Gene Summary

Gene:FRZB; frizzled related protein
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a secreted protein that is involved in the regulation of bone development. Defects in this gene are a cause of female-specific osteoarthritis (OA) susceptibility. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:secreted frizzled-related protein 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: FRZB (cancer-related)

Holzer K, Ori A, Cooke A, et al.
Nucleoporin Nup155 is part of the p53 network in liver cancer.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2147 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer-relevant signalling pathways rely on bidirectional nucleocytoplasmic transport events through the nuclear pore complex (NPC). However, mechanisms by which individual NPC components (Nups) participate in the regulation of these pathways remain poorly understood. We discover by integrating large scale proteomics, polysome fractionation and a focused RNAi approach that Nup155 controls mRNA translation of p21 (CDKN1A), a key mediator of the p53 response. The underlying mechanism involves transcriptional regulation of the putative tRNA and rRNA methyltransferase FTSJ1 by Nup155. Furthermore, we observe that Nup155 and FTSJ1 are p53 repression targets and accordingly find a correlation between the p53 status, Nup155 and FTSJ1 expression in murine and human hepatocellular carcinoma. Our data suggest an unanticipated regulatory network linking translational control by and repression of a structural NPC component modulating the p53 pathway through its effectors.

Zhou Y, Gerrard DL, Wang J, et al.
Temporal dynamic reorganization of 3D chromatin architecture in hormone-induced breast cancer and endocrine resistance.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1522 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent studies have demonstrated that chromatin architecture is linked to the progression of cancers. However, the roles of 3D structure and its dynamics in hormone-dependent breast cancer and endocrine resistance are largely unknown. Here we report the dynamics of 3D chromatin structure across a time course of estradiol (E2) stimulation in human estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive breast cancer cells. We identified subsets of temporally highly dynamic compartments predominantly associated with active open chromatin and found that these highly dynamic compartments showed higher alteration in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. Remarkably, these compartments are characterized by active chromatin states, and enhanced ERα binding but decreased transcription factor CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) binding. We finally identified a set of ERα-bound promoter-enhancer looping genes enclosed within altered domains that are enriched with cancer invasion, aggressiveness or metabolism signaling pathways. This large-scale analysis expands our understanding of high-order temporal chromatin reorganization underlying hormone-dependent breast cancer.

López C, Kleinheinz K, Aukema SM, et al.
Genomic and transcriptomic changes complement each other in the pathogenesis of sporadic Burkitt lymphoma.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1459 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is the most common B-cell lymphoma in children. Within the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), we performed whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of 39 sporadic BL. Here, we unravel interaction of structural, mutational, and transcriptional changes, which contribute to MYC oncogene dysregulation together with the pathognomonic IG-MYC translocation. Moreover, by mapping IGH translocation breakpoints, we provide evidence that the precursor of at least a subset of BL is a B-cell poised to express IGHA. We describe the landscape of mutations, structural variants, and mutational processes, and identified a series of driver genes in the pathogenesis of BL, which can be targeted by various mechanisms, including IG-non MYC translocations, germline and somatic mutations, fusion transcripts, and alternative splicing.

Fritz AJ, Gillis NE, Gerrard DL, et al.
Higher order genomic organization and epigenetic control maintain cellular identity and prevent breast cancer.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2019; 58(7):484-499 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
Cells establish and sustain structural and functional integrity of the genome to support cellular identity and prevent malignant transformation. In this review, we present a strategic overview of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms including histone modifications and higher order chromatin organization (HCO) that are perturbed in breast cancer onset and progression. Implications for dysfunctions that occur in hormone regulation, cell cycle control, and mitotic bookmarking in breast cancer are considered, with an emphasis on epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell activities. The architectural organization of regulatory machinery is addressed within the contexts of translating cancer-compromised genomic organization to advances in breast cancer risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, and identification of novel therapeutic targets with high specificity and minimal off target effects.

