CALU

Gene Summary

Gene:CALU; calumenin
Location:7q32.1
Summary:The product of this gene is a calcium-binding protein localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and it is involved in such ER functions as protein folding and sorting. This protein belongs to a family of multiple EF-hand proteins (CERC) that include reticulocalbin, ERC-55, and Cab45 and the product of this gene. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:calumenin
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (11)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 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.

  • Cell Movement
  • RT-PCR
  • Lung Cancer
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • Vincristine
  • Cisplatin
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Chromosome 7
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Division
  • RNA Interference
  • Messenger RNA
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mutation
  • Western Blotting
  • Cell Line
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • DNA Methylation
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • siRNA
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Promoter Regions
  • Xenobiotics
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast Cancer
  • Down-Regulation
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Drug Resistance
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Transcription Factors
Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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

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

Latest Publications: CALU (cancer-related)

Roointan A, Sharifi-Rad M, Badrzadeh F, Sharifi-Rad J
A comparison between PLGA-PEG and NIPAAm-MAA nanocarriers in curcumin delivery for hTERT silencing in lung cancer cell line.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2016; 62(9):51-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the most common cancer among men. Since the main reason of cancer cells immortality is telomerase activity, targeting of such enzyme can be a promising approach in cancer therapy. Curcumin is a safe and efficient anticancer agent in this context, but its applications in cancer therapy are limited because of its hydrophobic structure and low solubility in water. Today, using nanocarriers for delivery of such anticancer agents is a well performed method. Here, we developed and compared the efficiency of two nanocarriers (PLGA-PEG and NIPAAm-MAA) in delivery of curcumin and also in levels of hTERT silencing in lung cancer cell line (calu-6). Scanning electron microscopy, MTT assays and real-time PCR were used for imaging, cytotoxicity testing and measuring the expression levels of hTERT after treatment of cells with different concentrations of free curcumin and curcumin loaded nanocarriers. The MTT results demonstrated that the IC50 values of curcumin loaded nanocarriers were in lower concentrations than free curcumin. The hTERT expression levels were decreased by curcumin loaded PLGA-PEG more than curcumin loaded NIPAAm-MAA and free curcumin. Our results showed that the curcumin loaded PLGA-PEG can be a useful nano based carrier for delivery of anti-cancer agents such as curcumin to fight lung cancer.

Chen P, Li J, Chen YC, et al.
The functional status of DNA repair pathways determines the sensitization effect to cisplatin in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2016; 39(6):511-522 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cisplatin can cause a variety of DNA crosslink lesions including intra-strand and inter-strand crosslinks (ICLs), which are associated with the sensitivity of cancer cells to cisplatin. Here, we aimed to assess the contribution of the Fanconi anemia (FA), homologous recombination (HR) and nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathways to cisplatin resistance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-derived cells.
METHODS: The expression of FA, HR and NER pathway-associated genes was assessed by RT-qPCR and Western blotting. siRNAs were used to knock down the expression of these genes. CCK-8 and flow cytometry assays were used to assess the viability and apoptotic rate of NSCLC-derived cells, respectively. Immunofluorescence and alkaline comet assays were used to assess the repair of ICLs.
RESULTS: We found that acquired cisplatin-resistant NSCLC-derived A549/DR cells exhibited markedly enhanced FA and HR repair pathway capacities compared to its parental A549 cells and another independent NSCLC-derived cell line, Calu-1, which possesses a moderate innate resistance to cisplatin. siRNA-mediated silencing of the FA-associated genes FANCL and RAD18 and the HR-associated genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 significantly potentiated the sensitivity of A549/DR cells to cisplatin compared to A549 and Calu-1 cells, suggesting that the acquired cisplatin resistance in A549/DR cells may be attributed to enhanced FA and HR pathway capacities responsible for ICL repair. Although we found that expression knockdown of the NER-associated genes XPA and ERCC1 sensitized the three NSCLC-derived cell lines to cisplatin, the sensitization effect was more significant in Calu-1 cells than in A549 and A549/DR cells, implying that the innate cisplatin resistance in Calu-1 cells may result from an increased NER activity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the functional status of DNA repair pathways determine the sensitivity of NSCLC cells to cisplatin. Direct targeting of the pathway that is involved in cisplatin resistance may be an effective strategy to surmount cisplatin resistance in NSCLC.

Drzewiecka H, Gałęcki B, Jarmołowska-Jurczyszyn D, et al.
Decreased expression of connective tissue growth factor in non-small cell lung cancer is associated with clinicopathological variables and can be restored by epigenetic modifiers.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(9):1927-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Recent studies indicated undisputed contribution of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in the development of many cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the functional role and regulation of CTGF expression during tumorigenesis remain elusive. Our goal was to determine CTGF transcript and protein levels in tumoral and matched control tissues from 98 NSCLC patients, to correlate the results with clinicopathological features and to investigate whether the CTGF expression can be epigenetically regulated in NSCLC.
METHODS: We used quantitative PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry to evaluate CTGF expression in lung cancerous and histopathologically unchanged tissues. We tested the impact of 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-dAzaC) and trichostatin A (TSA) on CTGF transcript and protein levels in NSCLC cells (A549, Calu-1). DNA methylation status of the CTGF regulatory region was evaluated by bisulfite sequencing. The influence of 5-dAzaC and TSA on NSCLC cells viability and proliferation was monitored by the trypan blue assay.
RESULTS: We found significantly decreased levels of CTGF mRNA and protein (both p < 0.0000001) in cancerous tissues of NSCLC patients. Down-regulation of CTGF occurred regardless of gender in all histological subtypes of NSCLC. Moreover, we showed that 5-dAzaC and TSA were able to restore CTGF mRNA and protein contents in NSCLC cells. However, no methylation within CTGF regulatory region was detected. Both compounds significantly reduced NSCLC cells proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: Decreased expression of CTGF is a common feature in NSCLC; however, it can be restored by the chromatin-modifying agents such as 5-dAzaC or TSA and consequently restrain cancer development.

