Beyond its possible correlation with stemness of tumor cells, CD133/prominin1 is considered an important marker in breast cancer, since it correlates with tumor size, metastasis and clinical stage of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC), to date the highest risk breast neoplasia.
To study the correlation between the levels of CD133 expression and the biology of breast-derived cells, CD133low and CD133high cell subpopulations isolated from triple negative MDA-MB-231 cells were compared in terms of malignant properties and protein expression.
High expression of CD133 characterizes cells with larger adhesion area, lower proliferation rate and reduced migration speed, indicative of a less undifferentiated phenotype. Conversely, when compared with CD133low cells, CD133high cells show higher invasive capability and increased expression of proteins involved in metastasis and drug-resistance of breast tumors. Among the signalling proteins examined, PLC-β2 expression inversely correlates with the levels of CD133 and has a role in inducing the CD133high cells to CD133low cells conversion, suggesting that, in TNBC cells, the de-regulation of this PLC isoform is responsible of the switch from an early to a mature tumoral phenotype also by reducing the expression of CD133.
Since CD133 plays a role in determining the invasiveness of CD133high cells, it may constitute an attractive target to reduce the metastatic potential of TNBC. In addition, our data showing that the forced up-regulation of PLC-β2 counteracts the invasiveness of CD133-positive MDA-MB-231 cells might contribute to identify unexplored key steps responsible for the TNBC high malignancy, to be considered for potential therapeutic strategies.
Breast cancer; Phospholipase C-β2 (PLC-β2); CD133; Tumor progression
The mechanisms that can restore biological activity of mutant p53 are an area of high interest given that mutant p53 expression is observed in one third of prostate cancer. Here we demonstrate that Id4, an HLH transcriptional regulator and a tumor suppressor, can restore the mutant p53 transcriptional activity in prostate cancer cells.
Id4 was over-expressed in prostate cancer cell line DU145 harboring mutant p53 (P223L and V274F) and silenced in LNCaP cells with wild type p53. The cells were used to quantitate apoptosis, p53 localization, p53 DNA binding and transcriptional activity. Immuno-precipitation/-blot studies were performed to demonstrate interactions between Id4, p53 and CBP/p300 and acetylation of specific lysine residues within p53.
Ectopic expression of Id4 in DU145 cells resulted in increased apoptosis and expression of BAX, PUMA and p21, the transcriptional targets of p53. Mutant p53 gained DNA binding and transcriptional activity in the presence of Id4 in DU145 cells. Conversely, loss of Id4 in LNCaP cells abrogated wild type p53 DNA binding and transactivation potential. Gain of Id4 resulted in increased acetylation of mutant p53 whereas loss of Id4 lead to decreased acetylation in DU145 and LNCaP cells respectively. Id4 dependent acetylation of p53 was in part due to a physical interaction between Id4, p53 and acetyl-transferase CBP/p300.
Taken together, our results suggest that Id4 regulates the activity of wild type and mutant p53. Id4 promoted the assembly of a macromolecular complex involving CBP/P300 that resulted in acetylation of p53 at K373, a critical post-translational modification required for its biological activity.
Id4; p53; Acetylation; CBP/p300; Prostate; DU145
MicroRNA-133b (miR-133b), which is a muscle-specific microRNA, has been reported to be downregulated in human colorectal carcinoma (CRC) when compared to adjacent non-tumor tissue. However, its diagnostic value and role in CRC have yet to be described. CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4), which participates in multiple cell processes such as cell invasion-related signaling pathways, was predicted to be a potential target of miR-133b. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations and functions of miR-133b and CXCR4 in CRC initiation and invasion.
Mature miR-133b and CXCR4 expression levels were detected in 31 tumor samples and their adjacent, non-tumor tissues from patients with CRC, as well as in 6 CRC cell lines, using real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). Luciferase reporter assays and Western blots were used to validate CXCR4 as a putative target gene of miR-133b. Regulation of CXCR4 expression by miR-133b was assessed using qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis, and the effects of exogenous miR-133b and CXCR4 on cell invasion and migration were evaluated in vitro using the SW-480 and SW-620 CRC cell lines.
A significant downregulation of miR-133b was observed in 93.55% of CRC tissues, and the expression of miR-133b was much lower in metastatic tumors (stage C and D, stratified by the Modified Dukes Staging System) than in primary tumors (stage A and B). In contrast, CXCR4 protein expression significantly increased in 52.63% of CRC samples, and increased CXCR4 expression in CRC was associated with advanced tumor stage. CXCR4 was shown to be a direct target of miR-133b by luciferase reporter assays, and transfection of miR-133b mimics inhibited invasion and stimulated apoptosis of SW-480 and SW-620 CRC cells.
Our study demonstrated that downregulated miR-133b contributed to increased cell invasion and migration in CRC by negatively regulating CXCR4. These findings may be significant for the development of therapy target for CRC.
