Gene Summary

Gene:APOD; apolipoprotein D
Summary:This gene encodes a component of high density lipoprotein that has no marked similarity to other apolipoprotein sequences. It has a high degree of homology to plasma retinol-binding protein and other members of the alpha 2 microglobulin protein superfamily of carrier proteins, also known as lipocalins. This glycoprotein is closely associated with the enzyme lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase - an enzyme involved in lipoprotein metabolism. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:apolipoprotein D
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (34)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 02 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Apolipoproteins
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Survival Rate
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Carcinoma
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Apolipoproteins D
  • Transcription
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Cell Division
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms
  • Glycoproteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Disease Progression
  • Breast
  • Synaptophysin
  • Raloxifene Hydrochloride
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Brain, Astrocytoma, Childhood
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Chromosome 3
  • Messenger RNA
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Breast Cancer
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Gene Expression
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Receptor, EphA4
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Base Sequence
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 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: APOD (cancer-related)

Echevarria MI, Awasthi S, Cheng CH, et al.
African American Specific Gene Panel Predictive of Poor Prostate Cancer Outcome.
J Urol. 2019; 202(2):247-255 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Most prostate cancer in African American men lacks the ETS (E26 transforming specific) family fusion event (ETS-). We aimed to establish clinically relevant biomarkers in African American men by studying ETS dependent gene expression patterns to identified race specific genes predictive of outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two multicenter cohorts of a total of 1,427 men were used for the discovery and validation (635 and 792 men, respectively) of race specific predictive biomarkers. We used false discovery rate adjusted q values to identify race and ETS dependent genes which were differentially expressed in African American men who experienced biochemical recurrence within 5 years. Principal component modeling along with survival analysis was done to assess the accuracy of the gene panel in predicting recurrence.
RESULTS: We identified 3,047 genes which were differentially expressed based on ETS status. Of these genes 362 were differentially expressed in a race specific manner (false discovery rate 0.025 or less). A total of 81 genes were race specific and over expressed in African American men who experienced biochemical recurrence. The final gene panel included APOD, BCL6, EMP1, MYADM, SRGN and TIMP3. These genes were associated with 5-year biochemical recurrence (HR 1.97, 95% CI 1.27-3.06, p = 0.002) and they improved the predictive accuracy of clinicopathological variables only in African American men (60-month time dependent AUC 0.72).
CONCLUSIONS: In an effort to elucidate biological features associated with prostate cancer aggressiveness in African American men we identified ETS dependent biomarkers predicting early onset biochemical recurrence only in African American men. Thus, these ETS dependent biomarkers representing ideal candidates for biomarkers of aggressive disease in this patient population.

Hu C, Zhou Y, Liu C, Kang Y
A novel scoring system for gastric cancer risk assessment based on the expression of three CLIP4 DNA methylation-associated genes.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(2):633-643 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is the fifth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-associated mortality worldwide. In the current study, comprehensive bioinformatic analyses were performed to develop a novel scoring system for GC risk assessment based on CAP-Gly domain containing linker protein family member 4 (CLIP4) DNA methylation status. Two GC datasets with methylation sequencing information and mRNA expression profiling were downloaded from the The Cancer Genome Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus databases. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the CLIP4 hypermethylation and CLIP4 hypomethylation groups were screened using the limma package in R 3.3.1, and survival analysis of these DEGs was performed using the survival package. A risk scoring system was established via regression factor-weighted gene expression based on linear combination to screen the most important genes associated with CLIP4 methylation and prognosis. Genes associated with high/low-risk value were selected using the limma package. Functional enrichment analysis of the top 500 DEGs that positively and negatively associated with risk values was performed using DAVID 6.8 online and the gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) software. In total, 35 genes were identified to be that significantly associated with prognosis and CLIP4 DNA methylation, and three prognostic signature genes, claudin-11 (CLDN11), apolipoprotein D (APOD), and chordin like 1 (CHRDL1), were used to establish a risk assessment system. The prognostic scoring system exhibited efficiency in classifying patients with different prognoses, where the low-risk groups had significantly longer overall survival times than those in the high-risk groups. CLDN11, APOD and CHRDL1 exhibited reduced expression in the hypermethylation and low-risk groups compare with the hypomethylation and high-risk groups, respectively. Multivariate Cox analysis indicated that risk value could be used as an independent prognostic factor. In functional analysis, six functional gene ontology terms and five GSEA pathways were associated with CLDN11, APOD and CHRDL1. The results established the credibility of the scoring system in this study. Additionally, these three genes, which were significantly associated with CLIP4 DNA methylation and GC risk assessment, were identified as potential prognostic biomarkers.

Tan WJ, Cima I, Choudhury Y, et al.
A five-gene reverse transcription-PCR assay for pre-operative classification of breast fibroepithelial lesions.
Breast Cancer Res. 2016; 18(1):31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast fibroepithelial lesions are biphasic tumors and include fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors. Preoperative distinction between fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors is pivotal to clinical management. Fibroadenomas are clinically benign while phyllodes tumors are more unpredictable in biological behavior, with potential for recurrence. Differentiating the tumors may be challenging when they have overlapping clinical and histological features especially on core biopsies. Current molecular and immunohistochemical techniques have a limited role in the diagnosis of breast fibroepithelial lesions. We aimed to develop a practical molecular test to aid in distinguishing fibroadenomas from phyllodes tumors in the pre-operative setting.
METHODS: We profiled the transcriptome of a training set of 48 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors and further designed 43 quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays to verify differentially expressed genes. Using machine learning to build predictive regression models, we selected a five-gene transcript set (ABCA8, APOD, CCL19, FN1, and PRAME) to discriminate between fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors. We validated our assay in an independent cohort of 230 core biopsies obtained pre-operatively.
RESULTS: Overall, the assay accurately classified 92.6 % of the samples (AUC = 0.948, 95 % CI 0.913-0.983, p = 2.51E-19), with a sensitivity of 82.9 % and specificity of 94.7 %.
CONCLUSIONS: We provide a robust assay for classifying breast fibroepithelial lesions into fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors, which could be a valuable tool in assisting pathologists in differential diagnosis of breast fibroepithelial lesions.

