Gene Summary

Gene:FOXO3; forkhead box O3
Aliases: FOXO2, AF6q21, FKHRL1, FOXO3A, FKHRL1P2
Summary:This gene belongs to the forkhead family of transcription factors which are characterized by a distinct forkhead domain. This gene likely functions as a trigger for apoptosis through expression of genes necessary for cell death. Translocation of this gene with the MLL gene is associated with secondary acute leukemia. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding the same protein have been observed. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:forkhead box protein O3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017

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.

  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Chromosome 6
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Transcription
  • RHOB
  • Up-Regulation
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • Down-Regulation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • MicroRNAs
  • Promoter Regions
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Western Blotting
  • Tamoxifen
  • Apoptosis
  • Messenger RNA
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3
  • Drug Resistance
  • Forkhead Box Protein O1
  • Cell Survival
  • Tyrosine
  • Young Adult
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Ubiquitination
  • siRNA
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Breast Cancer
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Lung Cancer
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • ROC Curve
  • Phosphorylation
  • RT-PCR
  • Xenograft Models
  • AKT1
  • Cell Proliferation
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: FOXO3 (cancer-related)

Lou K, Chen N, Li Z, et al.
MicroRNA-142-5p Overexpression Inhibits Cell Growth and Induces Apoptosis by Regulating FOXO in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells.
Oncol Res. 2017; 25(1):65-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abnormal expression of microRNA (miR)-142-5p has been reported in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little information is available regarding the functional role of miR-142-5p in HCC. We aimed to explore the effects of miR-142-5p aberrant expression on HCC cell growth and cell apoptosis, as well as the underlying mechanism. Human HCC cell lines HepG2 and SMMC-7721 cells were transfected with miR-142-5p mimic, inhibitor, or a corresponding negative control. Cell viability, cell cycle distribution, and cell apoptosis were then analyzed. In addition, protein expression of Forkhead box, class O (FOXO) 1 and 3, a Bcl-2-interacting mediator of cell death (Bim), procaspase 3, and activated caspase 3 was measured. After transfection with miR-142-5p inhibitor, FOXO1 and FOXO3 were overexpressed, and then the cell viability and cell apoptosis were determined again. The relative cell viability in both HepG2 and SMMC-7721 cells was significantly reduced by miR-142-5p overexpression (p < 0.05). miR-142-5p overexpression displayed a significant blockage at the G1/S transition and significantly increased the percentages of G0/G1 phase. Moreover, the results showed that miR-142-5p overexpression significantly induced cell apoptosis and statistically elevated the protein expression levels of FOXO1, FOXO3, Bim, procaspase 3, and activated caspase 3. However, the cells transfected with miR-142-5p inhibitor showed contrary results. Additionally, the effects of miR-142-5p inhibitor on cell viability and apoptosis were reversed by overexpression of FOXO. In conclusion, our results suggest that miR-142-5p overexpression shows an important protective role in HCC by inhibiting cell growth and inducing apoptosis. These effects might be by regulating FOXO expression in HCC cells.

Yan F, Liao R, Farhan M, et al.
Elucidating the role of the FoxO3a transcription factor in the IGF-1-induced migration and invasion of uveal melanoma cancer cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 84:1538-1550 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular malignant tumor of adults. It has high mortality rate due to liver metastasis. However, the epidemiology and pathogenesis of liver metastasis in UM are not elucidated and there is no effective therapy available for preventing the development of this disease. IGF-1 is a growth factor involved in cell proliferation, malignant transformation and inhibition of apoptosis. In previous report, IGF-1 receptor was found to be highly expressed in UM and this was related to tumor prognosis. FoxO3a is a Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor and a downstream target of the IGF-1R/PI3K/Akt pathway involved in a number of physiological and pathological processes including cancer. However, the role of FoxO3a in UM is unknown. In the present study, we investigated fundamental mechanisms in the growth, migration and invasion of UM and the involvement of FoxO3a. IGF-1 increased the cell viability, invasion, migration and S-G2/M cell cycle phase accumulation of UM cells. Western blot analysis showed that IGF-1 led to activation of Akt and concomitant phosphorylation of FoxO3a. FoxO3a phosphorylation was associated with its translocation into the cytoplasm from the nucleus and its functional inhibition led to the inhibition of expression of Bim and p27, but an increase in the expression of Cyclin D1. The effects of IGF-1 on UM cells were reversed by LY294002 (a PI3K inhibitor) or Akt siRNA, and the overexpression of FoxO3a also attenuated basal invasion and migration of UM. Taken all together, these results suggest that inhibition of FoxO3a by IGF-1 via the PI3K/Akt pathway has an important role in IGF-1 induced proliferation and invasion of UM cells. These findings also support FoxO3a and IGF signaling may represent a valid target for investigating the development of new strategies for the treatment and prevention of the pathology of UM.

