Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for ~4% of all human malignancies and is the 9th leading cause of male cancer death in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of variation within microRNA (miRNA) binding sites of genes in the VHL-HIF1α pathway on RCC risk. We identified 429 miRNA binding site single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 102 pathway genes and assessed 53 tagging-SNPs for 31 of these genes for risk in a case-control study consisting of 894 RCC cases and 1,516 controls. Results showed that five SNPs were significantly associated with RCC risk. The most significant finding was rs743409 in MAPK1. Under the additive model, the variant was associated with a 10% risk reduction (OR: 0.90, 95% CI, 0.77-0.98). Other significant findings were for SNPs in CDCP1, TFRC, and DEC1. Cumulative effects analysis showed that subjects carrying four or five unfavorable genotypes had a 2.14-fold increase in risk (95% CI, 1.03-4.43, P = 0.04) than those with no unfavorable genotypes. Potential higher-order gene-gene interactions were identified and categorized subjects into different risk groups. The OR of the high-risk group defined by two SNPs: CDCP1:rs6773576 (GG) and DEC1:rs10982724 (GG) was 4.46-times higher than that of low-risk reference group (95% CI, 1.31-15.08). Overall, our study provides the first evidence supporting a connection between miRNA binding site SNPs within the VHL-HIF1α pathway and RCC risk. These novel genetic risk factors might help identify individuals at high risk to enable detection of tumors at an early, curable stage.
VHL-HIF1α pathway; microRNA; renal cell carcinoma
DNA repair and cell cycle control play an important role in the repair of DNA damage caused by cigarette smoking. Given this role, functionally relevant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes in these pathways may well affect the risk of smoking-related lung cancer. We examined the relationship between 240 SNPs in DNA repair and cell cycle control pathway genes and lung cancer risk in a case-control study of white current and ex-cigarette smokers (722 cases and 929 controls). Additive, dominant and recessive genetic models were evaluated for each SNP. A genetic risk summary score was also constructed. Odds ratios (OR) for lung cancer risk and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated using logistic regression models. Thirty-eight SNPs were associated with lung cancer risk in our study population at P<0.05. The strongest associations were observed for rs2074508 in GTF2H4 (Padditive=0.003), rs10500298 in LIG1 (Precessive=2.7×10−4), rs747658 and rs3219073 in PARP1 (rs747658: Padditive=5.8×10−5; rs3219073: Padditive=4.6×10−5), and rs1799782 and rs3213255 in XRCC1 (rs1799782: Pdominant=0.006; rs3213255: Precessive=0.004). Compared to individuals with first quartile (lowest) risk summary scores, individuals with third and fourth quartile summary score results were at increased risk for lung cancer (OR: 2.21, 95% CI: 1.66–2.95 and OR: 3.44, 95% CI: 2.58–4.59, respectively; Ptrend<0.0001). Our data suggests that variation in DNA repair and cell cycle control pathway genes is associated with smoking-related lung cancer risk. Additionally, combining genotype information for SNPs in these pathways may assist in classifying current and ex-cigarette smokers according to lung cancer risk.
SNP; case-control; lung cancer
P53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) is a critical factor in the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Through PUMA-dependent mechanisms, human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) oncoprotein may affect apoptosis by E6-mediated p53 degradation. To examine whether the PUMA variants modify the association between HPV16 serology and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), we genotyped two polymorphisms in the PUMA promoter (rs3810294 and rs2032809) in 380 cases and 335 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites, who were frequency-matched by age (± 5 years), sex, smoking and drinking status. We found that each individual polymorphism had only a modest impact on risk of SCCHN, particularly in oropharyngeal cancer for rs3810294 and non-oropharyngeal cancer for rs2032809. After we stratified the individuals by HPV16 serology, and used those with the corresponding common homozygous genotype and HPV16 seronegativity as the reference group, for each polymorphism we found that the risk of SCCHN associated with HPV16 seropositivity was higher among those with variant genotypes than those with the corresponding common homozygous genotype. Notably, this effect modification was particularly pronounced in several subgroups including never smokers, never drinkers, younger patients, and patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Furthermore, we also characterized the functional relevance of the two polymorphisms to explore the genotype-phenotype correlation. Our results suggested that the PUMA promoter polymorphisms may be a biomarker for risk of HPV16-associated SCCHN, particularly in never smokers, never drinkers, younger patients, and patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Larger studies are needed to validate our findings.
