Gene Summary

Gene:CX3CL1; C-X3-C motif chemokine ligand 1
Aliases: NTN, NTT, CXC3, CXC3C, SCYD1, ABCD-3, C3Xkine, fractalkine, neurotactin
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (33)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 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.

  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemokines
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Brain Tumours
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Young Adult
  • Messenger RNA
  • RNA Interference
  • Natural Killer Cells
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • RT-PCR
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Staging
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Up-Regulation
  • Macrophages
  • Western Blotting
  • Chemokine CX3CL1
  • Chromosome 16
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Bone Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Brain Tumours
  • Tumor Burden
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Cell Proliferation
  • gp100 Melanoma Antigen
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Stromal Cells
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Breast Cancer
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: CX3CL1 (cancer-related)

Mohamad M, Wahab NA, Yunus R, et al.
Roles of MicroRNA21 and MicroRNA29a in Regulating Cell Adhesion Related Genes in Bone Metastasis Secondary to Prostate Cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(7):3437-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is an increasing concern in the role of microRNA (miRNA) in the pathogenesis of bone metastasis (BM) secondary to prostate cancer (CaP). In this exploratory study, we hypothesized that the expression of vinculin (VCL) and chemokine X3C ligand 1 (CX3CL1) might be downregulated in clinical samples, most likely due to the posttranscriptional modification by microRNAs. Targeted genes would be upregulated upon transfection of the bone metastatic prostate cancer cell line, PC3, with specific microRNA inhibitors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MicroRNA software predicted that miR21 targets VCL while miR29a targets CX3CL1. Twenty benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and 16 high grade CaP formalinfixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) specimens were analysed. From the bone scan results, high grade CaP samples were further classified into CaP with no BM and CaP with BM. Transient transfection with respective microRNA inhibitors was done in both RWPE1 (normal) and PC3 cell lines. QPCR was performed in all FFPE samples and transfected cell lines to measure VCL and CX3CL1 levels.
RESULTS: QPCR confirmed that VCL messenger RNA (mRNA) was significantly down regulated while CX3CL1 was upregulated in all FFPE specimens. Transient transfection with microRNA inhibitors in PC3 cells followed by qPCR of the targeted genes showed that VCL mRNA was significantly up regulated while CX3CL1 mRNA was significantly downregulated compared to the RWPE1 case.
CONCLUSIONS: The downregulation of VCL in FFPE specimens is most likely regulated by miR21 based on the in vitro evidence but the exact mechanism of how miR21 can regulate VCL is unclear. Upregulated in CaP, CX3CL1 was found not regulated by miR29a. More microRNA screening is required to understand the regulation of this chemokine in CaP with bone metastasis. Understanding miRNAmRNA interactions may provide additional knowledge for individualized study of cancers.

Zhou B, Xu H, Ni K, et al.
Expression of Chemokine XCL2 and CX3CL1 in Lung Cancer.
Med Sci Monit. 2016; 22:1560-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND Chemokines are a family of small proteins secreted by cells with chemotactic activity, and they play important roles in cell adhesion. However, the expression of chemokine XCL2 and CX3CL1 in lung cancers in different pathological stages remains unclear. MATERIAL AND METHODS XCL2 and CX3CL1 expression in lung cancers and adjacent non-cancerous tissues was detected by quantitative PCR and ELISA. The relative expression of both chemokines in lung cancers in different pathological stages was compared by immunohistochemical assay. RESULTS The relative expression level of XCL2 and CX3CL1 in lung cancer was significantly higher compared with adjacent normal tissues (P<0.001). The expression level of both chemokines was significantly increased with higher pathological stages, as indicated by immunohistochemical assay (P<0.05 or P <0.001). Their expression level in cancers with higher numbers of metastatic lymph nodes was also significantly increased compared with cancers with lower numbers of metastatic lymph nodes (P<0.05 or P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS The expression of XCL2 and CX3CL1 increases with increasing degree of malignancy, indicating that both chemokines might be important targets in gene therapy for lung cancer.

Sakai E, Fukuyo M, Matsusaka K, et al.
TP53 mutation at early stage of colorectal cancer progression from two types of laterally spreading tumors.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(6):820-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although most sporadic colorectal cancers (CRC) are thought to develop from protruded adenomas through the adenoma-carcinoma sequence, some CRC develop through flat lesions, so-called laterally spreading tumors (LST). We previously analyzed epigenetic aberrations in LST and found that LST are clearly classified into two molecular subtypes: intermediate-methylation with KRAS mutation and low-methylation with absence of oncogene mutation. Intermediate-methylation LST were mostly granular type LST (LST-G) and low-methylation LST were mostly non-granular LST (LST-NG). In the present study, we conducted a targeted exon sequencing study including 38 candidate CRC driver genes to gain insight into how these genes modulate the development of LST. We identified a mean of 11.5 suspected nonpolymorphic variants per sample, including indels and non-synonymous mutations, although there was no significant difference in the frequency of total mutations between LST-G and LST-NG. Genes associated with RTK/RAS signaling pathway were mutated more frequently in LST-G than LST-NG (P = 0.004), especially KRAS mutation occurring at 70% (30/43) of LST-G but 26% (13/50) of LST-NG (P < 0.0001). Both LST showed high frequency of APC mutation, even at adenoma stage, suggesting its involvement in the initiation stage of LST, as it is involved at early stage of colorectal carcinogenesis via adenoma-carcinoma sequence. TP53 mutation was never observed in adenomas, but was specifically detected in cancer samples. TP53 mutation occurred during development of intramucosal cancer in LST-NG, but during development of cancer with submucosal invasion in LST-G. It is suggested that TP53 mutation occurs in the early stages of cancer development from adenoma in both LST-G and LST-NG, but is involved at an earlier stage in LST-NG.

