CD47

Gene Summary

Gene:CD47; CD47 molecule
Aliases: IAP, OA3, MER6
Location:3q13.1-q13.2
Summary:This gene encodes a membrane protein, which is involved in the increase in intracellular calcium concentration that occurs upon cell adhesion to extracellular matrix. The encoded protein is also a receptor for the C-terminal cell binding domain of thrombospondin, and it may play a role in membrane transport and signal transduction. This gene has broad tissue distribution, and is reduced in expression on Rh erythrocytes. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:leukocyte surface antigen CD47
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (16)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 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.

  • Transfection
  • Tumor Escape
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Vanadates
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Transcription Factors
  • Urothelium
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Xenograft Models
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • MicroRNAs
  • Monoclonal Antibodies
  • Osteopontin
  • CD Antigens
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone Marrow
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Chromosome 3
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Phagocytosis
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Signal Transduction
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Tumor Markers
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Circulating Cancer Cells
  • Antigens, CD44
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein
  • Antigens, CD47
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 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: CD47 (cancer-related)

Boukhari A, Alhosin M, Bronner C, et al.
CD47 activation-induced UHRF1 over-expression is associated with silencing of tumor suppressor gene p16INK4A in glioblastoma cells.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(1):149-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
CD47, an integrin-associated protein is over-expressed in several tumors including glioblastomas. Activation of CD47 induces proliferation of human astrocytoma cells but not normal astrocytes via an Akt-dependent way. However, the pathways mediating this process are still unknown. The epigenetic integrator UHRF1 (Ubiquitin-like containing PHD and RING Finger 1) is over-expressed in various cancers and plays a vital role in the silencing of numerous tumor suppressor genes including p16(INK4A), thereby promoting cell proliferation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of UHRF1 and p16(INK4A) in CD47-induced effects. Herein we showed that activation of CD47 in human astrocytoma cell lines U87 and CCF- STTG1 (Grade IV), up-regulated the expression of UHRF1 with subsequent down-regulation of p16(INK4A), thus promoting cell proliferation. Blockage of CD47 using a blocking antibody down-regulated UHRF1 expression, accompanied by a re-expression of p16(INK4A), conducting to decreased cell proliferation in both cancer cell lines. Neither CD47 activation nor its blocking has any effect on UHRF1/p16(INK4A) expression in normal human astrocytes. Depletion of CD47 in the U87 cell line resulted in down-regulation of UHRF1. We also found that CD47 activated the inflammatory genes IL-6, IL-7 and MCP-1 by a NF-κB-dependent mechanism in human astrocytoma but not in normal astrocytes. In conclusion, the present findings indicate that CD47 activation increases expression of UHRF1 and suggest, for the first time, that CD47 regulates the epigenetic code by targeting UHRF1. This could represent a new pathway towards cell proliferation and metastasis.

Lee SH, Lee JY, Jung CL, et al.
A novel antagonist to the inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) potentiates cell death in EGFR-overexpressing non-small-cell lung cancer cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1477 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the effort to develop an efficient chemotherapy drug for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), we analyzed the anti-tumorigenic effects of a novel small molecule targeting the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAPs), HM90822B, on NSCLC cells. HM90822B efficiently decreased IAP expression, especially that of XIAP and survivin, in several NSCLC cells. Interestingly, cells overexpressing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) due to the mutations were more sensitive to HM90822B, undergoing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis when treated. In xenograft experiments, inoculated EGFR-overexpressing NSCLC cells showed tumor regression when treated with the inhibitor, demonstrating the chemotherapeutic potential of this agent. Mechanistically, decreased levels of EGFR, Akt and phospho-MAPKs were observed in inhibitor-treated PC-9 cells on phosphorylation array and western blotting analysis, indicating that the reagent inhibited cell growth by preventing critical cell survival signaling pathways. In addition, gene-specific knockdown studies against XIAP and/or EGFR further uncovered the involvement of Akt and MAPK pathways in HM90822B-mediated downregulation of NSCLC cell growth. Together, these results support that HM90822B is a promising candidate to be developed as lung tumor chemotherapeutics by targeting oncogenic activities of IAP together with inhibiting cell survival signaling pathways.

Hou W, Guan J, Lu H, et al.
The effects of dexamethasone on the proliferation and apoptosis of human ovarian cancer cells induced by paclitaxel.
J Ovarian Res. 2014; 7:89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone (DEX) has been routinely used as a pre-treatment in the clinical application of paclitaxel (PTX) to treat ovarian cancer. However, PTX-induced apoptosis might be inhibited by DEX. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of DEX on the apoptosis induced by PTX.
METHODS: Both of SKOV-3 and HO-8910 human ovarian cancer cells were divided into four groups: (1) untreated (Con); (2) treated with DEX (0.1 μM) alone; (3) treated with PTX (50 nM); and (4) pre-treated with DEX (0.1 μM), and 24 h later, treated with PTX (DEX + PTX). Cell proliferation was determined by the 3-(4,5)-dimethylthiahiazo (-z-y1)-3,5-di- phenytetrazoliumromide (MTT) dye uptake method, while cell apoptosis was analyzed by propidium iodide (PI) staining and flow cytometry. Then, reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCRs) were applied to semi-quantitative analysis, followed by western blot analysis. Statistical analysis was performed, with Fisher's least significant difference test.
RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that DEX can differentially inhibit SKOV-3 and HO-8910 cell proliferation induced by PTX and decrease the apoptosis rates in cancer cells. Pre-treatment with DEX could up-regulate the expressions of members of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family (Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL) and members of IAP family (survivin). The expression of cleaved caspase-3 was down-regulated by DEX, shown by semi-quantitative RT-PCRs and western blot analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data gained invaluable insights of the antagonistic mechanisms of DEX on PTX-induced cancer cell death and may provide new methods of using DEX as antineoplastic drugs or agents in the clinical treatment for ovarian cancer patients.

