Gene Summary

Gene:ARNT; aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator
Aliases: HIF1B, TANGO, bHLHe2, HIF1BETA, HIF-1beta, HIF1-beta, HIF-1-beta
Summary:This gene encodes a protein containing a basic helix-loop-helix domain and two characteristic PAS domains along with a PAC domain. The encoded protein binds to ligand-bound aryl hydrocarbon receptor and aids in the movement of this complex to the nucleus, where it promotes the expression of genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism. This protein is also a co-factor for transcriptional regulation by hypoxia-inducible factor 1. Chromosomal translocation of this locus with the ETV6 (ets variant 6) gene on chromosome 12 have been described in leukemias. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (34)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (4)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 August 2015 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.

  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Promoter Regions
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Angiogenesis
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1
  • Translocation
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • siRNA
  • Serpins
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Protein Subunits
  • Chromosome 1
  • Software
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator
  • Transcription
  • Young Adult
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors
  • HIF1A
  • Messenger RNA
  • Lung Cancer
  • VHL
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Tumor Markers
  • p53 Protein
  • Species Specificity
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Transfection
  • Breast Cancer
  • Xenobiotics
  • CYP1B1
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: ARNT (cancer-related)

Go RE, Hwang KA, Choi KC
Cytochrome P450 1 family and cancers.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015; 147:24-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcriptional factor that dimerizes with aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT). This complex binds to xenobiotics response element (XREs), and then starts the expressions of downstream genes including cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1 family members: CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1. Role of CYP1 family is involved in the metabolism of endogenous hormones, xenobiotics and drug. The expression of CYP1 family is regulated by estradiol (E2) or xenobiotics in diverse cancers. In breast cancers expressing estrogen receptors (ERs), level of CYP1B1 is increased by E2 and reversed by an estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182,780 or 4-hydrotamoxifen, which indicates that the expression of CYP1 family in downstream region of AhR is regulated by an activation of ERα. In metabolic pathways, E2 is converted into 4-hydroxyestradiol by CYP1B1, which can be converted into mainly estradiol-3,4-quinone, a potential carcinogen, by peroxidase. Increased expression of CYP1 family indicates the possibility of carcinogenesis by exposure of xenobiotics in endometrial and ovarian cancers. Apart from roles of CYP1 family in relation with ER pathway, CYP1 family is over-expressed in ER independent cancers. CYP1A1 exhibits hydroxylase activity in oxidation of arachidonic acid, which has been transformed to 12(R)-hydrxyeicosatetraenoic (HETEs), a potent activator of AhR activity. On the basis of results, phytoestrogens and dexamethasone are provided as cancer therapy regulating the expression of CYP1 family. Thus, this review focuses on the role(s) of CYP1 family in ER-dependent or ER-independent cancers and the potential for cancer therapy to target CYP1 family in these cancers.

Antonopoulou K, Stefanaki I, Lill CM, et al.
Updated field synopsis and systematic meta-analyses of genetic association studies in cutaneous melanoma: the MelGene database.
J Invest Dermatol. 2015; 135(4):1074-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We updated a field synopsis of genetic associations of cutaneous melanoma (CM) by systematically retrieving and combining data from all studies in the field published as of August 31, 2013. Data were available from 197 studies, which included 83,343 CM cases and 187,809 controls and reported on 1,126 polymorphisms in 289 different genes. Random-effects meta-analyses of 81 eligible polymorphisms evaluated in >4 data sets confirmed 20 single-nucleotide polymorphisms across 10 loci (TYR, AFG3L1P, CDK10, MYH7B, SLC45A2, MTAP, ATM, CLPTM1L, FTO, and CASP8) that have previously been published with genome-wide significant evidence for association (P<5 × 10(-8)) with CM risk, with certain variants possibly functioning as proxies of already tagged genes. Four other loci (MITF, CCND1, MX2, and PLA2G6) were also significantly associated with 5 × 10(-8)

Lecona E, Fernández-Capetillo O
Replication stress and cancer: it takes two to tango.
Exp Cell Res. 2014; 329(1):26-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Problems arising during DNA replication require the activation of the ATR-CHK1 pathway to ensure the stabilization and repair of the forks, and to prevent the entry into mitosis with unreplicated genomes. Whereas the pathway is essential at the cellular level, limiting its activity is particularly detrimental for some cancer cells. Here we review the links between replication stress (RS) and cancer, which provide a rationale for the use of ATR and Chk1 inhibitors in chemotherapy. First, we describe how the activation of oncogene-induced RS promotes genome rearrangements and chromosome instability, both of which could potentially fuel carcinogenesis. Next, we review the various pathways that contribute to the suppression of RS, and how mutations in these components lead to increased cancer incidence and/or accelerated ageing. Finally, we summarize the evidence showing that tumors with high levels of RS are dependent on a proficient RS-response, and therefore vulnerable to ATR or Chk1 inhibitors.

