Chronic inflammation and selenium deficiency are considered as risk factors for colon cancer. The protective effect of selenium might be mediated by specific selenoproteins, such as glutathione peroxidases (GPx). GPx-1 and -2 double knockout, but not single knockout mice, spontaneously develop ileocolitis and intestinal cancer. Since GPx2 is induced by the chemopreventive sulforaphane (SFN) via the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/Keap1 system, the susceptibility of GPx2-KO and wild-type (WT) mice to azoxymethane and dextran sulfate sodium (AOM/DSS)-induced colon carcinogenesis was tested under different selenium states and SFN applications. WT and GPx2-KO mice were grown on a selenium-poor, -adequate or -supranutritional diet. SFN application started either 1 week before (SFN4) or along with (SFN3) a single AOM application followed by DSS treatment for 1 week. Mice were assessed 3 weeks after AOM for colitis and Nrf2 target gene expression and after 12 weeks for tumorigenesis. NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductases, thioredoxin reductases and glutathione-S-transferases were upregulated in the ileum and/or colon by SFN, as was GPx2 in WT mice. Inflammation scores were more severe in GPx2-KO mice and highest in selenium-poor groups. Inflammation was enhanced by SFN4 in both genotypes under selenium restriction but decreased in selenium adequacy. Total tumor numbers were higher in GPx2-KO mice but diminished by increasing selenium in both genotypes. SFN3 reduced inflammation and tumor multiplicity in both Se-adequate genotypes. Tumor size was smaller in Se-poor GPx2-KO mice. It is concluded that GPx2, although supporting tumor growth, inhibits inflammation-mediated tumorigenesis, but the protective effect of selenium does not strictly depend on GPx2 expression. Similarly, SFN requires selenium but not GPx2 for being protective.
The aim of this project is to identify new therapeutic microRNAs (miRNAs) for von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-inactivated renal cancer cells. We initially identified several potential miRNAs targeting CTNNB1 and MEK1 using several targets scan algorithms. Only miR-1826 was found to target CTNNB1 and MEK1. Therefore, we focused on miRNA-1826 and performed 3′ untranslated region (UTR) luciferase assay, functional analyses and association study between miR-1826 expression and renal cancer patient outcomes. miR-1826 expression was significantly lower in renal cancer tissues compared with non-neoplastic areas and lower expression was significantly associated with overall shorter survival and earlier recurrence after radical nephrectomy. Following miR-1826 transfection, 3′ UTR luciferase activity and protein expression of beta-catenin and MEK1 were significantly downregulated in renal cancer cells. Introduction of miR-1826 also inhibited renal cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration. Additionally, miR-1826 promoted apoptosis and G1 arrest in VHL-inactivated renal cancer cells. Knockdowns of CTNNB1 and MEK1 by small interfering RNAs reproduced the tumor-suppressive effect of miR-1826. Our data suggest that the miR-1826 plays an important role as a tumor suppressor by downregulating beta-catenin and MEK1 in VHL-inactivated renal cancers.
Asthma has been hypothesized to be associated with lung cancer (LC) risk. We conducted a pooled analysis of 16 studies in the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO) to quantitatively assess this association and compared the results with 36 previously published studies. In total, information from 585 444 individuals was used. Study-specific measures were combined using random effects models. A meta-regression and subgroup meta-analyses were performed to identify sources of heterogeneity. The overall LC relative risk (RR) associated with asthma was 1.28 [95% confidence intervals (CIs) = 1.16–1.41] but with large heterogeneity (I2 = 73%, P < 0.001) between studies. Among ILCCO studies, an increased risk was found for squamous cell (RR = 1.69, 95%, CI = 1.26–2.26) and for small-cell carcinoma (RR = 1.71, 95% CI = 0.99–2.95) but was weaker for adenocarcinoma (RR = 1.09, 95% CI = 0.88–1.36). The increased LC risk was strongest in the 2 years after asthma diagnosis (RR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.09–4.17) but subjects diagnosed with asthma over 10 years prior had no or little increased LC risk (RR = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.94–1.30). Because the increased incidence of LC was chiefly observed in small cell and squamous cell lung carcinomas, primarily within 2 years of asthma diagnosis and because the association was weak among never smokers, we conclude that the association may not reflect a causal effect of asthma on the risk of LC.
