Gene Summary

Gene:CASP1; caspase 1
Aliases: ICE, P45, IL1BC
Summary:This gene encodes a protein which is a member of the cysteine-aspartic acid protease (caspase) family. Sequential activation of caspases plays a central role in the execution-phase of cell apoptosis. Caspases exist as inactive proenzymes which undergo proteolytic processing at conserved aspartic residues to produce 2 subunits, large and small, that dimerize to form the active enzyme. This gene was identified by its ability to proteolytically cleave and activate the inactive precursor of interleukin-1, a cytokine involved in the processes such as inflammation, septic shock, and wound healing. This gene has been shown to induce cell apoptosis and may function in various developmental stages. Studies of a similar gene in mouse suggest a role in the pathogenesis of Huntington disease. Alternative splicing results in transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2012]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 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.

Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: CASP1 (cancer-related)

Feng J, Yan PF, Zhao HY, et al.
Inhibitor of Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase Sensitizes Glioblastoma Cells to Temozolomide via Activating ROS/JNK Signaling Pathway.
Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016:1450843 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Overcoming temozolomide (TMZ) resistance is a great challenge in glioblastoma (GBM) treatment. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and has a crucial role in cancer cell metabolism. In this study, we investigated whether FK866 and CHS828, two specific NAMPT inhibitors, could sensitize GBM cells to TMZ. Low doses of FK866 and CHS828 (5 nM and 10 nM, resp.) alone did not significantly decrease cell viability in U251-MG and T98 GBM cells. However, they significantly increased the antitumor action of TMZ in these cells. In U251-MG cells, administration of NAMPT inhibitors increased the TMZ (100 μM)-induced apoptosis and LDH release from GBM cells. NAMPT inhibitors remarkably enhanced the activities of caspase-1, caspase-3, and caspase-9. Moreover, NAMPT inhibitors increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and superoxide anion level but reduced the SOD activity and total antioxidative capacity in GBM cells. Treatment of NAMPT inhibitors increased phosphorylation of c-Jun and JNK. Administration of JNK inhibitor SP600125 or ROS scavenger tocopherol with TMZ and NAMPT inhibitors substantially attenuated the sensitization of NAMPT inhibitor on TMZ antitumor action. Our data indicate a potential value of NAMPT inhibitors in combined use with TMZ for GBM treatment.

Sonohara F, Inokawa Y, Kanda M, et al.
Association of Inflammasome Components in Background Liver with Poor Prognosis After Curatively-resected Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(1):293-300 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes that evoke key inflammatory cascades. The present study evaluated the influence of inflammasome component expression in non-tumorous tissue on postsurgical hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expressions of candidate genes were investigated using real-time quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in resected HCC cases. In order to identify potential prognostic factors, statistical analyses were performed for each gene.
RESULTS: The expression of nod-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3), nod-like receptor family, CARD domain containing 4 (NLRC4), and absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) was significantly higher in corresponding normal tissue (CN) compared to those in HCC. High expression of NLRP3, NLRC4, and caspase 1 (CASP1) in CN was significantly correlated with worse overall survival. Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed that NLRP3 expression in CN greater than the median was an independent prognostic factor for poorer overall survival.
CONCLUSION: High expression of NLRP3, NLRC4, and CASP1 in background non-tumorous liver is significantly correlated with poor prognosis of patients after resection of HCC.

Zhang B, Xu J, Li C, et al.
MBD1 is an Epigenetic Regulator of KEAP1 in Pancreatic Cancer.
Curr Mol Med. 2016; 16(4):404-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MBD1 (Methyl-CpG Binding Domain Protein 1) is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer. Nrf2 (NF-E2 p45-related factor 2) and the 'antioxidant response element' (ARE)-driven genes that NRF2 controls are frequently upregulated in pancreatic cancer and correlate with poor survival. Keap1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1) is a dominant negative regulator of NRF2 and is reported to be epigenetically regulated by promoter methylation. However, the role of MBD1 with antioxidant response and its association with KEAP1 has never been reported before and remains unclear.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the role of MBD1 in antioxidant response and its regulatory function in KEAP1 transcription in pancreatic cancer cells.
METHOD: MBD1 was silenced to examine its role in antioxidant response. To explore the underlying mechanism, transcriptional and protein levels of KEAP1 was examined. The correlation between MBD1 and KEAP1 was confirmed in pancreatic cancer tissue samples by using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Dualluciferase reporter assay and Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) were used to elucidate he mechanism of MBD1 in KEAP1 transcriptional control. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation (CoIP) assay was performed to uncover the regulatory role of MBD1 in KEAP1 transcription through its association with c-myc.
RESULTS: MBD1 silencing decreased antioxidant response and the related ARE target genes through epigenetic regulation of KEAP1. MBD1 negatively correlated with KEAP1 in pancreatic cancer tissue samples. Moreover, c-myc was a MBD1 interaction partner in KEAP1 epigenetic regulation.
CONCLUSION: MBD1 can induce antioxidant response in pancreatic cancer through down-regulation of KEAP1. c-myc plays a key role in MBD1 mediated epigenetic silencing of KEAP1.