Wu BL, Li CQ, Du ZP, et al.
Functional analysis of the mRNA profile of neutrophil gelatinase‑associated lipocalin overexpression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma using multiple bioinformatic tools.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(4):1800-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a member of the lipocalin superfamily; dysregulated expression of NGAL has been observed in several benign and malignant diseases. In the present study, differentially expressed genes, in comparison with those of control cells, in the mRNA expression profile of EC109 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells following NGAL overexpression were analyzed by multiple bioinformatic tools for a comprehensive understanding. A total of 29 gene ontology (GO) terms associated with immune function, chromatin structure and gene transcription were identified among the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in NGAL overexpressing cells. In addition to the detected GO categories, the results from the functional annotation chart revealed that the differentially expressed genes were also associated with 101 functional annotation category terms. A total of 59 subpathways associated locally with the differentially expressed genes were identified by subpathway analysis, a markedly greater total that detected by traditional pathway enrichment analysis only. Promoter analysis indicated that the potential transcription factors Snail, deltaEF1, Mycn, Arnt, MNB1A, PBF, E74A, Ubx, SPI1 and GATA2 were unique to the downregulated DEG promoters, while bZIP910, ZNF42 and SOX9 were unique for the upregulated DEG promoters. In conclusion, the understanding of the role of NGAL overexpression in ESCC has been improved through the present bioinformatic analysis.

Jenkins NC, Kalra RR, Dubuc A, et al.
Genetic drivers of metastatic dissemination in sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014; 2:85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leptomeningeal dissemination (LMD), the metastatic spread of tumor cells via the cerebrospinal fluid to the brain and spinal cord, is an ominous prognostic sign for patients with the pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. The need to reduce the risk of LMD has driven the development of aggressive treatment regimens, which cause disabling neurotoxic side effects in long-term survivors. Transposon-mediated mutagenesis studies in mice have revealed numerous candidate metastasis genes. Understanding how these genes drive LMD will require functional assessment using in vivo and cell culture models of medulloblastoma. We analyzed two genes that were sites of frequent transposon insertion and highly expressed in human medulloblastomas: Arnt (aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator) and Gdi2 (GDP dissociation inhibitor 2). Here we show that ectopic expression of Arnt and Gdi2 promoted LMD in mice bearing Sonic hedgehog (Shh)-induced medulloblastomas. We overexpressed Arnt and Gdi2 in a human medulloblastoma cell line (DAOY) and an immortalized, nontransformed cell line derived from mouse granule neuron precursors (SHH-NPD) and quantified migration, invasiveness, and anchorage-independent growth, cell traits that are associated with metastatic competence in carcinomas. In SHH-NPD cells. Arnt and Gdi2 stimulated all three traits. In DAOY cells, Arnt had the same effects, but Gdi2 stimulated invasiveness only. These results support a mechanism whereby Arnt and Gdi2 cause cells to detach from the primary tumor mass by increasing cell motility and invasiveness. By conferring to tumor cells the ability to proliferate without surface attachment, Arnt and Gdi2 favor the formation of stable colonies of cells capable of seeding the leptomeninges.

Sun W, Jelkmann W, Depping R
Prolyl-4-hydroxylase 2 enhances hypoxia-induced glioblastoma cell death by regulating the gene expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-α.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1322 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) is a common feature of solid tumors in advanced stages. The primary cellular transcriptional responses to hypoxia are mainly mediated by the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF). HIF consists of an oxygen-labile α-subunit (HIF-1α, -2α) and a stable β-subunit (ARNT). Prolyl-4-hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) is known as an important mediator of the oxygen-dependent degradation of HIF-α subunits. As HIF-α subunits are not confirmed to be the only substrates of PHD2, it is unknown whether PHD2 regulates HIF-1α and HIF-2α by interacting with other intracellular molecules. In this study, we found that in the glioblastoma cells, PHD2 maintains the gene expression of HIF-1α in dependence of nuclear factor κB and suppresses the gene expression of HIF-2α through HIF-1α. The PHD2-mediated degradation of HIF-1α and HIF-2α seems less important. Furthermore, PHD2 enhances hypoxia-induced glioblastoma cell death by modulating the expression of the HIF target genes glucose transporter 1, vascular endothelial growth factor-A and Bcl-2 binding protein 3. Our findings show that PHD2 inhibits the adaptation of glioblastoma cells to hypoxia by regulating the HIF-α subunits in a non-canonical way. Modulation of PHD2 activity might be considered as a new way to inhibit glioblastoma progression.

Park C, Lee Y
Overexpression of ERβ is sufficient to inhibit hypoxia-inducible factor-1 transactivation.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 450(1):261-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Estrogen receptor (ER) β is predicted to play an important role in the prevention of breast cancer development and progression. We have previously shown that ERβ suppresses hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1-mediated transcription through aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) degradation via ubiquitination processes. In this study, we attempted to examine the effect of ERβ specific ligand on HIF-1 inhibition in ERβ positive PC3 cells and ERβ transfected MCF-7 cells. ERβ specific agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN) stimulated estrogen response element (ERE)-luciferase activity in a similar fashion to estradiol in PC3 cells. We observed that DPN down-regulates the ARNT protein levels leading to an attenuation of hypoxia-induced hypoxia response element (HRE)-driven luciferase reporter gene activation in PC3 cells. Treatment of DPN reduced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and co-treatment with ERβ specific antagonist PHTPP abrogated the effect in PC3 cells. We then examined the effect of DPN in ERβ transfected MCF-7 cells. HIF-1 transcriptional activity repression by ERβ was not further reduced by DPN, as examined by HRE-driven luciferase assays. Expression of ERβ significantly decreased VEGF secretion and ARNT expression under hypoxic conditions. However, DPN did not additionally affect this suppression in MCF-7 cells transfected with ERβ. This result shows that unliganded ERβ is sufficient to inhibit HIF-1 in systems of overexpression.

