Gene Summary

Gene:CDH3; cadherin 3
Summary:This gene encodes a classical cadherin of the cadherin superfamily. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants, at least one of which encodes a preproprotein that is proteolytically processed to generate the mature glycoprotein. This calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion protein is comprised of five extracellular cadherin repeats, a transmembrane region and a highly conserved cytoplasmic tail. This gene is located in a gene cluster in a region on the long arm of chromosome 16 that is involved in loss of heterozygosity events in breast and prostate cancer. In addition, aberrant expression of this protein is observed in cervical adenocarcinomas. Mutations in this gene are associated with hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy and ectodermal dysplasia, ectrodactyly, and macular dystrophy syndrome (EEMS). [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2015]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

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: CDH3 (cancer-related)

Ribeiro AS, Nobre AR, Mendes N, et al.
SRC inhibition prevents P-cadherin mediated signaling and function in basal-like breast cancer cells.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) is a poor prognosis subgroup of triple-negative carcinomas that still lack specific target therapies and accurate biomarkers for treatment selection. P-cadherin is frequently overexpressed in these tumors, promoting cell invasion, stem cell activity and tumorigenesis by the activation of Src-Family kinase (SRC) signaling. Therefore, our aim was to evaluate if the treatment of BLBC cells with dasatinib, the FDA approved SRC inhibitor, would impact on P-cadherin induced tumor aggressive behavior.
METHODS: P-cadherin and SRC expression was evaluated in a series of invasive Breast Cancer and contingency tables and chi-square tests were performed. Cell-cell adhesion measurements were performed by Atomic Force Microscopy, where frequency histograms and Gaussian curves were applied. 2D and 3D cell migration and invasion, proteases secretion and self-renew potential were evaluated in vitro. Student's t-tests were used to determine statistically significant differences. The cadherin/catenin complex interactions were evaluated by in situ proximity-ligation assay, and statistically significant results were determined by using Mann-Whitney test with a Bonferroni correction. In vivo xenograft mouse models were used to evaluate the impact of dasatinib on tumor growth and survival. ANOVA test was used to evaluate the differences in tumor size, considering a confidence interval of 95%. Survival curves were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier's method, using the log-rank test to assess significant differences for mice overall survival.
RESULTS: Our data demonstrated that P-cadherin overexpression is significantly associated with SRC activation in breast cancer cells, which was also validated in a large series of primary tumor samples. SRC activity suppression with dasatinib significantly prevented the in vitro functional effects of P-cadherin overexpressing cells, as well as their in vivo tumorigenic and metastatic ability, by increasing mice overall survival. Mechanistically, SRC inhibition affects P-cadherin downstream signaling, rescues the E-cadherin/p120-catenin complex to the cell membrane, recovering cell-cell adhesion function.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion our findings show that targeting P-cadherin/SRC signaling and functional activity may open novel therapeutic opportunities for highly aggressive and poor prognostic basal-like breast cancer.

Idoux-Gillet Y, Nassour M, Lakis E, et al.
Slug/Pcad pathway controls epithelial cell dynamics in mammary gland and breast carcinoma.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(5):578-588 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mammary gland morphogenesis results from the coordination of proliferation, cohort migration, apoptosis and stem/progenitor cell dynamics. We showed earlier that the transcription repressor Slug is involved in these functions during mammary tubulogenesis. Slug is expressed by a subpopulation of basal epithelial cells, co-expressed with P-cadherin (Pcad). Slug-knockout mammary glands showed excessive branching, similarly to Pcad-knockout. Here, we found that Slug unexpectedly binds and activates Pcad promoter through E-boxes, inducing Pcad expression. We determined that Pcad can mediate several functions of Slug: Pcad promoted clonal mammosphere growth, basal epithelial differentiation, cell-cell dissociation and cell migration, rescuing Slug depletion. Pcad also promoted cell migration in isolated cells, in association with Src activation, focal adhesion reorganization and cell polarization. Pcad, similarly to Slug, was required for in vitro 3D tubulogenesis. Therefore, Pcad appears to be responsible for epithelial-mesenchymal transition-linked plasticity in mammary epithelial cells. In addition, we found that genes from the Slug/Pcad pathway components were co-expressed and specifically correlated in human breast carcinomas subtypes, carrying pathophysiological significance.

Zhu C, Feng X, Ye G, Huang T
Meta-analysis of possible role of cadherin gene methylation in evolution and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma with a PRISMA guideline.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(16):e6650 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cadherins (CDHs) have been reported to be associated with cancer. However, the clinical significance of CDH gene methylation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear.
METHODS: Based on the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement criteria, available studies were identified from online electronic database. The overall odds ratio (OR) and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated and analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 29 eligible studies with 2562 HCC samples and 1685 controls were included. E-cadherin (CDH1) hypermethylation was observed to be significantly higher in HCC than in benign, adjacent, or normal samples. Moreover, CDH1 hypermethylation was not associated with gender, tumor grade, clinical stage, hepatitis B virus (HBV), or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in HCC patients. H-cadherin (CDH13), protocadherin-10 (PCDH10), P-cadherin (CDH3), and M-cadherin (CDH15) methylation may have an increased risk of HCC in fewer than 4 studies, and methylated cadherin 8, type 2 (CDH8) and OB-cadherin (CDH11) had a similar OR in HCC and adjacent samples. When HCC samples were compared with normal samples, the analysis of sample type revealed a significantly higher OR in normal blood samples than in normal tissues for hypermethylated CDH1 (50.82 vs 4.44).
CONCLUSION: CDH1 hypermethylation may play a key role in the carcinogenesis of HCC. However, CDH1 hypermethylation was not correlated with clinicopathological features. Methylated CDH13, PCDH10, CDH3, and CDH15, but not methylated CDH8 or CDH11, may lead to an increased risk of HCC. Hypermethylated CDH1 may become a noninvasive blood biomarker. Further studies with more data are necessary.

