Gene Summary

Gene:CTTN; cortactin
Aliases: EMS1
Summary:This gene is overexpressed in breast cancer and squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. The encoded protein is localized in the cytoplasm and in areas of the cell-substratum contacts. This gene has two roles: (1) regulating the interactions between components of adherens-type junctions and (2) organizing the cytoskeleton and cell adhesion structures of epithelia and carcinoma cells. During apoptosis, the encoded protein is degraded in a caspase-dependent manner. The aberrant regulation of this gene contributes to tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Three splice variants that encode different isoforms have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, May 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:src substrate cortactin
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 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 09 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: CTTN (cancer-related)

García E, Ragazzini C, Yu X, et al.
WIP and WICH/WIRE co-ordinately control invadopodium formation and maturation in human breast cancer cell invasion.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:23590 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cells form actin-rich degradative protrusions (invasive pseudopods and invadopodia), which allows their efficient dispersal during metastasis. Using biochemical and advanced imaging approaches, we demonstrate that the N-WASP-interactors WIP and WICH/WIRE play non-redundant roles in cancer cell invasion. WIP interacts with N-WASP and cortactin and is essential for invadopodium assembly, whereas WICH/WIRE regulates N-WASP activation to control invadopodium maturation and degradative activity. Our data also show that Nck interaction with WIP and WICH/WIRE modulates invadopodium maturation; changes in WIP and WICH/WIRE levels induce differential distribution of Nck. We show that WIP can replace WICH/WIRE functions and that elevated WIP levels correlate with high invasiveness. These findings identify a role for WICH/WIRE in invasiveness and highlight WIP as a hub for signaling molecule recruitment during invadopodium generation and cancer progression, as well as a potential diagnostic biomarker and an optimal target for therapeutic approaches.

Long HC, Gao X, Lei CJ, et al.
miR-542-3p inhibits the growth and invasion of colorectal cancer cells through targeted regulation of cortactin.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 37(4):1112-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common malignancies. Previous studies have reported that cortactin (CTTN) is often overexpressed in tumors and is associated with metastasis and poor prognosis of patients. The abnormal expression of microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) is closely related to the development and progression of various types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. However, little is known about the miRNAs targeting cortactin. In the present study, prediction using biological software revealed that cortactin has binding sites for miR-542-3p. Transfection with miR-542-3p mimic demonstrated that miR‑542-3p reduced the expression of cortactin in colorectal cancer cells. Dual luciferase reporter assays further demonstrated that miR-542-3p regulated cortactin in a targeted manner and that miR-542-3p expression was significantly downregulated in colorectal cancer cells. A cell proliferation assay and Transwell migration assay were undertaken: we noted that miR‑542-3p inhibited the proliferation and invasion of colorectal cancer cells while promoting their apoptosis. By contrast, cortactin acted antagonistically. When co-transfected with miR-542-3p mimic and CTTN overexpression vector, the inhibitory effect of miR-542-3p was blocked. This indicates that miR-542-3p regulates CTTN in a targeted manner to modulate the growth and invasion of colorectal cancer cells. The present study thus provides new targets for the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.

He J, Zhu G, Gao L, et al.
Fra-1 is upregulated in gastric cancer tissues and affects the PI3K/Akt and p53 signaling pathway in gastric cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(5):1725-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is an aggressive disease that continues to have a daunting impact on global health. Fra-1 (FOSL1) plays important roles in oncogenesis in various malignancies. We investigated the expression of Fra-1 in gastric cancer (GC) tissues by qPCR, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and western blot technologies. The results showed that Fra-1 was overexpressed in gastric cancer tissues compared with the adjacent non‑cancerous tissues. To explore the possible mechanism of Fra-1 in GC, we elucidated the effect of Fra-1 in the apoptosis and cell cycle of gastric cancer cells, AGS, and found that a considerable decrease in apoptotic cells and increase of S phase rate were observed for AGS cells with Fra-1 overexpession. We identified and confirmed that Fra-1 affected the expression level of CTTN and EZR in vitro through LC-MS/MS analyses and western blot technology. Furthermore, we found that Fra-1 was correlated with dysregulation PI3K/Akt and p53 signaling pathway in gastric cancer tissues in vitro. Moreover, we found that Fra-1 overexpression affected the expression of PI3K, Akt, MDM2 and p53 in vivo. In summary, our results suggest that Fra-1 is upregulated in gastric cancer tissues and plays its function by affecting the PI3K/Akt and p53 signaling pathway in gastric cancer.

Wang L, Zhao K, Ren B, et al.
Expression of cortactin in human gliomas and its effect on migration and invasion of glioma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(4):1815-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of cortactin in the infiltrative behavior of glioma cells and the potential mechanism of cortactin in promoting the migration and invasion of glioma cells. The expression of cortactin was detected by immunohistochemistry in 40 human glioma specimens and 8 non-tumor brain specimens. U251, LN229 and SNB19 glioma cells were employed for the in vitro study and assigned into the siRNA-cortactin (transfected with siRNA specific to cortactin), siRNA-NC (transfected with negative control RNA sequence) and siRNA-N (transfected with empty vector) groups. The expression of cortactin in different treated glioma cell groups was detected using western blot analysis and RT-qPCR. The migration and invasion of glioma cells under different treatments were assessed using a wound-healing assay and Transwell-chamber invasion assay, respectively. The lamellipodia of glioma cells following treatment were observed by immunofluorescence (IF) and changes of lamellipodia over time were imaged using an inverted microscope. The distribution of cortactin and the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex in glioma cells were observed after IF detection. The expression of cortactin in the glioma specimens was significantly higher than that in non-tumor brain tissue (P<0.05) and positively correlated with the malignancy of glioma specimens (r=0.912, P=0.00). The cortactin expression in glioma cells was markedly inhibited (P<0.05) and their migration and invasion ability was also impaired significantly following treatment with siRNA (P<0.05) compared with the other two groups. The size and persistence time of lamellipodia were reduced after cortactin expression was inhibited in glioma cells. Cortactin and the Arp2/3 complex were co-localized in the front of glioma cells, where actin was polymerized and lamellipodia formed. Thus, the results revealed that, cortactin is crucial in invasion and migration of glioma cells, which may promote the migration and invasion of glioma cells by regulating lamellipodia formation, a process requiring the combination of cortactin and the Arp2/3 complex.

