Gene Summary

Gene:EPHB6; EPH receptor B6
Aliases: HEP
Summary:This gene encodes a member of a family of transmembrane proteins that function as receptors for ephrin-B family proteins. Unlike other members of this family, the encoded protein does not contain a functional kinase domain. Activity of this protein can influence cell adhesion and migration. Expression of this gene is downregulated during tumor progression, suggesting that the protein may suppress tumor invasion and metastasis. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2013]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ephrin type-B receptor 6
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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 (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 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.

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: EPHB6 (cancer-related)

Chen J, Li L, Yang Z, et al.
Androgen-deprivation therapy with enzalutamide enhances prostate cancer metastasis via decreasing the EPHB6 suppressor expression.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 408:155-163 [PubMed] Related Publications
Early studies suggested that using ADT with the recently developed anti-androgen Enzalutamide (Enz, also named as MDV3100 could extent castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients' survival an extra 4.8 months. Yet the therapy in most patients might eventually fail due to development of Enz-resistance. Here we found Enz might also increase some unwanted side-effects via increasing the CRPC cell invasion that might involve altering the Enz-mediated androgen receptor (AR)/EPHB6 suppressor/JNK signaling. Results from multiple clinical surveys also indicated that EPHP6 might function as a suppressor of PCa metastasis. Mechanism dissection revealed that Enz-mediated AR might function via binding to the androgen-response-element (ARE) on the EPHB6 promoter to decrease EPHB6 suppressor expression, which might then activate the phosphorylation of JNK signals to increase the CRPC cell invasion. Targeting this newly identified AR/EPHB6/JNK signaling with JNK inhibitor (SP600125) may then block/reverse the Enz-increased CRPC cell invasion. Collectively, our results suggest that Enz may increase CRPC cell invasion via altering the AR/EPHB6/JNK/MMP9 signaling and targeting this newly identified signaling may help us to increase the Enz efficacy to better suppress the CRPC at the later metastatic stage.

Mateo-Lozano S, Bazzocco S, Rodrigues P, et al.
Loss of the EPH receptor B6 contributes to colorectal cancer metastasis.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:43702 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although deregulation of EPHB signaling has been shown to be an important step in colorectal tumorigenesis, the role of EPHB6 in this process has not been investigated. We found here that manipulation of EPHB6 levels in colon cancer cell lines has no effect on their motility and growth on a solid substrate, soft agar or in a xenograft mouse model. We then used an EphB6 knockout mouse model to show that EphB6 inactivation does not efficiently initiate tumorigenesis in the intestinal tract. In addition, when intestinal tumors are initiated genetically or pharmacologically in EphB6

Kaji T, Yamasaki O, Takata M, et al.
Comparative study on driver mutations in primary and metastatic melanomas at a single Japanese institute: A clue for intra- and inter-tumor heterogeneity.
J Dermatol Sci. 2017; 85(1):51-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Searching for driver mutations in melanoma is critical to understanding melanoma genesis, progression and response to therapy.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate the frequency and pattern of driver mutations in Japanese primary and metastatic melanomas including cases of unknown primary origin, in relation to their clinicopathologic manifestations.
METHODS: Seventy-seven samples from 60 patients with melanoma were screened for 70 driver mutations of 20 oncogenes by Sequenom MelaCarta MassARRAY, and the results for primary and metastatic melanomas were compared.
RESULTS: Of 77 tissue samples, BRAF V600E was detected in 21 samples (27%), CDK4 R24C in 7, EPHB6 G404S in 6, BRAF V600K in 2, NEK10 E379K in 2, and CDK4 R24H, NRAS Q61K, NRAS Q61R, KRAS G12A, KIT L576P, KIT V559A, ERBB4 E452K, and PDGFRA E996K in one sample each. No driver mutations related to the MAPK cascade including RAS and BRAF were detected in the chronically sun-damaged (CSD) group of melanoma. Dual or triple driver mutations were found in four of 40 (10%) samples from the primary melanomas, and three of 37 (8%) of the metastatic melanomas. Fourteen of 26 (54%) samples of non-CSD melanoma, and 3 of 6 (50%) melanomas of unknown primary origin had the BRAF V600E mutation. Mutations in membrane-bound receptors including KIT, ERBB4 and EPHB6 were detected in 8 of 77 (10%) samples. Of 17 pairs of primary and metastatic melanomas from the same patient, the primary mutation pattern was changed to a novel one in three cases, and only one of the plural mutations in the primary melanoma was found in the metastatic lesions in two cases.
CONCLUSIONS: BRAF V600E is a predominant mutation in non-CSD melanoma and melanomas of unknown primary origin. Mutational heterogeneity may exist in the primary melanoma (intra-tumor heterogeneity), and between the primary and metastatic lesions (inter-tumor heterogeneity).

Johnson C, Segovia B, Kandpal RP
EPHA7 and EPHA10 Physically Interact and Differentially Co-localize in Normal Breast and Breast Carcinoma Cell Lines, and the Co-localization Pattern Is Altered in EPHB6-expressing MDA-MB-231 Cells.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2016 09-10; 13(5):359-68 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular carcinoma cell (EPH) receptors comprise the most abundant receptor tyrosine kinase family characterized to date in mammals including humans. These proteins are involved in axon guidance, tissue organization, vascular development and the intricate process of various diseases including cancer. These diverse functions of EPH receptors are attributed, in part, to their abilities for heterodimerization. While the interacting partners of kinase-deficient EPHB6 receptor have been characterized, the interaction of the kinase-dead EPHA10 with any other receptor has not been identified. By using co-immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated physical interaction between kinase-deficient EPHA10 with kinase-sufficient EPHA7 receptor. Immunocytochemical analyses have revealed that these two receptors co-localize on the cell surface, and soluble portions of the receptors exist as a complex in the cytoplasm as well as the nuclei. While EPHA7 and EPHA10 co-localize similarly on the membrane in MCF10A and MCF7 cells, they were differentially co-localized in MDA-MB-231 cells stably transfected with empty pcDNA vector (MDA-MB-231-PC) or an expression construct of EPHB6 (MDA-MB-231-B6). The full-length isoforms of these receptors were co-localized on the cell surface, and the soluble forms were present as a complex in the cytoplasm as well as the nucleus in MDA-MB-231-PC cells. MDA-MB-231-B6 cells, on the other hand, were distinguished by the absence of any signal in the nuclei. Our results represent the first demonstration of physical interaction between EPHA10 and EPHA7 and their cellular co-localization. Furthermore, these observations also suggest gene-regulatory functions of the complex of the soluble forms of these receptors in breast carcinoma cells of differential invasiveness.

