Gene Summary

Gene:BIK; BCL2 interacting killer
Aliases: BP4, NBK, BIP1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene shares a critical BH3 domain with other death-promoting proteins, such as BID, BAK, BAD and BAX, that is required for its pro-apoptotic activity, and for interaction with anti-apoptotic members of the BCL2 family, and viral survival-promoting proteins. Since the activity of this protein is suppressed in the presence of survival-promoting proteins, it is suggested as a likely target for anti-apoptotic proteins. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:bcl-2-interacting killer
Source:NCBIAccessed: 29 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (12)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 29 August 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.

  • DNA Methylation
  • p53 Protein
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ribonucleases
  • Chromosome 22
  • Promoter Regions
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cell Survival
  • BCL2
  • Urinary System Cancers
  • Genetic Vectors
  • BCL2 protein
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Vidarabine Phosphate
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Translocation
  • siRNA
  • Recurrence
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Tissue Distribution
  • BIK
  • Transfection
  • Cancer DNA
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Apoptosis
  • Proteins
  • fas Receptor
  • Drug Resistance
  • Messenger RNA
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: BIK (cancer-related)

Frank AC, Ebersberger S, Fink AF, et al.
Apoptotic tumor cell-derived microRNA-375 uses CD36 to alter the tumor-associated macrophage phenotype.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1135 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor-immune cell interactions shape the immune cell phenotype, with microRNAs (miRs) being crucial components of this crosstalk. How they are transferred and how they affect their target landscape, especially in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), is largely unknown. Here we report that breast cancer cells have a high constitutive expression of miR-375, which is released as a non-exosome entity during apoptosis. Deep sequencing of the miRome pointed to enhanced accumulation of miR-375 in TAMs, facilitated by the uptake of tumor-derived miR-375 via CD36. In macrophages, miR-375 directly targets TNS3 and PXN to enhance macrophage migration and infiltration into tumor spheroids and in tumors of a xenograft mouse model. In tumor cells, miR-375 regulates CCL2 expression to increase recruitment of macrophages. Our study provides evidence for miR transfer from tumor cells to TAMs and identifies miR-375 as a crucial regulator of phagocyte infiltration and the subsequent development of a tumor-promoting microenvironment.

Nastały P, Filipska M, Morrissey C, et al.
ALDH1-positive intratumoral stromal cells indicate differentiated epithelial-like phenotype and good prognosis in prostate cancer.
Transl Res. 2019; 203:49-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) characterizes tumor-initiating cells in solid tumors; however, little is known about its expression in intratumoral stromal cells. Herein, we aimed to dissect its potential dual relevance in prostate cancer (PCa). ALDH1 expression was evaluated immunohistochemically in tumor and stromal cells in primary PCa and metastases. It was correlated to clinico-pathologic parameters, patients' outcome, and selected proteins (CK5/6, CK14, CK8/18, CK19, EpCAM, Ki-67, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and vimentin). ALDH1 protein was detected in tumor and stromal cells in 16% and 67% of 348 primary PCa, respectively. Tumor cell ALDH1 expression was associated with advanced T stage (P = 0.009), higher Gleason score (P = 0.016), shorter time to biochemical recurrence (TBR P = 0.010) and CK14 expression (P = 0.023). Stromal cell ALDH1 expression correlated to lower T stage (P = 0.008) and Gleason score (P = 0.016), N0 stage (P = 0.017), and longer TBR (P = 0.017). It occurred to be an independent predictor of good prognosis in the subgroup of d'Amico high-risk patients (multivariate analysis, P = 0.050). ALDH1-positive stromal cells were found in tumors characterized frequently by CK8/18 (P = 0.033) or EpCAM expression (P < 0.001) and rarely by epithelial-mesenchymal transition defined as CK8/18(-)vimentin(+) phenotype (P = 0.003). ALDH1-positive tumor and stromal cells were detected in 33% and 41% of hormone naive lymph node metastases (n = 63), 52% and 24% of castration resistant bone metastases, as well as 89% and 28% of castration resistant visceral metastases (n = 21), respectively. We have determined that contrary to tumor cell ALDH1, the presence of stromal ALDH1 is associated with epithelial phenotype of primary PCa, improved clinical outcome, and is less frequent in PCa metastases.

Zhang L, Li X, Chao Y, et al.
KLF4, a miR-32-5p targeted gene, promotes cisplatin-induced apoptosis by upregulating BIK expression in prostate cancer.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapeutic insensitivity remains a big challenge in prostate cancer treatment. Recently, increasing evidence has indicated that KLF4 plays a key role in prostate cancer. However, the potential biological role of KLF4 in Chemotherapeutic insensitivity of prostate cancer is still unknown.
METHODS: The role of KLF4 in cisplatin-induced apoptosis was detected by western blotting and a cell counting kit (CCK8). The potential molecular mechanism of KLF4 in regulating prostate cancer chemosensitivity was investigated by RNA sequencing analysis, q-RT-PCR, western blotting and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). The expression level of KLF4 mediated by miR-32-5p was confirmed by bioinformatic analysis and luciferase assays.
RESULTS: Here, we found that KLF4 was induced by cisplatin in prostate cancer cells and that the increase in KLF4 promoted cell apoptosis. Further mechanistic studies revealed that KLF4 directly bound to the promoter of BIK, facilitating its transcription. Additionally, we also found that the gene encoding KLF4 was a direct target of miR-32-5p. The downregulation of miR-32-5p in response to cisplatin treatment promoted KLF4 expression, which resulted in a increase in the chemosensitivity of prostate cancer.
CONCLUSION: Thus, our data revealed that KLF4 is an essential regulator in cisplatin-induced apoptosis, and the miR-32-5p-KLF4-BIK signalling axis plays an important role in prostate cancer chemosensitivity.

