Gene Summary

Gene:ACVR1; activin A receptor type 1
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, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:activin receptor type-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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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

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: ACVR1 (cancer-related)

Fasihi A, Soltani BM, Ranjbaran ZS, et al.
Hsa-miR-942 fingerprint in colorectal cancer through Wnt signaling pathway.
Gene. 2019; 712:143958 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wnt signaling pathway has been identified for its function in carcinogenesis and embryonic development. It is known to play a vital role in the initiation and development of colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, it is of great importance for CRC research to illuminate the mechanisms which regulate Wnt pathway activity. Here, we intended to examine the effect of hsa-miR-942 (miR-942) on the Wnt signaling activity, cell cycle progression, and its expression in CRC tissues. RT-qPCR results indicated that miR-942 is significantly upregulated in colorectal cancer. Then, overexpression of miR-942 promoted, whereas its inhibition decreased the Wnt signaling activity, detected by RT-qPCR and Top/Fop flash assay. Inhibition of Wnt signaling by using PNU-74654 or IWP-2 small molecules indicated that miR-942 applies its effect to the β-catenin degradation complex level. Then, RT-qPCR and dual luciferase assay showed that miR-942 upregulated Wnt signaling through direct targeting of APC, which is a tumor suppressor in Wnt signaling pathway. Furthermore, the western blotting analysis indicated that β.catenin, as a main member of Wnt signaling pathway is upregulated following the overexpression of miR-942. Finally, miR-942 overexpression resulted in cell cycle progression in SW480 cells. Taken together, our findings established an oncogenic role for miR-942 in CRC and indicated that this miRNA might be a crucial target for CRC therapy.

Luo W, Yan D, Song Z, et al.
miR-126-3p sensitizes glioblastoma cells to temozolomide by inactivating Wnt/β-catenin signaling via targeting SOX2.
Life Sci. 2019; 226:98-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The acquired drug resistance has been regarded as a main barrier for the effective treatment of temozolomide (TMZ) in glioblastoma (GBM). MiR-126-3p is commonly down-regulated and exerts tumor-suppressive roles in kinds of human cancers, including GBM. This study was designed to investigate the functions and mechanisms of miR-126-3p in regulating TMZ resistance in GBM.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: qRT-PCR analysis was used to measure the expressions of miR-126-3p and SOX2 mRNA in GBM tissues and cells. Cell viability, colony forming ability and apoptosis were detected to evaluate the effect of miR-126-3p or SOX2 on TMZ resistance. Luciferase reporter experiments were applied to identify the target genes of miR-126-3p. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the protein levels associated with Wnt/β-catenin signaling. TOP/FOP Flash assays were conducted to determine the effects of miR-126-3p or SOX2 on Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
KEY FINDINGS: miR-126-3p expression was decreased in TMZ-resistant GBM tissues and cells. High levels of miR-126-3p enhanced TMZ sensitivity by inhibiting cell viability, reducing colony forming potential and inducing apoptosis. Additionally, SOX2 was identified as a downstream target of miR-126-3p. On the contrary, SOX2 overexpression conferred TMZ resistance of GBM cells. Moreover, miR-126-3p-mediated TMZ sensitivity was reversed following increased expression of SOX2. Furthermore, miR-126-3p-induced inactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling was greatly abrogated by SOX2 up-regulation.
SIGNIFICANCE: MiR-126-3p sensitizes GBM cells to TMZ possibly by repressing SOX2 expression and blocking Wnt/β-catenin signaling. This study provides novel targets to overcome TMZ resistance in GBM chemotherapy.

Hoeman CM, Cordero FJ, Hu G, et al.
ACVR1 R206H cooperates with H3.1K27M in promoting diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma pathogenesis.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1023 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is an incurable pediatric brain tumor, with approximately 25% of DIPGs harboring activating ACVR1 mutations that commonly co-associate with H3.1K27M mutations. Here we show that in vitro expression of ACVR1 R206H with and without H3.1K27M upregulates mesenchymal markers and activates Stat3 signaling. In vivo expression of ACVR1 R206H or G328V with H3.1K27M and p53 deletion induces glioma-like lesions but is not sufficient for full gliomagenesis. However, in combination with PDGFA signaling, ACVR1 R206H and H3.1K27M significantly decrease survival and increase tumor incidence. Treatment of ACVR1 R206H mutant DIPGs with exogenous Noggin or the ACVR1 inhibitor LDN212854 significantly prolongs survival, with human ACVR1 mutant DIPG cell lines also being sensitive to LDN212854 treatment. Together, our results demonstrate that ACVR1 R206H and H3.1K27M promote tumor initiation, accelerate gliomagenesis, promote a mesenchymal profile partly due to Stat3 activation, and identify LDN212854 as a promising compound to treat DIPG.

Wu XB, Feng X, Chang QM, et al.
Cross-talk among AFAP1-AS1, ACVR1 and microRNA-384 regulates the stemness of pancreatic cancer cells and tumorigenicity in nude mice.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):107 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer (PC) represents one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. The role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been highlighted in various malignancies including PC. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects associated with actin filament-associated protein 1 antisense RNA 1 (AFAP1-AS1) on the progression of PC and the underlying mechanism.
METHODS: Microarray-based gene expression profiling of PC was performed to identify PC-related lncRNAs, after which the expression of AFAP1-AS1 and cancer stem cell (CSC) markers in PC tissues and cells were determined accordingly. The potential microRNA-384 (miR-384) capable of binding to AFAP1-AS1, in addition to its ability to regulate activin receptor A type I (ACVR1) were analyzed. In order to investigate the effect of the AFAP1-AS1/miR-384/ACVR1 axis on self-renewal ability, tumorigenicity, invasion, migration and stemness of PC cells, shRNA-AFAP1-AS1, miR-384 mimic and inhibitor were cloned into cells.
RESULTS: High expression of AFAP1-AS1 and ACVR1 with low expression of miR-384 were detected in PC tissues. ACVR1 was determined to be down-regulated when miR-384 was overexpressed, while the inhibition of AFAP1-AS1 decreased its ability to binding competitively to miR-384, resulting in the down-regulation of ACVR1 and enhancing miR-384 expression, ultimately inhibiting the progression of PC. The knockdown of AFAP1-AS1 or overexpression of miR-384 was confirmed to impair PC cell self-renewal ability, tumorigenicity, invasion, migration and stemness.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, AFAP1-AS1 functions as an endogenous RNA by competitively binding to miR-384 to regulate ACVR1, thus conferring inhibitory effects on PC cell stemness and tumorigenicity.

