Gene Summary

Gene:FER; FER tyrosine kinase
Aliases: TYK3, PPP1R74, p94-Fer
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the FPS/FES family of non-transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinases. It regulates cell-cell adhesion and mediates signaling from the cell surface to the cytoskeleton via growth factor receptors. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. A related pseudogene has been identified on chromosome X. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2015]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tyrosine-protein kinase Fer
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (56)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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

  • Transcription Factors
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Chromosome 5
  • FER
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3
  • Breast Cancer
  • Phosphorylation
  • Organ Specificity
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Long Noncoding RNA
  • siRNA
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • beta Catenin
  • Cell Cycle
  • Trastuzumab
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Tumor Burden
  • Messenger RNA
  • Vidarabine
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Transfection
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fes
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src)
  • Lung Cancer
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Mutation
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Base Sequence
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Tyrosine
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Amino Acid Sequence
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: FER (cancer-related)

Rugo HS, Olopade OI, DeMichele A, et al.
Adaptive Randomization of Veliparib-Carboplatin Treatment in Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(1):23-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The genetic and clinical heterogeneity of breast cancer makes the identification of effective therapies challenging. We designed I-SPY 2, a phase 2, multicenter, adaptively randomized trial to screen multiple experimental regimens in combination with standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. The goal is to match experimental regimens with responding cancer subtypes. We report results for veliparib, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, combined with carboplatin.
METHODS: In this ongoing trial, women are eligible for participation if they have stage II or III breast cancer with a tumor 2.5 cm or larger in diameter; cancers are categorized into eight biomarker subtypes on the basis of status with regard to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), hormone receptors, and a 70-gene assay. Patients undergo adaptive randomization within each biomarker subtype to receive regimens that have better performance than the standard therapy. Regimens are evaluated within 10 biomarker signatures (i.e., prospectively defined combinations of biomarker subtypes). Veliparib-carboplatin plus standard therapy was considered for HER2-negative tumors and was therefore evaluated in 3 signatures. The primary end point is pathological complete response. Tumor volume changes measured by magnetic resonance imaging during treatment are used to predict whether a patient will have a pathological complete response. Regimens move on from phase 2 if and when they have a high Bayesian predictive probability of success in a subsequent phase 3 neoadjuvant trial within the biomarker signature in which they performed well.
RESULTS: With regard to triple-negative breast cancer, veliparib-carboplatin had an 88% predicted probability of success in a phase 3 trial. A total of 72 patients were randomly assigned to receive veliparib-carboplatin, and 44 patients were concurrently assigned to receive control therapy; at the completion of chemotherapy, the estimated rates of pathological complete response in the triple-negative population were 51% (95% Bayesian probability interval [PI], 36 to 66%) in the veliparib-carboplatin group versus 26% (95% PI, 9 to 43%) in the control group. The toxicity of veliparib-carboplatin was greater than that of the control.
CONCLUSIONS: The process used in our trial showed that veliparib-carboplatin added to standard therapy resulted in higher rates of pathological complete response than standard therapy alone specifically in triple-negative breast cancer. (Funded by the QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative and others; I-SPY 2 TRIAL ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01042379.).

Park JW, Liu MC, Yee D, et al.
Adaptive Randomization of Neratinib in Early Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(1):11-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The heterogeneity of breast cancer makes identifying effective therapies challenging. The I-SPY 2 trial, a multicenter, adaptive phase 2 trial of neoadjuvant therapy for high-risk clinical stage II or III breast cancer, evaluated multiple new agents added to standard chemotherapy to assess the effects on rates of pathological complete response (i.e., absence of residual cancer in the breast or lymph nodes at the time of surgery).
METHODS: We used adaptive randomization to compare standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus the tyrosine kinase inhibitor neratinib with control. Eligible women were categorized according to eight biomarker subtypes on the basis of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status, hormone-receptor status, and risk according to a 70-gene profile. Neratinib was evaluated against control with regard to 10 biomarker signatures (prospectively defined combinations of subtypes). The primary end point was pathological complete response. Volume changes on serial magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess the likelihood of such a response in each patient. Adaptive assignment to experimental groups within each disease subtype was based on Bayesian probabilities of the superiority of the treatment over control. Enrollment in the experimental group was stopped when the 85% Bayesian predictive probability of success in a confirmatory phase 3 trial of neoadjuvant therapy reached a prespecified threshold for any biomarker signature ("graduation"). Enrollment was stopped for futility if the probability fell to below 10% for every biomarker signature.
RESULTS: Neratinib reached the prespecified efficacy threshold with regard to the HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative signature. Among patients with HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative cancer, the mean estimated rate of pathological complete response was 56% (95% Bayesian probability interval [PI], 37 to 73%) among 115 patients in the neratinib group, as compared with 33% among 78 controls (95% PI, 11 to 54%). The final predictive probability of success in phase 3 testing was 79%.
CONCLUSIONS: Neratinib added to standard therapy was highly likely to result in higher rates of pathological complete response than standard chemotherapy with trastuzumab among patients with HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. (Funded by QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative and others; I-SPY 2 TRIAL ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01042379.).

Xia T, Chen S, Jiang Z, et al.
Long noncoding RNA FER1L4 suppresses cancer cell growth by acting as a competing endogenous RNA and regulating PTEN expression.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:13445 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrantly expressed long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are associated with various cancers. However, the roles of lncRNAs in the pathogenesis of most cancers are unclear. Here, we report that the lncRNA FER1L4 (fer-1-like family member 4, pseudogene) acts as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to regulate the expression of PTEN (a well-known tumor suppressor gene) by taking up miR-106a-5p in gastric cancer. We observed that FER1L4 was downregulated in gastric cancer and that its level corresponded with that of PTEN mRNA. Both FER1L4 and PTEN mRNA were targets of miR-106a-5p. Further experiments demonstrated that FER1L4 downregulation liberates miR-106a-5p and decreases the abundances of PTEN mRNA and protein. More importantly, FER1L4 downregulation accelerated cell proliferation by promoting the G0/G1 to S phase transition. We conclude that one mechanism by which lncRNAs function in in tumorigenesis is as ceRNAs for tumor suppressor mRNAs.

