AKT2

Gene Summary

Gene:AKT2; AKT serine/threonine kinase 2
Aliases: PKBB, PRKBB, HIHGHH, PKBBETA, RAC-BETA
Location:19q13.2
Summary:This gene is a putative oncogene encoding a protein belonging to a subfamily of serine/threonine kinases containing SH2-like (Src homology 2-like) domains. The gene was shown to be amplified and overexpressed in 2 of 8 ovarian carcinoma cell lines and 2 of 15 primary ovarian tumors. Overexpression contributes to the malignant phenotype of a subset of human ductal pancreatic cancers. The encoded protein is a general protein kinase capable of phophorylating several known proteins. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:RAC-beta serine/threonine-protein kinase
Source:NCBIAccessed: 14 March, 2017

Ontology:

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 (1992-2017)
Graph generated 14 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 14 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: AKT2 (cancer-related)

Pectasides D, Kotoula V, Papaxoinis G, et al.
Expression Patterns of Growth and Survival Genes with Prognostic Implications in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6347-6356 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the mRNA expression pattern of growth- and survival-related genes and assess their prognostic significance in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In total, 98 patients were included in this retrospective translational research study and were evaluated for Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutational status, and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1), AKT serine/threonine kinase 2 (AKT2), AKT serine/threonine kinase 3 (AKT3), cyclin D1 (CCND1), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), hepatocellular growth factor receptor (MET), avian myelomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC), nuclear factor kappa B subunit 1 (NFKb1), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (FRAP1) genes mRNA expression. Among these patients, 73 received first-line gemcitabine combined with erlotinib (N=57) or gefitinib (N=16).
RESULTS: KRAS mutation did not correlate with mRNA gene expression. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering according to mRNA gene expression successfully distinguished four prognostically distinct groups of tumors. Overexpression of all genes was associated with best prognosis, while suppression or heterogeneous expression patterns of the examined genes were associated with expression patterns of growth- and survival-related genes, classifying pancreatic tumors into distinct groups with possibly different outcomes.

Li XC, Liu C, Huang T, Zhong Y
The Occurrence of Genetic Alterations during the Progression of Breast Carcinoma.
Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016:5237827 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The interrelationship among genetic variations between the developing process of carcinoma and the order of occurrence has not been completely understood. Interpreting the mechanisms of copy number variation (CNV) is absolutely necessary for understanding the etiology of genetic disorders. Oncogenetic tree is a special phylogenetic tree inferential pictorial representation of oncogenesis. In our present study, we constructed oncogenetic tree to imitate the occurrence of genetic and cytogenetic alterations in human breast cancer. The oncogenetic tree model was built on CNV of ErbB2, AKT2, KRAS, PIK3CA, PTEN, and CCND1 genes in 963 cases of tumors with sequencing and CNA data of human breast cancer from TCGA. Results from the oncogenetic tree model indicate that ErbB2 copy number variation is the frequent early event of human breast cancer. The oncogenetic tree model based on the phylogenetic tree is a type of mathematical model that may eventually provide a better way to understand the process of oncogenesis.

Tserga A, Chatziandreou I, Michalopoulos NV, et al.
Mutation of genes of the PI3K/AKT pathway in breast cancer supports their potential importance as biomarker for breast cancer aggressiveness.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(1):35-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway is closely associated with cancer development and cancer progression. PIK3CA, AKT1, and PTEN are the fundamental molecules of the PI3K/AKT pathway with increased mutation rates in cancer cases leading to aberrant regulation of the pathway. Even though molecular alterations of the PI3K/AKT pathway have been studied in breast cancer, correlations between specific molecular alterations and clinicopathological features remain contradictory. In this study, we examined mutations of the PI3K/AKT pathway in 75 breast carcinomas using high-resolution melting analysis and pyrosequencing, in parallel with analysis of relative expression of PIK3CA and AKT2 genes. Mutations of PIK3CA were found in our cohort in 21 cases (28 %), 10 (13 %) in exon 9 and 11(15 %) in exon 20. Mutation frequency of AKT1 and PTEN genes was 4 and 3 %, respectively. Overall, alterations in the PI3K/AKT signaling cascade were detected in 35 % of the cases. Furthermore, comparison of 50 breast carcinomas with adjacent normal tissues showed elevated PIK3CA messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in 18 % of tumor cases and elevated AKT2 mRNA levels in 14 %. Our findings, along with those of previous studies, underline the importance of the PI3K/AKT pathway components as potential biomarkers for breast carcinogenesis.

Kim M, Kim YY, Jee HJ, et al.
Akt3 knockdown induces mitochondrial dysfunction in human cancer cells.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2016; 48(5):447-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Akt/PKB plays a pivotal role in cell proliferation and survival. However, the isotype-specific roles of Akt in mitochondrial function have not been fully addressed. In this study, we explored the role of Akt in mitochondrial function after stable knockdown of the Akt isoforms in EJ human bladder cancer cells. We found that the mitochondrial mass was significantly increased in the Akt1- and Akt3-knockdown cells, and this increase was accompanied by an increase in TFAM and NRF1. Akt2 knockdown did not cause a similar effect. Interestingly, Akt3 knockdown also led to severe structural defects in the mitochondria, an increase in doxorubicin-induced senescence, and impairment of cell proliferation in galactose medium. Consistent with these observations, the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate was significantly reduced in the Akt3-knockdown cells. An Akt3 deficiency-induced decrease in mitochondrial respiration was also observed in A549 lung cancer cells. Collectively, these results suggest that the Akt isoforms play distinct roles in mitochondrial function and that Akt3 is critical for proper mitochondrial respiration in human cancer cells.

