Research IndicatorsGraph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (4)
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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: CXCL9 (cancer-related)
Kölbl AC, Wellens R, Koch J, et al.Endometrial Adenocarcinoma: Analysis of Circulating Tumour Cells by RT-qPCR.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(6):3205-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Endometrial adenocarcinoma is a frequently occurring cancer in women, accounting for 42,000 deaths every year. Despite treatment with standard therapy, occurrence of remote metastases and local recurrences is high. Through help of RT-qPCR minimal residual disease could be detected and characterized, facilitating therapeutic decision making.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A number of marker genes were first tested in model systems and genes that performed best, were consequently used for the examination of 13 blood samples from endometrial carcinoma patients.
RESULTS: Cytokeratin 19 and MIG7 were chosen for the analysis in patient samples. Both genes were found up-regulated in small tumours and in one large tumour, but no statistical correlations could be revealed between expression levels of these two genes and tumour characteristics.
CONCLUSION: There seems to be a coherence between gene expression and the stage of tumorigenesis, but the number of samples is still too small, to be able to obtain statistical significant differences.
Kang CM, Hwang HK, Park J, et al.Maximum Standard Uptake Value as a Clinical Biomarker for Detecting Loss of SMAD4 Expression and Early Systemic Tumor Recurrence in Resected Left-Sided Pancreatic Cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(17):e3452 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study investigated the oncologic impact of loss of SMAD4 expression in resected left-sided pancreatic cancer and its correlation with tumor metabolism.From 2005 to 2011, the medical records of patients who underwent radical distal pancreatectomy for resectable pancreatic cancer were retrospectively reviewed. Formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissue from 32 patients was investigated. Clinicopathological characteristics, immunostaining of SMAD4, and positron emission tomography-based parameters were analyzed in relation to oncologic outcomes.Thirteen patients were women and 19 were men, with a mean age of 63 ± 9.4 years. Mean resected tumor size was 3.3 ± 1.5 cm. Ten patients (31.3%) showed loss of SMAD4 expression. No significant clinicopathological differences were noted according to SMAD4 expression (P > 0.05); however, patients with loss of SMAD4 showed significantly poorer disease-free survival (mean 57.4 months vs mean 17.6 months, P = 0.006). As a cut-off value, a SUVmax of 4.5 was found to be predictive of loss of SMAD4 with a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 84.6%. In logistic regression analysis, SUVmax>4.5 was found to infer a 16-fold higher risk for loss of SMAD4 in resected left-sided pancreatic cancers (Exp[β] = 16.5, P = 0.012, 95% confidence interval: 1.832-148.606).Loss of SMAD4 is associated with poor oncologic outcomes. SUVmax can predict loss of SMAD4 in resected left-sided pancreatic cancer. SUVmax may be a clinical biomarker for detecting loss of SMAD4 expression and predicting early systemic metastasis.
Activating mutations in neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog (NRAS) are frequent driver events in cutaneous melanoma. NRAS is a guanosine triphosphate-binding protein whose most well-characterized downstream effector is RAF, leading to activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK)-extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 signaling. Although there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved targeted therapies for melanoma patients with a primary mutation in NRAS, one form of targeted therapy that has been explored is MEK inhibition. In clinical trials, MEK inhibitors have shown disappointing efficacy in mutant NRAS patients, the reasons for which are unclear. To explore the effects of MEK inhibitors in mutant NRAS melanoma, we used a high-throughput reverse-phase protein array platform to identify signaling alterations. Reverse-phase protein array analysis of phospho-proteomic changes in mutant NRAS melanoma in response to trametinib indicated a compensatory increase in v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog signaling and decreased expression of mitogen-inducible gene 6 (MIG6), a negative regulator of epidermal growth factor receptor/v-erb-b2 erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog receptors. MIG6 expression did not alter the growth or survival properties of mutant NRAS melanoma cells. Rather, we identified a role for MIG6 as a negative regulator of epidermal growth factor-induced signaling and cell migration and invasion. In MEK-inhibited cells, further depletion of MIG6 increased migration and invasion, whereas MIG6 expression decreased these properties. Therefore, a decrease in MIG6 may promote the migration and invasiveness of MEK-inhibited mutant NRAS melanoma, especially in response to epidermal growth factor stimulation.
Wu Z, Huang X, Han X, et al.The chemokine CXCL9 expression is associated with better prognosis for colorectal carcinoma patients.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 78:8-13 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The chemokine CXCL9 has been demonstrated to play an important role in the development of human malignancies. However, its prognostic significance in cancer patients remains unclear and less is known about its role in colonrectal carcinoma (CRC) patients. In this study, we found that the relative mRNA expression level of CXCL9 in primary colorectal tumor tissues was significantly higher than that in corresponding normal colon tissues. CXCL9 protein expression was also detected in 102 of 130 primary CRC patients by immunochemistry. Thus, CXCL9 might play a vital role in the progression of colorectal cancer. By analyzing the correlation between clinicopathological factors of patients and expression of CXCL9 protein, we showed that the expression of CXCL9 was significantly associated with tumor differentiation, tumor invasion, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, and vascular invasion, but not with other factors of CRC patients including age, gender, tumor location and tumor size. Furthermore, by performing Kaplan-Meier method as well as Cox's univariate and multivariate hazard regression model, we found that the higher the CXCL9 expression, the higher overall survival rate was observed, and CXCL9 expression was a significant independent prognostic factor for CRC patients. Therefore, CXCL9 is a useful predictor of better clinical outcome in CRC patients.
