Gene Summary

Gene:CDK4; cyclin dependent kinase 4
Aliases: CMM3, PSK-J3
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the Ser/Thr protein kinase family. This protein is highly similar to the gene products of S. cerevisiae cdc28 and S. pombe cdc2. It is a catalytic subunit of the protein kinase complex that is important for cell cycle G1 phase progression. The activity of this kinase is restricted to the G1-S phase, which is controlled by the regulatory subunits D-type cyclins and CDK inhibitor p16(INK4a). This kinase was shown to be responsible for the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma gene product (Rb). Mutations in this gene as well as in its related proteins including D-type cyclins, p16(INK4a) and Rb were all found to be associated with tumorigenesis of a variety of cancers. Multiple polyadenylation sites of this gene have been reported. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cyclin-dependent kinase 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 10 March, 2017


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 10 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: CDK4 (cancer-related)

Dong Z, Zhao L, Lu S, et al.
Overexpression of TSPAN8 Promotes Tumor Cell Viability and Proliferation in Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer.
Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2016; 31(10):353-359 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Overexpression of TSPAN8 has been involved in several epithelial cancers and TSPAN8 can form a complex with a variety of proteins to participate in several import cellular functions. However, the effects of TSPAN8 in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain unclear.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this study, the authors determined the expression of TSPAN in several NSCLC cell lines (95C, A549, H1299, and 95D) and human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells. Furthermore, the authors investigated the biological function of TSPAN8 in NSCLC cell lines using gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays, as well as the underlying mechanisms.
RESULTS: TSPAN8 was found to be overexpressed in NSCLC cells compared with normal HBE cells, of which the expression in H1299 is the highest and, in 95C, it is relatively lowest. Functional assays indicated that knockdown of TSPAN8 in H1299 remarkably reduced cell viability and proliferation, while overexpression of TSPAN8 in 95C dramatically enhanced cell viability and proliferation. In addition, TSPAN8 knockdown led to G1 phase arrest and apoptosis by downregulating CDK2, CDK4, and Cyclin D1 and upregulating Bax and PARP.
CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence that TSPAN8 may contribute to the pathogenesis of lung cancer by promoting cell viability and proliferation. TSPAN8 silencing may provide a potential therapeutic intervention for the treatment of NSCLC.

Liu L, Xu Y, Reiter RJ, et al.
Inhibition of ERK1/2 Signaling Pathway is Involved in Melatonin's Antiproliferative Effect on Human MG-63 Osteosarcoma Cells.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 39(6):2297-2307 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In a previous study, we found that melatonin inhibits MG-63 osteosarcoma cell proliferation; however, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Akt signaling pathways play key roles in the anticancer effects of melatonin.
AIMS: The present study investigated whether MAPK and Akt signaling pathways are involved in melatonin's antiproliferative actions on the human MG-63 osteosarcoma cells.
METHODS/RESULTS: Western blot analysis confirmed that melatonin significantly inhibited phosphorylation of ERK1/2 but not p38, JNK, or Akt. The expression of ERK1/2, p38, JNK, and Akt was not altered by melatonin. PD98059 and melatonin alone, and especially in combination, significantly inhibited cell proliferation. The changes included G1 and G2/M phase arrest of the cell cycle, and a downregulation of the expression at both the protein and mRNA levels of cyclin D1 and CDK4 (related to the G1 phase) and of cyclin B1 and CDK1 (related to the G2/M phase) as measured by flow cytometry after propidium iodide staining, and both western blot and real-time PCR, respectively. Furthermore, the combination of PD98059 and melatonin synergistically and markedly augmented the action of either agent alone. Co-immunoprecipitation further confirmed that there was an interaction between p-ERK1/2 and cyclin D1, CDK4, cyclin B1, or CDK1, which was blunted in the presence of melatonin or PD98059.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that melatonin's antiproliferative action is mediated by inhibition of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway rather than the p38, JNK, or Akt pathways.

Ohtsuka M, Ling H, Ivan C, et al.
H19 Noncoding RNA, an Independent Prognostic Factor, Regulates Essential Rb-E2F and CDK8-β-Catenin Signaling in Colorectal Cancer.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 13:113-124 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The clinical significance of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains largely unexplored. Here, we analyzed a large panel of lncRNA candidates with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) CRC dataset, and identified H19 as the most significant lncRNA associated with CRC patient survival. We further validated such association in two independent CRC cohorts. H19 silencing blocked G1-S transition, reduced cell proliferation, and inhibited cell migration. We profiled gene expression changes to gain mechanism insight of H19 function. Transcriptome data analysis revealed not only previously identified mechanisms such as Let-7 regulation by H19, but also RB1-E2F1 function and β-catenin activity as essential upstream regulators mediating H19 function. Our experimental data showed that H19 affects phosphorylation of RB1 protein by regulating gene expression of CDK4 and CCND1. We further demonstrated that reduced CDK8 expression underlies changes of β-catenin activity, and identified that H19 interacts with macroH2A, an essential regulator of CDK8 gene transcription. However, the relevance of H19-macroH2A interaction in CDK8 regulation remains to be experimentally determined. We further explored the clinical relevance of above mechanisms in clinical samples, and showed that combined analysis of H19 with its targets improved prognostic value of H19 in CRC.