Regan E, Sibley RC, Cenik BK, et al.
Identification of Gene Expression Differences between Lymphangiogenic and Non-Lymphangiogenic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cell Lines.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(3):e0150963 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is well established that lung tumors induce the formation of lymphatic vessels. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling tumor lymphangiogenesis in lung cancer have not been fully delineated. In the present study, we identify a panel of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines that induce lymphangiogenesis and use genome-wide mRNA expression to characterize the molecular mechanisms regulating tumor lymphangiogenesis. We show that Calu-1, H1993, HCC461, HCC827, and H2122 NSCLC cell lines form tumors that induce lymphangiogenesis whereas Calu-3, H1155, H1975, and H2073 NSCLC cell lines form tumors that do not induce lymphangiogenesis. By analyzing genome-wide mRNA expression data, we identify a 17-gene expression signature that distinguishes lymphangiogenic from non-lymphangiogenic NSCLC cell lines. Importantly, VEGF-C is the only lymphatic growth factor in this expression signature and is approximately 50-fold higher in the lymphangiogenic group than in the non-lymphangiogenic group. We show that forced expression of VEGF-C by H1975 cells induces lymphangiogenesis and that knockdown of VEGF-C in H1993 cells inhibits lymphangiogenesis. Additionally, we demonstrate that the triple angiokinase inhibitor, nintedanib (small molecule that blocks all FGFRs, PDGFRs, and VEGFRs), suppresses tumor lymphangiogenesis in H1993 tumors. Together, these data suggest that VEGF-C is the dominant driver of tumor lymphangiogenesis in NSCLC and reveal a specific therapy that could potentially block tumor lymphangiogenesis in NSCLC patients.

Chen K, Shi W
Autophagy regulates resistance of non-small cell lung cancer cells to paclitaxel.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10539-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Paclitaxel is a chemotherapeutic drug that is effective for treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, some NSCLCs are not sensitive to paclitaxel treatment with undetermined underlying molecular mechanisms. In this study, we found that paclitaxel dose-dependently activated Beclin-1 in 2 NSCLC cell lines, A549 and Calu-3. Inhibition of autophagy significantly increased the paclitaxel-induced NSCLC cell death in a cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. Moreover, microRNA (miR)-216b levels were significantly downregulated in paclitaxel-treated NSCLC cells. Bioinformatics study showed that miR-216b targeted the 3'-UTR of Beclin-1 mRNA to inhibit its translation, which was confirmed by luciferase reporter assay. Together, these data suggest that paclitaxel may decrease miR-216b levels in NSCLC cells, which subsequently upregulates Beclin-1 to increase NSCLC cell autophagy to antagonize paclitaxel-induced cell death. Strategies that increase miR-216b levels or inhibit cell autophagy may improve the outcome of paclitaxel treatment in NSCLC therapy.

He Z, Huang C, Lin G, Ye Y
siRNA-induced TRAF6 knockdown promotes the apoptosis and inhibits the invasion of human lung cancer SPC-A1 cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):1933-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) has been found to be involved in multiple cancers. However, the effect of small interfering RNA (siRNA)‑induced knockdown of TRAF6 on the biological behaviors of cancer cells remains unknown. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the effect of siRNA-induced knockdown of TRAF6 on the biological behaviors of human lung cancer SPC-A1 cells. The expression of TRAF6 was determined in human lung adenocarcinoma A549, non-small cell lung cancer H1650, human airway epithelial Calu-3 and human lung cancer SPC-A1 cell lines using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT‑PCR) and western blotting at the transcriptional and translational levels. TRAF6 expression was knocked down in the SPC-A1 cells using an siRNA technique, and the effects of TRAF6 knockdown on NF-κB activity, cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, invasion and migration of the SPC-A1 cells were determined using electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), cell proliferation assay, flow cytometry, Transwell invasion assay and scratch wound assay. In addition, the protein expression of CD24, CXCR4, MMP1, MMP2, MMP9, TWIST, TIMP-2 and Slug was quantified using western blotting assay. Western blotting and qRT-PCR assays showed upregulation of TRAF6 at both the translational and transcriptional levels in the Calu-3 and SPC-A1 cells, and K63-linked ubiquitination of TRAF6 and constitutive NF-κB activation were detected in the SPC-A1 cells. Knockdown of TRAF6 inhibited the migration and invasion and promoted the apoptosis of the SPC-A1 cells, but had little effect on cell proliferation and the cell cycle. In addition, siRNA-induced TRAF6 knockdown caused a marked reduction in the protein expression of CD24 and CXCR4, but had little effect on MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, Twist, TIMP-2 or Slug expression. The present study demonstrated that TRAF6 is upregulated in human lung cancer cells, and siRNA-induced TRAF6 knockdown inhibits the invasion of lung cancer cells and promotes apoptosis. It is suggested that TRAF6 may be a promising target for the therapy of lung cancer.

Ota M, Mochizuki S, Shimoda M, et al.
ADAM23 is downregulated in side population and suppresses lung metastasis of lung carcinoma cells.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(4):433-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cells contain a small population of cancer stem cells or cancer initiating cells, which can be enriched in the side population (SP) after fluorescence activated cell sorting. To examine the members of the ADAM, ADAMTS and MMP gene families related to phenotypes of the SP and the main population (MP), we screened the expression of all the members in the propagated SP and MP of A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells, and found that the relative expression ratio of ADAM23 in the MP to the SP is most highly increased, but none of them are increased in the SP. A similar result on the ADAM23 expression was obtained with another cell line, Calu-3 cells. Overexpression of ADAM23 inhibited colony formation, cell adhesion and migration, and knockdown of ADAM23 by shRNA showed the reverse effects. ADAM23-mediated suppression of colony formation, cell adhesion and migration was greatly reduced by treatment with neutralizing anti-ADAM23 antibody, anti-αvβ3 integrin antibody and/or ADAM23 disintegrin peptide. Expression of cancer stem cell-related genes, including AKRC1/2, TM4SF1 and NR0B1, was increased by knockdown of ADAM23. In addition, lung metastasis of A549 transfectants with different levels of ADAM23 expression was negatively regulated by the ADAM23 expression levels. Our data provide evidence that ADAM23 plays a role in suppression of cancer cell progression through interaction with αvβ3 integrin, and suggest that downregulation of ADAM23 in SP cells may contribute toward providing a cancer stem cell phenotype by facilitating the activity of integrin αvβ3.

