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1.  The Endogenous Cell-Fate Factor Dachshund restrains Prostate Epithelial Cell Migration via Repression of Cytokine Secretion via a CXCL Signaling Module 
Cancer research  2015;75(10):1992-2004.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading form of cancer death in men. In a subset of PCa patients increased chemokine signaling IL-8 and IL-6 correlates with androgen therapy-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). IL-8 and IL-6 are produced by prostate epithelial cells and promote PCa cell invasion, however the mechanisms restraining prostate epithelial cell cytokine secretion are poorly understood. Herein the cell-fate determinant factor DACH1 inhibited androgen therapy-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) tumor growth in mice. Using Dach1fl/fl/Probasin-Cre bi-transgenic mice, we show IL-8 and IL-6 secretion was altered ~1000 fold by endogenous Dach1. Endogenous Dach1 is shown to serve as a key endogenous restraint to prostate epithelial cell growth and restrains migration via CXCL signaling. DACH1 inhibited expression, transcription and secretion of the CXCL genes (IL-8, IL-6) by binding to their promoter regulatory regions in chromatin. DACH1 is thus a newly defined determinant of benign and malignant prostate epithelium cellular growth, migration and cytokine abundance in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4433595  PMID: 25769723
prostate cancer; cell fate; Dach1
2.  Cancer stem cell metabolism 
Cancer is now viewed as a stem cell disease. There is still no consensus on the metabolic characteristics of cancer stem cells, with several studies indicating that they are mainly glycolytic and others pointing instead to mitochondrial metabolism as their principal source of energy. Cancer stem cells also seem to adapt their metabolism to microenvironmental changes by conveniently shifting energy production from one pathway to another, or by acquiring intermediate metabolic phenotypes. Determining the role of cancer stem cell metabolism in carcinogenesis has become a major focus in cancer research, and substantial efforts are conducted towards discovering clinical targets.
PMCID: PMC4879746  PMID: 27220421
3.  CCR5 receptor antagonists block metastasis to bone of v-Src-oncogene-transformed metastatic prostate cancer cell lines 
Cancer research  2014;74(23):7103-7114.
Src family kinases (SFKs) integrate signal transduction for multiple receptors, regulating cellular proliferation invasion and metastasis in human cancer. Although Src is rarely mutated in human prostate cancer, SFK activity is increased in the majority of human prostate cancers. In order to determine the molecular mechanisms governing prostate cancer bone metastasis, FVB murine prostate epithelium was transduced with oncogenic v-Src. The prostate cancer cell lines metastasized in FVB mice to brain and bone. Gene expression profiling of the tumors identified activation of a CCR5 signaling module when the prostate epithelial cells (PEC) lines were grown in vivo vs. tissue cultures. The whole body, bone and brain metastatic prostate cancer burden was reduced by oral CCR5 antagonist. Clinical trials of CCR5 inhibitors may warrant consideration in patients with CCR5 activation in their tumors.
PMCID: PMC4294544  PMID: 25452256
Prostate Cancer; bone metastasis; v-Src; brain metastasis; CCR5
4.  Mitochondrial mass and DNA repair in breast cancer stem cells 
Oncotarget  2015;6(36):38442-38443.
PMCID: PMC4770711  PMID: 26564961
mitochondria; cancer stem cells; cancer metabolism; OXPHOS
5.  A direct quantification method for measuring plasma MicroRNAs identified potential biomarkers for detecting metastatic breast cancer 
Oncotarget  2016;7(16):21865-21874.
Circulating miRNAs are protected from ribonuclease degradation by assembly into microvesicles and exosomes. Releasing miRNAs completely from these particles is the key step to quantify the circulating miRNAs. Currently purified RNA-based quantitative analysis is widely used while it is time and cost consuming with high risk for those circulating miRNAs with low abundance due to partial loss of RNA during the steps of total RNA extraction and small RNA enrichment. Herein, we optimized a simple, effective and time-saving method to directly measure plasma miRNAs without RNA isolation. It is based on complete miRNA release from the protein complexes, followed by miRNA-specific reverse transcription and quantitative real-time PCR amplification. By comparison to the RNA-based approach, the direct quantification method showed more efficiency for circulating miRNA analysis, higher accuracy and specificity. By application of the direct quantification method to clinical samples combined with the RNA-based miRNA screening analysis, upregulation of miR-106a in blood was validated in metastatic breast cancer patients, indicating miR-106a are a potential biomarker for metastatic breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC5008329  PMID: 26967564
circulating miRNA; direct quantification; biomarker; metastatic breast cancer; miR-106a
6.  miRNAs regulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation 
Frontiers in Genetics  2012;3:191.
