Gene Summary

Gene:ETV5; ets variant 5
Aliases: ERM
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ETS translocation variant 5
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (8)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 12 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.

  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Bone Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Staging
  • Translocation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • FISH
  • Signal Transduction
  • Membrane Proteins
  • siRNA
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Chromosome 3
  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • ETV5
  • Cadherins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • RHOA
  • Cell Movement
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Gene Fusion
  • ets-Domain Protein Elk-4
  • Up-Regulation
  • Western Blotting
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Trans-Activators
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
Tag cloud generated 11 August, 2015 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: ETV5 (cancer-related)

Qi M, Liu Z, Shen C, et al.
Overexpression of ETV4 is associated with poor prognosis in prostate cancer: involvement of uPA/uPAR and MMPs.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3565-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
ETS gene fusions involving ERG, ETV1, ETV4, ETV5, and FLI1 define a distinct class of prostate cancer (PCa), and this might have a bearing on diagnosis, prognosis, and rational therapeutic targeting. In the current study, we focused on the clinicopathological significance of ETV4 in Chinese PCa patients and the mechanisms whereby ETV4 overexpression mediates tumor invasion in the prostate. Overall, ETV4 overexpression was identified in 30.4 % (45/148) of PCa cases by immunohistochemistry. Accordingly, ETV4 was rearranged in only 1.6 % (2/128) of PCa patients. Clinically, ETV4 overexpression was significantly correlated with Gleason score (P = 0.045) and pathological tumor stage (P = 0.041). Multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that ETV4 is an unfavorable independent prognostic factor (P = 0.040). Functional studies further showed that small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of ETV4 significantly decreases proliferation and invasion of PC-3 cell and partially reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition in vitro. Notably, ETV4 knockdown significantly downregulated expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) at messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that ETV4 regulates uPA expression through direct binding to its promoter region. Additionally, ETV4 knockdown was also observed to significantly inhibit expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. In conclusion, for the first time, our study suggested that ETV4 is an independent poor prognostic factor in Chinese PCa patients. Silencing of ETV4 suppresses invasion of PCa cells by inhibiting the expression of uPA/uPAR as well as MMPs. Further studies will be needed to determine whether ETV4 could be regarded as a potential target for the management and prevention of PCa.

Frontzek F, Nitzlaff S, Horstmann M, et al.
Functional interdependence of NHE1 and merlin in human melanoma cells.
Biochem Cell Biol. 2014; 92(6):530-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Upregulation of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger isoform 1 (NHE1) has been correlated with tumor malignancy. In contrast, moesin-radixin-ezrin-like protein (merlin) is a tumor suppressor that protects from cancerogenesis. Merlin is highly related to the members of the ezrin, radixin, and moesin (ERM) protein family that are directly attached to and functionally linked with NHE1. In addition, merlin inhibits the MAPK cascade and the Rho-GTPases known to activate NHE1 activity. The present study investigates whether NHE1 expression and activity affect merlin or, conversely, whether merlin has an impact on NHE1 in human melanoma (MV3) cells. Indeed, features of merlin-deficient MV3 cells point to a functional link: merlin-deficient cells showed a decreased NHE1 expression and, paradoxically, an increase in NHE1 activity as measured upon cytosolic acidification (NH4Cl prepulse method). Loss of merlin also led to an elevated cell motility that could be further increased by NHE1 overexpression, whereas NHE1 overexpression alone had no effect on migration. In contrast, neither NHE1 expression nor its activity had an impact on merlin expression. These results suggest a novel tumor suppressor function of merlin in melanoma cells: the inhibition of the proto-oncogenic NHE1 activity, possibly including its downstream signaling pathways.

Alonso-Alconada L, Muinelo-Romay L, Madissoo K, et al.
Molecular profiling of circulating tumor cells links plasticity to the metastatic process in endometrial cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:223 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: About 20% of patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer (EC) are considered high-risk with unfavorable prognosis. In the framework of the European Network for Individualized Treatment in EC (ENITEC), we investigated the presence and phenotypic features of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) in high-risk EC patients.
METHODS: CTC isolation was carried out in peripheral blood samples from 34 patients, ranging from Grade 3 Stage IB to Stage IV carcinomas and recurrences, and 27 healthy controls using two methodologies. Samples were subjected to EpCAM-based immunoisolation using the CELLection™ Epithelial Enrich kit (Invitrogen, Dynal) followed by RTqPCR analysis. The phenotypic determinants of endometrial CTC in terms of pathogenesis, hormone receptor pathways, stem cell markers and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) drivers were asked. Kruskal-Wallis analysis followed by Dunn's post-test was used for comparisons between groups. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
RESULTS: EpCAM-based immunoisolation positively detected CTC in high-risk endometrial cancer patients. CTC characterization indicated a remarkable plasticity phenotype defined by the expression of the EMT markers ETV5, NOTCH1, SNAI1, TGFB1, ZEB1 and ZEB2. In addition, the expression of ALDH and CD44 pointed to an association with stemness, while the expression of CTNNB1, STS, GDF15, RELA, RUNX1, BRAF and PIK3CA suggested potential therapeutic targets. We further recapitulated the EMT phenotype found in endometrial CTC through the up-regulation of ETV5 in an EC cell line, and validated in an animal model of systemic dissemination the propensity of these CTC in the accomplishment of metastasis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results associate the presence of CTC with high-risk EC. Gene-expression profiling characterized a CTC-plasticity phenotype with stemness and EMT features. We finally recapitulated this CTC-phenotype by over-expressing ETV5 in the EC cell line Hec1A and demonstrated an advantage in the promotion of metastasis in an in vivo mouse model of CTC dissemination and homing.