Haikala HM, Anttila JM, Marques E, et al.
Pharmacological reactivation of MYC-dependent apoptosis induces susceptibility to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):620 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
Elevated MYC expression sensitizes tumor cells to apoptosis but the therapeutic potential of this mechanism remains unclear. We find, in a model of MYC-driven breast cancer, that pharmacological activation of AMPK strongly synergizes with BCL-2/BCL-X

Dietrich P, Gaza A, Wormser L, et al.
Neuroblastoma RAS Viral Oncogene Homolog (NRAS) Is a Novel Prognostic Marker and Contributes to Sorafenib Resistance in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Neoplasia. 2019; 21(3):257-268 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
Inhibition of the RAS-RAF-ERK-pathway using sorafenib as a first-line and regorafenib as a second-line treatment approach is the only effective therapeutic strategy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recent studies suggest that wild-type KRAS and HRAS isoforms could majorly contribute to HCC progression and sorafenib resistance. In contrast, the role of neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog (NRAS) in HCC remained elusive. In this study, wild-type NRAS was found to be overexpressed in HCC cell lines, preclinical HCC models, and human HCC tissues. Moreover, NRAS overexpression correlated with poor survival and proliferation in vivo. However, si-RNA-pool-mediated NRAS knockdown showed only slight effects on HCC proliferation, clonogenicity, and AKT activity. We determined that KRAS upregulation served as a functional compensatory mechanism in the absence of NRAS, which was overcome by combined inhibition of NRAS and KRAS in HCC cells. Furthermore, NRAS expression was elevated in sorafenib-resistant compared to nonresistant HCC cells, and NRAS knockdown enhanced sorafenib efficacy in resistant cells. In summary, NRAS appears to be a prognostic marker in HCC and contributes to sorafenib resistance. Regarding potential therapeutic strategies, NRAS inhibition in HCC should be combined with KRAS inhibition to prevent KRAS-mediated rescue effects.

Desjobert C, Carrier A, Delmas A, et al.
Demethylation by low-dose 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine impairs 3D melanoma invasion partially through miR-199a-3p expression revealing the role of this miR in melanoma.
Clin Epigenetics. 2019; 11(1):9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Efficient treatments against metastatic melanoma dissemination are still lacking. Here, we report that low-cytotoxic concentrations of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, a DNA demethylating agent, prevent in vitro 3D invasiveness of metastatic melanoma cells and reduce lung metastasis formation in vivo.
RESULTS: We unravelled that this beneficial effect is in part due to MIR-199A2 re-expression by promoter demethylation. Alone, this miR showed an anti-invasive and anti-metastatic effect. Throughout integration of micro-RNA target prediction databases with transcriptomic analysis after 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatments, we found that miR-199a-3p downregulates set of genes significantly involved in invasion/migration processes. In addition, analysis of data from melanoma patients showed a stage- and tissue type-dependent modulation of MIR-199A2 expression by DNA methylation.
CONCLUSIONS: Thus, our data suggest that epigenetic- and/or miR-based therapeutic strategies can be relevant to limit metastatic dissemination of melanoma.

Schultz K, Grieger Lindner C, Li Y, et al.
Gamma secretase dependent release of the CD44 cytoplasmic tail upregulates IFI16 in cd44-/- tumor cells, MEFs and macrophages.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(12):e0207358 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
The adhesion molecule and co-receptor of receptor tyrosine kinases, CD44, is expressed in all cells of the immune system, but also in numerous non-immune cells. CD44 plays roles in the cellular response to different pathogens. The molecular actions of CD44 during these processes are by and large still unknown. The CD44 molecule undergoes a sequential proteolytic cleavage which leads to the release of a soluble intracellular domain (CD44-ICD). Previous reports had shown that the CD44-ICD is taken up into the nucleus where it enhances transcription of specific target genes. By RNA profiling we identified a CD44-dependent transcriptional increase of interferon-responsive genes, among them IFI16. IFI16 is important in the innate immune response. It senses and binds pathogenic DNA and, together with cGAS, activates the cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway and induces the expression of genes relevant for the response, e.g. IFN-β. Our results show that the enhancement of IFI16 expression depended on CD44 cleavage. A CD44-negative tumor cell line, embryonic fibroblasts and bone marrow-derived macrophages from cd44-/- mice were reduced in their response to IFN-γ, to viral DNA fragments and to Listeria monocytogenes infection. We could rescue the deficiency of CD44 negative RPM-MC cells and cd44-/- MEFs by expressing only the soluble CD44-ICD in the absence of any other CD44 domain. Expression of the CD44-ICD carrying a mutation that prevented the uptake into the nucleus, could not rescue the absence of CD44. This molecular aspect of regulation by CD44 may explain part of the immune phenotypes of mice with cd44 gene disruption.

