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, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:secreted frizzled-related protein 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (28)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Proteins
  • Staging
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Tumor Markers
  • Gene Silencing
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Osteolysis
  • Glycoproteins
  • Osteoblasts
  • Cell Movement
  • Gene Expression
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Pleural Neoplasms
  • Promoter Regions
  • Down-Regulation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • Epigenetics
  • Apoptosis
  • Transfection
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Transcription
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Young Adult
  • Chromosome 2
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: FRZB (cancer-related)

Rolland T, Taşan M, Charloteaux B, et al.
A proteome-scale map of the human interactome network.
Cell. 2014; 159(5):1212-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Just as reference genome sequences revolutionized human genetics, reference maps of interactome networks will be critical to fully understand genotype-phenotype relationships. Here, we describe a systematic map of ?14,000 high-quality human binary protein-protein interactions. At equal quality, this map is ?30% larger than what is available from small-scale studies published in the literature in the last few decades. While currently available information is highly biased and only covers a relatively small portion of the proteome, our systematic map appears strikingly more homogeneous, revealing a "broader" human interactome network than currently appreciated. The map also uncovers significant interconnectivity between known and candidate cancer gene products, providing unbiased evidence for an expanded functional cancer landscape, while demonstrating how high-quality interactome models will help "connect the dots" of the genomic revolution.

Hájková H, Fritz MH, Haškovec C, et al.
CBFB-MYH11 hypomethylation signature and PBX3 differential methylation revealed by targeted bisulfite sequencing in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
J Hematol Oncol. 2014; 7:66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Studying DNA methylation changes in the context of structural rearrangements and point mutations as well as gene expression changes enables the identification of genes that are important for disease onset and progression in different subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. The aim of this study was to identify differentially methylated genes with potential impact on AML pathogenesis based on the correlation of methylation and expression data.
METHODS: The primary method of studying DNA methylation changes was targeted bisulfite sequencing capturing approximately 84 megabases (Mb) of the genome in 14 diagnostic AML patients and a healthy donors' CD34+ pool. Subsequently, selected DNA methylation changes were confirmed by 454 bisulfite pyrosequencing in a larger cohort of samples. Furthermore, we addressed gene expression by microarray profiling and correlated methylation of regions adjacent to transcription start sites with expression of corresponding genes.
RESULTS: Here, we report a novel hypomethylation pattern, specific to CBFB-MYH11 fusion resulting from inv(16) rearrangement that is associated with genes previously described as upregulated in inv(16) AML. We assume that this hypomethylation and corresponding overexpresion occurs in the genes whose function is important in inv(16) leukemogenesis. Further, by comparing all targeted methylation and microarray expression data, PBX3 differential methylation was found to correlate with its gene expression. PBX3 has been recently shown to be a key interaction partner of HOX genes during leukemogenesis and we revealed higher incidence of relapses in PBX3-overexpressing patients.
CONCLUSIONS: We discovered new genomic regions with aberrant DNA methylation that are associated with expression of genes involved in leukemogenesis. Our results demonstrate the potential of the targeted approach for DNA methylation studies to reveal new regulatory regions.

Lessel D, Vaz B, Halder S, et al.
Mutations in SPRTN cause early onset hepatocellular carcinoma, genomic instability and progeroid features.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(11):1239-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Age-related degenerative and malignant diseases represent major challenges for health care systems. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis and age-associated pathologies is thus of growing biomedical relevance. We identified biallelic germline mutations in SPRTN (also called C1orf124 or DVC1) in three patients from two unrelated families. All three patients are affected by a new segmental progeroid syndrome characterized by genomic instability and susceptibility toward early onset hepatocellular carcinoma. SPRTN was recently proposed to have a function in translesional DNA synthesis and the prevention of mutagenesis. Our in vivo and in vitro characterization of identified mutations has uncovered an essential role for SPRTN in the prevention of DNA replication stress during general DNA replication and in replication-related G2/M-checkpoint regulation. In addition to demonstrating the pathogenicity of identified SPRTN mutations, our findings provide a molecular explanation of how SPRTN dysfunction causes accelerated aging and susceptibility toward carcinoma.