Wang J, Scholtens D, Holko M, et al.
Lipid metabolism genes in contralateral unaffected breast and estrogen receptor status of breast cancer.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013; 6(4):321-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Risk biomarkers that are specific to estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes of breast cancer would aid the development and implementation of distinct prevention strategies. The contralateral unaffected breast of women with unilateral breast cancer (cases) is a good model for defining subtype-specific risk because women with ER-negative (ER-) index primaries are at high risk for subsequent ER-negative primary cancers. We conducted random fine needle aspiration of the unaffected breasts of cases. Samples from 30 subjects [15 ER-positive (ER+) and 15 ER- cases matched for age, race and menopausal status] were used for Illumina expression array analysis. Findings were confirmed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in the same samples. A validation set consisting of 36 subjects (12 ER+, 12 ER- and 12 standard-risk healthy controls) was used to compare gene expression across groups. ER- case samples displayed significantly higher expression of 18 genes/transcripts, 8 of which were associated with lipid metabolism on gene ontology analysis (GO: 0006629). This pattern was confirmed by qRT-PCR in the same samples, and in the 24 cases of the validation set. When compared to the healthy controls in the validation set, significant overexpression of 4 genes (DHRS2, HMGCS2, HPGD and ACSL3) was observed in ER- cases, with significantly lower expression of UGT2B11 and APOD in ER+ cases, and decreased expression of UGT2B7 in both subtypes. These data suggest that differential expression of lipid metabolism genes may be involved in the risk for subtypes of breast cancer, and are potential biomarkers of ER-specific breast cancer risk.

Bajo-Grañeras R, Crespo-Sanjuan J, García-Centeno RM, et al.
Expression and potential role of apolipoprotein D on the death-survival balance of human colorectal cancer cells under oxidative stress conditions.
Int J Colorectal Dis. 2013; 28(6):751-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Inverse correlations of apolipoprotein D (ApoD) expression with tumor growth have been shown, therefore proposing ApoD as a good prognostic marker for diverse cancer types, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Besides, ApoD expression is boosted upon oxidative stress (OS) in many pathological situations. This study aims at understanding the role of ApoD in the progression of human CRC.
METHODS: Samples of CRC and distant normal tissue (n = 51) were assayed for levels of lipid peroxidation, expression profile of OS-dependent genes, and protein expression. Three single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the ApoD gene were analyzed (n = 139), with no significant associations found. Finally, we assayed the effect of ApoD in proliferation and apoptosis in the CRC HT-29 cell line.
RESULTS: In CRC, lipid peroxides increase while ApoD messenger RNA and protein decrease through tumor progression, with a prominent decrease in stage I. In normal mucosa, ApoD protein is present in lamina propia and enteroendocrine cells. In CRC, ApoD expression is heterogeneous, with low expression in stromal cells commonly associated with high expression in the dysplastic epithelium. ApoD promoter is basally methylated in HT-29 cells but retains the ability to respond to OS. Exogenous addition of ApoD to HT-29 cells does not modify proliferation or apoptosis levels in control conditions, but it promotes apoptosis upon paraquat-induced OS.
CONCLUSION: Our results show ApoD as a gene responding to OS in the tumor microenvironment. Besides using ApoD as marker of initial stages of tumor progression, it can become a therapeutic tool promoting death of proliferating tumor cells suffering OS.

Jinawath N, Vasoontara C, Jinawath A, et al.
Oncoproteomic analysis reveals co-upregulation of RELA and STAT5 in carboplatin resistant ovarian carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(6):e11198 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal types of female malignancy. Although most patients are initially responsive to platinum-based chemotherapy, almost all develop recurrent chemoresistant tumors and succumb to their diseases. Elucidating the pathogenesis underlying drug resistance is fundamental to the development of new therapeutics, leading to improved clinical outcomes in these patients.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We compared the proteomes of paired primary and recurrent post-chemotherapy ovarian high-grade serous carcinomas from nine ovarian cancer patients using CIEF/Nano-RPLC coupled with ESI-Tandem MS. As compared to their primary tumors, more than half of the recurrent tumors expressed higher levels of several proteins including CP, FN1, SYK, CD97, AIF1, WNK1, SERPINA3, APOD, URP2, STAT5B and RELA (NF-kappaB p65), which were also validated by quantitative RT-PCR. Based on shRNA screening for the upregulated genes in in vitro carboplatin-resistant cells, we found that simultaneous knockdown of RELA and STAT5B was most effective in sensitizing tumor cells for carboplatin treatment. Similarly, the NF-kappaB inhibitor, BMS-345541, and the STAT5 inhibitor, Dasatinib, significantly enhanced cell sensitivity to carboplatin. Moreover, both RELA and STAT5 are known to bind to the promoter region of Bcl-X, regulating its promoter activity. In this regard, augmented Bcl-xL expression was detected in carboplatin-resistant cells. Combined ectopic expression of RELA and STAT5B enhanced Bcl-xL promoter activity while treatment with BMS-345541 and Dasatinib decreased it. Chromatin immunoprecipitation of the Bcl-X promoter region using a STAT5 antibody showed induction of RELA and STAT5 DNA-binding segments both in naïve cells treated with a high concentration of carboplatin as well as in carboplatin-resistant cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Proteomic analysis identified RELA and STAT5 as two major proteins associated with carboplatin resistance in ovarian tumors. Our results further showed that NF-kappaB and STAT5 inhibitor could sensitize carboplatin-resistant cells and suggest that such inhibitors can be used to benefit patients with carboplatin-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer.