Agnihotri S, Gugel I, Remke M, et al.
Gene-expression profiling elucidates molecular signaling networks that can be therapeutically targeted in vestibular schwannoma.
J Neurosurg. 2014; 121(6):1434-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are common benign tumors of the vestibular nerve that cause significant morbidity. The current treatment strategies for VS include surgery or radiation, with each treatment option having associated complications and side effects. The transcriptional landscape of schwannoma remains largely unknown.
METHODS: In this study the authors performed gene-expression profiling of 49 schwannomas and 7 normal control vestibular nerves to identify tumor-specific gene-expression patterns. They also interrogated whether schwannomas comprise several molecular subtypes using several transcription-based clustering strategies. The authors also performed in vitro experiments testing therapeutic inhibitors of over-activated pathways in a schwannoma cell line, namely the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.
RESULTS: The authors identified over 4000 differentially expressed genes between controls and schwannomas with network analysis, uncovering proliferation and anti-apoptotic pathways previously not implicated in VS. Furthermore, using several distinct clustering technologies, they could not reproducibly identify distinct VS subtypes or significant differences between sporadic and germline NF2-associated schwannomas, suggesting that they are highly similar entities. The authors identified overexpression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling networks in their gene-expression study and evaluated this pathway for therapeutic targeting. Testing the compounds BEZ235 and PKI-587, both novel dual inhibitors of PI3K and mTOR, attenuated tumor growth in a preclinical cell line model of schwannoma (HEI-293). In vitro findings demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway with next-generation compounds led to decreased cell viability and increased cell death.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings implicate aberrant activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway as a molecular mechanism of pathogenesis in VS and suggest inhibition of this pathway as a potential treatment strategy.

Alonso-Alconada L, Eritja N, Muinelo-Romay L, et al.
ETV5 transcription program links BDNF and promotion of EMT at invasive front of endometrial carcinomas.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(12):2679-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myometrial infiltration represents a main clinical determinant of endometrial carcinomas (EC) presenting as aggressive high-grade deeply invasive neoplasms, substantially associated with risk of recurrence and death. The up-regulation of ETV5 transcription factor linked to the promotion of epithelial to mesenchymal transition is considered as a basic mechanism underlying the initial steps of EC invasion. In this work, we aimed to investigate the transcription program of tumor invasion regulated by ETV5. We performed a comparative Chip-on-chip analysis at invasive front and superficial area of human EC. ETV5 specific binding to promoter regions of genes related to cellular migration, adhesion and invasion at deep invasion tumor areas highlighted the relevance of neural networks associated with cellular plasticity. Interestingly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) demonstrated a principal role orchestrating ETV5-mediated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in endometrial cancer. Impairment of the BDNF/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase axis in endometrial cancer cell lines reversed the aggressive and invasive phenotype promoted by the up-regulation of ETV5 at the invasive front of EC. Likewise, BDNF directly impacted on the efficiency of ETV5 promoted metastasis in a mice model of endometrial distant dissemination. These results translate the recognized role of BDNF/TrkB on neural plasticity into a relevant cancer metastasis event; suggest common mechanisms shared by neural development and tumor invasion; and offer new therapeutic opportunities specifically directed against disseminated disease in endometrial cancer.

Liu Y, Patel L, Mills GB, et al.
Clinical significance of CTNNB1 mutation and Wnt pathway activation in endometrioid endometrial carcinoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(9) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Endometrioid endometrial carcinoma (EEC) is the most common form of endometrial carcinoma. The heterogeneous clinical course of EEC is an obstacle to individualized patient care.
METHODS: We performed an integrated analysis on the multiple-dimensional data types including whole-exome and RNA sequencing, RPPA profiling, and clinical data from 271 EEC cases in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to identify molecular fingerprints that may account for this clinical heterogeneity. Significance analysis of microarray was used to identify marker genes of each subtype that were subject to pathway analysis. Association of molecular subtypes with clinical features and mutation data was analyzed with the Mann Whitney, Chi-square, Fisher's exact, and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Survival analysis was evaluated with log-rank test. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Four transcriptome subtypes with distinct clinicopathologic characteristics and mutation spectra were identified from the TCGA dataset and validated in an independent sample cohort of 184 EEC cases. Cluster II consisted of younger, obese patients with low-grade EEC but diminished survival. CTNNB1 exon 3 mutations were present in 87.0% (47/54) of Cluster II (P < .001) that exhibited a low overall mutation rate; this was statistically significantly associated with Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation (P < .001). High expression levels of CTNNB1 (P = .001), MYC (P = .01), and CCND1 (P = .01) were associated with poorer overall survival in low-grade EEC tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: CTNNB1 exon 3 mutations are likely a driver that characterize an aggressive subset of low-grade and low-stage EEC occurring in younger women.

Kunju LP, Carskadon S, Siddiqui J, et al.
Novel RNA hybridization method for the in situ detection of ETV1, ETV4, and ETV5 gene fusions in prostate cancer.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2014; 22(8):e32-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The genetic basis of 50% to 60% of prostate cancer (PCa) is attributable to rearrangements in E26 transformation-specific (ETS) (ERG, ETV1, ETV4, and ETV5), BRAF, and RAF1 genes and overexpression of SPINK1. The development and validation of reliable detection methods are warranted to classify various molecular subtypes of PCa for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. ETS gene rearrangements are typically detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction methods. Recently, monoclonal antibodies against ERG have been developed that detect the truncated ERG protein in immunohistochemical assays where staining levels are strongly correlated with ERG rearrangement status by fluorescence in situ hybridization. However, specific antibodies for ETV1, ETV4, and ETV5 are unavailable, challenging their clinical use. We developed a novel RNA in situ hybridization-based assay for the in situ detection of ETV1, ETV4, and ETV5 in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from prostate needle biopsies, prostatectomy, and metastatic PCa specimens using RNA probes. Further, with combined RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry we identified a rare subset of PCa with dual ETS gene rearrangements in collisions of independent tumor foci. The high specificity and sensitivity of RNA in situ hybridization provides an alternate method enabling bright-field in situ detection of ETS gene aberrations in routine clinically available PCa specimens.