Hu R, Li J, Liu Z, et al.
GDC-0152 induces apoptosis through down-regulation of IAPs in human leukemia cells and inhibition of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(2):577-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
The inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) is closely related to leukemia apoptosis. The present study was undertaken to determine the molecular mechanisms by which GDC-0152, an IAP inhibitor, induces apoptosis in human leukemia cells (K562 and HL60 cells). GDC-0152 inhibited the proliferation of K562 and HL60 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, which was largely attributed to intrinsic apoptosis. GDC-0152 down-regulated the IAPs including X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-1 (cIAP1), and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein-2 (cIAP2) expression and induced the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. GDC-0152-induced cell proliferation inhibition in K562 cells was prevented by pan-caspase inhibitor. GDC-0152 also inhibited PI3K and Akt expression in K562 and HL60 cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that GDC-0152 results in human leukemia apoptosis through caspase-dependent mechanisms involving down-regulation of IAPs and inhibition of PI3K/Akt signaling.

Cao Z, Li X, Li J, et al.
X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) lacking RING domain localizes to the nuclear and promotes cancer cell anchorage-independent growth by targeting the E2F1/Cyclin E axis.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(16):7126-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The inhibitor of apoptosis protein XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein) is a well-documented protein that is located in cytoplasm acting as a potent regulator of cell apoptosis. Here, we showed that expressing XIAP with RING (Really Interesting New Gene) domain deletion (XIAP△RING) in cancer cells promoted cancer cell anchorage-independent growth and G1/S phase transition companied with increasing cyclin e transcription activity and protein expression. Further studies revealed that XIAP△RING was mainly localized in nuclear with increased binding with E2F1, whereas XIAP with BIR (Baculoviral IAP Repeat) domains deletion (XIAP△BIRs) was entirely presented in cytoplasma with losing its binding with E2F1, suggesting that RING domain was able to inhibit BIR domains nuclear localization, by which impaired BIRs binding with E2F1 in cellular nucleus in intact cells. These studies identified a new function of XIAP protein in cellular nucleus is to regulate E2F1 transcriptional activity by binding with E2F1 in cancer cells. Our current finding of an effect of XIAP△RING expression on cancer cell anchorage-independent growth suggests that overexpression of this protein may contribute to genetic instability associated with cell cycle and checkpoint perturbations, in addition to its impact on cellular apoptosis.

Di Fiore R, Drago-Ferrante R, Pentimalli F, et al.
MicroRNA-29b-1 impairs in vitro cell proliferation, self‑renewal and chemoresistance of human osteosarcoma 3AB-OS cancer stem cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(5):2013-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common type of bone cancer, with a peak incidence in the early childhood. Emerging evidence suggests that treatments targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) within a tumor can halt cancer and improve patient survival. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the maintenance of the CSC phenotype, thus, identification of CSC-related miRNAs would provide information for a better understanding of CSCs. Downregulation of miRNA-29 family members (miR-29a/b/c; miR‑29s) was observed in human OS, however, little is known about the functions of miR-29s in human OS CSCs. Previously, during the characterization of 3AB-OS cells, a CSC line selected from human OS MG63 cells, we showed a potent downregulation of miR-29b. In this study, after stable transfection of 3AB-OS cells with miR-29b-1, we investigated the role of miR-29b-1 in regulating cell proliferation, sarcosphere-forming ability, clonogenic growth, chemosensitivity, migration and invasive ability of 3AB-OS cells, in vitro. We found that, miR-29b-1 overexpression consistently reduced both, 3AB-OS CSCs growth in two- and three-dimensional culture systems and their sarcosphere- and colony-forming ability. In addition, while miR-29b-1 overexpression sensitized 3AB-OS cells to chemotherapeutic drug-induced apoptosis, it did not influence their migratory and invasive capacities, thus suggesting a context-depending role of miR-29b-1. Using publicly available databases, we proceeded to identify potential miR-29b target genes, known to play a role in the above reported functions. Among these targets we analyzed CD133, N-Myc, CCND2, E2F1 and E2F2, Bcl-2 and IAP-2. We also analyzed the most important stemness markers as Oct3/4, Sox2 and Nanog. Real-time RT-PCR and western-blot analyses showed that miR-29b-1 negatively regulated the expression of these markers. Overall, the results show that miR-29b-1 suppresses stemness properties of 3AB-OS CSCs and suggest that developing miR-29b-1 as a novel therapeutic agent might offer benefits for OS treatment.

Tang SC, Chen YC
Novel therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(31):10825-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer has become the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the last two decades. Only 3%-15% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had 5 year survival rate. Drug resistance, high metastasis, poor prognosis and tumour relapse contributed to the malignancies and difficulties in treating pancreatic cancer. The current standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer is gemcitabine, however its efficacy is far from satisfactory, one of the reasons is due to the complex tumour microenvironment which decreases effective drug delivery to target cancer cell. Studies of the molecular pathology of pancreatic cancer have revealed that activation of KRAS, overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2, inactivation of p16(INK4A) and loss of p53 activities occurred in pancreatic cancer. Co-administration of gemcitabine and targeting the molecular pathological events happened in pancreatic cancer has brought an enhanced therapeutic effectiveness of gemcitabine. Therefore, studies looking for novel targets in hindering pancreatic tumour growth are emerging rapidly. In order to give a better understanding of the current findings and to seek the direction in future pancreatic cancer research; in this review we will focus on targets suppressing tumour metastatsis and progression, KRAS activated downstream effectors, the relationship of Notch signaling and Nodal/Activin signaling with pancreatic cancer cells, the current findings of non-coding RNAs in inhibiting pancreatic cancer cell proliferation, brief discussion in transcription remodeling by epigenetic modifiers (e.g., HDAC, BMI1, EZH2) and the plausible therapeutic applications of cancer stem cell and hyaluronan in tumour environment.