Ni QF, Yu JW, Qian F, et al.
Cortactin promotes colon cancer progression by regulating ERK pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(3):1034-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cortactin is upregulated in various cancers including breast cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and gastric cancer. However, the role of cortactin in the pathogenesis of colon cancer remains unclear. mRNA expression of cortactin in colon cancer samples and cell lines was detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), while protein expression of cortactin in colon cancer tissues and adjacent non-cancer tissues was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The role of cortactin in regulation of the proliferation of colon cancer derived cells were investigated both in vitro and in vivo. In the total of 60 paired colon cancer specimens, compared with the adjacent non-cancer tissues, the expression of cortactin mRNA was upregulated in 45 (75.0%). Immunohistochemical analysis showed significantly increased cortactin expression in colon cancer (42/60, 70.0%) compared to control tissues (18/60, 30.0%). Overexpression of cortactin promoted HCT116 cellular colony formation and tumor growth. Conversely, cortactin knockdown inhibited these effects in SW480 cells. Mechanistic analyses indicated that cortactin was able to activate the EGFR-ERK signaling pathway. Additionally, cortactin expression was associated with tumor size, tumor stages and lymphatic invasion, increased cortactin expression predicts poor prognosis in patients with colon cancer. In summary, cortactin demonstrated the promotive effect in human colon cancer cell growth and tumorigenicity. These results indicated that cortactin may serve as an effective target for gene therapy.

Li C, Hashimi SM, Cao S, et al.
Chansu inhibits the expression of cortactin in colon cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015; 15:207 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chansu is a transitional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries as therapy for inflammation, anaesthesia and arrhythmia in China and other Asian countries. Recently, it has also been used for anti-cancer purposes. We have previously shown that Chansu has a huge pro-apoptotic potential on colon cancer cells, but to date the detailed mechanism of this action is not well understood.
METHODS: One of the major components of Chansu, Cinobufagin (CBF) was used to treat cancer cells. The expressions of levels of cortactin, an important factor in tumour progression and cancer invasion, were assessed in in vitro and in vivo experiments. Additional analyses were performed in subcellular protein fractions and immune-fluorescent staining was used to define cortactin protein expression and the changes of location in CBF-treated cells.
RESULTS: CBF strongly inhibited the expression of cortactin in HCT116 cells. There were reductions of both mRNA transcription and protein synthesis, which were more significant in the absence of oxygen in vitro. In addition, nuclear translocation of cortactin was observed in HCT116 cells post CBF exposure but not in the negative control, indicating that CBF is likely to interrupt co-localisation of cortactin to cytoskeletal proteins. Most importantly, CBF could diminish the expression of cortactin in human HCT116 xenograft tumours in nude mouse in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: CBF inhibits cortactin expression and nuclear translocation in colon cancer cells in vitro and in mouse models bearing human colon tumour in vivo, suggesting it might disrupt actin-regulated cell movement. Thus, CBF or Chansu could be developed as an effective anti-cancer therapy to stop local invasion and metastasis.

Hanniford D, Segura MF, Zhong J, et al.
Identification of metastasis-suppressive microRNAs in primary melanoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Surgical management of primary melanoma is curative for most patients with clinically localized disease at diagnosis; however, a substantial number of patients recur and progress to advanced disease. Understanding molecular alterations that influence differential tumor progression of histopathologically similar lesions may lead to improved prognosis and therapies to slow or prevent metastasis.
METHODS: We examined microRNA dysregulation by expression profiling of primary melanoma tumors from 92 patients. We screened candidate microRNAs selected by differential expression between recurrent and nonrecurrent tumors or associated with primary tumor thickness (Student's t test, Benjamini-Hochberg False Discovery Rate [FDR] < 0.05), in in vitro invasion assays. We performed in vivo metastasis assays, matrix remodeling experiments, and molecular studies to identify metastasis-regulating microRNAs and their cellular and molecular mechanisms. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: We identified two microRNAs (hsa-miR-382, hsa-miR-516b) whose expression was lower in aggressive vs nonaggressive primary tumors, which suppressed invasion in vitro and metastasis in vivo (mean metastatic foci: control: 37.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 25.6 to 50.2; miR-382: 19.5, 95% CI = 12.2 to 26.9, P = .009; miR-516b: 12.5, 95% CI = 7.7 to 17.4, P < .001, Student's t test). Mechanistically, miR-382 overexpression inhibits extracellular matrix degradation by melanoma cells. Moreover, we identified actin regulators CTTN, RAC1, and ARPC2 as direct targets of miR-382. Depletion of CTTN partially recapitulates miR-382 effects on matrix remodeling, invasion, and metastasis. Inhibition of miR-382 in a weakly tumorigenic melanoma cell line increased tumor progression and metastasis in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Aberrant expression of specific microRNAs that can functionally impact progression of primary melanoma occurs as an early event of melanomagenesis.