Liu J, Zheng M, Qi Y, et al.
Lewis(y) antigen-mediated positive feedback loop induces and promotes chemotherapeutic resistance in ovarian cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(4):1774-1786 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate the association between Lewis(y) antigen and chemoresistance in ovarian cancer and to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Lewis(y) expression in chemoresistant ovarian cancer tissues and cells was detected by immunohistochemistry. α1,2‑fucosyltransferase (FUT1) expression in different ovarian cancer chemotherapy-resistant cells was analyzed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Genes differentially expressed in the chemoresistant and sensitive groups were screened using a gene chip followed by validation using RT-qPCR and western blot analysis. We found that Lewis(y) and FUT1 expression in ovarian cancer cells was significantly increased following the induction of drug resistance. The positive expression rate and intensity of Lewis(y) in ovarian cancer chemoresistant tissues were also significantly higher than those in the sensitive group. Compared with the non-resistant cell lines, the differentially expressed genes were mainly enriched in the terms related to the transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinase signaling pathway and positive regulation of cell proliferation. Interaction network analysis predicted genes participating in the regulation of apoptotic processes. The highly differential expression of Annexin A4 (ANXA4), BCL2 interacting killer (BIK), transmembrane 4 L six family member 4 (TM4SF4) and pleckstrin homology-like domain family A member 1 (PHLDA1) was validated using RT-qPCR in ovarian cancer cell lines. Finally, ANXA4 expression was increased at both the mRNA and protein level in the drug‑resistant cells, and in addition, ANXA4 contained a Lewis(y) structure. The expression of Bcl-2 and other anti-apoptotic proteins increased with the increase of Lewis(y) expression. After blocking Lewis(y) using an antibody, the expression of the involved signaling pathway and apoptosis-related proteins decreased significantly. These findings provide strong evidence that Lewis(y) is a component of the structure of the ANXA4 membrane protein. Its overexpression can abnormally activate signaling pathways and regulate the expression of a number of factors, forming a positive feedback loop to induce the chemoresistance of ovarian cancer cells, and ultimately promoting the progression of ovarian cancer.

Sindhu R, Manonmani HK
l-asparaginase induces intrinsic mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells and impedes tumor progression.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 503(4):2393-2399 [PubMed] Related Publications
l-asparagine essentially regulates growth and proliferation of cancer cells. l-asparaginase is an anti-cancer enzyme that deprives the cancer cells of l-asparagine. The purpose of this study was to explore the mechanism of a novel l-asparaginase from Pseudomonas fluorescens on l-asparagine deprivation mediated anti-proliferation, apoptosis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells and to evaluate inhibition of angiogenesis. We observed that, the presence of extracellular l-asparagine was essential for the growth of AGS cells. l-asparagine deprivation by l-asparaginase induced metabolic stress, cytotoxicity and apoptosis by G0 phase cell-cycle arrest, modulated the mitochondrial membrane integrity, accelerated caspase-3 activation and instigated DNA damage. The RT-PCR analysis of pro-apoptosis genes: bak1, bax, bbc3, bik, pmaip1, bnip3l, apaf1, casp3, casp7 and casp9 were significantly higher (P < 0.05), while anti-apoptotic markers xiap, bid, mcl1, and death receptor genes tnf and tradd were significantly down-regulated (P < 0.05). Additionally, higher protein expressions of p53, caspase-3 and TEM analysis showing modulations in mitochondria confirmed intrinsic apoptosis pathway. The enzyme impeded tumor progression through inhibition of cell migration and vascular remodelling of endothelial cells. Our findings suggests that the action of l-asparaginase alters mitochondrial membrane permeability and auxiliary activates intrinsic apoptosis. Therefore, this mechanistic approach might be considered as a targeted enzymotherapy against gastric adenocarcinoma.

Saby C, Rammal H, Magnien K, et al.
Age-related modifications of type I collagen impair DDR1-induced apoptosis in non-invasive breast carcinoma cells.
Cell Adh Migr. 2018; 12(4):335-347 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Type I collagen and DDR1 axis has been described to decrease cell proliferation and to initiate apoptosis in non-invasive breast carcinoma in three-dimensional cell culture matrices. Moreover, MT1-MMP down-regulates these effects. Here, we address the effect of type I collagen aging and MT1-MMP expression on cell proliferation suppression and induced-apoptosis in non-invasive MCF-7 and ZR-75-1 breast carcinoma. We provide evidence for a decrease in cell growth and an increase in apoptosis in the presence of adult collagen when compared to old collagen. This effect involves a differential activation of DDR1, as evidenced by a higher DDR1 phosphorylation level in adult collagen. In adult collagen, inhibition of DDR1 expression and kinase function induced an increase in cell growth to a level similar to that observed in old collagen. The impact of aging on the sensitivity of collagen to MT1-MMP has been reported recently. We used the MT1-MMP expression strategy to verify whether, by degrading adult type I collagen, it could lead to the same phenotype observed in old collagen 3D matrix. MT1-MMP overexpression abrogated the proliferation suppression and induced-apoptosis effects only in the presence of adult collagen. This suggests that differential collagen degradation by MT1-MMP induced a structural disorganization of adult collagen and inhibits DDR1 activation. This could in turn impair DDR1-induced cell growth suppression and apoptosis. Taken together, our data suggest that modifications of collagen structural organization, due to aging, contribute to the loss of the growth suppression and induced apoptosis effect of collagen in luminal breast carcinoma. MT1-MMP-dependent degradation and aging of collagen have no additive effects on these processes.

