EPHA2

Gene Summary

Gene:EPHA2; EPH receptor A2
Aliases: ECK, CTPA, ARCC2, CTPP1, CTRCT6
Location:1p36
Summary:This gene belongs to the ephrin receptor subfamily of the protein-tyrosine kinase family. EPH and EPH-related receptors have been implicated in mediating developmental events, particularly in the nervous system. Receptors in the EPH subfamily typically have a single kinase domain and an extracellular region containing a Cys-rich domain and 2 fibronectin type III repeats. The ephrin receptors are divided into 2 groups based on the similarity of their extracellular domain sequences and their affinities for binding ephrin-A and ephrin-B ligands. This gene encodes a protein that binds ephrin-A ligands. Mutations in this gene are the cause of certain genetically-related cataract disorders.[provided by RefSeq, May 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ephrin type-A receptor 2
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 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.

  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromosome 1
  • Transduction
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Apoptosis
  • Angiogenesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Stem Cells
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Silencing
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Eph Family Receptors
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Staging
  • Disease Progression
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transcription
  • Ephrin-A1
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Messenger RNA
  • Breast Cancer
  • Western Blotting
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Young Adult
  • RTPCR
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Movement
  • siRNA
  • Virus Latency
  • Survival Rate
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Up-Regulation
  • Tumor Markers
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: EPHA2 (cancer-related)

Kong LY, Wei J, Haider AS, et al.
Therapeutic targets in subependymoma.
J Neuroimmunol. 2014; 277(1-2):168-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Subependymomas are usually treated with surgical resection; however, no standard, defined alternative medical therapy is recommended for patients who are not surgical candidates, owing to a paucity of molecular, immunological, and genetic characterization. To address this, an ex vivo functional analysis of the immune microenvironment in subependymoma was conducted, a subependymoma cytokine/chemokine microarray was constructed for the evaluation of operational immune and molecular pathways, and a subependymoma cell line was derived and used to test a variety of cytotoxic agents that target operational pathways identified in subependymoma. We found that immune effectors are detectable within the microenvironment of subependymoma; however, marked immune suppression is not observed. The subependymoma tissue microarrays demonstrated tumor expression of p53, MDM2, HIF-1α, topoisomerase II-β, p-STAT3, and nucleolin, but not EGFRvIII, EphA2, IL-13RA2, CMV, CTLA-4, FoxP3, PD-1, PD-L1, EGFR, PDGF-α, PDGF-β, PDGFR-α, PDGFR-β, PTEN, IGFBP2, PI3K, MDM4, IDH1, mTOR, or Jak2. A topoisomerase inhibitor (WP744, IC50=0.83 μM) and a p-STAT3/HIF-1α inhibitor (WP1066, IC50=3.15 μM) demonstrated a growth inhibition of the subependymoma cell proliferation. Cumulatively, these data suggest that those agents that interfere with oncogenes operational in subependymoma may have clinical impact.

Ema A, Yamashita K, Ushiku H, et al.
Immunohistochemical analysis of RTKs expression identified HER3 as a prognostic indicator of gastric cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(12):1591-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
Standard treatment in Japan for the 13th Japanese Gastric Cancer Association stage II/III advanced gastric cancer is postoperative adjuvant S-1 administration after curative surgery. High expression of receptor type tyrosine kinases (RTKs) has repeatedly represented poor prognosis for cancers. However it has not been demonstrated whether RTKs have prognostic relevance for stage II/III gastric cancer with standard treatment. Tumor tissues were obtained from 167 stage II/III advanced gastric cancer patients who underwent curative surgery and received postoperative S-1 chemotherapy from 2000 to 2010. Expression of the RTKs including EGFR, HER2, HER3, IGF-1R, and EphA2 was analyzed using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Analysis using a multivariate proportional hazard model identified the most significant RTKs that represented independent prognostic relevance. When tumor HER3 expression was classified into IHC 1+/2+ (n = 98) and IHC 0 (n = 69), the cumulative 5-year Relapse Free Survival (5y-RFS) was 56.5 and 82.9%, respectively (P = 0.0034). Significant prognostic relevance was similarly confirmed for IGF-1R (P = 0.014), and EGFR (P = 0.030), but not for EphA2 or HER2 expression. Intriguingly, HER3 expression was closely correlated with IGF-1R (P < 0.0001, R = 0.41), and EphA2 (P < 0.0001, R = 0.34) expression. Multivariate proportional hazard model analysis identified HER3 (IHC 1+/2+) (HR; 1.53, 95% CI, 1.11-2.16, P = 0.0078) as the sole RTK that was a poor prognostic factor independent of stage. Of the 53 patients who recurred, 40 patients (75.5%) were HER3-positive. Thus, of the RTKs studied, HER3 was the only RTK identified as an independent prognostic indicator of stage II/III advanced gastric cancer with standard treatment.

Roy L, Samyesudhas SJ, Carrasco M, et al.
ARID3B increases ovarian tumor burden and is associated with a cancer stem cell gene signature.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(18):8355-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the most deadly gynecological malignancy since most patients have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. Therefore, identification of critical pathways that contribute to ovarian cancer progression is necessary to yield novel therapeutic targets. Recently we reported that the DNA binding protein ARID3B is overexpressed in human ovarian tumors. To determine if ARID3B has oncogenic functions in vivo, ovarian cancer cell lines stably expressing ARID3B were injected intraperitoneally into nude mice. Overexpression of ARID3B increased tumor burden and decreased survival. To assess how ARID3B contributes to the increased tumor growth in vivo, we identified ARID3B induced genes in tumor ascites cells. ARID3B induced expression of genes associated with metastasis and cancer stem cells (CD44, LGR5, PROM1 (CD133), and Notch2). Moreover, ARID3B increased the number of CD133+ (a cancer stem cell marker) cells compared to control cells. The increase in CD133+ cells resulting from ARID3B expression was accompanied by enhanced paclitaxel resistance. Our data demonstrate that ARID3B boosts production CD133+ cells and increases ovarian cancer progression in vivo.

