Gene Summary

Gene:DAPK2; death associated protein kinase 2
Aliases: DRP1, DRP-1
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that belongs to the serine/threonine protein kinase family. This protein contains a N-terminal protein kinase domain followed by a conserved calmodulin-binding domain with significant similarity to that of death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1), a positive regulator of programmed cell death. Overexpression of this gene was shown to induce cell apoptosis. It uses multiple polyadenylation sites. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:death-associated protein kinase 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: DAPK2 (cancer-related)

Jia W, Yu T, Cao X, et al.
Clinical effect of DAPK promoter methylation in gastric cancer: A systematic meta-analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(43):e5040 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The loss of death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) gene expression through promoter methylation is involved in many tumors. However, the relationship between DAPK promoter methylation and clinicopathological features of gastric cancer (GC) remains to be done. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the role of DAPK promoter methylation in GC.
METHODS: Literature databases were searched to retrieve eligible studies. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with its 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the Stata 12.0 software.
RESULTS: Final 22 available studies with 1606 GC patients and 1508 nonmalignant controls were analyzed. A significant correlation was found between DAPK promoter methylation and GC (OR = 3.23, 95% CI = 1.70-6.14, P < 0.001), but we did not find any significant association in Caucasian population, and in blood samples in subgroup analyses. DAPK promoter methylation was associated with tumor stage and lymph node status (OR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.49-0.96, P = 0.03; OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.12-2.01, P = 0.007; respectively). However, we did not find that DAPK promoter methylation was associated with gender status and tumor histology.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggested that DAPK promoter methylation may play a key role in the carcinogenesis and progression of GC. In addition, methylated DAPK was a susceptible gene for Asian population. However, more studies with larger subjects should be done to further evaluate the effect of DAPK promoter methylation in GC patients, especially in blood and Caucasian population subgroup.

Kaur M, Singh A, Singh K, et al.
Development of a multiplex MethyLight assay for the detection of DAPK1 and SOX1 methylation in epithelial ovarian cancer in a north Indian population.
Genes Genet Syst. 2016; 91(3):175-181 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. It is very heterogeneous at the clinical, histopathological and molecular levels and is caused by the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes in regulatory genes. More than 90% of ovarian cancers are epithelial in origin. Ovarian cancer is typically asymptomatic in its early stages, and, due to difficulties in early detection, most ovarian cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage. The positive predictive value of CA-125, a routinely used serum protein marker, is < 30%; therefore, for effective screening, there is a need to develop a marker with high sensitivity for early detection. Development of blood-based biomarkers that detect DNA methylation in cell-free tumor-specific DNA is now being considered as a potential approach for the early diagnosis of cancer. Our objective in this study was to develop an absolute quantitative method, the MethyLight assay, to detect the promoter methylation status of two tumor suppressor genes. We analyzed the methylation level of the promoter regions of these genes in 42 tumor samples using the MethyLight assay. SOX1 promoter methylation was significantly higher in cancer samples than in normal samples (P = 0.011), whereas this difference between cancer and normal samples was not significant for DAPK1 promoter methylation (P = 0.18), when analyzed separately in a singleplex assay, whereas the detection frequency and significance level increased several-fold when these genes were analyzed together in a multiplex assay (P = 0.0004). The sensitivity was found to be 62% and 83% for DAPK1 and SOX1, respectively, when analyzed separately in the singleplex assay, but increased to 90% in the multiplex assay when either or both of the SOX1 and the DAPK1 gene promoters showed methylation.

Shingu T, Holmes L, Henry V, et al.
Suppression of RAF/MEK or PI3K synergizes cytotoxicity of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors in glioma tumor-initiating cells.
J Transl Med. 2016; 14:46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The majority of glioblastomas have aberrant receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)/RAS/phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways and malignant glioma cells are thought to be addicted to these signaling pathways for their survival and proliferation. However, recent studies suggest that monotherapies or inappropriate combination therapies using the molecular targeted drugs have limited efficacy possibly because of tumor heterogeneities, signaling redundancy and crosstalk in intracellular signaling network, indicating necessity of rationale and methods for efficient personalized combination treatments. Here, we evaluated the growth of colonies obtained from glioma tumor-initiating cells (GICs) derived from glioma sphere culture (GSC) in agarose and examined the effects of combination treatments on GICs using targeted drugs that affect the signaling pathways to which most glioma cells are addicted.
METHODS: Human GICs were cultured in agarose and treated with inhibitors of RTKs, non-receptor kinases or transcription factors. The colony number and volume were analyzed using a colony counter, and Chou-Talalay combination indices were evaluated. Autophagy and apoptosis were also analyzed. Phosphorylation of proteins was evaluated by reverse phase protein array and immunoblotting.
RESULTS: Increases of colony number and volume in agarose correlated with the Gompertz function. GICs showed diverse drug sensitivity, but inhibitions of RTK and RAF/MEK or PI3K by combinations such as EGFR inhibitor and MEK inhibitor, sorafenib and U0126, erlotinib and BKM120, and EGFR inhibitor and sorafenib showed synergy in different subtypes of GICs. Combination of erlotinib and sorafenib, synergistic in GSC11, induced apoptosis and autophagic cell death associated with suppressed Akt and ERK signaling pathways and decreased nuclear PKM2 and β-catenin in vitro, and tended to improve survival of nude mice bearing GSC11 brain tumor. Reverse phase protein array analysis of the synergistic treatment indicated involvement of not only MEK and PI3K signaling pathways but also others associated with glucose metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, gene transcription, histone methylation, iron transport, stress response, cell cycle, and apoptosis.
CONCLUSION: Inhibiting RTK and RAF/MEK or PI3K could induce synergistic cytotoxicity but personalization is necessary. Examining colonies in agarose initiated by GICs from each patient may be useful for drug sensitivity testing in personalized cancer therapy.