Shieh JM, Shen CJ, Chang WC, et al.
An increase in reactive oxygen species by deregulation of ARNT enhances chemotherapeutic drug-induced cancer cell death.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e99242 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Unique characteristics of tumor microenvironments can be used as targets of cancer therapy. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) is an important mediator of tumor progression. However, the functional role of ARNT in chemotherapeutic drug-treated cancer remains unclear.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we found that knockdown of ARNT in cancer cells reduced the proliferation rate and the transformation ability of those cells. Moreover, cisplatin-induced cell apoptosis was enhanced in ARNT-deficient cells. Expression of ARNT also decreased in the presence of cisplatin through proteasomal degradation pathway. However, ARNT level was maintained in cisplatin-treated drug-resistant cells, which prevented cell from apoptosis. Interestingly, reactive oxygen species (ROS) dramatically increased when ARNT was knocked down in cancer cells, enhancing cisplatin-induced apoptosis. ROS promoted cell death was inhibited in cells treated with the ROS scavenger, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC).
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggested that the anticancer activity of cisplatin is attributable to its induction of the production of ROS by ARNT degradation. Targeting ARNT could be a potential strategy to eliminate drug resistance in cancer cells.

Sasahira T, Kirita T, Yamamoto K, et al.
Transport and Golgi organisation protein 1 is a novel tumour progressive factor in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(12):2142-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transport and Golgi organisation protein 1 (TANGO), also known as MIA3, belongs to the melanoma inhibitory activity (MIA) gene family. Although MIA acts as an oncogene, MIA2 and TANGO have a tumour-suppressive function in several malignancies; accordingly, the role and function of the MIA gene family in tumours remain controversial. Here the roles of TANGO were investigated in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We analysed expression and function of TANGO in human OSCC cell lines. TANGO expression was also examined in 171 cases of primary OSCC by immunohistochemistry and statistically assessed the correlation between TANGO positivity and the clinicopathological parameters including vessel density. By TANGO knockdown in OSCC cells, the growth and invasion were repressed and apoptosis was induced. Activities of platelet-derived growth factor beta polypeptide (PDGFB) and Neuropilin2 were inhibited by TANGO knockdown. TANGO immunoreactivity was detected in 35.1% (60/171) cases of OSCC. TANGO expression was strongly associated with tumour progression, nodal metastasis, clinical stage and number of blood or lymph vessels in OSCC. Patients showing TANGO-expression fared significantly worse disease-free survival than cases without TANGO expression. These findings suggest that TANGO might promote angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis by upregulation of PDGFB and Neuropilin2 in OSCC.

Ma J, Han LZ, Liang H, et al.
Celastrol inhibits the HIF-1α pathway by inhibition of mTOR/p70S6K/eIF4E and ERK1/2 phosphorylation in human hepatoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(1):235-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is the central mediator of cellular responses to low oxygen and vital to many aspects of cancer biology. In a search for HIF-1 inhibitors, we identified celastrol as an inhibitor of HIF-1 activation from Tripterygium wilfordii. In the present study, we demonstrated the effect of celastrol on HIF-1 activation. Celastrol showed a potent inhibitory activity against HIF-1 activation induced by hypoxia in various human cancer cell lines. This compound markedly decreased the hypoxia-induced accumulation of HIF-1α protein dose-dependently, whereas it did not affect the expressions of HIF-1β and topoisomerase-I (topo‑I). Furthermore, celastrol prevented hypoxia-induced expression of HIF-1 target genes for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and erythropoietin (EPO). Further analysis revealed that celastrol inhibited HIF-1α protein synthesis, without affecting the expression level of HIF-1α mRNA or degradation of HIF-1α protein. Markedly, we found that suppression of HIF-1α accumulation by celastrol correlated with strong dephosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its effectors, ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), pathways known to regulate HIF-1α expression at the translational level. In vivo studies further confirmed the inhibitory effect of celastrol on the expression of HIF-1α proteins, leading to a decreased growth of Hep3B cells in a xenograft tumor model. Our data suggested that celastrol is an effective inhibitor of HIF-1 and provide new perspectives into the mechanism of its anticancer activity.

Jo JR, Park YK, Jang BC
Short-term treatment with glucosamine hydrochloride specifically downregulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1α at the protein level in YD-8 human tongue cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(5):1699-706 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a tumor angiogenic transcription factor composed of an α and β subunit. We investigated the effect of glucosamine hydrochloride (GS-HCl) on the expression of HIF-1α and HIF-1β in serum‑treated YD-8 human tongue cancer cells. While long-term (24 h) treatment with GS-HCl strongly repressed the expression of HIF-1α and HIF-1β at both the protein and mRNA levels, short-term (4 h) GS-HCl treatment inhibited HIF-1α at the protein level. Short-term GS-HCl treatment also decreased phosphorylation of p70S6K and S6, translation-related proteins. However, the results of subsequent pharmacological inhibition and protein stability analyses indicated that HIF-1α protein downregulation induced by short-term GS-HCl treatment was not through modulation of the mTOR/p70S6K/S6 signaling pathways, the 26S proteasomal and lysosomal activities and HIF-1α protein stability. Importantly, our further analyses identified that HIF-1α protein downregulation induced by short-term GS-HCl treatment was blunted by exogenous administration of the citric acid cycle metabolites citrate and 2-oxoglutarate, but not the glycolytic end byproducts pyruvate and lactate. These findings demonstrate firstly that short-term GS treatment selectively downregulates HIF-1α at the protein level in YD-8 cells via interference of production of the citric acid cycle metabolites. It is proposed that short-term GS-HCl exposure may be applied for the treatment of oral tumors with high expression of HIF-1α.

