Gene Summary

Gene:EEF1E1; eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 epsilon 1
Aliases: P18, AIMP3
Summary:This gene encodes a multifunctional protein that localizes to both the cytoplasm and nucleus. In the cytoplasm, the encoded protein is an auxiliary component of the macromolecular aminoacyl-tRNA synthase complex. However, its mouse homolog has been shown to translocate to the nucleus in response to DNA damage, and it plays a positive role in ATM/ATR-mediated p53 activation. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. Read-through transcription also exists between this gene and the neighboring downstream MUTED (muted homolog) gene. An EEF1E1-related pseudogene has been identified on chromosome 2. [provided by RefSeq, Dec 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 epsilon-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Muscle, Smooth
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Chromosome 6
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Single-Stranded Conformational Polymorphism
  • Cystectomy
  • TP53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cancer DNA
  • EEF1E1
  • Peptide Elongation Factors
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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: EEF1E1 (cancer-related)

Subash-Babu P, Alshammari GM, Ignacimuthu S, Alshatwi AA
Epoxy clerodane diterpene inhibits MCF-7 human breast cancer cell growth by regulating the expression of the functional apoptotic genes Cdkn2A, Rb1, mdm2 and p53.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 87:388-396 [PubMed] Related Publications
Systematic analyses of plants that are used in traditional medicine may lead to the discovery of novel cytotoxic secondary metabolites. Diterpene possesses multiple bioactivities; here, epoxy clerodane diterpene (ECD) was isolated from Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) stem and shown potential antiproliferative effect in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The antiproliferative effect of ECD on MCF-7 cells was systematically analyzed by cell and nuclear morphology, alterations in oxidative stress, and the expression of tumor suppressor and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis-related genes. We found that the IC50 value of ECD was 3.2μM at 24h and 2.4μM at 48h. We observed that the cytotoxicity of ECD was specific to MCF-7 cells, whereas ECD was nontoxic to normal Vero and V79 cells. ECD significantly triggered intracellular ROS generation even from the lower doses of 0.6 and 1.2μM; and it is relative to higher dose of 2.4μM. Further, we used 0.6μM, 1.2μM and 2.4μM as experimental doses to analyze the relative dose-dependent effects. Nuclear staining revealed that cells treated with the 2.4μM dose exhibited characteristic apoptotic morphological changes and that 46% of the cells were apoptotic and 4% were necrotic after 48h. ECD significantly increased the expression of mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway-related genes after 48h; we observed significantly (p≤0.05) increased expression of CYP1A, GPX, GSK3β and TNF-α and downregulated expression of NF-κB. ECD also increased the expression of tumor suppressor genes such as Cdkn2A, Rb1 and p53. In addition, we observed that ECD treatment significantly (p≤0.001) upregulated the expression of apoptotic genes such as Bax, cas-3, cas-8, cas-9 and p21 and downregulated the expression of BCL-2, mdm2 and PCNA. In conclusion, ECD regulates the expression of Cdkn2A, p53 and mdm2 and induces apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

Kotake Y, Goto T, Naemura M, et al.
Long Noncoding RNA PANDA Positively Regulates Proliferation of Osteosarcoma Cells.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(1):81-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A long noncoding RNA, p21-associated ncRNA DNA damage-activated (PANDA), associates with nuclear transcription factor Y subunit alpha (NF-YA) and inhibits its binding to promoters of apoptosis-related genes, thereby repressing apoptosis in normal human fibroblasts. Here, we show that PANDA is involved in regulating proliferation in the U2OS human osteosarcoma cell line.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: U2OS cells were transfected with siRNAs against PANDA 72 h later and they were subjected to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), quantitative RT-PCR and cell-cycle analysis.
RESULTS: PANDA was highly expressed in U2OS cells, and its expression was induced by DNA damage. Silencing PANDA caused arrest at the G1 phase of the cell cycle, leading to inhibition of cell proliferation. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that silencing PANDA increased mRNA levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p18, which caused G1 phase arrest.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that PANDA promotes G1-S transition by repressing p18 transcription, and thus promotes U2OS cell proliferation.

Cha S, Lee J, Shin JY, et al.
Clinical application of genomic profiling to find druggable targets for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients with metastasis.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers are characterized by biological features and clinical outcomes distinct from those of other age groups, the molecular profile of AYA cancers has not been well defined. In this study, we analyzed cancer genomes from rare types of metastatic AYA cancers to identify driving and/or druggable genetic alterations.
METHODS: Prospectively collected AYA tumor samples from seven different patients were analyzed using three different genomics platforms (whole-exome sequencing, whole-transcriptome sequencing or OncoScan™). Using well-known bioinformatics tools (bwa, Picard, GATK, MuTect, and Somatic Indel Detector) and our annotation approach with open access databases (DAVID and DGIdb), we processed sequencing data and identified driving genetic alterations and their druggability.
RESULTS: The mutation frequencies of AYA cancers were lower than those of other adult cancers (median = 0.56), except for a germ cell tumor with hypermutation. We identified patient-specific genetic alterations in candidate driving genes: RASA2 and NF1 (prostate cancer), TP53 and CDKN2C (olfactory neuroblastoma), FAT1, NOTCH1, and SMAD4 (head and neck cancer), KRAS (urachal carcinoma), EML4-ALK (lung cancer), and MDM2 and PTEN (liposarcoma). We then suggested potential drugs for each patient according to his or her altered genes and related pathways. By comparing candidate driving genes between AYA cancers and those from all age groups for the same type of cancer, we identified different driving genes in prostate cancer and a germ cell tumor in AYAs compared with all age groups, whereas three common alterations (TP53, FAT1, and NOTCH1) in head and neck cancer were identified in both groups.
CONCLUSION: We identified the patient-specific genetic alterations and druggability of seven rare types of AYA cancers using three genomics platforms. Additionally, genetic alterations in cancers from AYA and those from all age groups varied by cancer type.