Ma L, Wang R, Nan Y, et al.
Phloretin exhibits an anticancer effect and enhances the anticancer ability of cisplatin on non-small cell lung cancer cell lines by regulating expression of apoptotic pathways and matrix metalloproteinases.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(2):843-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80-85% of all lung cancer cases and the prognosis of NSCLC patients is unsatisfactory since 5-year survival rate of NSCLC is still as low as 11%. Natural compounds derived from plants with few or no side effects have been recognized as alternative or auxiliary cure for cancer patients. Phloretin is such an agent possessing various pharmacological activities; however, there is scarce information on its anticancer effects on NSCLC. It was evaluated and confirmed, in the present study, that phloretin inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in A549, Calu-1, H838 and H520 cells in a dose-dependent manner, phloretin also suppressed the invasion and migration of NSCLC cells. We further confirmed that phloretin dose-dependently suppressed the expression of Bcl-2, increased the protein expression of cleaved-caspase-3 and -9, and deregulated the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and -9 on gene and protein levels. Besides, evaluations revealed that phloretin enhanced the anticancer effects of cisplatin on inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in NSCLC cells. Moreover, phloretin facilitated the effects of cisplatin on deregulation of Bcl-2, MMP-2 and -9, and upregulation of cleaved-caspase-3 and -9. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that phloretin possessed anticancer effects and enhanced the anticancer effects of cisplatin on NSCLC cell lines by suppressing proliferation, inducing apoptosis and inhibiting invasion and migration of the cells through regulating apoptotic pathways and MMPs.

Della Corte CM, Ciaramella V, Di Mauro C, et al.
Metformin increases antitumor activity of MEK inhibitors through GLI1 downregulation in LKB1 positive human NSCLC cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):4265-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Metformin, widely used as antidiabetic drug, showed antitumoral effects expecially in combination with chemotherapy. Our group recently has demonstrated that metformin and gefitinib are synergistic in LKB1-wild-type NSCLC cells. In these models, metformin as single agent induced an activation and phosphorylation of mitogen-activated-protein-kinase (MAPK) through an increased C-RAF/B-RAF heterodimerization.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Since single agent metformin enhances proliferating signals through the RAS/RAF/MAPK pathway, and several MEK inhibitors (MEK-I) demonstrated clinical efficacy in combination with other agents in NSCLC, we tested the effects of metformin plus MEK-I (selumetinib or pimasertib) on proliferation, invasiveness, migration abilities in vitro and in vivo in LKB1 positive NSCLC models harboring KRAS wild type and mutated gene.
RESULTS: The combination of metformin with MEK-I showed a strong anti-proliferative and proapoptotic effect in Calu-3, H1299, H358 and H1975 human NSCLC cell lines, independently from the KRAS mutational status. The combination reduced the metastatic behaviour of NSCLC cells, via a downregulation of GLI1 trascritional activity, thus affecting the transition from an epithelial to a mesenchymal phenotype. Metformin and MEK-Is combinations also decreased the production and activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by reducing the NF-jB (p65) binding to MMP-2 and MMP-9 promoters.
CONCLUSIONS: Metformin potentiates the antitumor activity of MEK-Is in human LKB1-wild-type NSCLC cell lines, independently from the KRAS mutational status, through GLI1 downregulation and by reducing the NF-jB (p65)-mediated transcription of MMP-2 and MMP-9.

Garnett DJ
Caveolae as a target to quench autoinduction of the metastatic phenotype in lung cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(3):611-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Mevalonate pathway inhibitors are potentially useful chemotherapeutic agents showing growth inhibition and pro-apoptotic effects in cancer cells. The effects of statins and bisphosphonates on cancer growth are attributed to a reduction in protein isoprenylation. Post-translational modification and activation of GTPase binding Ras superfamily permit the recruitment of these signal proteins to membranes where they mediate the cancer phenotype. Here, the effects of three inhibitors of the mevalonate pathway and one specific inhibitor of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins were studied in both an ER-negative, Ras-inactive breast (MDA-MB-231) and lung adenocarcinoma (CaLu-1) cells in vitro.
METHODS: Treated cells were subject to genome-wide gene expression profiling. A gene subset was established so that the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) could be observed and compared with signalling protein shifts.
RESULTS: Within the subset, some genes normally up-regulated during EMT were asymmetrically reduced by a Δ-24 DHCR inhibitor in the lung cells. Signalling proteins associated with caveolae were down-regulated by this oxidoreductase inhibitor, while those associated with membrane rafts were up-regulated.
CONCLUSIONS: This study decouples isoprenylation effects from cholesterol events per se. The data support a hypothesis that caveolae are abolished by Δ-24 DHCR intervention and it is revealed that these microdomains are vital EMT signalling structures for lung cells but not ER- and Ras-negative breast cells. When signalling by extracellular signals is quenched by removal of the hydrophilic conduit provided by caveolae, the transcriptome responds by moving the cellular identity towards quiescence.

Suzawa K, Toyooka S, Sakaguchi M, et al.
Antitumor effect of afatinib, as a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-targeted therapy, in lung cancers harboring HER2 oncogene alterations.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(1):45-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a member of the HER family of proteins containing four receptor tyrosine kinases. It plays an important role in the pathogenesis of certain human cancers. In non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), HER2 amplification or mutations have been reported. However, little is known about the benefit of HER2-targeted therapy for NSCLCs harboring HER2 alterations. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effect of afatinib, an irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-HER2 dual inhibitor, in lung cancers harboring HER2 oncogene alterations, including novel HER2 mutations in the transmembrane domain, which we recently identified. Normal bronchial epithelial cells, BEAS-2B, ectopically overexpressing wild-type HER2 or mutants (A775insYVMA, G776VC, G776LC, P780insGSP, V659E, and G660D) showed constitutive autophosphorylation of HER2 and activation of downstream signaling. They were sensitive to afatinib, but insensitive to gefitinib. Furthermore, we examined the antitumor activity of afatinib and gefitinib in several NSCLC cell lines, and investigated the association between their genetic alterations and sensitivity to afatinib treatment. In HER2-altered NSCLC cells (H2170, Calu-3, and H1781), afatinib downregulated the phosphorylation of HER2 and EGFR as well as their downstream signaling, and induced an antiproliferative effect through G1 arrest and apoptotic cell death. In contrast, HER2- or EGFR-non-dependent NSCLC cells were insensitive to afatinib. In addition, these effects were confirmed in vivo by using a xenograft mouse model of HER2-altered lung cancer cells. Our results suggest that afatinib is a therapeutic option as a HER2-targeted therapy for NSCLC harboring HER2 amplification or mutations.

