To assess the efficacy of Rapamycin treatment in chemoprevention and chemotherapy of tumorigenesis in a genetically-defined mouse model of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Knockdown of Tgfbr1 and/or Pten using siRNA-mediated RNA interference was carried out in human HNSCC cell lines to analyze molecular changes in the mTOR pathway. Tgfbr1flox/flox; Ptenflox/flox; K14-CreERtam mice were treated with oral gavage of tamoxifen for the conditional deletion of Tgfbr1 and Pten in oral mucosa, resuting in HNSCC (Bian et al 2011). Tgfbr1 and Pten conditonal deletion (2cKO) mice were treated with Rapamycin before or after the onset of HNSCC, and the efficacy of this treatment was assessed by determining tumor burden, longevity, and molecular analysis of the mTOR pathway. Molecular changes observed in human HNSCC cell lines and 2cKO mice were compared to identify key alterations in the mTOR pathway.
Knockdown of Tgfbr1 and/or Pten in human HNSCC cell lines resulted in activation of mTORC1 and increased levels of survivin. Furthermore, we observed similar changes in HNSCC of the 2cKO mouse. In the human HNSCC tissue array, a loss of Tgfbr1 expression correlated with increased survivin levels. Chemopreventive Rapamycin treatment significantly delayed the onset of the HNSCC tumors and prolonged survival in 2cKO mice. Additionally, we also found that Rapamycin had a therapeutic effect on squamous cell carcinomas in these mice. In 2cKO HNSCC tongue tumors, Rapamycin treatment induced apoptosis, inhibited cell proliferation and phosphorylation of Akt and S6, and decreased survivin expression.
These findings indicate that tumorigenesis in 2cKO HNSCC is associated with activation of the Akt/mTOR/survivin pathway, and inhibition of this pathway by Rapamycin treatment successfully ameliorates the onset and progression of tumorigenesis.
TGF-β; Pten; head and neck cancer; mTOR; survivin
We report that K5.Smad7 mice, which express Smad7 transgene by a keratin-5 promoter, were resistant to radiation-induced oral mucositis, a painful oral ulceration. In addition to NF-κB activation known to contribute to oral mucositis, we found activated TGF-β signaling in oral mucositis. Smad7 dampened both pathways to attenuate inflammation, growth inhibition and apoptosis. Additionally, Smad7 promoted oral epithelial migration to close the wound. Further analyses revealed that TGF-β signaling Smads and their co-repressor CtBP1 transcriptionally repressed Rac1, and Smad7 abrogated this repression. Knocking down Rac1 in mouse keratinocytes abrogated Smad7-induced migration. Topically applying Smad7 protein with a cell permeable Tat-tag (Tat-Smad7) to oral mucosa showed preventive and therapeutic effects on radiation-induced oral mucositis in mice. Thus, we have identified novel molecular mechanisms involved in oral mucositis pathogenesis and our data suggest an alternative therapeutic strategy to block multiple pathological processes of oral mucositis.
The integrity of the epidermis and mucosal epithelia is highly dependent on resident self-renewing stem cells, which makes them vulnerable to physical and chemical insults compromising the repopulating capacity of the epithelial stem cell compartment. This is frequently the case in cancer patients receiving radiation or chemotherapy, many of whom develop mucositis, a debilitating condition involving painful and deep mucosal ulcerations. Here, we show that inhibiting the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) with rapamycin increases the clonogenic capacity of primary human oral keratinocytes and their resident self-renewing cells by preventing stem cell senescence. This protective effect of rapamycin is mediated by the increase expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and the consequent inhibition of ROS formation and oxidative stress. mTOR inhibition also protects from the loss of proliferative basal epithelial stem cells upon ionizing radiation in vivo, thereby preserving the integrity of the oral mucosa and protecting from radiation-induced mucositis.
