CASR; calcium-sensing receptor (3q13)

Gene Summary

Gene:CASR; calcium-sensing receptor
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a G protein-coupled receptor that is expressed in the parathyroid hormone (PTH)-producing chief cells of the parathyroid gland, and the cells lining the kidney tubule. It senses small changes in circulating calcium concentration and couples this information to intracellular signaling pathways that modify PTH secretion or renal cation handling, thus this protein plays an essential role in maintaining mineral ion homeostasis. Mutations in this gene cause familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia, familial, isolated hypoparathyroidism, and neonatal severe primary hyperparathyroidism. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:extracellular calcium-sensing receptor
Updated:11 December, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (16)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 11 December 2014 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.

  • CpG Islands
  • Transcription Factors
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cell Surface Receptors
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • X-Ray Computed Tomography
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Parathyroid Glands
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Calcium
  • Mutation
  • Parathyroid Cancer
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Polymorphism
  • Genotype
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1
  • Vitamin D
  • Transfection
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cyclin D1
  • Promoter Regions
  • Tumor Markers
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Adenoma
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair None
  • Genetic Variation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Cell Proliferation
  • beta Catenin
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
Tag cloud generated 11 December, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (4)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Parathyroid CancerCASR and Parathyroid Cancer View Publications21
-CASR and Adenoma View Publications13
Colorectal CancerCASR and Colorectal Cancer View Publications16
Prostate CancerCASR and Prostate Cancer View Publications5

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

Related Links

Latest Publications: CASR (cancer-related)

Wu P, Sokoll LJ, Kudrolli TA, et al.
A novel approach for detecting viable and tissue-specific circulating tumor cells through an adenovirus-based reporter vector.
Prostate. 2014; 74(13):1286-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) hold great promise as biomarkers and are a direct source of tumor cells through a simple blood draw. However, CTCs are rare and their detection requires sensitive and specific methods to overcome the overwhelming hematocyte population. Therefore, CTC detection remains technically challenging.
METHODS: An assay was developed for detecting viable and tissue-specific CTCs using a tropism-enhanced and conditionally replicating reporter adenovirus (CTC-RV). Adenoviral replication was made prostate-specific by placing the E1A gene under the control of the probasin promoter and prostate-specific antigen enhancer (PSE-PBN). Viral tropism was expanded through capsid-displayed integrin targeting peptides. A secreted reporter, humanized Metridia Luciferase (hMLuc), was engineered for expression during the major late phase of viral replication. The assay involves red blood cell lysis, cell collection, viral infection, and subsequent quantification of reporter activity from cellular media. Assay and reporter stability, cell specificity and sensitivity were evaluated in cell dilution models in human blood.
RESULTS: A conditionally replicating prostate-selective adenovirus reporter and CTC assay system were generated. The secreted reporter, MLuc, was found to be stable for at least 3 days under assay conditions. CTC detection, modeled by cell dilution in blood, was selective for androgen receptor positive prostate cancer (PCa) cells. Serial dilution demonstrated assay linearity and sensitivity to as few as three cells. Prostate cancer cell viability declined after several hours in anticoagulated blood at ambient temperatures.
CONCLUSIONS: Conditionally replicative adenoviral vectors and secreted reporters offer a functional method to detect viable CTCs with cell specificity and high sensitivity.

Related: Prostate Cancer

Fuentes-Mattei E, Velazquez-Torres G, Phan L, et al.
Effects of obesity on transcriptomic changes and cancer hallmarks in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(7) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Obesity increases the risk of cancer death among postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, but the direct evidence for the mechanisms is lacking. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate direct evidence for the mechanisms mediating this epidemiologic phenomenon.
METHODS: We analyzed transcriptomic profiles of pretreatment biopsies from a prospective cohort of 137 ER+ breast cancer patients. We generated transgenic (MMTV-TGFα;A (y) /a) and orthotopic/syngeneic (A (y) /a) obese mouse models to investigate the effect of obesity on tumorigenesis and tumor progression and to determine biological mechanisms using whole-genome transcriptome microarrays and protein analyses. We used a coculture system to examine the impact of adipocytes/adipokines on breast cancer cell proliferation. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Functional transcriptomic analysis of patients revealed the association of obesity with 59 biological functional changes (P < .05) linked to cancer hallmarks. Gene enrichment analysis revealed enrichment of AKT-target genes (P = .04) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition genes (P = .03) in patients. Our obese mouse models demonstrated activation of the AKT/mTOR pathway in obesity-accelerated mammary tumor growth (3.7- to 7.0-fold; P < .001; n = 6-7 mice per group). Metformin or everolimus can suppress obesity-induced secretion of adipokines and breast tumor formation and growth (0.5-fold, P = .04; 0.3-fold, P < .001, respectively; n = 6-8 mice per group). The coculture model revealed that adipocyte-secreted adipokines (eg, TIMP-1) regulate adipocyte-induced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. Metformin suppress adipocyte-induced cell proliferation and adipocyte-secreted adipokines in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: Adipokine secretion and AKT/mTOR activation play important roles in obesity-accelerated breast cancer aggressiveness in addition to hyperinsulinemia, estrogen signaling, and inflammation. Metformin and everolimus have potential for therapeutic interventions of ER+ breast cancer patients with obesity.

Related: Breast Cancer AKT1 Signal Transduction Everolimus (Afinitor)