Jagadish N, Gupta N, Agarwal S, et al.
Sperm-associated antigen 9 (SPAG9) promotes the survival and tumor growth of triple-negative breast cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13101-13110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, we demonstrated the association of sperm-associated antigen 9 (SPAG9) expression with breast cancer. Among breast cancer, 15 % of the cancers are diagnosed as triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) based on hormone receptor status and represent an important clinical challenge because of lack of effective available targeted therapy. Therefore, in the present investigation, plasmid-based small hairpin (small hairpin RNA (shRNA)) approach was used to ablate SPAG9 in aggressive breast cancer cell line model (MDA-MB-231) in order to understand the role of SPAG9 at molecular level in apoptosis, cell cycle, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signaling. Our data in MDA-MB-231 cells showed that ablation of SPAG9 resulted in membrane blebbing, increased mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation, phosphatidyl serine surface expression, and caspase activation. SPAG9 depletion also resulted in cell cycle arrest in G0-G1 phase and induced cellular senescence. In addition, in in vitro and in vivo xenograft studies, ablation of SPAG9 resulted in upregulation of p21 along with pro-apoptotic molecules such as BAK, BAX, BIM, BID, NOXA, AIF, Cyto-C, PARP1, APAF1, Caspase 3, and Caspase 9 and epithelial marker, E-cadherin. Also, SPAG9-depleted cells showed downregulation of cyclin B1, cyclin D1, cyclin E, CDK1, CDK4, CDK6, BCL2, Bcl-xL, XIAP, cIAP2, MCL1, GRP78, SLUG, SNAIL, TWIST, vimentin, N-cadherin, MMP2, MMP3, MMP9, SMA, and β-catenin. Collectively, our data suggests that SPAG9 promotes tumor growth by inhibiting apoptosis, altering cell cycle, and enhancing EMT signaling in in vitro cells and in vivo mouse model. Hence, SPAG9 may be a potential novel target for therapeutic use in TNBC treatment.

Tang T, Eldabaje R, Yang L
Current Status of Biological Therapies for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(7):3229-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Compared to early-stage melanoma when surgical excision is possible, metastatic disease continues to offer a much grimmer prognosis as traditional chemotherapy treatment regimens offer relatively little survival benefit. This has led to changes in treatment approaches over the preceding two decades as contemporary methods for the treatment of advanced or metastatic melanoma now involve a number of biological modalities, which include immunotherapeutic approaches, targeted therapies and epigenetic modification therapies. Clinically available immunotherapeutic agents include interleukin 2 (IL-2), as well as drugs targeting the important immune checkpoint molecules, such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1). The targeted therapeutic agents modulate specific pro-oncogenic mutations such as v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF), receptor tyrosine kinases, MEK inhibitors and potential future therapeutic targets, such as the CDK4/CDK6, PTEN and GNAQ/GNA11 genes. Additionally, an increasing understanding of the role of epigenetic alterations in the development and progression of melanoma now offers a new potential drug target. Several of these agents have shown promising results; however, in many investigations, combinations of different therapeutic approaches, each with different mechanisms of action, have yielded improved outcomes as treatment regimens continue to be further optimized by active research and patient disease sub-group analyses. This review summarizes the novel biological agents and new treatments, directly contributing to the significant improvement of biological therapies and markedly advancing knowledge of clinical application of newly approved and developed therapies in treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Zhang YH, Wang QQ, Li H, et al.
miR-124 radiosensitizes human esophageal cancer cell TE-1 by targeting CDK4.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(2) [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiotherapy is one of the most important treatments for esophageal cancer, but radioresistance remains a major challenge. Previous studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are involved in human cancers. miR-124 has been widely reported in various cancers and it is intimately involved in proliferation, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between the miR-124/cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) axis and the radiosensitivity of esophageal cancer cells. In this study, we identified the reduced expression of miR-124 in 18 paired esophageal cancer tissues compared to their matched normal tissues. In order to investigate the physiological role of miR-124 in esophageal cancer, the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and wound healing assay were performed, and the results suggest that miR-124 overexpression decreases tumor growth and aggression. Next, we detected the effects of ectopic miR-124 expression on the apoptosis of an esophageal cancer cell line (TE-1) following radiotherapy. Using the CCK-8 assay and Hoechst 332528 stain, we found that ectopic expression of miR-124 led to a higher percentage of apoptotic cells. Finally, we identified that CDK4 is a direct target of miR-124 in TE-1 cells using target prediction algorithms and a luciferase reporter assay. Moreover, western blot assay confirmed that CDK4 was downregulated during miR-124 transfection. Taken together, we illustrate that the miR-124/CDK4 axis plays an important role in radiation sensitivity of human esophageal cancer cells by targeting CDK4.

Jiang S, Zhao C, Yang X, et al.
miR-1 suppresses the growth of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in vivo and in vitro through the downregulation of MET, cyclin D1 and CDK4 expression.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 38(1):113-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several aberrant microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) have been implicated in esophageal cancer (EC), which is widely prevalent in China. However, their role in EC tumorigenesis has not yet been fully elucidated. In the present study, we determined that miR‑1 was downregulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues compared with adjacent non-neoplastic tissues using RT-qPCR, and confirmed this using an ESCC cell line. Using a nude mouse xenograft model, we confirmed that the re-expression of miR‑1 significantly inhibited ESCC tumor growth. A tetrazolium assay and a trypan blue exclusion assay revealed that miR‑1 suppressed ESCC cell proliferation and increased apoptosis, whereas the silencing of miR‑1 promoted cell proliferation and decreased apoptosis, suggesting that miR‑1 is a novel tumor suppressor. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of action of miR‑1 in ESCC, we investigated putative targets using bioinformatics tools. MET, cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), which are involved in the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling pathway, were found to be targets of miR‑1. miR‑1 expression inversely correlated with MET, cyclin D1 and CDK4 expression in ESCC cells. miR‑1 directly targeted MET, cyclin D1 and CDK4, suppressing ESCC cell growth. The newly identified miR‑1/MET/cyclin D1/CDK4 axis provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms of ESCC pathogenesis and indicates a novel strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of ESCC.