Hexavalent Chromium [Cr(VI)] compounds are human lung carcinogens and environmental/occupational hazards. The molecular mechanisms of Cr(VI) carcinogenesis appear to be complex and are poorly defined. In this study, we investigated the potential role of Gene 33 (ERRFI1, Mig6), a multifunctional adaptor protein, in Cr(VI)-mediated lung carcinogenesis. We show that the level of Gene 33 protein is suppressed by both acute and chronic Cr(VI) treatments in a dose- and time-dependent fashion in BEAS-2B lung epithelial cells. The inhibition also occurs in A549 lung bronchial carcinoma cells. Cr(VI) suppresses Gene 33 expression mainly through post-transcriptional mechanisms, although the mRNA level of gene 33 also tends to be lower upon Cr(VI) treatments. Cr(VI)-induced DNA damage appears primarily in the S phases of the cell cycle despite the high basal DNA damage signals at the G2M phase. Knockdown of Gene 33 with siRNA significantly elevates Cr(VI)-induced DNA damage in both BEAS-2B and A549 cells. Depletion of Gene 33 also promotes Cr(VI)-induced micronucleus (MN) formation and cell transformation in BEAS-2B cells. Our results reveal a novel function of Gene 33 in Cr(VI)-induced DNA damage and lung epithelial cell transformation. We propose that in addition to its role in the canonical EGFR signaling pathway and other signaling pathways, Gene 33 may also inhibit Cr(VI)-induced lung carcinogenesis by reducing DNA damage triggered by Cr(VI).
Mac-1 (CD11b) is expressed on bone marrow-derived immune cells. CD11b binds to ligands to regulate leukocyte adhesion and migration across the endothelium or epithelium. Here, we employed CD11b knockout mice and an Apc(Min/+) spontaneous intestinal adenoma mouse model to clarify the function of CD11b in intestinal tumorigenesis. We showed that CD11b deficiency may contribute to the inhibition of myeloid cell trafficking to the tumor microenvironment and inactivated Wnt/β-catenin pathway to suppress tumor growth. This effect was partly mediated by inhibiting the myeloid cell-mediated decrease in TNF-α secretion, which inhibits the recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells to the tumor microenvironment and subsequently induces IFN-γ and CXCL9 production. This work provides evidence for the mechanism by which CD11b may function as an important oncogene and highlights the potential of CD11b as a therapeutic target in CRC.
Hanna BS, McClanahan F, Yazdanparast H, et al.Depletion of CLL-associated patrolling monocytes and macrophages controls disease development and repairs immune dysfunction in vivo.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(3):570-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by apoptosis resistance and a dysfunctional immune system. Previous reports suggested a potential role of myeloid cells in mediating these defects. However, the composition and function of CLL-associated myeloid cells have not been thoroughly investigated in vivo. Using the Eμ-TCL1 mouse model, we observed severe skewing of myeloid cell populations with CLL development. Monocytes and M2-like macrophages infiltrated the peritoneal cavity of leukemic mice. Monocytes also accumulated in the spleen in a CCR2-dependent manner, and were severely skewed toward Ly6C(low) patrolling or nonclassical phenotype. In addition, the percentage of MHC-II(hi) dendritic cells and macrophages significantly dropped in the spleen. Gene expression profiling of CLL-associated monocytes revealed aberrantly high PD-L1 expression and secretion of multiple inflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokines like interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and CXCL9. In vivo myeloid cell depletion using liposomal Clodronate resulted in a significant control of CLL development accompanied by a pronounced repair of innate immune cell phenotypes and a partial resolution of systemic inflammation. In addition, CLL-associated skewing of T cells toward antigen-experienced phenotypes was repaired. The presented data suggest that targeting nonmalignant myeloid cells might serve as a novel immunotherapeutical strategy for CLL.
Epigenetic silencing including histone modifications and DNA methylation is an important tumorigenic mechanism. However, its role in cancer immunopathology and immunotherapy is poorly understood. Using human ovarian cancers as our model, here we show that enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2)-mediated histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1)-mediated DNA methylation repress the tumour production of T helper 1 (TH1)-type chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, and subsequently determine effector T-cell trafficking to the tumour microenvironment. Treatment with epigenetic modulators removes the repression and increases effector T-cell tumour infiltration, slows down tumour progression, and improves the therapeutic efficacy of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1; also known as B7-H1) checkpoint blockade and adoptive T-cell transfusion in tumour-bearing mice. Moreover, tumour EZH2 and DNMT1 are negatively associated with tumour-infiltrating CD8(+) T cells and patient outcome. Thus, epigenetic silencing of TH1-type chemokines is a novel immune-evasion mechanism of tumours. Selective epigenetic reprogramming alters the T-cell landscape in cancer and may enhance the clinical efficacy of cancer therapy.
To explore the mechanisms of MDSC trafficking and accumulation during tumor progression. In this study, we report significant CD40 upregulation in tumor-infiltrating MDSC when compared with splenic MDSC. Microarray analyses comparing CD40(high) and CD40l(ow) MDSC revealed 1872 differentially expressed genes, including CD83, CXCR5, BTLA, CXCL9, TLR1, FLT3, NOD2 and CXCL10. In vivo experiments comparing wild-type (WT) and CD40 knockout (KO) mice demonstrated that CD40 critically regulates CXCR5 expression. Consistently, the transwell analysis confirmed the essential role of CXCR5-CXCL13 crosstalk in the migration of CD40+ MDSC toward gastric cancer. Furthermore, more MDSC accumulated in the gastric cancers of WT mice when compared with KO mice, and the WT tumors mostly contained CD40+ cells. Functionally, tumors grew faster in WT than KO mice. In conclusion, we demonstrate that CD40 expression upregulates the chemokine receptor CXCR5 and promotes MDSC migration toward and accumulation within cancer. Therefore, this study provides preliminary evidence that CD40 may stimulate tumor growth by enabling immune evasion via MDSC recruitment and inhibition of T cell expansion.