Wang Y, Masuyama H, Nobumoto E, et al.
The inhibition of constitutive androstane receptor-mediated pathway enhances the effects of anticancer agents in ovarian cancer cells.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2014; 90(4):356-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer is commonly treated with anticancer agents; however, many tumors become resistant. Resistance is regulated, in part, by P-glycoprotein, which is encoded by the gene multiple drug resistance 1 (MDR1) and functions as a transmembrane efflux pump for the elimination of anticancer agents. Constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) is a nuclear receptor that regulates drug metabolism through control of MDR1 and other genes.
PURPOSE: We examined whether the inhibition of CAR-mediated pathway could influence the cytotoxicity of three anticancer drugs, cisplatin, paclitaxel, and arsenic trioxide, in ovarian cancer cells.
RESULTS: We observed that the cell proliferation of several ovarian cell lines expressing CAR significantly increased when CITCO was combined with anticancer agents compared with any anticancer agent alone. The up-regulation of MDR1 and UGT1A1 by anticancer agents was further enhanced in the presence of CITCO. We confirmed that combining CITCO with anticancer agents induced significantly lower levels of apoptosis than those achieved with any single anticancer drug. CAR down-regulation by RNA interference caused a significant increase in cell growth inhibition and enhancement of apoptosis in the presence of anticancer agents. Combination of CITCO with any anticancer agents significantly enhanced CAR-mediated transcription compared with any anticancer agents alone and CAR down-regulation completely inhibited the transcription in the presence of CITCO and/or anticancer agents.
CONCLUSION: Inhibition of CAR pathway could be a novel therapeutic approach for the augmentation of sensitivity to anticancer agents, or to overcome resistance, in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Related: Apoptosis Ovarian Cancer

Jia Y, Viswakarma N, Reddy JK
Med1 subunit of the mediator complex in nuclear receptor-regulated energy metabolism, liver regeneration, and hepatocarcinogenesis.
Gene Expr. 2014; 16(2):63-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Several nuclear receptors regulate diverse metabolic functions that impact on critical biological processes, such as development, differentiation, cellular regeneration, and neoplastic conversion. In the liver, some members of the nuclear receptor family, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), farnesoid X receptor (FXR), liver X receptor (LXR), pregnane X receptor (PXR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and others, regulate energy homeostasis, the formation and excretion of bile acids, and detoxification of xenobiotics. Excess energy burning resulting from increases in fatty acid oxidation systems in liver generates reactive oxygen species, and the resulting oxidative damage influences liver regeneration and liver tumor development. These nuclear receptors are important sensors of exogenous activators as well as receptor-specific endogenous ligands. In this regard, gene knockout mouse models revealed that some lipid-metabolizing enzymes generate PPARα-activating ligands, while others such as ACOX1 (fatty acyl-CoA oxidase1) inactivate these endogenous PPARα activators. In the absence of ACOX1, the unmetabolized ACOX1 substrates cause sustained activation of PPARα, and the resulting increase in energy burning leads to hepatocarcinogenesis. Ligand-activated nuclear receptors recruit the multisubunit Mediator complex for RNA polymerase II-dependent gene transcription. Evidence indicates that the Med1 subunit of the Mediator is essential for PPARα, PPARγ, CAR, and GR signaling in liver. Med1 null hepatocytes fail to respond to PPARα activators in that these cells do not show induction of peroxisome proliferation and increases in fatty acid oxidation enzymes. Med1-deficient hepatocytes show no increase in cell proliferation and do not give rise to liver tumors. Identification of nuclear receptor-specific coactivators and Mediator subunits should further our understanding of the complexities of metabolic diseases associated with increased energy combustion in liver.

Xu Y, Zhang M, Ramos CA, et al.
Closely related T-memory stem cells correlate with in vivo expansion of CAR.CD19-T cells and are preserved by IL-7 and IL-15.
Blood. 2014; 123(24):3750-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/06/2015 Related Publications
Adoptive transfer of T lymphocytes expressing a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR.CD19) induces complete tumor regression in patients with lymphoid malignancies. Although in vivo persistence of CAR-T cells correlates with clinical responses, it remains unknown whether specific cell subsets within the CAR-T-cell product correlate with their subsequent in vivo expansion and persistence. We analyzed 14 patients with B-cell malignancies infused with autologous CAR.CD19-redirected T cells expanded ex vivo using IL-2, and found that their in vivo expansion only correlated with the frequency within the infused product of a CD8(+)CD45RA(+)CCR7(+) subset, whose phenotype is closest to "T-memory stem cells." Preclinical models showed that increasing the frequency of CD8(+)CD45RA(+)CCR7(+) CAR-T cells in the infused line by culturing the cells with IL-7 and IL-15 produced greater antitumor activity of CAR-T cells mediated by increased resistance to cell death, following repetitive encounters with the antigen, while preserving their migration to secondary lymphoid organs. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00586391 and #NCT00709033.

Fetahu IS, Höbaus J, Aggarwal A, et al.
Calcium-sensing receptor silencing in colorectal cancer is associated with promoter hypermethylation and loss of acetylation on histone 3.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(9):2014-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
The calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) is suggested to mediate the antiproliferative effects of calcium in colon. However, in colorectal cancer (CRC) the expression of the CaSR is silenced and the underlying mechanisms leading to its loss are poorly understood. We investigated whether loss of the CaSR expression in colorectal tumors is caused by DNA hypermethylation and imbalance of transcriptionally permissive/repressive histone alterations. We observed significantly lower CaSR mRNA expression (n = 65, p < 0.001) in colorectal tumors compared with the adjacent mucosa from the same patient. Immunofluorescence staining confirmed downregulation of the CaSR protein also. The CaSR promoter was methylated to a greater extent in tumors compared with adjacent mucosa as determined by bisulfite sequencing (n = 20, p < 0.01) and by pyrosequencing (n = 45, p < 0.001), and methylation correlated inversely with mRNA expression (n = 20, ρ = -0.310, p < 0.05 and n = 45, ρ = -0.588, p < 0.001). Treatments with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor and/or with two different histone deacetylase inhibitors, trichostatin A (TSA) or suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) restored the expression of CaSR in colon cancer cells. Restored CaSR expression in Coga1A and HT29 cells was functional. Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) to prevent demethylation of mono- and dimethylated H3K4, increased CaSR expression only marginally. Our data show that hypermethylation of the CaSR promoter and H3K9 deacetylation, but not H3K4me2 demethylation are important factors that cause silencing of the CaSR in colorectal cancer.