Gataullina S, Lemaire E, Wendling F, et al.
Epilepsy in young Tsc1(+/-) mice exhibits age-dependent expression that mimics that of human tuberous sclerosis complex.
Epilepsia. 2016; 57(4):648-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To describe the epileptic phenotype of Tsc1(+/-) mice pups in comparison with age-related seizures in human tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).
METHODS: Tsc1(+/-) and control mice underwent intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) recording at postnatal ages (P)8 to P33, with linear silicon probe implanted in the somatosensory cortex of one or both hemispheres for 8-24 h. Ictal events were classified visually by independent analyzers; distinct EEG patterns were related to age and analyzed to quantify field potential characteristics and signal dynamics between hemispheres. We collected retrospectively 20 infants with prenatally diagnosed TSC and EEG before seizure onset, and analyzed the electroclinical course of epilepsy, taking into account a first-line treatment by vigabatrin.
RESULTS: Spontaneous seizures were disclosed in 55% of Tsc1(+/-) mice at P9-18. Three ictal patterns were identified: from P9 to P12 "spike clusters" consisted of recurring large spikes without clinical correlate; "spasm-like" discharges dominated from P13 to P16 consisting of high amplitude large field potential superimposed with or followed by fast activity repeated every 2-10 s for at least 20 s, accompanied by rhythmic limb contractions; from P14 to P18 a "tonic-clonic like" pattern comprised rhythmic spikes of increasing amplitude with tonic-clonic movements. Early onset "spike clusters" were mainly unilateral, whereas "spasm-like" and "tonic-clonic like" patterns were bilateral. Interhemispheric propagation was significantly faster for "tonic-clonic like" than for "spasm-like" events. In infants diagnosed prenatally with TSC, clusters of sharp waves or spikes preceded the first seizure, and vigabatrin prevented the development of seizures. Patients treated after seizure onset developed spasms or focal seizures that were pharmacoresistant in 66.7% of cases.
SIGNIFICANCE: Tsc1(+/-) mice pups exhibit an age-dependent seizure pattern sequence mimicking early human TSC epilepsy features. Spike clusters before seizure onset in TSC should be considered as a first stage of epilepsy reinforcing the concept of preventive antiepileptic therapy.

Chang MY, Shieh DE, Chen CC, et al.
Linalool Induces Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Leukemia Cells and Cervical Cancer Cells through CDKIs.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015; 16(12):28169-79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Plantaginaceae, a popular traditional Chinese medicine, has long been used for treating various diseases from common cold to cancer. Linalool is one of the biologically active compounds that can be isolated from Plantaginaceae. Most of the commonly used cytotoxic anticancer drugs have been shown to induce apoptosis in susceptible tumor cells. However, the signaling pathway for apoptosis remains undefined. In this study, the cytotoxic effect of linalool on human cancer cell lines was investigated. Water-soluble tetrazolium salts (WST-1) based colorimetric cellular cytotoxicity assay, was used to test the cytotoxic ability of linalool against U937 and HeLa cells, and flow cytometry (FCM) and genechip analysis were used to investigate the possible mechanism of apoptosis. These results demonstrated that linalool exhibited a good cytotoxic effect on U937 and HeLa cells, with the IC50 value of 2.59 and 11.02 μM, respectively, compared with 5-FU with values of 4.86 and 12.31 μM, respectively. After treating U937 cells with linalool for 6 h, we found an increased sub-G1 peak and a dose-dependent phenomenon, whereby these cells were arrested at the G0/G1 phase. Furthermore, by using genechip analysis, we observed that linalool can promote p53, p21, p27, p16, and p18 gene expression. Therefore, this study verified that linalool can arrest the cell cycle of U937 cells at the G0/G1 phase and can arrest the cell cycle of HeLa cells at the G2/M phase. Its mechanism facilitates the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinases inhibitors (CDKIs) p53, p21, p27, p16, and p18, as well as the non-expression of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) activity.

Shan TD, Xu JH, Yu T, et al.
Knockdown of linc-POU3F3 suppresses the proliferation, apoptosis, and migration resistance of colorectal cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(1):961-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) play important roles in regulating the biological functions and underlying molecular mechanisms of colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we investigated the association of linc-POU3F3 and prognosis in CRC. We demonstrated that linc-POU3F3 was overexpressed in CRC tissues and positively correlated with tumor grade and N stage. Inhibition of linc-POU3F3 resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation and G1 cell cycle arrest, which was mediated by cyclin D1, CDK4, p18, Rb, and phosphorylated Rb. Inhibition of linc-POU3F3 induced apoptosis, and suppressed migration and invasion in LOVO and SW480 cell lines. This inhibition also increased the expressions of epithelial markers and decreased the expressions of mesenchymal markers, thus inhibiting the cancer epithelial-mesenchymal transition. The decreased migration and invasion following linc-POU3F3 knockdown were mediated by an increased BMP signal. Furthermore, autophagy was enhanced by linc-POU3F3 knockdown, suggesting the involvement of autophagy in the induced apoptosis. Collectively, linc-POU3F3 might be crucial in pro-proliferation, anti-apoptosis, and metastasis in LOVO and SW480 cells by regulating the cell cycle, intrinsic apoptosis, BMP signaling and autophagy. Thus, linc-POU3F3 is a potential therapeutic target and novel molecular biomarker for CRC.

Cheng P, Wang YF, Li G, et al.
Interplay between menin and Dnmt1 reversibly regulates pancreatic cancer cell growth downstream of the Hedgehog signaling pathway.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 370(1):136-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Menin, the product of the Men1 gene, which is frequently mutated in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, acts as a chromatin-remodeling factor to modulate the transcription of cell cycle regulators by interacting with histone modification factors. However, the function of menin and its underlying mechanisms in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma remain unknown. Here, we found that menin inhibited pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo and that its expression was gradually lost during pancreatic carcinogenesis. Menin overexpression significantly activated the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors p18 and p27, accompanied with a decrease in DNA methylation levels of p18 and p27 promoters. Mechanistically, we found that interaction of menin with DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) competitively pulled down Dnmt1 from p18 and p27 promoters, leading to the downregulation of DNA methylation levels. Moreover, menin expression was suppressed by Dnmt1 downstream of the Hedgehog signaling pathway, and menin overexpression strongly antagonized the promotion effect of hedgehog signaling on pancreatic cancer cell proliferation. Taken together, the interaction between menin and Dnmt1 reversibly regulates pancreatic cancer cell growth downstream of Hedgehog pathways with complex mutual modulation networks, suggesting that the Hedgehog/Dnmt1/menin axis is a potential molecular target for pancreatic cancer therapy.

