Epigenetics play a critical role in controlling normal gene expression and altered epigenetics can lead to abnormal cellular differentiation, proliferation and survival. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children and is characterized by numerous epigenetic abnormalities. These epigenetic changes correspond to repressed activity of some genes and inappropriate activation of others. In contrast to genetic alterations stemming from mutations, deletions or translocation, epigenetic changes are relatively reversible when treated with certain small molecule-based anticancer agents. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDI) are a class of drugs capable of modifying the epigenetic status of ALL cells. Several recent preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the potential of HDI as therapeutic agents in ALL. This review summarizes recent studies on (1) the principles of epigenetics and their importance in ALL tumorigenesis; (2) the structure, mechanism of action and anti-tumor activity of HDI; (3) the first comprehensive summary of data from preclinical and clinical studies for HDI as the therapeutic agents for ALL; and (4) novel directions for future research on HDI and ALL.
PMID: 21762078 CAMSID: cams3770
Leukemia; epigenetics; histone deacetylase inhibitors; therapeutic agent; anticancer agent; small molecule inhibitors
The present study is the first to show in pancreatic cancer (PC) the growth inhibition and apoptosis by novel MDM2 inhibitors (MI-319 & 219) through reactivation of p53 pathway. Our results highlight two new secondary targets of MDM2 inhibitor ‘SIRT1’ and Ku70. SIRT1 has a role in ageing and cancer and is known to regulate p53 signaling through acetylation. Ku70 is a key component of non-homologous end joining machinery in the DNA damage pathway and is known to regulate apoptosis by blocking Bax entry into mitochondria. Given the growth inhibition and apoptosis by MI-219, MI-319 was accompanied by increase in levels of p53 along with p21WAF1 and the proapoptotic Puma. SiRNA against p21WAF1 abrogated the growth inhibition of PC cells confirming p21WAF1 as a key player downstream of activated p53. Immunoprecipitation-western blot analysis revealed reduced association of MDM2-p53 interaction in drug exposed PC cells. In combination studies, the inhibitors synergistically augmented anti-tumor effects of therapeutic drug gemcitabine both in terms of cell growth inhibition as well as apoptosis. Surface plasmon resonance studies confirmed strong binding between MI-319 and Ku70 (KD 170 nM). Western blot revealed suppression of SIRT1 and Ku70 with simultaneous upregulation of acetyl-p53 (Lys379) and Bax. Co-Immunoprecipitation studies confirmed that MI-319 could disrupt Ku70-Bax and SIRT1-Bax interaction. Further, using wt-p53 xenograft of Capan-2, we found that oral administration of MI-319 at 300 mg/kg for 14 days resulted in significant tumor growth inhibition without any observed toxicity to the animals. No tumor inhibition was found in mut-p53 BxPC-3 xenografts. In light of our results, the inhibitors of MDM2 warrant clinical investigation as new agents for PC treatment.
MDM2 and p53; Small molecule inhibitors; cell cycle arrest; apoptosis; pancreatic cancer
Inorganic arsenic is an environmental human carcinogen, and has been shown to act as a co-carcinogen with solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation in mouse skin tumor induction even at low concentrations. However, the precise mechanism of its co-carcinogenic action is largely unknown. Apoptosis plays an essential role as a protective mechanism against neoplastic development in the organism by eliminating genetically damaged cells. Thus, suppression of apoptosis is thought to contribute to carcinogenesis. It is known that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can promote carcinogenesis by inhibiting cell apoptosis under stress conditions; and our current studies investigated the potential contribution of COX-2 to the inhibitory effect of arsenite in UV-induced cell apoptosis in mouse epidermal Cl41 cells. We found that treatment of cells with low concentration (5 μM) arsenite attenuated cellular apoptosis upon UVB radiation accompanied with a co-inductive effect on COX-2 expression and nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) transactivation. Our results also showed that the COX-2 induction by arsenite and UVB depended on an NFκB pathway because COX-2 co-induction could be attenuated in either p65-deficient or p50-deficient cells. Moreover, UVB-induced cell apoptosis could be dramatically reduced by the introduction of exogenous COX-2 expression, whereas the inhibitory effect of arsenite on UVB-induced cell apoptosis could be impaired in COX-2 knockdown Cl41 cells. Our results indicated that COX-2 mediated the anti-apoptotic effect of arsenite in UVB radiation through an NFκB-dependent pathway. Given the importance of apoptosis evasion during carcinogenesis, we anticipated that COX-2 induction might be at least partially responsible for the co-carcinogenic effect of arsenite on UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis.