Related: Apoptosis Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer

Cheadle EJ, Sheard V, Rothwell DG, et al.
Differential role of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in autotoxicity driven by CD19-specific second-generation chimeric antigen receptor T cells in a mouse model.
J Immunol. 2014; 192(8):3654-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
T cells engrafted with chimeric AgRs (CAR) are showing exciting potential for targeting B cell malignancies in early-phase clinical trials. To determine whether the second-generation CAR was essential for optimal antitumor activity, two CD28-based CAR constructs targeting CD19 were tested for their ability to redirect mouse T cell function against established B cell lymphoma in a BALB/c syngeneic model system. T cells armed with either CAR eliminated A20 B cell lymphoma in vivo; however, one construct induced a T cell dose-dependent acute toxicity associated with a raised serum Th1 type cytokine profile on transfer into preconditioned mice. Moreover, a chronic toxicity manifested as granuloma-like formation in spleen, liver, and lymph nodes was observed in animals receiving T cells bearing either CD28 CAR, albeit with different kinetics dependent upon the specific receptor used. This phenotype was associated with an expansion of CD4+ CAR+ T cells and CD11b+ Gr-1(+) myeloid cells and increased serum Th2-type cytokines, including IL-10 and IL-13. Mouse T cells engrafted with a first-generation CAR failed to develop such autotoxicity, whereas toxicity was not apparent when T cells bearing the same receptors were transferred into C57BL/6 or C3H animals. In summary, the adoptive transfer of second-generation CD19-specific CAR T cells can result in a cell dose-dependent acute toxicity, whereas the prolonged secretion of high levels of Th2 cytokines from these CAR T cells in vivo drives a granulomatous reaction resulting in chronic toxicity. Strategies that prevent a prolonged Th2-cytokine biased CAR T cell response are clearly warranted.

Related: Cytokines

Kaneko M, Nozawa H, Hiyoshi M, et al.
Temsirolimus and chloroquine cooperatively exhibit a potent antitumor effect against colorectal cancer cells.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(5):769-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Temsirolimus (TEM) is a novel, water-soluble mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor that has shown activity against a wide range of cancers in preclinical models, but its efficacy against colorectal cancer (CRC) has not been fully explored.
METHODS: We evaluated the antitumor effect of TEM in CRC cell lines (CaR-1, HT-29, Colon26) in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, cell growth inhibition was assessed using a MTS assay. Apoptosis induction and cell cycle effects were measured using flow cytometry. Modulation of mTOR signaling was measured using immunoblotting. Antitumor activity as a single agent was evaluated in a mouse subcutaneous tumor model of CRC. The effects of adding chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor, to TEM were evaluated in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: In vitro, TEM was effective in inhibiting the growth of two CRC cell lines with highly activated AKT, possibly through the induction of G1 cell cycle arrest via a reduction in cyclin D1 expression, whereas TEM reduced HIF-1α and VEGF in all three cell lines. In a mouse subcutaneous tumor model, TEM inhibited the growth of tumors in all cell lines, not only through direct growth inhibition but also via an anti-angiogenic effect. We also explored the effects of adding chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor, to TEM. Chloroquine significantly potentiated the antitumor activity of TEM in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the combination therapy triggered enhanced apoptosis, which corresponded to an increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on these data, we propose TEM with or without chloroquine as a new treatment option for CRC.

Related: Apoptosis Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Temsirolimus (Torisel)

Hong H, Stastny M, Brown C, et al.
Diverse solid tumors expressing a restricted epitope of L1-CAM can be targeted by chimeric antigen receptor redirected T lymphocytes.
J Immunother. 2014 Feb-Mar; 37(2):93-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adhesion molecule L1-CAM (CD171) was originally reported to be overexpressed on neuroblastoma and to play an important role during tumor progression. More recently, it has been shown to be overexpressed on many other solid tumors such as melanoma and carcinomas of the cervix, ovary, bladder, and others. Thus, there has been a growing interest in using this cell-surface molecule as a target for both antibody-based and cellular-based therapy-our group has previously examined the clinical utility of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-redirected cytolytic T cells that specifically target the CE7 epitope of L1-CAM on neuroblastoma patients. Here, we sought to determine whether this CE7 epitope is present on other recently identified L1-CAM tumors and whether it too can be targeted by CAR T cells. Our studies demonstrate that a diverse array of human tumor cell lines and primary solid tumors (ovarian, lung, and renal carcinoma, glioblastoma and neuroblastoma) do express the CE7 epitope and can efficiently stimulate CE7-specific CAR-redirected (CE7R) T-cell lytic activity and secretion of proinflamatory cytokines. L1-CAM was also detected on a limited number of normal tissues; however, L1-CAM expressed on normal human monocytes was not bound by the CE7 mAb nor was it targeted by CE7R T cells, suggesting that the CE7 epitope is more tumor restricted and not expressed on all L1-CAM tissues. Overall, the CE7 epitope of L1-CAM on a variety of tumors may be amenable to targeting by CE7R T cells, making it a promising target for adoptive immunotherapy.

Related: Cytokines Kidney Cancer Lung Cancer Neuroblastoma Ovarian Cancer

Shien K, Tanaka N, Watanabe M, et al.
Anti-cancer effects of REIC/Dkk-3-encoding adenoviral vector for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87900 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/06/2015 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: REIC/Dkk-3 is down-regulated in a broad range of human cancer cells and is considered to function as a tumor suppressor. We previously reported that REIC/Dkk-3-expressing adenovirus vector (Ad-REIC) induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and cancer-specific apoptosis in human prostate cancer. In this study, we examined the therapeutic impact of Ad-REIC on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined the anti-tumor effect of Ad-REIC on 25 NSCLC cell lines in vitro and A549 cells in vivo. Two of these cell lines were artificially established as EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistant sublines.
RESULTS: Ad-REIC-treatment inhibited the cell viability by 40% or more in 13 (52%) of the 25 cell lines at multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 20 (20 MOI). These cell lines were regarded as being highly sensitive cells. The cell viability of a non-malignant immortalized cell line, OUMS-24, was not inhibited at 200 MOI of Ad-REIC. The effects of Ad-REIC on EGFR-TKI resistant sublines were equivalent to those in the parental cell lines. Here, we demonstrated that Ad-REIC treatment activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in NSCLC cell lines, indicating the induction of ER stress with GRP78/BiP (GRP78) up-regulation and resulting in apoptosis. A single intratumoral injection of Ad-REIC significantly inhibited the tumorigenic growth of A549 cells in vivo. As predictive factors of sensitivity for Ad-REIC treatment in NSCLC, we examined the expression status of GRP78 and coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR). We found that the combination of the GRP78 and CAR expressional statuses may be used as a predictive factor for Ad-REIC sensitivity in NSCLC cells.
CONCLUSION: Ad-REIC induced JNK activation and subsequent apoptosis in NSCLC cells. Our study indicated that Ad-REIC has therapeutic potential against NSCLC and that the expression statuses of GRP78 and CAR may predict a potential therapeutic benefit of Ad-REIC.

