Gene Summary

Gene:CASP8AP2; caspase 8 associated protein 2
Aliases: CED-4, FLASH, RIP25
Summary:This protein is highly similar to FLASH, a mouse apoptotic protein identified by its interaction with the death-effector domain (DED) of caspase 8. Studies of FLASH protein suggested that this protein may be a component of the death-inducing signaling complex that includes Fas receptor, Fas-binding adapter FADD, and caspase 8, and plays a regulatory role in Fas-mediated apoptosis. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding the same protein.[provided by RefSeq, Nov 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:CASP8-associated protein 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (15)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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

  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Chromosome 6
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cell Cycle
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
  • Histones
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Adolescents
  • Infant
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • DNA Replication
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Apoptosis
  • Transcription
  • CASP8AP2
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Recurrence
  • Mutation
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Residual Disease
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • NOTCH1 Receptor
  • Young Adult
  • RNA Interference
  • Promoter Regions
  • Gene Expression
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 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: CASP8AP2 (cancer-related)

Fasihi A, Soltani BM, Ranjbaran ZS, et al.
Hsa-miR-942 fingerprint in colorectal cancer through Wnt signaling pathway.
Gene. 2019; 712:143958 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wnt signaling pathway has been identified for its function in carcinogenesis and embryonic development. It is known to play a vital role in the initiation and development of colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, it is of great importance for CRC research to illuminate the mechanisms which regulate Wnt pathway activity. Here, we intended to examine the effect of hsa-miR-942 (miR-942) on the Wnt signaling activity, cell cycle progression, and its expression in CRC tissues. RT-qPCR results indicated that miR-942 is significantly upregulated in colorectal cancer. Then, overexpression of miR-942 promoted, whereas its inhibition decreased the Wnt signaling activity, detected by RT-qPCR and Top/Fop flash assay. Inhibition of Wnt signaling by using PNU-74654 or IWP-2 small molecules indicated that miR-942 applies its effect to the β-catenin degradation complex level. Then, RT-qPCR and dual luciferase assay showed that miR-942 upregulated Wnt signaling through direct targeting of APC, which is a tumor suppressor in Wnt signaling pathway. Furthermore, the western blotting analysis indicated that β.catenin, as a main member of Wnt signaling pathway is upregulated following the overexpression of miR-942. Finally, miR-942 overexpression resulted in cell cycle progression in SW480 cells. Taken together, our findings established an oncogenic role for miR-942 in CRC and indicated that this miRNA might be a crucial target for CRC therapy.

Luo W, Yan D, Song Z, et al.
miR-126-3p sensitizes glioblastoma cells to temozolomide by inactivating Wnt/β-catenin signaling via targeting SOX2.
Life Sci. 2019; 226:98-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The acquired drug resistance has been regarded as a main barrier for the effective treatment of temozolomide (TMZ) in glioblastoma (GBM). MiR-126-3p is commonly down-regulated and exerts tumor-suppressive roles in kinds of human cancers, including GBM. This study was designed to investigate the functions and mechanisms of miR-126-3p in regulating TMZ resistance in GBM.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: qRT-PCR analysis was used to measure the expressions of miR-126-3p and SOX2 mRNA in GBM tissues and cells. Cell viability, colony forming ability and apoptosis were detected to evaluate the effect of miR-126-3p or SOX2 on TMZ resistance. Luciferase reporter experiments were applied to identify the target genes of miR-126-3p. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the protein levels associated with Wnt/β-catenin signaling. TOP/FOP Flash assays were conducted to determine the effects of miR-126-3p or SOX2 on Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
KEY FINDINGS: miR-126-3p expression was decreased in TMZ-resistant GBM tissues and cells. High levels of miR-126-3p enhanced TMZ sensitivity by inhibiting cell viability, reducing colony forming potential and inducing apoptosis. Additionally, SOX2 was identified as a downstream target of miR-126-3p. On the contrary, SOX2 overexpression conferred TMZ resistance of GBM cells. Moreover, miR-126-3p-mediated TMZ sensitivity was reversed following increased expression of SOX2. Furthermore, miR-126-3p-induced inactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling was greatly abrogated by SOX2 up-regulation.
SIGNIFICANCE: MiR-126-3p sensitizes GBM cells to TMZ possibly by repressing SOX2 expression and blocking Wnt/β-catenin signaling. This study provides novel targets to overcome TMZ resistance in GBM chemotherapy.

Han F, Zhang MQ, Liu WB, et al.
SOX30 specially prevents Wnt-signaling to suppress metastasis and improve prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Respir Res. 2018; 19(1):241 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Different histological subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) show different molecular characteristics and responses to therapeutic strategy. Identification of specific gene, clarification of its special roles and molecular mechanisms are crucial for developing new therapeutic approach for particular subtype patients.
METHODS: Surgical specimens of 540 NSCLC patients were recruited. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect SOX30 expression, and correlations with clinical parameters were analyzed. Functional experiments and gene ontology analysis were performed to investigate roles of SOX30. Network analysis, TOP/FOP-Flash assays, luciferase reporter assays and ChIP-PCR assays were performed to determine the mechanism. Survival analyses were calculated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression. Recovery experiment was investigated the importance of the target of SOX30.
RESULTS: SOX30 expression is closely associated with histological types of NSCLC, and metastasis of adenocarcinoma (ADC) patients but not of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients. SOX30 strongly inhibits cancer cell migration and invasion in ADC cell lines, whrereas not affects cell migration and invasion in SCC cell lines. The genes associated with SOX30 preferentially enrich in metastasis process and Wnt-signaling in only ADC patients. Consistently, SOX30 is negatively associated with the expression of Wnt-signaling and metastasis-related gene CTNNB1 (β-catenin) in ADC, but not in SCC. At the molecular level, SOX30 represses Wnt-signaling by directly transcriptional inhibition of CTNNB1 in ADC, and also not in SCC. In the clinical, SOX30 is a favorable and independent prognostic factor in ADC patients, whereas is an unfavorable and independent prognostic factor in SCC patients. Moreover, SOX30 expression is a double face early-stage prognostic biomarker in ADC and SCC patients. In addition, forcible restoration of CTNNB1 indeed can inhibit the anti-metastatic role of SOX30 in ADC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: In early-stage ADC patients, elevated SOX30 expression inhibits tumor-metastasis by directly binding to CTNNB1 promoter resulting in a favorable prognosis of these patients. However, in early-stage SCC patients, SOX30 has no inhibitory role on tumor-metastasis due to not binding to CTNNB1 promoter leading to an unfavorable prognosis of the patients. This study highlights a special role and prognostic value of SOX30 in ADC, providing a novel therapeutic target for particular subtype NSCLC patients.