Apoptosis; arsenite; COX-2; NF-κB; UVB
Chronic fibrotic liver diseases such as viral hepatitis eventually develop liver cirrhosis, which causes occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Given the limited therapeutic efficacy in advanced HCC, prevention of HCC development could be an effective strategy for improving patient prognosis. However, there is still no established therapy to meet the goal. Studies have elucidated a wide variety of molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in HCC development. Genetically-engineered or chemically-treated experimental models of cirrhosis and HCC have been developed and shown their potential value in investigating molecular therapeutic targets and diagnostic biomarkers for HCC prevention. In this review, we overview potential targets of prevention and currently available experimental models, and discuss strategies to translate the findings into clinical practice.
Animal model; chemoprevention; clinical trial; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver cirrhosis; prevention
The growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible 45 (Gadd45) proteins are a group of critical signal transducers that are involved in regulations of many cellular functions. Accumulated data indicate that all three Gadd45 proteins (i.e., Gadd45α, Gadd45β, and Gadd45γ) play essential roles in connecting an upstream sensor module, the transcription Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB), to a transcriptional regulating module, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). This NF-κB-Gadd45(s)-MAPK pathway responds to various kinds of extracellular stimuli and regulates such cell activities as growth arrest, differentiation, cell survival, and apoptosis. Defects in this pathway can also be related to oncogenesis. In the first part of this review, the functions of Gadd45 proteins, and briefly NF-κB and MAPK, are summarized. In the second part, the mechanisms by which Gadd45 proteins are regulated by NF-κB, and how they affect MAPK activation, are reviewed.
GADD45α; Gadd45β; Gadd45γ; NF-κB; JNK; P38; Cell survival and apoptosis
Although Bid is considered to be a cell apoptotic mediator, current studies suggest that it has a possible role in cell survival for mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in response to low doses of anti-(±)-5- methylchrysene-l,2-diol-3,4-epoxide (<0.25µM) (5-MCDE). We found that the exposure of MEFs to 0.25 µM 5-MCDE resulted in a slight apoptotic induction, while this apoptotic response was substantially increased in the Bid knockout MEFs (Bid−/−), suggesting that there is a Bid-mediated anti-apoptotic function in this response. This notion was further supported by the findings that re-constitution expression of Bid into Bid−/− cells could inhibit the increased apoptosis. Further studies show that the antiapoptotic function of Bid was associated with its mediation of COX-2 expression. This conclusion was based the reduction of COX-2 expression in Bid−/− cells, the restoration of low sensitivity to 5-MCDE-induced apoptosis by the introduction of Bid into Bid−/− cells, and increased sensitivity of WT MEFs to 5-MCDE-induced apoptosis by the knockdown of COX-2 expression. Furthermore, we found that Bid mediated COX-2 expression through the IKKβ/NFκB pathway because the deficiency of Bid in Bid−/− MEFs resulted in the blockade of IKK/NFκB activation and knockout of IKKβ caused abrogation of COX-2 expression induced by 5-MCDE. Collectively, our results demonstrate that Bid is critical for COX-2 induction through the IKKβ/NFκB pathway, which mediates its anti-apoptotic function, in cell response to low doses of 5-MCDE exposure.