Stem cells undergo symmetric and asymmetric divisions to generate differentiated cells and more stem cells. The balance between self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells is controlled by transcription factors, epigenetic regulatory networks, and microRNAs (miRNAs). Herein the miRNA involvement in the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is summarized. miRNA contribution to malignancy through regulating cancer stem cells is described. In addition, the reciprocal associations between miRNAs and epigenetic modifications in control of stem cell fate are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3457037  PMID: 23056008
stem cell; microRNA; epigenetic modification; self-renewal
7.  Nutrient Restriction and Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment: When Less Is More 
The Oncologist  2013;18(1):97-103.
The laboratory and clinical evidence that exists for calorie restriction is reviewed, showing compelling evidence through the molecular pathways calorie restriction induces about how it may be used as a treatment in tandem with radiation therapy to improve rates of disease control.
CME Learning Objectives
Identify molecular pathways that are potential targets of calorie restriction combined with radiation therapy.Identify cancer patients for whom calorie restriction would be contraindicated.
Calorie restriction (CR), or a diet modification aiming to reduce the total intake of calories by 20%–40%, has been shown to increase longevity across multiple species. Recently, there has been growing interest in investigating the potential role of CR as a treatment intervention for age-related diseases, such as cancer, because an increasing body of literature has demonstrated a metabolic component to both carcinogenesis and tumor progression. In fact, many of the molecular pathways that are altered with CR are also known to be altered in cancer. Therefore, manipulation of these pathways using CR can render cancer cells, and most notably breast cancer cells, more susceptible to standard cytotoxic treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. In this review article we demonstrate the laboratory and clinical evidence that exists for CR and show compelling evidence through the molecular pathways CR induces about how it may be used as a treatment in tandem with radiation therapy to improve our rates of disease control.
PMCID: PMC3556263  PMID: 23299773
Calorie restriction; Intermittent fasting; Radiotherapy; Cancer
Cancer research  2014;74(14):3959-3970.
The cyclin D1 gene encodes the regulatory subunit of a holoenyzme that phosphorylates the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) and nuclear respiratory factor (NRF1) proteins. The abundance of cyclin D1 determines estrogen-dependent gene expression in the mammary gland of mice. Using estradiol (E2) and an E2-dendrimer conjugate which is excluded from the nucleus, we demonstrate E2 delays the DNA damage response (DDR) via an extranuclear mechanism. The E2-induced DDR required extranuclear cyclin D1 which bound ERα at the cytoplasmic membrane and augmented AKT phosphorylation (Ser473) and γH2AX foci formation. In the nucleus E2 inhibited, whereas cyclin D1 enhanced, homology directed DNA repair. Cyclin D1 was recruited to γH2AX foci by E2 and induced Rad51 expression. Cyclin D1 governs an essential role in the E2-dependent DNA-damage response via a novel extranuclear function. The dissociable cytoplasmic function to delay the E2 mediated-DDR together with the nuclear enhancement of DNA repair uncovers a novel extranuclear function of cyclin D1 that may contribute to the role of E2 in breast tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4102655  PMID: 24830723
Cyclin D1; DNA damage repair; Estrogen; Cell-cycle
9.  Cyclin D1 silencing suppresses tumorigenicity, impairs DNA double strand break repair and thus radiosensitizes androgen-independent prostate cancer cells to DNA damage 
Oncotarget  2015;7(5):5383-5400.
Patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer (PCa) have higher biochemical failure rates following radiation therapy (RT). Cyclin D1 deregulated expression in PCa is associated with a more aggressive disease: however its role in radioresistance has not been determined. Cyclin D1 levels in the androgen-independent PC3 and 22Rv1 PCa cells were stably inhibited by infecting with cyclin D1-shRNA. Tumorigenicity and radiosensitivity were investigated using in vitro and in vivo experimental assays. Cyclin D1 silencing interfered with PCa oncogenic phenotype by inducing growth arrest in the G1 phase of cell cycle and reducing soft agar colony formation, migration, invasion in vitro and tumor formation and neo-angiogenesis in vivo. Depletion of cyclin D1 significantly radiosensitizes PCa cells by increasing the RT-induced DNA damages by affecting the NHEJ and HR pathways responsible of the DNA double-strand break repair. Following treatment of cells with RT the abundance of a biomarker of DNA damage, γ-H2AX, was dramatically increased in sh-cyclin D1 treated cells compared to shRNA control. Concordant with these observations DNA-PKcs-activation and RAD51-accumulation, part of the DNA double-strand break repair machinery, were reduced in shRNA-cyclin D1 treated cells compared to shRNA control. We further demonstrate the physical interaction between CCND1 with activated-ATM, -DNA-PKcs and RAD51 is enhanced by RT. Finally, siRNA-mediated silencing experiments indicated DNA-PKcs and RAD51 are downstream targets of CCND1-mediated PCa cells radioresistance. In summary, these observations suggest that CCND1 is a key mediator of PCa radioresistance and could represent a potential target for radioresistant hormone-resistant PCa.
PMCID: PMC4868693  PMID: 26689991
cyclin D1; prostate cancer; radiotherapy; DNA double-strand break repair; NHEJ
10.  BCL-2 family protein, BAD is down-regulated in breast cancer and inhibits cancer cell invasion 
Experimental cell research  2014;331(1):1-10.
We have previously demonstrated that the anti-apoptotic protein BAD is expressed in normal human breast tissue and shown that BAD inhibits expression of cyclin D1 to delay cell-cycle progression in breast cancer cells. Herein, expression of proteins in breast tissues was studied by immunohistochemistry and results were analyzed statistically to obtain semi-quantitative data. Biochemical and functional changes in BAD-overexpressing MCF7 breast cancer cells were evaluated using PCR, reporter assays, western blotting, ELISA and extracellular matrix invasion assays. Compared to normal tissues, Grade II breast cancers expressed low total/phosphorylated forms of BAD in both cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments. BAD overexpression decreased the expression of β-catenin, Sp1, and phosphorylation of STATs. BAD inhibited Ras/MEK/ERK and JNK signaling pathways, without affecting the p38 signaling pathway. Expression of the metastasis-related proteins, MMP10, VEGF, SNAIL, CXCR4, E-cadherin and TlMP2 were regulated by BAD with concomitant inhibition of extracellular matrix invasion. siRNA knockdown of BAD increased invasion and Akt/p-Akt levels. Clinical data and the results herein suggest that in addition to the effect on apoptosis, BAD conveys anti-metastatic effects and is a valuable prognostic marker in breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4304679  PMID: 25499972
BAD; extracellular matrix invasion; breast cancer; metastasis
11.  Kinase-independent role of cyclin D1 in chromosomal instability and mammary tumorigenesis 
Oncotarget  2015;6(11):8525-8538.
Cyclin D1 is an important molecular driver of human breast cancer but better understanding of its oncogenic mechanisms is needed, especially to enhance efforts in targeted therapeutics. Currently, pharmaceutical initiatives to inhibit cyclin D1 are focused on the catalytic component since the transforming capacity is thought to reside in the cyclin D1/CDK activity. We initiated the following study to directly test the oncogenic potential of catalytically inactive cyclin D1 in an in vivo mouse model that is relevant to breast cancer. Herein, transduction of cyclin D1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with the kinase dead KE mutant of cyclin D1 led to aneuploidy, abnormalities in mitotic spindle formation, autosome amplification, and chromosomal instability (CIN) by gene expression profiling. Acute transgenic expression of either cyclin D1WT or cyclin D1KE in the mammary gland was sufficient to induce a high CIN score within 7 days. Sustained expression of cyclin D1KE induced mammary adenocarcinoma with similar kinetics to that of the wild-type cyclin D1. ChIP-Seq studies demonstrated recruitment of cyclin D1WT and cyclin D1KE to the genes governing CIN. We conclude that the CDK-activating function of cyclin D1 is not necessary to induce either chromosomal instability or mammary tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4496164  PMID: 25940700
Cyclin D1; breast cancer; chromosomal instability
12.  The role of CD44 in epithelial–mesenchymal transition and cancer development 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;8:3783-3792.