Otsuka Y, Sato H, Oikawa T, et al.
High expression of EPB41L5, an integral component of the Arf6-driven mesenchymal program, correlates with poor prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.
Cell Commun Signal. 2016; 14(1):28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue (tongue SCC) is a major subtype of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), which is an intractable cancer under current therapeutics. ARF6 and its effector AMAP1 are often overexpressed in different types of cancers, such as breast cancer and renal cancer, and in these cancers, AMAP1 binds to EPB41L5 to promote invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance. EPB41L5 is a mesenchymal-specific protein, normally induced during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to promote focal adhesion dynamics. Similarly to breast cancer and renal cancer, the acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypes is the key process that drives the malignancy of HNSCC. We previously showed that the overexpression of AMAP1 in tongue SCC is statistically correlated with the poor outcome of patients. In this study, we examined whether tongue SCC also expresses EPB41L5 at high levels.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining of clinical specimens of tongue SCC demonstrated that high expression levels of EPB41L5 statistically correlate with poor disease-free survival and poor overall survival rates of patients. The tongue SCC cell line SCC-9, which overexpress Arf6 and AMAP1, also expressed EPB41L5 at high levels to promote invasiveness, whereas the weakly invasive SCC-25 cells did not express EPB41L5 at notable levels. Among the different EMT-associated transcriptional factors, ZEB1 was previously found to be most crucial in inducing EPB41L5 in breast cancer and renal cancer. In contrast, expression levels of ZEB1 did not correlate with the expression levels of EPB41L5 in tongue SCC, whereas KLF8 and FOXO3 levels showed positive correlations with EPB41L5 levels. Moreover, silencing of EPB41L5 only marginally improved the drug resistance of SCC-9 cells, even when coupled with ionizing radiation.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that activation of the cancer mesenchymal program in tongue SCC, which leads to EPB41L5 expression, closely correlates with the poor prognosis of patients. However, ZEB1 was not the major inducer of EPB41L5 in tongue SCC, unlike in breast cancer and renal cancer. Thus, processes that trigger the mesenchymal program of tongue SCC, which drives their malignancies, seem to be substantially different from those of other cancers.

Korashy HM, Belali OM, Ansar MA, Alharbi NO
FoxO3a is Essential for the Antiproliferative and Apoptogenic Effects of Sunitinib in MDA-MB231 Cell Line.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(11):6097-6108 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sunitinib (SUN), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is a promising treatment for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most aggressive and fast-growing type of breast cancer. Yet, the protective effect of SUN against TNBC is poorly investigated and the role of Forkhead box type O (FOXO3a) transcription factor is still unknown.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cell proliferation was evaluated using the MTT assay. The mRNA and protein expression of apoptotic, oxidative stress and cell cycle genes were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot analyses, respectively. Percentage of the apoptotic cells were determined by flow cytometry. The role of FOXO3a was knock-downed using siRNA.
RESULTS: SUN caused suppression of MDA-MB231 cell growth associated with induction of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, oxidative stress markers and FOXO3a gene. Importantly, silencing of FOXO3a mRNA using siRNA significantly rescued MDA-MB231 cells from SUN-induced cell-proliferative arrest.
CONCLUSION: SUN inhibits TNBC MDA-MB231 cell proliferation through activation of FOXO3a expression.

Zhou B, Wang J, Zheng G, Qiu Z
Methylated urolithin A, the modified ellagitannin-derived metabolite, suppresses cell viability of DU145 human prostate cancer cells via targeting miR-21.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2016; 97:375-384 [PubMed] Related Publications
Urolithins are bioactive ellagic acid-derived metabolites produced by human colonic microflora. Although previous studies have demonstrated the cytotoxicity of urolithins, the effect of urolithins on miRNAs is still unclear. In this study, the suppressing effects of methylated urolithin A (mUA) on cell viability in human prostate cancer DU145 cells was investigated. mUA induced caspase-dependent cell apoptosis, mitochondrial depolarization and down-regulation of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. The results showed that upon exposure to mUA, miR-21 expression was decreased and the expression of PTEN and Pdcd4 protein was elevated. mUA could further suppress Akt phosphorylation and increase protein expression of FOXO3a, and the effects of mUA on Akt phosphorylation and protein expression of FOXO3a were blocked by PTEN silence. Moreover, mUA suppressed the Wnt/β-catenin-mediated transcriptional activation of MMP-7 and c-Myc, and this function of mUA on MMP-7 and c-Myc was attenuated by over-expression of miR-21. In conclusion, our data suggest that mUA can suppress cell viability in DU145 cells through modulating miR-21 and its downstream series-wound targets, including PTEN, Akt and Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

Xu K, Pei H, Zhang Z, et al.
FoxO3a mediates glioma cell invasion by regulating MMP9 expression.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):3044-3050 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of FoxO3a in glioma progression is poorly defined. Herein, we show that silencing FoxO3a in U251 cells leads to decreased invasive migration and proliferation, while ectopic expression of FoxO3a in U87 cells with weak endogenous FoxO3a protein levels enhances invasion and proliferation. To further investigate the mechanism by which FoxO3a promotes invasion, we detected key members of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that are associated with invasion. Our findings showed that, among these MMP members, only FoxO3a induced MMP9 expression, and MMP9 overexpression reversed the effect that silencing FoxO3a had on the attenuation of cell invasion. Taken together, these data link FoxO3a to the promotion of metastasis in glioma cells.

Lv X, Li J, Yang B
Clinical effects of miR-101 on prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma and carcinogenic mechanism of anti-miR-101.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(4):2184-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to verify whether anti-miR-101 participates in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a small-molecule antitumor agent, and to explore the effect on phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). Patients who received consecutive hepatectomies were followed-up, and miR-101 expressions in their tumor and paracancerous tissues were detected. Correlation between miR-101 expression and clinical pathological factors and prognosis was studied. High‑throughput sequencing was used to detect the genetic and microRNA (miRNA) levels of tumor tissues. Expression of anti-miR-101 in different HCC cell lines was determined, and those of desired genes and proteins were detected by qRT-PCR and western blotting to obtain the target gene. miR-101 was significantly upregulated in HCC patients compared with that in paracancerous tissues. High miR-101 expression, vascular invasion, tumor size ≥7 cm and late pathological stage were the risk factors of recurrence-free survival rate. High miR-101 expression was the independent prognostic factor of total and recurrence-free survival rates. CXCL12, IL6R, FOXO3 and PTEN were screened as desired genes, and only PTEN was expressed significantly differently in three cell lines. miR-101 could bind 3'-UTR of WT-PTEN with reduced fluorescent intensity, suggesting that PTEN was the target gene. SMMC-7721, HepG2 and Huh7 were eligible cell lines for miR-101 studies. miR-101 was an applicable molecular marker of HCC. Anti-miR-101 regulated the transcription of PTEN and may promote cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis by regulating downstream genes with PTEN. The regulatory effects of anti-miR-101 on PTEN provide valuable evidence for finding novel miRNA drugs.