Li D, Chen L, Zhao W, et al.
MicroRNA-let-7f-1 is induced by lycopene and inhibits cell proliferation and triggers apoptosis in prostate cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 13(3):2708-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have suggested that lycopene has cytotoxic effects in a variety of types of human cancer. An improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of lycopene may provide novel therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. PC3 cells were treated with different concentrations of lycopene for 24 and 48 h, the level of protein kinase B (AKT2) was detected by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT‑qPCR) and western blotting. Additionally, the expression levels of microRNA (miR)‑let‑7f‑1 were measured using RT‑qPCR. miR‑let‑7f‑1 function was analyzed using cell proliferation and apoptosis assays in gain‑ and loss‑of‑function experiments. It was observed that lycopene downregulated the expression of AKT2 and upregulated the expression of miR‑let‑7f‑1 in PC3 cells. Re‑introduction of miR‑let‑7f‑1 into PC3 cells was able to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. Further investigation indicated that miR‑let‑7f‑1 targeted AKT2 in PC3 cells and upregulation of AKT2 could attenuate the effects induced by miR‑let‑7f‑1. The results of the current study indicate that miR‑let‑7f‑1 is involved in the anticancer effects of lycopene and serves an important role in the inhibition of prostate cancer progression through the downregulation of AKT2.

Zhu J, Wang M, He J, et al.
Polymorphisms in the AKT1 and AKT2 genes and oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma risk in an Eastern Chinese population.
J Cell Mol Med. 2016; 20(4):666-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Ethnic Han Chinese are at high risk of developing oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Aberrant activation of the AKT signalling pathway is involved in many cancers, including ESCC. Some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in this pathway may contribute to ESCC susceptibility. We selected five potentially functional SNPs in AKT1 (rs2494750, rs2494752 and rs10138277) and AKT2 (rs7254617 and rs2304186) genes and investigated their associations with ESCC risk in 1117 ESCC cases and 1096 controls in an Eastern Chinese population. None of individual SNPs exhibited an association with ESCC risk. However, the combined analysis of three AKT1 SNPs suggested that individuals carrying one of AKT1 variant genotypes had a decreased ESCC risk [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.42-0.87]. Further stratified analysis found that AKT1 rs2294750 SNP was associated with significantly decreased ESCC risk among women (adjusted OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.43-0.94) and non-drinkers (OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.64-0.99). Similar protective effects on women (adjusted OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.37-0.83) and non-drinker (adjusted OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.60-0.94) were also observed for the combined genotypes of AKT1 SNPs. Consistently, logistic regression analysis indicated significant gene-gene interactions among three AKT1 SNPs (P < 0.015). A three-AKT1 SNP haplotype (C-A-C) showed a significant association with a decreased ESCC risk (adjusted OR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.52-0.94). Multifactor dimensionality reduction analysis confirmed a high-order gene-environment interaction in ESCC risk. Overall, we found that three AKT1 SNPs might confer protection against ESCC risk; nevertheless, these effects may be dependent on other risk factors. Our results provided evidence of important gene-environment interplay in ESCC carcinogenesis.

Wang MY, He J, Zhu ML, et al.
A Functional Polymorphism (rs2494752) in the AKT1 Promoter Region and Gastric Adenocarcinoma Risk in an Eastern Chinese Population.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:20008 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
AKT is an important signal transduction protein that plays a crucial role in cancer development. Therefore, we evaluated associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the AKT promoter region and gastric cancer (GCa) risk in a case-control study of 1,110 GCa patients and 1,114 matched cancer-free controls. We genotyped five SNPs (AKT1 rs2494750G >C, AKT1 rs2494752A >G, AKT1 rs10138227C >T, AKT2 rs7254617G>A and AKT2 rs2304186G >T) located in the 5' upstream regulatory, first intron or promoter regions. In the logistic regression analysis, a significantly elevated GCa risk was associated with the rs2494752 AG/GG variant genotypes (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02-1.42) under a dominant genetic model, and this risk was more evident in subgroups of ever drinkers. The luciferase reporter assay showed that the rs2494752 G allele significantly increased luciferase activity. Our results suggest that the potentially functional AKT1 rs2494752 SNP may affect GCa susceptibility, likely by modulating the AKT1 promoter transcriptional activity. Larger, independent studies are warranted to validate our findings.

Wang SH, Wu XC, Zhang MD, et al.
Long noncoding RNA H19 contributes to gallbladder cancer cell proliferation by modulated miR-194-5p targeting AKT2.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(7):9721-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is a highly malignant cancer with poor prognosis. Although long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) H19 has been reported to play vital role in many human cancers, whether it is involved in GBC proliferation is still unknown. This study was designed to explore the effect of H19 in GBC cell proliferation. The expression of H19 and AKT2 were significantly elevated in GBC tissues, and the level of miR-194-5p is markedly decreased. Moreover, the RNA levels of H19 and AKT2 were positively correlated, and H19 elevation was significantly associated with tumor size. Cell proliferation decreased significantly after knockdown of H19 in GBC-SD and NOZ cells and after knockdown of AKT2 in NOZ cells. Results from cell cycle studies indicated that the S phase were significantly decreased after knockdown of H19 in NOZ cells but significantly elevated after overexpression of H19 in GBC-SD cells. Furthermore, knockdown of H19 upregulated miR-194-5p levels, yet significantly decreased miR-194-5p targeting AKT2 gene expression in NOZ cells. Inhibitor against miR-194-5p reversed these effects. In addition, overexpression of H19 in GBC-SD cells downregulated miR-194-5p and markedly increased AKT2 expression, and miR-194-5p mimic reversed these effects. Eventually, GBC cells were arrested in G0/G1-phase after H19 knockdown, inhibition of miR-194-5p markedly promoted cells into S-phase and co-transfection of siH19, and miR-194-5p inhibitor exerted mutually counter-regulated effects on cell cycle. These results suggested that H19/miR-194-5p/AKT2 axis regulatory network might modulate cell proliferation in GBC.