PUMA polymorphisms; HPV16; genetic susceptibility; molecular epidemiology; squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
Deregulated expression of most members of the E2F family has been detected in many human cancers. We examined the association of common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of E2F1 and E2F2 with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in 1,096 SCCHN patients and 1,090 cancer-free controls. We genotyped ten selected SNPs in E2F1 and E2F2, including those at the near 5′ UTR, miRNA binding sites at the near 3′ UTR and tagSNPs according to bioinfotmatics analysis. Although none of the selected SNPs alone was significantly associated with risk of SCCHN, there was a statistically significantly increased risk of SCCHN associated with the combined risk genotypes (i.e. rs3213182 AA, rs3213183 GG, rs3213180 GG, rs321318121 GG, rs2742976 GT+TT, rs6667575 GA+AA, rs3218203 CC, rs3218148 AA, rs3218211 CC, rs3218123 GT+TT). Compared with those with 0–4 risk genotypes, an increased risk was observed for those who carried 5–8 risk genotypes (adjusted OR = 1.04; 95% CI = 0.86–1.26) and 9–10 risk genotypes (adjusted OR = 1.62; 95% CI = 1.14–2.30) in a dose-response manner (P = 0.045). Furthermore, the joint effect was more pronounced among patients with oropharyngeal cancer, younger adults (≤57 years old), men, non-smokers, non-drinkers, and individuals with family history of cancer first-degree relatives. Additionally, we also observed that those with 5–10 risk genotypes had an earlier SCCHN onset than those with 0–4 risk genotypes, particularly for non-smokers and/or non-drinkers. We concluded that E2F1 and E2F2 genetic variants may jointly play important roles in head and neck carcinogenesis.
E2F1; E2F2; head and neck cancer; polymorphisms; age at onset
Large fractions of the human population do not express GSTM1 and GSTT1 (GSTM1/T1) enzymes because of deletions in these genes. These variations affect xenobiotic metabolism and have been evaluated in relation to lung cancer risk, mostly based on null/present gene models. We measured GSTM1/T1 heterozygous deletions, not tested in genome-wide association studies, in 2120 controls and 2100 cases from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE) study. We evaluated their effect on mRNA expression on lung tissue and peripheral blood samples and their association with lung cancer risk overall and by histology types. We tested the null/present, dominant and additive models using logistic regression. Cigarette smoking and gender were studied as possible modifiers. Gene expression from blood and lung tissue cells was strongly down-regulated in subjects carrying GSTM1/T1 deletions by both trend and dominant models (p<0.001). In contrast to the null/present model, analyses distinguishing subjects with 0, 1 or 2 GSTM1/T1 deletions revealed several associations. There was a decreased lung cancer risk in never-smokers (OR=0.44;95%CI=0.23–0.82; p=0.01) and women (OR=0.50;95%CI=0.28–0.90; p=0.02) carrying 1 or 2 GSTM1 deletions. Analogously, male smokers had an increased risk (OR=1.13;95%CI=1.0–1.28; p=0.05) and women a decreased risk (OR=0.78;95%CI=0.63–0.97; p=0.02) for increasing GSTT1 deletions. The corresponding gene-smoking and gene-gender interactions were significant (p<0.05). Our results suggest that decreased activity of GSTM1/T1 enzymes elevates lung cancer risk in male smokers, likely due to impaired carcinogens’ detoxification. A protective effect of the same mutations may be operative in never-smokers and women, possibly because of reduced activity of other genotoxic chemicals.
GST; copy numbers; gene expression; lung cancer; smoking and gender differences
The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathway is believed to play a pivotal role in thyroid carcinogenesis. Polymorphisms of IGF-1 and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) have been associated with modulation of risk for the emergence of assorted common malignancies, but studies of the influence of such polymorphisms on risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) are lacking.
In a case-control study of 173 DTC patients, 101 patients with benign thyroid disease, and 401 controls, an unconditional logistical regression model adjusted for age and sex was applied to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between polymorphisms of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 and DTC risk.
IGFBP-3 rs2132572 GA/AA genotypes were associated with a decreased risk of DTC (adjusted OR=0.6, 95% CI: 0.4–0.9), particularly multifocal DTC (adjusted OR=0.3, 95% CI: 0.1–0.7). The association with DTC was more evident in subjects with a first-degree family history of cancer (adjusted OR=0.4, 95% CI: 0.2–0.7, Pinteraction=0.013) and nondrinkers (adjusted OR=0.4, 95% CI: 0.2–0.7, Pinteraction=0.028). A 4 SNP haplotype of IGFBP-3 was associated with a decreased risk of DTC (adjusted OR=0.7, 95% CI: 0.5–1.0, P=0.030).