Meireles M, Marques C, Norberto S, et al.
Anthocyanin effects on microglia M1/M2 phenotype: Consequence on neuronal fractalkine expression.
Behav Brain Res. 2016; 305:223-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microglia mediate multiple aspects of neuroinflammation, including cytotoxicity, repair, regeneration, and immunosuppression due to their ability to acquire diverse activation states, or phenotypes. Modulation of microglial phenotype or microglia-neuron crosstalk can be an appealing neurotherapeutic strategy. Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoids found e.g., in berries that has been attracting interest due to its neuroprotective potential. However, there are no data clarifying the impact of anthocyanins on microglial phenotype or on microglia-neuron crosstalk (CX3CR1/CX3CL1). N9 microglia cell line was treated with 1μM cyanidin (Cy), cyanidin-3-glucose (Cy3glc) and a methylated form of cyanidin-3-glucose (Met-Cy3glc) in basal conditions and with LPS/IL-4 stimulation. SH-SY5Y cell line was treated with the conditioned medium of microglia and with the anthocyanins alone. At basal conditions, microglia treatment with anthocyanins for 24h induced a less pro-inflammatory profile. Decreased TNF-α mRNA expression was induced either by Cy and Met-Cy3glc. LPS markedly increase IL-6 mRNA expression, which was lowered by Cy3glc. IL-1β LPS-induced expression was reverted by Cy. Cy increased CX3CL1 mRNA expression in SH-SY5Y comparing either with control or LPS. Anthocyanins and metabolites were not able to shift microglia to an M2 strict phenotype however they did interact with microglia biology. There was an attenuation of M1 phenotype and increase of neuronal expression of CX3CL1 mRNA. Understanding how flavonoids modulate microglia-neuron crosstalk can open new directions for future nutritional interventions.

Seifert M, Garbe M, Friedrich B, et al.
Comparative transcriptomics reveals similarities and differences between astrocytoma grades.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:952 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Astrocytomas are the most common primary brain tumors distinguished into four histological grades. Molecular analyses of individual astrocytoma grades have revealed detailed insights into genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic alterations. This provides an excellent basis to identify similarities and differences between astrocytoma grades.
METHODS: We utilized public omics data of all four astrocytoma grades focusing on pilocytic astrocytomas (PA I), diffuse astrocytomas (AS II), anaplastic astrocytomas (AS III) and glioblastomas (GBM IV) to identify similarities and differences using well-established bioinformatics and systems biology approaches. We further validated the expression and localization of Ang2 involved in angiogenesis using immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Our analyses show similarities and differences between astrocytoma grades at the level of individual genes, signaling pathways and regulatory networks. We identified many differentially expressed genes that were either exclusively observed in a specific astrocytoma grade or commonly affected in specific subsets of astrocytoma grades in comparison to normal brain. Further, the number of differentially expressed genes generally increased with the astrocytoma grade with one major exception. The cytokine receptor pathway showed nearly the same number of differentially expressed genes in PA I and GBM IV and was further characterized by a significant overlap of commonly altered genes and an exclusive enrichment of overexpressed cancer genes in GBM IV. Additional analyses revealed a strong exclusive overexpression of CX3CL1 (fractalkine) and its receptor CX3CR1 in PA I possibly contributing to the absence of invasive growth. We further found that PA I was significantly associated with the mesenchymal subtype typically observed for very aggressive GBM IV. Expression of endothelial and mesenchymal markers (ANGPT2, CHI3L1) indicated a stronger contribution of the micro-environment to the manifestation of the mesenchymal subtype than the tumor biology itself. We further inferred a transcriptional regulatory network associated with specific expression differences distinguishing PA I from AS II, AS III and GBM IV. Major central transcriptional regulators were involved in brain development, cell cycle control, proliferation, apoptosis, chromatin remodeling or DNA methylation. Many of these regulators showed directly underlying DNA methylation changes in PA I or gene copy number mutations in AS II, AS III and GBM IV.
CONCLUSIONS: This computational study characterizes similarities and differences between all four astrocytoma grades confirming known and revealing novel insights into astrocytoma biology. Our findings represent a valuable resource for future computational and experimental studies.

Erreni M, Siddiqui I, Marelli G, et al.
The Fractalkine-Receptor Axis Improves Human Colorectal Cancer Prognosis by Limiting Tumor Metastatic Dissemination.
J Immunol. 2016; 196(2):902-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human colorectal cancer (CRC) is a frequent neoplasia in Western countries, and its metastatic progression is a major cause of cancer-related death. In search of specific molecules upregulated in CRC, with possible clinical relevance, we performed a differential gene-profiling analysis in surgery-derived CRC samples and adjacent uninvolved intestinal mucosa. The chemokine CX3CL1 and its specific receptor CX3CR1 were significantly upregulated in tumors. Higher expression of CX3CL1 and CX3CR1 was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in 100 CRC tumor samples (stages I-III). Unexpectedly, high immune scores of CX3CL1 did not correlate with the density of tumor-infiltrating CD3(+) T cells or CD68(+) macrophages. Coexpression of ligand and receptor by tumor cells (axis-positive tumors) significantly associated with longer disease-free (p = 0.01) and disease-specific survival (p = 0.001). Conversely, axis-negative tumors (with low expression of both ligand and receptor) had increased risk of tumor relapse (p = 0.02), and increased likelihood of metachronous metastasis (p = 0.001), including after stage adjustment (p = 0.006). Transduction of CX3CL1 and CX3CR1 in CRC tumor cell lines induced cell aggregation that strongly inhibited in vitro migration in chemotaxis assays. In a mouse model of spleen-liver metastases, cancer dissemination to liver was dramatically reduced in CX3CL1-CX3CR1-expressing tumors, and ligand-receptor interaction was confirmed in cancer cells in vivo by fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis. In conclusion, tumoral expression of the CX3CL1-CX3CR1 chemokine axis functions as a retention factor, increasing homotypic cell adhesion and limiting tumor spreading to metastatic sites. Lack or low levels of expression of CX3CL1-CX3CR1 by tumor cells identifies a group of CRC patients at increased risk of metastatic progression.

Gurler H, Macias V, Kajdacsy-Balla AA, Barbolina MV
Examination of the Fractalkine and Fractalkine Receptor Expression in Fallopian Adenocarcinoma Reveals Differences When Compared to Ovarian Carcinoma.
Biomolecules. 2015; 5(4):3438-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fallopian adenocarcinoma is a rare malignancy arising in the epithelium of the fallopian tube. Fallopian tube epithelium has been proposed as a tissue origin for high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, the deadliest gynecologic malignancy. Given the commonalities in dissemination and treatment of these malignancies, we contemplated the possibility of similar patterns of gene expression underlying their progression. To reveal potential similarities or differences in the gene expression of fallopian adenocarcinoma and high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, we tested expression of the fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1) and its ligand, fractalkine (CX3CL1), in the specimens of normal and pathologic fallopian tube using immunohistochemistry. Our data show that CX3CR1 is expressed in the normal, cancer adjacent normal, inflammatory, and malignant fallopian epithelium. CX3CL1 was expressed only by the normal and cancer adjacent normal fallopian tube epithelium; its expression was largely lost in the inflammatory and malignant fallopian epithelium. In opposite, both CX3CR1 and CX3CL1 are expressed in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. These findings are consistent with an idea that fallopian adenocarcinoma and high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, although currently thought to arise from the same organ, may not share similar molecular characteristics.

