Gene Summary

Gene:ABCB5; ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 5
Aliases: ABCB5beta, EST422562, ABCB5alpha
Summary:ABCB5 belongs to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily of integral membrane proteins. These proteins participate in ATP-dependent transmembrane transport of structurally diverse molecules ranging from small ions, sugars, and peptides to more complex organic molecules (Chen et al., 2005 [PubMed 15760339]).[supplied by OMIM, Mar 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ATP-binding cassette sub-family B member 5
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ABCB5 (cancer-related)

Fukaya M, Nakamura S, Hegazy MEF, et al.
Cytotoxicity of sesquiterpene alkaloids from Nuphar plants toward sensitive and drug-resistant cell lines.
Food Funct. 2018; 9(12):6279-6286 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multi-drug resistance (MDR) is a critical problem in cancer chemotherapy. MDR causes the overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters and mutations in tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. To tackle this issue, in this study, we focused on Nuphar plants, which have been traditionally used as food. Sesquiterpene alkaloids (1-3) were isolated from N. japonicum and dimeric sesquiterpene thioalkaloids (4-10) were isolated from N. pumilum. P-glycoprotein-overexpressing CEM/ADR5000 cells were cross-resistant to 6,6'-dihydroxythiobinupharidine (10). Using in silico molecular docking, we calculated the binding energies and simulated the interactions of these compounds with the corresponding amino acid residues at the binding site of P-gp. In addition, we investigated the cytotoxicity of these compounds towards cell lines overexpressing other ABC transporters (BCRP, ABCB5), cell lines with a knocked out tumor suppressor gene TP53 or cell lines overexpressing a deletion-activated EGFR oncogene. These cell lines were sensitive or only minimally cross-resistant to these compounds compared with their corresponding wild-type cell lines.

Guo Q, Grimmig T, Gonzalez G, et al.
ATP-binding cassette member B5 (ABCB5) promotes tumor cell invasiveness in human colorectal cancer.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(28):11166-11178 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ABC member B5 (ABCB5) mediates multidrug resistance (MDR) in diverse malignancies and confers clinically relevant 5-fluorouracil resistance to CD133-expressing cancer stem cells in human colorectal cancer (CRC). Because of its recently identified roles in normal stem cell maintenance, we hypothesized that ABCB5 might also serve MDR-independent functions in CRC. Here, in a prospective clinical study of 142 CRC patients, we found that ABCB5 mRNA transcripts previously reported not to be significantly expressed in healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells are significantly enriched in patient peripheral blood specimens compared with non-CRC controls and correlate with CRC disease progression. In human-to-mouse CRC tumor xenotransplantation models that exhibited circulating tumor mRNA, we observed that cancer-specific ABCB5 knockdown significantly reduced detection of these transcripts, suggesting that the knockdown inhibited tumor invasiveness. Mechanistically, this effect was associated with inhibition of expression and downstream signaling of AXL receptor tyrosine kinase (AXL), a proinvasive molecule herein shown to be produced by ABCB5-positive CRC cells. Importantly, rescue of AXL expression in ABCB5-knockdown CRC tumor cells restored tumor-specific transcript detection in the peripheral blood of xenograft recipients, indicating that ABCB5 regulates CRC invasiveness, at least in part, by enhancing AXL signaling. Our results implicate ABCB5 as a critical determinant of CRC invasiveness and suggest that ABCB5 blockade might represent a strategy in CRC therapy, even independently of ABCB5's function as an MDR mediator.

Lang Z, Wu Y, Pan X, et al.
Study of differential gene expression between invasive multifocal/ multicentric and unifocal breast cancer.
J BUON. 2018 Jan-Feb; 23(1):134-142 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate the differential gene expression pattern between invasive multifocal/multicentric (MMBC) and unifocal breast cancer (UFBC) with cDNA array and to discover the potential outlier genes associated with the incidence of MMBC and also to provide a guidance for clinical treatment and prognosis prediction.
METHODS: This retrospective study analyzed the gene expression pattern alteration in breast cancer. We collected 156 MMBC (136 cases with 2 foci, 20 cases with 3 foci) and 130 UFBC samples from patients hospitalized in Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, from January 2005 to December 2015. The outlier genes were screened by cDNA expression microarray and validated by RT-PCR.
RESULTS: 18 overexpressed and 22 underexpressed genes were identified in the differential analysis, including family genes ABCC11, ABCB5 and PRODH, PROL1. Noteworthily, ABCC11 was significantly upregulated, while ABCB3 was downregulated, which were confirmed by RT-PCR results.
CONCLUSION: The differential expression pattern of ABCC11 and ABCB5 genes may serve as outliers, potentially associated with incidence of MMBS.

Nair RM, Balla MM, Khan I, et al.
In vitro characterization of CD133
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):779 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Retinoblastoma (Rb), the most common childhood intraocular malignant tumor, is reported to have cancer stem cells (CSCs) similar to other tumors. Our previous investigation in primary tumors identified the small sized cells with low CD133 (Prominin-1) and high CD44 (Hyaluronic acid receptor) expression to be putative Rb CSCs using flow cytometry (FSC
METHODS: The cultured Rb Y79 cells were evaluated for surface markers by flow cytometry and CD133 sorted cells (CD133
RESULTS: Rb Y79 cell line shared the profile (CD133, CD90, CXCR4 and ABCB1) of primary tumors except for CD44 expression. The CD133
CONCLUSIONS: This study validates the observation from our earlier primary tumor study that CSC properties in Rb Y79 cell line are endowed within the CD133