CXCR4; miR-133b; Colorectal cancer; Tumor progression; Metastasis; Targeted therapy
Regulation of mRNAs is one way to control protein levels and thereby important cellular processes such as growth, invasion and apoptosis. G3BPs constitute a family of mRNA-binding proteins, shown to be overexpressed in several cancer types, including breast, colon and pancreas cancer. G3BP has been reported to both stabilize and induce degradation of specific mRNAs.
Here, we show that G3BP1, but not G3BP2, supports proliferation of several breast cancer cell lines. Global gene expression analyses of G3BP1- and G3BP2-depleted cells indicate that primarily G3BP1, and much less G3BP2, influences mRNA expression levels. Peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) was one gene that was significantly influenced by G3BP1 depletion which led to a 2–3 fold increased expression. Depletion of PMP22 resulted in increased proliferation and the G3BP1-mediated effect on proliferation was not seen upon PMP22-depletion.
This indicates a novel role for G3BP1 in the regulation of cell proliferation in breast cancer cells, perhaps via a regulatory effect on PMP22 expression.
G3BP; Breast cancer cells; PMP22; Proliferation; Gene expression
Mitochondria are suggested to be important organelles for cancer initiation and promotion. This study was designed to evaluate the prognostic value of MTC02, a marker for mitochondrial content, in prostate cancer.
Immunohistochemistry of using an antibody against MTC02 was performed on a tissue microarray (TMA) containing 11,152 prostate cancer specimens. Results were compared to histological phenotype, biochemical recurrence, ERG status and other genomic deletions by using our TMA attached molecular information.
Tumor cells showed stronger MTC02 expression than normal prostate epithelium. MTC02 immunostaining was found in 96.5% of 8,412 analyzable prostate cancers, including 15.4% tumors with weak, 34.6% with moderate, and 46.5% with strong expression. MTC02 expression was associated with advanced pathological tumor stage, high Gleason score, nodal metastases (p < 0.0001 each), positive surgical margins (p = 0.0005), and early PSA recurrence (p < 0.0001) if all cancers were jointly analyzed. Tumors harboring ERG fusion showed higher expression levels than those without (p < 0.0001). In ERG negative prostate cancers, strong MTC02 immunostaining was linked to deletions of PTEN, 6q15, 5q21, and early biochemical recurrence (p < 0.0001 each). Moreover, multiple scenarios of multivariate analyses suggested an independent association of MTC02 with prognosis in preoperative settings.
Our study demonstrates high-level MTC02 expression in ERG negative prostate cancers harboring deletions of PTEN, 6q15, and 5q21. Additionally, increased MTC02 expression is a strong predictor of poor clinical outcome in ERG negative cancers, highlighting a potentially important role of elevated mitochondrial content for prostate cancer cell biology.
MTC02; ERG; Prostate cancer; Tissue microarray
Intronic and intergenic long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging gene expression regulators. The molecular pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is still poorly understood, and in particular, limited studies are available for intronic lncRNAs expressed in RCC.
Microarray experiments were performed with custom-designed arrays enriched with probes for lncRNAs mapping to intronic genomic regions. Samples from 18 primary RCC tumors and 11 nontumor adjacent matched tissues were analyzed. Meta-analyses were performed with microarray expression data from three additional human tissues (normal liver, prostate tumor and kidney nontumor samples), and with large-scale public data for epigenetic regulatory marks and for evolutionarily conserved sequences.
A signature of 29 intronic lncRNAs differentially expressed between RCC and nontumor samples was obtained (false discovery rate (FDR) <5%). A signature of 26 intronic lncRNAs significantly correlated with the RCC five-year patient survival outcome was identified (FDR <5%, p-value ≤0.01). We identified 4303 intronic antisense lncRNAs expressed in RCC, of which 22% were significantly (p <0.05) cis correlated with the expression of the mRNA in the same locus across RCC and three other human tissues. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis of those loci pointed to 'regulation of biological processes’ as the main enriched category. A module map analysis of the protein-coding genes significantly (p <0.05) trans correlated with the 20% most abundant lncRNAs, identified 51 enriched GO terms (p <0.05). We determined that 60% of the expressed lncRNAs are evolutionarily conserved. At the genomic loci containing the intronic RCC-expressed lncRNAs, a strong association (p <0.001) was found between their transcription start sites and genomic marks such as CpG islands, RNA Pol II binding and histones methylation and acetylation.
Intronic antisense lncRNAs are widely expressed in RCC tumors. Some of them are significantly altered in RCC in comparison with nontumor samples. The majority of these lncRNAs is evolutionarily conserved and possibly modulated by epigenetic modifications. Our data suggest that these RCC lncRNAs may contribute to the complex network of regulatory RNAs playing a role in renal cell malignant transformation.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC); Unspliced intronic long noncoding RNAs; Antisense lncRNAs; Microarray analysis; Molecular markers; Gene expression correlation; Histone methylation; Histone acetylation; Evolutionary lncRNA conservation
Ovarian cancer is characterized by high rates of metastasis and therapeutic resistance. Many chemotherapeutic agents rely on the induction of oxidative stress to cause cancer cell death, thus targeting redox regulation is a promising strategy to overcome drug resistance.
