Gene Summary

Gene:EFEMP1; EGF containing fibulin extracellular matrix protein 1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the fibulin family of extracellular matrix glycoproteins. Like all members of this family, the encoded protein contains tandemly repeated epidermal growth factor-like repeats followed by a C-terminus fibulin-type domain. This gene is upregulated in malignant gliomas and may play a role in the aggressive nature of these tumors. Mutations in this gene are associated with Doyne honeycomb retinal dystrophy. Alternatively spliced transcript variants that encode the same protein have been described.[provided by RefSeq, Nov 2009]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (13)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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.

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Uterus
  • Young Adult
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lung Cancer
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epigenetics
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Survival Rate
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Movement
  • CpG Islands
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Brain Tumours
  • DNA Methylation
  • Liver Cancer
  • Chromosome 2
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Transfection
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Disease Progression
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Messenger RNA
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Western Blotting
  • Up-Regulation
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Risk Factors
  • Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Promoter Regions
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Brain Tumours
  • Cell Proliferation
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

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

Latest Publications: EFEMP1 (cancer-related)

Qadir F, Aziz MA, Sari CP, et al.
Transcriptome reprogramming by cancer exosomes: identification of novel molecular targets in matrix and immune modulation.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Exosomes are extracellular vesicles released by almost all cell types, including cancer cells, into bodily fluids such as saliva, plasma, breast milk, semen, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, amniotic fluid, synovial fluid and sputum. Their key function being intercellular communication with both neighbouring as well as distant cells. Cancer exosomes have been shown to regulate organ-specific metastasis. However, little is known about the functional differences and molecular consequences of normal cells responding to exosomes derived from normal cells compared to those derived from cancer cells.
METHODS: Here, we characterised and compared the transcriptome profiles of primary human normal oral keratinocytes (HNOK) in response to exosomes isolated from either primary HNOK or head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines.
RESULTS: In recipient HNOK cells, we found that regardless of normal or cancer derived, exosomes altered molecular programmes involved in matrix modulation (MMP9), cytoskeletal remodelling (TUBB6, FEZ1, CCT6A), viral/dsRNA-induced interferon (OAS1, IFI6), anti-inflammatory (TSC22D3), deubiquitin (OTUD1), lipid metabolism and membrane trafficking (BBOX1, LRP11, RAB6A). Interestingly, cancer exosomes, but not normal exosomes, modulated expression of matrix remodelling (EFEMP1, DDK3, SPARC), cell cycle (EEF2K), membrane remodelling (LAMP2, SRPX), differentiation (SPRR2E), apoptosis (CTSC), transcription/translation (KLF6, PUS7). We have also identified CEP55 as a potential cancer exosomal marker.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, both normal and cancer exosomes modulated unique gene expression pathways in normal recipient cells. Cancer cells may exploit exosomes to confer transcriptome reprogramming that leads to cancer-associated pathologies such as angiogenesis, immune evasion/modulation, cell fate alteration and metastasis. Molecular pathways and biomarkers identified in this study may be clinically exploitable for developing novel liquid-biopsy based diagnostics and immunotherapies.

Walter RFH, Rozynek P, Casjens S, et al.
Methylation of L1RE1, RARB, and RASSF1 function as possible biomarkers for the differential diagnosis of lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0195716 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Differential diagnosis can be difficult, especially when only small samples are available. Epigenetic changes are frequently tissue-specific events in carcinogenesis and hence may serve as diagnostic biomarkers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 138 representative formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues (116 lung cancer cases and 22 benign controls) were used for targeted DNA methylation analysis via pyrosequencing of ten literature-derived methylation markers (APC, CDH1, CDKN2A, EFEMP1, FHIT, L1RE1, MGMT, PTEN, RARB, and RASSF1). Methylation levels were analyzed with the Classification and Regression Tree Algorithm (CART), Conditional Interference Trees (ctree) and ROC. Validation was performed with additional 27 lung cancer cases and 38 benign controls. TCGA data for 282 lung cancer cases was included in the analysis.
RESULTS: CART and ctree analysis identified the combination of L1RE1 and RARB as well as L1RE1 and RASSF1 as independent methylation markers with high discriminative power between tumor and benign tissue (for each combination, 91% specificity and 100% sensitivity). L1RE1 methylation associated significantly with tumor type and grade (p<0.001) with highest methylation in the control group. The opposite was found for RARB (p<0.001). RASSF1 methylation increased with tumor type and grade (p<0.001) with strongest methylation in neuroendocrine tumors (NET).
CONCLUSION: Hypomethylation of L1RE1 is frequent in tumors compared to benign controls and associates with higher grade, whereas increasing methylation of RARB is an independent marker for tumors and higher grade. RASSF1 hypermethylation was frequent in tumors and most prominent in NET making it an auxiliary marker for separation of NSCLC and NET. L1RE1 in combination with either RARB or RASSF1 could function as biomarkers for separating lung cancer and non-cancerous tissue and could be useful for samples of limited size such as biopsies.

Hong SA, Kim YJ, Kim SJ, Yang S
Electrochemical detection of methylated DNA on a microfluidic chip with nanoelectrokinetic pre-concentration.
Biosens Bioelectron. 2018; 107:103-110 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation is considered to be a promising marker for the early diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. However, direct detection of the methylated DNAs in clinically relevant samples is still challenging because of its extremely low concentration (~fM). Here, an integrated microfluidic chip is reported, which is capable of pre-concentrating the methylated DNAs using ion concentration polarization (ICP) and electrochemically detecting the pre-concentrated DNAs on a single chip. The proposed chip is the first demonstration of an electrochemical detection of both level and concentration of the methylated DNAs by integrating a DNA pre-concentration unit without gene amplification. Using the proposed chip, 500 fM to 500 nM of methylated DNAs is pre-concentrated by almost 100-fold in 10 min, resulting in a drastic improvement of the electrochemical detection threshold down to the fM level. The proposed chip is able to measure not only the DNA concentration, but also the level of methylation using human urine sample by performing a consecutive electrochemical sensing on a chip. For clinical application, the level as well as the concentration of methylation of glutathione-S transferase-P1 (GSTP1) and EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1), which are known to be closely associated with prostate cancer diagnosis, are electrochemically detected in human urine spiked with these genes. The developed chip shows a limit of detection (LoD) of 7.9 pM for GSTP1 and 11.8 pM for EFEMP1 and is able to detect the level of methylation in a wide range from 10% to 100% with the concentration variation from 50 pM to 500 nM.