Chattopadhyay I, Wang J, Qin M, et al.
Src promotes castration-recurrent prostate cancer through androgen receptor-dependent canonical and non-canonical transcriptional signatures.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(6):10324-10347 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Progression of prostate cancer (PC) to castration-recurrent growth (CRPC) remains dependent on sustained expression and transcriptional activity of the androgen receptor (AR). A major mechanism contributing to CRPC progression is through the direct phosphorylation and activation of AR by Src-family (SFK) and ACK1 tyrosine kinases. However, the AR-dependent transcriptional networks activated by Src during CRPC progression have not been elucidated. Here, we show that activated Src (Src527F) induces androgen-independent growth in human LNCaP cells, concomitant with its ability to induce proliferation/survival genes normally induced by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in androgen-dependent LNCaP and VCaP cells. Src induces additional gene signatures unique to CRPC cell lines, LNCaP-C4-2 and CWR22Rv1, and to CRPC LuCaP35.1 xenografts. By comparing the Src-induced AR-cistrome and/or transcriptome in LNCaP to those in CRPC and LuCaP35.1 tumors, we identified an 11-gene Src-regulated CRPC signature consisting of AR-dependent, AR binding site (ARBS)-associated genes whose expression is altered by DHT in LNCaP[Src527F] but not in LNCaP cells. The differential expression of a subset (DPP4, BCAT1, CNTNAP4, CDH3) correlates with earlier PC metastasis onset and poorer survival, with the expression of BCAT1 required for Src-induced androgen-independent proliferation. Lastly, Src enhances AR binding to non-canonical ARBS enriched for FOXO1, TOP2B and ZNF217 binding motifs; cooperative AR/TOP2B binding to a non-canonical ARBS was both Src- and DHT-sensitive and correlated with increased levels of Src-induced phosphotyrosyl-TOP2B. These data suggest that CRPC progression is facilitated via Src-induced sensitization of AR to intracrine androgen levels, resulting in the engagement of canonical and non-canonical ARBS-dependent gene signatures.

Liu P, Weng Y, Sui Z, et al.
Quantitative secretomic analysis of pancreatic cancer cells in serum-containing conditioned medium.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:37606 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is a highly metastatic and chemo-resistant disease. Secreted proteins involved in cell-cell interactions play an important role in changing the tumor microenvironment. Previous studies generally focus on the secretome of cancer cell line from serum-free media, due to the serious interference of fetal bovine serum (FBS). However, serum-starvation may alter expression patterns of secreted proteins. Hence, efforts to decrease the interference of serum in proteomic analysis of serum-containing media have been hampered to quantitatively measure the tumor secretion levels. Recently, the metabolic labeling, protein equalization, protein fractionation and filter-aided sample preparation (FASP) strategy (MLEFF) has been successfully used to avoid the disturbance of serum on secretome analysis. Here, this efficient method was applied for comparative secretome analysis of two hamster pancreatic cancer cells with differentially metastatic potentials, enabling the observation of 161 differentially expressed proteins, including 106 proteins that had been previously reported and detected in plasma. By integrated analysis of our data and publicly available bioinformatics resources, we found that a combination panel consisting of CDH3, PLAU, and LFNG might improve the prognosis of overall pancreatic cancer survival. These secreted proteins may serve as a potential therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer metastasis.

Böhm J, Pianka F, Stüttgen N, et al.
Discovery of novel plasma proteins as biomarkers for the development of incisional hernias after midline incision in patients with colorectal cancer: The ColoCare study.
Surgery. 2017; 161(3):808-817 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ventral incisional hernia is the most common long-term complication after an abdominal operation. Among newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients, we screened the preoperative plasma proteome to explore predictive markers for the development of an incisional hernia.
METHODS: We utilized preoperative plasma samples of 72 newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients who underwent midline incision for tumor resection between 2010 and 2013. A total of 21 patients with incisional hernia occurrence were matched with 51 patients with at least 18 months follow-up without an incisional hernia by sex, age, and body mass index. To assess predictive markers of incisional hernia risk, we screened the plasma proteome for >2,000 distinct proteins using a well-validated antibody microarray test. Paired t tests were used to compare protein levels between cases and controls. A gene-set-enrichment analysis (Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) was applied to test for differences in signaling pathways between the 2 groups.
RESULTS: The proteome screen identified 25 proteins that showed elevated or reduced plasma levels in the hernia group compared to the control group (nominal P values < .05). Several proteins were in pathways associated with wound healing (CCL21, SHBG, BRF2) or cell adhesion (PCDH15, CDH3, EPCAM).
CONCLUSION: Our study shows that there are multiple individual and groups of plasma proteins that could feasibly predict the personal hernia risk prior to undergoing an operation. Further investigations in larger, independent sample sets are warranted to replicate findings and validate clinical utility of potential biomarkers. After validation, such a biomarker could be incorporated into a multifactorial risk model to guide clinical decision-making.