Kim SM, Lee JH, Sethi G, et al.
Bergamottin, a natural furanocoumarin obtained from grapefruit juice induces chemosensitization and apoptosis through the inhibition of STAT3 signaling pathway in tumor cells.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 354(1):153-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Persistent activation of signal transducers and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been closely related to growth, survival, proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis of various cancer cells, and thus its inhibition can be considered a potential therapeutic strategy. In this study, we investigated the role of bergamottin (BGM) obtained from grapefruit juice in abrogating the constitutive STAT3 activation in multiple myeloma (MM) cells. This suppression was mediated through the inhibition of phosphorylation of Janus-activated kinase (JAK) 1/2 and c-Src. Pervanadate reversed the BGM induced down-regulation of STAT3 activation, suggesting the involvement of a protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP). Furthermore, BGM induced the expression of the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1, and gene silencing of the SHP-1 by small interfering RNA abolished the ability of BGM to inhibit STAT3 activation, suggesting a critical role for SHP-1 in the action of BGM. BGM also downregulated the expression of STAT3-regulated gene products such as COX-2, VEGF, cyclin D1, survivin, IAP-1, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xl in MM cells. This correlated with induction of substantial apoptosis as indicated by an increase in the sub-G1 cell population and caspase-3 induced PARP cleavage. Also, this agent significantly potentiated the apoptotic effects of bortezomib and thalidomide in MM cells. Overall, these results suggest that BGM is a novel blocker of STAT3 activation pathway thus may have a potential in therapy of MM and other cancers.

Song G, Valdez BC, Li Y, et al.
Synergistic cytotoxicity of sorafenib with busulfan and nucleoside analogs in human FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplications-positive acute myeloid leukemia cells.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014; 20(11):1687-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clofarabine (Clo), fludarabine (Flu), and busulfan (Bu) are used in pretransplantation conditioning therapy for patients with myeloid leukemia. To further improve their efficacy in FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplications (FLT3-ITD)-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we investigated their synergism with sorafenib (Sor). Exposure of FLT3-ITD-positive MV-4-11 and MOLM 13 cells to Bu+Clo+Flu+Sor resulted in synergistic cytotoxicity; no such synergism was observed in the FLT3-wild type THP-1 and KBM3/Bu250(6) cell lines. The drug synergism in MV-4-11 cells could be attributed to activation of DNA damage response, histone 3 modifications, inhibition of prosurvival kinases, and activation of apoptosis. Further, the phosphorylation of kinases, including FLT3, MAPK kinase (MEK), and AKT, was inhibited. The FLT3-ITD substrate STAT5 and its target gene PIM 2 product decreased when cells were exposed to Sor alone, Bu+Clo+Flu, and Bu+Clo+Flu+Sor. The level of the proapoptotic protein p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) increased, whereas the level of prosurvival protein MCL-1 decreased when cells were exposed to Bu+Clo+Flu+Sor. The interactions of PUMA with MCL-1 and/or BCL-2 were enhanced when cells were exposed to Bu+Clo+Flu or Bu+Clo+Flu+Sor. The changes in the level of these proteins, which are involved in mitochondrial control of apoptosis, correlate with changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. Bu+Clo+Flu+Sor decreased mitochondrial membrane potential by 60% and caused leakage of cytochrome c, second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases (SMAC)/direct IAP Binding protein with low pI (DIABLO), and AIF from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm, caspase activation, and cell death, suggesting the activation of apoptosis. Analogous, synergistic cytotoxicity in response to Bu, Clo, Flu, and Sor was observed in mononuclear cells isolated from FLT3-ITD-positive AML patients. Although our previous studies were aimed at standardizing the conditioning regimen, the new findings suggest that patients with abnormal expression of FLT3 might further benefit from individualizing treatment through the addition of Sor to Bu+Clo+Flu, thereby providing personalized pretransplantation therapy.

Vidaurre S, Fitzpatrick C, Burzio VA, et al.
Down-regulation of the antisense mitochondrial non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) is a unique vulnerability of cancer cells and a potential target for cancer therapy.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(39):27182-98 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Hallmarks of cancer are fundamental principles involved in cancer progression. We propose an additional generalized hallmark of malignant transformation corresponding to the differential expression of a family of mitochondrial ncRNAs (ncmtRNAs) that comprises sense and antisense members, all of which contain stem-loop structures. Normal proliferating cells express sense (SncmtRNA) and antisense (ASncmtRNA) transcripts. In contrast, the ASncmtRNAs are down-regulated in tumor cells regardless of tissue of origin. Here we show that knockdown of the low copy number of the ASncmtRNAs in several tumor cell lines induces cell death by apoptosis without affecting the viability of normal cells. In addition, knockdown of ASncmtRNAs potentiates apoptotic cell death by inhibiting survivin expression, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family. Down-regulation of survivin is at the translational level and is probably mediated by microRNAs generated by dicing of the double-stranded stem of the ASncmtRNAs, as suggested by evidence presented here, in which the ASncmtRNAs are bound to Dicer and knockdown of the ASncmtRNAs reduces reporter luciferase activity in a vector carrying the 3'-UTR of survivin mRNA. Taken together, down-regulation of the ASncmtRNAs constitutes a vulnerability or Achilles' heel of cancer cells, suggesting that the ASncmtRNAs are promising targets for cancer therapy.