Prunk Zdravković T, Zdravković B, Zdravković M, et al.
In-vitro study of the influence of octocrylene on a selected metastatic melanoma cell line.
G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2019; 154(2):197-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Octocrylene (OCT) is one of the most widespread chemical UV filters used in sunscreens and cosmetic products. Despite the use of sunscreens and personal care products over decades, melanoma as the most serious and aggressive form of skin cancer is still a cause of concern. Hence the aim of this study was to investigate any potential influence of OCT on metabolic activity, cytotoxicity and ABCB5 mRNA expression in melanoma cells. The ABCB5 transmembrane protein was tested due to its well-known role in the initiation, invasion and metastatic spread of various cancers, including melanoma.
METHODS: Metastatic melanoma cell line WM-266-4 (ATCC) was incubated with selected concentrations of OCT and for different time intervals. The MTT and LDH assays to measure the cells' metabolic activity and cytotoxicity were used respectively. Target gene (ABCB5) expression was detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), using TaqMan® chemistry.
RESULTS: Our results suggest decreased metastatic melanoma cells' metabolic activity, increased cytotoxicity and increased ABCB5 mRNA expression (P<0.05) with longer time of exposure to OCT as compared to control cells. Accordingly, we suspect that the surviving cells are more invasive and aggressive, which might explain their microscopically observed cannibalistic activity.
CONCLUSIONS: With this study, we elucidate a new promising field for further research to contribute to etiology and prevention of melanoma.

Sakil HAM, Stantic M, Wolfsberger J, et al.
ΔNp73 regulates the expression of the multidrug-resistance genes ABCB1 and ABCB5 in breast cancer and melanoma cells - a short report.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2017; 40(6):631-638 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major cause of treatment failure. In cancer cells, MDR is often caused by an increased efflux of therapeutic drugs mediated by an up-regulation of ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters. It has previously been shown that oncogenic ΔNp73 plays an important role in chemo-resistance. Here we aimed at unraveling the role of ΔNp73 in regulating multidrug resistance in breast cancer and melanoma cells.
METHODS: KEGG pathway analysis was used to identify pathways enriched in breast cancer samples with a high ΔNp73 expression. We found that the ABC transporter pathway was most enriched. The expression of selected ABC transporters was analyzed using qRT-PCR upon siRNA/shRNA-mediated knockdown or exogenous overexpression of ΔNp73 in the breast cancer-derived cell lines MCF7 and MDA-MB-231, as well as in primary melanoma samples and in the melanoma-derived cell line SK-MEL-28. The ability to efflux doxorubicin and the concomitant effects on cell proliferation were assessed using flow cytometry and WST-1 assays.
RESULTS: We found that high ΔNp73 levels correlate with a general up-regulation of ABC transporters in breast cancer samples. In addition, we found that exogenous expression of ΔNp73 led to an increase in the expression of ABCB1 and ABCB5 in the breast cancer-derived cell lines tested, while knocking down of ΔNp73 resulted in a reduction in ABCB1 and ABCB5 expression. In addition, we found that ΔNp73 reduction leads to an intracellular retention of doxorubicin in MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 cells and a concomitant decrease in cell proliferation. The effect of ΔNp73 on ABCB5 expression was further confirmed in metastases from melanoma patients and in the melanoma-derived cell line SK-MEL-28.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data support a role for ΔNp73 in the multidrug-resistance of breast cancer and melanoma cells.

Basu R, Baumgaertel N, Wu S, Kopchick JJ
Growth Hormone Receptor Knockdown Sensitizes Human Melanoma Cells to Chemotherapy by Attenuating Expression of ABC Drug Efflux Pumps.
Horm Cancer. 2017; 8(3):143-156 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma remains one of the most therapy-resistant forms of human cancer despite recent introductions of highly efficacious targeted therapies. The intrinsic therapy resistance of human melanoma is largely due to abundant expression of a repertoire of xenobiotic efflux pumps of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family. Here, we report that GH action is a key mediator of chemotherapeutic resistance in human melanoma cells. We investigated multiple ABC efflux pumps (ABCB1, ABCB5, ABCB8, ABCC1, ABCC2, ABCG1, and ABCG2) reportedly associated with melanoma drug resistance in different human melanoma cells and tested the efficacy of five different anti-cancer compounds (cisplatin, doxorubicin, oridonin, paclitaxel, vemurafenib) with decreased GH action. We found that GH treatment of human melanoma cells upregulates expression of multiple ABC transporters and increases the EC50 of melanoma drug vemurafenib. Also, vemurafenib-resistant melanoma cells had upregulated levels of GH receptor (GHR) expression as well as ABC efflux pumps. GHR knockdown (KD) using siRNA in human melanoma cells treated with sub-EC50 doses of anti-tumor compounds resulted in significantly increased drug retention, decreased cell proliferation and increased drug efficacy, compared to mock-transfected controls. Our set of findings identify an unknown mechanism of GH regulation in mediating melanoma drug resistance and validates GHR as a unique therapeutic target for sensitizing highly therapy-resistant human melanoma cells to lower doses of anti-cancer drugs.

Yao J, Yao X, Tian T, et al.
ABCB5-ZEB1 Axis Promotes Invasion and Metastasis in Breast Cancer Cells.
Oncol Res. 2017; 25(3):305-316 [PubMed] Related Publications
ABCB5 belongs to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily, which is recognized for playing a role in the failure of chemotherapy. ABCB5 has also been found to be overexpressed at the transcriptional level in a number of cancer subtypes, including breast cancer. However, the exact mechanism ABCB5 uses on cancer cell metastasis is still unclear. In the present study, we demonstrate that ABCB5 expression was increased in metastatic tissues when compared with nonmetastatic tissues. ABCB5 can significantly enhance metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), while knockdown of ABCB5 inhibited these processes. Microarray analysis indicated that ZEB1 may function as a downstream factor of ABCB5. Furthermore, the expression of ZEB1 in tissues is positively relevant to ABCB5 in breast cancer. Knocking down ZEB1 inhibits ABCB5 ectopic expression-induced migration and invasion, as well as EMT. Taken together, these results helped to realize the oncogene functions of ABCB5 in breast cancer cells and provided a new direction in treating breast cancer.