Cordas Dos Santos DM, Eilers J, Sosa Vizcaino A, et al.
MAP3K7 is recurrently deleted in pediatric T-lymphoblastic leukemia and affects cell proliferation independently of NF-κB.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):663 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deletions of 6q15-16.1 are recurrently found in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). This chromosomal region includes the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 7 (MAP3K7) gene which has a crucial role in innate immune signaling and was observed to be functionally and prognostically relevant in different cancer entities. Therefore, we correlated the presence of MAP3K7 deletions with clinical parameters in a cohort of 327 pediatric T-ALL patients and investigated the function of MAP3K7 in the T-ALL cell lines CCRF-CEM, Jurkat and MOLT-4.
METHODS: MAP3K7 deletions were detected by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). T-ALL cell lines were transduced with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors expressing anti-MAP3K7 shRNA or a non-silencing shRNA together with a GFP reporter. Transduction efficiency was measured by flow cytometry and depletion efficiency by RT-PCR and Western blots. Induction of apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry after staining with PE-conjugated Annexin V. In order to assess the contribution of NF-κB signaling to the effects of MAP3K7 depletion, cells were treated with TNF-α and cell lysates analyzed for components of the NF-κB pathway by Western blotting and for expression of the NF-κB target genes BCL2, CMYC, FAS, PTEN and TNF-α by RT-PCR.
RESULTS: MAP3K7 is deleted in approximately 10% and point-mutated in approximately 1% of children with T-ALL. In 32 of 33 leukemias the deletion of MAP3K7 also included the adjacent CASP8AP2 gene. MAP3K7 deletions were associated with the occurrence of SIL-TAL1 fusions and a mature immunophenotype, but not with response to treatment and outcome. Depletion of MAP3K7 expression in T-ALL cell lines by shRNAs slowed down proliferation and induced apoptosis, but neither changed protein levels of components of NF-κB signaling nor NF-κB target gene expression after stimulation with TNF-α.
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed that the recurrent deletion of MAP3K7/CASP8AP2 is associated with SIL-TAL1 fusions and a mature immunophenotype, but not with response to treatment and risk of relapse. Homozygous deletions of MAP3K7 were not observed, and efficient depletion of MAP3K7 interfered with viability of T-ALL cells, indicating that a residual expression of MAP3K7 is indispensable for T-lymphoblasts.

Hao X, Han F, Ma B, et al.
SOX30 is a key regulator of desmosomal gene suppressing tumor growth and metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The expression of desmosomal genes in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous carcinoma is different. However, the regulatory mechanism of desmosomal gene expression in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous carcinoma remains unknown.
METHODS: The correlation between expression of desmosomal gene expression and SOX30 expression were analyzed by bioinformatics. The expression of SOX30, DSP, JUP and DSC3 were detected in lung cancer cell lines, lung tissues of mice and patients' tissues by qPCR, WB, Immunofluorescence and Immunohistochemistry. A chromatin Immunoprecipitation assay was used to investigate the mechanisms of the SOX30 regulation on desmosomal gene expression. In vitro proliferation, migration and invasion assays, and an in vivo nude mice model were utilized to assess the important role of desmosomal genes on SOX30-induced tumor suppression. A WB assay and TOP/FOP flash reporter assay was used to investigate the downstream pathway regulated by the SOX30-desmosomal gene axis. A chemical carcinogenic model of SOX30-knockout mice was generated to confirm the role of the SOX30-desmosomal gene axis in tumorigenesis.
RESULTS: The expression of desmosomal genes were upregulated by SOX30 in lung adenocarcinoma but not in lung squamous carcinoma. Further mechanism studies showed that SOX30 acts as a key transcriptional regulator of desmosomal genes by directly binding to the ACAAT motif of desmosomal genes promoter region and activating their transcription in lung adenocarcinoma. Knockdown of the expression of related desmosomal genes by miRNA significantly attenuated the inhibitory effect of SOX30 on cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and on tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. In addition, knockout of SOX30 promotes lung tumor development and loss the inhibition of desmosomal genes on downstream Wnt and ERK signal in urethane-induced lung carcinogenesis in SOX30-knockout mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these findings demonstrate for the first time that SOX30 acts as a master switch of desmosomal genes, inhibits lung adenocarcinoma cell proliferation, migration and invasion by activating the transcription of desmosomal genes. This study provides novel insights on the regulatory mechanism of desmosomal genes in lung adenocarcinoma.

Dębniak T, Scott RJ, Lea RA, et al.
Founder Mutations for Early Onset Melanoma as Revealed by Whole Exome Sequencing Suggests That This is Not Associated with the Increasing Incidence of Melanoma in Poland.
Cancer Res Treat. 2019; 51(1):337-344 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Germline mutations within melanoma susceptibility genes are present only in minority of melanoma patients and it is expected that additional genes will be discovered with next generation sequence technology and whole-exome sequencing (WES).
Materials and Methods: Herein we performed WES on a cohort of 96 unrelated Polish patients with melanoma diagnosed under the age of 40 years who all screened negative for the presence of CDKN2Avariants. A replication study using a set of 1,200 melanoma patient DNA samples and similarly large series of healthy controls was undertaken.
RESULTS: We selected 21 potentially deleterious variants in 20 genes (VRK1, MYCT1, DNAH14, CASC3, MS4A12, PRC1, WWOX, CARD6, EXO5, CASC3, CASP8AP2, STK33, SAMD11, CNDP2, CPNE1, EFCAB6, CABLES1, LEKR1, NUDT17, and RRP15), which were identified by WES and confirmed by Sanger sequencing for an association study. Evaluation of the allele distribution among carriers and their relatives in available family trios revealed that these variants were unlikely to account for many familial cases of melanoma. Replication study revealed no statistically significant differences between cases and controls.
CONCLUSION: Although most of the changes seemed to be neutral we could not exclude an association between variants in VRK1, CREB3L3, EXO5, and STK33 with melanoma risk.