Liu H, Chen F, Zhang L, et al.
A novel all-trans retinoic acid derivative 4-amino‑2‑trifluoromethyl-phenyl retinate inhibits the proliferation of human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells by inducing G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via upregulation of p53 and ASPP1 and downregulation of iASPP.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):333-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
4-Amino-2-trifluoromethyl-phenyl retinate (ATPR), a novel all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) derivative, was reported to function as a tumor inhibitor in various types of cancer cells in vitro. However, little is known concerning its antitumor effect on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 cells. The aims of the present study were to investigate the effects of ATPR on the proliferation of HepG2 cells and to explore the probable mechanisms. A series of experiments were performed following the treatment of HepG2 cells with ATRA and ATPR. MTT and plate colony formation assays were used to measure the cell viability. To confirm the influence on proliferation, flow cytometry was used to detect the distribution of the cell cycle. Apoptosis was observed by Hoechst staining and flow cytometry. In addition, to characterize the underlying molecular mechanisms, immunofluorescence was applied to observe the distribution of p53. The transcription and translation levels of p53 were analyzed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blotting. The expression levels of murine double minute 2 (MDM2), apoptosis stimulating proteins of p53 (ASPP), cell cycle- and apoptosis-associated proteins were detected by western blotting. After HepG2 cells were incubated with ATRA and ATPR, the viability of the HepG2 cells was inhibited in a dose- and time-dependent manner. As well, ATPR significantly suppressed HepG2 cell colony formation and arrested cells at the G0/G1 phase, while ATRA had no obvious effects. Both Hoechst staining and flow cytometry unveiled the apoptosis of HepG2 cells. Moreover, the fluorescent density of p53 was higher in the nuclei after exposure to ATPR than that in the ATRA group. HepG2 cells treated with ATPR showed elevated mRNA and protein levels of p53 when compared with these levels in the ATRA-treated cells. Western blotting showed that ATPR increased ASPP1, p21 and Bax expression and decreased MDM2, iASPP, cyclin D and E, cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) and Bcl-2 expression, while CDK4 and ASPP2 expression were scarcely altered. Consequently, ATPR exerted a better inhibitory effect on the proliferation of HepG2 cells than ATRA through increased expression of p53 and ASPP1 and downregulation of iASPP, thereby resulting in G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Zhang J, Zhang HY, Wang J, et al.
GL-1196 Suppresses the Proliferation and Invasion of Gastric Cancer Cells via Targeting PAK4 and Inhibiting PAK4-Mediated Signaling Pathways.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(4):470 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer, which is the most common malignant gastrointestinal tumor, has jumped to the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. It is of great importance to identify novel and potent drugs for gastric cancer treatment. P21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) has emerged as an attractive target for the development of anticancer drugs in consideration of its vital functions in tumorigenesis and progression. In this paper, we reported that GL-1196, as a small molecular compound, effectively suppressed the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells through downregulation of PAK4/c-Src/EGFR/cyclinD1 pathway and CDK4/6 expression. Moreover, GL-1196 prominently inhibited the invasion of human gastric cancer cells in parallel with blockage of the PAK4/LIMK1/cofilin pathway. Interestingly, GL-1196 also inhibited the formation of filopodia and induced cell elongation in SGC7901 and BGC823 cells. Taken together, these results provided novel insights into the potential therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Wang Q, Ao Y, Yang K, et al.
Circadian clock gene Per2 plays an important role in cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle progression in human oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3387-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have shown that the aberrant expression of period circadian clock 2 (Per2) is closely related to the occurrence and development of cancers, but the specific mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, we used shRNA to downregulate Per2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) Tca8113 cells, and then detected the alterations in cell cycle, cell proliferation and apoptosis by flow cytometric analysis and mRNA expression alterations in all the important genes in the cyclin/cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK)/cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) cell cycle network by RT-qPCR. We found that in the Tca8113 cells, after Per2 downregulation, the mRNA expression levels of cyclin A2, B1 and D1, CDK4, CDK6 and E2F1 were significantly increased (P<0.05), the mRNA expression levels of p53, p16 and p21 were significantly decreased (P<0.05), cell proliferation was significantly higher (P<0.05), apoptosis was significantly lower (P<0.05) and the number of cells in the G1/G0 phase was significantly decreased (P<0.05). The present study proves that in OSCC, clock gene Per2 plays an important role in cell cycle progression and the balance of cell proliferation and apoptosis by regulation of the cyclin/CDK/CKI cell cycle network. Further research on Per2 may provide a new effective molecular target for cancer treatments.

Seçme M, Eroğlu C, Dodurga Y, Bağcı G
Investigation of anticancer mechanism of oleuropein via cell cycle and apoptotic pathways in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.
Gene. 2016; 585(1):93-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is one of the most common types of pediatric tumors that can spread quickly in neuronal tissues. Oleuropein which is active compound of olive leaves, belongs to polyphenols group and has antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive and anti-carcinogenic effects. The aim of the study is to determine the therapeutic effects of oleuropein on cell proliferation, invasion, colony formation, cell cycle and apoptotic mechanisms in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line under in vitro conditions. The effect of oleuropein on cell viability was determined by XTT method. 84 cell cycle control and 84 apoptosis related genes were evaluated by RT-PCR. Effects of oleuropein on apoptosis were researched by TUNEL assay. Protein expressions were determined by western blot analysis. Effects of oleuropein on cell invasion, colony formation and migration were detected by matrigel-chamber, colony formation assay and wound-healing assay, respectively. IC50 value of oleuropein in SH-SY5Y cells was detected as 350 μM at 48th hours. It is determined that oleuropein causes cell cycle arrest by down-regulating of CylinD1,CylinD2,CyclinD3,CDK4,CDK6 and up-regulating of p53 and CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CDKN1A gene expressions. Oleuropein also induces apoptosis by inhibiting of Bcl-2 and activating of Bax,caspase-9 and caspase-3 gene expressions. Apoptotic cell ratio was found 36.4 ± 3.27% in oleuropein dose group. Oleuropein decreased invasion in SH-SY5Y cells and suppressed colony numbers in ratio of 53.6 ± 4.71%.Our results demonstrated that oleuropein can be a therapeutic agent in the treatment of neuroblastoma.