Li YY, Zhou CX, Gao Y
Snail regulates the motility of oral cancer cells via RhoA/Cdc42/p-ERM pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 452(3):490-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcriptional factor Snail has been reported to possess properties related to cancer progression; however, the mechanism for it is not fully understood. Our data showed that Snail knockdown by small interfering RNA in two OSCC cell lines, WSU-HN6 and CAL27, significantly inhibited cell migration and invasion which also resulted in decreased cell motility, such as impaired cell spreading on type I collagen substrate, reduced filopodia, and premature assembly of stress fibers. In addition, Snail-silencing decreased Cdc42 activity but increased RhoA activity, accompanied by the downregulation in both p-ERM expression and cell motility. Meanwhile, endogenous p-ERM was found specifically co-precipitated with activated Cdc42, but not RhoA, and this co-association was decreased by Snail-silencing. The small molecule inhibitors of Rho-associated kinase (Y27632) markedly enhanced Cdc42 activity and the association of p-ERM with activated Cdc42, increasing cell motility remarkably. Using immunohistochemistry, Snail and p-ERM overexpressions were found in OSCC tissues correlated with nodal metastasis and shorter survival. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Snail regulates cell motility through RhoA/Cdc42/p-ERM pathway and may serve as a biomarker to predict prognosis for OSCC patients. Although RhoA and Cdc42 are concurrently regulated downstream of Snail, there is a direct interplay between them, which indicates RhoA has to be inactivated at some point in cell motility cycle.

Jiang QH, Wang AX, Chen Y
Radixin enhances colon cancer cell invasion by increasing MMP-7 production via Rac1-ERK pathway.
ScientificWorldJournal. 2014; 2014:340271 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
As a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family, radixin is overexpressed in many tumor tissues. However, little is known about its role in the progression of colon cancer. So we here aimed to determine the function of radixin in colon cancer cell invasion. Interestingly, we found that the expression of radixin was significantly elevated in colon cancer cells. Knockdown of radixin suppressed the invasion and migration of colon cancer cells. Further, knockdown of radixin inhibited the activation of Rac1 and ERK1/2, and decreased the expression and secretion of MMP-7. In addition, Rac1-ERK signaling pathway was required for the radixin-promoted invasion and MMP-7 production. Together, our findings suggest that radixin enhances the invasion and migration of colon cancer cells. Activation of Rac1-ERK pathway and consequent upregulation of MMP-7 production may contribute to the function of radixin in the regulation of colon cancer cell invasion. Thus, radixin may act as a novel target for the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

Chen MJ, Gao XJ, Xu LN, et al.
Ezrin is required for epithelial-mesenchymal transition induced by TGF-β1 in A549 cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1515-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been shown to play a role in cellular differentiation during deve-lopment and tumor invasion. However, the precise molecular mechanisms of EMT are not fully elucidated. Previous studies suggested that the mechanism underlying the possible involvement of ezrin in EMT process might be different from that of moesin, another ERM protein. In our study, we examined the role of ezrin in actin filament reorganization and cell meta-stasis during TGF-β1-induced alveolar EMT. Suppressing ezrin expression limited morphological changes and actin filament remodeling, decreased cell migration and invasion during EMT. Immunofluorescence experiments indicated that EMT characteristics in lung cancer cells are associated to differential ezrin subcellular localization. We also found that podocalyxin interacted with ezrin after TGF-β1 induction. Therefore, ezrin is an important regulator of the EMT process, and its function might possibly be mediated by the ezrin-podocalyxin interaction during TGF-β1-induced alveolar EMT. Our finding provides important new insights into the mechanisms of action of the ERM proteins in the TGF-β1-induced alveolar EMT.

Ren L, Khanna C
Role of ezrin in osteosarcoma metastasis.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 804:181-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cause of death for the vast majority of cancer patients is the development of metastases at sites distant from that of the primary tumor. For most pediatric sarcoma patients such as those with osteosarcoma (OS), despite successful management of the primary tumor through multimodality approaches, the development of metastases, commonly to the lungs, is the cause of death. Significant improvements in long-term outcome for these patients have not been seen in more than 30 years. Furthermore, the long-term outcome for patients who present with metastatic disease is grave [1-5]. New treatment options are needed.Opportunities to improve outcomes for patients who present with metastases and those at-risk for progression and metastasis require an improved understanding of cancer progression and metastasis. With this goal in mind we and others have identified ezrin as a metastasis-associated protein that associated with OS and other cancers. Ezrin is the prototypical ERM (Ezrin/Radixin/Moesin) protein family member. ERMs function as linker proteins connecting the actin cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane. Since our initial identification of ezrin in pediatric sarcoma, an increasing understanding the role of ezrin in metastasis has emerged. Briefly, ezrin appears to allow metastatic cells to overcome a number of stresses experienced during the metastatic cascade, most notably the stress experienced as cells interact with the microenvironment of the secondary site. Cells must rapidly adapt to this environment in order to survive. Evidence now suggests a connection between ezrin expression and a variety of mechanisms linked to this important cellular adaptation including the ability of metastatic cells to initiate the translation of new proteins and to allow the efficient generation of ATP through a variety of sources. This understanding of the role of ezrin in the biology of metastasis is now sufficient to consider ezrin as an important therapeutic target in osteosarcoma patients. This chapter reviews our understanding of ezrin and the related ERM proteins in normal tissues and physiology, summarizes the expression of ezrin in human cancers and associations with clinical parameters of disease progression, reviews reports that detail a biological understanding of ezrin's role in metastatic progression, and concludes with a rationale that may be considered to target ezrin and ezrin biology in osteosarcoma.