Bid; COX-2; 5-MCDE; NFκB; apoptosis
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a critical enzyme implicated in chronic inflammation-associated cancer development. Our studies have shown that the exposure of Beas-2B cells, a human bronchial epithelial cell line, to lung carcinogenic nickel compounds results in increased COX-2 expression. However, the signaling pathways leading to nickel-induced COX-2 expression are not well understood. In the current study, we found that the exposure of Beas-2B cells to nickel compounds resulted in the activation of both nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). The expression of COX-2 induced upon nickel exposure was inhibited by either a NFAT pharmacological inhibitor or the knockdown of NFAT3 by specific siRNA. We further found that the activation of NFAT and NF-κB was dependent on each other. Since our previous studies have shown that NF-κB activation is critical for nickel-induced COX-2 expression in Beas-2B cells exposed to nickel compounds under same experimental condition, we anticipate that there might be a cross-talk between the activation of NFAT and NF-κB for the COX-2 induction due to nickel exposure in Beas-2B cells. Furthermore, we showed that the scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by introduction of mitochondrial catalase inhibited the activation of both NFAT and NF-κB, and the induction of COX-2 due to nickel exposure. Taken together, our results defining the evidence showing a key role of the cross-talk between NFAT and NF-κB pathways in regulating nickel-induced COX-2 expression, further provide insight into the understanding of the molecular mechanisms linking nickel exposure to its lung carcinogenic effects.
Beas-2B cells; COX-2; nickel; NFAT; NF-κB; ROS
Arsenite exposure is associated with an increased risk of human lung cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the arsenite-induced human lung carcinogenesis remain elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that arsenite upregulates cyclin D1 expression/activity to promote the growth of human bronchial epithelial Beas-2B cells. In this process, the JNKs (c-Jun N-terminal kinases)/c-Jun cascade is elicited. The inhibition of JNKs or c-Jun by chemical or genetic inhibitors blocks the cyclin D1 induction mediated by arsenite. Furthermore, using a loss of function mutant of p85 (Δp85, a subunit of PI3K) or dominant-negative Akt (DN-Akt), we showed that PI3K and Akt act as the upstream regulators of JNKs and c-Jun in arsenite-mediated growth promotion. Overall, our data suggest a pathway of PI-3K/Akt/JNK/c-Jun/cylin D1 signaling in response to arsenite in human bronchial epithelial cells.
PI-3K; Akt; JNK; c-Jun; cyclin D1; arsenite; cell proliferation
Isodon rubescens, a Chinese herb, has been used as a folk, botanical medicine in China for inflammatory diseases and cancer treatment for many years. Recently, we isolated a new ent-kaurene diterpenoid, named Jaridonin, from Isodon rubescens. The chemical structure of Jaridonin was verified by Infrared (IR), Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and Mass spectrum (MS) data as well as X-ray spectra. Jaridonin potently reduced viabilities of several esophageal cancer cell lines, including EC109, EC9706 and EC1. Jaridonin treatment resulted in typical apoptotic morphological characteristics, increased the number of annexin V-positive staining cells, as well as caused a G2/M arrest in cell cycle progression. Furthermore, Jaridonin resulted in a significant loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome c into the cytosol, and then activation of Caspase-9 and -3, leading to activation of the mitochondria mediated apoptosis. Furthermore, these effects of Jaridonin were accompanied by marked reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and increased expression of p53, p21waf1/Cip1 and Bax, whereas two ROS scavengers, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (L-NAC) and Vitamin C, significantly attenuated the effects of Jaridonin on the mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA damage, expression of p53 and p21waf1/Cip1 and reduction of cell viabilities. Taken together, our results suggest that a natural ent-kaurenoid diterpenoid, Jaridonin, is a novel apoptosis inducer and deserves further investigation as a new chemotherapeutic strategy for patients with esophageal cancer.
Apoptosis; ent-kaurene diterpenoid; esophageal cancer; mitochondria pathway; rabdosia rubescens; reactive oxygen species
Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a key transcriptional factor family that consists of five members in mammalian cells, including NF-κB1 (p50), NF-κB2 (p52), RelA (p65), RelB and c-Rel. NF-κB is implicated in multiple physiological and pathological processes, including cell proliferation and differentiation, inflammatory and immune response, cell survival and apoptosis, cellular stress reactions and tumorigenesis. Recent studies by our group and others have highlighted the novel functions of the p50 protein. In this review, we will focus on the regulation and functions of NF-κB p50.