Grottke A, Ewald F, Lange T, et al.
Downregulation of AKT3 Increases Migration and Metastasis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells by Upregulating S100A4.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(1):e0146370 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Treatment of breast cancer patients with distant metastases represents one of the biggest challenges in today's gynecological oncology. Therefore, a better understanding of mechanisms promoting the development of metastases is of paramount importance. The serine/threonine kinase AKT was shown to drive cancer progression and metastasis. However, there is emerging data that single AKT isoforms (i.e. AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3) have different or even opposing functions in the regulation of cancer cell migration in vitro, giving rise to the hypothesis that inhibition of distinct AKT isoforms might have undesirable effects on cancer dissemination in vivo.
METHODS: The triple negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 was used to investigate the functional roles of AKT in migration and metastasis. AKT single and double knockdown cells were generated using isoform specific shRNAs. Migration was analyzed using live cell imaging, chemotaxis and transwell assays. The metastatic potential of AKT isoform knockdown cells was evaluated in a subcutaneous xenograft mouse model in vivo.
RESULTS: Depletion of AKT3, but not AKT1 or AKT2, resulted in increased migration in vitro. This effect was even more prominent in AKT2,3 double knockdown cells. Furthermore, combined downregulation of AKT2 and AKT3, as well as AKT1 and AKT3 significantly increased metastasis formation in vivo. Screening for promigratory proteins revealed that downregulation of AKT3 increases the expression of S100A4 protein. In accordance, depletion of S100A4 by siRNA approach reverses the increased migration induced by knockdown of AKT3.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that knockdown of AKT3 can increase the metastatic potential of triple negative breast cancer cells. Therefore, our results provide a rationale for the development of AKT isoform specific inhibitors.

Yi KH, Lauring J
Recurrent AKT mutations in human cancers: functional consequences and effects on drug sensitivity.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):4241-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Precision oncology trials based on tumor gene sequencing depend on robust knowledge about the phenotypic consequences of the genetic variants identified in patients' tumors. Mutations in AKT1-3 occur in 3-5% of human cancers. Although a single hotspot mutation, E17K, is the most common, well characterized activating mutations account for a minority of Akt variants that have been identified in large tumor sequencing studies to date. In order to determine the potential clinical relevance of both common and rare Akt mutations, we expressed a set of over twenty recurrent Akt mutants in three different cell lines and evaluated activation of Akt pathway signaling and effects on growth. We determined their relative sensitivity to allosteric and ATP-competitive Akt inhibitors in clinical development. Most Akt mutants did not activate pathway signaling compared to wild type Akt and did not affect growth properties. In addition, the most common activating Akt mutations, including Akt1 E17K, L52R, and Q79K conferred neither sensitivity nor resistance to Akt inhibitors. Equivocal evidence was found that Akt1 D323H and Akt2 W80C mutants are relatively resistant to the allosteric Akt inhibitor MK-2206, but not an ATP-competitive inhibitor. Our results suggest that the vast majority of rare Akt variants are passenger mutations with no effect on drug sensitivity. The hypothesis that activating Akt mutations predict for Akt inhibitor sensitivity remains to be tested clinically, but is not yet supported by our preclinical data.

Franks SE, Briah R, Jones RA, Moorehead RA
Unique roles of Akt1 and Akt2 in IGF-IR mediated lung tumorigenesis.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3297-316 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
AKT is a serine-threonine kinase that becomes hyperactivated in a number of cancers including lung cancer. Based on AKT's association with malignancy, molecules targeting AKT have entered clinical trials for solid tumors including lung cancer. However, the AKT inhibitors being evaluated in clinical trials indiscriminately inhibit all three AKT isoforms (AKT1-3) and it remains unclear whether AKT isoforms have overlapping or divergent functions. Using a transgenic mouse model where IGF-IR overexpression drives lung tumorigenesis, we found that loss of Akt1 inhibited while loss of Akt2 enhanced lung tumor development. Lung tumors that developed in the absence of Akt2 were less likely to appear as discrete nodules and more frequently displayed a dispersed growth pattern. RNA sequencing revealed a number of genes differentially expressed in lung tumors lacking Akt2 and five of these genes, Actc1, Bpifa1, Mmp2, Ntrk2, and Scgb3a2 have been implicated in human lung cancer. Using 2 human lung cancer cell lines, we observed that a selective AKT1 inhibitor, A-674563, was a more potent regulator of cell survival than the pan-AKT inhibitor, MK-2206. This study suggests that compounds selectively targeting AKT1 may prove more effective than compounds that inhibit all three AKT isoforms at least in the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma.

Tang Y, Liu B, Li J, et al.
Genetic variants in PI3K/AKT pathway are associated with severe radiation pneumonitis in lung cancer patients treated with radiation therapy.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(1):24-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
PI3K/AKT pathway plays important roles in inflammatory and fibrotic diseases while its connection to radiation pneumonitis (RP) is unclear. In this study, we explored the associations of genetic variants in PI3K/AKT pathway with RP in lung cancer patients with radiotherapy. Two hundred and sixty one lung cancer patients with radiotherapy were included in this prospective study (NCT02490319) and genotyped by MassArray and Sanger Sequence methods. By multivariate Cox hazard analysis and multiple testing, GA/GG genotype of AKT2: rs33933140 (HR = 0.272, 95% CI: 0.140-0.530, P = 1.3E-4, Pc = 9.1E-4), and the GT/GG genotype of PI3CA: rs9838117 (HR = 0.132, 95% CI: 0.042-0.416, P = 0.001, Pc = 0.006) were found to be strongly associated with a decreased occurrence of RP ≥ grade 3. And patients with the CT/TT genotype of AKT2: rs11880261 had a notably higher incidence of RP ≥ grade 3 (HR = 2.950, 95% CI: 1.380-6.305, P = 0.005, Pc = 0.025). We concluded that the genetic variants of PI3K/AKT pathway were significantly related to RP of grade ≥ 3 and may thus be predictors of severe RP before radiotherapy, if further validated in larger population.