Fontaine JF, Mirebeau-Prunier D, Raharijaona M, et al.
Increasing the number of thyroid lesions classes in microarray analysis improves the relevance of diagnostic markers.
PLoS One. 2009; 4(10):e7632 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genetic markers for thyroid cancers identified by microarray analysis have offered limited predictive accuracy so far because of the few classes of thyroid lesions usually taken into account. To improve diagnostic relevance, we have simultaneously analyzed microarray data from six public datasets covering a total of 347 thyroid tissue samples representing 12 histological classes of follicular lesions and normal thyroid tissue. Our own dataset, containing about half the thyroid tissue samples, included all categories of thyroid lesions.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Classifier predictions were strongly affected by similarities between classes and by the number of classes in the training sets. In each dataset, sample prediction was improved by separating the samples into three groups according to class similarities. The cross-validation of differential genes revealed four clusters with functional enrichments. The analysis of six of these genes (APOD, APOE, CLGN, CRABP1, SDHA and TIMP1) in 49 new samples showed consistent gene and protein profiles with the class similarities observed. Focusing on four subclasses of follicular tumor, we explored the diagnostic potential of 12 selected markers (CASP10, CDH16, CLGN, CRABP1, HMGB2, ALPL2, ADAMTS2, CABIN1, ALDH1A3, USP13, NR2F2, KRTHB5) by real-time quantitative RT-PCR on 32 other new samples. The gene expression profiles of follicular tumors were examined with reference to the mutational status of the Pax8-PPARgamma, TSHR, GNAS and NRAS genes.
CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We show that diagnostic tools defined on the basis of microarray data are more relevant when a large number of samples and tissue classes are used. Taking into account the relationships between the thyroid tumor pathologies, together with the main biological functions and pathways involved, improved the diagnostic accuracy of the samples. Our approach was particularly relevant for the classification of microfollicular adenomas.

Søiland H, Skaland I, Varhaug JE, et al.
Co-expression of estrogen receptor alpha and Apolipoprotein D in node positive operable breast cancer--possible relevance for survival and effects of adjuvant tamoxifen in postmenopausal patients.
Acta Oncol. 2009; 48(4):514-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) is an important prognostic and predictive marker in breast cancer. ERalpha signaling normally down-regulates expression of Apolipoprotein D (ApoD), a lipocalin that binds, transports or chelates lipophilic ligands, including tamoxifen (TAM). Hence, the co-expression of ApoD may therefore identify clinical relevant subgroups of ERalpha positive breast cancer patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: ApoD, ERalpha, and progesterone receptor (PR) protein expressions were determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in primary tumors of 290 patients with operable breast cancer. The median follow-up was 12 years. Patients were stratified according to age, nodal stage and the expression of ERalpha and the combined cytoplasm and nuclear staining of ApoD (ApoD(CN)).
RESULTS: In elderly women (> or =70 years) (n = 76), ApoD(CN) expression identified different prognostic subgroups in ERalpha positive patients (Trend: p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis in this age group (n = 72), showed that the ERalpha-positive /ApoD(CN)-negative subgroup had a better breast cancer specific survival (BCSS) compared with the ERalpha-positive/ApoD(CN)-positive group (hazard ratio (HR) = 4.3; 95% CI = 1.6-11.9; p = 0.005). This difference was predominantly seen in the node positive patients (n = 30) (HR = 10.5; 95% CI = 2.3-47.6; p = 0.002). In a subset of postmenopausal ERalpha-positive/node positive patients (n = 60) previously enrolled in a trial on 2 year adjuvant TAM 20 mg vs. placebo, a better BCSS was observed in ApoD(CN) negative patients compared to placebo (p = 0.02). In ApoD(CN) positive patients, adjuvant TAM did not provide any survival benefit.
DISCUSSION: ERalpha and ApoD(CN) co-expression seems to be of prognostic importance in node positive elderly patients with operable breast cancer. In addition, we hypothesize that ApoD(CN) expression may be a novel marker and/or mechanism of TAM resistance in postmenopausal node positive patients. Thus, when targeting the ERalpha pathway in these patients, the ApoD status of the tumor may be of clinical relevance.

Sasaki Y, Negishi H, Koyama R, et al.
p53 family members regulate the expression of the apolipoprotein D gene.
J Biol Chem. 2009; 284(2):872-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
p73 and p63 are members of the p53 gene family that play an important role in development and homeostasis, mainly by regulating transcription of a variety of genes. We report here that apolipoprotein D (apoD), a member of the lipocalin superfamily of lipid transport proteins, is a direct transcriptional target of the p53 family member genes. We found that the expression of apoD was specifically up-regulated by either TAp73 or TAp63 but not significantly by p53. In addition, apoD transcription is activated in response to cisplatin in a manner dependent on endogenous p73. By using small interference RNA designed to target p73, we demonstrated that silencing endogenous p73 abolishes induction of apoD transcription following cisplatin treatment. We also identified a p73/p63-binding site in the promoter of the apoD gene that is responsive to the p53 family members. The ectopic expression of TAp73 as well as the addition of recombinant human apoD to culture medium induced the osteoblastic differentiation of the human osteosarcoma cell line Saos-2, as assessed by alkaline phosphatase activity. Importantly, apoD knockdown abrogated p73-mediated alkaline phosphatase induction. Moreover, TAp73-mediated apoD expression was able to induce morphological differentiation, as well as expression of neuronal markers, in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. These results suggest that apoD induction may mediate the activity of p73 in normal development.

Galamb O, Sipos F, Solymosi N, et al.
Diagnostic mRNA expression patterns of inflamed, benign, and malignant colorectal biopsy specimen and their correlation with peripheral blood results.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008; 17(10):2835-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Gene expression profile (GEP)-based classification of colonic diseases is a new method for diagnostic purposes. Our aim was to develop diagnostic mRNA expression patterns that may establish the basis of a new molecular biological diagnostic method.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Total RNA was extracted, amplified, and biotinylated from frozen colonic biopsies of patients with colorectal cancer (n=22), adenoma (n=20), hyperplastic polyp (n=11), inflammatory bowel disease (n=21), and healthy normal controls (n=11), as well as peripheral blood samples of 19 colorectal cancer and 11 healthy patients. Genome-wide gene expression profile was evaluated by HGU133plus2 microarrays. To identify the differentially expressed features, the significance analysis of microarrays and, for classification, the prediction analysis of microarrays were used. Expression patterns were validated by real-time PCR. Tissue microarray immunohistochemistries were done on tissue samples of 121 patients.
RESULTS: Adenoma samples could be distinguished from hyperplastic polyps by the expression levels of nine genes including ATP-binding cassette family A, member 8, insulin-like growth factor 1 and glucagon (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 90.91%). Between low-grade and high-grade dysplastic adenomas, 65 classifier probesets such as aquaporin 1, CXCL10, and APOD (90.91/100) were identified; between colorectal cancer and adenoma, 61 classifier probesets including axin 2, von Willebrand factor, tensin 1, and gremlin 1 (90.91/100) were identified. Early- and advanced-stage colorectal carcinomas could be distinguished using 34 discriminatory transcripts (100/66.67).
CONCLUSIONS: Whole genomic microarray analysis using routine biopsy samples is suitable for the identification of discriminative signatures for differential diagnostic purposes. Our results may be the basis for new GEP-based diagnostic methods.

