Gene Summary

Gene:FOXC2; forkhead box C2
Aliases: LD, MFH1, MFH-1, FKHL14
Summary:This gene belongs to the forkhead family of transcription factors which is characterized by a distinct DNA-binding forkhead domain. The specific function of this gene has not yet been determined; however, it may play a role in the development of mesenchymal tissues. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:forkhead box protein C2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 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.

Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: FOXC2 (cancer-related)

Yin H, Wang Y, Chen W, et al.
Drug-resistant CXCR4-positive cells have the molecular characteristics of EMT in NSCLC.
Gene. 2016; 594(1):23-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
High expression of Chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is important in tumor invasion, metastasis, drug-resistance and maintenance of stemness in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We therefore studied the molecular characteristics of drug-resistant CXCR4-positive cells on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) for the future identification of the tumor cells with the properties of both EMT and stemness. EMT RT(2) Profier PCR Array was performed to determine the expression levels of mRNA genes in A549 with TGF-β1 induced EMT (A549/TGF-β1) and gefitinib-resistant CXCR4-positive cells (A549/GR). TCGA database on the cBio Cancer Genomics Portal website and Gene Network Central (GNC) Pro Tutorial were used to analyze their clinical relevance and pathway interactions. CXCR4 was up-regulated both in TGF-β induced EMT cells and in gefitinib-resistant cells. In 84 mRNA genes related to EMT, 17 mRNA genes were up-regulated in CXCR4-positive population of A549/GR when compared to those in CXCR4 negative fraction, while 66 mRNA genes were up-regulated during TGF-β induced EMT. ITGA5, BMP7, MMP3, VIM, RGS2, ZEB2, TCF3, SNAI2, VCAN, PLEK2, WNT5A, COL3A1, SPARC and FOXC2 were doubly up-regulated during the two biological processes. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that the doubly up-regulated ITGA5, RGS2, SNAI2 and PLEK2 mRNA genes were related to poor overall survival in lung adenocarcinoma patients (P=9.291e-6, 0.0090, 3.81e-7 and 0.0013, respectively). In GNC analysis, SNAI2 mRNA gene but not ITGA5, RGS2 and PLEK2 was dependent on the signaling pathway of CXCR4. The molecular characteristics of drug-resistant CXCR4-positive cells have a crosstalk with EMT, which has the potential to find the marker with prognostic value on multiple signaling pathways in NSCLC.

Kiaei A, Onsori H, Alijani A, et al.
Detection of t(8;14) c-myc/IgH gene rearrangement by long-distance polymerase chain reaction in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Ther. 2016; 9(4):141-146 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: Specific chromosomal translocations are found in human leukemias and lymphomas. These translocations are closely related to particular histological and immunological phenotypes. In Burkitt's lymphoma, translocation t(8;14)(q24;q32), which involves the c-myc gene (8q24) and the immunoglobulin heavy-chain (IgH) locus (14q32), accounts for 90-95% of all chromosomal translocations. This translocation can be found in 2-5% of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Long-distance polymerase chain reaction (LD-PCR) assays, which can identify oncogene/Ig gene rearrangement, can detect these fusion genes. The objective of this study was to detect t(8;14) c-myc/IgH gene rearrangement by LD-PCR in patients with DLBCL.
METHODS: In this study, 54 DLBCL cases were tested by LD-PCR with specific primers. LD-PCR was used for two breakpoints in both the IgH gene (joining region and γ switch region) and the myc gene (Exons 2 and 3).
RESULTS: As much as 1.85% of the samples were positive for the γ constant region and Exon 2 of the myc gene.
CONCLUSION: LD-PCR can be used for the detection of t(8;14) c-myc/IgH gene rearrangement in patients with DLBCL.

Li C, Ding H, Tian J, et al.
Forkhead Box Protein C2 (FOXC2) Promotes the Resistance of Human Ovarian Cancer Cells to Cisplatin In Vitro and In Vivo.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016; 39(1):242-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: FOXC2 has been reported to play a role in tumor progression, but the correlations of FOXC2 with the cisplatin (CDDP) resistance of ovarian cancer cells are still unclear. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the roles of FOXC2 in the CDDP resistance of ovarian cancer cells and its possible mechanisms.
METHODS: Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect the expression of FOXC2 mRNA in CDDP-resistant or sensitive ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines (SKOV3/CDDP and SKOV3). Gain- and loss-of-function assays were performed to analyze the effects of FOXC2 knockdown or overexpression on the in vitro and in vivo sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to CDDP and its possible molecular mechanisms.
RESULTS: The relative expression level of FOXC2 mRNA in CDDP-resistant ovarian cancer tissues was higher than that in CDDP-sensitive tissues. Also, the expression of FOXC2 mRNA and protein in CDDP-resistant ovarian cancer cell line (SKOV3/CDDP) cell line was higher than that in its parental cell line (SOKV3). Small hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated FOXC2 knockdown significantly increased the in vitro and in vive sensitivity of SKOV3/CDDP cells to CDDP by enhancing apoptosis, while upregulation of FOXC2 significantly decreased the in vitro and in vivo sensitivity of SKOV3 cells to CDDP by reducing apoptosis. Furthermore, FOXC2 activates the Akt and MAPK signaling pathways, and then induced the decreased expression of Bcl-2 protein and the increased expression of Bax and cleaved caspase-3 proteins.
CONCLUSIONS: FOXC2 mediates the CDDP resistance of ovarian cancer cells by activation of the Akt and MAPK signaling pathways, and may be a potential novel therapeutic target for overcoming CDDP resistance in human ovarian cancer.