Kim TH, Chang JH, Lee HJ, et al.
mRNA expression of CDH3, IGF2BP3, and BIRC5 in biliary brush cytology specimens is a useful adjunctive tool of cytology for the diagnosis of malignant biliary stricture.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(27):e4132 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although advances have been made in diagnostic tools, the distinction between malignant and benign biliary strictures still remains challenging. Intraductal brush cytology is a convenient and safe method that is used for the diagnosis of biliary stricture, but, low sensitivity limits its usefulness. This study aimed to demonstrate the usefulness of mRNA expression levels of target genes in brush cytology specimens combined with cytology for the diagnosis of malignant biliary stricture. Immunohistochemistry for cadherin 3 (CDH3), p53, insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3), homeobox B7 (HOXB7), and baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis repeat containing 5 (BIRC5) was performed in 4 benign and 4 malignant bile duct tissues. Through endoscopic or interventional radiologic procedures, brush cytology specimens were prospectively obtained in 21 and 35 paitents with biliary strictures. In the brush cytology specimens, the mRNA expressions levels of 5 genes were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry for CDH3, p53, IGF2BP3, HOXB7, and BIRC5 all showed positive staining in malignant tissues in contrast to benign tissues, which were negative. In the brush cytology specimens, the mRNA expression levels of CDH3, IGF2BP3, HOXB7, and BIRC5 were significantly higher in cases of malignant biliary stricture compared with cases of benign stricture (P = 0.006, P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P = 0.001). The receiver-operating characteristic curves of these 4 mRNAs demonstrated that mRNA expression levels are useful for the prediction of malignant biliary stricture (P = 0.006, P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P = 0.002). The sensitivity and specificity, respectively, for malignant biliary stricture were 57.1% and 100% for cytology, 57.1% and 64.3% for CDH3, 76.2% and 100% for IGF2BP3, 71.4% and 57.1% for HOXB7, and 76.2% and 64.3% for BIRC5. When cytology was combined with the mRNA levels of CDH3, IGF2BP3, or BIRC5, the sensitivity for malignant biliary stricture improved to 90.5%. The measurement of the mRNA expression levels of CDH3, IGF2BP3, and BIRC5 by real-time polymerase chain reaction combined with cytology was useful for the differentiation of malignant and benign biliary strictures in brush cytology specimens.

Kim S, Yang JW, Kim C, Kim MG
Impact of suppression of tumorigenicity 14 (ST14)/serine protease 14 (Prss14) expression analysis on the prognosis and management of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(23):34643-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To elucidate the role of a type II transmembrane serine protease, ST14/Prss14, during breast cancer progression, we utilized publically accessible databases including TCGA, GEO, NCI-60, and CCLE. Survival of breast cancer patients with high ST14/Prss14 expression is significantly poor in estrogen receptor (ER) negative populations regardless of the ratios of ST14/Prss14 to its inhibitors, SPINT1 or SPINT2. In a clustering of 1085 selected EMT signature genes, ST14/Prss14 is located in the same cluster with CDH3, and closer to post-EMT markers, CDH2, VIM, and FN1 than to the pre-EMT marker, CDH1. Coexpression analyses of known ST14/Prss14 substrates and transcription factors revealed context dependent action. In cell lines, paradoxically, ST14/Prss14 expression is higher in the ER positive group and located closer to CDH1 in clustering. This apparent contradiction is not likely due to ST14/Prss14 expression in a cancer microenvironment, nor due to negative regulation by ER. Genes consistently coexpressed with ST14/Prss14 include transcription factors, ELF5, GRHL1, VGLL1, suggesting currently unknown mechanisms for regulation. Here, we report that ST14/Prss14 is an emerging therapeutic target for breast cancer where HER2 is not applicable. In addition we suggest that careful conclusions should be drawn not exclusively from the cell line studies for target development.

Yang J, Niu H, Huang Y, Yang K
A Systematic Analysis of the Relationship of CDH13 Promoter Methylation and Breast Cancer Risk and Prognosis.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(5):e0149185 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CDH13 (cadherin 13) is a special cadherin cell adhesion molecule, and the methylation of its promoter causes inactivation in a considerable number of human cancers. To explore the association between CDH13 promoter methylation and breast cancer risk and prognosis, we systematically integrated published articles to investigate the diagnostic performance of the CDH13 methylation test for breast cancer. An independent DNA methylation microarray dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas project (TCGA) project was used to validate the results of the meta-analysis.
METHODS: The relevant literature was searched using the PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases for articles published in English up to May 2015. Data were analyzed using random effect or fixed effect models. The effect sizes were estimated by measuring an odds ratio (OR) or hazard ratio (HR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI). A chi-squared based Q test and sensitivity analysis were performed to examine the between-study heterogeneity and the contribution of single studies to the final results, respectively. Funnel plots were constructed to evaluate publication bias.
RESULTS: Seven hundred and twenty-six breast tumor samples and 422 controls were collected from 13 published studies. The data from the TCGA set include both tumor and normal samples. A significant association was observed between CDH13 promoter methylation and breast cancer, with an aggregated OR equal to 13.73 (95%CI: 8.09~23.31, z = 9.70, p<0.0001) as measured using the fixed effect model and 14.23 (95%CI: 5.06~40.05, z = 5.03, p<0.0001) as measured using a random effect model. The HR values were calculated as 0.77 (95%CI: 0.27~2.21, z = -0.49, p = 0.622) and 0.38 (95%CI: 0.09~1.69, z = -1.27, p = 0.20) for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS), respectively, using the random effect model. This result indicated that breast cancer patients with CDH13 promoter methylation correlated non-significantly with prognosis and is therefore similar to the findings of the TCGA project.
CONCLUSIONS: The methylation status of CDH13 promoter was strongly associated with breast cancer risk. However, CDH13 promoter methylation was not significantly related to the OS and DFS of breast cancer and may have limited prognostic value for breast cancer patients.

Roa I, Garcia H, Game A, et al.
Somatic Mutations of PI3K in Early and Advanced Gallbladder Cancer: Additional Options for an Orphan Cancer.
J Mol Diagn. 2016; 18(3):388-394 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is the second-leading cause of death from malignant tumors in Chilean women. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is involved in proliferation, cell survival, and growth. We investigated mutations in exons 9 and 20 of the PI3K gene in GBC. Mutations in exons 9 (E542K, E545G, E545K) and 20 (H1047L and H1047R) of PI3K were determined by direct sequencing in 130 cases of GBC. The patient group consisted of 110 women and 20 men, and mutations were found in 22 cases (16.9%). Of these, 14 cases had mutations in exon 9 (63.6%) (E542K, 64%; E545K, 29%; and E545G, 7%) and 8 in exon 20 (37.4%; H1047L, 50%; H1047R, 50%). No differences were noted in the frequency and type of mutations analyzed by sex, age, or histologic features. We observed mutations in 22% of the early-stage GBC and 14.6% of the advanced cases. In this series of GBC, 17% of cases were noted as having mutations in either exons 9 or 20 of PI3K. These results suggest that therapeutic testing of inhibitors of the PI3K/AKT pathway may be of benefit in advanced GBC patients.