Our study suggests that polymorphic IGFBP-3 may be involved in susceptibility to DTC.
IGF-1; multifocal; genetic susceptibility; papillary thyroid carcinoma; case-control study
SEL1L is a putative tumor suppressor gene that is frequently down-regulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs12435998 in intron3 of SEL1L has previously been reported to be associated with susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that this SNP may influence clinical outcomes of patients with PDA. We analyzed DNA samples from 497 Caucasian patients with pathologically confirmed primary PDA. Of these, 98 had been enrolled in a clinical trial of neoadjuvant chemo-radiotherapy and 77 of the 98 had subsequently undergone pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). We performed Kaplan–Meier analysis to evaluate the correlation between different SNP genotypes and age at diagnosis, survival time after diagnosis, and survival time after PD. In nonsmokers, we found a significant difference in median age at diagnosis between variant genotypes (AG/GG) carriers and wild-type genotype (AA) carriers (58 versus 62 years; log-rank test, P=0.017). Patients with variant genotypes also showed an increased hazard ratio (HR) of 1.45 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.97) relative to wild-type genotype. Among the patients in the clinical trial, the variant genotypes carriers had a median post-PD survival time that was 34.7 months shorter than wild-type genotype carriers (log-rank test, P=0.019; HR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.09–3.34). Our results suggest that the rs12435998 SNP in SEL1L gene plays a role in modifying age at diagnosis of PDA in Caucasian nonsmokers. In addition, this SNP may serve as a prognostic marker in PDA patients who undergo the same or similar treatment as the clinical trials.
pancreatic cancer; SNP; biologic marker; cigarette smoking; treatment
Imiquimod (IMQ), a Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7/8 agonist, has been used to treat various skin neoplasms, including genital warts, actinic keratoses and superficial basal cell carcinomas. Although IMQ has been recognized to activate both innate and adaptive immunity, the underlying mechanism(s) by which IMQ exerts its anti-tumor activity in vivo remains largely unknown. In this study, we took advantage of skin cancer-prone mice to characterize the effects of IMQ on ultraviolet irradiation (UV)-induced de novo carcinogenesis. Transgenic mice with keratinocytes expressing constitutively activated Stat3 (K5.Stat3C mice) developed squamous cell carcinomas (SCC in situ) as early as after 14 weeks of UVB irradiation, while wild-type mice required much higher doses of UVB with more than 25 weeks of UVB irradiation to produce SCC. Topical treatment of K5.Stat3C mice with IMQ attenuated UVB-induced epidermal dysplasia (SCC in situ). In addition, SCC growth due to increased total irradiation doses was significantly attenuated by IMQ treatment. Topical IMQ treatment induced T cell and plasmacytoid dendritic cell infiltrates at the tumor sites, where levels of IL-12/23p40, IL-12p35, IL-23p19, IL-17A and IFN-γ mRNAs were up-regulated. Immunohistochemistry revealed T cell infiltrates consisting of T1, Th17 and CD8+ T cells. We speculate that topical IMQ treatment attenuates the de novo growth of UVB-induced SCC through activation of Th17/Th1 cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
TLR agonist; UVB-induced skin cancer; Th1/Th17
The multistage model of non-melanoma skin carcinogenesis has contributed significantly to our understanding of epithelial cancer in general. We used the Krt1-15CrePR1;R26R transgenic mouse to determine the contribution of keratin 15+ cells from the hair follicle to skin tumor development by following the labeled progeny of the keratin 15 expressing cells into papillomas. We present three novel observations. First, we found that keratin 15 expressing cells contribute to most of the papillomas by 20 weeks of promotion. Second, in contrast to the transient behavior of labeled keratin 15-derived progeny in skin wound healing, keratin 15 progeny persist in papillomas and some malignancies for many months following transient induction of the reporter gene. Third, papillomas have surprising heterogeneity not only in their cellular composition, but also in their expression of the codon 61 signature Ha-ras mutation with approximately 30 percent of keratin 15-derived regions expressing the mutation. Together, these results demonstrate that keratin 15 expressing cells of the hair follicle contribute to cutaneous papillomas with long term persistence and a subset of which express the Ha-ras signature mutation characteristic of initiated cells.