CD44, a multi-structural and multifunctional transmembrane glycoprotein, was initially identified as a receptor for hyaluronan that participates in both physiological and pathological processes. CD44 is found to be closely linked to the development of various solid tumors. Molecular studies have revealed that high CD44 expression was correlated with the phenotypes of cancer stem cells and epithelial–mesenchymal transition, thereby contributing to tumor invasion, metastasis, recurrence, and chemoresistance. Correspondingly, blockade of CD44 has been demonstrated to be capable of attenuating the malignant phenotype, slowing cancer progression, and reversing therapy resistance. Clinical analyses showed that high CD44 expression is associated with poor survival of various cancer patients, indicating that CD44 can be a potential prognostic marker. In this review, we summarize recent research progress of CD44 on tumor biology and the clinical significance of CD44.
PMCID: PMC4689260  PMID: 26719706
CD44; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; tumor progression; prognosis
13.  Antibiotics for cancer therapy 
Oncotarget  2015;6(5):2587-2588.
PMCID: PMC4413602  PMID: 25739117
14.  MEKs/ERKs inhibitor U0126 increases the radiosensitivity of rhabdomyosarcoma cells in vitro and in vivo by down regulating growth and DNA repair signals 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2011;10(1):159-168.
Multimodal treatment has improved the outcome of many solid tumors, and in some cases the use of radiosensitizers has significantly contributed to this gain. Activation of the extracellular signaling kinase pathway (MEK/ERK) generally results in stimulation of cell growth and confers a survival advantage playing the major role in human cancer. The potential involvement of this pathway in cellular radiosensitivity remains unclear. We previously reported that the disruption of c-Myc through MEK/ERK inhibition blocks the expression of the transformed phenotype, affects in vitro and in vivo growth, angiogenic signaling, and induces myogenic differentiation in the embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) cell lines (RD). The present study was designed to examine whether the ERK pathway affects intrinsic radiosensitivity of rhabdomyosarcoma cancer cells. Exponentially growing human ERMS, RD, xenograft-derived RD-M1 and TE671 cell lines were used. The specific MEK/ERK inhibitor, U0126, reduced the clonogenic potential of the three cell lines, and was effected by radiation. U0126 inhibited phospho/active ERK1/2 and reduced DNAPKcs suggesting that ERKs and DNA-PKcs cooperate in radioprotection of rhabdomyosarcoma cells. The TE671 cell line-xenotransplanted in mice showed a reduction in tumor mass and increase in the time of tumor progression with U0126 treatment associated with reduced DNAPKcs, an effect enhanced by radiotherapy. Thus, our results show that MEK/ERK inhibition enhances radiosensitivity of rhabdomyosarcoma cells suggesting a rational approach in combination with radiotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3064485  PMID: 21220498
Radiotherapy; Rabdomyosarcoma; U1026; MEK/ERK; c-Myc
15.  Identification of a cyclin D1 network in prostate cancer that antagonizes epithelial-mesenchymal restraint 
Cancer research  2013;74(2):508-519.