Wang S, Zhang D, Han S, et al.
Fibulin-3 promotes osteosarcoma invasion and metastasis by inducing epithelial to mesenchymal transition and activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):6215 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study explored the role of fibulin-3 in osteosarcoma progression and the possible signaling pathway involved. Fibulin-3 mRNA and protein expression in normal tissue, benign fibrous dysplasia, osteosarcoma, osteosarcoma cell lines (HOS and U-2OS), the normal osteoblastic cell line hFOB, and different invasive subclones was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) or immunocytochemistry (ICC) and real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (real time qRT-PCR). To assess the role of fibulin-3 in the invasion and metastasis of osteosarcoma cells, lentiviral vectors with fibulin-3 small hairpin RNA (shRNA) and pLVX-fibulin-3 were constructed and used to infect the highly invasive and low invasive subclones. The effects of fibulin-3 knockdown and upregulation on the biological behavior of osteosarcoma cells were investigated by functional in vitro and in vivo assays. The results revealed that fibulin-3 expression was upregulated in osteosarcoma, and was positively correlated with low differentiation, lymph node metastasis, and poor prognosis. Fibulin-3 could promote osteosarcoma cell invasion and metastasis by inducing EMT and activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that fibulin-3 is a promoter of osteosarcoma development and progression, and suggest a novel therapeutic target for future studies.

Han AL, Veeneman BA, El-Sawy L, et al.
Fibulin-3 promotes muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(37):5243-5251 [PubMed] Related Publications
Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer and can be categorized as either non-muscle-invasive (Ta-T1) or muscle-invasive (⩾T2). The majority of bladder cancers are non-muscle-invasive at presentation; however, the recurrence rate for these tumors is high and a subset can progress to T2. In this study, we aimed to identify genes differentially expressed between T1 vs T2 bladder cancer to identify key regulators of bladder cancer progression and/or invasion. We performed RNA-Seq on T1 and T2 bladder cancer tissues and used publicly available bladder cancer profiling studies to prioritize differentially expressed genes for validation and functional assessment. This integrative approach nominated an extracellular matrix glycoprotein, fibulin-3 (FBLN3, also known as EFEMP1), as being highly expressed in T2 vs T1 bladder cancer and aggressive vs indolent disease. We confirmed the overexpression of fibulin-3 in ⩾T2 vs non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) by quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. Consistent with these findings, fibulin-3 expression level correlated with the invasive ability of several bladder cancer cell lines and modulation of fibulin-3 expression directly affected invasion. Fibulin-3 knockdown in bladder cancer cells decreased the incidence of MIBCs in a murine orthotopic bladder cancer model and decreased the expression of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-5 (IGFBP5). Restoring IGFBP5 in these cells rescued their invasive and migratory potential. These results indicate that fibulin-3 serves as a pro-invasive factor in bladder cancer, which may be mediated through modulation of IGFBP5 expression. This also suggests fibulin-3 and IGFBP5 may have potential as biomarkers of aggressive bladder cancer or therapeutic targets.

Yang L, Qu B, Xia X, et al.
Impact of interaction between the G870A and EFEMP1 gene polymorphism on glioma risk in Chinese Han population.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(23):37561-37567 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIMS: To investigate the impact of CCND1 and EFEMP1 gene polymorphism, and additional their gene-gene interactions and haplotype within EFEMP1 gene on glioma risk based on Chinese population.
METHODS: Logistic regression was performed to investigate association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and glioma risk and generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR) was used to analyze the gene-gene interaction.
RESULTS: Glioma risks were higher in carriers of homozygous mutant of rs603965 within CCND1 gene, rs1346787 and rs3791679 in EFEMP1 gene than those with wild-type homozygotes, OR (95%CI) were 1.67 (1.23-2.02), 1.59 (1.25-2.01) and 1.42 (1.15-1.82), respectively. GMDR analysis indicated a significant two-locus model (p=0.0010) involving rs603965 within CCND1 gene and rs1346787 within EFEMP1 gene. Overall, the cross-validation consistency of the two- locus models was 10\ 10, and the testing accuracy is 60.17%. Participants with rs603965 - GA or AA and rs1346787- AG or GG genotype have the highest glioma risk, compared to participants with rs603965 - GG and rs1346787- AA genotype, OR (95%CI) was 3.65 (1.81-5.22). We conducted haplotype analysis for rs1346787 and rs3791679, because D' value between rs1346787 and rs3791679 was more than 0.8. The most common haplotype was rs1346787 - A and rs3791679- G haplotype, the frequency of which was 0.4905 and 0.4428 in case and control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Polymorphism in rs603965 within CCND1 gene and rs1346787 within EFEMP1 gene and its gene- gene interaction were associated with increased glioma risk.