skin carcinogenesis; stem cells; hair follicles; papillomas
Basal cell carcinoma of the skin typically carries genetic alterations in components of the hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway. Previously, we generated a knockout mouse with a loss-of-function mutation in suppressor of fused (Sufu), an essential repressor of the pathway downstream of Hh ligand cell surface reception. Mice heterozygous for the mutated Sufu allele develop a skin phenotype that includes lesions similar to basaloid follicular hamartomas. The purpose of the current study was to test the possibility that the simultaneous loss of the tumor suppressor gene, Trp53, would aggravate the Sufu skin phenotype since Trp53 loss is known to enhance the growth of other Hh-driven tumors. Consistent with previous reports, medulloblastomas and rhabdomyosarcomas developed in Sufu+/−;Trp53−/− mice. However, the characteristic Sufu+/− skin phenotype was not altered in the absence of Trp53, and showed no changes in latency, multiplicity, cellular phenotype or proliferative capacity of the basaloid lesions. This finding was both novel and intriguing and demonstrated a differential, tissue-specific sensitivity to Sufu and Trp53 tumor suppressor gene loss, which may be linked to developmental stage and the degree of proliferative activity in specific cell types.
Hedgehog; suppressor of fused; basal cell carcinoma; p53
Loss or decrease of wild type BRCA1 function, by either mutation or reduced expression, has a role in hereditary and sporadic human breast and ovarian cancers. We report here that the PI3K/AKT pathway is constitutively active in BRCA1-defective human breast cancer cells. Levels of phospho-AKT are sustained even after serum starvation in breast cancer cells carrying deleterious BRCA1 mutations. Knockdown of BRCA1 in MCF7 cells increases the amount of phospho-AKT and sensitizes cells to small molecule protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs) targeting the PI3K/AKT pathway. Restoration of wild type BRCA1 inhibits the activated PI3K/AKT pathway and de-sensitizes cells to PKIs targeting this pathway in BRCA1 mutant breast cancer cells, regardless of PTEN mutations. In addition, clinical PI3K/mTOR inhibitors, PI-103 and BEZ235, showed anti-proliferative effects on BRCA1 mutant breast cancer cell lines and synergism in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs, cisplatin, doxorubicin, topotecan, and gemcitabine. BEZ235 synergizes with the anti-proliferative effects of gemcitabine by enhancing caspase-3/7 activity. Our results suggest that the PI3K/AKT pathway can be an important signaling pathway for the survival of BRCA1-defective breast cancer cells and pharmacological inhibition of this pathway is a plausible treatment for a subset of breast cancers.
constitutive activation; PI3K/AKT pathway; BRCA1-defective breast cancer; kinase inhibitor; chemotherapeutic agents; synergism
The chemopreventive properties of edible berries have been demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo, however, the specific molecular mechanisms underlying their anti-cancer effects are largely unknown. Our previous studies have shown that a methanol extract fraction of freeze-dried black raspberries inhibits benzoapyrene (BaP)-induced transformation of Syrian hamster embryo cells. This fraction also blocks activation of activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) induced by benzoapyrene diol-epoxide (BaPDE) in mouse epidermal JB6 Cl 41 cells. To determine if different berry types exhibit specific mechanisms for their anti-cancer effects, we compared the effects of extract fractions from both black raspberries and strawberries on BaPDE-induced activation of various signaling pathways in Cl 41 cells. Black raspberry fractions inhibited the activation of AP-1, NF-κB, and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) by BaPDE as well as their upstream PI-3K/Akt-p70S6K and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. In contrast, strawberry fractions inhibited NFAT activation, but did not inhibit the activation of AP-1, NF-κB or the PI-3K/Akt-p70S6K and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Consistent with the effects on NFAT activation, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induction by BaPDE was blocked by extract fractions of both black raspberries and strawberries, whereas vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, which depends on AP-1 activation, was suppressed by black raspberry fractions but not strawberry fractions. These results suggest that black raspberry and strawberry components may target different signaling pathways in exerting their anti-carcinogenic effects.
transcription factors; BaPDE; berry; gene expression; chemoprevention
Loss of p53 function can occur through disruption of its ability to localize to the nucleus. Previously we showed through characterization a set of mutant cell lines that lacked the ability to import p53 into the nucleus that nuclear translocation of p53 appeared to be mechanistically different from that of the SV40 T-antigen (SV40TAg). Here we extend that work by examining nuclear importation of p53 and SV40TAg using both in vivo and in vitro assays for nuclear localization. We show that disruption of microtubule polymerization using colchicine suppresses nuclear localization of p53 but not of SV40TAg. We also show, for the first time, that the heat shock transcription factor (Hsf1), is required for establishment of the microtubule network in cells and for nuclear localization of p53. In contrast, SV40TAg does not interact with polymerized microtubules suggesting that it is transported into the nucleus through an alternative mechanism. Interestingly, lacking of Hsf1 expression and suppressing Hsf1 by siRNA also made cells more resistant to the cytotoxic effects of paclitaxel. Hence, loss of Hsf1 activity not only suppressed p53 function, but also led to reduced sensitivity to killing by drugs that target microtubules.