Lu HJ, Yan J, Jin PY, et al.
Mechanism of MicroRNA-708 Targeting BAMBI in Cell Proliferation, Migration, and Apoptosis in Mice With Melanoma via the Wnt and TGF-β Signaling Pathways.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 17:1533034618756784 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the mechanisms involved with miRNA-708 and its targeting of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor in cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis in mice with melanoma via the Wnt and transforming growth factor β signaling pathways.
METHODS: Sixty mice were recruited of which 40 were subsequently assigned into the experimental group (22 mice were successfully established as melanoma model and 18 mice used in tumor xenograft), and the normal control group consisted of 20 mice. B16 cells were assigned to the normal, blank, and negative control, miR-708 mimics, miR-708 inhibitors, si-BAMBI, and miR-708 inhibitors + si-bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor groups. Western blotting and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction were employed to detect the expression levels within the tissues and cell lines. TCF luciferase reporter (TOP-FLASH) or a control vector (FOP-FLASH) was applied to detect the activity of the Wnt signaling pathway. MTT3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, flow cytometry, scratch test, and Transwell assay were conducted, respectively, for cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion, while tumor xenograft procedures were performed on the nude mice recruited for the study.
RESULTS: Compared to the normal control group, the model group displayed increased expressions of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor, Wnt10B, P53, and Bcl-2; TOPflash activity; β-catenin expression; cell proliferation; migration; and invasion capabilities while decreased expressions of miR-708, vascular endothelial growth factor, Fas, Bax, Caspase-3, and cleaved Caspase-3 and apoptosis rate. Compared to the blank and negative control groups, the miR-708 mimics and small-interfering RNA-bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor groups exhibited decreases expressions of bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor, Wnt10B, P53, and Bcl-2 and decreased proliferation, migration, and invasion capabilities, while increases in the apoptosis rate, expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor, Fas, Bax, Caspase-3, and cleaved Caspase-3; however, downregulated levels of TOPflash activity and β-catenin expression were recorded. The miR-708 inhibitors group displayed an opposite trend.
CONCLUSION: Downregulation of miR-708-targeted bone morphogenetic protein and activin membrane-bound inhibitor inhibits the proliferation and migration of melanoma cells through the activation of the transforming growth factor β pathway and the suppression of Wnt pathway.

Zhang M, Miao F, Huang R, et al.
RHBDD1 promotes colorectal cancer metastasis through the Wnt signaling pathway and its downstream target ZEB1.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: 40-50% of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients develop metastatic disease; the presence of metastasis hinders the effective treatment of cancer through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which makes 5-year survival rate extremely low; therefore, studying CRC metastasis is crucial for disease therapy. In the present study, we investigated the role of rhomboid domain containing 1 (RHBDD1) in tumor metastasis of CRC.
METHODS: The expression of RHBDD1 was analyzed in 539 colorectal tumor tissues for its correlation with lymphatic metastasis and distal metastasis. Transwell assay in vitro and pleural metastasis analysis in vivo were performed to determine the functions of RHBDD1 during CRC cells metastasis. RNA-seq analysis, TOP/FOP flash reporter assay, western blot and transwell assay were performed to investigate the underlying mechanism for the function of RHBDD1 on Wnt signaling pathway. Bioinformatics analysis was conducted to investigate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stemness in HCT-116 cells. Tissue microarray analysis, Q-PCR and western blot were performed to determine the correlation of RHBDD1 and Zinc Finger E-Box Binding Homeobox 1 (ZEB1).
RESULTS: In this study, we found that RHBDD1 expression was positively correlated with lymphatic metastasis and distal metastasis in 539 colorectal tumor tissues. RHBDD1 expression can promote CRC cells metastasis in vitro and in vivo. RNA-Seq analysis showed that the Wnt signaling pathway played a key role in this metastatic regulation. RHBDD1 mainly regulated ser552 and ser675 phosphorylation of β-catenin to activate the Wnt signaling pathway. Rescuing ser552 and ser675 phosphorylation of β-catenin resulted in the recovery of signaling pathway activity, migration, and invasion in CRC cells. RHBDD1 promoted EMT and a stem-like phenotype of CRC cells. RHBDD1 regulated the Wnt/β-catenin target gene ZEB1, a potent EMT activator, at the RNA and protein levels. Clinically, RHBDD1 expression was positively correlated with ZEB1 at the protein level in 71 colon tumor tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings therefore indicated that RHBDD1 can promote CRC metastasis through the Wnt signaling pathway and ZEB1. RHBDD1 may become a new therapeutic target or clinical biomarker for metastatic CRC.

Feng ZY, Xu XH, Cen DZ, et al.
miR-590-3p promotes colon cancer cell proliferation via Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by inhibiting WIF1 and DKK1.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(21):4844-4852 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Colon cancer is one of the most common and deadly types of gastrointestinal tumor. Despite progressive treatments, the patient prognosis has not been improved effectively.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of miRNA and mRNA were tested by Realtime PCR. Cell cycle was detected by flow cytometry. Cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. Cell spheroid formation was determined by colony assay. Wnt signaling pathway activity was evaluated by TOP/FOP ratio. Protein expression was tested using Western blot. β-catenin binding ability was detected by ChIP assay. miRNA target gene was confirmed by luciferase assay.
RESULTS: miR-590-3p was found to be overexpressed in both glioma tissues and cell lines. miR-590-3p is upregulated in colon cancer cells and tissues compared to non-tumorigenic colon cells and normal colon tissues. miR-590-3p positively regulated cell proliferation, spheroid formation, and cell cycle in LS174T cells. Conversely, inhibition of miR-590-3p reduced these effects. We confirmed that WIF1 and DKK1 are targets of miR-590-3p. Overexpression of miR-590-3p promoted TOP flash luciferase activity, enhanced nuclear β-catenin levels and increased target genes expression of Wnt signaling pathway. The results indicated that miR-590-3p activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that miR-590-3p regulates colon cancer progression via WIF1 and DKK1, which suggests that miR-590-3p may be a promising candidate for therapeutic applications in colon cancer treatment.