Hwang KE, Kim YS, Hwang YR, et al.
Enhanced apoptosis by pemetrexed and simvastatin in malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer cells by reactive oxygen species-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and Bim induction.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1769-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pemetrexed is a multitarget antifolate currently used for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Statins, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors used primarily for hyperlidpidemia, have been studied for their antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. However, the effects of simvastatin on pemetrexed-induced apoptosis have not been investigated. In this study, we investigated whether combination treatment with pemetrexed and simvastatin potentiates the apoptotic activity above that is seen with either drug alone in malignant mesothelioma and NSCLC cells. We found that the combination of pemetrexed and simvastatin induced more extensive caspase-dependent apoptosis than either drug alone in malignant mesothelioma cells (MSTO-211) or NSCLC cells (A549). In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in cells treated with both pemetrexed and simvastatin was markedly increased compared to cells treated with either pemetrexed or simvastatin alone. Combination treatment also increased the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, increased cytosolic release of cytochrome c, and altered expression of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) families of apoptosis related proteins. On the other hand, pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) prevented apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction by pemetrexed and simvastatin. In addition, Bim siRNA conferred protection against apoptosis induced by pemetrexed and simvastatin. These results suggest that combination of pemetrexed and simvastatin potentiates their apoptotic activity beyond that of either drug alone in malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer cells. This activity is mediated through ROS-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and Bim induction.

Han JG, Gupta SC, Prasad S, Aggarwal BB
Piperlongumine chemosensitizes tumor cells through interaction with cysteine 179 of IκBα kinase, leading to suppression of NF-κB-regulated gene products.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(10):2422-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, two different reports appeared in prominent journals suggesting a mechanism by which piperlongumine, a pyridine alkaloid, mediates anticancer effects. In the current report, we describe another novel mechanism by which this alkaloid mediates its anticancer effects. We found that piperlongumine blocked NF-κB activated by TNFα and various other cancer promoters. This downregulation was accompanied by inhibition of phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα. Further investigation revealed that this pyridine alkaloid directly interacts with IκBα kinase (IKK) and inhibits its activity. Inhibition of IKK occurred through interaction with its cysteine 179 as the mutation of this residue to alanine abolished the activity of piperlongumine. Inhibition in NF-κB activity downregulated the expression of proteins involved in cell survival (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, c-IAP-1, c-IAP-2, survivin), proliferation (c-Myc, cyclin D1), inflammation (COX-2, IL6), and invasion (ICAM-1, -9, CXCR-4, VEGF). Overall, our results reveal a novel mechanism by which piperlongumine can exhibit antitumor activity through downmodulation of proinflammatory pathway.

Luk SU, Xue H, Cheng H, et al.
The BIRC6 gene as a novel target for therapy of prostate cancer: dual targeting of inhibitors of apoptosis.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(16):6896-908 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Treatment resistance, the major challenge in the management of advanced prostate cancer, is in part based on resistance to apoptosis. The Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) family is thought to play key roles in survival and drug resistance of cancer via inhibition of apoptosis. Of the IAP family members, cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP and survivin are known to be up-regulated in prostate cancer. BIRC6, a much less studied IAP member, was recently shown to be elevated in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In the present study, we showed a correlation between elevated BIRC6 expression in clinical prostate cancer specimens and poor patient prognostic factors, as well as co-upregulation of certain IAP members. In view of this, we designed antisense oligonucleotides that simultaneously target BIRC6 and another co-upregulated IAP member (dASOs). Two dASOs, targeting BIRC6+cIAP1 and BIRC6+survivin, showed substantial inhibition of CRPC cells proliferation, exceeding that obtained with single BIRC6 targeting. The growth inhibition was associated with increased apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and suppression of NFkB activation. Moreover, treatment with both dASOs led to significantly lower viable tumor volume in vivo, without major host toxicity. This study shows that BIRC6-based dual IAP-targeting ASOs represent potential novel therapeutic agents against advanced prostate cancer.

Xu Q, Liu M, Xu N, Zhu H
Variation in Sp1 binding sites correlates with expression of survivin in breast cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(3):1395-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Survivin is the smallest member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family and is deregulated in breast cancer, where it is associated with a poor overall prognosis. It is well established that survivin overexpression predominately occurs at the transcriptional level. Numerous transcription factors bind to specific sequences in the promoter regions of genes and are involved in transcriptional regulation. Specificity protein (Sp) 1 binding sites have been found in the promoter region of the survivin gene. The present study aimed to investigate whether variations in Sp1 binding sites affect survivin expression. Nested polymerase chain reaction followed by DNA sequencing were performed to analyze the survivin gene promoter region in 42 breast cancer tissue samples. Furthermore, survivin expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry. High survivin protein expression was found in 66.7% (28/42) of breast cancer tissue samples. In addition, 15 variations in seven Sp1 binding sites were detected in 12 samples and Sp1 binding site variation was found to be associated with low survivin expression in the 42 samples. These findings suggested that variations in Sp1 binding sites may be associated with survivin expression.

Hassan M, Watari H, AbuAlmaaty A, et al.
Apoptosis and molecular targeting therapy in cancer.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:150845 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Apoptosis is the programmed cell death which maintains the healthy survival/death balance in metazoan cells. Defect in apoptosis can cause cancer or autoimmunity, while enhanced apoptosis may cause degenerative diseases. The apoptotic signals contribute into safeguarding the genomic integrity while defective apoptosis may promote carcinogenesis. The apoptotic signals are complicated and they are regulated at several levels. The signals of carcinogenesis modulate the central control points of the apoptotic pathways, including inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins and FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP). The tumor cells may use some of several molecular mechanisms to suppress apoptosis and acquire resistance to apoptotic agents, for example, by the expression of antiapoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2 or by the downregulation or mutation of proapoptotic proteins such as BAX. In this review, we provide the main regulatory molecules that govern the main basic mechanisms, extrinsic and intrinsic, of apoptosis in normal cells. We discuss how carcinogenesis could be developed via defective apoptotic pathways or their convergence. We listed some molecules which could be targeted to stimulate apoptosis in different cancers. Together, we briefly discuss the development of some promising cancer treatment strategies which target apoptotic inhibitors including Bcl-2 family proteins, IAPs, and c-FLIP for apoptosis induction.

