ACVR1; activin A receptor, type I (2q23-q24)

Gene Summary

Gene:ACVR1; activin A receptor, type I
Summary:Activins are dimeric growth and differentiation factors which belong to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of structurally related signaling proteins. Activins signal through a heteromeric complex of receptor serine kinases which include at least two type I ( I and IB) and two type II (II and IIB) receptors. These receptors are all transmembrane proteins, composed of a ligand-binding extracellular domain with cysteine-rich region, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic domain with predicted serine/threonine specificity. Type I receptors are essential for signaling; and type II receptors are required for binding ligands and for expression of type I receptors. Type I and II receptors form a stable complex after ligand binding, resulting in phosphorylation of type I receptors by type II receptors. This gene encodes activin A type I receptor which signals a particular transcriptional response in concert with activin type II receptors. Mutations in this gene are associated with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:activin receptor type-1
Updated:12 December, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (53)


What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
- ALK in cardiac myocytes BIOCARTA
- Cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction KEGG
- TGF-beta signaling pathway KEGG
Data from KEGG and BioCarta [BIOCARTA terms] via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 12 December 2014 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.

  • Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Cancer RNA
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Signal Transduction
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Brain Tumours
  • Epigenetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • DNA Methylation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II
  • Activin Receptors, Type II
  • SMAD4
  • Brain Stem Neoplasms
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cohort Studies
  • Mutation
  • Brain, Astrocytoma, Childhood
  • Smad Proteins
  • Genome, Human
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Trans-Activators
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Base Sequence
  • Messenger RNA
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair None
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Missense Mutation
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Histones
Tag cloud generated 12 December, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (5)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Brain Stem Glioma, ChildhoodACVR1 and Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood View Publications8
Brain Tumours, ChildhoodACVR1 and Brain Tumours View Publications8
Ovarian CancerACVR1 and Ovarian Cancer View Publications3
Astrocytoma, ChildhoodACVR1 and Brain, Astrocytoma, Childhood View Publications3
Colorectal CancerACVR1 and Colonic Neoplasms View Publications3

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

Related Links

Latest Publications: ACVR1 (cancer-related)

Jones C, Baker SJ
Unique genetic and epigenetic mechanisms driving paediatric diffuse high-grade glioma.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2014; 14(10) [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse high-grade gliomas (HGGs) of childhood are a devastating spectrum of disease with no effective cures. The two-year survival for paediatric HGG ranges from 30%, for tumours arising in the cerebral cortex, to less than 10% for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs), which arise in the brainstem. Recent genome-wide studies provided abundant evidence that unique selective pressures drive HGG in children compared to adults, identifying novel oncogenic mutations connecting tumorigenesis and chromatin regulation, as well as developmental signalling pathways. These new genetic findings give insights into disease pathogenesis and the challenges and opportunities for improving patient survival in these mostly incurable childhood brain tumours.

Related: Signal Transduction

Buczkowicz P, Hoeman C, Rakopoulos P, et al.
Genomic analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas identifies three molecular subgroups and recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):451-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal brain cancer that arises in the brainstem of children, with no effective treatment and near 100% fatality. The failure of most therapies can be attributed to the delicate location of these tumors and to the selection of therapies on the basis of assumptions that DIPGs are molecularly similar to adult disease. Recent studies have unraveled the unique genetic makeup of this brain cancer, with nearly 80% found to harbor a p.Lys27Met histone H3.3 or p.Lys27Met histone H3.1 alteration. However, DIPGs are still thought of as one disease, with limited understanding of the genetic drivers of these tumors. To understand what drives DIPGs, we integrated whole-genome sequencing with methylation, expression and copy number profiling, discovering that DIPGs comprise three molecularly distinct subgroups (H3-K27M, silent and MYCN) and uncovering a new recurrent activating mutation affecting the activin receptor gene ACVR1 in 20% of DIPGs. Mutations in ACVR1 were constitutively activating, leading to SMAD phosphorylation and increased expression of the downstream activin signaling targets ID1 and ID2. Our results highlight distinct molecular subgroups and novel therapeutic targets for this incurable pediatric cancer.

Related: Brain Stem Glioma - Childhood ID2

Taylor KR, Mackay A, Truffaux N, et al.
Recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):457-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are highly infiltrative malignant glial neoplasms of the ventral pons that, due to their location within the brain, are unsuitable for surgical resection and consequently have a universally dismal clinical outcome. The median survival time is 9-12 months, with neither chemotherapeutic nor targeted agents showing substantial survival benefit in clinical trials in children with these tumors. We report the identification of recurrent activating mutations in the ACVR1 gene, which encodes a type I activin receptor serine/threonine kinase, in 21% of DIPG samples. Strikingly, these somatic mutations (encoding p.Arg206His, p.Arg258Gly, p.Gly328Glu, p.Gly328Val, p.Gly328Trp and p.Gly356Asp substitutions) have not been reported previously in cancer but are identical to mutations found in the germ line of individuals with the congenital childhood developmental disorder fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and have been shown to constitutively activate the BMP-TGF-β signaling pathway. These mutations represent new targets for therapeutic intervention in this otherwise incurable disease.

Related: Brain Stem Glioma - Childhood Signal Transduction

Wu G, Diaz AK, Paugh BS, et al.
The genomic landscape of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and pediatric non-brainstem high-grade glioma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):444-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pediatric high-grade glioma (HGG) is a devastating disease with a less than 20% survival rate 2 years after diagnosis. We analyzed 127 pediatric HGGs, including diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) and non-brainstem HGGs (NBS-HGGs), by whole-genome, whole-exome and/or transcriptome sequencing. We identified recurrent somatic mutations in ACVR1 exclusively in DIPGs (32%), in addition to previously reported frequent somatic mutations in histone H3 genes, TP53 and ATRX, in both DIPGs and NBS-HGGs. Structural variants generating fusion genes were found in 47% of DIPGs and NBS-HGGs, with recurrent fusions involving the neurotrophin receptor genes NTRK1, NTRK2 and NTRK3 in 40% of NBS-HGGs in infants. Mutations targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-RAS-PI3K signaling, histone modification or chromatin remodeling, and cell cycle regulation were found in 68%, 73% and 59% of pediatric HGGs, respectively, including in DIPGs and NBS-HGGs. This comprehensive analysis provides insights into the unique and shared pathways driving pediatric HGG within and outside the brainstem.