Kundu A, Khouri MG, Aryana S, Firestone GL
1-Benzyl-indole-3-carbinol is a highly potent new small molecule inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in melanoma cells that coordinately inhibits cell proliferation and disrupts expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor isoform-M.
Carcinogenesis. 2017; 38(12):1207-1217 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
1-Benzyl-indole-3-carbinol (1-benzyl-I3C), a synthetic analogue of the crucifer-derived natural phytochemical I3C, displayed significantly wider sensitivity and anti-proliferative potency in melanoma cells than the natural compound. Unlike I3C, which targets mainly oncogenic BRAF-expressing cells, 1-benzyl-I3C effectively inhibited proliferation of melanoma cells with a more extensive range of mutational profiles, including those expressing wild-type BRAF. In both cultured melanoma cell lines and in vivo in melanoma cell-derived tumor xenografts, 1-benzyl-I3C disrupted canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling that resulted in the downregulation of β-catenin protein levels with a concomitant increase in levels of the β-catenin destruction complex components such as glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and Axin. Concurrent with the inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, 1-benzyl-I3C strongly downregulated expression of the melanoma master regulator, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor isoform-M (MITF-M) by inhibiting promoter activity through the consensus lymphoid enhancer factor-1 (LEF-1)/T-cell transcription factor (TCF) DNA-binding site. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that 1-benzyl-I3C downregulated interactions of endogenous LEF-1 with the MITF-M promoter. 1-Benzyl-I3C ablated Wnt-activated LEF-1-dependent reporter gene activity in a TOP FLASH assay that was rescued by expression of a constitutively active form of the Wnt co-receptor low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP6), indicating that 1-benzyl-I3C disrupts Wnt/β-catenin signaling at or upstream of LRP6. In oncogenic BRAF-expressing melanoma cells, combinations of 1-benzyl-I3C and Vemurafenib, a clinically employed BRAF inhibitor, showed strong anti-proliferative effects. Taken together, our observations demonstrate that 1-benzyl-I3C represents a new and highly potent indolecarbinol-based small molecule inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling that has intriguing translational potential, alone or in combination with other anti-cancer agents, to treat human melanoma.

Priedigkeit N, Watters RJ, Lucas PC, et al.
Exome-capture RNA sequencing of decade-old breast cancers and matched decalcified bone metastases.
JCI Insight. 2017; 2(17) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone metastases (BoM) are a significant cause of morbidity in patients with estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancer; yet, characterizations of human specimens are limited. In this study, exome-capture RNA sequencing (ecRNA-seq) on aged (8-12 years), formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE), and decalcified cancer specimens was evaluated. Gene expression values and ecRNA-seq quality metrics from FFPE or decalcified tumor RNA showed minimal differences when compared with matched flash-frozen or nondecalcified tumors. ecRNA-seq was then applied on a longitudinal collection of 11 primary breast cancers and patient-matched synchronous or recurrent BoMs. Overtime, BoMs exhibited gene expression shifts to more Her2 and LumB PAM50 subtype profiles, temporally influenced expression evolution, recurrently dysregulated prognostic gene sets, and longitudinal expression alterations of clinically actionable genes, particularly in the CDK/Rb/E2F and FGFR signaling pathways. Taken together, this study demonstrates the use of ecRNA-seq on decade-old and decalcified specimens and defines recurrent longitudinal transcriptional remodeling events in estrogen-deprived breast cancers.

Fasihi A, M Soltani B, Atashi A, Nasiri S
Introduction of hsa-miR-103a and hsa-miR-1827 and hsa-miR-137 as new regulators of Wnt signaling pathway and their relation to colorectal carcinoma.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(7):5104-5117 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt signaling is hyper-activated in most of human cancers including colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Therefore, the introduction of new regulators for Wnt pathway possesses promising diagnostic and therapeutic applications in cancer medicine. Bioinformatics analysis introduced hsa-miR-103a, hsa-miR-1827, and hsa-miR-137 as potential regulators of Wnt signaling pathway. Here, we intended to examine the effect of these human miRNAs on Wnt signaling pathway components, on the cell cycle progression in CRC originated cell lines and their expression in CRC tissues. RT-qPCR results indicated upregulation of hsa-miR-103a, hsa-miR-1827, and downregulation of hsa-miR-137 in CRC tissues. Overexpression of hsa-miR-103a and hsa-miR-1827 in SW480 cells resulted in elevated Wnt activity, detected by both Top/Flash assay and RT-qPCR analysis. Inhibition of Wnt signaling by using PNU-74654 or IWP-2 small molecules suggested that these miRNAs exerts their effect at the β-catenin degradation complex level. Then, RT-qPCR, dual luciferase assay, and western blotting analysis indicated that APC and APC2 transcripts were targeted by hsa-miR-103a, hsa-miR-1827 while, Wnt3a and β-catenin genes were upregulated. However, hsa-miR-137 downregulated Wnt3a and β-catenin genes. Further, hsa-miR-103a and hsa-miR-1827 overexpression resulted in cell cycle progression and reduced apoptotic rate in SW480 cells, unlike hsa-miR-137 overexpression which resulted in cell cycle suppression, detected by flowcytometry and Anexin analysis. Overall, our data introduced hsa-miR-103a, hsa-miR-1827 as onco-miRNAs and hsa-miR-137 as tumor suppressor which exert their effect through regulation of Wnt signaling pathway in CRC and introduced them as potential target for therapy.