Jeong JW, Park S, Park C, et al.
N-benzyl-N-methyldecan-1-amine, a phenylamine derivative isolated from garlic cloves, induces G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis in U937 human leukemia cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(1):373-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epidemiological studies indicate that components of garlic (Allium sativum) have anti-proliferative effects against various types of cancer. In the present study, we investigated the effect of newly isolated phenylamine derivative N-benzyl-N-methyldecan-1-amine (NBNMA) from garlic cloves on the inhibition of the growth and apoptosis of human leukemia U937 cells and its potential anticancer mechanism. NBNMA exhibited an antiproliferative effect in U937 cells by inducing cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and apoptotic cell death. Western blot analyses revealed that NBNMA decreased the expression of the regulator genes of G2/M phase progression, cyclin dependent kinase (Cdk) 2 and Cdc2 and elevated the expression of the Cdk inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1 in a p53-independent manner. In addition, NBNMA activated caspase-8 and caspase-9, initiator caspases of the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways of apoptosis, respectively, which led to activation of executioner caspase-3 along with degradation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. NBNMA-induced apoptosis was observed in parallel with an increased ratio of pro-apoptotic Bax and Bad/anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, and inhibition of inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family members XIAP and cIAP-1. Furthermore, NBNMA-treated cells displayed enhanced release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol concomitant with a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and downregulation of Bid, suggesting that NBNMA-induced apoptosis occurred via the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways with a possible link to Bid protein activity between the two pathways. These results indicate that NBNMA has promising potential to become a novel anticancer agent for the treatment of leukemia. We provide new insight into the mechanisms underlying the anticancer effect of NBNMA.

Zhao L, Li Y, He M, et al.
The Fanconi anemia pathway sensitizes to DNA alkylating agents by inducing JNK-p53-dependent mitochondrial apoptosis in breast cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(1):129-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Fanconi anemia/BRCA (FA/BRCA) DNA damage repair pathway plays a pivotal role in the cellular response to DNA alkylating agents and greatly influences drug response in cancer treatment. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the FA/BRCA pathway reversed resistance have received limited attention. In the present study, we investigated the effect of Fanconi anemia complementation group F protein (FANCF), a critical factor of the FA/BRCA pathway, on cancer cell apoptosis induced by DNA alkylating agents such as mitomycin c (MMC). We found that FANCF shRNA potentiated MMC-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. At a mechanistic level, FANCF shRNA downregulated the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and upregulated the pro-apoptotic protein Bax, accompanied by release of cyt-c and smac into the cytosol in MMC-treated cells. Furthermore, activation of caspase-3 and -9, other than caspase-8, cleavage of poly(ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP), and a decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) indicated that involvement of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in FANCF silencing of MMC-treated breast cancer cells. A decrease in IAP family proteins XIAP and survivin were also observed following FANCF silencing in MMC-treated breast cancer cells. Notably, FANCF shRNA was able to increase p53 levels through activation of the JNK pathway in MMC-treated breast cancer cells. Furthermore, p53 inhibition using pifithrin-α abolished the induction of caspase-3 and PARP by FANCF shRNA and MMC, indicating that MMC-induced apoptosis is substantially enhanced by FANCF shRNA via p53-dependent mechanisms. To our knowledge, we provide new evidence for the potential application of FANCF as a chemosensitizer in breast cancer therapy.

Goto H, Kojima Y, Matsuda K, et al.
Efficacy of anti-CD47 antibody-mediated phagocytosis with macrophages against primary effusion lymphoma.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(10):1836-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, the critical role of CD47 on the surface of resistant cancer cells has been proposed in their evasion of immunosurveillance. Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a subtype of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that shows serous lymphomatous effusion in body cavities, especially in advanced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). PEL is resistant to conventional chemotherapy and has a poor prognosis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of anti-CD47 antibody (Ab) on PEL in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Surface CD47 of PEL cell lines was examined by flow cytometry. Efficacy of knocking down CD47 or anti-CD47 Ab-mediated phagocytosis against PEL was evaluated using mouse peritoneal macrophages and human macrophages in vitro. Primary PEL cells were injected intraperitoneally into NOD/Rag-2/Jak3 double-deficient (NRJ) mice to establish a direct xenograft mouse model.
RESULTS: Surface CD47 of PEL cell lines was highly expressed. Knocking down CD47 and anti-CD47 Ab promoted phagocytic activities of macrophages in a CD47 expression-dependent manner in vitro. Treatment with anti-CD47 Ab inhibited ascite formation and organ invasion completely in vivo compared with control IgG-treated mice.
CONCLUSION: CD47 plays the pivotal role in the immune evasion of PEL cells in body cavities. Therapeutic antibody targeting of CD47 could be an effective therapy for PEL.

Faye MD, Beug ST, Graber TE, et al.
IGF2BP1 controls cell death and drug resistance in rhabdomyosarcomas by regulating translation of cIAP1.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(12):1532-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a neoplasm characterised by undifferentiated myoblasts, is the most common soft tissue tumour of childhood. Although aggressive treatment of RMS could provide long-term benefit, resistance to current therapies is an ongoing problem. We report here that insulin-like growth factor 2-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1), an oncofetal protein, is expressed in RMS patient-derived cell lines and in primary tumours where it drives translation of the cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 (cIAP1), a key regulator of the nuclear factor-κB signalling pathway and of caspase-8-mediated cell death. We demonstrate that reducing the levels of cIAP1 in RMS, either by IGF2BP1 knockdown or by IAP antagonists, sensitises these cells to tumour necrosis factor-α-mediated cell death. Finally, we show that targeting cIAP1 by IAP antagonists delays RMS tumour growth and improve survival in mice. Our results identify IGF2BP1 as a critical translational regulator of cIAP1-mediated apoptotic resistance in RMS and advocate for the combined use of IAP antagonists and tumour necrosis factor-α as a therapeutic approach for this type of cancer.