Dai M, Lu JJ, Guo W, et al.
BPTF promotes tumor growth and predicts poor prognosis in lung adenocarcinomas.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(32):33878-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BPTF, a subunit of NURF, is well known to be involved in the development of eukaryotic cell, but little is known about its roles in cancers, especially in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here we showed that BPTF was specifically overexpressed in NSCLC cell lines and lung adenocarcinoma tissues. Knockdown of BPTF by siRNA significantly inhibited cell proliferation, induced cell apoptosis and arrested cell cycle progress from G1 to S phase. We also found that BPTF knockdown downregulated the expression of the phosphorylated Erk1/2, PI3K and Akt proteins and induced the cleavage of caspase-8, caspase-7 and PARP proteins, thereby inhibiting the MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling and activating apoptotic pathway. BPTF knockdown by siRNA also upregulated the cell cycle inhibitors such as p21 and p18 but inhibited the expression of cyclin D, phospho-Rb and phospho-cdc2 in lung cancer cells. Moreover, BPTF knockdown by its specific shRNA inhibited lung cancer growth in vivo in the xenografts of A549 cells accompanied by the suppression of VEGF, p-Erk and p-Akt expression. Immunohistochemical assay for tumor tissue microarrays of lung tumor tissues showed that BPTF overexpression predicted a poor prognosis in the patients with lung adenocarcinomas. Therefore, our data indicate that BPTF plays an essential role in cell growth and survival by targeting multiply signaling pathways in human lung cancers.

Cui H, Zhao C, Gong P, et al.
DNA methyltransferase 3A promotes cell proliferation by silencing CDK inhibitor p18INK4C in gastric carcinogenesis.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:13781 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Little is known about the roles of DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) in gastric carcinogenesis. Here, we reported that the exogenous expression of DNMT3A promoted gastric cancer (GC) cell proliferation by accelerating the G1/S transition. Subsequently, p18INK4C was identified as a downstream target of DNMT3A. The elevated expression of DNMT3A suppressed p18INK4C at least at the transcriptional level. Depletion of p18INK4C expression in GC cells induced cell cycle progression, whereas its re-expression alleviated the effect of DNMT3A overexpression on G1/S transition. Furthermore, we found that DNMT3A modulated p18INK4C by directly binding to and silencing the p18INK4C gene via promoter hypermethylation. In clinical GC tissue specimens analyzed, the level of methylation of p18INK4C detected in tumor tissues was significantly higher than that in paired non-tumor tissues. Moreover, elevated level of DNMT3A expression was associated with the differentiation of GC tissues and was negatively correlated with the p18INK4C expression level. Taken together, our results found that DNMT3A contributes to the dysregulation of the cell cycle by repressing p18INK4C in a DNA methylation-dependent manner, suggesting that DNMT3A-p18INK4C axis involved in GC. These findings provide new insights into gastric carcinogenesis and a potential therapeutic target for GC that may be further investigated in the future.

Liang D, Halpert MM, Konduri V, Decker WK
Stepping Out of the Cytosol: AIMp1/p43 Potentiates the Link Between Innate and Adaptive Immunity.
Int Rev Immunol. 2015; 34(5):367-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a structural component of the multi-aminoacyl tRNA synthetase (mARS) complex, AIMp1, also known as p43, hasn't until recently been recognized for its prominent immunological functions. Together with other nonenzymatic mARS structural components AIMp2/38 and AIMp3/p18, it participates in the machinery responsible for cell-cycle control and tumor suppression. Novel studies also show that AIMp1/p43 can be released by certain cancer cells under conditions of stress. Extracellularly, AIMp1 promotes the proliferation and migration of fibroblasts/endothelial cells and importantly, pro-inflammatory gene expression in monocytes/macrophages and dendritic cells. AIMp1/p43 deficiency is also correlated with spontaneous Type-2 airway hypersensitivity in mice, indicating a potential role in skewing toward T-helper type-1 (T(H)1) immunity. Vaccination strategies in which dendritic cells receive dual MHC class I and MHC class II antigens of homologous origins (i.e., that share overlapping class I and II binding epitopes) boost downstream T(H)1 immunity in a manner that appears to be wholly dependent upon dendritic cell AIMp1 release. Here we underscore the importance of AIMp1/p43 as a pro-inflammatory cytokine when it is released from cytosol to extracellular space and discuss future directions by which the mechanisms that regulate this process might be better characterized, further elucidating the link between innate and adaptive immunity.

Barton VN, D'Amato NC, Gordon MA, et al.
Androgen Receptor Biology in Triple Negative Breast Cancer: a Case for Classification as AR+ or Quadruple Negative Disease.
Horm Cancer. 2015; 6(5-6):206-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive breast cancer subtype that lacks estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) amplification. Due to the absence of these receptors, TNBC does not respond to traditional endocrine or HER2-targeted therapies that improve patient prognosis in other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC has a poor prognosis, and currently, there are no effective targeted therapies. Some TNBC tumors express androgen receptor (AR) and may benefit from AR-targeted therapies. Here, we review the literature on AR in TNBC and propose that TNBC be further sub-classified as either AR+ TNBC or quadruple negative breast cancer since targeting AR may represent a viable therapeutic option for a subset of TNBC.

Savitri E, Haryana MS
Expression of interleukin-8, interleukin-10 and Epstein-Barr viral-load as prognostic indicator in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Glob J Health Sci. 2015; 7(3):364-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is angiogeneic chemokine that plays a potential role in both development and progression of many human malignancies including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Epstein- Barr virus (EBV) is recognized to be an important etiologic agent of NPC as the viral gene products are frequently detected in NPC tissue along with the elevation of antibody titre to the viral protein (VCA-p18+ EBNA1) of IgA in the majority of patients. Elevated plasma of Viral Load is regarded as an important marker for the presence of the disease and for the monitoring of disease progression. However, other serum /plasma parameters such as the level of certain interleukins (IL-8 and IL-10) has also been implicated in NPC progression. The study aimed to investigate the correlations between plasma Viral Load and the level of interleukin (IL-8) and Interleukin (IL-10) in relating these parameters to the stages of NPC. In addition of Viral Load (VCA-p18+EBNA1) IgA, Interleukin-8 and Interleukin-10 before and after therapy will be investigated to seek the possible marker for disease progression. A total of 39 NPC patients and 29 healthy control individuals enrolled in this study. Plasma Viral Load was quantified using real-time quantitative PCR. The Level of plasma interleukins both IL-8 and IL-10 were analyzed using ELISA methods. Results indicated there was a significant decrease in viral load was detected in plasma of NPC patients following therapy. Plasma of viral load was shown to be a good prognosticator for disease progression. There were positive correlation between plasma of viral load and IL-8. These non invasive parameters expressed in blood, could be substitutes of viral load using brushing method, which is invasive. In conclusion that: Viral Load, (VCA-p18+EBNA1) IgA and IL-8 levels are promising markers for the presence of NPC and progression of the disease.