Royo F, Zuñiga-Garcia P, Torrano V, et al.
Transcriptomic profiling of urine extracellular vesicles reveals alterations of CDH3 in prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(6):6835-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Extracellular vesicles (EV) are emerging structures with promising properties for intercellular communication. In addition, the characterization of EV in biofluids is an attractive source of non-invasive diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers. Here we show that urinary EV (uEV) from prostate cancer (PCa) patients exhibit genuine and differential physical and biological properties compared to benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Importantly, transcriptomics characterization of uEVs led us to define the decreased abundance of Cadherin 3, type 1 (CDH3) transcript in uEV from PCa patients. Tissue and cell line analysis strongly suggested that the status of CDH3 in uEVs is a distal reflection of changes in the expression of this cadherin in the prostate tumor. CDH3 was negatively regulated at the genomic, transcriptional, and epigenetic level in PCa. Our results reveal that uEVs could represent a non-invasive tool to inform about the molecular alterations in PCa.

Lorenc Z, Opiłka MN, Kruszniewska-Rajs C, et al.
Expression Level of Genes Coding for Cell Adhesion Molecules of Cadherin Group in Colorectal Cancer Patients.
Med Sci Monit. 2015; 21:2031-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequently diagnosed neoplasms and also one of the main death causes. Cell adhesion molecules are taking part in specific junctions, contributing to tissue integrality. Lower expression of the cadherins may be correlated with poorer differentiation of the CRC, and its more aggressive phenotype. The aim of the study is to designate the cadherin genes potentially useful for the diagnostics, prognostics, and the treatment of CRC.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Specimens were collected from 28 persons (14 female and 14 male), who were operated for CRC. The molecular analysis was performed using oligonucleotide microarrays, mRNA used was collected from adenocarcinoma, and macroscopically healthy tissue. The results were validated using qRT-PCR technique.
RESULTS: Agglomerative hierarchical clustering of normalized mRNA levels has shown 4 groups with statistically different gene expression. The control group was divided into 2 groups, the one was appropriate control (C1), the second (C2) had the genetic properties of the CRC, without pathological changes histologically and macroscopically. The other 2 groups were: LSC (Low stage cancer) and HSC (High stage cancer). Consolidated results of the fluorescency of all of the differential genes, designated two coding E-cadherin (CDH1) with the lower expression, and P-cadherin (CDH3) with higher expression in CRC tissue.
CONCLUSIONS: The levels of genes expression are different for several groups of cadherins, and are related with the stage of CRC, therefore could be potentially the useful marker of the stage of the disease, also applicable in treatment and diagnostics of CRC.

He K, Lv W, Zheng D, et al.
The stromal genome heterogeneity between breast and prostate tumors revealed by a comparative transcriptomic analysis.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(11):8687-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Stromal microenvironment increases tumor cell survival, proliferation and migration, and promotes angiogenesis. In order to provide comprehensive information on the stromal heterogeneity of diverse tumors, here we employed the microarray datasets of human invasive breast and prostate cancer-associated stromals and applied Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) to compare the gene expression profiles between them. As a result, 8 up-regulated pathways and 73 down-regulated pathways were identified in the breast tumor stroma, while 32 up-regulated pathways and 18 down-regulated pathways were identified in the prostate tumor stroma. Only 9 pathways such as tryptophan metabolism were commonly up or down regulated, but most of them (including ABC transporters) were specific for these two tumors. Several essential tumors stromal marker genes were also significantly identified. For example, CDH3 was significantly up-regulated in the stromals of both breast and prostate tumors, however EGFR was only significantly down-regulated in the stromal of breast tumor. Our study would be helpful for future therapeutic and predictive applications in breast and prostate cancers.

Bauer R, Valletta D, Bauer K, et al.
Downregulation of P-cadherin expression in hepatocellular carcinoma induces tumorigenicity.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(9):6125-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
P-cadherin is a major contributor to cell-cell adhesion in epithelial tissues, playing pivotal roles in important morphogenetic and differentiation processes and in maintaining tissue integrity and homeostasis. Alterations of P-cadherin expression have been observed during the progression of several carcinomas where it appears to act as tumor suppressive or oncogenic in a context-dependent manner. Here, we found a significant downregulation of P-cadherin in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines and tissues compared to primary human hepatocytes and non-malignant liver tissues. Combined immunohistochemical analysis of a tissue microarray containing matched pairs of HCC tissue and corresponding non-tumorous liver tissue of 69 patients confirmed reduced P-cadherin expression in more than half of the cases. In 35 human HCC tissues, the P-cadherin immunosignal was completely lost which correlated with tumor staging and proliferation. Also in vitro, P-cadherin suppression in HCC cells via siRNA induced proliferation compared to cells transfected with control-siRNA. In summary, downregulation of P-cadherin expression appears to induce tumorigenicity in HCC. Therefore, P-cadherin expression may serve as a prognostic marker and therapeutic target of this highly aggressive tumor.