Zadran S, Arumugam R, Herschman H, et al.
Surprisal analysis characterizes the free energy time course of cancer cells undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(36):13235-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) initiates the invasive and metastatic behavior of many epithelial cancers. Mechanisms underlying EMT are not fully known. Surprisal analysis of mRNA time course data from lung and pancreatic cancer cells stimulated to undergo TGF-β1-induced EMT identifies two phenotypes. Examination of the time course for these phenotypes reveals that EMT reprogramming is a multistep process characterized by initiation, maturation, and stabilization stages that correlate with changes in cell metabolism. Surprisal analysis characterizes the free energy time course of the expression levels throughout the transition in terms of two state variables. The landscape of the free energy changes during the EMT for the lung cancer cells shows a stable intermediate state. Existing data suggest this is the previously proposed maturation stage. Using a single-cell ATP assay, we demonstrate that the TGF-β1-induced EMT for lung cancer cells, particularly during the maturation stage, coincides with a metabolic shift resulting in increased cytosolic ATP levels. Surprisal analysis also characterizes the absolute expression levels of the mRNAs and thereby examines the homeostasis of the transcription system during EMT.

Warrier S, Bhuvanalakshmi G, Arfuso F, et al.
Cancer stem-like cells from head and neck cancers are chemosensitized by the Wnt antagonist, sFRP4, by inducing apoptosis, decreasing stemness, drug resistance and epithelial to mesenchymal transition.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2014; 21(9):381-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are defined by high self-renewal and drug refractory potential. Involvement of Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been implicated in rapidly cycling cells such as CSCs, and inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is a novel approach to target CSCs from HNSCC. In this study, we found that an antagonist of FrzB/Wnt, the secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (sFRP4), inhibited the growth of CSCs from two HNSCC cell lines, Hep2 and KB. We enriched the CD44(+) CSC population, and grew them in spheroid cultures. sFRP4 decreased the proliferation and increased the sensitivity of spheroids to a commonly used drug in HNSCC, namely cisplatin. Self-renewal in sphere formation assays decreased upon sFRP4 treatment, and the effect was reverted by the addition of Wnt3a. sFRP4 treatment of spheroids also decreased β-catenin, confirming its action through the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Quantitative PCR demonstrated a clear decrease of the stemness markers CD44 and ALDH, and an increase in CD24 and drug-resistance markers ABCG2 and ABCC4. Furthermore, we found that after sFRP4 treatment, there was a reversal in the expression of epithelial to mesenchymal (EMT) markers with the restoration of the epithelial marker E-cadherin, and depletion of EMT-specific markers twist, snail and N-cadherin. This is the first report demonstrating that the naturally occurring Wnt inhibitor, sFRP4, can be a potential drug to destroy CSC-enriched spheroids from HNSCCs. The repression of EMT and the decrease in stemness profile further strengthen the use of sFRP4 as a potent therapeutic against CSCs.

Partl JZ, Fabijanovic D, Skrtic A, et al.
Immunohistochemical expression of SFRP1 and SFRP3 proteins in normal and malignant reproductive tissues of rats and humans.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2014; 22(9):681-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted frizzled-related proteins 1 and 3 (SFRP1 and SFRP3) act as Wnt signaling pathway antagonists and play an important role in embryonic development and carcinogenesis. The aim of the present study was to analyze immunohistochemically the distribution of 2 SFRP family proteins, SFRP1 and SFRP3, in an experimental rat model, in normal and intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) human placentas, and in a subset of the corresponding human trophoblastic tumors (pure choriocarcinomas and mixed germ cell tumors with choriocarcinoma component). In rats, expression of both SFRP1 and SFRP3 was pronounced in the perimetrium and myometrium, whereas decidual cells showed only occasional positive cytoplasmic staining. The most prominent expression of both proteins was found in blood vessel endothelial cells. Stereological variable of volume density (Vv, mm) showed statistically higher expression of SFRP1 and SFRP3 in human IUGR placentas than in normal pregnancy placentas (P<0.0001). Compared with adjacent normal/benign tissues, reduced expression of SFRP1 and SFRP3 was observed in human trophoblastic tumors (58.5% and 31.25%, respectively), although none of the examined tumors exhibited complete loss of either protein. Our study indicates that increased expression of both SFRP1 and SFRP3 may contribute to the pathogenesis of IUGR placental dysfunction, whereas the loss of these proteins may be involved in the development of human trophoblastic tumors.