We have used a tetracycline-inducible Ets-1 overexpression model derived from 2008 ovarian cancer cells in the present study. To examine the role of Ets-1 in glutathione regulation we have measured intracellular reactive oxygen species and glutathione levels, as well as glutathione peroxidase enzyme activity. Glutathione synthesis was limited using transsulfuration or Sxc- pathway blocking agents, and glutamate release was measured to confirm Sxc- blockade. Cell viability following drug treatment was assessed via crystal violet assay. Oxidative stress was induced through glucose oxidase treatment, which produces hydrogen peroxide by glucose oxidation. The protein expressions of redox-related factors were measured through western blotting.
Overexpression of Ets-1 was associated with decreased intracellular ROS, concomitantly with increased intracellular GSH, GPX antioxidant activity, and Sxc- transporter activity. Under basal conditions, inhibition of the transsulfuration pathway resulted in decreased GSH levels and GPX activity in all cell lines, whereas inhibition of Sxc- by sulfasalazine decreased GPX activity in Ets-1-expressing cells only. However, under oxidative stress the intracellular GSH levels decreased significantly in correlation with increased Ets-1 expression following sulfasalazine treatment.
In this study we have identified a role for proto-oncogene Ets-1 in the regulation of intracellular glutathione levels, and examined the effects of the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine on glutathione depletion using an ovarian cancer cell model. The findings from this study show that Ets-1 mediates enhanced Sxc- activity to increase glutathione levels under oxidative stress, suggesting that Ets-1 could be a promising putative target to enhance conventional therapeutic strategies.
Ets-1; Glutathione; Ovarian cancer; Oxidative stress; Drug resistance
Background and methods
Stem or progenitor cells from healthy tissues have the capacity to co-segregate their template DNA strands during mitosis. Here, we set out to test whether breast cancer cell lines also possess the ability to asymmetrically segregate their template DNA strands via non-random chromosome co-segregation, and whether this ability correlates with certain properties attributed to breast cancer stem cells (CSCs). We quantified the frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA strands in 12 human breast cancer cell lines, and correlated the frequency to molecular subtype, CD44+/CD24-/lo phenotype, and invasion/migration ability. We tested if co-culture with human mesenchymal stem cells, which are known to increase self-renewal, can alter the frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA in breast cancer.
We found a positive correlation between asymmetric segregation of template DNA and the breast cancer basal-like and claudin-low subtypes. There was an inverse correlation between asymmetric segregation of template DNA and Her2 expression. Breast cancer samples with evidence of asymmetric segregation of template DNA had significantly increased invasion and borderline significantly increased migration abilities. Samples with high CD44+/CD24-/lo surface expression were more likely to harbor a consistent population of cells that asymmetrically segregated its template DNA; however, symmetric self-renewal was enriched in the CD44+/CD24-/lo population. Co-culturing breast cancer cells with human mesenchymal stem cells expanded the breast CSC pool and decreased the frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA.
Breast cancer cells within the basal-like subtype can asymmetrically segregate their template DNA strands through non-random chromosome segregation. The frequency of asymmetric segregation of template DNA can be modulated by external factors that influence expansion or self-renewal of CSC populations. Future studies to uncover the underlying mechanisms driving asymmetric segregation of template DNA and dictating cell fate at the time of cell division may explain how CSCs are maintained in tumors.
Non-random chromosome segregation; Asymmetric cell division; Immortal DNA strand hypothesis; Breast cancer; Cancer stem cells
Radiation induced transcriptional targeting is a gene therapy approach that takes advantage of the targeting abilities of radiotherapy by using radio inducible promoters to spatially and temporally limit the transgene expression. Cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (CDKN1A), also known as p21, is a crucial regulator of the cell cycle, mediating G1 phase arrest in response to a variety of stress stimuli, including DNA damaging agents like irradiation. The aim of the study was to evaluate the suitability of the p21 promoter for radiation induced transcriptional targeting with the objective to test the therapeutic effectiveness of the combined radio-gene therapy with p21 promoter driven therapeutic gene interleukin 12.
To test the inducibility of the p21 promoter, three reporter gene experimental models with green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of p21 promoter were established by gene electrotransfer of plasmid DNA: stably transfected cells, stably transfected tumors, and transiently transfected muscles. Induction of reporter gene expression after irradiation was determined using a fluorescence microplate reader in vitro and by non-invasive fluorescence imaging using fluorescence stereomicroscope in vivo. The antitumor effect of the plasmid encoding the p21 promoter driven interleukin 12 after radio-gene therapy was determined by tumor growth delay assay and by quantification of intratumoral and serum levels of interleukin 12 protein and intratumoral concentrations of interleukin 12 mRNA.
Using the reporter gene experimental models, p21 promoter was proven to be inducible with radiation, the induction was not dose dependent, and it could be re-induced. Furthermore radio-gene therapy with interleukin 12 under control of the p21 promoter had a good antitumor therapeutic effect with the statistically relevant tumor growth delay, which was comparable to that of the same therapy using a constitutive promoter.