p53; nuclear localization; microtubules; heat shock factor; Hsf1
N -acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1) is a phase II metabolic enzyme responsible for the biotransformation of aromatic and heterocyclic amine carcinogens such as 4-aminobiphenyl (ABP). NAT1 catalyzes N-acetylation of arylamines as well as the O-acetylation of N-hydroxylated arylamines. O-acetylation leads to the formation of electrophilic intermediates that result in DNA adducts and mutations. NAT1 is transcribed from a major promoter, NATb, and an alternative promoter, NATa, resulting in mRNAs with distinct 5′-untranslated regions (UTR). NATa mRNA is expressed primarily in the kidney, liver, trachea and lung while NATb mRNA has been detected in all tissues studied. To determine if differences in 5′-UTR have functional effect upon NAT1 activity and DNA adducts or mutations following exposure to ABP, pcDNA5/FRT plasmid constructs were prepared for transfection of full length human mRNAs including the 5′-UTR derived from NATa or NATb, the open reading frame, and 888 nucleotides of the 3′-UTR. Following stable transfection of NATb/NAT1*4 or NATa/NAT1*4 into nucleotide excision repair (NER) deficient Chinese hamster ovary cells, N-acetyltransferase activity (in vitro and in situ), mRNA, and protein expression were higher in NATb/NAT1*4 than NATa/NAT1*4 transfected cells (p<0.05). Consistent with NAT1 expression and activity, ABP-induced DNA adducts and hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase mutants were significantly higher (p<0.05) in NATb/NAT1*4 than in NATa/NAT1*4 transfected cells following exposure to ABP. These differences observed between NATa and NATb suggest that the 5′-UTRs are differentially regulated.
4-aminobiphenyl; N-acetyltransferase 1; alternative mRNA isoforms; arylamine DNA adducts; hprt mutants
Lynch syndrome (LS) is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. M M R recognizes and repairs DNA mismatches and small insertion/deletion loops. Carriers of MMR gene variants have a high risk of developing colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, and other extracolonic carcinomas. We report on an ovarian cancer patient who carries a germline MSH2 c.1A>C variant which alters the translation initiation codon. Mutations affecting the MSH2 start codon have been described previously for LS-related malignancies. However, the patients often lack a clear family history indicative of LS and their tumors often fail to display microsatellite instability, a hallmark feature of LS. Therefore, the pathogenicity of start codon variants remains undefined. Loss of the MSH2 start codon has been predicted to result in a truncated protein translated from a downstream in-frame AUG that would lack the first 25 amino acids. We therefore purified recombinant MSH2(NΔ25)-MSH6 and MSH2(NΔ25)-MSH3 to examine their DNA lesion recognition and adenosine nucleotide processing functions in vitro. We found that the MSH2(NΔ25) mutant confers distinct biochemical defects on MSH2-MSH6, but does not have a significant effect on MSH2-MSH3. We confirmed that expression of the MSH2 c.1A>C cDNA results in the production of multiple protein products in human cells that may include the truncated and full-length forms of MSH2. An in vivo MMR assay revealed a slight reduction in MMR efficiency in these cells. These data suggest that mutation of the MSH2 initiation codon, while not a strong, high-risk disease allele, may have a moderate impact on disease phenotype.
Lynch syndrome; DNA mismatch repair; missense variants; MSH2-MSH6
Polymorphisms in phase I and phase II enzymes may enhance the occurrence of mutations at critical tumor suppressor genes, such as p53, and increase breast cancer risk by either increasing the activation or detoxification of carcinogens and/or endogenous estrogens. We analyzed polymorphisms in CYP1B1, GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 and p53 mutations in 323 breast tumor samples. Approximately 11% of patients exhibited mutations in p53. Women with mutations had a significantly younger age of diagnosis (P = 0.01) and a greater incidence of tumors classified as stage II or higher (P = 0.002). More women with mutations had a history of smoking (55%) compared to women without mutations (39%). Although none of the genotypes alone were associated with p53 mutations, positive smoking history was associated with p53 mutations in women with the GSTM1 null allele [OR = 3.54; 95% CI = 0.97–12.90 P = 0.06] compared to women with the wild-type genotype and smoking history [OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.19–2.07], although this association did not reach statistical significance. To test for gene–gene interactions, our exploratory analysis in the Caucasian cases suggested that individuals with the combined GSTP1 105 VV, CYP1B1 432 LV/VV, and GSTM1 positive genotype were more likely to harbor mutations in p53 [OR = 4.94; 95% CI = 1.11–22.06]. Our results suggest that gene–smoking and gene–gene interactions may impact the prevalence of p53 mutations in breast tumors. Elucidating the etiology of breast cancer as a consequence of common genetic polymorphisms and the genotoxic effects of smoking will enable us to improve the design of prevention strategies, such as lifestyle modifications, in genetically susceptible subpopulations.