Díaz KP, Gondak R, Martins LL, et al.
Fatty acid synthase and Ki-67 immunoexpression can be useful for the identification of malignant component in carcinoma ex-pleomorphic adenoma.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2019; 48(3):232-238 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is the key molecule for catalyzing fatty acid synthesis and have been associated with several malignant tumors.
METHODS: We analyzed the expression of FASN and Ki-67, by immunohistochemistry on 29 carcinomas ex-pleomorphic adenoma (CXPAs) and 25 pleomorphic adenomas (PAs).
RESULTS: Ki-67 proliferation index and FASN expression were significantly higher in patients with CXPA than patients with PA (P < 0.001). We found intense immunoreactivity for FASN in the malignant component of CXPAs, and these malignant areas also had intense nuclear immunoreactivity for Ki-67.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest that overexpression of FASN in CXPAs might be associated with malignant transformation of ductal epithelial cells and/or myoepithelial cells from PA. FASN associated with Ki-67 may be useful diagnostic markers for CXPA.

Han F, Zhang MQ, Liu WB, et al.
SOX30 specially prevents Wnt-signaling to suppress metastasis and improve prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Respir Res. 2018; 19(1):241 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Different histological subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) show different molecular characteristics and responses to therapeutic strategy. Identification of specific gene, clarification of its special roles and molecular mechanisms are crucial for developing new therapeutic approach for particular subtype patients.
METHODS: Surgical specimens of 540 NSCLC patients were recruited. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect SOX30 expression, and correlations with clinical parameters were analyzed. Functional experiments and gene ontology analysis were performed to investigate roles of SOX30. Network analysis, TOP/FOP-Flash assays, luciferase reporter assays and ChIP-PCR assays were performed to determine the mechanism. Survival analyses were calculated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression. Recovery experiment was investigated the importance of the target of SOX30.
RESULTS: SOX30 expression is closely associated with histological types of NSCLC, and metastasis of adenocarcinoma (ADC) patients but not of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients. SOX30 strongly inhibits cancer cell migration and invasion in ADC cell lines, whrereas not affects cell migration and invasion in SCC cell lines. The genes associated with SOX30 preferentially enrich in metastasis process and Wnt-signaling in only ADC patients. Consistently, SOX30 is negatively associated with the expression of Wnt-signaling and metastasis-related gene CTNNB1 (β-catenin) in ADC, but not in SCC. At the molecular level, SOX30 represses Wnt-signaling by directly transcriptional inhibition of CTNNB1 in ADC, and also not in SCC. In the clinical, SOX30 is a favorable and independent prognostic factor in ADC patients, whereas is an unfavorable and independent prognostic factor in SCC patients. Moreover, SOX30 expression is a double face early-stage prognostic biomarker in ADC and SCC patients. In addition, forcible restoration of CTNNB1 indeed can inhibit the anti-metastatic role of SOX30 in ADC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: In early-stage ADC patients, elevated SOX30 expression inhibits tumor-metastasis by directly binding to CTNNB1 promoter resulting in a favorable prognosis of these patients. However, in early-stage SCC patients, SOX30 has no inhibitory role on tumor-metastasis due to not binding to CTNNB1 promoter leading to an unfavorable prognosis of the patients. This study highlights a special role and prognostic value of SOX30 in ADC, providing a novel therapeutic target for particular subtype NSCLC patients.

Orciani M, Caffarini M, Torresetti M, et al.
Breast Implant Texturization Does Not Affect the Crosstalk Between MSC and ALCL Cells.
Inflammation. 2019; 42(2):721-730 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the last decade, there has been a growing interest about the possible association between anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and breast implants (BIA-ALCL). Many variables, such as breast implants texturization, have been investigated. Breast implants often lead to the formation of a periprosthetic capsule, characterized by inflammation. The presence of the inflamed capsule has been found in the majority of patients with BIA-ALCL. Inflammation may be sustained or counteracted by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) by the secretion of pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines. MSCs were isolated from three capsules surrounding micro-textured (micro-MSCs) and from three capsules surrounding macro-textured (macro-MSCs) implants; after characterization, MSCs were co-cultured with KI-JK cells (a cell line derived from the cutaneous form of ALCL). The secretion of cytokines related to inflammation, the proliferation rate, and the expression of genes referred to pro-tumoral mechanisms were evaluated. Co-cultures of KI-JK cells with micro- or macro-MSCs gave the same results about the secretion of cytokines (increase of IL10, G-CSF, and TGF-β1 and decrease of IL4, IL5, IL12, IL13, IL17A, IFN-γ (p < 0.05) with respect to mock sample), expression of selected genes (increase for ACVR1, VEGF, TGF-βR2, CXCL12, and MKi67 (p < 0.05) with respect to control sample), and the proliferation rate (no variation between mock and co-cultured samples). Our results suggest that MSCs derived from capsules surrounding micro- and macro-textured implants display the same effects on the ALCL cells.