Xu W, Zhu S, Zhou Y, et al.Upregulation of mitogen-inducible gene 6 triggers antitumor effect and attenuates progesterone resistance in endometrial carcinoma cells.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2015; 22(11):536-41 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Researches regarding mitogen-inducible gene 6 (Mig-6) have confirmed its role as a tumor suppressor and progesterone resistance factor in endometrium. In this study, after confirming the downregulation of Mig-6 protein in endometrial carcinoma (EC) tissues, the expression of Mig-6 was upregulated in Ishikawa cells by pCMV6-Mig-6 plasmid. We observed the increased apoptosis, decreased proliferation and invasion potential of Ishikawa cells after upregulation of Mig-6. The proapoptosis ability of P4 significantly enhanced by 39.36%, the antiproliferation ability increased by 37.90% and the anti-invasion ability increased by 48.89%, suggesting the antiprogesterone resistance potential of Mig-6 in endometrium. In addition, the results suggested that Mig-6 may induce Ishikawa cell apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway, inhibit cell proliferation via the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway and the anti-invasion potential may associate with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 downexpression. Therefore, upregulation of Mig-6 may add a new strategy to suppress endometrial tumorigenesis and attenuate the progesterone resistance during P4 treatment.
INTRODUCTION: Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, a small fraction of which is represented by locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). If not medically contraindicated, preoperative chemoradiotherapy, represent the standard of care for LARC patients. Unfortunately, patients shows a wide range of response rates in which approximately 20% has a complete pathological response, whereas in 20 to 40% the response is poor or absent.
RESULTS: The following specific gene signature, able to discriminate responders' patients from non-responders, were founded: AKR1C3, CXCL11, CXCL10, IDO1, CXCL9, MMP12 and HLA-DRA. These genes are mainly involved in immune system pathways and interact with drugs traditionally used in the adjuvant treatment of rectal cancer.
DISCUSSION: The present study suggests that new ideas for therapy could be found not only limited to studying genes differentially expressed between the two groups of patients but deepening the mechanisms, associated to response, in which they are involved.
METHODS: Gene expression studies performed by: Agostini et al., Rimkus et al. and Kim et al. have been merged through a meta-analysis of the raw data. Gene expression data-sets have been processed using A-MADMAN. Common differentially expressed gene (DEG) were identified through SAM analysis. To further characterize the identified DEG we deeply investigated its biological role using an integrative computational biology approach.
Several factors support CLL cell survival in the microenvironment. Under different experimental conditions, IL21 can either induce apoptosis or promote CLL cell survival. To investigate mechanisms involved in the effects of IL21, we studied the ability of IL21 to modulate gene and miRNA expressions in CD40-activated CLL cells. IL21 was a major regulator of chemokine production in CLL cells and it modulated the expression of genes involved in cell movement, metabolism, survival and apoptosis. In particular, IL21 down-regulated the expression of the chemokine genes CCL4, CCL3, CCL3L1, CCL17, and CCL2, while it up-regulated the Th1-related CXCL9 and CXCL10. In addition, IL21 down-regulated the expression of genes encoding signaling molecules, such as CD40, DDR1 and PIK3CD. IL21 modulated a similar set of genes in CLL and normal B-cells (e.g. chemokine genes), whereas other genes, including MYC, TNF, E2F1, EGR2 and GAS-6, were regulated only in CLL cells. An integrated analysis of the miRNome and gene expression indicated that several miRNAs were under IL21 control and these could, in turn, influence the expression of potential target genes. We focused on hsa-miR-663b predicted to down-regulate several relevant genes. Transfection of hsa-miR-663b or its specific antagonist showed that this miRNA regulated CCL17, DDR1, PIK3CD and CD40 gene expression. Our data indicated that IL21 modulates the expression of genes mediating the crosstalk between CLL cells and their microenvironment and miRNAs may take part in this process.
Mig6 is a feedback inhibitor that directly binds, inhibits and drives internalization of ErbB-family receptors. Mig6 selectively targets activated receptors. Here we found that the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) phosphorylates Mig6 on Y394 and that this phosphorylation is primed by prior phosphorylation of an adjacent residue, Y395, by Src. Crystal structures of human EGFR-Mig6 complexes reveal the structural basis for enhanced phosphorylation of primed Mig6 and show how Mig6 rearranges after phosphorylation by EGFR to effectively irreversibly inhibit the same receptor that catalyzed its phosphorylation. This dual phosphorylation site allows Mig6 to inactivate EGFR in a manner that requires activation of the target receptor and that can be modulated by Src. Loss of Mig6 is a driving event in human cancer; analysis of 1,057 gliomas reveals frequent focal deletions of ERRFI1, the gene that encodes Mig6, in EGFR-amplified glioblastomas.
BACKGROUND: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are implicated in the growth, invasion and metastasis of various solid tumors. However, the phenotype of TAMs in premalignant lesions of solid tumors has not been clarified. In the present study, we identify the phenotype of TAMs in leukoplakia, an oral premalignant lesion, by immunohistochemical analysis and investigate the involvement of infiltrated T cells that participate in the polarization of TAMs.