We earlier provided evidence that oral consumption of pomegranate fruit extract (PFE) inhibits prostate cancer (PCa) cell growth in nude mice. To ascertain convincing evidence of chemopreventive effects of PFE against PCa, its efficacy requires to be evaluated in animal models that closely emulate human disease. Here, we provide evidence of remarkable tumor growth inhibitory effects of PFE using the TRAMP model. Mice received 0.1 and 0.2% PFE, equivalent to 250 and 500 ml of pomegranate juice, in drinking water, starting at 6 weeks and examined at 12, 20 and 34 weeks of age. In water-fed group, 100% mice developed palpable tumors by 20 weeks compared with only 30 and 20% in the 0.1 and 0.2% PFE-supplemented groups, respectively. At 34 weeks, palpable tumors were observed in 70 of 0.1% and only 50 of 0.2% PFE-supplemented mice. Compared with median survival of 43 weeks in water-fed mice, 0.1 and 0.2% PFE-supplemented mice exhibited median life expectancy of 73 and 92 weeks, respectively. Compared with respective water-fed groups, none of the mice in PFE-supplemented groups exhibited metastases to any of the distant organs at 20 weeks and only 20% mice exhibited metastasis at 34 weeks of age. Many of the PFE-supplemented animals had multiple foci of well-differentiated carcinoma but no evidence of poorly differentiated carcinoma. PFE supplementation resulted in simultaneous and significant inhibition of IGF-I/Akt/mTOR pathways in the prostate tissues and tumors. We suggest that pomegranate juice be evaluated in clinical trials in patients at high risk for developing PCa.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified ∼30 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) consistently associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk. To test the hypothesis that other sequence variants in the genome may interact with those 32 known PCa risk-associated SNPs identified from GWAS to affect PCa risk, we performed a systematic evaluation among three existing PCa GWAS populations: CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden population, a Johns Hopkins Hospital population, and the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility population, with a total sample size of 4723 PCa cases and 4792 control subjects. Meta-analysis of the interaction term between each of those 32 SNPs and SNPs in the genome was performed in three PCa GWAS populations. The most significant interaction detected was between rs12418451 in MYEOV and rs784411 in CEP152, with a Pinteraction of 1.15 × 10−7 in the meta-analysis. In addition, we emphasized two pairs of interactions with potential biological implication, including an interaction between rs7127900 near insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF2)/IGF2AS and rs12628051 in TNRC6B, with a Pinteraction of 3.39 × 10−6 and an interaction between rs7679763 near TET2 and rs290258 in SYK, with a Pinteraction of 1.49 × 10−6. Those results show statistical evidence for novel loci interacting with known risk-associated SNPs to modify PCa risk. The interacting loci identified provide hints on the underlying molecular mechanism of the associations with PCa risk for the known risk-associated SNPs. Additional studies are warranted to further confirm the interaction effects detected in this study.
Although platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a well-known acute inflammatory mediator, little is known regarding the role of PAF in chronic inflammation. Phorbol esters are known to stimulate PAF production. Moreover, the ability of repeated applications of phorbol esters to induce a sustained inflammatory response is crucial to their tumorigenic activity. We therefore examined whether PAF acts as a mediator of phorbol ester-induced inflammation and tumorigenesis. While PAF receptor knockout mice (PAFR (−/−)) showed an expected but modest reduction in the acute inflammatory response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), these mice exhibited a surprising increase in inflammation following chronic PMA application. This increased inflammation was documented by a number of findings that included: increased skin thickness, increased myeloperoxidase activity and expression and increased expression of known inflammatory mediators. Interestingly, vehicle-treated PAFR(−/−) mice also exhibited modest increases in levels of inflammatory markers. This suggests that the platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) acts to suppress chronic inflammation in response to other stimuli, such as barrier disruption. The idea that chronic PAFR activation is anti-inflammatory was documented by repetitive topical PAFR agonist administration that resulted in reduced myeloperoxidase activity in skin. We next utilized a 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene/PMA carcinogenesis protocol to demonstrate that PAFR (−/−) mice exhibit significantly increased tumor formation and malignant progression compared with wild-type control mice. These studies provide evidence for two important, unexpected and possibly interrelated pathological roles for the PAFR: first, the PAFR acts to suppress PMA-induced chronic inflammation; secondly, the PAFR acts to suppress neoplastic development in response to chemical carcinogens.