Dong L, Gao M, Hao WJ, et al.
Case Report of Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome: Germline Mutations of FLCN Detected in Patients With Renal Cancer and Thyroid Cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(22):e3695 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) is a rare autosomal dominant inherited syndrome that is characterized by the presence of fibrofolliculomas and/or trichodiscomas, pulmonary cysts, spontaneous pneumothorax, and renal tumors. Here, the 2 patients we reported with renal cell carcinomas and dermatological features were suspected to be suffering from BHD syndrome. Blood samples of these patients were sent for whole exon sequencing performed by Sanger sequencing. Eight mutations, including 5 mutations, which were mapped in noncoding region, 1 synonymous mutation, and 2 missense mutations, were detected in the FLCN gene in both patients. The 2 missense mutations, predicted to be disease-causing mutation or affecting protein function by MutationTaster and SIFT, confirmed the diagnosis. In addition, the 2 patients were also affected with papillary thyroid cancer. Total thyroidectomy and prophylactic bilateral central lymph node dissection were performed for them and the BHD-2 also received lateral lymph node dissection. Pathology reports showed that the patients had lymph node metastasis in spite of small size of thyroid lesions.The 2 missense mutations, not reported previously, expand the mutation spectrum of FLCN gene associated with BHD syndrome. For the thyroid cancer patients with BHD syndrome, total thyroidectomy and prophylactic bilateral central lymph node dissection may be suitable and the neck ultrasound may benefit BHD patients and their family members.

Ding L, Li QJ, You KY, et al.
The Use of Apatinib in Treating Nonsmall-Cell Lung Cancer: Case Report and Review of Literature.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(20):e3598 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Apatinib is a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2, which has been proved to be effective and safe in treating heavily pretreated patients with gastric cancer.The aim of the study was to explore the use of apatinib in treatment of nonsmall cell lung cancer and its side effects.We report 2 patients presented with advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer, who received apatinib after failure in the first- or third-line chemotherapy. They are treated with apatinib in daily dose of 850 mg, 28 days per cycle.Favorable oncologic outcomes were achieved in the 2 cases after the treatment of apatinib. Patient I's progression-free-survival has increased to 4.6 months after palliative therapy of apatinib, whereas Patient II nearly 6 months. The common side effects of apatinib were hypertension and hand-foot syndrome; however, the toxicity of apatinib was controllable and tolerable.Apatinib may be an option for advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer after failure of chemotherapy or other targeted therapy. But that still warrants further investigation in the prospective study.

Wang P, Henning SM, Magyar CE, et al.
Green tea and quercetin sensitize PC-3 xenograft prostate tumors to docetaxel chemotherapy.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy with docetaxel (Doc) remains the standard treatment for metastatic and castration-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC). However, the clinical success of Doc is limited by its chemoresistance and side effects. This study investigated whether natural products green tea (GT) and quercetin (Q) enhance the therapeutic efficacy of Doc in CRPC in mouse models.
METHODS: Male severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice (n = 10 per group) were inoculated with androgen-independent prostate cancer PC-3 cells subcutaneously. When tumors were established the intervention started. Mice were administered with GT + Q, Doc 5 mg/kg (LD), GT + Q + LD Doc, Doc 10 mg/kg (HD) or control. The concentration of GT polyphenols in brewed tea administered as drinking water was 0.07% and Q was supplemented in diet at 0.4%. Doc was intravenously injected weekly for 4 weeks, GT and Q given throughout the study.
RESULTS: GT + Q or LD Doc slightly inhibited tumor growth compared to control. However, the combination of GT and Q with LD Doc significantly enhanced the potency of Doc 2-fold and reduced tumor growth by 62% compared to LD Doc in 7-weeks intervention. A decrease of Ki67 and increase of cleaved caspase 7 were observed in tumors by the mixture, along with lowered blood concentrations of growth factors like VEGF and EGF. The mixture significantly elevated the levels of tumor suppressor mir15a and mir330 in tumor tissues. An increased risk of liver toxicity was only observed with HD Doc treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: These results provide a promising regimen to enhance the therapeutic effect of Doc in a less toxic manner.

Pietilä M, Vijay GV, Soundararajan R, et al.
FOXC2 regulates the G2/M transition of stem cell-rich breast cancer cells and sensitizes them to PLK1 inhibition.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:23070 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cells with stem cell properties (CSCs) underpin the chemotherapy resistance and high therapeutic failure of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs). Even though CSCs are known to proliferate more slowly, they are sensitive to inhibitors of G2/M kinases such as polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1). Understanding the cell cycle regulatory mechanisms of CSCs will help target these cells more efficiently. Herein, we identify a novel role for the transcription factor FOXC2, which is mostly expressed in CSCs, in the regulation of cell cycle of CSC-enriched breast cancer cells. We demonstrate that FOXC2 expression is regulated in a cell cycle-dependent manner, with FOXC2 protein levels accumulating in G2, and rapidly decreasing during mitosis. Knockdown of FOXC2 in CSC-enriched TNBC cells delays mitotic entry without significantly affecting the overall proliferation rate of these cells. Moreover, PLK1 activity is important for FOXC2 protein stability, since PLK1 inhibition reduces FOXC2 protein levels. Indeed, FOXC2 expressing CSC-enriched TNBC cells are sensitive to PLK1 inhibition. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a novel role for FOXC2 as a regulator of the G2/M transition and elucidate the reason for the observed sensitivity of CSC-enriched breast cancer cells to PLK1 inhibitor.