Sun Y, Li S, Shen K, et al.
DAPK1, MGMT and RARB promoter methylation as biomarkers for high-grade cervical lesions.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(11):14939-45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gene promoter methylation may be used a potential biomarker for detecting solid tumor including cervical cancer. Here, we used methylation sensitive-high resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis to detecting promoter methylation ratios of DAPK1, MGMT and RARB gene in patients with different cervical disease grade. The detection of gene promoter methylation was conducted in two hundred fifty patients' samples including normal cytology (n=48), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1, n=54), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2, n=47), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3, n=56) and cervical squamous cell carcinomas (SCS, n=45). We found there were a significant positive correlation between the promoter methylation status of DAPK1 and cervical disease grade (P=0.022). In addition, the methylated promoters of DAPK1 combined with MGMT, MGMT combined with RARB, DAPK1 combined with RARB were positive correlated with cervical disease grade (P < 0.05). All three genes promoters methylated were positive correlated with cervical disease grade (P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves was conducted to evaluate whether the three genes methylation could be used to be a potential marker for diagnosing high grade cervical disease (HSIL and SCC). The cutoff values for the methylation rates of all these genes were 0-5%. Regrettably, only the methylation of MGMT combined with DAPK1 gave 43.4% sensitivity and 68.6% specificity. The current results indicated that MS-HRM-based testing for DNA methylations of MGMT plus DAPK1 genes holds some promise for high grade cervical disease screening.

Li S, Fell SM, Surova O, et al.
The 1p36 Tumor Suppressor KIF 1Bβ Is Required for Calcineurin Activation, Controlling Mitochondrial Fission and Apoptosis.
Dev Cell. 2016; 36(2):164-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
KIF1Bβ is a candidate 1p36 tumor suppressor that regulates apoptosis in the developing sympathetic nervous system. We found that KIF1Bβ activates the Ca(2+)-dependent phosphatase calcineurin (CN) by stabilizing the CN-calmodulin complex, relieving enzymatic autoinhibition and enabling CN substrate recognition. CN is the key mediator of cellular responses to Ca(2+) signals and its deregulation is implicated in cancer, cardiac, neurodegenerative, and immune disease. We show that KIF1Bβ affects mitochondrial dynamics through CN-dependent dephosphorylation of Dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), causing mitochondrial fission and apoptosis. Furthermore, KIF1Bβ actuates recognition of all known CN substrates, implying a general mechanism for KIF1Bβ in Ca(2+) signaling and how Ca(2+)-dependent signaling is executed by CN. Pathogenic KIF1Bβ mutations previously identified in neuroblastomas and pheochromocytomas all fail to activate CN or stimulate DRP1 dephosphorylation. Importantly, KIF1Bβ and DRP1 are silenced in 1p36 hemizygous-deleted neuroblastomas, indicating that deregulation of calcineurin and mitochondrial dynamics contributes to high-risk and poor-prognosis neuroblastoma.

Kupcinskaite-Noreikiene R, Ugenskiene R, Noreika A, et al.
Gene methylation profile of gastric cancerous tissue according to tumor site in the stomach.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is considerable information on the methylation of the promoter regions of different genes involved in gastric carcinogenesis. However, there is a lack of information on how this epigenetic process differs in tumors originating at different sites in the stomach. The aim of this study is to assess the methylation profiles of the MLH1, MGMT, and DAPK-1 genes in cancerous tissues from different stomach sites.
METHODS: Samples were acquired from 81 patients suffering stomach adenocarcinoma who underwent surgery for gastric cancer in the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Hospital Kaunas Clinics in 2009-2012. Gene methylation was investigated with methylation-specific PCR. The study was approved by the Lithuanian Biomedical Research Ethics Committee.
RESULTS: The frequencies of methylation in cancerous tissues from the upper, middle, and lower thirds of the stomach were 11.1, 23.1, and 45.4%, respectively, for MLH1; 22.2, 30.8, and 57.6%, respectively, for MGMT; and 44.4, 48.7, and 51.5%, respectively, for DAPK-1. MLH1 and MGMT methylation was observed more often in the lower third of the stomach than in the upper third (p < 0.05). In the middle third, DAPK-1 promoter methylation was related to more-advanced disease in the lymph nodes (N2-3 compared with N0-1 [p = 0.02]) and advanced tumor stage (stage III rather than stages I-II [p = 0.05]). MLH1 and MGMT methylation correlated inversely when the tumor was located in the lower third of the stomach (coefficient, -0.48; p = 0.01). DAPK-1 and MLH1 methylation correlated inversely in tumors in the middle-third of the stomach (coefficient, -0.41; p = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Gene promoter methylation depends on the gastric tumor location.

Agarwal T, Annamalai N, Maiti TK, Arsad H
Biophysical changes of ATP binding pocket may explain loss of kinase activity in mutant DAPK3 in cancer: A molecular dynamic simulation analysis.
Gene. 2016; 580(1):17-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
DAPK3 belongs to family of DAPK (death-associated protein kinases) and is involved in the regulation of progression of the cell cycle, cell proliferation, apoptosis and autophagy. It is considered as a tumor suppressor kinase, suggesting the loss of its function in case of certain specific mutations. The T112M, D161N and P216S mutations in DAPK3 have been observed in cancer patients. These DAPK3 mutants have been associated with very low kinase activity, which results in the cellular progression towards cancer. However, a clear understanding of the structural and biophysical variations that occur in DAPK3 with these mutations, resulting in the decreased kinase activity has yet not been deciphered. We performed a molecular dynamic simulation study to investigate such structural variations. Our results revealed that mutations caused a significant structural variation in DAPK3, majorly concentrated in the flexible loops that form part of the ATP binding pocket. Interestingly, D161N and P216S mutations collapsed the ATP binding pocket through flexible loops invasion, hindering ATP binding which resulted in very low kinase activity. On the contrary, T112M mutant DAPK3 reduces ATP binding potential through outward distortion of flexible loops. In addition, the mutant lacked characteristic features of the active protein kinase including proper interaction between HR/FD and DFG motifs, well structured hydrophobic spine and Lys42-Glu64 salt bridge interaction. These observations could possibly explain the underlying mechanism associated with the loss of kinase activity with T112M, D161N and P216S mutation in DAPK3.