Charfi C, Edouard E, Rassart E
Identification of GPM6A and GPM6B as potential new human lymphoid leukemia-associated oncogenes.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2014; 37(3):179-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previously, we found that the Graffi murine leukemia virus (MuLV) is able to induce a wide spectrum of hematologic malignancies in vivo. Using high-density oligonucleotide microarrays, we established the gene expression profiles of several of these malignancies, thereby specifically focusing on genes deregulated in the lymphoid sub-types. We observed over-expression of a variety of genes, including Arntl2, Bfsp2, Gfra2, Gpm6a, Gpm6b, Nln, Fbln1, Bmp7, Etv5 and Celsr1 and, in addition, provided evidence that Fmn2 and Parm-1 may act as novel oncogenes. In the present study, we assessed the expression patterns of eight selected human homologs of these genes in primary human B-cell malignancies, and explored the putative oncogenic potential of GPM6A and GPM6B.
METHODS: The gene expression levels of the selected human homologs were tested in human B-cell malignancies by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The protein expression profiles of human GPM6A and GPM6B were analyzed by Western blotting. The localization and the effect of GPM6A and GPM6B on the cytoskeleton were determined using confocal and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. To confirm the oncogenic potential of GPM6A and GPM6B, classical colony formation assays in soft agar and focus forming assays were used. The effects of these proteins on the cell cycle were assessed by flow cytometry analysis.
RESULTS: Using semi-quantitative RT-PCR, we found that most of the primary B-cell malignancies assessed showed altered expression patterns of the genes tested, including GPM6A and GPM6B. Using confocal microscopy, we found that the GPM6A protein (isoform 3) exhibits a punctate cytoplasmic localization and that the GPM6B protein (isoform 4) exhibits a peri-nuclear and punctate cytoplasmic localization. Interestingly, we found that exogenous over-expression of both proteins in NIH/3T3 cells alters the actin and microtubule networks and induces the formation of long filopodia-like protrusions. Additionally, we found that these over-expressing NIH/3T3 cells exhibit anchorage-independent growth and enhanced proliferation rates. Cellular transformation (i.e., loss of contact inhibition) was, however, only observed after exogenous over-expression of GPM6B.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that several human homologs of the genes found to be deregulated in Graffi MuLV experimental mouse models may serve as candidate biomarkers for human B-cell malignancies. In addition, we found that GPM6A and GPM6B may act as novel oncogenes in the development of these malignancies.

Lottrup G, Nielsen JE, Maroun LL, et al.
Expression patterns of DLK1 and INSL3 identify stages of Leydig cell differentiation during normal development and in testicular pathologies, including testicular cancer and Klinefelter syndrome.
Hum Reprod. 2014; 29(8):1637-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
STUDY QUESTION: What is the differentiation stage of human testicular interstitial cells, in particular Leydig cells (LC), within micronodules found in patients with infertility, testicular cancer and Klinefelter syndrome?
SUMMARY ANSWER: The Leydig- and peritubular-cell populations in testes with dysgenesis contain an increased proportion of undifferentiated cells when compared with control samples, as demonstrated by increased delta-like homolog 1 (DLK1) and decreased insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3) expression.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Normal LC function is essential for male development and reproduction. Signs of LC failure, including LC micronodules, are often observed in patients with reproductive disorders.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, PARTICIPANTS: In this retrospective study, a panel of markers and factors linked to the differentiation of LCs was investigated in 33 fetal and prepubertal human specimens and in 58 adult testis samples from patients with testicular germ cell tumours, including precursor carcinoma in situ (CIS), infertility or Klinefelter syndrome.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The expression patterns of DLK1, INSL3, chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor 2 (COUP-TFII), cytochrome P450, family 11, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP11A1) and smooth muscle actin (SMA) were investigated by immunohistochemistry and quantitative RT-PCR. The percentage of positive LCs was estimated and correlated to total LC numbers and serum levels of reproductive hormones.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: DLK1, INSL3 and COUP-TFII expression changed during normal development and was linked to different stages of LC differentiation: DLK1 was expressed in all fetal LCs, but only in spindle-shaped progenitor cells and in a small subset of polygonal LCs in the normal adult testis; INSL3 was expressed in a subset of fetal LCs, but in the majority of adult LCs; and COUP-TFII was expressed in peritubular and mesenchymal stroma cells at all ages, in fetal LCs early in gestation and in a subset of adult LCs. CYP11A1 was expressed in the majority of LCs regardless of age and pathology and was the best general LC marker examined here. SMA was weakly expressed in peritubular cells in the fetal and infantile testis, but strongly expressed in the adult testis. In pathological testes, the numbers of DLK1-positive interstitial cells were increased. The proportion of DLK1-positive LCs correlated with total LC numbers (R = 0.53; P < 0.001) and was higher in testis with enlargement of the peritubular layers (P < 0.01), which was also highly associated with DLK1 expression in the peritubular compartment (P < 0.001). INSL3 expression was absent in some, but not all LC micronodules, and in the majority of LCs, it was mutually exclusive of DLK1.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The number of samples was relatively small and no true normal adult controls were available. True stereology was not used for LC counting, instead LCs were counted in three fields of 0.5 µm(2) surface for each sample.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The population of LCs, especially those clustered in large nodules, are heterogeneous and comprise cells at different stages of differentiation. The study demonstrated that the differentiation and function of LCs, and possibly also peritubular cells, are impaired in adult men with testicular pathologies including testis cancer and Klinefelter syndrome.
STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: This work was funded by Rigshospitalet's research funds, the Danish Cancer Society and Kirsten and Freddy Johansen's foundation. The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Beaty BT, Wang Y, Bravo-Cordero JJ, et al.
Talin regulates moesin-NHE-1 recruitment to invadopodia and promotes mammary tumor metastasis.
J Cell Biol. 2014; 205(5):737-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Invadopodia are actin-rich protrusions that degrade the extracellular matrix and are required for stromal invasion, intravasation, and metastasis. The role of the focal adhesion protein talin in regulating these structures is not known. Here, we demonstrate that talin is required for invadopodial matrix degradation and three-dimensional extracellular matrix invasion in metastatic breast cancer cells. The sodium/hydrogen exchanger 1 (NHE-1) is linked to the cytoskeleton by ezrin/radixin/moesin family proteins and is known to regulate invadopodium-mediated matrix degradation. We show that the talin C terminus binds directly to the moesin band 4.1 ERM (FERM) domain to recruit a moesin-NHE-1 complex to invadopodia. Silencing talin resulted in a decrease in cytosolic pH at invadopodia and blocked cofilin-dependent actin polymerization, leading to impaired invadopodium stability and matrix degradation. Furthermore, talin is required for mammary tumor cell motility, intravasation, and spontaneous lung metastasis in vivo. Thus, our findings provide a novel understanding of how intracellular pH is regulated and a molecular mechanism by which talin enhances tumor cell invasion and metastasis.