To investigate if the cooperation between the Rgr oncogene and the inactivation of INK4b (a CDK inhibitor), as described previously in a sarcoma model, would be operational in a lymphoid system in vivo, we generated a transgenic/knockout murine model. Transgenic mice expressing the Rgr oncogene under a CD4 promoter were crossed into a p15INK4b-deficient background. Unexpectedly, mice with a complete ablation of both p15INK4b alleles had a lower tumor incidence and higher survival rate when compared with CD4-Rgr progeny with homozygous or heterozygous expression of p15INK4b. Also, a similar survival pattern was observed in a parallel model in which transgenic mice expressing a constitutively activated N-Ras mutant were crossed into a p15INK4b-deficient background. To analyze this paradoxical event, we investigated the hypothesis that the absence of both p15INK4b alleles in the presence of the Rgr oncogene could be deleterious for proper thymocyte development. When analyzed, thymocyte development was blocked at the double negative (DN) 3 and DN4 stages in mice missing one or both alleles of p15INK4b, respectively. We found reduction in overall apoptotic levels in the thymocytes of mice expressing Rgr, compared with their wild-type mice, supporting thymocyte escape from programmed cell death and subsequently facilitating the onset of thymic lymphomas but less for those missing both p15 alleles. These findings provide evidence of the complex interplay between oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in tumor development and indicate that in the lymphoid tissue the inactivation of both p15 alleles is unlikely to be the first event in tumor development.
Interindividual variations of microRNA expression are likely to influence the expression of microRNA target genes and, therefore, contribute to phenotypic differences in humans, including cancer susceptibility. Whether microRNA expression variation has any role in ovarian cancer development is still unknown. Here, we evaluated microRNA expression profiles in lymphoblastoid cell lines from 74 women with familial ovarian cancer and 47 unrelated controls matched on gender and race. We found that the cases and unrelated controls can be clustered using 95 differentially expressed microRNAs with 91% accuracy. To assess the potential implications of microRNAs in ovarian cancer, we investigated the associations between microRNA expression and seven ovarian cancer risk variants discovered from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), namely, rs3814113 on 9p22.2, rs2072590 on 2q31, rs2665390 on 3q25, rs10088218, rs1516982, rs10098821 on 8q24.21 and rs2363956 on 19p13. We observed 130 significant associations at a permutation level of 0.01. Compared with other risk variants, rs3814113 and rs2072590 had the greatest number of significant associations (68 and 37, respectively). Interestingly, 14 microRNAs that were associated with ovarian cancer risk alleles belong to five microRNA clusters. The most notable cluster is the tumorigenic miR-17-92 cluster with five microRNAs, all of which are significantly associated with rs3814113. Using pathway analysis, several key biological pathways were significantly overrepresented, such as cellular response to stress (P = 2.87 × 10−06), etc. Further characterization of significant associations between microRNAs and risk alleles could facilitate the understanding of the functions of these GWAS discovered risk alleles in the genetic etiology of ovarian cancer.
Better preventive strategies are required to reduce ultraviolet (UV)-caused photodamage, the primary etiological factor for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Accordingly, here we examined the preventive efficacy of silibinin against UVB-induced photodamage using mouse epidermal JB6 cells and SKH1 hairless mouse epidermis. In JB6 cells, silibinin pretreatment protected against apoptosis and accelerated the repair of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) induced by moderate dose of UVB (50 mJ/cm2), which we are at risk of daily exposure. Silibinin also reversed UVB-induced S phase arrest, reducing both active DNA synthesizing and inactive S phase populations. In mechanistic studies, UVB-irradiated cells showed a transient upregulation of both phosphorylated (Ser-15 and Ser-392) and total p53, whereas silibinin pretreatment led to a more sustained upregulation and stronger nuclear localization of p53. Silibinin also caused a marked upregulation of GADD45α, a downstream target of p53, implicated in DNA repair and cell cycle regulation. Importantly, under p53 and GADD45α knockdown conditions, cells were more susceptible to UVB-induced apoptosis without any significant S phase arrest, and protective effects of silibinin were compromised. Similar to the in vitro results, topical application of silibinin prior to or immediately after UVB irradiation resulted in sustained increase in p53 and GADD45α levels and accelerated CPD removal in the epidermis of SKH1 hairless mice. Together, our results show for the first time that p53-mediated GADD45α upregulation is the key mechanism by which silibinin protects against UVB-induced photodamage and provides a strong rationale to investigate silibinin in reducing the risk and/or preventing early onset of NMSC.