Jazirehi AR, Kurdistani SK, Economou JS
Histone deacetylase inhibitor sensitizes apoptosis-resistant melanomas to cytotoxic human T lymphocytes through regulation of TRAIL/DR5 pathway.
J Immunol. 2014; 192(8):3981-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Modern immune therapies (PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4 checkpoints blockade and adoptive cell transfer) have remarkably improved the response rates of metastatic melanoma. These modalities rely on the killing potential of CTL as proximal mediator of antimelanoma responses. Mechanisms of tumor resistance to and the predominant cytotoxic pathway(s) used by melanoma-reactive CTL are important outcome determinants. We hypothesized that downmodulation of death receptors (DRs) in addition to aberrant apoptotic signaling might confer resistance to death signals delivered by CTL. To test these two hypotheses, we used an in vitro model of MART CTL-resistant melanoma sublines. TCR-transgenic and patient-derived CTLs used the TRAIL cytotoxic pathway through DR5. Furthermore, recombinant human TRAIL and drozitumab (anti-DR5 agonistic mAb) were used to explicitly verify the contribution of the DR5/TRAIL pathway in killing melanomas. CTL resistance was due to DR5 downregulation and an inverted ratio of pro- to antiapoptotic molecules, both of which were reversed by the histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxanic acid. Apoptosis negative (c-IAP-2 and Bcl-xL) and positive (DR5) regulators were potential incriminators partly regulating CTL sensitivity. These preclinical findings suggest that exposure to this chromatin remodeling drug of immune-resistant melanomas can skew toward an intracellular proapoptotic milieu, increase DR expression, and overcome acquired immune resistance.

Liu Z, Zhang X, Xu X, et al.
RUNX3 inhibits survivin expression and induces cell apoptosis in gastric cancer.
Eur J Cell Biol. 2014; 93(3):118-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcription factor RUNX3 is associated with gastric tumorigenesis and progression through regulating the expression of its target genes. Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family and has been shown to inhibit cell apoptosis and promote cell proliferation. Increased survivin expression has been found in various cancer types, including gastric cancer. In this study, we found that restoration of RUNX3 promotes cell apoptosis through inhibiting the survivin expression, while RUNX3 inhibition increases the expression of survivin in gastric cancer cell lines. Moreover, RUNX3 over-expression inhibits,whereas its inhibition increases, the promoter activity of survivin gene, respectively. RUNX3-R122C, a mutation located in the conserved Runt domain, has no effect on the promoter activity of survivin gene. We further identified a RUNX3-binding site in the promoter of survivin gene and the binding of RUNX3 on survivin promoter leads to significantly inhibition of survivin expression. Finally, we confirmed the negative correlation of RUNX3 and survivin expression in clinical specimens of gastric cancer. These findings reveal a novel mechanism of RUNX3 for the induction of cell apoptosis in human gastric cancer.

Hofner T, Macher-Goeppinger S, Klein C, et al.
Expression and prognostic significance of cancer stem cell markers CD24 and CD44 in urothelial bladder cancer xenografts and patients undergoing radical cystectomy.
Urol Oncol. 2014; 32(5):678-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate CD24/CD44/CD47 cancer stem cell marker expressions in bladder cancer (BCa) and provide data on their prognostic significance for clinical outcome in patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Primary BCa tissue was used for xenograft studies. A tissue microarray was prepared using specimens from a cohort of 132 patients. All patients underwent RC for urothelial BCa between 2001 and 2010. Expression of CD24, CD44, and CD47 was examined in primary samples and xenografts by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Populations of CD24(low)- and CD24(high)-expressing cells were sorted and evaluated for tumorigenicity in vivo. Tissue microarray was analyzed for CD24/CD44 staining intensity and tumor-specific vs. stromal cell staining. Associations with BCa survival, BCa stage, and lymph node status were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses.
RESULTS: CD24 and CD44/CD47 expressions mark distinct cell populations within the normal urothelium as well as in BCa. CD24(high/low) expression was not sufficient to characterize CD24 as a BCa-initiating marker in in vivo primary xenotransplants. CD24 and CD44 expressions correlated with lower cancer-specific survival in patients. However, multivariate analyses of CD24 or CD44 did not demonstrate significantly increased hazards for cancer-specific death if analyzed together with stage, grade, and nodal status of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer stem cell markers CD24/CD44/CD47 are differentially expressed in cells of urothelial BCa in patients undergoing RC and influence cancer-specific survival of patients. Further evaluation of CD24/CD44/CD47 protein expression could be of high therapeutic value in BCa. However, both CD24 and CD44 expressions cannot be regarded as independent prognostic parameters for patients undergoing RC.