Related: Brain Stem Glioma - Childhood NTRK1 gene NTRK2 NTRK3 gene Signal Transduction

Fontebasso AM, Papillon-Cavanagh S, Schwartzentruber J, et al.
Recurrent somatic mutations in ACVR1 in pediatric midline high-grade astrocytoma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):462-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pediatric midline high-grade astrocytomas (mHGAs) are incurable with few treatment targets identified. Most tumors harbor mutations encoding p.Lys27Met in histone H3 variants. In 40 treatment-naive mHGAs, 39 analyzed by whole-exome sequencing, we find additional somatic mutations specific to tumor location. Gain-of-function mutations in ACVR1 occur in tumors of the pons in conjunction with histone H3.1 p.Lys27Met substitution, whereas FGFR1 mutations or fusions occur in thalamic tumors associated with histone H3.3 p.Lys27Met substitution. Hyperactivation of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-ACVR1 developmental pathway in mHGAs harboring ACVR1 mutations led to increased levels of phosphorylated SMAD1, SMAD5 and SMAD8 and upregulation of BMP downstream early-response genes in tumor cells. Global DNA methylation profiles were significantly associated with the p.Lys27Met alteration, regardless of the mutant histone H3 variant and irrespective of tumor location, supporting the role of this substitution in driving the epigenetic phenotype. This work considerably expands the number of potential treatment targets and further justifies pretreatment biopsy in pediatric mHGA as a means to orient therapeutic efforts in this disease.

Related: Childhood Astrocytoma Childhood Brain Tumours Childhood Brain Tumors FISH

Fleischer T, Edvardsen H, Solvang HK, et al.
Integrated analysis of high-resolution DNA methylation profiles, gene expression, germline genotypes and clinical end points in breast cancer patients.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 134(11):2615-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease for which alterations in DNA methylation patterns have been shown to be of biological and clinical importance. Here we report on the integrated analysis of molecular alterations including the methylation status of 27 gene promoters analyzed by highly quantitative pyrosequencing, and the association to gene expression, germline genotype and clinical parameters including survival. Breast cancer specific deregulation of DNA methylation (both hyper- and hypomethylation) was found in twenty genes including ACVR1, OGG1, IL8 and TFF1. The methylation level in the promoter regions was significantly negatively correlated to gene expression for twelve genes (such as MST1R, ST6GAL1 and TFF1) indicating that a gain of aberrant methylation (hypermethylation) inhibits gene expression. Multiple associations between molecular and clinical parameters were identified, and multivariate statistical analysis demonstrated that methylation was more strongly associated to clinical parameters than gene expression for the investigated genes. The methylation level of BCAP31 and OGG1 showed significant association to survival, and these associations were validated in a larger patient cohort (The Cancer Genome Atlas). Our study provides evidence for the promise of DNA methylation alterations for clinical applications.

Related: Breast Cancer

Gong J, Shen N, Zhang HM, et al.
A genetic variant in microRNA target site of TGF-β signaling pathway increases the risk of colorectal cancer in a Chinese population.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(5):4301-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Evidence shows that single-nucleotide polymorphisms in microRNA (miRNA) target sites can create, destroy, or modify the miRNA/mRNA binding, therefore modulating gene expression and affecting cancer susceptibility. The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in tumor initiation and progression. Intriguingly, recent advances of genome-wide association studies have identified multiple risk loci in this pathway to be associated with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). To test the hypothesis that genetic variants in miRNA target sites in genes of the TGF-β signaling pathway may also be associated with CRC risk, we first systematically scanned the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes of TGF-β signaling pathway which potentially affect the miRNA/mRNA bindings. Through a series of filters, we narrowed down these candidates to four SNPs. Then, we conducted a case-control study with 600 CRC patients and 638 controls in Han Chinese population. We observed that compared with A carriers (AA + AG), the GG genotype of rs12997:ACVR1 is associated with a significantly higher risk of CRC (OR = 1.52, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 1.04-2.21, P = 0.031), particularly in nonsmokers with a higher OR of 1.63 (95% CI = 1.04-2.55, P = 0.032). Our study suggested that SNPs in miRNA target sites could contribute to the likelihood of CRC susceptibility and emphasized the important role of polymorphisms at miRNA-regulatory elements in carcinogenesis.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Signal Transduction

Bravo DT, Yang YL, Kuchenbecker K, et al.
Frizzled-8 receptor is activated by the Wnt-2 ligand in non-small cell lung cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:316 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Wnt-2 plays an oncogenic role in cancer, but which Frizzled receptor(s) mediates the Wnt-2 signaling pathway in lung cancer remains unclear. We sought to (1) identify and evaluate the activation of Wnt-2 signaling through Frizzled-8 in non-small cell lung cancer, and (2) test whether a novel expression construct dominant negative Wnt-2 (dnhWnt-2) reduces tumor growth in a colony formation assay and in a xenograft mouse model.
METHODS: Semi-quantitative RT-PCR was used to identify the expression of Wnt-2 and Frizzled-8 in 50 lung cancer tissues from patients. The TCF reporter assay (TOP/FOP) was used to detect the activation of the Wnt canonical pathway in vitro. A novel dnhWnt-2 construct was designed and used to inhibit activation of Wnt-2 signaling through Frizzled-8 in 293T, 293, A549 and A427 cells and in a xenograft mouse model. Statistical comparisons were made using Student's t-test.
RESULTS: Among the 50 lung cancer samples, we identified a 91% correlation between the transcriptional increase of Wnt-2 and Frizzled-8 (p<0.05). The Wnt canonical pathway was activated when both Wnt-2 and Frizzled-8 were co-expressed in 293T, 293, A549 and A427 cells. The dnhWnt-2 construct we used inhibited the activation of Wnt-2 signaling in 293T, 293, A549 and A427 cells, and reduced the colony formation of NSCLC cells when β-catenin was present (p<0.05). Inhibition of Wnt-2 activation by the dnhWnt-2 construct further reduced the size and mass of tumors in the xenograft mouse model (p<0.05). The inhibition also decreased the expression of target genes of Wnt signaling in these tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated an activation of Wnt-2 signaling via the Frizzled-8 receptor in NSCLC cells. A novel dnhWnt-2 construct significantly inhibits Wnt-2 signaling, reduces colony formation of NSCLC cells in vitro and tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model. The dnhWnt-2 construct may provide a new therapeutic avenue for targeting the Wnt pathway in lung cancer.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer Signal Transduction