In this study p21 promoter was proven to be a suitable candidate for radiation induced transcriptional targeting. As a proof of principle the therapeutic value was demonstrated with the radio-inducible interleukin 12 plasmid providing a synergistic antitumor effect to radiotherapy alone, which makes this approach feasible for the combined treatment with radiotherapy.
Gene therapy; Transcriptional targeting; p21 promoter; Interleukin 12; Mouse tumor model; Radiotherapy; Plasmid DNA; Gene electrotransfer
Elevated expression of erbB3 receptor has been reported to induce resistance to therapeutic agents, including trastuzumab in erbB2-overexpressing breast cancer. Our recent studies indicate that erbB3 interacts with both erbB2 and IGF-1 receptor to form a heterotrimeric complex in trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cells. Herein, we investigate the antitumor activity of MM-121/SAR256212, a fully human anti-erbB3 antibody (Ab), against two erbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cell lines resistant to trastuzumab.
MTS-based proliferation assays were used to determine cell viability upon treatment of trastuzumab and/or MM-121/SAR256212. Cell cycle progression was examined by flow cytometric analysis. Western blot analyses were performed to determine the expression and activation of proteins. Tumor xenografts were established by inoculation of the trastuzumab-resistant BT474-HR20 cells into nude mice. The tumor-bearing mice were treated with trastuzumab and/or MM-121/SAR256212 via i.p injection to determine the Abs’ antitumor activity. Immunohistochemical analyses were carried out to study the Abs’ inhibitory effects on tumor cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in vivo.
MM-121 significantly enhanced trastuzumab-induced growth inhibition in two sensitive and two resistant breast cancer cell lines. MM-121 in combination with trastuzumab resulted in a dramatic reduction of phosphorylated erbB3 (P-erbB3) and Akt (P-Akt) in the in vitro studies. MM-121 combined with trastuzumab did not induce apoptosis in the trastuzumab-resistant cell lines under our cell culture condition, rather induced cell cycle G1 arrest mainly associated with the upregulation of p27kip1. Interestingly, in the tumor xenograft model established from the trastuzumab-resistant cells, MM-121 in combination with trastuzumab as compared to either agent alone dramatically inhibited tumor growth correlated with a significant reduction of Ki67 staining and increase of cleaved caspase-3 in the tumor tissues.
The combination of MM-121 and trastuzumab not only inhibits erbB2-overexpressing breast cancer cell proliferation, but also promotes the otherwise trastuzumab-resistant cells undergoing apoptosis in an in vivo xenografts model. Thus, MM-121 exhibits potent antitumor activity when combined with trastuzumab under the studied conditions. Our data suggest that further studies regarding the suitability of MM-121 for treatment of breast cancer patients whose tumors overexpress erbB2 and become resistant to trastuzumab may be warranted.
MM-121; SAR256212; erbB3; erbB2; Trastuzumab resistance; Breast cancer
Kinases downstream of growth factor receptors have been implicated in radioresistance and are, therefore, attractive targets to improve radiotherapy outcome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients.
An antibody-based array was used to quantify the expression levels of multiple phospho-kinases involved in growth factor signaling in nine untreated or irradiated HNSCC lines. Radiosensitivity was assessed with clonogenic cell survival assays and correlated with the expression levels of the phospho-kinases. Inhibitors of the kinases that were associated with radiosensitivity were tested for their ability to increase radiosensitivity in the 3 most radioresistant HNSCC lines.
The basal expression of phosphorylated Yes, Src and STAT5A, and the expression after radiotherapy of phosphorylated AKT, MSK1/2, Src, Lyn, Fyn, Hck, and STAT6, were correlated with radiosensitivity in the panel of HNSCC lines. In combination with radiotherapy, inhibitors of AKT, p38 and Src Family Kinases (SFK) were variably able to reduce survival, whereas MEK1/2, STAT5 and STAT6 inhibition reduced survival in all cell lines. The combined effect of radiotherapy and the kinase inhibitors on cell survival was mostly additive, although also supra-additive effects were observed for AKT, MEK1/2, p38 and STAT5 inhibition.
Kinases of the AKT, MAPK, STAT and SFK pathways correlated with radiosensitivity in a panel of HNSCC lines. Particularly inhibitors against MEK1/2, STAT5 and STAT6 were able to decrease survival in combination with radiotherapy. Hence, inhibitors against these kinases have the potential to improve radiotherapy outcome in HNSCC patients and further research is warranted to confirm this in vivo.
Radiation resistance; Head and neck cancer; Kinase inhibitors; STAT5; STAT6
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an epithelial malignancy strongly associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). AT13387 is a novel heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor, which inhibits the chaperone function of Hsp90 and reduces expression of Hsp90-dependent client oncoproteins. This study aimed to evaluate both the in vitro and in vivo antitumor effects of AT13387 in the EBV-positive NPC cell line C666-1.