Li X, Zhang Q, Fan K, et al.
Overexpression of TRPV3 Correlates with Tumor Progression in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(4):437 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
(1) BACKGROUND: Transient receptor potential vanilloid 3 (TRPV3) is a member of the TRP channels family of Ca(2+)-permeant channels. The proteins of some TRP channels are highly expressed in cancer cells. This study aimed to assess the clinical significance and biological functions of TRPV3 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); (2) METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of TRPV3 in NSCLC tissues and adjacent noncancerous lung tissues. Western blot was used to detect the protein expressions of TRPV3, CaMKII, p-CaMKII, CyclinA, CyclinD, CyclinE1, CDK2, CDK4, and P27. Small interfering RNA was used to deplete TRPV3 expression. A laser scanning confocal microscope was used to measure intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i). Flow cytometry was used to analyze cell cycle; (3) RESULTS: TRPV3 was overexpressed in 65 of 96 (67.7%) human lung cancer cases and correlated with differentiation (p = 0.001) and TNM stage (p = 0.004). Importantly, TRPV3 expression was associated with short overall survival. In addition, blocking or knockdown of TRPV3 could inhibit lung cancer cell proliferation. Moreover, TRPV3 inhibition could decrease [Ca(2+)]i of lung cancer cells and arrest cell cycle at the G1/S boundary. Further results revealed that TRPV3 inhibition decreased expressions of p-CaMKII, CyclinA, CyclinD1, CyclinE, and increased P27 level; (4) CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that TRPV3 was overexpressed in NSCLC and correlated with lung cancer progression. TRPV3 activation could promote proliferation of lung cancer cells. TRPV3 might serve as a potential companion drug target in NSCLC.

Cheng S, Zhang X, Huang N, et al.
Down-regulation of S100A9 inhibits osteosarcoma cell growth through inactivating MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:253 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma (OS) is well-known for poor prognosis due to its high incidence of proliferation and metastasis. Researches have provided valuable insights into the tumorigenesis of S100A9 in some cancers. We aimed to understand the expression level, functions and mechanisms of S100A9 in human osteosarcoma for the first time.
METHODS: The expression of S100A9 protein was detected in 120 human osteosarcoma tissues and 40 normal human bone tissues using tissue microarrays analysis. The knockdown of S100A9 induced by RNA interference (RNAi) method in three osteosarcoma cell lines (U2OS, 143B, MG63) was applied to analyze the effects of S100A9 on cell proliferation, cell cycle distribution, migration, invasion and xenotransplanted tumors. Moreover, MAPK-ERK1/2, MAPK-p38, NF-κB-p65, NF-κB-p50, p21, p27, CDK2 and CDK4 were tested.
RESULTS: The expression of S100A9 was increased in human osteosarcoma issues and was positively correlated with clinical classification and survival rate. Down-regulation of S100A9 inhibited OS cellular proliferation, migration, invasion and cell cycle S phase in vitro and suppressed tumor formation in vivo with the reduction on PCNA and Ki67 proliferation index. Our data also demonstrated that knockdown of S100A9 repressed the protein levels of phospho-ERK1/2, phospho-p50, phospho-p65 except phospho-p38, and prompted up-regulation of p21 and p27 leading to inactivation of cyclin dependent kinase 2(CDK2) and cyclin dependent kinase 4(CDK4).
CONCLUSIONS: S100A9 might be a significant role for predicting osteosarcoma prognosis and down-regulation of S100A9 could be used as a potential target for gene therapy.

Hamilton E, Infante JR
Targeting CDK4/6 in patients with cancer.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2016; 45:129-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cyclin D-cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6-inhibitor of CDK4 (INK4)-retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway controls cell cycle progression by regulating the G1-S checkpoint. Dysregulation of the cyclin D-CDK4/6-INK4-Rb pathway results in increased proliferation, and is frequently observed in many types of cancer. Pathway activation can occur through a variety of mechanisms, including gene amplification or rearrangement, loss of negative regulators, epigenetic alterations, and point mutations in key pathway components. Due to the importance of CDK4/6 activity in cancer cells, CDK4/6 inhibitors have emerged as promising candidates for cancer treatment. Moreover, combination of a CDK4/6 inhibitor with other targeted therapies may help overcome acquired or de novo treatment resistance. Ongoing studies include combinations of CDK4/6 inhibitors with endocrine therapy and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway inhibitors for hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancers, and with selective RAF and MEK inhibitors for tumors with alterations in the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway such as melanoma. In particular, the combination of CDK4/6 inhibitors with endocrine therapy, such as palbociclib's recent first-line approval in combination with letrozole, is expected to transform the treatment of HR+ breast cancer. Currently, three selective CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved or are in late-stage development: palbociclib (PD-0332991), ribociclib (LEE011), and abemaciclib (LY2835219). Here we describe the current preclinical and clinical data for these novel agents and discuss combination strategies with other agents for the treatment of cancer.