Cincin ZB, Kiran B, Baran Y, Cakmakoglu B
Hesperidin promotes programmed cell death by downregulation of nongenomic estrogen receptor signalling pathway in endometrial cancer cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 103:336-345 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is the most common malignant gynecologic tumor in women. EC is thought to be caused by increasing estrogen levels relative to progesterone in the body. Hesperidin (Hsd), a biologically active flavonoid, could be extracted from Citrus species. It has been recently shown that Hsd could exert anticarcinogenic properties in different cancer types. However, the effects of Hsd and its molecular mechanisms on EC remain unclear. In this study, the antiproliferative, apoptotic and genomic effects of Hsd in EC and its underlying mechanisms were identified. We found that Hsd significantly suppressed the proliferation of EC cells in dose and time dependent manner. Mechanistic studies showed that Hsd could contribute apoptosis by inducing externalization of phosphatidyl serine (PS), caspase-3 activity and loss of mitochondrial membrane (MMP). Furthermore, we examined that Hsd could also significantly upregulate the expression of proapoptotic Bax subgroup genes (Bax and Bik) while downregulating the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in EC cell lines. According to GO enrichment and KEGG pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes in Hsd treated EC cells, we identified that Hsd could promote cell death via downregulation of estrogen receptor I (ESRI) that was directly related to ERK/MAPK pathway. Taken together, our study first showed that Hsd could be an antiestrogenic compound that could modulate nongenomic estrogen receptor signaling through inhibition of EC cell growth. Our findings may provide us a novel growth inhibitory agent for EC treatment after verifying its molecular mechanism with in vivo studies.

Fialkova V, Vidomanova E, Balharek T, et al.
DNA methylation as mechanism of apoptotic resistance development in endometrial cancer patients.
Gen Physiol Biophys. 2017; 36(5):521-529 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation is a significant epigenetic modification which plays a key role in regulation of gene expression and influences functional changes in endometrial tissue. Aberrant DNA methylation changes result in deregulation of important apoptotic proteins during endometrial carcinogenesis and apoptosis resistance development. Evading apoptosis is still a major problem in the successful treatment of endometrial cancer patients. The aim of our study was to examine the promoter DNA methylation changes in 22 apoptosis-associated genes in endometrioid endometrial cancer patients, precancerous lesions and healthy tissue from various normal menstrual cycle phases using a unique pre-designed methylation platform. We observed as the first a significant difference in promoter DNA methylation status in genes: BCL2L11 (p < 0.001), CIDEB (p < 0.03) and GADD45A (p < 0.05) during endometrial carcinogenesis and BIK gene (p < 0.03) in different phases of normal menstrual cycle. The results of our study indicate that deregulation of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway can considerably contributes to the apoptosis resistance development and may be helpful in identifying of new potent biomarkers in endometrial cancer.

Hage-Sleiman R, Bahmad H, Kobeissy H, et al.
Genomic alterations during p53-dependent apoptosis induced by γ-irradiation of Molt-4 leukemia cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(12):e0190221 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molt-4 leukemia cells undergo p53-dependent apoptosis accompanied by accumulation of de novo ceramide after 14 hours of γ-irradiation. In order to identify the potential mediators involved in ceramide accumulation and the cell death response, differentially expressed genes were identified by Affymetrix Microarray Analysis. Molt-4-LXSN cells, expressing wild type p53, and p53-deficient Molt-4-E6 cells were irradiated and harvested at 3 and 8 hours post-irradiation. Human genome U133 plus 2.0 array containing >47,000 transcripts was used for gene expression profiling. From over 10,000 probes, 281 and 12 probes were differentially expressed in Molt-4-LXSN and Molt-4-E6 cells, respectively. Data analysis revealed 63 (upregulated) and 20 (downregulated) genes (>2 fold) in Molt-4-LXSN at 3 hours and 140 (upregulated) and 21 (downregulated) at 8 hours post-irradiation. In Molt-4-E6 cells, 5 (upregulated) genes each were found at 3 hours and 8 hours, respectively. In Molt-4-LXSN cells, a significant fraction of the genes with altered expression at 3 hours were found to be involved in apoptosis signaling pathway (BCL2L11), p53 pathway (PMAIP1, CDKN1A and FAS) and oxidative stress response (FDXR, CROT and JUN). Similarly, at 8 hours the genes with altered expression were involved in the apoptosis signaling pathway (BAX, BIK and JUN), p53 pathway (BAX, CDKN1A and FAS), oxidative stress response (FDXR and CROT) and p53 pathway feedback loops 2 (MDM2 and CDKN1A). A global molecular and biological interaction map analysis showed an association of these altered genes with apoptosis, senescence, DNA damage, oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest and caspase activation. In a targeted study, activation of apoptosis correlated with changes in gene expression of some of the above genes and revealed sequential activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways that precede ceramide accumulation and subsequent execution of apoptosis. One or more of these altered genes may be involved in p53-dependent ceramide accumulation.