Ma D, Guo D, Li W, Zhao H
Mdig, a lung cancer-associated gene, regulates cell cycle progression through p27(KIP1).
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(9):6909-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mineral dust-induced gene (mdig) can accelerate cell proliferation. The aim of this study is to investigate the mechanism by which mdig regulates cell proliferation. A549 cells were transfected with siRNA specifically targeting mdig. Cell proliferation and cell cycle progression were measured using MTT assay and cell cycle analysis, respectively. Furthermore, real-time reverse transcription quantitative-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was performed in A549 cells transfected with mdig siRNA to examine the expression levels of the cell cycle related genes such as p18(INK4c), p19(INK4d), p21(WAF/CIP1), p27(KIP1), p57(KIP2), cyclin D1, and cyclin E. To further explore the effect of mdig on p27(KIP1), the expression levels of total p27(KIP1) and its subtypes pT187-p27(KIP1) and pS10-p27(KIP1) were assessed by Western blotting. In vivo, Western blotting was performed to check the expression levels of mdig and p27(KIP1) in human lung cancer tissues, para-cancerous normal lung tissues, and para-bronchial stumps. Knockdown of mdig induced increases in p27(KIP1), both on mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of p27(KIP1) at its Thr187 site was also inhibited. Importantly, in lung cancer tissues, upregulation of mdig expression accompanies with the downregulation of p27(KIP1) expression and in bronchial stump, vice versa. The data suggest that mdig-mediated inhibition of p27(KIP1) is important for cell proliferation and tumor formation and reveal therapeutic potential of p27(KIP1) for lung cancer.

Zhao F, Lin T, He W, et al.
Knockdown of a novel lincRNA AATBC suppresses proliferation and induces apoptosis in bladder cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(2):1064-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) play important roles in regulating various biological processes in cancer, including proliferation and apoptosis. However, the roles of lincRNAs in bladder cancer remain elusive. In this study, we identified a novel lincRNA, which we termed AATBC. We found that AATBC was overexpressed in bladder cancer patient tissues and positively correlated with tumor grade and pT stage. We also found that inhibition of AATBC resulted in cell proliferation arrest through G1 cell cycle mediated by cyclin D1, CDK4, p18 and phosphorylated Rb. In addition, inhibition of AATBC induced cell apoptosis through the intrinsic apoptosis signaling pathway, as evidenced by the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. The investigation for the signaling pathway revealed that the apoptosis following AATBC knockdown was mediated by activation of phosphorylated JNK and suppression of NRF2. Furthermore, JNK inhibitor SP600125 could attenuate the apoptotic effect achieved by AATBC knockdown, confirming the involvement of JNK signaling in the induced apoptosis. Moreover, mouse xenograft model revealed that knockdown of AATBC led to suppress tumorigenesis in vivo. Taken together, our study indicated that AATBC might play a critical role in pro-proliferation and anti-apoptosis in bladder cancer by regulating cell cycle, intrinsic apoptosis signaling, JNK signaling and NRF2. AATBC could be a potential therapeutic target and molecular biomarker for bladder cancer.

Gurung PM, Veerakumarasivam A, Williamson M, et al.
Loss of expression of the tumour suppressor gene AIMP3 predicts survival following radiotherapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(3):709-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to test the utility of AIMP3, an upstream regulator of DNA damage response following genotoxic stress, as a clinical biomarker in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). AIMP3 was identified from a meta-analysis of a global gene-expression dataset. AIMP3 protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry on a customised bladder cancer tissue-microarray (TMA). The mechanism of gene silencing was probed using methylation-specific PCR. The association between AIMP3 expression, Tp53 transactivity and genomic stability was analysed. In vitro AIMP3 translocation to the nucleus in response to ionising radiation was demonstrated using immunofluorescence. Radiosensitisation effects of siRNA-mediated AIMP3-knockdown were measured using colony forming assays. TMAs derived from patients enrolled in BCON, a Phase III multicentre radiotherapy trial in bladder cancer (ISRCTN45938399) were used to evaluate the association between AIMP3 expression and survival. The prognostic value of AIMP3 expression was determined in a TMA derived from patients treated by radical cystectomy. Loss of AIMP3 expression was frequent in MIBC and associated with impaired Tp53 transactivity and genomic instability. AIMP3-knockdown was associated with an increase in radioresistance. Loss of AIMP3 expression was associated with survival in MIBC patients following radiotherapy (HR = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.36 to 0.78, p = 0.002) but was not prognostic in the cystectomy set. In conclusion, AIMP3 expression is lost in a subset of bladder cancers and is significantly predictive of survival following radiotherapy in MIBC patients.

Demeure MJ, Aziz M, Rosenberg R, et al.
Whole-genome sequencing of an aggressive BRAF wild-type papillary thyroid cancer identified EML4-ALK translocation as a therapeutic target.
World J Surg. 2014; 38(6):1296-305 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent advances in the treatment of cancer have focused on targeting genomic aberrations with selective therapeutic agents. In radioiodine resistant aggressive papillary thyroid cancers, there remain few effective therapeutic options. A 62-year-old man who underwent multiple operations for papillary thyroid cancer and whose metastases progressed despite standard treatments provided tumor tissue.
METHODS: We analyzed tumor and whole blood DNA by whole genome sequencing, achieving 80× or greater coverage over 94 % of the exome and 90 % of the genome. We determined somatic mutations and structural alterations.
RESULTS: We found a total of 57 somatic mutations in 55 genes of the cancer genome. There was notably a lack of mutations in NRAS and BRAF, and no RET/PTC rearrangement. There was a mutation in the TRAPP oncogene and a loss of heterozygosity of the p16, p18, and RB1 tumor suppressor genes. The oncogenic driver for this tumor is a translocation involving the genes for anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) and echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4 (EML4). The EML4-ALK translocation has been reported in approximately 5 % of lung cancers, as well as in pediatric neuroblastoma, and is a therapeutic target for crizotinib.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of the whole genomic sequencing of a papillary thyroid cancer in which we identified an EML4-ALK translocation of a TRAPP oncogene mutation. These findings suggest that this tumor has a more distinct oncogenesis than BRAF mutant papillary thyroid cancer. Whole genome sequencing can elucidate an oncogenic context and expose potential therapeutic vulnerabilities in rare cancers.