Yang B, Yang ZG, Gao B, et al.
5-Aza-CdR can reverse gefitinib resistance caused by DAPK gene promoter methylation in lung adenocarcinoma cells.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(10):12961-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To explore the relationship between death associated protein kinase (DAPK) gene promoter methylation and gefitinib resistance in Lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. EGFR-mutation lung adenocarcinoma cell lines PC9 and the gefitinib-resistant with T790M Mutation cell lines PC9/GR were chosen as cell models, and PC9/GR were treated with 5-aza-CdR (1 μmol/L). The experiments were divided into three groups: PC9 group, PC9/GR group and PC9/GR with 5-Aza-CdR pretreatment group. Treat three groups cell with different concentrations gefitinib, the cell proliferation was determined by MTT assay. The apoptotic rates were detected by flow cytometry. The methylation of DAPK gene promoter region was examined by methylation-specific PCR (MSP). The expressions of DAPK protein were detected by Western blot. MTT results showed that the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of PC9 and PC9/GR cell lines increase from 0.12 μmol/L to 8.52 μmol/L. But after treated with 5-aza-CdR, the IC50 of PC9/GR cell lines decrease to 4.35 μmol/L, and the resistance index (RI) decrease from 71 to 36 (P<0.05). Flow cytometry results showed that the apoptosis rate were 24.80% ± 0.28%, 12.70% ± 0.31%, 19.8% ± 0.15% respectively. MSP results showed that DAPK gene promoter region was un-methylated in PC9 cells and methylated in PC9/GR cells, when treated with 5-aza-CdR, DAPK gene promoter region was partly methylated in PC9/GR cells (P<0.05). Western blot results showed that the levels of DAPK protein were reduced significantly in PC9/GR cell lines compared with PC9, and after treated with 5-aza-CdR, the expression levels of DAPK protein in PC9/GR were increased (P<0.05). In conclusion, DAPK gene promoter methylation may contribute to the downregulation of DAPK gene and protein, and consequently affect the sensitivity of gefitinib in lung adenocarcinoma lines, induced gefitinib resistance. But 5-Aza-CdR can reverse gefitinib resistance by demethylation of DAPK gene promoter.

Mitsui Y, Chang I, Fukuhara S, et al.
CYP1B1 promotes tumorigenesis via altered expression of CDC20 and DAPK1 genes in renal cell carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:942 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) has been shown to be up-regulated in many types of cancer including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Several reports have shown that CYP1B1 can influence the regulation of tumor development; however, its role in RCC has not been well investigated. The aim of the present study was to determine the functional effects of CYP1B1 gene on tumorigenesis in RCC.
METHODS: Expression of CYP1B1 was determined in RCC cell lines, and tissue microarrays of 96 RCC and 25 normal tissues. To determine the biological significance of CYP1B1 in RCC progression, we silenced the gene in Caki-1 and 769-P cells by RNA interference and performed various functional analyses.
RESULTS: First, we confirmed that CYP1B1 protein expression was significantly higher in RCC cell lines compared to normal kidney tissue. This trend was also observed in RCC samples (p < 0.01). Interestingly, CYP1B1 expression was associated with tumor grade and stage. Next, we silenced the gene in Caki-1 and 769-P cells by RNA interference and performed various functional analyses to determine the biological significance of CYP1B1 in RCC progression. Inhibition of CYP1B1 expression resulted in decreased cell proliferation, migration and invasion of RCC cells. In addition, reduction of CYP1B1 induced cellular apoptosis in Caki-1. We also found that these anti-tumor effects on RCC cells caused by CYP1B1 depletion may be due to alteration of CDC20 and DAPK1 expression based on gene microarray and confirmed by real-time PCR. Interestingly, CYP1B1 expression was associated with CDC20 and DAPK1 expression in clinical samples.
CONCLUSIONS: CYP1B1 may promote RCC development by inducing CDC20 expression and inhibiting apoptosis through the down-regulation of DAPK1. Our results demonstrate that CYP1B1 can be a potential tumor biomarker and a target for anticancer therapy in RCC.

Park SJ, Lee H, Jo DS, et al.
Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 post-transcriptionally regulates Drp1 expression in neuroblastoma cells.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015; 1849(12):1423-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Excessive mitochondrial fission is associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) possesses specific fission activity in the mitochondria and peroxisomes. Various post-translational modifications of Drp1 are known to modulate complex mitochondrial dynamics. However, the post-transcriptional regulation of Drp1 remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1) regulates Drp1 expression at the post-transcriptional level. hnRNP A1 directly interacts with Drp1 mRNA at its 3'UTR region, and enhances translation potential without affecting mRNA stability. Down-regulation of hnRNP A1 induces mitochondrial elongation by reducing Drp1 expression. Moreover, depletion of hnRNP A1 suppresses 3-NP-mediated mitochondrial fission and dysfunction. In contrast, over-expression of hnRNP A1 promotes mitochondrial fragmentation by increasing Drp1 expression. Additionally, hnRNP A1 significantly exacerbates 3-NP-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in neuroblastoma cells. Interestingly, treatment with 3-NP induces subcellular translocation of hnRNP A1 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, which accelerates the increase in Drp1 expression in hnRNP A1 over-expressing cells. Collectively, our findings suggest that hnRNP A1 controls mitochondrial dynamics by post-transcriptional regulation of Drp1.