Song JY, Lee JK, Lee NW, et al.
Microarray analysis of normal cervix, carcinoma in situ, and invasive cervical cancer: identification of candidate genes in pathogenesis of invasion in cervical cancer.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2008 Sep-Oct; 18(5):1051-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of this study was to identify genes that are related to pathogenesis of carcinoma in situ (CIS) to invasive cervical cancer with the use of oligonucleotide microarray and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Each two cases of normal cervix, CIS, and invasive cervical cancer were investigated with DNA microarray technology. Differential gene expression profiles among them were analyzed. Expression levels of selected genes from the microarray results were confirmed by RT-PCR. The expressions of 15,286 genes were compared and 458 genes were upregulated or downregulated by twofold or more compared with each other group. Among 458 genes, 22 genes were upregulated and 40 genes were downregulated by twofold or more in invasive cervical cancer group compared with CIS group. RT-PCR analysis confirmed upregulation of 18 genes and downregulation of 5 genes in invasive cervical cancer group. RBP1, TFRC, SPP1, SAA1, ARHGAP8, and NDRG1, which were upregulated, and GATA3, PLAGL1, APOD, DUSP1, and CYR61, which were downregulated, were considered as candidate genes associated with invasion of cervical cancer.

MacDonald TJ, Pollack IF, Okada H, et al.
Progression-associated genes in astrocytoma identified by novel microarray gene expression data reanalysis.
Methods Mol Biol. 2007; 377:203-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Astrocytoma is graded as pilocytic (WHO grade I), diffuse (WHO grade II), anaplastic (WHO grade III), and glioblastoma multiforme (WHO grade IV). The progression from low- to high-grade astrocytoma is associated with distinct molecular changes that vary with patient age, yet the prognosis of high-grade tumors in children and adults is equally dismal. Whether specific gene expression changes are consistently associated with all high-grade astrocytomas, independent of patient age, is not known. To address this question, we reanalyzed the microarray datasets comprising astrocytomas from children and adults, respectively. We identified nine genes consistently dysregulated in high-grade tumors, using four novel tests for identifying differentially expressed genes. Four genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPS2, RPS8, RPS18, RPL37A) were upregulated, and five genes (APOD, SORL1, SPOCK2, PRSS11, ID3) were downregulated in high-grade by all tests. Expression results were validated using a third astrocytoma dataset. APOD, the most differentially expressed gene, has been shown to inhibit tumor cell and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. This suggests that dysregulation of APOD may be critical for malignant astrocytoma formation, and thus a possible novel universal target for therapeutic intervention. Further investigation is needed to evaluate the role of APOD, as well as the other genes identified, in malignant astrocytoma development.

van den Boom J, Wolter M, Blaschke B, et al.
Identification of novel genes associated with astrocytoma progression using suppression subtractive hybridization and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.
Int J Cancer. 2006; 119(10):2330-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
To identify novel genes involved in glioma progression we performed suppression subtractive hybridization combined with cDNA array analysis on 4 patients with primary low-grade gliomas of World Health Organization (WHO) grade II that recurred as secondary glioblastomas (WHO grade IV). Eight genes showing differential expression between primary and recurrent tumors in 3 of the 4 patients were selected for further analysis using real-time reverse transcription-PCR on a series of 10 pairs of primary low-grade and recurrent high-grade gliomas as well as 42 astrocytic gliomas of different WHO grades. These analyses revealed that 5 genes, i.e., AMOG (ATP1B2, 17p13.1), APOD (3q26.2-qter), DMXL1 (5q23.1) DRR1 (TU3A, 3p14.2) and PSD3 (KIAA09428/HCA67/EFA6R, 8p22), were expressed at significantly lower levels in secondary glioblastomas as compared to diffuse astrocytomas of WHO grade II. In addition, AMOG, DRR1 and PSD3 transcript levels were significantly lower in primary glioblastomas than in diffuse astrocytomas. Treatment of glioma cell lines with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and trichostatin A resulted in increased expression of AMOG and APOD transcripts. Sequencing of sodium bisulfite-modified DNA demonstrated AMOG promoter hypermethylation in the glioma cell lines and 1 primary anaplastic astrocytoma with low AMOG expression. Taken together, we identified interesting novel candidate genes that likely contribute to glioma progression and provide first evidence for a role of epigenetic silencing of AMOG in malignant glioma cells.

Dunn LL, Sekyere EO, Suryo Rahmanto Y, Richardson DR
The function of melanotransferrin: a role in melanoma cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Carcinogenesis. 2006; 27(11):2157-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanotransferrin (MTf) or melanoma tumor antigen p97 is an iron (Fe) binding transferrin homolog expressed highly on melanomas and at lower levels on normal tissues. It has been suggested that MTf is involved in a variety of processes such as Fe metabolism and cellular differentiation. Considering the crucial role of Fe in many metabolic pathways, for example, DNA synthesis, it is important to understand the function of MTf. To define the roles of MTf, two models were developed: (i) an MTf knockout (MTf-/-) mouse and (ii) downregulation of MTf expression in melanoma cells by post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS). Examination of the MTf-/- mice demonstrated no differences compared with wild-type littermates. However, microarray analysis showed differential expression of molecules involved in proliferation such as Mef2a, Tcf4, Gls and Apod in MTf-/- mice compared with MTf+/+ littermates. Considering the role of MTf in melanoma cells, PTGS was used to downregulate MTf mRNA and protein levels by >90 and >80%, respectively. This resulted in inhibition of proliferation and migration. As found in MTf-/- mice, in melanoma cells with suppressed MTf expression, hMEF2A and hTCF4 were upregulated compared with parental cells. Furthermore, when melanoma cells with decreased MTf expression were injected into nude mice, tumor growth was markedly reduced, suggesting a role for MTf in proliferation and tumorigenesis.