Wang H, Wang Y, Du Q, et al.
Inflammasome-independent NLRP3 is required for epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colon cancer cells.
Exp Cell Res. 2016; 342(2):184-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammasome NLRP3 plays a crucial role in the process of colitis and colitis--associated colon cancer. Even though much is known regarding the NLRP3 inflammasome that regulates pro-inflammatory cytokine release in innate immune cells, the role of NLRP3 in non-immune cells is still unclear. In this study, we showed that NLRP3 was highly expressed in mesenchymal-like colon cancer cells (SW620), and was upregulated by tumor necrosis factors-α (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) respectively, during EMT in colon cancer epithelial cells HCT116 and HT29. Knockdown of NLRP3 retained epithelial spindle-like morphology of HCT116 and HT29 cells and reversed the mesenchymal characteristic of SW620 cells, indicated by the decreased expression of vimentin and MMP9 and increased expression of E-cadherin. In addition, knockdown of NLRP3 in colorectal carcinoma cells displayed diminished cell migration and invasion. Interestingly, during the EMT process induced by TNF-α or TGF-β1, the cleaved caspase-1 and ASC speck were not detected, indicating that NLRP3 functions in an inflammasome-independent way. Further studies demonstrated that NLRP3 protein expression was regulated by NF-κB signaling in TNF-α or TGF-β1-induced EMT, as verified by the NF-κB inhibitor Bay 11-7082. Moreover, NLRP3 knockdown reduced the expression of Snail1, indicating that NLRP3 may promote EMT through regulating Snail1. In summary, our results showed that the NLRP3 expression, not the inflammasome activation, was required for EMT in colorectal cancer cells.

Abend M, Badie C, Quintens R, et al.
Examining Radiation-Induced In Vivo and In Vitro Gene Expression Changes of the Peripheral Blood in Different Laboratories for Biodosimetry Purposes: First RENEB Gene Expression Study.
Radiat Res. 2016; 185(2):109-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
The risk of a large-scale event leading to acute radiation exposure necessitates the development of high-throughput methods for providing rapid individual dose estimates. Our work addresses three goals, which align with the directive of the European Union's Realizing the European Network of Biodosimetry project (EU-RENB): 1. To examine the suitability of different gene expression platforms for biodosimetry purposes; 2. To perform this examination using blood samples collected from prostate cancer patients (in vivo) and from healthy donors (in vitro); and 3. To compare radiation-induced gene expression changes of the in vivo with in vitro blood samples. For the in vitro part of this study, EDTA-treated whole blood was irradiated immediately after venipuncture using single X-ray doses (1 Gy/min(-1) dose rate, 100 keV). Blood samples used to generate calibration curves as well as 10 coded (blinded) samples (0-4 Gy dose range) were incubated for 24 h in vitro, lysed and shipped on wet ice. For the in vivo part of the study PAXgene tubes were used and peripheral blood (2.5 ml) was collected from prostate cancer patients before and 24 h after the first fractionated 2 Gy dose of localized radiotherapy to the pelvis [linear accelerator (LINAC), 580 MU/min, exposure 1-1.5 min]. Assays were run in each laboratory according to locally established protocols using either microarray platforms (2 laboratories) or qRT-PCR (2 laboratories). Report times on dose estimates were documented. The mean absolute difference of estimated doses relative to the true doses (Gy) were calculated. Doses were also merged into binary categories reflecting aspects of clinical/diagnostic relevance. For the in vitro part of the study, the earliest report time on dose estimates was 7 h for qRT-PCR and 35 h for microarrays. Methodological variance of gene expression measurements (CV ≤10% for technical replicates) and interindividual variance (≤twofold for all genes) were low. Dose estimates based on one gene, ferredoxin reductase (FDXR), using qRT-PCR were as precise as dose estimates based on multiple genes using microarrays, but the precision decreased at doses ≥2 Gy. Binary dose categories comprising, for example, unexposed compared with exposed samples, could be completely discriminated with most of our methods. Exposed prostate cancer blood samples (n = 4) could be completely discriminated from unexposed blood samples (n = 4, P < 0.03, two-sided Fisher's exact test) without individual controls. This could be performed by introducing an in vitro-to-in vivo correction factor of FDXR, which varied among the laboratories. After that the in vitro-constructed calibration curves could be used for dose estimation of the in vivo exposed prostate cancer blood samples within an accuracy window of ±0.5 Gy in both contributing qRT-PCR laboratories. In conclusion, early and precise dose estimates can be performed, in particular at doses ≤2 Gy in vitro. Blood samples of prostate cancer patients exposed to 0.09-0.017 Gy could be completely discriminated from pre-exposure blood samples with the doses successfully estimated using adjusted in vitro-constructed calibration curves.

Wang Y, Kong H, Zeng X, et al.
Activation of NLRP3 inflammasome enhances the proliferation and migration of A549 lung cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2053-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and it is widely accepted that chronic inflammation is an important risk for the development of lung cancer. Now, it is recognized that the nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD) like receptors (NLRs)-containing inflammasomes are involved in cancer-related inflammation. This study was designed to investigate the effects of NLR family pyrin domain containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome on the proliferation and migration of lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549. Using 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation assay, scratch assay, and Transwell migration assay, we showed that activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by LPS+ATP enhanced the proliferation and migration of A549 cells. Western blot analysis showed that activation of phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2, CREB and the expression of Snail increased, while the expression of E-cadherin decreased after the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. Moreover, these effects were inhibited by the following treatments: i) downregulating the expression of NLRP3 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference, ii) inhibiting the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome with a caspase-1 inhibitor, iii) blocking the interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 signal transduction with IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) and IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP). Collectively, these results indicate that NLRP3 inflammasome plays a vital role in regulating the proliferation and migration of A549 cells and it might be a potential target for the treatment of lung cancer.

Tian Y, Tian X, Han X, et al.
ABCE1 plays an essential role in lung cancer progression and metastasis.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):8375-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
ATP-binding cassette E1 (ABCE1) is a member of the ATP-binding cassette transporters and regulates a broad range of biological functions including viral infection, cell proliferation, and anti-apoptosis. We have previously shown that ABCE1 is a prognostic indicator for lung cancer, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. To investigate whether the ABCE1 gene contributes to the malignancy of lung tumors, we introduced ABCE1 into LTEP-a-2 lung adenocarcinoma cells. Ectopic ABCE1 expression promoted clonogenicity and anchorage-independent growth of LTEP-a-2 cells, while in a mouse xenograft tumor model, it had an augmentative effect on tumor growth and metastasis and reduced the expression of the tumor-suppressor gene growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible 45α (GADD45α). Moreover, apoptosis was not significantly influenced by ABCE1 in vitro. In summary, we have provided evidence that ABCE1 plays an essential role in the progression and metastasis of lung cancers and may represent a valuable therapeutic target for the management of lung tumor.