Zhang Y, Liu Z, Wang M, et al.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism rs1801516 in Ataxia Telangiectasia-Mutated Gene Predicts Late Fibrosis in Cancer Patients After Radiotherapy: A PRISMA-Compliant Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(14):e3267 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Studies on associations between ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) polymorphisms and late radiotherapy-induced adverse events vary in clinical settings, and the results are inconsistent.We conducted the first meta-analysis following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to investigate the role of the ATM polymorphism rs1801516 in the development of radiotherapy-induced late fibrosis.We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure databases to identify studies that investigated the effect of the ATM polymorphism rs1801516 on radiotherapy-induced late fibrosis before September 8, 2015. Summary odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the association between late fibrosis and the rs1801516 polymorphism. Subgroup analyses were conducted to evaluate the influence of clinical features on the genetic association. Tests of interaction were used to compare differences in the effect estimates between subgroups.The overall meta-analysis of 2000 patients from 9 studies showed that the minor allele of the rs1801516 polymorphism was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing late fibrosis (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.07, 2.94), with high between-study heterogeneity (I = 66.6%, P = 0.002). In subgroup analyses, we identified that the incidence of late fibrosis was a major source of heterogeneity across studies. The OR for patients with a high incidence of late fibrosis was 3.19 (95% CI: 1.86, 5.47), in contrast to 1.09 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.17) for those with a low incidence. There was a significant difference in the effect estimates between the 2 subgroups (ratio of OR = 2.94, 95% CI 1.70, 5.08, P = 0.031).This meta-analysis supported previously reported effect of the ATM polymorphism rs1801516 on radiotherapy-induced late fibrosis. This finding encouraged further researches to identify more genetic polymorphisms that were predictive for radiotherapy-induced adverse events. In addition, we showed that the inconsistency of the associations seen in these studies might be related to variations in the incidence of late fibrosis in the patients. This suggested that future studies should consider the incidence of radiotherapy-induced adverse events when investigating radiosensitivity signature genes.

Li X, Quan Y, Tang C, Chen Y
Association between genetic variants of EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein1 gene and sporadic breast cancer in a Chinese Han population.
Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2016; 37(1):80-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION: Genetic susceptibility of breast cancer has been shown to be modulated by inheritance of polymorphic genes. EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) gene played an important role in many tumors, including lung cancer, hepatic carcinoma, and prostate cancer. In addition, it was importantly downexpressed in breast cancer. The present research aimed to assess the association between genetic variations of EFEMP1 and breast cancer risk.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors genotyped 11 common tagging SNPs with an array platform including 960 cases and 972 cancer-free controls of Chinese women, according to the HapMap database based on the pairwise linkage disequilibrium (LD) r² threshold of 0.8, minor allele frequency of 0.05.
RESULTS: Three SNPs were significant associated with breast cancer (rs3791679, p = 0.016, OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.04-1.41; rs1346786, p = 0.005, OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.08 -1.59; rs727878, p = 0.002, OR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.10-1.51). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that, compared with wild-type carriers in a dominant model, a significantly increased breast cancer risk was associated with the three identified risk SNPs. Among the selected tagging SNPs, three haplotype blocks were identified, and the results of haplotype analysis were consistent with the single-locus analysis. The haplotype 'GG' in block 1 and haplotype 'AG' in block 2 were significantly associated with breast cancer, and had a 54% and 28% increased breast cancer risk respectively, compared with their corresponding noncarriers.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggested that the polymorphisms of EFEMP1 gene were associated with breast cancer and might contribute to the susceptibility of the progression of breast cancer in Chinese Han women. Individuals with the risk alleles might increase the risk of breast cancer.

Li H, Yuan Z, Ji J, et al.
A novel Markov Blanket-based repeated-fishing strategy for capturing phenotype-related biomarkers in big omics data.
BMC Genet. 2016; 17:51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We propose a novel Markov Blanket-based repeated-fishing strategy (MBRFS) in attempt to increase the power of existing Markov Blanket method (DASSO-MB) and maintain its advantages in omic data analysis.
RESULTS: Both simulation and real data analysis were conducted to assess its performances by comparing with other methods including χ(2) test with Bonferroni and B-H adjustment, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and DASSO-MB. A serious of simulation studies showed that the true discovery rate (TDR) of proposed MBRFS was always close to zero under null hypothesis (odds ratio = 1 for each SNPs) with excellent stability in all three scenarios of independent phenotype-related SNPs without linkage disequilibrium (LD) around them, correlated phenotype-related SNPs without LD around them, and phenotype-related SNPs with strong LD around them. As expected, under different odds ratio and minor allel frequency (MAFs), MBRFS always had the best performances in capturing the true phenotype-related biomarkers with higher matthews correlation coefficience (MCC) for all three scenarios above. More importantly, since proposed MBRFS using the repeated fishing strategy, it still captures more phenotype-related SNPs with minor effects when non-significant phenotype-related SNPs emerged under χ(2) test after Bonferroni multiple correction. The various real omics data analysis, including GWAS data, DNA methylation data, gene expression data and metabolites data, indicated that the proposed MBRFS always detected relatively reasonable biomarkers.
CONCLUSIONS: Our proposed MBRFS can exactly capture the true phenotype-related biomarkers with the reduction of false negative rate when the phenotype-related biomarkers are independent or correlated, as well as the circumstance that phenotype-related biomarkers are associated with non-phenotype-related ones.