Doane AS, Danso M, Lal P, et al.
An estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer subset characterized by a hormonally regulated transcriptional program and response to androgen.
Oncogene. 2006; 25(28):3994-4008 [PubMed] Related Publications
Little is known of the underlying biology of estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative (ER(-)/PR(-)) breast cancer (BC), and few targeted therapies are available. Clinical heterogeneity of ER(-)/PR(-) tumors suggests that molecular subsets exist. We performed genome-wide expression analysis of 99 primary BC samples and eight BC cell lines in an effort to reveal distinct subsets, provide insight into their biology and potentially identify new therapeutic targets. We identified a subset of ER(-)/PR(-) tumors with paradoxical expression of genes known to be either direct targets of ER, responsive to estrogen, or typically expressed in ER(+) BC. Differentially expressed genes included SPDEF, FOXA1, XBP1, CYB5, TFF3, NAT1, APOD, ALCAM and AR (P<0.001). A classification model based on the expression signature of this tumor class identified molecularly similar BCs in an independent human BC data set and among BC cell lines (MDA-MB-453). This cell line demonstrated a proliferative response to androgen in an androgen receptor-dependent and ER-independent manner. In addition, the androgen-induced transcriptional program of MDA-MB-453 significantly overlapped the molecular signature of the unique ER(-)/PR(-) subclass of human tumors. This subset of BCs, characterized by a hormonally regulated transcriptional program and response to androgen, suggests the potential for therapeutic strategies targeting the androgen signaling pathway.

Ricci F, Kern SE, Hruban RH, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA
Stromal responses to carcinomas of the pancreas: juxtatumoral gene expression conforms to the infiltrating pattern and not the biologic subtype.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2005; 4(3):302-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
If there is a "science" of tumor-stromal interactions, there must be a set of biologic rules that are organ-site dependent. One way to explore this hypothesis would be to compare the patterns of gene expression of two biologically distinct neoplasms that arise within the same organ site. Using nonradioactive in situ hybridization, we evaluated the gene expression patterns of three genes previously shown to be robust markers of the juxtatumoral stroma within eight infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (ApoC1, ApoD and MMP11), and compared these patterns to those associated with seven infiltrating colloid and tubular carcinomas arising in association with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), a histologically distinct form of primary carcinoma of the pancreas, two surgically resected samples of chronic pancreatitis and two surgically resected pancreatic cancer liver metastases. Robust juxtatumoral stromal expression was noted for all three markers within all eight conventional infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma tissues, but not in samples of chronic pancreatitis. Among the carcinomas arising within an IPMN, expression for all three markers was also noted for five of seven infiltrating carcinomas analyzed. However, when labeling for these three markers was analyzed with respect to infiltrative growth pattern, positive labeling was only seen in areas of tubular (ductal-type) growth and not in areas of colloid carcinoma. This observation was further supported by two infiltrating carcinomas arising in an IPMN that showed both tubular and colloid growth patterns within the same neoplasm indicating the host stromal response observed may relate to infiltrative growth pattern rather than the biology of the primary tumor type. Moreover, these robust patterns within conventional infiltrating ductal adenocarcinomas were not retained within matched metastases to the liver, indicating the importance of the tumor microenvironment in the host stromal response. Juxtatumoral stroma was found to be composed of a least two cell types, tumor-infiltrating macrophages and fibroblasts, highlighting the complexity of tumor-stromal interactions within an infiltrating carcinoma. Since the juxtatumoral gene expression response is the strongest indication of direct communication between stroma and cancer cells, we provide evidence of a stereotypical response to infiltrative growth that might predominate in tumor-stromal interactions independent of cancer type, a finding with clinical implications for therapeutic modalities that target this response in human tumors.

Ashida S, Nakagawa H, Katagiri T, et al.
Molecular features of the transition from prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) to prostate cancer: genome-wide gene-expression profiles of prostate cancers and PINs.
Cancer Res. 2004; 64(17):5963-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
To characterize the molecular feature in prostate carcinogenesis and the putative transition from prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) to invasive prostate cancer (PC), we analyzed gene-expression profiles of 20 PCs and 10 high-grade PINs with a cDNA microarray representing 23,040 genes. Considering the histological heterogeneity of PCs and the minimal nature of PIN lesions, we applied laser microbeam microdissection to purify populations of PC and PIN cells, and then compared their expression profiles with those of corresponding normal prostatic epithelium also purified by laser microbeam microdissection. A hierarchical clustering analysis separated the PC group from the PIN group, except for three tumors that were morphologically defined as one very-high-grade PIN and two low-grade PCs, suggesting that PINs and PCs share some molecular features and supporting the hypothesis of PIN-to-PC transition. On the basis of this hypothesis, we identified 21 up-regulated genes and 63 down-regulated genes commonly in PINs and PCs compared with normal epithelium, which were considered to be involved in the presumably early stage of prostatic carcinogenesis. They included AMACR, OR51E2, RODH, and SMS. Furthermore, we identified 41 up-regulated genes and 98 down-regulated genes in the transition from PINs to PCs; those altered genes, such as POV1, CDKN2C, EPHA4, APOD, FASN, ITGB2, LAMB2, PLAU, and TIMP1, included elements that are likely to be involved in cell adhesion or the motility of invasive PC cells. The down-regulation of EPHA4 by small interfering RNA in PC cells lead to attenuation of PC cell viability. These data provide clues to the molecular mechanisms underlying prostatic carcinogenesis, and suggest candidate genes the products of which might serve as molecular targets for the prevention and treatment of PC.