Lee OH, Lee J, Lee KH, et al.
Role of the focal adhesion protein TRIM15 in colon cancer development.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015; 1853(2):409-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tripartite motif containing (TRIM) proteins are a large family of proteins that have been implicated in many biological processes including cell differentiation, apoptosis, transcriptional regulation, and signaling pathways. Here, we show that TRIM15 co-localized to focal adhesions through homo-dimerization and significantly suppressed cell migration. Domain mapping analysis indicated that B-box2 and PRY domains were essential for TRIM15 localization to focal adhesions and inhibition of cell migration. Our protein-protein interaction screen of TRIM15 with the integrin adhesome identified several TRIM15 interacting proteins including coronin 1B, cortactin, filamin binding LIM protein1, and vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, which are involved in actin cytoskeleton dynamics. TRIM15 expression was tissue-restricted and downregulated in colon cancer. Level of TRIM15 expression was associated with colon cancer cell migration, as well as both in vitro and in vivo tumor growth. These data provide novel insights into the role of TRIM15 as an additional component of the integrin adhesome, regulating cell migration, and suggest that TRIM15 may function as a tumor suppressor of colon cancer.

Zhang S, Qi Q
MTSS1 suppresses cell migration and invasion by targeting CTTN in glioblastoma.
J Neurooncol. 2015; 121(3):425-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastomas (GBMs) are the highest grade of primary brain tumors with astrocytic similarity and are characterized dispersal of tumor cell. Metastasis suppressor 1 (MTSS1) play an important role in cancer metastasis. Recent studies indicating that MTSS1 as a potential tumor suppressor and its reduced expression associated with poor prognosis in many cancer types. However, the relationship with the prognosis of patients and the molecular mechanism of MTSS1 renders a tumor suppressor effect in GBM is unknown. Here, we showed that low MTSS1 gene expression is associated with poor outcomes in patients with GBM. Overexpression of MTSS1 in U-87 MG cells exhibited inhibited glioma cell growth, colony formation, migration and invasion. Mechanistically, we found that high MTSS1 expression in U-87 MG reduced expression of CTTN. These results implicate that the role of MTSS1 suppresses cell migration and invasion by inhibiting expression of CTTN and as a prognosis biomarker in GBM.

Sepiashvili L, Waggott D, Hui A, et al.
Integrated omic analysis of oropharyngeal carcinomas reveals human papillomavirus (HPV)-dependent regulation of the activator protein 1 (AP-1) pathway.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2014; 13(12):3572-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) patients have superior outcomes relative to HPV-negative patients, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We conducted a proteomic investigation of HPV-positive (n = 27) and HPV-negative (n = 26) formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded OPC biopsies to acquire insights into the biological pathways that correlate with clinical behavior. Among the 2,633 proteins identified, 174 were differentially abundant. These were enriched for proteins related to cell cycle, DNA replication, apoptosis, and immune response. The differential abundances of cortactin and methylthioadenosine phosphorylase were validated by immunohistochemistry in an independent cohort of 29 OPC samples (p = 0.023 and p = 0.009, respectively). An additional 1,124 proteins were independently corroborated through comparison to a published proteomic dataset of OPC. Furthermore, utilizing the Cancer Genome Atlas, we conducted an integrated investigation of OPC, attributing mechanisms underlying differential protein abundances to alterations in mutation, copy number, methylation, and mRNA profiles. A key finding of this integration was the identification of elevated cortactin oncoprotein levels in HPV-negative OPCs. These proteins might contribute to reduced survival in these patients via their established role in radiation resistance. Through interrogation of Cancer Genome Atlas data, we demonstrated that activation of the β1-integrin/FAK/cortactin/JNK1 signaling axis and associated differential regulation of activator protein 1 transcription factor target genes are plausible consequences of elevated cortactin protein levels.

Su CM, Su YH, Chiu CF, et al.
Vascular endothelial growth factor-C upregulates cortactin and promotes metastasis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21 Suppl 4:S767-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) plays an important role during cancer progression and metastasis through activation of VEGF receptors. However, the role of VEGF-C in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains unclear.
METHODS: The expression of VEGF-C in advanced stages of esophageal cancer was examined by immunohistochemistry and its expression was correlated with the protein level of cortactin (CTTN) by Western blot. Knockdown and overexpression of the CTTN protein were respectively performed to investigate the effects on VEGF-C-enhanced ESCC migration/invasion by in vitro transwell assay, cell tracing assay, and tumor growth/experimental metastasis in animal models.
RESULTS: The expression of VEGF-C was positively correlated with tumor status and poor clinical prognosis in patient with esophageal cancer. VEGF-C-upregulated CTTN expression contributed the migration/invasive abilities of ESCC cell lines through Src-mediated downregulation of miR-326. Moreover, knockdown of CTTN expression significantly abolished VEGF-C-induced tumor growth and experimental lung metastasis in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Upregulation of CTTN is critical for VEGF-C-mediated tumor growth and metastasis of ESCC. These finding suggest that VEGF-C upregulated CTTN expression through Src-mediated downregulation of miR-326. CTTN may be a crucial mediator of VEGF-C-involved ESCC metastasis, which provides a potential target for diagnosis and individualized treatment in clinical practice.