Ratnaparkhe M, Wong JKL, Wei PC, et al.
Defective DNA damage repair leads to frequent catastrophic genomic events in murine and human tumors.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4760 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
Chromothripsis and chromoanasynthesis are catastrophic events leading to clustered genomic rearrangements. Whole-genome sequencing revealed frequent complex genomic rearrangements (n = 16/26) in brain tumors developing in mice deficient for factors involved in homologous-recombination-repair or non-homologous-end-joining. Catastrophic events were tightly linked to Myc/Mycn amplification, with increased DNA damage and inefficient apoptotic response already observable at early postnatal stages. Inhibition of repair processes and comparison of the mouse tumors with human medulloblastomas (n = 68) and glioblastomas (n = 32) identified chromothripsis as associated with MYC/MYCN gains and with DNA repair deficiencies, pointing towards therapeutic opportunities to target DNA repair defects in tumors with complex genomic rearrangements.

Elster D, Tollot M, Schlegelmilch K, et al.
TRPS1 shapes YAP/TEAD-dependent transcription in breast cancer cells.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):3115 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
Yes-associated protein (YAP), the downstream transducer of the Hippo pathway, is a key regulator of organ size, differentiation and tumorigenesis. To uncover Hippo-independent YAP regulators, we performed a genome-wide CRISPR screen that identifies the transcriptional repressor protein Trichorhinophalangeal Syndrome 1 (TRPS1) as a potent repressor of YAP-dependent transactivation. We show that TRPS1 globally regulates YAP-dependent transcription by binding to a large set of joint genomic sites, mainly enhancers. TRPS1 represses YAP-dependent function by recruiting a spectrum of corepressor complexes to joint sites. Loss of TRPS1 leads to activation of enhancers due to increased H3K27 acetylation and an altered promoter-enhancer interaction landscape. TRPS1 is commonly amplified in breast cancer, which suggests that restrained YAP activity favours tumour growth. High TRPS1 activity is associated with decreased YAP activity and leads to decreased frequency of tumour-infiltrating immune cells. Our study uncovers TRPS1 as an epigenetic regulator of YAP activity in breast cancer.

Hong D, Fritz AJ, Finstad KH, et al.
Suppression of Breast Cancer Stem Cells and Tumor Growth by the RUNX1 Transcription Factor.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(12):1952-1964 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Breast cancer remains the most common malignant disease in women worldwide. Despite advances in detection and therapies, studies are still needed to understand the mechanisms underlying this cancer. Cancer stem cells (CSC) play an important role in tumor formation, growth, drug resistance, and recurrence. Here, it is demonstrated that the transcription factor RUNX1, well known as essential for hematopoietic differentiation, represses the breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) phenotype and suppresses tumor growth

Vasudevan S, Flashner-Abramson E, Remacle F, et al.
Personalized disease signatures through information-theoretic compaction of big cancer data.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(30):7694-7699 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Every individual cancer develops and grows in its own specific way, giving rise to a recognized need for the development of personalized cancer diagnostics. This suggested that the identification of patient-specific oncogene markers would be an effective diagnostics approach. However, tumors that are classified as similar according to the expression levels of certain oncogenes can eventually demonstrate divergent responses to treatment. This implies that the information gained from the identification of tumor-specific biomarkers is still not sufficient. We present a method to quantitatively transform heterogeneous big cancer data to patient-specific transcription networks. These networks characterize the unbalanced molecular processes that deviate the tissue from the normal state. We study a number of datasets spanning five different cancer types, aiming to capture the extensive interpatient heterogeneity that exists within a specific cancer type as well as between cancers of different origins. We show that a relatively small number of altered molecular processes suffices to accurately characterize over 500 tumors, showing extreme compaction of the data. Every patient is characterized by a small specific subset of unbalanced processes. We validate the result by verifying that the processes identified characterize other cancer patients as well. We show that different patients may display similar oncogene expression levels, albeit carrying biologically distinct tumors that harbor different sets of unbalanced molecular processes. Thus, tumors may be inaccurately classified and addressed as similar. These findings highlight the need to expand the notion of tumor-specific oncogenic biomarkers to patient-specific, comprehensive transcriptional networks for improved patient-tailored diagnostics.