Borst A, Haferkamp S, Grimm J, et al.
BIK is involved in BRAF/MEK inhibitor induced apoptosis in melanoma cell lines.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 404:70-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
In patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma specific inhibitors of BRAF

Deutsch AJA, Rinner B, Pichler M, et al.
NR4A3 Suppresses Lymphomagenesis through Induction of Proapoptotic Genes.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(9):2375-2386 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nuclear orphan receptor NR4A1 exerts an essential tumor suppressor function in aggressive lymphomas. In this study, we investigated the hypothesized contribution of the related NR4A family member NR4A3 to lymphomagenesis. In aggressive lymphoma patients, low expression of NR4A3 was associated with poor survival. Ectopic expression or pharmacological activation of NR4A3 in lymphoma cell lines led to a significantly higher proportion of apoptotic cells. In a mouse NSG xenograft model of lymphoma (stably transduced SuDHL4 cells), NR4A3 expression abrogated tumor growth, compared with vector control and uninduced cells that formed massive tumors. Transcript analysis of four different aggressive lymphoma cell lines overexpressing either NR4A3 or NR4A1 revealed that apoptosis was driven similarly by induction of BAK, Puma, BIK, BIM, BID, and Trail. Overall, our results showed that NR4A3 possesses robust tumor suppressor functions of similar impact to NR4A1 in aggressive lymphomas.

Dai L, Wang G, Pan W
Andrographolide Inhibits Proliferation and Metastasis of SGC7901 Gastric Cancer Cells.
Biomed Res Int. 2017; 2017:6242103 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To explore the mechanisms by which andrographolide inhibits gastric cancer cell proliferation and metastasis, we employed the gastric cell line SGC7901 to investigate the anticancer effects of andrographolide. The cell survival ratio, cell migration and invasion, cell cycle, apoptosis, and matrix metalloproteinase activity were assessed. Moreover, western blotting and real-time PCR were used to examine the protein expression levels and the mRNA expression levels, respectively. The survival ratio of cells decreased with an increasing concentration of andrographolide in a dose-dependent manner. Consistent results were also obtained using an apoptosis assay, as detected by flow cytometry. The cell cycle was blocked at the G2/M2 phase by andrographolide treatment, and the proportion of cells arrested at G1/M was enhanced as the dose increased. Similarly, wound healing and Transwell assays showed reduced migration and invasion of the gastric cancer cells at various concentrations of andrographolide. Andrographolide can inhibit cell proliferation, invasion, and migration, block the cell cycle, and promote apoptosis in SGC7901 cells. The mechanisms may include upregulated expression of Timp-1/2, cyclin B1, p-Cdc2, Bax, and Bik and downregulated expression of MMP-2/9 and antiapoptosis protein Bcl-2.

Adiguzel Z, Ozalp-Yaman S, Celik G, et al.
A platinum blue complex exerts its cytotoxic activity via DNA damage and induces apoptosis in cancer cells.
Chem Biol Drug Des. 2017; 90(2):210-224 [PubMed] Related Publications
Here, we describe the characteristics of a Pt-blue complex [Pt

Si X, Zang R, Zhang E, et al.
LncRNA H19 confers chemoresistance in ERα-positive breast cancer through epigenetic silencing of the pro-apoptotic gene BIK.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(49):81452-81462 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is a common malignancy in women. Acquisition of drug resistance is one of the main obstacles encountered in breast cancer therapy. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) has been demonstrated to play vital roles in both development and tumorigenesis. However, the relationship between lncRNAs and the development of chemoresistance is not well established. In the present study, the high expression of lncRNA H19 was identified as a powerful factor associated with paclitaxel (PTX) resistance in ERα-positive breast cancer cells, but not in ERα-negative breast cancer cells. LncRNA H19 attenuated cell apoptosis in response to PTX treatment by inhibiting transcription of pro-apoptotic genes BIK and NOXA. H19 was further confirmed to suppress the promoter activity of BIK by recruiting EZH2 and by trimethylating the histone H3 at lysine 27. Interestingly, our data showed that lncRNA H19 was one of the downstream target molecules of ERα. Altered ERα expression may therefore change H19 levels to modulate the apoptosis response to chemotherapy in breast cancer cells. Our data suggest that the ERα-H19-BIK signaling axis plays an important role in promoting chemoresistance.

Koppens MA, Bounova G, Cornelissen-Steijger P, et al.
Large variety in a panel of human colon cancer organoids in response to EZH2 inhibition.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(43):69816-69828 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
EZH2 inhibitors have gained great interest for their use as anti-cancer therapeutics. However, most research has focused on EZH2 mutant cancers and recently adverse effects of EZH2 inactivation have come to light. To determine whether colorectal cancer cells respond to EZH2 inhibition and to explore which factors influence the degree of response, we treated a panel of 20 organoid lines derived from human colon tumors with different concentrations of the EZH2 inhibitor GSK126. The resulting responses were associated with mutation status, gene expression and responses to other drugs. We found that the response to GSK126 treatment greatly varied between organoid lines. Response associated with the mutation status of ATRX and PAX2, and correlated with BIK expression. It also correlated well with response to Nutlin-3a which inhibits MDM2-p53 interaction thereby activating p53 signaling. Sensitivity to EZH2 ablation depended on the presence of wild type p53, as tumor organoids became resistant when p53 was mutated or knocked down. Our exploratory study provides insight into which genetic factors predict sensitivity to EZH2 inhibition. In addition, we show that the response to EZH2 inhibition requires wild type p53. We conclude that a subset of colorectal cancer patients may benefit from EZH2-targeting therapies.