breast cancer; p53; polymorphisms; drug metabolism
Desmocollin 3 (DSC3) is a desmosomal cadherin that is required for maintaining cell adhesion in the epidermis as demonstrated by the intra-epidermal blistering observed in Dsc3 null skin. Recently, it has been suggested that deregulated expression of DSC3 occurs in certain human tumor types. It is not clear whether DSC3 plays a role in the development or progression of cancers arising in stratified epithelia such as the epidermis. To address this issue, we generated a mouse model in which Dsc3 expression is ablated in K-Ras oncogene-induced skin tumors. Our results demonstrate that loss of Dsc3 leads to an increase in K-Ras induced skin tumors. We hypothesize that acantholysis-induced epidermal hyperplasia in the Dsc3 null epidermis facilitates Ras-induced tumor development. Further, we demonstrate that spontaneous loss of DSC3 expression is a common occurrence during human and mouse skin tumor progression. This loss occurs in tumor cells invading the dermis. Interestingly, other desmosomal proteins are still expressed in tumor cells that lack DSC3, suggesting a specific function of DSC3 loss in tumor progression. While loss of DSC3 on the skin surface leads to epidermal blistering, it does not appear to induce loss of cell-cell adhesion in tumor cells invading the dermis, most likely due to a protection of these cells within the dermis from mechanical stress. We thus hypothesize that DSC3 can contribute to the progression of tumors both by cell adhesion-dependent (skin surface) and likely by cell adhesion-independent (invading tumor cells) mechanisms.
Desmosome; Desmocollins; Cell Adhesion; Carcinogenesis; Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Inactivation of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), a tumor suppressor gene is often associated with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). VHL inactivation leads to multitude of responses including enhanced growth factor signaling such as bFGF2, SDF-1α and HGF. Here we have identified a novel VHL inducible gene, heparan sulfatase 2 (HSulf-2) that attenuates heparan binding growth factor such as bFGF2 signaling. VHL mediated HIF-1 alpha degradation was essential to restore HSulf-2 expression. Mechanistically, HSulf-2 negatively regulated vimentin expression and knockdown of vimentin abolished cell migration. This study reveals a novel layer of regulation of heparan binding growth factor signaling via modulation of heparan sulfate by HSulf-2 in ccRCC.
Heparan Sulfatase 2; growth factor; cell migration; VHL
High levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis resulting from the upregulation of COX-2 has been shown to be critical for the development of non-melanoma skin tumors. This effect of PGE2 is likely mediated by one or more of its 4 G-protein coupled membrane receptors, EP1–4. A previous study showed that BK5.EP1 transgenic mice produced more carcinomas than wild type (WT) mice using initiation/promotion protocols, although the tumor response was dependent on the type of tumor promoter used. In this study, a single topical application of either 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) or benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), alone, was found to elicit squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) in the BK5.EP1 transgenic mice, but not in WT mice. While the epidermis of both WT and transgenic mice was hyperplastic several days after DMBA, this effect regressed in the WT mice while proliferation continued in the transgenic mice. Several parameters associated with carcinogen initiation were measured and were found to be similar between genotypes, including CYP1B1 and aromatase expression, B[a]P adduct formation, Ras activity and keratinocyte stem cell numbers. However, EP1 transgene expression elevated COX-2 levels in the epidermis and SCC could be completely prevented in DMBA-treated BK5.EP1 mice either by feeding the selective COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib in their diet or by crossing them onto a COX-2 null background. These data suggest that the tumor promoting/progressing effects of EP1 require the PGE2 synthesized by COX-2.