Pichler R, Fritz J, Lackner F, et al.
Prognostic Value of Testing PD-L1 Expression After Radical Cystectomy in High-risk Patients.
Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2018; 16(5):e1015-e1024 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The use of cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after radical cystectomy (RC) is a highly controversial issue and has been infrequently used owing to the high rates of postoperative complications, cisplatin ineligibility, and lack of randomized trials. Checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab, pembrolizumab, or atezolizumab are currently being tested in phase III studies in the adjuvant setting owing to their more favorable safety profile compared with chemotherapy. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether compartmentalization of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in different locations of RC specimens influences recurrence-free survival (RFS) after RC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: PD-L1 expression was quantified on tumor cells and immune cells by immunohistochemistry in 83 "high-risk" patients (stage ≥ pT3a and/or pN+ disease) who had undergone RC without cisplatin-based AC.
RESULTS: PD-L1 (≥ 1%) was expressed on tumor cells in 33 patients (39.8%) and immune cells in 51 patients (61.4%), respectively. PD-L1 positivity on tumor cells was not associated with RFS (P = .455). In contrast, PD-L1
CONCLUSIONS: We have confirmed the high heterogeneity of PD-L1 cell type-dependent expression, with the resulting divergent outcomes. Ultimately, no clear statement about PD-L1 expression as a prognostic biomarker for further AC after RC could be made, although PD-L1 expression on immune cells seemed to have the greatest effect in predicting the outcome.

Bravo D, Salduz A, Shogren KL, et al.
Decreased local and systemic levels of sFRP3 protein in osteosarcoma patients.
Gene. 2018; 674:1-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is a malignant bone tumor that occurs mainly in children and adolescents. Because Wnt signaling has been implicated in the pathogenesis of osteosarcoma, we have investigated the circulating and local levels of the Wnt antagonist protein, Secreted Frizzled Related Protein (sFRP) 3, in osteosarcoma patients. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis of 67 osteosarcoma and age-matched non-diseased control sera showed that sFPR3 protein levels were significantly lower in osteosarcoma than in normal. Analysis of tumor and adjacent normal tissues (9 pairs) from osteosarcoma patients showed a decrease in sFRP3 expression in 5 out of 9 tumor samples compared to normal tissues. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarray revealed a significant decrease in sFRP3 levels in tumor compared to normal bone. RNA sequencing analysis in osteosarcoma cells shows suppression of sFRP3 and concomitant expression of multiple Wnt family members mediating canonical or non-canonical Wnt signaling. Taken together, our findings show that the systemic and local levels of sFRP3 protein are downregulated in osteosarcoma and sFRP3 levels could be explored further in the diagnosis and the care of osteosarcoma patients.

Traditional and systems biology based drug discovery for the rare tumor syndrome neurofibromatosis type 2.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(6):e0197350 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is a rare tumor suppressor syndrome that manifests with multiple schwannomas and meningiomas. There are no effective drug therapies for these benign tumors and conventional therapies have limited efficacy. Various model systems have been created and several drug targets have been implicated in NF2-driven tumorigenesis based on known effects of the absence of merlin, the product of the NF2 gene. We tested priority compounds based on known biology with traditional dose-concentration studies in meningioma and schwann cell systems. Concurrently, we studied functional kinome and gene expression in these cells pre- and post-treatment to determine merlin deficient molecular phenotypes. Cell viability results showed that three agents (GSK2126458, Panobinostat, CUDC-907) had the greatest activity across schwannoma and meningioma cell systems, but merlin status did not significantly influence response. In vivo, drug effect was tumor specific with meningioma, but not schwannoma, showing response to GSK2126458 and Panobinostat. In culture, changes in both the transcriptome and kinome in response to treatment clustered predominantly based on tumor type. However, there were differences in both gene expression and functional kinome at baseline between meningioma and schwannoma cell systems that may form the basis for future selective therapies. This work has created an openly accessible resource ( of fully characterized isogenic schwannoma and meningioma cell systems as well as a rich data source of kinome and transcriptome data from these assay systems before and after treatment that enables single and combination drug discovery based on molecular phenotype.

