Gene Summary

Gene:BCL9; BCL9 transcription coactivator
Aliases: LGS
Summary:BCL9 is associated with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It may be a target of translocation in B-cell malignancies with abnormalities of 1q21. Its function is unknown. The overexpression of BCL9 may be of pathogenic significance in B-cell malignancies. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:B-cell CLL/lymphoma 9 protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

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

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

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

Latest Publications: BCL9 (cancer-related)

Chi G, Xu D, Zhang B, Yang F
Matrine induces apoptosis and autophagy of glioma cell line U251 by regulation of circRNA-104075/BCL-9.
Chem Biol Interact. 2019; 308:198-205 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Matrine, a traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported to exert anti-tumor effects in several types of cancers. Here, we explored the anti-tumor effects of matrine on the glioma cells.
METHODS: Glioma cell line U251 cells were treated with matrine to assess viability and proliferation using CCK8 and EdU assays. PI/FITC staining was performed for apoptosis assay. Transfections were performed for circRNA-104075 or Bcl-9 overexpression. Western blot analysis was performed to evaluate changes of protein levels and changes of gene level were detected by qRT-PCR in U251 cells.
RESULTS: Matrine suppressed cell viability while induced apoptosis and autophagy in U251 cells. Matrine also decreased circRNA-104075 expression significantly. Overexpression of circRNA-104075 was found to counteract the inhibitory effects of matrine on cell proliferation and promoting effects on apoptosis and autophagy in U251 cells. Moreover, the suppressed Wnt/β-catenin and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways by matrine were activated by circRNA-104075 overexpression. Furthermore, Bcl-9 expression was also down-regulated by matrine treatment. Bcl-9 overexpression elevated the decreased cell proliferation while suppressed the increased apoptosis and autophagy induced by matrine in U251 cells.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, the present findings suggested that matrine induced apoptosis and autophagy through down-regulating circ-104075 and Bcl-9 expression via inhibition of PI3K/AKT and Wnt-β-catenin pathways in glioma cells. The present study provides a foundation for further preclinical and clinical evaluations of matrine as a glioma therapy.

Wang X, Hu K, Chao Y, Wang L
LncRNA SNHG16 promotes proliferation, migration and invasion of osteosarcoma cells by targeting miR-1301/BCL9 axis.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 114:108798 [PubMed] Related Publications
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a key role in regulating tumor growth and metastasis of osteosarcoma (OS). Recent studies have reported that lncRNA small nucleolar RNA host gene 16 (SNHG16) is highly expressed in OS tissues and contributes to the proliferation, migration and invasion of OS cells. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the oncogenic role of SNHG16 in OS remains poorly known. In the current study, we confirmed that SNHG16 expression was markedly up-regulated in OS tissues compared to paracancerous tissues. The elevated level of SNHG16 closely associated with advanced tumor stages, larger tumor size and more distance metastasis. Furthermore, OS patients with high SNHG16 level had a significant poorer overall survival compared to patients with low SNHG16 level. Knockdown of SNHG16 suppressed the proliferation, migration and invasion of U2OS and MG63 cells. Mechanistically, SNHG16 acted as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) by directly interacting with miR-1301 and inversely regulated its abundance in OS cells. Notably, suppression of miR-1301 rescued SNHG16 knockdown attenuated OS cell proliferation, migration and invasion. SNHG16 knockdown reduced the expression of BCL9 protein in OS cells. Accordingly, BCL9 restoration facilitated the proliferation, migration and invasion of OS cells with SNHG16 knockdown. Collectively, these results suggest that SNHG16 is a potential prognostic biomarker for OS patients. SNHG16 promotes BCL9 expression by sponging miR-1301 to facilitate the proliferation, migration and invasion of OS cells.

Wang L, Zhao S, Yu M
Mechanism of Low Expression of miR-30a-5p on Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Metastasis in Ovarian Cancer.
DNA Cell Biol. 2019; 38(4):341-351 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastasis of ovarian cancer is regulated by microRNAs. This study focused on the effects of miR-30a-5p on ovarian cancer migration and invasion. Our results showed that the miR-30a-5p and mucin type O-glycan biosynthesis are closely related to ovarian cancer, and that miR-30a-5p was downregulated in ovarian cancer cells. miR-30a-5p overexpression reduced cell viability and inhibited migration and invasion in HO-8910 and HO-8910PM cells. S phase kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2), B cell lymphoma 9 (BCL9), and NOTHC1 are direct target genes of miR-30a-5p. MTDH, SKP2, BCL9, and NOTCH1 genes were overexpressed in ovarian cancer cells, and they are direct target genes of miR-30a-5p. miR-30a-5p overexpression inhibited epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process, while upregulation of SKP2, BCL9, and NOTCH1 gene expression levels reduced the inhibition of EMT process by miR-30a-5p. miR-30a-5p was lowly expressed in ovarian cancer, and such a phenomenon is related to ovarian cancer metastasis. miR-30a-5p might inhibit the migration and invasion of ovarian cancer cells by downregulating the expression of SKP2, BCL9, and NOTCH1 genes.