Schiefer L, Visweswaran M, Perumal V, et al.
Epigenetic regulation of the secreted frizzled-related protein family in human glioblastoma multiforme.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2014; 21(7):297-303 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are intracranial tumors of the central nervous system and the most lethal among solid tumors. Current therapy is palliative and is limited to surgical resection followed by radiation therapy and temozolomide treatment. Aberrant WNT pathway activation mediates not only cancer cell proliferation but also promotes radiation and chemotherapeutic resistance. WNT antagonists such as the secreted frizzled-related protein (sFRP) family have an ability to sensitize glioma cells to chemotherapeutics, decrease proliferation rate and induce apoptosis. During tumor development, sFRP genes (1-5) are frequently hypermethylated, causing transcriptional silencing. We investigated a possible involvement of methylation-mediated silencing of the sFRP gene family in human GBM using four human glioblastoma cell lines (U87, U138, A172 and LN18). To induce demethylation of the DNA, we inhibited DNA methyltransferases through treatment with 5-azacytidine. Genomic DNA, RNA and total protein were isolated from GBM cells before and after treatment. We utilized bisulfite modification of genomic DNA to examine the methylation status of the respective sFRP promoter regions. Pharmacological demethylation of the GBM cell lines demonstrated a loss of methylation in sFRP promoter regions, as well as an increase in sFRP gene-specific mRNA abundance. Western blot analysis demonstrated an increased protein expression of sFRP-4 and increased levels of phosphorylated-β-catenin. These data indicate an important role of methylation-induced gene silencing of the sFRP gene family in human GBM.

Fritz S, Cassir N, Noudel R, et al.
Postsurgical Pantoea calida meningitis: a case report.
J Med Case Rep. 2014; 8:195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Pantoea calida, a recently described environmental Enterobacteriaceae organism, has not yet been associated with human infection.
CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of postoperative meningitis caused by P. calida. After pituitary adenoma resection, a 52-year-old Caucasian woman developed febrile meningitis confirmed by cerebrospinal fluid analysis. P. calida was grown in pure culture from this fluid and was firmly identified with partial rpoB gene sequencing. She was cured by a 14-day course of meropenem.
CONCLUSIONS: P. calida must be added to the list of opportunistic Enterobacteriaceae pathogens responsible for postsurgical meningitis. It is easily identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

Glibert P, Vossaert L, Van Steendam K, et al.
Quantitative proteomics to characterize specific histone H2A proteolysis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia and the myeloid THP-1 cell line.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(6):9407-21 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Proteome studies on hematological malignancies contribute to the understanding of the disease mechanism and to the identification of new biomarker candidates. With the isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) method we analyzed the protein expression between B-cells of healthy people and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B-cells. CLL is the most common lymphoid cancer of the blood and is characterized by a variable clinical course. By comparing samples of patients with an aggressive vs. indolent disease, we identified a limited list of differentially regulated proteins. The enhanced sensitivity attributed to the iTRAQ labels led to the discovery of a previously reported but still not clarified proteolytic product of histone H2A (cH2A) which we further investigated in light of the suggested functional properties of this modification. In the exploratory proteome study the Histone H2A peptide was up-regulated in CLL samples but a more specific and sensitive screening of a larger patient cohort indicated that cH2A is of myeloid origin. Our subsequent quantitative analysis led to a more profound characterization of the clipping in acute monocytic leukemia THP-1 cells subjected to induced differentiation.