Battolla E, Canessa PA, Ferro P, et al.
Comparison of the Diagnostic Performance of Fibulin-3 and Mesothelin in Patients with Pleural Effusions from Malignant Mesothelioma.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(3):1387-1391 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the literature, there exist conflicting data on the value of fibulin-3 (FBLN3) for the diagnosis of pleural effusion (PE) in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Therefore we compared the diagnostic performance of FBLN3 against that of soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP) in a cohort of Italian patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: FBLN3 and SMRP were detected in PE from 33 patients with MPM, 64 with pleural benign lesions and 23 with non-MPM pleural metastases using a commercial enzyme-linked-immunosorbent(ELISA)-assay kit according to manufacturers' instructions.
RESULTS: Levels of FBLN3 were similar in PE from MPM and PE from other pathologies (geometric mean=68.1 vs. 66.2 ng/ml; p=0.872) in contrast to SMRP levels, which were significantly higher in PE from MPM (geometric mean=14.6 vs. 3.2 nM; p<0.001). Receiver operating characteristic analysis confirmed that SMRP showed a good performance (area under the curve=0.79, p<0.001), whereas FBLN3 was not able to discriminate MPM from other pathologies (area under the curve=0.44, p=0.838).
CONCLUSION: FBLN3 detection in PE, in contrast to SMRP detection, is not useful as a biomarker for the diagnosis of PE from MPM.

Lei D, Zhang F, Yao D, et al.
MiR-338-5p suppresses proliferation, migration, invasion, and promote apoptosis of glioblastoma cells by directly targeting EFEMP1.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 89:957-965 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate the effect of miR-338-5p on proliferation, migration and invasion of glioblastoma (GBM) cells by regulating EFEMP1.
METHODS: The expression of miR-338-5p and EFEMP1 was measured by qRT-PCR and western blot. Transfection was conducted to regulate the expression of miR-338-5p and EFEMP1 in U87 cell lines. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion were evaluated using CCK-8 assay, flow cytometry and Transwell assay respectively. Dual luciferase reporter assay was performed to verify whether miR-338-5p directly targeted EFEMP1.
RESULTS: MiR-338-5p was significantly down-regulated in human GBM tumor tissues and cells while EFEMP1 was strongly upregulated (P<0.05). Upregulated miR-338-5p was able to suppress cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and promote cell apoptosis in GBM cells (P<0.05). Dual luciferase reporter gene assay determined that miR-338-5p directly targeted EFEMP1 (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: MiR-338-5p suppressed proliferation, migration and invasion of GBM cells through inhibiting EFEMP1.

Shen H, Zhang L, Zhou J, et al.
Epidermal Growth Factor-Containing Fibulin-Like Extracellular Matrix Protein 1 (EFEMP1) Acts as a Potential Diagnostic Biomarker for Prostate Cancer.
Med Sci Monit. 2017; 23:216-222 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to detect the expression of epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) and estimate its diagnostic value in prostate cancer (PCa). MATERIAL AND METHODS EFEMP1 expression in serum and urine of patients with PCa, benign controls and healthy controls at mRNA and protein level were measured by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis, respectively. The chi-square test was used to analyze the relationship between EFEMP1 expression and clinical factors of patients with PCa. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was established to evaluate the potential values of EFEMP1 for the diagnosis of PCa. RESULTS The relative expression of EFEMP1 was significantly decreased in patients with PCa compared with that in the benign controls and healthy individuals, both at mRNA and protein levels (P<0.05). In the postoperative serum, the EFEMP1 expression was significantly higher than that in preoperative serum at 2 levels. Urine EFEMP1 expression was also down-regulated in patients with PCa compared to that in the other 2 control groups. The low expression of EFEMP1 was obviously affected by Gleason's score, serum PSA, pathological stage, and lymph node metastasis. Moreover, there was a significant inverse correlation between EFEMP1 expression and PSA levels. The ROC curve revealed that EFEMP1 distinguished PCa patients from healthy controls, with a high AUC of 0.908, corresponding with high sensitivity and specificity, which was significantly higher than the PSA value. CONCLUSIONS Serum EFEMP1 is down-regulated and involved in the progression of PCa. It may serve as a useful diagnostic biomarker, with better diagnostic accuracy than PSA in PCa.

Jiang N, Peng YP, Wang XY, et al.
Assessing the association between EFEMP1 rs3791679 polymorphism and risk of glioma in a Chinese Han population.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we assessed the association between the EFEMP1 rs3791679 polymorphism and glioma risk in a Chinese Han population. A total of 94 glioma patients and 206 healthy controls who conformed to the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited from Baogang Hospital between March 2012 and October 2014. The EFEMP1 rs3791679 gene polymorphism was assessed using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay and the results were statistically analyzed using SPSS Statistics 17.0. The results of unconditional logistic regression analysis revealed that the GG genotype of EFEMP1 rs3791679 was positively correlated with increased susceptibility to glioma (adjusted OR = 2.09, 95%CI = 1.21-7.81). Moreover, the GG genotype of EFEMP1 rs3791679 was correlated with higher risk of glioma compared to the AA+GA genotype (OR = 2.60, 95%CI = 1.08-6.28) in the regressive model. In conclusion, we report that the EFEMP1 rs3791679 polymorphism influences glioma susceptibility in the Chinese Han population.

Kwak JH, Lee NH, Lee HY, et al.
HIF2α/EFEMP1 cascade mediates hypoxic effects on breast cancer stem cell hierarchy.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(28):43518-43533 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) have been shown to contribute to tumor growth, metastasis, and recurrence. They are also markedly resistant to conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Recent studies have suggested that hypoxia is one of the prominent micro-environmental factors that increase the self-renewal ability of BCSCs, partially by enhancing CSC phenotypes. Thus, the identification and development of new therapeutic approaches based on targeting the hypoxia-dependent responses in BCSCs is urgent. Through various in vitro studies, we found that hypoxia specifically up-regulates BCSC sphere formation and a subset of CD44+/CD24-/low CSCs. Hypoxia inducible factors 2α (HIF2α) depletion suppressed CSC-like phenotypes and CSC-mediated drug resistance in breast cancer. Furthermore, the stimulatory effects of hypoxia-induced HIF2α on BCSC sphere formation were successfully attenuated by epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) knockdown. Taken together, these data suggest that HIF2α mediates hypoxia-induced cancer growth/metastasis and that EFEMP1 is a downstream effector of hypoxia-induced HIF2α during breast tumorigenesis.