Yue B, Sun B, Liu C, et al.
Long non-coding RNA Fer-1-like protein 4 suppresses oncogenesis and exhibits prognostic value by associating with miR-106a-5p in colon cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2015; 106(10):1323-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Novel long non-coding RNA Fer-1-like protein 4 (FER1L4) has been confirmed to play crucial regulatory roles in tumor progression. It exerts an impact on tumor suppression and functions as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) by sponging miR-106a-5p in gastric cancer. However, its clinical significance in colon cancer is completely unknown. The aim of the present study was to annotate the role of FER1L4 and its clinical value in colon cancer. The results showed the aberrant expression of FER1L4 and miR-106a-5p in colon cancer tissues. In addition, significant negative correlation between FER1L4 and miR-106a-5p expression levels was observed. Among the colon cancer cell lines, FER1L4 levels were relatively lower, with concurrent high levels of miR-106a-5p. Restoration of FER1L4 decreased the expression of miR-106a-5p, and had a significant influence on colon cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. The FER1L4 expression was correlated with depth of tumor invasion, lymph node metastasis, vascular invasion and clinical stage. Moreover, striking differences in overall survival and disease-free survival were observed for the cases with both low FER1L4 expression and high miR-106a-5p expression compared with cases with high FER1L4 expression and low miR-106a-5p expression. Circulating FER1L4 and miR-106a-5p levels were decreased and increased, respectively, in colon cancer patients after surgery. Our findings indicated that FER1L4 could exert a tumor suppressive impact on colon cancer, which at least, in part, through suppressing miR-106a-5p expression, and depletion of FER1L4, alone or combined with overexpression of miR-106a-5p, is predictive of poor prognosis in colon cancer and may play a crucial role in cancer prevention and treatment.

Oneyama C, Yoshikawa Y, Ninomiya Y, et al.
Fer tyrosine kinase oligomer mediates and amplifies Src-induced tumor progression.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(4):501-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
c-Src is upregulated in various human cancers, suggesting its role in malignant progression. However, the molecular circuits of c-Src oncogenic signaling remain elusive. Here we show that Fer tyrosine kinase oligomer mediates and amplifies Src-induced tumor progression. Previously, we showed that transformation of fibroblasts is promoted by the relocation of c-Src to non-raft membranes. In this study, we identified Fer and ezrin as non-raft c-Src targets. c-Src directly activated Fer by initiating its autophosphorylation, which was further amplified by Fer oligomerization. Fer interacted with active c-Src at focal adhesion membranes and activated Fer-phosphorylated ezrin to induce cell transformation. Fer was also crucial for cell transformation induced by v-Src or epidermal growth-factor receptor activation. Furthermore, Fer activation was required for tumorigenesis and invasiveness in some cancer cells in which c-Src is upregulated. We propose that the Src-Fer axis represents a new therapeutic target for treatment of a subset of human cancers.

Shuen WH, Kan R, Yu Z, et al.
Novel lentiviral-inducible transgene expression systems and versatile single-plasmid reporters for in vitro and in vivo cancer biology studies.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2015; 22(4):207-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many of the cancer cell lines derived from solid tumors are difficult to transfect using commonly established transfection approaches. This hurdle for some DNA transfection systems has hindered cancer biology studies. Moreover, there are limited tools for studying pathway activities. Therefore, highly efficient improved gene transfer and versatile genetic tools are required. In this study, we established and developed a comprehensive set of new lentiviral tools to study gene functions and pathway activities. Using the optimized conditions, cancer cell lines achieved >90% transduction efficiency. Novel lentiviral doxycycline-regulated pTet-IRES-EGFP (pTIE) systems for transgene expression and TRE reporters used for pathway activity determination were developed and tested. The pTIE Tet-Off system showed in vitro doxycycline-sensitive responses with low or undetectable leakage of protein expression and in vivo tumor suppression as illustrated using candidate tumor suppressors, Fibulin-2 and THY1. In contrast, the Tet-On system showed dose-dependent responses. The pTRE-EGFP (pTE) and pTRE-FLuc-EF1α-RLuc (pT-FER) reporters with the NFκB p65 subunit consensus sequence showed GFP and firefly luciferase responses, which were directly correlated with TNFα stimulation, respectively. Taken together, these newly developed lentiviral systems provide versatile in vitro and in vivo platforms to strengthen our capabilities for cancer biology studies.

Nizard P, Ezan F, Bonnier D, et al.
Integrative analysis of high-throughput RNAi screen data identifies the FER and CRKL tyrosine kinases as new regulators of the mitogenic ERK-dependent pathways in transformed cells.
BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:1169 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cell proliferation is a hallmark of cancer and depends on complex signaling networks that are chiefly supported by protein kinase activities. Therapeutic strategies have been used to target specific kinases but new methods are required to identify combined targets and improve treatment. Here, we propose a small interfering RNA genetic screen and an integrative approach to identify kinase networks involved in the proliferation of cancer cells.
RESULTS: The functional siRNA screen of 714 kinases in HeLa cells identified 91 kinases implicated in the regulation of cell growth, most of them never being reported in previous whole-genome siRNA screens. Based on gene ontology annotations, we have further discriminated between two classes of kinases that, when suppressed, result in alterations of the mitotic index and provoke cell-cycle arrest. Extinguished kinases that lead to a low mitotic index mostly include kinases implicated in cytosolic signaling. In contrast, extinguished kinases that result in a high mitotic index mostly include kinases implicated in cell division. By mapping hit kinases in the PhosphPOINT phosphoprotein database, we generated scale-free networks consisting of 449 and 661 protein-protein interactions for kinases from low MI and high MI groups, respectively. Further analyses of the kinase interactomes revealed specific modules such as FER- and CRKL-containing modules that connect three members of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family, suggesting a tight control of the mitogenic EGF-dependent pathway. Based on experimental studies, we confirm the involvement of these two kinases in the regulation of tumor cell growth.
CONCLUSION: Based on a combined approach of large kinome-wide siRNA screens and ontology annotations, our study identifies for the first time two kinase groups differentially implicated in the control of cell proliferation. We further demonstrate that integrative analysis of the kinase interactome provides key information which can be used to facilitate or optimize target design for new therapeutic strategies. The complete list of protein-protein interactions from the two functional kinase groups will provide a useful database for future investigations.