Pang X, Shu Y, Niu Z, et al.
PPARγ1 phosphorylation enhances proliferation and drug resistance in human fibrosarcoma cells.
Exp Cell Res. 2014; 322(1):30-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Post-translational regulation plays a critical role in the control of cell growth and proliferation. The phosphorylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is the most important post-translational modification. The function of PPARγ phosphorylation has been studied extensively in the past. However, the relationship between phosphorylated PPARγ1 and tumors remains unclear. Here we investigated the role of PPARγ1 phosphorylation in human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cell line. Using the nonphosphorylation (Ser84 to alanine, S84A) and phosphorylation (Ser84 to aspartic acid, S84D) mutant of PPARγ1, the results suggested that phosphorylation attenuated PPARγ1 transcriptional activity. Meanwhile, we demonstrated that phosphorylated PPARγ1 promoted HT1080 cell proliferation and this effect was dependent on the regulation of cell cycle arrest. The mRNA levels of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) p21(Waf1/Cip1) and p27(Kip1) descended in PPARγ1(S84D) stable HT1080 cell, whereas the expression of p18(INK4C) was not changed. Moreover, compared to the PPARγ1(S84A), PPARγ1(S84D) up-regulated the expression levels of cyclin D1 and cyclin A. Finally, PPARγ1 phosphorylation reduced sensitivity to agonist rosiglitazone and increased resistance to anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in HT1080 cell. Our findings establish PPARγ1 phosphorylation as a critical event in human fibrosarcoma growth. These findings raise the possibility that chemical compounds that prevent the phosphorylation of PPARγ1 could act as anticancer drugs.

Pita JM, Figueiredo IF, Moura MM, et al.
Cell cycle deregulation and TP53 and RAS mutations are major events in poorly differentiated and undifferentiated thyroid carcinomas.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(3):E497-507 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATCs) are among the most lethal malignancies, for which there is no effective treatment.
OBJECTIVE: In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the molecular alterations contributing to ATC development and to identify novel therapeutic targets.
DESIGN: We profiled the global gene expression of five ATCs and validated differentially expressed genes by quantitative RT-PCR in an independent set of tumors. In a series of 26 ATCs, we searched for pathogenic alterations in genes involved in the most deregulated cellular processes, including the hot spot regions of RAS, BRAF, TP53, CTNNB1 (β-catenin), and PIK3CA genes, and, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of components involved in the cell cycle [cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors (CDKI): CDKN1A (p21(CIP1)); CDKN1B (p27(KIP1)); CDKN2A (p14(ARF), p16(INK4A)); CDKN2B (p15(INK4B)); CDKN2C (p18(INK4C))], cell adhesion (AXIN1), and proliferation (PTEN). Mutational analysis was also performed in 22 poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas (PDTCs).
RESULTS: Expression profiling revealed that ATCs were characterized by the underexpression of epithelial components and the up regulation of mesenchymal markers and genes from TGF-β pathway, as well as, the overexpression of cell cycle-related genes. In accordance, the up regulation of the SNAI2 gene, a TGF-β-responsive mesenchymal factor, was validated. CDKN3, which prevents the G1/S transition, was significantly up regulated in ATCs and PDTCs and aberrantly spliced in ATCs. Mutational analysis showed that most mutations were present in TP53 (42% of ATCs; 27% of PDTCs) or RAS (31% of ATCs; 18% of PDTCs). TP53 and RAS alterations showed evidence of mutual exclusivity (P = .0354). PIK3CA, PTEN, and CDKI mutations were present in 14%-20% of PDTCs, and in 10%-14% of ATCs. BRAF, CTNNB1, and AXIN1 mutations were rarely detected.
CONCLUSION: Overall, this study identified crucial roles for TP53, RAS, CDKI, and TGF-β pathway, which may represent feasible therapeutic targets for ATC and PDTC treatment.

Lee HS, Chen M, Kim JH, et al.
Analysis of 320 gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors identifies TS expression as independent biomarker for survival.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(1):128-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thymidylate synthase (TS), a critical enzyme for DNA synthesis and repair, is both a potential tumor prognostic biomarker as well as a tumorigenic oncogene in animal models. We have now studied the clinical implications of TS expression in gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and compared these results to other cell cycle biomarker genes. Protein tissue arrays were used to study TS, Ki-67, Rb, pRb, E2F1, p18, p21, p27 and menin expression in 320 human GEP-NETs samples. Immunohistochemical expression was correlated with univariate and multivariate predictors of survival utilizing Kaplan Meier and Cox proportional hazards models. Real time RT-PCR was used to validate these findings. We found that 78 of 320 GEP-NETs (24.4%) expressed TS. NETs arising in the colon, stomach and pancreas showed the highest expression of TS (47.4%, 42.6% and 37.3%, respectively), whereas NETs of the appendix, rectum and duodenum displayed low TS expression (3.3%, 12.9% and 15.4%, respectively). TS expression in GEP-NETs was associated with poorly differentiated endocrine carcinoma, angiolymphatic invasion, lymph node metastasis and distant metastasis (p < 0.05). Patients with TS-positive NETs had markedly worse outcomes than TS-negative NETs as shown by univariate (p < 0.001) and multivariate (p = 0.01) survival analyses. Expression of p18 predicted survival in TS-positive patients that received chemotherapy (p = 0.015). In conclusion, TS protein expression was an independent prognostic biomarker for GEP-NETs. The strong association of increased TS expression with aggressive disease and early death supports the role of TS as a cancer promoting agent in these tumors.