Related: Apoptosis Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer

Hung PS, Tu HF, Kao SY, et al.
miR-31 is upregulated in oral premalignant epithelium and contributes to the immortalization of normal oral keratinocytes.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(5):1162-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a prevalent malignancy worldwide. MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression and are crucial for tumorigenesis. Previously, we have identified that miR-31 is frequently upregulated in OSCC and that this miR-31 increase, together with downstream effector modulation, enhances oral carcinogenesis. We have identified higher levels of miR-31 expression in oral potential malignant disorder (OPMD) tissues compared with normal oral mucosa. Exogenous miR-31 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression were introduced into cultured normal oral keratinocytes (NOKs), which led to the immortalization; these lines were designated M31OK1 and M31OK3. These immortalized lines maintained the capability to undergo squamous differentiation. In addition, migration by both cell lines was attenuated by hTERT and miR-31 knockdown. M31OK1 carries a p53 gene mutation at codon 273. A serum-tolerant subline, M31OK1-D, exhibits potent anchorage-independent growth that is attenuated by knockdown of both hTERT and miR-31. miR-31-targeted factors inhibiting HIF (FIH), which upregulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), was found crucial for oral tumorigenesis. The proliferation, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of M31OK1-D are associated with downregulation of FIH and upregulation of VEGF, which require miR-31 expression. High miR-31 expression is correlated with higher VEGF expression and lower E-cadherin expression in OPMD tissue. It can be concluded that miR-31 collaborates with hTERT to immortalize NOKs and that this may contribute to early stage oral carcinogenesis. The targeting of downstream factors by miR-31 may further advance the neoplastic progression of immortalized NOKs, allowing them to become malignant.

Related: VEGFA

Wang E, Zhang C, Polavaram N, et al.
The role of factor inhibiting HIF (FIH-1) in inhibiting HIF-1 transcriptional activity in glioblastoma multiforme.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86102 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/06/2015 Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) accounts for about 38% of primary brain tumors in the United States. GBM is characterized by extensive angiogenesis induced by vascular growth factors and cytokines. The transcription of these growth factors and cytokines is regulated by the Hypoxia-Inducible-Factor-1(HIF-1), which is a key regulator mediating the cellular response to hypoxia. It is known that Factor Inhibiting HIF-1, or FIH-1, is also involved in the cellular response to hypoxia and has the capability to physically interact with HIF-1 and block its transcriptional activity under normoxic conditions. Delineation of the regulatory role of FIH-1 will help us to better understand the molecular mechanism responsible for tumor growth and progression and may lead to the design of new therapies targeting cellular pathways in response to hypoxia. Previous studies have shown that the chromosomal region of 10q24 containing the FIH-1 gene is often deleted in GBM, suggesting a role for the FIH-1 in GBM tumorigenesis and progression. In the current study, we found that FIH-1 is able to inhibit HIF-mediated transcription of GLUT1 and VEGF-A, even under hypoxic conditions in human glioblastoma cells. FIH-1 has been found to be more potent in inhibiting HIF function than PTEN. This observation points to the possibility that deletion of 10q23-24 and loss or decreased expression of FIH-1 gene may lead to a constitutive activation of HIF-1 activity, an alteration of HIF-1 targets such as GLUT-1 and VEGF-A, and may contribute to the survival of cancer cells in hypoxia and the development of hypervascularization observed in GBM. Therefore FIH-1 can be potential therapeutic target for the treatment of GBM patients with poor prognosis.

Related: EP300 gene SLC2A1 HIF1A VEGFA

Desai AJ, Roberts DJ, Richards GO, Skerry TM
Role of receptor activity modifying protein 1 in function of the calcium sensing receptor in the human TT thyroid carcinoma cell line.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85237 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/06/2015 Related Publications
The Calcium Sensing Receptor (CaSR) plays a role in calcium homeostasis by sensing minute changes in serum Ca(2+) and modulating secretion of calciotropic hormones. It has been shown in transfected cells that accessory proteins known as Receptor Activity Modifying Proteins (RAMPs), specifically RAMPs 1 and 3, are required for cell-surface trafficking of the CaSR. These effects have only been demonstrated in transfected cells, so their physiological relevance is unclear. Here we explored CaSR/RAMP interactions in detail, and showed that in thyroid human carcinoma cells, RAMP1 is required for trafficking of the CaSR. Furthermore, we show that normal RAMP1 function is required for intracellular responses to ligands. Specifically, to confirm earlier studies with tagged constructs, and to provide the additional benefit of quantitative stoichiometric analysis, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer to show equal abilities of RAMP1 and 3 to chaperone CaSR to the cell surface, though RAMP3 interacted more efficiently with the receptor. Furthermore, a higher fraction of RAMP3 than RAMP1 was observed in CaSR-complexes on the cell-surface, suggesting different ratios of RAMPs to CaSR. In order to determine relevance of these findings in an endogenous expression system we assessed the effect of RAMP1 siRNA knock-down in medullary thyroid carcinoma TT cells, (which express RAMP1, but not RAMP3 constitutively) and measured a significant 50% attenuation of signalling in response to CaSR ligands Cinacalcet and neomycin. Blockade of RAMP1 using specific antibodies induced a concentration-dependent reduction in CaSR-mediated signalling in response to Cinacalcet in TT cells, suggesting a novel functional role for RAMP1 in regulation of CaSR signalling in addition to its known role in receptor trafficking. These data provide evidence that RAMPs traffic the CaSR as higher-level oligomers and play a role in CaSR signalling even after cell surface localisation has occurred.