Improved clinical management of prostate cancer (PCa) has been impeded by an inadequate understanding of molecular genetic elements governing tumor progression. Gene signatures have provided improved prognostic indicators of human PCa. The TGFβ/BMP-SMAD4 signaling pathway, which induces epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), is known to constrain prostate cancer progression induced by Pten deletion. Herein, cyclin D1 inactivation reduced cellular proliferation in the murine prostate in vivo and in isogenic oncogene-transformed prostate cancer cell lines. The in vivo cyclin D1-mediated molecular signature predicted poor outcome of recurrence free survival for prostate cancer patients (K-means hazard ratio 3.75, P-value=0.02) and demonstrated that endogenous cyclin D1 restrains TGFβ, Snail, Twist and Goosecoid signaling. Endogenous cyclin D1 enhanced Wnt and ES cell gene expression and expanded a prostate stem cell population. In ChIP-Seq, cyclin D1 occupied genes governing stem cell expansion and induced their transcription. The coordination of EMT restraining and stem cell expanding gene expression by cyclin D1 in the prostate may contribute to its strong prognostic value for poor outcome in biochemical free recurrence in human prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3914674  PMID: 24282282
Cyclin D1; gene network; prostate cancer; siRNA; shRNA
17.  Dissecting tumor metabolic heterogeneity: Telomerase and large cell size metabolically define a sub-population of stem-like, mitochondrial-rich, cancer cells 
Oncotarget  2015;6(26):21892-21905.
Tumor cell metabolic heterogeneity is thought to contribute to tumor recurrence, distant metastasis and chemo-resistance in cancer patients, driving poor clinical outcome. To better understand tumor metabolic heterogeneity, here we used the MCF7 breast cancer line as a model system to metabolically fractionate a cancer cell population. First, MCF7 cells were stably transfected with an hTERT-promoter construct driving GFP expression, as a surrogate marker of telomerase transcriptional activity. To enrich for immortal stem-like cancer cells, MCF7 cells expressing the highest levels of GFP (top 5%) were then isolated by FACS analysis. Notably, hTERT-GFP(+) MCF7 cells were significantly more efficient at forming mammospheres (i.e., stem cell activity) and showed increased mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial functional activity, all relative to hTERT-GFP(−) cells. Unbiased proteomics analysis of hTERT-GFP(+) MCF7 cells directly demonstrated the over-expression of 33 key mitochondrial proteins, 17 glycolytic enzymes, 34 ribosome-related proteins and 17 EMT markers, consistent with an anabolic cancer stem-like phenotype. Interestingly, MT-CO2 (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2; Complex IV) expression was increased by >20-fold. As MT-CO2 is encoded by mt-DNA, this finding is indicative of increased mitochondrial biogenesis in hTERT-GFP(+) MCF7 cells. Importantly, most of these candidate biomarkers were transcriptionally over-expressed in human breast cancer epithelial cells in vivo. Similar results were obtained using cell size (forward/side scatter) to fractionate MCF7 cells. Larger stem-like cells also showed increased hTERT-GFP levels, as well as increased mitochondrial mass and function. Thus, this simple and rapid approach for the enrichment of immortal anabolic stem-like cancer cells will allow us and others to develop new prognostic biomarkers and novel anti-cancer therapies, by specifically and selectively targeting this metabolic sub-population of aggressive cancer cells. Based on our proteomics and functional analysis, FDA-approved inhibitors of protein synthesis and/or mitochondrial biogenesis, may represent novel treatment options for targeting these anabolic stem-like cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4673134  PMID: 26323205
hTERT; telomerase; cell size; mitochondrial biogenesis; cancer stem cells; proteomic analysis; tumor metabolism
18.  Breast Cancer Stem Cells 
Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) constitute a subpopulation of tumor cells that express stem cell-associated markers and have a high capacity for tumor generation in vivo. Identification of BCSCs from tumor samples or breast cancer cell lines has been based mainly on CD44+/CD24−/low or ALDH+ phenotypes. BCSCs isolation has allowed the analysis of the molecular mechanisms involved in their origin, self-renewal, differentiation into tumor cells, resistance to radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and invasiveness and metastatic ability. Molecular genetic analysis using knockout animals and inducible transgenics have identified NF-κB, c-Jun, p21CIP1, and Forkhead-like-protein Dach1 in BCSC expansion and fate. Clinical analyses of BCSCs in breast tumors have found a correlation between the proportion of BCSCs and poor prognosis. Therefore, new therapies that specifically target BCSCs are an urgent need. We summarize recent evidence that partially explain the biological characteristics of BCSCs.
PMCID: PMC3294043  PMID: 22249027
Breast cancer; cancer stem cell; metastasis; resistance; breast cancer therapy
19.  Acetylation-defective mutants of Pparγ are associated with decreased lipid synthesis in breast cancer cells 
Oncotarget  2014;5(17):7303-7315.