Hu Y, Petit SA, Ficarro SB, et al.
PARP1-driven poly-ADP-ribosylation regulates BRCA1 function in homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(12):1430-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: BRCA1 promotes homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair (HRR). However, HRR must be tightly regulated to prevent illegitimate recombination. We previously found that BRCA1 HRR function is regulated by the RAP80 complex, but the mechanism was unclear. We have now observed that PARP1 interacts with and poly-ADP-ribosylates (aka PARsylates) BRCA1. PARsylation is directed at the BRCA1 DNA binding domain and downmodulates its function. Moreover, RAP80 contains a poly-ADP-ribose-interacting domain that binds PARsylated BRCA1 and helps to maintain the stability of PARP1-BRCA1-RAP80 complexes. BRCA1 PARsylation is a key step in BRCA1 HRR control. When BRCA1 PARsylation is defective, it gives rise to excessive HRR and manifestations of genome instability. BRCA1 PARsylation and/or RAP80 expression is defective in a subset of sporadic breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived tumor xenograft models. These observations are consistent with the possibility that such defects, when chronic, contribute to tumor development in BRCA1+/+ individuals.
SIGNIFICANCE: We propose a model that describes how BRCA1 functions to both support and restrict HRR. BRCA1 PARsylation is a key event in this process, failure of which triggers hyper-recombination and chromosome instability. Thus, hyperfunctioning BRCA1 can elicit genomic abnormalities similar to those observed in the absence of certain BRCA1 functions.

Donnard E, Asprino PF, Correa BR, et al.
Mutational analysis of genes coding for cell surface proteins in colorectal cancer cell lines reveal novel altered pathways, druggable mutations and mutated epitopes for targeted therapy.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(19):9199-213 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We carried out a mutational analysis of 3,594 genes coding for cell surface proteins (Surfaceome) in 23 colorectal cancer cell lines, searching for new altered pathways, druggable mutations and mutated epitopes for targeted therapy in colorectal cancer. A total of 3,944 somatic non-synonymous substitutions and 595 InDels, occurring in 2,061 (57%) Surfaceome genes were catalogued. We identified 48 genes not previously described as mutated in colorectal tumors in the TCGA database, including genes that are mutated and expressed in >10% of the cell lines (SEMA4C, FGFRL1, PKD1, FAM38A, WDR81, TMEM136, SLC36A1, SLC26A6, IGFLR1). Analysis of these genes uncovered important roles for FGF and SEMA4 signaling in colorectal cancer with possible therapeutic implications. We also found that cell lines express on average 11 druggable mutations, including frequent mutations (>20%) in the receptor tyrosine kinases AXL and EPHA2, which have not been previously considered as potential targets for colorectal cancer. Finally, we identified 82 cell surface mutated epitopes, however expression of only 30% of these epitopes was detected in our cell lines. Notwithstanding, 92% of these epitopes were expressed in cell lines with the mutator phenotype, opening new venues for the use of "general" immune checkpoint drugs in this subset of patients.

Toma MI, Erdmann K, Diezel M, et al.
Lack of ephrin receptor A1 is a favorable independent prognostic factor in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(7):e102262 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The EPH receptor tyrosine kinases and their cell-bound ligands, the ephrins, have been shown to be associated with cancer development and progression. In this study, mRNA and protein expression of the receptors EPHA1 and EPHA2 as well as of their ligand EFNA1 and their prognostic relevance in clear cell renal cell carcinoma was evaluated. Gene expression was measured in 75 cryo-preserved primary tumors and matched non-malignant renal specimens by quantitative PCR. Protein expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays comprising non-malignant, primary tumors and metastatic renal tissues of 241 patients. Gene and protein expression of all three factors was altered in tumor specimens with EPHA1 and EPHA2 being generally diminished in tumors compared to normal renal tissue, whereas EFNA1 was commonly elevated. A positive EPHA1 and EPHA2 protein staining as well as a low EFNA1 protein level were significantly linked to more aggressive tumor features, but only a positive EPHA1 immunoreactivity was significantly associated with poor survival. In subgroup analyses, EPHA1 and EPHA2 protein levels were significantly higher in metastatic than in primary lesions. Patients with EPHA1/EPHA2-positive tumors or with tumors with positive EPHA1 and low EFNA1 immunoreactivity had the shortest survival rates compared to the respective other combinations. In a multivariate model, EPHA1 was an independent prognostic marker for different survival endpoints. In conclusion, an impaired EPH-ephrin signaling could contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Lennon FE, Mirzapoiazova T, Mambetsariev N, et al.
Transactivation of the receptor-tyrosine kinase ephrin receptor A2 is required for the low molecular weight hyaluronan-mediated angiogenesis that is implicated in tumor progression.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(35):24043-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
Angiogenesis or the formation of new blood vessels is important in the growth and metastatic potential of various cancers. Therefore, understanding the mechanism(s) by which angiogenesis occurs can have important therapeutic implications in numerous malignancies. We and others have demonstrated that low molecular weight hyaluronan (LMW-HA, ∼2500 Da) promotes endothelial cell (EC) barrier disruption and angiogenesis. However, the mechanism(s) by which this occurs is poorly defined. Our data indicate that treatment of human EC with LMW-HA induced CD44v10 association with the receptor-tyrosine kinase, EphA2, transactivation (tyrosine phosphorylation) of EphA2, and recruitment of the PDZ domain scaffolding protein, PATJ, to the cell periphery. Silencing (siRNA) CD44, EphA2, PATJ, or Dbs (RhoGEF) expression blocked LMW-HA-mediated angiogenesis (EC proliferation, migration, and tubule formation). In addition, silencing EphA2, PATJ, Src, or Dbs expression blocked LMW-HA-mediated RhoA activation. To translate our in vitro findings, we utilized a novel anginex/liposomal targeting of murine angiogenic endothelium with either CD44 or EphA2 siRNA and observed inhibition of LMW-HA-induced angiogenesis in implanted Matrigel plugs. Taken together, these results indicate LMW-HA-mediated transactivation of EphA2 is required for PATJ and Dbs membrane recruitment and subsequent RhoA activation required for angiogenesis. These results suggest that targeting downstream effectors of LMW-HA could be a useful therapeutic intervention for angiogenesis-associated diseases including tumor progression.