Langenfeld E, Hong CC, Lanke G, Langenfeld J
Bone morphogenetic protein type I receptor antagonists decrease growth and induce cell death of lung cancer cell lines.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e61256 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are highly conserved morphogens that are essential for normal development. BMP-2 is highly expressed in the majority of non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) but not in normal lung tissue or benign lung tumors. The effects of the BMP signaling cascade on the growth and survival of cancer cells is poorly understood. We show that BMP signaling is basally active in lung cancer cell lines, which can be effectively inhibited with selective antagonists of the BMP type I receptors. Lung cancer cell lines express alk2, alk3, and alk6 and inhibition of a single BMP receptor was not sufficient to decrease signaling. Inhibition of more than one type I receptor was required to decrease BMP signaling in lung cancer cell lines. BMP receptor antagonists and silencing of BMP type I receptors with siRNA induced cell death, inhibited cell growth, and caused a significant decrease in the expression of inhibitor of differentiation (Id1, Id2, and Id3) family members, which are known to regulate cell growth and survival in many types of cancers. BMP receptor antagonists also decreased clonogenic cell growth. Knockdown of Id3 significantly decreased cell growth and induced cell death of lung cancer cells. H1299 cells stably overexpressing Id3 were resistant to growth suppression and induction of cell death induced by the BMP antagonist DMH2. These studies suggest that BMP signaling promotes cell growth and survival of lung cancer cells, which is mediated through its regulation of Id family members. Selective antagonists of the BMP type I receptors represents a potential means to pharmacologically treat NSCLC and other carcinomas with an activated BMP signaling cascade.

Related: Lung Cancer Signal Transduction

Loh YN, Hedditch EL, Baker LA, et al.
The Wnt signalling pathway is upregulated in an in vitro model of acquired tamoxifen resistant breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:174 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acquired resistance to Tamoxifen remains a critical problem in breast cancer patient treatment, yet the underlying causes of resistance have not been fully elucidated. Abberations in the Wnt signalling pathway have been linked to many human cancers, including breast cancer, and appear to be associated with more metastatic and aggressive types of cancer. Here, our aim was to investigate if this key pathway was involved in acquired Tamoxifen resistance, and could be targeted therapeutically.
METHODS: An in vitro model of acquired Tamoxifen resistance (named TamR) was generated by growing the estrogen receptor alpha (ER) positive MCF7 breast cancer cell line in increasing concentrations of Tamoxifen (up to 5 uM). Alterations in the Wnt signalling pathway and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in response to Tamoxifen and treatment with the Wnt inhibitor, IWP-2 were measured via quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) and TOP/FOP Wnt reporter assays. Resistance to Tamoxifen, and effects of IWP-2 treatment were determined by MTT proliferation assays.
RESULTS: TamR cells exhibited increased Wnt signalling as measured via the TOP/FOP Wnt luciferase reporter assays. Genes associated with both the β-catenin dependent (AXIN2, MYC, CSNK1A1) and independent arms (ROR2, JUN), as well as general Wnt secretion (PORCN) of the Wnt signalling pathway were upregulated in the TamR cells compared to the parental MCF7 cell line. Treatment of the TamR cell line with human recombinant Wnt3a (rWnt3a) further increased the resistance of both MCF7 and TamR cells to the anti-proliferative effects of Tamoxifen treatment. TamR cells demonstrated increased expression of EMT markers (VIM, TWIST1, SNAI2) and decreased CDH1, which may contribute to their resistance to Tamoxifen. Treatment with the Wnt inhibitor, IWP-2 inhibited cell proliferation and markers of EMT.
CONCLUSIONS: These data support the role of the Wnt signalling pathway in acquired resistance to Tamoxifen. Further research into the mechanism by which activated Wnt signalling inhibits the effects of Tamoxifen should be undertaken. As a number of small molecules targeting the Wnt pathway are currently in pre-clinical development, combinatorial treatment with endocrine agents and Wnt pathway inhibitors may be a useful therapeutic option in the future for a subset of breast cancer patients.

Related: Breast Cancer

Chuang KA, Lieu CH, Tsai WJ, et al.
3-methoxyapigenin modulates β-catenin stability and inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling in Jurkat leukemic cells.
Life Sci. 2013; 92(12):677-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been implicated in carcinogenesis. Identification of inhibitors of this pathway may help in cancer therapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate the inhibitory effect of 3-methoxyapigenin (3-MA) with β-catenin/LEF reporter system. The anti-cancer mechanisms in Jurkat leukemic cells were also examined.
MAIN METHODS: HEK 293-TOP/FOP reporter cells were used to determine the inhibitory effect of 3-MA on Wnt/β-catenin pathway. We also used Jurkat-TOP reporter cells to confirm the inhibitory effect and the action mechanisms of 3-MA. Target genes and cell proliferation were analyzed by RT-PCR and (3)H-thymidine uptake assay. The effects of 3-MA on β-catenin phosphorylation was determined by Western blotting and by in vitro kinase assays. β-catenin translocation and its transactivation were verified by cellular fractionation and EMSA.
KEY FINDINGS: 3-MA inhibited Wnt-3A-induced luciferase activity in the HEK 293-TOP/FOP reporter system. Western blotting analysis showed that phosphorylation sites in β-catenin by glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and casein kinase 2 (CK2) were inhibited by 3-MA in Jurkat. In parallel, in vitro kinase assays verified this effect. As a result, total β-catenin turnover remained balanced by this dual inhibitory effect of 3-MA. Although the β-catenin protein level remained unchanged, 3-MA did inhibit β-catenin translocation. Finally, we found that the β-catenin/LEF transcriptional activity, expression of c-myc and cyclin-D3, and cell proliferation were inhibited by 3-MA.
SIGNIFICANCE: 3-MA modulates the turnover of β-catenin and suppresses the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway through inhibition of β-catenin translocation. We suggested that 3-MA has potential as an anti-cancer drug.