Furfaro AL, Traverso N, Domenicotti C, et al.
The Nrf2/HO-1 Axis in Cancer Cell Growth and Chemoresistance.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016; 2016:1958174 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The transcription factor, nuclear factor erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2), acts as a sensor of oxidative or electrophilic stresses and plays a pivotal role in redox homeostasis. Oxidative or electrophilic agents cause a conformational change in the Nrf2 inhibitory protein Keap1 inducing the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor which, through its binding to the antioxidant/electrophilic response element (ARE/EpRE), regulates the expression of antioxidant and detoxifying genes such as heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). Nrf2 and HO-1 are frequently upregulated in different types of tumours and correlate with tumour progression, aggressiveness, resistance to therapy, and poor prognosis. This review focuses on the Nrf2/HO-1 stress response mechanism as a promising target for anticancer treatment which is able to overcome resistance to therapies.

Courtaut F, Derangère V, Chevriaux A, et al.
Liver X receptor ligand cytotoxicity in colon cancer cells and not in normal colon epithelial cells depends on LXRβ subcellular localization.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(29):26651-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increasing evidence indicates that Liver X Receptors (LXRs) have some anticancer properties. We recently demonstrated that LXR ligands induce colon cancer cell pyroptosis through an LXRβ-dependent pathway. In the present study, we showed that human colon cancer cell lines presented differential cytoplasmic localizations of LXRβ. This localization correlated with caspase-1 activation and cell death induction under treatment with LXR ligand. The association of LXRβ with the truncated form of RXRα (t-RXRα) was responsible for the sequestration of LXRβ in the cytoplasm in colon cancer cells. Moreover t-RXRα was not expressed in normal colon epithelial cells. These cells presented a predominantly nuclear localization of LXRβ and were resistant to LXR ligand cytotoxicity. Our results showed that predominant cytoplasmic localization of LXRβ, which occurs in colon cancer cells but not in normal colon epithelial cells, allowed LXR ligand-induced pyroptosis. This study strengthens the hypothesis that LXRβ could be a promising target in cancer therapy.

Datta S, Ray A, Singh R, et al.
Sequence and expression variations in 23 genes involved in mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial apoptotic pathways and risk of oral leukoplakia and cancer.
Mitochondrion. 2015; 25:28-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral cancer is usually preceded by pre-cancerous lesion and related to tobacco abuse. Tobacco carcinogens damage DNA and cells harboring such damaged DNA normally undergo apoptotic death, but cancer cells are exceptionally resistant to apoptosis. Here we studied association between sequence and expression variations in apoptotic pathway genes and risk of oral cancer and precancer. Ninety nine tag SNPs in 23 genes, involved in mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial apoptotic pathways, were genotyped in 525 cancer and 253 leukoplakia patients and 538 healthy controls using Illumina Golden Gate assay. Six SNPs (rs1473418 at BCL2; rs1950252 at BCL2L2; rs8190315 at BID; rs511044 at CASP1; rs2227310 at CASP7 and rs13010627 at CASP10) significantly modified risk of oral cancer but SNPs only at BCL2, CASP1and CASP10 modulated risk of leukoplakia. Combination of SNPs showed a steep increase in risk of cancer with increase in "effective" number of risk alleles. In silico analysis of published data set and our unpublished RNAseq data suggest that change in expression of BID and CASP7 may have affected risk of cancer. In conclusion, three SNPs, rs1473418 in BCL2, rs1950252 in BCL2L2 and rs511044 in CASP1, are being implicated for the first time in oral cancer. Since SNPs at BCL2, CASP1 and CASP10 modulated risk of both leukoplakia and cancer, so, they should be studied in more details for possible biomarkers in transition of leukoplakia to cancer. This study also implies importance of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway gene (such as BCL2) in progression of leukoplakia to oral cancer.

Liu R, Truax AD, Chen L, et al.
Expression profile of innate immune receptors, NLRs and AIM2, in human colorectal cancer: correlation with cancer stages and inflammasome components.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(32):33456-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
NLRs (nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat proteins or NOD-like receptors) are regulators of inflammation and immunity. A subgroup of NLRs and the innate immune receptor, AIM2 (absent-in-melanoma 2), can induce the assembly of a large caspase-1 activating complex called the inflammasome. Other NLRs regulate key signaling pathways such as NF-kB and MAPK. Since inflammation is a central component of colorectal cancer (CRC), this work was undertaken to analyze NLR and AIM2 expression in human CRC by combining bioinformatics analysis and experimental verification using clinical tissue samples. Additional experiments analyzed the association of (i) gene expression and cancer staging, and (ii) gene expression among inflammasome components.Ten public CRC datasets from the Oncomine® Platform were analyzed. Genes analyzed include NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRP6, NLRP12, NLRC3, NLRC4, NLRC5, NOD1, NOD2 and AIM2. Additionally, forty case-matched cancer samples and adjacent healthy control tissues isolated from a cohort of Chinese CRC patients were profiled.Three patterns of gene expression in CRC are shown. The expression of NLRC3, a checkpoint of inflammation, and the inflammasome components NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRC4 and AIM2 were reduced in CRC. NOD1 and NOD2 expression was increased in CRC, while NLRC5, NLRP6 and NLRP12 showed little difference compared to controls. Reduced expression of NLRC3 in CRC was verified in all available databases analyzed and confirmed with our patient cohort. Furthermore, the extent of NLRC3 and AIM2 gene reduction was correlated with cancer progression. This report reveals the potential value of NLR and AIM2 genes as biomarkers of CRC and cancer progression.