Chen L, Bourguignon LY
Hyaluronan-CD44 interaction promotes c-Jun signaling and miRNA21 expression leading to Bcl-2 expression and chemoresistance in breast cancer cells.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is associated with the development of solid tumors progression including breast cancer. In this study we investigated matrix hyaluronan (HA)-CD44 (a primary HA receptor) interaction with c-Jun N-Terminal Kinase (JNK)/c-Jun signaling in MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells [a triple-negative (estrogen receptor-negative/progesterone receptor-negative/HER2-negative) breast cancer cell line]. Our results indicated that HA binding to CD44 promotes c-Jun nuclear translocation and transcriptional activation. Further analyses revealed that miR-21 is regulated by an upstream promoter containing AP1 binding site(s), and chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP) assays demonstrated that stimulation of miR-21 expression by HA/CD44 interaction is c-Jun-dependent in these breast cancer cells. This process results in an increase of the anti-apoptosis protein Bcl-2 and upregulation of inhibitors of the apoptosis family of proteins (IAPs) as well as chemoresistance in MDA-MB-468 cells. Treatment with c-Jun specific small interfering RNAs effectively blocks HA-mediated c-Jun signaling and abrogates miR-21 production as well as causes downregulation of survival proteins (Bcl-2 and IAPs) and enhancement of chemosensitivity. In addition, our results demonstrated that anti-miR-21 inhibitor not only downregulates Bcl-2/IAP expression but also increases chemosensitivity in HA-treated breast cancer cells. Together, these findings suggest that the HA/CD44-induced c-Jun signaling plays a pivotal role in miR-21 production leading to survival protein (Bcl-2/IAP) upregulation and chemoresistance in triple negative breast cancer cells such as MDA-MB-468 cell line. This novel HA/CD44-mediated c-Jun signaling pathway and miR-21 production provide a new drug target for the future intervention strategies to treat breast cancer.

Steinert G, Schölch S, Niemietz T, et al.
Immune escape and survival mechanisms in circulating tumor cells of colorectal cancer.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(6):1694-704 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognosis of colorectal cancer is closely linked to the occurrence of distant metastases. Systemic dissemination is most likely caused by circulating tumor cells (CTC). Despite the fundamental role of CTC within the metastatic cascade, technical obstacles have so far prevented detailed genomic and, in particular, phenotypic analyses of CTC, which may provide molecular targets to delay or prevent distant metastases. We show here a detailed genomic analysis of single colorectal cancer-derived CTC by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), mutational profiling, and microsatellite instability (MSI) analysis. Furthermore, we report the first gene expression analysis of manually selected colorectal cancer-derived CTC by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to investigate transcriptional changes, enabling CTC to survive in circulation and form distant metastases. aCGH confirmed the tumor cell identity of CellSearch-isolated colorectal cancer-derived CTC. Mutational and MSI analyses revealed mutational profiles of CTC to be similar, but not identical to the corresponding tumor tissue. Several CTC exhibited mutations in key genes such as KRAS or TP53 that could not be detected in the tumor. Gene expression analyses revealed both a pronounced upregulation of CD47 as a potential immune-escape mechanism and a significant downregulation of several other pathways, suggesting a dormant state of viable CTC. Our results suggest mutational heterogeneity between tumor tissue and CTC that should be considered in future trials on targeted therapy and monitoring of response. The finding of upregulated immune-escape pathways, which may be responsible for survival of CTC in circulation, could provide a promising target to disrupt the metastatic cascade in colorectal cancer. Cancer Res; 74(6); 1694-704. ©2014 AACR.

Wu P, Shi KJ, An JJ, et al.
The LEF1/CYLD axis and cIAPs regulate RIP1 deubiquitination and trigger apoptosis in selenite-treated colorectal cancer cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1085 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein (IAP) inhibitors have been reported to synergistically reduce cell viability in combination with a variety of chemotherapeutic drugs via targeted cellular IAP (cIAP) depletion. Here, we found that cIAP silencing sensitised colorectal cancer (CRC) cells to selenite-induced apoptosis. Upon selenite treatment, the K63-linked ubiquitin chains on receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) were removed, leading to the formation of the death-inducing complex and subsequent caspase-8 activation. Although the ubiquitinases cIAP1 and cIAP2 were significantly downregulated after a 24-h selenite treatment, cylindromatosis (CYLD) deubiquitinase protein levels were marginally upregulated. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that lymphoid enhancer factor-1 (LEF1) dissociated from the CYLD promoter upon selenite treatment, thus abolishing suppression of CYLD gene expression. We corroborated these findings in a CRC xenograft animal model using immunohistochemistry. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that selenite caused CYLD upregulation via LEF1 and cIAP downregulation, both of which contribute to the degradation of ubiquitin chains on RIP1 and subsequent caspase-8 activation and apoptosis. Importantly, our results identify a LEF1-binding site in the CYLD promoter as a potential target for combinational therapy as an alternative to cIAPs.

Benetatos CA, Mitsuuchi Y, Burns JM, et al.
Birinapant (TL32711), a bivalent SMAC mimetic, targets TRAF2-associated cIAPs, abrogates TNF-induced NF-κB activation, and is active in patient-derived xenograft models.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(4):867-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
The acquisition of apoptosis resistance is a fundamental event in cancer development. Among the mechanisms used by cancer cells to evade apoptosis is the dysregulation of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins. The activity of the IAPs is regulated by endogenous IAP antagonists such as SMAC (also termed DIABLO). Antagonism of IAP proteins by SMAC occurs via binding of the N-terminal tetrapeptide (AVPI) of SMAC to selected BIR domains of the IAPs. Small molecule compounds that mimic the AVPI motif of SMAC have been designed to overcome IAP-mediated apoptosis resistance of cancer cells. Here, we report the preclinical characterization of birinapant (TL32711), a bivalent SMAC-mimetic compound currently in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer. Birinapant bound to the BIR3 domains of cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP, and the BIR domain of ML-IAP in vitro and induced the autoubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of cIAP1 and cIAP2 in intact cells, which resulted in formation of a RIPK1:caspase-8 complex, caspase-8 activation, and induction of tumor cell death. Birinapant preferentially targeted the TRAF2-associated cIAP1 and cIAP2 with subsequent inhibition of TNF-induced NF-κB activation. The activity of a variety of chemotherapeutic cancer drugs was potentiated by birinapant both in a TNF-dependent or TNF-independent manner. Tumor growth in multiple primary patient-derived xenotransplant models was inhibited by birinapant at well-tolerated doses. These results support the therapeutic combination of birinapant with multiple chemotherapies, in particular, those therapies that can induce TNF secretion.