Wang W, Wang J, Li Z, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation of PTPL1, PTPN6, DAPK, p16 and 5-azacitidine inhibits growth in DLBCL.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(1):139-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant hypermethylation of CpG islands of tumor suppressor is one of the mechanisms for epigenetic loss of gene function. In the present study, the methylation status of the promoter regions of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPN) 6, DAPK, and p16 were studied using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) in 26 diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) lymphomas. In OCI-LY1 cell line, gene methylation status, expression of PTPL1 and its reactivation by DNA demethylation was determined by PCR and on the protein level by western blotting. ELISA-like reaction was used to detect global DNA methylation measurement. Induction of apoptosis by 5-azacitidine was analyzed by Annexin V/PI staining and flow cytometry. Our results show that hypermethylation of the PTPN6 gene promoter region was found in 15.4% (4/26), the DAPK gene promoter region in 30.8% (8/26), the p16 gene promoter region in 7.7% (2/26). Notably, we identified that PTPL1 was hypermethylated and transcriptionally silenced in OCI-LY1 cell line. The expression of PTPL1 was re-inducible by 5-azacytidine. 5-azacytidine also inhibits the proliferation and decreases the global methylation level of the OCI-LY1 cell line. We can conclude from our study that a higher prevalence of methylation of PTPL1, PTPN6, DAPK and p16 occur in DLBCL. Our data also highlights 5-azacytidine as a potential therapeutic candidate for DLBCL. Further studies are required to substantiate the role of methylation of PTPL1, PTPN6, DAPK and p16 as a marker in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Zhang J, Yu XL, Zheng GF, Zhao F
DAPK promoter methylation status correlates with tumor metastasis and poor prognosis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Biomark. 2015; 15(5):609-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This meta-analysis investigated the correlation between the promoter methylation of death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) and the clinicopathological features in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHOD: Scientific literature databases were exhaustively searched to retrieve published studies relevant to DAPK methylation and NSCLC. Retrieved studies published in English and Chinese languages were screened according to the stringent predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria, and high quality studies were selected for meta-analysis. All statistical analyses were performed utilizing STATA software (Version 12.0, Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA).
RESULTS: A total of 14 published studies (5 in English and 9 in Chinese) were enrolled in the present meta-analysis, and contained 1238 patients with NSCLC. The results indicated that NSCLC patients with metastatic phenotype were strongly associated with significantly higher methylation rate of DAPK compared to NSCLC patients without metastasis. Additionally, in NSCLC patients carrying tumors with DAPK methylation, the 5-year survival rate was remarkedly lower than NSCLC patients without DAPK methylation. However, we did not find significant correlation between DAPK methylation and histological stage or tumor node metastasis (TNM) stage in NSCLC patients.
CONCLUSION: Our meta-analysis results reveal that DAPK promoter methylation might be associated with tumor metastasis and poor prognosis in NSCLC patients, although no correlation with histological types and TNM stage in NSCLC patients were found.

Spitzwieser M, Holzweber E, Pfeiler G, et al.
Applicability of HIN-1, MGMT and RASSF1A promoter methylation as biomarkers for detecting field cancerization in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2015; 17:125 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: It has been shown in some articles that genetic and epigenetic abnormalities cannot only be found in tumor tissues but also in adjacent regions that appear histologically normal. This phenomenon is metaphorically called field cancerization or field defect. Field cancerization is regarded as clinically significant because it is assumed to be an important factor in local recurrence of cancer. As the field showing these molecular abnormalities may not be removed completely by surgery, these changes might lead to neoplasms and subsequent transformation to a tumor. We aimed to investigate the applicability of the methylation status of six tumor suppressor genes as biomarkers for detecting field cancerization in breast cancer.
METHODS: The promoter methylation status of CCND2, DAPK1, GSTP1, HIN-1, MGMT and RASSF1A was determined by methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis. MS-HRM methods for CCND2, MGMT and RASSF1A were developed in-house, primer sequences for DAPK1, GSTP1 and HIN-1 have already been published. Biopsy samples were taken from tumor, tumor-adjacent and tumor-distant tissue from 17 breast cancer patients. Normal breast tissues of four healthy women served as controls.
RESULTS: All MS-HRM methods proved to be very sensitive. LODs were in the range from 0.1 to 1.5 %, LOQs ranged from 0.3 to 5.3 %. A total of 94 %, 82 % and 65 % of the tumors showed methylation of RASSF1A, HIN-1 and MGMT promoters, respectively. The methylation status of these promoters was significantly lower in tumor-distant tissues than in tumor tissues. Tumor-adjacent tissues showed higher methylation status of RASSF1A, HIN-1 and MGMT promoters than tumor-distant tissues, indicating field cancerization. The methylation status of the HIN-1 promoter in tumor-adjacent tissues was found to correlate strongly with that in the corresponding tumors (r = 0.785, p < 0.001), but not with that in the corresponding tumor-distant tissues (r = 0.312, p = 0.239).
CONCLUSIONS: Among the gene promoters investigated, the methylation status of the HIN-1 promoter can be considered the best suitable biomarker for detecting field cancerization. Further investigation is needed to test whether it can be used for defining surgical margins in order to prevent future recurrence of breast cancer.

Agodi A, Barchitta M, Quattrocchi A, et al.
DAPK1 Promoter Methylation and Cervical Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and a Meta-Analysis.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0135078 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The Death-Associated Protein Kinase 1 (DAPK1) gene has been frequently investigated in cervical cancer (CC). The aim of the present study was to carry out a systematic review and a meta-analysis in order to evaluate DAPK1 promoter methylation as an epigenetic marker for CC risk.
METHODS: A systematic literature search was carried out. The Cochrane software package Review Manager 5.2 was used. The fixed-effects or random-effects models, according to heterogeneity across studies, were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs). Furthermore, subgroup analyses were conducted by histological type, assays used to evaluate DAPK1 promoter methylation, and control sample source.
RESULTS: A total of 20 papers, published between 2001 and 2014, on 1929 samples, were included in the meta-analysis. DAPK1 promoter methylation was associated with an increased CC risk based on the random effects model (OR: 21.20; 95%CI = 11.14-40.35). Omitting the most heterogeneous study, the between study heterogeneity decreased and the association increased (OR: 24.13; 95% CI = 15.83-36.78). The association was also confirmed in all the subgroups analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: A significant strong association between DAPK1 promoter methylation and CC was shown and confirmed independently by histological tumor type, method used to evaluate methylation and source of control samples. Methylation markers may have value in early detection of CC precursor lesions, provide added reassurances of safety for women who are candidates for less frequent screens, and predict outcomes of women infected with human papilloma virus.