Head and neck cancer is a devastating disease that afflicts many individuals worldwide. Conventional therapies are successful in only a limited subgroup and often leave the patient with disfigurement and long lasting adverse effects on normal physiological functions. The field is in dire need of new therapies. Oncolytic viral as well as targeted therapies have shown some success in other malignancies and are attractive for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Recently, it has been shown that a subset of head and neck cancers is human papillomavirus (HPV) positive and that this subset of cancers is biologically distinct and more sensitive to chemoradiation therapies although the underlying mechanism is unclear. However, chemoresistance remains a general problem. One candidate mediator of therapeutic response, which is of interest for the targeting of both HPV-positive and -negative tumors is the human DEK proto-oncogene. DEK is upregulated in numerous tumors including head and neck cancers regardless of their HPV status. Depletion of DEK in tumor cells in culture results in sensitivity to genotoxic agents, particularly in rapidly proliferating cells. This suggests that tumors with high DEK protein expression may be correlated with poor clinical response to clastogenic therapies. Targeting molecules such as DEK in combination with new and/or conventional therapies, holds promise for novel future therapeutics for head and neck cancer.
Multiplexed biomarker protein detection holds unrealized promise for clinical cancer diagnostics due to lack of suitable measurement devices and lack of rigorously validated protein panels. Here we report an ultrasensitive electrochemical microfluidic array optimized to measure a four-protein panel of biomarker proteins, and we validate the protein panel for accurate oral cancer diagnostics. Unprecedented ultralow detection into the 5–50 fg mL−1 range was achieved for simultaneous measurement of proteins IL-6, IL-8, VEGF and VEGF-C in diluted serum. The immunoarray achieves high sensitivity in 50 min assays by using off-line protein capture by magnetic beads carrying 400,000 enzyme labels and 120,000 antibodies. After capturing the proteins and washing to inhibit non-specific binding, the beads are magnetically separated and injected into the array for selective capture by antibodies on eight nanostructured sensors. Good correlations with ELISA for protein determinations in conditioned cancer cell media confirmed the accuracy of this approach. Normalized means of the 4-protein levels in 78 oral cancer patient serum samples and 49 controls gave clinical sensitivity 89% and specificity 98% for oral cancer detection, demonstrating high diagnostic utility. The low cost, easily fabricated immunoarray provides a rapid serum test for diagnosis and personalized therapy of oral cancer. The device is readily adaptable to clinical diagnostics of other cancers.
The molecular mechanisms that contribute to the initiation and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have not been completely delineated. Our observations indicate that defects in the TGF-β and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways are common in human HNSCCs. Conditional activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway due to Pten deletion in the mouse head and neck epithelia gives rise to hyperproliferation, but only a few lesions progress to HNSCC. However, Pten-deficient mice developed full-penetrance HNSCC in combination with type I TGF-β receptor (Tgfbr1) deletion. Molecular analysis revealed enhanced cell proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and increased expression of CCND1 in the basal layer of the head and neck epithelia, as well as in the tumors of Tgfbr1/Pten double conditional knockout (2cKO) mice. Furthermore, neoplastic transformation involves senescence evasion and is associated with an increased number of putative cancer stem cells (CSCs). In addition, the NF-κB pathway activation, myeloid derived suppressor cell (MDSC) infiltration, angiogenesis, and immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment, all of which are characteristic of human HNSCCs, contribute significantly to head and neck carcinogenesis in 2cKO mice. These tumors display pathology and multiple molecular alterations resembling human HNSCCs. This suggests that the Tgfbr1/Pten 2cKO mouse model is suitable for preclinical intervention, and that it has significant implications in the development of diagnostic cancer biomarkers and effective strategies for prevention and treatment of HNSCCs.
TGF-β; PI3K/Akt; Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC); Conditional Knockout; Cancer Mouse Model
Nanoformulations have shown great promise for delivering chemotherapeutics and hold tremendous clinical relevance. However nuclear mapping of the chemo drugs is important to predict the success of the nanoformulation. Herein in this study fluorescence microscopy and a subcellular tracking algorithm were used to map the diffusion of chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer cells. Positively charged nanoparticles efficiently carried the chemo drug across the cell membrane. The algorithm helped map free drug and drug loaded nanoparticles, revealing varying nuclear diffusion pattern of the chemotherapeutics in drug-sensitive and resistant cells in a live dynamic cellular environment. While the drug-sensitive cells showed an exponential uptake of the drug with time, resistant cells showed random and asymmetric drug distribution. Moreover nanoparticles carrying the drug remained in the perinuclear region while the drug got accumulated in the cell nuclei. The tracking approach has enabled us to predict the therapeutic success of different nanoscale formulations of doxorubicin.