Wang C, Ge Q, Zhang Q, et al.
Targeted p53 activation by saRNA suppresses human bladder cancer cells growth and metastasis.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous study showed that dsP53-285 has the capacity to induce tumor suppressor gene p53 expression by targeting promoter in non-human primates' cells. And it is well known that TP53 gene is frequently mutant or inactivated in human bladder cancer. Hereby, whether this small RNA can activate the expression of wild-type p53 and inhibit human bladder cancer cells remains to be elucidated.
METHODS: Oligonucleotide and lentivirus were used to overexpress dsP53-285 and dsControl. Real-time PCR and western blot were used to detect genes' mRNA and protein expression, respectively. Cell proliferation assay, colony formation, flow cytometry, transwell assay and wound healing assay were performed to determine the effects on bladder cancer cells proliferation and migration/invasion in vitro. Animal models were carried out to analyze the effects on cells growth and metastasis in vivo.
RESULTS: Transfection of dsP53-285 into human bladder cancer cell lines T24 and EJ readily activate wild-type p53 expression by targeting promoter. Moreover, dsP53-285 exhibited robust capacity to inhibit cells proliferation and colony formation, induce cells G0/G1 arrest, suppress migration and invasion. Besides, the Cyclin-CDK genes (Cyclin D1 and CDK4/6) were down-regulated and the EMT-associated genes (E-cadherin, β-catenin, ZEB1 and Vimentin) were also expressed inversely after dsP53-285 treatment. In addition, dsP53-285 could also significantly suppress the growth of bladder cancer xenografts and metastasis in nude mice. Most importantly, the anti-tumor effects mediated by dsP53-285 were mainly achieved by manipulating wild-type p53 expression.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that the dsP53-285 can upregulate wild-type p53 expression in human bladder cancer cells through RNA activation, and suppresses cells proliferation and metastasis in vitro and in vivo.

Chan CK, Chan G, Awang K, Abdul Kadir H
Deoxyelephantopin from Elephantopus scaber Inhibits HCT116 Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cell Growth through Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest.
Molecules. 2016; 21(3):385 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deoxyelephantopin (DET), one of the major sesquiterpene lactones derived from Elephantopus scaber was reported to possess numerous pharmacological functions. This study aimed to assess the apoptosis inducing effects and cell cycle arrest by DET followed by elucidation of the mechanisms underlying cell death in HCT116 cells. The anticancer activity of DET was evaluated by a MTT assay. Morphological and biochemical changes were detected by Hoescht 33342/PI and Annexin V/PI staining. The results revealed that DET and isodeoxyelephantopin (isoDET) could be isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction of E. scaber leaves via a bioassay-guided approach. DET induced significant dose- and time-dependent growth inhibition of HCT116 cells. Characteristics of apoptosis including nuclear morphological changes and externalization of phosphatidylserine were observed. DET also significantly resulted in the activation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. Additionally, DET induced cell cycle arrest at the S phase along with dose-dependent upregulation of p21 and phosphorylated p53 protein expression. DET dose-dependently downregulated cyclin D1, A2, B1, E2, CDK4 and CDK2 protein expression. In conclusion, our data showed that DET induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in HCT116 colorectal carcinoma, suggesting that DET has potential as an anticancer agent for colorectal carcinoma.

Liu Z, Cheng C, Luo X, et al.
CDK4 and miR-15a comprise an abnormal automodulatory feedback loop stimulating the pathogenesis and inducing chemotherapy resistance in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:238 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In previous investigation, we reported that stably knocking down cyclin-dependent kinase 4(CDK4) induced expression of let-7c, which further suppressed cell cycle transition and cell growth by modulating cell cycle signaling in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). In this study, we further explored the molecular function and mechanism of CDK4 modulating miRNAs to stimulate cell cycle transition, cell growth, and Cisplatin (DDP) -resistance on in NPC.
METHODS: We identified changes in miRNAs by miRNA array and real-time PCR and the effect on DDP after knocking down CDK4 in NPC cells. Further, we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which CDK4 modulated miR-15a in NPC. Moreover, we also explored the role of miR-15a and the effect on DDP in NPC. Finally, we analyzed the correlation of miR-15a and CDK4 expression in NPC tissues.
RESULTS: In addition to let-7 family members, we observed that upregulated expression of miR-15a was significantly induced in CDK4-suppressed NPC cells. Further, we found that knocking down CDK4 suppressed c-Myc expression, and the latter directly suppressed the expression of miR-15a in NPC. Furthermore, miR-15a as a tumor suppressor antagonized CDK4 repressing cell cycle progression and cell growth in vitro and in vivo and induced the sensitivity of cells to DDP by regulating the c-Myc/CCND1/CDK4/E2F1 pathway in NPC. Finally, miR-15a was negatively weak correlated with the expression of CDK4 in NPC.
CONCLUSIONS: Our studies demonstrate that CDK4 and miR-15a comprise an abnormal automodulatory feedback loop stimulating the pathogenesis and inducing chemotherapy resistance in NPC.

Choi JH, Kim JS, Won YW, et al.
The potential of deferasirox as a novel therapeutic modality in gastric cancer.
World J Surg Oncol. 2016; 14:77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Iron is a crucial element for cell proliferation, growth, and metabolism. However, excess iron and altered iron metabolism are both associated with tumor initiation and tumor growth. Deferasirox is an oral iron chelator. Although some studies have indicated that deferasirox is a promising candidate for anti-cancer therapies, its effectiveness against gastric cancer has not yet been determined. This study was conducted to determine whether deferasirox exerts anti-tumor effects in gastric cancer cell lines and whether deferasirox and cisplatin act synergistically.
METHODS: Four human gastric cancer cell lines (AGS, MKN-28, SNU-484, and SNU-638) were treated with various concentrations of deferasirox to determine the IC50 for each cell line. The effects of deferasirox on the cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry, and the effects of deferasirox on iron metabolism, the cell cycle, and apoptosis were assessed by Western blotting. To determine whether deferasirox enhances the effect of cisplatin, AGS cells were cultured in the presence and absence of cisplatin.
RESULTS: Deferasirox inhibited the proliferation of all gastric cancer cell lines as assessed by MTT assays. Since the IC50 of deferasirox was the lowest (below 10 μM) in AGS cells, subsequent experiments were performed in this line. Deferasirox upregulated transferrin receptor 1 expression and decreased ferroportin expression. Moreover, deferasirox induced G1 arrest; upregulated p21, p27, and p53 expression; and downregulated cyclin D1, cyclin B, and CDK4 expression. Furthermore, deferasirox induced apoptosis, upregulated N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), and downregulated p-mTOR and c-myc expression. It was also found to act synergistically with cisplatin.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that deferasirox may exert anti-tumor effects in the context of gastric cancer. Deferasirox affects a number of different pathways and molecules; for instance, deferasirox upregulates NDRG1 expression, inhibits the cell cycle, downregulates mTOR and c-myc expression, and induces apoptosis. In addition, deferasirox appears to potentiate the anti-cancer effects of cisplatin. Although the efficacy of deferasirox remains to be tested in future studies, the results presented here indicate that deferasirox is a promising novel anti-cancer therapeutic agent.