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, one of the most conserved intercellular signaling cascade, is a known regulator of cellular functions related to tumor initiation and progression, cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and adhesion. Because aberrant Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been observed in a variety of human cancers including a majority of colorectal cancers, about half of prostate cancers and a third of melanomas, inhibitors of its complex signaling pathways are being investigated for therapy as well as chemoprevention of these cancers. During the last decade, several naturally occurring dietary agents have been shown to target intermediates in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and present an analysis of the key findings from laboratory studies on the effects of a panel of dietary agents against a variety of cancers. Promise of these agents for treating and preventing human cancer is then discussed.
Observational studies have been largely consistent in showing an inverse association between vitamin D and an individual’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. Vitamin D protection is further supported by a range of preclinical colon cancer models, including carcinogen, genetic and dietary models. A large number of mechanistic studies in both humans and rodents point to vitamin D preventing cancer by regulating cell proliferation. Counterbalancing this mostly positive data are the results of human intervention studies in which supplemental vitamin D was found to be ineffective for reducing colon cancer risk. One explanation for these discrepancies is the timing of vitamin D intervention. It is possible that colon lesions may progress to a stage where they become unresponsive to vitamin D. Such a somatic loss in vitamin D responsiveness bears the hallmarks of an epigenetic change. Here, we review data supporting the chemopreventive effectiveness of vitamin D and discuss how gene silencing and other molecular changes somatically acquired during colon cancer development may limit the protection that may otherwise be afforded by vitamin D via dietary intervention. Finally, we discuss how understanding the mechanisms by which vitamin D protection is lost might be used to devise strategies to enhance its chemopreventive actions.
Previous research demonstrates increased prostate cancer risk for pesticide applicators and pesticide manufacturing workers. Although underlying mechanisms are unknown, human biomonitoring studies indicate increased genetic damage (e.g. chromosomal aberrations) with pesticide exposure. Given that the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway repairs a broad range of DNA damage, we evaluated interactions between pesticide exposure and 324 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging 27 NER genes among 776 prostate cancer cases and 1444 male controls in a nested case–control study of white Agricultural Health Study pesticide applicators. We determined interaction P values using likelihood ratio tests from logistic regression models and three-level pesticide variables (none/low/high) based on lifetime days of use weighted to an intensity score. We adjusted for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate (FDR) method. Of the 17 interactions that met FDR <0.2, 3 displayed a monotonic increase in prostate cancer risk with increasing exposure in one genotype group and no significant association in the other group. Men carrying the variant A allele at ERCC1 rs2298881 exhibited increased prostate cancer risk with high versus no fonofos use [odds ratio (OR) 2.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.65–5.39; Pinteract = 3.6 × 10−4; FDR-adjusted P = 0.11]. Men carrying the homozygous wild-type TT genotype at two correlated CDK7 SNPs, rs11744596 and rs2932778 (r2 = 1.0), exhibited increased risk with high versus no carbofuran use (OR 2.01; 95% CI 1.31–3.10 for rs11744596; Pinteract = 7.2 × 10−4; FDR-adjusted P = 0.09). In contrast, we did not observe associations among men with other genotypes at these loci. While requiring replication, our findings suggest a role for NER genetic variation in pesticide-associated prostate cancer risk.