Ceolin L, Romitti M, Siqueira DR, et al.
Effect of 3'UTR RET Variants on RET mRNA Secondary Structure and Disease Presentation in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0147840 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The RET S836S variant has been associated with early onset and increased risk for metastatic disease in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). However, the mechanism by which this variant modulates MTC pathogenesis is still open to discuss. Of interest, strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) between RET S836S and 3'UTR variants has been reported in Hirschsprung's disease patients.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency of the RET 3'UTR variants (rs76759170 and rs3026785) in MTC patients and to determine whether these variants are in LD with S836S polymorphism.
METHODS: Our sample comprised 152 patients with sporadic MTC. The RET S836S and 3'UTR (rs76759170 and rs3026785) variants were genotyped using Custom TaqMan Genotyping Assays. Haplotypes were inferred using the phase 2.1 program. RET mRNA structure was assessed by Vienna Package.
RESULTS: The mean age of MTC diagnosis was 48.5±15.5 years and 57.9% were women. The minor allele frequencies of RET polymorphisms were as follows: S836S, 5.6%; rs76759170, 5.6%; rs3026785, 6.2%. We observed a strong LD among S836S and 3'UTR variants (|D'| = -1, r2 = 1 and |D'| = -1, r2 = 0,967). Patients harboring the S836S/3'UTR variants presented a higher percentage of lymph node and distant metastasis (P = 0.013 and P<0.001, respectively). Accordingly, RNA folding analyses demonstrated different RNA secondary structure predictions for WT(TCCGT), S836S(TTCGT) or 3'UTR(GTCAC) haplotypes. The S836S/3'UTR haplotype presented a greater number of double helices sections and lower levels of minimal free energy when compared to the wild-type haplotype, suggesting that these variants provides the most thermodynamically stable mRNA structure, which may have functional consequences on the rate of mRNA degradation.
CONCLUSION: The RET S836S polymorphism is in LD with 3'UTR variants. In silico analysis indicate that the 3'UTR variants may affect the secondary structure of RET mRNA, suggesting that these variants might play a role in posttranscriptional control of the RET transcripts.

Li HG, Liu FF, Zhu HQ, et al.
Association of PTEN gene polymorphisms with liver cancer risk.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(11):15198-203 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To find out if there are any relationship between three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) gene (rs1234213, rs1234220, and rs2299939) and the susceptibility of liver cancer.
METHODS: Genotypes of the three SNPs in the PTEN gene were achieved utilizing polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. Comparison of genotypes and alleles distribution differences between the case and the control subjects was accomplished with χ(2) test. The analysis of linkage disequilibrium (LD) and haplotypes of the three SNPs was performed using SHEsis software. We adopted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to show the relative risk of liver cancer.
RESULTS: TC genotype and C allele of rs1234220 polymorphism showed much more frequently in cases than in controls, reflecting that the TC genotype and the C allele may be linked to the increased risk of liver cancer (OR=2.225, 95% CI=1.178-4.204; OR=1.941, 95% CI=1.124-3.351). Rs2299939 polymorphism showed an opposite result that the GT genotype probably reduce the risk of liver cancer (OR=0.483, 95% CI=0.259-0.900). Statistical significance was not found in the distribution differences of the genotypes of rs1234213 between two groups. LD and haplotype analysis results of the three SNPs showed that the T-C-G haplotype frequency was much higher in cases than in healthy objects, which proved that the T-C-G haplotype might be a susceptibility haplotype for liver cancer (OR=3.750, 95% CI=1.396-10.077).
CONCLUSIONS: PTEN gene polymorphisms might relate to liver cancer risk.

Wang S, Wu S, Meng Q, et al.
FAS rs2234767 and rs1800682 polymorphisms jointly contributed to risk of colorectal cancer by affecting SP1/STAT1 complex recruitment to chromatin.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:19229 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
FAS rs2234767 (-1377 G>A), rs1800682 (-670 A>G) and FASLG rs763110 (-844 C>T) promoter polymorphisms can influence transcriptional activities of the genes and thus multiple tumors susceptibility. To investigate their association with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), the three SNPs were genotyped in 878 cases and 884 controls and the results showed that the FAS rs2234767 and rs1800682 were in a high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with each other (D' = 0.994) and jointly contributed to an increased risk of CRC (without vs. with rs2234767 GG/rs1800682 AA genotypes, adjusted OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.05 - 1.61). In vivo ChIP assays evaluated the effect of rs2234767 and rs1800682 on recruitment of SP1 and STAT1, respectively, to chromatin. The results showed SP1 interacting specifically with STAT1 recruited to their respective motifs for transcriptional activation. The mutant alleles rs2234767 A and rs1800682 G jointly affected coupled SP1 and STAT1 recruitment to chromatin. The interplay between SP1 and STAT1 was critical for the functional outcome of rs2234767 and rs1800682 in view of their high LD. In conclusion, the FAS rs2234767 and rs1800682 polymorphisms were in high LD with each other, and they jointly contributed to an increased risk of CRC by altering recruitment of SP1/STAT1 complex to the FAS promoter for transcriptional activation.

Jiang W, Fan H, Qian C, et al.
Prognostic value of high FoxC2 expression in resectable non-small cell lung cancer, alone or in combination with E-cadherin expression.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: FoxC2 is an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulator which induces metastasis. The purpose of this study is to assess the prognostic value of FoxC2 expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), alone or in combination with E-cadherin expression.
METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted using immunohistochemistry to investigate FoxC2 and E-cadherin expression in a cohort of 309 patients with surgically resected NSCLCs. The prognostic value of FoxC2 and E-cadherin on overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) was determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazard models.
RESULTS: High FoxC2 expression was detected in 26.5% of tumors, and significantly correlated with tobacco use (p = 0.047), adenocarcinoma (p = 0.008) and nodal involvement (p < 0.001). Univariate analysis revealed its association with OS (p = 0.036) and RFS (p = 0.011). By multivariate analysis, high FoxC2 expression lost its significance as an independent predictor of recurrence (p = 0.077), while TNM stage, nodal status and the presence of high FoxC2 and impaired E-cadherin expression retained independent prognostic significance in relation to both OS and RFS. Subset analyses indicated that high FoxC2 expression was significantly associated with disease outcome in node-positive, but not in node-negative patients.
CONCLUSION: Evaluation of FoxC2 expression, alone or in combination with E-cadherin expression, may help to stratify NSCLC patients for risk of disease progression, pointing to this EMT regulator as a potential prognostic marker.