van der Klift HM, Mensenkamp AR, Drost M, et al.
Comprehensive Mutation Analysis of PMS2 in a Large Cohort of Probands Suspected of Lynch Syndrome or Constitutional Mismatch Repair Deficiency Syndrome.
Hum Mutat. 2016; 37(11):1162-1179 [PubMed] Related Publications
Monoallelic PMS2 germline mutations cause 5%-15% of Lynch syndrome, a midlife cancer predisposition, whereas biallelic PMS2 mutations cause approximately 60% of constitutional mismatch repair deficiency (CMMRD), a rare childhood cancer syndrome. Recently improved DNA- and RNA-based strategies are applied to overcome problematic PMS2 mutation analysis due to the presence of pseudogenes and frequent gene conversion events. Here, we determined PMS2 mutation detection yield and mutation spectrum in a nationwide cohort of 396 probands. Furthermore, we studied concordance between tumor IHC/MSI (immunohistochemistry/microsatellite instability) profile and mutation carrier state. Overall, we found 52 different pathogenic PMS2 variants explaining 121 Lynch syndrome and nine CMMRD patients. In vitro mismatch repair assays suggested pathogenicity for three missense variants. Ninety-one PMS2 mutation carriers (70%) showed isolated loss of PMS2 in their tumors, for 31 (24%) no or inconclusive IHC was available, and eight carriers (6%) showed discordant IHC (presence of PMS2 or loss of both MLH1 and PMS2). Ten cases with isolated PMS2 loss (10%; 10/97) harbored MLH1 mutations. We confirmed that recently improved mutation analysis provides a high yield of PMS2 mutations in patients with isolated loss of PMS2 expression. Application of universal tumor prescreening methods will however miss some PMS2 germline mutation carriers.

Silberstein E, Ulitzky L, Lima LA, et al.
HCV-Mediated Apoptosis of Hepatocytes in Culture and Viral Pathogenesis.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(6):e0155708 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection is associated with progressive liver injury and subsequent development of fibrosis and cirrhosis. The death of hepatocytes results in the release of cytokines that induce inflammatory and fibrotic responses. The mechanism of liver damage is still under investigation but both apoptosis and immune-mediated processes may play roles. By observing the changes in gene expression patterns in HCV-infected cells, both markers and the causes of HCV-associated liver injury may be elucidated. HCV genotype 1b virus from persistently infected VeroE6 cells induced a strong cytopathic effect when used to infect Huh7.5 hepatoma cells. To determine if this cytopathic effect was a result of apoptosis, ultrastructural changes were observed by electron microscopy and markers of programmed cell death were surveyed. Screening of a human PCR array demonstrated a gene expression profile that contained upregulated markers of apoptosis, including tumor necrosis factor, caspases and caspase activators, Fas, Bcl2-interacting killer (BIK) and tumor suppressor protein, p53, as a result of HCV genotype 1b infection. The genes identified in this study should provide new insights into understanding viral pathogenesis in liver cells and may possibly help to identify novel antiviral and antifibrotic targets.

Liu WM, Scott KA, Dennis JL, et al.
Naltrexone at low doses upregulates a unique gene expression not seen with normal doses: Implications for its use in cancer therapy.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 49(2):793-802 [PubMed] Related Publications
It has been reported that lower doses of the opioid antagonist naltrexone are able to reduce tumour growth by interfering with cell signalling as well as by modifying the immune system. We have evaluated the gene expression profile of a cancer cell line after treatment with low-dose naltrexone (LDN), and assessed the effect that adapting treatment schedules with LDN may have on enhancing efficacy. LDN had a selective impact on genes involved with cell cycle regulation and immune modulation. Similarly, the pro-apoptotic genes BAD and BIK1 were increased only after LDN. Continuous treatment with LDN had little effect on growth in different cell lines; however, altering the treatment schedule to include a phase of culture in the absence of drug following an initial round of LDN treatment, resulted in enhanced cell killing. Furthermore, cells pre-treated with LDN were more sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of a number of common chemotherapy agents. For example, priming HCT116 with LDN before treatment with oxaliplatin significantly increased cell killing to 49±7.0 vs. 14±2.4% in cultures where priming was not used. Interestingly, priming with NTX before oxaliplatin resulted in just 32±1.8% cell killing. Our data support further the idea that LDN possesses anticancer activity, which can be improved by modifying the treatment schedule.

Guan H, Xie L, Wirth T, Ushmorov A
Repression of TCF3/E2A contributes to Hodgkin lymphomagenesis.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(24):36854-36864 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) derived from germinal or post germinal B cells, they have lost the B cell phenotype in the process of lymphomagenesis. The phenomenon can be at least partially explained by repression of B-cell-specific transcription factors including TCF3, early B-cell factor 1 (EBF1), SPI1/PU.1, and FOXO1, which are down-regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The unique phenotype has been suspected to be advantageous for survival of HRS cells. Ectopic expression of some of these transcription factors (EBF1, PU.1, FOXO1) indeed impaired survival of cHL cells. Here we show that forced expression of TCF3 causes cell death and cell cycle arrest in cHL cell lines. Mechanistically, TCF3 overexpression modulated expression of multiple pro-apoptotic genes including BIK, APAF1, FASLG, BOK, and TNFRSF10A/DR4. We conclude that TCF3 inactivation contributes not only to extinguishing of B cell phenotype but also to cHL oncogenesis.