Sousa B, Ribeiro AS, Nobre AR, et al.
The basal epithelial marker P-cadherin associates with breast cancer cell populations harboring a glycolytic and acid-resistant phenotype.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:734 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer stem cells are hypoxia-resistant and present a preponderant glycolytic metabolism. These characteristics are also found in basal-like breast carcinomas (BLBC), which show increased expression of cancer stem cell markers.Recently, we demonstrated that P-cadherin, a biomarker of BLBC and a poor prognostic factor in this disease, mediates stem-like properties and resistance to radiation therapy. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate if P-cadherin expression was associated to breast cancer cell populations with an adapted phenotype to hypoxia.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was performed to address the expression of P-cadherin, hypoxic, glycolytic and acid-resistance biomarkers in primary human breast carcinomas. In vitro studies were performed using basal-like breast cancer cell lines. qRT-PCR, FACS analysis, western blotting and confocal microscopy were used to assess the expression of P-cadherin after HIF-1α stabilization, achieved by CoCl2 treatment. siRNA-mediated knockdown was used to silence the expression of several targets and qRT-PCR was employed to evaluate the effects of P-cadherin on HIF-1α signaling. P-cadherin high and low breast cancer cell populations were sorted by FACS and levels of GLUT1 and CAIX were assessed by FACS and western blotting. Mammosphere forming efficiency was used to determine the stem cell activity after specific siRNA-mediated knockdown, further confirmed by western blotting.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that P-cadherin overexpression was significantly associated with the expression of HIF-1α, GLUT1, CAIX, MCT1 and CD147 in human breast carcinomas. In vitro, we showed that HIF-1α stabilization was accompanied by increased membrane expression of P-cadherin and that P-cadherin silencing led to a decrease of the mRNA levels of GLUT1 and CAIX. We also found that the cell fractions harboring high levels of P-cadherin were the same exhibiting more GLUT1 and CAIX expression. Finally, we showed that P-cadherin silencing significantly decreases the mammosphere forming efficiency in the same range as the silencing of HIF-1α, CAIX or GLUT1, validating that all these markers are being expressed by the same breast cancer stem cell population.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results establish a link between aberrant P-cadherin expression and hypoxic, glycolytic and acid-resistant breast cancer cells, suggesting a possible role for this marker in cancer cell metabolism.

Ko SY, Naora H
HOXA9 promotes homotypic and heterotypic cell interactions that facilitate ovarian cancer dissemination via its induction of P-cadherin.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a lethal disease that frequently involves the peritoneal cavity. Dissemination of EOC is a multi-step process in which exfoliated tumor cells survive in the peritoneal fluid as multi-cellular aggregates and then form invasive implants on peritoneal surfaces. The mechanisms that control this process are poorly understood. We previously identified that high expression of the developmental patterning gene HOXA9 is associated with poor survival in EOC patients. In this study, we investigated the significance and mechanisms of HOXA9 in controlling aggregation and implantation of floating EOC cells.
METHODS: HOXA9 was inhibited by shRNAs or expressed in EOC cells that were propagated in suspension cultures and in the peritoneal cavity of mice. Cell death was assayed by flow cytometry and ELISA. Cell aggregation, attachment and migration were evaluated by microscopy, transwell chamber assays and histopathologic analysis. DNA-binding of HOXA9 and its effect on expression of the cell adhesion molecule P-cadherin were assayed by chromatin immunoprecipitation, quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot. HOXA9 and P-cadherin expression was evaluated in publicly available datasets of EOC clinical specimens.
RESULTS: We identified that HOXA9 promotes aggregation and inhibits anoikis in floating EOC cells in vitro and in xenograft models. HOXA9 also stimulated the ability of EOC cells to attach to peritoneal cells and to migrate. HOXA9 bound the promoter of the CDH3 gene that encodes P-cadherin, induced CDH3 expression in EOC cells, and was associated with increased CDH3 expression in clinical specimens of EOC. Inhibiting P-cadherin in EOC cells that expressed HOXA9 abrogated the stimulatory effects of HOXA9 on cell aggregation, implantation and migration. Conversely, these stimulatory effects of HOXA9 were restored when P-cadherin was reconstituted in EOC cells in which HOXA9 was inhibited.
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that HOXA9 contributes to poor outcomes in EOC in part by promoting intraperitoneal dissemination via its induction of P-cadherin.

Fotouhi O, Adel Fahmideh M, Kjellman M, et al.
Global hypomethylation and promoter methylation in small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors: an in vivo and in vitro study.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(7):987-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant DNA methylation is a feature of human cancer affecting gene expression and tumor phenotype. Here, we quantified promoter methylation of candidate genes and global methylation in 44 small intestinal-neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs) from 33 patients by pyrosequencing. Findings were compared with gene expression, patient outcome and known tumor copy number alterations. Promoter methylation was observed for WIF1, RASSF1A, CTNNB1, CXCL14, NKX2-3, P16, LAMA1, and CDH1. By contrast APC, CDH3, HIC1, P14, SMAD2, and SMAD4 only had low levels of methylation. WIF1 methylation was significantly increased (P = 0.001) and WIF1 expression was reduced in SI-NETs vs. normal references (P = 0.003). WIF1, NKX2-3, and CXCL14 expression was reduced in metastases vs. primary tumors (P<0.02). Low expression of RASSF1A and P16 were associated with poor overall survival (P = 0.045 and P = 0.011, respectively). Global methylation determined by pyrosequencing of LINE1 repeats was reduced in tumors vs. normal references, and was associated with loss in chromosome 18. The tumors fell into three clusters with enrichment of WIF1 methylation and LINE1 hypomethylation in Cluster I and RASSF1A and CTNNB1 methylation and loss in 16q in Cluster II. In Cluster III, these alterations were low-abundant and NKX2-3 methylation was low. Similar analyses in the SI-NET cell lines HC45 and CNDT2 showed methylation for CDH1 and WIF1 and/or P16, CXCL14, NKX2-3, LAMA1, and CTNNB1. Treatment with the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine reduced DNA methylation and increased expression of these genes in vitro. In conclusion, promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes is associated with suppressed gene expression and DNA copy number alterations in SI-NETs, and may be restored in vitro.

Jiang Y, Liu M, Li Z, Jiang Y
Discovery of novel candidate oncogenes in pancreatic carcinoma using high-throughput microarrays.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2013 Nov-Dec; 60(128):1825-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive tumors in mankind. Its aggressiveness is only due to the biological progressive characteristics but also the difficulty for clinical early detection which urges us to find diagnostic tools for early diagnosis. Biomarkers are a developing tool used to measure molecules such as proteins, DNA, or RNAs in blood samples or suspected tumor tissues. The molecular dysregulation is believed to play major roles in tumorigenesis or a result after the tumor formation and can be used as a biomarker for tumor detection.
METHODOLOGY: In this paper, we studied the gene expression profiles using tissues from pancreatic cancer patients.
RESULTS: We observed dysregulation of gene expression profiles using high-throughput sequencing technique and verified three-gene upregulation, REG4, CDH3 and S100P both in pancreatic cell lines and carcinoma tissues by RT-PCR and Northern Blot. A detailed description of the genes involved is listed within this article.
CONCLUSIONS: We believe that by unraveling the gene dysregulation profiles in pancreatic tumor tissues can we achieve an early and precise diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Moreover, these newly found genes, due to their functions involved in cell migration and mitosis, may play major roles in tumorigensis.