Gerber T, Willscher E, Loeffler-Wirth H, et al.
Mapping heterogeneity in patient-derived melanoma cultures by single-cell RNA-seq.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(1):846-862 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent technological advances in single-cell genomics make it possible to analyze cellular heterogeneity of tumor samples. Here, we applied single-cell RNA-seq to measure the transcriptomes of 307 single cells cultured from three biopsies of three different patients with a BRAF/NRAS wild type, BRAF mutant/NRAS wild type and BRAF wild type/NRAS mutant melanoma metastasis, respectively. Analysis based on self-organizing maps identified sub-populations defined by multiple gene expression modules involved in proliferation, oxidative phosphorylation, pigmentation and cellular stroma. Gene expression modules had prognostic relevance when compared with gene expression data from published melanoma samples and patient survival data. We surveyed kinome expression patterns across sub-populations of the BRAF/NRAS wild type sample and found that CDK4 and CDK2 were consistently highly expressed in the majority of cells, suggesting that these kinases might be involved in melanoma progression. Treatment of cells with the CDK4 inhibitor palbociclib restricted cell proliferation to a similar, and in some cases greater, extent than MAPK inhibitors. Finally, we identified a low abundant sub-population in this sample that highly expressed a module containing ABC transporter ABCB5, surface markers CD271 and CD133, and multiple aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs). Patient-derived cultures of the BRAF mutant/NRAS wild type and BRAF wild type/NRAS mutant metastases showed more homogeneous single-cell gene expression patterns with gene expression modules for proliferation and ABC transporters. Taken together, our results describe an intertumor and intratumor heterogeneity in melanoma short-term cultures which might be relevant for patient survival, and suggest promising targets for new treatment approaches in melanoma therapy.

Vartanian A, Baryshnikova M, Burova O, et al.
Inhibitor of vasculogenic mimicry restores sensitivity of resistant melanoma cells to DNA-damaging agents.
Melanoma Res. 2017; 27(1):8-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
The increasing incidence of melanoma makes this cancer an important public health problem. Therapeutic resistance is still a major obstacle to the therapy of patients with metastatic melanomas. The aim of this study was to develop the melanoma cell line resistant to DNA-alkylating agents and to elucidate the mechanisms involved in acquired drug resistance. We established a unique melanoma subline Mel MeR resistant to DNA-alkylating drug aranoza by continuous stepwise selection of the Mel Me/WT cell line with increasing concentrations of this drug. Mel MeR cells were also cross-resistant to streptozotocin or cisplatin. Here, we show that aranoza-resistant melanoma cells modulate the ABC transporter activity, upregulate the expression of PRAME, adopt a vascular-related phenotype and engage in vasculogenic mimicry. LCS1269, a vasculogenic mimicry low-molecular-weight inhibitor, reverses the sensitivity of resistant melanoma cells to DNA-damaging agents. In this study, we provide experimental evidence that LCS1269 might be considered as a new potential anticancer agent capable of overcoming multidrug resistance for DNA-damaging agents in melanoma.

Lutz NW, Banerjee P, Wilson BJ, et al.
Expression of Cell-Surface Marker ABCB5 Causes Characteristic Modifications of Glucose, Amino Acid and Phospholipid Metabolism in the G3361 Melanoma-Initiating Cell Line.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(8):e0161803 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We present a pilot study aimed at determining the effects of expression of ATP-binding cassette member B5 (ABCB5), a previously described marker for melanoma-initiating cells, on cellular metabolism. Metabolic profiles for two groups of human G3361 melanoma cells were compared, i.e. wildtype melanoma cells with intact ABCB5 expression (ABCB5-WT) and corresponding melanoma cell variants with inhibited ABCB5 expression, through shRNA-mediated gene knockdown (ABCB5-KD). A comprehensive metabolomic analysis was performed by using proton and phosphorus NMR spectroscopy of cell extracts to examine water-soluble metabolites and lipids. Parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis of absolute and relative metabolite levels yielded significant differences for compounds involved in glucose, amino acid and phospholipid (PL) metabolism. By contrast, energy metabolism was virtually unaffected by ABCB5 expression. The sum of water-soluble metabolites per total protein was 17% higher in ABCB5-WT vs. ABCB5-KD G3361 variants, but no difference was found for the sum of PLs. Enhanced abundance was particularly pronounced for lactate (+ 23%) and alanine (+ 26%), suggesting an increase in glycolysis and potentially glutaminolysis. Increases in PL degradation products, glycerophosphocholine and glycerophosphoethanolamine (+ 85 and 123%, respectively), and redistributions within the PL pool suggested enhanced membrane PL turnover as a consequence of ABCB5 expression. The possibility of glycolysis modulation by an ABCB5-dependent IL1β-mediated mechanism was supported by functional studies employing monoclonal antibody (mAb)-dependent ABCB5 protein inhibition in wildtype G3361 melanoma cells. Our metabolomic results suggest that the underlying biochemical pathways may offer targets for melanoma therapy, potentially in combination with other treatment forms.

Kozovska Z, Gabrisova V, Kucerova L
Malignant melanoma: diagnosis, treatment and cancer stem cells.
Neoplasma. 2016; 63(4):510-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant melanoma represents a neoplasm stemming from melanocytes or the cells that develop from melanocytes. Melanocytes, pigment-producing cells, arise from the neural crest and migrate to their final destinations in the skin, uveal tract, meninges, and mucosa. Most melanocytes are found at the epidermal-dermal junction of the skin, and the vast majority of melanocytes arise from cutaneous sites. Cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumours. Malignant tumours consist of heterogeneous populations of tumour cells. Cancer stem cells (CSC) represent a population of cells within a tumour with highly tumorigenic and chemoresistant properties. These cells may be identified by the expression of CSC markers and also by functional assays as tumour-initiating properties in vivo, high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity tested by Aldefluor assay. There are several key stem cells markers specified for malignant melanoma: CD20, CD133, ABCB5, CD271 and ALDH1A. The review provides a detailed overview of risk factors, diagnosis, treatment possibilities and specific properties of cancer stem cells in malignant melanoma.