Sun J, Li B, Jia Z, et al.
RUNX3 inhibits glioma survival and invasion via suppression of the β-catenin/TCF-4 signaling pathway.
J Neurooncol. 2018; 140(1):15-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) exerts a tumor suppressor gene associated with gastric and other cancers, including glioma. However, how its anti-tumor mechanism in functions glioma is unclear.
METHODS: We assayed expression of RUNX3 with a tissue microarray (TMA), frozen cancer tissues and malignant glioma cell lines using immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR and Western bolt analysis. Cell proliferation, invasion, cell cycle distribution and apoptosis were also examined to confirm the effect of RUNX3 medicated malignant phenotype. TOP/FOP experiment was used to detect the β-catenin/Tcf-4 transcription activity by RUNX3.
RESULTS: Enforced RUNX3 expression inhibited proliferation and invasion, induced cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, Bim siRNA partically reversed the effect of RUNX3-induced apoptosis in LN229 and U87 cells, suggesting a dependent role of Bim-caspase pathway. Moreover, Mechanism investigations revealed that restoration of RUNX3 suppressed β-catenin/Tcf-4 transcription activity.
CONCLUSIONS: RUNX3 plays a pivotal role in glioma initiation and progression as a tumor suppressor via attenuation of Wnt signaling, highlighting it as a potential therapeutic target for glioma.

Hao X, Han F, Ma B, et al.
SOX30 is a key regulator of desmosomal gene suppressing tumor growth and metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The expression of desmosomal genes in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous carcinoma is different. However, the regulatory mechanism of desmosomal gene expression in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous carcinoma remains unknown.
METHODS: The correlation between expression of desmosomal gene expression and SOX30 expression were analyzed by bioinformatics. The expression of SOX30, DSP, JUP and DSC3 were detected in lung cancer cell lines, lung tissues of mice and patients' tissues by qPCR, WB, Immunofluorescence and Immunohistochemistry. A chromatin Immunoprecipitation assay was used to investigate the mechanisms of the SOX30 regulation on desmosomal gene expression. In vitro proliferation, migration and invasion assays, and an in vivo nude mice model were utilized to assess the important role of desmosomal genes on SOX30-induced tumor suppression. A WB assay and TOP/FOP flash reporter assay was used to investigate the downstream pathway regulated by the SOX30-desmosomal gene axis. A chemical carcinogenic model of SOX30-knockout mice was generated to confirm the role of the SOX30-desmosomal gene axis in tumorigenesis.
RESULTS: The expression of desmosomal genes were upregulated by SOX30 in lung adenocarcinoma but not in lung squamous carcinoma. Further mechanism studies showed that SOX30 acts as a key transcriptional regulator of desmosomal genes by directly binding to the ACAAT motif of desmosomal genes promoter region and activating their transcription in lung adenocarcinoma. Knockdown of the expression of related desmosomal genes by miRNA significantly attenuated the inhibitory effect of SOX30 on cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and on tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. In addition, knockout of SOX30 promotes lung tumor development and loss the inhibition of desmosomal genes on downstream Wnt and ERK signal in urethane-induced lung carcinogenesis in SOX30-knockout mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these findings demonstrate for the first time that SOX30 acts as a master switch of desmosomal genes, inhibits lung adenocarcinoma cell proliferation, migration and invasion by activating the transcription of desmosomal genes. This study provides novel insights on the regulatory mechanism of desmosomal genes in lung adenocarcinoma.

Wang Y, Zhang Z, Wang J
MicroRNA-384 inhibits the progression of breast cancer by targeting ACVR1.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(6):2563-2574 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females worldwide. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 15% of all breast cancer cases and has a poorer prognosis than other subtypes. Moreover, the treatment for breast cancer, especially for TNBC, remains unsatisfactory. Therefore, novel therapies are urgently needed. Microribonucleic acids (miRNAs) are a class of biomarkers and therapeutic targets in many types of cancers. In the present study, the expression of miR-384 was explored in GSE58606 and in fresh breast cancer tissues by qPCR. The results showed that miR-384 was decreased in breast cancer, especially in TNBC. The results of MTT, colony formation, soft agar, Transwell migration, wound healing and the tumorigenesis assay demonstranted that overexpression of miR-384 inhibited the proliferation and migration of breast cancer in vitro and in vivo; knockdown of miR-384 enhanced the proliferation and migration of breast cancer. In addition, luciferase assay showed that Activin A receptor type 1 (ACVR1) was a direct target of miR-384 and is involved in the inhibitory effects of miR-384 on breast cancer progression. Furthermore, this study indicated that ACVR1 activated the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in breast cancer. In conclusion, our findings revealed functional and mechanistic links between miR-384 and ACVR1 in the progression of breast cancer. miR-384 not only plays an important role in the progression of breast cancer, but has promise as a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer especially for TNBC.