Aberger F, Ruiz I Altaba A
Context-dependent signal integration by the GLI code: the oncogenic load, pathways, modifiers and implications for cancer therapy.
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2014; 33:93-104 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Canonical Hedgehog (HH) signaling leads to the regulation of the GLI code: the sum of all positive and negative functions of all GLI proteins. In humans, the three GLI factors encode context-dependent activities with GLI1 being mostly an activator and GLI3 often a repressor. Modulation of GLI activity occurs at multiple levels, including by co-factors and by direct modification of GLI structure. Surprisingly, the GLI proteins, and thus the GLI code, is also regulated by multiple inputs beyond HH signaling. In normal development and homeostasis these include a multitude of signaling pathways that regulate proto-oncogenes, which boost positive GLI function, as well as tumor suppressors, which restrict positive GLI activity. In cancer, the acquisition of oncogenic mutations and the loss of tumor suppressors - the oncogenic load - regulates the GLI code toward progressively more activating states. The fine and reversible balance of GLI activating GLI(A) and GLI repressing GLI(R) states is lost in cancer. Here, the acquisition of GLI(A) levels above a given threshold is predicted to lead to advanced malignant stages. In this review we highlight the concepts of the GLI code, the oncogenic load, the context-dependency of GLI action, and different modes of signaling integration such as that of HH and EGF. Targeting the GLI code directly or indirectly promises therapeutic benefits beyond the direct blockade of individual pathways.

Fritz AJ, Stojkovic B, Ding H, et al.
Wide-scale alterations in interchromosomal organization in breast cancer cells: defining a network of interacting chromosomes.
Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(19):5133-46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The interchromosomal spatial positionings of a subset of human chromosomes was examined in the human breast cell line MCF10A (10A) and its malignant counterpart MCF10CA1a (CA1a). The nine chromosomes selected (#1, 4, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 21 and X) cover a wide range in size and gene density and compose ∼40% of the total human genome. Radial positioning of the chromosome territories (CT) was size dependent with certain of the CT more peripheral in CA1a. Each CT was in close proximity (interaction) with a similar number of other CT except the inactive CTXi. It had lower levels of interchromosomal partners in 10A which increased strikingly in CA1a. Major alterations from 10A to CA1a were detected in the pairwise interaction profiles which were subdivided into five types of altered interaction profiles: overall increase, overall decrease, switching from 1 to ≥2, vice versa or no change. A global data mining program termed the chromatic median calculated the most probable overall association network for the entire subset of CT. This interchromosomal network was drastically altered in CA1a with only 1 of 20 shared connections. We conclude that CT undergo multiple and preferred interactions with other CT in the cell nucleus and form preferred-albeit probabilistic-interchromosomal networks. This network of interactions is highly altered in malignant human breast cells. It is intriguing to consider the relationship of these alterations to the corresponding changes in the gene expression program of these malignant cancer cells.

Fotinos A, Nagarajan N, Martins AS, et al.
Bone morphogenetic protein-focused strategies to induce cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(5):2095-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 expression in lung carcinoma correlates with poor patient prognosis. The present study explored strategies to repress BMP signaling.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The cytotoxicity of BMP2-knockdown, dorsomorphin derivatives, and microRNAs was tested in transformed and non-transformed lung cells. Microarray analyses of 1,145 microRNAs in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells and two other transformed lung cell types relative to BEAS-2B bronchial epithelial cells were performed.
RESULTS: Reduced BMP2 synthesis inhibited A549 cell growth. The dorsomorphin derivative LDN-193189, but not DMH1 or DMH4, was strongly cytotoxic towards A549 cells, but not towards BEAS-2B cells. Microarray analysis revealed that 106 miRNAs were down-regulated and 69 miRNAs were up-regulated in the three transformed lines. Three down-regulated miRNAs, hsa-mir-34b, hsa-mir-34c-3p, and hsa-miR-486-3p, repressed a BMP2 reporter gene and were cytotoxic in A549 cells, but not towards BEAS-2B cells.
CONCLUSION: The observed cytotoxicity suggests that reducing BMP signaling is a useful line of attack for therapy of lung cancer.