van Andel H, Kocemba KA, Spaargaren M, Pals ST
Aberrant Wnt signaling in multiple myeloma: molecular mechanisms and targeting options.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(5):1063-1075 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays a central role in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of malignancies and is typically caused by mutations in core Wnt pathway components driving constitutive, ligand-independent signaling. In multiple myelomas (MMs), however, these pathway intrinsic mutations are rare despite the fact that most tumors display aberrant Wnt pathway activity. Recent studies indicate that this activation is caused by genetic and epigenetic lesions of Wnt regulatory components, sensitizing MM cells to autocrine Wnt ligands and paracrine Wnts emanating from the bone marrow niche. These include deletion of the tumor suppressor CYLD, promotor methylation of the Wnt antagonists WIF1, DKK1, DKK3, and sFRP1, sFRP2, sFRP4, sFRP5, as well as overexpression of the co-transcriptional activator BCL9 and the R-spondin receptor LGR4. Furthermore, Wnt activity in MM is strongly promoted by interaction of both Wnts and R-spondins with syndecan-1 (CD138) on the MM cell-surface. Functionally, aberrant canonical Wnt signaling plays a dual role in the pathogenesis of MM: (I) it mediates proliferation, migration, and drug resistance of MM cells; (II) MM cells secrete Wnt antagonists that contribute to the development of osteolytic lesions by impairing osteoblast differentiation. As discussed in this review, these insights into the causes and consequences of aberrant Wnt signaling in MM will help to guide the development of targeting strategies. Importantly, since Wnt signaling in MM cells is largely ligand dependent, it can be targeted by drugs/antibodies that act upstream in the pathway, interfering with Wnt secretion, sequestering Wnts, or blocking Wnt (co)receptors.

Gay DM, Ridgway RA, Müller M, et al.
Loss of BCL9/9l suppresses Wnt driven tumourigenesis in models that recapitulate human cancer.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):723 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Different thresholds of Wnt signalling are thought to drive stem cell maintenance, regeneration, differentiation and cancer. However, the principle that oncogenic Wnt signalling could be specifically targeted remains controversial. Here we examine the requirement of BCL9/9l, constituents of the Wnt-enhanceosome, for intestinal transformation following loss of the tumour suppressor APC. Although required for Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells and regeneration, Bcl9/9l deletion has no impact upon normal intestinal homeostasis. Loss of BCL9/9l suppressed many features of acute APC loss and subsequent Wnt pathway deregulation in vivo. This resulted in a level of Wnt pathway activation that favoured tumour initiation in the proximal small intestine (SI) and blocked tumour growth in the colon. Furthermore, Bcl9/9l deletion completely abrogated β-catenin driven intestinal and hepatocellular transformation. We speculate these results support the just-right hypothesis of Wnt-driven tumour formation. Importantly, loss of BCL9/9l is particularly effective at blocking colonic tumourigenesis and mutations that most resemble those that occur in human cancer.

Wang L, Hu K, Chao Y
MicroRNA-1301 inhibits migration and invasion of osteosarcoma cells by targeting BCL9.
Gene. 2018; 679:100-107 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing reports demonstrated that miRNAs play a critical role in tumor development and progression. Previous studies revealed that miR-1301 was abnormally expressed in various cancers. However, its function and underlying mechanism in osteosarcoma (OS) remains unknown. In this study, miR-1301 expression was significantly down-regulated in both OS tissues and cell lines. Down-regulated miR-1301 was obviously associated with malignant clinical features and poor overall survival of OS patients. miR-1301 overexpression inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion. In addition, we identified BCL9 act as a direct target of miR-1301 by directly binding to its 3'-UTR. In clinical OS tissues, miR-1301 negatively correlated BCL9 expression. BCL9 was up-regulated in OS tissues and cells. BCL9 overexpression promoted OS progression. Moreover, restoration of BCL9 expression at least partially abolished the proliferation, migration and invasion of miR-1301 on OS cells. In conclusion, our data indicated that miR-1301 inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion of OS by targeting BCL9, and may represent a novel potential therapeutic target and prognostic marker for OS.

Sang L, Wang XM, Xu DY, Zhao WJ
Bioinformatics analysis of aberrantly methylated-differentially expressed genes and pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(24):2605-2616 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To discover methylated-differentially expressed genes (MDEGs) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to explore relevant hub genes and potential pathways.
METHODS: The data of expression profiling GSE25097 and methylation profiling GSE57956 were gained from GEO Datasets. We analyzed the differentially methylated genes and differentially expressed genes online using GEO2R. Functional and enrichment analyses of MDEGs were conducted using the DAVID database. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was performed by STRING and then visualized in Cytoscape. Hub genes were ranked by cytoHubba, and a module analysis of the PPI network was conducted by MCODE in Cytoscape software.
RESULTS: In total, we categorized 266 genes as hypermethylated, lowly expressed genes (Hyper-LGs) referring to endogenous and hormone stimulus, cell surface receptor linked signal transduction and behavior. In addition, 161 genes were labelled as hypomethylated, highly expressed genes (Hypo-HGs) referring to DNA replication and metabolic process, cell cycle and division. Pathway analysis illustrated that Hyper-LGs were enriched in cancer, Wnt, and chemokine signalling pathways, while Hypo-HGs were related to cell cycle and steroid hormone biosynthesis pathways. Based on PPI networks,
CONCLUSION: In the study, we disclose numerous novel genetic and epigenetic regulations and offer a vital molecular groundwork to understand the pathogenesis of HCC. Hub genes, including