iron oxide nanoparticles; doxorubicin; drug resistance; computational; nuclear mapping; live cell imaging; cancer
Human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) incidence is increasing at a near epidemic rate. We investigated whether the mammalian (or mechanistic) target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, rapamycin, can be used as a concurrent agent to standard-of-care cisplatin/radiation therapy (CRT) to attenuate tumor lactate production, thus enhancing CRT-induced immune-mediated clearance of this antigenic tumor type. A C57Bl/6-derived mouse oropharyngeal epithelial cell line retrovirally transduced with HPV type 16 E6/E7 and human squamous cell carcinoma cell lines were evaluated for their response to rapamycin in vitro with proliferation assays, Western blots, and lactate assays. Clonogenic assays and a preclinical mouse model were used to assess rapamycin as a concurrent agent to CRT. The potential of rapamycin to enhance immune response through lactate attenuation was assessed using quantitative tumor lactate bioluminescence and assessment of cell-mediated immunity using E6/E7-vaccinated mouse splenocytes. Rapamycin alone inhibited mTOR signaling of all cancer cell lines tested in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, rapamycin administered alone significantly prolonged survival in vivo but did not result in any long-term cures. Given concurrently, CRT/rapamycin significantly enhanced direct cell killing in clonogenic assays and prolonged survival in immunocompromised mice. However, in immunocompetent mice, concurrent CRT/rapamycin increased long-term cures by 21%. Preliminary findings suggest that improved survival involves increased cell killing and enhanced immune-mediated clearance in part due to decreased lactate production. The results may provide rationale for the clinical evaluation of mTOR inhibitors concurrent with standard-of-care CRT for treatment of HPV-positive HNSCC.
The incidence of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) associated with papillomavirus (HPV) infection has increased over the past decades in the US. We aimed at examining the global impact of HPV-associated HNSCC, and whether the established key role of mTOR activation in HNSCC is also observed in HPV+ HNSCC lesions, thereby providing novel treatment options for HPV-associated HNSCC patients.
An international HNSCC tissue microarray (TMA) was used to analyze the expression of p16INK4A, a surrogate for HPV infection, and Akt-mTOR pathway activation. Results were confirmed in a large collection of HPV− and HPV+ HNSCC cases and in a cervical cancer (CCSCC) TMA. Observations were validated in HNSCC and CCSCC-derived cell lines, which were xenografted into immunodeficient mice for tumorigenesis assays.
Approximately 20% of all HNSCC lesions could be classified as HPV+, irrespective of their country of origin. mTOR pathway activation was observed in most HPV+ HNSCC and CCSCC lesions and cell lines. The pre-clinical efficacy of mTOR inhibition by rapamycin and RAD001 was explored in HPV+ HNSCC and CCSCC tumor xenografts. Both mTOR inhibitors effectively decreased mTOR activity in vivo, and caused a remarkable decrease in tumor burden. These results emphasize the emerging global impact of HPV-related HNSCCs, and indicate that the activation of the mTOR pathway is a widespread event in both HPV− and HPV-associated HNSCC and CCSCC lesions.
The emerging results may provide a rationale for the clinical evaluation of mTOR inhibitors as a molecular targeted approach for the treatment of HPV-associated malignancies.
Oral cancer; cervical cancer Human papilloma virus; rapalogs; targeted therapy; mTOR
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a major public health concern. The recent identification of the mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway as a highly prevalent molecular signature underlying HNSCC pathogenesis has provided the foundation to search for novel therapeutic approaches to prevent and treat HNSCC. Here, we asked whether metformin, the most widely used medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which acts in part by stimulating the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway thereby reducing mTORC1 activity, may lower the risk of HNSCC development. Indeed, we show that metformin reduces the growth of HNSCC cells and diminishes their mTORC1 activity by both AMPK-dependent and –independent mechanisms. We also optimized an oral-specific carcinogenesis mouse model that results in the accumulation of multiple oral premalignant lesions at the end of the carcinogen exposure, some of which then spontaneously progress into HNSCC. Using this mouse model, we observed that metformin specifically inhibits mTORC1 in the basal proliferating epithelial layer of oral premalignant lesions. Remarkably, metformin prevented the development of HNSCC by reducing significantly the size and number of carcinogen-induced oral tumoral lesions, and by preventing their spontaneous conversion to squamous cell carcinomas. Collectively, our data underscore the potential clinical benefits of using metformin as a targeted chemopreventive agent in the control of HNSCC development and progression.