Toren A, Reichardt JK, Andalibi A, et al.
Novel age-dependent targets in vestibular schwannomas.
Hum Genomics. 2014; 8:10 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Schwannomas are the most common neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)-associated tumors with significant phenotypic heterogeneity in patients. The most severe subtype has an early and rapid progression and the mild type has a later onset and a less aggressive course. The aim of this study was to elucidate the underlying molecular differences between these groups. We compared the gene expression pattern between patients with early to late age of onset.
RESULTS: A gene signature of 21 genes was constructed to differentiate between early-onset and late-onset patients. We confirmed these results by real-time PCR for SNF1LK2, NGFRAP1L1 (BEX 5), GMNN, and EPHA2.
CONCLUSION: Genes identified here may be additional aberrations in merlin-depleted cells that govern the disease onset. A significant number of these genes have been suggested as having a role in carcinogenesis and are used as biomarkers for prognosis in several other cancers. The role of these genes in NF2 carcinogenesis and their potential as biomarkers or drug target are worthwhile exploring.

Wada H, Yamamoto H, Kim C, et al.
Association between ephrin-A1 mRNA expression and poor prognosis after hepatectomy to treat hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1051-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia regulates the expression of genes that promote tumor growth, angiogenesis and invasion. We previously studied hypoxic tumor cells in vitro and from hepatic metastases of colorectal cancer and determined several potential prognostic factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we evaluated the prognostic impact of the expression of ephrin-A1 (EFNA1) and its receptor, EPHA2, in patients with HCC after curative resection. Samples from a total of 139 HCC patients were analyzed by either microarray alone (n=86) or by microarray and quantitative PCR (n=53). There was no correlation between EFNA1 expression and clinicopathological factors. EPHA2 expression was not significantly correlated with any clinicopathological factors, except for microscopic portal invasion. EFNA1 was an independent prognostic factor for HCC (p=0.0277). These findings suggest that EFNA1 expression may be a useful marker for predicting high risk of recurrence in patients who have undergone curative resection for HCC.

Guo JQ, Zheng QH, Chen H, et al.
Ginsenoside Rg3 inhibition of vasculogenic mimicry in pancreatic cancer through downregulation of VE‑cadherin/EphA2/MMP9/MMP2 expression.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1065-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3), a trace tetracyclic triterpenoid saponin, is extracted from ginseng and shown to have anticancer activity against several types of cancers. This study explored the effect of Rg3 on pancreatic cancer vasculogenic mimicry. Altered vasculogenic mimicry formation was assessed using immunohistochemistry and PAS staining and associated with the expression of vascular endothelial-cadherin (VE-cadherin), epithelial cell kinase (EphA2), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. The effect of Rg3 on the regulation of pancreatic cancer vasculogenic mimicry was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The data showed vasculogenic mimicry in pancreatic cancer tissues. In addition, the expression of VE-cadherin, EphA2, MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins associated with formation of pancreatic cancer vasculogenic mimicry. Rg3 treatment reduced the levels of vasculogenic mimicry in nude mouse xenografts in vitro and in vivo, while the expression of VE-cadherin, EphA2, MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA and proteins was downregulated by Rg3 treatment in vitro and in tumor xenografts. In conclusion, ginsenoside Rg3 effectively inhibited the formation of pancreatic cancer vasculogenic mimicry by downregulating the expression of VE-cadherin, EphA2, MMP9 and MMP2. Further studies are required to evaluate ginsenoside Rg3 as an agent to control pancreatic cancer.

Cho J, Bass AJ, Lawrence MS, et al.
Colon cancer-derived oncogenic EGFR G724S mutant identified by whole genome sequence analysis is dependent on asymmetric dimerization and sensitive to cetuximab.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:141 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inhibition of the activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with either enzymatic kinase inhibitors or anti-EGFR antibodies such as cetuximab, is an effective modality of treatment for multiple human cancers. Enzymatic EGFR inhibitors are effective for lung adenocarcinomas with somatic kinase domain EGFR mutations while, paradoxically, anti-EGFR antibodies are more effective in colon and head and neck cancers where EGFR mutations occur less frequently. In colorectal cancer, anti-EGFR antibodies are routinely used as second-line therapy of KRAS wild-type tumors. However, detailed mechanisms and genomic predictors for pharmacological response to these antibodies in colon cancer remain unclear.
FINDINGS: We describe a case of colorectal adenocarcinoma, which was found to harbor a kinase domain mutation, G724S, in EGFR through whole genome sequencing. We show that G724S mutant EGFR is oncogenic and that it differs from classic lung cancer derived EGFR mutants in that it is cetuximab responsive in vitro, yet relatively insensitive to small molecule kinase inhibitors. Through biochemical and cellular pharmacologic studies, we have determined that cells harboring the colon cancer-derived G719S and G724S mutants are responsive to cetuximab therapy in vitro and found that the requirement for asymmetric dimerization of these mutant EGFR to promote cellular transformation may explain their greater inhibition by cetuximab than small-molecule kinase inhibitors.
CONCLUSION: The colon-cancer derived G719S and G724S mutants are oncogenic and sensitive in vitro to cetuximab. These data suggest that patients with these mutations may benefit from the use of anti-EGFR antibodies as part of the first-line therapy.