Dhar D, Antonucci L, Nakagawa H, et al.
Liver Cancer Initiation Requires p53 Inhibition by CD44-Enhanced Growth Factor Signaling.
Cancer Cell. 2018; 33(6):1061-1077.e6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
How fully differentiated cells that experience carcinogenic insults become proliferative cancer progenitors that acquire multiple initiating mutations is not clear. This question is of particular relevance to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which arises from differentiated hepatocytes. Here we show that one solution to this problem is provided by CD44, a hyaluronic acid receptor whose expression is rapidly induced in carcinogen-exposed hepatocytes in a STAT3-dependent manner. Once expressed, CD44 potentiates AKT activation to induce the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Mdm2, which terminates the p53 genomic surveillance response. This allows DNA-damaged hepatocytes to escape p53-induced death and senescence and respond to proliferative signals that promote fixation of mutations and their transmission to daughter cells that go on to become HCC progenitors.

Bahl C, Singh N, Behera D, Sharma S
High-order gene interactions between the genetic polymorphisms in Wnt and AhR pathway in modulating lung cancer susceptibility.
Per Med. 2017; 14(6):487-502 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Genetic variations present within Wnt and AhR pathway might be related to the lung cancer susceptibility.
METHODS: A total of 555 subjects were genotyped using PCR-RFLP technique for polymorphic sites in DKK4, DKK3, DKK2, sFRP3, sFRP4, Axin2 and AhR. Multifactor dimensionality reduction method and classification and regression tree analysis was used.
RESULTS: Overall sFRP4
CONCLUSION: Both DKK2 and sFRP4 polymorphisms are found to play a crucial role; especially for smokers towards modulating risk for lung cancer. AhR variants are contributing maximally toward lung cancer risk.

Li J, Song P, Jiang T, et al.
Heat Shock Factor 1 Epigenetically Stimulates Glutaminase-1-Dependent mTOR Activation to Promote Colorectal Carcinogenesis.
Mol Ther. 2018; 26(7):1828-1839 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) generally exhibits its properties under stress conditions. In tumors, HSF1 has a pleiotropic feature in regulating growth, survival, and aggressiveness of cancer cells. In this study, we found HSF1 was increased in colorectal cancer (CRC) and had a positive correlation with shorter disease-free survival (DFS). Knockdown of HSF1 in CRC cells attenuated their growth while inhibiting mTOR activation and glutamine metabolism. HSF1 inhibited the expression of microRNA137 (MIR137), which targeted GLS1 (glutaminase 1), thus stimulating GLS1 protein expression to promote glutaminolysis and mTOR activation. HSF1 bound DNA methyltransferase DNMT3a and recruited it to the promoter of lncRNA MIR137 host gene (MIR137HG), suppressing the generation of primary MIR137. The chemical inhibitor of HSF1 also reduced cell growth, increased apoptosis, and impaired glutamine metabolism in vitro. Moreover, both chemical inhibition and genetic knockout of HSF1 succeeded in increasing MIR137 expression, reducing GLS1 expression, and alleviating colorectal tumorigenesis in azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) mice. In conclusion, HSF1 expression was increased and associated with poor prognosis in CRC. By recruiting DNMT3a to suppress the expression of MIR137 that targets GLS1 mRNA, HSF1 stimulated GLS1-dependent mTOR activation to promote colorectal carcinogenesis. Therefore, targeting HSF1 to attenuate glutaminolysis and mTOR activation could be a promising approach for CRC treatment.

Sharifi S, Bierhoff H
Regulation of RNA Polymerase I Transcription in Development, Disease, and Aging.
Annu Rev Biochem. 2018; 87:51-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ribosome biogenesis is a complex and highly energy-demanding process that requires the concerted action of all three nuclear RNA polymerases (Pol I-III) in eukaryotes. The three largest ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) originate from a precursor transcript (pre-rRNA) that is encoded by multicopy genes located in the nucleolus. Transcription of these rRNA genes (rDNA) by Pol I is the key regulation step in ribosome production and is tightly controlled by an intricate network of signaling pathways and epigenetic mechanisms. In this article, we give an overview of the composition of the basal Pol I machinery and rDNA chromatin. We discuss rRNA gene regulation in response to environmental signals and developmental cues and focus on perturbations occurring in diseases linked to either excessive or limited rRNA levels. Finally, we discuss the emerging view that rDNA integrity and activity may be involved in the aging process.