N-acetyltransferase 1 (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*10 is the most common variant haplotype and is associated with increased risk for numerous cancers. NAT1 is transcribed from a major promoter, NATb, and an alternative promoter, NATa, resulting in messenger RNAs (mRNAs) with distinct 5′-untranslated regions (UTRs). To best mimic in vivo metabolism and the effect of NAT1*10 polymorphisms on polyadenylation usage, pcDNA5/Flp recombination target plasmid constructs were prepared for transfection of full-length human mRNAs including the 5′-UTR derived from NATb, the open reading frame and 888 nucleotides of the 3′-UTR. Following stable transfection of NAT1*4, NAT1*10 and an additional NAT1*10 variant (termed NAT1*10B) into nucleotide excision repair-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cells, N- and O-acetyltransferase activity (in vitro and in situ), mRNA and protein expression were higher in cells transfected with NAT1*10 and NAT1*10B than in cells transfected with NAT1*4 (P < 0.05). Consistent with NAT1 expression and activity, cytotoxicity and hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase mutants following 4-aminobiphenyl exposures were higher in NAT1*10 than in NAT1*4 transfected cells. Ribonuclease protection assays showed no difference between NAT1*4 and NAT1*10. However, protection of one probe by NAT1*10B was not observed with NAT1*4 or NAT1*10, suggesting additional mechanisms that regulate NAT1*10B. The higher mutants in cells transfected with NAT1*10 and NAT1*10B are consistent with an increased cancer risk for individuals possessing NAT1*10 haplotypes.
Loss of retinoid-containing lipid droplets upon hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation is one of the first events in the development of liver disease leading to hepatocellular carcinoma. Although retinoid stores are progressively lost from HSCs during the development of hepatic disease, how this affects hepatocarcinogenesis is unclear. To investigate this, we used diethylnitrosamine (DEN) to induce hepatic tumorigenesis in matched wild-type (WT) and lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) knockout (KO) mice, which lack stored retinoid and HSC lipid droplets. Male 15-day-old WT or Lrat KO mice were given intraperitoneal injections of DEN (25 mg/kg body wt). Eight months later, Lrat KO mice showed significantly less liver tumor development compared with WT mice, characterized by less liver tumor incidence and smaller tumor size. Two days after DEN injection, lower serum levels of alanine aminotransferase and decreased hepatic levels of cyclin D1 were observed in Lrat KO mice. Lrat KO mice also exhibited increased levels of retinoic acid-responsive genes, including p21, lower levels of cytochrome P450 enzymes required for DEN bioactivation and higher levels of the DNA repair enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), both before and after DEN treatment. Our results indicate that Lrat KO mice are less susceptible to DEN-induced hepatocarcinogenesis due to increased retinoid signaling and higher expression of p21, which is accompanied by altered hepatic levels of DEN-activating enzymes and MGMT in Lrat KO mice also contribute to decreased cancer initiation and suppressed liver tumor development.
We previously demonstrated that secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) increases heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) expression and phosphorylation and promotes glioma cell migration through the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/HSP27 signaling pathway. As different regions of the SPARC protein mediate different SPARC functions, elucidating which SPARC domains regulate HSP27 expression, signaling and migration might provide potential therapeutic strategies to target these functions. To investigate the roles of specific domains, we used an SPARC–green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein and constructs of SPARC–GFP with deletions of either the acidic domain (ΔAcidic) or the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like module (ΔEGF). GFP, SPARC–GFP and the two deletion mutants were expressed in U87MG glioma cells. Characterization of the derived stable clones by confocal imaging and western blotting suggests proper folding, processing and secretion of the deletion constructs. Uptake of the constructs by naive cells suggests enhanced internalization of ΔAcidic and reduced internalization of ΔEGF. Wound and transwell migration assays and western blot analysis confirm our previous results and indicate that ΔAcidic reduces SPARC-induced migration and p38 MAPK/HSP27 signaling and ΔEGF decreases SPARC-induced migration and dramatically decreases the expression and phosphorylation of HSP27 but is poorly internalized. Loss of the EGF-like module suppresses the enhanced HSP27 protein stability conferred by SPARC. In conclusion, deletions of the acidic domain and EGF-like module have differential effects on cell surface binding and HSP27 protein stability; however, both regions regulate SPARC-induced migration and signaling through HSP27. Our data link the domains of SPARC with different functions and suggest one or both of the constructs as potential therapeutic agents to inhibit SPARC-induced migration.