Aesoy R, Gradin K, Aasrud KS, et al.
Regulation of CDKN2B expression by interaction of Arnt with Miz-1--a basis for functional integration between the HIF and Myc gene regulatory pathways.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hypoxia- and Myc-dependent transcriptional regulatory pathways are frequently deregulated in cancer cells. These pathways converge in many cellular responses, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
METHODS: The ability of Miz-1 and Arnt to interact was identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen. The mode of interaction and the functional consequences of complex formation were analyzed by diverse molecular biology methods, in vitro. Statistical analyses were performed by Student's t-test and ANOVA.
RESULTS: In the present study we demonstrate that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (Arnt), which is central in hypoxia-induced signaling, forms a complex with Miz-1, an important transcriptional regulator in Myc-mediated transcriptional repression. Overexpression of Arnt induced reporter gene activity driven by the proximal promoter of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B gene (CDKN2B), which is an established target for the Myc/Miz-1 complex. In contrast, mutated forms of Arnt, that were unable to interact with Miz-1, had reduced capability to activate transcription. Moreover, repression of Arnt reduced endogenous CDKN2B expression, and chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that Arnt interacts with the CDKN2B promoter. The transcriptional activity of Arnt was counteracted by Myc, but not by a mutated variant of Myc that is unable to interact with Miz-1, suggesting mutually exclusive interaction of Arnt and Myc with Miz-1. Our results also establish CDKN2B as a hypoxia regulated gene, as endogenous CDKN2B mRNA and protein levels were reduced by hypoxic treatment of U2OS cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data reveal a novel mode of regulation by protein-protein interaction that directly ties together, at the transcriptional level, the Myc- and hypoxia-dependent signaling pathways and expands our understanding of the roles of hypoxia and cell cycle alterations during tumorigenesis.

DE Lima PO, Jorge CC, Oliveira DT, Pereira MC
Hypoxic condition and prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(2):605-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) have the potential for rapid and unlimited growth. Therefore, hypoxic tissue areas are common in these malignant tumours and contribute to cancer progression, resistance to therapy and poor outcome. Out of all proteins induced by hypoxia, hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and their target genes have been most extensively studied. HIF1 is a heterodimeric transcriptional complex that functions as the main regulator of systemic and cellular oxygen homeostasis; it is composed of HIF1α and HF1β subunits. At physiological concentrations of oxygen, prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs) modify HIF1α and prepare it for proteasomal degradation. In hypoxia, PHDs are inhibited and HIF1α dimerises with HIF1β to form HIF1, which is responsible for the activation of several genes involved in multiple aspects of tumor biology. Among these genes, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is essential as a regulatory gene of angiogenesis in the adaptation to a hypoxic microenvironment. Previous studies have shown the correlation between HIF1α and VEGF in OSCC and high levels of HIF1α expression appear to predict a poor prognosis. The purpose of the present article is to review the hypoxic condition in OSCC and its correlation with prognosis.

Wu BL, Luo LW, Li CQ, et al.
Comprehensive bioinformation analysis of the mRNA profile of fascin knockdown in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(12):7221-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fascin, an actin-bundling protein forming actin bundles including filopodia and stress fibers, is overexpressed in multiple human epithelial cancers including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Previously we conducted a microarray experiment to analyze fascin knockdown by RNAi in ESCC.
METHOD: In this study, the differentially expressed genes from mRNA expression profilomg of fascin knockdown were analyzed by multiple bioinformatics methods for a comprehensive understanding of the role of fascin.
RESULTS: Gene Ontology enrichment found terms associated with cytoskeleton organization, including cell adhesion, actin filament binding and actin cytoskeleton, which might be related to fascin function. Except GO categories, the differentially expressed genes were annotated by 45 functional categories from the Functional Annotation Chart of DAVID. Subpathway analysis showed thirty-nine pathways were disturbed by the differentially expressed genes, providing more detailed information than traditional pathway enrichment analysis. Two subpathways derivated from regulation of the actin cytoskeleton were shown. Promoter analysis results indicated distinguishing sequence patterns and transcription factors in response to the co-expression of downregulated or upregulated differentially expressed genes. MNB1A, c-ETS, GATA2 and Prrx2 potentially regulate the transcription of the downregulated gene set, while Arnt-Ahr, ZNF42, Ubx and TCF11-MafG might co-regulate the upregulated genes.
CONCLUSIONS: This multiple bioinformatic analysis helps provide a comprehensive understanding of the roles of fascin after its knockdown in ESCC.