The proteasome has emerged as an important clinically relevant target for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Since the Food and Drug Administration approved the first-in-class proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (Velcade®) for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) and mantle cell lymphoma, it has become clear that new inhibitors are needed that have a better therapeutic ratio, can overcome inherent and acquired bortezomib resistance and exhibit broader anti-cancer activities. Marizomib (NPI-0052; salinosporamide A) is a structurally and pharmacologically unique β-lactone-γ-lactam proteasome inhibitor that may fulfill these unmet needs. The potent and sustained inhibition of all three proteolytic activities of the proteasome by marizomib has inspired extensive preclinical evaluation in a variety of hematologic and solid tumor models, where it is efficacious as a single agent and in combination with biologics, che-motherapeutics and targeted therapeutic agents. Specifically, marizomib has been evaluated in models for multiple myeloma, mantle cell lymphoma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, chronic and acute lymphocytic leukemia, as well as glioma, colorectal and pancreatic cancer models, and has exhibited synergistic activities in tumor models in combination with bortezomib, the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide (Revlimid®), and various histone deacetylase inhibitors. These and other studies provided the framework for ongoing clinical trials in patients with MM, lymphomas, leukemias and solid tumors, including those who have failed bortezomib treatment, as well as in patients with diagnoses where other proteasome inhibitors have not demonstrated significant efficacy. This review captures the remarkable translational studies and contributions from many collaborators that have advanced marizomib from seabed to bench to bedside.
Proteasome inhibitor; marizomib; bortezomib; NF-κB; multiple myeloma; pharmacodynamics; combination therapy
Aberrant histone lysine methylation that is controlled by histone lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) and demethylases (KDMs) plays significant roles in carcinogenesis. Infections by tumor viruses or parasites and exposures to chemical carcinogens can modify the process of histone lysine methylation. Many KMTs and KDMs contribute to malignant transformation by regulating the expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), forming a fused gene, interacting with proto-oncogenes or being up-regulated in cancer cells. In addition, histone lysine methylation participates in tumor suppressor gene inactivation during the early stages of carcinogenesis by regulating DNA methylation and/or by other DNA methylation independent mechanisms. Furthermore, recent genetic discoveries of many mutations in KMTs and KDMs in various types of cancers highlight their numerous roles in carcinogenesis and provide rare opportunities for selective and tumor-specific targeting of these enzymes. The study on global histone lysine methylation levels may also offer specific biomarkers for cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis, as well as for genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogenic exposures and risk assessment. This review summarizes the role of histone lysine methylation in the process of cellular transformation and carcinogenesis, genetic alterations of KMTs and KDMs in different cancers and recent progress in discovery of small molecule inhibitors of these enzymes.
Histone lysine-specific methyltransferases; histone lysine-specific demethylases; cell transformation; carcinogenesis; gene mutations; inhibitors
AKT/PKB (Protein Kinase B) are central proteins mediating signals from receptor tyrosine kinases and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. AKT kinases are involved in a number of important cellular processes including cell proliferation and survival, cell size in response to nutrient availability, tumor invasion/metastasis, and angiogenesis. Various components of the AKT signaling pathway are encoded by tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes whose loss or activation, respectively, plays an important role in tumorigenesis. The growing body of evidence connecting deregulated AKT signaling with sporadic human cancers and inherited cancer predisposition syndromes is discussed. We also highlight new findings regarding the involvement of activating mutations of AKT1, AKT2, and AKT3 in somatic overgrowth disorders: Proteus syndrome, hypoglycemia with hypertrophy, and hemimegalencephaly, respectively. In addition, we review recent literature documenting the various ways the AKT signaling pathway is activated in human cancers and consequences for molecularly targeted therapies.