Bonnefont-Rebeix C, Fournel-Fleury C, Ponce F, et al.
Characterization of a novel canine T-cell line established from a spontaneously occurring aggressive T-cell lymphoma with large granular cell morphology.
Immunobiology. 2016; 221(1):12-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dogs with lymphoma are established as good model for human non-Hodgkin lymphoma studies. Canine cell lines derived from lymphomas may be valuable tools for testing new therapeutic drugs. In this context, we established a canine T-cell line, PER-VAS, from a primary aggressive T-cell lymphoma with large granular morphology. Flow cytometric analysis revealed a stable immunophenotype: PER-VAS cells were positively labelled for CD5, CD45, MHC II and TLR3, and were negative for CD3, CD4 and CD8 expression. Although unstable along the culture process, IL-17 and MMP12 proteins were detectable as late as at passages 280 and 325i.e. respectively 24 and 29 months post isolation. At passage 325, PER-VAS cells maintained the expression of IL-17, CD3, CD56, IFNγ and TNFα mRNAs as shown by RT-PCR analysis. Stable rearrangement of the TCRγ gene has been evidenced by PCR. PER-VAS cells have a high proliferation index with a doubling time of 16.5h and were tumorigenic in Nude mice. Compared to the canine cell lines already reported, PER-VAS cells display an original expression pattern, close to NKT cells, which makes them valuable tools for in vitro comparative research on lymphomas.

Barratt DT, Klepstad P, Dale O, et al.
Innate Immune Signalling Genetics of Pain, Cognitive Dysfunction and Sickness Symptoms in Cancer Pain Patients Treated with Transdermal Fentanyl.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0137179 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Common adverse symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy are a major health burden; chief among these is pain, with opioids including transdermal fentanyl the mainstay of treatment. Innate immune activation has been implicated generally in pain, opioid analgesia, cognitive dysfunction, and sickness type symptoms reported by cancer patients. We aimed to determine if genetic polymorphisms in neuroimmune activation pathways alter the serum fentanyl concentration-response relationships for pain control, cognitive dysfunction, and other adverse symptoms, in cancer pain patients. Cancer pain patients (468) receiving transdermal fentanyl were genotyped for 31 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 19 genes: CASP1, BDNF, CRP, LY96, IL6, IL1B, TGFB1, TNF, IL10, IL2, TLR2, TLR4, MYD88, IL6R, OPRM1, ARRB2, COMT, STAT6 and ABCB1. Lasso and backward stepwise generalised linear regression were used to identify non-genetic and genetic predictors, respectively, of pain control (average Brief Pain Inventory < 4), cognitive dysfunction (Mini-Mental State Examination ≤ 23), sickness response and opioid adverse event complaint. Serum fentanyl concentrations did not predict between-patient variability in these outcomes, nor did genetic factors predict pain control, sickness response or opioid adverse event complaint. Carriers of the MYD88 rs6853 variant were half as likely to have cognitive dysfunction (11/111) than wild-type patients (69/325), with a relative risk of 0.45 (95% CI: 0.27 to 0.76) when accounting for major non-genetic predictors (age, Karnofsky functional score). This supports the involvement of innate immune signalling in cognitive dysfunction, and identifies MyD88 signalling pathways as a potential focus for predicting and reducing the burden of cognitive dysfunction in cancer pain patients.

Guo ZL, Yu B, Ning BT, et al.
Genetically modified "obligate" anaerobic Salmonella typhimurium as a therapeutic strategy for neuroblastoma.
J Hematol Oncol. 2015; 8:99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroblastoma currently has poor prognosis, therefore we proposed a new strategy by targeting neuroblastoma with genetically engineered anaerobic Salmonella (Sal-YB1).
METHODS: Nude and nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD-SCID) orthotopic mouse models were used, and Sal-YB1 was administered via tail vein. The therapeutic effectiveness, bio-safety, and mechanisms were studied.
RESULTS: No mice died of therapy-related complications. Tumor size reduction was 70 and 30% in nude and NOD-SCID mice, respectively. No Salmonella was detected in the urine; 75% mice had positive stool culture if diaminopimelic acid was added, but all turned negative subsequently. Tumor tissues had more Sal-YB1 infiltration, necrosis, and shrinkage in Sal-YB1-treated mice. Significantly higher expression of TLR4, TNF-stimulated gene 6 protein (TSG6), and cleaved caspase 1, 3, 8, and 9 was found in the tumor masses of the Sal-YB1-treated group with a decrease of interleukin 1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) and nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor alpha (IκBα). There was a high release of TNFα both in human macrophages and mouse tumor tissues with Sal-YB1 treatment. The antitumor effect of the supernatant derived from macrophages treated with Sal-YB1 could be reversed with TNFα and pan-caspase inhibitors.
CONCLUSIONS: This new approach in targeting neuroblastoma by bio-engineered Salmonella with the assistance of macrophages indirectly may have a clinical therapeutic impact in the future.

