Expression of carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA9) is associated with poor prognosis and increased tumor aggressiveness and does not always correlate with HIF-1α expression. Presently, we analyzed the regulation of CA9 expression during hypoxia by HIF-1α, Notch3, and the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) in breast carcinoma cells. Both HIF-1α and Notch3 were absolutely required for the expression of CA9 mRNA, protein, and reporter. Reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation of HIF-1α, Notch3 intracellular domain (NICD3), and pVHL demonstrated their association. The presence of common consensus prolyl hydroxylation and pVHL binding motifs (L(XY)LAP);LLPLAP2191 suggested an oxygen-dependent regulation for NICD3. However, unlike the HIF-1α protein, NICD3 protein levels were not modulated with hypoxia or hypoxia-mimetic agents. Surprisingly, mutations of the common prolyl hydroxylation and pVHL binding domain lead to the loss of CA9 mRNA, protein, and reporter activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated the association of NICD3, HIF-1α, and pVHL at the CA9 promoter. Further, the NICD3 mutant defective in prolyl hydroxylation and subsequent pVHL binding caused a reduction in cell proliferation of breast carcinoma cells. We show here for the first time that the interaction of HIF-1α with NICD3 is important for the regulation of CA9 expression. These findings suggest that although CA9 is a hypoxia-responsive gene, its expression is modulated by the interaction of HIF-1α, Notch3, and VHL proteins. Targeting the expression of CA9 by targeting upstream regulators could be useful in cancer/stem cell therapy.
hypoxia; Notch3; CA9; PBX1; VHL
Glioblastoma multiformes (GBMs) are extensively heterogeneous at both cellular and molecular levels. Current therapeutic strategies include targeting of key signaling molecules using pharmacological inhibitors in combination with genotoxic agents such as temozolomide. In spite of all efforts, the prognosis of glioma patients remains dismal. Therefore, a proper understanding of individual molecular pathways responsible for the progression of GBM is necessary. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway is probably the most significant signaling pathway clinically implicated in glioma. Not surprisingly, anti-EGFR therapies mostly prevail for therapeutic purposes. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is well implicated in multiple tumors; however, its role in glioma has only recently started to emerge. We give a concise account of the current understanding of the role of both these pathways in glioma. Last, taking evidences from a limited literature, we outline a number of points where these pathways intersect each other and put forward the possibility of combinatorially targeting them for treatment of glioma.
glioma; signaling; EGFR; β-catenin; crosstalk
NKX3.1 is a tumor suppressor down-regulated in early prostate cancers. A SNP (rs2228013), which represents a polymorphic NKX3.1(C154T) coding for a variant protein NKX3.1(R52C), is present in 10% of the population and is related to prostatic enlargement and prostate cancer. We investigated rs2228013 in prostate cancer risk for 937 prostate cancer cases and 1,086 age-matched controls from a nested case-control study within the prospective Physicians’ Health Study (PHS) and among 798 cases and 527 controls retrospectively collected in the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer Study of the Victoria Cancer Council (RFPCS). We also investigated the interaction between serum IGF-I levels and NKX3.1 genotype in the populations from PHS and RFPCS. In the PHS, we found no overall association between the variant T allele in rs2228013 in NKX3.1 and prostate cancer risk (odd ratio = 1.25; 95% confidence interval = 0.92-1.71). A subgroup analysis for cases diagnosed before age 70 showed an increased risk (relative risk = 1.55; 95% confidence interval = 1.04-2.31) of overall prostate cancer. In this age-group, the risk of metastatic cancer at diagnosis or of fatal cancer was even higher in carriers of the T allele (relative risk = 2.15; 95% confidence interval = 1.00-4.63). These associations were not replicated in the RFPCS. Serum IGF-I levels were found to be a risk factor for prostate cancer in both study populations. The wild type NKX3.1 protein can induce IGFBP-3 expression in vitro. We report that variant NKX3.1 cannot induce IGFBP-3 expression, but the NKX3.1 genotype does not modify the association between serum IGF-I levels and prostate cancer risk.