Li C, Ma H, Wang Y, et al.
Excess PLAC8 promotes an unconventional ERK2-dependent EMT in colon cancer.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(5):2172-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) transcriptional program is characterized by repression of E-cadherin (CDH1) and induction of N-cadherin (CDH2), and mesenchymal genes like vimentin (VIM). Placenta-specific 8 (PLAC8) has been implicated in colon cancer; however, how PLAC8 contributes to disease is unknown, and endogenous PLAC8 protein has not been studied. We analyzed zebrafish and human tissues and found that endogenous PLAC8 localizes to the apical domain of differentiated intestinal epithelium. Colon cancer cells with elevated PLAC8 levels exhibited EMT features, including increased expression of VIM and zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), aberrant cell motility, and increased invasiveness. In contrast to classical EMT, PLAC8 overexpression reduced cell surface CDH1 and upregulated P-cadherin (CDH3) without affecting CDH2 expression. PLAC8-induced EMT was linked to increased phosphorylated ERK2 (p-ERK2), and ERK2 knockdown restored cell surface CDH1 and suppressed CDH3, VIM, and ZEB1 upregulation. In vitro, PLAC8 directly bound and inactivated the ERK2 phosphatase DUSP6, thereby increasing p-ERK2. In a murine xenograft model, knockdown of endogenous PLAC8 in colon cancer cells resulted in smaller tumors, reduced local invasion, and decreased p-ERK2. Using MultiOmyx, a multiplex immunofluorescence-based methodology, we observed coexpression of cytosolic PLAC8, CDH3, and VIM at the leading edge of a human colorectal tumor, supporting a role for PLAC8 in cancer invasion in vivo.

Bernardes N, Ribeiro AS, Abreu S, et al.
High-throughput molecular profiling of a P-cadherin overexpressing breast cancer model reveals new targets for the anti-cancer bacterial protein azurin.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014; 50:1-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Azurin is a bacterial protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa which exerts an inhibitory activity in cancer cells. In P-cadherin-overexpressing models, a bad prognosis marker in breast cancer increasing invasion and other malignant features, azurin decreases the invasion of cancer cells. We performed a microarray analysis to compare the expression profile of azurin treated cells with different P-cadherin expression levels. Azurin up-regulated apoptosis mediated by p53 protein, endocytosis and vesicle-mediated transport. In the contrary, in invasive MCF-7/AZ.Pcad cells, azurin decreased the expression of genes associated with cell surface receptors and signal transduction, as well as biological adhesion. Further, azurin decreased adhesion of cells to proteins from the extracellular matrix (ECM) and altered protein expression of integrins α6, β4 and β1 and interfered with the ability of these cells to form mammospheres. Altogether, our results further enlighten the anti-cancer effects mediated by azurin in P-cadherin overexpression breast cancer models.

Song S, Walter V, Karaca M, et al.
Gene silencing associated with SWI/SNF complex loss during NSCLC development.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(4):560-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex regulates gene expression and alters chromatin structures in an ATP-dependent manner. Recent sequencing efforts have shown mutations in BRG1 (SMARCA4), one of two mutually exclusive ATPase subunits in the complex, in a significant number of human lung tumor cell lines and primary non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) clinical specimens. To determine how BRG1 loss fuels tumor progression in NSCLC, molecular profiling was performed after restoration of BRG1 expression or treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor or a DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor in a BRG1-deficient NSCLC cells. Importantly, validation studies from multiple cell lines revealed that BRG1 reexpression led to substantial changes in the expression of CDH1, CDH3, EHF, and RRAD that commonly undergo silencing by other epigenetic mechanisms during NSCLC development. Furthermore, treatment with DNMT inhibitors did not restore expression of these transcripts, indicating that this common mechanism of gene silencing did not account for their loss of expression. Collectively, BRG1 loss is an important mechanism for the epigenetic silencing of target genes during NSCLC development.
IMPLICATIONS: Inactivation of the SWI/SNF complex provides a novel mechanism to induce gene silencing during NSCLC development.

Huang W, Jin Y, Yuan Y, et al.
Validation and target gene screening of hsa-miR-205 in lung squamous cell carcinoma.
Chin Med J (Engl). 2014; 127(2):272-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancers are classified as squamous cell carcinoma (SQ), adenocarcinoma (AC) and small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). SQ is the major subtype of lung cancer. Currently, there are no targeted therapies for SQ due to lack of understanding its driving oncogenes. In this study, we validated an SQ specific biomarker hsa-miR-205 in Chinese patients with lung cancer and screened its candidate target genes for further functional studies to enrich knowledge in SQ target therapies.
METHODS: Quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (quantitative RT-PCR) was performed on 197 macro-dissected (cancerous cells >75%) surgical lung tissues (45 SQ, 44 AC, 54 SCLC and 54 adjacent normal tissues) to validate the expression profiles of miR-205. Furthermore, the targets of this microRNA were predicted through the gateway miRecords and mapped to lung cancer-associated pathways using the KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) database. Then quantitative RT-PCR was performed on an independent cohort of 44 snap-frozen surgical lung tissues to concurrently assess the expression profiles of miR-205 and its 52 putative targeted genes.
RESULTS: MicroRNA-205 yielded high diagnostic accuracy in discriminating SQ from AC with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.985, and discriminating SQ from SCLC with an AUC of 0.978 in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) surgical lung tissues. Predicted targets of miR-205 were associated with 52 key members of lung cancer signaling pathways. Ten target genes (ACSL1, AXIN2, CACNA2D2, FOXO3, PPP1R3A, PRKAG3, RUNX1, SMAD4, STK3 and TBL1XR1) were significantly down-regulated in SQ and had a strong negative correlation with miR-205, while one target gene (CDH3) was up-regulated in SQ and exhibited a strong positive correlation with miR-205.
CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed the high diagnostic accuracy of miR-205 in discriminating SQ from AC and SCLC in Chinese patients. Moreover, we identified 11 significant target genes of miR-205 which could be used for further functional studies as the basis for the development of SQ targeted therapies.