Davis DA, Naiman NE, Wang V, et al.
Identification of Caspase Cleavage Sites in KSHV Latency-Associated Nuclear Antigen and Their Effects on Caspase-Related Host Defense Responses.
PLoS Pathog. 2015; 11(7):e1005064 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus-8, is the causative agent of three hyperproliferative disorders: Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and multicentric Castleman's disease. During viral latency a small subset of viral genes are produced, including KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA), which help the virus thwart cellular defense responses. We found that exposure of KSHV-infected cells to oxidative stress, or other inducers of apoptosis and caspase activation, led to processing of LANA and that this processing could be inhibited with the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK. Using sequence, peptide, and mutational analysis, two caspase cleavage sites within LANA were identified: a site for caspase-3 type caspases at the N-terminus and a site for caspase-1 and-3 type caspases at the C-terminus. Using LANA expression plasmids, we demonstrated that mutation of these cleavage sites prevents caspase-1 and caspase-3 processing of LANA. This indicates that these are the principal sites that are susceptible to caspase cleavage. Using peptides spanning the identified LANA cleavage sites, we show that caspase activity can be inhibited in vitro and that a cell-permeable peptide spanning the C-terminal cleavage site could inhibit cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase and increase viability in cells undergoing etoposide-induced apoptosis. The C-terminal peptide of LANA also inhibited interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) production from lipopolysaccharide-treated THP-1 cells by more than 50%. Furthermore, mutation of the two cleavage sites in LANA led to a significant increase in IL-1β production in transfected THP-1 cells; this provides evidence that these sites function to blunt the inflammasome, which is known to be activated in latently infected PEL cells. These results suggest that specific caspase cleavage sites in KSHV LANA function to blunt apoptosis as well as interfere with the caspase-1-mediated inflammasome, thus thwarting key cellular defense mechanisms.

Li Y, Li N, Yan Z, et al.
Dysregulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome complex and related cytokines in patients with multiple myeloma.
Hematology. 2016; 21(3):144-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The NLRP3 inflammasome complex, an important regulatory factor of inflammation and cell apoptosis, has attracted considerable attention in the development of tumor. Here, we analyzed the expression and clinical significance of NLRP3 inflammasome complex and related cytokines in patients with multiple myeloma (MM).
METHODS: Peripheral blood and bone marrow of 38 newly diagnosed myeloma patients and 25 age- and gender-matched healthy people were studied. NLRP3 and caspase-1 were analyzed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot and IL-1beta, IL-18, RANKL, and OPG were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: We showed that aberrant NLRP3 and caspase-1 expression were observed in MM and down-regulated compared with the healthy people. We further demonstrated that NLRP3 mRNA was negatively correlated with beta2-microglobulin and plasma cell percentage in MM. The downstream cytokines IL-18 and sRANKL/OPG in MM patients were higher than that in control group. Moreover, the lower mRNA levels of NLRP3 and caspase-1 were shown to be positively correlated with IL-1beta in newly diagnosed MM patients.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that dysregulated expression of NLRP3-caspase-1-IL-1beta axis was observed in patients with MM, suggesting they might be involved in the pathogenesis of MM.

Fűri I, Kalmár A, Wichmann B, et al.
Cell Free DNA of Tumor Origin Induces a 'Metastatic' Expression Profile in HT-29 Cancer Cell Line.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0131699 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial cells in malignant conditions release DNA into the extracellular compartment. Cell free DNA of tumor origin may act as a ligand of DNA sensing mechanisms and mediate changes in epithelial-stromal interactions.
AIMS: To evaluate and compare the potential autocrine and paracrine regulatory effect of normal and malignant epithelial cell-related DNA on TLR9 and STING mediated pathways in HT-29 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and normal fibroblasts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA isolated from normal and tumorous colonic epithelia of fresh frozen surgically removed tissue samples was used for 24 and 6 hour treatment of HT-29 colon carcinoma and HDF-α fibroblast cells. Whole genome mRNA expression analysis and qRT-PCR was performed for the elements/members of TLR9 signaling pathway. Immunocytochemistry was performed for epithelial markers (i.e. CK20 and E-cadherin), DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a) and NFκB (for treated HDFα cells).
RESULTS: Administration of tumor derived DNA on HT29 cells resulted in significant (p<0.05) mRNA level alteration in 118 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including overexpression of metallothionein genes (i.e. MT1H, MT1X, MT1P2, MT2A), metastasis-associated genes (i.e. TACSTD2, MACC1, MALAT1), tumor biomarker (CEACAM5), metabolic genes (i.e. INSIG1, LIPG), messenger molecule genes (i.e. DAPP, CREB3L2). Increased protein levels of CK20, E-cadherin, and DNMT3a was observed after tumor DNA treatment in HT-29 cells. Healthy DNA treatment affected mRNA expression of 613 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including increased expression of key adaptor molecules of TLR9 pathway (e.g. MYD88, IRAK2, NFκB, IL8, IL-1β), STING pathway (ADAR, IRF7, CXCL10, CASP1) and the FGF2 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: DNA from tumorous colon epithelium, but not from the normal epithelial cells acts as a pro-metastatic factor to HT-29 cells through the overexpression of pro-metastatic genes through TLR9/MYD88 independent pathway. In contrast, DNA derived from healthy colonic epithelium induced TLR9 and STING signaling pathway in normal fibroblasts.

Yakoob J, Abbas Z, Khan R, et al.
Helicobacter pylori: correlation of the virulence marker iceA allele with clinical outcome in a high prevalence area.
Br J Biomed Sci. 2015; 72(2):67-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The association of Helicobacter pylori virulence marker 'induced by contact with epithelium A' (iceA) allele types was determined in H. pylori-related diseases and virulence markers. Gastric biopsies were obtained at EGD from patients for culture, histopathology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for iceA types, cagA and vacA alleles. Two hundred and eighty-four H. pylori isolates were examined. iceA type 1 was positive in 177 (62%) and iceA type 2 in 158 (56%). In iceA type 2, gastric ulcer was present in 34 (21%) (P < 0.001) and carcinoma in 28 (25%) (P = 0.002), compared to nine (8%) and 2 (2%) in iceA type 2-negative cases. For iceA type 2, 139 (88%) were associated with chronic active gastritis compared to 95 (75%) (P = 0.006) in iceA type 2-negative. H. pylori cagA was positive in 101 (64%) iceA type 2 strains compared to 57 (45%) in negative strains (P = 0.002). H. pylori iceA type 2 was dominant and associated with cagA, chronic active inflammation, gastric ulcer and carcinoma.