Oral cancer; premalignant lesions; targeted therapy; mTOR
TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis through its death receptors (DRs) 4 and/or 5 expressed on the surface of target cells. The selectivity of TRAIL towards cancer cells has promoted clinical evaluation of recombinant human TRAIL (rhTRAIL) and its agonistic antibodies in treating several major human cancers including colon and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, little is known about their ability in killing oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells. In this study, we tested the apoptotic responses of a panel of seven human OSCC cell lines (HN31, HN30, HN12, HN6, HN4, Cal27, and OSCC3) to rhTRAIL and monoclonal antibodies against DR4 or DR5. We found that rhTRAIL is a potent inducer of apoptosis in most of the oral cancer cell lines tested both in vitro and in vivo. We also showed that DR5 was expressed on the surface of the tested cell lines which correlated with the cellular susceptibility to apoptosis induced by rhTRAIL and anti-DR5 antibody. By contrast, little or no DR4 was detected on the surface of OSCC3 and HN6 cells rendering cellular resistance to DR4 antibody and a reduced sensitivity to rhTRAIL. Notably, the overall TRAIL sensitivity correlated well with the levels of endogenous active Ras in the cell lines tested. Expression of a constitutively active Ras mutant (RasV12) in OSCC3 cells selectively upregulated surface expression of DR5, but not DR4, and restored TRAIL sensitivity. Our findings could have implications for the use of TRAIL receptor targeted therapies in the treatment of human OSCC tumors particularly the ones harboring constitutively active Ras mutant.
oral cancer; TRAIL; death receptors; apoptosis; Ras; oncotarget
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting vasculature, is essential for many physiological processes, and aberrant angiogenesis contributes to some of the most prevalent human diseases, including cancer. Angiogenesis is controlled by delicate balance between pro- and anti-angiogenic signals. While pro-angiogenic signaling has been extensively investigated, how developmentally regulated, naturally occurring anti-angiogenic molecules prevent the excessive growth of vascular and lymphatic vessels is still poorly understood. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on how semaphorins and their receptors, plexins and neuropilins, control normal and pathological angiogenesis, with an emphasis on semaphorin-regulated anti-angiogenic signaling circuitries in vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells. This emerging body of information may afford the opportunity to develop novel anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategies.
semaphorin; signaling; angiogenesis; lymphangiogenesis; cancer
The integration of extrinsic and intrinsic signals is required to preserve the self-renewal and tissue regenerative capacity of adult stem cells, while protecting them from malignant conversion or loss of proliferative potential by death, differentiation or senescence. Here we review emerging signaling circuitries regulating stem cell fate, with emphasis on epithelial stem cells. Wnt, mTOR, GPCRs, Notch, Rho GTPases, YAP and DNA and histone methylases are some of the mechanisms that allow stem cells to balance their regenerative potential and the initiation of terminal differentiation programs, guaranteeing appropriate tissue homeostasis. Understanding the signaling circuitries regulating stem cell fate decisions might provide important insights into cancer initiation and numerous human pathologies that involve the progressive loss of tissue-specific adult stem cells.