In our prior publications we characterized a conserved acetylation motif (K(R)xxKK) of evolutionarily related nuclear receptors. Recent reports showed that peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) deacetylation by SIRT1 is involved in delaying cellular senescence and maintaining the brown remodeling of white adipose tissue. However, it still remains unknown whether lysyl residues 154 and 155 (K154/155) of the conserved acetylation motif (RIHKK) in Pparγ1 are acetylated. Herein, we demonstrate that Pparγ1 is acetylated and regulated by both endogenous TSA-sensitive and NAD-dependent deacetylases. Acetylation of lysine 154 was identified by mass spectrometry (MS) while deacetylation of lysine 155 by SIRT1 was confirmed by in vitro deacetylation assay. An in vivo labeling assay revealed K154/K155 as bona fide acetylation sites. The conserved acetylation sites of Pparγ1 and the catalytic domain of SIRT1 are both required for the interaction between Pparγ1 and SIRT1. Sirt1 and Pparγ1 converge to govern lipid metabolism in vivo. Acetylation-defective mutants of Pparγ1 were associated with reduced lipid synthesis in ErbB2 overexpressing breast cancer cells. Together, these results suggest that the conserved lysyl residues K154/K155 of Pparγ1 are acetylated and play an important role in lipid synthesis in ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4202124  PMID: 25229978
acetylation; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparγ); nuclear receptors; silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1); lipogenesis
20.  EYA1 Phosphatase Function Is Essential To Drive Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation Through Cyclin D1 
Cancer research  2013;73(14):4488-4499.
The Drosophila Eyes Absent Homologue 1 (EYA1) is a component of the retinal determination gene network (RDGN) and serves as an H2AX phosphatase. The cyclin D1 gene encodes the regulatory subunits of a holoenzyme that phosphorylates and inactivates the pRb protein. Herein, comparison with normal breast demonstrated EYA1 is overexpressed with cyclin D1 in luminal B breast cancer subtype. EYA1 enhanced breast tumor growth in mice in vivo requiring the phosphatase domain. EYA1 enhanced cellular proliferation, inhibited apoptosis, and induced contact-independent growth and cyclin D1 abundance. The induction of cellular proliferation and cyclin D1 abundance, but not apoptosis, was dependent upon the EYA1 phosphatase domain. The EYA1-mediated transcriptional induction of cyclin D1 occurred via the AP-1 binding site at −953 and required the EYA1 phosphatase function. The AP-1 mutation did not affect SIX1-dependent activation of cyclin D1. EYA1 was recruited in the context of local chromatin to the cyclin D1 AP-1 site. The EYA1 phosphatase function determined the recruitment of CBP, RNA polymerase II and acetylation of H3K9 at the cyclin D1 gene AP-1 site regulatory region in the context of local chromatin. The EYA1 phosphatase regulates cell cycle control via transcriptional complex formation at the cyclin D1 promoter.
PMCID: PMC3755745  PMID: 23636126
Cancer research  2013;73(11):3262-3274.
Hyperactive EGFR and mutant p53 are common genetic abnormalities driving the progression of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. The Drosophila gene Dachshund (Dac) was originally cloned as an inhibitor of hyperactive EGFR alleles. Given the importance of EGFR signaling in lung cancer etiology, we examined the role of DACH1 expression in lung cancer development. DACH1 protein and mRNA expression was reduced in human NSCLC. Re-expression of DACH1 reduced NSCLC colony formation and tumor growth in vivo via p53. Endogenous DACH1 co-localized with p53 in a nuclear, extranucleolar location, and shared occupancy of -15% of p53 bound genes in ChIP Seq. The C-terminus of DACH1 was necessary for direct p53 binding, contributing to the inhibition of colony formation and cell cycle arrest. Expression of the stem cell factor SOX2 was repressed by DACH1, and SOX2 expression was inversely correlated with DACH1 in NSCLC. We conclude that DACH1 binds p53 to inhibit NSCLC cellular growth.
PMCID: PMC3674204  PMID: 23492369
22.  Cyclin D1 Induction of Dicer Governs MicroRNA Processing and Expression in Breast Cancer 
Nature communications  2013;4:10.1038/ncomms3812.