Melchers LJ, Clausen MJ, Mastik MF, et al.
Identification of methylation markers for the prediction of nodal metastasis in oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
Epigenetics. 2015; 10(9):850-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypermethylation is an important mechanism for the dynamic regulation of gene expression, necessary for metastasizing tumour cells. Our aim is to identify methylation tumour markers that have a predictive value for the presence of regional lymph node metastases in patients with oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OOSCC). Significantly differentially expressed genes were retrieved from four reported microarray expression profiles comparing pN0 and pN+ head-neck tumours, and one expression array identifying functionally hypermethylated genes. Additional metastasis-associated genes were included from the literature. Thus genes were selected that influence the development of nodal metastases and might be regulated by methylation. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) primers were designed and tested on 8 head-neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines and technically validated on 10 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) OOSCC cases. Predictive value was assessed in a clinical series of 70 FFPE OOSCC with pathologically determined nodal status. Five out of 28 methylation markers (OCLN, CDKN2A, MGMT, MLH1 and DAPK1) were frequently differentially methylated in OOSCC. Of these, MGMT methylation was associated with pN0 status (P = 0.02) and with lower immunoexpression (P = 0.02). DAPK1 methylation was associated with pN+ status (P = 0.008) but did not associate with protein expression. In conclusion, out of 28 candidate genes, two (7%) showed a predictive value for the pN status. Both genes, DAPK1 and MGMT, have predictive value for nodal metastasis in a clinical group of OOSCC. Therefore DNA methylation markers are capable of contributing to diagnosis and treatment selection in OOSCC. To efficiently identify additional new methylation markers, genome-wide methods are needed.

Konstantakou EG, Voutsinas GE, Velentzas AD, et al.
3-BrPA eliminates human bladder cancer cells with highly oncogenic signatures via engagement of specific death programs and perturbation of multiple signaling and metabolic determinants.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:135 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Urinary bladder cancer is one of the most fatal and expensive diseases of industrialized world. Despite the strenuous efforts, no seminal advances have been achieved for its clinical management. Given the importance of metabolic reprogramming in cancer cell survival and growth, we have herein employed 3-BrPA, a halogenated derivative of pyruvate and historically considered inhibitor of glycolysis, to eliminate bladder cancer cells with highly oncogenic molecular signatures.
METHODS: Bladder cancer cells were exposed to 3-BrPA in the absence or presence of several specific inhibitors. Cell viability was determined by MTT and flow-cytometry assays; cell death, signaling activity and metabolic integrity by Western blotting and immunofluorescence; mutant-gene profiling by DNA sequencing; and gene expression by RT-sqPCR.
RESULTS: 3-BrPA could activate dose-dependent apoptosis (type 1 PCD) and regulated necrosis (type 3 PCD) of T24 (grade III; H-Ras(G12V); p53(ΔY126)), but not RT4 (grade I), cells, with PARP, MLKL, Drp1 and Nec-7-targeted components critically orchestrating necrotic death. However, similarly to RIPK1 and CypD, p53 presented with non-essential contribution to 3-BrPA-induced cellular collapse, while reactivation of mutant p53 with PRIMA-1 resulted in strong synergism of the two agents. Given the reduced expression of MPC components (likely imposing mitochondrial dysfunction) in T24 cells, the suppression of constitutive autophagy (required by cells carrying oncogenic Ras; also, type 2 PCD) and derangement of glucose-homeostasis determinants by 3-BrPA critically contribute to drug-directed depletion of ATP cellular stores. This bioenergetic crisis is translated to severe dysregulation of Akt/FoxO/GSK-3, mTOR/S6, AMPK and MAPK (p44/42, p38 and SAPK/JNK) signaling pathways in 3-BrPA-treated T24 cells. Sensitivity to 3-BrPA (and tolerance to glucose deprivation) does not rely on B-Raf(V600E) or K-Ras(G13D) mutant oncogenic proteins, but partly depends on aberrant signaling activities of Akt, MAPK and AMPK kinases. Interestingly, MCT1- and macropinocytosis-mediated influx of 3-BrPA in T24 represents the principal mechanism that regulates cellular responsiveness to the drug. Besides its capacity to affect transcription in gene-dependent manner, 3-BrPA can also induce GLUT4-specific splicing silencing in both sensitive and resistant cells, thus dictating alternative routes of drug trafficking.
CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, it seems that 3-BrPA represents a promising agent for bladder cancer targeted therapy.

Tian X, Xu L, Wang P
MiR-191 inhibits TNF-α induced apoptosis of ovarian endometriosis and endometrioid carcinoma cells by targeting DAPK1.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(5):4933-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Emerging evidence showed that miRNA dysregulation is involved in the development of endometriosis and may contribute to pathological process of endometriosis associated ovarian cancer (EAOC). miR-191 is one of the most differentially expressed miRNAs in pairwise comparisons among healthy controls, endometriosis, and EAOC patients. However, its regulative network in endometriosis and EAOC are still not clear. This study explored the role of miR-191 in TNF-α induced cell death in ovarian endometriosis and endometrioid carcinoma cells. Based on tissues samples collected from healthy controls, endometriosis, and EAOC patients, this study verified significantly higher expression of miR-191 in endometriosis and endometrioid cancer. Interestingly, we also observed inverse expression trend between miR-191 and DAPK1, a positive mediator of programmed cell death. By conducting luciferase assay, we confirmed miR-191 can directly target DAPK1 and regulate its expression. Functionally, we also found DAPK1 can promote TNF-α induced cell death. DAPK1 knockdown in endometriosis CRL-7566 cells can weaken its response to TNF-α induced cell death, while its overexpression in endometrioid cancer cells CRL-11731 enhanced the response. These functions of DAPK1 can be directly modulated by miR-191. Therefore, the miR-191-DAPK1 axis may play an important role modulating the response of ovarian endometriosis and endometrioid carcinoma cells to death-inducers and might contribute malignant transformation of endometriosis.

Cai Z, Cao R, Zhang K, et al.
Oncogenic miR-17/20a Forms a Positive Feed-forward Loop with the p53 Kinase DAPK3 to Promote Tumorigenesis.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(32):19967-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRs) are a class of small regulatory RNAs that have been implicated in diverse biological pathways, including cancer. miR-17/20a encoded by the c13orf25 locus is among the first miRs discovered to have oncogenic functions. The E2F family members have been established as the targets for these oncomiRs, which form a negative feedback loop to control cell cycle progression. However, this pathway does not seem to be sufficient to account for elevated expression of these oncomiRs in cancer cells to promote tumorigenesis. Here we report that miR-17/20a targets a p53 activating kinase DAPK3, leading to p53-dependent transcriptional de-repression of the oncomiRs. We demonstrate that DAPK3 plays a central role in preventing miR-17/20a depletion-induced genome instability and in miR-17/20a overexpression-triggered tumor formation. This newly identified tumorigenic pathway may thus contribute to miR-17/20a amplification and tumor growth in diverse human cancers.