Sakai E, Fukuyo M, Ohata K, et al.
Genetic and epigenetic aberrations occurring in colorectal tumors associated with serrated pathway.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(7):1634-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To clarify molecular alterations in serrated pathway of colorectal cancer (CRC), we performed epigenetic and genetic analyses in sessile serrated adenoma/polyps (SSA/P), traditional serrated adenomas (TSAs) and high-methylation CRC. The methylation levels of six Group-1 and 14 Group-2 markers, established in our previous studies, were analyzed quantitatively using pyrosequencing. Subsequently, we performed targeted exon sequencing analyses of 126 candidate driver genes and examined molecular alterations that are associated with cancer development. SSA/P showed high methylation levels of both Group-1 and Group-2 markers, frequent BRAF mutation and occurrence in proximal colon, which were features of high-methylation CRC. But TSA showed low-methylation levels of Group-1 markers, less frequent BRAF mutation and occurrence at distal colon. SSA/P, but not TSA, is thus considered to be precursor of high-methylation CRC. High-methylation CRC had even higher methylation levels of some genes, e.g., MLH1, than SSA/P, and significant frequency of somatic mutations in nonsynonymous mutations (p < 0.0001) and insertion/deletions (p = 0.002). MLH1-methylated SSA/P showed lower methylation level of MLH1 compared with high-methylation CRC, and rarely accompanied silencing of MLH1 expression. The mutation frequencies were not different between MLH1-methylated and MLH1-unmethylated SSA/P, suggesting that MLH1 methylation might be insufficient in SSA/P to acquire a hypermutation phenotype. Mutations of mismatch repair genes, e.g., MSH3 and MSH6, and genes in PI3K, WNT, TGF-β and BMP signaling (but not in TP53 signaling) were significantly involved in high-methylation CRC compared with adenoma, suggesting importance of abrogation of these genes in serrated pathway.

Tang J, Chen Y, Cui R, et al.
Upregulation of fractalkine contributes to the proliferative response of prostate cancer cells to hypoxia via promoting the G1/S phase transition.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(6):7907-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypoxia is a common phenomenon in prostate cancer, which leads to cell proliferation and tumor growth. Fractalkine (FKN) is a membrane‑bound chemokine, which is implicated in the progression of human prostate cancer and skeletal metastasis. However, the association between FKN and hypoxia‑induced prostate cancer cell proliferation remains to be elucidated. The present study demonstrated that hypoxia induced the expression and secretion of FKN in the DU145 prostate cancer cell line. Furthermore, inhibiting the activity of FKN with the anti‑FKN FKN‑specific antibody markedly inhibited hypoxia‑induced DU145 cell proliferation. Under normoxic conditions, DU145 cell proliferation markedly increased following exogenous administration of human recombinant FKN protein, and the increase was significantly alleviated by anti‑FKN, indicating the importance of FKN in DU145 cell proliferation. In addition, subsequent determination of cell cycle distribution and expression levels of two core cell cycle regulators, cyclin E and cyclin‑dependent kinase (CDK)2, suggested that FKN promoted the G1/S phase transition by upregulating the expression levels of cyclin E and CDK2. The results of the present study demonstrated that hypoxia led to the upregulation of the secretion and expression of FKN, which enhanced cell proliferation by promoting cell cycle progression in the prostate cancer cells. These findings provide evidence of a novel function for FKN, and suggest that FKN may serve as a potential target for treating androgen‑independent prostate cancer.

Wakita S, Yamaguchi H, Ueki T, et al.
Complex molecular genetic abnormalities involving three or more genetic mutations are important prognostic factors for acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(3):545-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
We conducted a comprehensive analysis of 28 recurrently mutated genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 271 patients with de novo AML. Co-mutations were frequently detected in the intermediate cytogenetic risk group, at an average of 2.76 co-mutations per patient. When assessing the prognostic impact of these co-mutations in the intermediate cytogenetic risk group, overall survival (OS) was found to be significantly shorter (P=0.0006) and cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) significantly higher (P=0.0052) in patients with complex molecular genetic abnormalities (CMGAs) involving three or more mutations. This trend was marked even among patients aged ⩽65 years who were also FLT3-ITD (FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 internal tandem duplications)-negative (OS: P=0.0010; CIR: P=0.1800). Moreover, the multivariate analysis revealed that CMGA positivity was an independent prognostic factor associated with OS (P=0.0007). In stratification based on FLT3-ITD and CEBPA status and 'simplified analysis of co-mutations' using seven genes that featured frequently in CMGAs, CMGA positivity retained its prognostic value in transplantation-aged patients of the intermediate cytogenetic risk group (OS: P=0.0002. CIR: P<0.0001). In conclusion, CMGAs in AML were found to be strong independent adverse prognostic factors and simplified co-mutation analysis to have clinical usefulness and applicability.

Ferrer-Mayorga G, Alvarez-Díaz S, Valle N, et al.
Cystatin D locates in the nucleus at sites of active transcription and modulates gene and protein expression.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(44):26533-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cystatin D is an inhibitor of lysosomal and secreted cysteine proteases. Strikingly, cystatin D has been found to inhibit proliferation, migration, and invasion of colon carcinoma cells indicating tumor suppressor activity that is unrelated to protease inhibition. Here, we demonstrate that a proportion of cystatin D locates within the cell nucleus at specific transcriptionally active chromatin sites. Consistently, transcriptomic analysis show that cystatin D alters gene expression, including that of genes encoding transcription factors such as RUNX1, RUNX2, and MEF2C in HCT116 cells. In concordance with transcriptomic data, quantitative proteomic analysis identified 292 proteins differentially expressed in cystatin D-expressing cells involved in cell adhesion, cytoskeleton, and RNA synthesis and processing. Furthermore, using cytokine arrays we found that cystatin D reduces the secretion of several protumor cytokines such as fibroblast growth factor-4, CX3CL1/fractalkine, neurotrophin 4 oncostatin-M, pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine/CCL18, and transforming growth factor B3. These results support an unanticipated role of cystatin D in the cell nucleus, controlling the transcription of specific genes involved in crucial cellular functions, which may mediate its protective action in colon cancer.