West RB, Harvell J, Linn SC, et al.
Apo D in soft tissue tumors: a novel marker for dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2004; 28(8):1063-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Using gene microarray expression profiling, we previously found that apolipoprotein D (Apo D) was highly expressed in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). In this study, we confirm that Apo D is highly and relatively specifically expressed in DFSP using immunohistochemistry. A tissue microarray containing 421 soft tissue tumors was constructed and stained with antibodies against Apo D and CD34. Cytoplasmic immunostaining for Apo D was found in 9 of 10 typical DFSPs. In addition, 3 of 3 Bednar tumors and 2 of 3 giant cell fibroblastomas stained in conventional sections. In contrast, Apo D was immunoreactive in only a very small subset of a diverse collection of other soft tissue tumors, including Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma (MFH), glomus tumor, neurofibroma, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Immunostains for Apo D were negative in conventional sections of 16 fibrous histiocytomas, and an additional 12 variants of fibrous histiocytoma. Digital images of all immunohistochemical and hematoxylin and eosin tissue microarray stains are available at the accompanying website (http://microarray-pubs.stanford.edu/tma_portal/apod/). We conclude that Apo D is strongly expressed in DFSPs and neural lesions and may be useful in differentiating DFSP from fibrous histiocytoma.

Tian W, Osawa M, Horiuchi H, Tomita Y
Expression of the prolactin-inducible protein (PIP/GCDFP15) gene in benign epithelium and adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
Cancer Sci. 2004; 95(6):491-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prolactin-inducible protein (PIP), also known as gross cystic disease fluid protein 15, is a predominant secretory protein in various body fluids, including saliva, milk and seminal plasma. Immunohistochemistry of this protein has been exploited as a clinical marker for breast cancer and Paget's disease. This study comparatively examined PIP expression in normal prostate tissues and in adenocarcinomas of the prostate. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed low-level presence (6%) of PIP mRNA in normal prostate tissue in comparison with the seminal vesicle. Indirect immunostaining with monoclonal antibody 3E7 displayed a positive sign for benign epithelium in 8 cases (29.6%) among 27 normal specimens; however, the incidence significantly increased to 56.1% (37/66) in instances involving primary prostate carcinoma tissues of different types. Quantitative RT-PCR also demonstrated that PIP transcript levels in carcinoma regions were significantly higher than corresponding levels in benign regions. These findings conclusively showed that benign prostate epithelium expresses PIP at low levels; in contrast, PIP is over-expressed in carcinomas of the prostate.

Baris O, Savagner F, Nasser V, et al.
Transcriptional profiling reveals coordinated up-regulation of oxidative metabolism genes in thyroid oncocytic tumors.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004; 89(2):994-1005 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oncocytomas are large cell tumors characterized by an abnormal proliferation of mitochondria. To investigate this phenomenon in thyroid oncocytomas, we determined gene expression profiles of 87 samples using microarrays of 6720 PCR products from cDNA clones. Samples included 29 thyroid oncocytomas and six papillary carcinomas, the remainder representing other thyroid pathologies or mitochondria-rich tumor samples, normal thyroid samples, and two thyroid cell lines. Hierarchical clustering and supervised analysis identified two specific oncocytic clusters and 163 distinctly regulated genes between oncocytoma and normal thyroid. Differential expression of five selected genes (APOD, BCL-2, COX, CTSB, and MAP2) was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. The two specific oncocytic clusters were rich in mitochondrial genes and revealed coordinated expression of nuclear and mitochondrial respiratory chain genes. We also observed the up-regulation of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis, such as nuclear respiratory factor 1 and the endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Several oxidative metabolism genes were overexpressed in oncocytomas, including those from the tricarboxylic acid cycle (MDH1) and cytosolic glycolysis (GAPD, ENO1, and GPI). On the contrary, the lactate dehydrogenase A gene, involved in anaerobic metabolism, was down-regulated. Our results suggest that, unlike a large number of solid tumors, thyroid oncocytomas produce energy through an aerobic pathway.

Linn SC, West RB, Pollack JR, et al.
Gene expression patterns and gene copy number changes in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.
Am J Pathol. 2003; 163(6):2383-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is an aggressive spindle cell neoplasm. It is associated with the chromosomal translocation, t(17:22), which fuses the COL1A1 and PDGFbeta genes. We determined the characteristic gene expression profile of DFSP and characterized DNA copy number changes in DFSP by array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH). Fresh frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of DFSP were analyzed by array CGH (four cases) and DNA microarray analysis of global gene expression (nine cases). The nine DFSPs were readily distinguished from 27 other diverse soft tissue tumors based on their gene expression patterns. Genes characteristically expressed in the DFSPs included PDGF beta and its receptor, PDGFRB, APOD, MEOX1, PLA2R, and PRKCA. Array CGH of DNA extracted either from frozen tumor samples or from paraffin blocks yielded equivalent results. Large areas of chromosomes 17q and 22q, bounded by COL1A1 and PDGF beta, respectively, were amplified in DFSP. Expression of genes in the amplified regions was significantly elevated. Our data shows that: 1) DFSP has a distinctive gene expression profile; 2) array CGH can be applied successfully to frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples; 3) a characteristic amplification of sequences from chromosomes 17q and 22q, demarcated by the COL1A1 and PDGF beta genes, respectively, was associated with elevated expression of the amplified genes.

Ciullo M, Debily MA, Rozier L, et al.
Initiation of the breakage-fusion-bridge mechanism through common fragile site activation in human breast cancer cells: the model of PIP gene duplication from a break at FRA7I.
Hum Mol Genet. 2002; 11(23):2887-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene amplification plays a critical role in tumor progression. Hence, understanding the factors triggering this process in human cancers is an important concern. Unfortunately, the structures formed at early stages are usually unavailable for study, hampering the identification of the initiating events in tumors. Here, we show that the region containing the PIP gene, which is overexpressed in 80% of primary and metastatic breast cancers, is duplicated in the breast carcinoma cell line T47D. The two copies are organized as a large palindrome, lying 'in loco' on one chromosome 7. Such features constitute the landmark of the breakage-fusion-bridge (BFB) cycle mechanism. In hamster cells selected in vitro to resist cytotoxic drugs, common fragile site (CFS) activation has been shown to trigger this mechanism. Here, we characterize FRA7I at the molecular level and demonstrate that it lies 2 Mb telomeric to the PIP gene and sets the distal end of the repeated sequence. Moreover, our results suggest that the BFB process was frozen within the first cycle by healing of the broken chromosome. T47D cells thus offer a unique opportunity to observe the earliest products of the BFB cycle mechanism. Our findings constitute the first evidence that this amplification mechanism can be initiated in vivo by fragile site activation.