Dou CY, Cao CJ, Wang Z, et al.
EFEMP1 inhibits migration of hepatocellular carcinoma by regulating MMP2 and MMP9 via ERK1/2 activity.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3489-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) inhibiting migration in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown. Expression of EFEMP1 in HCC cell lines were quantified by western blotting and real-time PCR. The role of EFEMP1 in HCC cell migration was explored in vitro via siRNA and adding purified EFEMP1 protein. The associated molecule expression was detected by western blotting after downregulation of EFEMP1 and also tested by immunohistochemistry. Eight pairs of HCC non-HCC liver samples and 215 HCC samples were subjected to immunohistochemistry. EFEMP1 was highly expressed in 7,721 and HepG2 HCC cell lines while HuH7 HCC cell line expressed the lowest level of EFEMP1 compared with the others. Downregulating EFEMP1 by siRNA markedly increased the migration ability of HCC cells while adding purified EFEMP1 protein inhibited HCC cell migration. Downregulation of EFEMP1 increased the expression of ERK1/2, MMP2 and MMP9. Furthermore, U0126 (a highly selective and potent inhibitor of pERK1/2) could abrogate the migration ability enhanced by siRNA. Accordingly, MMP2 and MMP9 were inversely expressed with EFEMP1 expression by immunohistochemistry. EFEMP1 downregulated in HCC tissues, and lower EFEMP1 expression was significantly associated with HCC patients with ascites (P=0.050), vascular invasion (P=0.044), poorer differentiation (P=0.002) and higher clinical stage (P=0.003).

Yoshida K, Nagasaka T, Umeda Y, et al.
Expansion of epigenetic alterations in EFEMP1 promoter predicts malignant formation in pancreatobiliary intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(7):1557-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although limited understanding exists for the presence of specific genetic mutations and aberrantly methylated genes in pancreatobiliary intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), the fundamental understanding of the dynamics of methylation expansion across CpG dinucleotides in specific gene promoters during carcinogenesis remains unexplored. Expansion of DNA methylation in some gene promoter regions, such as EFEMP1, one of the fibulin family, with tumor progression has been reported in several malignancies. We hypothesized that DNA hypermethylation in EFEMP1 promoter would expand with the tumor grade of IPMN.
METHODS: A sample of 65 IPMNs and 30 normal pancreatic tissues was analyzed. IPMNs were divided into the following three subsets according to pathological findings: 31 with low-grade dysplasia (low grade), 11 with high-grade dysplasia (high grade), and 23 with associated invasive carcinoma (invasive Ca). Mutations in the KRAS or GNAS genes were analyzed by Sanger sequencing, and methylation status of two discrete regions within the EFEMP1 promoter, namely region 1 and region 2, was analyzed by bisulfite sequencing and fluorescent high-sensitive assay for bisulfite DNA (Hi-SA). Expression status of EFEMP1 was investigated by immunohistochemistry (IHC).
RESULTS: KRAS mutations were detected in 39, 55, and 70 % of low-grade, high-grade, and invasive Ca, respectively. GNAS mutations were observed in 32, 55, and 22 % of low-grade, high-grade, and invasive Ca, respectively. The methylation of individual regions (region 1 or 2) in the EFEMP1 promoter was observed in 84, 91, and 87 % of low-grade, high-grade, and invasive Ca, respectively. However, simultaneous methylation of both regions (extensive methylation) was exclusively detected in 35 % of invasive Ca (p = 0.001) and five of eight IPMNs (63 %) with extensive methylation, whereas 20 of 57 (35.1 %) tumors of unmethylation or partial methylation of the EFEMP1 promoter region showed weak staining EFEMP1 in extracellular matrix (p = 0.422). In addition, extensive EFEMP1 methylation was particularly present in malignant tumors without GNAS mutations and associated with disease-free survival of patients with IPMNs (p < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Extensive methylation of the EFEMP1 gene promoter can discriminate invasive from benign IPMNs with superior accuracy owing to their stepwise accumulation of tumor progression.

Li X, Quan Y, Tang C, Chen Y
Association between genetic variants of EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein1 gene and sporadic breast cancer in a Chinese Han population.
Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2016; 37(1):80-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION: Genetic susceptibility of breast cancer has been shown to be modulated by inheritance of polymorphic genes. EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) gene played an important role in many tumors, including lung cancer, hepatic carcinoma, and prostate cancer. In addition, it was importantly downexpressed in breast cancer. The present research aimed to assess the association between genetic variations of EFEMP1 and breast cancer risk.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors genotyped 11 common tagging SNPs with an array platform including 960 cases and 972 cancer-free controls of Chinese women, according to the HapMap database based on the pairwise linkage disequilibrium (LD) r² threshold of 0.8, minor allele frequency of 0.05.
RESULTS: Three SNPs were significant associated with breast cancer (rs3791679, p = 0.016, OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.04-1.41; rs1346786, p = 0.005, OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.08 -1.59; rs727878, p = 0.002, OR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.10-1.51). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that, compared with wild-type carriers in a dominant model, a significantly increased breast cancer risk was associated with the three identified risk SNPs. Among the selected tagging SNPs, three haplotype blocks were identified, and the results of haplotype analysis were consistent with the single-locus analysis. The haplotype 'GG' in block 1 and haplotype 'AG' in block 2 were significantly associated with breast cancer, and had a 54% and 28% increased breast cancer risk respectively, compared with their corresponding noncarriers.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggested that the polymorphisms of EFEMP1 gene were associated with breast cancer and might contribute to the susceptibility of the progression of breast cancer in Chinese Han women. Individuals with the risk alleles might increase the risk of breast cancer.