de Sousa VP, Chaves CB, Huguenin JF, et al.
ERM/ETV5 and RUNX1/AML1 expression in endometrioid adenocarcinomas of endometrium and association with neoplastic progression.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2014; 15(7):888-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The majority of endometrioid endometrial carcinomas (EEC) is diagnosed at stage I. Among these, 30% present myometrial invasion (stage IB), which is associated with tumor spread and relapse after primary treatment. Although an increased expression of RUNX1/AML1 and ERM/ETV5 in EEC have been suggested to be associated with early events of myometrial infiltration, there is no data regarding its expression along the evolution of EEC and possible associations with other clinicopathological parameters. Therefore, ERM/ETV5 and RUNX1/AML1 protein and gene expression profiles were assessed in different EEC stages to evaluate their role in endometrial carcinogenesis. RUNX1/AML1 and ERM/ETV5 proteins were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 219 formalin fixed paraffin embedded endometrioid tumors and in 12 normal atrophic and proliferative endometrium samples. RUNX1/AML1 and ERM/ETV5 genes expression were analyzed by RT-qPCR. RUNX1/AML1 and ERM/ETV5 expression were decreased with increasing EEC stage, with a positive correlation between protein and gene expression for ERM/ETV5, but not for RUNX1/AML1. Both proteins were present in the nucleus of the tumor cells, whereas RUNX1/AML1, but not ERM/ETV5, was expressed in 7 out of 12 normal endometrial samples, with its expression being restricted to the cytoplasm of the positive cells. We concluded that there is a higher expression of ERM/ETV5 in early stages of EEC, whereas there seems to be a RUNX1/AML1 translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus in EEC neoplastic transformation.

Svingen T, Jørgensen A, Rajpert-De Meyts E
Validation of endogenous normalizing genes for expression analyses in adult human testis and germ cell neoplasms.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2014; 20(8):709-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
The measurement of gene expression levels in cells and tissues typically depends on a suitable point of reference for inferring biological relevance. For quantitative (or real-time) RT-PCR assays, the method of choice is often to normalize gene expression data to an endogenous gene that is stably expressed across the samples analysed: a so-called normalizing or housekeeping gene. Although this is a valid strategy, the identification of stable normalizing genes has proved challenging and a gene showing stable expression across all cells or tissues is unlikely to exist. Therefore, it is necessary to define suitable normalizing genes for specific cells and tissues. Here, we report on the performance of a panel of nine commonly employed normalizing genes in adult human testis and testicular pathologies. Our analyses revealed significant variability in transcript abundance for commonly used normalizers, highlighting the importance of selecting appropriate normalizing genes as comparative measurements can yield variable results when different normalizing genes are employed. Based on our results, we recommend using RPS20, RPS29 or SRSF4 when analysing relative gene expression levels in human testis and associated testicular pathologies. OCT4 and SALL4 can be used with caution as second-tier normalizers when determining changes in gene expression in germ cells and germ cell tumour components, but the relative transcript abundance appears variable between different germ cell tumour types. We further recommend that such studies should be accompanied by additional assessment of histology and cellularity of each sample.

Romanov VS, Brichkina AI, Morrison H, et al.
Novel mechanism of JNK pathway activation by adenoviral E1A.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(8):2176-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The adenoviral oncoprotein E1A influences cellular regulation by interacting with a number of cellular proteins. In collaboration with complementary oncogenes, E1A fully transforms primary cells. As part of this action, E1A inhibits transcription of c-Jun:Fos target genes while promoting that of c-Jun:ATF2-dependent genes including jun. Both c-Jun and ATF2 are hyperphosphorylated in response to E1A. In the current study, E1A was fused with the ligand binding domain of the estrogen receptor (E1A-ER) to monitor the immediate effect of E1A activation. With this approach we now show that E1A activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), the upstream kinases MKK4 and MKK7, as well as the small GTPase Rac1. Activation of the JNK pathway requires the N-terminal domain of E1A, and, importantly, is independent of transcription. In addition, it requires the presence of ERM proteins. Downregulation of signaling components upstream of JNK inhibits E1A-dependent JNK/c-Jun activation. Taking these findings together, we show that E1A activates the JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway upstream of Rac1 in a transcription-independent manner, demonstrating a novel mechanism of E1A action.

Specht K, Sung YS, Zhang L, et al.
Distinct transcriptional signature and immunoprofile of CIC-DUX4 fusion-positive round cell tumors compared to EWSR1-rearranged Ewing sarcomas: further evidence toward distinct pathologic entities.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(7):622-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Round cell sarcomas harboring CIC-DUX4 fusions have recently been described as highly aggressive soft tissue tumors of children and young adults. Due to partial morphologic and immunohistochemical overlap with Ewing sarcoma (ES), CIC-DUX4-positive tumors have generally been classified as ES-like and managed similarly; however, a systematic comparison at the molecular and immunohistochemical levels between these two groups has not yet been conducted. Based on an initial observation that CIC-DUX4-positive tumors show nuclear immunoreactivity for WT1 and ETS transcription factors, FLI1 and ERG, we performed a detailed immunohistochemical and molecular analysis including these markers, to further investigate the relationship between CIC-DUX4 tumors and ES. The study group included 21 CIC-DUX4-positive sarcomas and 20 EWSR1-rearranged ES. Immunohistochemically, CIC-DUX4 sarcomas showed membranous CD99 positivity in 18 (86%) cases, but only 5 (24%) with a diffuse pattern, while WT1 and FLI1 were strongly positive in all cases. ERG was positive in 18% of cases. All ES expressed CD99 and FLI1, while ERG positivity was only seen in EWSR1-ERG fusion positive ES. WT1 was negative in all ES. Expression profiling validated by q-PCR revealed a distinct gene signature associated with CIC-DUX4 fusion, with upregulation of ETS transcription factors (ETV4, ETV1, and ETV5) and WT1, among top overexpressed genes compared to ES, other sarcomas and normal tissue. In conclusion, the distinct gene signature and immunoprofile of CIC-DUX4 sarcomas suggest a distinct pathogenesis from ES. The consistent WT1 expression may provide a useful clue in the diagnosis in the context of round cell sarcomas negative for EWSR1 rearrangement. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Jin T, Jin J, Li X, et al.
Prognostic implications of ezrin and phosphorylated ezrin expression in non-small cell lung cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:191 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The cytoskeletal organizer ezrin is a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family and plays important roles in not only cell motility, cell adhesion, and apoptosis, but also in various cell signaling pathways. Phosphorylation at Thr-567 and Tyr-353 are key regulatory events in the transition of the dormant to active form of ezrin. This study investigated the prognostic implications of ezrin and phosphorylated ezrin (p-ezrin) expression in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).
METHODS: Ezrin and p-ezrin protein expressions were examined by immunohistochemistry in 150 NSCLC and adjacent non-tumor tissues and 14 normal lung tissues. qRT-PCR was used to determine ezrin mRNA expression levels in fresh tissues. The correlations between overexpression of ezrin and p-ezrin and the clinicopathological features of NSCLC were analyzed. The survival rates were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method for 108 NSCLC cases.
RESULTS: Ezrin and ezrinThr-567 proteins showed cytosolic and membranous staining patterns; however, ezrinTyr-353 protein only showed cytosolic staining. Ezrin and p-ezrin were significantly upregulated in NSCLC compared with the normal counterparts. Increased ezrin, ezrinThr-567, and ezrinTyr-353 levels were correlated with the late stage and poor differentiation of NSCLC. However, only ezrinThr-567 was correlated with the presence of lymph node metastasis. In regard to survival, only ezrinThr-567 was related with the overall survival time of patients with NSCLC, and both ezrin and ezrinThr-567 were associated with shortened survival time for patients with early stage NSCLC.
CONCLUSIONS: Ezrin and p-ezrin, especially ezrinThr-567, may prove to be useful as a novel prognostic biomarker of NSCLC.