Yu YP, Ding Y, Chen Z, et al.
Novel fusion transcripts associate with progressive prostate cancer.
Am J Pathol. 2014; 184(10):2840-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The mechanisms underlying the potential for aggressive behavior of prostate cancer (PCa) remain elusive. In this study, whole genome and/or transcriptome sequencing was performed on 19 specimens of PCa, matched adjacent benign prostate tissues, matched blood specimens, and organ donor prostates. A set of novel fusion transcripts was discovered in PCa. Eight of these fusion transcripts were validated through multiple approaches. The occurrence of these fusion transcripts was then analyzed in 289 prostate samples from three institutes, with clinical follow-up ranging from 1 to 15 years. The analyses indicated that most patients [69 (91%) of 76] positive for any of these fusion transcripts (TRMT11-GRIK2, SLC45A2-AMACR, MTOR-TP53BP1, LRRC59-FLJ60017, TMEM135-CCDC67, KDM4-AC011523.2, MAN2A1-FER, and CCNH-C5orf30) experienced PCa recurrence, metastases, and/or PCa-specific death after radical prostatectomy. These outcomes occurred in only 37% (58/157) of patients without carrying those fusion transcripts. Three fusion transcripts occurred exclusively in PCa samples from patients who experienced recurrence or PCaerelated death. The formation of these fusion transcripts may be the result of genome recombination. A combination of these fusion transcripts in PCa with Gleason's grading or with nomogram significantly improves the prediction rate of PCa recurrence. Our analyses suggest that formation of these fusion transcripts may underlie the aggressive behavior of PCa.

Atak ZK, Gianfelici V, Hulselmans G, et al.
Comprehensive analysis of transcriptome variation uncovers known and novel driver events in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(12):e1003997 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA-seq is a promising technology to re-sequence protein coding genes for the identification of single nucleotide variants (SNV), while simultaneously obtaining information on structural variations and gene expression perturbations. We asked whether RNA-seq is suitable for the detection of driver mutations in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). These leukemias are caused by a combination of gene fusions, over-expression of transcription factors and cooperative point mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We analyzed 31 T-ALL patient samples and 18 T-ALL cell lines by high-coverage paired-end RNA-seq. First, we optimized the detection of SNVs in RNA-seq data by comparing the results with exome re-sequencing data. We identified known driver genes with recurrent protein altering variations, as well as several new candidates including H3F3A, PTK2B, and STAT5B. Next, we determined accurate gene expression levels from the RNA-seq data through normalizations and batch effect removal, and used these to classify patients into T-ALL subtypes. Finally, we detected gene fusions, of which several can explain the over-expression of key driver genes such as TLX1, PLAG1, LMO1, or NKX2-1; and others result in novel fusion transcripts encoding activated kinases (SSBP2-FER and TPM3-JAK2) or involving MLLT10. In conclusion, we present novel analysis pipelines for variant calling, variant filtering, and expression normalization on RNA-seq data, and successfully applied these for the detection of translocations, point mutations, INDELs, exon-skipping events, and expression perturbations in T-ALL.

Jeong W, Park SR, Rapisarda A, et al.
Weekly EZN-2208 (PEGylated SN-38) in combination with bevacizumab in patients with refractory solid tumors.
Invest New Drugs. 2014; 32(2):340-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Anti-angiogenic therapies such as bevacizumab upregulate hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a possible mechanism of drug resistance. Camptothecin analogues, including SN-38, have been shown to reduce the expression and transcriptional activity of HIF-1α in preclinical models. We hypothesized that co-administration of pegylated SN-38 (EZN-2208) may offset the induction of HIF-1α following bevacizumab treatment, resulting in synergistic antitumor effects.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with refractory solid tumors were enrolled. Objectives were to evaluate the modulation of HIF-1α protein and target genes in tumor biopsies following administration of the combination of EZN-2208 administered weekly × 3 (days 1, 8, 15) and bevacizumab administered every 2 weeks, in 28-day cycles, and to establish the safety and tolerability of the combination. Tumor biopsies and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) were obtained following bevacizumab alone (before EZN-2208) and after administration of both study drugs.
RESULTS: Twelve patients were enrolled; ten were evaluable for response. Prolonged stable disease was observed in 2 patients, one with HCC (16 cycles) and another with desmoplastic round cell tumor (7 cycles). Reduction in HIF-1α protein levels in tumor biopsies compared to baseline was observed in 5 of 7 patients. Quantitative analysis of DCE-MRI from 2 patients revealed changes in K(trans) and k(ep). The study closed prematurely as further clinical development of EZN-2208 was suspended by the pharmaceutical sponsor.
CONCLUSION: Preliminary proof-of-concept for modulation of HIF-1α protein in tumor biopsies following administration of EZN-2208 was observed. Two of 10 patients had prolonged disease stabilization following treatment with the EZN-2208 and bevacizumab combination.