Huang W, Zhang C, Cui M, et al.
Inhibition of Bevacizumab-induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition by BATF2 Overexpression Involves the Suppression of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling in Glioblastoma Cells.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(8):4285-4294 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Bevacizumab (BV) has been used for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. However, it also induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in glioblastoma cells, which compromises its efficacy. BATF2 (basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor 2), a multi-target transcriptional repressor, has been found to suppress cancer development partly through inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin singling. The roles of BATF2 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in BV-induced EMT in glioblastoma cells were investigated in this study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: BV was used to treat U87MG cells, and TOP/FOP FLASH luciferase reporters were employed to determine the activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. EMT markers were detected with quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and western blotting. Immunofluorescence (IF) was used to determine the compartmentation of β-catenin. Wound-healing, TransWell and ECIS assays were used to analyze cell adhesion, invasion and migration.
RESULTS: BV induced EMT phenotype in U87MG cells, and BATF2 overexpression significantly inhibited BV-induced EMT with suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
CONCLUSION: Our findings expanded the understanding of the role of BATF2 in tumors, and also suggested a potential of using BATF2 as a therapeutic target to hinder bevacizumab induced EMT in glioblastoma.

Yu K, Xing J, Zhang J, et al.
Effect of multiple cycles of freeze-thawing on the RNA quality of lung cancer tissues.
Cell Tissue Bank. 2017; 18(3):433-440 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA degradation is a major problem in tissue banking. We explored the effect of thawing flash-frozen biospecimens on the quality and integrity of RNA for genetic testing as well as for other cancer research studies. The histological quality of the frozen tumor sections was evaluated by using hematoxylin and eosin staining. RNA extraction from 60 lung cancer tissue samples subjected to various freeze/thaw cycles was performed using the RNeasy Plus isolation kit. RNA integrity was assessed by using an Agilent bioanalyzer to obtain RNA integrity numbers (RIN). Furthermore, RNA from different groups was used for fluorescence Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) fusion gene mutation to verify whether it can be used for research or clinical testing. Highly variable RIN values were observed among the samples, which showed no correlation with the number of freeze/thaw cycles conducted. However, after 3 freeze/thaw cycles (each thaw event lasted for 10 min), an increasing number of changes in peak intensity in RINs were observed. After 5 freeze/thaw cycles, RNA integrity decreased to approximately 35%. After 3 freeze/thaw cycles, the RNA could still be used for RT-PCR analysis of EML4-ALK fusion gene mutations; whereas those subjected to 5 freeze/thaw cycles could not. Limited (<3) freeze/thaw cycles did not adversely affect the quality of RNA extracted from tumor tissues and subsequent RT-PCR analysis. Our data could be utilized in the establishment of a standardized procedure for tissue biospecimen collection and storage.

Mbuthia KS, Mireji PO, Ngure RM, et al.
Tea (Camellia sinensis) infusions ameliorate cancer in 4TI metastatic breast cancer model.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017; 17(1):202 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tea (Camellia sinensis) infusions are widely consumed beverages with numerous health benefits. However, physiological and molecular responses mediating these activities are poorly understood.
METHOD: Three replicates of 4TI cancer cell suspension (2.0 × 10
RESULTS: Green tea had the highest inhibition on 4TI cells proliferation at a concentration of IC
CONCLUSION: These findings on caspases offer valuable information on the mechanism of tea as an anticancer agent and will contribute to further research in future novel treatments.

Dokanehiifard S, Yasari A, Najafi H, et al.
A novel microRNA located in the
J Biol Chem. 2017; 292(18):7566-7577 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tropomyosin receptor kinase C (

Sokolova M, Turunen M, Mortusewicz O, et al.
Genome-wide screen of cell-cycle regulators in normal and tumor cells identifies a differential response to nucleosome depletion.
Cell Cycle. 2017; 16(2):189-199 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To identify cell cycle regulators that enable cancer cells to replicate DNA and divide in an unrestricted manner, we performed a parallel genome-wide RNAi screen in normal and cancer cell lines. In addition to many shared regulators, we found that tumor and normal cells are differentially sensitive to loss of the histone genes transcriptional regulator CASP8AP2. In cancer cells, loss of CASP8AP2 leads to a failure to synthesize sufficient amount of histones in the S-phase of the cell cycle, resulting in slowing of individual replication forks. Despite this, DNA replication fails to arrest, and tumor cells progress in an elongated S-phase that lasts several days, finally resulting in death of most of the affected cells. In contrast, depletion of CASP8AP2 in normal cells triggers a response that arrests viable cells in S-phase. The arrest is dependent on p53, and preceded by accumulation of markers of DNA damage, indicating that nucleosome depletion is sensed in normal cells via a DNA-damage -like response that is defective in tumor cells.

Inzelberg R, Flash S, Friedman E, Azizi E
Cutaneous malignant melanoma and Parkinson disease: Common pathways?
Ann Neurol. 2016; 80(6):811-820 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mechanisms underlying the high prevalence of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) in Parkinson disease (PD) are unclear, but plausibly involve common pathways. 129Ser-phosphorylated α-synuclein, a pathological PD hallmark, is abundantly expressed in CMM, but not in normal skin. In inherited PD, PARK genes harbor germline mutations; the same genes are somatically mutated in CMM, or their encoded proteins are involved in melanomagenesis. Conversely, genes associated with CMM affect PD risk. PD/CMM-targeted cells share neural crest origin and melanogenesis capability. Pigmentation gene variants may underlie their susceptibility. We review putative genetic intersections that may be suggestive of shared pathways in neurodegeneration/melanomagenesis. Ann Neurol 2016;80:811-820.

Zhuang K, Yan Y, Zhang X, et al.
Gastrin promotes the metastasis of gastric carcinoma through the β-catenin/TCF-4 pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(3):1369-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is the most common epithelial malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide; metastasis is a crucial factor in the progression of gastric cancer. The present study applied gastrin-17 amide (G-17) in SGC7901 cells. The results showed that G-17 promoted the cell cycle by accelerating the G0/G1 phase and by increasing the cell proliferation rate by binding to the gastrin receptor. The migratory and invasive abilities of the SGC7901 cells were increased by G-17. The expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-7, MMP-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were enhanced by G-17 as well. Moreover, G-17 caused the overexpression of β-catenin and TCF-4. G-17 also caused a preferential cytoplasmic and nuclear localization of β-catenin with a high TOP-FLASH activity. Finally, axin reduced the migratory and invasive abilities of the SGC7901 cells, and inhibited the expression of β-catenin, TCF-4, MMP-7, MMP-9 and VEGF; these effects were counteracted by adding G-17. In summary, the present study confirmed the proliferation and metastasis-promoting role of G-17 via binding to the gastrin receptor, and the β-catenin/TCF-4 pathway was found to be essential for mediating G-17-induced metastasis in gastric cancer. These results may provide a novel gene target for the treatment of gastric cancer.