Prostaglandin E2; EP1 receptor; skin carcinogensis; COX-2
Triplet repeat expansion is the molecular basis for several human diseases. Intensive studies using systems in bacteria, yeast, flies, mammalian cells, and mice have provided important insights into the molecular processes that are responsible for mediating repeat instability. The age-dependent, ongoing repeat instability in somatic tissues, especially in terminally differentiated neurons, strongly suggests a robust role for pathways that are independent of DNA replication. Several genetic studies have indicated that transcription can play a critical role in repeat instability, potentially providing a basis for the instability observed in neurons. Transcription-induced repeat instability can be modulated by several DNA repair proteins, including those involved in mismatch repair (MMR) and transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER). Though the mechanism is unclear, it is likely that transcription facilitates the formation of repeat-specific secondary structures, which act as intermediates to trigger DNA repair, eventually leading to changes in the length of the repeat tract. In addition, other processes associated with transcription can also modulate repeat instability, as shown in a variety of different systems. Overall, the mechanisms underlying repeat instability in humans are unexpectedly complicated. Because repeat-disease genes are widely expressed, transcription undoubtedly contributes to the repeat instability observed in many diseases, but it may be especially important in nondividing cells. Transcription-induced instability is likely to involve an extensive interplay not only of the core transcription machinery and DNA repair proteins, but also of proteins involved in chromatin remodeling, regulation of supercoiling, and removal of stalled RNA polymerases, as well as local DNA sequence effects.
triplet repeats; transcription-induced instability; abnormal DNA structures; mismatch repair; nucleotide excision repair
Carboxyl-terminal binding protein 1 (CtBP1) is a transcriptional co-repressor with oncogenic potential. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining using human breast cancer tissue arrays revealed that 92% of invasive ductal breast cancer cases have CtBP1-positive staining compared to 4% CtBP1-positive in normal breast tissue. To explore the functional impact of CtBP1 in breast cancer, we examined CtBP1’s transcriptional regulation of known tumor suppressors, breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (Brca1), and E-cadherin. We found CtBP1 was recruited to the promoter regions of Brca1 and E-cadherin genes in breast cancer cells. Concomitantly, Brca1 loss was detected in 57% and E-cadherin loss was detected in 76% of human invasive ductal breast cancers, and correlated with CtBP1 nuclear staining in these lesions. Importantly, siRNA knock down of CtBP1 restored Brca1 and E-cadherin expression in breast cancer cell lines, implying CtBP1 down-regulates Brca1 and E-cadherin genes in human breast cancer. This study provides evidence that although genetic loss of Brca1 and E-cadherin are infrequent in breast cancer, they are downregulated at the transcriptional level by CtBP1 expression. Thus, CtBP1 activation could be a potential biomarker for breast cancer development.
Brca1; CtBP1; E-cadherin; transcription; breast cancer
DNA repair plays a critical role in human cancers. We hypothesized that DNA mismatch repair gene variants are associated with risk of pancreatic cancer. We retrospectively genotyped 102 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 13 mismatch repair related genes in 706 patients with pancreatic cancer and 706 cancer-free controls using the mass spectroscopy–based MassArray method. Association of genotype with pancreatic cancer risk was tested by multivariate logistic regression models. A significance level of P≤0.0015 was set at the false discovery rate (FDR) <1% using the Beta-Uniform Mixture method. We found 28 SNPs related to altered pancreatic cancer risk (P<0.05). Adjusting for multiple comparisons, MGMT I143V AG/GG, PMS2 IVS1-1121C>T TC/TT, and PMS2L3 Ex1+118C>T CT/TT genotypes showed significant main effects on pancreatic cancer risk at FDR <1% with OR (95% CI) of 0.60 (0.46-0.80), 1.44 (1.14-1.81) and 5.54 (2.10-14.61), respectively (P≤0.0015). To demonstrate genotype-phenotype association, we measured O6-ethylguanosine (O6-EtGua) adduct levels in vitro by immunoslot blot assay in lymphocytes treated with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) in 297 case/control subjects. MGMT I143V GG, MGMT K178R GG, MSH6 G39E AG/AA, PMS2L3 IVS3+9A>G GA and TP73 IVS1-7449G>C CG/CC genotypes correlated with a higher level of ENU-induced DNA adducts. Haplotypes of MGMT, MSH6, PMS2, PMS2L3, and TP73 were significantly associated with pancreatic cancer risk (P≤0.0015). Our findings suggest that mismatch repair gene variants may affect susceptibility to pancreatic cancer.