Franz F, Weidinger C, Krause K, et al.
The Transcriptional Regulation of FOXO Genes in Thyrocytes.
Horm Metab Res. 2016; 48(9):601-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
FOXO transcription factors are key regulators of DNA damage repair, proliferation and apoptosis in thyrocytes. Thyroid malignancies show impaired FOXO function. In this study, we investigated the transcriptional regulation of FOXO isoforms in thyroid epithelial cells. mRNA expression of FOXO isoforms (FOXO1, 3 and 4) was determined in FRTL-5 cells stimulated with different growth factors and H2O2. Furthermore, the impact of PI3K/AKT signalling on FOXO transcription was investigated in PI3K p110α mutant FRTL-5 cells and regulatory dependence of FOXO transcription on FOXO was studied in FRTL-5 cells with hFOXO3 overexpression. Finally, mRNA expression levels of FOXO isoforms were determined in human epithelial thyroid tumours. Growth factor deprivation induced transcription of FOXO1, 3 and 4, whereas insulin stimulation decreased FOXO1 and FOXO4 transcription in FRTL-5 cells. Inhibition of the PI3K/AKT cascade amplified FOXO1 and FOXO4 expression. In contrast, H2O2 and TSH did not influence FOXO transcription in thyrocytes. Overexpression of PI3K p110α inhibited FOXO3 and induced FOXO4 transcription. In human thyroid tumours, FOXO1 and FOXO3 mRNA levels were significantly downregulated in papillary thyroid carcinoma when compared to normal tissues. In contrast, follicular thyroid carcinomas showed significant upregulation of FOXO4 mRNA.In this paper, we demonstrate an influence of PI3K signalling on FOXO transcription in thyrocytes. Moreover, we show that thyroid cancers exhibit alterations in FOXO transcription besides the previously reported alterations in posttranslational FOXO3 regulation. These findings may add to the concept of targeting the PI3K pathway in advanced thyroid cancers.

Pruefer F, Vazquez-Santillan K, Munoz-Galindo L, et al.
TIMP4 Modulates ER-α Signalling in MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells.
Folia Biol (Praha). 2016; 62(2):75-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease 4 (TIMP4) contributes to poor prognosis in breast and other tumours. However, the mechanisms of how TIMP4 influences breast cancer cell behaviour are unknown. Our aim was to explore the signalling pathways modulated by TIMP4 in breast cancer cells. Human recombinant TIMP4 was added to MCF7 breast cancer cells and RNASeq was performed. TIMP4 RNASeq results were validated by RT-PCR. Network analyses of TIMP4-exposed cells showed that ER-α, HIF1A and TGF-β signalling were activated, whereas FOXO3 signalling was downregulated. ER-α protein levels were increased and concordantly, promoters of TIMP4-upregulated genes were significantly enriched in oestrogen-binding sites. We concluded that TIMP4 modulates multiple signalling pathways relevant in cancer in MCF7 cells, including the ER-α cascade.

Zhang G, Dong F, Luan C, et al.
Overexpression of CCAAT Enhancer-Binding Protein α Inhibits the Growth of K562 Cells via the Foxo3a-Bim Pathway.
Acta Haematol. 2016; 136(2):65-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aimed to investigate the role of CCAAT enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) in the pathogenesis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and the mechanism underlying its effect. Bone marrow specimens from 50 patients with CML and peripheral blood specimens from 20 healthy individuals were collected. K562 cells were treated with imatinib. Subsequently, a stable cell line, K562-C/EBPα, was constructed. Cell proliferation was assayed with cell counting kit-8, and mRNA levels of C/EBPα, forkhead transcription factor FKHRL1 (Foxo3a) and Bim were detected by semiquantitative PCR. The correlation of C/EBPα and BCR-ABL was assessed by Spearman's correlation analysis. The results showed that C/EBPα mRNA levels were significantly reduced in CML patients compared with healthy subjects (p < 0.001) and were negatively correlated with BCR-ABL1 (r = -0.5046, p < 0.01). Additionally, imatinib enhanced the expression of C/EBPα in K562 cells compared with untreated cells (p < 0.05). Overexpression of C/EBPα significantly decreased cell proliferation and upregulated the expressions of the apoptosis-related genes Foxo3a (p < 0.01) and Bim (p < 0.05) in K562 cells. In conclusion, C/EBPα expression was decreased in patients with CML. Imatinib enhances the expression of C/EBPα in K562 cells, and the overexpression of C/EBPα inhibits cell proliferation and increases apoptosis via the Foxo3a-Bim pathway.

Xie BH, He X, Hua RX, et al.
Mir-765 promotes cell proliferation by downregulating INPP4B expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Biomark. 2016; 16(3):405-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
microRNAs (miRNAs) dysregulation is widely involved in cancer progression and contributed to sustained cell proliferation by directly targeting multiple targets. Therefore, better understanding the underlying mechanism of miRNA in carcinogenesis may improve diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for malignancy. In our study, we found that mir-765 is upregulated in both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines and tissues, compared to human normal liver cell line and adjacent non-cancerous tissues, respectively. Overexpression of mir-765 increased HCC cells proliferation and tumorigenicity, whereas inhibition of mir-765 reverses this effect. Furthermore, we demonstrated that INPP4B as a direct target of mir-765 and ectopic expression of mir-765 repressed INPP4B expression, resulting in upregulation of p-AKT, Cyclin D1, and downregulation of p-FOXO3a, p21 expression in HCC. Strikingly, we found that silencing the expression of INPP4B is the essential biological function of miR-765 during HCC cell proliferation. Collectively, our findings reveal that miR-765 is a potential onco-miR that participates in carcinogenesis of human HCC by suppressing INPP4B expression, and might represent a potential therapeutic target for HCC patients.