METHODS: The subjects included 30 patients with oral leukoplakia and 10 individuals with normal mucosa. Hematoxylin and eosin slides were examined for the histological grades, and immunohistochemical analysis was carried out using antibodies against CD68 (pan-MΦ), CD80 (M1 MΦ), CD163 (M2 MΦ), CD4 (helper T cells: Th), CD8 (cytotoxic T cells), CXCR3, CCR5 (Th1), CCR4 (Th2), signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT1), phosphorylated STAT1 (pSTAT1) and chemokine CXCL9. The differences in the numbers of positively stained cells among the different histological grades were tested for statistical significance using the Kruskal-Wallis test. Correlations between different types of immune cells were determined using Spearman's rank analysis.
RESULTS: An increase in the rate of CD163(+) TAM infiltration was observed in mild and moderate epithelial dysplasia, which positively correlated with the rate of intraepithelial CD4(+) Th cell infiltration. Although CCR4(+) cells rarely infiltrated, CXCR3(+) and CCR5(+) cells were observed in these lesions. Cells positive for STAT1 and chemokine CXCL9, interferon- (IFN)-induced gene products, and pSTAT1 were also observed in the same lesions. Double immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that the cells that were positive for CD163 were also positive for STAT1.
CONCLUSIONS: CD163(+) TAMs in oral premalignant lesions coexpress CD163 and STAT1, suggesting that the TAMs in oral premalignant lesions possess an M1 phenotype in a Th1-dominated micromilieu.
Sorafenib is an oral multikinase inhibitor that was originally developed as a Raf kinase inhibitor. We hypothesized that sorafenib would also have inhibitory effects on cytokine signaling pathways in immune cells. PBMCs from normal donors were treated with varying concentrations of sorafenib and stimulated with IFN-α or IL-2. Phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT5 was measured by flow cytometry and confirmed by immunoblot analysis. Changes in IFN-α- and IL-2-stimulated gene expression were measured by quantitative PCR, and changes in cytokine production were evaluated by ELISA. Cryopreserved PBMCs were obtained from cancer patients before and after receiving 400 mg sorafenib twice daily. Patient PBMCs were thawed, stimulated with IL-2 or IFN-α, and evaluated for phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT5. Pretreatment of PBMCs with 10 μM sorafenib decreased STAT1 and STAT5 phosphorylation after treatment with IFN-α or IL-2. This inhibitory effect was observed in PBMCs from healthy donors over a range of concentrations of sorafenib (5-20 μM), IL-2 (2-24 nM), and IFN-α (10(1)-10(6) U/ml). This effect was observed in immune cell subsets, including T cells, B cells, NK cells, regulatory T cells, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Pretreatment with sorafenib also inhibited PBMC expression of IFN-α- and IL-2-regulated genes and inhibited NK cell production of IFN-γ, RANTES, MIP1-α, and MIG in response to IFN-α stimulation. PBMCs from patients receiving sorafenib therapy showed decreased responsiveness to IL-2 and IFN-α treatment. Sorafenib is a Raf kinase inhibitor that could have off-target effects on cytokine-induced signal transduction in immune effector cells.
Liu RX, Wei Y, Zeng QH, et al.Chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 3-positive B cells link interleukin-17 inflammation to protumorigenic macrophage polarization in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Hepatology. 2015; 62(6):1779-90 [PubMed
] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: B cells consistently represent abundant cellular components in tumors; however, direct evidence supporting a role for B cells in the immunopathogenesis of human cancers is lacking, as is specific knowledge of their trafficking mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 3-positive (CXCR3(+)) B cells constitute approximately 45% of B-cell infiltrate in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and that their levels are positively correlated with early recurrence of HCC. These cells selectively accumulate at the invading edge of HCC and undergo further somatic hypermutation and immunoglobulin G-secreting plasma cell differentiation. Proinflammatory interleukin-17(+) cells are important for the induction of epithelial cell-derived CXCR3 ligands CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11, which subsequently promote the sequential recruitment and further maturation of CXCR3(+) B cells. More importantly, we provide evidence that CXCR3(+) B cells, but not their CXCR3(-) counterparts, may operate in immunoglobulin G-dependent pathways to induce M2b macrophage polarization in human HCC. Depletion of B cells significantly suppresses M2b polarization and the protumorigenic activity of tumor-associated macrophages and restores the production of antitumorigenic interleukin-12 by those cells in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Selective recruitment of CXCR3(+) B cells bridges proinflammatory interleukin-17 response and protumorigenic macrophage polarization in the tumor milieu, and blocking CXCR3(+) B-cell migration or function may help defeat HCC.
Onabajo OO, Porter-Gill P, Paquin A, et al.Expression of Interferon Lambda 4 Is Associated with Reduced Proliferation and Increased Cell Death in Human Hepatic Cells.