Louwers YV, Rayner NW, Herrera BM, et al.
BMI-associated alleles do not constitute risk alleles for polycystic ovary syndrome independently of BMI: a case-control study.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e87335 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) has a strong genetic background and the majority of patients with PCOS have elevated BMI levels. The aim of this study was to determine to which extent BMI-increasing alleles contribute to risk of PCOS when contemporaneous BMI is taken into consideration.
METHODS: Patients with PCOS and controls were recruited from the United Kingdom (563 cases and 791 controls) and The Netherlands (510 cases and 2720 controls). Cases and controls were of similar BMI. SNPs mapping to 12 BMI-associated loci which have been extensively replicated across different ethnicities, i.e., BDNF, FAIM2, ETV5, FTO, GNPDA2, KCTD15, MC4R, MTCH2, NEGR1, SEC16B, SH2B1, and TMEM18, were studied in association with PCOS within each cohort using the additive genetic model followed by a combined analysis. A genetic allelic count risk score model was used to determine the risk of PCOS for individuals carrying increasing numbers of BMI-increasing alleles.
RESULTS: None of the genetic variants, including FTO and MC4R, was associated with PCOS independently of BMI in the meta-analysis. Moreover, no differences were observed between cases and controls in the number of BMI-risk alleles present and no overall trend across the risk score groups was observed.
CONCLUSION: In this combined analysis of over 4,000 BMI-matched individuals from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, we observed no association of BMI risk alleles with PCOS independent of BMI.

Leiphrakpam PD, Rajput A, Mathiesen M, et al.
Ezrin expression and cell survival regulation in colorectal cancer.
Cell Signal. 2014; 26(5):868-79 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in the United States. A key barrier that prevents better outcomes for this type of cancer as well as other solid tumors is the lack of effective therapies against the metastatic disease. Thus there is an urgent need to fill this gap in cancer therapy. We utilized a 2D-DIGE proteomics approach to identify and characterize proteins that are differentially regulated between primary colon tumor and liver metastatic deposits of the IGF1R-dependent GEO human CRC xenograft, orthotopically implanted in athymic nude mice that may serve as potential therapeutic targets against CRC metastasis. We observed increased expression of ezrin in liver metastasis in comparison to the primary colonic tumor. Increased ezrin expression was further confirmed by western blot and microarray analyses. Ezrin, a cytoskeletal protein belonging to Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin (ERM) family plays important roles in cell motility, invasion and metastasis. However, its exact function in colorectal cancer is not well characterized. Establishment of advanced GEO cell lines with enhanced liver-metastasizing ability showed a significant increase in ezrin expression in liver metastasis. Increased phosphorylation of ezrin at the T567 site (termed here as p-ezrin T567) was observed in liver metastasis. IHC studies of human CRC patient specimens showed an increased expression of p-ezrin T567 in liver metastasis compared to the primary tumors of the same patient. Ezrin modulation by siRNA, inhibitors and T567A/D point mutations significantly downregulated inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP) proteins XIAP and survivin that have been linked to increased aberrant cell survival and metastasis and increased cell death. Inhibition of the IGF1R signaling pathway by humanized recombinant IGF1R monoclonal antibody MK-0646 in athymic mouse subcutaneous xenografts resulted in inhibition of p-ezrin T567 indicating ezrin signaling is downstream of the IGF1R signaling pathway. We identified increased expression of p-ezrin T567 in CRC liver metastasis in both orthotopically implanted GEO tumors as well as human patient specimens. We report for the first time that p-ezrin T567 is downstream of the IGF1R signaling and demonstrate that ezrin regulates cell survival through survivin/XIAP modulation.