Cai X, Luo J, Yang X, et al.
In vivo selection for spine-derived highly metastatic lung cancer cells is associated with increased migration, inflammation and decreased adhesion.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(26):22905-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We developed a murine spine metastasis model by screening five metastatic non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (PC-9, A549, NCI-H1299, NCI-H460, H2030). A549 cells displayed the highest tendency towards spine metastases. After three rounds of selection in vivo, we isolated a clone named A549L6, which induced spine metastasis in 80% of injected mice. The parameters of the A549L6 cell spinal metastatic mouse models were consistent with clinical spine metastasis features. All the spinal metastatic mice developed symptoms of nerve compression after 40 days. A549L6 cells had increased migration, invasiveness and decreased adhesion compared to the original A549L0 cells. In contrast, there was no significant differences in cell proliferation, apoptosis and sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin. Comparative transcriptomic analysis and real-time PCR analysis showed that expression of signaling molecules regulating several tumor properties including migration (MYL9), metastasis (CEACAM6, VEGFC, CX3CL1, CST1, CCL5, S100A9, IGF1, NOTCH3), adhesion (FN1, CEACAM1) and inflammation (TRAF2, NFκB2 and RelB) were altered in A549L6 cells. We suggest that migration, adhesion and inflammation related genes contribute to spine metastatic capacity.

Feng X, Szulzewsky F, Yerevanian A, et al.
Loss of CX3CR1 increases accumulation of inflammatory monocytes and promotes gliomagenesis.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(17):15077-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The most abundant populations of non-neoplastic cells in the glioblastoma (GBM) microenvironment are resident microglia, macrophages and infiltrating monocytes from the blood circulation. The mechanisms by which monocytes infiltrate into GBM, their fate following infiltration, and their role in GBM growth are not known. Here we tested the hypothesis that loss of the fractalkine receptor CX3CR1 in microglia and monocytes would affect gliomagenesis. Deletion of Cx3cr1 from the microenvironment resulted in increased tumor incidence and shorter survival times in glioma-bearing mice. Loss of Cx3cr1 did not affect accumulation of microglia/macrophages in peri-tumoral areas, but instead indirectly promoted the trafficking of CD11b+CD45hiCX3CR1lowLy-6ChiLy-6G-F4/80-/low circulating inflammatory monocytes into the CNS, resulting in their increased accumulation in the perivascular area. Cx3cr1-deficient microglia/macrophages and monocytes demonstrated upregulation of IL1β expression that was inversely proportional to Cx3cr1 gene dosage. The Proneural subgroup of the TCGA GBM patient dataset with high IL1β expression showed shorter survival compared to patients with low IL1β. IL1β promoted tumor growth and increased the cancer stem cell phenotype in murine and human Proneural glioma stem cells (GSCs). IL1β activated the p38 MAPK signaling pathway and expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1/CCL2) by tumor cells. Loss of Cx3cr1 in microglia in a monocyte-free environment had no impact on tumor growth and did not alter microglial migration. These data suggest that enhancing signaling to CX3CR1 or inhibiting IL1β signaling in intra-tumoral macrophages can be considered as potential strategies to decrease the tumor-promoting effects of monocytes in Proneural GBM.

Wada A, Ito A, Iitsuka H, et al.
Role of chemokine CX3CL1 in progression of multiple myeloma via CX3CR1 in bone microenvironments.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(6):2935-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several chemokines/chemokine receptors such as CXCL12, CCL3, CXCR4 and CCR1 attract multiple myelomas to specific microenvironments. In the present study, we investigated whether the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 axis is involved in the interaction of the multiple myeloma cells with their microenvironment. The expression of CX3CR1 (also known as fractalkine) was detected in three of the seven human myeloma cell lines. CX3CL1-induced phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2 was detected in the CX3CR1-positive cell lines, but not in the CX3CR1-negative cell lines. In addition, CX3CL1-induced cell adhesion to fibronectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in the human myeloma RPMI-8226 cell line. We also investigated whether a relationship existed between myeloma cells and osteoclasts that may function via the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 axis. Conditioned medium from CX3CL1-stimulated RPMI-8226 cells drastically increased the osteoclast differentiation. Collectively, the results from the present study support the concept of the CX3CL1-mediated activation of the progression of the multiple myeloma via CX3CR1. Thus, CX3CR1 may represent a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of multiple myeloma in a bone microenvironment.

Kukimoto I, Mori S, Aoyama S, et al.
Hypermutation in the E2 gene of human papillomavirus type 16 in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
J Med Virol. 2015; 87(10):1754-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Persistent infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer. However, viral genetic changes during cervical carcinogenesis are not fully understood. Recent studies have revealed the presence of adenine/thymine-clustered hypermutation in the long control region of the HPV16 genome in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesions, and suggested that apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) proteins, which play a key role in innate immunity against retroviral infection, potentially introduce such hypermutation. This study reports for the first time the detection of adenine/thymine-clustered hypermutation in the E2 gene of HPV16 isolated from clinical specimens with low- and high-grade CIN lesions (CIN1/3). Differential DNA denaturation PCR, which utilizes lower denaturation temperatures to selectively amplify adenine/thymine-rich DNA, identified clusters of adenine/thymine mutations in the E2 gene in 4 of 11 CIN1 (36.4%), and 6 of 27 CIN3 (22.2%) samples. Interestingly, the number of mutations per sample was higher in CIN3 than in CIN1. Although the relevance of E2 hypermutation in cervical carcinogenesis remains unclear, the observed hypermutation patterns strongly imply involvement of APOBEC3 proteins in editing the HPV16 genome during natural viral infection.