Cho HJ, Lim do Y, Kwon GT, et al.
Benzyl Isothiocyanate Inhibits Prostate Cancer Development in the Transgenic Adenocarcinoma Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) Model, Which Is Associated with the Induction of Cell Cycle G1 Arrest.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(2):264 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) is a hydrolysis product of glucotropaeolin, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables, and has been shown to have anti-tumor properties. In the present study, we investigated whether BITC inhibits the development of prostate cancer in the transgenic adenocarcinoma mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice. Five-week old, male TRAMP mice and their nontransgenic littermates were gavage-fed with 0, 5, or 10 mg/kg of BITC every day for 19 weeks. The weight of the genitourinary tract increased markedly in TRAMP mice and this increase was suppressed significantly by BITC feeding. H and E staining of the dorsolateral lobes of the prostate demonstrated that well-differentiated carcinoma (WDC) was a predominant feature in the TRAMP mice. The number of lobes with WDC was reduced by BITC feeding while that of lobes with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia was increased. BITC feeding reduced the number of cells expressing Ki67 (a proliferation marker), cyclin A, cyclin D1, and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)2 in the prostatic tissue. In vitro cell culture results revealed that BITC decreased DNA synthesis, as well as CDK2 and CDK4 activity in TRAMP-C2 mouse prostate cancer cells. These results indicate that inhibition of cell cycle progression contributes to the inhibition of prostate cancer development in TRAMP mice treated with BITC.

Malki A, Mohsen M, Aziz H, et al.
New 3-Cyano-2-Substituted Pyridines Induce Apoptosis in MCF 7 Breast Cancer Cells.
Molecules. 2016; 21(2) [PubMed] Related Publications
The synthesis of new 3-cyano-2-substituted pyridines bearing various pharmacophores and functionalities at position 2 is described. The synthesized compounds were evaluated for their in vitro anti-cancer activities on five cancer cell lines using 5-FU as reference compound. The results revealed that the benzohydrazide derivative 9a induced growth inhibition in human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 with an IC50 value of 2 μM and it showed lower cytotoxicity on MCF-12a normal breast epithelial cells. Additionally, 9a induced apoptotic morphological changes and induced apoptosis in MCF-7 in a dose and time-dependent manner according to an enzyme linked immunosorbent apoptosis assay which is further confirmed by a TUNEL assay. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that 9a arrested MCF-7 cells in the G1 phase, which was further confirmed by increased expression of p21 and p27 and reduced expression of CDK2 and CDK4. Western blot data revealed significant upregulation of the expression of p53, Bax, caspase-3 and down-regulation of Bcl-2, Mdm-2 and Akt. Additionally, 9a increased the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytoplasm which provokes the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway while it showed no significant change on the expression of the death receptor proteins procaspase-8, caspase-8 and FAS. Furthermore, 9a reduced the expression of phospho AKT and β-catenin in dose dependent manner while inhibiting the expression of migration-related genes such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Our findings suggest that compound 9a could be considered as a lead structure for further development of more potent apoptosis inducing agents with anti-metastatic activities.

Zhang R, Yu W, Liang G, et al.
Tumor Suppressor Candidate 1 Suppresses Cell Growth and Predicts Better Survival in Glioblastoma.
Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2017; 37(1):37-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor with poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Tumor suppressor candidate 1 (TUSC1) was recently identified as a potential tumor suppressor in human cancers. However, the expression and potential function of TUSC1 in GBM remain unclear. Herein, we report that TUSC1 is significantly decreased in GBM tissues and cell lines. Patients with high levels of TUSC1 displayed a significant better survival compared with those with low levels of TUSC1. Functional experiments demonstrated that exogenous expression of TUSC1 inhibited GBM cell proliferation and induced G1 phase arrest by down-regulating CDK4. Moreover, overexpression of TUSC1 retarded tumor growth in vivo. Together, our findings revealed that TUSC1 might be a crucial tumor suppressor gene and a novel therapeutic target for GBM.

Soura E, Eliades PJ, Shannon K, et al.
Hereditary melanoma: Update on syndromes and management: Emerging melanoma cancer complexes and genetic counseling.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016; 74(3):411-20; quiz 421-2 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent advances in cancer genomics have enabled the discovery of many cancer-predisposing genes that are being used to classify new familial melanoma/cancer syndromes. In addition to CDKN2A and CDK4, germline variants in TERT, MITF, and BAP1 have been added to the list of genes harboring melanoma-predisposing mutations. These newer entities may have escaped earlier description in part because of more advanced technologies now being used and in part because of their mixed cancer phenotype as opposed to a melanoma-focused syndrome. Dermatologists should be aware of (and be able to recognize) the clinical signs in high-risk patients in different contexts. Personal and family histories of cancer should always be sought in patients with multiple nevi or a positive history for melanoma, and should be updated annually. Various features that are unique to specific disorders, such as the appearance of melanocytic BAP1-mutated atypical intradermal tumors in cases of BAP1 melanoma syndrome, should also be recognized early. These patients should be offered regular screenings with the use of dermoscopy and total body photography, as needed. More importantly, referral to other specialists may be needed if a risk for internal malignancy is suspected. It is important to have in mind that these patients tend to develop multiple melanomas, along with various internal organ malignancies, often at younger ages; a multidisciplinary approach to their cancer screening and treatment is ideal.

