and the double mutant are characterized by similar levels of demyelination and aberrant myelin structures. Nevertheless, the double mutant exhibits more severe electrophysiological abnormalities than the Lpin120884 mutant. The Nrcam20884 mutant is characterized by normal sciatic nerve morphology and a mild electrophysiological defect. Comparison of the double mutant phenotype with the two single mutants does not point to an additive relationship between the two defects; rather, the Lpin120884 and Nrcam20884 defects appear to act synergistically to produce the 20884 phenotype. It is proposed that the absence of NrCAM in a demyelinating environment has a deleterious effect, possibly by impairing the process of remyelination.
PMCID: PMC2773685  PMID: 19793967
Lpin1; NrCAM; ENU mutagenesis; peripheral neuropathy; demyelination; genetic modifier
12.  Intracellular Generation of Sphingosine 1-Phosphate in Human Lung Endothelial Cells 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;282(19):14165-14177.
Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) regulates diverse cellular functions through extracellular ligation to S1P receptors, and it also functions as an intracellular second messenger. Human pulmonary artery endothelial cells (HPAECs) effectively utilized exogenous S1P to generate intracellular S1P. We, therefore, examined the role of lipid phosphate phosphatase (LPP)-1 and sphingosine kinase1 (SphK1) in converting exogenous S1P to intracellular S1P. Exposure of 32P-labeled HPAECs to S1P or sphingosine (Sph) increased the intracellular accumulation of [32P]S1P in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The S1P formed in the cells was not released into the medium. The exogenously added S1P did not stimulate the sphingomyelinase pathway; however, added [3H]S1P was hydrolyzed to [3H]Sph in HPAECs, and this was blocked by XY-14, an inhibitor of LPPs. HPAECs expressed LPP1–3, and overexpression of LPP-1 enhanced the hydrolysis of exogenous [3H]S1P to [3H]Sph and increased intracellular S1P production by 2–3-fold compared with vector control cells. Down-regulation of LPP-1 by siRNA decreased intracellular S1P production from extracellular S1P but had no effect on the phosphorylation of Sph to S1P. Knockdown of SphK1, but not SphK2, by siRNA attenuated the intracellular generation of S1P. Overexpression of wild type SphK1, but not SphK2 wild type, increased the accumulation of intracellular S1P after exposure to extracellular S1P. These studies provide the first direct evidence for a novel pathway of intracellular S1P generation. This involves the conversion of extracellular S1P to Sph by LPP-1, which facilitates Sph uptake, followed by the intracellular conversion of Sph to S1P by SphK1.
PMCID: PMC2659598  PMID: 17379599
13.  Falsely elevated point-of-care lactate measurement after ingestion of ethylene glycol 
A patient presented with severe acidosis and a point-of-care lactate measurement of 42 mmol/L. Mesenteric ischemia was suspected, with a potential need for laparotomy; however, plasma lactate measurements were below 4 mmol/L. Ethylene glycol ingestion was subsequently diagnosed. We therefore wished to determine why discrepancies in lactate measurements occur and whether this “lactate gap” could be clinically useful.
We phlebotomized blood, added various concentrations of metabolites of ethylene glycol, and tested the resulting samples with the 5 most common lactate analyzers.
With the Radiometer 700 point-of-care analyzer, glycolate addition resulted in an artifactual, massive lactate elevation, even at low glycolate concentrations. Another major ethylene glycol metabolite, glyoxylate (but not oxalate or formate), caused similar elevations. The i-STAT and Bayer point-of-care analyzers and the Beckman and Vitros laboratory analyzers reported minimal lactate elevations. Lactate gap was determined by comparing the Radiometer result with the corresponding result from any of the other analyzers.
We demonstrated how inappropriate laparotomy or delayed therapy might occur if clinicians are unaware of this phenomenon or have access to only a single analyzer. We also showed that lactate gap can be exploited to expedite treatment, diagnose late ethylene-glycol ingestion and terminate dialysis. By comparing lactate results from the iSTAT or Bayer devices with that from the Radiometer, ethylene-glycol ingestion can be diagnosed at the point of care. This can expedite diagnosis and treatment by hours, compared with waiting for laboratory results for plasma ethylene glycol.
PMCID: PMC1839775  PMID: 17420492
14.  Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Induces Stress Fiber Formation through Ceramide Production: Role of Sphingosine Kinase 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2001;12(11):3618-3630.
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine that activates several signaling cascades. We determined the extent to which ceramide is a second messenger for TNF-α-induced signaling leading to cytoskeletal rearrangement in Rat2 fibroblasts. TNF-α, sphingomyelinase, or C2-ceramide induced tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and paxillin, and stress fiber formation. Ly 294002, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-K) inhibitor, or expression of dominant/negative Ras (N17) completely blocked C2-ceramide- and sphingomyelinase-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK and paxillin and severely decreased stress fiber formation. The TNF-α effects were only partially inhibited. Dimethylsphingosine, a sphingosine kinase (SK) inhibitor, blocked stress fiber formation by TNF-α and C2-ceramide. TNF-α, sphingomyelinase, and C2-ceramide translocated Cdc42, Rac, and RhoA to membranes, and stimulated p21-activated protein kinase downstream of Ras-GTP, PI 3-K, and SK. Transfection with inactive RhoA inhibited the TNF-α- and C2-ceramide-induced stress fiber formation. Our results demonstrate that stimulation by TNF-α, which increases sphingomyelinase activity and ceramide formation, activates sphingosine kinase, Rho family GTPases, focal adhesion kinase, and paxillin. This novel pathway of ceramide signaling can account for ∼70% of TNF-α-induced stress fiber formation and cytoskeletal reorganization.
PMCID: PMC60280  PMID: 11694593

Results 1-14 (14)