Katoch A, Suklabaidya S, Chakraborty S, et al.
Dual role of Par-4 in abrogation of EMT and switching on Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition (MET) in metastatic pancreatic cancer cells.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(9):1102-1115 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical event that occurs during the invasion and metastatic spread of cancer cells. Here, we conceive a dual mechanism of Par-4-mediated inhibition of EMT and induction of MET in metastatic pancreatic cancer cells. First, we demonstrate that 1,1'-β-D-glucopyranosyl-3,3'-bis(5-bromoindolyl)-octyl methane (NGD16), an N-glycosylated derivative of medicinally important phytochemical 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) abrogates EMT by inducing pro-apoptotic protein Par-4. Induction of Par-4 (by NGD16 or ectopic overexpression) strongly impedes invasion with inhibition of major mesenchymal markers viz. Vimentin and Twist-1 epithelial marker- E-cadherin. Further, NGD16 triggers MET phenotypes in pancreatic cancer cells by augmenting ALK2/Smad4 signaling in a Par-4-dependent manner. Conversely, siRNA-mediated silencing of endogenous Par-4 unveil reversal of MET with diminished E-cadherin expression and invasive phenotypes. Additionally, we demonstrate that intact Smad4 is essential for Par-4-mediated maintenance of E-cadherin level in MET induced cells. Notably, we imply that Par-4 induction regulates E-cadherin levels in the pancreatic cancer cells via modulating Twist-1 promoter activity. Finally, in vivo studies with syngenic mouse metastatic pancreatic cancer model reveal that NGD16 strongly suppresses metastatic burden, ascites formation, and prolongs the overall survival of animals effectively.

Ji P, Fan X, Ma X, et al.
Krüppel-like factor 9 suppressed tumorigenicity of the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma by negatively regulating frizzled-5.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 499(4):815-821 [PubMed] Related Publications
Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) has been implicated in mediating a diverse range of biological processes. However, the expression pattern and biological functions of KLF9 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are still unknown. Here, we evaluated the role of KLF9 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Overexpression of KLF9 significantly inhibited proliferation and clone formation in PDAC cells, while silencing KLF9 expression dramatically promoted this effect in vitro. Knocking down the expression of KLF9 also promoted the tumorigenesis in the PDAC mouse xneograft model. In in vitro mechanism study, KLF9 negatively regulated the activity of wnt/beta-catenin pathway in Top/Fop reporter assay. Frizzled-5, a key component involving in this pathway, was sharp inhibited by KLF9 both in mRNA and protein level. Furthermore, a KLF9-binding site (BTE) was identified in the promoter region of Frizzled-5. Mutation or deletion of this BTE strongly disrupted the KLF9's regulatory effect on Frizzled-5. More importantly, the expression level of KLF9 was significantly lower in clinical PDAC tissue compared to matched normal tissues and inversely associated with survival of the patients. Together, our findings indicated that KLF9 suppressed tumorigenicity of the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma by negatively regulating frizzled-5.

Lu HJ, Yan J, Jin PY, et al.
Mechanism of MicroRNA-708 Targeting BAMBI in Cell Proliferation, Migration, and Apoptosis in Mice With Melanoma via the Wnt and TGF-β Signaling Pathways.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 17:1533034618756784 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the mechanisms involved with miRNA-708 and its targeting of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor in cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis in mice with melanoma via the Wnt and transforming growth factor β signaling pathways.
METHODS: Sixty mice were recruited of which 40 were subsequently assigned into the experimental group (22 mice were successfully established as melanoma model and 18 mice used in tumor xenograft), and the normal control group consisted of 20 mice. B16 cells were assigned to the normal, blank, and negative control, miR-708 mimics, miR-708 inhibitors, si-BAMBI, and miR-708 inhibitors + si-bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor groups. Western blotting and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction were employed to detect the expression levels within the tissues and cell lines. TCF luciferase reporter (TOP-FLASH) or a control vector (FOP-FLASH) was applied to detect the activity of the Wnt signaling pathway. MTT3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, flow cytometry, scratch test, and Transwell assay were conducted, respectively, for cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion, while tumor xenograft procedures were performed on the nude mice recruited for the study.
RESULTS: Compared to the normal control group, the model group displayed increased expressions of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor, Wnt10B, P53, and Bcl-2; TOPflash activity; β-catenin expression; cell proliferation; migration; and invasion capabilities while decreased expressions of miR-708, vascular endothelial growth factor, Fas, Bax, Caspase-3, and cleaved Caspase-3 and apoptosis rate. Compared to the blank and negative control groups, the miR-708 mimics and small-interfering RNA-bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor groups exhibited decreases expressions of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor, Wnt10B, P53, and Bcl-2 and decreased proliferation, migration, and invasion capabilities, while increases in the apoptosis rate, expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor, Fas, Bax, Caspase-3, and cleaved Caspase-3; however, downregulated levels of TOPflash activity and β-catenin expression were recorded. The miR-708 inhibitors group displayed an opposite trend.
CONCLUSION: Downregulation of miR-708-targeted bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor inhibits the proliferation and migration of melanoma cells through the activation of the transforming growth factor β pathway and the suppression of Wnt pathway.

Zhang M, Miao F, Huang R, et al.
RHBDD1 promotes colorectal cancer metastasis through the Wnt signaling pathway and its downstream target ZEB1.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: 40-50% of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients develop metastatic disease; the presence of metastasis hinders the effective treatment of cancer through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which makes 5-year survival rate extremely low; therefore, studying CRC metastasis is crucial for disease therapy. In the present study, we investigated the role of rhomboid domain containing 1 (RHBDD1) in tumor metastasis of CRC.
METHODS: The expression of RHBDD1 was analyzed in 539 colorectal tumor tissues for its correlation with lymphatic metastasis and distal metastasis. Transwell assay in vitro and pleural metastasis analysis in vivo were performed to determine the functions of RHBDD1 during CRC cells metastasis. RNA-seq analysis, TOP/FOP flash reporter assay, western blot and transwell assay were performed to investigate the underlying mechanism for the function of RHBDD1 on Wnt signaling pathway. Bioinformatics analysis was conducted to investigate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stemness in HCT-116 cells. Tissue microarray analysis, Q-PCR and western blot were performed to determine the correlation of RHBDD1 and Zinc Finger E-Box Binding Homeobox 1 (ZEB1).
RESULTS: In this study, we found that RHBDD1 expression was positively correlated with lymphatic metastasis and distal metastasis in 539 colorectal tumor tissues. RHBDD1 expression can promote CRC cells metastasis in vitro and in vivo. RNA-Seq analysis showed that the Wnt signaling pathway played a key role in this metastatic regulation. RHBDD1 mainly regulated ser552 and ser675 phosphorylation of β-catenin to activate the Wnt signaling pathway. Rescuing ser552 and ser675 phosphorylation of β-catenin resulted in the recovery of signaling pathway activity, migration, and invasion in CRC cells. RHBDD1 promoted EMT and a stem-like phenotype of CRC cells. RHBDD1 regulated the Wnt/β-catenin target gene ZEB1, a potent EMT activator, at the RNA and protein levels. Clinically, RHBDD1 expression was positively correlated with ZEB1 at the protein level in 71 colon tumor tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings therefore indicated that RHBDD1 can promote CRC metastasis through the Wnt signaling pathway and ZEB1. RHBDD1 may become a new therapeutic target or clinical biomarker for metastatic CRC.