Related: CTNNB1 gene

Ford CE, Jary E, Ma SS, et al.
The Wnt gatekeeper SFRP4 modulates EMT, cell migration and downstream Wnt signalling in serous ovarian cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e54362 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant Wnt signalling is implicated in numerous human cancers, and understanding the effects of modulation of pathway members may lead to the development of novel therapeutics. Expression of secreted frizzled related protein 4 (SFRP4), an extracellular modulator of the Wnt signalling pathway, is progressively lost in more aggressive ovarian cancer phenotypes. Here we show that recombinant SFRP4 (rSFRP4) treatment of a serous ovarian cancer cell line results in inhibition of β-catenin dependent Wnt signalling as measured by TOP/FOP Wnt reporter assay and decreased transcription of Wnt target genes, Axin2, CyclinD1 and Myc. In addition, rSFRP4 treatment significantly increased the ability of ovarian cancer cells to adhere to collagen and fibronectin, and decreased their ability to migrate across an inflicted wound. We conclude that these changes in cell behaviour may be mediated via mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET), as rSFRP4 treatment also resulted in increased expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin, and reduced expression of Vimentin and Twist. Combined, these results indicate that modulation of a single upstream gatekeeper of Wnt signalling can have effects on downstream Wnt signalling and ovarian cancer cell behaviour, as mediated through epithelial to mesenchymal plasticity (EMP). This raises the possibility that SFRP4 may be used both diagnostically and therapeutically in epithelial ovarian cancer.

Related: Ovarian Cancer CTNNB1 gene

Slattery ML, John EM, Torres-Mejia G, et al.
Genetic variation in bone morphogenetic proteins and breast cancer risk in hispanic and non-hispanic white women: The breast cancer health disparities study.
Int J Cancer. 2013; 132(12):2928-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) are thought to be important in breast cancer promotion and progression. We evaluated genetic variation in BMP-related genes and breast cancer risk among Hispanic (2,111 cases, 2,597 controls) and non-Hispanic White (NHW) (1,481 cases, 1,586 controls) women who participated in the 4-Corner's Breast Cancer Study, the Mexico Breast Cancer Study and the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study. BMP genes and their receptors evaluated include ACVR1, AVCR2A, ACVR2B, ACVRL1, BMP1, BMP2, BMP4, BMP6, BMP7, BMPR1A, BMPR1B, BMPR2, MSTN and GDF10. Additionally, 104 ancestral informative markers were assessed to discriminate between European and native American ancestry. The importance of estrogen on BMP-related associations was suggested through unique associations by menopausal status and estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptor status of tumors. After adjustment for multiple comparisons ACVR1 (8 SNPs) was modestly associated with ER+PR+ tumors [odds ratios (ORs) between 1.18 and 1.39 padj < 0.05]. ACVR1 (3 SNPs) and BMP4 (3 SNPs) were associated with ER+PR- tumors (ORs 0.59-2.07; padj < 0.05). BMPR2 was associated with ER-PR+ tumors (OR 4.20; 95% CI 1.62, 10.91; padj < 0.05) as was GDF10 (2 SNPs; ORs 3.62 and 3.85; padj < 0.05). After adjustment for multiple comparisons several SNPs remained associated with ER-PR- tumors (padj < 0.05) including ACVR1 BMP4 and GDF10 (ORs between 0.53 and 2.12). Differences in association also were observed by percentage of native ancestry and menopausal status. Results support the hypothesis that genetic variation in BMPs is associated with breast cancer in this admixed population.

Related: Breast Cancer

Boeuf S, Bovée JV, Lehner B, et al.
BMP and TGFbeta pathways in human central chondrosarcoma: enhanced endoglin and Smad 1 signaling in high grade tumors.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:488 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: As major regulators of normal chondrogenesis, the bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and transforming growth factor β (TGFB) signaling pathways may be involved in the development and progression of central chondrosarcoma. In order to uncover their possible implication, the aim of this study was to perform a systematic quantitative study of the expression of BMPs, TGFBs and their receptors and to assess activity of the corresponding pathways in central chondrosarcoma.
METHODS: Gene expression analysis was performed by quantitative RT-PCR in 26 central chondrosarcoma and 6 healthy articular cartilage samples. Expression of endoglin and nuclear localization of phosphorylated Smad1/5/8 and Smad2 was assessed by immunohistochemical analysis.
RESULTS: The expression of TGFB3 and of the activin receptor-like kinase ALK2 was found to be significantly higher in grade III compared to grade I chondrosarcoma. Nuclear phosphorylated Smad1/5/8 and Smad2 were found in all tumors analyzed and the activity of both signaling pathways was confirmed by functional reporter assays in 2 chondrosarcoma cell lines. Immunohistochemical analysis furthermore revealed that phosphorylated Smad1/5/8 and endoglin expression were significantly higher in high-grade compared to low-grade chondrosarcoma and correlated to each other.
CONCLUSIONS: The BMP and TGFβ signaling pathways were found to be active in central chondrosarcoma cells. The correlation of Smad1/5/8 activity to endoglin expression suggests that, as described in other cell types, endoglin could enhance Smad1/5/8 signaling in high-grade chondrosarcoma cells. Endoglin expression coupled to Smad1/5/8 activation could thus represent a functionally important signaling axis for the progression of chondrosarcoma and a regulator of the undifferentiated phenotype of high-grade tumor cells.

Related: Bone Cancers Chondrosarcoma Signal Transduction SMAD1

Bitu CC, Destro MF, Carrera M, et al.
HOXA1 is overexpressed in oral squamous cell carcinomas and its expression is correlated with poor prognosis.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:146 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HOX genes encode homeodomain-containing transcription factors involved in the regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation during embryogenesis. However, members of this family demonstrated oncogenic properties in some malignancies. The present study investigated whether genes of the HOXA cluster play a role in oral cancer.
METHODS: In order to identify differentially expressed HOXA genes, duplex RT-PCR in oral samples from healthy mucosa and squamous cell carcinoma was used. The effects of HOXA1 on proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and anchorage-independent growth were assessed in cells with up- and down-regulation of HOXA1. Immunohistochemical analysis using a tissue microarray (TMA) containing 127 oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) was performed to determine the prognostic role of HOXA1 expression.
RESULTS: We showed that transcripts of HOXA genes are more abundant in OSCC than in healthy oral mucosa. In particular, HOXA1, which has been described as one of the HOX members that plays an important role in tumorigenesis, was significantly more expressed in OSCCs compared to healthy oral mucosas. Further analysis demonstrated that overexpression of HOXA1 in HaCAT human epithelial cells promotes proliferation, whereas downregulation of HOXA1 in human OSCC cells (SCC9 cells) decreases it. Enforced HOXA1 expression in HaCAT cells was not capable of modulating other events related to tumorigenesis, including apoptosis, adhesion, invasion, EMT and anchorage-independent growth. A high number of HOXA1-positive cells was significantly associated with T stage, N stage, tumor differentiation and proliferative potential of the tumors, and was predictive of poor survival. In multivariate analysis, HOXA1 was an independent prognostic factor for OSCC patients (HR: 2.68; 95% CI: 1.59-2.97; p = 0.026).
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that HOXA1 may contribute to oral carcinogenesis by increasing tumor cell proliferation, and suggest that HOXA1 expression might be helpful as a prognostic marker for patients with OSCC.