Our results showed that AT13387 inhibited C666-1 cell growth and induced cellular senescence with the downregulation of multiple Hsp90 client oncoproteins EGFR, AKT, CDK4, and restored the protein expression of negative cell cycle regulator p27. We also studied the ability of AT13387 to restore p27 expression by downregulation of AKT and the p27 ubiquitin mediator, Skp2, using AKT inhibitor and Skp2 siRNA. In the functional study, AT13387 inhibited cell migration with downregulation of a cell migration regulator, HDAC6, and increased the acetylation and stabilization of α-tubulin. We also examined the effect of AT13387 on putative cancer stem cells (CSC) by 3-D tumor sphere formation assay. AT13387 effectively reduced both the number and size of C666-1 tumor spheres with decreased expression of NPC CSC-like markers CD44 and SOX2. In the in vivo study, AT13387 significantly suppressed tumor formation in C666-1 NPC xenografts.
AT13387 suppressed cell growth, cell migration, tumor sphere formation and induced cellular senescence on EBV-positive NPC cell line C666-1. Also, the antitumor effect of AT13387 was demonstrated in an in vivo model. This study provided experimental evidence for the preclinical value of using AT13387 as an effective antitumor agent in treatment of NPC.
AT13387; Hsp90 inhibitor; Senescence; Antitumor; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
The lung squamous cell carcinoma survival rate is very poor despite multimodal treatment. It is urgent to discover novel candidate biomarkers for prognostic assessment and therapeutic targets to lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Herein a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and ESI-Q-TOF MS/MS-based proteomic approach was used to identify differentially expressed proteins between lung SCC and adjacent normal tissues. 31 proteins with significant alteration were identified. These proteins were mainly involved in metabolism, calcium ion binding, signal transduction and so on. Cathepsin B (CTSB) was one of the most significantly altered proteins and was confirmed by western blotting. Immunohistochemistry showed the correlation between higher CTSB expression and lower survival rate. No statistically significant difference between CTSB-shRNA treated group and the controls was observed in tumor volume, tumor weight, proliferation and apoptosis. However, the CTSB-shRNA significantly inhibited tumor metastases and prolonged survival in LL/2 metastatic model. Moreover, CTSB, Shh and Ptch were up-regulated in patients with metastatic lung SCC, suggesting that hedgehog signaling might be activated in metastatic lung SCC which could affect the expression of CTSB that influence the invasive activity of lung SCC.
These data suggested that CTSB might serve as a prognostic and therapeutic marker for lung SCC.
Lung squamous cell carcinoma; 2-DE; Cathepsin B; Shh; Ptch
MiRNAs play important roles in diverse biological processes including tumorigenesis. However, little is known about the function and mechanism of miR-451 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Quantitative RT-PCR was used to quantify miR-451 expression in NPC cell lines and clinical tissues. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to estimate the association between miR-451 expression and survival. The MTT, colony formation, Transwell migration and invasion assays, and a xenograft model were performed. A miR-451 target was confirmed using luciferase reporter assays, quantitative RT-PCR, and Western blotting.
MiR-451 was significantly downregulated in NPC cell lines and clinical tissues (P < 0.01). Patients with low expression of miR-451 had poorer overall survival (HR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.16-3.34; P = 0.01) and disease-free survival (HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.07-2.62; P = 0.02) than patients with high expression. MiR-451 was an independent prognostic factor in NPC in multivariate Cox regression analysis. Ectopic expression of miR-451 suppressed cell viability, colony formation, and cell migration and invasion in vitro, and inhibited xenograft tumor growth in vivo. MIF was verified as a direct target of miR-451, and MIF regulated NPC cell growth and invasion.
The newly identified miR-451/MIF pathway provides insight into NPC initiation and progression, and may represent a novel therapeutic target.
miR-451; MIF; Cell growth; Invasion; Survival; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Rectal cancer is one of the most prevalent tumor types. Understanding the metabolic profile of rectal cancer is important for developing therapeutic approaches and molecular diagnosis.
Here, we report a metabonomics profiling of tissue samples on a large cohort of human rectal cancer subjects (n = 127) and normal controls (n = 43) using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) based metabonomics assay, which is a highly sensitive and non-destructive method for the biomarker identification in biological systems. Principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and orthogonal projection to latent structure with discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) were applied to analyze the 1H-NMR profiling data to identify the distinguishing metabolites of rectal cancer.
Excellent separation was obtained and distinguishing metabolites were observed among the different stages of rectal cancer tissues (stage I = 35; stage II = 37; stage III = 37 and stage IV = 18) and normal controls. A total of 38 differential metabolites were identified, 16 of which were closely correlated with the stage of rectal cancer. The up-regulation of 10 metabolites, including lactate, threonine, acetate, glutathione, uracil, succinate, serine, formate, lysine and tyrosine, were detected in the cancer tissues. On the other hand, 6 metabolites, including myo-inositol, taurine, phosphocreatine, creatine, betaine and dimethylglycine were decreased in cancer tissues. These modified metabolites revealed disturbance of energy, amino acids, ketone body and choline metabolism, which may be correlated with the progression of human rectal cancer.