Hong CC, Chen PS, Chiou J, et al.
miR326 maturation is crucial for VEGF-C-driven cortactin expression and esophageal cancer progression.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(21):6280-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer is an aggressive human malignancy with increasing incidence in the developed world. VEGF-C makes crucial contributions to esophageal cancer progression that are not well understood. Here, we report the discovery of regulatory relationship in esophageal cancers between the expression of VEGF-C and cortactin (CTTN), a regulator of the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Upregulation of CTTN expression by VEGF-C enhanced the invasive properties of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in vitro and tumor metastasis in vivo. Mechanistic investigations showed that VEGF-C increased CTTN expression by downregulating Dicer-mediated maturation of miR326, thereby relieving the suppressive effect of miR326 on CTTN expression. Clinically, expression of Dicer and miR326 correlated with poor prognosis in patients with esophageal cancer. Our findings offer insights into how VEGF-C enhances the robust invasive and metastatic properties of esophageal cancer, which has potential implications for the development of new biomarkers or therapies in this setting.

Wei J, Zhao ZX, Li Y, et al.
Cortactin expression confers a more malignant phenotype to gastric cancer SGC-7901 cells.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(12):3287-300 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To study the effects of cortactin on the tumor biology of SGC-7901 cells and identify the mechanism involved in the process.
METHODS: Cell lines in which cortactin was stably overexpressed or knocked down as well as the respective control cell lines were established by standard molecular methods. The effects of cortactin on the proliferation, migration and invasion capacity of SGC-7901 cells were assessed by the MTT assay, colony formation, flow cytometry, transwell migration and matrigel invasion. Nude mouse models were also used to assess the role of cortactin in the growth and metastasis of SGC-7901 cells in vivo. Western blotting analysis was performed to detect the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and downstream molecules.
RESULTS: Cell lines in which cortactin was stably overexpressed or knocked down as well as control cell lines were successfully established and designated as LV5-cortactin-SGC, LV5-SGC, LV3-shRNA-SGC and LV3-SGC. Cortactin overexpression promoted SGC-7901 cell migration (340.7 ±12.6 vs 229.1 ± 23.2, P < 0.01) and invasion (71.6 ± 5.2 vs 48.4 ± 3.6, P < 0.01). Cortactin downregulation impaired SGC-7901 cell migration (136.2 ± 19.8 vs 225 ± 17) and invasion (29.2 ± 5.2 vs 49.6 ± 3.8, P < 0.01). The results from the MTT and colony formation assays results indicated increased LV5-cortactin-SGC cell proliferation and decreased LV3-shRNA-SGC cell proliferation compared to the control cells. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that cortactin overexpression promoted the proliferation index of SGC-7901 cells, and the results were reversed when cortactin was downregulated. Mouse tumor models confirmed that cortactin expression increased SGC-7901 cell proliferation and metastasis in vivo. Western blotting analysis revealed that cortactin elevated EGFR expression and activated the downstream molecules.
CONCLUSION: Cortactin expression promoted the migration, invasion and proliferation of SGC-7901 cells both in vivo and in vitro. The EGFR signaling pathway is mechanistically involved.

Lu P, Qiao J, He W, et al.
Genome-wide gene expression profile analyses identify CTTN as a potential prognostic marker in esophageal cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88918 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common fatal malignances of the digestive tract. Its prognosis is poor mainly due to the lack of reliable markers for early detection and prognostic prediction. Here we aim to identify the molecules involved in ESCC carcinogenesis and those as potential markers for prognosis and as new molecular therapeutic targets.
METHODS: We performed genome-wide gene expression profile analyses of 10 primary ESCCs and their adjacent normal tissues by cDNA microarrays representing 47,000 transcripts and variants. Candidate genes were then validated by semi quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), tissue microarrays (TMAs) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining.
RESULTS: Using an arbitrary cutoff line of signal log ratio of ≥1.5 or ≤-1.5, we observed 549 up-regulated genes and 766 down-regulated genes in ESCCs compared with normal esophageal tissues. The functions of 302 differentially expressed genes were associated with cell metabolism, cell adhesion and immune response. Several candidate deregulated genes including four overexpressed (CTTN, DMRT2, MCM10 and SCYA26) and two underexpressed (HMGCS2 and SORBS2) were subsequently verified, which can be served as biomarkers for ESCC. Moreover, overexpression of cortactin (CTTN) was observed in 126/198 (63.6%) of ESCC cases and was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.000), pathologic stage (P = 0.000) and poor survival (P<0.001) of ESCC patients. Furthermore, a significant correlation between CTTN overexpression and shorter disease-specific survival rate was found in different subgroups of ESCC patient stratified by the pathologic stage (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Our data provide valuable information for establishing molecules as candidates for prognostic and/or as therapeutic targets.

Tokui N, Yoneyama MS, Hatakeyama S, et al.
Extravasation during bladder cancer metastasis requires cortactin‑mediated invadopodia formation.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 9(4):1142-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Invasive cancer cells form the filamentous actin‑based membrane protrusions known as invadopodia. Invadopodia are thought to play a critical role in cancer cell invasion and metastasis due to their ability to degrade the extracellular matrix. The present study assessed whether invadopodia formation is essential in extravasation of circulating bladder cancer cells and lung metastasis. To analyze the importance of invadopodia, bladder cancer cell lines with reduced invadopodia formation were established by silencing the expression of cortactin, an essential component of invadopodia, using cortactin short hairpin RNA. Bladder cancer cells with cortactin knockdown demonstrated a markedly decreased ability to form invadopodia, secrete matrix metalloproteinases and invade the extracellular matrix. In addition, the knockdown cells exhibited a reduced transendothelial invasion capacity and decreased formation of metastatic foci in the lungs. The present study demonstrated that bladder cancer cells with cortactin knockdown have a reduced capacity to extravasate into the lung from the circulation, due to the decreased invasive character of invadopodia. This suggests that invadopodia formation is a critical process for cancer cell extravasation.