Sato M, Kadota M, Tang B, et al.
An integrated genomic approach identifies persistent tumor suppressive effects of transforming growth factor-β in human breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(3):R57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Transforming growth factor-βs (TGF-βs) play a dual role in breast cancer, with context-dependent tumor-suppressive or pro-oncogenic effects. TGF-β antagonists are showing promise in early-phase clinical oncology trials to neutralize the pro-oncogenic effects. However, there is currently no way to determine whether the tumor-suppressive effects of TGF-β are still active in human breast tumors at the time of surgery and treatment, a situation that could lead to adverse therapeutic responses.
METHODS: Using a breast cancer progression model that exemplifies the dual role of TGF-β, promoter-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation and transcriptomic approaches were applied to identify a core set of TGF-β-regulated genes that specifically reflect only the tumor-suppressor arm of the pathway. The clinical significance of this signature and the underlying biology were investigated using bioinformatic analyses in clinical breast cancer datasets, and knockdown validation approaches in tumor xenografts.
RESULTS: TGF-β-driven tumor suppression was highly dependent on Smad3, and Smad3 target genes that were specifically enriched for involvement in tumor suppression were identified. Patterns of Smad3 binding reflected the preexisting active chromatin landscape, and target genes were frequently regulated in opposite directions in vitro and in vivo, highlighting the strong contextuality of TGF-β action. An in vivo-weighted TGF-β/Smad3 tumor-suppressor signature was associated with good outcome in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cohorts. TGF-β/Smad3 effects on cell proliferation, differentiation and ephrin signaling contributed to the observed tumor suppression.
CONCLUSIONS: Tumor-suppressive effects of TGF-β persist in some breast cancer patients at the time of surgery and affect clinical outcome. Carefully tailored in vitro/in vivo genomic approaches can identify such patients for exclusion from treatment with TGF-β antagonists.

Wang W, Lin P, Sun B, et al.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulated by EphA2 contributes to vasculogenic mimicry formation of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:803914 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) was related to invasion and metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. This study was designed to investigate the role of EphA2 in VM formation of HNSCC.
METHODS: The SiRNA technique was used to knock down the expression of EphA2 in vitro. The ability of cell migration and invasion were measured by transwell and wound healing assays; three-dimensional culture was used to detect the ability of channel-like structure formation; Western blot was used to detect the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition- (EMT-) related molecules in vitro. Further semiquantitative real-time RT-PCR assays and immunohistochemistry were used to demonstrate expression of EphA2 and EMT-related molecules according to VM presence or not in human tissue.
RESULTS: Knocking down EphA2 in vitro leads to disabled channel-like structure formation, reduction of invasion and migration ability, and reverse of EMT-related markers. Both semiquantitative real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry showed that expressions of EphA2, Twist, and Vimentin were higher in the VM-positive group than in the VM-negative group significantly, while expressions of E-cadherin, claudin4, and DSG-3 were reverse.
CONCLUSIONS: EphA2 played a key role in VM formation of HNSCC through regulation of EMT.

Lee JM, Hays JL, Annunziata CM, et al.
Phase I/Ib study of olaparib and carboplatin in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation-associated breast or ovarian cancer with biomarker analyses.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(6):dju089 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Olaparib has single-agent activity against breast/ovarian cancer (BrCa/OvCa) in germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers (gBRCAm). We hypothesized addition of olaparib to carboplatin can be administered safely and yield preliminary clinical activity.
METHODS: Eligible patients had measurable or evaluable disease, gBRCAm, and good end-organ function. A 3 + 3 dose escalation tested daily oral capsule olaparib (100 or 200mg every 12 hours; dose level1 or 2) with carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) on day 8 (AUC3 day 8), then every 21 days. For dose levels 3 to 6, patients were given olaparib days 1 to 7 at 200 and 400 mg every 12 hours, with carboplatin AUC3 to 5 on day 1 or 2 every 21 days; a maximum of eight combination cycles were permitted, after which daily maintenance of olaparib 400mg every12 hours continued until progression. Dose-limiting toxicity was defined in the first two cycles. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected for polymorphism analysis and polyADP-ribose incorporation. Paired tumor biopsies (before/after cycle 1) were obtained for biomarker proteomics and apoptosis endpoints.
RESULTS: Forty-five women (37 OvCa/8 BrCa) were treated. Dose-limiting toxicity was not reached on the intermittent schedule. Expansion proceeded with olaparib 400mg every 12 hours on days 1 to 7/carboplatin AUC5. Grade 3/4 adverse events included neutropenia (42.2%), thrombocytopenia (20.0%), and anemia (15.6%). Responses included 1 complete response (1 BrCa; 23 months) and 21 partial responses (50.0%; 15 OvCa; 6 BrCa; median = 16 [4 to >45] in OvCa and 10 [6 to >40] months in BrCa). Proteomic analysis suggests high pretreatment pS209-eIF4E and FOXO3a correlated with duration of response (two-sided P < .001; Pearson's R (2) = 0.94).
CONCLUSIONS: Olaparib capsules 400mg every 12 hours on days 1 to 7/carboplatin AUC5 is safe and has activity in gBRCAm BrCa/OvCa patients. Exploratory translational studies indicate pretreatment tissue FOXO3a expression may be predictive for response to therapy, requiring prospective validation.

Ho HK, Chua BT, Wong W, et al.
Benzylidene-indolinones are effective as multi-targeted kinase inhibitor therapeutics against hepatocellular carcinoma.
Mol Oncol. 2014; 8(7):1266-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Effective pharmacological intervention of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is currently lacking. Despite the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for the targeted therapy of several malignancies, no agent has been developed to specifically interfere with the oncogenic tyrosine kinase signaling aberrations found in HCC. Therefore, we adopted an orthogonal biological phenotypic screening approach to uncover candidate compounds: based on a potent cytotoxicity toward HCC-derived cell lines, and minimal toxicity toward normal liver cells. Given the success of indolinone as a chemical scaffold in deriving potent multi-kinase inhibitors (e.g. sunitinib), we screened a group of newly synthesized benzylidene-indolinones. Among the candidates, E/Z 6-Chloro-3-(3-trifluoromethyl-benzyliden)-1,3-dihydroindol-2-one (compound 47) exhibited potent anti-proliferative, anti-migratory, pro-apoptotic properties and good safety profile as compared to known multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors sunitinib and sorafenib. Additionally, an accompanying suppression of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) transcription, an HCC tumor marker, implies a favorable selectivity and efficacy on HCC. The in vivo efficacy was demonstrated in an HCC xenograft where 47 was administered once weekly (60 mg/kg) and suppressed tumor burden to the same extent as sorafenib (30 mg/kg daily). A receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) array study revealed promising inhibition of multiple tyrosine kinases such as IGF-1R, Tyro3 and EphA2 phosphorylation. Gene silencing of these targets ameliorated the cytotoxic potential of 47 on the HuH7 cell line, thereby implicating their contribution to the tumorigenicity of HCC. Hence, 47 exhibits potent anti-cancer effects on HCC cell lines, and is a suitable lead for developing multi-targeted kinase inhibitors of relevance to HCC.