Perumal D, Kuo PY, Leshchenko VV, et al.
Dual Targeting of CDK4 and ARK5 Using a Novel Kinase Inhibitor ON123300 Exerts Potent Anticancer Activity against Multiple Myeloma.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(5):1225-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma is a fatal plasma cell neoplasm accounting for over 10,000 deaths in the United States each year. Despite new therapies, multiple myeloma remains incurable, and patients ultimately develop drug resistance and succumb to the disease. The response to selective CDK4/6 inhibitors has been modest in multiple myeloma, potentially because of incomplete targeting of other critical myeloma oncogenic kinases. As a substantial number of multiple myeloma cell lines and primary samples were found to express AMPK-related protein kinase 5(ARK5), a member of the AMPK family associated with tumor growth and invasion, we examined whether dual inhibition of CDK4 and ARK5 kinases using ON123300 results in a better therapeutic outcome. Treatment of multiple myeloma cell lines and primary samples with ON123300 in vitro resulted in rapid induction of cell-cycle arrest followed by apoptosis. ON123300-mediated ARK5 inhibition or ARK5-specific siRNAs resulted in the inhibition of the mTOR/S6K pathway and upregulation of the AMPK kinase cascade. AMPK upregulation resulted in increased SIRT1 levels and destabilization of steady-state MYC protein. Furthermore, ON123300 was very effective in inhibiting tumor growth in mouse xenograft assays. In addition, multiple myeloma cells sensitive to ON123300 were found to have a unique genomic signature that can guide the clinical development of ON123300. Our study provides preclinical evidence that ON123300 is unique in simultaneously inhibiting key oncogenic pathways in multiple myeloma and supports further development of ARK5 inhibition as a therapeutic approach in multiple myeloma.

Inyang A, Thomas DG, Jorns J
Heterologous Liposarcomatous Differentiation in Malignant Phyllodes Tumor is Histologically Similar but Immunohistochemically and Molecularly Distinct from Well-differentiated Liposarcoma of Soft Tissue.
Breast J. 2016; 22(3):282-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant phyllodes tumor (PT) infrequently displays heterologous differentiation, and when present is most often liposarcomatous. We identified five cases of malignant PT with regions identical to well-differentiated liposarcoma (WDLS) of soft tissue and evaluated them for MDM2 and CDK4 gene expression and amplification using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), respectively. Despite indistinguishable morphology all cases of malignant PT with WDLS-like liposarcomatous differentiation were negative for MDM2 and CDK4 IHC and FISH, supporting different underlying pathogenesis.

Sun C, Huang C, Li S, et al.
Hsa-miR-326 targets CCND1 and inhibits non-small cell lung cancer development.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(7):8341-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hsa-miRNA-326 (miR-326) has recently been discovered having anticancer efficacy in different organs. However, the role of miR-326 on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still ambiguous. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-326 on the development of NSCLC. The results indicated that miR-326 was significantly down-regulated in primary tumor tissues and very low levels were found in NSCLC cell lines. Ectopic expression of miR-326 in NSCLC cell lines significantly suppressed cell growth as evidenced by cell viability assay, colony formation assay and BrdU staining, through inhibition of cyclin D1, cyclin D2, CDK4 and up-regulation of p57(Kip2) and p21(Waf1/Cip1). In addition, miR-326 induced apoptosis, as indicated by concomitantly with up-regulation of key apoptosis protein cleaved caspase-3, and down-regulation of anti-apoptosis protein Bcl2. Moreover, miR-326 inhibited cellular migration and invasiveness through inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-7 and MMP-9. Further, oncogene CCND1 was revealed to be a putative target of miR-326, which was inversely correlated with miR-326 expression in NSCLC. Taken together, our results demonstrated that miR-326 played a pivotal role on NSCLC through inhibiting cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and promoting apoptosis by targeting oncogenic CCND1.

Bouillez A, Rajabi H, Pitroda S, et al.
Inhibition of MUC1-C Suppresses MYC Expression and Attenuates Malignant Growth in KRAS Mutant Lung Adenocarcinomas.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(6):1538-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2017 Related Publications
Dysregulation of MYC expression is a hallmark of cancer, but the development of agents that target MYC has remained challenging. The oncogenic MUC1-C transmembrane protein is, like MYC, aberrantly expressed in diverse human cancers. The present studies demonstrate that MUC1-C induces MYC expression in KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, an effect that can be suppressed by targeting MUC1-C via shRNA silencing, CRISPR editing, or pharmacologic inhibition with GO-203. MUC1-C activated the WNT/β-catenin (CTNNB1) pathway and promoted occupancy of MUC1-C/β-catenin/TCF4 complexes on the MYC promoter. MUC1-C also promoted the recruitment of the p300 histone acetylase (EP300) and, in turn, induced histone H3 acetylation and activation of MYC gene transcription. We also show that targeting MUC1-C decreased the expression of key MYC target genes essential for the growth and survival of NSCLC cells, such as TERT and CDK4. Based on these results, we found that the combination of GO-203 and the BET bromodomain inhibitor JQ1, which targets MYC transcription, synergistically suppressed MYC expression and cell survival in vitro as well as tumor xenograft growth. Furthermore, MUC1 expression significantly correlated with that of MYC and its target genes in human KRAS mutant NSCLC tumors. Taken together, these findings suggest a therapeutic approach for targeting MYC-dependent cancers and provide the framework for the ongoing clinical studies addressing the efficacy of MUC1-C inhibition in solid tumors.

