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1.  MDM2 SNP285 does not antagonize the effect of SNP309 in lung cancer 
Conflicting reports exist regarding the contribution of SNP309 in MDM2 to cancer risk. Recently, SNP285 was shown to act as an antagonist to SNP309 by over-riding the effect of SNP309 on SP1-mediated transcription. Moreover, SNP285 modified the relationship between SNP309 and risk of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. We assessed whether SNP285 confounded the effect of SNP309 in lung cancer in a cohort of 720 controls and 556 cases. Our cohort included both Caucasians and African Americans. Neither SNP309 nor SNP285 were associated with lung cancer risk or survival. In addition, removal of individuals who carried the variant C allele of SNP285 did not modify the association between SNP309 with either lung cancer risk or survival. While an effect of SNP285 has been demonstrated in breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, our findings do not support a role for this SNP in lung cancer and raise the possibility that the effect of SNP285 is restricted to cancers in women.
doi:10.1002/ijc.27573
PMCID: PMC3414691  PMID: 22487911
2.  p53 isoforms regulate aging- and tumor-associated replicative senescence in T lymphocytes 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(12):5247-5257.
Cellular senescence contributes to aging and decline in tissue function. p53 isoform switching regulates replicative senescence in cultured fibroblasts and is associated with tumor progression. Here, we found that the endogenous p53 isoforms Δ133p53 and p53β are physiological regulators of proliferation and senescence in human T lymphocytes in vivo. Peripheral blood CD8+ T lymphocytes collected from healthy donors displayed an age-dependent accumulation of senescent cells (CD28–CD57+) with decreased Δ133p53 and increased p53β expression. Human lung tumor-associated CD8+ T lymphocytes also harbored senescent cells. Cultured CD8+ blood T lymphocytes underwent replicative senescence that was associated with loss of CD28 and Δ133p53 protein. In poorly proliferative, Δ133p53-low CD8+CD28– cells, reconstituted expression of either Δ133p53 or CD28 upregulated endogenous expression of each other, which restored cell proliferation, extended replicative lifespan and rescued senescence phenotypes. Conversely, Δ133p53 knockdown or p53β overexpression in CD8+CD28+ cells inhibited cell proliferation and induced senescence. This study establishes a role for Δ133p53 and p53β in regulation of cellular proliferation and senescence in vivo. Furthermore, Δ133p53-induced restoration of cellular replicative potential may lead to a new therapeutic paradigm for treating immunosenescence disorders, including those associated with aging, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and HIV infection.
doi:10.1172/JCI70355
PMCID: PMC3859419  PMID: 24231352
3.  Asymmetric segregation of template DNA strands in basal-like human breast cancer cell lines 
Molecular Cancer  2013;12:139.
Background and methods
Stem or progenitor cells from healthy tissues have the capacity to co-segregate their template DNA strands during mitosis. Here, we set out to test whether breast cancer cell lines also possess the ability to asymmetrically segregate their template DNA strands via non-random chromosome co-segregation, and whether this ability correlates with certain properties attributed to breast cancer stem cells (CSCs). We quantified the frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA strands in 12 human breast cancer cell lines, and correlated the frequency to molecular subtype, CD44+/CD24-/lo phenotype, and invasion/migration ability. We tested if co-culture with human mesenchymal stem cells, which are known to increase self-renewal, can alter the frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA in breast cancer.
Results
We found a positive correlation between asymmetric segregation of template DNA and the breast cancer basal-like and claudin-low subtypes. There was an inverse correlation between asymmetric segregation of template DNA and Her2 expression. Breast cancer samples with evidence of asymmetric segregation of template DNA had significantly increased invasion and borderline significantly increased migration abilities. Samples with high CD44+/CD24-/lo surface expression were more likely to harbor a consistent population of cells that asymmetrically segregated its template DNA; however, symmetric self-renewal was enriched in the CD44+/CD24-/lo population. Co-culturing breast cancer cells with human mesenchymal stem cells expanded the breast CSC pool and decreased the frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA.