NKX3.1; prostate cancer; IGF-1; IGFBP-3
The vast majority of cancer-related deaths are attributable to metastasis. Effective treatment of metastatic disease will be improved by a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms contributing to this phenomenon. Much of the work in this field has focused on metastasis of carcinomas, tumors of epithelial origin, while metastasis of sarcomas, tumors of mesenchymal origin, remains poorly understood. Experimental evidence from studies in carcinomas, coupled with clinical observations, highlights the importance of both epithelial and mesenchymal characteristics in these cancer cells that make them competent for metastasis. We set out to test if similar cellular plasticity contributes to sarcoma metastasis. We found that the transcription factor, ZEB2, repressed epithelial gene expression in Ewing sarcoma cells, and this, in turn, repressed the epithelial phenotype. When ZEB2 was experimentally reduced in these cells, epithelial characteristics including decreased migratory ability and cytoskeleton rearrangements were observed. Furthermore, ZEB2 reduction in Ewing sarcoma cells resulted in a decreased metastatic potential using a mouse metastasis model. Our data show that Ewing sarcoma cells may have more epithelial plasticity than previously appreciated. This coupled with previous data demonstrating Ewing sarcoma cells also have mesenchymal features primes these cells to successfully metastasize. This is clinically relevant for 2 important reasons. First, this may offer a therapeutic opportunity to induce characteristics of one cell type or the other depending on the stage of the disease. Second, and more broadly, this raises questions about the cell of origin in Ewing sarcoma and may inform future animal models of the disease.
Ewing sarcoma; EWS/FLI; EMT; metastasis; ZEB2
Hypercalcemia remains a major impediment to the clinical use of vitamin D in cancer treatment. Approaches to remove hypercalcemia and development of nonhypercalcemic agents can lead to the development of vitamin D–based therapies for treatment of various cancers. In this report, in vitro and in vivo anticancer efficacy, safety, and details of vitamin D receptor (VDR) interactions of PT19c, a novel nonhypercalcemic vitamin D derived anticancer agent, are described. PT19c was synthesized by bromoacetylation of PTAD-ergocalciferol adduct. Broader growth inhibitory potential of PT19c was evaluated in a panel of chemoresistant breast, renal, ovarian, lung, colon, leukemia, prostate, melanoma, and central nervous system cancers cell line types of NCI60 cell line panel. Interactions of PT19c with VDR were determined by a VDR transactivation assay in a VDR overexpressing VDR-UAS-bla-HEK293 cells, in vitro VDR-coregulator binding, and molecular docking with VDR-ligand binding domain (VDR-LBD) in comparison with calcitriol. Acute toxicity of PT19c was determined in nontumored mice. In vivo antitumor efficacy of PT19c was determined via ovarian and endometrial cancer xenograft experiments. Effect of PT19c on actin filament organization and focal adhesion formation was examined by microscopy. PT19c treatment inhibited growth of chemoresistant NCI60 cell lines (log10GI50 ~ −4.05 to −6.73). PT19c (10 mg/kg, 35 days) reduced growth of ovarian and endometrial xenograft tumor without hypercalcemia. PT19c exerted no acute toxicity up to 400 mg/kg (QDx1) in animals. PT19c showed weak VDR antagonism, lack of VDR binding, and inverted spatial accommodation in VDR-LBD. PT19c caused actin filament dysfunction and inhibited focal adhesion in SKOV-3 cells. PT19c is a VDR independent nonhypercalcemic vitamin D–derived agent that showed noteworthy safety and efficacy in ovarian and endometrial cancer animal models and inhibited actin organization and focal adhesion in ovarian cancer cells.
vitamin D; hypercalcemia; antitumor efficacy; ovarian cancer; endometrial cancer
Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) catalyzes the rate-limiting step of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) synthesis. Both intracellular and extracellular Nampt (iNampt and eNampt) levels are increased in several human malignancies and some studies demonstrate increased iNampt in more aggressive/invasive tumors and in tumor metastases. Several different molecular targets have been identified that promote carcinogenesis following iNampt overexpression, including SirT1, CtBP, and PARP-1. Additionally, eNampt is elevated in several human cancers and is often associated with a higher tumor stage and worse prognoses. Here we review the roles of Nampt in malignancy, some of the known mechanisms by which it promotes carcinogenesis, and discuss the possibility of employing Nampt inhibitors in cancer treatment.
nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; human cancer
Aberrant activation of the RAS signaling pathway contributes to nearly all human cancers, including gliomas. To determine the dependence of high-grade gliomas on this signaling pathway, we developed a doxycycline-regulated KRas glioma mouse model. Using this model we previously demonstrated that inhibition of KRas expression in gliomas induced by activated KRas and Akt results in complete tumor regression. We have also shown that, in the context of Ink4a/Arf loss, abrogation of KRas signaling is sufficient to decrease tumor burden but resistance ensues. In this study, we sought to determine the effect of activated Akt signaling in combination with activated KRas and loss of Ink4a/Arf on the growth and recurrence of brain tumors following suppression of KRas expression. We observed significant tumor formation in Ink4a/Arflox/lox mice injected with retroviruses containing tetracycline responsive element (TRE)-KRas, Tet-off, Akt, and Cre. Abrogation of KRas signaling resulted in significant tumor regression; however, resistance developed after a relatively short latency. Tumor recurrence occurred more rapidly and the tumors were more aggressive in the presence of activated Akt signaling compared with loss of Ink4a/Arf alone suggesting that this pathway contributes to tumor progression in this context.
Akt; Ras; Ink4a/Arf; glioma; mouse
MAP3K1 is a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) family of serine/threonine kinases. MAP3K1 regulates JNK activation and is unique among human kinases in that it also encodes an E3 ligase domain that ubiquitylates c-Jun and ERK1/2. Full length MAP3K1 regulates cell migration and contributes to pro-survival signaling while its caspase 3-mediated cleavage generates a C-terminal kinase domain that promotes apoptosis. The critical function of MAP3K1 in cell fate decisions suggests that it may be a target for deregulation in cancer. Recent large-scale genomic studies have revealed that MAP3K1 copy number loss and somatic missense or nonsense mutations are observed in a significant number of different cancers, being most prominent in luminal breast cancer. The alteration of MAP3K1 in diverse cancer types demonstrates the importance of defining phenotypes for possible therapeutic targeting of tumor cell vulnerabilities created when MAP3K1 function is lost or gained.
MAP3K; MEKK; protein kinase; apoptosis
Ect2, a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF), is atypical among RhoGEFs in its predominantly nuclear localization in interphase cells. One current model suggests that Ect2 mislocalization drives cellular transformation by promoting aberrant activation of cytoplasmic Rho family GTPase substrates. However, in ovarian cancers, where Ect2 is both amplified and overexpressed at the mRNA level, we observed that the protein is highly expressed and predominantly nuclear and that nuclear but not cytoplasmic Ect2 increases with advanced disease. Knockdown of Ect2 in ovarian cancer cell lines impaired their anchorage-independent growth without affecting their growth on plastic. Restoration of Ect2 expression rescued the anchorage-independent growth defect, but not if either the DH catalytic domain or the nuclear localization sequences of Ect2 were mutated. These results suggested a novel mechanism whereby Ect2 could drive transformation in ovarian cancer cells by acting as a RhoGEF specifically within the nucleus. Interestingly, Ect2 had an intrinsically distinct GTPase specificity profile in the nucleus versus the cytoplasm. Nuclear Ect2 bound preferentially to Rac1, while cytoplasmic Ect2 bound to RhoA but not Rac. Consistent with nuclear activation of endogenous Rac, Ect2 overexpression was sufficient to recruit Rac effectors to the nucleus, a process that required a functional Ect2 catalytic domain. Furthermore, expression of active nuclearly targeted Rac1 rescued the defect in transformed growth caused by Ect2 knockdown. Our work suggests a novel mechanism of Ect2-driven transformation, identifies subcellular localization as a regulator of GEF specificity, and implicates activation of nuclear Rac1 in cellular transformation.
Ect2; RhoGEF; Rac; ovarian cancer
Mutation or aberrant splicing can interrupt gene expression. Tumor suppressor Bax is one of the susceptible genes prone to microsatellite frameshifting mutations in coding regions. As a result, tumors exhibiting microsatellite instability (MSI) often present a “Bax-negative” phenotype. We previously reported that some Bax-negative cells in fact contain a functional Bax isoform (BaxΔ2), generated when unique alternative splicing “salvages” the shifted reading frame introduced by a microsatellite mutation. Here we compared Bax alternative splicing profiles in a range of cell lines and primary tumors with and without Bax microsatellite mutations. We found that MSI tumors exhibit a high Bax alternative splicing frequency, especially in exon 2, and produce a family of alternatively spliced isoforms that retain many important Bax functional domains. Surprisingly, these BaxΔ2 family isoforms can rescue Bax from all common microsatellite frameshift mutations. Production of BaxΔ2 requires specific cis mutations, while trans components are not cell-type specific. Furthermore, all BaxΔ2 family isoforms are more potent cell death inducers than the parental Bax without directly targeting mitochondria. These results indicate that the BaxΔ2 family can potentially salvage Bax tumor suppressor expression otherwise lost to mutation.