Yang LJ, Tang Q, Wu J, et al.
Inter-regulation of IGFBP1 and FOXO3a unveils novel mechanism in ursolic acid-inhibited growth of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ursolic acid (UA), a natural pentacyclic triterpenoid, exerts anti-tumor effects in various cancer types including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this remain largely unknown.
METHODS: Cell viability and cell cycle were examined by MTT and Flow cytometry assays. Western blot analysis was performed to measure the phosphorylation and protein expression of p38 MAPK, insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and forkhead box O3A (FOXO3a). Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to examine the mRNA levels of IGFBP1 gene. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) method was used to knockdown IGFBP1 gene. Exogenous expressions of IGFBP1 and FOXO3a were carried out by transient transfection assays. IGFBP1 promoter activity was measured by Secrete-Pair™ Dual Luminescence Assay Kit . In vivo nude mice xenograft model and bioluminescent imaging system were used to confirm the findings in vitro.
RESULTS: We showed that UA stimulated phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. In addition, UA increased the protein, mRNA levels, and promoter activity of IGFBP1, which was abrogated by the specific inhibitor of p38 MAPK (SB203580). Intriguingly, we showed that UA increased the expression of FOXO3a and that overexpressed FOXO3a enhanced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, all of which were not observed in cells silencing of endogenous IGFBP1 gene. Moreover, exogenous expressed IGFBP1 strengthened UA-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and FOXO3a protein expression, and more importantly, restored the effect of UA-inhibited growth in cells silencing of endogenous IGFBP1 gene. Consistent with these, UA suppressed tumor growth and increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, protein expressions of IGFBP1 and FOXO3a in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Collectively, our results show that UA inhibits growth of HCC cells through p38 MAPK-mediated induction of IGFBP1 and FOXO3a expression. The interactions between IGFBP1 and FOXO3a, and feedback regulatory loop of p38 MAPK by IGFBP1 and FOXO3a resulting in reciprocal pathways, contribute to the overall effects of UA. This in vitro and in vivo study corroborates a potential novel mechanism by which UA controls HCC growth and implies that the rational targeting IGFBP1 and FOXO3a can be potential for the therapeutic strategy against HCC.

Gargini R, García-Escudero V, Izquierdo M, Wandosell F
Oncogene-mediated tumor transformation sensitizes cells to autophagy induction.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3689-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The process of tumorigenesis induces alterations in numerous cellular pathways including the main eukaryotic metabolic routes. It has been recently demonstrated that autophagy is part of the oncogene-induced senescence phenotype although its role in tumor establishment has not been completely clarified. In the present study, we showed that non‑transformed cells are sensitized to mitochondrial stress and autophagy induction when they are transformed by oncogenes such as c-Myc or Ras. We observed that overexpression of c-Myc or Ras increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and the expression of p62, a known partner for degradation by autophagy. The activation of AMPK was found to favor the activation of FoxO3 which was prevented by the inhibition of AMPK. The transcriptional activation mediated by FoxO3 upregulated genes such as BNIP3 and LC3. Finally, the transformation by oncogenes such as c-Myc and Ras predisposes tumor cells to autophagy induction as a consequence of mitochondrial stress and impairs tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, which may have therapeutic implications.

Tang YL, Huang LB, Lin WH, et al.
Butein inhibits cell proliferation and induces cell cycle arrest in acute lymphoblastic leukemia via FOXO3a/p27kip1 pathway.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(14):18651-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a common hematological malignancy characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of leukemia cells in children. Discovering and developing effective chemotherapeutic drugs are needed for ALL. In this study, we investigated the anti-leukemic activity of butein and its action mechanisms in ALL. Butein was found to significantly suppress the cellular proliferation of ALL cell lines and primary ALL blasts in a dose-dependent manner. It also induced cell cycle arrest by decreasing the expression of cyclin E and CDK2. We also found that butein promoted nuclear Forkhead Class box O3a (FOXO3a) localization, enhanced the binding of FOXO3a on the p27kip1 gene promoter and then increased the expression of p27kip1. Moreover, we showed that FOXO3a knockdown significantly decreased the proliferation inhibition by butein, whereas overexpression of FOXO3a enhanced the butein-mediated proliferation inhibition. However, overexpression of FOXO3a mutation (C-terminally truncated FOXO3a DNA-binding domain) decreased the proliferation inhibition by butein through decreasing the expression of p27kip1. Our results therefore demonstrate the therapeutic potential of butein for ALL via FOXO3a/p27kip1 pathway.

Yang Z, Liu S, Zhu M, et al.
PS341 inhibits hepatocellular and colorectal cancer cells through the FOXO3/CTNNB1 signaling pathway.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:22090 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) are among the most common cancers across the world. Particularly, a large number of patients with CRC also have liver metastasis. Currently, there are just a few targeted drugs against these two kinds of tumors which can only benefit a very small population of patients. Therefore, the need of more effective therapeutic drugs or strategies for these two types of cancers is urgent. PS341 (Bortezomib) is the first proteasome inhibitor drug which has been approved in clinical treatment for multiple myeloma. Here we demonstrated that PS341 negatively regulated HCC and CRC both in vitro and in vivo, including the inhibition of cell proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the expression of stemness-related genes, cell migration and invasiveness. Mechanically, PS341 upregulated the expression of FOXO3, which inhibited the transcriptional activation of CTNNB1. The downregualtion of CTNNB1 led to apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and the inhibition of migration, invasion, self-renewal and tumor formation of these two cancer types. In sum, our findings shed light on the PS341 mediated targeted therapy against both HCC and CRC in the future.