Conclusions
Breast cancer cells within the basal-like subtype can asymmetrically segregate their template DNA strands through non-random chromosome segregation. The frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA can be modulated by external factors that influence expansion or self-renewal of CSC populations. Future studies to uncover the underlying mechanisms driving asymmetric segregation of template DNA and dictating cell fate at the time of cell division may explain how CSCs are maintained in tumors.
doi:10.1186/1476-4598-12-139
PMCID: PMC3866575  PMID: 24238140
Non-random chromosome segregation; Asymmetric cell division; Immortal DNA strand hypothesis; Breast cancer; Cancer stem cells
4.  Delineation of breast cancer cell hierarchy identifies the subset responsible for dormancy 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:906.
The bone marrow (BM) is a major organ of breast cancer (BC) dormancy and a common source of BC resurgence. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between BC cells (BCCs) and BM stroma facilitates dormancy. This study reports on a hierarchy of BCCs with the most immature subset (Oct4hi/CD44hi/med/CD24−/+) demonstrating chemoresistance, dormancy, and stem cell properties: self-renewal, serial passaging ability, cycling quiescence, long doubling time, asymmetric division, high metastatic and invasive capability. In vitro and in vivo studies indicated that this subset was responsible for GJIC with BM stroma. Similar BCCs were detected in the blood of patients despite aggressive treatment and in a patient with a relatively large tumor but no lymph node involvement. In brief, these findings identified a novel BCC subset with stem cell properties, with preference for dormancy and in the circulation of patients. The findings establish a working cellular hierarchy of BCCs based on phenotype and functions.
doi:10.1038/srep00906
PMCID: PMC3510468  PMID: 23205268
5.  Increased Levels of Circulating Interleukin 6, Interleukin 8, C-Reactive Protein, and Risk of Lung Cancer 
Background
Previous studies that were based primarily on small numbers of patients suggested that certain circulating proinflammatory cytokines may be associated with lung cancer; however, large independent studies are lacking.
Methods
Associations between serum interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 8 (IL-8) levels and lung cancer were analyzed among 270 case patients and 296 control subjects participating in the National Cancer Institute-Maryland (NCI-MD) case–control study. Results were validated in 532 case patients and 595 control subjects in a nested case–control study within the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Association with C-reactive protein (CRP), a systemic inflammation biomarker, was also analyzed. Associations between biomarkers and lung cancer were estimated using logistic regression models adjusted for smoking, stage, histology, age, and sex. The 10-year standardized absolute risks of lung cancer were estimated using a weighted Cox regression model.
Results
Serum IL-6 and IL-8 levels in the highest quartile were associated with lung cancer in the NCI-MD study (IL-6, odds ratio [OR] = 3.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.88 to 5.77; IL-8, OR = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.19 to 3.57) and with lung cancer risk in the PLCO study (IL-6, OR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.04 to 2.10; IL-8, OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.10 to 2.24), compared with the lowest quartile. In the PLCO study, increased IL-6 levels were only associated with lung cancer diagnosed within 2 years of blood collection, whereas increased IL-8 levels were associated with lung cancer diagnosed more than 2 years after blood collection (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.15 to 2.13). The 10-year standardized absolute risks of lung cancer in the PLCO study were highest among current smokers with high IL-8 and CRP levels (absolute risk = 8.01%, 95% CI = 5.77% to 11.05%).
Conclusions
Although increased levels of both serum IL-6 and IL-8 are associated with lung cancer, only IL-8 levels are associated with lung cancer risk several years before diagnosis. Combination of IL-8 and CRP are more robust biomarkers than either marker alone in predicting subsequent lung cancer.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djr216
PMCID: PMC3139587  PMID: 21685357
6.  Admixture mapping of lung cancer in 1812 African-Americans 
Carcinogenesis  2010;32(3):312-317.
Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer death in the USA and the best example of a cancer with undisputed evidence of environmental risk. However, a genetic contribution to lung cancer has also been demonstrated by studies of familial aggregation, family-based linkage, candidate gene studies and most recently genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The African-American population has been underrepresented in these genetic studies and has patterns of cigarette use and linkage disequilibrium that differ from patterns in other populations. Therefore, studies in African-Americans can provide complementary data to localize lung cancer susceptibility genes and explore smoking dependence-related genes. We used admixture mapping to further characterize genetic risk of lung cancer in a series of 837 African-American lung cancer cases and 975 African-American controls genotyped at 1344 ancestry informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Both case-only and case–control analyses were conducted using ADMIXMAP adjusted for age, sex, pack-years of smoking, family history of lung cancer, history of emphysema and study site. In case-only analyses, excess European ancestry was observed over a wide region on chromosome 1 with the largest excess seen at rs6587361 for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (Z-score = −4.33; P = 1.5 × 10−5) and for women with NSCLC (Z-score = −4.82; P = 1.4 × 10−6). Excess African ancestry was also observed on chromosome 3q with a peak Z-score of 3.33 (P = 0.0009) at rs181696 among ever smokers with NSCLC. These results add to the findings from the GWAS in Caucasian populations and suggest novel regions of interest.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgq252
PMCID: PMC3047238  PMID: 21115650
7.  C-Reactive Protein and Risk of Lung Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(16):2719-2726.
Purpose
Chronic inflammation could play a role in lung carcinogenesis, underscoring the potential for lung cancer prevention and screening. We investigated the association of circulating high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP, an inflammation biomarker) and CRP single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with prospective lung cancer risk.
Patients and Methods
We conducted a nested case-control study of 592 lung cancer patients and 670 controls with available prediagnostic serum and 378 patients and 447 controls with DNA within the screening arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (N = 77,464). Controls were matched to patients on age, sex, entry year, follow-up time, and smoking. We measured CRP levels in baseline serum samples and genotyped five common CRP SNPs.
Results
Elevated CRP levels were associated with increased lung cancer risk (odds ratio [OR], 1.98; 95% CI, 1.35 to 2.89; P-trend < .001 for fourth quartile [Q4, ≥ 5.6 mg/L] v Q1 [< 1.0 mg/L]). The CRP association did not differ significantly by histology, follow-up time, or smoking status, but was most apparent for squamous cell carcinomas (OR, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.30 to 6.54), 2 to 5 years before lung cancer diagnosis (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.24 to 4.39), and among former smokers (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.53 to 4.03) and current smokers (OR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.06 to 3.41). Although CRP SNPs and haplotypes were associated with CRP levels, they were not associated with lung cancer risk. Ten-year standardized absolute risks of lung cancer were higher with elevated CRP levels among former smokers (Q4: 2.55%; 95% CI, 1.98% to 3.27% v Q1: 1.39%; 95% CI, 1.07% to 1.81%) and current smokers (Q4: 7.37%; 95% CI, 5.81% to 9.33% v Q1: 4.03%; 95% CI, 3.01% to 5.40%).
Conclusion
Elevated CRP levels are associated with subsequently increased lung cancer risk, suggesting an etiologic role for chronic pulmonary inflammation in lung carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.27.0454
PMCID: PMC2881850  PMID: 20421535
8.  Childhood Exposure to Secondhand Smoke and Functional Mannose Binding Lectin Polymorphisms Are Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk 
Background
Exposure to secondhand smoke during adulthood has detrimental health effects, including increased lung cancer risk. Compared with adults, children may be more susceptible to secondhand smoke. This susceptibility may be exacerbated by alterations in inherited genetic variants of innate immunity genes. We hypothesized a positive association between childhood secondhand smoke exposure and lung cancer risk that would be modified by genetic polymorphisms in the mannose binding lectin-2 (MBL2) gene resulting in well-known functional changes in innate immunity.
Methods
Childhood secondhand smoke exposure and lung cancer risk was assessed among men and women in the ongoing National Cancer Institute-Maryland Lung Cancer (NCI-MD) study, which included 624 cases and 348 controls. Secondhand smoke history was collected via in-person interviews. DNA was used for genotyping the MBL2 gene. To replicate, we used an independent case-control study from Mayo Clinic consisting of 461 never smokers, made up of 172 cases and 289 controls. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
In the NCI-MD study, secondhand smoke exposure during childhood was associated with increased lung cancer risk among never smokers [odds ratio (OR), 2.25; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.04-4.90]. This was confirmed in the Mayo study (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.00-2.15). A functional MBL2 haplotype associated with high circulating levels of MBL and increased MBL2 activity was associated with increased lung cancer risk among those exposed to childhood secondhand smoke in both the NCI-MD and Mayo studies (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.13-5.60, and OR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.18-3.85, respectively).