Behr M, Kaufmann JK, Ketzer P, et al.
Adenoviruses using the cancer marker EphA2 as a receptor in vitro and in vivo by genetic ligand insertion into different capsid scaffolds.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95723 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
Adenoviral gene therapy and oncolysis would critically benefit from targeted cell entry by genetically modified capsids. This requires both the ablation of native adenovirus tropism and the identification of ligands that remain functional in virus context. Here, we establish cell type-specific entry of HAdV-5-based vectors by genetic ligand insertion into a chimeric fiber with shaft and knob domains of the short HAdV-41 fiber (Ad5T/41sSK). This fiber format was reported to ablate transduction in vitro and biodistribution to the liver in vivo. We show that the YSA peptide, binding to the pan-cancer marker EphA2, can be inserted into three positions of the chimeric fiber, resulting in strong transduction of EphA2-positive but not EphA2-negative cells of human melanoma biopsies and of tumor xenografts after intratumoral injection. Transduction was blocked by soluble YSA peptide and restored for EphA2-negative cells after recombinant EphA2 expression. The YSA peptide could also be inserted into three positions of a CAR binding-ablated HAdV-5 fiber enabling specific transduction; however, the Ad5T/41sSK format was superior in vivo. In conclusion, we establish an adenovirus capsid facilitating functional insertion of targeting peptides and a novel adenovirus using the tumor marker EphA2 as receptor with high potential for cancer gene therapy and viral oncolysis.

Samyesudhas SJ, Roy L, Cowden Dahl KD
Differential expression of ARID3B in normal adult tissue and carcinomas.
Gene. 2014; 543(1):174-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
ARID3B is a DNA binding protein that is overexpressed in neuroblastoma and ovarian cancer. To understand the extent that ARID3B participates in tumor development, we assessed protein expression of ARID3B in normal adult and malignant tissues. We found that ARID3B is highly expressed in differentiated layers of squamous epithelium. We also examined expression of an alternative splice form of ARID3B and found that it has similar but not identical expression patterns to the full length ARID3B isoform. ARID3B has two closely related paralogues, ARID3A and ARID3C. Each of these 3 family members exhibits different patterns of expression. Of the ARID3 family members, ARID3B is the most widely expressed and is particularly expressed in epithelium. In addition to examining normal tissue, we investigated ARID3B expression in a variety of tumor types. Most notably we found that ARID3B expression is decreased in esophagus and stomach tumors compared to normal corresponding tissues. Our results indicate that the different patterns of ARID3B in normal tissues translate into different roles for ARID3B in carcinomas.

Taddei ML, Giannoni E, Morandi A, et al.
Mesenchymal to amoeboid transition is associated with stem-like features of melanoma cells.
Cell Commun Signal. 2014; 12:24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cellular plasticity confers cancer cells the ability to adapt to microenvironmental changes, a fundamental requirement for tumour progression and metastasis. The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a transcriptional programme associated with increased cell motility and stemness. Besides EMT, the mesenchymal to amoeboid transition (MAT) has been described during tumour progression but to date, little is known about its transcriptional control and involvement in stemness. The aim of this manuscript is to investigate (i) the transcriptional profile associated with the MAT programme and (ii) to study whether MAT acquisition in melanoma cancer cells correlates with clonogenic potential to promote tumour growth.
RESULTS: By using a multidisciplinary approach, we identified four different treatments able to induce MAT in melanoma cells: EphA2 overexpression, Rac1 functional inhibition using its RacN17 dominant negative mutant, stimulation with Ilomastat or treatment with the RhoA activator Calpeptin. First, gene expression profiling identified the transcriptional pathways associated with MAT, independently of the stimulus that induces the MAT programme. Notably, gene sets associated with the repression of mesenchymal traits, decrease in the secretion of extracellular matrix components as well as increase of cellular stemness positively correlate with MAT. Second, the link between MAT and stemness has been investigated in vitro by analysing stemness markers and clonogenic potential of melanoma cells undergoing MAT. Finally, the link between MAT inducing treatments and tumour initiating capability has been validated in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results demonstrate that MAT programme in melanoma is characterised by increased stemness and clonogenic features of cancer cells, thus sustaining tumour progression. Furthermore, these data suggest that stemness is not an exclusive feature of cells undergoing EMT, but more generally is associated with an increase in cellular plasticity of cancer cells.

Chen X, Wang X, Ruan A, et al.
miR-141 is a key regulator of renal cell carcinoma proliferation and metastasis by controlling EphA2 expression.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(10):2617-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although microRNAs (miRNA) have been revealed as crucial modulators of tumorigenesis, our understanding of their roles in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is limited. Here we sought to identify human miRNAs that act as key regulators of renal carcinogenesis.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We performed microarray-based miRNA profiling of clear cell RCC (ccRCC) and adjacent normal tissues and then explored the roles of miR-141 both in vitro and in vivo, which was the most significantly downregulated in ccRCC tissues.
RESULTS: A total of 74 miRNAs were dysregulated in ccRCC compared with normal tissues. miR-141 was remarkably downregulated in 92.6% (63/68) ccRCC tissues and would serve as a promising biomarker for discriminating ccRCC from normal tissues with an area under the receiver operating characteristics curve of 0.93. Overexpression of miR-141 robustly impaired ccRCC cell migratory and invasive properties and suppressed cell proliferation by arresting cells at G0-G1 phase in vitro and in human RCC orthotopic xenografts. Significantly, the antitumor activities of miR-141 were mediated by its reversal regulation of erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular (Eph) A2 (EphA2), which then relayed a signaling transduction cascade to attenuate the functions of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), AKT, and MMP2/9. In addition, a specific and inverse correlation between miR-141 and EphA2 expression was obtained in human ccRCC samples. Finally, miR-141 could be secreted from the ccRCC donor cells, and be taken up and function moderately in the ccRCC recipient cells.
CONCLUSION: miR-141 serves as a potential biomarker for discriminating ccRCC from normal tissues and a crucial suppressor of ccRCC cell proliferation and metastasis by modulating the EphA2/p-FAK/p-AKT/MMPs signaling cascade.