Katoh M
Multi‑layered prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation, organ fibrosis and cancer associated with canonical WNT/β‑catenin signaling activation (Review).
Int J Mol Med. 2018; 42(2):713-725 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
β‑catenin/CTNNB1 is an intracellular scaffold protein that interacts with adhesion molecules (E‑cadherin/CDH1, N‑cadherin/CDH2, VE‑cadherin/CDH5 and α‑catenins), transmembrane‑type mucins (MUC1/CD227 and MUC16/CA125), signaling regulators (APC, AXIN1, AXIN2 and NHERF1/EBP50) and epigenetic or transcriptional regulators (BCL9, BCL9L, CREBBP/CBP, EP300/p300, FOXM1, MED12, SMARCA4/BRG1 and TCF/LEF). Gain‑of‑function CTTNB1 mutations are detected in bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and uterine cancer, whereas loss‑of‑function CTNNB1 mutations are also detected in human cancer. ABCB1, ALDH1A1, ASCL2, ATF3, AXIN2, BAMBI, CCND1, CD44, CLDN1, CTLA4, DKK1, EDN1, EOMES, FGF18, FGF20, FZD7, IL10, JAG1, LEF1, LGR5, MITF, MSX1, MYC, NEUROD1, NKD1, NODAL, NOTCH2, NOTUM, NRCAM, OPN, PAX3, PPARD, PTGS2, RNF43, SNAI1, SP5, TCF7, TERT, TNFRSF19, VEGFA and ZNRF3 are representative β‑catenin target genes. β‑catenin signaling is involved in myofibroblast activation and subsequent pulmonary fibrosis, in addition to other types of fibrosis. β‑catenin and NF‑κB signaling activation are involved in field cancerization in the stomach associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and in the liver associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and other etiologies. β‑catenin‑targeted therapeutics are functionally classified into β‑catenin inhibitors targeting upstream regulators (AZ1366, ETC‑159, G007‑LK, GNF6231, ipafricept, NVP‑TNKS656, rosmantuzumab, vantictumab, WNT‑C59, WNT974 and XAV939), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting protein‑protein interactions (CGP049090, CWP232228, E7386, ICG‑001, LF3 and PRI‑724), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting epigenetic regulators (PKF118‑310), β‑catenin inhibitors targeting mediator complexes (CCT251545 and cortistatin A) and β‑catenin inhibitors targeting transmembrane‑type transcriptional outputs, including CD44v6, FZD7 and LGR5. Eradicating H. pylori and HCV is the optimal approach for the first‑line prevention of gastric cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), respectively. However, β‑catenin inhibitors may be applicable for the prevention of organ fibrosis, second‑line HCC prevention and treating β‑catenin‑driven cancer. The multi‑layered prevention and treatment strategy of β‑catenin‑related human diseases is necessary for the practice of personalized medicine and implementation of precision medicine.

Wu C, Gupta N, Huang YH, et al.
Oxidative stress enhances tumorigenicity and stem-like features via the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin/MYC/Sox2 axis in ALK-positive anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The phenomenon that malignant cells can acquire stemness under specific stimuli, encompassed under the concept of cancer cell plasticity, has been well-described in epithelial malignancies. To our knowledge, cancer cell plasticity has not yet been described in hematopoietic cancers. To illustrate and study cancer cell plasticity in hematopoietic cancers, we employed an in-vitro experimental model of ALK-positive anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALK+ALCL) that is based on the phenotypic and functional dichotomy of these cells, with cells responsive to a Sox2 reporter (i.e. RR cells) being significantly more stem-like than those unresponsive to the reporter (i.e. RU cells).
CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated that cancer cell plasticity exists in ALK+ALCL, a type of hematopoietic cancer. In this cancer type, the Wnt/β-catenin/MYC/Sox2 axis is an important regulator of cancer cell plasticity.

Li H, Liu JW, Liu S, et al.
Bioinformatics-Based Identification of Methylated-Differentially Expressed Genes and Related Pathways in Gastric Cancer.
Dig Dis Sci. 2017; 62(11):3029-3039 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The aim of the study was to identify methylated-differentially expressed genes (MDEGs) in gastric cancer and investigate their potential pathways.
METHODS: Expression profiling (GSE13911 and GSE29272) and methylation profiling (GSE25869 and GSE30601) data were obtained from GEO DataSets. Differentially expressed genes and differentially methylated genes were identified using GEO2R. Gene ontology and pathway enrichment analyses were performed for the MDEGs. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were established by STRING and Cytoscape. Analysis of modules in the PPI networks was performed using MCODE. Further, the hub genes derived from the PPI networks were verified by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and human tissues, with methylation-specific PCR for genes methylation and real-time qPCR for genes expression.
RESULTS: A total of 445 genes were identified as hypermethylated, lowly expressed genes (Hyper-LGs), which were enriched in the regulation of system process and channel activity. A total of 129 genes were identified as hypomethylated, highly expressed genes (Hypo-HGs), which were involved in cell adhesion, cell proliferation, and protein binding. Pathway analysis showed that Hyper-LGs were associated with neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction and calcium signaling pathway, while Hypo-HGs were enriched in pathways in cancer. In the PPI networks, after verification by TCGA analysis and human tissue detection, CASR, CXCL12, and SST were identified as significantly different hub genes.
CONCLUSIONS: MDEG analysis helps to understand the epigenetic regulation mechanisms involved in the development and progression of gastric cancer. The hub genes have predictive and prognostic value as methylation-based biomarkers for the precise diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer.

Yang C, Xu Y, Cheng F, et al.
miR-1301 inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell migration, invasion, and angiogenesis by decreasing Wnt/β-catenin signaling through targeting BCL9.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(8):e2999 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastasis is the major cause of the poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and increasing evidence supports the contribution of miRNAs to cancer progression. However, the exact relationship between the level of miR-1301 expression and HCC cell migration, invasion, and angiogenesis remains largely unknown. Quantitative PCR was used to evaluate the level of miR-1301 expression in HCC tissues and cell lines. Transwell and tube-formation assays were used to measure the effects of miR-1301 on HCC cell migration and invasion, and angiogenesis, respectively. Luciferase reporter assays and western blotting were used to confirm the miR-1301 target genes. We found that miR-1301 was significantly downregulated in HCC tissues and cell lines. Low miR-1301 expression was associated with tumor vascular invasion and Edmondson grade. Gain- and loss-of-function assays demonstrated that miR-1301 inhibited the migration, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and angiogenesis of HCC cells in vitro and in vivo. BCL9, upregulated in HCC tissues compared with matched adjacent normal tissues, was inversely correlated to miR-1301 levels in HCC tissues. Through reporter gene and western blot assays, BCL9 was shown to be a direct miR-1301 target. BCL9 overexpression could partially reverse the effects of miR-1301 on HCC cell migration and invasion. Most importantly, miR-1301 overexpression markedly suppressed the death of xenograft mouse models of cancer by reducing tumor load, metastasis, and host angiogenesis by downregulating BCL9, β-catenin, and vascular endothelial growth factor expression in tumor cells. Our observations suggested that miR-1301 inhibits HCC migration, invasion, and angiogenesis via decreasing Wnt/β-catenin signaling through targeting BCL9, and might be a therapeutic target for HCC.

