Dysregulation of cell surface proteolysis has been strongly implicated in tumorigenicity and metastasis. In this study, we delineated the role of hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2 (HAI-2) in prostate cancer (PCa) cell migration, invasion, tumorigenicity and metastasis using a human PCa progression model (103E, N1, and N2 cells) and xenograft models. N1 and N2 cells were established through serial intraprostatic propagation of 103E human PCa cells and isolation of the metastatic cells from nearby lymph nodes. The invasion capability of these cells was revealed to gradually increase throughout the serial isolations (103E
prostate cancer; hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-2; cancer cell invasion; tumorigenicity and metastasis
The tyrosine kinase receptor anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and its ligand, the growth factor pleiotrophin (PTN), are highly expressed during the development of the nervous system and have been implicated in the malignant progression of different tumor types. Here, we describe human single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies that target the ligand-binding domain (LBD) in ALK and show the effect in vitro and in vivo. The ALK LBD was used as a bait in a yeast two-hybdrid system to select human scFv from a library with randomized complementarity-determining region 3 domains. Surface plasmon resonance showed high-affinity binding of the selected scFv. The anti-ALK scFv competed for binding of PTN to ALK in intact cells and inhibited PTN-dependent signal transduction through endogenous ALK. Invasion of an intact endothelial cell monolayer by U87MG human glioblastoma cells was inhibited by the anti-ALK scFv. In addition, the growth of established tumor xenografts in mice was reversed after the induction of the conditional expression of the anti-ALK scFv. In archival malignant brain tumors expression levels of ALK and PTN were found elevated and appear correlated with poor patient survival. This suggests a rate-limiting function of the PTN/ALK interaction that may be exploited therapeutically.
ALK; growth factor; PTN; single-chain antibody; tyrosine kinase receptor
Most GISTs contain KIT or PDGFRA kinase gain-of-function mutations, and therefore respond clinically to imatinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapies. However, clinical progression subsequently results from selection of TKI-resistant clones, typically containing secondary mutations in the KIT kinase domain, which can be heterogeneous between and within GIST metastases in a given patient. TKI-resistant KIT oncoproteins require HSP90 chaperoning and are potently inactivated by HSP90-inhibitors, but clinical applications in GIST patients are constrained by the toxicity resulting from concomitant inactivation of various other HSP90 client proteins, beyond KIT and PDGFRA. To identify novel targets responsible for KIT oncoprotein function, we performed parallel genome-scale short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated gene knockdowns in KIT-mutant GIST-T1 and GIST882. GIST cells were infected with a lentiviral shRNA pooled library targeting 11 194 human genes, and allowed to proliferate for 5~7 weeks, at which point assessment of relative hairpin abundance identified the HSP90-cofactor, CDC37, as one of the top six GIST-specific essential genes. Validations in treatment-naïve (GIST-T1, GIST882) vs. imatinib-resistant GISTs (GIST48, GIST430) demonstrated that: 1) CDC37 interacts with oncogenic KIT; 2) CDC37 regulates expression and activation of KIT and downstream signaling intermediates in GIST; and 3) unlike direct HSP90 inhibition, CDC37 knockdown accomplishes prolonged KIT inhibition (>20 days) in GIST. These studies highlight CDC37 as a key biologic vulnerability in both imatinib-sensitive and imatinib-resistant GIST. CDC37 targeting is expected to be selective for KIT/PDGFRA and a subset of other HSP90 clients, and thereby represents a promising strategy for inactivating the myriad KIT/PDGFRA oncoproteins in TKI-resistant GIST patients.