Seo EJ, Saeed M, Law BY, et al.
Pharmacogenomics of Scopoletin in Tumor Cells.
Molecules. 2016; 21(4):496 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Drug resistance and the severe side effects of chemotherapy necessitate the development of novel anticancer drugs. Natural products are a valuable source for drug development. Scopoletin is a coumarin compound, which can be found in several Artemisia species and other plant genera. Microarray-based RNA expression profiling of the NCI cell line panel showed that cellular response of scopoletin did not correlate to the expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters as classical drug resistance mechanisms (ABCB1, ABCB5, ABCC1, ABCG2). This was also true for the expression of the oncogene EGFR and the mutational status of the tumor suppressor gene, TP53. However, mutations in the RAS oncogenes and the slow proliferative activity in terms of cell doubling times significantly correlated with scopoletin resistance. COMPARE and hierarchical cluster analyses of transcriptome-wide mRNA expression resulted in a set of 40 genes, which all harbored binding motifs in their promoter sequences for the transcription factor, NF-κB, which is known to be associated with drug resistance. RAS mutations, slow proliferative activity, and NF-κB may hamper its effectiveness. By in silico molecular docking studies, we found that scopoletin bound to NF-κB and its regulator IκB. Scopoletin activated NF-κB in a SEAP-driven NF-κB reporter cell line, indicating that NF-κB might be a resistance factor for scopoletin. In conclusion, scopoletin might serve as lead compound for drug development because of its favorable activity against tumor cells with ABC-transporter expression, although NF-κB activation may be considered as resistance factor for this compound. Further investigations are warranted to explore the full therapeutic potential of this natural product.

Saeed MEM, Meyer M, Hussein A, Efferth T
Cytotoxicity of South-African medicinal plants towards sensitive and multidrug-resistant cancer cells.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2016; 186:209-223 [PubMed] Related Publications
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Traditional medicine plays a major role for primary health care worldwide. Cancer belongs to the leading disease burden in industrialized and developing countries. Successful cancer therapy is hampered by the development of resistance towards established anticancer drugs.
AIM: In the present study, we investigated the cytotoxicity of 29 extracts from 26 medicinal plants of South-Africa against leukemia cell lines, most of which are used traditionally to treat cancer and related symptoms.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We have investigated the plant extracts for their cytotoxic activity towards drug-sensitive parental CCRF-CEM leukemia cells and their multidrug-resistant P-glycoprotein-overexpressing subline, CEM/ADR5000 by means of the resazurin assay. A panel of 60 NCI tumor cell lines have been investigated for correlations between selected phytochemicals from medicinal plants and the expression of resistance-conferring genes (ABC-transporters, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes).
RESULTS: Seven extracts inhibited both cell lines (Acokanthera oppositifolia, Hypoestes aristata, Laurus nobilis, Leonotis leonurus, Plectranthus barbatus, Plectranthus ciliates, Salvia apiana). CEM/ADR5000 cells exhibited a low degree of cross-resistance (3.35-fold) towards the L. leonurus extract, while no cross-resistance was observed to other plant extracts, although CEM/ADR5000 cells were highly resistant to clinically established drugs. The log10IC50 values for two out of 14 selected phytochemicals from these plants (acovenoside A and ouabain) of 60 tumor cell lines were correlated to the expression of ABC-transporters (ABCB1, ABCB5, ABCC1, ABCG2), oncogenes (EGFR, RAS) and tumor suppressors (TP53). Sensitivity or resistance of the cell lines were not statistically associated with the expression of these genes, indicating that multidrug-resistant, refractory tumors expressing these genes may still respond to acovenoside A and ouabain.
CONCLUSION: The bioactivity of South African medicinal plants may represent a basis for the development of strategies to treat multidrug-resistant tumors either by phytotherapeutic approaches with whole plant preparations or by classical drug development with isolated compounds such as acovenoside A or ouabain.

Lal S, Sutiman N, Ooi LL, et al.
Pharmacogenetics of ABCB5, ABCC5 and RLIP76 and doxorubicin pharmacokinetics in Asian breast cancer patients.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2017; 17(4):337-343 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study investigated the impact of ABCB5, ABCC5 and RLIP76 polymorphisms on doxorubicin pharmacokinetics in Asian breast cancer patients (N=62). Direct sequencing was performed to screen for previously identified ABCC5 polymorphisms as well as polymorphisms in the exons and exon-intron boundaries of ABCB5 and RLIP76 genes. Genotype-phenotype correlations were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U-test. The homozygous variant allele at the ABCC5 g.+7161G>A (rs1533682) locus was significantly associated with higher doxorubicin clearance (g.+7161AA vs g.+7161GG, CL/BSA (Lh

Cheung PF, Cheung TT, Yip CW, et al.
Hepatic cancer stem cell marker granulin-epithelin precursor and β-catenin expression associate with recurrence in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(16):21644-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Granulin-epithelin precursor (GEP) has been demonstrated to confer enhanced cancer stem-like cell properties in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line models in our previous studies. Here, we aimed to examine the GEP-expressing cells in relation to the stem cell related molecules and stem-like cell properties in the prospective HCC clinical cohort. GEP protein levels were significantly higher in HCCs than the paralleled non-tumor liver tissues, and associated with venous infiltration. GEPhigh cells isolated from clinical HCC samples exhibited higher levels of stem cell marker CD133, pluripotency-associated signaling molecules β-catenin, Oct4, SOX2, Nanog, and chemodrug transporter ABCB5. In addition, GEPhigh cells possessed preferential ability to form colonies and spheroids, and enhanced in vivo tumor-initiating ability while their xenografts were able to be serially subpassaged into secondary mouse recipients. Expression levels of GEP and pluripotency-associated genes were further examined in the retrospective HCC cohort and demonstrated significant correlation of GEP with β-catenin. Notably, HCC patients with high GEP and β-catenin levels demonstrated poor recurrence-free survival. In summary, GEP-positive HCC cells directly isolated from clinical specimens showed β-catenin elevation and cancer stem-like cell properties.