Hu HH, Kannengiesser C, Lesage S, et al.
PARKIN Inactivation Links Parkinson's Disease to Melanoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016; 108(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma incidence is higher in patients affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) and vice versa, but the genetic link shared by both diseases is unknown. As PARK2 is both a tumor suppressor gene and frequently mutated in young onset PD, we evaluated the role of PARK2 in melanoma predisposition and progression.
METHODS: An in-depth PARK2 gene dosage analysis and sequencing was performed on 512 French case patients and 562 healthy control patients, as well as sporadic tumors and melanoma cell lines. The frequency of genetic alterations was compared between case patients and control patients using two-sided Fisher's exact tests and odds ratio (OR) calculations. We used western blotting to determine PARKIN expression in melanocytes and melanoma cell lines and transfection followed by clonogenic assays to evaluate the effect of PARKIN expression on cellular proliferation. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Germline PARK2 mutations (including copy number variations, splicing, and putative deleterious missense mutations) were present in 25 case patients but only four control patients (OR = 3.95, 95% confidence interval = 1.34 to 15.75). Copy number variations (CNVs) and loss of heterozygosity were present in 60% and 74%, respectively, of primary tumors. PARKIN protein was expressed in melanocytes but not in most melanoma cell lines, and its expression decreased following melanocyte transformation by oncogenic NRAS. Re-expression of PARKIN in melanoma cell lines resulted in a drastic reduction of cell proliferation and inhibition of PARKIN in melanocytes stimulated their proliferation.
CONCLUSION: Our results show an important role for PARK2 as a tumor suppressor both in melanoma predisposition and progression, which could explain the epidemiological association of these diseases.

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.

Cheng Z, Chu H, Fan Y, et al.
PExFInS: An Integrative Post-GWAS Explorer for Functional Indels and SNPs.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:17302 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) mapping and linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis have been widely employed to interpret findings of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). With the availability of deep sequencing data of 423 lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from six global populations and the microarray expression data, we performed eQTL analysis, identified more than 228 K SNP cis-eQTLs and 21 K indel cis-eQTLs and generated a LCL cis-eQTL database. We demonstrate that the percentages of population-shared and population-specific cis-eQTLs are comparable; while indel cis-eQTLs in the population-specific subsection make more contribution to gene expression variations than those in the population-shared subsection. We found cis-eQTLs, especially the population-shared cis-eQTLs are significantly enriched toward transcription start site. Moreover, the National Human Genome Research Institute cataloged GWAS SNPs are enriched for LCL cis-eQTLs. Specifically, 32.8% GWAS SNPs are LCL cis-eQTLs, among which 12.5% can be tagged by indel cis-eQTLs, suggesting the fundamental contribution of indel cis-eQTLs to GWAS association signals. To search for functional indels and SNPs tagging GWAS SNPs, a pipeline Post-GWAS Explorer for Functional Indels and SNPs (PExFInS) has been developed, integrating LD analysis, functional annotation from public databases, cis-eQTL mapping with our LCL cis-eQTL database and other published cis-eQTL datasets.

Gautam KA, Muktanand T, Sankhwar SN, et al.
Functional polymorphisms in the IL6 gene promoter and the risk of urinary bladder cancer in India.
Cytokine. 2016; 77:152-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-6 is a multifunctional cytokine, which plays a key role in tumor proliferation and differentiation. Variations in its gene (IL6) sequence may affect the risk of developing various cancers, including urinary bladder cancer. The present study was done to find the association of functional polymorphisms in the IL6 promoter with urinary bladder cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in histologically confirmed 232 cases of urinary bladder cancer and 250 healthy controls. The controls subjects were matched to the cases by age, sex, and ethnicity. Genotyping of the polymorphisms (-174G>C; -572G>C, -596A>G) was undertaken by direct DNA sequencing. The level of association between the genotypes and urinary bladder cancer risk was estimated by odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals generated by applying the chi-square test. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) between SNPs and haplotype analysis were performed using Haploview software.
RESULT: Significantly higher number of smokers (p=0.047), tobacco chewers (p=<0.001) and those with non-vegetarian food habits (p=0.016) were seen in the case group. The distribution of genotypes at -174G>C locus differed significantly between cases and controls and the variant genotypes GC+CC were significantly rarer in the cases (p=0.00073; OR=0.52 95% CI 0.35-0.75). Variant genotypes (GC+CC) were more common in grade I than grade III tumors (p=0.032), further suggesting a protective effect. No LD was found between the SNPs; however, the frequency of haplotype AGC was significantly lesser in the cases than controls (p=0.0103), suggesting a protective effect. Genotype distribution at the other two loci (-572G>C and -596A>G) did not show association with bladder cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: IL6 (-174G>C) substitution confers significant protection against the risk of urinary bladder cancer in the study population, while other substitutions in this gene (-572G>C and -596A>G) do not affect the risk. In general, there is a lack of studies on the cytokine gene polymorphisms in urinary bladder cancer.

Ogura Y, Miyake N, Kou I, et al.
Identification of HOXD4 Mutations in Spinal Extradural Arachnoid Cyst.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(11):e0142126 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Spinal extradural arachnoid cyst (SEDAC) is a cyst in the spinal canal that protrudes into the epidural space from a defect in the dura mater and leads to neurological disturbances. We previously showed that familial SEDAC is caused by FOXC2 mutation; however, the causal gene of sporadic SEDAC has not been identified. To identify the causal gene of sporadic SEDAC, we performed whole exome sequencing for 12 subjects with sporadic SEDAC and identified heterozygous HOXD4 loss-of-function mutations in three subjects. HOXD4 haplo-insufficiency causes SEDAC and a transcriptional network containing HOXD4 and FOXC2 is involved in the development of the dura mater and the etiology of SEDAC.