Lee BH, Hecht JL, Pinkus JL, Pinkus GS
WT1, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor as markers for breast or ovarian primary sites in metastatic adenocarcinoma to body fluids.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2002; 117(5):745-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
In tissue sections, detection of the Wilms tumor susceptibility gene 1 (WTI) protein, the hormonal receptors for estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR), and gross cystic disease fluid protein (GCDFP) are useful for diagnosing ovarian and breast adenocarcinomas. We evaluated these markers for cytology cell-block preparations from 96 effusion specimens (metastases from 29 breast, 22 ovarian, and 45 adenocarcinomas from other sites). WTI protein was reactive in 19 cases inetastatic from ovary (86%), 2 from breast (7%), and none from other sites (specificity; 97%). Of the metastatic breast carcinomas, 21(72%) were reactive for ER, 15(52%) for PR, and 13 (45%) for both (combined specificity, 84%). GCDEP was reactive in only 4 breast cancer cases (14%). Ovarian tumors also were frequently positive for ER (19 [86%]), PR (II [SO%]), or both (10 [45%]). WTI protein is an effective marker for ovarian adenocarcinoma, especially in ascites. The detection of ER and PR in metastatic adenocarcinoma from pleural or pericardial efflusions can distinguish breast from lung primary sites. Reactivity for ER and PR did not distinguish between breast and ovarian metastases; however; studies for WTI protein and GCDFP may aid in making this distinction.

Carsol JL, Gingras S, Simard J
Synergistic action of prolactin (PRL) and androgen on PRL-inducible protein gene expression in human breast cancer cells: a unique model for functional cooperation between signal transducer and activator of transcription-5 and androgen receptor.
Mol Endocrinol. 2002; 16(7):1696-710 [PubMed] Related Publications
The signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (Stat5) has been shown to cooperate with some nuclear receptors. However, an interaction has never been demonstrated with the androgen receptor (AR). Given that the PRL-inducible protein/gross cystic disease fluid-15 (PIP/GCDFP-15) is both a PRL-controlled and an androgen-controlled protein, we used its promoter region to investigate the potential interaction between Stat5 and androgen receptor. Dihydrotestosterone or PRL alone slightly modulated or did not modulate the luciferase activity of all reporter gene constructs. In contrast, a maximal increase was observed using the -1477+42 reporter gene construct after exposure to both dihydrotestosterone and PRL. The requirement of half-site androgen-responsive elements and two consensus Stat5-binding elements, Stat5#1 and Stat5#2, was determined by site-directed mutagenesis. Activated Stat5B binds with a higher affinity to Stat5#2 than to Stat5#1. Stat5ADelta749 and Stat5BDelta754 mutants demonstrated that the Stat5 trans-activation domain is involved in the hormonal cooperation. The cooperation depends on the PRL-induced phosphorylation on Tyr(694) in Stat5A and Tyr(699) in Stat5B, as demonstrated using the Stat5AY694F and Stat5BY699F proteins. The use of AR Q798E, C619Y, and C784Y mutants showed that trans-activation, DNA-binding, and ligand-binding domains of AR are essential. Our study thus suggests a functional cooperation between AR and Stat5.

Autiero M, Camarca A, Ciullo M, et al.
Intragenic amplification and formation of extrachromosomal small circular DNA molecules from the PIP gene on chromosome 7 in primary breast carcinomas.
Int J Cancer. 2002; 99(3):370-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The PIP gene is expressed in exocrine glands and, in pathologic conditions, in breast cysts and breast cancers exhibiting apocrine features. It is localized on the long arm of chromosome 7, a region frequently alterated in mammary tumors. We previously described an abnormal restriction pattern of the PIP gene in 33% of prostate carcinomas analyzed. Here, we analyze the structure of the PIP gene in primary breast carcinomas. We report that part of the 3' end, including exon 3, intron C, two-thirds of exon 4 and a small portion of intron B, is amplified and involved in the formation of extrachromosomal spcDNA molecules in 3/14 (21.4%) breast cancers analyzed. The involvement of a well-defined intragenic region of a gene in the formation of spcDNA appears to be unprecedented. Since spcDNA has been suggested to serve as an enhancer of genetic instability, the PIP gene may be the target of genomic variability processes in breast cancer.

Gutmann DH, Hedrick NM, Li J, et al.
Comparative gene expression profile analysis of neurofibromatosis 1-associated and sporadic pilocytic astrocytomas.
Cancer Res. 2002; 62(7):2085-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs) are WHO grade I brain tumors that do not typically progress to more malignant grades of astrocytoma. Whereas there have been significant advances in the molecular genetics of high-grade astrocytomas, relatively little is known about the genetic changes associated with PA formation. In an effort to better characterize these low-grade neoplasms, we compared the gene expression profiles of six sporadic and two neurofibromatosis 1-associated PAs with other tissues and cell lines of both astrocytic and oligodendroglial origin. Hierarchical cluster analysis of gene expression data clearly delineated PAs from low-grade oligodendrogliomas and normal white matter. The two NF1-associated tumors and one of the sporadic PAs displayed expression profiles that were more closely related to those of cultured normal human fetal astrocytes. However, PAs also expressed individual genes typically associated with oligodendroglial lineage (e.g., proteolipid protein and PMP-22). The expression patterns of specific genes (e.g., ApoD) were unique to PA tumors, whereas genetic changes characteristic of high-grade astrocytomas were not encountered. Differential expression of two transcripts, neural cellular adhesion molecule and connexin-43, was confirmed at the protein level, suggesting that these cell adhesion molecules might be particularly important in the molecular pathogenesis of these tumors. We conclude that PAs are genetically unique gliomas with gene expression profiles that resemble those of fetal astrocytes and, to a lesser extent, oligodendroglial precursors.