Jongkhajornpong P, Nakamura T, Sotozono C, et al.
Elevated expression of ABCB5 in ocular surface squamous neoplasia.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:20541 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 5 (ABCB5) is a new member of the ATP-binding cassette superfamily and has been reported as a novel marker for limbal stem cell (LSC), which is essential for corneal homeostasis. ABCB5 expression has also been discovered in the subpopulation of several cancer cells containing the cancer stem cell (CSC). However, the pathogenetic relationship between LSC and CSC and ABCB5 in the ocular surface squamous neoplasm (OSSN) is still entirely unknown. To improve understanding of the role of ABCB5 in OSSN, we performed immunohistochemistry for ABCB5 in nine OSSN case series. While expression of ABCB5 is restricted to the basal epithelial cell layer in the normal limbus, elevated expressions of ABCB5 were clearly observed in all OSSN, and there was some breadth in the range of intensity of ABCB5 expression. Interestingly, the elevated expression patterns of ABCB5 in OSSN could be classified in three categories: perivascular, marginal and diffuse patterns. Our findings demonstrated for the first time that the expression of ABCB5 was upregulated in OSSN and that elevated expression of ABCB5 may be involved in the pathogenesis of OSSN.

Wozniak M, Sztiller-Sikorska M, Czyz M
Diminution of miR-340-5p levels is responsible for increased expression of ABCB5 in melanoma cells under oxygen-deprived conditions.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 99(3):707-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma is usually highly refractory to chemotherapy. This resistance to treatment is mainly due to high heterogeneity and plasticity of melanoma cells strictly connected to changes in tumor microenvironment. Hypoxia can drastically alter cancer biology. Solid tumor cells under hypoxia gain stem-like features, they are more invasive and drug-resistant than their normoxic counterparts. These effects could be mediated by changes in miRNA expression under hypoxia. MiRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that can negatively control gene expression. In the present study using microarray technology we evaluated the expression of miRNAs in melanoma cells derived from nodular melanoma and grown under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Using R environment for statistical analysis we found that 70 miRNAs were differentially-expressed, and 16 of them were significantly down-regulated in melanoma cells grown in hypoxic conditions compared to cells grown in normoxia. We intended to find transcripts whose expression is increased due to down-regulation of selected miRNAs. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that increased levels of HIF-2α, ABCB5, OCT4, SOX2 and ZEB1 in different melanoma populations under hypoxia could be a result of significant down-regulation of miR-340-5p. Inhibition of miR-340-5p confirmed that this miRNA negatively influences the expression of ABCB5. This is the first study showing the relationship between miR-340-5p and expression of ABCB5, a transmembrane transporter involved in drug resistance considered as a marker of melanoma stem-like cells.

Yang G, Jiang O, Ling D, et al.
MicroRNA-522 reverses drug resistance of doxorubicin-induced HT29 colon cancer cell by targeting ABCB5.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(3):3930-3936 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs, which are important in the development of multidrug resistance in cancer by regulating gene expression at the post‑transcriptional level. The present study investigated the functional effects of miR‑522 in chemoresistant colon cancer cells. The results demonstrated that miR‑522 was significantly downregulated in doxorubicin (DOX) resistant colon cell line, HT29/DOX, compared with the parental HT29 colon cancer cell line. Overexpression of miR‑522 in the HT29/DOX cells partially restored DOX sensitivity. miRNA target prediction algorithms suggested that ABCB5 was a target gene for miR‑522. A fluorescent reporter assay confirmed that miR‑522 was able to specifically bind to the predicted site of the ABCB5 mRNA 3'‑untranslated region. When miR‑522 was overexpressed in the HT29/DOX cells, the protein expression levels of ABCB5 were downregulated. Furthermore, knockdown of ABCB5 significantly increased the growth inhibition rate of the HT29/DOX cells, compared with the control group. These results suggested that miR‑522 may affect the sensitivity of colon cancer cell lines to DOX treatment by targeting ABCB5.

Sztiller-Sikorska M, Hartman ML, Talar B, et al.
Phenotypic diversity of patient-derived melanoma populations in stem cell medium.
Lab Invest. 2015; 95(6):672-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanomas are highly heterogeneous tumors and there is no treatment effective at achieving long-term remission for metastatic melanoma patients. Thus, an appropriate model system for studying melanoma biology and response to drugs is necessary. It has been shown that composition of the medium is a critical factor in preserving the complexity of the tumor in in vitro settings, and melanospheres maintained in stem cell medium are a good model in this respect. In the present study, we observed that not all nodular melanoma patient-derived cell populations grown in stem cell medium were capable of forming melanospheres, and cell aggregates and anchorage-independent single-cell cultures emerged instead. Self-renewing capacity and unlimited growth potential indicated the presence of cells with stem-like properties in all patient-derived populations but immunophenotype and MITF expression exhibited variability. Enhanced MITF expression and activity was observed in melanospheres in comparison with cell aggregates and single-cell culture, and hypoxic-like conditions that increased the ability of single-cell population to form melanospheres enhanced MITF expression and cell pigmentation as well. Thus, MITF seems to be a critical transcription factor for formation of both patient-derived and hypoxia-induced melanospheres. After 2 years of continuous culturing, melanospheres progressively underwent transition into cell aggregates that was accompanied by changes in expression of several MITF-dependent genes associated with melanogenesis and survival and alterations in the composition of subpopulations but not in the frequency of ABCB5-positive cells. Several biological properties of parent tumor are well preserved in patient-derived melanospheres, but during prolonged culturing the heterogeneity is substantially lost when the melanospheres are substituted by cell aggregates. This should be considered when cell aggregates instead of melanospheres are used in the study of melanoma biology and cell response to drugs.