Cheng DD, Zhao HG, Yang YS, et al.
GSK3β negatively regulates HIF1α mRNA stability via nucleolin in the MG63 osteosarcoma cell line.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 443(2):598-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) is a transcription factor involved in the growth, invasion and metastasis of malignant tumors. Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) is a protein kinase involved in a variety of signaling pathways, such as the Wnt and NF-κB pathways; this kinase can affect tumor progress through the regulation of transcription factor expression and apoptosis. Recent studies showed that GSK3β was involved in the expression of HIF1α. However, the effect of GSK3β on HIF1α expression in osteosarcoma cells remains unknown. To understand the relationship between GSK3β and HIF1α comprehensively, small RNA interference techniques, Western blot analyses, quantitative real-time PCR analyses and luciferase assays were used in our study. Experimental data revealed that inhibition of GSK3β could increase HIF1α protein levels and expression of its target genes by increasing the stability of the HIF1α mRNA, not by affecting the HIF1α protein stability, and that this process could be mediated by nucleolin.

Ma J, Zi Jiang Y, Shi H, et al.
Cucurbitacin B inhibits the translational expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2014; 723:46-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cucurbitacin B is a triterpenoid compound isolated from Trichosanthes kirilowii Maximowicz, which has been used in oriental medicine for its antitumor activities. However, the mechanisms by which cucurbitacin B inhibits tumor growth are not fully understood. We here demonstrated the effect of cucurbitacin B on hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) activation. Cucurbitacin B showed the potent inhibitory activity against HIF-1 activation induced by hypoxia in various human cancer cell lines. This compound markedly decreased the hypoxia-induced accumulation of HIF-1α protein dose-dependently, whereas it did not affect the expressions of HIF-1β. Further analysis revealed that cucurbitacin B inhibited HIF-1α protein synthesis, without affecting the expression level of HIF-1α mRNA or degradation of HIF-1α protein. Rather, we found that suppression of HIF-1α accumulation by cucurbitacin B correlated with strong dephosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its effectors ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein-1 (4E-BP1) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK1/2), a pathway known to regulate HIF-1α expression at the translational level. Cucurbitacin B also activated Akt, a mechanistic feature exhibited by established mTOR inhibitors in many tumor cells. Furthermore, cucurbitacin B prevented hypoxia-induced expression of HIF-1 target genes and suppresses the invasiveness of tumor cells. In vivo studies further confirmed the inhibitory effect of cucurbitacin B on the expression of HIF-1α proteins, leading to a decrease growth of HeLa cells in a xenograft tumor model. These results show that cucurbitacin B is an effective inhibitor of HIF-1 and provide new perspectives into the mechanism of its anticancer activity.

Bersten DC, Sullivan AE, Peet DJ, Whitelaw ML
bHLH-PAS proteins in cancer.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2013; 13(12):827-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mammalian basic HLH (helix-loop-helix)-PER-ARNT-SIM (bHLH-PAS) proteins are heterodimeric transcription factors that sense and respond to environmental signals (such as pollutants) or to physiological signals (for example, hypoxia and circadian rhythms) through their two PAS domains. PAS domains form a generic three-dimensional fold, which commonly contains an internal cavity capable of small-molecule binding and outer surfaces adept at protein-protein interactions. These proteins are important in several pro-tumour and antitumour pathways and their activities can be modulated by both natural metabolites and oncometabolites. Recently determined structures and successful small-molecule screening programmes are now providing new opportunities to discover selective agonists and antagonists directed against this multitasking family of transcription factors.

Demir HA, Bayhan T, Üner A, et al.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a child: a challenging diagnosis in pediatric oncology practice.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014; 61(5):933-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/lymphoma (CLL) is an extremely rare disease during childhood. We report a 16-year-old female who presented with lymphadenopathies and she was diagnosed as T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. Her chemotherapy response was minimal and clinical findings were unusual. Therefore, her biopsy specimen was re-examined and diagnosis was changed to CLL. Chemotherapy protocol including fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, rituximab was administrated and good response was observed. In our patient deletion at 1q21.2 region that includes aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) gene was detected via comparative genomic hybridization method. ARNT gene deletion may be a new mutation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia development.

Gu C, Gonzalez J, Zhang T, et al.
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) modulates the antioxidant response in AML cells.
Leuk Res. 2013; 37(12):1750-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
We observed AML cell lines vary in their sensitivity to induction of apoptosis by troglitazone (TG), which induces apoptosis through the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). TG-resistant cell lines had increased abundance of ARNT transcripts and protein. Expression of ARNT in TG-sensitive cells made these cells resistant to both TG and daunorubicin. ARNT-expressing cells had increased expression of SOD2 and Nrf2 transcripts and elevated intracellular GSH concentration. Our results indicate that ARNT expression in AML cells augments antioxidant response and confers resistance to ROS inducers. This suggests ARNT may modulate ROS signaling and drug response in AML.

Jeong YJ, Cho HJ, Magae J, et al.
Ascofuranone suppresses EGF-induced HIF-1α protein synthesis by inhibition of the Akt/mTOR/p70S6K pathway in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013; 273(3):542-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 plays an important role in tumor progression, angiogenesis and metastasis. In this study, we investigated the potential molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-angiogenic effect of ascofuranone, an isoprenoid antibiotic from Ascochyta viciae, in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-1 responsive human breast cancer cells. Ascofuranone significantly and selectively suppressed EGF-induced HIF-1α protein accumulation, whereas it did not affect the expression of HIF-1β. Furthermore, ascofuranone inhibited the transcriptional activation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by reducing protein HIF-1α. Mechanistically, we found that the inhibitory effects of ascofuranone on HIF-1α protein expression are associated with the inhibition of synthesis HIF-1α through an EGF-dependent mechanism. In addition, ascofuranone suppressed EGF-induced phosphorylation of Akt/mTOR/p70S6 kinase, but the phosphorylation of ERK/JNK/p38 kinase was not affected by ascofuranone. These results suggest that ascofuranone suppresses EGF-induced HIF-1α protein translation through the inhibition of Akt/mTOR/p70S6 kinase signaling pathways and plays a novel role in the anti-angiogenic action.