Kong J, Li Y, Liu S, et al.
High expression of ezrin predicts poor prognosis in uterine cervical cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:520 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ezrin, a member of the ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) protein family, plays a pivotal role in tumor invasion and metastasis. This study is aimed to investigate the clinicopathological significance of upregulated ezrin protein expression in uterine cervical cancers.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining of ezrin protein was performed on uterine cervical cancer specimens from 235 patients. For comparison, 239 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), 17 cases of cervical glandular intraepithelial neoplasia (CGIN) and 52 normal cervix samples were also included. qRT-PCR was performed on fresh tissues to detect ezrin mRNA expression levels. HPV infection statuses were genotyped by oligonucleotide microarray, and 10-year survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method for 109 cervical cancer patients.
RESULTS: Apical membranous distribution of ezrin protein was only observed in normal cervical glands, while perinuclear staining was only observed in cervical cancers. Strong cytoplasmic and diffuse localization of ezrin were frequently seen in the cervical cancers compared with the normal counterparts. Furthermore, this strongly positive ezrin expression was significantly higher in cervical cancers than in CIN, CGIN, and normal cervical epithelia. Ezrin overexpression was closely related with poor differentiation, late stage, and lymph node metastasis. Additionally, ezrin overexpression was associated with lower 10-year survival rate for patients with early stage cervical cancer, but not for patients with advanced stage.
CONCLUSIONS: Aberrant localization and overexpression of ezrin might be an independent effective biomarker for prognostic evaluation of cervical cancers.

Barros-Silva JD, Paulo P, Bakken AC, et al.
Novel 5' fusion partners of ETV1 and ETV4 in prostate cancer.
Neoplasia. 2013; 15(7):720-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Gene fusions involving the erythroblast transformation-specific (ETS) transcription factors ERG, ETV1, ETV4, ETV5, and FLI1 are a common feature of prostate carcinomas (PCas). The most common upstream fusion partner described is the androgen-regulated prostate-specific gene TMPRSS2, most frequently with ERG, but additional 5' fusion partners have been described. We performed 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends in 18 PCas with ETV1, ETV4, or ETV5 outlier expression to identify the 5' fusion partners. We also evaluated the exon-level expression profile of these ETS genes in 14 cases. We identified and confirmed by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction the two novel chimeric genes OR51E2-ETV1 and UBTF-ETV4 in two PCas. OR51E2 encodes a G-protein-coupled receptor that is overexpressed in PCas, whereas UBTF is a ubiquitously expressed gene encoding an HMG-box DNA-binding protein involved in ribosome biogenesis. We additionally describe two novel gene fusion combinations of previously described genes, namely, SLC45A3-ETV4 and HERVK17-ETV4. Finally, we found one PCa with TMPRSS2-ETV1, one with C15orf21-ETV1, one with EST14-ETV1, and two with 14q133-q21.1-ETV1. In nine PCas (eight ETV1 and one ETV5), exhibiting ETS outlier expression and genomic rearrangement detected by FISH, no 5' fusion partner was found. Our findings contribute significantly to characterize the heterogeneous group of ETS gene fusions and indicate that all genes described as 5' fusion partners with one ETS gene can most likely be rearranged with any of the other ETS genes involved in prostate carcinogenesis.

Pećina-Šlaus N
Merlin, the NF2 gene product.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2013; 19(3):365-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Merlin, the protein product of NF2 gene, is one of the most versatile tumor suppressors capable of integrating different mechanisms that regulate cell proliferation, motility, survival and signaling pathways underlying and governing those mechanisms. Merlin is considered a member of the band 4.1 families of cytoskeleton-associated proteins also called ERM family and acts as tumor suppressor. The main cause for transformation of Schwann cells into schwannomas is credited to the inactivation of the neurofibromin 2 (NF2) gene and the consecutive loss of its protein merlin. Recent scientific advances improved our understanding of pathogenic mechanisms involving NF2 gene. The present review brings genetic properties of NF2 gene, molecular characteristics of merlin, summarizes mutational spectra and explains merlin's multifunctional roles regarding its involvement in neurofibromatosis associated tumorigenesis.

Smit FP, Salagierski M, Jannink S, Schalken JA
High-resolution ERG-expression profiling on GeneChip exon 1.0 ST arrays in primary and castration-resistant prostate cancer.
BJU Int. 2013; 111(5):836-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether oestrogen-regulated gene (ERG) expression analysis using GeneChip arrays can predict transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2)-ERG fusion. The expression level of the TMPRSS2-ERG gene was studied in various histological grades of prostate cancer and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CPRC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: GeneChip Affymetrix exon 1.0 ST arrays were used for expression profiling of ERG, erythroblast transformation-specific (ETS) variant gene 1 (ETV1), ETV4 and ETV5 genes in 67 prostate cancer tissue specimens. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and in some cases DNA sequencing was used to validate the presence and the expression levels of TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions.
RESULTS: In our series of patients with prostate cancer over expression of the ERG gene predicted the presence of TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangements in almost all cases. ETS expression by itself outmatched the diagnostic performance of the ERG exons ratioing allowing equal detection of the less frequent ETS gene fusion transcripts. The gene fusions were expressed at significantly lower levels in CPRC but occurred more frequently than in primary prostate cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: ERG expression analysis using GeneChip arrays appears to be an excellent diagnostic tool for identifying gene rearrangements. In coming years, measuring expression of the ETS gene family by itself might become a clinically relevant surrogate test to identify patients with fusion-positive prostate cancer. The variation of gene fusion expression levels, particularly in CPRC, needs to be taken into account when using quantitative molecular diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Li X, Liang L, Zhang M, et al.
Obesity-related genetic variants, human pigmentation, and risk of melanoma.
Hum Genet. 2013; 132(7):793-801 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Previous biological studies showed evidence of a genetic link between obesity and pigmentation in both animal models and humans. Our study investigated the individual and joint associations between obesity-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and both human pigmentation and risk of melanoma. Eight obesity-related SNPs in the FTO, MAP2K5, NEGR1, FLJ35779, ETV5, CADM2, and NUDT3 genes were nominally significantly associated with hair color among 5,876 individuals of European ancestry. The genetic score combining 35 independent obesity-risk loci was significantly associated with darker hair color (beta-coefficient per ten alleles = 0.12, P value = 4 × 10(-5)). However, single SNPs or genetic scores showed non-significant association with tanning ability. We further examined the SNPs at the FTO locus for their associations with pigmentation and risk of melanoma. Among the 783 SNPs in the FTO gene with imputation R (2) quality metric >0.8 using the 1,000 genome data set, ten and three independent SNPs were significantly associated with hair color and tanning ability respectively. Moreover, five independent FTO SNPs showed nominally significant association with risk of melanoma in 1,804 cases and 1,026 controls. But none of them was associated with obesity or in linkage disequilibrium with obesity-related variants. FTO locus may confer variation in human pigmentation and risk of melanoma, which may be independent of its effect on obesity.