Paul JM, Toosi B, Vizeacoumar FS, et al.
Targeting synthetic lethality between the SRC kinase and the EPHB6 receptor may benefit cancer treatment.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(31):50027-50042 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Application of tumor genome sequencing has identified numerous loss-of-function alterations in cancer cells. While these alterations are difficult to target using direct interventions, they may be attacked with the help of the synthetic lethality (SL) approach. In this approach, inhibition of one gene causes lethality only when another gene is also completely or partially inactivated. The EPHB6 receptor tyrosine kinase has been shown to have anti-malignant properties and to be downregulated in multiple cancers, which makes it a very attractive target for SL applications. In our work, we used a genome-wide SL screen combined with expression and interaction network analyses, and identified the SRC kinase as a SL partner of EPHB6 in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. Our experiments also reveal that this SL interaction can be targeted by small molecule SRC inhibitors, SU6656 and KX2-391, and can be used to improve elimination of human TNBC tumors in a xenograft model. Our observations are of potential practical importance, since TNBC is an aggressive heterogeneous malignancy with a very high rate of patient mortality due to the lack of targeted therapies, and our work indicates that FDA-approved SRC inhibitors may potentially be used in a personalized manner for treating patients with EPHB6-deficient TNBC. Our findings are also of a general interest, as EPHB6 is downregulated in multiple malignancies and our data serve as a proof of principle that EPHB6 deficiency may be targeted by small molecule inhibitors in the SL approach.

Jones AM, Ferguson P, Gardner J, et al.
NRAS and EPHB6 mutation rates differ in metastatic melanomas of patients in the North Island versus South Island of New Zealand.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(27):41017-41030 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer type, is responsible for 75% of skin cancer related deaths worldwide. Given that New Zealand (NZ) has the world's highest melanoma incidence, we sought to determine the frequency of mutations in NZ melanomas in recurrently mutated genes. NZ melanomas were from localities distributed between North (35°S-42°S) and South Islands (41°S-47°S). A total of 529 melanomas were analyzed for BRAF exon 15 mutations by Sanger sequencing, and also by Sequenom MelaCarta MassARRAY. While, a relatively low incidence of BRAFV600E mutations (23.4%) was observed overall in NZ melanomas, the incidence of NRAS mutations in South Island melanomas was high compared to North Island melanomas (38.3% vs. 21.9%, P=0.0005), and to The Cancer Genome Atlas database (TCGA) (38.3% vs. 22%, P=0.0004). In contrast, the incidence of EPHB6G404S mutations was 0% in South Island melanomas, and was 7.8% in North Island (P=0.0002). Overall, these data suggest that melanomas from geographically different regions in NZ have markedly different mutation frequencies, in particular in the NRAS and EPHB6 genes, when compared to TCGA or other populations. These data have implications for the causation and treatment of malignant melanoma in NZ.

Xu D, Yuan L, Liu X, et al.
EphB6 overexpression and Apc mutation together promote colorectal cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(21):31111-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte (Eph) family tyrosine kinases play important roles in tumorigenesis and cancer aggression. In this study, we investigated the role of EphB6 in oncogenic transformation of colorectal epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo. EphB6 is upregulated in human colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues as compared to normal tissues, and its overexpression promotes proliferation, migration and invasion by IMCE colorectal adenoma cells, in which one Apc allele is mutated. EphB6 overexpression together with Apc mutation leads to the development of colorectal tumors in vivo. Expression microarrays using mRNAs and lncRNAs isolated from EphB6-overexpresssing IMCE and control cells revealed a large number of dysregulated genes involved in cancer-related functions and pathways. The present study is the first to demonstrate that EphB6 overexpression together with Apc gene mutations may enhance proliferation, invasion and metastasis by colorectal epithelial cells. Microarray data and pathway analysis of differentially expressed genes provided insight into possible EphB6-regulated mechanisms promoting tumorigenesis and cancer progression. EphB6 overexpression may represent a novel, effective biomarker predictive of cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis patterns in CRC tumors.

Husa AM, Magić Ž, Larsson M, et al.
EPH/ephrin profile and EPHB2 expression predicts patient survival in breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(16):21362-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The EPH and ephrins function as both receptor and ligands and the output on their complex signaling is currently investigated in cancer. Previous work shows that some EPH family members have clinical value in breast cancer, suggesting that this family could be a source of novel clinical targets. Here we quantified the mRNA expression levels of EPH receptors and their ligands, ephrins, in 65 node positive breast cancer samples by RT-PCR with TaqMan® Micro Fluidics Cards Microarray. Upon hierarchical clustering of the mRNA expression levels, we identified a subgroup of patients with high expression, and poor clinical outcome. EPHA2, EPHA4, EFNB1, EFNB2, EPHB2 and EPHB6 were significantly correlated with the cluster groups and particularly EPHB2 was an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis and in four public databases. The EPHB2 protein expression was also analyzed by immunohistochemistry in paraffin embedded material (cohort 2). EPHB2 was detected in the membrane and cytoplasmic cell compartments and there was an inverse correlation between membranous and cytoplasmic EPHB2. Membranous EPHB2 predicted longer breast cancer survival in both univariate and multivariate analysis while cytoplasmic EPHB2 indicated shorter breast cancer survival in univariate analysis. Concluding: the EPH/EFN cluster analysis revealed that high EPH/EFN mRNA expression is an independent prognostic factor for poor survival. Especially EPHB2 predicted poor breast cancer survival in several materials and EPHB2 protein expression has also prognostic value depending on cell localization.