Nikolai BC, Lanz RB, York B, et al.
HER2 Signaling Drives DNA Anabolism and Proliferation through SRC-3 Phosphorylation and E2F1-Regulated Genes.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(6):1463-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2017 Related Publications
Approximately 20% of early-stage breast cancers display amplification or overexpression of the ErbB2/HER2 oncogene, conferring poor prognosis and resistance to endocrine therapy. Targeting HER2(+) tumors with trastuzumab or the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor lapatinib significantly improves survival, yet tumor resistance and progression of metastatic disease still develop over time. Although the mechanisms of cytosolic HER2 signaling are well studied, nuclear signaling components and gene regulatory networks that bestow therapeutic resistance and limitless proliferative potential are incompletely understood. Here, we use biochemical and bioinformatic approaches to identify effectors and targets of HER2 transcriptional signaling in human breast cancer. Phosphorylation and activity of the Steroid Receptor Coactivator-3 (SRC-3) is reduced upon HER2 inhibition, and recruitment of SRC-3 to regulatory elements of endogenous genes is impaired. Transcripts regulated by HER2 signaling are highly enriched with E2F1 binding sites and define a gene signature associated with proliferative breast tumor subtypes, cell-cycle progression, and DNA replication. We show that HER2 signaling promotes breast cancer cell proliferation through regulation of E2F1-driven DNA metabolism and replication genes together with phosphorylation and activity of the transcriptional coactivator SRC-3. Furthermore, our analyses identified a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) signaling node that, when targeted using the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib, defines overlap and divergence of adjuvant pharmacologic targeting. Importantly, lapatinib and palbociclib strictly block de novo synthesis of DNA, mostly through disruption of E2F1 and its target genes. These results have implications for rational discovery of pharmacologic combinations in preclinical models of adjuvant treatment and therapeutic resistance.

Xiao H, Xiao W, Cao J, et al.
miR-206 functions as a novel cell cycle regulator and tumor suppressor in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 374(1):107-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In this study we tried to systematically investigate the tumor suppressing microRNAs in ccRCC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The MTS cell viability and colony formation assay were used to systematically detect the tumor suppressing ability of down-regulated miRNAs in ccRCC. Then miR-206 expression was detected by RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization in ccRCC cell lines and clinical samples. Oligonucleotides were used to overexpress or down-regulate miR-206. MTS cell viability, EdU cell proliferation, colony formation assay, flow cytometry, Xenograft subcutaneously and orthotopic implantations were done to examine tumor suppressing effects of miR-206 in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase assay was performed to verify the precise target of miR-206.
RESULTS: We reviewed and experimentally analyzed the currently available miRNA expression profiles data of ccRCC and identified miR-206 as one of the most critical tumor-suppressing microRNAs in ccRCC. In addition, miR-206 inhibited ccRCC cell proliferation through inducing cell cycle arrest by directly targeting cell cycle related gene CDK4, CDK9 and CCND1.
CONCLUSIONS: All these results suggested that miR-206 functioned as a novel cell cycle regulator and tumor suppressor in ccRCC and could be considered as a potential target for ccRCC therapy.

Leisegang M, Kammertoens T, Uckert W, Blankenstein T
Targeting human melanoma neoantigens by T cell receptor gene therapy.
J Clin Invest. 2016; 126(3):854-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2017 Related Publications
In successful cancer immunotherapy, T cell responses appear to be directed toward neoantigens created by somatic mutations; however, direct evidence that neoantigen-specific T cells cause regression of established cancer is lacking. Here, we generated T cells expressing a mutation-specific transgenic T cell receptor (TCR) to target different immunogenic mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) that naturally occur in human melanoma. Two mutant CDK4 isoforms (R24C, R24L) similarly stimulated T cell responses in vitro and were analyzed as therapeutic targets for TCR gene therapy. In a syngeneic HLA-A2-transgenic mouse model of large established tumors, we found that both mutations differed dramatically as targets for TCR-modified T cells in vivo. While T cells expanded efficiently and produced IFN-γ in response to R24L, R24C failed to induce an effective antitumor response. Such differences in neoantigen quality might explain why cancer immunotherapy induces tumor regression in some individuals, while others do not respond, despite similar mutational load. We confirmed the validity of the in vivo model by showing that the melan-A-specific (MART-1-specific) TCR DMF5 induces rejection of tumors expressing analog, but not native, MART-1 epitopes. The described model allows identification of those neoantigens in human cancer that serve as suitable T cell targets and may help to predict clinical efficacy.

Zhen Y, Li D, Li W, et al.
Reduced PDCD4 Expression Promotes Cell Growth Through PI3K/Akt Signaling in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Oncol Res. 2016; 23(1-2):61-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is largely recognized that PDCD4 is frequently lost in tumors of various origins, including lung cancer, and its loss contributes to tumor progression. However, its role and molecular mechanism remain largely unexplored in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, downregulated PDCD4 mRNA expression was found in NSCLC tissues compared to their corresponding paracarcinoma tissues and distal paracarcinoma tissues. Induced expression of PDCD4 inhibited cell growth and proliferation and cell cycle transition in vitro. Conversely, knocking down PDCD4 expression promoted cell growth and proliferation. Mechanistically, PDCD4 inactivated PI3K/Akt signaling and its downstream cell cycle factors CCND1 and CDK4 to regulate cell growth in NSCLC. Additionally, PI3K-specific inhibitor Ly294002 suppressed the expression of pPI3K (Tyr458), pAkt (Ser473), CCND1, and CDK4 in PC9-shPDCD4 and A549-shPDCD4 cells. Furthermore, Akt-specific inhibitor MK2206 inhibited the expression of pAkt (Ser473), CCND1, and CDK4 in PC9-shPDCD4 and A549-shPDCD4 cells. Taken together, our study provides evidence that PDCD4 inhibits cell growth through PI3K/Akt signaling in NSCLC and may be a potential therapeutic target for NSCLC.

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