Eroğlu C, Seçme M, Bağcı G, Dodurga Y
Assessment of the anticancer mechanism of ferulic acid via cell cycle and apoptotic pathways in human prostate cancer cell lines.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(12):9437-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies on genetic changes underlying prostate cancer and the possible signaling pathways are getting increased day by day, and new treatment methods are being searched for. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of ferulic acid (FA), a phenolic compound, on cell cycle, apoptosis, invasion, and colony formation in the PC-3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells. The effect of FA on cell viability was determined via a 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) method. Total RNA was isolated with Tri Reagent. Expression of 84 genes for both cell cycle and apoptosis separately was evaluated by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Protein expressions were evaluated by Western blot analysis. Furthermore, apoptotic effects of FA were observed with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Effects of FA on cell invasion and colony formation were determined using Matrigel chamber and colony assay, respectively. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) dose of FA was found to be 300 μM in PC-3 cells and 500 μM in LNCaP cells. According to RT-PCR results, it was observed that FA inhibited cell proliferation by increasing the gene expressions of ATR, ATM, CDKN1A, CDKN1B, E2F4, RB1, and TP53 and decreasing the gene expressions of CCND1, CCND2, CCND3, CDK2, CDK4, and CDK6 in PC-3 cells. On the other hand, it was seen that FA suppressed cell proliferation by increasing in the gene expressions of CASP1, CASP2, CASP8, CYCS, FAS, FASLG, and TRADD and decreasing in the gene expressions of BCL2 and XIAP in LNCaP cells. In this study, protein expression of CDK4 and BCL2 genes significantly decreased in these cells. It could induce apoptosis in PC-3 and LNCaP cells. Also, it was observed that FA suppressed the invasion in PC-3 and LNCaP cells. Moreover, it suppressed the colony formation. In conclusion, it has been observed that FA may lead to cell cycle arrest in PC-3 cells while it may cause apoptosis in LNCaP cells.

Tebay LE, Robertson H, Durant ST, et al.
Mechanisms of activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 by redox stressors, nutrient cues, and energy status and the pathways through which it attenuates degenerative disease.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2015; 88(Pt B):108-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) regulates the basal and stress-inducible expression of a battery of genes encoding key components of the glutathione-based and thioredoxin-based antioxidant systems, as well as aldo-keto reductase, glutathione S-transferase, and
NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase-1 drug-metabolizing isoenzymes along with multidrug-resistance-associated efflux pumps. It therefore plays a pivotal role in both intrinsic resistance and cellular adaptation to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and xenobiotics. Activation of Nrf2 can, however, serve as a double-edged sword because some of the genes it induces may contribute to chemical carcinogenesis by promoting futile redox cycling of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites or confer resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs by increasing the expression of efflux pumps, suggesting its cytoprotective effects will vary in a context-specific fashion. In addition to cytoprotection, Nrf2 also controls genes involved in intermediary metabolism, positively regulating those involved in NADPH generation, purine biosynthesis, and the β-oxidation of fatty acids, while suppressing those involved in lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis. Nrf2 is subject to regulation at multiple levels. Its ability to orchestrate adaptation to oxidants and electrophiles is due principally to stress-stimulated modification of thiols within one of its repressors, the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), which is present in the cullin-3 RING ubiquitin ligase (CRL) complex CRLKeap1. Thus modification of Cys residues in Keap1 blocks CRLKeap1 activity, allowing newly translated Nrf2 to accumulate rapidly and induce its target genes. The ability of Keap1 to repress Nrf2 can be attenuated by p62/sequestosome-1 in a mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-dependent manner, thereby allowing refeeding after fasting to increase Nrf2-target gene expression. In parallel with repression by Keap1, Nrf2 is also repressed by β-transducin repeat-containing protein (β-TrCP), present in the Skp1-cullin-1-F-box protein (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex SCFβ-TrCP. The ability of SCFβ-TrCP to suppress Nrf2 activity is itself enhanced by prior phosphorylation of the transcription factor by glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) through formation of a DSGIS-containing phosphodegron. However, formation of the phosphodegron in Nrf2 by GSK-3 is inhibited by stimuli that activate protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt. In particular, PKB/Akt activity can be increased by phosphoinositide 3-kinase and mTORC2, thereby providing an explanation of why antioxidant-responsive element-driven genes are induced by growth factors and nutrients. Thus Nrf2 activity is tightly controlled via CRLKeap1 and SCFβ-TrCP by oxidative stress and energy-based signals, allowing it to mediate adaptive responses that restore redox homeostasis and modulate intermediary metabolism. Based on the fact that Nrf2 influences multiple biochemical pathways in both positive and negative ways, it is likely its dose-response curve, in terms of susceptibility to certain degenerative disease, is U-shaped. Specifically, too little Nrf2 activity will lead to loss of cytoprotection, diminished antioxidant capacity, and lowered β-oxidation of fatty acids, while conversely also exhibiting heightened sensitivity to ROS-based signaling that involves receptor tyrosine kinases and apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1. By contrast, too much Nrf2 activity disturbs the homeostatic balance in favor of reduction, and so may have deleterious consequences including overproduction of reduced glutathione and NADPH, the blunting of ROS-based signal transduction, epithelial cell hyperplasia, and failure of certain cell types to differentiate correctly. We discuss the basis of a putative U-shaped Nrf2 dose-response curve in terms of potentially competing processes relevant to different stages of tumorigenesis.

Hayes AJ, Skouras C, Haugk B, Charnley RM
Keap1-Nrf2 signalling in pancreatic cancer.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015; 65:288-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcription factor NF-E2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2, also called Nfe2l2), a master regulator of redox homeostasis, and its dominant negative regulator, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1), together tightly control the expression of numerous detoxifying and antioxidant genes. Nrf2 and the 'antioxidant response element' (ARE)-driven genes it controls are frequently upregulated in pancreatic cancer and correlate with poor survival. Upregulation of Nrf2 is, at least in part, K-Ras oncogene-driven and contributes to pancreatic cancer proliferation and chemoresistance. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of Keap1-Nrf2 signalling as it relates to pancreatic cancer, discussing the effects of inhibiting Nrf2 or Nrf2/ARE effector proteins to increase chemosensitivity.