CDC37; HSP90; GIST; targeted therapy; functional genomics; shRNA library
Dysregulation of the Hedgehog (Hh)-Gli signaling pathway is implicated in a variety of human cancers, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), medulloblastoma (MB), and embryonal rhabdhomyosarcoma (eRMS), three principle tumors associated with human Gorlin syndrome. However, the cellular origins of these tumors, including eRMS, remain poorly understood. In this study, we explore the cell populations that give rise to Hh-related tumors by specifically activating Smoothened (Smo) in both Hh-producing and -responsive cell lineages in postnatal mice. Interestingly, we find that unlike BCC and MB, eRMS originates from the stem/progenitor populations that do not normally receive active Hh signaling. Furthermore, we find that the myogenic lineage in postnatal mice is largely Hh quiescent and that Pax7-expressing muscle satellite cells are not able to give rise to eRMS upon Smo or Gli1/2 over-activation in vivo, suggesting that Hh-induced skeletal muscle eRMS arises from Hh/Gli quiescent non-myogenic cells. In addition, using the Gli1 null allele and a Gli3 repressor allele, we demonstrate the genetic requirement for Gli proteins in Hh-induced eRMS formation and provide molecular evidence for the involvement of SoxC factors in Hh-dependent eRMS cell survival and differentiation.
The p53 tumor suppressor protein is a major sensor of cellular stresses, and upon stabilization, activates or represses many genes that control cell fate decisions. While the mechanism of p53-mediated transactivation is well established, several mechanisms have been proposed for p53-mediated repression. Here, we demonstrate that the CDK inhibitor p21 is both necessary and sufficient for the downregulation of known p53-repression targets, including survivin, CDC25C and CDC25B in response to p53 induction. These same targets are similarly repressed in response to p16 overexpression, implicating the involvement of the shared downstream retinoblastoma (RB)-E2F pathway. We further show that in response to either p53 or p21 induction, E2F4 complexes are specifically recruited onto the promoters of these p53 repression targets. Moreover, abrogation of E2F4 recruitment via the inactivation of RB pocket proteins, but not by RB loss of function alone, prevents the repression of these genes. Finally, our results indicate that E2F4 promoter occupancy is globally associated with p53 repression targets, but not with p53 activation targets, implicating E2F4 complexes as effectors of p21 dependent p53-mediated repression.
p53; p21; E2F4; RB; p130; transcriptional repression
The processes that control the progression of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to invasive breast cancer remain poorly understood. Epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ErbB2) over expression is common in DCIS, as is disruption of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (RB) pathway. Here we examined the cooperative impact of ErbB2 and RB deregulation on facets of disease progression. Our studies demonstrate that RB deficiency altered the expression of key molecules needed for proper cellular organization and epithelial cell-cell adhesion as part of a program related to the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). An increase in the invasive potential of ErbB2 over expressing cells was observed upon RB depletion. Furthermore, stable knockdown of RB resulted in invasive lesions in orthotopic xenograft assays, compared to DCIS-like lesions developing from RB-proficient cells. Conversely, the invasive phenotype observed in ErbB2-positive cancer models was inhibited through CDK4/6 inhibition in an RB-dependent manner. Lastly, in a cohort of DCIS cases, we show that while elevated levels of ErbB2 are associated with increased risk of a subsequent DCIS recurrence, it is not associated with progression to invasive disease. In contrast, RB loss in ErbB2 positive DCIS cases was associated with increased risk for invasive breast cancer. Taken together, these data demonstrate a key role for the RB-pathway in invasion associated with breast tumor progression, and shed light on the key molecular events that promote the progression of DCIS to invasive disease.
Tumor Suppressor; Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition; Cyclin Dependent Kinase; Cell Cycle; E2F; CDK4/6; PD-0332991
Glioblastoma is the most frequent brain tumor in adults and is the most lethal form of human cancer. Despite the improvements in treatments, survival of patients remains poor. In order to identify microRNAs (miRs) involved in glioma tumorigenesis, we evaluated, by a miRarray, differential expression of miRs in the tumorigenic glioma LN-18, LN-229 and U87MG cells compared with the non-tumorigenic T98G cells. Among different miRs we focused our attention on miR-221 and -222. We demonstrated the presence of a binding site for these two miRs in the 3′ untranslated region of the protein tyrosine phosphatase μ (PTPμ). Previous studies indicated that PTPμ suppresses cell migration and is downregulated in glioblastoma. Significantly, we found that miR-221 and -222 over-expression induced a downregulation of PTPμ as analyzed by both western blot and real-time PCR. Furthermore, miR-222 and -221 induced an increase in cell migration and growth in soft agar in glioma cells. Interestingly, the re-expression of PTPμ gene was able to revert the miR-222 and -221 effects on cell migration. Furthermore, we found an inverse correlation between miR-221 and -222 and PTPμ in human glioma cancer samples. In conclusion, our results suggest that miR-221 and -222 regulate glioma tumorigenesis at least in part through the control of PTPμ protein expression.