Related: Signal Transduction Thyroid Cancer

Chen H, Zheng X, Di B, et al.
Aptamer modification improves the adenoviral transduction of malignant glioma cells.
J Biotechnol. 2013; 168(4):362-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adenovirus has shown increasing promise in the gene-viral therapy for glioblastoma, a treatment strategy that relies on the delivery of viruses or transgenes into tumor cells. However, targeting of adenovirus to human glioblastoma remains a challenge due to the low expression level of coxsackie and adenovirus receptor (CAR) in glioma cells. Aptamers are small and highly structured single-stranded oligonucleotides that bind at high affinity to a target molecule, and are good candidates for targeted imaging and therapy. In this study, to construct an aptamer-modified Ad5, we first genetically modified the HVR5 of Ad hexon by biotin acceptor peptide (BAP), which would be metabolically biotinylated during production in HEK293 cells, and then attached the biotin labeled aptamer to the modified Ad through avidin–biotin binding. The aptamers used in this study includes AS1411 and GBI-10. The former is a DNA aptamer that can bind to nucleolin, a nuclear matrix protein found on the surface of cancer cells. The latter is a DNA aptamer that can recognize the extracellular matrix protein tenascin-C on the surface of human glioblastoma cells. To examine if aptamer-modification of the hexon protein could improve the adenoviral transduction efficiency, a glioblastoma cell line, U251, was transduced with aptamer-modified Ads. The transduction efficiency of AS1411- or GBI-10-modified Ad was approximately 4.1-fold or 5.2-fold higher than that of the control. The data indicated that aptamer modified adenovirus would be a useful tool for cancer gene therapy.

Jiang H, Zhang W, Shang P, et al.
Transfection of chimeric anti-CD138 gene enhances natural killer cell activation and killing of multiple myeloma cells.
Mol Oncol. 2014; 8(2):297-310 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reprogramming of NK cells with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) proved an effective strategy to increase NK cell reactivity and recognition specificity toward tumor cells. To enhance the cytotoxicity of NK cells against CD138-positive multiple myeloma (MM) cells, we generated genetically modified NK-92MI cells carrying a CAR that consists of an anti-CD138 single-chain variable fragment (scFv) fused to the CD3ζ chain as a signaling moiety. The genetic modification through a lentiviral vector did not affect the intrinsic cytolytic activity of NK-92MI toward human erythroleukemic cell line K562 cells or CD138-negative targets. However, these retargeted NK-92MI (NK-92MI-scFv) displayed markedly enhanced cytotoxicity against CD138-positive human MM cell lines (RPMI8226, U266 and NCI-H929) and primary MM cells at various effector-to-target ratios (E:T) as compared to the empty vector-transfected NK-92MI (NK-92MI-mock). In line with the enhanced cytotoxicity of NK-92MI-scFv, significant elevations in the secretion of granzyme B, interferon-γ and proportion of CD107a expression were also found in NK-92MI-scFv in response to CD138-positive targets compared with NK-92MI-mock. Most importantly, the enhancement in the cytotoxicity of NK-92MI-scFv did not attenuate with 10Gy-irradiation that sufficiently blocked cell proliferation. Moreover, the irradiated NK-92MI-scFv exerted definitely intensified anti-tumor activity toward CD138-positive MM cells than NK-92MI-mock in the xenograft NOD-SCID mouse model. This study provides the rationale and feasibility for adoptive immunotherapy with CD138-specific CAR-modified NK cells in CD138-positive plasmacytic malignancies, which potentially further improves remission quality and prolongs the remission duration of patients with MM after upfront chemotherapy.

Related: Myeloma Myeloma - Molecular Biology SDC1

Labbé DP, Nowak DG, Deblois G, et al.
Prostate cancer genetic-susceptibility locus on chromosome 20q13 is amplified and coupled to androgen receptor-regulation in metastatic tumors.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(2):184-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2015 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The 20q13 chromosomal region has been previously identified as the hereditary prostate cancer genetic-susceptibility locus on chromosome 20 (HPC20). In this study, the 20q13 region was shown to be frequently co-amplified with the androgen receptor (AR) in metastatic prostate cancer. Furthermore, the AR signaling axis, which plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer, was demonstrated to be central to the regulation of the 20q13 common amplified region (CAR). High-resolution mapping analyses revealed hot spots of AR recruitment to response elements in the vicinity of most genes located on the 20q13 CAR. Moreover, amplification of AR significantly co-occurred with CAR amplification on 20q13 and it was confirmed that the majority of AR-bound genes on the 20q13 CAR were indeed regulated by androgens. These data reveal that amplification of the AR is tightly linked to amplification of the AR-regulated CAR region on 20q13. These results suggest that the cross-talk between gene amplification and gene transcription is an important step in the development of castration-resistant metastatic disease.
IMPLICATIONS: These novel results are a noteworthy example of the cross-talk between gene amplification and gene transcription in the development of advanced prostate cancer.

Related: Chromosome 20 Prostate Cancer AR: androgen receptor

Budde LE, Berger C, Lin Y, et al.
Combining a CD20 chimeric antigen receptor and an inducible caspase 9 suicide switch to improve the efficacy and safety of T cell adoptive immunotherapy for lymphoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e82742 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2015 Related Publications
Modification of T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) has emerged as a promising treatment modality for human malignancies. Integration of co-stimulatory domains into CARs can augment the activation and function of genetically targeted T cells against tumors. However, the potential for insertional mutagenesis and toxicities due to the infused cells have made development of safe methods for removing transferred cells an important consideration. We have genetically modified human T cells with a lentiviral vector to express a CD20-CAR containing both CD28 and CD137 co-stimulatory domains, a "suicide gene" relying on inducible activation of caspase 9 (iC9), and a truncated CD19 selectable marker. Rapid expansion (2000 fold) of the transduced T cells was achieved in 28 days after stimulation with artificial antigen presenting cells. Transduced T cells exhibited effective CD20-specific cytotoxic activity in vitro and in a mouse xenograft tumor model. Activation of the iC9 suicide switch resulted in efficient removal of transduced T cells both in vitro and in vivo. Our work demonstrates the feasibility and promise of this approach for treating CD20(+) malignancies in a safe and more efficient manner. A phase I clinical trial using this approach in patients with relapsed indolent B-NHL is planned.