Song XL, Huang B, Zhou BW, et al.
miR-1301-3p promotes prostate cancer stem cell expansion by targeting SFRP1 and GSK3β.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 99:369-374 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer stem cells promote tumor progression, drug-resistance, and relapse, and many microRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in the expansion of cancer stem cells. In the present study, we investigated the role of miR-1301-3p in the expansion of prostate cancer stem cells; miR-1301-3p was significantly upregulated in prostate cancer cells and tissues compared with normal prostate cells and tissues. Sphere formation and side population assays suggested that miR-1301-3p promoted the expansion of prostate cancer stem cells, and increased the expression of prostate cancer stem cell-associated genes, such as OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, CD44, KLF4, c-MYC, and MMP2. MiR-1301-3p targeted Wnt pathway inhibitors, GSK3β and SFRP1, and inhibited their expression by directly binding to their 3' untranslated regions. TOP/FOP luciferase assays suggested that miR-1301-3p activated the Wnt pathway, which was confirmed by increased β-catenin expression in the nucleus. Furthermore, the miR-1301-3p level correlated negatively with GSK3β and SFRP1 in prostate cancer tissues. In summary, we found that miR-1301-3p promoted the expansion of prostate cancer stem cells by inhibiting GSK3β and SFRP1, and activating the Wnt pathway.

Wang ZM, Wan XH, Sang GY, et al.
miR-15a-5p suppresses endometrial cancer cell growth via Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by inhibiting WNT3A.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(21):4810-4818 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Endometrial cancer is one of the three most common types of gynecologic cancer. The global incidence has increased in recent years. microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate numerous biological processes by binding to the 3'UTR of target mRNA to down-regulate protein synthesis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Endometrial cancer patients received surgeries in our hospital were enrolled. MiR-15a-5p mimic or miR-15a-5p inhibitor was transfected into HEC-1-A cells by lentivirus. Colony formation assay was applied for detecting cell proliferation. Real-time PCR was performed to test miRNA and mRNA expression. Western blot was used to detect protein level. ChIP was adopted to test transcription activation. TOP/FOP was tested to determine Wnt signaling pathway activity. A dual-luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm miRNA target.
RESULTS: miR-15a-5p was decreased in endometrial cancer cells and tissues. miR-15a-5p overexpression restrained HEC-1-A cell proliferation and stemness. miR-15a-5p mimic transfection reduced mRNA and protein levels of the proteins which are related to cell proliferation and Wnt signaling pathway. MiR-15a-5p targeted a putative binding site in the 3'-UTR of Wnt3a gene, thus regulating Wnt signaling pathway. miR-15a-5p overexpression decreased Wnt3a protein expression. Wnt3a presented significant negative correlation with the miR-15a-5p level in endometrial cancer patients.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-15a-5p is a regulator of endometrial cancer cell proliferation by directly targeting Wnt3a to block Wnt signaling pathway.

Feng ZY, Xu XH, Cen DZ, et al.
miR-590-3p promotes colon cancer cell proliferation via Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by inhibiting WIF1 and DKK1.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(21):4844-4852 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Colon cancer is one of the most common and deadly types of gastrointestinal tumor. Despite progressive treatments, the patient prognosis has not been improved effectively.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of miRNA and mRNA were tested by Realtime PCR. Cell cycle was detected by flow cytometry. Cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. Cell spheroid formation was determined by colony assay. Wnt signaling pathway activity was evaluated by TOP/FOP ratio. Protein expression was tested using Western blot. β-catenin binding ability was detected by ChIP assay. miRNA target gene was confirmed by luciferase assay.
RESULTS: miR-590-3p was found to be overexpressed in both glioma tissues and cell lines. miR-590-3p is upregulated in colon cancer cells and tissues compared to non-tumorigenic colon cells and normal colon tissues. miR-590-3p positively regulated cell proliferation, spheroid formation, and cell cycle in LS174T cells. Conversely, inhibition of miR-590-3p reduced these effects. We confirmed that WIF1 and DKK1 are targets of miR-590-3p. Overexpression of miR-590-3p promoted TOP flash luciferase activity, enhanced nuclear β-catenin levels and increased target genes expression of Wnt signaling pathway. The results indicated that miR-590-3p activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that miR-590-3p regulates colon cancer progression via WIF1 and DKK1, which suggests that miR-590-3p may be a promising candidate for therapeutic applications in colon cancer treatment.