Piltonen TT, Chen JC, Khatun M, et al.
Endometrial stromal fibroblasts from women with polycystic ovary syndrome have impaired progesterone-mediated decidualization, aberrant cytokine profiles and promote enhanced immune cell migration in vitro.
Hum Reprod. 2015; 30(5):1203-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
STUDY QUESTION: Do endometrial stromal fibroblasts (eSF) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (eSFpcos) exhibit altered estrogen and/or progesterone (P4) responses, which may explain some of the adverse reproductive outcomes and endometrial pathologies in these women?
SUMMARY ANSWER: In vitro, eSF from women with PCOS exhibit an aberrant decidualization response and concomitant changes in pro-inflammatory cytokine, chemokine and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) release and immune cell chemoattraction. In vivo these aberrations may result in suboptimal implantation and predisposition to endometrial cancer.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: The endometrium in women with PCOS has several abnormalities including progesterone (P4) resistance at the gene expression level, likely contributing to subfertility, pregnancy complications and increased endometrial cancer risk in PCOS women.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Prospective, university-based, case-control, in vitro study.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Cultures of eSFPCOS (n = 12, Rotterdam and NIH criteria) and eSFControl (Ctrl) (n = 6, regular cycle length, no signs of hyperandrogenism) were treated with vehicle, estradiol (E2, 10 nM) or E2P4 (10 nM/1 μM) for 14 days. Progesterone receptor (PGR) mRNA was assessed with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and eSF decidualization was confirmed by insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) transcript and protein expression. Fractalkine (CX3CL1), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin (IL) 6, 8 and 11, macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP) 1 and 3, CCL5 (RANTES) and MMPs (MMP1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 12) were measured in conditioned media by Luminex multiplex assays, and chemotactic activity of the conditioned media was tested in a migration assay using CD14+ monocyte and CD4+ T-cell migration assay. Effects of IL-6 (0.02, 0.2, 2 or 20 ng/ml) or IL-8 (0.04, 0.4, 4, or 40 ng/ml) or combination (0.2 ng/ml IL-6 and 4.0 ng/ml IL-8) on 14-d decidualization were also tested. ANOVA with pre-planned contrasts was used for statistical analysis.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Hormonal challenge with E2P4 to induce decidualization revealed two distinct subsets of eSFPCOS. Eight eSFPCOS (dPCOS) and all eSFCtrl (dCtrl) cultures showed a normal decidualization response to E2P4 as determined by morphology and IGFBP-1 secretion. However, 4 eSFPCOS cultures showed blunted decidualization (ndPCOS) in morphological assessment and low IGFBP-1 levels even though all three groups exhibited normal estrogen-mediated increase in PGR expression. Interestingly dPCOS had decreased IL-6 and GM-SCF secretion compared with dCtrl, whereas the ndPCOS cultures showed increased IL-6 and 8, MCP1, RANTES and GM-CSF secretion at base-line and/or in response to E2 or E2P4 compared with dCtrl and/or dPCOS. Furthermore, even though PGR expression was similar in all three groups, P4 inhibition of MMP secretion was attenuated in ndPCOS resulting in higher MMP2 and 3 levels. The conditioned media from ndPCOS had increased chemoattractic activity compared with dCtrl and dPCOS media. Exogenously added IL-6 and/or 8 did not inhibit decidualization in eSFCtrl indicating that high levels of these cytokines in ndPCOS samples were not likely a cause for the aberrant decidualization.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: This is an in vitro study with a small sample size, utilizing stromal cell cultures from proliferative and secretory phase endometrium. The effect of PCOS on endometrial epithelium, another major histoarchitectural cell compartment of the endometrium, was not evaluated and should be considered in future studies. Furthermore, results obtained should also be confirmed in a larger data set and with mid/late secretory phase in vivo samples and models.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The alterations seen in ndPCOS may contribute to endometrial dysfunction, subfertility and pregnancy complications in PCOS women. The results emphasize the importance of understanding immune responses related to the implantation process and normal endometrial homeostasis in women with PCOS.
STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Academy of Finland, Finnish Medical Foundation, Orion-Farmos Research Foundation (to T.T.P.), the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) U54HD 055764-07 Specialized Cooperative Centers Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research (to L.C.G.), the NICHD the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards grant 1F32HD074423-03 (to J.C.C.). The authors have no competing interests.

Wei LM, Cao S, Yu WD, et al.
Overexpression of CX3CR1 is associated with cellular metastasis, proliferation and survival in gastric cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(2):615-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The CX3CR1/CX3CL1 axis is involved in the metastasis and prognosis of many types of cancer; however, whether CX3CR1 is expressed in gastric cancer cells and whether it participates in gastric cancer metastasis remain unknown. We investigated the expression of CX3CR1 in gastric cancer tissues and non‑neoplastic gastric tissues in vivo and in gastric cancer cell lines and a gastric epithelial cell line in vitro, and then the functional roles of CX3CR1 in cellular metastasis, proliferation and survival were explored. We observed that CX3CR1 was highly expressed in gastric cancer tissues in vivo and was related to lymph node metastasis, higher clinical TNM stage and larger tumor size. In vitro, CX3CR1 overexpression promoted gastric cancer cell migration, invasion, proliferation and survival. Additionally, different from several chemokine receptors, CX3CR1 was also expressed in non-neoplastic gastric tissues and in gastric epithelial cells and played a functional role in vitro. Notably, gastric cancer tissues expressed higher CX3CR1 compared with that in the non-neoplastic gastric tissues in vivo, while in vitro, CX3CR1 expresssion in the gastric cancer cell lines was equivalent or significantly lower than that in the gastric epithelial cell line, which suggests that the high expression of CX3CR1 in gastric cancer in vivo might be induced, not constitutive. Altogether, our findings suggest that on the one hand overexpression of CX3CR1 promoted gastric cancer metastasis, proliferation and survival; on the other hand, appropriate expression of CX3CR1 in normal gastric tissues may play a physiological role in tissue remodeling after injury and/or epithelial renewal. Additionally, the tumor microenvironment may play an important role in the high expression of CX3CR1 in gastric cancer cells.

Yang CN, Deng YT, Tang JY, et al.
MicroRNA-29b regulates migration in oral squamous cell carcinoma and its clinical significance.
Oral Oncol. 2015; 51(2):170-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: MicroRNA (miRNA) machinery regulates cancer cell behavior, and has been implicated in patients' clinical status and prognosis. We found that microRNA-29b (miR-29b) increased significantly in advanced migratory cells. However, miR-29b controls the migration ability, and its regulatory mechanism in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains unknown.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We triggered miR-29b expression in OSCC patients and cell lines by conducting real-time quantitative PCR. We determined the functions of miR-29b in the migration of OSCC cells by using gain- and loss-of-function approaches. We elevated the target genes of miR29b through software predictions and a luciferase report assay. We used an orthotopic OSCC animal model to investigate the effects of miR29b on OSCC cell metastasis in vivo.
RESULTS: The clinical data revealed that miR-29b expression was correlated with lymph node metastasis and an advanced tumor stage in 98 OSCC patients. Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed that miR-29b expression was significantly correlated with recurrence, and indicated poor survival. MiR-29b promoted OSCC cell migration and downregulated CX3CL1, a cell-cell adhesion regulator, which plays an essential role in miR-29b-regulated OSCC cell migration machinery. Furthermore, we found that CX3CL1 expression was correlated with lymph node metastasis and an early tumor stage in OSCC patients, and negatively correlated with miR-29b expression.
CONCLUSION: MiR-29b acts as an oncomir, promoting cell migration through CX3CL1 suppression, and could be a potential therapeutic target for preventing OSCC progression.