Das TP, Suman S, Alatassi H, et al.
Inhibition of AKT promotes FOXO3a-dependent apoptosis in prostate cancer.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7:e2111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Growth factor-induced activation of protein kinase-B (PKB), also known as AKT, induces pro-survival signaling and inhibits activation of pro-apoptotic signaling molecules including the Forkhead box O-3a (FOXO3a) transcription factor and caspase in transformed prostate cells in vitro. Earlier we reported that Withaferin-A (WA), a small herbal molecule, induces pro-apoptotic response-4 (Par-4) mediated apoptosis in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that inhibition of AKT facilitates nuclear shuttling of FOXO3a where it regulates Par-4 transcription in CRPC cells. FOXO3a is upstream of Par-4 signaling, which is required for induction of apoptosis in CRPC cells. Promoter bashing studies and Ch-IP analysis confirm a direct interaction of FOXO3a and Par-4; a sequential deletion of FOXO3a-binding sites in the Par-4 promoter fails to induce Par-4 activation. To confirm these observations, we either overexpressed AKT or silenced FOXO3a activation in CRPC cells. Both methods inhibit Par-4 function and apoptosis is significantly compromised. In xenograft tumors derived from AKT-overexpressed CRPC cells, FOXO3a and Par-4 expression is downregulated, leading to aggressive tumor growth. Oral administration of WA to mice with xenograft tumors restores FOXO3a-mediated Par-4 functions and results in inhibited tumor growth. Finally, an inverse correlation of nuclear localization of AKT expression corresponds to cytoplasmic Par-4 localization in human prostate tissue array. Our studies suggest that Par-4 is one of the key transcriptional targets of FOXO3a, and Par-4 activation is required for induction of apoptosis in CRPC cells. Activation of FOXO3a appears to be an attractive target for the treatment of CRPC and molecules such as WA can be explored further for the treatment of CRPC.

Mizutani N, Omori Y, Kawamoto Y, et al.
Resveratrol-induced transcriptional up-regulation of ASMase (SMPD1) of human leukemia and cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 470(4):851-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Resveratrol (RSV) is a plant-derived phytoalexin present in plants, whose pleiotropic effects for health benefits have been previously reported. Its anti-cancer activity is among the current topics for novel cancer treatment. Here, effects of RSV on cell proliferation and the sphingolipid metabolism of K562, a human leukemia cell line, were analyzed. Some experiments were also performed in HCT116, a human colon cancer cell line. RSV inhibited cell proliferation of both cell lines. Increased cellular ceramide and decreased sphingomyelin and S1P by RSV were observed in RSV-treated K562 cells. Further analysis revealed that acid sphingomyelinase mRNA and enzyme activity levels were increased by RSV. Desipramine, a functional ASMase inhibitor, prevented RSV-induced ceramide increase. RSV increased ATF3, EGR1, EGR3 proteins and phosphorylated c-Jun and FOXO3. However, co-transfection using these transcription factor expression vectors and ASMase promoter reporter vector revealed positive effects of EGR1 and EGR3 but not others. Electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA) and Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay demonstrated the direct binding of EGR1/3 transcription factors with ASMase 5'-promoter. These results indicate that increased EGR1/3 and ASMase expression play an important role in cellular ceramide increase by RSV treatment.

de la Parra C, Castillo-Pichardo L, Cruz-Collazo A, et al.
Soy Isoflavone Genistein-Mediated Downregulation of miR-155 Contributes to the Anticancer Effects of Genistein.
Nutr Cancer. 2016; 68(1):154-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We previously reported that dietary genistein inhibits mammary tumor growth and metastasis of the highly metastatic MDA-MB-435 cancer cells in immunocompromised mice. The purpose herein was to characterize the role of the novel oncogenic microRNA (miRNA) miR-155 in the anticancer effects of genistein in metastatic breast cancer. The effect of genistein was determined on breast cancer cell viability, apoptosis, and expression of miR-155 and its targets. At low physiologically relevant concentrations, genistein inhibits cell viability and induces apoptosis in metastatic MDA-MB-435 and Hs578t breast cancer cells, without affecting the viability of nonmetastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cells. In parallel with reduced cell viability, miR-155 is downregulated, whereas proapoptotic and anticell proliferative miR-155 targets FOXO3, PTEN, casein kinase, and p27 are upregulated in MDA-MB-435 and Hs578t cells in response to genistein treatment. However, miR-155 levels remain unchanged in response to genistein in the MCF-7 cells. Ectopic expression of miR-155 in MDA-MB-435 and Hs578t cells decreases the effects of genistein on cell viability and abrogates the effects of genistein on apoptosis and expression of proapoptotic genes. Therefore, genistein-mediated downregulation of miR-155 contributes to the anticancer effects of genistein in metastatic breast cancer.

Vandenberg CJ, Motoyama N, Cory S
FoxO3 suppresses Myc-driven lymphomagenesis.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 6:e2046 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study demonstrates, for the first time, that loss of a single forkhead box class O (FoxO) transcription factor, can promote lymphomagenesis. Using two different mouse models, we show that FoxO3 has a significant tumour-suppressor function in the context of Myc-driven lymphomagenesis. Loss of FoxO3 significantly accelerated myeloid tumorigenesis in vavP-MYC10 transgenic mice and B lymphomagenesis in Eμ-myc transgenic mice. Tumour analysis indicated that the selective pressure for mutation of the p53 pathway during Eμ-myc lymphomagenesis was not altered. Frank tumours were preceded by elevated macrophage numbers in FoxO3(-/-) vavP-MYC10 mice but, surprisingly, pre-B-cell numbers were relatively normal in healthy young FoxO3(-/-)Eμ-myc mice. In vitro assays revealed enhanced survival capacity of Myc-driven cells lacking FoxO3, but no change in cell cycling was detected. The loss of FoxO3 may also be affecting other tumour-suppressive functions for which FoxO1/4 cannot fully compensate.