Zhang B, Wang D, Wu J, et al.
Expression profiling and functional prediction of long noncoding RNAs in nasopharyngeal nonkeratinizing carcinoma.
Discov Med. 2016; 21(116):239-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rapidly growing evidence has shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are playing more and more important roles in a variety of biological processes and have been involved in various types of cancer. How to better decode these noncoding transcripts and how to predict their potential roles in tumorigenesis particularly in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) are still open questions. In this study, we applied our custom-designed lncRNA+mRNA gene expression microarray, which contains probes against 38,141 lncRNA transcripts, to assaying the expression profiling of flash-frozen tumorous and non-tumorous tissue samples from nonkeratinizing carcinoma (NKC), which is the major histologic type of NPC. As a result, 481 differentially expressed (DE) lncRNAs (231 up-regulated and 250 down-regulated) were identified. Moreover, integrated bioinformatics analyses including gene ontology, lncRNA functional prediction based on coding-noncoding gene co-expression network, interactive miRNAs, and transcription factor binding motifs were all carried out to decode the potential functional roles of these newly identified DE-lncRNAs. This work hence offers new resource and insight into lncRNAs for further understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis of NKC, and may also define new biomarkers or therapy targets for the translational studies of NKC.

Chen Q, Zheng PS, Yang WT
EZH2-mediated repression of GSK-3β and TP53 promotes Wnt/β-catenin signaling-dependent cell expansion in cervical carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(24):36115-36129 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a catalytic core component of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), stimulates the silencing of target genes through histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). Recent findings have indicated EZH2 is involved in the development and progression of various human cancers. However, the exact mechanism of EZH2 in the promotion of cervical cancer is largely unknown. Here, we show that EZH2 expression gradually increases during the progression of cervical cancer. We identified a significant positive correlation between EZH2 expression and cell proliferation in vitro and tumor formation in vivo by the up-regulation or down-regulation of EZH2 using CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene editing technology and shRNA in HeLa and SiHa cells. Further investigation indicated that EZH2 protein significantly accelerated the cell cycle transition from the G0/G1 to S phase. TOP/FOP-Flash reporter assay revealed that EZH2 significantly activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling and the target genes of Wnt/β-catenin pathway were up-regulated, including β-catenin, cyclin D1, and c-myc. Moreover, dual-luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays confirmed that EZH2 inhibited the expression of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and TP53 through physically interacting with motifs in the promoters of the GSK-3β and TP53 genes. Additionally, blockage of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway resulted in significant inhibition of cell proliferation, and activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway resulted in significant enhancement of cell proliferation, as induced by EZH2. Taken together, our data demonstrate that EZH2 promotes cell proliferation and tumor formation in cervical cancer through activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by epigenetic silencing via GSK-3β and TP53.

Zhou F, Huo J, Liu Y, et al.
Elevated glucose levels impair the WNT/β-catenin pathway via the activation of the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway in endometrial cancer.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016; 159:19-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial cancer (EC) is one of the most common gynecological malignancies in the world. Associations between fasting glucose levels (greater than 5.6mmol/L) and the risk of cancer fatality have been reported. However, the underlying link between glucose metabolic disease and EC remains unclear. In the present study, we explored the influence of elevated glucose levels on the WNT/β-catenin pathway in EC. Previous studies have suggested that elevated concentrations of glucose can drive the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP) flux, thereby enhancing the O-GlcNAc modification of proteins. Here, we cultured EC cell lines, AN3CA and HEC-1-B, with various concentrations of glucose. Results showed that when treated with high levels of glucose, both lines showed increased expression of β-catenin and O-GlcNAcylation levels; however, these effects could be abolished by the HBP inhibitors, Azaserine and 6-Diazo-5-oxo-l-norleucine, and be restored by glucosamine. Moreover the AN3CA and HEC-1-B cells that were cultured with or without PUGNAc, an inhibitor of the O-GlcNAcase, showed that PUGNAc increased β-catenin levels. The results suggest that elevated glucose levels increase β-catenin expression via the activation of the HBP in EC cells. Subcellular fractionation experiments showed that AN3CA cells had a higher expression of intranuclear β-catenin in high glucose medium. Furthermore, TOP/FOP-Flash and RT-PCR results showed that glucose-induced increased expression of β-catenin triggered the transcription of target genes. In conclusion, elevated glucose levels, via HBP, increase the O-GlcNAcylation level, thereby inducing the over expression of β-catenin and subsequent transcription of the target genes in EC cells.

Galani BR, Sahuc ME, Sass G, et al.
Khaya grandifoliola C.DC: a potential source of active ingredients against hepatitis C virus in vitro.
Arch Virol. 2016; 161(5):1169-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we examined the antiviral properties of Khaya grandifoliola C.DC (Meliaceae) on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) life cycle in vitro and identified some of the chemical constituents contained in the fraction with the most antiviral activity. Dried bark powder was extracted by maceration in a methylene chloride/methanol (MCM) system (50:50; v/v) and separated on silica gel by flash chromatography. Infection and replication rates in Huh-7 cells were investigated by luciferase reporter assay and indirect immunofluorescence assay using subgenomic replicons, HCV pseudotyped particles, and cell-culture-derived HCV (HCVcc), respectively. Cell viability was assessed by MTT assay, and cellular gene expression was analysed by qRT-PCR. The chemical composition of the fraction with the most antiviral activity was analysed by coupled gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Five fractions of different polarities (F0-F100) were obtained from the MCM extract. One fraction (KgF25) showed the strongest antiviral effect on LucUbiNeoET replicons at nontoxic concentrations. Tested at 100 µg/mL, KgF25 had a high inhibitory effect on HCV replication, comparable to that of 0.01 µM daclatasvir or 1 µM telaprevir. This fraction also inhibited HCVcc infection by mostly targeting the entry step. KgF25 inhibited HCV entry in a pan-genotypic manner by directly inactivating free viral particles. Its antiviral effects were mediated by the transcriptional upregulation of the haem oxygenase-1 gene and interferon antiviral response. Three constituents, namely, benzene, 1,1'-(oxydiethylidene)bis (1), carbamic acid, (4-methylphenyl)-, 1-phenyl (2), and 6-phenyl, 4-(1'-oxyethylphenyl) hexene (3), were identified from the active fraction KgF25 by GC-MS. Khaya grandifoliola contains ingredients capable of acting on different steps of the HCV life cycle.