AKT/PKB kinases; tumor suppressor genes; oncogenes; human malignancy; targeted therapies; Proteus syndrome; hypoglycemia; hemimegalencephaly
Recent studies describe a heterogeneous population of cells of the myeloid lineage, termed myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which are observed with increased prevalence in the peripheral blood and tumor microenvironment of cancer patients, including pancreatic cancer. Accumulation of MDSC in the peripheral circulation has been related to extent of disease, and correlates with stage. MDSC have primarily been implicated in promoting tumor growth by suppressing antitumor immunity. There is also compelling evidence MDSC are also involved in angiogenesis and metastatic spread.
Two main subsets of MDSC have been identified in cancer patients: a monocytic subset, characterized by expression of CD14, and a granulocytic subset characterized by expression of CD15. Both subsets of MDSC actively suppress host immunity through a variety of mechanisms including production of reactive oxygen species and arginase. Just as in humans, accumulation of monocytic and granulocytic MDSC has been noted in the bone marrow, spleen, peripheral circulation, and tumors of tumor bearing mice.
Successful targeting of MDSC in mice is associated with improved immune responses, delayed tumor growth, improved survival, and increased efficacy of vaccine therapy. By further elucidating mechanisms of MDSC recruitment and maintenance in the tumor environment, strategies could be developed to reverse immune tolerance to tumor. We discuss here what is currently known about MDSC as well as some potential strategies targeting MDSC in the context of our work on pancreatic cancer and recent literature. Due to the number of new reports on MDSC, the most pertinent ones have been selected.
myeloid-derived suppressor cells; pancreatic cancer; immune suppression; bone marrow; metastasis
Biological processes that drive cell growth are exciting targets for cancer therapy. The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling network plays a ubiquitous role in normal cell growth, survival, differentiation, and angiogenesis, but has also been implicated in tumor development. Elucidation of the roles and relationships within the diverse FGF family and of their links to tumor growth and progression will be critical in designing new drug therapies to target FGF receptor (FGFR) pathways. Recent studies have shown that FGF can act synergistically with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to amplify tumor angiogenesis, highlighting that targeting of both the FGF and VEGF pathways may be more efficient in suppressing tumor growth and angiogenesis than targeting either factor alone. In addition, through inducing tumor cell survival, FGF has the potential to overcome chemotherapy resistance highlighting that chemotherapy may be more effective when used in combination with FGF inhibitor therapy. Furthermore, FGFRs have variable activity in promoting angiogenesis, with the FGFR-1 subgroup being associated with tumor progression and the FGFR-2 subgroup being associated with either early tumor development or decreased tumor progression. This review highlights the growing knowledge of FGFs in tumor cell growth and survival, including an overview of FGF intracellular signaling pathways, the role of FGFs in angiogenesis, patterns of FGF and FGFR expression in various tumor types, and the role of FGFs in tumor progression.
Fibroblast growth factors; gene expression regulation; neoplasms; angiogenesis/neovascularization; molecular targets
The total expression profiles of two medulloblastoma cell lines resistant to the preactivated form of cyclophosphamide (4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide, 4-HC) were examined using the Affymetrix GeneChip U133A array. Our primary objective was to look for possible genes, other than the well-studied aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH) that may be involved in cyclophosphamide (CP) resistance in medulloblastomas. We present here the lists of the most highly upregulated [30 for D341 MED (4-HCR); 20 for D283 MED (4-HCR)] and downregulated [19 for D341 MED (4-HCR); 15 for D283 MED (4-HCR)] genes which may be involved in conferring CP-resistance to the two medullobalstoma cell lines. The lists of genes from the two sublines almost had no overlap, suggesting different mechanisms of CP-resistance. One of the most noteworthy upregulated gene is TAP1 [90-fold increase in D341 MED (4-HCR) relative to D341 MED]. TAP1, a protein belonging to the ABC transporter family is normally involved in major histocompatibility class I (MHC I) antigen processing. This suggests the possible role of multidrug resistance (MDR), albeit atypical (which means it does not involve the usual MDR1 and MRP glycoproteins), in medulloblastoma’s CP-resistance. Apart from TAP1, a number of other genes involved in MHC1 processing were upregulated in D341 MED (4HCR). D341 MED (4-HCR) also had a 20-fold increase in the expression of the aldo-keto reductase gene, AKR1B10, which may deactivate the reactive cyclophosphamide metabolite, aldophosphamide. For D283 MED (4-HCR), the most notable increase in expression is that of ALDH1B1, a member of the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) family of proteins.