Chang YS, Huang HD, Yeh KT, Chang JG
Genetic alterations in endometrial cancer by targeted next-generation sequencing.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2016; 100(1):8-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many genetic factors play important roles in the development of endometrial cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate genetic alterations in the Taiwanese population with endometrial cancer. DNA was extracted from 10 cases of fresh-frozen endometrial cancer tissue. The exomes of cancer-related genes were captured using the NimbleGen Comprehensive Cancer Panel (578 cancer-related genes) and sequenced using the Illumina Genomic Sequencing Platform. Our results revealed 120 variants in 99 genes, 21 of which were included in the Oncomine Cancer Research Panel used in the National Cancer Institute Match Trial. The 21 genes comprised 8 tumor suppressor candidates (ATM, MSH2, PIK3R1, PTCH1, PTEN, TET2, TP53, and TSC1) and 13 oncogene candidates (ALK, BCL9, CTNNB1, ERBB2, FGFR2, FLT3, HNF1A, KIT, MTOR, PDGFRA, PPP2R1A, PTPN11, and SF3B1). We identified a high frequency of mutations in PTEN (50%) and genes involved in the endometrial cancer-related molecular pathway, which involves the IL-7 signaling pathway (PIK3R1, n=1; AKT2, n=1; FOXO1, n=1). We report the mutational landscape of endometrial cancer in the Taiwanese population. We believe that this study will shed new light on fundamental aspects for understanding the molecular pathogenesis of endometrial cancer and may aid in the development of new targeted therapies.

Monaco G, van Dam S, Casal Novo Ribeiro JL, et al.
A comparison of human and mouse gene co-expression networks reveals conservation and divergence at the tissue, pathway and disease levels.
BMC Evol Biol. 2015; 15:259 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A deeper understanding of differences and similarities in transcriptional regulation between species can uncover important information about gene functions and the role of genes in disease. Deciphering such patterns between mice and humans is especially important since mice play an essential role in biomedical research.
RESULTS: Here, in order to characterize evolutionary changes between humans and mice, we compared gene co-expression maps to evaluate the conservation of co-expression. We show that the conservation of co-expression connectivity of homologous genes is negatively correlated with molecular evolution rates, as expected. Then we investigated evolutionary aspects of gene sets related to functions, tissues, pathways and diseases. Genes expressed in the testis, eye and skin, and those associated with regulation of transcription, olfaction, PI3K signalling, response to virus and bacteria were more divergent between mice and humans in terms of co-expression connectivity. Surprisingly, a deeper investigation of the PI3K signalling cascade revealed that its divergence is caused by the most crucial genes of this pathway, such as mTOR and AKT2. On the other hand, our analysis revealed that genes expressed in the brain and in the bone, and those associated with cell adhesion, cell cycle, DNA replication and DNA repair are most strongly conserved in terms of co-expression network connectivity as well as having a lower rate of duplication events. Genes involved in lipid metabolism and genes specific to blood showed a signature of increased co-expression connectivity in the mouse. In terms of diseases, co-expression connectivity of genes related to metabolic disorders is the most strongly conserved between mice and humans and tumor-related genes the most divergent.
CONCLUSIONS: This work contributes to discerning evolutionary patterns between mice and humans in terms of gene interactions. Conservation of co-expression is a powerful approach to identify gene targets and processes with potential similarity and divergence between mice and humans, which has implications for drug testing and other studies employing the mouse as a model organism.

Guo L, Wu H, Zhu J, et al.
Genetic variations in the PI3K/AKT pathway predict platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapeutic sensitivity in squamous cervical cancer.
Life Sci. 2015; 143:217-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Cervical cancer is one of the most frequent malignant tumours in women. The PI3K/Akt pathway plays a role in chemoresistance to platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between genetic polymorphisms in the PI3K/Akt pathway and chemotherapeutic outcomes following platinum-based NAC in Northwestern Chinese Han patients with squamous cervical cancer (SCC).
MAIN METHODS: In total, 17 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) in four genes (PIK3CA, Akt1, Akt2, PTEN) were identified as being associated with chemotherapeutic response in 259 patients with stage IB2-IIB SCC. Each of these patients received more than two cycles of NAC. These tSNPs were genotyped by the Sequenom MassArray system.
KEY FINDINGS: The heterozygous genotype of two loci in the PIK3CA gene (rs3729679: uncorrected P=0.022 and rs12494623: uncorrected P=0.018) was associated with an increased risk of chemoresistance in SCC patients. The stratified analysis also showed that these same SNP polymorphisms were associated with a poor response to NAC in the cisplatin-based subgroup. Furthermore, NAC non-responders had a higher frequency of the rs10416620 and rs62107593 G alleles in the Akt2 gene (rs10416620 and rs62107593: uncorrected P=0.037). The rs34716810 A allele was associated with a poor response to chemotherapy (uncorrected P=0.037). Moreover, rs2498786 (uncorrected P=0.036) and the GGCC haplotype of polymorphisms in Akt1 showed a high risk for non-response to NAC (uncorrected P=0.018).
SIGNIFICANCE: The findings from this study demonstrate that genetic polymorphisms in the PI3K/Akt pathway are associated with sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy in SCC patients.