Enjoji M, Kohjima M, Ohtsu K, et al.
Intracellular mechanisms underlying lipid accumulation (white opaque substance) in gastric epithelial neoplasms: A pilot study of expression profiles of lipid-metabolism-associated genes.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016; 31(4):776-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: White opaque substance (WOS) is a novel endoscopic finding in gastric neoplasms, indicating the intracellular accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs). However, gastric lipid metabolism has not been extensively investigated, even in normal mucosa. We investigated the expression profiles of lipid-metabolism-associated genes in gastric neoplasms.
METHODS: Thirty-four patients with early gastric cancer or adenoma were enrolled in this study. Paired biopsy samples from tumor and adjacent non-tumor areas were obtained and analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Endoscopically resected specimens were evaluated histopathologically.
RESULTS: Genes associated with β-oxidation (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, and hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase), lipoprotein excretion (apolipoprotein B, microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, and acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 2), fatty acid transport (fatty acid-binding protein), construction of triglycerides in the endoplasmic reticulum (acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1), and LD degradation/lipolysis (comparative gene identification-58, adipose triglyceride lipase) were significantly downregulated in neoplasms compared with non-tumor areas. Pyruvate dehydrogenase lipoamide kinase isozyme 4 (negative regulator of glycolysis) and adipophilin (LD surface component) were also repressed. Conversely, expression levels of genes associated with de novo lipogenesis (sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c, acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2) were significantly enhanced in neoplasms. There was no significant difference in gene expression levels between carcinomas and adenomas, or between WOS-positive and WOS-negative neoplasms.
CONCLUSION: Gene expression profiles in neoplasms suggest a predominance of lipid storage (lipogenesis/LD formation) over consumption (β-oxidation/excretion/lipolysis). Lipid accumulation and WOS in gastric epithelial neoplasms may be caused by impaired mitochondrial oxidation, lipoprotein excretion, and LD degradation.

Zhu KP, Zhang CL, Shen GQ, Zhu ZS
Long noncoding RNA expression profiles of the doxorubicin-resistant human osteosarcoma cell line MG63/DXR and its parental cell line MG63 as ascertained by microarray analysis.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(8):8754-73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging in molecular biology as crucial regulators of cancer. The efficacy of doxorubicin--based chemotherapy in osteosarcoma (OS) is usually limited by acquired drug resistance. To explore the mechanism of chemoresistance of OS in terms of lncRNA, using a human lncRNA-mRNA combined microarray, we identified 3,465 lncRNAs (1,761 up and 1,704 down) and 3,278 mRNAs (1,607 up and 1,671 down) aberrantly expressed in all three sets of doxorubicin-resistant MG63/DXR and their paired parental MG63 cells (fold-change >2.0, P<0.05 and FDR <0.05). Fifteen randomly selected lncRNAs were dysregulated in MG63/DXR cells relative to MG63 cells by qRT-PCR detection, which were consistent with our microarray data. Bioinformatics analysis identified that classical genes and pathways involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and drug metabolism were differently expressed in these cell lines. A lncRNA-mRNA co-expression network identified lncRNAs, including ENST00000563280 and NR-036444, may play a critical role in doxorubicin-resistance of OS by interacting with important genes such as ABCB1, HIF1A and FOXC2. Besides, we found that lncRNA ENST00000563280 was distinctly increased in specimens of OS patients with a poor chemoresponse compared to those with a good chemoresponse and the patients of lower expression of it may survive longer than those of higher expression, which suggest that it may serve as a biomarker to predict the chemoresponse and prognosis of osteosarcoma patients. These results provide important insights about the lncRNAs involved in osteosarcoma chemoresistance and lay a solid foundation for uncovering the mechanism ultimately.

Brown AL, Lupo PJ, Okcu MF, et al.
SOD2 genetic variant associated with treatment-related ototoxicity in cisplatin-treated pediatric medulloblastoma.
Cancer Med. 2015; 4(11):1679-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), encoded by the SOD2 gene, is involved in the detoxification of superoxide anion. Superoxide is likely a source of oxidative stress in the cochlea following treatment with platinum agents and radiation. Therefore, we examined SOD2 variants in association with ototoxicity among cisplatin-treated childhood medulloblastoma patients. Blood samples were obtained from 71 eligible patients treated for pediatric medulloblastoma at Texas Children's Cancer Center (1987-2010). Ototoxicity was defined as requiring the use of a hearing aid sometime after the initiation of therapy. DNA was genotyped on the Illumina HumanOmni-1 Quad BeadChip. A linkage disequilibrium (LD)-based single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) selection strategy was used to identify a minimal set of informative variants. Associations between SNPs and ototoxicity were assessed using logistic regression. Of the 71 eligible patients, 26 (37%) suffered from cisplatin-related ototoxicity. Study participants were primarily male (73%) and non-Hispanic white (42%). Five SOD2 variants (rs7855, rs5746151, rs5746136, rs2758331, and rs4880) identified by the LD-based selection strategy were genotyped. After correcting for multiple comparisons, the C-allele of the rs4880 variant was significantly associated with ototoxicity (odds ratio = 3.06, 95% confidence interval: 1.30-7.20) in adjusted models. The rs4880 T > C substitution results in a Val > Ala amino acid change at position 16 of the MnSOD mitochondrial targeting sequence. The Ala variant, which has been associated with increased MnSOD activity, was associated with hearing damage in this study. Platinum-based therapies increase the expression of MnSOD, which may result in an abundance of hydrogen peroxide, a reactive oxygen species. Therefore, oxidative stress may be an important mechanism in therapy-related cochlear damage.