J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2015; 35(11):888-900 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interferon lambda 4 (IFN-λ4) is a novel type-III interferon that can be generated only in individuals carrying a ΔG frame-shift allele of an exonic genetic variant (rs368234815-ΔG/TT). The rs368234815-ΔG allele is strongly associated with decreased clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Here, we further explored the biological function of IFN-λ4 expressed in human hepatic cells-a hepatoma cell line HepG2 and fresh primary human hepatocytes (PHHs). We performed live confocal imaging, cell death and proliferation assays, mRNA expression profiling, protein detection, and antibody blocking assays using transient and inducible stable in vitro systems. Not only did we observe significant intracellular retention of IFN-λ4 but also detected secreted IFN-λ4 in the culture media of expressing cells. Secreted IFN-λ4 induced strong activation of the interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) in IFN-λ4-expressing and surrounding cells in transwell assays. Specifically, in PHHs, secreted IFN-λ4 induced expression of the CXCL10 transcript and a corresponding pro-inflammatory chemokine, IP-10. In IFN-λ4-expressing HepG2 cells, we also observed decreased proliferation and increased cell death. All IFN-λ4-induced phenotypes--activation of ISGs, decreased proliferation, and increased cell death--could be inhibited by an anti-IFN-λ4-specific antibody. Our study offers new insights into biology of IFN-λ4 and its possible role in HCV clearance.
Differentially regulated microRNA (miRNA) are associated with hepatic fibrosis; however, their potential usefulness for blocking hepatic fibrosis has not been exploited fully. We examined the expression of miRNA in the liver of a transgenic mouse model in which platelet-derived growth factor C (PDGF-C) is overexpressed (Pdgf-c Tg), resulting in hepatic fibrosis and steatosis and the eventual development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Robust induction of miR-214 correlated with fibrogenesis in the liver of Pdgf-c Tg mice, atherogenic high-fat diet-induced NASH mice, and patients with chronic hepatitis B or C. Pdgf-c Tg mice were injected with locked nucleic acid (LNA)-antimiR-214 via the tail vein using Invivofectamine 2.0 and the degree of hepatic fibrosis and tumor incidence were evaluated. Pdgf-c Tg mice treated with LNA-antimiR-214 showed a marked reduction in fibrosis and tumor incidence compared with saline or LNA-miR-control-injected control mice. In vitro, LNA-antimiR-214 significantly ameliorated TGF-β1-induced pro-fibrotic gene expression in Lx-2 cells. MiR-214 targets a negative regulator of EGFR signaling, Mig-6. Mimic-miR-214 decreased the expression of Mig-6 and increased the levels of EGF-mediated p-EGFR (Y1173 and Y845) and p-Met (Tyr1234/1235) in Huh-7 cells. Conversely, LNA-antimiR-214 repressed the expression of these genes. In conclusion, miR-214 appears to participate in the development of hepatic fibrosis by modulating the EGFR and TGF-β signaling pathways. LNA-antimiR-214 is a potential therapy for the prevention of hepatic fibrosis.
Ejaeidi AA, Craft BS, Puneky LV, et al.Hormone receptor-independent CXCL10 production is associated with the regulation of cellular factors linked to breast cancer progression and metastasis.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 99(1):163-72 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Breast cancer (BC) is a major health problem for women around the world. Although advances in the field of molecular therapy have been achieved, the successful therapeutic management of BC, particularly metastatic disease, remains a challenge for patients and clinicians. One of the areas of current investigation is the circulating tumor cells (CTCs), which have a determinant role in the development of distant metastasis. At the present, many of the available treatment strategies for metastatic disease are of limited benefit. However, the elucidation of the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis may help to identify key molecules/components that may function as therapeutic targets in the future. In the present study, the functional analysis of CTCs revealed their ability to grow and proliferate to form colonies. Immunofluorescence staining of the CTCs' colonies exhibits elevated expression of cell growth and survival associated proteins such as, survivin, ERK and Akt1. More importantly, the functional screening of the chemokine profile in BC patients' sera revealed an HR-independent elevation of the chemokine CXCL10 when compared to healthy controls. The analysis of chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL11 demonstrated an HR-dependent production pattern. The levels of both CXCL9 and CXCL11 were markedly high in HR+ patients' sera when compared to HR- patients and healthy controls. The functional analysis of HR+ and HR- BC derived cell lines when cultivated in media supplemented with patients' sera demonstrated the alteration of tumor progression and metastasis related proteins. We noted the induction of survivin, β-catenin, MKP-1, pERK, CXCR4 and MMP-1 both at the protein and mRNA levels. The induction of those proteins was in keeping with patients' sera induced cell proliferation as measured by the MTT assay. In conclusion, our data emphasizes the role of chemokines, especially CXCL10, in BC progression and metastasis via the induction of signaling pathways, which mainly involve survivin, β-catenin, MKP-1 and MMP-1.
Milewska M, Romano D, Herrero A, et al.Mitogen-Inducible Gene-6 Mediates Feedback Inhibition from Mutated BRAF towards the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Thereby Limits Malignant Transformation.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0129859 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BRAF functions in the RAS-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling cascade. Activation of this pathway is necessary to mediate the transforming potential of oncogenic BRAF, however, it may also cause a negative feedback that inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Mitogen-inducible gene-6 (MIG-6) is a potent inhibitor of the EGFR and has been demonstrated to function as a tumor suppressor. As MIG-6 can be induced via RAS-ERK signaling, we investigated its potential involvement in this negative regulatory loop. Focus formation assays were performed and demonstrated that MIG-6 significantly reduces malignant transformation induced by oncogenic BRAF. Although this genetic interaction was mirrored by a physical interaction between MIG-6 and BRAF, we did not observe a direct regulation of BRAF kinase activity by MIG-6. Interestingly, a selective chemical EGFR inhibitor suppressed transformation to a similar degree as MIG-6, whereas combining these approaches had no synergistic effect. By analyzing a range of BRAF mutated and wildtype cell line models, we could show that BRAF V600E causes a strong upregulation of MIG-6, which was mediated at the transcriptional level via the RAS-ERK pathway and resulted in downregulation of EGFR activation. This feedback loop is operational in tumors, as shown by the analysis of almost 400 patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Presence of BRAF V600E correlated with increased MIG-6 expression on the one hand, and with inactivation of the EGFR and of PI3K/AKT signaling on the other hand. Importantly, we also observed a more aggressive disease phenotype when BRAF V600E coexisted with low MIG-6 expression. Finally, analysis of methylation data was performed and revealed that higher methylation of MIG-6 correlated to its decreased expression. Taken together, we demonstrate that MIG-6 efficiently reduces cellular transformation driven by oncogenic BRAF by orchestrating a negative feedback circuit directed towards the EGFR.