Liu L, Qiao Y, Hu C, et al.
Endostatin exerts radiosensitizing effect in non-small cell lung cancer cells by inhibiting VEGFR2 expression.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2016; 18(1):18-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To determine the effects of endostatin on vascular growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells and the mechanisms underlying its radiosensitizing effect.
METHODS: VEGFR2 mRNA levels were determined in different NSCLC cell lines using qRT-PCR. RT-PCR and Western blot assays were used to assess the expression of mRNA and proteins. The radiosensitivity of the cells was determined by colony-formation assays; and cell apoptosis and cell cycle distribution were determined by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: VEGFR2 mRNA levels differed among the five NSCLC cell lines (P < 0.01), with the highest expression in Calu-1 cells and lowest in A549 cells. Endostatin significantly inhibited the growth of Calu-1 cells (P < 0.01) (IC20 = 296.5 μg/ml), and the expression of VEGFR2 and HIF-1α (P < 0.05). Phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt), extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2), and p38 were significantly lower in endostatin-treated cells than control (P < 0.05). Endostatin enhanced the radiosensitivity of Calu-1 cells to SER = 1.38 and induced apoptosis (P < 0.01) and G2/M blockage (P < 0.01). However, endostatin had limited effects on A549 cells. Compared with Calu-1 cells, there was not significantly effects on cell radiosensitivity (SER = 1.09).
CONCLUSIONS: Endostatin induces apoptosis and enhances radiosensitivity of the VEGFR2 high-expressing cell line Calu-1, but it has a limited effect on the VEGFR2 low-expressing cell line A549.

Liu Y, Qiao Y, Hu C, et al.
VEGFR2 inhibition by RNA interference affects cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and response to radiation in Calu-1 cells.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2016; 18(2):212-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) in the proliferation, migration, invasion, and radiation-induced apoptosis of the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line Calu-1.
METHODS: VEGFR2 gene was silenced by RNA interference in Calu-1 cells, and the expression of VEGFR2 was measured by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. The cells were divided into control, VEGF-treated, VEGFR2 knockdown, and VEGFR2 knockdown and VEGF-treated groups. A CCK8 assay and Transwell assay were performed to assess cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, respectively, after VEGFR2 knockdown. Western blot assays were used to detect signaling proteins downstream of VEGFR2. Cells in the groups listed above were also subjected to radiation treatment, followed by apoptosis analysis.
RESULTS: (1) RNA interference of VEGFR2 in Calu-1 cells reduced VEGFR2 mRNA (P < 0.01) and protein levels (P < 0.01). (2) VEGFR2 knockdown inhibited proliferation (P < 0.05), migration (P < 0.05), and invasion (P < 0.05) in Calu-1 cells. (3) VEGFR2 knockdown blocked the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt, also known as PKB), extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) to various extent (P < 0.05), but did not change their total protein expression. (4) Knockdown of VEGFR2 suppressed HIF-1α protein synthesis (P < 0.05), and exacerbated apoptosis induced by radiation (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: VEGFR2 gene knockdown significantly suppressed a number of cellular activities in Calu-1 cells and increased radiation-induced cell death.

Xiao P, Sun LL, Wang J, et al.
LKB1 gene inactivation does not sensitize non-small cell lung cancer cells to mTOR inhibitors in vitro.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2015; 36(9):1107-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: Previous study has shown that endometrial cancers with LKB1 inactivation are highly responsive to mTOR inhibitors. In this study we examined the effect of LKB1 gene status on mTOR inhibitor responses in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.
METHODS: Lung cancer cell lines Calu-1, H460, H1299, H1792, and A549 were treated with the mTOR inhibitors rapamycin or everolimus (RAD001). The mTOR activity was evaluated by measuring the phosphorylation of 4EBP1 and S6K, the two primary mTOR substrates. Cells proliferation was measured by MTS or sulforhodamine B assays.
RESULTS: The basal level of mTOR activity in LKB1 mutant A549 and H460 cells was significantly higher than that in LKB1 wild-type Calu-1 and H1792 cells. However, the LKB1 mutant A549 and H460 cells were not more sensitive to the mTOR inhibitors than the LKB1 wild-type Calu-1 and H1792 cells. Moreover, knockdown of LKB1 gene in H1299 cells did not increase the sensitivity to the mTOR inhibitors. Treatment with rapamycin or RAD001 significantly increased the phosphorylation of AKT in both LKB1 wild-type and LKB1 mutant NSCLC cells, which was attenuated by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Furthermore, RAD001 combined with LY294002 markedly enhanced the growth inhibition on LKB1 wild-type H1792 cells and LKB1 mutant A549 cells.
CONCLUSION: LKB1 gene inactivation in NSCLC cells does not increase the sensitivity to the mTOR inhibitors. The negative feedback activation of AKT by mTOR inhibition may contribute to the resistance of NSCLC cells to mTOR inhibitors.

Zheng P, Wang Q, Teng J, Chen J
Calumenin and fibulin-1 on tumor metastasis: Implications for pharmacology.
Pharmacol Res. 2015; 99:11-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor metastasis is a key cause of cancer mortality, and inhibiting migration of cancer cells is one of the major directions of anti-metastatic drug development. Calumenin and fibulin-1 are two extracellular proteins that synergistically inhibit cell migration and tumor metastasis, and could potentially be served as targets for pharmacological research of anti-metastatic drugs. This review briefly introduces the multi-function of these two proteins, and discusses the mechanism of how they regulate cell migration and tumor metastasis.