Related: Apoptosis Oral Cancer

Jin Y, Zhen Y, Haugsten EM, Wiedlocha A
The driver of malignancy in KG-1a leukemic cells, FGFR1OP2-FGFR1, encodes an HSP90 addicted oncoprotein.
Cell Signal. 2011; 23(11):1758-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
The KG-1a cell line is developed from a human stem cell myeloproliferative neoplasm as the result of intragenic disruption and a chromosomal translocation of the FGFR1 gene and the FGFR1OP2 gene encoding a protein of unknown function called FOP2 (FGFR1 Oncogene Partner 2). The resulting fusion protein FOP2-FGFR1 is soluble and has constitutive tyrosine kinase activity. Since the heat shock protein HSP90 and its co-chaperone CDC37 have been shown to stabilize many oncogenic proteins, we investigated the requirement for HSP90 or HSP90-CDC37 assistance to maintain the stability or activity of FOP2-FGFR1 expressed in KG-1a cells. We found that HSP90-CDC37 forms a permanent complex with FOP2-FGFR1. This results in protection against degradation of FOP2-FGFR1 and holds the oncoprotein in a permanently active conformation. Inhibition of HSP90 or depletion of CDC37 or heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) reduced the expression level of FOP2-FGFR1 and was sufficient to block the oncoprotein induced proliferation of KG-1a cells. We conclude that the driver of malignancy in KG-1a leukemic cells, FOP2-FGFR1, is an HSP90 addicted oncoprotein. This provides a rationale for the therapeutic use of HSP90 inhibitors in myeloid leukemias that contain FGFR fusion proteins.

Related: FGFR1 gene Signal Transduction

Ambrosio EP, Drigo SA, Bérgamo NA, et al.
Recurrent copy number gains of ACVR1 and corresponding transcript overexpression are associated with survival in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Histopathology. 2011; 59(1):81-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate the copy number alteration on 2q24, its association with ACVR1 transcript expression and the prognostic value of these data in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-eight samples of squamous cell carcinoma were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using the probes RP11-546J1 (2q24) and RP11-21P18 (internal control). Significant gains at 2q24 were detected in most cases at frequencies varying from 3 to 35%. ACVR1 gains and amplifications were associated with longer overall survival (P = 0.022). ACVR1 mRNA expression analysis in 78 cases revealed overexpression in 44% (34 of 78) of these tumours, suggesting that gene copy number alterations could be involved in gene overexpression. In laryngeal carcinomas, overexpression of ACVR1 mRNA levels was associated with longer overall survival (P = 0.013). Multivariate analysis revealed that ACVR1 is an independent prognostic marker in laryngeal carcinomas (P = 0.012, hazard ratio = 0.165, 95% confidence interval =0.041-0.668).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that copy number alterations at 2q24 can be involved in ACVR1 overexpression, which is associated with longer overall survival in laryngeal carcinomas. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating the relevance of ACVR1 expression in head and neck cancers.

Related: Chromosome 2 Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology FISH Cancer of the Larynx Laryngeal Cancer - Molecular Biology Oral Cancer

Wiley LA, Rajagopal R, Dattilo LK, Beebe DC
The tumor suppressor gene Trp53 protects the mouse lens against posterior subcapsular cataracts and the BMP receptor Acvr1 acts as a tumor suppressor in the lens.
Dis Model Mech. 2011; 4(4):484-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We previously found that lenses lacking the Acvr1 gene, which encodes a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor, had abnormal proliferation and cell death in epithelial and cortical fiber cells. We tested whether the tumor suppressor protein p53 (encoded by Trp53) affected this phenotype. Acvr1 conditional knockout (Acvr1(CKO)) mouse fiber cells had increased numbers of nuclei that stained for p53 phosphorylated on serine 15, an indicator of p53 stabilization and activation. Deletion of Trp53 rescued the Acvr1(CKO) cell death phenotype in embryos and reduced Acvr1-dependent apoptosis in postnatal lenses. However, deletion of Trp53 alone increased the number of fiber cells that failed to withdraw from the cell cycle. Trp53(CKO) and Acvr1;Trp53(DCKO) (double conditional knockout), but not Acvr1(CKO), lenses developed abnormal collections of cells at the posterior of the lens that resembled posterior subcapsular cataracts. Cells from human posterior subcapsular cataracts had morphological and molecular characteristics similar to the cells at the posterior of mouse lenses lacking Trp53. In Trp53(CKO) lenses, cells in the posterior plaques did not proliferate but, in Acvr1;Trp53(DCKO) lenses, many cells in the posterior plaques continued to proliferate, eventually forming vascularized tumor-like masses at the posterior of the lens. We conclude that p53 protects the lens against posterior subcapsular cataract formation by suppressing the proliferation of fiber cells and promoting the death of any fiber cells that enter the cell cycle. Acvr1 acts as a tumor suppressor in the lens. Enhancing p53 function in the lens could contribute to the prevention of steroid- and radiation-induced posterior subcapsular cataracts.

Related: Apoptosis Eye Cancer TP53

von Marschall Z, Fisher LW
Secreted Frizzled-related protein-2 (sFRP2) augments canonical Wnt3a-induced signaling.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010; 400(3):299-304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Secreted Frizzled-related proteins (sFRP) are involved in embryonic development as well as pathological conditions including bone and myocardial disorders and cancer. Because of their sequence homology with the Wnt-binding domain of Frizzled, they have generally been considered antagonists of canonical Wnt signaling. However, additional activities of various sFRPs including both synergism and mimicry of Wnt signaling as well as functions other than modulation of Wnt signaling have been reported. Using human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293A), we found that sFRP2 enhanced Wnt3a-dependent phosphorylation of LRP6 as well as both cytosolic β-catenin levels and its nuclear translocation. While addition of recombinant sFRP2 had no activity by itself, Top/Fop luciferase reporter assays showed a dose-dependent increase of Wnt3a-mediated transcriptional activity. sFRP2 enhancement of Wnt3a signaling was abolished by treatment with the Wnt antagonist, Dickkopf-1 (DKK1). Wnt-signaling pathway qPCR arrays showed that sFRP2 enhanced the Wnt3a-mediated transcriptional up-regulation of several genes regulated by Wnt3a including its antagonists, DKK1, and Naked cuticle-1 homolog (NKD1). These results support sFRP2's role as an enhancer of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, a result with biological impact for both normal development and diverse pathologies such as tumorigenesis.