Salloum R, McConechy MK, Mikael LG, et al.
Characterizing temporal genomic heterogeneity in pediatric high-grade gliomas.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2017; 5(1):78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pediatric high-grade gliomas (pHGGs) are aggressive neoplasms representing approximately 20% of brain tumors in children. Current therapies offer limited disease control, and patients have a poor prognosis. Empiric use of targeted therapy, especially at progression, is increasingly practiced despite a paucity of data regarding temporal and therapy-driven genomic evolution in pHGGs. To study the genetic landscape of pHGGs at recurrence, we performed whole exome and methylation analyses on matched primary and recurrent pHGGs from 16 patients. Tumor mutational profiles identified three distinct subgroups. Group 1 (n = 7) harbored known hotspot mutations in Histone 3 (H3) (K27M or G34V) or IDH1 (H3/IDH1 mutants) and co-occurring TP53 or ACVR1 mutations in tumor pairs across the disease course. Group 2 (n = 7), H3/IDH1 wildtype tumor pairs, harbored novel mutations in chromatin modifiers (ZMYND11, EP300 n = 2), all associated with TP53 alterations, or had BRAF V600E mutations (n = 2) conserved across tumor pairs. Group 3 included 2 tumors with NF1 germline mutations. Pairs from primary and relapsed pHGG samples clustered within the same DNA methylation subgroup. ATRX mutations were clonal and retained in H3G34V and H3/IDH1 wildtype tumors, while different genetic alterations in this gene were observed at diagnosis and recurrence in IDH1 mutant tumors. Mutations in putative drug targets (EGFR, ERBB2, PDGFRA, PI3K) were not always shared between primary and recurrence samples, indicating evolution during progression. Our findings indicate that specific key driver mutations in pHGGs are conserved at recurrence and are prime targets for therapeutic development and clinical trials (e.g. H3 post-translational modifications, IDH1, BRAF V600E). Other actionable mutations are acquired or lost, indicating that re-biopsy at recurrence will provide better guidance for effective targeted therapy of pHGGs.

Khan GJ, Gao Y, Gu M, et al.
TGF-β1 Causes EMT by Regulating N-Acetyl Glucosaminyl Transferases via Downregulation of Non Muscle Myosin II-A through JNK/P38/PI3K Pathway in Lung Cancer.
Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2018; 18(2):209-219 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a major determinant of cancer metastasis and is closely linked with TGF-β1. Intracellular proteins, including E. Cadherin, N. Cadherin and Vimentin are directly related to EMT that affect cell migration and adhesion; on the other hand, non muscle myosin (NM) has a central role in cytokinesis, migration and adhesion.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the association of EMT and metastasis with TGF-β1 through regulation of non-muscle myosin II-A (NMII-A) and its interaction with Hexosamine Biosynthesis Pathway (HBP).
METHOD: Protein expression changes were assessed by western blotting and immunofluorescent staining while transcription level changes were assessed by qRT-PCR. EMT was assessed by phenotypic analysis, wound healing, proliferation and transwell migration assay in vitro while in vivo studies were conducted in BALB/c nude mice for lung orthotopic and tail vein metastasis models.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that regulation of JNK/ P38/PI3K by TGF-β1 led to down expression of NMII-A which promoted EMT and lung cancer metastasis. This down expression of NMII-A conversely upregulated the expression of Core 2 N-acetyl Glucosaminyl Transferase mucin type (C2GnT-M) and further facilitated up-regulation and down-regulation of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (GnT) -V and -III respectively; moreover, NMII-A K.D cells showed 3 times more tendency to migrate towards brain in vivo.
CONCLUSION: The study reports a novel pathway through which NMII-A negatively regulates EMT and metastasis via up regulation of C2GnT-M, GnT-V and down expression of GnT-III. These findings of lung cancer may further be required to study other cancer types.

Huang W, Zhang C, Cui M, et al.
Inhibition of Bevacizumab-induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition by BATF2 Overexpression Involves the Suppression of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling in Glioblastoma Cells.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(8):4285-4294 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Bevacizumab (BV) has been used for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. However, it also induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in glioblastoma cells, which compromises its efficacy. BATF2 (basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor 2), a multi-target transcriptional repressor, has been found to suppress cancer development partly through inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin singling. The roles of BATF2 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in BV-induced EMT in glioblastoma cells were investigated in this study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: BV was used to treat U87MG cells, and TOP/FOP FLASH luciferase reporters were employed to determine the activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. EMT markers were detected with quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and western blotting. Immunofluorescence (IF) was used to determine the compartmentation of β-catenin. Wound-healing, TransWell and ECIS assays were used to analyze cell adhesion, invasion and migration.
RESULTS: BV induced EMT phenotype in U87MG cells, and BATF2 overexpression significantly inhibited BV-induced EMT with suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
CONCLUSION: Our findings expanded the understanding of the role of BATF2 in tumors, and also suggested a potential of using BATF2 as a therapeutic target to hinder bevacizumab induced EMT in glioblastoma.

Huang JL, Liao Y, Qiu MX, et al.
Long non-coding RNA CCAT2 promotes cell proliferation and invasion through regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317711314 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is a common urologic malignancy. Long non-coding RNA colon cancer-associated transcript 2 (CCAT2) has been suggested as serving pivotal roles in tumorigenesis. However, the clinical significance and biological role of CCAT2 in ccRCC remains elusive. The purpose of this study is to identify the function of CCAT2 in ccRCC and its possible molecular mechanism. Expression of CCAT2 was analyzed in 61 ccRCC tissues and two ccRCC cell lines (786-O and ACHN) by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The functional roles of CCAT2 in ccRCC were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, colony formation assay, Transwell assay, and flow cytometric analysis. The influence of CCAT2 on tumorigenesis was monitored by in vivo mice xenograft model. The activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was evaluated by the TOP/FOP Wnt luciferase reporter assay and western blot assay. CCAT2 expression was markedly higher in ccRCC cell lines and tissues, being positively associated with tumor size and tumor stage in ccRCC patients. Patients with higher CCAT2 expression had a markedly poorer overall survival than did patients with low CCAT2 expression. Knocking down CCAT2 expression led to reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis of ccRCC cells in vitro as well as the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, and CCAT2 overexpression remarkably enhanced these oncogenic properties. In vivo mice xenograft model also showed that knocking CCAT2 expression inhibited the growth of ccRCC xenografts. In conclusion, these results indicated that CCAT2 may play a critical role in ccRCC progression and will be further considered as a biomarker for predicting the survival of ccRCC patients and a potential therapeutic target for ccRCC intervention.