Serine/threonine kinase Aurora A is essential for regulating mammalian cell division and is overexpressed in many types of human cancer. However, the role of Aurora A in chemoresistance of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is not well understood. Using the KCL-22 cell culture model we have recently developed for studying mechanisms of CML acquired resistance, we found that Aurora A expression was partially reduced in these cells upon treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib, which accompanied the acquisition of BCR-ABL mutation for imatinib resistance. Gene knockdown of BCR-ABL also reduced Aurora A expression, and conversely, Aurora A expression increased in hematopoietic progenitor cells after BCR-ABL expression. Inhibition of Aurora A induced apoptosis of CML cells with or without T315I BCR-ABL mutation and suppressed CML cell growth. Inhibition of Aurora A by gene knockdown or a highly specific small molecule inhibitor sensitized CML cells to imatinib treatment and effectively blocked acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations and KCL-22 cell relapse on imatinib, nilotinib or dasatinib. Our results show that Aurora A plays an important role for facilitating acquisition of BCR-ABL mutation and acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the culture model and suggest that inhibition of Aurora A may provide an alternative strategy to improve CML treatment to overcome resistance.
A recent genome-wide association study has identified five new genetic variants for prostate cancer susceptibility in a Japanese population, but it is unknown whether these newly identified variants are associated with prostate cancer risk in other populations, including Chinese men. We genotyped these five variants in a case–control study of 1524 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and 2169 control subjects from the Chinese Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics (ChinaPCa). We found that three of the five genetic variants were associated with prostate cancer risk (P = 4.33 × 10−8 for rs12653946 at 5p15, 4.43 × 10−5 for rs339331 at 6q22 and 8.42 × 10−4 for rs9600079 at 13q22, respectively). A cumulative effect was observed in a dose-dependent manner with increasing numbers of risk variant alleles (Ptrend = 2.58 × 10−13), and men with 5–6 risk alleles had a 2-fold higher risk of prostate cancer than men with 0–2 risk alleles (odds ratio = 2.26, 95% confidence interval = 1.78–2.87). Furthermore, rs339331 T allele was significantly associated with RFX6 and GPRC6A higher messenger RNA expression, compared with the C allele. However, none of the variants was associated with clinical stage, Gleason score or family history. These results provide further evidence that the risk loci identified in Japanese men also contribute to prostate cancer susceptibility in Chinese men.
Chemoprevention has been acknowledged as an important and practical strategy for the management of skin cancer. Quercetin-3-methyl ether, a naturally occurring compound present in various plants, has potent anticancer-promoting activity. We identified this compound by in silico virtual screening of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Database using extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) as the target protein. Here, we showed that quercetin-3-methyl ether inhibited proliferation of mouse skin epidermal JB6 P+ cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner by inducing cell cycle G2–M phase accumulation. It also suppressed 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced neoplastic cell transformation in a dose-dependent manner. Its inhibitory effect was greater than quercetin. The activation of activator protein-1 was dose-dependently suppressed by quercetin-3-methyl ether treatment. Western blot and kinase assay data revealed that quercetin-3-methyl ether inhibited ERKs kinase activity and attenuated phosphorylation of ERKs. Pull-down assays revealed that quercetin-3-methyl ether directly binds with ERKs. Furthermore, a loss-of-function ERK2 mutation inhibited the effectiveness of the quercetin-3-methyl ether. Overall, these results indicated that quercetin-3-methyl ether exerts potent chemopreventive activity by targeting ERKs.
Naturally occurring allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) was recently shown to be selectively delivered to bladder cancer tissue via urinary excretion and to inhibit bladder cancer growth and muscle invasion in an animal model. AITC is excreted in urine mainly as N-acetyl-S-(N-allylthiocarbamoyl)cysteine, more commonly known as the N-acetylcysteine conjugate (NAC-AITC). We show here that treatment of human bladder cancer UM-UC-3 cells or rat bladder cancer AY-27 cells with NAC-AITC at 15 μM results in significant inhibition of cell growth and proliferation, together with cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. We also show that NAC-AITC administered orally at 10 μmol/kg body wt inhibits cancer growth by 40% and muscle invasion by 49% in an orthotopic rat bladder cancer model. Furthermore, the anticancer activity of NAC-AITC is associated with the modulation of several important molecular targets, including downregulation of both α-tubulin and β-tubulin, activation of caspase-3 and downregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor. These results are similar to those shown previously for AITC and are consistent with the understanding that NAC-AITC is a carrier of AITC. Furthermore, comparison of the pharmacokinetic and physical properties of NAC-AITC with those of AITC suggests that NAC-AITC is superior to AITC for potential use for prevention and therapy of bladder cancer.