Bookman MA, Gilks CB, Kohn EC, et al.
Better therapeutic trials in ovarian cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(4):dju029 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
The Ovarian Task Force of the Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee convened a clinical trials planning meeting on October 28-29, 2011, with the goals to identify key tumor types, associated molecular pathways, and biomarkers for targeted drug intervention; review strategies to improve early-phase screening, therapeutic evaluation, and comparison of new agents; and optimize design of randomized trials in response to an evolving landscape of scientific, regulatory, and funding priorities. The meeting was attended by international clinical and translational investigators, pharmaceutical industry representatives, government regulators, and patient advocates. Panel discussions focused on disease types, early-phase trials, and randomized trials. A manuscript team summarized the discussions and assisted with formulating key recommendations. A more integrated and efficient approach for screening new agents using smaller selective randomized trials in specific disease-type settings was endorsed, together with collaborative funding models between industry and the evolving national clinical trials network, as well as efforts to enhance public awareness and study enrollment through advocacy.

Song W, Ma Y, Wang J, et al.
JNK signaling mediates EPHA2-dependent tumor cell proliferation, motility, and cancer stem cell-like properties in non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(9):2444-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
Recent genome-wide analyses in human lung cancer revealed that EPHA2 receptor tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and high levels of EPHA2 correlate with poor clinical outcome. However, the mechanistic basis for EPHA2-mediated tumor promotion in lung cancer remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the JNK/c-JUN signaling mediates EPHA2-dependent tumor cell proliferation and motility. A screen of phospho-kinase arrays revealed a decrease in phospho-c-JUN levels in EPHA2 knockdown cells. Knockdown of EPHA2 inhibited p-JNK and p-c-JUN levels in approximately 50% of NSCLC lines tested. Treatment of parental cells with SP600125, a c-JUN-NH2-kinase (JNK) inhibitor, recapitulated defects in EPHA2-deficient tumor cells, whereas constitutively activated JNK mutants were sufficient to rescue phenotypes. Knockdown of EPHA2 also inhibited tumor formation and progression in xenograft animal models in vivo. Furthermore, we investigated the role of EPHA2 in cancer stem-like cells (CSC). RNA interference-mediated depletion of EPHA2 in multiple NSCLC lines decreased the ALDH(+) cancer stem-like population and tumor spheroid formation in suspension. Depletion of EPHA2 in sorted ALDH(+) populations markedly inhibited tumorigenicity in nude mice. Furthermore, analysis of a human lung cancer tissue microarray revealed a significant, positive association between EPHA2 and ALDH expression, indicating an important role for EPHA2 in human lung CSCs. Collectively, these studies revealed a critical role of JNK signaling in EPHA2-dependent lung cancer cell proliferation and motility and a role for EPHA2 in CSC function, providing evidence for EPHA2 as a potential therapeutic target in NSCLC. Cancer Res; 74(9); 2444-54. ©2014 AACR.

Iida J, Clancy R, Dorchak J, et al.
DNA aptamers against exon v10 of CD44 inhibit breast cancer cell migration.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88712 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
CD44 adhesion molecules are expressed in many breast cancer cells and have been demonstrated to play a key role in regulating malignant phenotypes such as growth, migration, and invasion. CD44 is an integral transmembrane protein encoded by a single 20-exon gene. The diversity of the biological functions of CD44 is the result of the various splicing variants of these exons. Previous studies suggest that exon v10 of CD44 plays a key role in promoting cancer invasion and metastasis, however, the molecular mechanisms are not clear. Given the fact that exon v10 is in the ectodomain of CD44, we hypothesized that CD44 forms a molecular complex with other cell surface molecules through exon v10 in order to promote migration of breast cancer cells. In order to test this hypothesis, we selected DNA aptamers that specifically bound to CD44 exon v10 using Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX). We selected aptamers that inhibited migration of breast cancer cells. Co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated that EphA2 was co-precipitated with CD44. Pull-down studies demonstrated that recombinant CD44 exon v10 bound to EphA2 and more importantly aptamers that inhibited migration also prevented the binding of EphA2 to exon v10. These results suggest that CD44 forms a molecular complex with EphA2 on the breast cancer cell surface and this complex plays a key role in enhancing breast cancer migration. These results provide insight not only for characterizing mechanisms of breast cancer migration but also for developing target-specific therapy for breast cancers and possibly other cancer types expressing CD44 exon v10.

Wu L, Fu Z, Zhou S, et al.
HIF-1α and HIF-2α: siblings in promoting angiogenesis of residual hepatocellular carcinoma after high-intensity focused ultrasound ablation.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88913 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a widely applied to treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. However, insufficient HIFU can result in rapid progression of the residual tumor. The mechanism of such rapid growth of the residual tumor after HIFU ablation is poorly understood.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the dynamic angiogenesis of residual tumor, and the temporal effect and mechanism of the HIF-1, 2α in the residual tumor angiogenesis.
METHODS: Xenograft tumors of HepG2 cells were created by subcutaneously inoculating nude mice (athymic BALB/c nu/nu mice) with hepatoma cells. About thirty days after inoculation, all mice (except control group) were treated by HIFU and assigned randomly to 7 groups according to various time intervals (1st, 3rd, 5th day (d) and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th week (w)). The residual tumor tissues were obtained from the experimental groups at various time points. Protein levels of HIF-1α, HIF-2α, VEGF-A, and EphA2 were quantified by immunohistochemistry analysis and Western Blot assays, and mRNA levels measured by Q-PCR. Microvascular density was calculated with counting of CD31 positive vascular endothelial cells by immunohistochemical staining.
RESULTS: Compared with the control group, protein and mRNA levels of HIF-1α reached their highest levels on the 3rd day (P<0.01), then decreased (P<0.05). HIF-2α expression reached its highest level on the 2nd week compared with control group (P<0.01), then decreased (2 w-4 w) (P<0.05). The protein and mRNA levels of VEGF-A and EphA2 in the residual tumor tissues group that received HIFU were significantly decreased until 1 week compared with the control group (P<0.01). However, the levels increased compared to controls in 2-4 weeks (P<0.05). Similar results were obtained for MVD expression (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Insufficient HIFU ablation promotes the angiogenesis in residual carcinoma tissue over time. The data indicate that the HIF-1, 2α/VEGFA/EphA2 pathway is involved.