Liu X, Ji Q, Zhang C, et al.
miR-30a acts as a tumor suppressor by double-targeting COX-2 and BCL9 in H. pylori gastric cancer models.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):7113 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is one of the most important factors that affect the development of gastric cancer, and its mechanism remains un-elucidated. Our present study found that, miR-30a is crucial for regulating the growth and migration of H. pylori infected gastric cancer in vitro by targeting COX-2 and BCL9. In details, double-stranded miR-30a precursor produced two single-stranded and matured miRNAs including miR-30a-3p and miR-30a-5p, which played significant biological functions in two different manners. First, miR-30a-3p inhibited COX-2 expression and regulated nuclear translocation of β-catenin, and second, miR-30a-5p targeted BCL9 to regulate TCF/LEF promoter activity followed by affecting β-catenin downstream target gene expression. In vivo, miR-30a knockout mice were successfully achieved using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. Compared with H. pylori-infected wild-type mice, H. pylori-infected miR-30a knockout mice showed increased incidence of chronic gastritis, chronic atrophic gastritis, atypical hyperplasia, and other precancerous lesions or adenocarcinoma manifestations in the antral or gastric mucosa of mice, as well as regulation of genes closely associated with tumor development. Taken together, miR-30a acts as a tumor suppressor by double-targeting COX-2 and BCL9, and significantly affects the development of H. pylori-induced gastric cancer, shedding new light on the mechanisms underlying H. pylori-associated gastric cancer.

Luna JM, Barajas JM, Teng KY, et al.
Argonaute CLIP Defines a Deregulated miR-122-Bound Transcriptome that Correlates with Patient Survival in Human Liver Cancer.
Mol Cell. 2017; 67(3):400-410.e7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNA-122, an abundant and conserved liver-specific miRNA, regulates hepatic metabolism and functions as a tumor suppressor, yet systematic and direct biochemical elucidation of the miR-122 target network remains incomplete. To this end, we performed Argonaute crosslinking immunoprecipitation (Argonaute [Ago]-CLIP) sequencing in miR-122 knockout and control mouse livers, as well as in matched human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and benign liver tissue to identify miRNA target sites transcriptome-wide in two species. We observed a majority of miR-122 binding on 3' UTRs and coding exons followed by extensive binding to other genic and non-genic sites. Motif analysis of miR-122-dependent binding revealed a G-bulged motif in addition to canonical motifs. A large number of miR-122 targets were found to be species specific. Upregulation of several common mouse and human targets, most notably BCL9, predicted survival in HCC patients. These results broadly define the molecular consequences of miR-122 downregulation in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Sveen A, Johannessen B, Tengs T, et al.
Multilevel genomics of colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability-clinical impact of JAK1 mutations and consensus molecular subtype 1.
Genome Med. 2017; 9(1):46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately 15% of primary colorectal cancers have DNA mismatch repair deficiency, causing a complex genome with thousands of small mutations-the microsatellite instability (MSI) phenotype. We investigated molecular heterogeneity and tumor immunogenicity in relation to clinical endpoints within this distinct subtype of colorectal cancers.
METHODS: A total of 333 primary MSI+ colorectal tumors from multiple cohorts were analyzed by multilevel genomics and computational modeling-including mutation profiling, clonality modeling, and neoantigen prediction in a subset of the tumors, as well as gene expression profiling for consensus molecular subtypes (CMS) and immune cell infiltration.
RESULTS: Novel, frequent frameshift mutations in four cancer-critical genes were identified by deep exome sequencing, including in CRTC1, BCL9, JAK1, and PTCH1. JAK1 loss-of-function mutations were validated with an overall frequency of 20% in Norwegian and British patients, and mutated tumors had up-regulation of transcriptional signatures associated with resistance to anti-PD-1 treatment. Clonality analyses revealed a high level of intra-tumor heterogeneity; however, this was not associated with disease progression. Among the MSI+ tumors, the total mutation load correlated with the number of predicted neoantigens (P = 4 × 10
CONCLUSIONS: Multilevel genomic analyses of MSI+ colorectal cancer revealed molecular heterogeneity with clinical relevance, including tumor immunogenicity and a favorable patient outcome associated with JAK1 mutations and the transcriptomic subgroup CMS1, emphasizing the potential for prognostic stratification of this clinically important subtype. See related research highlight by Samstein and Chan 10.1186/s13073-017-0438-9.

Xu W, Zhou W, Cheng M, et al.
Hypoxia activates Wnt/β-catenin signaling by regulating the expression of BCL9 in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:40446 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling is abnormally activated in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). BCL9 is an essential co-activator in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Importantly, BCL9 is absent from tumors originating from normal cellular counterparts and overexpressed in many cancers including HCC. But the mechanism for BCL9 overexpression remains unknown. Ample evidence indicates that hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) play a role in the development of HCC. It was found in our study that BCL9 was overexpressed in both primary HCC and bone metastasis specimens; loss of BCL9 inhibited the proliferation, migration and angiogenesis of HCC; and that that hypoxia mechanically induced the expression of BCL9. BCL9 induction under the hypoxic condition was predominantly mediated by HIF-1α but not HIF2α. In vitro evidence from xenograft models indicated that BCL9 promoter/gene knockout inhibited HCC tumor growth and angiogenesis. Notably, we found that BCL9 and HIF-1α were coordinately regulated in human HCC specimen. The above findings suggest that hypoxia may promote the expression of BCL9 and associate with the development of HCC. Specific regulation of BCL9 expression by HIF-1α may prove to be an underlying crosstalk between Wnt/β-catenin signaling and hypoxia signaling pathways.