Conclusions
Secondhand smoke exposure during childhood is associated with increased lung cancer risk among never smokers, particularly among those possessing a haplotype corresponding to a known overactive complement pathway of the innate immune system.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0986
PMCID: PMC2951599  PMID: 19959685
9.  p53 isoforms, Δ133p53 and p53β, are endogenous regulators of replicative cellular senescence 
Nature cell biology  2009;11(9):1135-1142.
The finite proliferative potential of normal human cells leads to replicative cellular senescence, which is a critical barrier to tumour progression in vivo1–3. We show that human p53 isoforms (Δ133p53 and p53β)4 constitute an endogenous regulatory mechanism for p53-mediated replicative senescence. Induced p53β and diminished Δ133p53 were associated with replicative senescence, but not oncogene-induced senescence, in normal human fibroblasts. The replicatively senescent fibroblasts also expressed increased levels of miR-34a, a p53-induced microRNA5–9, the antisense inhibition of which delayed the onset of replicative senescence. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous Δ133p53 induced cellular senescence, which was attributed to the regulation of p21WAF1 and other p53 transcriptional target genes. In overexpression experiments, while p53β cooperated with full-length p53 to accelerate cellular senescence, Δ133p53 repressed miR-34a expression and extended cellular replicative lifespan, providing a functional connection of this microRNA to the p53 isoform-mediated regulation of senescence. The senescence-associated signature of p53 isoform expression (i.e., elevated p53β and reduced Δ133p53) was observed in vivo in colon adenomas with senescent phenotypes10, 11. The increased Δ133p53 and decreased p53β isoform expression found in colon carcinoma may signal an escape from the senescence barrier during the progression from adenoma to carcinoma.
doi:10.1038/ncb1928
PMCID: PMC2802853  PMID: 19701195
10.  Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Gene Coding Region Polymorphisms Lack Clinical Incidence in General Population 
DNA and cell biology  2008;27(6):321-323.
Two functional polymorphisms within the manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) gene have been reported to lead to increased oxidative stress damage. The MnSOD 58T > C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within exon 3 changes isoleucine to threonine, leading to decreased thermal stability and reduced enzymatic activity in vivo and in vitro. The MnSOD 60C > T polymorphism within exon 3 changes leucine to phenylalanine, rendering the protein sensitive to redox regulation by intracellular thiols. Thus, the goal of this study was to evaluate the 58T > C and 60C > T MnSOD polymorphisms in a large case–control study. Taqman allelic discrimination assays were developed to identify the 58T > C and 60C > T SNPs in exon 3. Two hundred and eight lung cancer cases and 141 controls were evaluated for these two SNPs, and all 349 subjects were of the wild-type homozygous genotype for both 58C and 60T in exon 3. This study suggests that although the 58T > C and 60C > T polymorphisms reduce MnSOD enzymatic activity, these polymorphisms were not identified in the present case–control study population.
doi:10.1089/dna.2007.0725
PMCID: PMC2576292  PMID: 18466086
11.  Lung Cancer Stem Cells 
Disease markers  2008;24(4-5):257-266.
Lung cancer remains a major cause of cancer-related lethality because of high incidence and recurrence in spite of significant advances in staging and therapies. Recent data indicates that stem cells situated throughout the airways may initiate cancer formation. These putative stem cells maintain protumorigenic characteristics including high proliferative capacity, multipotent differentiation, drug resistance and long lifespan relative to other cells. Stem cell signaling and differentiation pathways are maintained within distinct cancer types, and destabilization of this machinery may participate in maintenance of cancer stem cells. Characterization of lung cancer stem cells is an area of active research and is critical for developing novel therapies. This review summarizes the current knowledge on stem cell signaling pathways and cell markers used to identify the lung cancer stem cells.
doi:10.1155/2008/396281
PMCID: PMC3850541  PMID: 18525120
ABC transporters; drug resistance; hedgehog; notch; non-small cell lung cancer; side population; small cell lung cancer; stem cells; Wnt

Results 1-11 (11)