Liersch-Löhn B, Slavova N, Buhr HJ, Bennani-Baiti IM
Differential protein expression and oncogenic gene network link tyrosine kinase ephrin B4 receptor to aggressive gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancers.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(5):1220-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transmembrane tyrosine-kinase Ephrin receptors promote tumor progression and/or metastasis of several malignancies including leukemia, follicular lymphoma, glioma, malignant pleural mesothelioma, papillary thyroid carcinoma, sarcomas and ovarian, breast, bladder and non-small cell lung cancers. They also drive intestinal stem cell proliferation and positioning, control intestinal tissue boundaries and are involved in liver, pancreatic and colorectal cancers, indicating involvement in additional digestive system malignancies. We investigated the role of Ephrin-B4 receptor (EPHB4), and its ligand EFNB2, in gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancers in patient cohorts through computational, mathematical, molecular and immunohistochemical analyses. We show that EPHB4 is upregulated in preneoplastic gastroesophageal lesions and its expression further increased in gastroesophageal cancers in several independent cohorts. The closely related EPHB6 receptor, which also binds EFNB2, was downregulated in all tested cohorts, consistent with its tumor-suppressive properties in other cancers. EFNB2 expression is induced in esophageal cells by acidity, suggesting that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may constitute an early triggering event in activating EFNB2-EPHB4 signaling. Association of EPHB4 to both Barrett's esophagus and to advanced tumor stages, and its overexpression at the tumor invasion front and vascular endothelial cells intimate the notion that EPHB4 may be associated with multiple steps of gastroesophageal tumorigenesis. Analysis of oncogenomic signatures uncovered the first EPHB4-associated gene network (false discovery rate: 7 × 10(-90) ) composed of a five-transcription factor interconnected gene network that drives proliferation, angiogenesis and invasiveness. The EPHB4 oncogenomic network provides a molecular basis for its role in tumor progression and points to EPHB4 as a potential tumor aggressiveness biomarker and drug target in gastroesophageal cancers.

Chakrabarti S, Multani S, Dabholkar J, Saranath D
Whole genome expression profiling in chewing-tobacco-associated oral cancers: a pilot study.
Med Oncol. 2015; 32(3):60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The current study was undertaken with a view to identify differential biomarkers in chewing-tobacco-associated oral cancer tissues in patients of Indian ethnicity. The gene expression profile was analyzed in oral cancer tissues as compared to clinically normal oral buccal mucosa. We examined 30 oral cancer tissues and 27 normal oral tissues with 16 paired samples from contralateral site of the patient and 14 unpaired samples from different oral cancer patients, for whole genome expression using high-throughput IlluminaSentrix Human Ref-8 v2 Expression BeadChip array. The cDNA microarray analysis identified 425 differentially expressed genes with >1.5-fold expression in the oral cancer tissues as compared to normal tissues in the oral cancer patients. Overexpression of 255 genes and downregulation of 170 genes (p < 0.01) were observed. Further, a minimum twofold overexpression was observed in 32 genes and downregulation in 12 genes, in 30-83% of oral cancer patients. Biological pathway analysis using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome Pathway database revealed that the differentially regulated genes were associated with critical biological functions. The biological functions and representative deregulated genes include cell proliferation (AIM2, FAP, TNFSF13B, TMPRSS11A); signal transduction (FOLR2, MME, HTR3B); invasion and metastasis (SPP1, TNFAIP6, EPHB6); differentiation (CLEC4A, ELF5); angiogenesis (CXCL1); apoptosis (GLIPR1, WISP1, DAPL1); and immune responses (CD300A, IFIT2, TREM2); and metabolism (NNMT; ALDH3A1). Besides, several of the genes have been differentially expressed in human cancers including oral cancer. Our data indicated differentially expressed genes in oral cancer tissues and may identify prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers in oral cancers, postvalidation in larger numbers and varied population samples.

Peng L, Tu P, Wang X, et al.
Loss of EphB6 protein expression in human colorectal cancer correlates with poor prognosis.
J Mol Histol. 2014; 45(5):555-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte (Eph) receptor family constitutes the largest family of tyrosine kinase receptors in the human genome. Loss of EphB6, a kinase-deficient receptor, correlated with a negative outcome in several carcinomas. This study aimed to investigate the expression of EphB6 protein and mRNA levels in colorectal cancers (CRCs) and possible correlations with clinicopathological variables and prognosis. To assess protein expression level, 124 CRCs and 57 colorectal adenomas samples were examined by immunostaining, the mRNA level of 43 paired CRC and the adjacent normal tissues were detected by using SYBR Green real-time PCR method. Decreased expression of EphB6 protein was found in CRC as compared with adenoma and normal tissues (χ(2) = 10.146, P = 0.001 and χ(2) = 45.333, P < 0.001, respectively). Low EphB6 mRNA expression was detected in 83.8% of cancers with negative or low EphB6 protein expression. The loss of EphB6 protein in CRC was positively associated with poorly differentiation (P < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.006), Dukes stage (P = 0.002) and depth of invasion (P = 0.016). The patients with lymph node metastasis had a worse prognosis independently of gender, age, tumor site, stage and differentiation (RR = 0.404, CI 0.267-0.213, P < 0.001). Low levels of EphB6 protein expression are associated with a shorter mean duration of survival in colorectal cancer. Our results demonstrated that EphB6 may represent a novel, useful tissue biomarker for the prediction of survival rate in CRC.