Fan M, Liu Y, Xia F, et al.
Increased expression of EphA2 and E-N cadherin switch in primary hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumori. 2013 Nov-Dec; 99(6):689-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the expression and clinical significance of ephrin type-A receptor 2 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related proteins in primary hepatocellular carcinoma.
METHODS: Tissues from 52 primary hepatocellular carcinomas and 12 human normal liver tissues were detected for expression of ephrin type-A receptor 2, E-cadherin, and N-cadherin by immunochemistry. Cinicopathological features of hepatocellular carcinoma and tumor recurrence after operation were studied for the association with these molecular expressions and E-N cadherin switch.
RESULTS: Increased expressions of ephrin type-A receptor 2 and N-cadherin and reduced expression of E-cadherin were significantly detected in hepatocellular carcinoma compared with normal liver tissues. Univariate analysis showed that there were close associations between unfavorable clinicopathological features and expressions of ephrin type-A receptor 2, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and E-N cadherin switch. Ephrin type-A receptor 2 and E-cadherin expressions were confirmed as independent prognostic factors when corrected with age, gender, AFP, HBsAg, liver cirrhosis, tumor size, nodules, capsule, portal vein invasion, cell differentiation, and TNM stage.
CONCLUSIONS: The overexpression of ephrin type-A receptor 2 protein is correlated with the number of tumors, capsular integrity, portal vein cancer thrombus and clinical stages. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulated by ephrin type-A receptor 2 is involved in the aggressive clinicopathological features and prognosis, suggesting that the receptor may play an important role in the progression and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Sun Q, Zou X, Zhang T, et al.
The role of miR-200a in vasculogenic mimicry and its clinical significance in ovarian cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 132(3):730-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) indicates that aggressive cancer cells can form de novo vascular networks and provide a perfusion pathway for rapidly growing tumors. MiR-200a has been reported significantly deregulated in ovarian cancer. However, miR-200a regulation of VM and its clinical significance in ovarian cancer remain not elucidated.
METHODS: In this study, we identified the VM structure by CD34-PAS staining in ovarian cancer tissue. MiR-200a and protein expression was tested by quantitative RT-PCR and western blot. Bioinformatics prediction, luciferase assay and intervention experiments were employed to identify the target of miR-200a.
RESULTS: We certified the VM structure in ovarian cancer, and found that the VM positive rate was significantly associated with tumor grade, stage and metastasis. Further study showed that miR-200a expression levels were significantly lower in VM positive ovarian cancer. In addition, our results suggested that miR-200a inhibited VM by negatively regulated EphA2 expression. Consistently, the inverse correlation of miR-200a and EphA2 has also been found in ovarian cancer patients. Moreover, the expression of miR-200a/EphA2 was significantly associated with patient's clinicopathological parameter, such as tumor stage and metastases. Kaplan-Meier curves confirmed that the patients with low miR-200a expression and/or VM positive had a significantly shorter overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Our research demonstrates that VM, miR-200a and EphA2 play key roles in the progression and prognosis of ovarian cancer, and for the first time suggests that miR-200a inhibits VM by directly regulating EphA2. Therefore, we might have identified a genetic mechanism underlying the involvement of miR-200a in ovarian cancer VM.

Miao H, Gale NW, Guo H, et al.
EphA2 promotes infiltrative invasion of glioma stem cells in vivo through cross-talk with Akt and regulates stem cell properties.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(5):558-67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
Diffuse infiltrative invasion is a major cause for the dismal prognosis of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), but the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Using human glioma stem cells (GSCs) that recapitulate the invasive propensity of primary GBM, we find that EphA2 critically regulates GBM invasion in vivo. EphA2 was expressed in all seven GSC lines examined, and overexpression of EphA2 enhanced intracranial invasion. The effects required Akt-mediated phosphorylation of EphA2 on serine 897. In vitro the Akt-EphA2 signaling axis is maintained in the absence of ephrin-A ligands and is disrupted upon ligand stimulation. To test whether ephrin-As in tumor microenvironment can regulate GSC invasion, the newly established Efna1;Efna3;Efna4 triple knockout mice (TKO) were used in an ex vivo brain slice invasion assay. We observed significantly increased GSC invasion through the brain slices of TKO mice relative to wild-type (WT) littermates. Mechanistically EphA2 knockdown suppressed stem cell properties of GSCs, causing diminished self-renewal, reduced stem marker expression and decreased tumorigenicity. In a subset of GSCs, the reduced stem cell properties were associated with lower Sox2 expression. Overexpression of EphA2 promoted stem cell properties in a kinase-independent manner and increased Sox2 expression. Disruption of Akt-EphA2 cross-talk attenuated stem cell marker expression and neurosphere formation while having minimal effects on tumorigenesis. Taken together, the results show that EphA2 endows invasiveness of GSCs in vivo in cooperation with Akt and regulates glioma stem cell properties.