Herbst RS, Soria JC, Kowanetz M, et al.
Predictive correlates of response to the anti-PD-L1 antibody MPDL3280A in cancer patients.
Nature. 2014; 515(7528):563-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The development of human cancer is a multistep process characterized by the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations that drive or reflect tumour progression. These changes distinguish cancer cells from their normal counterparts, allowing tumours to be recognized as foreign by the immune system. However, tumours are rarely rejected spontaneously, reflecting their ability to maintain an immunosuppressive microenvironment. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1; also called B7-H1 or CD274), which is expressed on many cancer and immune cells, plays an important part in blocking the 'cancer immunity cycle' by binding programmed death-1 (PD-1) and B7.1 (CD80), both of which are negative regulators of T-lymphocyte activation. Binding of PD-L1 to its receptors suppresses T-cell migration, proliferation and secretion of cytotoxic mediators, and restricts tumour cell killing. The PD-L1-PD-1 axis protects the host from overactive T-effector cells not only in cancer but also during microbial infections. Blocking PD-L1 should therefore enhance anticancer immunity, but little is known about predictive factors of efficacy. This study was designed to evaluate the safety, activity and biomarkers of PD-L1 inhibition using the engineered humanized antibody MPDL3280A. Here we show that across multiple cancer types, responses (as evaluated by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours, version 1.1) were observed in patients with tumours expressing high levels of PD-L1, especially when PD-L1 was expressed by tumour-infiltrating immune cells. Furthermore, responses were associated with T-helper type 1 (TH1) gene expression, CTLA4 expression and the absence of fractalkine (CX3CL1) in baseline tumour specimens. Together, these data suggest that MPDL3280A is most effective in patients in which pre-existing immunity is suppressed by PD-L1, and is re-invigorated on antibody treatment.

Danza K, De Summa S, Pilato B, et al.
Combined microRNA and ER expression: a new classifier for familial and sporadic breast cancer patients.
J Transl Med. 2014; 12:319 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of miRNAs in familial breast cancer (fBC) is poorly investigated as also in the BRCA-like tumors. To identify a specific miRNA expression pattern which could allow a better fBC classification not only based on clinico-pathological and immunophenotypical parameters we analyzed miRNA profile in familial and sporadic samples. Moreover since BRCA1 tumors and sporadic triple negative (TN) breast tumors share similarities regarding clinical outcomes and some histological characteristics, we focused on TN and not TN cases.
METHODS: The sample set included fresh frozen tissue samples, including 39 female fBCs (19 BRCA-related and 20 BRCAX) and 12 male fBC (BRCAX). Moreover, we considered TN and non TN (NTN), 21 BRCA-related and 27 sporadic BCs. MiRNA profiling was performed through GeneChip miRNA v.1.0 Array (Affymetrix). ANOVA, hierarchical and consensus clustering analyses allowed identification of pattern of expression of miRNAs and pathway enrichment analysis, considering validated target genes, was carried out to achieve a deeper biological understanding.
RESULTS: ANOVA test led to the identification of 53 deregulated miRNAs; hierarchical and consensus clustering of female fBCs (fFBCs) and male fBCs (fMBCs) highlighted the presence of 3 sample clusters named FBC1, FBC2 and FBC3. We found a correlation between ER-status and the three sample clusters. The three clusters are distinct by a different expression of two clusters of miRNAs (CLU1 and CLU2), which resulted to be different in targeted pathways. In particular, CLU1 targets cellular pathways and CLU2 is involved in epigenetic activities. Considering TN and NTN BRCA-related and sporadic tumors, a hierarchical clustering identified two clusters of miRNAs, which were not so different from CLU1 and CLU2, both in miRNA content and targeted pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlighted the importance of miRNA regulation to better clarify similarities and differences between familial and sporadic BC groups.

Matsumoto Y, Maemondo M, Ishii Y, et al.
A phase II study of erlotinib monotherapy in pre-treated non-small cell lung cancer without EGFR gene mutation who have never/light smoking history: re-evaluation of EGFR gene status (NEJ006/TCOG0903).
Lung Cancer. 2014; 86(2):195-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors are particularly effective in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring active EGFR mutations. However, some studies have reported survival benefits in NSCLC patients with wild-type EGFR upon erlotinib treatment. This trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of erlotinib monotherapy and investigate the predictive values of several biomarkers.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with previously treated NSCLC but without EGFR gene mutations that had never or light smoked were eligible for this study. Gene status screening was performed using the PNA-LNA PCR clamp method. Erlotinib was administered until disease progression or unacceptable toxicities occurred. EGFR gene status was re-evaluated using the fragment method to detect exon 19 deletions and the Cycleave-PCR method to detect point mutations. Expression of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), Met, and thymidylate synthase (TS) were evaluated using immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Forty-seven patients were enrolled in the study between March 2010 and November 2011. Objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR) were 15.2% and 41.3%. Re-evaluations for EGFR gene were performed in 32 tumor samples. EGFR gene mutations were found in eight samples (5:exon 19 deletion, 2:G719X, 1:L858R). Six patients had PR and two had SD among these eight patients. A total of 24 patients were confirmed as wild-type EGFR using different methods. ORR and DCR were 4.2% and 41.7%. The median progression free survival (PFS) and median survival times were 2.0 and 6.0 months, respectively. Patients with tumors expressing HGF showed shorter PFS but not MET or TS.
CONCLUSIONS: Re-examination of EGFR gene status using different detecting method or different sample should be considered to grasp a chance of erlotinib treatment after first line treatment. In confirmed EGFR wild NSCLC, negative HGF staining could be a biomarker for longer PFS by erlotonib treatment.