Shao H, Mohamed EM, Xu GG, et al.
Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A functions to repress FoxO transcription factors to allow cell cycle progression in ovarian cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):3832-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cells rely on hyperactive de novo lipid synthesis for maintaining malignancy. Recent studies suggest involvement in cancer of fatty acid oxidation, a process functionally opposite to lipogenesis. A mechanistic link from lipid catabolism to oncogenic processes is yet to be established. Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) is a rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) that catalyzes the transfer of long-chain acyl group of the acyl-CoA ester to carnitine, thereby shuttling fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix for β-oxidation. In the present study, we demonstrated that CPT1A was highly expressed in most ovarian cancer cell lines and primary ovarian serous carcinomas. Overexpression of CPT1A correlated with a poor overall survival of ovarian cancer patients. Inactivation of CPT1A decreased cellular ATP levels and induced cell cycle arrest at G0/G1, suggesting that ovarian cancer cells depend on or are addicted to CPT1A-mediated FAO for cell cycle progression. CPT1A deficiency also suppressed anchorage-independent growth and formation of xenografts from ovarian cancer cell lines. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1 (p21) was identified as most consistently and robustly induced cell cycle regulator upon inactivation of CPT1A. Furthermore, p21 was transcriptionally upregulated by the FoxO transcription factors, which were in turn phosphorylated and activated by AMP-activated protein kinase and the mitogen-activated protein kinases JNK and p38. Our results established the oncogenic relevance of CPT1A and a mechanistic link from lipid catabolism to cell cycle regulation, suggesting that CPT1A could be a prognostic biomarker and rational target for therapeutic intervention of cancer.

Coomans de Brachène A, Demoulin JB
FOXO transcription factors in cancer development and therapy.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2016; 73(6):1159-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
The forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are considered as tumor suppressors that limit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. FOXO gene alterations have been described in a limited number of human cancers, such as rhabdomyosarcoma, leukemia and lymphoma. In addition, FOXO proteins are inactivated by major oncogenic signals such as the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase pathway and MAP kinases. Their expression is also repressed by micro-RNAs in multiple cancer types. FOXOs are mediators of the tumor response to various therapies. However, paradoxical roles of FOXOs in cancer progression were recently described. FOXOs contribute to the maintenance of leukemia-initiating cells in acute and chronic myeloid leukemia. These factors may also promote invasion and metastasis of subsets of colon and breast cancers. Resistance to treatment was also ascribed to FOXO activation in multiple cases, including targeted therapies. In this review, we discuss the complex role of FOXOs in cancer development and response to therapy.

Hou YQ, Yao Y, Bao YL, et al.
Juglanthraquinone C Induces Intracellular ROS Increase and Apoptosis by Activating the Akt/Foxo Signal Pathway in HCC Cells.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016; 2016:4941623 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Juglanthraquinone C (JC), a naturally occurring anthraquinone extracted from Juglans mandshurica, could induce apoptosis of cancer cells. This study aims to investigate the detailed cytotoxicity mechanism of JC in HepG2 and BEL-7402 cells. The Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus 2.0 arrays were first used to analyze the mRNA expression exposed to JC or DMSO in HepG2 cells. Consistent with the previous results, the data indicated that JC could induce apoptosis and hyperactivated Akt. The Western blot analysis further revealed that Akt, a well-known survival protein, was strongly activated in HepG2 and BEL-7402 cells. Furthermore, an obvious inhibitory effect on JC-induced apoptosis was observed when the Akt levels were decreased, while the overexpression of constitutively active mutant Akt greatly accelerated JC-induced apoptosis. The subsequent results suggested that JC treatment suppressed nuclear localization and increased phosphorylated levels of Foxo3a, and the overexpression of Foxo3a abrogated JC-induced apoptosis. Most importantly, the inactivation of Foxo3a induced by JC further led to an increase of intracellular ROS levels by suppressing ROS scavenging enzymes, and the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine and catalase successfully decreased JC-induced apoptosis. Collectively, this study demonstrated that JC induced the apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells by activating Akt/Foxo signaling pathway and increasing intracellular ROS levels.

Lin CH, Chang CY, Lee KR, et al.
Flavones inhibit breast cancer proliferation through the Akt/FOXO3a signaling pathway.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:958 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Flavones found in plants display various biological activities, including anti-allergic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidation, and anti-tumor effects. In this study, we investigated the anti-tumor effects of flavone, apigenin and luteolin on human breast cancer cells.
METHODS: The anti-cancer activity of flavone, apigenin and luteolin was investigated using the MTS assay. Apoptosis was analyzed by Hoechst 33342 staining, flow cytometry and western blot. Cell migration was determined using the culture inserts and xCELLigence real-time cell analyzer instrument equipped with a CIM-plate 16. Real-time quantitative PCR and western blot were used to determine the signaling pathway elicited by flavone, apigenin and luteolin.
RESULTS: Flavone, apigenin and luteolin showed potent inhibitory effects on the proliferation of Hs578T, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells in a concentration and time-dependent manner. The ability of flavone, apigenin and luteolin to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells through apoptosis was confirmed by Hoechst33342 staining and the induction of sub-G1 phase of the cell cycle. Flavone, apigenin and luteolin induced forkhead box O3 (FOXO3a) expression by inhibiting Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt. This subsequently elevated the expression of FOXO3a target genes, including the Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21Cip1 (p21) and p27kip1 (p27), which increased the levels of activated poly(ADP) polymerase (PARP) and cytochrome c.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, these data demonstrated that flavone, apigenin and luteolin induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in breast cancer cells through inhibiting PI3K/Akt activation and increasing FOXO3a activation, which suggest that flavone, apigenin and luteolin will be the potential leads for the preventing and treating of breast cancer.