Related: Signal Transduction CTNNB1 gene

Lee CH, Hung HW, Hung PH, Shieh YS
Epidermal growth factor receptor regulates beta-catenin location, stability, and transcriptional activity in oral cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2010; 9:64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Many cancerous cells accumulate beta-catenin in the nucleus. We examined the role of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in the accumulation of beta-catenin in the nuclei of oral cancer cells.
RESULTS: We used two strains of cultured oral cancer cells, one with reduced EGFR expression (OECM1 cells) and one with elevated EGFR expression (SAS cells), and measured downstream effects, such as phosphorylation of beta-catenin and GSK-3beta, association of beta-catenin with E-cadherin, and target gene regulation. We also studied the expression of EGFR, beta-catenin, and cyclin D1 in 112 samples of oral cancer by immunostaining. Activation of EGFR signaling increased the amount of beta-catenin in the nucleus and decreased the amount in the membranes. EGF treatment increased phosphorylation of beta-catenin (tyrosine) and GSK-3beta(Ser-(9), resulting in a loss of beta-catenin association with E-cadherin. TOP-FLASH and FOP-FLASH reporter assays demonstrated that the EGFR signal regulates beta-catenin transcriptional activity and mediates cyclin D1 expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments indicated that the EGFR signal affects chromatin architecture at the regulatory element of cyclin D1, and that the CBP, HDAC1, and Suv39h1 histone/chromatin remodeling complex is involved in this process. Immunostaining showed a significant association between EGFR expression and aberrant accumulation of beta-catenin in oral cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: EGFR signaling regulates beta-catenin localization and stability, target gene expression, and tumor progression in oral cancer. Moreover, our data suggest that aberrant accumulation of beta-catenin under EGFR activation is a malignancy marker of oral cancer.

Related: Oral Cancer Signal Transduction CTNNB1 gene

Jung B, Gomez J, Chau E, et al.
Activin signaling in microsatellite stable colon cancers is disrupted by a combination of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.
PLoS One. 2009; 4(12):e8308 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Activin receptor 2 (ACVR2) is commonly mutated in microsatellite unstable (MSI) colon cancers, leading to protein loss, signaling disruption, and larger tumors. Here, we examined activin signaling disruption in microsatellite stable (MSS) colon cancers.
METHODS: Fifty-one population-based MSS colon cancers were assessed for ACVR1, ACVR2 and pSMAD2 protein. Consensus mutation-prone portions of ACVR2 were sequenced in primary cancers and all exons in colon cancer cell lines. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was evaluated for ACVR2 and ACVR1, and ACVR2 promoter methylation by methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite sequencing and chromosomal instability (CIN) phenotype via fluorescent LOH analysis of 3 duplicate markers. ACVR2 promoter methylation and ACVR2 expression were assessed in colon cancer cell lines via qPCR and IP-Western blots. Re-expression of ACVR2 after demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza) was determined. An additional 26 MSS colon cancers were assessed for ACVR2 loss and its mechanism, and ACVR2 loss in all tested cancers correlated with clinicopathological criteria.
RESULTS: Of 51 MSS colon tumors, 7 (14%) lost ACVR2, 2 (4%) ACVR1, and 5 (10%) pSMAD2 expression. No somatic ACVR2 mutations were detected. Loss of ACVR2 expression was associated with LOH at ACVR2 (p<0.001) and ACVR2 promoter hypermethylation (p<0.05). ACVR2 LOH, but not promoter hypermethylation, correlated with CIN status. In colon cancer cell lines with fully methylated ACVR2 promoter, loss of ACVR2 mRNA and protein expression was restored with 5-Aza treatment. Loss of ACVR2 was associated with an increase in primary colon cancer volume (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Only a small percentage of MSS colon cancers lose expression of activin signaling members. ACVR2 loss occurs through LOH and ACVR2 promoter hypermethylation, revealing distinct mechanisms for ACVR2 inactivation in both MSI and MSS subtypes of colon cancer.

Related: Signal Transduction

Grcević D, Kusec R, Kovacić N, et al.
Bone morphogenetic proteins and receptors are over-expressed in bone-marrow cells of multiple myeloma patients and support myeloma cells by inducing ID genes.
Leuk Res. 2010; 34(6):742-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
We assessed the expression pattern and clinical relevance of BMPs and related molecules in multiple myeloma (MM). MM bone-marrow samples (n=32) had increased BMP4, BMP6, ACVR1 and ACVR2A, and decreased NOG expression compared with controls (n=15), with BMP6 having the highest sensitivity/specificity. Within MM bone-marrow, the source of BMPs was mainly CD138(+) plasma-cell population, and BMP6 and ACVR1 expression correlated with plasma-cell percentage. Using myeloma cell lines NCI H929 and Thiel we showed that BMPs induced ID1, ID2 and IL6, and suppressed CDKN1A and BAX gene expression, and BAX protein expression. Finally, BMPs partially protected myeloma cells from bortezomib- and TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We concluded that BMPs may be involved in MM pathophysiology and serve as myeloma cell biomarkers.