Huang J, Hu W, Bottsford-Miller J, et al.
Cross-talk between EphA2 and BRaf/CRaf is a key determinant of response to Dasatinib.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(7):1846-55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: EphA2 is an attractive therapeutic target because of its diverse roles in cancer growth and progression. Dasatinib is a multikinase inhibitor that targets EphA2 and other kinases. However, reliable predictive markers and a better understanding of the mechanisms of response to this agent are needed.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The effects of dasatinib on human uterine cancer cell lines were examined using a series of in vitro experiments, including MTT, Western blot analysis, and plasmid transfection. In vivo, an orthotopic mouse model of uterine cancer was utilized to identify the biologic effects of dasatinib. Molecular markers for response prediction and the mechanisms relevant to response to dasatinib were identified by using reverse phase protein array (RPPA), immunoprecipitation, and double immunofluorescence staining.
RESULTS: We show that high levels of CAV-1, EphA2 phosphorylation at S897, and the status of PTEN are key determinants of dasatinib response in uterine carcinoma. A set of markers essential for dasatinib response was also identified and includes CRaf, pCRaf(S338), pMAPK(T202/Y204) (mitogen-activated protein kinase [MAPK] pathway), pS6(S240/244), p70S6k(T389) (mTOR pathway), and pAKT(S473). A novel mechanism for response was discovered whereby high expression level of CAV-1 at the plasma membrane disrupts the BRaf/CRaf heterodimer and thus inhibits the activation of MAPK pathway during dasatinib treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Our in vitro and in vivo results provide a new understanding of EphA2 targeting by dasatinib and identify key predictors of therapeutic response. These findings have implications for ongoing dasatinib-based clinical trials.

Yasuda H, Park E, Yun CH, et al.
Structural, biochemical, and clinical characterization of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 insertion mutations in lung cancer.
Sci Transl Med. 2013; 5(216):216ra177 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations (G719X, exon 19 deletions/insertions, L858R, and L861Q) predict favorable responses to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations (~10% of all EGFR mutations) are generally associated with insensitivity to available TKIs (gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib). The basis of this primary resistance is poorly understood. We studied a broad subset of exon 20 insertion mutations, comparing in vitro TKI sensitivity with responses to gefitinib and erlotinib in NSCLC patients, and found that most are resistant to EGFR TKIs. The crystal structure of a representative TKI-insensitive mutant (D770_N771insNPG) reveals an unaltered adenosine triphosphate-binding pocket, and the inserted residues form a wedge at the end of the C helix that promotes the active kinase conformation. Unlike EGFR-L858R, D770_N771insNPG activates EGFR without increasing its affinity for EGFR TKIs. Unexpectedly, we find that EGFR-A763_Y764insFQEA is highly sensitive to EGFR TKIs in vitro, and patients whose NSCLCs harbor this mutation respond to erlotinib. Analysis of the A763_Y764insFQEA mutant indicates that the inserted residues shift the register of the C helix in the N-terminal direction, altering the structure in the region that is also affected by the TKI-sensitive EGFR-L858R. Our studies reveal intricate differences between EGFR mutations, their biology, and their response to EGFR TKIs.

Lee HY, Mohammed KA, Kaye F, et al.
Targeted delivery of let-7a microRNA encapsulated ephrin-A1 conjugated liposomal nanoparticles inhibit tumor growth in lung cancer.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2013; 8:4481-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRs) are small noncoding RNA sequences that negatively regulate the expression of target genes by posttranscriptional repression. miRs are dysregulated in various diseases, including cancer. let-7a miR, an antioncogenic miR, is downregulated in lung cancers. Our earlier studies demonstrated that let-7a miR inhibits tumor growth in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and could be a potential therapeutic against lung cancer. EphA2 (ephrin type-A receptor 2) tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in most cancer cells, including MPM and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Ephrin-A1, a specific ligand of the EphA2 receptor, inhibits cell proliferation and migration. In this study, to enhance the delivery of miR, the miRs were encapsulated in the DOTAP (N-[1-(2.3-dioleoyloxy)propyl]-N,N,N-trimethyl ammonium)/Cholesterol/DSPE (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[cyanur(polyethylene glycol)-2000])-PEG (polyethylene glycol)-cyanur liposomal nanoparticles (LNP) and ephrin-A1 was conjugated on the surface of LNP to target receptor EphA2 on lung cancer cells. The LNP with an average diameter of 100 nm showed high stability, low cytotoxicity, and high loading efficiency of precursor let-7a miR and ephrin-A1. The ephrin-A1 conjugated LNP (ephrin-A1-LNP) and let-7a miR encapsulated LNP (miR-LNP) showed improved transfection efficiency against MPM and NSCLC. The effectiveness of targeted delivery of let-7a miR encapsulated ephrin-A1 conjugated LNP (miR-ephrin-A1-LNP) was determined on MPM and NSCLC tumor growth in vitro. miR-ephrin-A1-LNP significantly increased the delivery of let-7a miR in lung cancer cells when compared with free let-7a miR. In addition, the expression of target gene Ras was significantly repressed following miR-ephrin-A1-LNP treatment. Furthermore, the miR-ephrin-A1-LNP complex significantly inhibited MPM and NSCLC proliferation, migration, and tumor growth. Our results demonstrate that the engineered miR-ephrin-A1-LNP complex is an effective carrier for the targeted delivery of small RNA molecules to lung cancer cells. This could be a potential therapeutic approach against tumors overexpressing the EphA2 receptor.

Yamashita K, Katoh H, Watanabe M
The homeobox only protein homeobox (HOPX) and colorectal cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2013; 14(12):23231-43 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/08/2015 Related Publications
The HOP (homeobox only protein) homeobox (HOPX) is most closely related to the homeobox protein that contains a homeobox-like domain but lacks certain conserved residues required for DNA binding. Here, we review the current understanding of HOPX in the progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). HOPX was initially reported as a differentiation marker and is expressed in various normal tissues. In the colon, HOPX is expressed uniquely in the quiescent stem cell, +4, and in differentiated mucosal cells of the colon. HOPX expression is markedly suppressed in a subset of cancers, mainly in an epigenetic manner. CRC may include separate entities which are differentially characterized by HOPX expression from a prognostic point of view. HOPX itself can regulate epigenetics, and defective expression of HOPX can result in loss of tumor suppressive function and differentiation phenotype. These findings indicate that HOPX may be both a central regulator of epigenetic dynamics and a critical determinant for differentiation in human cells. HOPX downstream targets were identified in CRC cell lines and hold promise as candidates for therapeutic targets of CRC, such as EphA2 or AP-1. Further analysis will elucidate and confirm the precise role of such proteins in CRC progression.

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