Spreafico A, Oza AM, Clarke BA, et al.
Genotype-matched treatment for patients with advanced type I epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
Gynecol Oncol. 2017; 144(2):250-255 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genomic alterations that activate the MAPK signaling pathway frequently occur in Type I Epithelial Ovarian Cancers (EOCs). We evaluated therapeutic response outcomes in patients with type I EOC treated with genotype-matched therapy on clinical trials enrolled in a prospective molecular profiling program.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Formalin fixed paraffin embedded tumor tissues were prospectively screened for genomic alterations using MALDI-ToF mass-spectrometry platform or targeted sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq TruSeq Amplicon Cancer Panel. Treatment outcomes on genotype-matched trials were retrospectively reviewed using RECIST version 1.1 and Gynecological Cancer Intergroup CA125 related-response criteria RESULTS: 55 patients with type I EOC underwent molecular profiling, 41 (75%) low grade serous (LGS), 9 (16%) clear cell (CC), and 5 (9%) mucinous (MC) histologies. Thirty-five patients (64%) were found to have ≥1 somatic mutations: 23 KRAS, 6 NRAS, 5 PIK3CA, 2 PTEN, 1 BRAF, 1 AKT, 1 TP53, and 1 CTNNB1. Fifteen patients were subsequently enrolled in genotype-matched phase I or II trials, including 14 patients with KRAS/NRAS mutations treated with MEK inhibitor targeted combinations. Among 14 RECIST evaluable patients, there were 7 partial responses (PR), 7 stable disease (SD) and 1 disease progression (PD). CA125 responses were observed in 10/10 evaluable KRAS/NRAS mutant patients treated with MEK inhibitor combinations CONCLUSIONS: Genotyping and targeted sequencing of Type I EOCs frequently identifies actionable mutations. Matched treatment with MEK-based combination therapy in KRAS and/or NRAS mutant type I EOC patients is an active therapeutic strategy.

Li B, Cai S, Zhao Y, et al.
Nerve growth factor modulates the tumor cells migration in ovarian cancer through the WNT/β-catenin pathway.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(49):81026-81048 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nerve growth factor (NGF)/nerve growth factor receptors (NGFRs) axis and canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway have shown to play crucial roles in tumor initiation, progression and prognosis. But little did we know the relationship between them in modulation of tumor progress. In this report, we found that NGF/NGFRs and β-catenin were coexpression in ovarian cancer cell lines, and NGF can decrease the expression level of β-catenin and affect its activities, which may be related to the NGF-induced down-regulation of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 9-like (BCL9L, BCL9-2). Furthermore, NGF can also increase or decrease the downstream target gene expression levels of WNT/β-catenin depending on the cell types. Especially, we created a novel in vitro cell growth model based on a microfluidic device to intuitively observe the effects of NGF/NGFRs on the motility behaviors of ovarian cancer cells. The results showed that the migration area and maximum distance into three dimensional (3D) matrigel were decreased in CAOV3 and OVCAR3 cells, but increased in SKOV3 cells following the stimulation with NGF. In addition, we found that the cell colony area was down-regulated in CAOV3 cells, however, it was augmented in OVCAR3 cells after treatment with NGF. The inhibitors of NGF/NGFRs, such as Ro 08-2750, K252a and LM11A-31,can all block NGF-stimulated changes of gene expression or migratory behavior on ovarian cancer cells. The different results among ovarian cancer cells illustrated the heterogeneity and complexity of ovarian cancer. Collectively, our results suggested for the first time that NGF is functionally linked to β-catenin in the migration of human ovarian cancer cells, which may be a novel therapeutic perspective to prevent the spread of ovarian carcinomas by studying the interaction between NGF/NGFRs and canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling.

Gu Z, Churchman M, Roberts K, et al.
Genomic analyses identify recurrent MEF2D fusions in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:13331 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromosomal rearrangements are initiating events in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Here using RNA sequencing of 560 ALL cases, we identify rearrangements between MEF2D (myocyte enhancer factor 2D) and five genes (BCL9, CSF1R, DAZAP1, HNRNPUL1 and SS18) in 22 B progenitor ALL (B-ALL) cases with a distinct gene expression profile, the most common of which is MEF2D-BCL9. Examination of an extended cohort of 1,164 B-ALL cases identified 30 cases with MEF2D rearrangements, which include an additional fusion partner, FOXJ2; thus, MEF2D-rearranged cases comprise 5.3% of cases lacking recurring alterations. MEF2D-rearranged ALL is characterized by a distinct immunophenotype, DNA copy number alterations at the rearrangement sites, older diagnosis age and poor outcome. The rearrangements result in enhanced MEF2D transcriptional activity, lymphoid transformation, activation of HDAC9 expression and sensitive to histone deacetylase inhibitor treatment. Thus, MEF2D-rearranged ALL represents a distinct form of high-risk leukaemia, for which new therapeutic approaches should be considered.

Sannino G, Armbruster N, Bodenhöfer M, et al.
Role of BCL9L in transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) and metastasis of pancreatic cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(45):73725-73738 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a low overall survival rate, which is approximately 20% during the first year and decreases to less than 6% within five years of the disease. This is due to premature dissemination accompanied by a lack of disease-specific symptoms during the initial stages. Additionally, to date there are no biomarkers for an early prognosis available.A growing number of studies indicate that epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), triggered by WNT-, TGF-β- and other signaling pathways is crucial for the initiation of the metastatic process in PDAC. Here we show, that BCL9L is up-regulated in PDAC cell lines and patient tissue compared to non-cancer controls. RNAi-induced BCL9L knockdown negatively affected proliferation, migration and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells. On a molecular basis, BCL9L depletion provoked an increment of E-cadherin protein levels, with concomitant increase of β-catenin retention at the plasma membrane. This is linked to the induction of a strong epithelial phenotype in pancreatic cancer cells upon BCL9L knockdown even in the presence of the EMT-inducer TGF-β. Finally, xenograft mouse models of pancreatic cancer revealed a highly significant reduction in the number of liver metastases upon BCL9L knockdown. Taken together, our findings underline the key importance of BCL9L for EMT and thus progression and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. Direct targeting of this protein might be a valuable approach to effectively antagonize invasion and metastasis of PDAC.