Pentheroudakis G, Raptou G, Kotoula V, et al.Immune response gene expression in colorectal cancer carries distinct prognostic implications according to tissue, stage and site: a prospective retrospective translational study in the context of a hellenic cooperative oncology group randomised trial.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0124612 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although host immune response is an emerging prognostic factor for colorectal cancer, there is no consensus on the optimal methodology, surrogate markers or tissue for study.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Tumour blocks were prospectively collected from 344 patients with stage II/III colorectal cancer (CRC) treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Whole section lymphocytic infiltration was studied along with mRNA expression of CD3Z, CD8, CD4, CXCL9, CXCL13, IGHM, FOXP3, SNAI2 and ESR1 by qRT-qPCR in tissue microarray (TMA) cores from the centre of tumour, invasive margin and adjacent normal mucosa.
RESULTS: Lymphocytic infiltration, deficient MMR (10.9%), KRAS (40.7%) and BRAF (4.9%) mutations or single mRNA gene expression were not prognostic. Tumour ESR1 gene expression (Hazard Ratio [HR] for relapse 2.33, 95% CI 1.35-4.02; HR for death 1.74, 95% CI 1.02-2.97) and absence of necrosis (HR for relapse 1.71, 95% CI 1.05-2.71; HR for death 1.98, 95% CI 1.14-3.43) were adverse prognostic features. We used CD3Z and CD8 expression in order to devise the mRNA-based Immune Score (mIS) and proceeded to partitioning analysis in 267 patients, with age, stage, tumour site (Right vs Left CRC), KRAS mutation and tumour mIS as input factors. Only in patients with stage III right-sided colon cancer, a low immune response was associated with inferior disease-free survival (mIS-low, HR for relapse 2.28, 95% CI 1.05-8.02). No prognostic significance was seen for tumour mIS in any other stage or site of CRC, or for a similar mIS score derived from adjacent normal mucosa. Independent adverse prognostic significance was retained in multivariable analysis for absence of necrosis, tumour ESR1 expression in all patients and low tumour mIS in stage III right-sided CRC.
CONCLUSIONS: In localised CRC, mRNA-based CD3Z/CD8 profiling of tumour immune response may have stage, site and tissue-specific prognostic significance, along with ESR1 expression.
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Zhang S, Lee DS, Morrissey R, et al.Early or late antibiotic intervention prevents Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric cancer in a mouse model.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 359(2):345-51 [PubMed
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H. pylori infection causes gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. Eradicating H. pylori prevents ulcers, but to what extent this prevents cancer remains unknown, especially if given after intestinal metaplasia has developed. H. pylori infected wild-type (WT) mice do not develop cancer, but mice lacking the tumor suppressor p27 do so, thus providing an experimental model of H. pylori-induced cancer. We infected p27-deficient mice with H. pylori strain SS1 at 6-8 weeks of age. Persistently H. pylori-infected WT C57BL/6 mice served as controls. Mice in the eradication arms received antimicrobial therapy (omeprazole, metronidazole and clarithromycin) either "early" (at 15 weeks post infection, WPI) or "late" at 45 WPI. At 70 WPI, mice were euthanized for H. pylori determination, histopathology and cytokine/chemokine expression. Persistently infected mice developed premalignant lesions including high-grade dysplasia, whereas those given antibiotics did not. Histologic activity scores in the eradication groups were similar to each other, and were significantly decreased compared with controls for inflammation, epithelial defects, hyperplasia, metaplasia, atrophy and dysplasia. IP-10 and MIG levels in groups that received antibiotics were significantly lower than controls. There were no significant differences in expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1β, RANTES, MCP-1, MIP-1α or MIP-1β among the three groups. Thus, H. pylori eradication given either early or late after infection significantly attenuated gastric inflammation, gastric atrophy, hyperplasia, and dysplasia in the p27-deficient mice model of H. pylori-induced gastric cancer, irrespective of the timing of antibiotic administration. This was associated with reduced expression of IP-10 and MIG.
UNLABELLED: Somatic mutations in the EGFR kinase domain drive lung adenocarcinoma. We have previously identified MIG6, an inhibitor of ERBB signaling and a potential tumor suppressor, as a target for phosphorylation by mutant EGFRs. Here, we demonstrate that MIG6 is a tumor suppressor for the initiation and progression of mutant EGFR-driven lung adenocarcinoma in mouse models. Mutant EGFR-induced lung tumor formation was accelerated in Mig6-deficient mice, even with Mig6 haploinsufficiency. We demonstrate that constitutive phosphorylation of MIG6 at Y394/Y395 in EGFR-mutant human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines is associated with an increased interaction of MIG6 with mutant EGFR, which may stabilize EGFR protein. MIG6 also fails to promote mutant EGFR degradation. We propose a model whereby increased tyrosine phosphorylation of MIG6 decreases its capacity to inhibit mutant EGFR. Nonetheless, the residual inhibition is sufficient for MIG6 to delay mutant EGFR-driven tumor initiation and progression in mouse models.
SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrates that MIG6 is a potent tumor suppressor for mutant EGFR-driven lung tumor initiation and progression in mice and provides a possible mechanism by which mutant EGFR can partially circumvent this tumor suppressor in human lung adenocarcinoma.
High levels of the intermediate filament keratin 17 (K17) correlate with a poor prognosis for several types of epithelial tumors. However, the causal relationship and underlying mechanisms remain undefined. A recent study suggested that K17 promotes skin tumorigenesis by fostering a specific type of inflammation. We report here that K17 interacts with the RNA-binding protein hnRNP K, which has also been implicated in cancer. K17 is required for the cytoplasmic localization of hnRNP K and for its role in regulating the expression of multiple pro-inflammatory mRNAs. Among these are the CXCR3 ligands CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11, which together form a signaling axis with an established role in tumorigenesis. The K17-hnRNP K partnership is regulated by the ser/thr kinase RSK and required for CXCR3-dependent tumor cell growth and invasion. These findings functionally integrate K17, hnRNP K, and gene expression along with RSK and CXCR3 signaling in a keratinocyte-autonomous axis and provide a potential basis for their implication in tumorigenesis.
Numerous studies by our lab and others demonstrate that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays critical roles in primary breast cancer (BC) initiation, growth and dissemination. However, clinical trials targeting EGFR function in BC have lead to disappointing results. In the current study we sought to identify the mechanisms responsible for this disparity by investigating the function of EGFR across the continuum of the metastatic cascade. We previously established that overexpression of EGFR is sufficient for formation of in situ primary tumors by otherwise nontransformed murine mammary gland cells. Induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is sufficient to drive the metastasis of these EGFR-transformed tumors. Examining growth factor receptor expression across this and other models revealed a potent downregulation of EGFR through metastatic progression. Consistent with diminution of EGFR following EMT and metastasis EGF stimulation changes from a proliferative to an apoptotic response in in situ versus metastatic tumor cells, respectively. Furthermore, overexpression of EGFR in metastatic MDA-MB-231 BC cells promoted their antitumorigenic response to EGF in three dimensional (3D) metastatic outgrowth assays. In line with the paradoxical function of EGFR through EMT and metastasis we demonstrate that the EGFR inhibitory molecule, Mitogen Induced Gene-6 (Mig6), is tumor suppressive in in situ tumor cells. However, Mig6 expression is absolutely required for prevention of apoptosis and ultimate metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells. Further understanding of the paradoxical function of EGFR between primary and metastatic tumors will be essential for application of its targeted molecular therapies in BC.
Growth factors and COX-2/PGE2 enhance lung cancer invasion/metastasis via PI3K/Akt and RAS/Raf. Here, we explored their mechanism of action further. We found first that higher levels of migration inducting gene-7 protein (MIG-7) and PHB phosphorylated at threonine 258 (phospho-PHBT258) are positively correlated with advanced stages of human lung cancer in tissue microarray. PGE2 or growth factors such as EGF, HGF and IGF-1 increased complex formation of phospho-PHBT258 with Ras, phospho-AktS473, phospho-Raf-1S338, MEKK1 and IKKα/βS176/180 in the raft domain transiently within 1 hour and MIG-7 in the cytosol 12-24 hours later. Association of phospho-PHBT258 with MEKK1 but not MEKK3 activates IKK/IκB/NF-κB and MEK/ERK to increase cellular COX-2/PGE2 and an E-cadherin suppressor Snail leading to enhancement of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and lung cancer migration/invasion. MIG-7, on the other hand, was induced by growth factors and PGE2 via Akt/GSK-3β in a phospho-PHBT258 independent manner. MIG-7 increased two E-cadherin suppressors ZEB-1 and Twist to enhance EMT and cancer migration/invasion. Downregulating phospho-PHBT258 and MIG-7 had an additive effect on attenuating lung cancer invasion/metastasis and prolonging the survival of xenograft mice. Phospho-PHBT258 and MIG-7 may thus play complementary roles in the initiation and sustainment of the effects of growth factors and COX-2/PGE2 on cancer invasion/metastasis.
Denkert C, von Minckwitz G, Brase JC, et al.Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without carboplatin in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and triple-negative primary breast cancers.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(9):983-91 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: Modulation of immunologic interactions in cancer tissue is a promising therapeutic strategy. To investigate the immunogenicity of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) -positive and triple-negative (TN) breast cancers (BCs), we evaluated tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and immunologically relevant genes in the neoadjuvant GeparSixto trial.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: GeparSixto investigated the effect of adding carboplatin (Cb) to an anthracycline-plus-taxane combination (PM) on pathologic complete response (pCR). A total of 580 tumors were evaluated before random assignment for stromal TILs and lymphocyte-predominant BC (LPBC). mRNA expression of immune-activating (CXCL9, CCL5, CD8A, CD80, CXCL13, IGKC, CD21) as well as immunosuppressive factors (IDO1, PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA4, FOXP3) was measured in 481 tumors.