Penrose H, Heller S, Cable C, et al.
Epidermal growth factor receptor mediated proliferation depends on increased lipid droplet density regulated via a negative regulatory loop with FOXO3/Sirtuin6.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 469(3):370-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The proliferation of colon cancer cells is mediated in part by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling and requires sustained levels of cellular energy to meet its high metabolic needs. Intracellular lipid droplets (LDs) are a source of energy used for various cellular functions and they are elevated in density in human cancer, yet their regulation and function are not well understood. Here, in human colon cancer cells, EGF stimulates increases in LD density, which depends on EGFR expression and activation as well as the individual cellular capacity for lipid synthesis. Increases in LDs are blockaded by inhibition of PI3K/mTOR and PGE2 synthesis, supporting their dependency on select upstream pathways. In colon cancer cells, silencing of the FOXO3 transcription factor leads to down regulation of SIRT6, a negative regulator of lipid synthesis, and consequent increases in the LD coat protein PLIN2, revealing that increases in LDs depend on loss of FOXO3/SIRT6. Moreover, EGF stimulates loss of FOXO3/SIRT6, which is blockaded by the inhibition of upstream pathways as well as lipid synthesis, revealing existence of a negative regulatory loop between LDs and FOXO3/SIRT6. Elevated LDs are utilized by EGF treatment and their depletion through the inhibition of lipid synthesis or silencing of PLIN2 significantly attenuates proliferation. This novel mechanism of proliferative EGFR signaling leading to elevated LD density in colon cancer cells could potentially be therapeutically targeted for the treatment of tumor progression.

Ananda Sadagopan SK, Mohebali N, Looi CY, et al.
Forkhead Box Transcription Factor (FOXO3a) mediates the cytotoxic effect of vernodalin in vitro and inhibits the breast tumor growth in vivo.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:147 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Natural compounds have been demonstrated to lower breast cancer risk and sensitize tumor cells to anticancer therapies. Recently, we demonstrated that vernodalin (the active constituent of the medicinal herb Centratherum anthelminticum seeds) induces apoptosis in breast cancer cell-lines. The aim of this work was to gain an insight into the underlying anticancer mechanism of vernodalin using in vitro and in vivo model.
METHODS: Vernodalin was isolated through the bioassay guided fractionation from the seeds. The protein expression of p-Akt, PI3K, FOXO3a, Bim, p27kip1, cyclinD1, and cyclinE was examined by the Western blot analysis. Immunoprecipitation assays were performed to analyse Akt kinase activity. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to study the role of FOXO3a upregulation and their targets during vernodalin treatment. Immunofluorescence, subcellular localisation of FOXO3a by Western blot was performed to analyse FOXO3a localisation in nucleus of breast cancer cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of PCNA, Ki67, p27kip1, FOXO3a and p-FOXO3a in the LA7-induced mammary gland tumor model was performed.
RESULTS: Our results showed that vernodalin regulates cancer cell apoptosis through activation of FOXO transcription factors and its downstream targets (Bim, p27Kip1, p21Waf1/cip1, cyclin D1, cyclin E) as examined by Western blots. Furthermore, we showed that FOXO3a/PI3K-Akt played a significant role in vernodalin induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells. Immunoprecipitation assays showed Akt kinase activity was downregulated. Immunofluorescence, subcellular fractionation and Western blot showed FOXO3a accumulation in the nucleus of breast cancer cells after vernodalin treatment. Silencing of FOXO3a protected breast cancer cells against vernodalin induced apoptosis. The anti-tumor action of vernodalin was further confirmed by examining cell proliferative markers, PCNA and Ki67 in the LA7-induced mammary gland tumor model. We also corroborated our findings in vivo by showing upregulation of p27Kip1, FOXO3a and decrease in the p-FOXO3a level in vernodalin-treated breast tumor tissue.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that PI3K-Akt/FOXOa pathway is a critical mediator of vernodalin-induced cytotoxicity and this compound could be further developed as a potential chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic agent for breast cancer therapy.

Smit L, Berns K, Spence K, et al.
An integrated genomic approach identifies that the PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway is involved in breast cancer tumor initiation.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):2596-610 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Therapy resistance is one of the major impediments to successful cancer treatment. In breast cancer, a small subpopulation of cells with stem cell features, named breast cancer stem cells (BCSC), is responsible for metastasis and recurrence of the tumor. BCSC have the unique ability to grow under non-adherent conditions in "mammospheres". To prevent breast cancer recurrence and metastasis it will be crucial to eradicate BCSC.We used shRNA genetic screening to identify genes that upon knockdown enhance mammosphere formation in breast cancer cells. By integration of these results with gene expression profiles of mammospheres and NOTCH-activated cells, we identified FOXO3A. Modulation of FOXO3A activity results in a change in mammosphere formation, expression of mammary stem cell markers and breast cancer initiating potential. Importantly, lack of FOXO3A expression in breast cancer patients is associated with increased recurrence rate. Our findings provide evidence for a role for FOXO3A downstream of NOTCH and AKT that may have implications for therapies targeting BCSCs.

Wolfe AR, Debeb BG, Lacerda L, et al.
Simvastatin prevents triple-negative breast cancer metastasis in pre-clinical models through regulation of FOXO3a.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 154(3):495-508 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported using statins was correlated with improved metastasis-free survival in aggressive breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of statins on metastatic colonization by triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. TNBC cell lines were treated with simvastatin and then studied for cell cycle progression and proliferation in vitro, and metastasis formation in vivo, following injection of statin-treated cells. Reverse-phase protein assay (RPPA) analysis was performed on statin-treated and control breast cancer cells. RNA interference targeting FOXO3a was used to measure the impact of simvastatin on FOXO3a-expressing cells. The prognostic value of FOXO3a mRNA expression was examined in eight public breast cancer gene expression datasets including 1479 patients. Simvastatin increased G1/S-phase arrest of the cell cycle and inhibited both proliferation and migration of TNBC cells in vitro. In vitro pre-treatment and in vivo treatment with simvastatin reduced metastases. Phosphorylated FOXO3a was downregulated after simvastatin treatment in (RPPA) analysis. Ectopic expression of FOXO3a enhanced mammosphere formation and migratory capacity in vitro. Knockdown of FOXO3a attenuated the effect of simvastatin on mammosphere formation and migration. Analysis of public gene expression data demonstrates FOXO3a mRNA downregulation was independently associated with shorter metastasis-free survival in all breast cancers, as well as in TNBC breast cancers. Simvastatin inhibits in vitro endpoints associated with metastasis through a FOXO3a mechanism and reduced metastasis formation in vivo. FOXO3a expression is prognostic for metastasis formation in patient data. Further investigation of simvastatin as a cancer therapy is warranted.