Lohberger B, Leithner A, Stuendl N, et al.
Diacerein retards cell growth of chondrosarcoma cells at the G2/M cell cycle checkpoint via cyclin B1/CDK1 and CDK2 downregulation.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:891 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chondrosarcoma is characterized for its lack of response to conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy, propensity for developing lung metastases, and low rates of survival. Research within the field of development and expansion of new treatment options for unresectable or metastatic diseases is of particular priority. Diacerein, a symptomatic slow acting drug in osteoarthritis (SYSADOA), implicates a therapeutic benefit for the treatment of chondrosarcoma by an antitumor activity.
METHODS: After treatment with diacerein the growth behaviour of the cells was analyzed with the xCELLigence system and MTS assay. Cell cycle was examined using flow cytometric analysis, RT-PCR, and western blot analysis of specific checkpoint regulators. The status for phosophorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) was analyzed with a proteome profiler assay. In addition, the possible impact of diacerein on apoptosis was investigated using cleaved caspase 3 and Annexin V/PI flow cytometric analysis.
RESULTS: Diacerein decreased the cell viability and the cell proliferation in two different chondrosarcoma cell lines in a dose dependent manner. Flow cytometric analysis showed a classical G2/M arrest. mRNA and protein analysis revealed that diacerein induced a down-regulation of the cyclin B1-CDK1 complex and a reduction in CDK2 expression. Furthermore, diacerein treatment increased the phosphorylation of p38α and p38β MAPKs, and Akt1, Akt2, and Akt 3 in SW-1353, whereas in Cal-78 the opposite effect has been demonstrated. These observations accordingly to our cell cycle flow cytometric analysis and protein expression data may explain the G2/M phase arrest. In addition, no apoptotic induction after diacerein treatment, neither in the Cal-78 nor in the SW-1353 cell line was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate for the first time that the SYSADOA diacerein decreased the viability of human chondrosarcoma cells and induces G2/M cell cycle arrest by CDK1/cyclin B1 down-regulation.

Teng Y, Zhang Y, Qu K, et al.
MicroRNA-29B (mir-29b) regulates the Warburg effect in ovarian cancer by targeting AKT2 and AKT3.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(38):40799-814 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal and aggressive gynecological malignancy, and abnormal cellular metabolism significantly contributes to cancer onset and progression. Here, we report that miR-29b negatively regulates AKT2/AKT3 expression, causing HK2/PKM2 downregulation and leading to a decreased Warburg effect and slowed ovarian cancer progression. Compared to normal ovaries, ovaries with epithelial cancer exhibited lower miR-29b expression at both cellular/histological levels. Glucose consumption and lactate production experiments confirmed miR-29b's regulation of EOC metabolism. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed the direct binding of miR-29b to AKT2/AKT3 3' UTRs. miR-29b silencing correlated with increased expression of AKT2/3, pAKT2/3, HK2, and PKM2. Pyruvic acid and NAD+/NADH levels also changed when miR-29b expression was suppressed; this effect could be blocked by specific AKT inhibitors, suggesting the miR-29b-AKT axis regulates the Warburg effect in ovarian cancer. In xenograft mouse models, miR-29b inhibited tumor formation in vivo. In vivo imaging also demonstrated that miR-29b agomir inhibited the relative uptake of 18F-FDG in the xenograft tumors, suggesting that miR-29b over-expression could negatively modulate tumor glucose metabolism in vivo. Taken together, our study suggests that miR-29b regulates the Warburg effect in EOC via AKT2/AKT3 and may provide novel options for future treatments for EOC.

Čokić VP, Mitrović-Ajtić O, Beleslin-Čokić BB, et al.
Proinflammatory Cytokine IL-6 and JAK-STAT Signaling Pathway in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms.
Mediators Inflamm. 2015; 2015:453020 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The recent JAK1/2 inhibitor trial in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) showed that reducing inflammation can be more beneficial than targeting gene mutants. We evaluated the proinflammatory IL-6 cytokine and JAK-STAT signaling pathway related genes in circulating CD34(+) cells of MPNs. Regarding laboratory data, leukocytosis has been observed in polycythemia vera (PV) and JAK2V617F mutation positive versus negative primary myelofibrosis (PMF) patients. Moreover, thrombocytosis was reduced by JAK2V617F allele burden in essential thrombocythemia (ET) and PMF. 261 significantly changed genes have been detected in PV, 82 in ET, and 94 genes in PMF. The following JAK-STAT signaling pathway related genes had augmented expression in CD34(+) cells of MPNs: CCND3 and IL23A regardless of JAK2V617F allele burden; CSF3R, IL6ST, and STAT1/2 in ET and PV with JAK2V617F mutation; and AKT2, IFNGR2, PIM1, PTPN11, and STAT3 only in PV. STAT5A gene expression was generally reduced in MPNs. IL-6 cytokine levels were increased in plasma, as well as IL-6 protein levels in bone marrow stroma of MPNs, dependent on JAK2V617F mutation presence in ET and PMF patients. Therefore, the JAK2V617F mutant allele burden participated in inflammation biomarkers induction and related signaling pathways activation in MPNs.