Yang T, Zhang H, Qiu H, et al.
EFEMP1 is repressed by estrogen and inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition via Wnt/β-catenin signaling in endometrial carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(18):25712-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) acted as a tumor suppressor in endometrial carcinoma (EC). However, the correlation between EFEMP1 and estrogen is unknown. Here, we reported that the expression of EFEMP1 was conversely associated with ERα in endometrial carcinoma tissues. In endometrial carcinoma cells, estrogen/ERα signaling significantly suppressed the expression of EFEMP1. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP) and dual-luciferase reporter assays demonstrate that estrogen/ERα bound to the estrogen response element (ERE) located in EFEMP1 promoter and repressed its expression. Besides, in vitro and in vivo, EFEMP1 could remarkably suppress the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers such as Vimentin, Snail and the Wnt/β-catenin target genes like Cyclin-D1 and c-Myc, which could be restored when EFEMP1 was silenced. In addition, XAV93920 (the inhibitor of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway) blocked and LiCl (the activator of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway) enhanced the effect of EFEMP1 on EMT. In conclusion, we demonstrated that estrogen/ERα signal suppresses EFEMP1. Besides, EFEMP1 inhibits EMT via interfering the Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

Qin G, Qi S, Lu D, et al.
EFEMP1 rs3791679 polymorphism was associated with susceptibility to glioma.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(11):15222-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We conducted a case-control study in a Chinese population, and investigated the association between four SNPs (rs3791679, rs1346786, rs1344733 and rs727878) in EFEMP1 and development of glioma. A case-control study was taken in the present study. The rs3791679, rs1346786, rs1344733 and rs727878 gene polymorphisms were analyzed using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay. A total of 159 patients with glioma and 364 controls were collected between July 2012 and June 2014. By unconditional logistic regression analysis, we found that individuals carrying the AA genotype and GA+AA genotype were associated with development of glioma when compared with the GG genotype, and the adjusted ORs (95% CI) were 2.13 (1.15-3.90) and 1.55 (1.04-2.32), respectively. However, we did not find that rs1346786, rs1344733 and rs727878 were significantly associated with development of glioma. Moreover, we found that the GA+AA genotype of rs3791679 was associations with a heavy increased risk of glioma in patients who have family history of cancers, and the OR (95% CI) was 6.81 (1.17-48.06). The results of our study suggested an association between the rs3791679 polymorphism and an elevated risk of glioma, especially in those with family history of glioma.

Tang NY, Chueh FS, Yu CC, et al.
Benzyl isothiocyanate alters the gene expression with cell cycle regulation and cell death in human brain glioblastoma GBM 8401 cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2089-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly malignant devastating brain tumor in adults. Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) is one of the isothiocyanates that have been shown to induce human cancer cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Herein, the effect of BITC on cell viability and apoptotic cell death and the genetic levels of human brain glioblastoma GBM 8401 cells in vitro were investigated. We found that BITC induced cell morphological changes, decreased cell viability and the induction of cell apoptosis in GBM 8401 cells was time-dependent. cDNA microarray was used to examine the effects of BITC on GBM 8401 cells and we found that numerous genes associated with cell death and cell cycle regulation in GBM 8401 cells were altered after BITC treatment. The results show that expression of 317 genes was upregulated, and two genes were associated with DNA damage, the DNA-damage-inducible transcript 3 (DDIT3) was increased 3.66-fold and the growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible α (GADD45A) was increased 2.34-fold. We also found that expression of 182 genes was downregulated and two genes were associated with receptor for cell responses to stimuli, the EGF containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) was inhibited 2.01-fold and the TNF receptor-associated protein 1 (TRAP1) was inhibited 2.08-fold. BITC inhibited seven mitochondria ribosomal genes, the mitochondrial ribosomal protein; tumor protein D52 (MRPS28) was inhibited 2.06-fold, the mitochondria ribosomal protein S2 (MRPS2) decreased 2.07-fold, the mitochondria ribosomal protein L23 (MRPL23) decreased 2.08-fold, the mitochondria ribosomal protein S2 (MRPS2) decreased 2.07-fold, the mitochondria ribosomal protein S12 (MRPS12) decreased 2.08-fold, the mitochondria ribosomal protein L12 (MRPL12) decreased 2.25-fold and the mitochondria ribosomal protein S34 (MRPS34) was decreased 2.30-fold in GBM 8401 cells. These changes of gene expression can provide the effects of BITC on the genetic level and are potential biomarkers for glioblastoma therapy.

Li WB, Zhou J, Xu L, et al.
Identification of Genes Associated with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma (PTC) for Diagnosis by Integrated Analysis.
Horm Metab Res. 2016; 48(4):226-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common type of thyroid carcinoma, and our understanding of its pathogenesis is incomplete. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying such progression and identify novel diagnostic markers, we aimed to discover the underlying gene associated with PTC. Integrated analysis of microarray datasets was performed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between PTCs and normal tissues. GO enrichment analysis and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis were then performed to uncover the functions of DEGs. Furthermore, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of DEGs was constructed. Five GEO datasets were obtained. Totally, 154 DEGs across the studies were identified, including 26 upregulated and 128 downregulated DEGs. In the PPI network, MLLT1, DLG2, and EFEMP1 were the hub proteins, in which DLG2 and EFEMP1 were involved in tumor progression. Among the top 10 up- and downregulated genes, the dysregulation genes of TPO, CDH16, and MPPED2 may be closely related to the tumorigenesis of PTC. By integrated analysis of multiple gene expression profiles, we propose that the dysregulation genes of TPO and MPPED2 will be the promising diagnostic markers for PTCs.