Tomin T, Fritz K, Gindlhuber J, et al.
Deletion of Adipose Triglyceride Lipase Links Triacylglycerol Accumulation to a More-Aggressive Phenotype in A549 Lung Carcinoma Cells.
J Proteome Res. 2018; 17(4):1415-1425 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) catalyzes the rate limiting step in triacylglycerol breakdown in adipocytes but is expressed in most tissues. The enzyme was shown to be lost in many human tumors, and its loss may play a role in early stages of cancer development. Here, we report that loss of ATGL supports a more-aggressive cancer phenotype in a model system in which ATGL was deleted in A549 lung cancer cells by CRISPR/Cas9. We observed that loss of ATGL led to triacylglycerol accumulation in lipid droplets and higher levels of cellular phospholipid and bioactive lipid species (lyso- and ether-phospholipids). Label-free quantitative proteomics revealed elevated expression of the pro-oncogene SRC kinase in ATGL depleted cells, which was also found on mRNA level and confirmed on protein level by Western blot. Consistently, higher expression of phosphorylated (active) SRC (Y416 phospho-SRC) was observed in ATGL-KO cells. Cells depleted of ATGL migrated faster, which was dependent on SRC kinase activity. We propose that loss of ATGL may thus increase cancer aggressiveness by activation of pro-oncogenic signaling via SRC kinase and increased levels of bioactive lipids.

Aramillo Irizar P, Schäuble S, Esser D, et al.
Transcriptomic alterations during ageing reflect the shift from cancer to degenerative diseases in the elderly.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):327 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
Disease epidemiology during ageing shows a transition from cancer to degenerative chronic disorders as dominant contributors to mortality in the old. Nevertheless, it has remained unclear to what extent molecular signatures of ageing reflect this phenomenon. Here we report on the identification of a conserved transcriptomic signature of ageing based on gene expression data from four vertebrate species across four tissues. We find that ageing-associated transcriptomic changes follow trajectories similar to the transcriptional alterations observed in degenerative ageing diseases but are in opposite direction to the transcriptomic alterations observed in cancer. We confirm the existence of a similar antagonism on the genomic level, where a majority of shared risk alleles which increase the risk of cancer decrease the risk of chronic degenerative disorders and vice versa. These results reveal a fundamental trade-off between cancer and degenerative ageing diseases that sheds light on the pronounced shift in their epidemiology during ageing.

Gunes C, Avila AI, Rudolph KL
Telomeres in cancer.
Differentiation. 2018 Jan - Feb; 99:41-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Telomere shortening as a consequence of cell divisions during aging and chronic diseases associates with an increased cancer risk. Experimental data revealed that telomere shortening results in telomere dysfunction, which in turn affects tumorigenesis in two ways. First, telomere dysfunction suppresses tumor progression by the activation of DNA damage checkpoints, which induce cell cycle arrest (senescence) or apoptosis, as well as by inducing metabolic compromise and activation of immune responses directed against senescent cells. Second, telomere dysfunction promotes tumorigenesis by inducing chromosomal instability in tumor initiating cells, by inhibiting proliferative competition of non-transformed cells, and possibly, also by influencing tumor cell plasticity. The tumor promoting effects of telomere dysfunction are context dependent and require the loss of p53-dependent DNA damage checkpoints or other genetic modifiers that attenuate DNA damage responses possibly involving complex interactions of different genes. The activation of telomere stabilizing mechanisms appears as a subsequent step, which is required to enable immortal grotwh of emerging cancer cells. Here, we conceptually discuss our current knowledge and new, unpublished experimental data on telomere dependent influences on tumor initiation and progression.

Pereira TDSF, Diniz MG, França JA, et al.
The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is deregulated in cemento-ossifying fibromas.
Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2018; 125(2):172-178 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The molecular pathogenesis of cemento ossifying fibroma (COF) is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate mutations in 50 oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, including APC and CTNNB1, in which mutations in COF have been previously reported. In addition, we assessed the transcriptional levels of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes in COF.
STUDY DESIGN: We used a quantitative polymerase chain reaction array to evaluate the transcriptional levels of 44 Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes in 6 COF samples, in comparison with 6 samples of healthy jaws. By using next-generation sequencing (NGS) in 7 COF samples, we investigated approximately 2800 mutations in 50 genes.
RESULTS: The expression assay revealed 12 differentially expressed Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes in COF, including the upregulation of CTNNB1, TCF7, NKD1, and WNT5 A, and downregulation of CTNNBIP1, FRZB, FZD6, RHOU, SFRP4, WNT10 A, WNT3 A, and WNT4, suggesting activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. NGS revealed 5 single nucleotide variants: TP53 (rs1042522), PIK3 CA (rs2230461), MET (rs33917957), KIT (rs3822214), and APC (rs33974176), but none of them was pathogenic.
CONCLUSIONS: Although NGS detected no oncogenic mutation, deregulation of key Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway genes appears to be relevant to the molecular pathogenesis of COF.