Vendittelli F, Paolillo C, Autilio C, et al.
Absolute quantitative PCR for detection of molecular biomarkers in melanoma patients: a preliminary report.
Clin Chim Acta. 2015; 444:242-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Malignant melanoma is the most malignant tumours of skin and mucous membranes mainly due to its aggressive biological behaviour and tendency to generate early metastases. Unfortunately, the mechanisms underlying the development, progression and the expression of an aggressive melanoma phenotype still remain largely unknown.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a multi-panel of molecular transcripts can be predictive for risk of recurrent disease in malignant melanoma patients.
RESULTS: Peripheral blood was collected from 31 malignant melanoma patients in follow-up for melanoma and from 30 healthy volunteers randomly selected. Each specimen was examined by qRT-PCR analysis for the expression of six markers: PAX3d, TYR, MITFm, MCAM, TGFβ2 and ABCB5. Malignant melanoma patients expressed an important number of markers, with a median value of four markers. Only PAX3d displayed a trend in terms of differences when the levels of gene expression were made in function of Breslow index. Furthermore, PAX3d showed the best diagnostic capacity among the remaining residual markers or in combination with TGFβ2 and MTIF.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated the usefulness of multimarker qRT-PCR to detect circulating melanoma cells in blood and to potentially assessing patient disease status or progression, especially when PAX3d was used in combination with MTIFm and TGFβ2.

Kugimiya N, Nishimoto A, Hosoyama T, et al.
The c-MYC-ABCB5 axis plays a pivotal role in 5-fluorouracil resistance in human colon cancer cells.
J Cell Mol Med. 2015; 19(7):1569-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
c-MYC overexpression is frequently observed in various cancers including colon cancer and regulates many biological activities such as aberrant cell proliferation, apoptosis, genomic instability, immortalization and drug resistance. However, the mechanism by which c-MYC confers drug resistance remains to be fully elucidated. In this study, we found that the c-MYC expression level in primary colorectal cancer tissues correlated with the recurrence rate following 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based adjuvant chemotherapy. Supporting this finding, overexpression of exogenous c-MYC increased the survival rate following 5-FU treatment in human colon cancer cells, and knockdown of endogenous c-MYC decreased it. Furthermore, c-MYC knockdown decreased the expression level of ABCB5, which is involved in 5-FU resistance. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we found that c-MYC bound to the ABCB5 promoter region. c-MYC inhibitor (10058-F4) treatment inhibited c-MYC binding to the ABCB5 promoter, leading to a decrease in ABCB5 expression level. ABCB5 knockdown decreased the survival rate following 5-FU treatment as expected, and the ABCB5 expression level was increased in 5-FU-resistant human colon cancer cells. Finally, using a human colon cancer xenograft murine model, we found that the combined 5-FU and 10058-F4 treatment significantly decreased tumorigenicity in nude mice compared with 5-FU or 10058-F4 treatment alone. 10058-F4 treatment decreased the ABCB5 expression level in the presence or absence of 5-FU. In contrast, 5-FU treatment alone increased the ABCB5 expression level. Taken together, these results suggest that c-MYC confers resistance to 5-FU through regulating ABCB5 expression in human colon cancer cells.

Kaushik G, Venugopal A, Ramamoorthy P, et al.
Honokiol inhibits melanoma stem cells by targeting notch signaling.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(12):1710-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma is an aggressive disease with limited therapeutic options. Here, we determined the effects of honokiol (HNK), a biphenolic natural compound on melanoma cells and stemness. HNK significantly inhibited melanoma cell proliferation, viability, clonogenicity and induced autophagy. In addition, HNK significantly inhibited melanosphere formation in a dose dependent manner. Western blot analyses also demonstrated reduction in stem cell markers CD271, CD166, Jarid1b, and ABCB5. We next examined the effect of HNK on Notch signaling, a pathway involved in stem cell self-renewal. Four different Notch receptors exist in cells, which when cleaved by a series of enzymatic reactions catalyzed by Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-Converting Enzyme (TACE) and γ-secretase protein complex, results in the release of the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which then translocates to the nucleus and induces target gene expression. Western blot analyses demonstrated that in HNK treated cells there is a significant reduction in the expression of cleaved Notch-2. In addition, there was a reduction in the expression of downstream target proteins, Hes-1 and cyclin D1. Moreover, HNK treatment suppressed the expression of TACE and γ-secretase complex proteins in melanoma cells. To confirm that suppression of Notch-2 activation is critical for HNK activity, we overexpressed NICD1, NICD2, and performed HNK treatment. NICD2, but not NICD1, partially restored the expression of Hes-1 and cyclin D1, and increased melanosphere formation. Taken together, these data suggest that HNK is a potent inhibitor of melanoma cells, in part, through the targeting of melanoma stem cells by suppressing Notch-2 signaling.