We investigated the functional effects of microRNA-34a (miR-34a) on c-Myc transcriptional complexes in renal cell carcinoma. miR-34a down-regulated expression of multiple oncogenes including c-Myc by targeting its 3′ untranslated region, which was revealed by luciferase reporter assays. miR-34a was also found to repress RhoA expression by suppressing the c-Myc–Skp2–Miz1 transcriptional complex that activates RhoA. Overexpression of c-Myc reversed miR-34a suppression of RhoA expression and inhibition of cell invasion, suggesting that miR-34a inhibits invasion by suppressing RhoA through c-Myc. miR-34a was also found to repress the c-Myc–P-TEFb transcription elongation complex, indicating one of the mechanisms by which miR-34a has profound effects on cellular functions. Our results demonstrate that miR-34a suppresses assembly and function of the c-Myc complex that activates or elongates transcription, indicating a novel role of miR-34a in the regulation of transcription by c-Myc.
A common treatment of advanced prostate cancer involves the deprivation of androgens. Despite the initial response to hormonal therapy, eventually all the patients relapse. In the present study, we sought to determine whether dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) affects the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Cell culture, patient tissue microarray, allograft, xenograft, prostate-specific Pten knockout and omega-3 desaturase transgenic mouse models in conjunction with dietary manipulation, gene knockdown and knockout approaches were used to determine the effect of dietary PUFA on castration-resistant Pten-null prostate cancer. We found that deletion of Pten increased androgen receptor (AR) expression and Pten-null prostate cells were castration resistant. Omega-3 PUFA slowed down the growth of castration-resistant tumors as compared with omega-6 PUFA. Omega-3 PUFA decreased AR protein to a similar extent in tumor cell cytosolic and nuclear fractions but had no effect on AR messenger RNA level. Omega-3 PUFA treatment appeared to accelerate AR protein degradation, which could be blocked by proteasome inhibitor MG132. Knockdown of AR significantly slowed down prostate cancer cell proliferation in the absence of androgens. Our data suggest that omega-3 PUFA inhibits castration-resistant prostate cancer in part by accelerating proteasome-dependent degradation of the AR protein. Dietary omega-3 PUFA supplementation in conjunction with androgen ablation may significantly delay the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer in patients compared with androgen ablation alone.
There is a need to characterize promising dietary agents for chemoprevention and therapy of prostate cancer (PCa). We examined the anticancer effect of α-mangostin, derived from the mangosteen fruit, in human PCa cells and its role in targeting cell cycle-related proteins involved in prostate carcinogenesis. Using an 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, we found that α-mangostin significantly decreases PCa cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Further analysis using flow cytometry identified cell cycle arrest along with apoptosis. To establish a more precise mechanism of action, we performed a cell free biochemical kinase assay against multiple cyclins/cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) involved in cell cycle progression; the most significant inhibition in the cell free-based assays was CDK4, a critical component of the G1 phase. Through molecular modeling, we evaluated α-mangostin against the adenosine triphosphate-binding pocket of CDK4 and propose three possible orientations that may result in CDK4 inhibition. We then performed an in vivo animal study to evaluate the ability of α-mangostin to suppress tumor growth. Athymic nude mice were implanted with 22Rv1 cells and treated with vehicle or α-mangostin (100 mg/kg) by oral gavage. At the conclusion of the study, mice in the control cohort had a tumor volume of 1190 mm3, while the treatment group had a tumor volume of 410 mm3 (P < 0.01). The ability of α-mangostin to inhibit PCa in vitro and in vivo suggests α-mangostin may be a novel agent for the management of PCa.