cyclophosphamide; drug resistance; medulloblastoma; brain tumor; oxazaphosphorine; aldehyde dehydrogenase; microarray; aldo-keto reductase
Malignant gliomas are the most common and the deadliest brain malignancies in adults. Despite the lack of a complete understanding of the biology of these tumors, significant advances have been made in the past decades. One of the key discoveries made in the area of malignant gliomas is that these tumors can be induced and maintained by aberrant signaling networks. In this context, the Ras pathway has been extensively exploited, from both basic and translational perspectives. Although somatic oncogenic mutations of Ras genes are frequent in several cancer types, early investigations on gliomas revealed disappointing facts that the Ras mutations are nearly absent in malignant gliomas and that the BRAF mutations are present in a very small percentage of gliomas. Therefore, the observed deregulation of the Ras-RAF-ERK signaling pathway in gliomas is attributed to its upstream positive regulators, including, EGFR and PDGFR known to be highly active in the majority of malignant gliomas. In contrast to the initial negative results on the somatic mutations of H-Ras, K-Ras and BRAF, recent breakthrough studies on pediatric low-grade astrocytomas uncovered genetic alterations of the BRAF gene involving copy number gains and rearrangements. The 7q34 rearrangements result in a novel in-frame KIAA1549:BRAF fusion gene that possesses constitutive BRAF kinase activity resembling oncogenic BRAF (V600E). In light of the earlier findings and recent breakthroughs, this review summarizes our current understanding of the Ras-RAF-ERK signaling pathway in gliomas and the outcome of preclinical and clinical studies that evaluated the efficacy of Ras-targeted therapy in malignant gliomas.
Akt; Avastin; BRAF; chemotherapy; EGFR; glioma; PDGFR; RAF; Ras
The treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) increasingly involves the use of molecularly targeted therapy with activity against either the tumor directly, or indirectly, through activity against host-derived mechanisms of tumor support such as angiogenesis. The most well studied signaling pathway associated with angiogenesis is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway, and the only antiangiogenic agent currently approved for the treatment of NSCLC is bevacizumab, an antibody targeted against VEGF. More recently, preclinical data supporting the role of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signaling in angiogenesis have been reported. The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) pathways may also stimulate tumor growth directly through activation of downstream mitogenic signaling cascades. In addition, 1 or both of these pathways have been associated with resistance to agents targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and VEGF. A number of agents that target FGF and/or PDGF signaling are now in development for the treatment of NSCLC. This review will summarize the potential molecular roles of PDGFR and FGFR in tumor growth and angiogenesis, as well as discuss the current clinical status of PDGFR and FGFR inhibitors in clinical development.
angiogenesis; fibroblast growth factor (FGF); fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR); non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF); platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)
Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, are at increased risk of developing colon cancer, confirming that chronic inflammation predisposes to development of tumors. Moreover, it appears that colon cancers that do not develop as a complication of inflammatory bowel disease are also driven by inflammation, because it has been shown that regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) lowers the mortality from sporadic colon cancer and results in regression of adenomas in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) patients, who inherit a mutation in the Apc gene. Colorectal cancer therefore represents a paradigm for the link between inflammation and cancer.
Inflammation is driven by soluble factors, cytokines and chemokines, which can be produced by tumor cells themselves or, more often, by the cells recruited to the tumor microenvironment. Inflammatory cytokines and chemokines promote growth of tumor cells, perturb their differentiation, and support the survival of cancer cells.