microsatellite mutation; Bax; tumor suppressor; microsatellite instability; alternative splicing
Deregulation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling occurs frequently in a variety of human cancers, yet the exact role(s) of JNK deregulation in cancer cell biology remains to be fully elucidated. Our recent demonstration that the activity of JNK is required not only for self-renewal of glioma stem cells but also for their tumor initiation has, however, identified a new role for JNK in the control of the stemness and tumor-initiating capacity of cancer cells. Significantly, transient JNK inhibition was sufficient to cause sustained loss of the tumor-initiating capacity of glioma stem cells, suggesting that the phenotype of “lost tumor-initiating capacity” may be as stable as the differentiated state and that the tumor-initiating capacity might therefore be under the control of JNK through an epigenetic mechanism that also governs stemness and differentiation. Here, in this article, we review the role and mechanism of JNK in the control of this “stemness-associated tumor-initiating capacity” (STATIC), a new hypothetical concept we introduce in this review article. Since the idea of STATIC is essentially applicable to both cancer types that do and do not follow the cancer stem cell hypothesis, we also give consideration to the possible involvement of JNK-mediated control of STATIC in a wide range of human cancers in which JNK is aberrantly activated. Theoretically, successful targeting of STATIC through JNK could contribute to long-term control of cancer. Issues to be considered before clinical application of therapies targeting this JNK-STATIC axis are also discussed.
cancer stem cell; epigenetic control; glioblastoma; JNK; stemness; tumor-initiating capacity
Disseminated cancer cells rely on intricate interactions among diverse cell types in the tumor-associated stroma, vasculature, and immune system for survival and growth. Ubiquitous expression of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (jnk) genes in various cell types permits their control of metastasis. In early stages of metastasis, JNKs affect tumor-associated inflammation and angiogenesis as well as tumor cell migration and intravasation. Within the tumor stroma, JNKs are essential for the release of growth factors that promote epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tumor cells. JNK3, the least ubiquitous isoform, facilitates angiogenesis by increasing endothelial cell migration. Importantly, JNK expression in tumor cells integrates stromal signals to promote tumor cell invasion. However, JNK isoforms differentially regulate migration toward the endothelial barrier. Once tumor cells enter the bloodstream, JNKs increase circulating tumor cell (CTC) survival and homing to tissues. By promoting fibrosis, JNKs improve CTC attachment to the endothelium. Once anchored, JNKs stimulate EMT to facilitate tumor cell extravasation and enhance the secretion of endothelial barrier disrupters. Tumor cells attract barrier-disrupting macrophages by JNK-dependent transcription of macrophage chemoattractant molecules. In the secondary tissue, JNKs are instrumental in the premetastatic niche and stimulate tumor cell proliferation. JNK expression in cancer cells stimulates tissue-remodeling macrophages to improve tumor colonization. However, in T-cells, JNKs alter cytokine production that increases tumor surveillance and inhibits the recruitment of tissue-remodeling macrophages. Therapeutically targeting JNKs for metastatic disease is attractive considering their promotion of metastasis; however, specific JNK tools are needed to determine their definitive actions within the context of the entire metastatic cascade.
JNK; metastasis; cancer
Ionizing radiation, like a variety of other cellular stress factors, can activate or down-regulate multiple signaling pathways, leading to either increased cell death or increased cell proliferation. Modulation of the signaling process, however, depends on the cell type, radiation dose, and culture conditions. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway transduces signals from the cell membrane to the nucleus in response to a variety of different stimuli and participates in various intracellular signaling pathways that control a wide spectrum of cellular processes, including growth, differentiation, and stress responses, and is known to have a key role in cancer progression. Multiple signal transduction pathways stimulated by ionizing radiation are mediated by the MAPK superfamily including the extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAPK. The ERK pathway, activated by mitogenic stimuli such as growth factors, cytokines, and phorbol esters, plays a major role in regulating cell growth, survival, and differentiation. In contrast, JNK and p38 MAPK are weakly activated by growth factors but respond strongly to stress signals including tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1, ionizing and ultraviolet radiation, hyperosmotic stress, and chemotherapeutic drugs. Activation of JNK and p38 MAPK by stress stimuli is strongly associated with apoptotic cell death. MAPK signaling is also known to potentially influence tumor cell radiosensitivity because of their activity associated with radiation-induced DNA damage response. This review will discuss the MAPK signaling pathways and their roles in cellular radiation responses.