Kawakami M, Ishikawa R, Amano Y, et al.
Detection of novel paraja ring finger 2-fer tyrosine kinase mRNA chimeras is associated with poor postoperative prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(11):1447-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previously, we reported that the overexpression of fer tyrosine kinase (FER), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, is correlated with poor postoperative prognosis and cancer-cell survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the present study, we further analyzed FER-overexpressed NSCLC cases and identified various patterns of chimeric mRNAs, composed of paraja ring finger 2 (PJA2) and FER. We detected no genomic rearrangements between PJA2 and FER and attributed these chimeric mRNAs to alterations at the transcriptome level: i.e., trans-splicing. Several chimeric patterns were detected concurrently in each patient, and the pattern sets varied among patients, although the pattern in which PJA2 exon 1 was fused to FER exon 3 (designated as Pe1-Fe3 mRNA) was detected constantly. Therefore, in a wide screening for PJA2-FER mRNAs in NSCLC, we focused on this chimeric pattern as a representative chimera. In analyses of 167 NSCLC samples, Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was identified in about 10% of the patients, and the presence of chimeric mRNA was significantly correlated with a high expression level of parental FER mRNA. Furthermore, we found that the detection of Pe1-Fe3 mRNA was correlated with poor postoperative survival periods in NSCLC, consistent with a previous finding in which FER overexpression was correlated with poor postoperative prognosis in NSCLC. This report is the first to suggest a correlation between chimeric mRNA and the expression level of parental mRNA. Furthermore, our findings may be clinically beneficial, suggesting that PJA2-FER mRNAs might serve as a novel prognostic biomarker in NSCLC.

Rocha J, Zouanat FZ, Zoubeidi A, et al.
The Fer tyrosine kinase acts as a downstream interleukin-6 effector of androgen receptor activation in prostate cancer.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013; 381(1-2):140-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is invariably lethal and still poorly understood. IL-6/pSTAT3 appears critical as elevated IL-6 and pSTAT3 correlate with CRPC and poor prognosis. We previously reported on the Fer tyrosine kinase being an integral component of the IL-6 pathway in PC by controlling STAT3. Since IL-6 also controls androgen receptor (AR) signaling via pSTAT3, we tested if Fer participates in this cross-talk. We report for the first time that in addition to STAT3, Fer is required for IL-6 mediated AR activation by phosphorylating AR tyrosine 223 and binding via its SH2 domain. Fer controls IL-6 induced growth response and PSA expression, while modestly contributing to EGF and IGF-1 effects. Finally, Fer, AR and pSTAT3 co-localize in the PC cell nucleus, including in prostate tissues from CRPC patients. Altogether these findings support a Fer contribution to aberrant AR signaling via pSTAT3 cross-talks during CRPC progression.

Bol GM, Raman V, van der Groep P, et al.
Expression of the RNA helicase DDX3 and the hypoxia response in breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e63548 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIMS: DDX3 is an RNA helicase that has antiapoptotic properties, and promotes proliferation and transformation. In addition, DDX3 was shown to be a direct downstream target of HIF-1α (the master regulatory of the hypoxia response) in breast cancer cell lines. However, the relation between DDX3 and hypoxia has not been addressed in human tumors. In this paper, we studied the relation between DDX3 and the hypoxic responsive proteins in human breast cancer.
METHODS AND RESULTS: DDX3 expression was investigated by immunohistochemistry in breast cancer in comparison with hypoxia related proteins HIF-1α, GLUT1, CAIX, EGFR, HER2, Akt1, FOXO4, p53, ERα, COMMD1, FER kinase, PIN1, E-cadherin, p21, p27, Transferrin receptor, FOXO3A, c-Met and Notch1. DDX3 was overexpressed in 127 of 366 breast cancer patients, and was correlated with overexpression of HIF-1α and its downstream genes CAIX and GLUT1. Moreover, DDX3 expression correlated with hypoxia-related proteins EGFR, HER2, FOXO4, ERα and c-Met in a HIF-1α dependent fashion, and with COMMD1, FER kinase, Akt1, E-cadherin, TfR and FOXO3A independent of HIF-1α.
CONCLUSIONS: In invasive breast cancer, expression of DDX3 was correlated with overexpression of HIF-1α and many other hypoxia related proteins, pointing to a distinct role for DDX3 under hypoxic conditions and supporting the oncogenic role of DDX3 which could have clinical implication for current development of DDX3 inhibitors.

Lennartsson J, Ma H, Wardega P, et al.
The Fer tyrosine kinase is important for platelet-derived growth factor-BB-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) protein phosphorylation, colony formation in soft agar, and tumor growth in vivo.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(22):15736-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fer is a cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase that is activated in response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) stimulation. In the present report, we show that Fer associates with the activated PDGF β-receptor (PDGFRβ) through multiple autophosphorylation sites, i.e. Tyr-579, Tyr-581, Tyr-740, and Tyr-1021. Using low molecular weight inhibitors, we found that PDGF-BB-induced Fer activation is dependent on PDGFRβ kinase activity, but not on the enzymatic activity of Src or Jak kinases. In cells in which Fer was down-regulated using siRNA, PDGF-BB was unable to induce phosphorylation of STAT3, whereas phosphorylations of STAT5, ERK1/2, and Akt were unaffected. PDGF-BB-induced activation of STAT3 occurred also in cells expressing kinase-dead Fer, suggesting a kinase-independent adaptor role of Fer. Expression of Fer was dispensable for PDGF-BB-induced proliferation and migration but essential for colony formation in soft agar. Tumor growth in vivo was delayed in cells depleted of Fer expression. Our data suggest a critical role of Fer in PDGF-BB-induced STAT3 activation and cell transformation.