Our findings firstly identify the distinguishing metabolites in different stages of rectal cancer tissues, indicating possibility of the attribution of metabolites disturbance to the progression of rectal cancer. The altered metabolites may be as potential biomarkers, which would provide a promising molecular diagnostic approach for clinical diagnosis of human rectal cancer. The role and underlying mechanism of metabolites in rectal cancer progression are worth being further investigated.
Overexpression of Decoy Receptor 3 (DcR3), a soluble member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, is a common event in several types of cancer. In renal cell carcinoma (RCC), DcR3 overexpression is associated with lymph node and distant metastasis as well as a poor prognosis. However, the functional role and regulation of DcR3 expression in RCC is so far unknown.
Modulation of DcR3 expression by siRNA and ectopic gene expression, respectively, was performed in ACHN and 769-P RCC cell lines. Functional effects of a modulated DcR3 expression were analyzed with regard to migration, invasion, adhesion, clonogenicity, and proliferation. Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses were performed to evaluate the expression of downstream mediators of DcR3. In further experiments, luciferase assays, quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses were applied to study the regulation of DcR3 expression in RCC. Additionally, an ex vivo tissue slice culture technique combined with immunohistochemistry was used to study the regulation of DcR3 expression in human RCC specimens.
Here, we show that DcR3 promotes adhesion, migration and invasiveness of RCC cells. The DcR3-dependent increase in cellular invasiveness is accompanied with an up-regulation of integrin alpha 4, matrixmetalloproteinase 7 and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). Further, we identified a signaling pathway regulating DcR3 expression in RCC. Using in vitro experiments as well as an ex vivo RCC tissue slice culture model, we demonstrate that expression of DcR3 is regulated in a PI3K/AKT-dependent manner involving the transcription factor nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT).
Taken together, our results identify DcR3 as a key driver of tumor cell dissemination and suggest DcR3 as a promising target for rational therapy of RCC.
DcR3; Renal cell carcinoma; AKT; NFAT; Metastasis
Extracellular vesicle (EV) trafficking is a fundamental cellular process that occurs in cells and is required for different aspects of pathophysiology. EV trafficking leads to changes in cellular function including apoptosis, angiogenesis and proliferation required for increased tumor formation.
We report several phenotypic changes mediated by EVs isolated from non-malignant and malignant prostate cells as well as patient biopsied prostate tumor samples. EVs can reverse the resistance of prostate cancer cells to camptothecin EVs isolated from non-malignant PrECs (Prostate Epithelial Cells) can reverse soft agar colony formation of malignant DU145 cells, with the reciprocal effect observed. Isolation of EVs from 2 Gleason grade 8 prostate cancer patients significantly induced soft agar colony formation of non-malignant PrECs. We have identified proteins via antibody and Mass spectrometry analysis that may be responsible for the phenotypic changes. Mass spectrometry analysis of protein lysates using ProteoIQ revealed protein candidates associated with gene ontology annotations that may be responsible for this phenotypic change. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis was used to identify statistically relevant canonical pathways and functions associated the protein IDs and expression values obtained using ProteoIQ. Western blot analysis confirmed the increase of 14-3-3 zeta, pRKIP and prohibitin protein levels in PrEC cells co-cultured with patient EVs. 14-3-3 proteins were also found as common proteins of 3 other Gleason grade 8 patients.
Our study provides a rational basis to further investigate putative proteins, such as 14-3-3 and prohibitin and genetic factors that may be responsible for phenotypic changes that are associated with prostate cancer progression.
Extracellular vesicles; Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; Prostate cancer; Proteomics; Gene ontology
microRNAs have been shown to regulate the chemosensitivity of cancer cells. The aim of this study is to investigate the role and mechanism of mir-23a in enhancing the anti-tumor effect of topoisomerase 2A (TOP2A) poison etoposide in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The anti-tumor effect of chemotherapeutic agents in HCC cells were examined in vitro and in vivo xenograft model. Expression of mRNA and miRNAs were determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Protein expression was analyzed by immunoblotting.
Overexpression of mir-23a could significantly potentiate the in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effect of etoposide; however, ectopic expression of miR-23a fails to sensitize HCC cells to 5-fluorouracil treatment, indicating the miR-23a-induced cancer cell hypersensitivity in chemotherapy is TOP2A-specific though miR-23a overexpression could not directly up-regulate TOP2A expression. Topoisomerase 1(TOP1) is down-regulated in miR-23a-overexpressed HCC cells. MiR-23a could directly bind to 3′untranslated region of TOP1 mRNA, and suppress the corresponding protein expression and inhibition of miR-23a further arguments the expression of TOP1. MiR-23a was up-regulated during DNA damage in cancer cells in line with the p53 expression. Up-regulation of p53 induces mir-23a expression, while suppression of p53 inhibits miR-23a in HCC cells.