Ke J, Lou J, Chen X, et al.
Identification of a Potential Regulatory Variant for Colorectal Cancer Risk Mapping to Chromosome 5q31.1: A Post-GWAS Study.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0138478 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have established chromosome 5q31.1 as a susceptibility locus for colorectal cancer (CRC), which was still lack of causal genetic variants. We searched potentially regulatory single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the overlap region between linkage disequilibrium (LD) block of 5q31.1 and regulatory elements predicted by histone modifications, then tested their association with CRC via a case-control study. Among three candidate common variants, we found rs17716310 conferred significantly (heterozygous model: OR = 1.273, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) = 1.016-1.595, P = 0.036) and marginally (dominant model: OR = 1.238, 95%CI = 1.000-1.532, P = 0.050) increase risk for CRC in a Chinese population including 695 cases and 709 controls. This variation was suggested to be regulatory altering the activity of enhancer that control PITX1 expression. Using epigenetic information such as chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) data might help researchers to interpret the results of GWAS and locate causal variants for diseases in post-GWAS era.

Song X, You W, Zhu J, et al.
A Genetic Variant in miRNA-219-1 Is Associated with Risk of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chinese Kazakhs.
Dis Markers. 2015; 2015:541531 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Esophageal cancer (EC), an aggressive digestive tract malignancy, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Besides environmental risk factors, genetic factors might play a key role in the EC carcinogenesis. The aim of the study is to evaluate the association of miR219-1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with EC.
METHODS: A total of 248 Kazakh esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cases and 300 frequency-matched control subjects were recruited for this study. Genomic DNA was isolated from the samples. The miR-219-1 rs107822G > A and rs213210T > C genotypes were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Linkage disequilibrium (LD) and haplotype analysis were used to detect the degree of association on miR-219-1 rs107822 and rs213210. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect miR-219-1 expression with miR-219-1 rs107822 polymorphism.
RESULT: The SNP rs107822G > A in the miR-219-1 gene decreased the risk of Kazakh ESCC. Furthermore, two miR-219-1 SNPs, namely, rs107822 and rs213210, may tag each other to decrease the risk of Kazakh ESCC. These findings indicated that functional polymorphisms miR-219-1 rs107822G > A might change individual susceptibility to Kazakh ESCC.

Guo X, Long J, Zeng C, et al.
Fine-scale mapping of the 4q24 locus identifies two independent loci associated with breast cancer risk.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015; 24(11):1680-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A recent association study identified a common variant (rs9790517) at 4q24 to be associated with breast cancer risk. Independent association signals and potential functional variants in this locus have not been explored.
METHODS: We conducted a fine-mapping analysis in 55,540 breast cancer cases and 51,168 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
RESULTS: Conditional analyses identified two independent association signals among women of European ancestry, represented by rs9790517 [conditional P = 2.51 × 10(-4); OR, 1.04; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.07] and rs77928427 (P = 1.86 × 10(-4); OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07). Functional annotation using data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project revealed two putative functional variants, rs62331150 and rs73838678 in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with rs9790517 (r(2) ≥ 0.90) residing in the active promoter or enhancer, respectively, of the nearest gene, TET2. Both variants are located in DNase I hypersensitivity and transcription factor-binding sites. Using data from both The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium (METABRIC), we showed that rs62331150 was associated with level of expression of TET2 in breast normal and tumor tissue.
CONCLUSION: Our study identified two independent association signals at 4q24 in relation to breast cancer risk and suggested that observed association in this locus may be mediated through the regulation of TET2.
IMPACT: Fine-mapping study with large sample size warranted for identification of independent loci for breast cancer risk.

Zhang L, Zhu Z, Wu H, Wang K
Association between SNP309 and del1518 Polymorphism in MDM2 Homologue and Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Risk in Chinese Population of Shandong Province.
Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2015; 45(4):433-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Murine double-minute 2 homologue (MDM2) is a key negative regulator of p53. Polymorphisms in the promoter region were shown to alter the gene activity and/or function, suggesting a possible role in carcinogenesis.
OBJECTIVE AND METHOD: The current study aims to investigate the association of SNP309 and del1518 polymorphisms as well as their haplotypes in MDM2 with the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in the Chinese population. This study included 132 patients with ESCC and 132 age-matched healthy controls. Genotyping was performed by RFLP-PCR analysis. Genotypic and allelic frequencies were then evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software.
RESULTS: The frequency of the GG genotype of SNP309 was 10.61% for controls and 18.94% for cases. A significant difference was detected between the two groups (odds ratio [OR] 2.27; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04-4.97; p=0.04). The linkage disequilibrium (LD) existed between SNP309 and del 1518(D'=0.68) in MDM2. Compared with "T-" haplotype, the "G+" haplotype can significantly increase the risk of ESCC (OR=1.65; 95% CI:1.09-2.51; p=0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: MDM2 SNP309 polymorphisms and SNP309G-del1518+ haplotype may significantly contribute to genetic susceptibility to ESCC in the Chinese population.