Ribeiro IP, Marques F, Caramelo F, et al.
Genetic imbalances detected by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification in a cohort of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma-the first step towards clinical personalized medicine.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(5):4687-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral tumors are a growing health problem worldwide; thus, it is mandatory to establish genetic markers in order to improve diagnosis and early detection of tumors, control relapses and, ultimately, delineate individualized therapies. This study was the first to evaluate and discuss the clinical applicability of a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) probe panel directed to head and neck cancer. Thirty primary oral squamous cell tumors were analyzed using the P428 MLPA probe panel. We detected genetic imbalances in 26 patients and observed a consistent pattern of distribution of genetic alterations in terms of losses and gains for some chromosomes, particularly for chromosomes 3, 8, and 11. Regarding the latter, some specific genes were highlighted due to frequent losses of genetic material--RARB, FHIT, CSMD1, GATA4, and MTUS1--and others due to gains--MCCC1, MYC, WISP1, PTK2, CCND1, FGF4, FADD, and CTTN. We also verified that the gains of MYC and WISP1 genes seem to suggest higher propensity of tumors localized in the floor of the mouth. This study proved the value of this MLPA probe panel for a first-tier analysis of oral tumors. The probemix was developed to include target regions that have been already shown to be of diagnostic/prognostic relevance for oral tumors. Furthermore, this study emphasized several of those specific genetic targets, suggesting its importance to oral tumor development, to predict patients' outcomes, and also to guide the development of novel molecular therapies.

Radhakrishnan VM, Kojs P, Young G, et al.
pTyr421 cortactin is overexpressed in colon cancer and is dephosphorylated by curcumin: involvement of non-receptor type 1 protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPN1).
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85796 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cortactin (CTTN), first identified as a major substrate of the Src tyrosine kinase, actively participates in branching F-actin assembly and in cell motility and invasion. CTTN gene is amplified and its protein is overexpressed in several types of cancer. The phosphorylated form of cortactin (pTyr(421)) is required for cancer cell motility and invasion. In this study, we demonstrate that a majority of the tested primary colorectal tumor specimens show greatly enhanced expression of pTyr(421)-CTTN, but no change at the mRNA level as compared to healthy subjects, thus suggesting post-translational activation rather than gene amplification in these tumors. Curcumin (diferulolylmethane), a natural compound with promising chemopreventive and chemosensitizing effects, reduced the indirect association of cortactin with the plasma membrane protein fraction in colon adenocarcinoma cells as measured by surface biotinylation, mass spectrometry, and Western blotting. Curcumin significantly decreased the pTyr(421)-CTTN in HCT116 cells and SW480 cells, but was ineffective in HT-29 cells. Curcumin physically interacted with PTPN1 tyrosine phosphatases to increase its activity and lead to dephosphorylation of pTyr(421)-CTTN. PTPN1 inhibition eliminated the effects of curcumin on pTyr(421)-CTTN. Transduction with adenovirally-encoded CTTN increased migration of HCT116, SW480, and HT-29. Curcumin decreased migration of HCT116 and SW480 cells which highly express PTPN1, but not of HT-29 cells with significantly reduced endogenous expression of PTPN1. Curcumin significantly reduced the physical interaction of CTTN and pTyr(421)-CTTN with p120 catenin (CTNND1). Collectively, these data suggest that curcumin is an activator of PTPN1 and can reduce cell motility in colon cancer via dephosphorylation of pTyr(421)-CTTN which could be exploited for novel therapeutic approaches in colon cancer therapy based on tumor pTyr(421)-CTTN expression.

Gang Z, Ya-Lin K, Dong-Qing W, et al.
Combining cortactin and CTTN detection with clinicopathologic features increases effectiveness of survival predictions for patients with resectable hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Lab. 2013; 59(11-12):1343-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cortactin is an important regulator involved in invasion and migration of tumor cells. Although the relationship between cortactin and tumor invasion has been reported, it lacks follow-up evidence to support the forecasting role of cortactin for HCC prognosis. The aim of this study was to determine whether cortactin detection combined with clinicopathologic features predicts the prognosis efficaciously.
METHODS: 91 resectable HCCs were grouped according to clinicopathologic characteristics, and immunohistochemical (IHC) cortactin tumor tissue expression was evaluated. Cortactin gene (CTTN) mRNA of 77 HCCs, as well as that of 20 normal liver tissues, was examined by real-time PCR. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis.
RESULTS: It was found that cortactin expression was associated with liver capsule integrity, cancer embolus in portal vein or distant neoplasm metastasis, and with TNM stage. (p < 0.01) Moreover, CTTN mRNA expression level was higher in high invasiveness group. But no statistical significance was found between low invasiveness and normal control groups. Combining cortactin and CTTN mRNA detection with clinicopathologic features improved the predictive power. High expression of both cortactin and CTTN indicated poor survival time of 12 +/- 3.67 months and low expression indicated longer median survival time of 65 +/- 6.62 months.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate for the first time that cortactin overexpression indicates highly invasive potentialities and poor prognoses with HCCs. Further, the results also suggest that this new accurate evaluating method may be more useful to survival prediction and, therefore, the clinical decision making for resectable