Chen B, Tan Z, Gao J, et al.
Hyperphosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 predicts unfavorable clinical survival in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:126 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6), a component of the 40S ribosomal subunit, is involved in multiple cellular bioactivities. However, its clinicopathological significance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is poorly understood.
METHODS: Expressions of total rpS6 (t-rpS6) and phosphorylated rpS6 (Ser235/236, p-rpS6) were detected immunohistochemically in 316 NSCLC tissues and 82 adjacent controls, followed by statistical evaluation of the relationship between proteins expressions and patients' survivals to identify their prognostic values. Cytological experiments with overexpressing or silencing rpS6 by lentivirus in human bronchial epithelial (HBE) and NSCLC cell lines were performed to explore potential mechanisms by which rpS6 affects the clinical development of NSCLC. Additionally, specific RNA interference for Akt1, Akt2, Akt3, Akt inhibitor and subsequent cellular bioactivity tests were employed as well to investigate the upstream regulation of rpS6.
RESULTS: Positive rates of t-rpS6 and p-rpS6 were both significantly increased in NSCLC tissues, compared with controls (82.91 vs 62.20 % for t-rpS6; 52.22 vs 21.95 % for p-rpS6; both P < 0.001). However, only hyperphosphorylation of rpS6, expressed as either elevated p-rpS6 alone or the ratio of p-rpS6 to t-rpS6 (p-rpS6/t-rpS6) no less than 0.67, was greatly associated with the unfavorable survival of NSCLC patients, especially for cases at stage I (all P < 0.001). The independent adverse prognostic value of hyperphosphorylated rpS6 was confirmed by multivariate Cox regression analysis (hazard ratios for elevated p-rpS6 alone and p-rpS6/t-rpS6 no less than 0.67 were 2.403, 4.311 respectively, both P < 0.001). Overexpression or knockdown of rpS6, along with parallel alterations of p-rpS6, led to increased or decreased cells proliferations respectively, which were dependent on redistributions of cell cycles (all P < 0.05). Cells migration and invasion also changed with rpS6 interference (all P < 0.05). Furthermore, upstream overexpression or knockdown of Akt2 or Akt2 phosphorylation inhibition, rather than Akt1 or Akt3, resulted in striking hyperphosphorylation or dephosphorylation of mTOR, p70S6K and rpS6 (all P < 0.05), without any change in total proteins expressions. Further tests showed markedly accompanied variation of cells proliferation, cell cycle distribution and invasion (all P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Hyperphosphorylation of rpS6, probably regulated by the Akt2/mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway, is closely relevant to the progression of NSCLC and it might be served as a promising therapeutic target for NSCLC treatment.

Bhullar KS, Jha A, Rupasinghe HP
Novel carbocyclic curcumin analog CUR3d modulates genes involved in multiple apoptosis pathways in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Chem Biol Interact. 2015; 242:107-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anticancer activity of a novel curcumin analog (E)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-5-((E)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)acryloyl)cyclopentanone (CUR3d) was studied using a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2). The results showed that CUR3d completely inhibits the tumor cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. CUR3d at 100 μmol/L activated the pro-apoptotic caspase-3 along with downregulation of anti-apoptotic BIRC5 and Bcl2. CUR3d treatment controlled the cancer cell growth by downregulating the expression of PI3K/Akt (Akt1, Akt2) pathway along with NF-κB. CUR3d down-regulated the members of epidermal growth receptor family (EGFR, ERBB3, ERBB2) and insulin like growth receptors (IGF1, IGF-1R, IGF2). This correlated with the downregulation of G-protein (RHOA, RHOB) and RAS (ATF2, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS) pathway signaling. CUR3d also arrested cell cycle via inhibition of CDK2, CDK4, CDK5, CDK9, MDM2, MDM4 and TERT genes. Cell cycle essential aurora kinases (AURKα, AURKβ) and polo-like kinases (PLK1, PLK2, PLK3) were also modulated by CUR3d. Topoisomerases (TOP2α, TOP2β), important factors in cancer cell immortality, as well as HIF-1α were downregulated following CUR3d treatment. The expression of protein kinase-C family (PRKC-A, PRKC-D, PRKC-E) was also attenuated by CUR3d. The downregulation of histone deacetylases (Class I, II, IV) and PARP I further strengthened the anticancer efficacy of CUR3d. Downregulation of carcinogenic cathepsins (CTSB, CTSD) and heat shock proteins exhibited CUR3d's potency as a potential immunological adjuvant. Finally, the non-toxic manifestation of CUR3d in healthy liver and lung cells along with downregulation of drug resistant gene ABCC1 further warrant need for advance investigations.

Lin H, Zhang M, Yu H, et al.
Analysis of differentially expressed genes between endometrial carcinosarcomas and endometrioid endometrial carcinoma by bioinformatics.
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016; 293(5):1073-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study aimed to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of endometrial carcinosarcomas (ECS) and endometrioid endometrial carcinoma (EEC) by bioinformatics analysis.
METHODS: Gene expression profile GSE33723 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus. A total of 15 ECS and 23 EEC samples were used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by significance analysis of microarrays. After construction of protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, Gene Ontology (GO) functional and pathway enrichment analyses of DEGs were performed, followed by network module analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 49 DEGs were identified between EEC and ECS samples. In the PPI network, TP53 (tumor protein p53) was selected as the highest degree, hub centrality and betweenness. The top 10 enriched GO terms including regulation of cell death and top 10 significant pathways including cell cycle were selected. After network module analysis, PIK3R1 (phosphoinositide-3-kinase, regulatory subunit 1) and AKT2 (v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 2) were selected as the co-expressed genes in the states of ECS while STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and JAZF (JAZF zinc finger 1) were selected as the co-expressed genes in the states of EEC.
CONCLUSIONS: The DEGs, such as TP53, PIK3R1 and AKT2 may be used for targeted diagnosis and treatment of ECS while STAT3 and JAZF1 may be served as a target for EEC.

Gao H, Zhang Z
Systematic Analysis of Endometrial Cancer-Associated Hub Proteins Based on Text Mining.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:615825 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to systematically characterize the expression of endometrial cancer- (EC-) associated genes and to analysis the functions, pathways, and networks of EC-associated hub proteins.
METHODS: Gene data for EC were extracted from the PubMed (MEDLINE) database using text mining based on NLP. PPI networks and pathways were integrated and obtained from the KEGG and other databases. Proteins that interacted with at least 10 other proteins were identified as the hub proteins of the EC-related genes network.
RESULTS: A total of 489 genes were identified as EC-related with P < 0.05, and 32 pathways were identified as significant (P < 0.05, FDR < 0.05). A network of EC-related proteins that included 271 interactions was constructed. The 17 proteins that interact with 10 or more other proteins (P < 0.05, FDR < 0.05) were identified as the hub proteins of this PPI network of EC-related genes. These 17 proteins are EGFR, MET, PDGFRB, CCND1, JUN, FGFR2, MYC, PIK3CA, PIK3R1, PIK3R2, KRAS, MAPK3, CTNNB1, RELA, JAK2, AKT1, and AKT2.
CONCLUSION: Our data may help to reveal the molecular mechanisms of EC development and provide implications for targeted therapy for EC. However, corrections between certain proteins and EC continue to require additional exploration.