Shen H, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Xu R, et al.
Enhancing chemotherapy response with sustained EphA2 silencing using multistage vector delivery.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(7):1806-15 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: RNA interference has the potential to specifically knockdown the expression of target genes and thereby transform cancer therapy. However, lack of effective delivery of siRNA has dramatically limited its in vivo applications. We have developed a multistage vector (MSV) system, composed of discoidal porous silicon particles loaded with nanotherapeutics, that directs effective delivery and sustained release of siRNA in tumor tissues. In this study, we evaluated therapeutic efficacy of MSV-loaded EphA2 siRNA (MSV/EphA2) with murine orthotopic models of metastatic ovarian cancers as a first step toward development of a new class of nanotherapeutics for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Tumor accumulation of MSV/EphA2 and sustained release of siRNA from MSV were analyzed after intravenous administration of MSV/siRNA. Nude mice with metastatic SKOV3ip2 tumors were treated with MSV/EphA2 and paclitaxel, and therapeutic efficacy was assessed. Mice with chemotherapy-resistant HeyA8 ovarian tumors were treated with a combination of MSV/EphA2 and docetaxel, and enhanced therapeutic efficacy was evaluated.
RESULTS: Treatment of SKOV3ip2 tumor mice with MSV/EphA2 biweekly for 6 weeks resulted in dose-dependent (5, 10, and 15 μg/mice) reduction of tumor weight (36%, 64%, and 83%) and number of tumor nodules compared with the control groups. In addition, tumor growth was completely inhibited when mice were treated with MSV/EphA2 in combination with paclitaxel. Furthermore, combination treatment with MSV/EphA2 and docetaxel inhibited growth of HeyA8-MDR tumors, which were otherwise resistant to docetaxel treatment.
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that MSV/EphA2 merits further development as a novel therapeutic agent for ovarian cancer.

Zhang L, Xiao R, Xiong J, et al.
Activated ERM protein plays a critical role in drug resistance of MOLT4 cells induced by CCL25.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e52384 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
We have previously demonstrated that the CCR9/CCL25 signaling pathway plays an important role in drug resistance in human acute T-lymphocytic leukemia (T-ALL) by inducing activation of ERM protein with polarized distribution in T-ALL cell line MOLT4. However, the mechanism of action of the activated ERM protein in the drug resistance of MOLT4 cells induced by CCL25 remains uncharacterized. Here we investigated the mechanism of CCR9/CCL25-initiated drug resistance in CCR9-high-expressing T-ALL cells. Our results showed that 1) the function of P-gp was increased after treatment with CCL25; 2) P-gp colocalized and co-immunoprecipitated with p-ERM and F-actin in CCL25 treated cells; and 3) ERM-shRNA conferred drug sensitivity coincident with release of ERM interactions with P-gp and F-actin after treatment with CCL25. These data suggest it is pivotal that P-gp associate with the F-actin cytoskeleton through p-ERM in CCR9/CCL25 induced multidrug resistance of T-ALL cells. Strategies aimed at inhibiting P-gp-F-actin cytoskeleton association may be helpful in increasing the efficiency of therapies in T-ALL.

Xu R, Huang Y, Mai J, et al.
Multistage vectored siRNA targeting ataxia-telangiectasia mutated for breast cancer therapy.
Small. 2013; 9(9-10):1799-808 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein plays a central role in DNA damage response and cell cycle checkpoints, and may be a promising target for cancer therapy if normal tissue toxicity could be avoided. The strategy presented here to target ATM for breast cancer therapy involves the use of liposomal-encapsulated, gene-specific ATM siRNA delivered with a well-characterized porous silicon-based multistage vector (MSV) delivery system (MSV/ATM). Biweekly treatment of MSV/ATM suppressed ATM expression in tumor tissues, and consequently inhibited growth of MDA-MB-231 orthotopic tumor in nude mice. At the therapeutic dosage, neither free liposomal ATM siRNA nor MSV/ATM triggered an acute immune response in BALB/c mice, including changes in serum cytokines, chemokines or colony-stimulating factors. Weekly treatments of mice with free liposomal ATM siRNA or MSV/ATM for 4 weeks did not cause significant changes in body weight, hematology, blood biochemistry, or major organ histology. These results indicate that MSV/ATM is biocompatible and efficacious in inhibiting tumor growth, and that further preclinical evaluation is warranted for the development of MSV/ATM as a potential therapeutic agent.

Alagaratnam S, Harrison N, Bakken AC, et al.
Transforming pluripotency: an exon-level study of malignancy-specific transcripts in human embryonal carcinoma and embryonic stem cells.
Stem Cells Dev. 2013; 22(7):1136-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
To circumvent difficulties of isolating pure populations of cancer stem cells (CSCs) for the purpose of identifying malignancy-specific gene expression, we have compared exon-resolution transcriptomic profiles of 5 embryonal carcinoma (EC) cell lines, a histological subtype of germ cell tumor (GCT), to their nonmalignant caricature, specifically 6 human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines. Both cell types are readily accessible, and were purified for undifferentiated cells only. We identified a set of 28 differentially expressed genes, many of which had cancer and stemness roles. Overexpression of the recently discovered pluripotency gene NR5A2 in malignant EC cells revealed an intriguing indication of how WNT-mediated dysregulation of pluripotency is involved with malignancy. Expression of these 28 genes was further explored within 2 publically available data sets of primary EC tumors and normal testis. At the exon-level, alternative splicing events were detected in ZNF195, DNMT3B, and PMF1, and alternative promoters were detected for ASH2L and ETV5. These events were validated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction-based methods in EC and ES lines, where the alternative splicing event in the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B may have functional consequences. In conclusion, we have identified malignancy-specific gene expression differences within a rigorous pluripotent stem cell context. These findings are of particular interest for both GCT and ES cell biology, and, in general, to the concept of CSCs.

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