Tsai YT, Chuang MJ, Tang SH, et al.
Novel Cancer Therapeutics with Allosteric Modulation of the Mitochondrial C-Raf-DAPK Complex by Raf Inhibitor Combination Therapy.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(17):3568-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells. Mitochondrial C-Raf is a potential cancer therapeutic target, as it regulates mitochondrial function and is localized to the mitochondria by its N-terminal domain. However, Raf inhibitor monotherapy can induce S338 phosphorylation of C-Raf (pC-Raf(S338)) and impede therapy. This study identified the interaction of C-Raf with S308 phosphorylated DAPK (pDAPK(S308)), which together became colocalized in the mitochondria to facilitate mitochondrial remodeling. Combined use of the Raf inhibitors sorafenib and GW5074 had synergistic anticancer effects in vitro and in vivo, but targeted mitochondrial function, rather than the canonical Raf signaling pathway. C-Raf depletion in knockout MEF(C-Raf-/-) or siRNA knockdown ACHN renal cancer cells abrogated the cytotoxicity of combination therapy. Crystal structure simulation showed that GW5074 bound to C-Raf and induced a C-Raf conformational change that enhanced sorafenib-binding affinity. In the presence of pDAPK(S308), this drug-target interaction compromised the mitochondrial targeting effect of the N-terminal domain of C-Raf, which induced two-hit damages to cancer cells. First, combination therapy facilitated pC-Raf(S338) and pDAPK(S308) translocation from mitochondria to cytoplasm, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Second, ROS facilitated PP2A-mediated dephosphorylation of pDAPK(S308) to DAPK. PP2A then dissociated from the C-Raf-DAPK complex and induced profound cancer cell death. Increased pDAPK(S308) modification was also observed in renal cancer tissues, which correlated with poor disease-free survival and poor overall survival in renal cancer patients. Besides mediating the anticancer effect, pDAPK(S308) may serve as a predictive biomarker for Raf inhibitors combination therapy, suggesting an ideal preclinical model that is worthy of clinical translation.

Zhao J, Zhao D, Poage GM, et al.
Death-associated protein kinase 1 promotes growth of p53-mutant cancers.
J Clin Invest. 2015; 125(7):2707-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Estrogen receptor-negative (ER-negative) breast cancers are extremely aggressive and associated with poor prognosis. In particular, effective treatment strategies are limited for patients diagnosed with triple receptor-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which also carries the worst prognosis of all forms of breast cancer; therefore, extensive studies have focused on the identification of molecularly targeted therapies for this tumor subtype. Here, we sought to identify molecular targets that are capable of suppressing tumorigenesis in TNBCs. Specifically, we found that death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) is essential for growth of p53-mutant cancers, which account for over 80% of TNBCs. Depletion or inhibition of DAPK1 suppressed growth of p53-mutant but not p53-WT breast cancer cells. Moreover, DAPK1 inhibition limited growth of other p53-mutant cancers, including pancreatic and ovarian cancers. DAPK1 mediated the disruption of the TSC1/TSC2 complex, resulting in activation of the mTOR pathway. Our studies demonstrated that high DAPK1 expression causes increased cancer cell growth and enhanced signaling through the mTOR/S6K pathway; evaluation of multiple breast cancer patient data sets revealed that high DAPK1 expression associates with worse outcomes in individuals with p53-mutant cancers. Together, our data support targeting DAPK1 as a potential therapeutic strategy for p53-mutant cancers.

Su CM, Wang MY, Hong CC, et al.
miR-520h is crucial for DAPK2 regulation and breast cancer progression.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(9):1134-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that suppress gene expression by their interaction with 3'untranslated region of specific target mRNAs. Although the dysregulation of miRNAs has been identified in human cancer, only a few of these miRNAs have been functionally documented in breast cancer. Thus, defining the important miRNA and functional target involved in chemoresistance is an urgent need for human breast cancer treatment. In this study, we, for the first time, identified a key role of miRNA 520h (miR-520h) in drug resistance. Through protecting cells from paclitaxel-induced apoptosis, expression of miR-520h promoted the drug resistance of human breast cancer cells. Bioinformatics prediction, compensatory mutation and functional validation further confirmed the essential role of miR-520h-suppressed Death-associated protein kinase 2 (DAPK2) expression, as restoring DAPK2 abolished miR-520h-promoted drug resistance, and knockdown of DAPK2 mitigated cell death caused by the depletion of miR-520h. Furthermore, we observed that higher level of miR-520h is associated with poor prognosis and lymph node metastasis in human breast cancer patients. These results show that miR-520h is not only an independent prognostic factor, but is also a potential functional target for future applications in cancer therapeutics.

Steinmann S, Scheibe K, Erlenbach-Wuensch K, et al.
Death-associated protein kinase: A molecule with functional antagonistic duality and a potential role in inflammatory bowel disease (Review).
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(1):5-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The cytoskeleton-associated serine/threonine kinase death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) has been described as a cancer gene chameleon with functional antagonistic duality in a cell type and context specific manner. The broad range of interaction partners and substrates link DAPK to inflammatory processes especially in the gut. Herein we summarize our knowledge on the role of DAPK in different cell types that play a role under inflammatory conditions in the gut. Besides some promising experimental data suggesting DAPK as an interesting drug target in inflammatory bowel disease there are many open questions regarding direct evidence for a role of DAPK in intestinal inflammation.