Yoshimi A, Toya T, Kawazu M, et al.
Recurrent CDC25C mutations drive malignant transformation in FPD/AML.
Nat Commun. 2014; 5:4770 [PubMed] Related Publications
Familial platelet disorder (FPD) with predisposition to acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) is characterized by platelet defects with a propensity for the development of haematological malignancies. Its molecular pathogenesis is poorly understood, except for the role of germline RUNX1 mutations. Here we show that CDC25C mutations are frequently found in FPD/AML patients (53%). Mutated CDC25C disrupts the G2/M checkpoint and promotes cell cycle progression even in the presence of DNA damage, suggesting a critical role for CDC25C in malignant transformation in FPD/AML. The predicted hierarchical architecture shows that CDC25C mutations define a founding pre-leukaemic clone, followed by stepwise acquisition of subclonal mutations that contribute to leukaemia progression. In three of seven individuals with CDC25C mutations, GATA2 is the target of subsequent mutation. Thus, CDC25C is a novel gene target identified in haematological malignancies. CDC25C is also useful as a clinical biomarker that predicts progression of FPD/AML in the early stage.

Hattermann K, Sebens S, Helm O, et al.
Chemokine expression profile of freshly isolated human glioblastoma-associated macrophages/microglia.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(1):270-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several studies have substantiated the hypothesis that tumor progression is not only driven by the tumor cells themselves but also by their interaction with intrinsic and surrounding stromal cells. Tumor-associated macrophages and microglial cells (TAMs) represent one major stromal cell component of glioblastomas. Additionally, in many gliomas, chemokines are highly expressed and some chemokines were already linked to settlement of TAMs in tumors. However, although chemoattraction mechanisms mediated by chemokines and their receptors are well documented, information on their expression and role in TAMs, particularly in patients, is limited. Therefore, we investigated the transcription of the chemokine-receptor combinations CXCL12-CXCR4-CXCR7, CXCL16-CXCR6 and CX3CL1-CX3CR1 in freshly isolated TAMs from 20 human glioblastomas in relation to in vitro polarized M1- and M2-macrophages. We demonstrated that TAMs express both M1- and M2-markers. Compared to in vitro polarized macrophages, the M1-marker interleukin (IL)-6 was similarly expressed, whereas IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were found at lower levels. The M2-marker IL-10 was comparably expressed, while CD163 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β were detected with one tenth lower intensities in TAMs. All investigated chemokines/receptors were transcribed at moderate to high levels in TAMs as well as in vitro polarized macrophages. However, CX3CR1 was markedly higher and CXCR7 was somewhat higher expressed in TAMs, whereas M2-macrophages were characterized by the highest CXCL12 and a moderate CX3CL1 expression. Collectively, TAMs share properties of M1- and M2-macrophages and show a considerably higher expression of the chemokine receptors CXCR7 and CX3CR1.

Lv CY, Zhou T, Chen W, et al.
Preliminary study correlating CX3CL1/CX3CR1 expression with gastric carcinoma and gastric carcinoma perineural invasion.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(15):4428-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To study the relationship between the CX3CL1 chemokine, its receptor CX3CR1, and gastric carcinoma/gastric carcinoma perineural invasion (PNI).
METHODS: Thirty cases of gastric carcinoma were surgically resected (radical resection or palliative resection) between February 2012 and July 2012. Tumour and tumour-adjacent tissues were evaluated for the presence of CX3CL1 (ELISA) and CX3CR1 (immunohistochemistry and Western blotting) in an effort to analyse the relationship between CX3CL1/CX3CR1 and gastric carcinoma/gastric carcinoma PNI.
RESULTS: Of these 30 cases, 14 were PNI-positive (46.7%). No significant differences in CX3CL and CX3CR1 expression in tumour-adjacent tissues were found between the PNI positive and negative groups. Expression levels of CX3CL and CX3CR1 in tumour tissues were significantly higher than those in adjacent tissues (P < 0.01), and were significantly higher in tumour tissues from the PNI-positive group compared to the PNI-negative group (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: CX3CL1/CX3CR1 expression may be associated with the occurrence and development of gastric carcinoma as well as gastric carcinoma PNI.

Ogata-Kawata H, Izumiya M, Kurioka D, et al.
Circulating exosomal microRNAs as biomarkers of colon cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e92921 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) have been attracting major interest as potential diagnostic biomarkers of cancer. The aim of this study was to characterize the miRNA profiles of serum exosomes and to identify those that are altered in colorectal cancer (CRC). To evaluate their use as diagnostic biomarkers, the relationship between specific exosomal miRNA levels and pathological changes of patients, including disease stage and tumor resection, was examined.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Microarray analyses of miRNAs in exosome-enriched fractions of serum samples from 88 primary CRC patients and 11 healthy controls were performed. The expression levels of miRNAs in the culture medium of five colon cancer cell lines were also compared with those in the culture medium of a normal colon-derived cell line. The expression profiles of miRNAs that were differentially expressed between CRC and control sample sets were verified using 29 paired samples from post-tumor resection patients. The sensitivities of selected miRNAs as biomarkers of CRC were evaluated and compared with those of known tumor markers (CA19-9 and CEA) using a receiver operating characteristic analysis. The expression levels of selected miRNAs were also validated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR analyses of an independent set of 13 CRC patients.
RESULTS: The serum exosomal levels of seven miRNAs (let-7a, miR-1229, miR-1246, miR-150, miR-21, miR-223, and miR-23a) were significantly higher in primary CRC patients, even those with early stage disease, than in healthy controls, and were significantly down-regulated after surgical resection of tumors. These miRNAs were also secreted at significantly higher levels by colon cancer cell lines than by a normal colon-derived cell line. The high sensitivities of the seven selected exosomal miRNAs were confirmed by a receiver operating characteristic analysis.
CONCLUSION: Exosomal miRNA signatures appear to mirror pathological changes of CRC patients and several miRNAs are promising biomarkers for non-invasive diagnosis of the disease.

Yang L, Ji J, Chen Z, et al.
Transcriptome profiling of malignant transformed rat hepatic stem-like cells by aflatoxin B1.
Neoplasma. 2014; 61(2):193-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exposure to aflatoxins is strongly associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatic progenitor cells have been suggested to participate in the development of HCC. To further explore the molecular basis of aflatoxin-induced carcinogenesis, we utilized transcriptome profiles to examine the global gene expression alterations of malignant transformed rat hepatic stem-like cells. WB-F344 cells were treated with continuous exposure to AFB1 (0.03, 0.1 and 0.2μM), and gained certain characteristics of transformed cells identified by soft agar assay. Microarray analyses of the transformed cells found that 785, 625, and 751 differentially expressed genes were detected in each exposure group, respectively. Hierarchical Clustering revealed that the effect of 0.1 and 0.2μM exposure on the cells was conformable. Importantly, Gene Ontology analysis showed that malignant transformation of the hepatic stem-like cells was closely correlated to biological process, related to cell motion, cell adhesion, immune response and signal transduction. Accordingly, biological pathways was focused mainly on focal adhesion, regulation of actin cytoskeleton, ECM-receptor interaction, MAPK, TGF-β and chemokine signaling pathway. A few genes involved in these pathways exhibited a dose response, including Cav2, Itgb3, Ccl2, Cx3cl1, Pdgfrb and Tmsb4x. These findings would contribute to a growing knowledgebase on the mechanism of aflatoxin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.