Previous studies have shown that decorin expression is significantly reduced in colorectal cancer tissues and cancer cells, and genetic deletion of the decorin gene is sufficient to cause intestinal tumor formation in mice, resulting from a downregulation of p21, p27kip1 and E-cadherin and an upregulation of β-catenin signaling [Bi,X. et al. (2008) Genetic deficiency of decorin causes intestinal tumor formation through disruption of intestinal cell maturation. Carcinogenesis, 29, 1435–1440]. However, the regulation of E-cadherin by decorin and its implication in cancer formation and metastasis is largely unknown. Using a decorin knockout mouse model (Dcn−/− mice) and manipulated expression of decorin in human colorectal cancer cells, we found that E-cadherin, a protein that regulates cell–cell adhesion, epithelial–mesenchymal transition and metastasis, was almost completely lost in Dcn−/− mouse intestine, and loss of decorin and E-cadherin accelerated colon cancer cell growth and invasion in Dcn−/− mice. However, increasing decorin expression in colorectal cancer cells attenuated cancer cell malignancy, including inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, promotion of apoptosis and importantly, attenuation of cancer cell migration. All these changes were linked to the regulation of E-cadherin by decorin. Moreover, overexpression of decorin upregulated E-cadherin through increasing of E-cadherin protein stability as E-cadherin messenger RNA and promoter activity were not affected. Co-immunoprecipitation assay showed a physical binding between decorin and E-cadherin proteins. Taken together, our results provide direct evidence that decorin-mediated inhibition of colorectal cancer growth and migration are through the interaction with and stabilization of E-cadherin.
Benzene causes acute myeloid leukemia and probably other hematological malignancies. As benzene also causes hematotoxicity even in workers exposed to levels below the US permissible occupational exposure limit of 1 part per million, further assessment of the health risks associated with its exposure, particularly at low levels, is needed. Here, we describe the probable mechanism by which benzene induces leukemia involving the targeting of critical genes and pathways through the induction of genetic, chromosomal or epigenetic abnormalities and genomic instability, in a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC); stromal cell dysregulation; apoptosis of HSCs and stromal cells and altered proliferation and differentiation of HSCs. These effects modulated by benzene-induced oxidative stress, aryl hydrocarbon receptor dysregulation and reduced immunosurveillance, lead to the generation of leukemic stem cells and subsequent clonal evolution to leukemia. A mode of action (MOA) approach to the risk assessment of benzene was recently proposed. This approach is limited, however, by the challenges of defining a simple stochastic MOA of benzene-induced leukemogenesis and of identifying relevant and quantifiable parameters associated with potential key events. An alternative risk assessment approach is the application of toxicogenomics and systems biology in human populations, animals and in vitro models of the HSC stem cell niche, exposed to a range of levels of benzene. These approaches will inform our understanding of the mechanisms of benzene toxicity and identify additional biomarkers of exposure, early effect and susceptibility useful for risk assessment.
Chronic inflammation is an underlying risk factor for colon cancer. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) plays a critical role in the development of inflammation-induced colon cancer in a mouse model. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and its metabolite methylthioadenosine (MTA) can inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-α expression in macrophages. The aim of this work was to examine whether SAMe and MTA are effective in preventing inflammation-induced colon cancer and if so identify signaling pathways affected. Balb/c mice were treated with azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium to induce colon cancer. Two days after AOM treatment, mice were divided into three groups: vehicle control, SAMe or MTA. Tumor load, histology, immunohistochemistry, gene and protein expression were determined. SAMe and MTA treatment reduced tumor load by ∼40%. Both treatments raised SAMe and MTA levels but MTA also raised S-adenosylhomocysteine levels. MTA treatment prevented the induction of many genes known to play pathogenetic roles in this model except for TNF-α and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). SAMe also had no effect on TNF-α or iNOS and was less inhibitory than MTA on the other genes. In vivo, both treatments induced apoptosis but inhibited proliferation, β-catenin, nuclear factor kappa B activation and interleukin (IL) 6 signaling. Effect of SAMe and MTA on IL-6 signaling was examined using Colo 205 colon cancer cells. In these cells, SAMe and MTA inhibited IL-6-induced IL-10 expression. MTA also inhibited IL-10 transcription and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activation. In conclusion, SAMe and MTA reduced inflammation-induced colon cancer and inhibited several pathways important in colon carcinogenesis.