Sangeetha M, Deepa PR, Rishi P, et al.
Global gene deregulations in FASN silenced retinoblastoma cancer cells: molecular and clinico-pathological correlations.
J Cell Biochem. 2015; 116(11):2676-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activation of fatty acid synthase (FASN) enzyme in the de novo lipogenic pathway has been reported in various cancers including retinoblastoma (RB), a pediatric ocular cancer. The present study investigates lipogenesis-dependent survival of RB cancer cells and the associated molecular pathways in FASN silenced RB cells. The siRNA-mediated FASN gene knockdown in RB cancer cells (Y79, WERI RB1) repressed FASN mRNA and protein expressions, and decreased cancer cell viability. Global gene expression microarray analysis was performed in optimized FASN siRNA transfected and untransfected RB cells. Deregulation of various downstream cell signaling pathways such as EGFR (n = 55 genes), TGF-beta (n = 45 genes), cell cycle (n = 41 genes), MAPK (n = 39 genes), lipid metabolism (n = 23 genes), apoptosis (n = 21 genes), GPCR signaling (n = 21 genes), and oxidative phosporylation (n = 18 genes) were observed. The qRT-PCR validation in FASN knockdown RB cells revealed up-regulation of ANXA1, DAPK2, and down-regulation of SKP2, SREBP1c, RXRA, ACACB, FASN, HMGCR, USP2a genes that favored the anti-cancer effect of lipogenic inhibition in RB. The expression of these genes in primary RB tumor tissues were correlated with FASN expression, based on their clinico-pathological features. The differential phosphorylation status of the various PI3K/AKT pathway proteins (by western analysis) indicated that the FASN gene silencing indeed mediated apoptosis in RB cells through the PI3K/AKT pathway. Scratch assay clearly revealed that FASN silencing reduced the invading property of RB cancer cells. Dependence of RB cancer cells on lipid metabolism for survival and progression is implicated. Thus targeting FASN is a promising strategy in RB therapy.

Yang Q, Mas A, Diamond MP, Al-Hendy A
The Mechanism and Function of Epigenetics in Uterine Leiomyoma Development.
Reprod Sci. 2016; 23(2):163-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine leiomyomas, also known as uterine fibroids, are the most common pelvic tumors, occurring in nearly 70% of all reproductive-aged women and are the leading indication for hysterectomy worldwide. The development of uterine leiomyomas involve a complex and heterogeneous constellation of hormones, growth factors, stem cells, genetic, and epigenetic abnormalities. An increasing body of evidence emphasizes the important contribution of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of leiomyomas. Genome-wide methylation analysis demonstrates that a subset of estrogen receptor (ER) response genes exhibit abnormal hypermethylation levels that are inversely correlated with their RNA expression. Several tumor suppressor genes, including Kruppel-like factor 11 (KLF11), deleted in lung and esophageal cancer 1 (DLEC1), keratin 19 (KRT19), and death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) also display higher hypermethylation levels in leiomyomas when compared to adjacent normal tissues. The important role of active DNA demethylation was recently identified with regard to the ten-eleven translocation protein 1 and ten-eleven translocation protein 3-mediated elevated levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in leiomyoma. In addition, both histone deacetylase and histone methyltransferase are reported to be involved in the biology of leiomyomas. A number of deregulated microRNAs have been identified in leiomyomas, leading to an altered expression of their targets. More recently, the existence of side population (SP) cells with characteristics of tumor-initiating cells have been characterized in leiomyomas. These SP cells exhibit a tumorigenic capacity in immunodeficient mice when exposed to 17β-estradiol and progesterone, giving rise to fibroid-like tissue in vivo. These new findings will likely enhance our understanding of the crucial role epigenetics plays in the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyomas as well as point the way to novel therapeutic options.

Puto LA, Brognard J, Hunter T
Transcriptional Repressor DAXX Promotes Prostate Cancer Tumorigenicity via Suppression of Autophagy.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(25):15406-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The DAXX transcriptional repressor was originally associated with apoptotic cell death. However, recent evidence that DAXX represses several tumor suppressor genes, including the DAPK1 and DAPK3 protein kinases, and is up-regulated in many cancers argues that a pro-survival role may predominate in a cancer context. Here, we report that DAXX has potent growth-enhancing effects on primary prostatic malignancy through inhibition of autophagy. Through stable gene knockdown and mouse subcutaneous xenograft studies, we demonstrate that DAXX promotes tumorigenicity of human ALVA-31 and PC3 prostate cancer (PCa) cells in vivo. Importantly, DAXX represses expression of essential autophagy modulators DAPK3 and ULK1 in vivo, revealing autophagy suppression as a mechanism through which DAXX promotes PCa tumorigenicity. Furthermore, DAXX knockdown increases autophagic flux in cultured PCa cells. Finally, interrogation of the Oncomine(TM) database suggests that DAXX overexpression is associated with malignant transformation in several human cancers, including prostate and pancreatic cancers. Thus, DAXX may represent a new cancer biomarker for the detection of aggressive disease, whose tissue-specific down-regulation can serve as an improved therapeutic modality. Our results establish DAXX as a pro-survival protein in PCa and reveal that, in the early stages of tumorigenesis, autophagy suppresses prostate tumor formation.

Zhou Y, Wang M, Wu J, et al.
The clinicopathological significance of miR-1307 in chemotherapy resistant epithelial ovarian cancer.
J Ovarian Res. 2015; 8:23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We aimed to examine the expression of miR-1307 in chemosensitive and chemoresistant epithelial ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines and to analyze the clinicopathological significance of miR-1307 in ovarian cancer.
METHODS: MicroRNA microarray was used to screen differentially expressed microRNAs between the chemosensitive and chemoresistant epithelial ovarian cancer tissues. RT-PCR was used to validate the candidate microRNA. The potential target genes and their enriched biological pathways of microRNA were also analyzed. Dual Luciferase Reporter Gene Assay was conducted to validate the regulation of miRNA-1307 on the 3'-UTR of DAPK3.
RESULTS: miRNA-1307 was up-regulated in the chemoresistant epithelial ovarian cancer tissues compared to the chemosensitive counterparts. The up-regulation of miRNA-1307 was not associated with menopause, tumor differentiation state, clinical stage, and lymph node metastasis of ovarian cancer. Gene ontology analysis of miR-1307 candidate target genes indicated that miR-1307 candidate target genes were enriched in the processes of cell proliferation and differentiation, nucleotide synthesis and metabolism, and lymphocytes activation.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that miRNA-1307 may play a role in the development of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer.