MAP kinases; radiation; signaling pathways
Mixed lineage kinases (MLKs) are members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) family and are reported to activate MAP kinase pathways. There have been at least 9 members of the MLK family identified to date, although the physiological functions of all the family members are yet unknown. However, MLKs in general have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases. Recent reports suggest that some of the MLK members could play a role in cancer via modulating cell migration, invasion, cell cycle, and apoptosis. This review article will first describe the biology of MLK members and then discuss the current progress that relates to their functions in cancer.
MLKs; JNK; cancer; MAPKs; phosphorylation
The activity of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was initially described as ultraviolet- and oncogene-induced kinase activity on c-Jun. Shortly after this initial discovery, JNK activation was reported for a wider variety of DNA-damaging agents, including γ-irradiation and chemotherapeutic compounds. As the DNA damage response mechanisms were progressively uncovered, the mechanisms governing the activation of JNK upon genotoxic stresses became better understood. In particular, a recent set of papers links the physical breakage in DNA, the activation of the transcription factor NF-κB, the secretion of TNF-α, and an autocrine activation of the JNK pathway. In this review, we will focus on the pathway that is initiated by a physical break in the DNA helix, leading to JNK activation and the resultant cellular consequences. The implications of these findings will be discussed in the context of cancer therapy with DNA-damaging agents.
DNA damage; UV irradiation; JNK
The receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) serves as an adaptor for a number of proteins along the MAPK, protein kinase C, and Src signaling pathways. The abundance and near ubiquitous expression of RACK1 reflect its role in coordinating signaling molecules for many critical biological processes, from mRNA translation to cell motility to cell survival and death. Complete deficiency of Rack1 is embryonic lethal, but the recent development of genetic Rack1 hypomorphic mice has highlighted the central role that RACK1 plays in cell movement and protein synthesis. This review focuses on the importance of RACK1 in these processes and places the recent work in the larger context of understanding RACK1 function.
RACK1; translation; ribosomes; stress response; cell migration; cancer
c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) was discovered almost 20 years ago as the protein kinase responsible for phosphorylating c-Jun at Ser-63 and Ser-73. These sites had previously been demonstrated to be essential for the stimulation of c-Jun activity and for cooperation with Ha-ras in oncogenic transformation. This led to the idea that JNK was a positive regulator of cellular transformation. However, the analysis of jnk gene deletion in various mouse models of cancer has produced conflicting findings, with some studies supporting the pro-oncogenic function of JNK and others providing evidence that JNK acts as a tumor suppressor. This review will discuss how these unexpected findings have increased our understanding of the role of JNK signaling in cancer and have provided a source of new working hypotheses.
MAPK; JNK; MKK; c-Jun; cancer; Ras
Multiple growth factors and extracellular signals can lead to activation of the c-Jun amino N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) pathway. Activation of JNK can in turn lead to a multitude of downstream changes in phosphorylation and transcriptional activation within the cell. Mapping the upstream and downstream connectivity within the JNK network reveals an enrichment of bi-fan and feed-forward network motifs formed immediately upstream and downstream of JNK. In addition, negative feedback loops also exist through transcriptional activation of phosphatases that target the JNK pathway. The combinations of these motifs allow flexibility and tunability in signal integration and processing within the JNK network and may confer the wide range of biological responses that can be regulated by JNK activation. In this review, we highlight the pathways and motifs leading to JNK activation and its downstream signaling as well as the complexity in isoforms within this network.
networks; motifs; JNK pathway; signaling
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) mediate a wide variety of cellular behaviors in response to extracellular stimuli. One of the main subgroups, the p38 MAP kinases, has been implicated in a wide range of complex biologic processes, such as cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell death, cell migration, and invasion. Dysregulation of p38 MAPK levels in patients are associated with advanced stages and short survival in cancer patients (e.g., prostate, breast, bladder, liver, and lung cancer). p38 MAPK plays a dual role as a regulator of cell death, and it can either mediate cell survival or cell death depending not only on the type of stimulus but also in a cell type specific manner. In addition to modulating cell survival, an essential role of p38 MAPK in modulation of cell migration and invasion offers a distinct opportunity to target this pathway with respect to tumor metastasis. The specific function of p38 MAPK appears to depend not only on the cell type but also on the stimuli and/or the isoform that is activated. p38 MAPK signaling pathway is activated in response to diverse stimuli and mediates its function by components downstream of p38. Extrapolation of the knowledge gained from laboratory findings is essential to address the clinical significance of p38 MAPK signaling pathways. The goal of this review is to provide an overview on recent progress made in defining the functions of p38 MAPK pathways with respect to solid tumor biology and generate testable hypothesis with respect to the role of p38 MAPK as an attractive target for intervention of solid tumors.
mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK); p38 signaling pathway; solid tumors
CRK (c-Crk) as an adaptor protein is involved in several oncogenic signal transduction pathways, conveying oncogenic signals to its downstream effectors and thereby affecting multiple cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, and migration. For example, we have observed that CRK expression and phosphorylation influence the invasiveness of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. To intervene in CRK signaling pathway, we examined whether CRK protein domains can be used as therapeutic tools to interrupt CRK signaling, thus influencing the biological behavior of NSCLC cells. For this purpose, Src Homology domains of CRK-I (i.e., SH2 and SH3N domains) were overexpressed in H157, Rh2, and A549 cells. CRK-SH3N domain expression induced epithelial morphology in H157 cells and enhanced epithelial morphology of A549 and Rh2 cells as compared to cells transfected with CRK-SH2 domain or empty vector. In addition, CRK-SH3N domain expression significantly decreased the motility and invasiveness of A549 and H157 cells. Furthermore, CRK-SH3N domain expression disrupted the interaction of CRK-II with DOCK180. In summary, these data provide evidence that the CRK-SH3N domain can be used to influence the malignant phenotype of NSCLC cells and also reduce the metastatic potential of these cells.
cell adhesion; cell invasion; c-Crk; lung cancer; signal transduction; protein domains
Although the expression of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) is altered in hepatocellular cancer (HCC), their biological effects are poorly defined. We have identified lncRNA with highly conserved sequences, ultraconserved lncRNA (ucRNA) that are transcribed and altered in expression in HCC. Extracellular vesicles, such as exosomes and microvesicles, are released from tumor cells and can transfer biologically active proteins and RNA across cells. We sought to identify the role of vesicle-mediated transfer of ucRNA as a mechanism by which these novel lncRNA could influence intercellular signaling with potential for environmental modulation of tumor cell behavior. HCC-derived extracellular vesicles could be isolated from cells in culture and taken up by adjacent cells. The expression of several ucRNA was dramatically altered within extracellular vesicles compared to that in donor cells. The most highly significantly expressed ucRNA in HCC cell–derived extracellular vesicles was cloned and identified as a 1,198-bp ucRNA, termed TUC339. TUC339 was functionally implicated in modulating tumor cell growth and adhesion. Suppression of TUC339 by siRNA reduced HCC cell proliferation, clonogenic growth, and growth in soft agar. Thus, intercellular transfer of TUC339 represents a unique signaling mechanism by which tumor cells can promote HCC growth and spread. These findings expand the potential roles of ucRNA in HCC, support the existence of selective mechanisms for lncRNA export from cells, and implicate extracellular vesicle–mediated transfer of lncRNA as a mechanism by which tumor cells can modulate their local cellular environment. Intercellular transfer of functionally active RNA molecules by extracellular vesicles provides a mechanism that enables cells to exert genetic influences on other cells within the microenvironment.
liver cancer; extracellular vesicles; gene expression; RNA genes; paracrine signaling
Cutaneous fatty acid–binding protein (C-FABP), a cancer promoter and metastasis inducer, is overexpressed in the majority of prostatic carcinomas. Investigation of molecular mechanisms involved in tumor-promoting activity of C-FABP has established that there is a fatty acid–initiated signaling pathway leading to malignant progression of prostatic cancer cells. Increased C-FABP expression plays an important role in this novel signaling pathway. Thus, when C-FABP expression is increased, excessive amounts of fatty acids are transported into the nucleus where they act as signaling molecules to stimulate their nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). The activated PPARγ then modulates the expression of its downstream target regulatory genes, which eventually lead to enhanced tumor expansion and aggressiveness caused by an overgrowth of cells with reduced apoptosis and an increased angiogenesis.
C-FABP; prostate cancer; fatty acid-binding; PPARγ; tumorigenicity