Gao Y, Lu X
Decreased expression of MEG3 contributes to retinoblastoma progression and affects retinoblastoma cell growth by regulating the activity of Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(2):1461-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aberrant expression of MEG3 has been found in some types of cancers; however, little is known concerning the function of MEG3 in retinoblastoma. To elucidate the roles of MEG3 in retinoblastoma, MEG3 expression was quantified in 63 retinoblastoma samples and corresponding nontumor tissues in this work. Moreover, retinoblastoma cell lines were transfected with pcDNA3.1-MEG3 or si-MEG3, after which proliferation, apoptosis, and expression of β-catenin were assayed. TOP-Flash reporter assay was also used to investigate the activity of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. The results showed that MEG3 was downregulated in retinoblastoma tissues, and the level of MEG3 was negatively associated with IIRC stages and nodal or distant metastasis. More importantly, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that patients with low MEG3 expression had poorer survival and multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that MEG3 was an independent prognostic factor in retinoblastoma patients. We also observed that MEG3 expression can be modulated by DNA methylation by using 5-aza-CdR treatment. In addition, overexpression of MEG3 suppressed proliferation, promoted apoptosis, and influences the activity of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in retinoblastoma cell lines. Furthermore, we found that Wnt/β-catenin pathway activator rescued the anticancer effect of MEG3 in retinoblastoma. In conclusion, our study for the first time demonstrated that MEG3 was a tumor suppressor by negatively regulating the activity of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the progression of retinoblastoma and might serve as a prognostic biomarker and molecular therapeutic target.

Ma Y, Zhu B, Liu X, et al.
Inhibition of oleandrin on the proliferation show and invasion of osteosarcoma cells in vitro by suppressing Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:115 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma (OS) is a high-grade bone sarcoma with early metastasis potential, and the clinical chemotherapy drugs that are currently used for its treatment have some limitations. Recently, several studies have reported the selective antitumor effect of oleandrin on various tumor cells. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects and underlying mechanisms of oleandrin on OS cells.
METHODS: The effect of oleandrin on the proliferation, morphology, and apoptosis of U2OS and SaOS-2 cells were analyzed in vitro. The activity of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was determined using a dual luciferase assay. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR and western blot assays were performed to evaluate the mRNA and total protein expression of the downstream target genes. Changes of β-catenin in intracellular localization were also explored using a western blot after separating the nucleus and cytoplasm proteins. The MMP-2 and MMP-9 enzymatic activities were determined using gelatin zymography.
RESULTS: Oleandrin significantly inhibited the proliferation and invasion of OS cells in vitro, and induced their apoptosis. After treatment with oleandrin, the TOP/FOP flash ratio in OS cells was noticeably decreased, which indicated that the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was repressed. The expression of related Wnt target genes and total β-catenin was downregulated, and a reduced nuclear β-catenin level by oleandrin was observed as well. In addition, oleandrin suppressed the activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9.
CONCLUSIONS: Oleandrin, in vitro, exerted a strong antitumor effect on human OS cells by suppressing the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which interfered with the proliferation and invasion of OS cells, as well as induced cells apoptosis. Moreover, the expression and activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were downregulated by oleandrin, which contributed to the cells' lower invasiveness.

Thomas LN, Merrimen J, Bell DG, et al.
Prolactin- and testosterone-induced carboxypeptidase-D correlates with increased nitrotyrosines and Ki67 in prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2015; 75(15):1726-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Carboxypeptidase-D (CPD) cleaves C-terminal arginine for conversion to nitric oxide (NO) by nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Prolactin (PRL) and androgens stimulate CPD gene transcription and expression, which increases intracellular production of NO to promote viability of prostate cancer (PCa) cells in vitro. The current study evaluated whether hormonal upregulation of CPD and NO promote PCa cell viabilty in vivo, by correlating changes in expression of CPD and nitrotyrosine residues (products of NO action) with proliferation marker Ki67 and associated proteins during PCa development and progression.
METHODS: Fresh prostate tissues, obtained from 40 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or PCa, were flash-frozen at the time of surgery and used for RT-qPCR analysis of CPD, androgen receptor (AR), PRL receptor (PRLR), eNOS, and Ki67 levels. Archival paraffin-embedded tissues from 113 men with BPH or PCa were used for immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of CPD, nitrotyrosines, phospho-Stat5 (for activated PRLR), AR, eNOS/iNOS, and Ki67.
RESULTS: RT-qPCR and IHC analyses showed strong AR and PRLR expression in benign and malignant prostates. CPD mRNA levels increased ∼threefold in PCa compared to BPH, which corresponded to a twofold increase in Ki67 mRNA levels. IHC analysis showed a progressive increase in CPD from 11.4 ± 2.1% in benign to 21.8 ± 3.2% in low-grade (P = 0.007), 40.7 ± 4.0% in high-grade (P < 0.0001) and 50.0 ± 9.5% in castration-recurrent PCa (P < 0.0001). Immunostaining for nitrotyrosines and Ki67 mirrored these increases during PCa progression. CPD, nitrotyrosines, and Ki67 tended to co-localize, as did phospho-Stat5.
CONCLUSIONS: CPD, nitrotyrosine, and Ki67 levels were higher in PCa than in benign and tended to co-localize, along with phospho-Stat5. The strong correlation in expression of these proteins in benign and malignant prostate tissues, combined with abundant AR and PRLR, supports in vitro evidence that the CPD-Arg-NO pathway is involved in the regulation of PCa cell proliferation. It further highlights a role for PRL in the development and progression of PCa.