Tumor cells become addicted to inflammatory stroma, suggesting that the tumor microenvironment represents an attractive target for preventive and therapeutic strategies. Proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNFα, IL-6 and IL-1β, or transcription factors that are required for signaling by these cytokines, including NF-κB and STATs, are indeed emerging as potential targets for anticancer therapy. TNFα antagonists are in phase I/II clinical trials and have been shown to be well tolerated in patients with solid tumors, and IL-1β antagonists that ameliorate several inflammatory disorders characterized by excessive IL-1β production, will likely follow. Therefore, development of drugs that normalize the tumor microenvironment or interrupt the crosstalk between the tumor and the tumor microenvironment is an important approach to the management of cancer.
inflammation; colon cancer; TNF; IL1; NFκB; STAT; TRAIL
Glioblastoma (glioblastoma multiforme; GBM; WHO Grade IV) accounts for the majority of primary malignant brain tumors in adults. Amplification and mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene represent signature genetic abnormalities encountered in GBM. A range of potential therapies that target EGFR or its mutant constitutively active form, ΔEGFR, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, and RNA-based agents, are currently in development or in clinical trials for the treatment of GBM. Data from experimental studies evaluating these therapies have been very promising; however, their efficacy in the clinic has so far been limited by both upfront and acquired drug resistance. This review discusses the current status of anti-EGFR agents and the recurrent problem of resistance to these agents that strongly indicates that a multiple target approach will provide a more favorable future for these types of targeted therapies in GBM.
Epidermal growth factor receptor; EGFR-targeted therapy; Glioblastoma; therapeutic resistance
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy failed to deliver decisive results in the systemic treatment of metastatic
renal cell carcinoma. Agents representing the current standards operate on members of the RAS signal transduction
pathway. Sunitinib (targeting vascular endothelial growth factor), temsirolimus (an inhibitor of the mammalian target of
rapamycin - mTOR) and pazopanib (a multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor) are used in the first line of
recurrent disease. A combination of bevacizumab (inhibition of angiogenesis) plus interferon α is also first-line therapy.
Second line options include everolimus (another mTOR inhibitor) as well as tyrosine kinase inhibitors for patients who
previously received cytokine. We review the results of clinical investigations focusing on survival benefit for these agents.
Additionally, trials focusing on new agents, including the kinase inhibitors axitinib, tivozanib, dovitinib and cediranib and
monoclonal antibodies including velociximab are also discussed. In addition to published outcomes we also include
follow-up and interim results of ongoing clinical trials. In summary, we give a comprehensive overview of current
advances in the systemic treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Biomarkers; everolimus; renal cell cancer; sunitinib; temsirolimus; tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
In an effort to develop strategies that improve the efficacy of existing anticancer agents, we have conducted a siRNA-based RNAi screen to identify genes that, when targeted by siRNA, improve the activity of the topoisomerase I (Top1) poison camptothecin (CPT). Screening was conducted using a set of siRNAs corresponding to over 400 apoptosis-related genes in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. During the course of these studies, we identified the silencing of MAP3K7 as a significant enhancer of CPT activity. Follow-up analysis of caspase activity and caspase-dependent phosphorylation of histone H2AX demonstrated that the silencing of MAP3K7 enhanced CPT-associated apoptosis. Silencing MAP3K7 also sensitized cells to additional compounds, including CPT clinical analogs. This activity was not restricted to MDA-MB-231 cells, as the silencing of MAP3K7 also sensitized the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-468 and HCT-116 colon cancer cells. However, MAP3K7 silencing did not affect compound activity in the comparatively normal mammary epithelial cell line MCF10A, as well as some additional tumorigenic lines. MAP3K7 encodes the TAK1 kinase, an enzyme that is central to the regulation of many processes associated with the growth of cancer cells (e.g. NF-κB, JNK, and p38 signaling). An analysis of TAK1 signaling pathway members revealed that the silencing of TAB2 also sensitizes MDA-MB-231 and HCT-116 cells towards CPT. These findings may offer avenues towards lowering the effective doses of Top1 inhibitors in cancer cells and, in doing so, broaden their application.