Related: Myeloma Myeloma - Molecular Biology

Kevenaar ME, Themmen AP, van Kerkwijk AJ, et al.
Variants in the ACVR1 gene are associated with AMH levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Hum Reprod. 2009; 24(1):241-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovaries display an increased number of pre-antral and antral follicles compared with normal ovaries, suggesting that early and late follicle development are disturbed. The pathophysiology of this process is poorly understood. Since the transforming growth factor beta family members, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), inhibit FSH sensitivity, their signalling may contribute to the aberrant follicle development in these women. Here, we investigated the role of ALK2, a type I receptor for AMH/BMP signalling, in PCOS using a genetic approach.
METHODS: Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms in the ACVR1 gene, encoding ALK2, were genotyped in 359 PCOS patients and 30 normo-ovulatory and 3543 population-based control women, and haplotypes were determined. Subsequently, the association of ACVR1 variants with ovarian parameters and hormone levels was investigated.
RESULTS: The polymorphisms rs1220134, rs10497189 and rs2033962 and their corresponding haplotypes did not show different frequencies from controls, but were associated with AMH levels in PCOS women (P = 0.001, P = 0.002 and P = 0.007, respectively). Adjustment for follicle number revealed that the association with AMH levels was, in part, independent from follicle number, suggesting that variants in ACVR1 also influence AMH production per follicle.
CONCLUSIONS: Genetic variation within ACVR1 is associated with AMH levels and follicle number in PCOS women, suggesting that ALK2 signalling contributes to the disturbed folliculogenesis in PCOS patients.

Related: Signal Transduction

Xia Y, Babitt JL, Sidis Y, et al.
Hemojuvelin regulates hepcidin expression via a selective subset of BMP ligands and receptors independently of neogenin.
Blood. 2008; 111(10):5195-204 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hemojuvelin (HJV) is a coreceptor for bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling that regulates hepcidin expression and iron metabolism. However, the precise combinations of BMP ligands and receptors used by HJV remain unknown. HJV has also been demonstrated to bind to neogenin, but it is not known whether this interaction has a role in regulating hepcidin expression. In the present study, we show that BMP-2, BMP-4, and BMP-6 are endogenous ligands for HJV in hepatoma-derived cell lines, and that all 3 of these ligands are expressed in human liver. We demonstrate in vitro that HJV selectively uses the BMP type II receptors ActRIIA and BMPRII, but not ActRIIB, and HJV enhances utilization of ActRIIA by BMP-2 and BMP-4. Interestingly, ActRIIA is the predominant BMP type II receptor expressed in human liver. While HJV can use all 3 BMP type I receptors (ALK2, ALK3, and ALK6) in vitro, only ALK2 and ALK3 are detected in human liver. Finally, we show that HJV-induced BMP signaling and hepcidin expression are not altered by neogenin overexpression or by inhibition of endogenous neogenin expression. Thus, HJV-mediated BMP signaling and hepcidin regulation occur via a distinct subset of BMP ligands and BMP receptors, independently of neogenin.

Sugarbaker DJ, Richards WG, Gordon GJ, et al.
Transcriptome sequencing of malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008; 105(9):3521-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancers arise by the gradual accumulation of mutations in multiple genes. We now use shotgun pyrosequencing to characterize RNA mutations and expression levels unique to malignant pleural mesotheliomas (MPMs) and not present in control tissues. On average, 266 Mb of cDNA were sequenced from each of four MPMs, from a control pulmonary adenocarcinoma (ADCA), and from normal lung tissue. Previously observed differences in MPM RNA expression levels were confirmed. Point mutations were identified by using criteria that require the presence of the mutation in at least four reads and in both cDNA strands and the absence of the mutation from sequence databases, normal adjacent tissues, and other controls. In the four MPMs, 15 nonsynonymous mutations were discovered: 7 were point mutations, 3 were deletions, 4 were exclusively expressed as a consequence of imputed epigenetic silencing, and 1 was putatively expressed as a consequence of RNA editing. Notably, each MPM had a different mutation profile, and no mutated gene was previously implicated in MPM. Of the seven point mutations, three were observed in at least one tumor from 49 other MPM patients. The mutations were in genes that could be causally related to cancer and included XRCC6, PDZK1IP1, ACTR1A, and AVEN.

Related: Mesothelioma

Mozziconacci MJ, Carbuccia N, Prebet T, et al.
Common features of myeloproliferative disorders with t(8;9)(p12;q33) and CEP110-FGFR1 fusion: report of a new case and review of the literature.
Leuk Res. 2008; 32(8):1304-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The 8p12 myeloproliferative syndrome is a rare, generally aggressive chronic myeloproliferative disorder (MPD). The hallmark of this MPD is the disruption of the FGFR1 gene, which encodes a tyrosine kinase receptor for members of the fibroblast growth factor family. In MPD cells FGFR1 is fused to several partners. The most frequent partner genes are BCR, CEP110, FOP, and ZNF198, localized on 22q11, 9q33, 6q27, and 13q12, respectively. We report here the tenth case of translocation (8;9)(p12;q33) in an acute myelomonocytic leukemia and provide a review of the literature that points to common syndrome features: the t(8;9)(p11;q33) MPD transforms rapidly, and always in myelomonocytic leukemia, with a possible B- or T-lymphoid involvement, which may include tonsil invasion. The FGFR1-MPD seems refractory to current chemotherapies and is not sensitive to imatinib. Currently, only the patients with bone marrow transplantation stand a chance of survival.

Related: Chromosome 8 Chromosome 9 FGFR1 gene

Grisaru D, Hauspy J, Prasad M, et al.
Microarray expression identification of differentially expressed genes in serous epithelial ovarian cancer compared with bulk normal ovarian tissue and ovarian surface scrapings.
Oncol Rep. 2007; 18(6):1347-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
The lack of reliable early detection of ovarian cancer and the absence of specific symptoms result in diagnosis of ovarian cancer at advanced stage in the majority of the patients. Through gene expression profiling we can identify important genes that may help understand the evolution from normal ovarian tissue to ovarian cancer. The gene expression profiles of 7 normal ovaries and 26 ovaries with serous epithelial ovarian cancer (SEOC) were examined by cDNA microarrays using supervised and unsupervised analysis, with sequential significance filtering. Real-time RT-PCR was used to measure and compare the expression levels of 5 selected genes: WAP four-disulfide core domain protein HE4 (WAP, up-regulated), secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1, osteopontin; up-regulated), activin A receptor, type I (ACVR1, up-regulated), tumor necrosis factor (TNF superfamily, member 2; TNF, up-regulated) and decorin (DCN, down-regulated) in 4 epithelial scrapings and in 6 bulk-extracted normal ovaries. The gene expression profile of SEOC was not dependent on the stage of the disease at diagnosis. A supervised microarray data analysis identified a subset of 329 genes showing significant differential expression between SEOC samples and bulk normal ovarian tissue and ovarian surface scrapings, including several new genes such as TNFalpha and activin A receptor type I. The real-time RT-PCR for the up-regulated genes did not differ significantly between normal ovarian epithelial scrapings and bulk-extracted ovaries. However, decorin showed a statistically significant difference (P=0.0073) in expression between epithelial scrapings and bulk-extracted ovaries. Previously uncharacterized genes are associated with the malignant phenotype of SEOC. Bulk normal ovarian tissue may serve as control for SEOC tissue in gene expression profiling. Gene expression profiling and sequential statistical analyses of gene subsets can identify new genes and molecular pathways affecting development of SEOC. The genes of interest can be potential targets for future research of SEOC.