Luo X, Hill M, Johnson A, Latunde-Dada GO
Modulation of Dcytb (Cybrd 1) expression and function by iron, dehydroascorbate and Hif-2α in cultured cells.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1840(1):106-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Duodenal cytochrome b (Dcytb) is a mammalian plasma ferric reductase enzyme that catalyses the reduction of ferric to ferrous ion in the process of iron absorption. The current study investigates the relationship between Dcytb, iron, dehydroascorbate (DHA) and Hif-2α in cultured cell lines.
METHODS: Dcytb and Hif-2α protein expression was analysed by Western blot technique while gene regulation was determined by quantitative PCR. Functional analyses were carried out by ferric reductase and (59)Fe uptake assays.
RESULTS: Iron and dehydroascorbic acid treatment of cells inhibited Dcytb mRNA and protein expression. Desferrioxamine also enhanced Dcytb mRNA level after cells were treated overnight. Dcytb knockdown in HuTu cells resulted in reduced mRNA expression and lowered reductase activity. Preloading cells with DHA (to enhance intracellular ascorbate levels) did not stimulate reductase activity fully in Dcytb-silenced cells, implying a Dcytb-dependence of ascorbate-mediated ferrireduction. Moreover, Hif-2α knockdown in HuTu cells led to a reduction in reductase activity and iron uptake.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, this study shows the functional regulation of Dcytb reductase activity by DHA and Hif-2α.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Dcytb is a plasma membrane protein that accepts electrons intracellularly from DHA/ascorbic acid for ferrireduction at the apical surface of cultured cells and enterocytes.

Wang L, Chen B, Wang Y, et al.
hClock gene expression in human colorectal carcinoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2013; 8(4):1017-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we aimed to investigate changes in the expression of human Clock (hClock), a gene at the core of the circadian gene family, in colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) and to discuss the possible effects. Previous studies have revealed that the disruption of circadian rhythms is one of the endogenous factors that contribute to the initiation and development of CRCs. However, the underlying molecular changes to the circadian genes associated with CRCs have not been explored. Immunofluorescence and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis of the hCLOCK protein and gene expression were performed in 30 cases of CRC. The hCLOCK protein was expressed in all specimens obtained from 30 CRC patients. Higher levels of hCLOCK expression were observed in human CRC tissues compared with the paired non-cancerous tissues. hCLOCK expression was significantly higher in poorly differentiated, or late-stage, Dukes' grade tumors and in 64.3% of tumor cases with lymph node metastasis. The hClock gene was expressed in all specimens. A significantly higher expression of hClock was found in human CRC cases compared with paired non-cancerous tissues. There was a strong positive linear correlation between hClock gene expression and protein expression in human CRCs. A strong positive linear correlation was also found between hClock gene expression and ARNT, HIF-1α and VEGF expression in human CRCs. There was no significant correlation between hClock and Bak, Bax, Bid, tumor necrosis factor receptor I (TNFR I) and TNFR II. The circadian gene hClock was stably expressed in human colorectal mucosa and was important in regulating the expression of downstream clock-controlled genes. hCLOCK may interact with HIF-1α/ARNT and activate VEGF to stimulate tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.

Silveira SM, Villacis RA, Marchi FA, et al.
Genomic signatures predict poor outcome in undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas and leiomyosarcomas.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e67643 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Undifferentiated high-grade pleomorphic sarcomas (UPSs) display aggressive clinical behavior and frequently develop local recurrence and distant metastasis. Because these sarcomas often share similar morphological patterns with other tumors, particularly leiomyosarcomas (LMSs), classification by exclusion is frequently used. In this study, array-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) was used to analyze 20 UPS and 17 LMS samples from untreated patients. The LMS samples presented a lower frequency of genomic alterations compared with the UPS samples. The most frequently altered UPS regions involved gains at 20q13.33 and 7q22.1 and losses at 3p26.3. Gains at 8q24.3 and 19q13.12 and losses at 9p21.3 were frequently detected in the LMS samples. Of these regions, gains at 1q21.3, 11q12.2-q12.3, 16p11.2, and 19q13.12 were significantly associated with reduced overall survival times in LMS patients. A multivariate analysis revealed that gains at 1q21.3 were an independent prognostic marker of shorter survival times in LMS patients (HR = 13.76; P = 0.019). Although the copy number profiles of the UPS and LMS samples could not be distinguished using unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis, one of the three clusters presented cases associated with poor prognostic outcome (P = 0.022). A relative copy number analysis for the ARNT, SLC27A3, and PBXIP1 genes was performed using quantitative real-time PCR in 11 LMS and 16 UPS samples. Gains at 1q21-q22 were observed in both tumor types, particularly in the UPS samples. These findings provide strong evidence for the existence of a genomic signature to predict poor outcome in a subset of UPS and LMS patients.