Marsh EE, Chibber S, Wu J, et al.
Epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 expression and regulation in uterine leiomyoma.
Fertil Steril. 2016; 105(4):1070-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the presence, differential expression, and regulation of epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) in uterine leiomyomas.
DESIGN: Laboratory in vivo and in vitro study with the use of human leiomyoma and myometrial tissue and primary cells.
SETTING: Academic medical center.
SAMPLE(S): Leiomyoma and myometrial tissue samples and cultured cells.
INTERVENTION(S): 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) treatment.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Fold-change difference between EFEMP1 and fibulin-3 expression in leiomyoma tissue and cells compared with matched myometrial samples, and fold-change difference in EFEMP1 expression with 5-Aza-dC treatment.
RESULT(S): In vivo, EFEMP1 expression was 3.19-fold higher in myometrial tissue than in leiomyoma tissue. EFEMP1 expression in vitro was 5.03-fold higher in myometrial cells than in leiomyoma cells. Western blot and immunohistochemistry staining of tissue and cells confirmed similar findings in protein expression. Treatment of leiomyoma cells with 5-Aza-dC resulted in increased expression of EFEMP1 in vitro.
CONCLUSION(S): The EFEMP1 gene and its protein product, fibulin-3, are both significantly down-regulated in leiomyoma compared with myometrium when studied both in vivo and in vitro. The increase in EFEMP1 expression in leiomyoma cells with 5-Aza-dC treatment suggest that differential methylation is responsible, in part, for the differences seen in gene expression.

Panou V, Vyberg M, Weinreich UM, et al.
The established and future biomarkers of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2015; 41(6):486-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an asbestos-related cancer with a median survival of 12months. The MPM incidence is 1-6/100,000 and is increasing as a result of historic asbestos exposure in industrialized countries and continued use of asbestos in developing countries. Lack of accurate biomarkers makes diagnosis, prognostication and treatment prediction of MPM challenging. The aim of this review is to identify the front line of MPM biomarkers with current or potential clinical impact. Literature search using the PubMed and PLoS One databases, the related-articles function of PubMed and the reference lists of associated publications until April 26th 2015 revealed a plethora of candidate biomarkers. The current gold standard of MPM diagnosis is a combination of two positive and two negative immunohistochemical markers in the epithelioid and biphasic type, but sarcomatous type do not have specific markers, making diagnosis more difficult. Mesothelin in serum and pleural fluid may serve as adjuvant diagnostic with high specificity but low sensitivity. Circulating proteomic and microRNA signatures, fibulin-3, tumor cell gene-ratio test, transcriptomic, lncRNA, glycopeptides, pleural fluid FISH assay, hyaluronate/N-ERC mesothelin and deformability cytometry may be important future markers. Putative predictive markers for pemetrexed-platinum are tumor TS and TYMS, for vinorelbine the ERCC1, beta-tubuline class III and BRCA1. Mutations of the BAP1 gene are potential markers of MPM susceptibility. In conclusion, the current status of MPM biomarkers is not satisfactory but encouraging as more sensitive and specific non-invasive markers are emerging. However, prospective validation is needed before clinical application.

Tian H, Liu J, Chen J, et al.
Fibulin-3 is a novel TGF-β pathway inhibitor in the breast cancer microenvironment.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(45):5635-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an important regulator of breast cancer progression. However, how the breast cancer microenvironment regulates TGF-β signaling during breast cancer progression remains largely unknown. Here, we identified fibulin-3 as a secreted protein in the breast cancer microenvironment, which efficiently inhibits TGF-β signaling in both breast cancer cells and endothelial cells. Mechanistically, fibulin-3 interacts with the type I TGF-β receptor (TβRI) to block TGF-β induced complex formation of TβRI with the type II TGF-β receptor (TβRII) and subsequent downstream TGF-β signaling. Fibulin-3 expression decreases during breast cancer progression, with low fibulin-3 levels correlating with a poorer prognosis. Functionally, high fibulin-3 levels inhibited TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), migration, invasion and endothelial permeability, while loss of fibulin-3 expression/function promoted these TGF-β-mediated effects. Further, restoring fibulin-3 expression in breast cancer cells inhibited TGF-β signaling, breast cancer cell EMT, invasion and metastasis in vivo. These studies provide a novel mechanism for how TGF-β signaling is regulated by the tumor microenvironment, and provide insight into targeting the TGF-β signaling pathway in human breast cancer patients.

Zhang S, Ye Z, Song X, et al.
Association of EFEMP1 gene polymorphisms with the risk of glioma: A hospital-based case-control study in a Chinese Han population.
J Neurol Sci. 2015; 349(1-2):54-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein1 (EFEMP1) gene was relative with the formation and development of tumors and had an anti-angiogenic function. Recently, many studies investigating the function of EFEMP1 gene, including its roles in prostate cancer and glioma, have been reported. EFEMP1 suppressed glioma growth by modulating EGFR and AKT signaling pathway or promoted growth through the regulation of Notch pathway were identified. However, the susceptibility of EFEMP1and glioma has not been well studied to date. Here, the authors were aimed to investigate whether the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of EFEMP1 were associated with glioma susceptibility.
METHODS: The authors genotyped 14 common tagging SNPs of EFEMP1 gene via the Sequenom Mass ARRYiPLEX platform and assessed their association with glioma risk in a hospital-based case-control study in a Chinese Han population (979 cases and 1007 controls).
RESULTS: Four SNPs were significant associated with glioma risk (rs1346787, P=0.004, adjusted OR=1.49; rs3791679, P=0.014, adjusted OR=1.27; rs1346786, P=0.002, adjusted OR=1.41; rs3791675, P=0.011, adjusted OR=1.27). In further stratified analysis, all the significant SNPs except rs1346787 were associated with both low-grade gliomas and glioblastoma (GBM). In haplotype analysis, 4 haplotype blocks were identified and 2 of them were revealed significant associated with glioma, the haplotype "AA" (adjusted OR=1.44, P=0.005) in block 1 and haplotype "GG" (adjusted OR=1.65, P=0.0004) in block 2 had a 44% and 65% increased glioma risk respectively, compared with corresponding non-carriers. The results of haplotype analysis were significantly consistent with the single-locus analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The authors' results suggested that common genetic variants in EFEMP1 gene were associated with glioma and contributed to glioma susceptibility, which might help to reveal the mechanism of gliomas and provide new insight for the diagnosis and treatment.