Rudisch A, Dewhurst MR, Horga LG, et al.
High EMT Signature Score of Invasive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Cells Correlates with NFκB Driven Colony-Stimulating Factor 2 (CSF2/GM-CSF) Secretion by Neighboring Stromal Fibroblasts.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0124283 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We established co-cultures of invasive or non-invasive NSCLC cell lines and various types of fibroblasts (FBs) to more precisely characterize the molecular mechanism of tumor-stroma crosstalk in lung cancer. The HGF-MET-ERK1/2-CREB-axis was shown to contribute to the onset of the invasive phenotype of Calu-1 with HGF being secreted by FBs. Differential expression analysis of the respective mono- and co-cultures revealed an upregulation of NFκB-related genes exclusively in co-cultures with Calu-1. Cytokine Array- and ELISA-based characterization of the "cytokine fingerprints" identified CSF2 (GM-CSF), CXCL1, CXCL6, VEGF, IL6, RANTES and IL8 as being specifically upregulated in various co-cultures. Whilst CXCL6 exhibited a strictly FB-type-specific induction profile regardless of the invasiveness of the tumor cell line, CSF2 was only induced in co-cultures of invasive cell lines regardless of the partnered FB type. These cultures revealed a clear link between the induction of CSF2 and the EMT signature of the cancer cell line. The canonical NFκB signaling in FBs, but not in tumor cells, was shown to be responsible for the induced and constitutive CSF2 expression. In addition to CSF2, cytokine IL6, IL8 and IL1B, and chemokine CXCL1 and CXCL6 transcripts were also shown to be increased in co-cultured FBs. In contrast, their induction was not strictly dependent on the invasiveness of the co-cultured tumor cell. In a multi-reporter assay, additional signaling pathways (AP-1, HIF1-α, KLF4, SP-1 and ELK-1) were found to be induced in FBs co-cultured with Calu-1. Most importantly, no difference was observed in the level of inducibility of these six signaling pathways with regard to the type of FBs used. Finally, upon tumor fibroblast interaction the massive induction of chemokines such as CXCL1 and CXCL6 in FBs might be responsible for increased recruitment of a monocytic cell line (THP-1) in a transwell assay.

Yuan Z, Guo W, Yang J, et al.
PNAS-4, an Early DNA Damage Response Gene, Induces S Phase Arrest and Apoptosis by Activating Checkpoint Kinases in Lung Cancer Cells.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(24):14927-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PNAS-4, a novel pro-apoptotic gene, was activated during the early response to DNA damage. Our previous study has shown that PNAS-4 induces S phase arrest and apoptosis when overexpressed in A549 lung cancer cells. However, the underlying action mechanism remains far from clear. In this work, we found that PNAS-4 expression in lung tumor tissues is significantly lower than that in adjacent lung tissues; its expression is significantly increased in A549 cells after exposure to cisplatin, methyl methane sulfonate, and mitomycin; and its overexpression induces S phase arrest and apoptosis in A549 (p53 WT), NCI-H460 (p53 WT), H526 (p53 mutation), and Calu-1 (p53(-/-)) lung cancer cells, leading to proliferation inhibition irrespective of their p53 status. The S phase arrest is associated with up-regulation of p21(Waf1/Cip1) and inhibition of the Cdc25A-CDK2-cyclin E/A pathway. Up-regulation of p21(Waf1/Cip1) is p53-independent and correlates with activation of ERK. We further showed that the intra-S phase checkpoint, which occurs via DNA-dependent protein kinase-mediated activation of Chk1 and Chk2, is involved in the S phase arrest and apoptosis. Gene silencing of Chk1/2 rescues, whereas that of ATM or ATR does not affect, S phase arrest and apoptosis. Furthermore, human PNAS-4 induces DNA breaks in comet assays and γ-H2AX staining. Intriguingly, caspase-dependent cleavage of Chk1 has an additional role in enhancing apoptosis. Taken together, our findings suggest a novel mechanism by which elevated PNAS-4 first causes DNA-dependent protein kinase-mediated Chk1/2 activation and then results in inhibition of the Cdc25A-CDK2-cyclin E/A pathway, ultimately causing S phase arrest and apoptosis in lung cancer cells.

Xu Z, Zuo Y, Wang J, et al.
Overexpression of the regulator of G-protein signaling 5 reduces the survival rate and enhances the radiation response of human lung cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(6):2899-907 [PubMed] Related Publications
Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) belongs to the R4 subfamily of RGS proteins, a family of GTPase activating proteins, which is dynamically regulated in various biological processes including blood pressure regulation, smooth muscle cell pathology, fat metabolism and tumor angiogenesis. Low-expression of RGS5 was reported to be associated with tumor progression in lung cancer. In the present study, we examined the potential roles of RGS5 in human lung cancer cells by overexpressing RGS5 in the cancer cells and further explored the underlying molecular mechanisms. The RGS5 gene was cloned and transfected into the human lung cancer cell lines A549 and Calu-3. The cells were tested for apoptosis with flow cytometry, for viability with MTT, for mobility and adhesion capacity. The radiosensitization effect of RGS5 was measured by a colony formation assay. The mechanisms of RGS5 functioning was also investigated by detection of protein expression with western blot analysis, including PARP, caspase 3 and 9, bax, bcl2, Rock1, Rock2, CDC42, phospho-p53 (Serine 15) and p53. The present study demonstrated that RGS5 overexpression remarkably induced apoptosis in human lung cancer cells, which was suggested to be through mitochondrial mechanisms. Overexpression of RGS5 resulted in significantly lower adhesion and migration abilities of the lung cancer cells (P<0.01). Furthermore, overexpression of RGS5 sensitized the lung cancer cells to radiation. In conclusion, the present study showed that RGS5 played an inhibitory role in human lung cancer cells through induction of apoptosis. Furthermore, RGS5 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of radiation in the human lung cancer cells. Our results indicated that RGS5 may be a potential target for cancer therapy.