Related: Ovarian Cancer

Giladi N, Dvory-Sobol H, Sagiv E, et al.
Gene therapy approach in prostate cancer cells using an active Wnt signal.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2007; 61(9):527-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Functional activation of beta-catenin/T-cell factor (Tcf) signaling plays an important role in the early events of carcinogenesis. In past recent years accumulated evidence has demonstrated a significant role for the Wnt pathway in the development and progression of human prostate cancer. The objective of the current study was to use a gene-targeting approach to selectively kill human prostate cancer cells with activated beta-catenin/Tcf signaling.
METHODS: A recombinant adenovirus that carries a lethal gene (PUMA) under the control of a beta-catenin/T-cell factor (Tcf)-responsive promoter (Ad-TOP-PUMA), was used to selectively target human prostate cancer cells (PC-3) in which the beta-catenin/Tcf pathway is activated, and compared its killing efficiency in cancer cells in which this pathway is inactive (DU145 cells). Ad-FOP-PUMA, carrying a mutant Tcf binding site, was used as a control virus. Cell viability was measured by methylene blue assay, and the level of beta-catenin/Tcf activity was measured by luciferase assay.
RESULTS: The Ad-TOP-PUMA adenovirus inhibited PC-3 cell growth in a dose and time-dependent fashion, but did not had any effect on DU145 cell growth.
CONCLUSIONS: Selective targeting of prostate cancer cells with the activated beta-catenin pathway may be a novel and effective therapy in prostate cancer.

Related: Apoptosis Prostate Cancer Signal Transduction CTNNB1 gene

Jung BH, Beck SE, Cabral J, et al.
Activin type 2 receptor restoration in MSI-H colon cancer suppresses growth and enhances migration with activin.
Gastroenterology. 2007; 132(2):633-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Colon cancers with high-frequency microsatellite instability (MSI-H) develop frameshift mutations in tumor suppressors as part of their pathogenesis. ACVR2 is mutated at its exon 10 polyadenine tract in >80% of MSI-H colon cancers, coinciding with loss of protein. ACVR2 transmits the growth effects of activin via phosphorylation of SMAD proteins to affect gene transcription. The functional effect of activin in colon cancers has not been studied. We developed and characterized a cell model in which we studied how activin signaling affects growth.
METHODS: hMLH1 and ACVR2 mutant HCT116 cells were previously stably transferred with chromosome 2 (HCT116+chr2), restoring a single regulated copy of wild-type ACVR2 but not hMLH1. Both HCT116+chr2 and parental HCT116 cells (as well as HEC59 and ACVR2 and hMSH2 complemented HEC59+chr2 cells) were assessed for genetic complementation and biologic function.
RESULTS: HCT116+chr2 cells and HEC59+chr2 cells, but not ACVR2-mutant HCT116 or HEC59 cells, acquired wild-type ACVR2 as well as expression of ACVR2 wild-type messenger RNA. Complemented ACVR2 protein complexed with ACVR1 with activin treatment, generating nuclear phosphoSMAD2 and activin-specific gene transcription. ACVR2-restored cells showed decreased growth and reduced S phase but increased cellular migration following activin treatment. ACVR2 small interfering RNA reversed these effects in complemented cells.
CONCLUSIONS: ACVR2-complemented MSI-H colon cancers restore activin-SMAD signaling, decrease growth, and slow their cell cycle following ligand stimulation but show increased cellular migration. Activin is growth suppressive and enhances migration similar to transforming growth factor beta in colon cancer, indicating that abrogation of the effects of activin contribute to the pathogenesis of MSI-H colon cancers.

Related: Chromosome 2 Signal Transduction MLH1

Li SS, Liu YH, Tseng CN, et al.
Characterization and gene expression profiling of five new human embryonic stem cell lines derived in Taiwan.
Stem Cells Dev. 2006; 15(4):532-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines have been reported, but only a few of them have been fully characterized. In this report, five new hESC lines were derived from 32 discarded blastocysts in Taiwan, and these lines were continuously cultured on mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder layer in the hESC medium for more than 44 passages and underwent freezing/thawing processes. All five hESC lines expressed characteristic undifferentiated hESC markers, such as SSEA-4, TRA-1-81, alkaline phosphatase, TERT, and the transcription factors POU5F1 (OCT4) and NANOG. hESC lines T1 and T3 possess normal female karyotypes, whereas lines T4 and T5 are normal male, but line T2 is male trisomy 12 (47XY,+12). hESC lines T1, T2, T3, and T5 were able to produce teratomas in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, and line T4 could only form embryoid bodies (EBs) in vitro. Global gene expression profiles of these five newly derived hESC lines were analyzed using the Affymetrix human genome U133 plus 2.0 GeneChip. The results showed that 4,145 transcripts, including 19% of unknown functions, were detected in all five hESC lines. Comparison of the 4,145 genes commonly expressed in the five hESC lines with those genes expressed in teratomas produced by the hESC line T1 and placenta revealed 40 genes exclusively expressed in all five hESC lines. These 40 genes include the previously reported stemness genes, such as POU5F1 (OCT4), NANOG, TDGF1 (CRIPTO), SALL4, LECT1, and BUB1 responsible for self-renewal and pluripotent differentiation. The global gene expression analysis also indicated that the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)/activin branch components inhibin BC, ACVR2A, ACVR1 (ALK2), TGFBR1 (ALK5), and SMAD2 were found to be highly expressed in undifferentiated states of these five hESC lines and decreased upon differentiation. In short, the hESC nature of these five hESC lines is supported by the undifferentiated state, extensive renewal capacity, and pluripotency, including the ability to form teratomas and/or EBs. These cell lines will be useful for human embryonic stem cell biology and drug development.

Related: Chromosome Y


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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. ACVR1, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancerindex.org/geneweb/ACVR1.htm Accessed: date

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