Ribeiro IP, Marques F, Caramelo F, et al.
Genetic gains and losses in oral squamous cell carcinoma: impact on clinical management.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2014; 37(1):29-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The identification of genetic markers associated with oral cancer is considered essential to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, early tumor and relapse detection and, ultimately, to delineate individualized therapeutic approaches. Here, we aimed at identifying such markers.
METHODS: Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) analyses encompassing 133 cancer-related genes were performed on a panel of primary oral tumor samples and its corresponding resection margins (macroscopically tumor-free tissue) allowing, in both types of tissue, the detection of a wide arrange of copy number imbalances on various human chromosomes.
RESULTS: We found that in tumor tissue, from the 133 cancer-related genes included in this study, those that most frequently exhibited copy number gains were located on chromosomal arms 3q, 6p, 8q, 11q, 16p, 16q, 17p, 17q and 19q, whereas those most frequently exhibiting copy number losses were located on chromosomal arms 2q, 3p, 4q, 5q, 8p, 9p, 11q and 18q. Several imbalances were highlighted, i.e., losses of ERBB4, CTNNB1, NFKB1, IL2, IL12B, TUSC3, CDKN2A, CASP1, and gains of MME, BCL6, VEGF, PTK2, PTP4A3, RNF139, CCND1, FGF3, CTTN, MVP, CDH1, BRCA1, CDKN2D, BAX, as well as exon 4 of TP53. Comparisons between tumor and matched macroscopically tumor-free tissues allowed us to build a logistic regression model to predict the tissue type (benign versus malignant). In this model, the TUSC3 gene showed statistical significance, indicating that loss of this gene may serve as a good indicator of malignancy.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results point towards relevance of the above mentioned cancer-related genes as putative genetic markers for oral cancer. For practical clinical purposes, these genetic markers should be validated in additional studies.

Jia D, Jing Y, Zhang Z, et al.
Amplification of MPZL1/PZR promotes tumor cell migration through Src-mediated phosphorylation of cortactin in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cell Res. 2014; 24(2):204-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We have previously identified 1 241 regions of somatic copy number alterations (CNAs) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, we found that a novel recurrent focal amplicon, 1q24.1-24.2, targets the MPZL1 gene in HCC. Notably, there is a positive correlation between the expression levels of MPZL1 and intrahepatic metastasis of the HCC specimens. MPZL1 can significantly enhance the migratory and metastatic potential of the HCC cells. Moreover, we found that one of the mechanisms by which MPZL1 promotes HCC cell migration is by inducing the phosphorylation and activation of the pro-metastatic protein, cortactin. Additionally, we found that Src kinase mediates the phosphorylation and activation of cortactin induced by MPZL1 overexpression. Taken together, these findings suggest that MPZL1 is a novel pro-metastatic gene targeted by a recurrent region of copy number amplification at 1q24.1-24.2 in HCC.

Zhou J, Chen L, Zhang Y, et al.
Synergistic effect of EMS1-shRNA and sorafenib on proliferation, migration, invasion and endocytosis of SMMC-7721.
J Mol Histol. 2014; 45(2):205-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
To investigate the synergistic effect of EMS1-PSilencer4.1-shRNA (EMS1-shRNA) and sorafenib on biological behaviors of HCC cell line SMMC-7721. EMS1-shRNA was constructed and transfected into SMMC-7721 cells. Decreased levels of EMS1/cortactin were tested in RT-QPCR and Western blot assay. Proliferation, migration, invasion, and endocytosis of SMMC-7721 were tested through CCK8 assay, scratch test, transwell invasion assay and transferrin endocytosis assay, respectively. Raf-1 was detected by Western blot assay. HCC xenograft model was prepared to observe tumor growth. Animals were euthanized and their subcutaneous lesions were weighed. Then the tissues were fixed and paraffin sections were prepared. Cortactin and PCNA (a proliferation marker) were then detected by immunohistochemistry. As compared with untreated group, the levels of EMS1 gene and cortactin protein in EMS1-shRNA-transfected group were significantly reduced; Among EMS1-shRNA-transfected group, sorafenib-treated group and combined group, the levels of proliferation at 48 h were reduced to 83.69, 57.18, 41.94 %; the levels of migration were reduced to 49.69, 60.83, and 21. 67 %; the levels of invasion were reduced to 42.97, 53.65, 18.18 %; the levels of endocytosis were reduced to 37.15, 97.95 % (p > 0.05), 20.68 % (p < 0.05, respectively). Western blot assay showed levels of Raf-1 were reduced to 68.56, 59.09, 21.90 %. The tumor volume and weight of nude mice HCC xenograft tumors were reduced significantly either (p < 0.05, respectively). Immunohistochemistry showed levels of cortactin and PCNA were reduced to 35.69, 93.84, 23.68 and 87.69, 43.84, 33.68 % in each group, respectively. The biological behaviors of SMMC-7721 were inhibited in the presence of EMS1-shRNA and sorafenib both alone and in combination. The combination of the agents improved the curative effect over either single agent, showing synergetic effect.

Reynolds AB, Kanner SB, Bouton AH, et al.
SRChing for the substrates of Src.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(37):4537-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
By the mid 1980's, it was clear that the transforming activity of oncogenic Src was linked to the activity of its tyrosine kinase domain and attention turned to identifying substrates, the putative next level of control in the pathway to transformation. Among the first to recognize the potential of phosphotyrosine-specific antibodies, Parsons and colleagues launched a risky shotgun-based approach that led ultimately to the cDNA cloning and functional characterization of many of today's best-known Src substrates (for example, p85-Cortactin, p110-AFAP1, p130Cas, p125FAK and p120-catenin). Two decades and over 6000 citations later, the original goals of the project may be seen as secondary to the enormous impact of these protein substrates in many areas of biology. At the request of the editors, this review is not restricted to the current status of the substrates, but reflects also on the anatomy of the project itself and some of the challenges and decisions encountered along the way.