Zhou Y, Zhang Y, Zou H, et al.
The multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor vandetanib plays a bifunctional role in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:8629 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vandetanib, a multikinase inhibitor, is a target of drug treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, phase II and III clinical trials have not conclusively demonstrated the curative effects of vandetanib for NSCLC, and the reasons for this are unknown. In the present study, we use the NSCLC cell line Calu-6 as a model to determine the cellular and biological effects of vandetanib. Our results demonstrate that vandetanib impairs Calu-6 cell migration and invasion. We find that vandetanib can directly inhibit RET activity, which influences the Rho-JNK pathway. Overexpression of a constitutively active Rho GTPase antagonizes the inhibitory effects of vandetanib on Calu-6 cells invasion and JNK pathway activation. In addition, vandetanib induces autophagy by increasing the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Calu-6 cells, and blockade of autophagy or ROS effectively enhances the cell death effect of vandetanib. In this study, we find vandetanib is of a double effect in some NSCLC cells, presenting new possibilities for the pharmacological treatment of NSCLC and introducing a novel role for vandetanib in treatment options.

Li D, Song XY, Yue QX, et al.
Proteomic and bioinformatic analyses of possible target-related proteins of gambogic acid in human breast carcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells.
Chin J Nat Med. 2015; 13(1):41-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gambogic acid (GA) is an anticancer agent in phase ‖b clinical trial in China but its mechanism of action has not been fully clarified. The present study was designed to search the possible target-related proteins of GA in cancer cells using proteomic method and establish possible network using bioinformatic analysis. Cytotoxicity and anti-migration effects of GA in MDA-MB-231 cells were checked using MTT assay, flow cytometry, wound migration assay, and chamber migration assay. Possible target-related proteins of GA at early (3 h) and late stage (24 h) of treatment were searched using a proteomic technology, two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). The possible network of GA was established using bioinformatic analysis. The intracellular expression levels of vimentin, keratin 18, and calumenin were determined using Western blotting. GA inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase and apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Additionally, GA exhibited anti-migration effects at non-toxic doses. In 2-DE analysis, totally 23 possible GA targeted proteins were found, including those with functions in cytoskeleton and transport, regulation of redox state, metabolism, ubiquitin-proteasome system, transcription and translation, protein transport and modification, and cytokine. Network analysis of these proteins suggested that cytoskeleton-related proteins might play important roles in the effects of GA. Results of Western blotting confirmed the cleavage of vimentin, increase in keratin 18, and decrease in calumenin levels in GA-treated cells. In summary, GA is a multi-target compound and its anti-cancer effects may be based on several target-related proteins such as cytoskeleton-related proteins.

Abbas R, McColl KS, Kresak A, et al.
PIAS3 expression in squamous cell lung cancer is low and predicts overall survival.
Cancer Med. 2015; 4(3):325-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Unlike lung adenocarcinoma, little progress has been made in the treatment of squamous cell lung carcinoma (SCC). The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has recently reported that receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathways are altered in 26% of SCC tumors, validating the importance of downstream Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription 3 (STAT3) activity as a prime therapeutic target in this cancer. In the present report we examine the status of an endogenous inhibitor of STAT3, called Protein Inhibitor of Activated STAT3 (PIAS3), in SCC and its potential role in this disease. We examine PIAS3 expression in SCC tumors and cell lines by immunohistochemistry of a tissue microarray and western blotting. PIAS3 mRNA expression and survival data are analyzed in the TCGA data set. SCC cell lines are treated with curcumin to regulate PIAS3 expression and cell growth. PIAS3 protein expression is decreased in a majority of lung SCC tumors and cell lines. Analysis of PIAS3 mRNA transcript levels demonstrated that low PIAS3 levels predicted poor survival; Cox regression analysis revealed a hazard ratio of 0.57 (95% CI: 0.37-0.87), indicating a decrease in the risk of death by 43% for every unit elevation in PIAS3 gene expression. Curcumin treatment increased endogenous PIAS3 expression and decreased cell growth and viability in Calu-1 cells, a model of SCC. Our results implicate PIAS3 loss in the pathology of lung SCC and raise the therapeutic possibility of upregulating PIAS3 expression as a single target that can suppress signaling from the multiple receptor tyrosine kinase receptors found to be amplified in SCC.

Drzewiecka H, Gałęcki B, Jarmołowska-Jurczyszyn D, et al.
Increased expression of 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 in non-small cell lung cancer.
Lung Cancer. 2015; 87(2):107-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Recent studies indicated that estrogens may influence the development of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD17B1) catalyzes the reduction of estrone (E1) to the highly potent E2. Although the significance of aromatase in an intratumoral E2 production in NSCLC is well established, the role of HSD17B1 remains largely unknown. Therefore, we investigated the expression of HSD17B1 in lung cancerous and corresponding histopathologically unchanged tissues from NSCLC patients and the association between HSD17B1 expression and clinicopathological features. Than, we examined the biological significance of HSD17B1 in NSCLC cells in vitro. We tested the impact of 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-dAzaC) on HSD17B1 expression and activity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used Real Time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), Western blotting and immunohistochemistry to evaluate HSD17B1 expression in tissues obtained from 48 patients with NSCLC. The methylation status of the promoter region of HSD17B1 in A549 and Calu-1 cells was evaluated by bisulfite sequencing. We investigated the effect of 5-dAzaC on HSD17B1 transcript levels (by RT-qPCR) and on HSD17B1 enzyme activity by measuring the conversion of E1 to E2. The xCELLigence System was used for monitoring of cell proliferation.
RESULTS: We found a substantial increase of HSD17B1 mRNA and protein amount in NSCLC tissues compared with histopathologically unchanged tissues in the group of male patients. An overexpression of HSD17B1 was associated with squamous cell carcinoma and with lung cancer stage 3A. We showed that 5-dAzaC induces DNA demethylation of HSD17B1 promoter, leading to increased HSD17B1 mRNA levels and protein activity in NSCLC cells. It resulted in enhanced E2 production in both cell lines and supported the proliferation of Calu-1 cells but not A549 cells.
CONCLUSION: Increased expression of HSD17B1 in NSCLC may contribute to an elevated intratissue level of E2 and consequently may support the development and spread of cancer.