Carbone C, Piro G, Gaianigo N, et al.
Adipocytes sustain pancreatic cancer progression through a non-canonical WNT paracrine network inducing ROR2 nuclear shuttling.
Int J Obes (Lond). 2018; 42(3):334-343 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solid epidemiological evidences connect obesity with incidence, stage and survival in pancreatic cancer. However, the underlying mechanistic basis linking adipocytes to pancreatic cancer progression remain largely elusive. We hypothesized that factors secreted by adipocytes could be responsible for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induction and, in turn, a more aggressive phenotype in models of pancreatic preneoplastic lesions.
METHODS: We studied the role of factors secreted by two adipogenic model systems from primary human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) in an in vitro experimental cell transformation model system of human pancreatic ductal epithelial (HPDE) cell stably expressing activated KRAS (HPDE/KRAS),Results:We measured a significant induction of EMT and aggressiveness in HPDE and HPDE/KRAS cell lines when cultured with medium conditioned by fully differentiated adipocytes (ADIPO
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that adipocytes could induce EMT and aggressiveness in models of pancreatic preneoplastic lesions by orchestrating a complex paracrine signaling of soluble modulators of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway that determine, in turn, the activation and nuclear translocation of ROR2. This signaling pathway could represent a novel target for pancreatic cancer chemoprevention. Most importantly, these factors could serve as novel biomarkers to select a risk population among obese subjects for screening and, thus, early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Marx C, Marx-Blümel L, Lindig N, et al.
The sirtuin 1/2 inhibitor tenovin-1 induces a nonlinear apoptosis-inducing factor-dependent cell death in a p53 null Ewing's sarcoma cell line.
Invest New Drugs. 2018; 36(3):396-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
The sirtuin 1/2 inhibitor tenovin-1 activates p53 and may have potential in the management of cancer. Here, we investigated the responsiveness of Ewing's sarcoma cells to tenovin-1. We examined its effects in two Ewing's sarcoma cell lines with different p53 status, i.e. in p53 wild-type and p53 null cells. Effects were assessed by flow cytometric analyses of cell death, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, by caspase 3/7 activity measurement, by mRNA expression profiling and by immunoblotting. Tenovin-1 elicited caspase-mediated cell death in p53 wild-type cells, but caspase-independent cell death in p53 null cells. Remarkably, it induced a nonlinear concentration response in the latter: low concentrations of tenovin-1 were much more effective than were higher concentrations. Tenovin-1's effects in p53 null cells involved gene expression changes of Bcl-2 family members, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor, ROS formation and DNA damage; all these effects followed a bell-shaped pattern. In conclusion, our results provide new insights into tenovin-1's mode of action by demonstrating that it can induce different pathways of cell death.

Lee S, Liu P, Teinturier R, et al.
Deletion of Menin in craniofacial osteogenic cells in mice elicits development of mandibular ossifying fibroma.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(5):616-626 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ossifying fibroma (OF) is a rare benign tumor of the craniofacial bones that can reach considerable and disfiguring dimensions if left untreated. Although the clinicopathological characteristics of OF are well established, the underlying etiology has remained largely unknown. Our work indicates that Men1-a tumor suppressor gene responsible of Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1-is critical for OF formation and shows that mice with targeted disruption of Men1 in osteoblasts (Men1

Hsieh MH, Chen YT, Chen YT, et al.
PARP1 controls KLF4-mediated telomerase expression in stem cells and cancer cells.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2017; 45(18):10492-10503 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
Telomerase is highly expressed in cancer and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and implicated in controlling genome integrity, cancer formation and stemness. Previous studies identified that Krüppel-like transcription factor 4 (KLF4) activates telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression and contributes to the maintenance of self-renewal in ESCs. However, little is known about how KLF4 regulates TERT expression. Here, we discover poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) as a novel KLF4-interacting partner. Knockdown of PARP1 reduces TERT expression and telomerase activity not only in cancer cells, but also in human and mouse ESCs. Recruitment of KLF4 to TERT promoter is reduced in PARP1-suppressed cells. The poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity is dispensable, while the oligo(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity is required for the PARP1- and KLF4-mediated TERT activation. Repression of Parp1 in mouse ESCs decreases expression of pluripotent markers and induces differentiation. These results suggest that PARP1 recruits KLF4 to activate telomerase expression and stem cell pluripotency, indicating a positive regulatory role of the PARP1-KLF4 complex in telomerase expression in cancer and stem cells.