Lee ST, Ji H, Greening DW, et al.
Global protein profiling reveals anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody 806-modulated proteins in A431 tumor xenografts.
Growth Factors. 2013; 31(5):154-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
An important mediator of tumorigenesis, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is expressed in almost all non-transformed cell types, associated with tumor progression, angiogenesis and metastasis. The significance of the EGFR as a cancer therapeutic target is underscored by the clinical development of several different classes of EGFR antagonists, including monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Extensive preclinical studies have demonstrated the anti-tumor effects of mAb806 against tumor xenografts overexpressing EGFR. EGF stimulation of A431 cells induces rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of intracellular signalling proteins which regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis. Detailed understanding of the intracellular signalling pathways and components modulated by mAbs (such as mAb806) to EGFR, and other growth factor receptors, remain limited. The use of fluorescence 2D difference gel electrophoresis (2D DIGE), coupled with sensitive MS-based protein profiling in A431 tumor (epidermoid carcinoma) xenografts, in combination with mAb806, revealed proteins modulating endocytosis, cell architecture, apoptosis, cell signalling pathways and cell cycle regulation, including Dynamin-1-like protein, cofilin-1 protein, and 14-3-3 protein zeta/delta. Further, we report various proteins, including Interferon-induced protein 53 (IFI53), and Oncogene EMS1 (EMS1) which have roles in the tumor microenvironment, regulating cancer cell invasiveness, angiogenesis and formation of metastases. These findings contribute to understanding the underlying biological processes associated with mAb806 therapy of EGFR-positive tumors, and identifying further potential protein markers that may contribute in assessment of the treatment response.

Hwang YS, Park KK, Chung WY
Epigallocatechin-3 gallate inhibits cancer invasion by repressing functional invadopodia formation in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2013; 715(1-3):286-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the polyphenol EGCG has various beneficial biological effects, its effect on cytoskeletal activities during cancer invasion is not well defined, and the precise molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we provide molecular evidence on the anti-invasion effect of EGCG in OSCC cells using an in vitro 3-D culture system and in vivo athymic mouse model. Briefly, EGCG exerted an inhibitory effect on the Matrigel-based Transwell invasion and migration of OSCC cells. These effects were not due to decreased cell viability or adhesion capacity to ECM. EGCG-treated OSCC cells possessed fully extended actin fibers without invadopodia, indicating a loss of ECM degradation capacity. Decreased phosphorylation of Src, CTTN, and FAK also followed EGCG treatment. Additionally, EGCG reduced activation of RhoA in dominant-negative RhoA N19 and constitutively active RhoA Q63E cells, and inhibited the invasive capability of these cells in the 3-D cell growth model. Furthermore, the administration of EGCG led to substantial inhibition of tumor growth and activation of invadopodial proteins in the tumor tissues of mice inoculated with OSCC cells. The data indicate the potential value of EGCG as an invadopodia-targeted anti-invasive agent in cancer therapy.

Jarmuz-Szymczak M, Pelinska K, Kostrzewska-Poczekaj M, et al.
Heterogeneity of 11q13 region rearrangements in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma analyzed by microarray platforms and fluorescence in situ hybridization.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(7):4161-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
We reinvestigated rearrangements occurring in region q13 of chromosome 11 aiming to: (i) describe heterogeneity of the observed structural alterations, (ii) estimate amplicon size and (iii) identify of oncogenes involved in laryngeal cancer progression as potential targets for therapy. The study included 17 cell lines derived from laryngeal cancers and 34 specimens from primary laryngeal tumors. The region 11q13 was analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and gene expression microarray. Next, quantitative real time PCR was used for chosen genes to confirm results from aCGH and gene expression microarray. The observed pattern of aberrations allows to distinguish three ways, in which gain and amplification involving 11q13 region may occur: formation of a homogeneously staining region; breakpoints in/near 11q13, which lead to the three to sevenfold increase of the copy number of 11q13 region; the presence of additional copies of the whole chromosome 11. The minimal altered region of gain and/or amplification was limited to ~1.8 Mb (chr.11:69,395,184-71,209,568) and comprised mostly 11q13.3 band which contain 12 genes. Five, out of these genes (CCND1, ORAOV1, FADD, PPFIA1, CTTN) had higher expression levels in comparison to healthy controls. Apart from CCND1 gene, which has an established role in pathogenesis of head and neck cancers, CTTN, ORAOV1 and FADD genes appear to be oncogene-candidates in laryngeal cancers, while a function of PPFIA1 requires further studies.

Folio C, Zalacain M, Zandueta C, et al.
Cortactin (CTTN) overexpression in osteosarcoma correlates with advanced stage and reduced survival.
Cancer Biomark. 2011-2012; 10(1):35-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The cortactin (CTTN) gene has been found, by transcriptomic profiling, to be overexpressed in pediatric osteosarcoma. The location of CTTN at 11q13 and the role of cortactin in cytoskeleton restructuring make CTTN of interest as a potential biomarker for osteosarcoma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Osteoblasts were isolated from 20 high-grade osteosarcomas before chemotherapy, and paired with cell samples from normal tissue, prior to RNA expression analysis on HG-U133A chips (Affymetrix). Semiquantitative CTTN mRNA expression was analyzed by real-time PCR. An osteosarcoma tissue microarray (TMA) containing 233 tissue spots from 48 patients was used for an immunohistochemical (IHC) study of cortactin.
RESULTS: Transcriptomic profiling and real-time PCR analysis indicated increased CTTN expression in osteosarcomas (p = 0.001, Student's T test). TMA IHC showed cortactin to be present more frequently and in greater abundance in osteosarcomas than non-tumoral osteoblastic samples (p< 0.006, Mann-Withney test). Analysis of clinical outcomes indicated that overall survival for patients with primary tumors positive for cortactin was significantly lower than that for patients with cortactin negative (or only weakly staining) tumors (p = 0.0278, Log-rank test).
CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary data support the hypothesis that over-expression of cortactin, contained in the 11q13 amplicon, is involved in osteosarcoma carcinogenesis. The potential of cortactin overexpression as a biomarker for osteosarcoma is consolidated.