Badrzadeh F, Akbarzadeh A, Zarghami N, et al.
Comparison between effects of free curcumin and curcumin loaded NIPAAm-MAA nanoparticles on telomerase and PinX1 gene expression in lung cancer cells.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(20):8931-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Herbal compounds such as curcumin which decrease telomerase and gene expression have been considered as beneficial tools for lung cancer treatment. In this article, we compared the effects of pure curcumin and curcumin-loaded NIPAAm-MAA nanoparticles on telomerase and PinX1 gene expression in a lung cancer cell line.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A tetrazolium-based assay was used for determination of cytotoxic effects of curcumin on the Calu-6 lung cancer cell line and telomerase and pinX1 gene expression was measured with real-time PCR.
RESULTS: MTT assay showed that Curcumin-loaded NIPAAm-MAA inhibited the growth of the Calu-6 lung cancer cell line in a time and dose-dependent manner. Our q-PCR results showed that the expression of telomerase gene was effectively reduced as the concentration of curcumin-loaded NIPAAm-MAA increased while expression of the PinX1 gene became elevated.
CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that curcumin- loaded- NIPAAm-MAA exerted cytotoxic effects on the Calu-6 cell line through down-regulation of telomerase and stimulation of pinX1 gene expression. NIPPAm-MAA could be good carrier for such kinds of hydrophobic agent.

Huang HT, Chen SM, Pan LB, et al.
Loss of function of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling genes leads to genome instability of human lung cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(1):283-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes are frequently mutated in a variety of human cancers. We investigated the mutation incidence and the role of mSWI/SNF (BAF) complexes in human lung cancer. In the present study, we analyzed somatic mutations of BAF complexes and other driver mutated genes of lung carcinoma deposited in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) database. BAF complexes were mutated in 282 of 803 (35.12%) lung carcinoma samples analyzed, ranking second to TP53. Significantly, BAF-mutated samples exhibited more genomic mutations than BAF wild-type ones. Moreover, a significant positive correlation existed between the BAF mutations and overall genomic mutations in these lung carcinoma samples (P<0.001, Pearson's correlation analysis). Specifically, the mutant-typing of 6 BAF genes, SMARCA4, ARID2, ARID1B, BCL11A, BCL11B and BRD9 was associated with more overall mutations in the lung carcinoma samples. A mutation reporter system was developed by means of the establishment of stable cell sublines with slippage-luciferase transcript in a lung adenocarcinoma cell line, Calu-3. SMARCA4, the most frequently mutated BAF gene in lung cancer, was stably knocked down by pSUPER constructs carrying short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Mutation ratios determined from the mutation reporters of Calu-3 cells were significantly increased upon stable SMARCA4 knockdown. We demonstrated that genetic mutations of BAF complexes lead to genome instability of lung carcinoma. Therefore, BAF complexes play an important role in maintaining genome stability in human lung cancer.

Seol HS, Akiyama Y, Shimada S, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-373 to epithelial-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer through IRAK2 and LAMP1 axes.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 353(2):232-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in carcinogenesis as tumor suppressors or oncogenes has been widely reported. Epigenetic change is one of the mechanisms of transcriptional silencing of miRNAs in cancer. To identify lung cancer-related miRNAs that are mediated by histone modification, we conducted microarray analysis in the Calu-6 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line after treatment with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. The expression level of miR-373 was enhanced by SAHA treatment in this cell line by microarray and the following quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Treatment with another HDAC inhibitor, Trichostatin A, restored the levels of miR-373 expression in A549 and Calu-6 cells, while demethylation drug treatment did not. Importantly, miR-373 was found to be down-regulated in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. Transfection of miR-373 into A549 and Calu-6 cells attenuated cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and reduced the expression of mesenchymal markers. Additional microarray analysis of miR-373-transfected cells and computational predictions identified IRAK2 and LAMP1 as targets of miR-373. Knockdown of these two genes showed similar biological effects to those of miR-373 overexpression. In clinical samples, overexpression of IRAK2 correlated with decreased disease-free survival of patients with non-adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, we found that miR-373 is silenced by histone modification in lung cancer cells and identified its function as a tumor suppressor and negative regulator of the mesenchymal phenotype through downstream IRAK2 and LAMP1 target genes.

Moravcikova E, Krepela E, Prochazka J, et al.
Differential sensitivity to apoptosome apparatus activation in non-small cell lung carcinoma and the lung.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(5):1443-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The intrinsic apoptosis pathway represents an important mechanism of stress-induced death of cancer cells. To gain insight into the functional status of the apoptosome apparatus in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), we studied its sensitivity to activation, the assembly of apoptosome complexes and stability of their precursors, and the importance of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) in the regulation of apoptosome activity, using cell-free cytosols from NSCLC cell lines and NSCLC tumours and lungs from 62 surgically treated patients. Treatment of cytosol samples with cytochrome c (cyt-c) and dATP induced proteolytic processing of procaspase-9 to caspase-9, which was followed by procaspase-3 processing to caspase-3, and by generation of caspase-3-like activity in 5 of 7 studied NSCLC cell lines. Further analysis demonstrated formation of high-Mr Apaf-1 complexes associated with cleaved caspase-9 in the (cyt-c + dATP)-responsive COLO-699 and CALU-1 cells. By contrast, in A549 cells, Apaf-1 and procaspase-9 co-eluted in the high-Mr fractions, indicating formation of an apoptosome complex unable of procaspase-9 processing. Thermal pre-treatment of cell-free cytosols in the absence of exogenous cyt-c and dATP lead to formation of Apaf-1 aggregates, unable to recruit and activate procaspase-9 in the presence of cyt-c and dATP, and to generate caspase‑3‑like activity. Further studies showed that the treatment with cyt-c and dATP induced a substantially higher increase of caspase-3-like activity in cytosol samples from NSCLC tumours compared to matched lungs. Tumour histology, grade and stage had no significant impact on the endogenous and the (cyt-c + dATP)-induced caspase-3-like activity. Upon addition into the cytosol, the XIAP-neutralizing peptides AVPIAQK and ATPFQEG only moderately heightened the (cyt-c + dATP)-induced caspase‑3‑like activity in some NSCLC tumours. Taken together, the present study provides evidence that the apoptosome apparatus is functional in the majority of NSCLCs and that its sensitivity to the (cyt-c + dATP)-mediated activation is often enhanced in NSCLCs compared to lungs. They also indicate that XIAP does not frequently and effectively suppress the activity of apoptosome apparatus in NSCLCs.