Hallas C, Phillipp J, Domanowsky L, et al.
BCL9L expression in pancreatic neoplasia with a focus on SPN: a possible explanation for the enigma of the benign neoplasia.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:648 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solid pseudopapillary neoplasms of the pancreas (SPN) are rare tumors affecting mainly women. They show an activating mutation in CTNNB1, the gene for β-catenin, and consequently an overactivation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. This signaling pathway is implied in the pathogenesis of various aggressive tumors, including pancreatic adenocarcinomas (PDAC). Despite this, SPN are characterized by an unusually benign clinical course. Attempts to explain this lack of malignancy have led to the discovery of an aberrant expression of the transcription factor FLI1 in SPN.
METHODS: In 42 primary pancreatic tumors the RNA-expression of the FLI1 targets DKK1, INPP5D, IGFBP3 and additionally two members of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, namely BCL9 and BCL9L, was investigated using quantitative real time PCR. Expression of these genes was evaluated in SPN (n = 18), PDAC (n = 12) and the less aggressive intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm IPMN (n = 12) and compared to normal pancreatic tissue. Potential differences between the tumor entities were evaluated using students t-test.
RESULTS: The results demonstrated a differential RNA-expression of BCL9L with a lack of expression in SPN (p < 0.001), RNA levels similar to normal tissue in IPMN and increased expression in PDAC (p < 0.04). Further, overexpression of the cyclin D1 inhibitor INPP5D in IPMN (p < 0.0001) was found. PDAC, on the other hand, showed the highest expression of IGFBP3 (p < 0.00001) with the gene still being significantly overexpressed in IPMN (p < 0.001). Nevertheless the difference in expression was significant between PDAC and IPMN (p < 0.05) and IGFBP3 RNA levels were significantly higher in PDAC and IPMN than in SPN (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.02, resp.).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates a significantly decreased expression of the β-catenin stabilizing gene BCL9L in SPN as a first clue to the possible reasons for the astonishingly benign behavior of this entity. In contrast, high expression of the gene was detected in PDAC supporting the connection between BCL9L expression and tumor malignancy in pancreas neoplasias. IPMN, accordingly, showed intermediate expression of BCL9L, but instead demonstrated a high expression of the cyclin D1 inhibitor INPP5D, possibly contributing to the better prognosis of this neoplasia compared to PDAC.

Suzuki K, Okuno Y, Kawashima N, et al.
MEF2D-BCL9 Fusion Gene Is Associated With High-Risk Acute B-Cell Precursor Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adolescents.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(28):3451-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) makes up a significant proportion of all pediatric cancers, and relapsed ALL is a leading cause of cancer-associated deaths in children. Identification of risk factors and druggable molecular targets in ALL can lead to a better stratification of treatments and subsequent improvement in prognosis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We enrolled 59 children with relapsed or primary refractory ALL who were treated in our institutions. We primarily performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) using patients' leukemic cells to comprehensively detect gene fusions and analyze gene expression profiles. On the basis of results obtained by RNA-seq, we performed genetic validation, functional analysis, and in vitro drug sensitivity testing using patients' samples and an exogenous expression model.
RESULTS: We identified a total of 26 gene fusions in 22 patients by RNA-seq. Among these, 19 were nonrandom gene fusions already described in ALL, and four of the remaining seven involved identical combination of MEF2D and BCL9. All MEF2D-BCL9-positive patients had B-cell precursor immunophenotype and were characterized as being older in age, being resistant to chemotherapy, having very early relapse, and having leukemic blasts that mimic morphologically mature B-cell leukemia with markedly high expression of HDAC9. Exogenous expression of MEF2D-BCL9 in a B-cell precursor ALL cell line promoted cell growth, increased HDAC9 expression, and induced resistance to dexamethasone. Using a primary culture of leukemic blasts from a patient, we identified several molecular targeted drugs that conferred inhibitory effects in vitro.
CONCLUSION: A novel MEF2D-BCL9 fusion we identified characterizes a novel subset of pediatric ALL, predicts poor prognosis, and may be a candidate for novel molecular targeting.

Monin MB, Krause P, Stelling R, et al.
The anthelmintic niclosamide inhibits colorectal cancer cell lines via modulation of the canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling pathway.
J Surg Res. 2016; 203(1):193-205 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Wnt/β-catenin signaling is known to play an important role in colorectal cancer (CRC). Niclosamide, a salicylamide derivative used in the treatment of tapeworm infections, targets the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. The objective of this study was to investigate niclosamide as a therapeutic agent against CRC.
METHODS: The antiproliferative effects of 1, 3, 10, and 50 μM concentrations of niclosamide on human (SW480 and SW620) and rodent (CC531) CRC cell lines were determined by MTS assay and direct cell count. The lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1/transcription factor (LEF/TCF) reporter assay monitored the activity of Wnt signaling. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated the expression pattern of active β-catenin. Gene expression of canonical and noncanonical Wnt signaling components was analyzed using qRT-PCR. Western blot analysis was performed with antibodies detecting nuclear localization of β-catenin and c-jun.
RESULTS: Cell proliferation in CRC cell lines was blocked dose dependently after 12 and 24 h of incubation. The Wnt promoter activity of LEF/TCF significantly decreased with niclosamide concentrations of 10 and 50 μM after 12 h of incubation. Active β-catenin did not shift from the nuclear to the cytosolic pool. However, canonical target genes (met, MMP7, and cyclin D1) as well as the coactivating factor Bcl9 were downregulated, whereas the noncanonical key player c-jun was clearly activated.
CONCLUSIONS: Niclosamide treatment is associated with an inhibitory effect on CRC development and reduced Wnt activity. It may exert its effect by interfering with the nuclear β-catenin-Bcl9-LEF/TCF triple-complex and by upregulation of c-jun representing noncanonical Wnt/JNK signaling. Thus, our findings warrant further research into this substance as a treatment option for patients with advanced CRC.