Geldres C, Savoldo B, Hoyos V, et al.
T lymphocytes redirected against the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan-4 control the growth of multiple solid tumors both in vitro and in vivo.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(4):962-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/02/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Because of its high expression on various types of tumors and its restricted distribution in normal tissues, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan-4 (CSPG4) represents an attractive target for the antibody-based therapy of several solid tumors. We tested whether T cells transduced with a CSPG4-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) inhibited the growth of CSPG4-expressing tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We first independently validated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) the expression of CSPG4 in an extensive panel of tumor arrays and normal tissues as well as queried public gene expression profiling datasets of human tumors. We constructed a second-generation CSPG4-specific CAR also encoding the CD28 costimulatory endodomain (CAR.CSPG4). We then evaluated human T lymphocytes expressing this CAR for their ex vivo and in vivo antitumor activity against a broad panel of solid tumors.
RESULTS: IHC showed that CSPG4 is highly expressed in melanoma, breast cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and mesothelioma. In addition, in silico analysis of microarray expression data identified other important potential tumors expressing this target, including glioblastoma, clear cell renal carcinoma, and sarcomas. T lymphocytes genetically modified with a CSPG4-CAR controlled tumor growth in vitro and in vivo in NSG mice engrafted with human melanoma, HNSCC, and breast carcinoma cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: CAR.CSPG4-redirected T cells should provide an effective treatment modality for a variety of solid tumors.

Related: Breast Cancer Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology Melanoma Mesothelioma Neuroblastoma

Heczey A, Louis CU
Advances in chimeric antigen receptor immunotherapy for neuroblastoma.
Discov Med. 2013; 16(90):287-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/02/2015 Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NBL) is the most common extracranial pediatric solid tumor and has heterogeneous biology and behavior. Patients with high-risk disease have poor prognosis despite complex multimodal therapy; therefore, novel curative approaches are needed. Immunotherapy is a novel therapeutic approach that harnesses the inherent activity of the immune system to control and eliminate malignant cells. One form of immunotherapy uses chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) to target tumor-associated antigens. CARs are derived from the antigen-binding domain of a monoclonal antibody (MAb) coupled with the intracellular signaling portion of the T cell receptor. CARs can combine the specificity and effectiveness of MAbs with the active bio-distribution, direct cytotoxicity, and long-term persistence of T cells. NBL provides an attractive target for CAR immunotherapy as many of its tumor-associated antigens are not expressed at significant levels on normal tissues, thus decreasing potential treatment related toxicity. Two previous clinical trials utilizing L1-cell adhesion molecule (L1-CAM) and disialoganglioside (GD2) specific CARs (GD2-CAR) have demonstrated safety and anti-tumor efficacy in heavily pretreated relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma patients. Based on these promising results and on improved techniques that can further potentiate CAR therapies, two clinical trials are currently investigating the use of GD2-CARs in children with NBL. Several approaches may further enhance anti-tumor activity and persistence of CAR modified cells, and if these can be safely translated into the clinic, CAR-based immunotherapy could become a viable adjunct or potential alternative to conventional treatment options for patients with NBL.

Related: Monoclonal Antibodies Neuroblastoma

Gschweng E, De Oliveira S, Kohn DB
Hematopoietic stem cells for cancer immunotherapy.
Immunol Rev. 2014; 257(1):237-49 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) provide an attractive target for immunotherapy of cancer and leukemia by the introduction of genes encoding T-cell receptors (TCRs) or chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) directed against tumor-associated antigens. HSCs engraft for long-term blood cell production and could provide a continuous source of targeted anti-cancer effector cells to sustain remissions. T cells produced de novo from HSCs may continuously replenish anti-tumor T cells that have become anergic or exhausted from ex vivo expansion or exposure to the intratumoral microenvironment. In addition, transgenic T cells produced in vivo undergo allelic exclusion, preventing co-expression of an endogenous TCR that could mis-pair with the introduced TCR chains and blunt activity or even cause off-target reactivity. CAR-engineered HSCs may produce myeloid and natural killer cells in addition to T cells expressing the CAR, providing broader anti-tumor activity that arises quickly after transplant and does not solely require de novo thymopoiesis. Use of TCR- or CAR-engineered HSCs would likely require cytoreductive conditioning to achieve long-term engraftment, and this approach may be used in clinical settings where autologous HSC transplant is being performed to add a graft-versus-tumor effect. Results of experimental and preclinical studies performed to date are reviewed.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Singh H, Huls H, Kebriaei P, Cooper LJ
A new approach to gene therapy using Sleeping Beauty to genetically modify clinical-grade T cells to target CD19.
Immunol Rev. 2014; 257(1):181-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
The advent of efficient approaches to the genetic modification of T cells has provided investigators with clinically appealing methods to improve the potency of tumor-specific clinical grade T cells. For example, gene therapy has been successfully used to enforce expression of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that provide T cells with ability to directly recognize tumor-associated antigens without the need for presentation by human leukocyte antigen. Gene transfer of CARs can be undertaken using viral-based and non-viral approaches. We have advanced DNA vectors derived from the Sleeping Beauty (SB) system to avoid the expense and manufacturing difficulty associated with transducing T cells with recombinant viral vectors. After electroporation, the transposon/transposase improves the efficiency of integration of plasmids used to express CAR and other transgenes in T cells. The SB system combined with artificial antigen-presenting cells (aAPC) can selectively propagate and thus retrieve CAR(+) T cells suitable for human application. This review describes the translation of the SB system and aAPC for use in clinical trials and highlights how a nimble and cost-effective approach to developing genetically modified T cells can be used to implement clinical trials infusing next-generation T cells with improved therapeutic potential.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Cieri N, Mastaglio S, Oliveira G, et al.
Adoptive immunotherapy with genetically modified lymphocytes in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Immunol Rev. 2014; 257(1):165-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a healthy donor (allo-HSCT) represents the most potent form of cellular adoptive immunotherapy to treat malignancies. In allo-HSCT, donor T cells are double edge-swords: highly potent against residual tumor cells, but potentially highly toxic, and responsible for graft versus host disease (GVHD), a major clinical complication of transplantation. Gene transfer technologies coupled with current knowledge on cancer immunology have generated a wide range of approaches aimed at fostering the immunological response to cancer cells, while avoiding or controlling GVHD. In this review, we discuss cell and gene therapy approaches currently tested in preclinical models and in clinical trials.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Dotti G, Gottschalk S, Savoldo B, Brenner MK
Design and development of therapies using chimeric antigen receptor-expressing T cells.
Immunol Rev. 2014; 257(1):107-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Investigators developed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) for expression on T cells more than 25 years ago. When the CAR is derived from an antibody, the resultant cell should combine the desirable targeting features of an antibody (e.g. lack of requirement for major histocompatibility complex recognition, ability to recognize non-protein antigens) with the persistence, trafficking, and effector functions of a T cell. This article describes how the past two decades have seen a crescendo of research which has now begun to translate these potential benefits into effective treatments for patients with cancer. We describe the basic design of CARs, describe how antigenic targets are selected, and the initial clinical experience with CAR-T cells. Our review then describes our own and other investigators' work aimed at improving the function of CARs and reviews the clinical studies in hematological and solid malignancies that are beginning to exploit these approaches. Finally, we show the value of adding additional engineering features to CAR-T cells, irrespective of their target, to render them better suited to function in the tumor environment, and discuss how the safety of these heavily modified cells may be maintained.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Cheadle EJ, Gornall H, Baldan V, et al.
CAR T cells: driving the road from the laboratory to the clinic.
Immunol Rev. 2014; 257(1):91-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
Blockbuster antibody therapies have catapulted immune-based approaches to treat cancer into the consciousness of mainstay clinical research. On the back of this, other emerging immune-based therapies are providing great promise. T-cell therapy is one such area where recent trials using T cells genetically modified to express an antibody-based chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeted against the CD19 antigen have demonstrated impressive responses when adoptively transferred to patients with advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The general concept of the CAR T cell was devised some 20 years ago. In this relatively short period of time, the technology to redirect T-cell function has moved at pace facilitating clinical translation; however, many questions remain with respect to developing the approach to improve CAR T-cell therapeutic activity and also to broaden the range of tumors that can be effectively targeted by this approach. This review highlights some of the underlying principles and compromises of CAR T-cell technology using the CD19-targeted CAR as a paradigm and discusses some of the issues that relate to targeting solid tumors with CAR T cells.