Ramos-Solano M, Meza-Canales ID, Torres-Reyes LA, et al.
Expression of WNT genes in cervical cancer-derived cells: Implication of WNT7A in cell proliferation and migration.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 335(1):39-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
According to the multifactorial model of cervical cancer (CC) causation, it is now recognized that other modifications, in addition to Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, are necessary for the development of this neoplasia. Among these, it has been proposed that a dysregulation of the WNT pathway might favor malignant progression of HPV-immortalized keratinocytes. The aim of this study was to identify components of the WNT pathway differentially expressed in CC vs. non-tumorigenic, but immortalized human keratinocytes. Interestingly, WNT7A expression was found strongly downregulated in cell lines and biopsies derived from CC. Restoration of WNT7A in CC-derived cell lines using a lentiviral gene delivery system or after adding a recombinant human protein decreases cell proliferation. Likewise, WNT7A silencing in non-tumorigenic cells markedly accelerates proliferation. Decreased WNT7A expression was due to hypermethylation at particular CpG sites. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting reduced WNT7A levels in CC-derived cells and that ectopic WNT7A restoration negatively affects cell proliferation and migration.

The NLRP3-CASP1 Inflammasome Induces Glucocorticoid Resistance in ALL.
Cancer Discov. 2015; 5(7):OF18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of CASP1 and its activator NLRP3 confers glucocorticoid resistance in ALL.

Paugh SW, Bonten EJ, Savic D, et al.
NALP3 inflammasome upregulation and CASP1 cleavage of the glucocorticoid receptor cause glucocorticoid resistance in leukemia cells.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(6):607-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glucocorticoids are universally used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and resistance to glucocorticoids in leukemia cells confers poor prognosis. To elucidate mechanisms of glucocorticoid resistance, we determined the prednisolone sensitivity of primary leukemia cells from 444 patients newly diagnosed with ALL and found significantly higher expression of CASP1 (encoding caspase 1) and its activator NLRP3 in glucocorticoid-resistant leukemia cells, resulting from significantly lower somatic methylation of the CASP1 and NLRP3 promoters. Overexpression of CASP1 resulted in cleavage of the glucocorticoid receptor, diminished the glucocorticoid-induced transcriptional response and increased glucocorticoid resistance. Knockdown or inhibition of CASP1 significantly increased glucocorticoid receptor levels and mitigated glucocorticoid resistance in CASP1-overexpressing ALL. Our findings establish a new mechanism by which the NLRP3-CASP1 inflammasome modulates cellular levels of the glucocorticoid receptor and diminishes cell sensitivity to glucocorticoids. The broad impact on the glucocorticoid transcriptional response suggests that this mechanism could also modify glucocorticoid effects in other diseases.

Agathanggelou A, Weston VJ, Perry T, et al.
Targeting the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-null phenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with pro-oxidants.
Haematologica. 2015; 100(8):1076-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Inactivation of the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated gene in chronic lymphocytic leukemia results in resistance to p53-dependent apoptosis and inferior responses to treatment with DNA damaging agents. Hence, p53-independent strategies are required to target Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-deficient chronic lymphocytic leukemia. As Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated has been implicated in redox homeostasis, we investigated the effect of the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-null chronic lymphocytic leukemia genotype on cellular responses to oxidative stress with a view to therapeutic targeting. We found that in comparison to Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-wild type chronic lymphocytic leukemia, pro-oxidant treatment of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-null cells led to reduced binding of NF-E2 p45-related factor-2 to antioxidant response elements and thus decreased expression of target genes. Furthermore, Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-null chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells contained lower levels of antioxidants and elevated mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. Consequently, Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-null chronic lymphocytic leukemia, but not tumors with 11q deletion or TP53 mutations, exhibited differentially increased sensitivity to pro-oxidants both in vitro and in vivo. We found that cell death was mediated by a p53- and caspase-independent mechanism associated with apoptosis inducing factor activity. Together, these data suggest that defective redox-homeostasis represents an attractive therapeutic target for Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated-null chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Sun H, Sun R, Hao M, et al.
Effect of Duration of Ex Vivo Ischemia Time and Storage Period on RNA Quality in Biobanked Human Renal Cell Carcinoma Tissue.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2016; 23(1):297-304 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RNA degradation is a major problem in tissue banking, and the effects of the ex vivo ischemia time, storage time, and transport conditions on RNA integrity and gene expression have not been well understood.
METHODS: A total of 100 fresh-frozen clear cell carcinoma tissues and matched normal tissues during five storage periods (≤6, 7-12, 13-18, 19-24, and 25-30 months) were chosen to detect RNA quality. At surgery, fresh kidney cancer tissues from five patients were cut into pieces and snap frozen. Additional fresh tissue pieces were (1) left at room temperature, (2) kept on ice, or (3) placed in normal saline before being snap frozen after 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 h. RNA integrity was determined by microchip electrophoresis, and gene expression was analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: Altogether, 82 % of kidney cancer specimens banked using a standardized protocol yielded RNA with an RNA integrity number of ≥7 (7.77 ± 0.95, 7.87 ± 0.37, 7.15 ± 1.46, 8.10 ± 0.64, and 7.11 ± 1.08 during the five storage periods, respectively). RNA remained intact after 4 h on ice, whereas degradation was found in tissues left at room temperature or in saline. Expression of genes in certain functional pathways changed during storage under three conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: More than 80 % of the banked kidney cancer biospecimens collected following a standardized protocol yielded high-quality RNA. Fresh human cancer tissue samples should be transported on ice before biobanking to avoid a major reduction in RNA quality. The presented data should be considered in attempts to further standardize tissue biospecimen collection and banking.