Gao M, Liu L, Li S, et al.
Inhibition of cell proliferation and metastasis of human hepatocellular carcinoma by miR-137 is regulated by CDC42.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(5):2523-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the present study, we evaluated the mechanisms of CDC42 in association with the microRNA-137 (miR-137)-induced inhibition of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The gene expression levels of miR-137 were evaluated in HCC cell lines. Direct association of miR-137 with its downstream target, cell division control protein 42 (CDC42), was evaluated by dual-luciferase assay, western blot analysis and correlation analysis using clinical tumor samples. In the HCC HuH7 and MHCC97L cell lines, miR-137 was upregulated to inhibit cell proliferation and metastasis in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. CDC42 was overexpressed in the HuH7 and MHCC97L cells to evaluate its effect on the miR-137-mediated antitumor effects. Furthermore, possible crosstalk between CDC42 and another miR-137 target gene, AKT2, was evaluated by co-overexpressing CDC42 and AKT2 in the HuH7 and MHCC97L cells and examining their effects on miR-137-mediated HCC regulation. miR-137 was confirmed to be downregulated in the HCC cell lines. Dual‑luciferase assay showed that CDC42 was directly targeted by miR-137, and western blotting showed that CDC42 was downregulated by miR-137 upregulation in the HuH7 and MHCC97L cells. In human tumors, the expression levels of CDC42 and miR-137 were inversely correlated. The inhibitory effects of miR-137 on HCC proliferation, metastasis and in vivo tumor growth were all ameliorated by CDC42 overexpression. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AKT2 in addition to CDC42 additively reduced the inhibition of miR-137 on HCC proliferation and metastasis, suggesting two independent pathways of CDC42 and AKT2 in miR-137-mediated HCC regulation. Our study demonstrated that CDC42 independently regulated the antitumor effects of miR-137 in human HCC.

Wang L, Yao J, Sun H, et al.
miR-302b suppresses cell invasion and metastasis by directly targeting AKT2 in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):847-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to play essential roles in regulating the activity of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, thereby contributing to the suppression of invasion and metastasis. In this study, using gain and loss of function assays, we demonstrated that miR-302b was frequently down-regulated in clinical HCC specimens, as compared with 15 corresponding adjacent normal tissues. Overexpression of miR-302b suppressed HCC cell invasion and metastasis. Regulation of NF-κB and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 expression by miR-302b was mediated via AKT2 in SMMC-7721 cells. Silencing AKT2 produced effects similar to those of miR-302b overexpression, which included inhibiting SMMC-7721 cell invasion and metastasis and dereasing NF-κB and MMP-2 expression. Furthermore, overexpression of AKT2 attenuated the effects of miR-302b overexpression. Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-302b inhibits SMMC-7721 cell invasion and metastasis by targeting AKT2, suggesting that miR-302b might represent a potential therapeutic target for HCC intervention.

Ma J, Huang H, Han Z, et al.
RLN2 Is a Positive Regulator of AKT-2-Induced Gene Expression Required for Osteosarcoma Cells Invasion and Chemoresistance.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:147468 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of H2 relaxin (RLN2) on invasion, migration, and chemosensitivity to cisplatin in human osteosarcoma U2-OS and MG-63 cells and then to investigate the effect of RLN2 on the AKT/NF-κB signaling pathway. The expression of RLN2, p-AKT (Ser473), and p-ERK1/2 (Phospho-Thr202/Tyr204) proteins was detected by western blot in OS tissues from 21 patients with pulmonary metastatic disease, and the correlation between RLN2 and p-AKT or RLN2 and p-ERK1/2 expression was investigated. RLN2 expression was inhibited by RLN2 siRNA transfection in the MG-63 cells. RLN2 was overexpressed in the U2-OS cells by treatment with recombinant relaxin. The results showed that positive relation was found between RLN2 and p-AKT expression in tissues of OS. Silencing RLN2 inhibited cell migratory and invasive ability and angiogenesis formation and increased the chemosensitivity to cisplatin in MG-63 cells. RLN2 overexpression promoted migratory and invasive ability and angiogenesis and increased the chemoresistance to cisplatin in U2-OS cells. Silencing RLN2 inhibited the activity of AKT/NF-κB signaling pathway in MG-63 cells, and vice versa. Blockage of both pathways by specific inhibitors abrogated RLN2-induced survival and invasion of OS cells, and vice versa. Our results indicated RLN2 confers to migratory and invasive ability, angiogenesis, and chemoresistance to cisplatin via modulating the AKT/NF-κB signaling pathway in vitro.

Chen QY, Jiao DM, Zhu Y, et al.
Identification of carcinogenic potential-associated molecular mechanisms in CD133(+) A549 cells based on microRNA profiles.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):521-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to identify carcinogenic potential-related molecular mechanisms in cancer stem cells (CSCs) in lung cancer. CD133(+) and CD133(-) subpopulations were sorted from A549 cells using magnetic-activated cell sorting. The abilities to form sphere and clone, proliferate, migrate, and invade were compared between CD133(+) and CD133(-) cells, as well as drug sensitivity. Thereafter, microRNA (miRNA) profiles were performed to identify differentially expressed miRNAs between CD133(+) and CD133(-) subpopulation. Following, bioinformatic methods were used to predict target genes for differentially expressed miRNAs and perform enrichment analysis. Furthermore, the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways and CSC property-associated signaling pathways were explored and visualized in regulatory network among competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA), miRNA, and target gene. CD133(+) subpopulation showed greater oncogenic potential than CD133(-) subpopulation. In all, 14 differentially expressed miRNAs were obtained and enriched in 119 pathways, including five upregulated (hsa-miR-23b-3p, -23a-3p, -15b-5p, -24-3p, and -4734) and nine downregulated (hsa-miR-1246, -30b-5p, -5096, -6510-5p, has-miR-7110-5p, -7641, -3197, -7108-5p, and -6791-5p). For mTOR signaling pathway, eight differential miRNAs (hsa-miR-23b-3p, -23a-3p, -15b-5p, -24-3p, -4734, -1246, -7641, and -3197) and 39 target genes (e.g., AKT1, AKT2, PIK3CB, PIK3CG, PIK3R1, PIK3CA, and PIK3CD) were involved, as well as some ceRNAs. Besides, for CSC property-related signaling pathways, six miRNAs (hsa-miR-1246, -15b-5p, -30b-5p, -3197, -4734, and -7110-5p) were dramatically enriched in Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt signaling pathways via regulating 108 target genes (e.g., DVL1, DVL3, WNT3A, and WNT5A). The mTOR and CSC property-associated signaling pathways may be important oncogenic molecular mechanisms in CD133(+) A549 cells.