Despite our improved understanding of cancer, the 5-year survival rate for head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) patients remains relatively unchanged at 50% for the past three decades. HNSCC often metastasize to locoregional lymph nodes, and lymph node involvement represents one of the most important prognostic factors of poor clinical outcome. Among the multiple dysregulated molecular mechanism in HNSCC, emerging basic, preclinical, and clinical findings support the importance of the mTOR signaling route in HNSCC progression. Indeed, we observed here that the activation of mTOR is a widespread event in clinical specimens of HNSCC invading locoregional lymph nodes. We developed an orthotopic model of HNSCC consisting in the implantation of HNSCC cells into the tongues of immunocompromised mice. These orthotopic tumors spontaneously metastasize to the cervical lymph nodes, where the presence of HNSCC cells can be revealed by histological and immunohistochemical evaluation. Both primary and metastatic experimental HNSCC lesions exhibited elevated mTOR activity. The ability to monitor and quantitate lymph node invasion in this model system enabled us to explore whether the blockade of mTOR could impact on HNSCC metastasis. We found that inhibition of mTOR with rapamycin and the rapalog RAD001 diminished lymphangiogenesis in the primary tumors and prevented the dissemination of HNSCC cancer cells to the cervical lymph nodes, thereby prolonging animal survival. These findings may provide a rationale for the future clinical evaluation of mTOR inhibitors, including rapamycin and its analogs, as part of a molecular-targeted metastasis preventive strategy for the treatment of HNSCC patients.
mTOR; metastasis; oral cancer; targeted therapies; signal transduction
Our results demonstrate that nuclear factor of activated T-cell 3 (NFATc3) contributes to the regulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) repressor regulated in development and DNA damage response 1 (REDD1) and mTOR downstream-targeted c-Myc expression. Furthermore, our study demonstrates a novel role for the NFATc3/REDD1/tuberous sclerosis complex 2 axis in the regulation of goblet cell differentiation.
The nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) proteins are a family of transcription factors (NFATc1–c4) involved in the regulation of cell differentiation. We identified REDD1, a negative regulator of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) through the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC1/2 complex), as a new molecular target of NFATc3. We show that treatment with a combination of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) plus ionophore A23187 (Io), which induces NFAT activation, increased REDD1 mRNA and protein expression and inhibited mTOR signaling; pretreatment with the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporin A (CsA), an antagonist of NFAT signaling, decreased REDD1 induction and mTOR inhibition. Knockdown of NFATc3, not NFATc1, NFATc2, or NFATc4, attenuated PMA/Io-induced REDD1 expression. Treatment with PMA/Io increased REDD1 promoter activity and increased NFATc3 binding to the REDD1 promoter. Overexpression of NFATc3 increased REDD1 mRNA and protein expression and increased PMA/Io-mediated REDD1 promoter activity. Treatment with PMA/Io increased expression of the goblet cell differentiation marker MUC2; these changes were attenuated by pretreatment with CsA or knockdown of REDD1 or NFATc3. Overexpression of NFATc3 increased, while knockdown of TSC2 decreased, MUC2 expression. We provide evidence showing NFATc3 inhibits mTOR via induction of REDD1. Our results suggest a role for the NFATc3/REDD1/TSC2 axis in the regulation of intestinal cell differentiation.
Strong epidemiologic evidence links smoking and cancer. An increased understanding of the molecular biology of tobacco-related cancers could advance progress toward improving smoking cessation and patient management. Knowledge gaps between tobacco addiction, tumorigenesis, and cancer brought an interdisciplinary group of investigators together to discuss “The Biology of Nicotine and Tobacco: Bench to Bedside.” Presentations on the signaling pathways and pathogenesis in tobacco-related cancers, mouse models of addiction, imaging and regulation of nicotinic receptors, the genetic basis for tobacco carcinogenesis and development of lung cancer, and molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis were heard. Importantly, new opportunities to use molecular biology to identify and abrogate tobacco-mediated carcinogenesis and to identify high-risk individuals were recognized.
Tumor cells can co-opt the pro-migratory activity of chemokines and their cognate G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to metastasize to regional lymph nodes or distant organs. Indeed, the migration toward SDF-1 (stromal cell-derived factor-1) of tumor cells bearing CXCR4 [chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4] has been implicated in the lymphatic and organ-specific metastasis of various human malignancies. Here, we used chimeric G proteins and GPCRs activated solely by artificial ligands to selectively activate the signaling pathways downstream of specific G proteins, and showed that CXCR4-mediated chemotaxis and transendothelial migration of metastatic basal-like breast cancer cells required activation of members of the Gα12/13 G protein family and of the small guanosine trisphosphatase Rho. Multiple complementary experimental strategies, including synthetic biology approaches, indicated that signaling-selective inhibition of the CXCR4-Gα13-Rho axis prevents the metastatic spread of basal-like breast cancer cells.