Bernardes N, Ribeiro AS, Abreu S, et al.
The bacterial protein azurin impairs invasion and FAK/Src signaling in P-cadherin-overexpressing breast cancer cell models.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e69023 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
P-cadherin overexpression occurs in about 30% of all breast carcinomas, being a poor prognostic factor for breast cancer patients. In a cellular background of wild-type E-cadherin, we have previously shown that its expression promotes invasion, motility and migration of breast cancer cells due to the induced secretion of metalloproteases (MMPs) to the extracellular medium and to the concomitant shedding of a pro-invasive soluble form of this protein (sP-cad). Azurin is secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and induces in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicity after its preferential penetration in human cancer cells relative to normal cells. Three different breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7/AZ.Mock, MCF-7/AZ.Pcad and SUM149 were treated with sub-killing doses of azurin. Invasion of these cells was measured using Matrigel Invasion Assays and MTT assays were performed to determine cell viability upon treatment and the effects on cadherins expression was determined by Western blot and Immunofluorescence. Gelatin Zymography was used to determine activity of MMP2 in the conditioned media of azurin treated and untreated cells and the phosphorylation levels of intracellular signaling proteins were determined by Western blot. The invasive phenotype of these breast cancer cells was significantly reduced by azurin. Azurin (50-100 µM) also caused a specific decrease on P-cadherin protein levels from 30-50% in MCF-7/AZ.Pcad and SUM149 breast cancer cell lines, but the levels of E-cadherin remain unaltered. More, the levels of sP-cad and the activity of MMP2 were reduced in the extracellular media of azurin treated cells and we also observed a decrease in the phosphorylation levels of both FAK and Src proteins. Our data show that azurin specifically targets P-cadherin, not E-cadherin, abrogating P-cadherin-mediated invasive effects and signaling. Therefore, azurin could possibly be considered a therapeutic tool to treat poor-prognosis breast carcinomas overexpressing P-cadherin in a wild type E-cadherin context.

Broussard EK, Kim R, Wiley JC, et al.
Identification of putative immunologic targets for colon cancer prevention based on conserved gene upregulation from preinvasive to malignant lesions.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013; 6(7):666-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The length of time required for preinvasive adenoma to progress to carcinoma, the immunogenicity of colorectal cancer (CRC), and the identification of high-risk populations make development and testing of a prophylactic vaccine for the prevention of CRC possible. We hypothesized that genes upregulated in adenoma relative to normal tissue, which maintained increased expression in CRC, would encode proteins suitable as putative targets for immunoprevention. We evaluated existing adenoma and CRC microarray datasets and identified 160 genes that were ≥2-fold upregulated in both adenoma and CRC relative to normal colon tissue. We further identified 23 genes that showed protein overexpression in colon adenoma and CRC based on literature review. Silencing the most highly upregulated genes, CDH3, CLDN1, KRT23, and MMP7, in adenoma and CRC cell lines resulted in a significant decrease in viability (P < 0.0001) and proliferation (P < 0.0001) as compared to controls and an increase in cellular apoptosis (P < 0.05 for CDH3, KRT23). Results were duplicated across cell lines representing microsatellite instability, CpG island methylator, and chromosomal instability phenotypes, suggesting immunologic elimination of cells expressing these proteins could impact the progression of all CRC phenotypes. To determine whether these proteins were immunogens, we interrogated sera from early stage CRC patients and controls and found significantly elevated CDH3 (P = 0.006), KRT23 (P = 0.0007), and MMP7 (P < 0.0001) serum immunoglobulin G in cases as compared to controls. These data show a high throughput approach to the identification of biologically relevant putative immunologic targets for CRC and identified three candidates suitable for vaccine development.

Albergaria A, Resende C, Nobre AR, et al.
CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ) isoforms as transcriptional regulators of the pro-invasive CDH3/P-cadherin gene in human breast cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e55749 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
P-cadherin is a cell-cell adhesion molecule codified by the CDH3 gene, which expression is highly associated with undifferentiated cells in normal adult epithelial tissues, as well as with poorly differentiated carcinomas. In breast cancer, P-cadherin is frequently overexpressed in high-grade tumours and is a well-established indicator of aggressive tumour behaviour and poor patient prognosis. However, till now, the mechanisms controlling CDH3 gene activation have been poorly explored. Since we recently described the existence of several CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Protein β (C/EBPβ) transcription factor binding sites at the CDH3 promoter, the aim of this study was to assess if the distinct C/EBPβ isoforms were directly involved in the transcriptional activation of the CDH3 gene in breast cancer cells. DNA-protein interactions, mutation analysis and luciferase reporter assay studies have been performed. We demonstrated that C/EBPβ is co-expressed with P-cadherin in breast cancer cells and all the three isoforms function as transcriptional regulators of the CDH3 gene, directly interacting with specific regions of its promoter. Interestingly, this transcriptional activation was only reflected at the P-cadherin protein level concerning the LIP isoform. Taken together, our data show that CDH3 is a newly defined transcriptional target gene of C/EBPβ isoforms in breast cancer, and we also identified the binding sites that are relevant for this activation.