Tu C, Zeng Z, Qi P, et al.
Genome-Wide Analysis of 18 Epstein-Barr Viruses Isolated from Primary Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Biopsy Specimens.
J Virol. 2017; 91(17) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous gammaherpesvirus that is highly prevalent in almost all human populations and is associated with many human cancers, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), Hodgkin's disease, and gastric carcinoma. However, in these EBV-associated cancers, only NPC exhibits remarkable ethnic and geographic distribution. We hypothesized that EBV genomic variations might contribute to the pathogenesis of different human cancers in different geographic areas. In this study, we collected 18 NPC biopsy specimens from the Hunan Province in southern China and

Wang X, Lu X, Geng Z, et al.
LncRNA PTCSC3/miR-574-5p Governs Cell Proliferation and Migration of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma via Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling.
J Cell Biochem. 2017; 118(12):4745-4752 [PubMed] Related Publications
The distance metastases of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) were a major threaten for PTC patients, thus, to study the potential mechanism for the treatment of PTC was essential. Previous studies have shown that PTCSC3 (Thyroid Carcinoma Susceptibility Candidate 3), miR-574-5p and Wnt/β-catenin were involved in PTC, but the potential pathogenic mechanism among them was still unclear. Real-time PCR and Western blot were used to detect genes expression. Luciferase reporter assay was used to detect the combination of miR-574-5p and suppressor of cancer cell invasion (SCAI), as well as the ratio of TOP/FOP. RNA Pull-down assay verified the bound of PTCSC3 and miR-574-5p. MTT assay, Transwell assay, and wound scratch assay were used to detect cell viability and cell migration. The expression of PTCSC3 and SCAI were decreased, while miR-574-5p and β-catenin were increased in PTC tissues and cells. Overexpressed PTCSC3 suppressed cell proliferation and migration, promoted the expression of SCAI, but inhibited β-catenin. PTCSC3 absorbed miR-574-5p, and miR-574-5p targeted to SCAI; SCAI could regulate the activity of Wnt/β-catenin. PTCSC3/miR-574-5p regulated the activity of Wnt/β-catenin via SCAI and mediated cell proliferation and migration of PTC-1. In vivo experiments verified the fact that overexpressed PTCSC3 inhibited tumor growth. The signaling PTCSC3-miR-574-5p-SCAI-Wnt/β-catenin mediated the proliferation and migration of PTC-1 cells, which was vital for the further PTC therapy and prognosis. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 4745-4752, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Raja E, Komuro A, Tanabe R, et al.
Bone morphogenetic protein signaling mediated by ALK-2 and DLX2 regulates apoptosis in glioma-initiating cells.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(35):4963-4974 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling exerts antitumor activities in glioblastoma; however, its precise mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrated that the BMP type I receptor ALK-2 (encoded by the ACVR1 gene) has crucial roles in apoptosis induction of patient-derived glioma-initiating cells (GICs), TGS-01 and TGS-04. We also characterized a BMP target gene, Distal-less homeobox 2 (DLX2), and found that DLX2 promoted apoptosis and neural differentiation of GICs. The tumor-suppressive effects of ALK-2 and DLX2 were further confirmed in a mouse orthotopic transplantation model. Interestingly, valproic acid (VPA), an anti-epileptic compound, induced BMP2, BMP4, ACVR1 and DLX2 mRNA expression with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Smad1/5. Consistently, we showed that treatment with VPA induced apoptosis of GICs, whereas silencing of ALK-2 or DLX2 expression partially suppressed it. Our study thus reveals BMP-mediated inhibitory mechanisms for glioblastoma, which explains, at least in part, the therapeutic effects of VPA.

Hu S, Zheng Q, Wu H, et al.
miR-532 promoted gastric cancer migration and invasion by targeting NKD1.
Life Sci. 2017; 177:15-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is one of the most common human malignant neoplasms, especially in China, its regulatory mechanism is important to develop new therapy approaches. miRNAs have been demonstrated to regulate gastric cancer progression. We found miR-532 was overexpressed in gastric cancer tissues and cells. Wound healing and transwell assay revealed that its overexpression promoted gastric cancer cell migration and invasion, its knockdown inhibited gastric cancer cell migration and invasion. Wnt/β-catenin antagonist naked cuticle homolog 1 (NKD1) was the target of miR-532, miR-532 inhibited NKD1 expression. TOP/FOP luciferase activity analysis suggested miR-532 also increased Wnt/β-catenin pathway activity. Overexpression miR-532 and NKD1 inhibited gastric cancer cell migration and invasion, consistent with miR-532 knockdown. These findings revealed miR-532 promoted gastric cancer cell migration and invasion through inhibiting NKD1 and activated Wnt/β-catenin pathway. We provide a potential target for gastric cancer therapy.