El-Khattouti A, Sheehan NT, Monico J, et al.
CD133⁺ melanoma subpopulation acquired resistance to caffeic acid phenethyl ester-induced apoptosis is attributed to the elevated expression of ABCB5: significance for melanoma treatment.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 357(1):83-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
According to the cancer stem-like cell (CSC) hypothesis, neoplastic clones are maintained by a small fraction of cells with stem cell properties. Also, melanoma resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy is thought to be attributed to melanoma stem-like cells (MSCs). Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a bioactive molecule, whose antitumor activity is approved in different tumor types. CAPE induced both apoptosis and E2F1 expression in CD133(-), but not in CD133(+) melanoma subpopulations. The resistance of CD133(+) melanoma subpopulation is attributed to the enhanced drug efflux mediated by ATP-binding cassette sub-family B member 5 (ABCB5), since the knockdown of ABCB5 was found to sensitize CD133(+) cells to CAPE. CAPE-induced apoptosis is mediated by E2F1 as evidenced by the abrogation of apoptosis induced in response to the knockdown of E2F1. The functional analysis of E2F1 in CD133(+) melanoma subpopulation demonstrated the ability of E2F1 gene transfer to trigger apoptosis of CD133(+) cells and to enhance the activation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase (ASK1), c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38, and the DNA-binding activities of the transcription factors AP-1 and p53. Also, the induction of E2F1 expression was found to enhance the expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax, Noxa and Puma, and to suppress the anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1. Using specific pharmacological inhibitors we could demonstrate that E2F1 overcomes the chemo-resistance of MSCs/CD133(+) cells by a mechanism mediated by both mitochondrial dysregulation and ER-stress-dependent pathways. In conclusion, our data addresses the mechanisms of CAPE/E2F1-induced apoptosis of chemo-resistant CD133(+) melanoma subpopulation.

Yao CJ, Han TY, Shih PH, et al.
Elimination of cancer stem-like side population in human glioblastoma cells accompanied with stemness gene suppression by Korean herbal recipe MSC500.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(6):541-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High-grade gliomas are the most common and invasive malignant brain tumors in adults, and they are almost universally fatal because of drug resistance and recurrence. In spite of the progress in adjuvant therapy (like temozolomide) and irradiation after surgery, no effective salvage therapy is currently available for relapsed patients. A Korean herbal recipe MSC500 has been reported to have beneficial therapeutic effects in patients with high-grade gliomas who are relapsed or refractory to conventional treatments. But the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear.
METHODS: As Cancer stem cell (CSC) plays a pivotal role in the resistance to conventional cancer therapy, we explored the effects of MSC500 on the CSC-like side population (SP) in GBM8401 human glioblastoma multiforme cells.
RESULTS: Compared with the parental cells, the SP cells were more resistant to temozolomide but sensitive to MSC500. The mRNA levels of stemness genes such as Nanog, CD133, and ABCG2 were much higher in the SP cells, and so was E-cadherin, which was reported to correlate with the aggressiveness of glioblastoma multiforme. Treatment with MSC500 decreased the proportion of SP cells and high ALDH activity cells from 1.6% to 0.3% and from 0.9% to 0.1%, respectively, accompanied with suppression of the aforementioned stemness genes and E-cadherin, as well as other CSC markers such as ABCB5, Oct-4, Sox-2, β-catenin, Gli-1, and Notch-1.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest the potential role of MSC500 as an integrative and complementary therapeutic for advanced or refractory high-grade glioma patients.

Cheli Y, Bonnazi VF, Jacquel A, et al.
CD271 is an imperfect marker for melanoma initiating cells.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(14):5272-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Understanding the molecular and cellular processes underlying melanoma plasticity and heterogeneity is of paramount importance to improve the efficiency of current treatment and to overcome resistance to chemotherapy drugs. The notion of plasticity and heterogeneity implies the existence of melanoma cell populations with different phenotypic and tumorigenic properties. Using melanoma cell lines and melanoma cells freshly isolated from patient biopsies, we investigated the relationship between ABCB5+, CD271+ and low-MITF, expressing populations that were reported to display melanoma initiating cell properties. Here, we showed that ABCB5+ and CD271+ populations poorly overlap. However, we found that the CD271+ population is enriched in low-MITF cells and expresses a higher level of stemness genes, such as OCT4, NANOG and NES. These features could explain the increased tumorigenicity of the CD271+ cells. The rapid conversion of CD271+ to CD271- cells in vitro demonstrates the plasticity ability of melanoma cells. Finally, we observed that the transient slow-growing population contains only CD271+ cells that are highly tumorigenic. However, the fast growing/CD271+ population exhibits a poor tumorigenic ability. Taking together, our data show that CD271 is an imperfect marker for melanoma initiating cells, but may be useful to identify melanoma cells with an increased stemness and tumorigenic potential.

Wilson BJ, Saab KR, Ma J, et al.
ABCB5 maintains melanoma-initiating cells through a proinflammatory cytokine signaling circuit.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(15):4196-207 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The drug efflux transporter ABCB5 identifies cancer stem-like cells (CSC) in diverse human malignancies, where its expression is associated with clinical disease progression and tumor recurrence. ABCB5 confers therapeutic resistance, but other functions in tumorigenesis independent of drug efflux have not been described that might help explain why it is so broadly overexpressed in human cancer. Here we show that in melanoma-initiating cells, ABCB5 controls IL1β secretion, which serves to maintain slow cycling, chemoresistant cells through an IL1β/IL8/CXCR1 cytokine signaling circuit. This CSC maintenance circuit involved reciprocal paracrine interactions with ABCB5-negative cancer cell populations. ABCB5 blockade induced cellular differentiation, reversed resistance to multiple chemotherapeutic agents, and impaired tumor growth in vivo. Together, our results defined a novel function for ABCB5 in CSC maintenance and tumor growth.