Onnis B, Fer N, Rapisarda A, et al.
Autocrine production of IL-11 mediates tumorigenicity in hypoxic cancer cells.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(4):1615-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IL-11 and its receptor, IL-11Ra, are expressed in human cancers; however, the functional role of IL-11 in tumor progression is not known. We found that IL11 is a hypoxia-inducible, VHL-regulated gene in human cancer cells and that expression of IL11 mRNA was dependent, at least in part, on HIF-1. A cooperative interaction between HIF-1 and AP-1 mediated transcriptional activation of the IL11 promoter. Additionally, we found that human cancer cells expressed a functional IL-11Ra subunit, which triggered signal transduction either by exogenous recombinant human IL-11 or by autocrine production of IL-11 in cells cultured under hypoxic conditions. Silencing of IL11 dramatically abrogated the ability of hypoxia to increase anchorage-independent growth and significantly reduced tumor growth in xenograft models. Notably, these results were phenocopied by partial knockdown of STAT1 in a human prostate cancer cell line (PC3), suggesting that this pathway may play an important role in mediating the effects of IL-11 under hypoxic conditions. In conclusion, these results identify IL11 as an oxygen- and VHL-regulated gene and provide evidence of a pathway "hijacked" by hypoxic cancer cells that may contribute to tumor progression.

Miyata Y, Kanda S, Sakai H, Greer PA
Feline sarcoma-related protein expression correlates with malignant aggressiveness and poor prognosis in renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(6):681-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Feline sarcoma-related protein (Fer) is a ubiquitously expressed non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase associated with proliferation in various cancer cells. However, no reports have described the pathological roles and prognostic value of Fer expression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We investigated Fer expression in three RCC cell lines (ACHN, Caki-1, and Caki-2) and in normal tubule cells (HK-2) by immunoblotting. Fer expression was highest in ACHN cells, with Caki-1 showing intermediate levels and Caki-2 showing low levels, and was undetectable in HK-2. RNA interference was therefore used to assess the effects of Fer knockdown in ACHN. Knockdown of Fer expression was found to inhibit RCC cell proliferation and colony formation. Immunohistochemical analysis of 131 human RCC tissues (110 conventional, 11 chromophobe, and 10 papillary) investigated relationships between Fer expression and clinicopathological features, including cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and prognostic value for survival. In human tissues, Fer expression was significantly higher in cancer cells than in normal tubules. In addition, expression levels correlated with cancer cell proliferation, but not with apoptosis. Multivariate analysis indicated associations of Fer expression with pT stage, tumor grade, and metastasis (P < 0.001). Fer expression was also prognostic for cause-specific survival according to multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-14.84, P = 0.047). Fer expression correlates with RCC cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo, and with tumor progression and survival. This represents useful information for discussing the pathological and clinical significance of Fer in RCC.

Li R, Ackerman WE, Mihai C, et al.
Myoferlin depletion in breast cancer cells promotes mesenchymal to epithelial shape change and stalls invasion.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e39766 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myoferlin (MYOF) is a mammalian ferlin protein with homology to ancestral Fer-1, a nematode protein that regulates spermatic membrane fusion, which underlies the amoeboid-like movements of its sperm. Studies in muscle and endothelial cells have reported on the role of myoferlin in membrane repair, endocytosis, myoblast fusion, and the proper expression of various plasma membrane receptors. In this study, using an in vitro human breast cancer cell model, we demonstrate that myoferlin is abundantly expressed in invasive breast tumor cells. Depletion of MYOF using lentiviral-driven shRNA expression revealed that MDA-MB-231 cells reverted to an epithelial morphology, suggesting at least some features of mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET). These observations were confirmed by the down-regulation of some mesenchymal cell markers (e.g., fibronectin and vimentin) and coordinate up-regulation of the E-cadherin epithelial marker. Cell invasion assays using Boyden chambers showed that loss of MYOF led to a significant diminution in invasion through Matrigel or type I collagen, while cell migration was unaffected. PCR array and screening of serum-free culture supernatants from shRNA(MYOF) transduced MDA-MB-231 cells indicated a significant reduction in the steady-state levels of several matrix metalloproteinases. These data when considered in toto suggest a novel role of MYOF in breast tumor cell invasion and a potential reversion to an epithelial phenotype upon loss of MYOF.

Makovski A, Yaffe E, Shpungin S, Nir U
Down-regulation of Fer induces ROS levels accompanied by ATM and p53 activation in colon carcinoma cells.
Cell Signal. 2012; 24(7):1369-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fer is an intracellular tyrosine kinase which resides in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of mammalian cells. This kinase was also found in all malignant cell-lines analyzed and was shown to support cell-cycle progression in cancer cells. Herein we show that knock-down of Fer, both, impairs cell-cycle progression and imposes programmed cell death in colon carcinoma (CC) cells. The cell-cycle arrest and apoptotic death invoked by the depletion of Fer were found to depend on the activity of p53. Accordingly, down regulation of Fer led to the activation of the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated protein (ATM) and its down-stream effector-p53. Knock-down of Fer also increased the level of Reactive-Oxygen Species (ROS) in CC cells, and subjection of Fer depleted cells to ROS neutralizing scavengers significantly decreased the induced phosphorylation and activation of ATM and p53. Notably, over-expression of Fer opposed the Doxorubicin driven activation of ATM and p53, which can be mediated by ROS. Collectively, our findings imply that Fer sustains low ROS levels in CC cells, thereby restraining the activation of ATM and p53 in these cells.