Mobahat M, Narendran A, Riabowol K
Survivin as a preferential target for cancer therapy.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(2):2494-516 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Cancer is typically a consequence of imbalance between cell death and proliferation in a way favorable to cell proliferation and survival. Most conventional cancer therapies are based on targeting rapidly growing cancerous cells to block growth or enhance cell death, thereby, restoring the balance between these processes. In many instances, malignancies that develop resistance to current treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiotherapy often present the greatest challenge in subsequent management of the patient. Studies have shown that under normal circumstances, cells utilize different death mechanisms, such as apoptosis (programmed cell death), autophagy, mitotic catastrophe, and necrosis to maintain homeostasis and physiological integrity of the organism, but these processes often appear to be altered in cancer. Thus, in recent years developing various strategies for administration of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics in combination with apoptosis-sensitizing reagents is receiving more emphasis. Here, we review the properties of the anti-apoptotic protein, survivin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family and the clinical feasibility and anti-cancer potential of drugs targeting this protein. We also discuss some key points and concerns that should be taken into consideration while developing drugs that target apoptotic proteins, such as survivin.

Carter BZ, Mak PY, Mak DH, et al.
Synergistic targeting of AML stem/progenitor cells with IAP antagonist birinapant and demethylating agents.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(2):djt440 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy has limited long-term efficacy because patients frequently develop disease relapse because of the inability of standard chemotherapeutic agents to target AML stem/progenitor cells. Here, we identify deregulated apoptotic components in AML stem/progenitor cells and investigate the individual and combinatorial effects of the novel inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) protein antagonist and second mitochondrial-derived activator of caspases (SMAC) mimetic birinapant and demethylating epigenetic modulators.
METHODS: Protein expression was measured by reversed-phase protein array in AML patient (n = 511) and normal (n = 21) samples and by western blot in drug-treated cells. The antileukemic activity of birinapant and demethylating agents was assessed in vitro and in an in vivo AML mouse xenograft model (n = 10 mice per group). All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Compared with bulk AML cells, CD34(+)38(-) AML stem/progenitors expressed increased cIAP1 and caspase-8 levels and decreased SMAC levels (one-way analysis of variance followed by Tukey's multiple comparison test, P < .001). Birinapant induced death receptor-/caspase-8-mediated apoptosis in AML cells, including in AML stem/progenitor cells, but not in normal CD34(+) cells. Demethylating agents modulated extrinsic apoptosis pathway components and, when combined with birinapant, were highly synergistic in vitro (combination index < 1), and also more effective in vivo (P < .001, by Student t test, for the median survival of birinapant plus 5-azacytadine vs birinapant alone or vs controls).
CONCLUSIONS: cIAP1, SMAC, and caspase-8 appear to play a role in AML stem cell survival, and synergistic targeting of these cells with birinapant and demethylating agents shows potential utility in leukemia therapy.

Fulda S
Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins in hematological malignancies: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(7):1414-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins exert essential functions during tumorigenesis as well as treatment resistance by simultaneously blocking cell death pathways and promoting cell survival. As IAP proteins are typically aberrantly expressed in human cancers including hematological malignancies, they represent in principle promising targets for therapeutic interventions. There are currently exciting opportunities to rationally exploit the therapeutic targeting of IAP proteins for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. Further insights into the signaling pathways that are under the control of IAP proteins and into the specific IAP protein-dependent vulnerabilities of hematological neoplasms are expected to pave the avenue to novel treatment strategies.

Leiphrakpam PD, Rajput A, Mathiesen M, et al.
Ezrin expression and cell survival regulation in colorectal cancer.
Cell Signal. 2014; 26(5):868-79 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in the United States. A key barrier that prevents better outcomes for this type of cancer as well as other solid tumors is the lack of effective therapies against the metastatic disease. Thus there is an urgent need to fill this gap in cancer therapy. We utilized a 2D-DIGE proteomics approach to identify and characterize proteins that are differentially regulated between primary colon tumor and liver metastatic deposits of the IGF1R-dependent GEO human CRC xenograft, orthotopically implanted in athymic nude mice that may serve as potential therapeutic targets against CRC metastasis. We observed increased expression of ezrin in liver metastasis in comparison to the primary colonic tumor. Increased ezrin expression was further confirmed by western blot and microarray analyses. Ezrin, a cytoskeletal protein belonging to Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin (ERM) family plays important roles in cell motility, invasion and metastasis. However, its exact function in colorectal cancer is not well characterized. Establishment of advanced GEO cell lines with enhanced liver-metastasizing ability showed a significant increase in ezrin expression in liver metastasis. Increased phosphorylation of ezrin at the T567 site (termed here as p-ezrin T567) was observed in liver metastasis. IHC studies of human CRC patient specimens showed an increased expression of p-ezrin T567 in liver metastasis compared to the primary tumors of the same patient. Ezrin modulation by siRNA, inhibitors and T567A/D point mutations significantly downregulated inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP) proteins XIAP and survivin that have been linked to increased aberrant cell survival and metastasis and increased cell death. Inhibition of the IGF1R signaling pathway by humanized recombinant IGF1R monoclonal antibody MK-0646 in athymic mouse subcutaneous xenografts resulted in inhibition of p-ezrin T567 indicating ezrin signaling is downstream of the IGF1R signaling pathway. We identified increased expression of p-ezrin T567 in CRC liver metastasis in both orthotopically implanted GEO tumors as well as human patient specimens. We report for the first time that p-ezrin T567 is downstream of the IGF1R signaling and demonstrate that ezrin regulates cell survival through survivin/XIAP modulation.

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