Glioma; microRNA; tumorigenesis; apoptosis
Increased expression of HBEGF in ER negative breast tumors is correlated with enhanced metastasis to distant organ sites and more rapid disease recurrence upon removal of the primary tumor. Our previous work has demonstrated a paracrine loop between breast cancer cells and macrophages in which the tumor cells are capable of stimulating macrophages through the secretion of CSF-1 while the tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) in turn aid in tumor cell invasion by secreting EGF. To determine how the autocrine expression of EGFR ligands by carcinoma cells would affect this paracrine loop mechanism, and in particular whether tumor cell invasion depends on spatial ligand gradients generated by TAMs, we generated cell lines with increased HBEGF expression. We find that autocrine HBEGF expression enhanced in vivo intravasation and metastasis, and resulted in a novel phenomenon in which macrophages were no longer required for in vivo invasion of breast cancer cells. In vitro studies revealed that expression of HBEGF enhanced invadopodium formation, thus providing a mechanism for cell autonomous invasion. The increased invadopodium formation was directly dependent on EGFR signaling, as demonstrated by a rapid decrease in invadopodia upon inhibition of autocrine HBEGF/EGFR signaling as well as inhibition of signaling downstream of EGFR activation. HBEGF expression also resulted in enhanced invadopodium function via upregulation of MMP2 and MMP9 expression. We conclude that high levels of HBEGF expression can short-circuit the tumor cell/macrophage paracrine invasion loop, resulting in enhanced tumor invasion that is independent of macrophage signaling.
HBEGF; breast cancer invasion; EGFR; metastasis
Kcnq1, which encodes for the pore-forming alpha subunit of a voltage-gated potassium channel, was identified as a gastrointestinal (GI) tract cancer susceptibility gene in multiple Sleeping Beauty DNA transposon-based forward genetic screens in mice. To confirm that Kcnq1 has a functional role in GI tract cancer we created ApcMin mice that carried a targeted deletion mutation in Kcnq1. Results demonstrated that Kcnq1 is a tumor suppressor gene as Kcnq1 mutant mice developed significantly more intestinal tumors, especially in the proximal small intestine and colon, some of these tumors progressed to become aggressive adenocarcinomas. Gross tissue abnormalities were also observed in the rectum, pancreas and stomach. Colon organoid formation was significantly increased in organoids created from Kcnq1 mutant mice compared with wildtype littermate controls, suggesting a role for Kcnq1 in regulation of the intestinal crypt stem cell compartment. To identify gene expression changes due to loss of Kcnq1 we carried out microarray studies in colon and proximal small intestine. We identified altered genes involved in innate immune responses, goblet and Paneth cell function, ion channels, intestinal stem cells, EGFR and other growth regulatory signaling pathways. We also found genes implicated in inflammation and in cellular detoxification. Pathway analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) confirmed the importance of these gene clusters and further identified significant overlap with genes regulated by MUC2 and CFTR, two important regulators of intestinal homeostasis. To investigate the role of KCNQ1 in human colorectal cancer (CRC) we measured protein levels of KCNQ1 by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays containing samples from CRC patients with liver metastases who had undergone hepatic resection. Results showed that low expression of KCNQ1 expression was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS).
colorectal cancer; KCNQ1; tumor suppressor