Gutiérrez VF, Marcos CÁ, Llorente JL, et al.
Genetic profile of second primary tumors and recurrences in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.
Head Neck. 2012; 34(6):830-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Second primary tumors and recurrences are an important problem in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The purpose of this study was to determine the genetic changes in tumor samples to improve knowledge of tumor progression.
METHODS: Copy number changes of 37 genes were analyzed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) in 36 primary tumors and their corresponding 21 second primary tumors and 15 recurrences.
RESULTS: CCND1 and EMS1 amplifications and gain of BCL2L1 were the most common genetic alterations in the primary tumor, second primary tumor, and recurrence samples. Gains of ERBB2 and PTPN1 were associated with recurrences.
CONCLUSION: Specific genetic profiles for each group have been found. Similarities between primary tumor and second primary tumor and dissimilarity between primary tumor and recurrence suggest that clinicopathological criteria do not always accurately differentiate these entities. Genetic profiling may aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of these difficult cases.

Nakane K, Fujita Y, Terazawa R, et al.
Inhibition of cortactin and SIRT1 expression attenuates migration and invasion of prostate cancer DU145 cells.
Int J Urol. 2012; 19(1):71-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Cortactin is overexpressed in various types of cancer and enhances cell motility. It has been recently reported that silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 interacts with cortactin and promotes cell migration. Here, we examined the role of cortactin and silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 in migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells.
METHODS: The cortactin expression levels in DU145, LNCaP and PC3 prostate cancer cells, and in PrEC normal human prostate epithelial cells were evaluated by western blot analysis. In DU145 cells, the expression of cortactin or silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 was inhibited by small interfering RNA, and the effects of their knockdown on migration and invasion were examined by cell migration and invasion assays. To determine the localization of cortactin and silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1, western blot and immunofluorescence microscopic analyses were carried out. The functional interaction between silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 and cortactin was also studied by in vivo acetylation assay.
RESULTS: The protein expression of cortactin was significantly higher in DU145 cells than in other cell lines. Knockdown of cortactin or silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 expression inhibited both migration and invasion of DU145 cells. Similarly to cortactin, silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 was found to be predominantly expressed in the cytoplasm. Finally, the knockdown of silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 expression increased the acetylation level of cortactin.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that inhibition of cortactin or silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 expression attenuates migration and invasion of DU145 cells and this could represent a promising strategy to regulate metastasis of prostate cancer.

Huang CW, Chen HY, Yen MH, et al.
Gene expression of human lung cancer cell line CL1-5 in response to a direct current electric field.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(10):e25928 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Electrotaxis is the movement of adherent living cells in response to a direct current (dc) electric field (EF) of physiological strength. Highly metastatic human lung cancer cells, CL1-5, exhibit directional migration and orientation under dcEFs. To understand the transcriptional response of CL1-5 cells to a dcEF, microarray analysis was performed in this study.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A large electric-field chip (LEFC) was designed, fabricated, and used in this study. CL1-5 cells were treated with the EF strength of 0 mV/mm (the control group) and 300 mV/mm (the EF-treated group) for two hours. Signaling pathways involving the genes that expressed differently between the two groups were revealed. It was shown that the EF-regulated genes highly correlated to adherens junction, telomerase RNA component gene regulation, and tight junction. Some up-regulated genes such as ACVR1B and CTTN, and some down-regulated genes such as PTEN, are known to be positively and negatively correlated to cell migration, respectively. The protein-protein interactions of adherens junction-associated EF-regulated genes suggested that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors and ephrin receptors may participate in sensing extracellular electrical stimuli. We further observed a high percentage of significantly regulated genes which encode cell membrane proteins, suggesting that dcEF may directly influence the activity of cell membrane proteins in signal transduction.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, some of the EF-regulated genes have been reported to be essential whereas others are novel for electrotaxis. Our result confirms that the regulation of gene expression is involved in the mechanism of electrotactic response.

Sugahara K, Michikawa Y, Ishikawa K, et al.
Combination effects of distinct cores in 11q13 amplification region on cervical lymph node metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2011; 39(4):761-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lymph node metastasis (LNM) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is known to associate with a significant decrease of 5-year survival. Genetic factors related to the difference of the LNM status in the OSCC have been not fully elucidated. Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) with individual gene-level resolution and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) were conducted using primary tumor materials resected from 54 OSCC patients with (n=22) or without (n=32) cervical LNM. Frequent gain was observed at the 11q13 region exclusively in patients with cervical LNM, which was confirmed by real-time QPCR experiments using 11 genes (TPCN2, MYEOV, CCND1, ORAOV1, FGF4, TMEM16A, FADD, PPFIA1, CTTN, SHANK2 and DHCR7) in this region. It was revealed that two distinct amplification cores existed, which were separated by a breakpoint between MYEOV and CCND1 in the 11q13 region. The combination of copy number amplification at CTTN (core 2) and/or TPCN2/MYEOV (core 1), selected from each core, was most significantly associated with cervical LNM (P=0.0035). Two amplification cores at the 11q13 region may have biological impacts on OSCC cells to spread from the primary site to local lymph nodes. Further study of a larger patient series should be conducted to validate these results.

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