Silva LS, Goncalves LG, Silva F, et al.
STAT3:FOXM1 and MCT1 drive uterine cervix carcinoma fitness to a lactate-rich microenvironment.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(4):5385-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine cervix cancer is the second most common malignancy in women worldwide with human papillomavirus (HPV) as the etiologic factor. The two main histological variants, squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and adenocarcinomas (AC), resemble the cell morphology of exocervix and endocervix, respectively. Cancer metabolism is a cancer hallmark conditioned by the microenvironment. As uterine cervix homeostasis is dependent on lactate, we hypothesized lactate plays a role in uterine cervix cancer progression. Using in vitro (SiHa-SCC and HeLa-AC) and BALB-c/SCID models, we demonstrated that lactate metabolism is linked to histological types, with SCC predominantly consuming and AC producing lactate. MCT1 is a key factor, allowing lactate consumption and being regulated in vitro by lactate through the FOXM1:STAT3 pathway. In vivo models showed that SCC (SiHa) expresses MCT1 and is dependent on lactate to grow, whereas AC (HeLa) expresses MCT1 and MCT4, with higher growth capacities. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays (TMA) from human cervical tumors showed that MCT1 expression associates with the SCC type and metastatic behavior of AC, whereas MCT4 expression concomitantly increases from in situ SCC to invasive SCC and is significantly associated with the AC type. Consistently, FOXM1 expression is statistically associated with MCT1 positivity in SCC, whereas the expression of FOXO3a, a FOXM1 functional antagonist, is linked to MCT1 negativity in AC. Our study reinforces the role of the microenvironment in the metabolic adaptation of cancer cells, showing that cells that retain metabolic features of their normal counterparts are positively selected by the organ's microenvironment and will survive. In particular, MCT1 was shown to be a key element in uterine cervix cancer development; however, further studies are needed to validate MCT1 as a suitable therapeutic target in uterine cervix cancer.

Park SH, Jang KY, Kim MJ, et al.
Tumor suppressive effect of PARP1 and FOXO3A in gastric cancers and its clinical implications.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(42):44819-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase1 (PARP1) has been reported as a possible target for chemotherapy in many cancer types. However, its action mechanisms and clinical implications for gastric cancer survival are not yet fully understood. Here, we investigated the effect of PARP1 inhibition in the growth of gastric cancer cells. PARP1 inhibition by Olaparib or PARP1 siRNA could significantly attenuate growth and colony formation of gastric cancer cells, and which were mediated through induction of G2/M cell cycle arrest but not apoptosis. FOXO3A expression was induced by PARP1 inhibition, suggesting that FOXO3A might be one of downstream target of the PARP1 effect on gastric cancer cell growth. In addition, by performing tissue microarrays on the 166 cases of gastric cancer patients, we could observe that the expression status of PARP1 and FOXO3A were significantly associated with overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS). Strikingly, combined expression status of PARP1 and FOXO3A showed better prediction for patient's clinical outcomes. The patient group with PARP1+/FOXO3A- expression had the worst prognosis while the patient group with PARP1-/FOXO3A+ had the most favorable prognosis (OS: P = 6.0 × 10(-9), RFS: P = 2.2 × 10(-8)). In conclusion, we suggest that PARP1 and FOXO3A play critical roles in gastric cancer progression, and might have therapeutic and/or diagnostic potential in clinic.

Cheng CW, Chen PM, Hsieh YH, et al.
Foxo3a-mediated overexpression of microRNA-622 suppresses tumor metastasis by repressing hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in ERK-responsive lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(42):44222-38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic spread of cancer cells portends a poor prognosis and mortality for lung cancer patients. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) enhances tumor cell motility by activating the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is considered a prerequisite for metastasis. Recent studies of microRNA involvement in cancer invasion and metastasis have highlighted the role of such RNAs in tumor development. However, little work has been done to identify tumor suppressor microRNAs that target HIF-1α to down-modulate the EMT and thereby counteract the aggressiveness and metastasis of lung cancer cells. Here, we identified the 3'-untranslated region of HIF-1α mRNA as a target of miR-622 and established that miR-622-mediated down-modulation of HIF-1α correlates with decreased levels of mesenchymal proteins, including Snail, β-catenin, and vimentin. Functional analyses revealed that increased miR-622 expression inhibited lung cancer cell migration and invasion in vitro. miR-622 also inhibited the genesis of metastatic lung nodules as demonstrated in a lung cancer xenograft model in which nude mice were transplanted with A549 cells expressing miR-622. Mechanistic analyses showed that overexpression of EGF decreased the miR-622 level in A549 cells, and this reduction could be rescued by administrating U0126, an inhibitor of ERK. Moreover, miR-622 overexpression mediated by the transcription factor FOXO3a decreased the invasiveness of lung tumor cells by inhibiting HIF-1α via inactivation of ERK signaling in U0126-treated A549 cells. These findings highlight the pivotal role of the FOXO3a/miR-622 axis in inhibiting HIF-1α to interfere with tumor metastasis, and this information may contribute to development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating aggressive lung cancer.

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