RESULTS: Increased levels of stromal TILs predicted pCR in univariable (P < .001) and multivariable analyses (P < .001). pCR rate was 59.9% in LPBC and 33.8% for non-LPBC (P < .001). pCR rates ≥ 75% were observed in patients with LPBC tumors treated with PMCb, with a significant test for interaction with therapy in the complete (P = .002) and HER2-positive (P = .006), but not the TNBC, cohorts. Hierarchic clustering of mRNA markers revealed three immune subtypes with different pCR rates (P < .001). All 12 immune mRNA markers were predictive for increased pCR. The highest odds ratios (ORs) were observed for PD-L1 (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.34 to 1.86; P < .001) and CCL5 (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.62; P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Immunologic factors were highly significant predictors of therapy response in the GeparSixto trial, particularly in patients treated with Cb. After further standardization, they could be included in histopathologic assessment of BC.
Razmkhah M, Arabpour F, Taghipour M, et al.Expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors in brain tumor tissue derived cells.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(17):7201-5 [PubMed
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Chemokine and chemokine receptor expression by tumor cells contributes to tumor growth and angiogenesis and thus these factors may be considered as tumor markers. Here we aimed to characterize cells directly extracted from glioma, meningioma, and secondary brain tumors as well as non-tumoral cells in vitro. Cells were isolated from brain tissues using 0.2% collagenase and characterized by flow cytometry. Expression of SDF-1, CXCR4, CXCR7, RANTES, CCR5, MCP-1 and IP-10 was defined using flow cytometry and qRT-PCR methods. Brain tissue isolated cells were observed as spindle-shaped cell populations. No significant differences were observed for expression of SDF-1, CXCR4, CXCR7, RANTES, CCR5, and IP-10 transcripts. However, the expression of CXCR4 was approximately 13-fold and 110-fold higher than its counterpart, CXCR7, in meningioma and glioma cells, respectively. CXCR7 was not detectable in secondary tumors but CXCR4 was expressed. In non tumoral cells, CXCR7 had 1.3-fold higher mRNA expression than CXCR4. Flow cytometry analyses of RANTES, MCP- 1, IP-10, CCR5 and CXCR4 expression showed no significant difference between low and high grade gliomas. Differential expression of CXCR4 and CXCR7 in brain tumors derived cells compared to non-tumoral samples may have crucial impacts on therapeutic interventions targeting the SDF-1/CXCR4/CXCR7 axis.
Lan X, Xiao F, Ding Q, et al.The effect of CXCL9 on the invasion ability of hepatocellular carcinoma through up-regulation of PREX2.
J Mol Histol. 2014; 45(6):689-96 [PubMed
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Elevated expression of CXCL9 has been shown to involve in the infiltration of inflammatory cells and liver damage after Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, whether and by what underlying mechanism does CXCL9 play a role in HBV infection associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) invasion ability remain unclear. In this study, human HCC as well as adjacent noncancerous tissues, together with three kinds of liver cancer cell lines were investigated to clarify the possible involvement of CXCL9 in the regulation of HCC invasion and metastasis. Invasion ability of liver cancer cells were evaluated by transwell assays and it is enhanced after co-cultured with recombined human CXCL9 (rhCXCL9). As a trigger of Rac GTPase signaling after G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) activated by CXCL9, Phosphatidylinositol-3, 4, 5-trisphosphate RAC Exchanger 2 (PREX2) mRNA expression of the liver cancer cell lines was elevated after co-cultured with rhCXCL9. Moreover, the mRNA level of PREX2 in HCC tissues was significantly higher than those in adjacent noncancerous tissues. Besides, the mRNA levels of PREX2 were positively correlated with the poor differentiation, portal vein invasion, metastasis and qualitative HbsAg results in 45 pairs of HCC specimens. Similarly, PREX2 mRNA was higher in three liver cancer cell lines when compared with the normal liver cell line whereas knocked down of PREX2 by small interference RNA (PREX2-siRNA) reduced the invasion ability of liver cancer cells in transwell assays. Overall, our results suggested CXCL9 was involved in the invasion ability of HCC possibly through up-regulation of its potential effector PREX2.
Ren K, Yao N, Wang G, et al.Vasculogenic mimicry: a new prognostic sign of human osteosarcoma.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(10):2120-9 [PubMed
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Vasculogenic mimicry (VM), a formation of nonendothelial microvascular channels, has been generally recognized as a new pattern of neovascularization in aggressive malignancies. However, whether VM is present and clinically significant in osteosarcoma remains unknown. We identified VM by CD34/periodic acid-Schiff double staining of osteosarcoma specimens before chemotherapy and investigated its prognostic implications. Tumors were also immunohistochemically stained for focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and migration inducing gene 7 (Mig-7) to determine whether these markers are associated with the occurrence of VM. VM was found in 15 of 66 osteoblastic-type osteosarcoma samples (22.7%), and the incidence of VM did not differ with respect to patient sex, age, tumor size, tumor site, surgical type, or histologic response to preoperative chemotherapy. However, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis determined that the presence of VM and the tumor necrosis rate after preoperative chemotherapy are associated with both the overall survival (P = .011 and P = .040, respectively) and metastasis-free survival (P = .002 and P = .045, respectively). Furthermore, Cox proportional hazards analysis showed that the presence of VM and the histologic response to preoperative chemotherapy were independent indicators for both poor overall survival (P = .007 and P = .024, respectively) and poor metastasis-free survival (P = .002 and P = .027, respectively). The expression level of FAK and Mig-7 were higher in the VM group than the non-VM group (P = .017 and P = .021, respectively). These results demonstrate the presence of VM in osteoblastic osteosarcoma and suggest that VM is an unfavorable prognostic factor with FAK and Mig-7 expressions as a potential mechanism of VM formation in osteosarcoma.