Hunter S, Young A, Olson J, et al.
Differential expression between pilocytic and anaplastic astrocytomas: identification of apolipoprotein D as a marker for low-grade, non-infiltrating primary CNS neoplasms.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2002; 61(3):275-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibrillary astrocytoma, the most common primary central nervous system neoplasm, is infiltrating, rapidly proliferating, and almost invariably fatal. This contrasts with the biologically distinct pilocytic astrocytoma, which is circumscribed, often cystic, slowly proliferating, and associated with a favorable long-term outcome. Diagnostic markers for distinguishing pilocytic astrocytomas from infiltrating anaplastic astrocytomas are currently not available. To identify genes that might either serve as markers or explain these distinct biologic behaviors, cDNA microarray analysis was used to compare the expression of 7,073 genes (nearly one quarter of the human genome) between these 2 types of astrocytoma. Messenger RNAs pooled from 3 pilocytic astrocytomas and from 4 infiltrating anaplastic astrocytomas were compared. Apolipoprotein D (apoD), which expressed 8.5-fold higher in pilocytic astrocytomas, showed the greatest level of differential expression and emerged as a potential marker for pilocytic tumors. By immunohistochemistry, 10 of 13 pilocytic astrocytomas stained positively for apoD, while none of 21 infiltrating astrocytomas showed similar staining. ApoD immunostaining was also seen in 9 of 14 of gangliogliomas, 4 of 5 subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs), and a single pleomorphic xanthoastrocytomas (PXAs). By in situ hybridization, pilocytic astrocytomas, in contrast with infiltrating astrocytomas, showed widespread increased apoD expression. SAGE analysis using the NCBI database showed a higher level of expression of apoD RNA in pilocytic astrocytoma than in any of the other 94 neoplastic and non-neoplastic tissues in the database. ApoD is associated with decreased proliferation in some cell lines, and is the protein found in highest concentration in cyst fluid from benign cystic disease of the breast. ApoD might play a role in either decreased proliferation or cyst formation in pilocytic astrocytomas, gangliogliomas, SEGAs, and PXAs.

Frolik D, Caduff R, Varga Z
Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma of the breast: its cell kinetics, expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes compared with invasive ductal carcinomas and classical infiltrating lobular carcinomas.
Histopathology. 2001; 39(5):503-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The study addresses whether pleomorphic lobular breast carcinomas represent a distinct entity with respect to proliferation and apoptosis as well the expression of the p53, bcl-2 and Her2 protein.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The study included 30 cases of pleomorphic lobular carcinoma (PLC; G2 n=15, G3 n=15). Poorly differentiated invasive ductal carcinomas (IDC; n=15) and well-differentiated infiltrating lobular carcinomas (ILC; n=15) were used as controls. Lymph node metastases were present equally in all groups. MIB-1 labelling was counted as: PLC (G2) 8.36%; PLC (G3) 11.3%; IDC 44.26%; ILC 2.19% (P=0.0001, P=0.004, P=0.001). Apoptotic index was: PLC (G2) 0.82%; PLC (G3) 1.2%; IDC 2.09%; ILC 0.6% (P=0.009, P=0.001). Over-expression of Her2 protein was detected in 53% of PLC (G3) tumours and was present only in scattered cases in the other groups. PLCs and ILCs were strongly positive for bcl-2 and for hormone receptors, while p53+ cells were rare. IDCs exhibited a heterogeneous staining pattern for bcl-2 and for hormone receptors, while p53+ cells occurred considerably more frequently. Stage could not be linked directly to proliferation or apoptosis.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that more frequent over-expression of Her2 among PLCs (G3) as well as the generally low apoptosis can contribute to their aggressive behaviour.

Caputo E, Manco G, Mandrich L, Guardiola J
A novel aspartyl proteinase from apocrine epithelia and breast tumors.
J Biol Chem. 2000; 275(11):7935-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
GCDFP-15 (gross cystic disease fluid protein, 15 kDa) is a secretory marker of apocrine differentiation in breast carcinoma. In human breast cancer cell lines, gene expression is regulated by hormones, including androgens and prolactin. The protein is also known under different names in different body fluids such as gp17 in seminal plasma. GCDFP-15/gp17 is a ligand of CD4 and is a potent inhibitor of T-cell apoptosis induced by sequential CD4/T-cell receptor triggering. We now report that GCDFP-15/gp17 is a protease exhibiting structural properties relating it to the aspartyl proteinase superfamily. Unexpectedly, GCDFP-15/gp17 appears to be related to the retroviral members rather than to the known cellular members of this class. Site-specific mutagenesis of Asp(22) (predicted to be catalytically important for the active site) and pepstatin A inhibition confirmed that the protein is an aspartic-type protease. We also show that, among the substrates tested, GCDFP-15/gp17 is specific for fibronectin. The study of GCDFP-15/gp17-mediated proteolysis may provide a handle to understand phenomena as diverse as mammary tumor progression and fertilization.

Loos S, Schulz KD, Hackenberg R
Regulation of GCDFP-15 expression in human mammary cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 1999; 4(2):135-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gross cystic disease fluid protein 15 (GCDFP-15) is a major protein component of benign breast gross cysts. It is also found in approximately 50% of all breast cancer specimens. Androgen receptor (AR) mediated regulation of GCDFP-15 expression was investigated in the AR-positive human mammary cancer cell lines MFM-223 and ZR-75-1. Proliferation of MFM-223 and ZR-75-1 cells is inhibited by androgens. Ten nM 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone stimulated the expression of GCDFP-15 mRNA in MFM-223 (ca. 3-fold) and ZR-75-1 cancer cells (ca. 30-fold) as well as the secretion of GCDFP-15 into the culture medium. Competition experiments with DHT and the antiandrogens hydroxyflutamide and casodex confirmed the involvement of the AR in the regulation of GCDFP-15. Both antiandrogens inhibited GCDFP-15 mRNA expression even in the absence of DHT. AR mRNA was down-regulated in MFM-223 and ZR-75-1 cells (80 and 20% of the control, respectively) during incubation with DHT. Our data demonstrate the effective inhibition of GCDFP-15 expression by pure antiandrogens.

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