Wang J, Ying Y, Bo S, et al.
Differentially expressed microRNA-218 modulates the viability of renal cell carcinoma by regulating BCL9.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(2):1829-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study assessed the expression profiles of numerous microRNAs (miRs; miR-141, miR-187, miR-206, miR-218, miR-335 and miR-204) in 25 pairs of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tissue samples and adjacent non-cancerous tissue. Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT‑qPCR) analysis revealed that miR‑218 was significantly downregulated in RCC tissue samples. Next, web‑based algorithms were used to identify B‑cell lymphoma (BCL)9 as a possible target of miR‑218, which was confirmed by a subsequent luciferase assay. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of BCL9 in the tumor and adjacent normal tissue samples was assessed, and BCL9 was markedly upregulated in the tumor tissue samples compared with the adjacent non‑cancerous controls. In addition, miR‑218 mimics or its inhibitors were transfected into renal cell carcinoma cells and harvested 48 h later. RT‑qPCR and western blotting revealed that both the mRNA and protein expression levels of BCL9 were significantly downregulated by the miR‑218 mimics. However, inhibition of miR‑218 upregulated the expression levels of BCL9. A 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) proliferation assay revealed that cell proliferation was suppressed in miR‑218 mimic‑transfected RCC cells compared with control cells; however, cell proliferation was significantly promoted in the RCC cells transfected with miR‑218 inhibitors compared with the controls. Taken together, it was demonstrated that miR‑218 modulated a novel molecular target and the present study provided novel insights into potential mechanisms of RCC oncogenesis.

Tan Z, Huang Q, Zang J, et al.
HIF-1α activates hypoxia-induced BCL-9 expression in human colorectal cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(16):25885-25896 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B-cell CLL/lymphoma 9 protein (BCL-9), a multi-functional co-factor in Wnt signaling, induced carcinogenesis as well as promoting tumor progression, metastasis and chemo-resistance in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the mechanisms for increased BCL-9 expression in CRC were not well understood. Here, we report that hypoxia, a hallmark of solid tumors, induced BCL-9 mRNA expression in human CRC cells. Analysis of BCL-9 promoter revealed two functional hypoxia-responsive elements (HRE-B and HRE-C) that can be specifically bound with and be transactivated by hypoxia inducible factors (HIF) -1α but not HIF-2α. Consistently, ectopic expression of HIF-1α but not HIF-2α transcriptionally induced BCL-9 expression levels in cells. Knockdown of endogenous HIF-1α but not HIF-2α by siRNA largely abolished the induction of HIF by hypoxia. Furthermore, there was a strong association of HIF-1α expression with BCL-9 expression in human CRC specimens. In summary, results from this study demonstrated that hypoxia induced BCL-9 expression in human CRC cells mainly through HIF-1α, which could be an important underlying mechanism for increased BCL-9 expression in CRC.

Moor AE, Anderle P, Cantù C, et al.
BCL9/9L-β-catenin Signaling is Associated With Poor Outcome in Colorectal Cancer.
EBioMedicine. 2015; 2(12):1932-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BCL9/9L proteins enhance the transcriptional output of the β-catenin/TCF transcriptional complex and contribute critically to upholding the high WNT signaling level required for stemness maintenance in the intestinal epithelium. Here we show that a BCL9/9L-dependent gene signature derived from independent mouse colorectal cancer (CRC) models unprecedentedly separates patient subgroups with regard to progression free and overall survival. We found that this effect was by and large attributable to stemness related gene sets. Remarkably, this signature proved associated with recently described poor prognosis CRC subtypes exhibiting high stemness and/or epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) traits. Consistent with the notion that high WNT signaling is required for stemness maintenance, ablating Bcl9/9l-β-catenin in murine oncogenic intestinal organoids provoked their differentiation and completely abrogated their tumorigenicity, while not affecting their proliferation. Therapeutic strategies aimed at targeting WNT responses may be limited by intestinal toxicity. Our findings suggest that attenuating WNT signaling to an extent that affects stemness maintenance without disturbing intestinal renewal might be well tolerated and prove sufficient to reduce CRC recurrence and dramatically improve disease outcome.