Emerging evidence supporting the activation of the Akt-mTOR signaling network in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) progression has provided the rationale for exploring the therapeutic potential of inhibiting this pathway for HNSCC treatment. Indeed, rapamycin, a clinically relevant mTOR inhibitor, promotes the rapid regression of HNSCC-tumor xenografts in mice. However, rapamycin does not affect the growth of HNSCC cells in vitro, thus raising the possibility that, as for other cancer types, rapamycin may not target cancer cells directly but may instead act on a component of the tumor microenvioronment, such as tumor-associated vasculature. Here, we utilized a retro-inhibition approach to assess the contribution of cancer cell-autonomous actions of rapamycin to its antitumor activity in HNSCC. A rapamycin-resistant form of mTOR (mTOR-RR) was expressed in HNSCC cells, while retaining the wild-type (rapamycin-sensitive) mTOR alleles in host-derived endothelial and stromal cells. Expression of mTOR-RR prevented the decrease in phospho-S6 levels caused by rapamycin through mTOR in HNSCC cells but not in stromal cells, and rendered HNSCC xenografts completely resistant to the antitumoral activity of rapamycin. This reverse-pharmacology strategy also enabled monitoring the direct consequences of inhibiting mTOR in cancer cells within the complex tumor micro-environment, which revealed that mTOR controls the accumulation of HIF-1α and the consequent expression of VEGF and a glucose transporter, Glut-1, in HNSCC cells. These findings indicate that HNSCC cells are the primary target of rapamycin in vivo, and provide evidence that its anti-angiogenic effects may represent a downstream consequence of mTOR inhibition in HNSCC cells.
mTOR; xenograft; signal transduction; human squamous cell carcinoma; drug discovery; rapamycin; lentivirus
The activation of Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway represents a frequent event in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) progression, thus raising the possibility of using specific mTOR inhibitors for the treatment of SCC patients. In this regard, blockade of mTOR with rapamycin prevents the growth of human head and neck SCC cells when xenotransplanted into immunodeficient mice. However, therapeutic responses in xenograft tumors are not always predictive of clinical anti-cancer activity.
As genetically defined and chemically-induced animal cancer models often reflect better the complexity of the clinical setting, we used here a two-step chemical carcinogenesis model to explore the effectiveness of rapamycin for the treatment of skin SCC.
Rapamycin exerted a remarkable anti-cancer activity in this chemically-induced cancer model, decreasing the tumor burden of mice harboring early and advanced tumor lesions, and even recurrent skin SCCs. Immunohistochemical studies on tumor biopsies and clustering analysis revealed that rapamycin causes the rapid decrease in the phosphorylation status of mTOR targets, followed by the apoptotic death of cancer cells and the reduction in the growth and metabolic activity of the surviving ones, concomitant with a decrease in the population of cancer cells expressing mutant p53. This approach enabled investigating the relationship among molecular changes caused by mTOR inhibition, thus helping identify relevant biomarkers for monitoring the effectiveness of mTOR inhibition in the clinical setting.
Together, these findings provide a strong rationale for the early evaluation of mTOR inhibitors as a molecular targeted approach to treat SCC.
rapamycin; carcinogenesis; squamous cell carcinoma; mTOR; molecular targets
A microfluidic electrochemical immunoassay system for multiplexed detection of protein cancer biomarkers was fabricated using a molded polydimethylsiloxane channel and routine machined parts interfaced with a pump and sample injector. Using off-line capture of analytes by heavily-enzyme-labeled 1 μm superparamagnetic particle (MP)-antibody bioconjugates and capture antibodies attached to an 8-electrode measuring chip, simultaneous detection of cancer biomarker proteins prostate specific antigen (PSA) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in serum was achieved at sub-pg mL−1 levels. MPs were conjugated with ~90,000 antibodies and ~200,000 horseradish peroxidase (HRP) labels to provide efficient off-line capture and high sensitivity. Measuring electrodes feature a layer of 5 nm glutathione-decorated gold nanoparticles to attach antibodies that capture MP-analyte bioconjugates. Detection limits of 0.23 pg mL−1 for PSA and 0.30 pg mL−1 for IL-6 were obtained in diluted serum mixtures. PSA and IL-6 biomarkers were measured in serum of prostate cancer patients in total assay time 1.15 h and sensor array results gave excellent correlation with standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). These microfluidic immunosensors employing nanostructured surfaces and off-line analyte capture with heavily-labeled paramagnetic particles hold great promise for accurate, sensitive multiplexed detection of diagnostic cancer biomarkers.