Li Y, Zhu M, Zhang X, et al.
Clinical significance of DAPK promoter hypermethylation in lung cancer: a meta-analysis.
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015; 9:1785-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK) is an important serine/threonine kinase involved in various cellular processes, including apoptosis, autophagy, and inflammation. DAPK expression and activity are deregulated in a variety of diseases including cancer. Methylation of the DAPK gene is common in many types of cancer and can lead to loss of DAPK expression. However, the association between DAPK promoter hypermethylation and the clinicopathological significance of lung cancer remains unclear. In this study, we searched the MEDLINE, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases, systematically investigated the studies of DAPK promoter hypermethylation in lung cancer and quantified the association between DAPK promoter hypermethylation and its clinicopathological significance by meta-analysis. We observed that the frequency of DAPK methylation was significantly higher in lung cancer than in non-malignant lung tissues (odds ratio 6.02, 95% confidence interval 3.17-11.42, P<0.00001). The pooled results also showed the presence of a prognostic impact of DAPK gene methylation in lung cancer patients (odds ratio 3.63, 95% confidence interval 1.09-12.06, P=0.04). In addition, we summarized these findings and discuss tumor suppressor function, clinicopathological significance, and potential drug targeting of DAPK in lung cancer.

Ferreira-da-Silva A, Valacca C, Rios E, et al.
Mitochondrial dynamics protein Drp1 is overexpressed in oncocytic thyroid tumors and regulates cancer cell migration.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0122308 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oncocytic cell tumors are characterized by the accumulation of morphologically abnormal mitochondria in their cells, suggesting a role for abnormal mitochondrial biogenesis in oncocytic cell transformation. Little is known about the reason for the dysmorphology of accumulated mitochondria. The proteins regulating the morphology of mitochondria, the "mitochondria-shaping" proteins, can modulate their size and number; however, nothing is known hitherto about a possible involvement of mitochondrial dynamics in oncocytic cell transformation in tumors. Our aim was to assess the status of the mitochondria morphology and its role in oncocytic cell transformation. We therefore evaluated the expression pattern of the main mitochondrial fusion and fission proteins in a series of thyroid cell tumor samples, as well as in thyroid tumor cell lines, with and without oncocytic cell features. The expression of mitochondrial fusion (Opa1, Mfn1 and Mfn2) and fission (Drp1 and Fis1) proteins were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a series of 88 human thyroid tumors. In vitro studies, for comparative purposes and to deepen the study, were performed using TPC1--a papillary thyroid carcinoma derived cell line--and XTC.UC1, an oncocytic follicular thyroid carcinoma-derived cell line. Both IHC and in vitro protein analyses showed an overall increase in the levels of "mitochondrial-shaping" proteins in oncocytic thyroid tumors. Furthermore, overexpression of the pro-fission protein Drp1 was found to be associated with malignant oncocytic thyroid tumors. Interestingly, genetic and pharmacological blockage of Drp1 activity was able to influence thyroid cancer cells' migration/invasion ability, a feature of tumor malignancy. In this study we show that unbalanced mitochondrial dynamics characterize the malignant features of thyroid oncocytic cell tumors, and participate in the acquisition of the migrating phenotype.

Wazir U, Sanders AJ, Wazir AM, et al.
Effects of the knockdown of death-associated protein 3 expression on cell adhesion, growth and migration in breast cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(5):2575-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
The death-associated protein 3 (DAP3) is a highly conserved phosphoprotein involved in the regulation of autophagy. A previous clinical study by our group suggested an association between low DAP3 expression and clinicopathological parameters of human breast cancer. In the present study, we intended to determine the role of DAP3 in cancer cell behaviour in the context of human breast cancer. We developed knockdown sub-lines of MCF7 and MDA-MB-231, and performed growth, adhesion, invasion assays and electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) studies of post-wound migration of the cells. In addition, we studied the mRNA expression of caspase 8 and 9, death ligand signal enhancer (DELE), IFN-β promoter stimulator 1 (IPS1), cyclin D1 and p21 in the control and knockdown sub-lines. The knockdown sub-lines of MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 had significantly increased adhesion and decreased growth when compared to the controls. Furthermore, invasion and migration were significantly increased in the MDA-MB-231DAP3kd cells vs. the controls. The expression of caspase 9 and IPS1, known components of the apoptosis pathway, were significantly reduced in the MCF7DAP3kd cells (p=0.05 and p=0.003, respectively). We conclude that DAP3 silencing contributes to breast carcinogenesis by increasing cell adhesion, migration and invasion. It is possible that this may be due to the activity of focal adhesion kinase further downstream of the anoikis pathway. Further research in this direction would be beneficial in increasing our understanding of the mechanisms underlying human breast cancer.

Don KR, Ramani P, Ramshankar V, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation patterns of P16, DAPK and MGMT in oral squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Indian J Dent Res. 2014 Nov-Dec; 25(6):797-805 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a common cancer world-wide that is highly lethal due to its recurrence and metastasis. Methylation is a common epigenetic mechanism that leads to gene silencing in tumors and could be a useful biomarker in OSCC. The prevalence of P16, death-associated protein kinase (DAPK) and O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter hypermethylation in OSCC has been evaluated for several years while the results remain controversial.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review is to critically analyze and perform a meta-analysis on the various studies in the literature that have reported the promoter hypermethylation of P16, DAPK and MGMT genes in OSCC.
SEARCH STRATEGY: Articles were searched and selected through PubMed. Hand search from the relevant journals was also performed. Articles were reviewed and analyzed.
RESULTS: The estimated prevalence of P16 methylation was 43%, DAPK methylation was 39.7% and MGMT methylation was 39.8%. Heterogeneity in methylation prevalences and correlations with the clinical outcomes of the disease prevailed in various studies.
CONCLUSION: We can conclude from our systematic review that a higher prevalence of methylation of P16, DAPK and MGMT occur in OSCC. Further studies are required to substantiate the role of methylation of P16, DAPK and MGMT as a marker in OSCC.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. DAPK2, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancer-genetics.org/DAPK2.htm Accessed:

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