RNAi; siRNA; Screen; Camptothecin; TAK1; MAP3K7; TAB2; TRAF6
KP772 is a new lanthanum complex containing three 1,10-phenathroline molecules. Recently, we have demonstrated that the promising in vitro and in vivo anticancer properties of KP772 are based on p53-independent G0/G1 arrest and apoptosis induction. A National Cancer Institute (NCI) screen revealed significant correlation of KP772 activity with that of the ribonucleotide reductase (RR) inhibitor hydroxyurea (HU). Consequently, this study aimed to investigate whether KP772 targets DNA synthesis in tumor cells by RR inhibition. Indeed, KP772 treatment led to significant reduction of cytidine incorporation paralleled by a decrease of deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) pools. This strongly indicates disruption of RR activity. Moreover, KP772 protected against oxidative stress, suggesting that this drug might interfere with RR by interaction with the tyrosyl radical in subunit R2. Additionally, several observations (e.g. increase of transferrin receptor expression and protective effect of iron preloading) indicate that KP772 interferes with cellular iron homeostasis. Accordingly, co-incubation of Fe(II) with KP772 led to generation of a coloured iron complex (Fe-KP772) in cell free systems. In electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements of mouse R2 subunits, KP772 disrupted the tyrosyl radical while Fe-KP772 had no significant effects. Moreover, coincubation of KP772 with iron-loaded R2 led to formation of Fe-KP772 suggesting chelation of RR-bound Fe(II). Summarizing, our data prove that KP772 inhibits RR by targeting the iron centre of the R2 subunit. As also Fe-KP772 as well as free lanthanum exert significant -though less pronounced- cytotoxic/static activities, additional mechanisms are likely to synergise with RR inhibition in the promising anticancer activity of KP772.
Lanthanum; ribonucleotide reductase; 1,10-phenanthroline; cell cycle arrest; anticancer activity; KP772
It is strongly established by numerous studies that oxidative stress-induced inflammation is one of the major causative agents in a variety of cancers. Various factors such as bacterial, viral, parasitic infections, chemical irritants, carcinogens are involved in the initiation of oxidative stress-mediated inflammation. Chronic and persistent inflammation promotes the formation of cancerous tumors. Recent investigations strongly suggest that aldose reductase [AR; AKR1B1], a member of aldo-keto reductase superfamily of proteins, is the mediator of inflammatory signals induced by growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, carcinogens etc. Further, AR reduced product(s) of lipid derived aldehydes and their metabolites such as glutathionyl 1,4-dihydroxynonanol (GS-DHN) have been shown to be involved in the activation of transcription factors such as NF-κB and AP-1 which transcribe the genes of inflammatory cytokines. The increased inflammatory cytokines and growth factors promote cell proliferation, a main feature involved in the tumorigenesis process. Inhibition of AR has been shown to prevent cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo models. In this review, we have described the possible association between AR with oxidative stress- and inflammation- initiated carcinogenesis. A thorough understanding of the role of AR in the inflammation – associated cancers could lead to the use of AR inhibitors as novel chemotherapeutic agents against cancer.
Aldose reductase; Oxidative stress; Inflammation; Cancer and NF-kB
Replication-conditional, oncolytic adenoviruses are emerging as powerful tools in the warfare on cancer. The ability to modify cell-specific infectivity or tissue-specific replication machinery, as well as the possibility of modifying viral-cellular protein interactions with cellular checkpoint regulators are emerging as new trends in the design of safer and more effective adenoviruses. The integration of oncolytic adenoviruses with mainstream cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, continues to yield significant therapeutic benefits. Adenoviruses can be armed with prodrug-activating enzymes as well as tumor suppressor genes or anti-angiogenic factors, thus providing for enhanced anti-tumor therapy and reduced host toxicity. Thus far, encouraging results have been obtained from extensive preclinical and human clinical studies. However, there is a need to improve adenoviral vectors to overcome unresolved problems facing this promising anti-cancer agent, chief among these issues is the adenovirus-triggered immune response threatening its efficacy. The continued expansion of the knowledge base of adenovirus biology will likely lead to further improvements in the design of the ideal oncolytic adenoviruses for cancer treatment.
conditionally-replicating adenoviruses; prodrug activating enzymes; cancer gene therapy; oncolytic viruses