Pandya V, Glubrecht D, Vos L, et al.
The pro-apoptotic paradox: the BH3-only protein Bcl-2 interacting killer (Bik) is prognostic for unfavorable outcomes in breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(22):33272-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths in women worldwide. Clinical biomarkers give information on disease progression and identify relevant biological pathways. A confounding factor that uncouples markers from disease outcome is the ability of tumor cells to mutate and evade clinical intervention. Therefore, we focussed on apoptotic genes that modulate tumor regression. Using gene and tissue microarray analyses, we identified an association of Bcl-2 interacting killer (Bik) with poor breast cancer prognosis. Bik prognostic ability was independent of Estrogen Receptor/Progesterone Receptor and Her2 status. Additionally, Bik was independent of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1 and Bcl-w suggesting a complex mechanism of tumor promotion identified by Bik high tumors. Bik also stimulates autophagy, which can contribute to enhanced tumor fitness. We found a significant association between the autophagy marker ATG5 and Bik. Combined high expression level of ATG5 and Bik was a stronger predictor of outcome than either alone. Thus, our study identifies Bik as a novel, independent prognostic biomarker for poor outcomes in breast cancer and suggests that Bik-mediated autophagy contributes to disease recurrence.

Wang CY, Guo ST, Wang JY, et al.
Inhibition of HSP90 by AUY922 Preferentially Kills Mutant KRAS Colon Cancer Cells by Activating Bim through ER Stress.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2016; 15(3):448-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oncogenic mutations of KRAS pose a great challenge in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Here we report that mutant KRAS colon cancer cells are nevertheless more susceptible to apoptosis induced by the HSP90 inhibitor AUY922 than those carrying wild-type KRAS. Although AUY922 inhibited HSP90 activity with comparable potency in colon cancer cells irrespective of their KRAS mutational statuses, those with mutant KRAS were markedly more sensitive to AUY922-induced apoptosis. This was associated with upregulation of the BH3-only proteins Bim, Bik, and PUMA. However, only Bim appeared essential, in that knockdown of Bim abolished, whereas knockdown of Bik or PUMA only moderately attenuated apoptosis induced by AUY922. Mechanistic investigations revealed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was responsible for AUY922-induced upregulation of Bim, which was inhibited by a chemical chaperone or overexpression of GRP78. Conversely, siRNA knockdown of GRP78 or XBP-1 enhanced AUY922-induced apoptosis. Remarkably, AUY922 inhibited the growth of mutant KRAS colon cancer xenografts through activation of Bim that was similarly associated with ER stress. Taken together, these results suggest that AUY922 is a promising drug in the treatment of mutant KRAS colon cancers, and the agents that enhance the apoptosis-inducing potential of Bim may be useful to improve the therapeutic efficacy.

Ju W, Zhang M, Wilson KM, et al.
Augmented efficacy of brentuximab vedotin combined with ruxolitinib and/or Navitoclax in a murine model of human Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(6):1624-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite relative success of therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), novel therapeutic agents are needed for patients with refractory or relapsed disease. Recently, anti-PD1 immunotherapy or treatment with the anti-CD30 toxin conjugate brentuximab vedotin (BV) have been associated with remissions; however, the median responses of complete responses (CRs) with the latter were only 6.7 mo. To obtain curative therapy, other effective agents, based on HL biology, would have to be given in combination with BV. Hodgkin's Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells secrete cytokines including IL-6 and -13, leading to constitutive activation of JAK/STAT signaling. In the present study the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib reduced phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT6 and expression of c-Myc in the HL cell line HDLM-2. These changes were enhanced when, on the basis of a matrix screen of drug combinations, ruxolitinib was combined with the Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor Navitoclax. The combination augmented expression of Bik, Puma, and Bax, and attenuated Bcl-xL expression and the phosphorylation of Bad. The use of the two-agent combination of either ruxolitinib or Navitoclax with BV or the three-agent combination strongly activated Bax and increased activities of cytochrome c and caspase-9 and -3 that, in turn, led to cleavage of poly(ADP ribose) polymerase and Mcl-1. Either ruxolitinib combined with Navitoclax or BV alone prolonged survival but did not cure HDLM-2 tumor-bearing mice, whereas BV combined with ruxolitinib and/or with Navitoclax resulted in a sustained, complete elimination of the HDLM-2 HL. These studies provide scientific support for a clinical trial to evaluate BV combined with ruxolitinib in select patients with HL.

Hopkins TG, Mura M, Al-Ashtal HA, et al.
The RNA-binding protein LARP1 is a post-transcriptional regulator of survival and tumorigenesis in ovarian cancer.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016; 44(3):1227-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are increasingly identified as post-transcriptional drivers of cancer progression. The RBP LARP1 is an mRNA stability regulator, and elevated expression of the protein in hepatocellular and lung cancers is correlated with adverse prognosis. LARP1 associates with an mRNA interactome that is enriched for oncogenic transcripts. Here we explore the role of LARP1 in epithelial ovarian cancer, a disease characterized by the rapid acquisition of resistance to chemotherapy through the induction of pro-survival signalling. We show, using ovarian cell lines and xenografts, that LARP1 is required for cancer cell survival and chemotherapy resistance. LARP1 promotes tumour formation in vivo and maintains cancer stem cell-like populations. Using transcriptomic analysis following LARP1 knockdown, cross-referenced against the LARP1 interactome, we identify BCL2 and BIK as LARP1 mRNA targets. We demonstrate that, through an interaction with the 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs) of BCL2 and BIK, LARP1 stabilizes BCL2 but destabilizes BIK with the net effect of resisting apoptosis. Together, our data indicate that by differentially regulating the stability of a selection of mRNAs, LARP1 promotes ovarian cancer progression and chemotherapy resistance.