Fabbi M, Carbotti G, Ferrini S
Context-dependent role of IL-18 in cancer biology and counter-regulation by IL-18BP.
J Leukoc Biol. 2015; 97(4):665-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
IL-18 is a proinflammatory and immune regulatory cytokine, member of the IL-1 family. IL-18 was initially identified as an IFN-γ-inducing factor in T and NK cells, involved in Th1 responses. IL-18 is produced as an inactive precursor (pro-IL-18) that is enzymatically processed into a mature form by Casp1. Different cells, such as macrophages, DCs, microglial cells, synovial fibroblasts, and epithelial cells, express pro-IL-18, and the production of bioactive IL-18 is mainly regulated at the processing level. PAMP or DAMP molecules activate inflammasomes, which trigger Casp1 activation and IL-18 conversion. The natural inhibitor IL-18BP , whose production is enhanced by IFN-γ and IL-27, further regulates IL-18 activity in the extracellular environment. Inflammasomes and IL-18 represent double-edged swords in cancer, as their activation may promote tumor development and progression or oppositely, enhance anti-tumor immunity and limit tumor growth. IL-18 has shown anti-tumor activity in different preclinical models of cancer immunotherapy through the activation of NK and/or T cell responses and has been tested in clinical studies in cancer patients. However, the dual role of IL-18 in different experimental tumor models and human cancers raises critical issues on its therapeutic use in cancer. This review will summarize the biology of the IL-18/IL-18R/IL-18BP system and will address the role of IL-18 and its inhibitor, IL-18BP, in cancer biology and immunotherapy.

Dvinge H, Ries RE, Ilagan JO, et al.
Sample processing obscures cancer-specific alterations in leukemic transcriptomes.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(47):16802-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Substantial effort is currently devoted to identifying cancer-associated alterations using genomics. Here, we show that standard blood collection procedures rapidly change the transcriptional and posttranscriptional landscapes of hematopoietic cells, resulting in biased activation of specific biological pathways; up-regulation of pseudogenes, antisense RNAs, and unannotated coding isoforms; and RNA surveillance inhibition. Affected genes include common mutational targets and thousands of other genes participating in processes such as chromatin modification, RNA splicing, T- and B-cell activation, and NF-κB signaling. The majority of published leukemic transcriptomes exhibit signals of this incubation-induced dysregulation, explaining up to 40% of differences in gene expression and alternative splicing between leukemias and reference normal transcriptomes. The effects of sample processing are particularly evident in pan-cancer analyses. We provide biomarkers that detect prolonged incubation of individual samples and show that keeping blood on ice markedly reduces changes to the transcriptome. In addition to highlighting the potentially confounding effects of technical artifacts in cancer genomics data, our study emphasizes the need to survey the diversity of normal as well as neoplastic cells when characterizing tumors.

Picco R, Tomasella A, Fogolari F, Brancolini C
Transcriptomic analysis unveils correlations between regulative apoptotic caspases and genes of cholesterol homeostasis in human brain.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e110610 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Regulative circuits controlling expression of genes involved in the same biological processes are frequently interconnected. These circuits operate to coordinate the expression of multiple genes and also to compensate dysfunctions in specific elements of the network. Caspases are cysteine-proteases with key roles in the execution phase of apoptosis. Silencing of caspase-2 expression in cultured glioblastoma cells allows the up-regulation of a limited number of genes, among which some are related to cholesterol homeostasis. Lysosomal Acid Lipase A (LIPA) was up-regulated in two different cell lines in response to caspase-2 down-regulation and cells silenced for caspase-2 exhibit reduced cholesterol staining in the lipid droplets. We expanded this observation by large-scale analysis of mRNA expression. All caspases were analyzed in terms of co-expression in comparison with 166 genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis. In the brain, hierarchical clustering has revealed that the expression of regulative apoptotic caspases (CASP2, CASP8 CASP9, CASP10) and of the inflammatory CASP1 is linked to several genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis. These correlations resulted in altered GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme), in particular for CASP1. We have also demonstrated that these correlations are tissue specific being reduced (CASP9 and CASP10) or different (CASP2) in the liver. For some caspases (CASP1, CASP6 and CASP7) these correlations could be related to brain aging.

Zeng L, Zhen Y, Chen Y, et al.
Naringin inhibits growth and induces apoptosis by a mechanism dependent on reduced activation of NF‑κB/COX‑2‑caspase-1 pathway in HeLa cervical cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(5):1929-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Naringin (NRG), a bioflavonoid found in citrus fruit extracts, has been pharmacologically evaluated as a potential anticancer agent. This study confirmed a novel mechanism of the anticancer effects of NRG in the human cervical cancer HeLa cell line (HeLa cells). Exposure of HeLa cells to NRG resulted in growth inhibition, as evidenced by a decrease in cell viability. In addition, NRG treatment induced apoptosis, as indicated by the increased apoptotic percentage and the cleaved caspase-3 expression. Importantly, exposure of the cells to NRG attenuated the expression levels of phosphorylated (p) nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65 subunit, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and cysteinyl aspartate proteinase-1 (caspase-1). Treatment with PDTC (an inhibitor of NF-κB) or NS-398 (an inhibitor of COX-2) or SC-3069 (an inhibitor of caspase-1) markedly induced growth inhibition and apoptosis. Treatment with PDTC or NS-398 also reduced caspase-1 expression. Interestingly, PDTC treatment blocked the expression of COX-2 and NS-398 reduced the p-NF-κB p65 expression. Taken together, this study provides novel evidence that NRG induces growth inhibition and apoptosis by inhibiting the NF-κB/COX-2-caspase-1 pathway and that a positive interaction between NF-κB and COX-2 pathway contributes to the growth and antiapoptotic effect in HeLa cells.

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