Farawela HM, Khorshied MM, Kassem NM, et al.
The clinical relevance and prognostic significance of adenosine triphosphate ATP-binding cassette (ABCB5) and multidrug resistance (MDR1) genes expression in acute leukemia: an Egyptian study.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(8):1323-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Multidrug resistance (MDR1) represents a major obstacle in the chemotherapeutic treatment of acute leukemia (AL). Adenosine triphosphate ATP-binding cassette (ABCB5) and MDR1 genes are integral membrane proteins belonging to ATP-binding cassette transporters superfamily.
PURPOSE: The present work aimed to investigate the impact of ABCB5 and MDR1 genes expression on the response to chemotherapy in a cohort of Egyptian AL patients. The study included 90 patients: 53 AML cases and 37 ALL cases in addition to 20 healthy volunteers as controls.
METHODS: Quantitative assessment of MDR1 and ABCB5 genes expression was performed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Additional prognostic molecular markers were determined as internal tandem duplications of the FLT3 gene (FLT3-ITD) and nucleophosmin gene mutation (NPM1) for AML cases, and mbcr-abl fusion transcript for B-ALL cases.
RESULTS: In AML patients, ABCB5 and MDR1 expression levels did not differ significantly between de novo and relapsed cases and did not correlate with the overall survival or disease-free survival. AML patients were stratified according to the studied genetic markers, and complete remission rate was found to be more prominent in patients having low expression of MDR1 and ABCB5 genes together with mutated NPM1 gene. In ALL patients, ABCB5 gene expression level was significantly higher in relapsed cases and MDR1 gene expression was significantly higher in patients with resistant disease.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the results obtained by the current study provide additional evidence of the role played by these genes as predictive factors for resistance of leukemic cells to chemotherapy and hence treatment outcome.

Sztiller-Sikorska M, Koprowska K, Majchrzak K, et al.
Natural compounds' activity against cancer stem-like or fast-cycling melanoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90783 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence supports the concept that melanoma is highly heterogeneous and sustained by a small subpopulation of melanoma stem-like cells. Those cells are considered as responsible for tumor resistance to therapies. Moreover, melanoma cells are characterized by their high phenotypic plasticity. Consequently, both melanoma stem-like cells and their more differentiated progeny must be eradicated to achieve durable cure. By reevaluating compounds in heterogeneous melanoma populations, it might be possible to select compounds with activity not only against fast-cycling cells but also against cancer stem-like cells. Natural compounds were the focus of the present study.
METHODS: We analyzed 120 compounds from The Natural Products Set II to identify compounds active against melanoma populations grown in an anchorage-independent manner and enriched with cells exerting self-renewing capacity. Cell viability, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, gene expression, clonogenic survival and label-retention were analyzed.
FINDINGS: Several compounds efficiently eradicated cells with clonogenic capacity and nanaomycin A, streptonigrin and toyocamycin were effective at 0.1 µM. Other anti-clonogenic but not highly cytotoxic compounds such as bryostatin 1, siomycin A, illudin M, michellamine B and pentoxifylline markedly reduced the frequency of ABCB5 (ATP-binding cassette, sub-family B, member 5)-positive cells. On the contrary, treatment with maytansine and colchicine selected for cells expressing this transporter. Maytansine, streptonigrin, toyocamycin and colchicine, even if highly cytotoxic, left a small subpopulation of slow-dividing cells unaffected. Compounds selected in the present study differentially altered the expression of melanocyte/melanoma specific microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and proto-oncogene c-MYC.
CONCLUSION: Selected anti-clonogenic compounds might be further investigated as potential adjuvants targeting melanoma stem-like cells in the combined anti-melanoma therapy, whereas selected cytotoxic but not anti-clonogenic compounds, which increased the frequency of ABCB5-positive cells and remained slow-cycling cells unaffected, might be considered as a tool to enrich cultures with cells exhibiting melanoma stem cell characteristics.

Saeed M, Khalid H, Sugimoto Y, Efferth T
The lignan, (-)-sesamin reveals cytotoxicity toward cancer cells: pharmacogenomic determination of genes associated with sensitivity or resistance.
Phytomedicine. 2014; 21(5):689-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
(-)-Sesamin is a lignan present in sesam oil and a number of medicinal plants. It exerts various pharmacological effects, such as prevention of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and carcinogenesis. Moreover, (-)-sesamin has chemopreventive and anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo. Multidrug resistance (MDR) of tumors leads to fatal treatment outcome in many patients and novel drugs able to kill multidrug-resistant cells are urgently needed. P-glycoprotein (MDR1/ABCB1) is the best known ATP-binding cassette (ABC) drug transporter mediating MDR. ABCB5 is a close relative to ABCB1, which also mediates MDR. We found that the mRNA expressions of ABCB1 and ABCB5 were not related to the 50% inhibition concentrations (IC50) for (-)-sesamin in a panel of 55 cell lines of the National Cancer Institute, USA. Furthermore, (-)-sesamin inhibited ABCB1- or ABCB5-overexpressing cells with similar efficacy than their drug-sensitive parental counterparts. In addition to ABC transporter-mediated MDR, we attempted to identify other molecular determinants of (-)-sesamin resistance. For this reason, we performed COMPARE and hierarchical cluster analyses of the transcriptome-wide microarray-based mRNA expression of the NCI cell panel. Twenty-three genes were identified, whose mRNA expression correlated with the IC50 values for (-)-sesamin. These genes code for proteins of different biological functions, i.e. ribosomal proteins, components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, proteins involved in RNA metabolism, protein biosynthesis, or glucose and fatty acid metabolism. Subjecting this set of genes to cluster analysis showed that the cell lines were assembled in the resulting dendrogram according to their responsiveness to (-)-sesamin. In conclusion, (-)-sesamin is not involved in MDR mediated by ABCB1 or ABCB5 and may be valuable to bypass chemoresistance of refractory tumors. The microarray expression profile, which predicted sensitivity or resistance of tumor cells to (-)-sesamin consisted of genes, which do not belong to the classical resistance mechanisms to established anticancer drugs.

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