Ruiz Esparza-Garrido R, Torres-Márquez ME, Viedma-Rodríguez R, et al.
Breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 miRNA profile expression after BIK interference: BIK involvement in autophagy.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6749-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2)-interacting killer (apoptosis inducing) (BIK) has been proposed as a tumor suppressor in diverse types of cancers. However, BIK's overexpression in breast cancer (BC) and in non-small lung cancer cells (NSCLCs), associated with a poor prognosis, suggests its participation in tumor progression. In this study, we evaluated the global expression pattern of microRNAs (miRNAs), messenger RNA (mRNA) expression changes in autophagy, and autophagic flux after BIK interference. BIK gene expression was silenced by small interfering RNA (siRNA) in BC cell MDA-MB-231, and BIK interference efficiency was tested by real-time PCR and by Western blotting. BIK expression levels decreased by 75 ± 18 % in the presence of 600 nM siRNA, resulting in the abolishment of BIK expression by 94 ± 30 %. BIK interference resulted in the overexpression of 17 miRNAs that, according to the DIANA-miRPath v3.0 database, are mainly implied in the control of cell signaling, gene expression, and autophagy. The autophagy array revealed downregulation of transcripts which participate in autophagy, and their interactome revealed a complex network, where hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate (HGS), α-synuclein (SNCA), unc-51-like autophagy activating kinase 1/2 (ULK1/2), and mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 (MAPK3) were shown to be signaling hubs. LC3-II expression-an autophagy marker-was increased by 169 ± 25 % after BIK interference, which indicates the involvement of BIK in autophagy. Altogether, our results indicate-for the first time-that BIK controls the expression of miRNAs, as well as the autophagic flux in MDA-MB-231 cells.

Wu J, Chen Z, Liu Q, et al.
Silencing of Kv1.5 Gene Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis of Osteosarcoma Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015; 16(11):26914-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kv1.5 (also known as KCNA5) is a protein encoded by the KCNA5 gene, which belongs to the voltage-gated potassium channel, shaker-related subfamily. Recently, a number of studies have suggested that Kv1.5 is overexpressed in numerous cancers and plays crucial roles in cancer development. However, until now, the expression and functions of Kv1.5 in osteosarcoma are still unclear. To characterize the potential biological functions of Kv1.5 in osteosarcoma, herein, we examined the expression levels of Kv1.5 in osteosarcoma cells and tissues using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), western blot, and immunohistochemistry assays. Four short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting Kv1.5 were designed and homologous recombination technology was used to construct pGeneSil-Kv1.5 vectors. In addition, the vectors were transfected into osteosarcoma MG63 cells and Kv1.5 mRNA level was measured by qRT-PCR and the Kv1.5 protein level was examined by western blot. We also examined the effects of Kv1.5 silencing on proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis of the osteosarcoma cells using CCK-8, colony formation, flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays. Our results showed that Kv1.5 was aberrantly expressed in osteosarcoma and that the synthesized shRNA targeting Kv1.5 reduced Kv1.5 mRNA and protein expression effectively. Silencing Kv1.5 expression in the osteosarcoma cells significantly inhibited the proliferation of osteosarcoma cells, induced cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase, and induced cell apoptosis through up-regulation of p21, p27, Bax, Bcl-XL and caspase-3 and down-regulation of cyclins A, cyclins D1, cyclins E, Bcl-2 and Bik. In summary, our results indicate that Kv1.5 silencing could suppress osteosarcoma progression through multiple signaling pathways and suggest that Kv1.5 may be a novel target for osteosarcoma therapeutics.

Maxfield KE, Taus PJ, Corcoran K, et al.
Comprehensive functional characterization of cancer-testis antigens defines obligate participation in multiple hallmarks of cancer.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:8840 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumours frequently activate genes whose expression is otherwise biased to the testis, collectively known as cancer-testis antigens (CTAs). The extent to which CTA expression represents epiphenomena or confers tumorigenic traits is unknown. In this study, to address this, we implemented a multidimensional functional genomics approach that incorporates 7 different phenotypic assays in 11 distinct disease settings. We identify 26 CTAs that are essential for tumor cell viability and/or are pathological drivers of HIF, WNT or TGFβ signalling. In particular, we discover that Foetal and Adult Testis Expressed 1 (FATE1) is a key survival factor in multiple oncogenic backgrounds. FATE1 prevents the accumulation of the stress-sensing BH3-only protein, BCL-2-Interacting Killer (BIK), thereby permitting viability in the presence of toxic stimuli. Furthermore, ZNF165 promotes TGFβ signalling by directly suppressing the expression of negative feedback regulatory pathways. This action is essential for the survival of triple negative breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Thus, CTAs make significant direct contributions to tumour biology.