Yoneyama T, Angata K, Bao X, et al.
Fer kinase regulates cell migration through α-dystroglycan glycosylation.
Mol Biol Cell. 2012; 23(5):771-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glycans of α-dystroglycan (α-DG), which is expressed at the epithelial cell-basement membrane (BM) interface, play an essential role in epithelium development and tissue organization. Laminin-binding glycans on α-DG expressed on cancer cells suppress tumor progression by attenuating tumor cell migration from the BM. However, mechanisms controlling laminin-binding glycan expression are not known. Here, we used small interfering RNA (siRNA) library screening and identified Fer kinase, a non-receptor-type tyrosine kinase, as a key regulator of laminin-binding glycan expression. Fer overexpression decreased laminin-binding glycan expression, whereas siRNA-mediated down-regulation of Fer kinase increased glycan expression on breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Loss of Fer kinase function via siRNA or mutagenesis increased transcription levels of glycosyltransferases, including protein O-mannosyltransferase 1, β3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1, and like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase that are required to synthesize laminin-binding glycans. Consistently, inhibition of Fer expression decreased cell migration in the presence of laminin fragment. Fer kinase regulated STAT3 phosphorylation and consequent activation, whereas knockdown of STAT3 increased laminin-binding glycan expression on cancer cells. These results indicate that the Fer pathway negatively controls expression of genes required to synthesize laminin-binding glycans, thus impairing BM attachment and increasing tumor cell migration.

Makovski A, Yaffe E, Shpungin S, Nir U
Intronic promoter drives the BORIS-regulated expression of FerT in colon carcinoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(9):6100-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fer is an intracellular tyrosine kinase that accumulates in most mammalian tissues. A truncated variant of Fer, FerT, is uniquely detected in spermatogenic cells and is absent from normal somatic tissues. Here, we show that in addition to Fer, FerT also accumulates in CC cells and in metastases derived from colorectal tumors, but not in normal human cells. Thus, FerT is a new member of the CTA protein family. Transcription of the ferT gene in CC cells was found to be driven by an intronic promoter residing in intron 10 of the fer gene and to be regulated by another CTA, the Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites (BORIS) transcription factor. BORIS binds to the ferT promoter and down-regulation of BORIS significantly decreases the expression of ferT in CC cells. Accumulation of the ferT RNA was also regulated by the DNA methylation status and paralleled the expression profile of the boris transcript. Accordingly, the intronic ferT promoter was found to be hypomethylated in cancer cells expressing the FerT protein, by comparison with non-expressers. Collectively, we show here that FerT is a new CTA whose accumulation in CC cells, commonly considered low CTA expressers, is controlled by a novel transcription regulatory mechanism.

Chow KU, Kim SZ, von Neuhoff N, et al.
Clinical efficacy of immunochemotherapy with fludarabine, epirubicin and rituximab in the treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and prolymphocytic leukaemia.
Eur J Haematol. 2011; 87(5):426-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite some considerable progress in the therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) owing to fludarabine-based regimens and rituximab, no curative treatment is available so far. We conducted an explorative phase II study in patients with CLL, prolymphocytic leukaemia (PLL) and leukaemic lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LL) with the combination of fludarabine, epirubicin and rituximab (FER) to improve the complete remission (CR) rate and progression-free survival (PFS). Fludarabine 25 mg/m(2) was administered i.v. on days 1-5 and epirubicin 25 mg/m(2) i.v. on days 4 and 5, and rituximab was added at a dose of 375 mg/m(2) i.v. day 1 in the first cycle and at a dose of 500 mg/m(2) in all consecutive cycles. Patients exhibiting responsive disease after FER were eligible to receive maintenance therapy of up to 12 cycles of rituximab 375 mg/m(2) bimonthly. Forty-four patients (38 CLL, 4 PLL and 2 LL) with a median age of 65 yrs (43-84 yrs) were evaluable. Seventeen patients with CLL had stage Binet C, 14 Binet B and seven symptomatic or rapid progressive stage Binet A. Cytogenetic features showed normal karyotype in nine cases, an isolated deletion (del) 13q in 12 patients, trisomy 12 in 7, del 11 in two and del 17p in 4. Half of the patients (48%) had mutated IgVH genes. Treatment with FER achieved an overall response rate of 95%, including 63% CRs and 32% PRs. Haematological toxicity was considerable. After a median follow-up period of 34 months (range: 8-84 months), median PFS was 61 months and overall survival was yet not reached. All patients with PLL and LL achieved CR. The data support the high efficacy of the combination of rituximab with chemotherapy (FE) and are suggestive of possible benefit with rituximab maintenance therapy for PFS and DFS.

Aerts I, Leuraud P, Blais J, et al.
In vivo efficacy of photodynamic therapy in three new xenograft models of human retinoblastoma.
Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther. 2010; 7(4):275-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Retinoblastoma is the most common primary intraocular tumor in children. In industrialized countries, 95% of patients are cured by chemotherapy and conservative treatments. However, these treatments can increase the risk of secondary tumors in patients with a constitutional alteration of the RB1 gene. Photodynamic therapy represents a nonmutagenic therapeutic approach, and may reduce the incidence of secondary tumors. To study the in vivo efficacy of photodynamic therapy, human retinoblastoma xenografts were established in nude mice.
METHODS: Three xenografted cell lines, RB102-FER, RB109-LAK and RB111-MIL, were characterized and used for therapeutic evaluation. Mice were randomly divided into control and treatment groups with 5-8 mice in each group. Treatment groups received irradiation alone, photosensitizer alone or both in 2 of the 3 models and in the third model, photosensitizer plus irradiation was compared to untreated controls. mTHPC was injected intraperitoneally at a dose of 0.6mg/kg and verteporfin intravenously at a dose of 1mg/kg. Illuminations were performed 24h after mTHPC and 1h after verteporfin injections.
RESULTS: A transient but significant response to mTHPC was observed for RB102-FER (p=0.03) and a significant response to mTHPC for RB111-MIL (p<10(-4)) with partial regression maintained for more than 60 days. No significant difference between the different groups was observed for RB109-LAK, except in the verteporfin plus laser group (p=0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The studies confirmed the suitability of the three xenograft models for the evaluation of photodynamic therapy in retinoblastoma. Our findings suggest that PDT may represent an alternative conservative treatment for these tumors.