Zhang JC, Gao B, Yu ZT, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation of p14 (ARF) , RB, and INK4 gene family in hepatocellular carcinoma with hepatitis B virus infection.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(3):2795-802 [PubMed] Related Publications
Both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and gene methylation play important roles in hepatocarcinogenesis. However, their association between HBV infection and gene methylation is not fully understood. Cell cycle control involving RB1 gene-related cell inhibitors is one of the main regulatory pathways were reported to be altered in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of this research is to assess the methylation status of p14 (ARF) and INK4 gene family (p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and p18 (INK4C) ) in HCC with HBV infection and HCC without it, and discuss possible role of HBV-induced hypermethylation in the mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis. Methylation status of RB, p14 (ARF) , and INK4 gene family in 64 case of HCC with HBV infection and 24 cases without it were detected by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, and HBV-DNA of the plasma were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and RB hypermethylation were observed in 30 (34.1%), 50 (56.8%), 62 (70.5%), and 24(27.3%) of 88 hepatocellular carcinomas, respectively. Methylation frequencies of them between HCC with HBV infection and HCC without it were 43.8% versus 8.3 % (p14 (ARF) ), 68.9% versus 25% (p15 (INK4B) ), 90.6% versus 16.7% ( p16 (INK4A) ), and 28.1 % versus 25% (RB), respectively. In HBV-associated HCC, the numbers of methylated genes were also more than HCC without virus infection, more than two methylated genes were seen in 48 of 64 (75 %) cases; more than three methylated genes were found in 32 of 64 (50%); correspondently, no one case has more than two genes methylated. p18 (INK4C) methylation product was not found in cancerous or non-cancerous tissues of 88 HCC. HBV infection is associated with p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and RB gene methylation (P = 0.048, 0.035, 0.02); HBV-DNA replication is associated with p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , p16 (INK4A) , and RB gene methylation (P = 0.048, 0.035, 0.02); high rate of p14 (ARF) , p15 (INK4B) , and p16 (INK4A) in HCC with HBV infection suggests that HBV-induced hypermethylation may be one of the mechanisms of HBV involved in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.

Christoph S, Deryckere D, Schlegel J, et al.
UNC569, a novel small-molecule mer inhibitor with efficacy against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vitro and in vivo.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(11):2367-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Although survival rates have improved, patients with certain biologic subtypes still have suboptimal outcomes. Current chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with short- and long-term toxicities and novel, less toxic therapeutic strategies are needed. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is ectopically expressed in ALL patient samples and cell lines. Inhibition of Mer expression reduces prosurvival signaling, increases chemosensitivity, and delays development of leukemia in vivo, suggesting that Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitors are excellent candidates for targeted therapies. Brain and spinal tumors are the second most common malignancies in childhood. Multiple chemotherapy approaches and radiotherapies have been attempted, yet overall survival remains dismal. Mer is also abnormally expressed in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), providing a rationale for targeting Mer as a therapeutic strategy. We have previously described UNC569, the first small-molecule Mer inhibitor. This article describes the biochemical and biologic effects of UNC569 in ALL and AT/RT. UNC569 inhibited Mer activation and downstream signaling through ERK1/2 and AKT, determined by Western blot analysis. Treatment with UNC569 reduced proliferation/survival in liquid culture, decreased colony formation in methylcellulose/soft agar, and increased sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapies. MYC transgenic zebrafish with T-ALL were treated with UNC569 (4 μmol/L for two weeks). Fluorescence was quantified as indicator of the distribution of lymphoblasts, which express Mer and enhanced GFP. UNC569 induced more than 50% reduction in tumor burden compared with vehicle- and mock-treated fish. These data support further development of Mer inhibitors as effective therapies in ALL and AT/RT.

Zhang YQ, Xiao CX, Lin BY, et al.
Silencing of Pokemon enhances caspase-dependent apoptosis via fas- and mitochondria-mediated pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68981 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of Pokemon (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic actor), a recently identified POK transcription factor with proto-oncogenic activity, in hepatocellular carcinogenesis has only been assessed by a few studies. Our previous study revealed that Pokemon is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and promotes HCC cell proliferation and migration via an AKT- and ERK- dependent manner. In the present study, we used the TUNEL assay and FACS analysis to demonstrate that oxaliplatin induced apoptosis was significantly increased in cells with silenced Pokemon. Western blots showed that p53 expression and phosphorylation were significantly increased in Pokemon defective cells, thereby initiating the mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways. In the mitochondria-mediated pathway, expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (including Bad, Bid, Bim and Puma) as well as AIF was increased and decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential resulted in cytochrome C released from mitochondrial in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells. In addition, upon oxaliplatin treatment of Pokemon-silenced cells, the FAS receptor, FADD and their downstream targets caspase-10 and caspase-8 were activated, causing increased release of caspase-8 active fragments p18 and p10. Increased activated caspase-8-mediated cleavage and activation of downstream effector caspases such as caspase-9 and caspase-3 was observed in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells as compared to control. Therefore, Pokemon might serve as an important mediator of crosstalk between intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in HCC cells. Moreover, our findings suggest that Pokemon could be an attractive therapeutic target gene for human cancer therapy.

Zhang J, Francois R, Iyer R, et al.
Current understanding of the molecular biology of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105(14):1005-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) are complicated and often deadly neoplasms. A recent increased understanding of their molecular biology has contributed to expanded treatment options. DNA sequencing of samples derived from patients with PanNETs and rare genetic syndromes such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome reveals the involvement of MEN1, DAXX/ATRX, and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways in PanNET tumorigenesis. Gene knock-out/knock-in studies indicate that inactivation of factors including MEN1 and abnormal PI3K/mTOR signaling uncouples endocrine cell cycle progression from the control of environmental cues such as glucose, leading to islet cell overgrowth. In addition, accumulating evidence suggests that further impairment of endothelial-endocrine cell interactions contributes to tumor invasion and metastasis. Recent phase III clinical trials have shown that therapeutic interventions, such as sunitinib and everolimus, targeting those signal transduction pathways improve disease-free survival rates. Yet, cure in the setting of advanced disease remains elusive. Further advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of PanNETs and improved preclinical models will assist in developing personalized therapy utilizing novel drugs to provide prolonged control or even cure the disease.