Geletu M, Guy S, Raptis L
Effects of SRC and STAT3 upon gap junctional, intercellular communication in lung cancer lines.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(10):4401-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have previously demonstrated a positive correlation between SRC and its effector signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), and a reverse relation between SRC and gap junctional communication (GJIC) in seven non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lines. Since a number of oncogenes besides SRC can affect GJIC, here we examined the actual contribution of the SRC/STAT3 axis to GJIC suppression.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: SRC and STAT3 activity levels were examined in SK-LuCi-6, LC-T, QU-DB, SW-1573, BH-E, Calu-6, FR-E, SK-MES, H1299, BEN, WT-E, A549 and SHP-77 cells by western blott analysis, probing with antibodies specific for SRC-ptyr418 or STAT3-ptyr705. GJIC was examined by in situ electroporation.
RESULTS: Confluence of all cultured NSCLC cells tested induces a dramatic increase in STAT3 activity, which is independent of SRC action. In addition, the LC-T line had high STAT3-705, despite the fact that SRC-418 expression was low, indicating that other, SRC-independent factors must be responsible for STAT3 activation and GJIC suppression in these cells; however, BH-E and SHP-77 cells with low GJIC, both SRC-418 and STAT3-705 expression were low, indicating that GJIC suppression can be independent of the SRC/STAT3 axis altogether. Our results also show that STAT3 inhibition does not restore GJIC in any of the examined lines, while in the non-transformed rat F111 fibroblast line which has extensive GJIC, STAT3 inhibition actually eliminated junctional permeability.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate a further level of complexity in the relationship between SRC, STAT3 and GJIC in NSCLC than what has been previously demonstrated. In addition, STAT3 is actually required for, rather than suppressing GJIC.

Torres S, Bartolomé RA, Mendes M, et al.
Proteome profiling of cancer-associated fibroblasts identifies novel proinflammatory signatures and prognostic markers for colorectal cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(21):6006-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) are essential components of the stroma that play a critical role in cancer progression. This study aimed to identify novel CAFs markers that might contribute to the invasion and the prognosis of colorectal cancer.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate mouse model of sporadic colon cancer represents an adequate source for the isolation of CAFs and normal fibroblasts. By using the explants technique, we purified CAFs and normal fibroblasts from colon tissues. Whole-cell extracts and supernatants were subjected to in-depth quantitative proteomic analysis by tandem mass spectrometry. Further validations of upregulated proteins in CAFs were carried out by chemokine microarray and immunohistochemical analyses of mouse and human tissues.
RESULTS: Using a fold-change of 1.4 or more, we found 132 and 125 differentially expressed proteins in whole-cell extracts and supernatants, respectively. We found CAFs-associated proinflammatory and desmoplastic signatures. The proinflammatory signature was composed of several cytokines. Among them, CCL2 and CCL8 caused an increase in migration and invasion of colorectal cancer KM12 cells. The desmoplastic signature was composed of 30 secreted proteins. In mouse and human samples, expression of LTBP2, CDH11, OLFML3, and, particularly, FSTL1 was significantly increased in the tumoral stroma, without significant expression in the cancer epithelial cells. The combination of CALU and CDH11 stromal expression showed a significant association with disease-free survival and poor prognosis.
CONCLUSION: We have identified LTBP2, CDH11, OLFML3, and FSTL1 as selective biomarkers of cancer stroma, and CALU and CDH11 as candidate stromal biomarkers of prognostic significance in colon cancer.

Xu ZH, Hang JB, Hu JA, Gao BL
RAF1-MEK1-ERK/AKT axis may confer NSCLC cell lines resistance to erlotinib.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(8):1493-504 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The fact that advanced NSCLC patients with wild type (wt) EGFR can benefit from erlotinib therapy makes it critical to find out biomarkers for effective selection of patients and improving the therapy effects. In present study, 3 NSCLC cell lines (U1752, Calu-6 and NCI-H292) with wt EGFR and different sensitivities to erlotinib were used for microarray analysis. The differential basal gene expression between 2 NSCLC cell lines was analyzed, about 353 genes were expression-altered with higher than 2-fold changes between Calu-6 and U1752. And Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) showed that these genes were mainly enriched in regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathway, Wnt-β catenin signaling, Tec kinase signaling and some types of cancer-related signaling. More interestingly, RAF1 (c-raf), MAP2K1 (MEK1), SNAI and downstream signaling molecules ERK and AKT were predicted to be activated in erlotinib-resistant cell line by IPA. Subsequent immunoblotting experiments showed that the phosphorylation of ERK and AKT were exactly increased stepwise from erlotinib sensitive cell line to erlotinib resistant cell lines. Collectively, activation of RAF1-MEK1-ERK/AKT axis may determine the resistance of NSCLC cell lines bearing wt EGFR to erlotinib. Our work provides potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for NSCLC patients harboring wt EGFR.

Yang B, Liu H, Shi W, et al.
Blocking transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway augments antitumor effect of adoptive NK-92 cell therapy.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2013; 17(2):198-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
Natural killer (NK) cells hold great potential for improving the immunotherapy of cancer. However, existing data indicate that tumor cells can effectively escape NK cell-mediated apoptosis through immunosuppressive effect in the tumor microenvironment. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a potent immunosuppressant. The present study was intended to develop a treatment strategy through adoptive transfer of TGF-β insensitive NK-92 cells. To block TGF-β signaling pathway, NK-92 cells were genetically modified with dominant negative TGF-β type II receptor (DNTβRII) by optimizing electroporation using the Amaxa Nucleofector system. These genetically modified NK-92 cells were insensitive to TGF-β and able to resist the suppressive effect of TGF-β on Calu-6 lung cancer cells in vitro. To determine the antitumor activity in vivo, recipient mice were challenged with a single subcutaneous injection of Calu-6 cells. Adoptive transfer of TGF-β insensitive NK-92 cells decreased tumor proliferation, reduced lung metastasis, produced more IFN-γ, and increased the survival rate of nude mice bearing established Calu-6 cells. Hence, we have demonstrated that blocking transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway in NK cells provides a novel therapeutic strategy and warrants further investigation.

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