Bailey CM, Kulesa PM
Dynamic interactions between cancer cells and the embryonic microenvironment regulate cell invasion and reveal EphB6 as a metastasis suppressor.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(9):1303-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Metastatic dissemination drives the high mortality associated with melanoma. However, difficulties in visualizing in vivo cell dynamics during metastatic invasion have limited our understanding of these cell behaviors. Recent evidence has revealed that melanoma cells exploit portions of their ancestral embryonic neural crest emigration program to facilitate invasion. What remains to be determined is how embryonic microenvironmental signals influence invasive melanoma cell behavior, and whether these signals are relevant to human disease. To address these questions, we interrogated the role of the neural crest microenvironment in dictating the spatiotemporal pattern of melanoma cell invasion in the chick embryo using 2-photon time-lapse microscopy. Results reveal that both permissive and inhibitory neural crest microenvironmental signals regulate the timing and direction of melanoma invasion to coincide with the neural crest migration pattern. These cues include bidirectional signaling mediated through the ephrin family of receptor tyrosine kinases. We demonstrate that EphB6 reexpression forces metastatic melanoma cells to deviate from the canonical migration pattern observed in the chick embryo transplant model. Furthermore, EphB6-expressing melanoma cells display significantly reduced metastatic potential in a chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) metastasis assay. These data on melanoma invasion in the embryonic neural crest and CAM microenvironments identify EphB6 as a metastasis suppressor in melanoma, likely acting at the stage of intravasation.
IMPLICATIONS: This article links cellular metastasis to behaviors observed in the ancestrally related embryonic neural crest and demonstrates the powerful influence of the embryonic microenvironment in regulating cell migratory behavior.

Huhn S, Bevier M, Pardini B, et al.
Colorectal cancer risk and patients' survival: influence of polymorphisms in genes somatically mutated in colorectal tumors.
Cancer Causes Control. 2014; 25(6):759-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The first two studies aiming for the high-throughput identification of the somatic mutation spectrum of colorectal cancer (CRC) tumors were published in 2006 and 2007. Using exome sequencing, they described 69 and 140 candidate cancer genes (CAN genes), respectively. We hypothesized that germline variants in these genes may influence CRC risk, similar to APC, which is causing CRC through germline and somatic mutations.
METHODS: After excluding the well-established CRC genes APC, KRAS, TP53, and ABCA1, we analyzed 35 potentially functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 10 CAN genes (OBSCN, MLL3, PKHD1, SYNE1, ERCC6, FBXW7, EPHB6/TRPV6, ELAC1/SMAD4, EPHA3, and ADAMTSL3) using KBiosciences Competitive Allele-Specific PCR™ genotyping assays. In addition to CRC risk (1,399 CRC cases, 838 controls), we also considered the influence of the SNPs on patients' survival (406 cases).
RESULTS: In spite of the fact that our in silico analyses suggested functional relevance for the studied genes and SNPs, our data did not support a strong influence of the studied germline variants on CRC risk and survival. The strongest association with CRC risk and survival was found for MLL3 (rs6464211, OR 1.50, p = 0.002, dominant model; HR 2.12, p = 0.020, recessive model). Two SNPs in EPHB6/TRPV6 (dominant model) showed marginal associations with survival (rs4987622 HR 0.58 p = 0.028 and rs6947538 HR 0.64, p = 0.036, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Although somatic mutations in the CAN genes have been related to the development and progression of various types of cancers in several next-generation sequencing or expression analyses, our study suggests that the studied potentially functional germline variants are not likely to affect CRC risk or survival.

Szymanowska-Narloch A, Jassem E, Skrzypski M, et al.
Molecular profiles of non-small cell lung cancers in cigarette smoking and never-smoking patients.
Adv Med Sci. 2013; 58(2):196-206 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Molecular features of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in never-smokers are not well recognized. We assessed the expression of genes potentially related to lung cancer etiology in smoking vs. never-smoking NSCLC patients.
METHODS: We assayed frozen tumor samples from surgically resected 31 never-smoking and 54 clinically pair-matched smoking NSCLC patients, and from corresponding normal lung tissue from 27 and 43 patients, respectively. Expression of 21 genes, including cell membrane kinases, sex hormone receptors, transcription factors, growth factors and others was assessed by reverse transcription - quantitative PCR.
RESULTS: Expression of 5 genes was significantly higher in tumors of non-smokers vs. smokers: CSF1R (p<0.0001), RRAD (p<0.0001), PR (p=0.0004), TGFBR2 (p=0.0027) and EPHB6 (p=0.0033). Expression of AKR1B10 (p<0.0001), CDKN2A (p<0.0001), CHRNA6 (p<0.0001), SOX9 (p<0.0001), survivin (p<0.0001) and ER2 (p=0.002) was significantly higher in tumors compared to normal lung tissue. Expression of AR (p<0.0001), EPHB6 (p<0.0001), PR (p<0.0001), TGFBR2 (p<0.0001), TGFBR3 (p<0.0001), ER1 (p=0.0006) and DLG1 (p=0.0016) was significantly lower in tumors than in normal lung tissue. Expression of IGF2 was higher in tumors than in healthy lung tissue in never-smokers (p=0.003), and expression of AHR (p<0.0001), CSF1R (p<0.0001) and RRAD (p<0.0001) was lower in tumors than in healthy lung tissue in smokers.
CONCLUSION: Expression of several genes in NSCLC is strongly related to smoking history. Lower expression of PR and higher expression of ER2 in tumors suggests a possibility of hormonal therapeutic intervention in selected NSCLC patients. Distinct molecular features of NSCLC in never-smokers, e.g. CHRNA6 upregulation, may prompt new treatment strategies.