Gyanchandani R, Ortega Alves MV, Myers JN, Kim S
A proangiogenic signature is revealed in FGF-mediated bevacizumab-resistant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Mol Cancer Res. 2013; 11(12):1585-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Resistance to antiangiogenic therapies is a critical problem that has limited the utility of antiangiogenic agents in clinical settings. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this resistance have yet to be fully elucidated. In this study, we established a novel xenograft model of acquired resistance to bevacizumab. To identify molecular changes initiated by the tumor cells, we performed human-specific microarray analysis on bevacizumab-sensitive and -resistant tumors. Efficiency analysis identified 150 genes upregulated and 31 genes downregulated in the resistant tumors. Among angiogenesis-related genes, we found upregulation of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) and fibroblast growth factor receptor-3 (FGFR3) in the resistant tumors. Inhibition of the FGFR in the resistant tumors led to the restoration of sensitivity to bevacizumab. Furthermore, increased FGF2 production in the resistant cells was found to be mediated by overexpression of upstream genes phospholipase C (PLCg2), frizzled receptor-4 (FZD4), chemokine [C-X3-C motif] (CX3CL1), and chemokine [C-C motif] ligand 5 (CCL5) via extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). In summary, our work has identified an upregulation of a proangiogenic signature in bevacizumab-refractory HNSCC tumors that converges on ERK signaling to upregulate FGF2, which then mediates evasion of anti-VEGF therapy. These findings provide a new strategy on how to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of antiangiogenic therapy.
IMPLICATIONS: Novel xenograft model leads to the discovery of FGF as a promising therapeutic target in overcoming the resistance of antiangiogenic therapy in HNSCC.

Chung GT, Lou WP, Chow C, et al.
Constitutive activation of distinct NF-κB signals in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2013; 231(3):311-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a distinct type of head and neck cancer, non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is closely associated with EBV infection and massive lymphoid infiltration. The unique histological features suggest that local inflammation plays an important role in NPC tumourigenesis. We comprehensively characterized NF-κB signalling, a key inflammatory pathway which might contribute to the tumourigenesis of this EBV-associated cancer. By EMSA, western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining, constitutive activation of distinct NF-κB complexes, either p50/p50/Bcl3 or p50/RelB, was found in almost all EBV-positive NPC tumours. siRNA or chemical inhibition of NF-κB signalling significantly inhibited the growth of EBV-positive NPC cells C666-1. Gene expression profiling identified a number of NF-κB target genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, immune response, and transcription. We further confirmed that p50 signals modulate the expression of multiple oncogenes (MYB, BCL2), chemokines, and chemokine receptors (CXCL9, CXCL10, CX3CL1, and CCL20). The findings support a crucial role of these constitutively activated NF-κB signals in NPC tumourigenesis and local inflammation. In addition to expression of the viral oncoprotein LMP1, genetic alteration of several NF-κB regulators (eg TRAF3, TRAF2, NFKBIA, A20) also contributes to the aberrant NF-κB activation in EBV-associated NPC. Except for LMP1-expressing C15 cells, all NPC tumour lines harbour at least one of these genetic alterations. Importantly, missense mutations of TRAF3, TRAF2, and A20 were also detected in 3/33 (9.1%) primary tumours. Taken together with the reported LTBR amplification in 7.3% of primary NPCs, genetic alterations in NF-κB pathways occurred in at least 16% of cases of this cancer. The findings indicate that distinct NF-κB signals are constitutively activated in EBV-positive NPC cells by either multiple genetic changes or EBV latent genes.

Ren H, Zhao T, Sun J, et al.
The CX3CL1/CX3CR1 reprograms glucose metabolism through HIF-1 pathway in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
J Cell Biochem. 2013; 114(11):2603-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
One of the hallmarks of cancer is revised glucose metabolism that promotes cell survival and proliferation. In pancreatic cancer, the regulatory mechanism of glucose metabolism remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found that CX3CR1 is expressed in pancreatic cancer cells lines. Exogenous or transfected CX3CL1 increased glucose uptake and lactate secretion. CX3CL1 stimulated HIF-1 expression through PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathways. Furthermore, knockdown of HIF-1 blocked CX3CL1-modified glucose metabolism in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells. In conclusion, the CX3CL1/CX3CR1 reprograms glucose metabolism through HIF-1 pathway in pancreatic cancer cells.

Hattermann K, Li G, Hugo HH, et al.
Expression of the chemokines CXCL12 and CX3CL1 and their receptors in human nerve sheath tumors.
Histol Histopathol. 2013; 28(10):1337-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peripheral nerve sheath tumors are in most cases slowly growing neoplasms that can be adequately cured by surgical resection. However, facing the risk of a neurosurgical intervention and the trend of multiple relapses of nerve sheath tumors the development of additional therapy strategies seems to be favourable, and therefore substantiated knowledge of molecular and cellular mechanisms in nerve sheath tumors should be achieved. Here, we firstly describe the expression of the chemokines CXCL12 (SDF-1) and CX3CL1 (fractalkine) and their respective receptors CXCR4, CXCR7 and CX3CR1 in different entities of human nerve sheath tumors and normal control tissues. Both ligands and their receptors are expressed in high to moderate levels on mRNA and protein level in benign and malignant nerve sheath tumors. While CXCL12 was mainly found in schwannoma cells (S100⁺) in situ, its receptor CXCR4 is also partly found on CD11b-positive macrophages / microglia and its alternative receptor CXCR7 is also expressed by endothelial cells and macrophages. CX3CL1 is expressed by parts of the schwannoma and endothelial cells, whereas its receptor CX3CR1 is expressed by nearly all tumor cells and macrophages, but not by endothelial cells. Taken together, we could show the presence of CXCL12 and CX3CL1 and their respective receptors in benign and malignant human nerve sheath tumors. Further investigations may show their functional role in health and disease.

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