Wang H, Cai Z, Yang F, et al.
Enhanced antitumor efficacy of integrin-targeted oncolytic adenovirus AxdAdB3-F/RGD on bladder cancer.
Urology. 2014; 83(2):508.e13-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of AxdAdB-3 with Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-fiber modification (AxdAdB3-F/RGD), which enables integrin-dependent infection in bladder cancers.
METHODS: Flow cytometric analysis was applied to evaluated adenovirus-mediated gene transduction into various cells. The cytopathic effects of AxdAdB3-F/RGD were evaluated in bladder cancer cell lines and a normal bladder mucosa-derived cell line (HCV29) with AxCAZ3-F/RGD (control) or AxdAdB-3. The efficacy of bladder instillation therapy with AxdAdB3-F/RGD for orthotopic bladder cancer was investigated in nude mice.
RESULTS: Expression of coxsackievirus adenovirus receptor (CAR) and integrins (αvβ3 and αvβ5) vary in different bladder cancer cell lines. The susceptibility of various cell lines to adenovirus was associated with the expression of CAR. AxdAdB-3 was more cytopathic in CAR-positive bladder cancer cells than in CAR-negative cells, whereas AxdAdB3-F/RGD caused effective oncolysis in both CAR-positive and CAR-negative bladder cancer cells. AxdAdB3-F/RGD was not cytotoxic to HCV29 cells. Direct instillation of AxdAdB3-F/RGD into the bladder of the orthotopic model, established by CAR-deficient human bladder cancer cells, inhibited tumor growth and led to significantly elongated survival.
CONCLUSION: E1A and E1B double-restricted oncolytic adenovirus with RGD fiber modification has enhanced infectivity and oncolytic effects to CAR-deficient bladder cancers, suggesting the therapeutic potential of AxdAdB3-F/RGD for bladder cancers.

Related: Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology

Asraf H, Salomon S, Nevo A, et al.
The ZnR/GPR39 interacts with the CaSR to enhance signaling in prostate and salivary epithelia.
J Cell Physiol. 2014; 229(7):868-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Zinc signaling is mediated by the zinc sensing receptor, ZnR, recently suggested to be the same receptor as G-protein coupled receptor 39, GPR39. However, it is unknown if GPR39 is mediating Zn(2+) -dependent signaling in prostate and salivary tissue where changes in zinc concentrations are frequent and of physiological significance. Here, we show that GPR39 is mediating Zn(2+) -dependent Ca(2+) responses and is regulating activity of MAP and PI3 pathways in prostate cancer cells, PC3, and ductal salivary gland cells, HSY. We next ask whether ZnR/GPR39 interacts with other GPCR family members. We find that endogenous ZnR/GPR39 activity is regulated by the expression and activity of another cation sensing GPCR, the Ca(2+) -sensing receptor (CaSR). Although CaSR is not activated by Zn(2+), co-expression of CaSR and ZnR/GPR39 synergistically enhances Ca(2+) responses in PC3 and HSY cells. Silencing of the CaSR using siRNA or a dominant negative construct reduces the Zn(2+) -dependent signaling. Importantly, overexpression of GPR39 in HEK293 cells is sufficient to trigger Zn(2+) -dependent responses. Nevertheless, application of the CaSR agonist spermine, at concentration below its threshold, enhanced Zn(2+) -dependent Ca(2+) response. Our results suggest that the CaSR interacts with ZnR/GPR39 and thereby regulates its activity. Finally, we show that in PC3 cells ZnR/GPR39 is required for mediating the Zn(2+) -dependent activation of MAPK and PI3K, pathways leading to enhanced cell growth. Importantly, Zn(2+) -dependent activation of ZnR/GPR39 also enhances the expression of the Ca(2+) -binding protein S100A4 that is linked to invasion of prostate cancer cells.