Wang SS, Hsiao R, Limpar MM, et al.
Destabilization of MYC/MYCN by the mitochondrial inhibitors, metaiodobenzylguanidine, metformin and phenformin.
Int J Mol Med. 2014; 33(1):35-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the present study, we investigated the anticancer effects of the mitochondrial inhibitors, metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), metformin and phenformin. 131I-MIBG has been used for scintigraphic detection and the targeted radiotherapy of neuroblastoma (NB), a pediatric malignancy. Non-radiolabeled MIBG has been reported to be cytotoxic to NB cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanisms behind its growth suppressive effects have not yet been fully elucidated. Metformin and phenformin are diabetes medications that are being considered in anticancer therapeutics. We investigated the anticancer mechanisms of action of MIBG and metformin in NB. Our data revealed that both drugs suppressed NB cell growth and that the combination drug treatment was more potent. MIBG reduced MYCN and MYC expression in MYCN-amplified and non-MYCN-amplified NB cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Metformin was less effective than MIBG in destabilizing MYC/MYCN. The treatment of NB cells with metformin or MIBG resulted in an increased expression of genes encoding biomarkers for favorable outcome in NB [(ephrin (EFN)B2, EFNB3, EPH receptor B6 (EPHB6), neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 1 (NTRK1), CD44 and Myc-interacting zinc finger protein (MIZ-1)] and tumor suppressor genes [(early growth response 1 (EGR1), EPH receptor A2 (EPHA2), growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible, beta (GADD45B), neuregulin 1 (NRG1), TP53 apoptosis effector (PERP) and sel-1 suppressor of lin-12-like (C. elegans) (SEL1L)]. Accordingly, metformin and MIBG augmented histone H3 acetylation in these cells. Phenformin also exhibited histone modification and was more effective than metformin in destabilizing MYC/MYCN in NB cells. Our data suggest that the destabilization of MYC/MYCN by MIBG, metformin and phenformin and their effects on histone modification are important mechanisms underlying their anticancer effects.

Ikegaki N, Hicks SL, Regan PL, et al.
S(+)-ibuprofen destabilizes MYC/MYCN and AKT, increases p53 expression, and induces unfolded protein response and favorable phenotype in neuroblastoma cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(1):35-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is a common pediatric solid tumor that exhibits a striking clinical bipolarity: favorable and unfavorable. The survival rate of children with unfavorable neuroblastoma remains low among all childhood cancers. MYCN and MYC play a crucial role in determining the malignancy of unfavorable neuroblastomas, whereas high-level expression of the favorable neuroblastoma genes is associated with a good disease outcome and confers growth suppression of neuroblastoma cells. A small fraction of neuroblastomas harbors TP53 mutations at diagnosis, but a higher proportion of the relapse cases acquire TP53 mutations. In this study, we investigated the effect of S(+)-ibuprofen on neuroblastoma cell lines, focusing on the expression of the MYCN, MYC, AKT, p53 proteins and the favorable neuroblastoma genes in vitro as biomarkers of malignancy. Treatment of neuroblastoma cell lines with S(+)-ibuprofen resulted in a significant growth suppression. This growth effect was accompanied by a marked decrease in the expression of MYC, MYCN, AKT and an increase in p53 expression in neuroblastoma cell lines without TP53 mutation. In addition, S(+)-ibuprofen enhanced the expression of some favorable neuroblastoma genes (EPHB6, CD44) and genes involved in growth suppression and differentiation (EGR1, EPHA2, NRG1 and SEL1L). Gene expression profile and Ingenuity pathway analyses using TP53-mutated SKNAS cells further revealed that S(+)-ibuprofen suppressed molecular pathways associated with cell growth and conversely enhanced those of cell cycle arrest and the unfolded protein response. Collectively, these results suggest that S(+)-ibuprofen or its related compounds may have the potential for therapeutic and/or palliative use for unfavorable neuroblastoma.

Mäki-Nevala S, Kaur Sarhadi V, Tuononen K, et al.
Mutated ephrin receptor genes in non-small cell lung carcinoma and their occurrence with driver mutations-targeted resequencing study on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor material of 81 patients.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(12):1141-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is the most common subtype of lung cancer. The oncogenic potential of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) is widely known and they are potential targets for tailored therapy. Ephrin receptors (Ephs) form the largest group of RTKs. Nevertheless, Ephs are not widely studied in NSCLC so far. The aim of our study was to investigate novel mutations of Eph genes (EPHA1-8, EPHB1-4, EPHB6) and their association with clinically relevant mutations in BRAF, EML4-ALK, EGFR, INSR, KDR, KRAS, MET, PDGFRA, PDGFRB, PIK3, PTEN, RET, and TP53 in NSCLC patients. Targeted resequencing was conducted on 81 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded NSCLC tumor specimens. We analyzed missense and nonsense mutations harbored in the coding regions of the selected genes. We found 18 novel mutations of Ephs in 20% (16 of 81) of the patients. Nearly half of these mutations occurred in the protein kinase domain. The mutations were not mutually exclusive with other clinically relevant mutations. Our study shows that Ephs are frequently mutated in NSCLC patients, and occur together with other known mutations relevant to the pathogenicity of NSCLC.

Zhao J, Liang Q, Cheung KF, et al.
Genome-wide identification of Epstein-Barr virus-driven promoter methylation profiles of human genes in gastric cancer cells.
Cancer. 2013; 119(2):304-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant methylation of tumor-related genes has been reported in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated gastric cancers. This study sought to profile EBV-driven hypermethylation in EBV-infected cells.
METHODS: The EBV-positive AGS gastric cancer cell line (AGS-EBV) and EBV-negative AGS cells were used in this study. DNA methyltransferase-3b (DNMT3b) activity was assessed by EpiQuick activity assay, and genome-wide DNA methylation profiles were assessed by methyl-DNA immunoprecipitation microarray assay.
RESULTS: EBV infection was confirmed in AGS-EBV cells by EBV-encoded RNA in situ hybridization. Expression and activity of DNA methyltransferase-3b (DNMT3b) was significantly increased in AGS-EBV compared to AGS. Ectopic expression of LMP2A (latent membrane protein 2A) in AGS increased activity of DNMT3b. A total of 1065 genes were differentially methylated by EBV infection (fold-changes ≥ 2, P < .05) in AGS-EBV compared to AGS cells. The majority of the differentially methylated genes (83.2%, 886 of 1065 genes) had cytosine-guanine dinucleotide (CpG) hypermethylation in AGS-EBV (fold-changes 2.43∼65.2) versus that found in AGS cells. Gene ontology analysis revealed that hypermethylated genes were enriched in the important cancer pathways (≥ 10 genes each, P ≤ .05) including mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, cell adhesion molecules, wnt signaling pathway, and so forth. Six novel hypermethylated candidates (IL15RA, REC8, SSTR1, EPHB6, MDGA2, and SCARF2) were further validated. Higher levels of DNA methylation were confirmed for all these genes in AGS-EBV cells by bisulfite genomic sequencing. Furthermore, these candidates were silenced or down-regulated in AGS-EBV cells, but can be restored by demethylation treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: EBV infection in AGS cells induced aberrant CpG hypermethylation of 886 genes involving in important cancer-related pathways. Induction of promoter methylation by EBV is regulated by up-regulation of DNMT3b through LMP2A.