Sheng L, He P, Yang X, et al.
miR-612 negatively regulates colorectal cancer growth and metastasis by targeting AKT2.
Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6:e1808 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide, with a particularly high incidence in developed countries. Distant metastasis and recurrence are the main causes of CRC-related deaths. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) in the serum make them potential biomarkers for cancers, as reported in serum or tumor tissues from CRC patients. In this study, we found that miR-612 expression was significantly lower in CRC tissues or cells compared with peritumor tissues or normal cells, and lower in metastatic CRC specimens compared with non-metastatic specimens, whereas AKT2 exhibited opposite trend. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays showed that miR-612 inhibited CRC cell proliferation and migration in vitro by Cell Counting Kit-8 and transwell assays. Further analysis revealed that miR-612 directly suppressed AKT2, which in turn inhibited the downstream epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related signaling pathway. These results were additionally validated in vivo by tumorigenesis and liver metastasis experiments. The results of this study suggested a critical role of miR-612 in the development of CRC.

Sabbineni H, Alwhaibi A, Goc A, et al.
Genetic deletion and pharmacological inhibition of Akt1 isoform attenuates bladder cancer cell proliferation, motility and invasion.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2015; 764:208-14 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Isoform specific expression, intracellular localization and function of Akt in bladder cancer are not known. In the current study, we identified Akt1, followed by Akt2 and Akt3 as the predominant Akt isoform in human T24 and UM-UC-3 metastatic bladder cancer cells. Whereas Akt1 is localized at the membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus, Akt2 is solely cytoplasmic and Akt3 is mostly localized in the nucleus in T24 cells. ShRNA-mediated Akt1 knockdown resulted in impaired T24 cell survival, proliferation, colony formation, migration and microinvasion. Whereas pharmacological inhibition of Akt1 resulted in impaired T24 and UM-UC-3 cell motility, viability and proliferation, effect of pharmacological inhibition by Akt2 inhibitor was limited to proliferation in T24, but not UM-UC-3 cells. Our data provide important clues on the therapeutic benefits of targeting Akt1 for bladder cancer therapy.

Wu L, Chen J, Ding C, et al.
MicroRNA-137 Contributes to Dampened Tumorigenesis in Human Gastric Cancer by Targeting AKT2.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0130124 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
MiRNAs play important roles in tumorigenesis. This study focused on exploring the effects and regulation mechanism of miRNA-137 on the biological behaviors of gastric cancer. Total RNA was extracted from tissues of 100 patients with gastric cancer and from four gastric cancer cell lines. Expression of miR-137 was detected by real-time PCR from 100 patients. The effects of miR-137 overexpression on gastric cancer cells' proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion ability were investigated in vitro and in vivo. The target gene of miR-137 was predicted by Targetscan on line software, screened by dual luciferase reporter gene assay and demonstrated by western blot. As a result, the expression of miR-137 was significant reduced in gastric cancer cell line HGC-27, HGC-803, SGC-7901 and MKN-45 as well as in gastric cancer tissues compared with GES-1 cell or matched adjacent non-neoplastic tissues (p<0.001). The re-introduction of miR-137 into gastric cancer cells was able to inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion. The in vivo experiments demonstrated that the miR-137 overexpression can reduce the gastric cancer cell proliferation and metastasis. Bioinformatic and western blot analysis indicated that the miR-137 acted as tumor suppressor roles on gastric cancer cells through targeting AKT2 and further affecting the Bad and GSK-3β. In conclusion, the miR-137 which is frequently down-regulated in gastric cancer is potentially involved in gastric cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis by regulating AKT2 related signal pathways.

Ratovitski EA
Delta Np63 alpha – Responsive microRNA Modulate the Expression of Metabolic Enzymes.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2015; 16(9):832-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs, whose transcription is regulated by members of the tumor protein p53 family, modulate the expression of numerous metabolic enzymes, significantly altering tumor cell response to chemotherapeutic treatments. The role for ΔNp63α-regulated microRNAs in regulation of cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and autophagy in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells upon cisplatin exposure has been reported. The current study indicated that the selected microRNA targets differentially regulated by ΔNp63α in cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant SCC cells could alter the expression of a few metabolic enzymes, thereby potentially contributing to the metabolic changes in SCC cells upon cisplatin exposure. Finally, the modulation of specific targets (e.g., SREBF2, AKT2, G6PD, CPS1, FADS1, and ETNK1) using a combination of microRNA mimics and siRNA silencing has shown that a suppression of these metabolic factors/ enzymes could confer a sensitivity of SCC cells to cisplatin. Thus, the Δ Np63α-regulated microRNAs were found to regulate the levels of several metabolic factors and enzymes, thereby potentially contributing to the response of larynx and tongue-derived SCC cells to platinum chemotherapy.

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