Zang ZJ, Ong CK, Cutcutache I, et al.
Genetic and structural variation in the gastric cancer kinome revealed through targeted deep sequencing.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(1):29-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic alterations in kinases have been linked to multiple human pathologies. To explore the landscape of kinase genetic variation in gastric cancer (GC), we used targeted, paired-end deep sequencing to analyze 532 protein and phosphoinositide kinases in 14 GC cell lines. We identified 10,604 single-nucleotide variants (SNV) in kinase exons including greater than 300 novel nonsynonymous SNVs. Family-wise analysis of the nonsynonymous SNVs revealed a significant enrichment in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-related genes (P < 0.01), suggesting a preferential involvement of this kinase family in GC. A potential antioncogenic role for MAP2K4, a gene exhibiting recurrent alterations in 2 lines, was functionally supported by siRNA knockdown and overexpression studies in wild-type and MAP2K4 variant lines. The deep sequencing data also revealed novel, large-scale structural rearrangement events involving kinases including gene fusions involving CDK12 and the ERBB2 receptor tyrosine kinase in MKN7 cells. Integrating SNVs and copy number alterations, we identified Hs746T as a cell line exhibiting both splice-site mutations and genomic amplification of MET, resulting in MET protein overexpression. When applied to primary GCs, we identified somatic mutations in 8 kinases, 4 of which were recurrently altered in both primary tumors and cell lines (MAP3K6, STK31, FER, and CDKL5). These results demonstrate that how targeted deep sequencing approaches can deliver unprecedented multilevel characterization of a medically and pharmacologically relevant gene family. The catalog of kinome genetic variants assembled here may broaden our knowledge on kinases and provide useful information on genetic alterations in GC.

Fer ND, Shoemaker RH, Monks A
Adaphostin toxicity in a sensitive non-small cell lung cancer model is mediated through Nrf2 signaling and heme oxygenase 1.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010; 29:91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Preclinical toxicity of adaphostin has been related to oxidative stress. This study investigated the regulatory mechanism underlying adaphostin induction of heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1) which plays a significant role in modulation of drug-induced toxicity in the non-small cell lung cancer cell line model, NCI-H522.
METHODS: The transcriptional response of NCI-H522 to adaphostin prominently involved oxidative stress genes, particularly HMOX1. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) involvement was additionally established by generation of ROS prior to modulation of adaphostin-toxicity with antioxidants. To identify up-stream regulatory elements of HMOX1, immunofluorescence was used to evaluate nuclear translocation of the transcription factor, NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), in the presence of adaphostin. The PI3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, was employed as a pharmacological inhibitor of this process.
RESULTS: Generation of ROS provided a substantial foundation for the sensitivity of NCI-H522 to adaphostin. However, in contrast to leukemia cell lines, transcriptional response to oxidative stress was associated with induction of HMOX1, which was dependent on nuclear translocation of the transcription factor, Nrf2. Pretreatment of cells with wortmannin inhibited translocation of Nrf2 and induction of HMOX1. Wortmannin pretreatment was also able to diminish adaphostin induction of HMOX1, and as a consequence, enhance the toxicity of adaphostin to NCI-H522.
CONCLUSIONS: Adaphostin-induced oxidative stress in NCI-H522 was mediated through nuclear translocation of Nrf2 leading to upregulation of HMOX1. Inhibition of Nrf2 translocation by wortmannin inhibited this cytoprotective response, and enhanced the toxicity of adaphostin, suggesting that inhibitors of the PI3K pathway, such as wortmannin, might augment the antiproliferative effects of adaphostin in solid tumors that depend on the Nrf2/ARE pathway for protection against oxidative stress.

Zoubeidi A, Rocha J, Zouanat FZ, et al.
The Fer tyrosine kinase cooperates with interleukin-6 to activate signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and promote human prostate cancer cell growth.
Mol Cancer Res. 2009; 7(1):142-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgen withdrawal is the most effective form of systemic therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer. Unfortunately, androgen-independent progression is inevitable, and the development of hormone-refractory disease and death occurs within 2 to 3 years in most men. The understanding of molecular mechanisms promoting the growth of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells is essential for the rational design of agents to treat advanced disease. We previously reported that Fer tyrosine kinase level correlates with the development of prostate cancer and aggressiveness of prostate cancer cell lines. Moreover, knocking down Fer expression interferes with prostate cancer cell growth in vitro. However, the mechanism by which Fer mediates prostate cancer progression remains elusive. We present here that Fer and phospho-Y705 signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) are barely detectable in human benign prostate tissues but constitutively expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus of the same subsets of tumor cells in human prostate cancer. The interaction between STAT3 and Fer was observed in all prostate cancer cell lines tested, and this interaction is mediated via the Fer Src homology 2 domain and modulated by interleukin-6 (IL-6). Moreover, IL-6 triggered a rapid formation of Fer/gp130 and Fer/STAT3 complexes in a time-dependent manner and consistent with changes in Fer and STAT3 phosphorylation and cytoplasmic/nuclear distribution. The modulation of Fer expression/activation resulted in inhibitory or stimulatory effects on STAT3 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and transcriptional activation. These effects translated in IL-6-mediated PC-3 cell growth. Taken together, these results support an important function of Fer in prostate cancer.

Henriquez F, Gallego R, Oliva E, et al.
Conversion to rapamycin in a renal transplant patient with von Hippel-Lindau disease: encouraging results-a case report.
Transplant Proc. 2008; 40(9):3115-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a genetic syndrome based on an abnormality of the VHL gene located on the short arm of chromosome 3. Clinically, it presents as multiple tumors at several levels. The VHL gene product (pVHL) acts as a tumor-suppressing protein. In conditions of hypoxia it leads to an increase in several growth factor levels. mTOR inhibitors have proved to have dual properties: immunosuppressive and antitumor effects. Herein we have presented a case in which conversion to sirolimus improved graft function and also caused regression of retinal angioblastomas.