Brantley-Sieders DM, Jiang A, Sarma K, et al.
Eph/ephrin profiling in human breast cancer reveals significant associations between expression level and clinical outcome.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(9):e24426 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pre-clinical studies provide compelling evidence that Eph family receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and ligands promote cancer growth, neovascularization, invasion, and metastasis. Tumor suppressive roles have also been reported for the receptors, however, creating a potential barrier for clinical application. Determining how these observations relate to clinical outcome is a crucial step for translating the biological and mechanistic data into new molecularly targeted therapies. We investigated eph and ephrin expression in human breast cancer relative to endpoints of overall and/or recurrence-free survival in large microarray datasets. We also investigated protein expression in commercial human breast tissue microarrays (TMA) and Stage I prognostic TMAs linked to recurrence outcome data. We found significant correlations between ephA2, ephA4, ephA7, ephB4, and ephB6 and overall and/or recurrence-free survival in large microarray datasets. Protein expression in TMAs supported these trends. While observed no correlation between ephrin ligand expression and clinical outcome in microarray datasets, ephrin-A1 and EphA2 protein co-expression was significantly associated with recurrence in Stage I prognostic breast cancer TMAs. Our data suggest that several Eph family members are clinically relevant and tractable targets for intervention in human breast cancer. Moreover, profiling Eph receptor expression patterns in the context of relevant ligands and in the context of stage may be valuable in terms of diagnostics and treatment.

Bhushan L, Kandpal RP
EphB6 receptor modulates micro RNA profile of breast carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(7):e22484 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast carcinoma cells have a specific pattern of expression for Eph receptors and ephrin ligands. EphB6 has previously been characterized as a signature molecule for invasive breast carcinoma cells. The transcription of EphB6 is silenced in breast carcinoma cells and its re-expression leads to decreased invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 cells. Such differences in phenotypes of native and EphB6 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells relate to an altered profile of micro RNAs. Comparative hybridization of total RNA to slides containing all known miRNAs by using locked nucleic acid (LNA) miRCURY platform yielded a significantly altered profile of miRNAs in MDA-MB-231 cells stably transfected with EphB6. After applying a threshold of change and a p-value of <0.001, the list of significantly altered miRNAs included miR-16, miR-23a, miR-24, miR-26a, miR-29a, miR-100, miRPlus-E1172 and miRPlus-E1258. The array-based changes were validated by real-time qPCR of miR-16, miR-23a, miR-24 and miR-100. Except miRPlus-E1172 and miRPlus-E1258, the remaining six miRNAs have been observed in a variety of cancers. The biological relevance of target mRNAs was predicted by using a common-target selection approach that allowed the identification of SMARCA5, SMARCC1, eIF2C2, eIF2C4, eIF4EBP2, FKABP5, FKBP1A, TRIB1, TRIB2, TRIB3, BMPR2, BMPR1A and BMPR1B as important targets of a subset of significantly altered miRNAs. Quantitative PCR revealed that the levels of SMARCC1, eIFC4, eIF4EB2, FKBP1a, FKBP5, TRIB1, TRIB3, BMPR1a and BMPR2 transcripts were significantly decreased in MDA-MB-231 cells transfected with EphB6. These observations confirm targeting of specific mRNAs by miR-100, miR-23a, miR-16 and miR-24, and suggest that the kinase-deficient EphB6 receptor is capable of initiating signal transduction from the cell surface to the nucleus resulting in the altered expression of a variety of genes involved in tumorigenesis and invasion. The alterations in miRNAs and their target mRNAs also suggest indirect involvement of EphB6 in PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways.

Fox BP, Kandpal RP
A paradigm shift in EPH receptor interaction: biological relevance of EPHB6 interaction with EPHA2 and EPHB2 in breast carcinoma cell lines.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2011 Jul-Aug; 8(4):185-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
EPH receptors are the largest known family of receptor tyrosine kinases characterized in humans. These proteins are involved in axon guidance, tissue organization, synaptic plasticity, vascular development and the progression of various diseases including cancer. The varied biological effects of EPH receptors are mediated in part by the expression of these proteins and their intracellular binding proteins. The ability of EPH molecules to form heterodimers within their own class has been suggested, although not exhaustively characterized. We have clarified this phenomenon by showing that EPHB6, a kinase-deficient receptor, can interact with EPHB2 in mammalian cells, and more significantly EPHB6 interacts with EPHA2. However, EPHB6 does not interact with another kinase-deficient receptor, EPHA10. The interaction between EPHB6 and EPHA2 is the first demonstration of an A-type receptor interacting with a B-type receptor. Furthermore, we correlated relative expression of EPHB6, EPHB2 and EPHA2 with non-invasive and invasive phenotypes of breast tumor cell lines. Our results indicate that tumor invasiveness-suppressing activity of EPHB6 is mediated by its ability to sequester other kinase-sufficient and oncogenic EPH receptors. These observations suggest that cellular phenotypes may, in part, be attributed to a combinatorial expression of EPH receptors and heteromeric interactions among the same class, as well as between two classes, of EPH receptors. Our results also suggest that EPHA10 may transduce signals by interacting with other kinase-sufficient receptors in a similar manner.