Knittel G, Rehkämper T, Korovkina D, et al.
Two mouse models reveal an actionable PARP1 dependence in aggressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):153 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains an incurable disease. Two recurrent cytogenetic aberrations, namely del(17p), affecting TP53, and del(11q), affecting ATM, are associated with resistance against genotoxic chemotherapy (del17p) and poor outcome (del11q and del17p). Both del(17p) and del(11q) are also associated with inferior outcome to the novel targeted agents, such as the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib. Thus, even in the era of targeted therapies, CLL with alterations in the ATM/p53 pathway remains a clinical challenge. Here we generated two mouse models of Atm- and Trp53-deficient CLL. These animals display a significantly earlier disease onset and reduced overall survival, compared to controls. We employed these models in conjunction with transcriptome analyses following cyclophosphamide treatment to reveal that Atm deficiency is associated with an exquisite and genotype-specific sensitivity against PARP inhibition. Thus, we generate two aggressive CLL models and provide a preclinical rational for the use of PARP inhibitors in ATM-affected human CLL.ATM and TP53 mutations are associated with poor prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Here the authors generate mouse models of Tp53- and Atm-defective CLL mimicking the high-risk form of human disease and show that Atm-deficient CLL is sensitive to PARP1 inhibition.

McKeown MR, Corces MR, Eaton ML, et al.
Superenhancer Analysis Defines Novel Epigenomic Subtypes of Non-APL AML, Including an RARα Dependency Targetable by SY-1425, a Potent and Selective RARα Agonist.
Cancer Discov. 2017; 7(10):1136-1153 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
We characterized the enhancer landscape of 66 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), identifying 6 novel subgroups and their associated regulatory loci. These subgroups are defined by their superenhancer (SE) maps, orthogonal to somatic mutations, and are associated with distinct leukemic cell states. Examination of transcriptional drivers for these epigenomic subtypes uncovers a subset of patients with a particularly strong SE at the retinoic acid receptor alpha (

Kolb M, Kurz S, Schäfer A, et al.
Verification and characterization of an alternative low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 splice variant.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(6):e0180354 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is a ubiquitously expressed multi-ligand endocytosis receptor implicated in a wide range of signalling, among others in tumour biology. Tumour-associated genomic mutations of the LRP1 gene are described, but nothing is known about cancer-associated expression of LRP1 splice variants Therefore, the focus of this study was on an annotated truncated LRP1 splice variant (BC072015.1; NCBI GenBank), referred to as smLRP1, which was initially identified in prostate and lung carcinoma.
METHODS: Using PCR and quantitative PCR, the expression of LRP1 and smLRP1 in different human tissues and tumour cell lines was screened and compared on tumour biopsies of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Using a recently developed anti-smLRP1 antibody, the expression of the putative LRP1 protein isoform in tumour cell lines in Western blot and immunofluorescence staining was further investigated.
RESULTS: The alternative transcript smLRP1 is ubiquitously expressed in 12 human cell lines of different origin and 22 tissues which is similar to LRP1. A shift in expression of smLRP1 relative to LRP1 towards smLRP1 was observed in most tumour cell lines compared to healthy tissue. The expression of LRP1 as well as smLRP1 is decreased in HNSCC cell lines in comparison to healthy mucosa. In vitro results were checked using primary HNSCC. Furthermore, the expression of the protein isoform smLRP1 (32 kDa) was confirmed in human tumour cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: Similar to LRP1, the truncated splice variant smLRP1 is ubiquitously expressed in healthy human tissues, but altered in tumours pointing to a potential role of smLRP1 in cancer. Comparative results suggest a shift in expression in favour of smLRP1 in tumour cells that warrant further evaluation. The protein isoform is suggested to be secreted.

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