Dong Z, Zhou L, Han N, et al.
Wnt/β-catenin pathway involvement in ionizing radiation-induced invasion of U87 glioblastoma cells.
Strahlenther Onkol. 2015; 191(8):672-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy has been reported to promote the invasion of glioblastoma cells; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we investigated the role of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in radiation-induced invasion of glioblastoma cells.
METHODS: U87 cells were irradiated with 3 Gy or sham irradiated in the presence or absence of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor XAV 939. Cell invasion was determined by an xCELLigence real-time cell analyser and matrigel invasion assays. The intracellular distribution of β-catenin in U87 cells with or without irradiation was examined by immunofluorescence and Western blotting of nuclear fractions. We next investigated the effect of irradiation on Wnt/β-catenin pathway activity using TOP/FOP flash luciferase assays and quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of β-catenin target genes. The expression levels and activities of two target genes, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9, were examined further by Western blotting and zymography.
RESULTS: U87 cell invasiveness was increased significantly by ionizing radiation. Interestingly, ionizing radiation induced nuclear translocation and accumulation of β-catenin. Moreover, we found increased β-catenin/TCF transcriptional activities, followed by up-regulation of downstream genes in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in irradiated U87 cells. Importantly, inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by XAV 939, which promotes degradation of β-catenin, significantly abrogated the pro-invasion effects of irradiation. Mechanistically, XAV 939 suppressed ionizing radiation-triggered up-regulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and inhibited the activities of these gelatinases.
CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate a pivotal role of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in ionizing radiation-induced invasion of glioblastoma cells, and suggest that targeting β-catenin is a promising therapeutic approach to overcoming glioma radioresistance.

Li F, Wang T, Tang S
SOX14 promotes proliferation and invasion of cervical cancer cells through Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(2):1698-704 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
SOX14 is a member of the SOXB2 subgroup of transcription factors implicated in neural development. Although SOX14 expression profile and function during development was revealed in various animal model systems, the role of this gene during tumor progression is totally unknown. In this study, the expression of SOX14 increases in four cervical cancer cell lines (HeLa, Caski, HT-3 and SiHa) as revealed by real-time PCR and Western blot analyses. Through knocking down or overexpressing SOX14 in SiHa and HeLa cells, the expression level of SOX14 was found to be positively related to cell proliferation and invasion in vitro. Moreover, the TOP-Flash reporter assay and Western blot for β-catenin genes of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, indicated that SOX14 significantly activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Further study showed that the blockage of Wnt/β-catenin pathway by knocking down β-catenin resulted in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation and invasion capacity induced by SOX14. To summarize, these results demonstrate that SOX14 can promote proliferation and invasion capacity of cervical cancer cells by activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

Gonzalez BD, Jim HS, Donovan KA, et al.
Course and Moderators of Hot Flash Interference during Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: A Matched Comparison.
J Urol. 2015; 194(3):690-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Many men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer experience hot flashes. This study aimed to describe the course of hot flash interference with time in androgen deprivation therapy recipients relative to matched prostate cancer and cancer-free controls from before the start of androgen deprivation therapy to 12 months later. We also examined demographic, clinical and genetic predictors of the impact of androgen deprivation therapy on hot flash interference.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three groups were examined, including 60 patients with prostate cancer recruited before or within 21 days of starting androgen deprivation therapy, 83 age and education matched patients with prostate cancer treated with prostatectomy only, and 86 age and education matched men with no history of cancer. Participants provided blood samples and completed the Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale at baseline as well as 6 and 12 months later.
RESULTS: Androgen deprivation therapy recipients reported increasing hot flash interference with time relative to controls (p <0.001). Group differences were evident at 6 and 12 months (all p <0.001) with androgen deprivation therapy recipients reporting greater hot flash interference than controls. Several genetic polymorphisms were found to predict greater increases in hot flash interference (all p <0.01), including polymorphisms on genes associated with vasoconstriction, immune function, neurotransmission and circadian rhythms. Androgen deprivation therapy recipients who were younger and had a lower body mass index at baseline also showed greater increases in hot flash interference with time (all p ≤0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: This study, which is to our knowledge the first to prospectively examine hot flash interference in androgen deprivation therapy recipients, reveals that those with certain genetic polymorphisms, younger age and lower body mass index had greater increases in hot flash interference with time relative to controls.

Choi MR, Gwak M, Yoo NJ, Lee SH
Regional Bias of Intratumoral Genetic Heterogeneity of Apoptosis-Related Genes BAX, APAF1, and FLASH in Colon Cancers with High Microsatellite Instability.
Dig Dis Sci. 2015; 60(6):1674-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Apoptosis inactivation and intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH) are common features of cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Inactivation of apoptosis prolongs cancer cell survival, and ITH may contribute to CRC progression.
AIM: To examine the presence and extent of mutational ITH in the pro-apoptotic genes APAF1, BAX, and FLASH and the association of mutational ITH with pathologic parameters of CRC.
METHODS: The ITH of mutations in the mononucleotide repeats of APAF1, BAX and FLASH in different tumors were analyzed in 16 cases of CRC with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and 41 cases of CRC with stable MSI/low MSI (MSS/MSI-L) by single-strand conformation polymorphism and DNA sequencing analyses.
RESULTS: Frameshift mutations of APAF1, BAX, and FLASH were identified in 19, 31, and 6 % of CRC with MSI-H, respectively, but also in cases of CRC with MSS/MSI-L. All but one CRC with a mutation (8/9) harbored regional ITH of the APAF1, BAX and FLASH frameshift mutations. ITH, however, was not associated with histopathologic features of CRC with MSI-H, suggesting that ITH might not be related to development of the MSI-H phenotype itself, but rather to disease progression.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the APAF1, BAX, and FLASH genes not only harbor frameshift mutations but also demonstrate mutational ITH, which together might play a role in the tumorigenesis of CRC with MSI-H by affecting the apoptosis of cancer cells. Our data also suggest that multiregional mutation analysis is needed for a better evaluation of the mutation status in CRC.

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