Goode GD, Ballard BR, Manning HC, et al.
Knockdown of aberrantly upregulated aryl hydrocarbon receptor reduces tumor growth and metastasis of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line.
Int J Cancer. 2013; 133(12):2769-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that belongs to the basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-Per-ARNT-Sim (PAS) superfamily of transcription factors, mediates toxic response induced by environmental chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). AhR is expressed at high levels in several human breast carcinoma cell lines in direct correlation with the degree of their malignancy. Recent studies suggest a possible role for AhR in cancer independent of PAH. Therefore, we established stable AhR knockdown cells of the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and analyzed their tumorigenic properties in in vitro and in vivo model systems. In addition we analyzed their response to radiation and chemotherapeutic treatment. AhR knockdown attenuated these cells tumorigenic properties in vitro including proliferation, anchorage independent growth, migration and apoptosis and reduced orthotopic xenograft tumor growth and lung metastasis in vivo. Notably, we observed that AhR knockdown enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis as well as significantly decreased cell clonogenic survival. Furthermore, AhR knockdown in MDA-MB-231 cells sensitized them to paclitaxel treatment, evident by a decrease in the required cytotoxic dose. Subsequent analysis revealed AhR knockdown significantly reduced phosphorylation of AKT, which impacts cell proliferation and survival. Apoptosis-focused gene expression analyses revealed an altered expression of genes regulating apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Collectively, our data identify AhR as a potential novel therapeutic target in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Hong XY, Wang J, Li Z
AGR2 expression is regulated by HIF-1 and contributes to growth and angiogenesis of glioblastoma.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013; 67(3):1487-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors are the most common type of brain tumors characterized by extensive angiogenesis that is mostly orchestrated by tumor hypoxia. The hypoxia induced factor-1 (HIF-1) transcriptional complex is the "master control switch" for hypoxia. Dysregulation of anterior gradient protein 2 (AGR2) expression is associated with tumor growth and metastasis. Whether AGR2 is a hypoxia-responsive factor and affects tumor progression via angiogenesis remains unknown. Here, we show that GBM cell lines, U87 and LN18, exhibited enhanced hypoxic responses compared with control normal human astrocytes, and a corresponding HIF-1-dependent increase in AGR2 mRNA and protein. Recombinant AGR2 and conditioned medium from GBM cells induced human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) migration and tube formation, which were abrogated by anti-AGR2 neutralizing antibodies. Expression of the HIF-1α oxygen-dependent degradation domain mutant in cells resulted in elevated AGR2 levels and an increased ability to induce HUVEC migration and tube formation in vitro and enhanced growth and vascularity of tumor xenografts in vivo, which were prevented by AGR2 knockdown. Taken together, these results indicate that AGR2 expression is regulated by HIF-1 and plays an important role in control of glioblastoma growth and vascularity. Our findings suggest that inhibiting AGR2 may represent a new therapeutic target for anti-angiogenic cancer treatment.

Pawlus MR, Hu CJ
Enhanceosomes as integrators of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) and other transcription factors in the hypoxic transcriptional response.
Cell Signal. 2013; 25(9):1895-903 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypoxia is a prevalent attribute of the solid tumor microenvironment that promotes the expression of genes through posttranslational modifications and stabilization of alpha subunits (HIF1α and HIF2α) of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). Despite significant similarities, HIF1 (HIF1α/ARNT) and HIF2 (HIF2α/ARNT) activate common as well as unique target genes and exhibit different functions in cancer biology. More surprisingly, accumulating data indicates that the HIF1- and/or HIF2-mediated hypoxia responses can be oncogenic as well as tumor suppressive. While the role of HIF in the hypoxia response is well established, recent data support the concept that HIF is necessary, but not sufficient for the hypoxic response. Other transcription factors that are activated by hypoxia are also required for the HIF-mediated hypoxia response. HIFs, other transcription factors, co-factors and RNA poll II recruited by HIF and other transcription factors form multifactorial enhanceosome complexes on the promoters of HIF target genes to activate hypoxia inducible genes. Importantly, HIF1 or HIF2 requires distinct partners in activating HIF1 or HIF2 target genes. Because HIF enhanceosome formation is required for the gene activation and distinct functions of HIF1 and HIF2 in tumor biology, disruption of the HIF1 or HIF2 specific enhanceosome complex may prove to be a beneficial strategy in tumor treatment in which tumor growth is specifically dependent upon HIF1 or HIF2 activity.

Mandl M, Kapeller B, Lieber R, Macfelda K
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1β (HIF-1β) is upregulated in a HIF-1α-dependent manner in 518A2 human melanoma cells under hypoxic conditions.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 434(1):166-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Solid tumors include hypoxic areas due to excessive cell proliferation. Adaptation to low oxygen levels is mediated by the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway promoting invasion, metastasis, metabolic alterations, chemo-resistance and angiogenesis. The transcription factor HIF-1, the major player within this pathway consists of HIF-1α and HIF-1β. The alpha subunit is continuously degraded under normoxia and becomes stabilized under reduced oxygen supply. In contrast, HIF-1β is generally regarded as constitutively expressed and being present in excess within the cell. However, there is evidence that the expression of this subunit is more complex. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of HIF-1β in human melanoma cells. Among a panel of five different cell lines, in 518A2 cells exposed to the hypoxia-mimetic cobalt chloride HIF-1β was rapidly elevated on protein level. Knockdown experiments performed under cobalt chloride-exposure and hypoxia revealed that this effect was mediated by HIF-1α. The non-canonical relationship between these subunits was further confirmed by pharmacologic inhibition of HIF-1α and by expression of a dominant-negative HIF mutant. Overexpression of HIF-1α showed a time delay in HIF-1β induction, thus arguing for HIF-1β de novo synthesis rather than protein stabilization by heterodimerization. A Hen's egg test-chorioallantoic membrane model of angiogenesis and invasion indicated a local expression of HIF-1β and implies a biological relevance of these findings. In summary, this study demonstrates the HIF-1α-dependent regulation of HIF-1β under hypoxic conditions for the first time. The results indicate a novel cell specific mechanism which might prevent HIF-1β to become a limiting factor.