Cyclin D1 encodes the regulatory subunit of a holoenzyme that phosphorylates the pRB protein and promotes G1/S cell cycle progression and oncogenesis. Dicer is a central regulator of miRNA maturation, encoding an enzyme that cleaves double strand RNA or stem-loop-stem RNA into 20–25 nucleotide long small RNA, governing sequence specific gene silencing and heterochromatin methylation. The mechanism by which the cell cycle directly controls the non-coding genome is poorly understood. Here we show that cyclin D1−/− cells are defective in pre-miRNA processing which is restored by cyclin D1a rescue. Cyclin D1 induces Dicer expression in vitro and in vivo. Dicer is transcriptionally targeted by cyclin D1, via a cdk-independent mechanism. Cyclin D1 and Dicer expression significantly correlates in luminal A and basal-like subtypes of human breast cancer. Cyclin D1 and Dicer maintain heterochromatic histone modification (Tri-m-H3K9). Cyclin D1-mediated cellular proliferation and migration is Dicer-dependent. We conclude that cyclin D1 induction of Dicer coordinates microRNA biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3874416  PMID: 24287487
23.  The metastatic potential of triple-negative breast cancer is decreased via caloric restriction-mediated reduction of the miR-17~92 cluster 
Caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to cause tumor regression in models of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and the regression is augmented when coupled with ionizing radiation (IR). In this study, we sought to determine if the molecular interaction between CR and IR could be mediated by microRNA (miR). miR arrays revealed 3 miRs in the miR-17~92 cluster as most significantly down regulated when CR is combined with IR. In vivo, CR and IR down regulated miR-17/20 in 2 TNBC models. To elucidate the mechanism by which this cluster regulates the response to CR, cDNA arrays were performed and the top 5 statistically significant gene ontology terms with high fold changes were all associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) and metastases. In silico analysis revealed 4 potential targets of the miR-17~92 cluster related to ECM: collagen 4 alpha 3, laminin alpha 3, and metallopeptidase inhibitors 2 and 3, which were confirmed by luciferase assays. The overexpression or silencing of miR-17/20a demonstrated that those miRs directly affected the ECM proteins. Furthermore, we found that CR-mediated inhibition of miR-17/20a can regulate the expression of ECM proteins. Functionally, we demonstrate that CR decreases the metastatic potential of cells which further demonstrates the importance of the ECM. In conclusion, CR can be used as a potential treatment for cancer because it may alter many molecular targets concurrently and decrease metastatic potential for TNBC.
PMCID: PMC4157915  PMID: 24863696
Caloric restriction; Triple-negative breast cancer; microRNA; miR-17~92 cluster; Radiation
25.  Trop-2 is up-regulated in invasive prostate cancer and displaces FAK from focal contacts 
Oncotarget  2015;6(16):14318-14328.
In this study, we show that the transmembrane glycoprotein Trop-2 is up-regulated in human prostate cancer (PCa) with extracapsular extension (stages pT3/pT4) as compared to organ-confined (stage pT2) PCa. Consistent with this evidence, Trop-2 expression is found to be increased in metastatic prostate tumors of Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate mice and to strongly correlate with α5β1 integrin levels. Using PCa cells, we show that Trop-2 specifically associates with the α5 integrin subunit, as binding to α3 is not observed, and that Trop-2 displaces focal adhesion kinase from focal contacts. In support of the role of Trop-2 as a promoter of PCa metastatic phenotype, we observe high expression of this molecule in exosomes purified from Trop-2-positive PCa cells. These vesicles are then found to promote migration of Trop-2-negative PCa cells on fibronectin, an α5β1 integrin/focal adhesion kinase substrate, thus suggesting that the biological function of Trop-2 may be propagated to recipient cells. In summary, our findings show that Trop-2 promotes an α5β1 integrin-dependent pro-metastatic signaling pathway in PCa cells and that the altered expression of Trop-2 may be utilized for early identification of capsule-invading PCa.
PMCID: PMC4546469  PMID: 26015409
pT2/pT3/pT4 prostate cancer; metastasis; gleason grade; TRAMP; exosome

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