mismatch repair; single-nucleotide polymorphism; pancreatic cancer; susceptibility; haplotype
Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is a highly promising cancer chemopreventive constituent of cruciferous vegetables (e.g., watercress) with in vivo efficacy in experimental rodent cancer models. Research thus far implicates apoptosis induction in cancer chemopreventive response to PEITC, but the mechanism of proapoptotic effect is not fully understood. The present study demonstrates that p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA)-independent apoptosis by PEITC is mediated by B-cell lymphoma 2 interacting mediator of cell death (Bim). Exposure of a cell line (BRI-JM04) derived from spontaneously developing mammary tumor of a MMTV-neu transgenic mouse to pharmacological concentrations of PEITC resulted in decreased cell viability coupled with apoptosis induction, characterized by release of histone-associated DNA fragments into the cytosol and cleavage of poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase and procaspase-3. The PEITC-induced apoptosis in BRI-JM04 cells was associated with up-regulation of Bak, PUMA, and Bim (long and short forms of Bim), increased S65 phosphorylation of BimEL (extra-long form), and down-regulation of Bcl-xL and Bcl-2. On the other hand, a non-tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cell line (MCF-10A) was significantly more resistant to PEITC-induced apoptosis compared with BRI-JM04 despite induction of Bax and PUMA due to concomitant overexpression of anti-apoptotic proteins, including Bcl-xL, Bcl-2, and Mcl-1. Wild-type HCT-116 cells and its isogenic PUMA knockout variant exhibited comparable sensitivity to PEITC-induced apoptosis. On the other hand, siRNA knockdown of Bim protein imparted partial but statistically significant protection against PEITC-induced apoptosis in BRI-JM04, MCF-7, and MDA-MB-231 cells. In conclusion, the present study provides novel insight into the mechanism of PEITC-induced apoptosis involving Bim.
Phenethyl Isothiocyanate; Bim; Apoptosis; Chemoprevention
Syndecan-1 (sdc-1) is a cell surface proteoglycan that mediates the interaction of cells with their matrix, influencing attachment, migration and response to growth factors. In keratinocytes, loss of sdc-1 delays wound healing, reduces migration, and increases TGFβ1 expression. In this study we show that sdc-1 expression is significantly reduced in basal cell, squamous cell, and metastatic human skin cancers compared to normal human skin. In experimental mouse skin tumor induction, compared to wildtype (wt) BALB/c mice, papilloma formation in sdc-1 null mice was reduced by 50% and the percent of papillomas converting to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was enhanced. Sdc-1 expression on wildtype mouse papillomas decreased as they converted to SCC. Furthermore, papillomas forming on sdc-1 null mice expressed suprabasal α3 and β4 integrins; suprabasal β4 integrin is a marker of a high risk for progression. While the proliferative response to TPA did not differ among the genotypes, sdc-1 null mice had an enhanced inflammatory response and retained higher levels of total TGFβ1 within their skin after TPA treatment. Sdc-1 null keratinocytes, transduced in vitro by oncogenic rasHa, expressed higher levels of β4 integrin and had enhanced pSmad2 signaling and reduced senescence when compared to wildtype rasHa transduced keratinocytes. When rasHa transduced cells of both genotypes were grafted onto nude mice, null tumors converted to SCC with higher frequency confirming the skin painting experiments. These data indicate that sdc-1 is important both early in the development of skin tumors and in progression of skin cancers suggesting that reduced expression of sdc-1 could be a useful marker for progression in neoplastic skin lesions.
skin carcinogenesis; keratinocytes; syndecan-1; integrin; laminin 332; TGFβ1; ras oncogene
The p53 tumor suppressor protein performs a number of cellular functions, ranging from the induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis to effects on DNA repair. Modulating p53 activity with Mdm2 inhibitors is a promising approach for treating cancer; however, it is presently unclear how the in vivo application of Mdm2 inhibitors impact the myriad processes orchestrated by p53. Since approximately half of all colon cancers (predominately cancers with microsatellite instability) are p53-normal, we assessed the anticancer activity of the Mdm2 inhibitor Nutlin-3 in the mouse azoxymethane (AOM) colon cancer model, in which p53 remains wild type. Using a cell line derived from an AOM-induced tumor, we found that four daily exposures to Nutlin-3 induced persistent p53 stabilization and cell cycle arrest without significant apoptosis. A four day dosing schedule in vivo generated a similar response in colon tumors; growth arrest without significantly increased apoptosis. In adjacent normal colon tissue, Nutlin-3 treatment reduced both cell proliferation and apoptosis. Surprisingly, Nutlin-3 induced a transient DNA damage response in tumors but not in adjacent normal tissue. Nutlin-3 likewise induced a transient DNA damage response in human colon cancer cells in a p53-dependent manner, and enhanced DNA strand breakage and cell death induced by doxorubicin. Our findings indicate that Mdm2 inhibitors not only trigger growth arrest, but may also stimulate p53’s reported ability to slow homologous recombination repair. The potential impact of Nutlin-3 on DNA repair in tumors suggests that Mdm2 inhibitors may significantly accentuate the tumoricidal actions of certain therapeutic modalities.