Related: Prostate Cancer Signal Transduction S100A4

Peng SF, Lee CY, Hour MJ, et al.
Curcumin-loaded nanoparticles enhance apoptotic cell death of U2OS human osteosarcoma cells through the Akt-Bad signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(1):238-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Curcumin has potential anticancer activity and has been shown to be involved in several signaling pathways including differentiation and apoptosis. Our previous study showed that water-soluble PLGA curcumin nanoparticles (Cur-NPs) triggered apoptotic cell death through regulation of the function of MDR1 and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cisplatin-resistant human oral cancer CAR cells. In this study, we investigated the anti-proliferative effects of Cur-NPs on human osteosarcoma U2OS cells. The morphology of Cur-NPs showed spherical shape by TEM analysis. The encapsulation efficiency of curcumin in Cur-NPs prepared by single emulsion was 90.5 ± 3.0%. Our results demonstrated that the curcumin fragments on the mass spectrum of Cur-NPs and the peaks of curcumin standard could be found on the Cur-NPs spectrum by 1H-NMR spectra analysis. Cur-NPs induced anti-proliferative effects and apoptosis in U2OS cells. Compared to the untreated U2OS cells, more detectable amount of Cur-NPs was found inside the treated U2OS cells. Cur-NPs induced DNA fragmentation and apoptotic bodies in U2OS cells. Both the activity and the expression levels of caspases-3/-7 and caspase-9 were elevated in the treated U2OS cells. Cur-NPs upregulated the protein expression levels of cleaved caspase-3/caspase-9, cytochrome c, Apaf-1 and Bad and downregulated the protein expression level of p-Akt in U2OS cells. These results suggest Cur-NPs are effective in enhancing apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells and thus could provide potential for cancer therapeutics.

Related: Apoptosis Osteosarcoma Signal Transduction BAD

Sarkar S, Azab B, Quinn BA, et al.
Chemoprevention gene therapy (CGT) of pancreatic cancer using perillyl alcohol and a novel chimeric serotype cancer terminator virus.
Curr Mol Med. 2014; 14(1):125-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Conditionally replication competent adenoviruses (Ads) that selectively replicate in cancer cells and simultaneously express a therapeutic cytokine, such as melanoma differentiation associated gene- 7/Interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), a Cancer Terminator Virus (CTV-M7), hold potential for treating human cancers. To enhance the efficacy of the CTV-M7, we generated a chimeric Ad.5 and Ad.3 modified fiber bipartite CTV (Ad.5/3-CTV-M7) that can infect tumor cells in a Coxsackie Adenovirus receptor (CAR) independent manner, while retaining high infectivity in cancer cells containing high CAR. Although mda-7/IL-24 displays broad-spectrum anticancer properties, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells display an intrinsic resistance to mda-7/IL-24-mediated killing due to an mda-7/IL-24 mRNA translational block. However, using a chemoprevention gene therapy (CGT) approach with perillyl alcohol (POH) and a replication incompetent Ad to deliver mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) there is enhanced conversion of mda-7/IL-24 mRNA into protein resulting in pancreatic cancer cell death in vitro and in vivo in nude mice containing human PDAC xenografts. This combination synergistically induces mda-7/IL-24-mediated cancer-specific apoptosis by inhibiting anti-apoptotic Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 protein expression and inducing an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response through induction of BiP/GRP-78, which is most evident in chimeric-modified non-replicating Ad.5/3- mda-7- and CTV-M7-infected PDAC cells. Moreover, Ad.5/3-CTV-M7 in combination with POH sensitizes therapy-resistant MIA PaCa-2 cell lines over-expressing either Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL to mda-7/IL-24-mediated apoptosis. Ad.5/3-CTV-M7 plus POH also exerts a significant antitumor 'bystander' effect in vivo suppressing both primary and distant site tumor growth, confirming therapeutic utility of Ad.5/3-CTV-M7 plus POH in PDAC treatment, where all other current treatment strategies in clinical settings show minimal efficacy.

Related: Apoptosis Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer IL24 (MDA7)

Cross BM, Breitwieser GE, Reinhardt TA, Rao R
Cellular calcium dynamics in lactation and breast cancer: from physiology to pathology.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2014; 306(6):C515-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2015 Related Publications
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women, estimated at nearly 40,000 deaths and more than 230,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. One of the defining characteristics of breast cancer is the radiographic presence of microcalcifications. These palpable mineral precipitates are commonly found in the breast after formation of a tumor. Since free Ca(2+) plays a crucial role as a second messenger inside cells, we hypothesize that these chelated precipitates may be a result of dysregulated Ca(2+) secretion associated with tumorigenesis. Transient and sustained elevations of intracellular Ca(2+) regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell migration, and offer numerous therapeutic possibilities in controlling tumor growth and metastasis. During lactation, a developmentally determined program of gene expression controls the massive transcellular mobilization of Ca(2+) from the blood into milk by the coordinated action of calcium transporters, including pumps, channels, sensors and buffers, in a functional module that we term CALTRANS. Here we assess the evidence implicating genes that regulate free and buffered Ca(2+) in normal breast epithelium and cancer cells and discuss mechanisms that are likely to contribute to the pathological characteristics of breast cancer.

Related: Apoptosis Breast Cancer

Anurathapan U, Chan RC, Hindi HF, et al.
Kinetics of tumor destruction by chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells.
Mol Ther. 2014; 22(3):623-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
The use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells as a therapy for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors is becoming more widespread. However, the infusion of a T-cell product targeting a single tumor-associated antigen may lead to target antigen modulation under this selective pressure, with subsequent tumor immune escape. With the purpose of preventing this phenomenon, we have studied the impact of simultaneously targeting two distinct antigens present on tumor cells: namely mucin 1 and prostate stem cell antigen, both of which are expressed in a variety of solid tumors, including pancreatic and prostate cancer. When used individually, CAR T cells directed against either tumor antigen were able to kill target-expressing cancer cells, but tumor heterogeneity led to immune escape. As a combination therapy, we demonstrate superior antitumor effects using both CARs simultaneously, but this was nevertheless insufficient to achieve a complete response. To understand the mechanism of escape, we studied the kinetics of T-cell killing and found that the magnitude of tumor destruction depended not only on the presence of target antigens but also on the intensity of expression-a feature that could be altered by administering epigenetic modulators that upregulated target expression and enhanced CAR T-cell potency.

Related: MUC1 gene Prostate Cancer


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