Our study sheds light on the role of miR-23a as a potential target in regulating chemosensitivity of HCC cells.
miR-23a; Topoisomerase 1; Etoposide; Hepatocellular carcinoma; DNA damage
The T-box transcription factor, TBX3, is overexpressed in several cancers and has been proposed as a chemotherapeutic target. Several lines of evidence suggest that TBX3 may be a key contributor to malignant melanoma, a highly aggressive and intractable disease. Using in vitro and in vivo assays we demonstrate here for the first time that overexpressing TBX3 in non-tumourigenic early stage melanoma cells is sufficient to promote tumour formation and invasion. Furthermore, we show that TBX3 may play an important role as a reciprocal switch between substrate dependent cell proliferation and tumour invasion.
TBX3; Melanoma; Migration; Invasion
Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a highly conserved pathway in organism evolution and is important in many biological processes. Overactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is closely related to tumor development and progression. To identify potent small molecules that can fight aberrant Wnt/β-catenin-mediated cancer, we synthesized a novel pyrazoline derivative (N-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-1,3,4-triphenyl-4,5-dihydro-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxamide, BHX) to block Wnt signaling, and determined the absolute configuration of its precursor (ethyl 1,3,4-triphenyl-4,5-dihydro-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxylate). We then evaluated the inhibitory effect of BHX in vitro and in vivo.
Cell proliferation was assessed in three human cancer cell lines (A549, HT29, and MGC803) in the presence and absence of BHX using MTS assays. BHX effectively inhibited A549, HT29, and MGC803 cell proliferation with IC50 of 5.43 ± 1.99, 6.95 ± 0.24, and 7.62 ± 1.31 μM, respectively. BHX significantly induced apoptosis and G1 phase arrest in A549 and MGC803 cells. The β-catenin protein level was markedly reduced in A549 and MGC803 cells under BHX treatment. The inhibitory effect of BHX in vivo was investigated using a mouse xenograft model. A549 xenograft growth was suppressed by 50.96% in nude mice treated continuously with 100 mg/kg BHX for 21 d. Weight remained almost unchanged, which indicates the low toxicity of the compound.
Our data suggest that BHX is a new drug candidate for cancer treatment because of its potent effect on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and low toxicity.
β-catenin; Cell proliferation; Inhibitor; Tumorigenesis; Wnt signaling pathway
Gankyrin has shown to be overexpressed in human liver cancers and plays a complex role in hepatocarcinogenesis. Panobinostat (LBH589), a new hydroxamic acid-derived histone deacetylase inhibitor has shown promising anticancer effects recently. Here, we investigated the potential of LBH589 as a form of treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Gankyrin plasmid was transfected into HCC cells, and the cells were selected for more than 4 weeks by incubation with G418 for overexpression clones. The therapeutic effects of LBH589 were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, invasive potential, and epithelial-mesenchy-mal transition (EMT) were examined.
LBH589 significantly inhibited HCC growth and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Western blotting analysis indicated that LBH589 could decrease the expression of gankyrin and subsequently reduced serine-phosphorylated Akt and tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT3 expression although the total Akt and STAT3 were unaffected. LBH589 inhibited metastasis in vitro via down-regulation of N-cadherin, vimentin, TWIST1, VEGF and up-regulation of E-cadherin. LBH589 also induced apoptosis and G1 phase arrest in HCC cell lines. Ectopic expression of gankyrin attenuated the effects of LBH589, which indicates that gankyrin might play an important role in LBH589 mediated anticancer effects. Lastly, in vivo study indicated that LBH589 inhibited tumor growth and metastasis, without discernable adverse effects comparing to control group, with abrogating gankyrin/STAT3/Akt pathway.
Our results suggested that LBH589 could inhibit HCC growth and metastasis through down-regulating gankyrin/STAT3/Akt pathway. LBH589 may present itself as a novel therapeutic strategy for HCC.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; LBH589; Apoptosis; Gankyrin; STAT3
The cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate interactions between tumour cells and the surrounding bone stroma are to date largely undetermined in prostate cancer (PCa) progression. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of alpha 6 and beta 1 integrin subunits in mediating tumour-stromal interactions.
Utilising 3D in vitro assays we evaluated and compared 1. Monocultures of prostate metastatic PC3, bone stromal derived HS5 and prostate epithelial RWPE-1 cells and 2. Tumour-stromal co-cultures (PC3 + HS5) to ascertain changes in cellular phenotype, function and expression of metastatic markers.
In comparison to 3D monocultures of PC3 or HS5 cells, when cultured together, these cells displayed up-regulated invasive and proliferative qualities, along with altered expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal and chemokine protein constituents implicated in metastatic dissemination. When co-cultured, HS5 cells were found to re-express N-Cadherin and chemokine receptor CXCR7. Alterations in N-Cadherin expression were found to be mediated by soluble factors secreted by PC3 tumour cells, while chemokine receptor re-expression was dependent on direct cell-cell interactions. We have also shown that integrins beta 1 and alpha 6 play an integral role in maintaining cell homeostasis and mediating expression of E-Cadherin, N-Cadherin and vimentin, in addition to chemokine receptor CXCR7.