Gylfe AE, Sirkiä J, Ahlsten M, et al.
Somatic mutations and germline sequence variants in patients with familial colorectal cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2010; 127(12):2974-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is estimated that up to 35% of colorectal cancers (CRC) can be explained by hereditary factors. However, genes predisposing to highly penetrant CRC syndromes account for only a small fraction of all cases. Thus, most CRCs still remain molecularly unexplained. A recent systematic sequencing study on well-annotated human protein coding genes identified 280 somatically mutated candidate cancer genes (CAN genes) in breast and colorectal cancer. It is estimated that 8% of all reported cancer genes show both somatic and germline mutations. Therefore, the identified CAN genes serve as a distinct set of candidates for being involved in hereditary susceptibility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of colorectal CAN genes in familial CRC. Samples from 45 familial CRCs without known cancer predisposing mutations were screened for somatic and germline variants in 15 top-ranked CAN genes. Six of the genes were found to be somatically mutated in our tumor series. We identified 22 nonsynonymous somatic mutations of which the majority was of missense type. In germline, three novel nonsynonymous variants were identified in the following genes: CSMD3, EPHB6 and C10orf137, and none of the variants were present in 890 population-matched healthy controls. It is possible that the identified germline variants modulate predisposition to CRC. Functional validation and larger sample sets, however, will be required to clarify the role of the identified germline variants in CRC susceptibility.

Kandpal RP
Tyrosine kinase-deficient EphB6 receptor-dependent alterations in proteomic profiles of invasive breast carcinoma cells as determined by difference gel electrophoresis.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2010 Sep-Oct; 7(5):253-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The expression profiles of the erythropoietin producing hepatocellular carcinoma (Eph) receptor family of tyrosine kinases have been previously shown to provide molecular signatures of normal breast cells, breast tumor cells and invasive breast carcinoma cells. In particular, the expression of EphB6 receptor is lost in invasive breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231. The comparative proteomic profiles of native and EphB6-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells using difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of selected proteins are presented in this study. The expression of more than 70 proteins was significantly altered in EphB6-transfected MDA-MB-231 cells. These altered proteins are involved in glycolysis, cell cycle regulation, tumor suppression, cell proliferation, mitochondrial metabolism, mRNA splicing, DNA replication and repair. Although the majority of these proteins have been implicated in tumorigenesis, the impairment of energy homeostasis and altered regulation of signaling pathways appear to be noteworthy targets of EphB6. Based on the identities of altered proteins and the pathways regulated by these proteins, this study suggests that the interactions of EphB6 with a wide variety of proteins lead to altered proteomic profile of EphB6-transfected MDA-MB-231 cells.

Yu J, Bulk E, Ji P, et al.
The EPHB6 receptor tyrosine kinase is a metastasis suppressor that is frequently silenced by promoter DNA hypermethylation in non-small cell lung cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2010; 16(8):2275-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Loss of EPHB6 receptor tyrosine kinase expression in early-stage non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is associated with the subsequent development of distant metastasis. Here, we analyzed the regulation and function of EPHB6 in lung cancer metastasis.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The expression levels of EPHB6 were compared among normal lung tissue (n = 9), NSCLC without metastasis (n = 39), and NSCLC with metastasis (n = 39) according to the history of the patients. In addition, EPHB6 expression levels of matched tumor-normal pairs from 24 NSCLC patients were analyzed. The promoter DNA methylation status and its association with the expression levels of EPHB6 were determined among 14 pairs of tumor-normal samples. Metastatic potential of EPHB6 was assessed in vitro and in vivo in a metastasis mouse model. Overexpression and RNA interference (RNAi) approaches were used for analysis of the biological functions of EPHB6.
RESULTS: EPHB6 mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in NSCLC tumors compared with matched normal lung tissue. Decreased EPHB6 expression levels were associated with an increased risk for metastasis development in NSCLC patients. Loss of expression correlated with EPHB6 hypermethylation. EPHB6 expression was induced by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment in an NSCLC cell line. Restoration of EPHB6 expression in lung adenocarcinoma cells increased adhesion and decreased migration. Reexpression of EPHB6 in lung cancer cells almost entirely abolished metastasis formation in non obese diabetic (NOD)/severe combined immunodeficient mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these analyses show that EPHB6 is a metastasis inhibitory gene that is frequently silenced by hypermethylation of its promoter in NSCLC.

Fox BP, Kandpal RP
DNA-based assay for EPHB6 expression in breast carcinoma cells as a potential diagnostic test for detecting tumor cells in circulation.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2010 Jan-Feb; 7(1):9-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
The early detection of breast cancer is critical for improved treatment and better management of the disease. The dissemination of tumor cells into the blood stream is known to occur early in tumor progression and these circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may be detectable before the occurrence of tumor metastasis. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) can be exploited for detecting CTCs on the basis of differential methylation of numerous gene promoters in normal and carcinoma cells. In this study, we describe the relationship between loss of Ephrin receptor B6 (EPHB6) expression and the aggressiveness of breast carcinoma cell lines (BCCLs). The loss of EPHB6 expression in more aggressive BCCLs is regulated in a methylation-dependent manner. We demonstrate the ability of an EPHB6 MSP to distinguish between methylated and unmethylated EPHB6 promoters, and to predict expression of the EPHB6 transcript and protein. The sensitivity of MSP was related to the volume of blood processed for DNA isolation. As few as 50 tumor cells in 5 ml blood were detectable with a high efficiency. However, the detection of 10 tumor cells/5 ml was not as efficient. On the other hand, 5 tumor cells or 100 pg of free DNA in 200 microl of blood was also easily detectable. Our results suggest that MSP could be applied to detect even a single cell in 1 ml of blood by employing appropriate modifications. The EPHB6 MSP has clinical implications for the prognosis and/or diagnosis of breast and other cancer types including neuroblastoma, melanoma, and non-small cell lung carcinoma wherein EPHB6 expression is lost in more aggressive forms of the disease.