Ferretti G, Felici A, Papaldo P, et al.
HER2/neu role in breast cancer: from a prognostic foe to a predictive friend.
Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2007; 19(1):56-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The principal effort of this review was to elucidate the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/neu expression in breast cancer, either as an independent prognostic factor or a predictive marker of response to antineoplastic therapy, in light of the most recent results obtained with the use of trastuzumab, in either the metastatic or the adjuvant setting.
RECENT FINDINGS: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-overexpressing breast cancer is known to be associated with particularly aggressive disease and poor prognosis. On the other hand, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/neu overexpression may predict response to endocrine therapy or chemotherapy. Nevertheless, trastuzumab increases the clinical benefit of first-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancers that overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Decades of randomized clinical trials on the front-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer have never been able to show so remarkable differences in survival as recent randomized trials comparing chemotherapy with chemotherapy plus trastuzumab in women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer have been able to do.
SUMMARY: In the pretrastuzumab era, retrospective analyses have shown that human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpression is an adverse prognostic factor associated with an increased risk of disease recurrence and death. In the trastuzumab era, this drug has changed the natural history of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer, either in the metastatic or, according to the most recent evidences, in the adjuvant setting.

Kost-Alimova M, Imreh S
Modeling non-random deletions in cancer.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2007; 17(1):19-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromosome deletions do abound in cancer and are detected in certain regions in a non-random manner. Although their relevance remains elusive, it is a general agreement that segmental losses provide the cell with selective growth advantage. Consequently these may contain genes and/or regulatory sequences that control normal growth and inhibit malignancy. We have developed a monochromosomal hybrid based experimental model for the generation and functional analysis of deletions, that is called "elimination test" (Et). Focused on human chromosome 3 - that was known to carry multiple 3p deletions - the Et was expected to restrict a 3p tumor suppressor region to a sufficiently small segment that permits the selection of a critically important candidate gene. Surprisingly, we detected three regions that were lost in all or majority of tumors: CER1 (3p21.3, Mb: 43.32-45.74), CER2 (3p22, Mb: 37.83-39.06) and FER (3p14.3-p21.2, Mb: 50.12-58.03). In contrast a 3q26-qter region (CRR) was regularly retained. CER1 - our main focus - contains multiple genes that may inhibit tumor growth, but 3 genes, RIS1, LF (LTF) and LIMD1 have already the necessary experimental support to be considered bona fide tumor suppressors. Tumor suppressor region borders display instability features including: (1) they break in evolution and in tumors, (2) they evolve horizontally, and (3) they are enriched with pseudogene insertions. The most remarkable features at the breakpoint cluster regions were segmental duplications that drive horizontal evolution and contribute to cancer associated instability.

Tsuji E, Tsuji Y, Fujiwara T, et al.
Splicing variant of Cdc42 interacting protein-4 disrupts beta-catenin-mediated cell-cell adhesion: expression and function in renal cell carcinoma.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006; 339(4):1083-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have identified an alternative splicing variant in the Cdc42-interacting protein 4 (CIP4) gene in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC); almost 50% of the RCCs examined showed an aberrant splicing event in reverse transcription-PCR and the insertion of 19 nucleotides derived from intron9 based on a sequence analysis. This variant (CIP4-V) encodes a premature stop codon, resulting in the loss of a tyrosine phosphorylation site, the Cdc42 binding domain, and the SH3 domain. In this report, we show that overexpression of CIP4-V causes the formation of ubiquitinated aggresomes and a loss of cell-cell adhesion. We determined that CIP4-V increased the beta-catenin tyrosine phosphorylation levels that mediate Fer/Fyn tyrosine kinases and induced beta-catenin mistrafficking from cell membrane to cytoplasmic aggresome. These results indicate that CIP4 is critical for beta-catenin-mediated cell-cell adhesion and may be an important aspect of its functional contribution to RCC, especially with regard to metastasis and invasiveness.

Vultur A, Arulanandam R, Turkson J, et al.
Stat3 is required for full neoplastic transformation by the Simian Virus 40 large tumor antigen.
Mol Biol Cell. 2005; 16(8):3832-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To investigate the role of Stat3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription-3) in neoplastic transformation by the Large Tumor antigen of Simian Virus 40 (TAg), murine fibroblasts were rendered deficient in Stat3 activity through expression of a Stat3-specific siRNA or a Cre-loxP recombination system. The results demonstrate that growth rate, formation of foci overgrowing a monolayer of normal cells and colony formation in soft agar were dramatically reduced in Stat3-deficient cells. In addition, TAg expression led to increased Stat3 tyrosine phosphorylation, DNA binding, and transcriptional activity, suggesting that Stat3 is required for TAg-mediated neoplasia. Stat3 activation was prevented by blocking the binding of TAg to pRb (retinoblastoma-susceptibility gene product), whereas genetic ablation of pRb increased Stat3 activity, suggesting that pRb inactivation by TAg might be responsible for the observed Stat3 activation. Stat3 activation by TAg was suppressed after inhibition of c-Src, JAKs or the insulin-like growth factor receptor. On the other hand, targeted disruption of the Fer kinase or pharmacological inhibition of Abl had no effect. Inhibition of Src activity led to Stat3 down-regulation as well as apoptosis of sparsely growing, TAg-transformed cells. However, Src inhibition was relatively ineffective in confluent cells, consistent with previous results indicating that cell to cell adhesion activates Stat3 by a Src-independent mechanism. Direct Stat3 inhibition on the other hand induced apoptosis very effectively in confluent cells, which could have significant therapeutic implications. Taken together, our results suggest that Stat3 is an important component of a pathway emanating from TAg and leading to neoplastic conversion.

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