Collectively our results suggest that both PC3 and HS5 cells provide a “protective” and reciprocal milieu that promotes tumour growth. As such 3D co-cultures may serve as a more complex and valid biological model in the drug discovery pipeline.
Prostate cancer; Tumour-stromal microenvironment; 3D co-cultures; EMT markers; Chemokine CXCR7; Integrins
The members of MRE11/RAD50/NBN (MRN) protein complex participates in DNA double-strand break repair and DNA-damage checkpoint activation. We have previously shown that the p.I171V NBN gene mutation may contribute to the development of laryngeal cancer. This study tested the hypothesis that variants of the MRE11 and RAD50 genes, previously described as cancer risk factors, predispose to increased susceptibility to head and neck cancer.
In this study we analyzed the RAD50 and MRE11 genes in 358 patients: 175 with a single laryngeal cancer (LC), 115 with multiple primary tumors but one malignancy (primary or second) localized in the larynx (MPT-LC), 68 patients with multiple primary tumors localized in the head or neck (MPT) and 506 controls. No carriers of previously reported mutation in the MRE11 or RAD50 gene (particularly the pathogenic c.687delT) were detected in the present study. We identified the p.V127I variant (2/175 LC, 2/506 controls; OR=2.91; 95% CI 0.41-20.85) and p.V315L variant (2/115 MPT-LC, 1/506 controls; OR=8.96; 95% CI 0.81-99.68) of the RAD50 gene.
Our data indicated that previously described common genetic variations in the MRE11 and RAD50 genes do not contribute to an increased risk of laryngeal cancer and second primary tumors localized in the head and neck. Prospective studies with larger groups of patients may reveal the possible impact of these genes in tumor occurrence.
DNA repair genes; Cancer susceptibility; Laryngeal cancer; Multiple primary tumors of head and neck
Alterations in lipid metabolism are inherent to the metabolic transformations that support tumorigenesis. The relationship between the synthesis, storage and use of lipids and their importance in cancer is poorly understood. The human group X secreted phospholipase A2 (hGX sPLA2) releases fatty acids (FAs) from cell membranes and lipoproteins, but its involvement in the regulation of cellular FA metabolism and cancer is not known.
Here we demonstrate that hGX sPLA2 induces lipid droplet (LD) formation in invasive breast cancer cells, stimulates their proliferation and prevents their death on serum deprivation. The effects of hGX sPLA2 are shown to be dependent on its enzymatic activity, are mimicked by oleic acid and include activation of protein kinase B/Akt, a cell survival signaling kinase. The hGX sPLA2-stimulated LD biogenesis is accompanied by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation, up-regulation of FA oxidation enzymes and the LD-coating protein perilipin 2, and suppression of lipogenic gene expression. Prolonged activation of AMPK inhibited hGX sPLA2-induced LD formation, while etomoxir, an inhibitor of FA oxidation, abrogated both LD formation and cell survival. The hGX sPLA2-induced changes in lipid metabolism provide a minimal immediate proliferative advantage during growth under optimal conditions, but they confer to the breast cancer cells a sustained ability to resist apoptosis during nutrient and growth factor limitation.
Our results identify hGX sPLA2 as a novel modulator of lipid metabolism that promotes breast cancer cell growth and survival by stimulating LD formation and FA oxidation.
Secreted phospholipase A2; Breast cancer; Cell survival; Apoptosis; Lipid droplets; Fatty acid oxidation; Lipid signaling; Etomoxir; Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1; AMP-activated protein kinase
Increasing evidence suggests that cancer is a metabolic disease. Here, we investigated the potential role of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase-2 (FBP2), the enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of fructose-1,6-bisphosphate to fructose-6-phosphate and inorganic phosphate in glucose metabolism, in gastric cancer (GC) development.
Our data indicated that FBP2 was downregulated in GC tissues (86.2%, 100/116), and absent or low FBP2 expression in GC tissues was correlated with poor survival of GC patients (P = 0.019). Conversely, ectopic expression of FBP2 in GC cells activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signalling, inhibited the Akt-mTOR pathway, suppressed glucose metabolism, enhanced apoptosis, and reduced cell proliferation. Bisulphite genomic sequencing (BGS) in gastric cancer cell lines revealed that the FBP2 promoter region was densely methylated, and treatment of GC cells with the demethylation reagent, 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-Aza), led to an increase in FBP2 expression. Importantly, forced expression of FBP2 abrogated tumour formation of these GC cells in nude mice.
Our results indicate that FBP2 does negatively regulate cell growth, and reduced expression of FBP2 may contribute to carcinogenesis for GC. These findings suggest that restoration of FBP2 expression can be a promising strategy for the target therapy of GC.
FBP2; Glycolysis; Gastric cancer; Cell growth; Prognosis