Jhas B, Sriskanthadevan S, Skrtic M, et al.
Metabolic adaptation to chronic inhibition of mitochondrial protein synthesis in acute myeloid leukemia cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e58367 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recently, we demonstrated that the anti-bacterial agent tigecycline preferentially induces death in leukemia cells through the inhibition of mitochondrial protein synthesis. Here, we sought to understand mechanisms of resistance to tigecycline by establishing a leukemia cell line resistant to the drug. TEX leukemia cells were treated with increasing concentrations of tigecycline over 4 months and a population of cells resistant to tigecycline (RTEX+TIG) was selected. Compared to wild type cells, RTEX+TIG cells had undetectable levels of mitochondrially translated proteins Cox-1 and Cox-2, reduced oxygen consumption and increased rates of glycolysis. Moreover, RTEX+TIG cells were more sensitive to inhibitors of glycolysis and more resistant to hypoxia. By electron microscopy, RTEX+TIG cells had abnormally swollen mitochondria with irregular cristae structures. RNA sequencing demonstrated a significant over-representation of genes with binding sites for the HIF1α:HIF1β transcription factor complex in their promoters. Upregulation of HIF1α mRNA and protein in RTEX+TIG cells was confirmed by Q-RTPCR and immunoblotting. Strikingly, upon removal of tigecycline from RTEX+TIG cells, the cells re-established aerobic metabolism. Levels of Cox-1 and Cox-2, oxygen consumption, glycolysis, mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial membrane potential returned to wild type levels, but HIF1α remained elevated. However, upon re-treatment with tigecycline for 72 hours, the glycolytic phenotype was re-established. Thus, we have generated cells with a reversible metabolic phenotype by chronic treatment with an inhibitor of mitochondrial protein synthesis. These cells will provide insight into cellular adaptations used to cope with metabolic stress.

Pawlus MR, Wang L, Ware K, Hu CJ
Upstream stimulatory factor 2 and hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF2α) cooperatively activate HIF2 target genes during hypoxia.
Mol Cell Biol. 2012; 32(22):4595-610 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
While the functions of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α)/aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) and HIF2α/ARNT (HIF2) proteins in activating hypoxia-inducible genes are well established, the role of other transcription factors in the hypoxic transcriptional response is less clear. We report here for the first time that the basic helix-loop-helix-leucine-zip transcription factor upstream stimulatory factor 2 (USF2) is required for the hypoxic transcriptional response, specifically, for hypoxic activation of HIF2 target genes. We show that inhibiting USF2 activity greatly reduces hypoxic induction of HIF2 target genes in cell lines that have USF2 activity, while inducing USF2 activity in cells lacking USF2 activity restores hypoxic induction of HIF2 target genes. Mechanistically, USF2 activates HIF2 target genes by binding to HIF2 target gene promoters, interacting with HIF2α protein, and recruiting coactivators CBP and p300 to form enhanceosome complexes that contain HIF2α, USF2, CBP, p300, and RNA polymerase II on HIF2 target gene promoters. Functionally, the effect of USF2 knockdown on proliferation, motility, and clonogenic survival of HIF2-dependent tumor cells in vitro is phenocopied by HIF2α knockdown, indicating that USF2 works with HIF2 to activate HIF2 target genes and to drive HIF2-depedent tumorigenesis.

Li YF, Wang DD, Zhao BW, et al.
Poor prognosis of gastric adenocarcinoma with decreased expression of AHRR.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e43555 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) repressor (AHRR), a member of growing superfamily, is a basic-helix-loop-helix/Per-AHR nuclear translocator (ARNT)-Sim (bHLH-PAS) protein. Recently, AHRR has been proposed to function as a putative new tumor suppressor gene based on some relevant studies in multiple types of human cancers. This current study aims to investigate AHHR expression and its prognostic significance in primary gastric adenocarcinoma.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The expression level of AHRR was analyzed using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining. It was clearly showed that the expression status of AHRR was reduced in tumor tissue samples compared with that in matched adjacent non-tumor tissue samples by RT-qPCR (P = 0.0423) and western blotting analysis (P = 0.004). Moreover, data revealed that AHRR without exon 8 (the active isoform) was the predominant form either in tumor tissues (66.7%, 8/12) or in matched adjacent non-tumor tissues (100.0%, 12/12), and the mRNA level of this isoform was significantly reduced in tumor tissues (P = 0.006). Immunohistochemistry analysis indicated that AHRR expression was significantly decreased in 175 of 410 (42.7%) gastric adenocarcinoma cases. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Multivariate Cox analysis revealed that decreased expression of AHRR was significantly associated with poor prognosis in gastric adenocarcinoma patients.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggests that, in primary gastric adenocarcinoma, AHRR may play as a suppressor gene and its expression status has the potential to be an independent prognostic factor.

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