Kanda M, Shimizu D, Fujii T, et al.
Function and diagnostic value of Anosmin-1 in gastric cancer progression.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(3):721-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is a major global health problem that urgently requires novel molecular biomarkers for patient stratification as well as therapeutic targets. Anosmin-1 (ANOS1) gene encodes a cell adhesion molecule that plays diverse roles in multiple malignancies. We performed global expression profiling of GC cell lines and small interfering RNA (siRNA) experiments to determine the effect of ANOS1 expression on phenotype. We evaluated the association of ANOS1 mRNA and protein levels in patients' tissue and sera with clinicopathological factors of GC subtypes. Differential expression of ANOS1 mRNA by GC cell lines correlated positively to levels of ITGAV, FOXC2 and NODAL mRNAs and inversely with those of TFPI2. Inhibiting ANOS1 expression decreased the proliferation, invasion and migration of GC cells. The mean level of ANOS1 mRNA was significantly higher in 237 GC tissues compared with the corresponding noncancerous adjacent tissues. Elevated ANOS1 levels associated significantly with the phenotypes of GC, shorter disease-free and overall survival. ANOS1 expression was a more significant prognostic marker for diffuse and distal nondiffuse GC. ANOS1 concentrations in sera increased sequentially in sera of healthy subjects, localized GC and disseminated GCs. Prognosis was worse for patients with preoperative serum ANOS1 ≥ 600 pg/ml compared with those with <600 pg/ml. ANOS1 may represent a biomarker for GC phenotypes and as a target for therapy.

Cai J, Tian AX, Wang QS, et al.
FOXF2 suppresses the FOXC2-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition and multidrug resistance of basal-like breast cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 367(2):129-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Forkhead box (FOX) F2 and FOXC2 belong to the FOX transcription factor superfamily. FOXC2 is recognized as an inducer of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and its overexpression promotes basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) metastasis. Our previous study demonstrated that FOXF2 functions as an EMT suppressor and that FOXF2 deficiency promotes BLBC metastasis. However, the relationship between the opposite EMT-related transcription factors FOXF2 and FOXC2 remains unknown. Here, we found that FOXF2 directly targets FOXC2 to negatively regulate FOXC2 transcription in BLBC cells. Functionally, we observed that FOXC2 mediates the FOXF2-regulated EMT phenotype, aggressive behavior, and multiple chemotherapy drug resistance of BLBC cells. Additionally, we detected a significant negative correlation between the FOXF2 and FOXC2 mRNA levels in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) tissues. TNBC patients in the FOXF2high/FOXC2low and FOXF2low/FOXC2high groups exhibited the best and worst disease-free survival (DFS), respectively, whereas the patients in the FOXF2high/FOXC2high and FOXF2low/FOXC2low groups exhibited moderate DFS. In summary, we found that FOXF2 transcriptionally targets FOXC2 and suppresses EMT and multidrug resistance by negatively regulating the transcription of FOXC2 in BLBC cells. The combined expression levels of FOXF2 and FOXC2 mRNA might serve as an effective prognostic indicator and could guide tailored therapy for TNBC or BLBC patients.

Mego M, Cierna Z, Janega P, et al.
Relationship between circulating tumor cells and epithelial to mesenchymal transition in early breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:533 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) play a crucial role in tumor dissemination and are an independent survival predictor in breast cancer (BC) patients. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. The aim of this study was to assess correlation between CTCs and expression of EMT transcription factors TWIST1 and SLUG in breast tumor tissue.
METHODS: This study included 102 early BC patients treated by primary surgery. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were depleted of hematopoietic cells using RossetteSep™ negative selection kit. RNA extracted from CD45-depleted PBMC was interrogated for expression of EMT (TWIST1, SNAIL1, SLUG, FOXC2 and ZEB1) and epithelial (KRT19) gene transcripts by qRT-PCR. Expression of TWIST1 and SLUG in surgical specimens was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and quantified by multiplicative score.
RESULTS: CTCs were detected in 24.5 % patients. CTCs exhibiting only epithelial markers were present in 8.8 % patients, whereas CTCs with only EMT markers were observed in 12.8 % of pts and CTCs co-expressing both markers were detected in 2.9 % pts. We observed lack of correlation between CTCs and expression of TWIST1 and SLUG in breast cancer cells or cancer associated stroma. Lack of correlation was observed for epithelial CTCs as well as for CTCs with EMT.
CONCLUSIONS: In this translational study, we showed a lack of association between CTCs and expression of EMT-inducing transcription factors, TWIST1 and SLUG, in breast tumor tissue. Despite the fact that EMT is involved in cancer invasion and metastasis our results suggest, that expression of EMT proteins in unselected tumor tissue is not surrogate marker of CTCs with either mesenchymal or epithelial features.

Chen H, Qi X, Qiu P, Zhao J
Correlation between LSP1 polymorphisms and the susceptibility to breast cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(5):5798-802 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed at assessing the relationship between Leukocyte-specific protein 1 gene (LSP1) polymorphisms (rs569550 and rs592373) and the pathogenesis of breast cancer (BC).
METHODS: 70 BC patients and 72 healthy subjects were enrolled in the study. Rs569550 and rs592373 polymorphisms were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated by the chi-squared test to assess the relationship between LSP1 polymorphisms and BC risk. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) and haplotypes were also analyzed by HaploView software.
RESULTS: Genotype distribution of the control was in accordance with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). The homozygous genotype TT and T allele of rs569550 could significantly increase the risk of BC (TT vs. GG: OR=3.17, 95% CI=1.23-8.91; T vs. G: OR=1.63, 95% CI=1.01-2.64). For rs592373, mutation homozygous genotype CC and C allele were significantly associated with BC susceptibility (CC vs. TT: OR=4.45, 95% CI=1.38-14.8; C vs. T: OR=1.70, 95% CI=1.03-2.81). LD and haplotypes analysis of rs569550 and rs592373 polymorphisms showed that T-C haplotype was a risk factor for BC (T-C vs. G-T: OR=1.74, 95% CI=1.04-2.92).
CONCLUSION: LSP1 rs569550 and rs592373 polymorphisms are both risk factors for BC.

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