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

Elsarraj HS, Hong Y, Valdez KE, et al.
Expression profiling of in vivo ductal carcinoma in situ progression models identified B cell lymphoma-9 as a molecular driver of breast cancer invasion.
Breast Cancer Res. 2015; 17:128 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: There are an estimated 60,000 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) each year. A lack of understanding in DCIS pathobiology has led to overtreatment of more than half of patients. We profiled the temporal molecular changes during DCIS transition to invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) using in vivo DCIS progression models. These studies identified B cell lymphoma-9 (BCL9) as a potential molecular driver of early invasion. BCL9 is a newly found co-activator of Wnt-stimulated β-catenin-mediated transcription. BCL9 has been shown to promote progression of multiple myeloma and colon carcinoma. However BCL9 role in breast cancer had not been previously recognized.
METHODS: Microarray and RNA sequencing were utilized to characterize the sequential changes in mRNA expression during DCIS invasive transition. BCL9-shRNA knockdown was performed to assess the role of BCL9 in in vivo invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and canonical Wnt-signaling. Immunofluorescence of 28 patient samples was used to assess a correlation between the expression of BCL9 and biomarkers of high risk DCIS. The cancer genome atlas data were analyzed to assess the status of BCL9 gene alterations in breast cancers.
RESULTS: Analysis of BCL9, by RNA and protein showed BCL9 up-regulation to be associated with DCIS transition to IDC. Analysis of patient DCIS revealed a significant correlation between high nuclear BCL9 and pathologic characteristics associated with DCIS recurrence: Estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) negative, high nuclear grade, and high human epidermal growth factor receptor2 (HER2). In vivo silencing of BCL9 resulted in the inhibition of DCIS invasion and reversal of EMT. Analysis of the TCGA data showed BCL9 to be altered in 26 % of breast cancers. This is a significant alteration when compared to HER2 (ERBB2) gene (19 %) and estrogen receptor (ESR1) gene (8 %). A significantly higher proportion of basal like invasive breast cancers compared to luminal breast cancers showed BCL9 amplification.
CONCLUSION: BCL9 is a molecular driver of DCIS invasive progression and may predispose to the development of basal like invasive breast cancers. As such, BCL9 has the potential to serve as a biomarker of high risk DCIS and as a therapeutic target for prevention of IDC.

Grisham RN, Sylvester BE, Won H, et al.
Extreme Outlier Analysis Identifies Occult Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway Mutations in Patients With Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(34):4099-105 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: No effective systemic therapy exists for patients with metastatic low-grade serous (LGS) ovarian cancers. BRAF and KRAS mutations are common in serous borderline (SB) and LGS ovarian cancers, and MEK inhibition has been shown to induce tumor regression in a minority of patients; however, no correlation has been observed between mutation status and clinical response. With the goal of identifying biomarkers of sensitivity to MEK inhibitor treatment, we performed an outlier analysis of a patient who experienced a complete, durable, and ongoing (> 5 years) response to selumetinib, a non-ATP competitive MEK inhibitor.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Next-generation sequencing was used to analyze this patient's tumor as well as an additional 28 SB/LGS tumors. Functional characterization of an identified novel alteration of interest was performed.
RESULTS: Analysis of the extraordinary responder's tumor identified a 15-nucleotide deletion in the negative regulatory helix of the MAP2K1 gene encoding for MEK1. Functional characterization demonstrated that this mutant induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway activation, promoted anchorage-independent growth and tumor formation in mice, and retained sensitivity to selumetinib. Analysis of additional LGS/SB tumors identified mutations predicted to induce extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway activation in 82% (23 of 28), including two patients with BRAF fusions, one of whom achieved an ongoing complete response to MEK inhibitor-based combination therapy.
CONCLUSION: Alterations affecting the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway are present in the majority of patients with LGS ovarian cancer. Next-generation sequencing analysis revealed deletions and fusions that are not detected by older sequencing approaches. These findings, coupled with the observation that a subset of patients with recurrent LGS ovarian cancer experienced dramatic and durable responses to MEK inhibitor therapy, support additional clinical studies of MEK inhibitors in this disease.

Xu Y, Yang Z, Yuan H, et al.
PCDH10 inhibits cell proliferation of multiple myeloma via the negative regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin/BCL-9 signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(2):747-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumor suppressor protocadherin-10 (PCDH10) gene is important in cell proliferation, survival, apoptosis and migration. Inactivation of PCDH10 by promoter methylation is a frequent pathogenetic event in multiple myeloma (MM). The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is known to be involved in the cell growth of various types of cancer, including MM. However, the relationship between PCDH10 and Wnt signaling in MM remains unclear. In this study, we found that PCDH10 deficiency highly enhanced MM cell proliferation, Wnt signaling and the expression of BCL-9, an essential coactivator of Wnt transcriptional activity that is correlated with cell growth, survival and drug resistance. Restoration of PCDH10 suppressed nuclear localization of β-catenin, the activity of LEF/TCF, the expression of BCL-9 and AKT, whereas the expression of GSK3β was increased. The antagonistic effect of PCDH10 was associated with G1-phase blockage. Collectively, PCDH10 antagonized MM cell proliferation via the downregulation of Wnt/β-catenin/BCL-9 signaling, whereas PCDH10 repressed the expression of AKT to promote the expression of GSK3β and then to restrain the activation of β-catenin. Thus, the results offer a novel preclinical rationale in order to explore PCDH10 as an effective and selective therapeutic strategy to eradicate MM cells.

Zhu D, Wang Z, Zhao JJ, et al.
The Cyclophilin A-CD147 complex promotes the proliferation and homing of multiple myeloma cells.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(6):572-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
B cell malignancies frequently colonize the bone marrow. The mechanisms responsible for this preferential homing are incompletely understood. Here we studied multiple myeloma (MM) as a model of a terminally differentiated B cell malignancy that selectively colonizes the bone marrow. We found that extracellular CyPA (eCyPA), secreted by bone marrow endothelial cells (BMECs), promoted the colonization and proliferation of MM cells in an in vivo scaffold system via binding to its receptor, CD147, on MM cells. The expression and secretion of eCyPA by BMECs was enhanced by BCL9, a Wnt-β-catenin transcriptional coactivator that is selectively expressed by these cells. eCyPA levels were higher in bone marrow serum than in peripheral blood in individuals with MM, and eCyPA-CD147 blockade suppressed MM colonization and tumor growth in the in vivo scaffold system. eCyPA also promoted the migration of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma cells, two other B cell malignancies that colonize the bone marrow and express CD147. These findings suggest that eCyPA-CD147 signaling promotes the bone marrow homing of B cell malignancies and offer a compelling rationale for exploring this axis as a therapeutic target for these malignancies.

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