Arechederra M, Priego N, Vázquez-Carballo A, et al.
p38 MAPK down-regulates fibulin 3 expression through methylation of gene regulatory sequences: role in migration and invasion.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(7):4383-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
p38 MAPKs regulate migration and invasion. However, the mechanisms involved are only partially known. We had previously identified fibulin 3, which plays a role in migration, invasion, and tumorigenesis, as a gene regulated by p38α. We have characterized in detail how p38 MAPK regulates fibulin 3 expression and its role. We describe here for the first time that p38α, p38γ, and p38δ down-regulate fibulin 3 expression. p38α has a stronger effect, and it does so through hypermethylation of CpG sites in the regulatory sequences of the gene. This would be mediated by the DNA methylase, DNMT3A, which is down-regulated in cells lacking p38α, but once re-introduced represses Fibulin 3 expression. p38α through HuR stabilizes dnmt3a mRNA leading to an increase in DNMT3A protein levels. Moreover, by knocking-down fibulin 3, we have found that Fibulin 3 inhibits migration and invasion in MEFs by mechanisms involving p38α/β inhibition. Hence, p38α pro-migratory/invasive effect might be, at least in part, mediated by fibulin 3 down-regulation in MEFs. In contrast, in HCT116 cells, Fibulin 3 promotes migration and invasion through a mechanism dependent on p38α and/or p38β activation. Furthermore, Fibulin 3 promotes in vitro and in vivo tumor growth of HCT116 cells through a mechanism dependent on p38α, which surprisingly acts as a potent inducer of tumor growth. At the same time, p38α limits fibulin 3 expression, which might represent a negative feed-back loop.

Kim IG, Lee JH, Kim SY, et al.
Fibulin-3 negatively regulates ALDH1 via c-MET suppression and increases γ-radiation-induced sensitivity in some pancreatic cancer cell lines.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 454(3):369-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibulin-3 (FBLN-3) has been postulated to be either a tumor suppressor or promoter depending on the cell type, and hypermethylation of the FBLN-3 promoter is often associated with human disease, especially cancer. We report that the promoter region of the FBLN-3 was significantly methylated (>95%) in some pancreatic cancer cell lines and thus FBLN-3 was poorly expressed in pancreatic cancer cell lines such as AsPC-1 and MiaPaCa-2. FBLN-3 overexpression significantly down-regulated the cellular level of c-MET and inhibited hepatocyte growth factor-induced c-MET activation, which were closely associated with γ-radiation resistance of cancer cells. Moreover, we also showed that c-MET suppression or inactivation decreased the cellular level of ALDH1 isozymes (ALDH1A1 or ALDH1A3), which serve as cancer stem cell markers, and subsequently induced inhibition of cell growth in pancreatic cancer cells. Therefore, forced overexpression of FBLN-3 sensitized cells to cytotoxic agents such as γ-radiation and strongly inhibited the stemness and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) property of pancreatic cancer cells. On the other hand, if FBLN3 was suppressed in FBLN-3-expressing BxPC3 cells, the results were opposite. This study provides the first demonstration that the FBLN-3/c-MET/ALDH1 axis in pancreatic cancer cells partially modulates stemness and EMT as well as sensitization of cells to the detrimental effects of γ-radiation.

Almeida M, Costa VL, Costa NR, et al.
Epigenetic regulation of EFEMP1 in prostate cancer: biological relevance and clinical potential.
J Cell Mol Med. 2014; 18(11):2287-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic alterations are common in prostate cancer (PCa) and seem to contribute decisively to its initiation and progression. Moreover, aberrant promoter methylation is a promising biomarker for non-invasive screening. Herein, we sought to characterize EFEMP1 as biomarker for PCa, unveiling its biological relevance in prostate carcinogenesis. Microarray analyses of treated PCa cell lines and primary tissues enabled the selection of differentially methylated genes, among which EFEMP1 was further validated by MSP and bisulfite sequencing. Assessment of biomarker performance was accomplished by qMSP. Expression analysis of EFEMP1 and characterization of histone marks were performed in tissue samples and cancer cell lines to determine the impact of epigenetic mechanisms on EFEMP1 transcriptional regulation. Phenotypic assays, using transfected cell lines, permitted the evaluation of EFEMP1's role in PCa development. EFEMP1 methylation assay discriminated PCa from normal prostate tissue (NPT; P < 0.001, Kruskall-Wallis test) and renal and bladder cancers (96% sensitivity and 98% specificity). EFEMP1 transcription levels inversely correlated with promoter methylation and histone deacetylation, suggesting that both epigenetic mechanisms are involved in gene regulation. Phenotypic assays showed that EFEMP1 de novo expression reduces malignant phenotype of PCa cells. EFEMP1 promoter methylation is prevalent in PCa and accurately discriminates PCa from non-cancerous prostate tissues and other urological neoplasms. This epigenetic alteration occurs early in prostate carcinogenesis and, in association with histone deacetylation, progressively leads to gene down-regulation, fostering cell proliferation, invasion and evasion of apoptosis.