Zheng Y, Jiang L, Hu Y, et al.
Metallothionein 1H (MT1H) functions as a tumor suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma through regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):161 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metallothionein 1H (MT1H) expression level is downregulated in several kinds of tumors, including hepatocellular cancer (HCC). However, its biological functions and underlying mechanisms in HCC is largely unknown. The current study aimed to demonstrate the expression status, biological roles and potential mechanisms of MT1H in HCC.
METHODS: We investigated the expression level of MT1H in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset and a panel of 12 paired tumor/non-tumor tissues. In vitro, gain-of-function experiments were performed to examine the role of MT1H on HCC cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. Using bioinformatics assay, reporter assays, quantitative real-time PCR, and western blotting, we explored the possible mechanisms underlying the role of MT1H in HCC cells. In vivo nude mice experiments were performed to assess the anti-proliferative role of MT1H in HCC.
RESULTS: Downregulation of MT1H was observed in TCGA dataset and a panel of 12 paired tumor/non-tumor tissues. Ectopic overexpression of MT1H in HepG2 and Hep3B cells inhibited cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) showed that MT1H might involve in regulation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Top/Fop reporter assay confirmed that MT1H had an effect on Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Real-time PCR showed MT1H expression decreased the expression of Wnt/β-catenin target genes. Western blotting assay showed that overexpression of MT1H inhibited the nuclear translocation of β-catenin and that the Akt/GSK-3β axis mediated the modulatory role of MT1H on Wnt/β-catenin signaling in HCC. In vivo nude mice experiments demonstrated that MT1H suppressed the proliferation of HCC cells. Taken together, MT1H suppressed the proliferation, invasion and migration of HCC cells via regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that through inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin pathway, MT1H suppresses the proliferation and invasion of HCC cells. MT1H may be a potential target for HCC therapy.

Vanan MI, Underhill DA, Eisenstat DD
Targeting Epigenetic Pathways in the Treatment of Pediatric Diffuse (High Grade) Gliomas.
Neurotherapeutics. 2017; 14(2):274-283 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Progress in the treatment of adult high-grade gliomas (HGG), including chemoradiation with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide for glioblastoma, has not translated into significant therapeutic advances for pediatric HGG, where overall survival has plateaued at 15% to 20%, especially when considering specialized pediatric treatment in tertiary care centers, maximal safe neurosurgical resection, optimized delivery of involved field radiation, and improvements in supportive care. However, recent advances in our understanding of pediatric HGG, including the application of next-generation sequencing and DNA methylation profiling, have identified mutations in the histone variant H3.3 and canonical H3.1 genes, respectively. These mutations are relatively specific to neuroanatomic compartments (cortex, midline structures, thalamus, brainstem) and are often associated with other mutations, especially in specific growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases. Targeting epigenetic pathways affected by these histone mutations, alone or in combination with small molecule inhibitors of growth factor receptor signaling pathways, will inform new treatment strategies for pediatric HGG and should be incorporated into novel cooperative group clinical trial designs.

Dokanehiifard S, Yasari A, Najafi H, et al.
A novel microRNA located in the
J Biol Chem. 2017; 292(18):7566-7577 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tropomyosin receptor kinase C (

Wang K, Sun X, Feng HL, et al.
DNALK2 inhibits the proliferation and invasiveness of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells through the Smad-dependent pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(2):879-886 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the most common malignant neoplasms diagnosed in females worldwide. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which belong to the TGF-β superfamily, regulate a wide range of cellular responses including cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration and apoptosis in breast cancer. BMPs can bind to type I and II serine/threonine kinase receptors to regulate cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and apoptosis. Type I receptors are expressed in various breast cancer cell lines and primary tumor samples. Activin‑like kinase 2 (ALK2) is generally expressed in breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231, MCF7, SK-BR-3 and MDA-MB‑468); however, the effect of ALK2 on the proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer cells remains unknown. We used a dominant-negative mutant of ALK2 to research the function of ALK2. We aimed to ascertain whether dominant-negative mutant ALK2 adenovirus vector (DNALK2) receptors can compete with wild-type ALK2 receptors. The present study showed that DNALK2 inhibited the growth, migration and metastasis of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the SMAD-dependent pathway and downregulating connective tissue growth factor and inhibitor of differentiation 1 expression, in vivo and in vitro. These observations indicate that ALK2 is a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of breast cancer.

Hu M, Cui F, Liu F, et al.
BMP signaling pathways affect differently migration and invasion of esophageal squamous cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 50(1):193-202 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are broadly involved in normal embryo development and abnormal pathological process such as cancer. The complexity and diversity of BMPs and their signaling pathways impose quite different or even conflicting effects on clinical traits of tumors. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether different BMPs, including BMP2, BMP4, BMP6 and BMP7, influence esophageal squamous cancer cell (ESCC) growth, invasion and metastasis. BMP6 and type I receptor ALK2 and type II receptor BMPRII, ActRIIA and ActRIIB were expressed in all ESCC cell lines. In addition, adenovirus-mediated BMP overexpression did not affect ECA-109 cell growth. BMP6/7 overexpression increased ECA-109 cell invasion and metastasis, activated SMAD1/5/8 signal pathway and induced downstream gene ID1 expression. While BMP2/4 overexpression reduced ECA-109 cell invasion and metastasis and obviously promoted ERK1/2, P-38 and JNK activation with weak SMAD1/5/8 phosphorylation. When BMP6/7 favorite type I receptor ALK2 or type II receptor BMPRII was interfered with by dominant-negative mutation, BMP6/7-induced invasion and metastasis augmentation disappeared. Further investigation on clinical ESCC samples and non-tumorous adjacent tissue found that tumors with triple-positive BMP6, ALK2 and BMPRII had deeper growth than tumors with only BMP6 expression. These results suggested that different BMPs distinctly affected esophageal squamous cancer cell invasion and metastasis by employing different signal pathways.

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