Costa-Guda J, Soong CP, Parekh VI, et al.
Germline and somatic mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor genes CDKN1A, CDKN2B, and CDKN2C in sporadic parathyroid adenomas.
Horm Cancer. 2013; 4(5):301-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular pathogenesis of sporadic parathyroid adenomas is incompletely understood. The possible role of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI) genes was raised by recognition of cyclin D1 as a parathyroid oncogene, identification of rare germline mutations in CDKI genes in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1; that in rodents, mutation in Cdkn1b caused parathyroid tumors; and subsequently through identification of rare predisposing germline sequence variants and somatic mutation of CDKN1B, encoding p27(kip1), in sporadic human parathyroid adenoma. We therefore sought to determine whether mutations/variants in the other six CDKI genes CDKN1A, CDKN1C, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, CDKN2C, and CDKN2D, encoding p21, p57, p14(ARF)/p16, p15, p18, and p19, respectively, contribute to the development of typical parathyroid adenomas. In a series of 85 sporadic parathyroid adenomas, direct DNA sequencing identified alterations in five adenomas (6 %): Two contained distinct heterozygous changes in CDKN1A, one germline and one of undetermined germline status; one had a CDKN2B germline alteration, accompanied by loss of the normal allele in the tumor (LOH); two had variants of CDKN2C, one somatic and one germline with LOH. Abnormalities of three of the mutant proteins were readily demonstrable in vitro. Thus, germline mutations/rare variants in CDKN1A, CDKN2B, and CDKN2C likely contribute to the development of a significant subgroup of common sporadic parathyroid adenomas, and somatic mutation in CDKN2C further suggests a direct role for CDKI alteration in conferring a selective growth advantage to parathyroid cells, providing novel support for the concept that multiple CDKIs can play primary roles in human neoplasia.

Kasaian K, Wiseman SM, Thiessen N, et al.
Complete genomic landscape of a recurring sporadic parathyroid carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2013; 230(3):249-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare endocrine malignancy with an estimated incidence of less than 1 per million population. Excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone, extremely high serum calcium level, and the deleterious effects of hypercalcaemia are the clinical manifestations of the disease. Up to 60% of patients develop multiple disease recurrences and although long-term survival is possible with palliative surgery, permanent remission is rarely achieved. Molecular drivers of sporadic parathyroid carcinoma have remained largely unknown. Previous studies, mostly based on familial cases of the disease, suggested potential roles for the tumour suppressor MEN1 and proto-oncogene RET in benign parathyroid tumourigenesis, while the tumour suppressor HRPT2 and proto-oncogene CCND1 may also act as drivers in parathyroid cancer. Here, we report the complete genomic analysis of a sporadic and recurring parathyroid carcinoma. Mutational landscapes of the primary and recurrent tumour specimens were analysed using high-throughput sequencing technologies. Such molecular profiling allowed for identification of somatic mutations never previously identified in this malignancy. These included single nucleotide point mutations in well-characterized cancer genes such as mTOR, MLL2, CDKN2C, and PIK3CA. Comparison of acquired mutations in patient-matched primary and recurrent tumours revealed loss of PIK3CA activating mutation during the evolution of the tumour from the primary to the recurrence. Structural variations leading to gene fusions and regions of copy loss and gain were identified at a single-base resolution. Loss of the short arm of chromosome 1, along with somatic missense and truncating mutations in CDKN2C and THRAP3, respectively, provides new evidence for the potential role of these genes as tumour suppressors in parathyroid cancer. The key somatic mutations identified in this study can serve as novel diagnostic markers as well as therapeutic targets.

Erdas E, Aste N, Pilloni L, et al.
Functioning glucagonoma associated with primary hyperparathyroidism: multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 or incidental association?
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:614 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is commonly based on clinical criteria, and confirmed by genetic testing. In patients without known MEN1-related germline mutations, the possibility of a casual association between two or more endocrine tumors cannot be excluded and subsequent management may be difficult to plan. We describe a very uncommon case of functioning glucagonoma associated with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) in which genetic testing failed to detect germline mutations of MEN-1 and other known genes responsible for MEN1.
CASE PRESENTATION: The patient, a 65-year old woman, had been suffering for more than 1 year from weakness, progressive weight loss, angular cheilitis, glossitis and, more recently, skin rashes on the perineum, perioral skin and groin folds. After multidisciplinary investigations, functioning glucagonoma and asymptomatic pHPT were diagnosed and, since family history was negative, sporadic MEN1 was suspected. However, genetic testing revealed neither MEN-1 nor other gene mutations responsible for rarer cases of MEN1 (CDKN1B/p27 and other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor genes CDKN1A/p15, CDKN2C/p18, CDKN2B/p21). The patient underwent distal splenopancreatectomy and at the 4-month follow-up she showed complete remission of symptoms. Six months later, a thyroid nodule, suspected to be a malignant neoplasia, and two hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands were detected respectively by ultrasound with fine needle aspiration cytology and 99mTc-sestamibi scan with SPECT acquisition. Total thyroidectomy was performed, whereas selective parathyroidectomy was preferred to a more extensive procedure because the diagnosis of MEN1 was not supported by genetic analysis and intraoperative intact parathyroid hormone had revealed "adenoma-like" kinetics after the second parathyroid resection. Thirty-nine and 25 months after respectively the first and the second operation, the patient is well and shows no signs or symptoms of recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite well-defined diagnostic criteria and guidelines, diagnosis of MEN1 can still be challenging. When diagnosis is doubtful, appropriate management may be difficult to establish.