Ashktorab H, Schäffer AA, Daremipouran M, et al.
Distinct genetic alterations in colorectal cancer.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(1):e8879 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colon cancer (CRC) development often includes chromosomal instability (CIN) leading to amplifications and deletions of large DNA segments. Epidemiological, clinical, and cytogenetic studies showed that there are considerable differences between CRC tumors from African Americans (AAs) and Caucasian patients. In this study, we determined genomic copy number aberrations in sporadic CRC tumors from AAs, in order to investigate possible explanations for the observed disparities.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We applied genome-wide array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) using a 105k chip to identify copy number aberrations in samples from 15 AAs. In addition, we did a population comparative analysis with aCGH data in Caucasians as well as with a widely publicized list of colon cancer genes (CAN genes). There was an average of 20 aberrations per patient with more amplifications than deletions. Analysis of DNA copy number of frequently altered chromosomes revealed that deletions occurred primarily in chromosomes 4, 8 and 18. Chromosomal duplications occurred in more than 50% of cases on chromosomes 7, 8, 13, 20 and X. The CIN profile showed some differences when compared to Caucasian alterations.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Chromosome X amplification in male patients and chromosomes 4, 8 and 18 deletions were prominent aberrations in AAs. Some CAN genes were altered at high frequencies in AAs with EXOC4, EPHB6, GNAS, MLL3 and TBX22 as the most frequently deleted genes and HAPLN1, ADAM29, SMAD2 and SMAD4 as the most frequently amplified genes. The observed CIN may play a distinctive role in CRC in AAs.

Fox BP, Kandpal RP
EphB6 receptor significantly alters invasiveness and other phenotypic characteristics of human breast carcinoma cells.
Oncogene. 2009; 28(14):1706-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer mortality in women is largely attributed to the metastasis of primary breast tumors. We have analysed the function of EphB6, a kinase-deficient receptor, in the invasive phenotype of breast cancer cell lines. We have demonstrated the loss of EphB6 protein in invasive breast carcinoma cell lines and absence of EphB6 transcript in a metastatic breast tumor specimen. The function of EphB6 in invasiveness was confirmed by the ability of EphB6 protein to decrease the in vitro invasiveness of MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-435 and BT549 cells transfected with an EphB6 expression construct. In MDA-MB-231 cells, the decreased invasiveness appeared to be mediated by decreased transcript levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)7 and MMP19, and increased transcript levels of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase 2. In addition to affecting invasiveness phenotype, EphB6 overexpression was also responsible for altering the growth rate and colony-forming efficiency of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in a cell-line-specific manner. We suggest that the significant decrease in the invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 and other cell lines transfected with EphB6 is likely occurring by the ability of EphB6 to transduce signals to the nucleus and altering relevant gene expression.

Alonso-C LM, Trinidad EM, de Garcillan B, et al.
Expression profile of Eph receptors and ephrin ligands in healthy human B lymphocytes and chronic lymphocytic leukemia B-cells.
Leuk Res. 2009; 33(3):395-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing information relates some Eph receptors and their ligands, ephrins (EFN), with the immune system. Herein, we found that normal B-cells from peripheral blood (PB) and lymph nodes (LN) showed a differential expression of certain Eph/EFN members, some of them being modulated upon in vitro stimulation including EFNA1, EFNA4, EphB6 and EphA10. In contrast, PB CLL B-cells showed a more heterogeneous Eph/EFN profile than their normal PB B-cell counterparts, expressing Eph/EFN members frequently found within the LN and activated B-cells, specially EFNA4, EphB6 and EphA10. Two of them, EphB6 and EFNA4 were further related with the clinical course of CLL patients. EphB6 expression correlated with a high content of ZAP-70 mRNA and a poor prognosis. High serum levels of a soluble EFNA4 isoform positively correlated with increasing peripheral blood lymphocyte counts and lymphadenopathy. These findings suggest that Eph/EFN might be relevant in normal B-cell biology and could represent new potential prognostic markers and therapeutic targets for CLL.

Jin M, Komohara Y, Shichijo S, et al.
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte B6 variant-derived peptides with the ability to induce glioma-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes in human leukocyte antigen-A2+ glioma patients.
Cancer Sci. 2008; 99(8):1656-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recently cloned a variant form of erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte (Eph)B6, a member of the Eph receptor tyrosine kinase family. In the present study, we examined the expression of the EphB6 variant (EphB6v) in a panel of brain tumor cell lines and glioblastoma tissues and we found that EphB6v was preferentially expressed in malignant brain tumors, such as glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytomas. The EphB6v has a unique 54 amino acid sequence at the C-terminal that is not found in normal EphB6. Therefore, we attempted to identify antigenic peptides unique to EphB6v for immunotherapy. The two EphB6v-derived peptides exhibited the ability to bind to human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A0201 molecules, and each of them was able to induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes in vitro in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HLA-A2(+) glioma patients. The cytotoxicity was mediated by peptide-specific CD8(+) T cells in an HLA-A2-restricted manner. The expression of EphB6v was also observed in different types of cancer (e.g. lung, colon, stomach, liver and pancreatic) cells. Taken together, the two peptides derived from EphB6v might be appropriate targets for peptide-based specific immunotherapy for HLA-A2(+) patients with various cancers.

Jin M, Komohara Y, Shichijo S, et al.
Identification of EphB6 variant-derived epitope peptides recognized by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes from HLA-A24+ malignant glioma patients.
Oncol Rep. 2008; 19(5):1277-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
We found previously that EphB6, a member of the erythropoietin-producing hepatocyte (Eph) receptor tyrosine kinase family, was preferentially expressed in malignant gliomas. In the present study, RT-PCR revealed a putative secretory variant form of human EphB6 that was expressed in the majority of glioma cell lines, though not in normal tissues. The variant has a unique 54 amino acid sequence that is not found in the normal EphB6. Therefore, we attempted to determine the antigenic peptides unique to the variant for immunotherapy. The two variant-derived peptides had the ability to bind to HLA-A2402 molecules and each of them could induce cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) in vitro in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HLA-A24(+) glioma patients. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity was mediated by peptide-specific CD8(+) T cells in an HLA-A24 restricted manner. Taken together, the two peptides derived from the variant of EphB6 might be appropriate targets for peptide-based specific immunotherapy to HLA-A24(+) patients with malignant glioma.

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