Waye S, Naeem A, Choudhry MU, et al.
The p53 tumor suppressor protein protects against chemotherapeutic stress and apoptosis in human medulloblastoma cells.
Aging (Albany NY). 2015; 7(10):854-68 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Medulloblastoma (MB), a primitive neuroectodermal tumor, is the most common malignant childhood brain tumor and remains incurable in about a third of patients. Currently, survivors carry a significant burden of late treatment effects. The p53 tumor suppressor protein plays a crucial role in influencing cell survival in response to cellular stress and while the p53 pathway is considered a key determinant of anti-tumor responses in many tumors, its role in cell survival in MB is much less well defined. Herein, we report that the experimental drug VMY-1-103 acts through induction of a partial DNA damage-like response as well induction of non-survival autophagy. Surprisingly, the genetic or chemical silencing of p53 significantly enhanced the cytotoxic effects of both VMY and the DNA damaging drug, doxorubicin. The inhibition of p53 in the presence of VMY revealed increased late stage apoptosis, increased DNA fragmentation and increased expression of genes involved in apoptosis, including CAPN12 and TRPM8, p63, p73, BIK, EndoG, CIDEB, P27Kip1 and P21cip1. These data provide the groundwork for additional studies on VMY as a therapeutic drug and support further investigations into the intriguing possibility that targeting p53 function may be an effective means of enhancing clinical outcomes in MB.

Choi YC, Yoon S, Byun Y, et al.
MicroRNA library screening identifies growth-suppressive microRNAs that regulate genes involved in cell cycle progression and apoptosis.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 339(2):320-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Micro(mi)RNAs play important and varied roles in tumorigenesis; however, the full repertoire of miRNAs that affect cancer cell growth is not known. In this study, an miRNA library was screened to identify those that affect the growth of A549 tumor cells. Among 300 miRNAs, miR-28-5p, -323-5p, -510-5p, -552-3p, and -608 were the most effective in inhibiting cell growth. More specifically, overexpressing miR-28-5p, -323-5p, and -510-5p induced G1 arrest, as determined by flow cytometry, whereas that of miR-608 induced cell death in a caspase-dependent manner. Moreover, several genes involved in apoptosis and cell cycle progression were downregulated upon overexpression of each of the five miRNAs, with the functional targets of miR-552-3p and miR-608 confirmed by microarray, quantitative real-time PCR, and luciferase reporter assay. In miR-608-transfected cells, B cell lymphoma 2-like 1 (BCL2L1), D-type cyclin 1 (CCND1), CCND3, cytochrome b5 reductase 3 (CYB5R3), phosphoinositide 3-kinase regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2), specificity protein 1 (SP1), and phosphorylated Akt were all downregulated, while Bcl-2-interacting killer (BIK) was upregulated. Moreover, miR-608 was determined to have a suppressive function on tumor growth in an NCI-H460 xenograft model. These findings provide insights into the roles of five miRNAs in growth inhibition and their potential function as cancer therapeutics.

Huang J, Wang L, Jiang M, et al.
Low BIK outside-inside-out interactive inflammation immune-induced transcription-dependent apoptosis through FUT3-PMM2-SQSTM1-SFN-ZNF384.
Immunol Res. 2016; 64(2):461-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Eighteen different Pearson mutual-positive-correlation BIK-activatory molecular feedback upstream and downstream networks were constructed from 79 overlapping of 376 GRNInfer and 98 Pearson under BIK CC ≥ 0.25 in low normal adjacent tissues of Taiwan compared with high lung adenocarcinoma. Our identified BIK interactive total feedback molecular network showed FUT3 [fucosyltransferase 3 (galactoside 3(4)-L-fucosyltransferase Lewis blood group)], PMM2 (phosphomannomutase 2), SQSTM1 (sequestosome 1), SFN_2 [REX2 RNA exonuclease 2 homolog (S. cerevisiae)] and ZNF384 (zinc finger protein 384) in low normal adjacent tissues of lung adenocarcinoma. BIK interactive total feedback terms included mitochondrial envelope, endomembrane system, integral to membrane, Golgi apparatus, cytoplasm, nucleus, cytosol, intracellular signaling cascade, mitochondrion, extracellular space, inflammation, immune response, apoptosis, cell differentiation, cell cycle, regulation of cell cycle, cell proliferation, estrogen-responsive protein Efp controls cell cycle and breast tumors growth, induction or regulation of apoptosis based on integrative GO, KEGG, GenMAPP, BioCarta and disease databases in low normal adjacent tissues of lung adenocarcinoma. Therefore, we propose low BIK outside-inside-out interactive inflammation immune-induced transcription-dependent apoptosis through FUT3-PMM2-SQSTM1-SFN-ZNF384 in normal adjacent tissues of lung adenocarcinoma.

Dai HY, Chen HY, Lai WC, et al.
Targeted expression of BikDD combined with metronomic doxorubicin induces synergistic antitumor effect through Bax activation in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(27):23807-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Conventional chemotherapy is commonly used to treat advanced non-resectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but this treatment modality has not demonstrated convincing survival benefit in HCC patients. Our previous studies indicated that targeted expression of therapeutic BikDD driven by a liver cancer-specific α-fetoprotein promoter/enhancer (eAFP) in the VISA backbone (eAFP-VISA-BikDD) significantly and specifically kills HCC cells in multiple orthotopic animal models. To enhance its therapeutic efficacy, we combined eAFP-VISA-BikDD with chemotherapeutic agents and found that eAFP-VISA-BikDD plus doxorubicin (Dox) or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) demonstrated synergistic cytotoxicity in HCC cells. Specifically, the combination of eAFP-VISA-BikDD plus Dox markedly induced apoptosis via increased Bax mitochondrial translocation and cytoplasmic cytochrome c release. Compared with either agent alone, a low dose of Dox combined with eAFP-VISA-BikDD induced better antitumor effect and prolonged longer survival of mice in two orthotopic liver cancer xenograft models. Our findings provide strong preclinical support for evaluating the combined therapy of eAFP-VISA-BikDD and Dox in a clinical setting as a treatment option for HCC.

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