Ribeiro AS, Sousa B, Carreto L, et al.
P-cadherin functional role is dependent on E-cadherin cellular context: a proof of concept using the breast cancer model.
J Pathol. 2013; 229(5):705-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
P-cadherin overexpression is associated with worse breast cancer survival, being a poor prognostic marker as well as a putative therapeutic target for the aggressive triple-negative and basal-like carcinomas (TNBCs). Previously, we have shown that P-cadherin promotes breast cancer invasion of cells where membrane E-cadherin was maintained; however, it suppresses invasion in models without endogenous cadherins, like melanomas. Here, we investigated if P-cadherin expression would interfere with the normal adhesion complex and which were the cellular/molecular consequences, constituting, in this way, a new mechanism by which E-cadherin invasive-suppressor function was disrupted. Using breast TNBC models, we demonstrated, for the first time, that P-cadherin co-localizes with E-cadherin, promoting cell invasion due to the disruption caused in the interaction between E-cadherin and cytoplasmic catenins. P-cadherin also induces cell migration and survival, modifying the expression profile of cells expressing wild-type E-cadherin and contributing to alter their cellular behaviour. Additionally, E- and P-cadherin co-expressing cells significantly enhanced in vivo tumour growth, compared with cells expressing only E- or only P-cadherin. Finally, we still found that co-expression of both molecules was significantly correlated with high-grade breast carcinomas, biologically aggressive, and with poor patient survival, being a strong prognostic factor in this disease. Our results show a role for E- and P-cadherin co-expression in breast cancer progression and highlight the potential benefit of targeting P-cadherin in the aggressive tumours expressing high levels of this protein.

Sun Q, Yang YM, Yu SH, et al.
Covariation of copy number located at 16q22.1: new evidence in mammary ductal carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 28(6):2156-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Copy number variation (CNV) is crucial for gene regulation in humans. A number of studies have revealed that CNV contributes to the initiation and progression of cancer. In this study, we analysed four breast cancer cell lines and six fresh frozen tissues from patients to evaluate the CNV present in the genome using microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Six genes located at 16q22.1 were analysed by real-time PCR. The real-time PCR analysis revealed that the loss of CDH1/E2F4 may be associated with worse clinical and pathological findings. Interestingly, covariation of CDH1, CDH3, CTCF and E2F4 was found to be associated with triple negative breast cancer and HER-2 receptor status. In conclusion, our study supports the idea that CNV at 16q22.1 in breast cancer is a frequent event; furthermore, it reveals the covariation of CDH1, CDH3, CTCF and E2F4. The role of the covariation is more complex than a simple additive effect of these four separate genes, which may provide a novel target for breast cancer.

Paredes J, Figueiredo J, Albergaria A, et al.
Epithelial E- and P-cadherins: role and clinical significance in cancer.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012; 1826(2):297-311 [PubMed] Related Publications
E-cadherin and P-cadherin are major contributors to cell-cell adhesion in epithelial tissues, playing pivotal roles in important morphogenetic and differentiation processes during development, and in maintaining integrity and homeostasis in adult tissues. It is now generally accepted that alterations in these two molecules are observed during tumour progression of most carcinomas. Genetic or epigenetic alterations in E- and P-cadherin-encoding genes (CDH1 and CDH3, respectively), or alterations in their proteins expression, often result in tissue disorder, cellular de-differentiation, increased invasiveness of tumour cells and ultimately in metastasis. In this review, we will discuss the major properties of E- and P-cadherin molecules, its regulation in normal tissue, and their alterations and role in cancer, with a specific focus on gastric and breast cancer models.

Vieira AF, Ricardo S, Ablett MP, et al.
P-cadherin is coexpressed with CD44 and CD49f and mediates stem cell properties in basal-like breast cancer.
Stem Cells. 2012; 30(5):854-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the luminal progenitor cell of the normal mammary gland hierarchy has been proposed as the cell-of-origin for basal-like breast cancers, finding the cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype for this malignancy has proven a difficult task, mostly due to the lack of specific markers. Recently, basal-like sporadic and familial cases of breast cancer have been linked to BRCA1 gene inactivation, which enables the upregulation of the target-repressed CDH3/P-cadherin gene, an important biomarker of basal-like breast carcinomas. Previously, we demonstrated that P-cadherin overexpression can mediate aggressive behavior in these tumors. Thus, our aim was to test whether P-cadherin mediates stem cell properties in basal-like breast carcinomas. Using a series of breast cancer cell lines and primary tumors, we showed that P-cadherin was directly associated with the expression of the breast stem markers CD44, CD49f, and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 in the basal subtype. Moreover, cell population enriched for P-cadherin expression comprised increased in vitro mammosphere-forming efficiency and capacity to grow colonies in three-dimensional cultures as well as greater tumorigenicity. Importantly, an association was found with stem-/progenitor-like phenotypes of the breast, including the luminal progenitor population, CD49f(+) CD24(+). Additionally, P-cadherin expression conferred resistance to x-ray-induced cell death, sustaining a role for this molecule in another stem cell property. In summary, we demonstrated, for the first time, that P-cadherin mediates stem cell properties, which could be explored in order to better define the CSC phenotype of basal-like breast tumors and the cell-of-origin of this malignancy.

Palka Bayard de Volo C, Alfonsi M, Gatta V, et al.
16q22.1 microdeletion detected by array-CGH in a family with mental retardation and lobular breast cancer.
Gene. 2012; 498(2):328-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe the case of a boy with psychomotor delay and dysmorphic features, with a germline 16q22.1 microdeletion identified by array-CGH. The deletion spans 0.24Mb and encompasses three genes (ZFP90, CDH3 and CDH1). The deletion has been demonstrated to be inherited from his mother who was affected by lobular breast cancer (LBC) without any other apparently phenotypic features. We suppose that the microdeletion, in particular ZFP90 which is cerebrally expressed, is causative for the boy's phenotype. Mental retardation in the affected boy can recognize several mechanisms such as variable expressivity, non-penetrance, multifactorial/polygenic inheritance, recessive inheritance, a second rearrangement event and epigenetics. Furthermore, we suggest that the deletion of the CDH1, a tumor suppressor gene, involved in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) and LBC predisposed the mother to the carcinoma.

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