microfluidics; immunoarray; cancer biomarkers; off-line protein capture; gold nanoparticles; paramagnetic beads
Angioproliferative tumors induced by the Kaposi’s Sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) have been successfully treated with rapamycin, which provided direct evidence of the clinical activity of mTOR inhibitors in human malignancies. However, prolonged mTOR inhibition may raise concerns in immunocompromised patients, including AIDS-KS. Here, we explored whether KSHV-oncogenes deploy cell-type specific signaling pathways activating mTOR, which could be exploited to halt KS development while minimizing immune suppressive effects. We found that PI3Kγ, a PI3K isoform exhibiting restricted tissue distribution, is strictly required for signaling from the KSHV-encoded vGPCR oncogene to Akt/mTOR. Indeed, by using an endothelial-specific gene delivery system modeling KS development, we provide genetic and pharmacological evidence that PI3Kγ may represent a suitable molecular target for therapeutic intervention in KS.
Ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (RSK1), which plays a critical role in cell survival and proliferation, contains a bipartite nuclear localization sequence that permits its entry into the nucleus. RSK1 is retained in the nucleus via its indirect interactions with AKAP95. Interference with its nuclear entry or retention decreases DNA synthesis.
Ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (RSK1) belongs to a family of proteins with two kinase domains. Following activation in the cytoplasm by extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), it mediates the cell-proliferative, cell-growth, and survival-promoting actions of a number of growth factors and other agonists. These diverse biological actions of RSK1 involve regulation of both cytoplasmic and nuclear events. However, the mechanisms that permit nuclear accumulation of RSK1 remain unknown. Here, we show that phosphorylation of RSK1 on S221 is important for its dissociation from the type Iα regulatory subunit of protein kinase A (PKA) in the cytoplasm and that RSK1 contains a bipartite nuclear localization sequence that is necessary for its nuclear entry. Once inside, the active RSK1 is retained in the nucleus via its interactions with PKA catalytic subunit and AKAP95. Mutations of RSK1 that do not affect its activity but disrupt its entry into the nucleus or expression of AKAP95 forms that do not enter the nucleus inhibit the ability of active RSK1 to stimulate DNA synthesis. Our findings identify novel mechanisms by which active RSK1 accumulates in the nucleus and also provide new insights into how AKAP95 orchestrates cell cycle progression.
Ligand engagement by integrins induces receptor clustering and formation of complexes at the integrin cytoplasmic face that controls cell signaling and cytoskeletal dynamics critical for adhesion-dependent processes. This study searches for a subset of integrin effectors that coordinates both tumor cell invasion and resistance to the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin in oral carcinomas. Candidate integrin effectors were identified in a proteomics screen of proteins recruited to clustered integrin αβ1, αvβ or α6β receptors in oral carcinomas. Proteins with diverse functions including microtubule and actin binding proteins, and factors involved in trafficking, transcription and translation were identified in oral carcinoma integrin complexes. Knockdown of effectors in the oral carcinoma HN12 cells revealed that p130Cas, Dek, Src and talin were required for invasion through Matrigel. Disruption of talin or p130Cas by RNA interference increased resistance to cisplatin, whereas targeting Dek, Src or zyxin reduced HN12 resistance to cisplatin. Analysis of the spreading of HN12 cells on collagen I and laminin I revealed that a decrease in p130Cas or talin expression inhibited spreading on both matrices. Interestingly, a reduction in zyxin expression enhanced spreading on laminin I and inhibited spreading on collagen I. Reduction of Dek, Src, talin or zyxin expression reduced HN12 proliferation by 30%. Proliferation was not affected by a reduction in p130Cas expression. We conclude that p130Cas, Src and talin function in both oral carcinoma invasion and resistance to cisplatin.
integrin; cytoplasmic effectors; oral carcinoma; tumor invasion; cell spreading; proliferation; cisplatin; chemoresistance; Matrigel