Januchowski R, Zawierucha P, Ruciński M, et al.
Extracellular matrix proteins expression profiling in chemoresistant variants of the A2780 ovarian cancer cell line.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:365867 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among gynaecological malignancies. Extracellular matrix (ECM) can affect drug resistance by preventing the penetration of the drug into cancer cells and increased resistance to apoptosis. This study demonstrates alterations in the expression levels of ECM components and related genes in cisplatin-, doxorubicin-, topotecan-, and paclitaxel-resistant variants of the A2780 ovarian cancer cell line. Affymetrix Gene Chip Human Genome Array Strips were used for hybridisations. The genes that had altered expression levels in drug-resistant sublines were selected and filtered by scatter plots. The genes that were up- or downregulated more than fivefold were selected and listed. Among the investigated genes, 28 genes were upregulated, 10 genes were downregulated, and two genes were down- or upregulated depending on the cell line. Between upregulated genes 12 were upregulated very significantly--over 20-fold. These genes included COL1A2, COL12A1, COL21A1, LOX, TGFBI, LAMB1, EFEMP1, GPC3, SDC2, MGP, MMP3, and TIMP3. Four genes were very significantly downregulated: COL11A1, LAMA2, GPC6, and LUM. The expression profiles of investigated genes provide a preliminary insight into the relationship between drug resistance and the expression of ECM components. Identifying correlations between investigated genes and drug resistance will require further analysis.

Zhu XJ, Liu J, Xu XY, et al.
Novel tumor-suppressor gene epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 is epigenetically silenced and associated with invasion and metastasis in human gastric cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 9(6):2283-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate the role of histone modification and DNA methylation in epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) silencing in gastric cancer (GC). In the present study, four GC cell lines, and 45 paired normal and GC tissue samples were used to assess EFEMP1 expression using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and EFEMP1 gene methylation status was evaluated by methylation-specific PCR. The involvement of histone modification in GC cell lines was examined by a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. The results demonstrated that EFEMP1 mRNA level and methylation status in the EFEMP1 promoter region was associated with tumor differentiation, depth of tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis. DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) rapidly reduced DNA methylation and histone H3-K9 trimethylation at the silenced loci and reactivated EFEMP1 expression. By contrast, the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A markedly increased histone H3-K9 acetylation. However, it had no effect on DNA methylation, histone H3-K9 trimethylation or gene expression. In conclusion, the results suggested that EFEMP1 may function as a tumor suppressor in GC. Aberrant DNA methylation and histone H3-K9 trimethylation of EFEMP1 may be responsible for its downregulation in GC, and thus have an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis.

Hiddingh L, Tannous BA, Teng J, et al.
EFEMP1 induces γ-secretase/Notch-mediated temozolomide resistance in glioblastoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(2):363-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor. Temozolomide (TMZ) is the standard chemotherapeutic agent for this disease. However, intrinsic and acquired TMZ-resistance represents a major obstacle for this therapy. In order to identify factors involved in TMZ-resistance, we engineered different TMZ-resistant glioblastoma cell lines. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that EFEMP1, an extracellular matrix protein, is associated with TMZ-resistant phenotype. Silencing of EFEMP1 in glioblastoma cells resulted in decreased cell survival following TMZ treatment, whereas overexpression caused TMZ-resistance. EFEMP1 acts via multiple signaling pathways, including γ-secretase-mediated activation of the Notch pathway. We show that inhibition of γ-secretase by RO4929097 causes at least partial sensitization of glioblastoma cells to temozolomide in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we show that EFEMP1 expression levels correlate with survival in TMZ-treated glioblastoma patients. Altogether our results suggest EFEMP1 as a potential therapeutic target to overcome TMZ-resistance in glioblastoma.

Chen X, Meng J, Yue W, et al.
Fibulin-3 suppresses Wnt/β-catenin signaling and lung cancer invasion.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(8):1707-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The 5 year survival rate of lung cancer is <20%, with most patients dying from distant metastasis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying lung cancer invasion and metastasis have not been fully characterized. In this study, we found that fibulin-3, a fibulin family extracellular matrix protein, functions as a suppressor of lung cancer invasion and metastasis. Fibulin-3 was downregulated in large fractions of lung tumors and cell lines, and inhibited lung cancer cell invasion and the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7), a promoter of lung cancer invasion. The expression levels of fibulin-3 and MMP-7 were inversely correlated in lung tumors. Fibulin-3 inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) to activate glycogen synthase kinase 3β and suppress Wnt/β-catenin signaling, which induces MMP-7 expression in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, fibulin-3 expression impeded the growth and metastasis of lung tumors in mice. Collectively, these results suggest that downregulation of fibulin-3 contributes to lung cancer invasion and metastasis by activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling and MMP-7 expression.

Chen J, Wei D, Zhao Y, et al.
Overexpression of EFEMP1 correlates with tumor progression and poor prognosis in human ovarian carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e78783 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study was to explore the role of EFEMP1 in ovarian tumor progression and its relationship with prognosis of ovarian carcinoma.
METHODS: EFEMP1 mRNA and protein expressions in normal ovarian tissue, ovarian tumor, high invasive subclones and low invasive subclones were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR. Serum EFEMP1 levels in patients with ovarian tumor were measured by ELISA assay. To assess the angiogenic properties of EFEMP1, VEGF and tumor microvessel density were analyzed in ovarian carcinoma by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: EFEMP1 expression was up-regulated in ovarian carcinoma, positively correlated with MVD and VEGF, and its overexpression and high serum levels were significantly associated with high stage, low differentiation, lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis of ovarian cancer. EFEMP1 expression was also found to be over-expressed in the highly invasive subclones compared with the low invasive subclones.
CONCLUSION: EFEMP1 is a newly identified gene over-expressed in ovarian cancer, associated with poor clinicopathologic features and promotes angiogenesis. This study shows that EFEMP1 may serve as a new prognostic factor and a therapeutic target for patients with ovarian cancer in the future.

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