Sachdeva R, Bhardwaj N, Huhtaniemi I, et al.
Transgenesis-mediated reproductive dysfunction and tumorigenesis: effects of immunological neutralization.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e51125 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was initially thought to be made only during pregnancy, but is now known to also be synthesized by a variety of cancers and is associated with poor patient prognosis. Transgenic expression of βhCG in mice causes hyper-luteinized ovaries, a loss in estrous cyclicity and infertility, increased body weight, prolactinomas and mammary gland tumors. Strategies were devised to generate antibody responses against hCG to investigate whether reversal of the molecular processes driving tumorigenesis would follow. hCG-immunized transgenic mice did not exhibit increases in body weight or serum prolactin levels, and gross ovarian and pituitary morphology remained normal. While non-immunized transgenic animals demonstrated heightened levels of transcripts associated with pituitary tumorigenesis (HMG2A, E2F1, CCND1, PRL, GH, GAL, PTTG1, BMP4) and decreased levels of CDK inhibitors CDKN1B (p27), CDKN2A (p16) and CDKN2c (p18), immunization led to a reversal to levels found in non-transgenic animals. Serum derived from transgenic (but not non-transgenic) mice led to enhanced transcription as well as expression of VEGF, IL-8, KC (murine IL-8) and MMP-9 in tumor cells, effects not seen when sera derived from hCG-immunized transgenic mice was employed. As the definitive indication of the restoration of the reproductive axis, immunization led to the resumption of estrous cyclicity as well as fertility in transgenic mice. These results indicate that hCG may influence cancer pathogenesis and progression via several distinct mechanisms. Using a stringent in vivo system in which βhCG acts both a "self" antigen and a tumor-promoting moiety (putatively akin to the situation in humans), the data builds a case for anti-gonadotropin vaccination strategies in the treatment of gonadotropin-dependent or secreting malignancies that frequently acquire resistance to conventional therapy.

Jalili A, Wagner C, Pashenkov M, et al.
Dual suppression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors CDKN2C and CDKN1A in human melanoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012; 104(21):1673-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Resistance to BRAF(V600E) inhibitors is associated with reactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling at different levels in melanoma. To identify downstream effectors of MAPK signaling that could be used as potential additional therapeutic targets for BRAF(V600E) inhibitors, we used hTERT/CDK4R24C/p53DD-immortalized primary human melanocytes genetically modified to ectopically express BRAF ( V600E ) or NRAS ( G12D ) and observed induction of the AP-1 transcription factor family member c-Jun. Using a dominant negative approach, in vitro cell proliferation assays, western blots, and flow cytometry showed that MAPK signaling via BRAF(V600E) promotes melanoma cell proliferation at G1 through AP-1-mediated negative regulation of the INK4 family member, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2C (CDKN2C), and the CIP/KIP family member, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A). These effects were antagonized by pharmacological inhibition of CDKN2C and CDKN1A targets CDK2 and CDK4 in vitro. In contrast to BRAF ( V600E ) or NRAS ( G12D )-expressing melanocytes, melanoma cells have an inherent resistance to suppression of AP-1 activity by BRAF(V600E)- or MEK-inhibitors. Here, CDK2/4 inhibition statistically significantly augmented the effects of BRAF(V600E)- or MEK-inhibitors on melanoma cell viability in vitro and growth in athymic nude Foxn1 ( nu ) mice (P = .03 when mean tumor volume at day 13 was compared for BRAF(V600E) inhibitor vs BRAF(V600E) inhibitor plus CDK2/4 inhibition; P = .02 when mean tumor volume was compared for MEK inhibitor vs MEK inhibitor plus CDK2/4 inhibition; P values were calculated by a two-sided Welch t test; n = 4-8 mice per group).

Iacobucci I, Iraci N, Messina M, et al.
IKAROS deletions dictate a unique gene expression signature in patients with adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e40934 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deletions of IKAROS (IKZF1) frequently occur in B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) but the mechanisms by which they influence pathogenesis are unclear. To address this issue, a cohort of 144 adult B-ALL patients (106 BCR-ABL1-positive and 38 B-ALL negative for known molecular rearrangements) was screened for IKZF1 deletions by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays; a sub-cohort of these patients (44%) was then analyzed for gene expression profiling.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Total or partial deletions of IKZF1 were more frequent in BCR-ABL1-positive than in BCR-ABL1-negative B-ALL cases (75% vs 58%, respectively, p = 0.04). Comparison of the gene expression signatures of patients carrying IKZF1 deletion vs those without showed a unique signature featured by down-regulation of B-cell lineage and DNA repair genes and up-regulation of genes involved in cell cycle, JAK-STAT signalling and stem cell self-renewal. Through chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays we corroborated these findings both in vivo and in vitro, showing that Ikaros deleted isoforms lacked the ability to directly regulate a large group of the genes in the signature, such as IGLL1, BLK, EBF1, MSH2, BUB3, ETV6, YES1, CDKN1A (p21), CDKN2C (p18) and MCL1.
CONCLUSIONS: Here we identified and validated for the first time molecular pathways specifically controlled by IKZF1, shedding light into IKZF1 role in B-ALL pathogenesis.

Cen L, Carlson BL, Schroeder MA, et al.
p16-Cdk4-Rb axis controls sensitivity to a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor PD0332991 in glioblastoma xenograft cells.
Neuro Oncol. 2012; 14(7):870-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deregulation of the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway is commonly detected in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and is a rational therapeutic target. Here, we characterized the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway in the Mayo panel of GBM xenografts, established from primary tissue samples from patients with GBM, and evaluated their response to PD0332991, a specific inhibitor of Cdk4/6. All GBM xenograft lines evaluated in this study had disruptions in the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway. In vitro evaluation using short-term explant cultures from selected GBM xenograft lines showed that PD0332991 effectively arrested cell cycle in G1-phase and inhibited cell proliferation dose-dependently in lines deleted for CDKN2A/B-p16(INK4a) and either single-copy deletion of CDK4 (GBM22), high-level CDK6 amplification (GBM34), or deletion of CDKN2C/p18(INK4c) (GBM43). In contrast, 2 GBM lines with p16(INK4a) expression and either CDK4 amplification (GBM5) or RB mutation (GBM28) were completely resistant to PD0332991. Additional xenograft lines were screened, and GBM63 was identified to have p16(INK4a) expression and CDK4 amplification. Similar to the results with GBM5, GBM63 was resistant to PD0332991 treatment. In an orthotopic survival model, treatment of GBM6 xenografts (CDKN2A/B-deleted and CDK4 wild-type) with PD0332991 significantly suppressed tumor cell proliferation and prolonged survival. Collectively, these data support the concept that GBM tumors lacking p16(INK4a) expression and with nonamplified CDK4 and wild-type RB status may be more susceptible to Cdk4/6 inhibition using PD0332991.

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