Al-Shabanah OA, Hafez MM, Hassan ZK, et al.
Methylation of SFRPs and APC genes in ovarian cancer infected with high risk human papillomavirus.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(6):2719-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Secreted frizzled-related protein (SFRP) genes, new tumor suppressor genes, are negative regulators of the Wnt pathway whose alteration is associated with various tumors. In ovarian cancer, SFRPs genes promoter methylation can lead to gene inactivation. This study investigated mechanisms of SFRP and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) genes silencing in ovarian cancer infected with high risk human papillomavirus.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA was extracted from 200 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded ovarian cancer and their normal adjacent tissues (NAT) and DNA methylation was detected by methylation specific PCR (MSP). High risk human papillomavirus (HPV) was detected by nested PCR with consensus primers to amplify a broad spectrum of HPV genotypes.
RESULTS: The percentages of SFRP and APC genes with methylation were significantly higher in ovarian cancer tissues infected with high risk HPV compared to NAT. The methylated studied genes were associated with suppression in their gene expression.
CONCLUSION: This finding highlights the possible role of the high risk HPV virus in ovarian carcinogenesis or in facilitating cancer progression by suppression of SFRP and APC genes via DNA methylation.

Romanov VS, Brichkina AI, Morrison H, et al.
Novel mechanism of JNK pathway activation by adenoviral E1A.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(8):2176-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The adenoviral oncoprotein E1A influences cellular regulation by interacting with a number of cellular proteins. In collaboration with complementary oncogenes, E1A fully transforms primary cells. As part of this action, E1A inhibits transcription of c-Jun:Fos target genes while promoting that of c-Jun:ATF2-dependent genes including jun. Both c-Jun and ATF2 are hyperphosphorylated in response to E1A. In the current study, E1A was fused with the ligand binding domain of the estrogen receptor (E1A-ER) to monitor the immediate effect of E1A activation. With this approach we now show that E1A activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), the upstream kinases MKK4 and MKK7, as well as the small GTPase Rac1. Activation of the JNK pathway requires the N-terminal domain of E1A, and, importantly, is independent of transcription. In addition, it requires the presence of ERM proteins. Downregulation of signaling components upstream of JNK inhibits E1A-dependent JNK/c-Jun activation. Taking these findings together, we show that E1A activates the JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway upstream of Rac1 in a transcription-independent manner, demonstrating a novel mechanism of E1A action.

Jahns F, Wilhelm A, Jablonowski N, et al.
Butyrate modulates antioxidant enzyme expression in malignant and non-malignant human colon tissues.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(4):249-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The induction of antioxidant enzymes is an important mechanism in colon cancer chemoprevention, but the response of human colon tissue to butyrate, a gut fermentation product derived from dietary fiber, remains largely unknown. Therefore, our study investigated the effect of a butyrate treatment on catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD2) in matched human colon tissues of different transformation stages (n = 3-15 in each group) ex vivo. By performing quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot, and spectrophotometric measurements, we found an increase in SOD2 at expression and activity level in colonic adenocarcinomas (mRNA: 1.96-fold; protein: 1.41-fold, activity: 1.8-fold; P < 0.05). No difference was detectable for CAT between normal, adenoma, and carcinoma colon tissues. Treatment of normal colon epithelium (12 h) with a physiologically relevant concentration of butyrate (10 mM) resulted in a significant increase (P < 0.05) in CAT mRNA (1.24-fold) and protein (1.39-fold), without affecting the enzymatic activity. Consequently, preliminary experiments failed to show any protective effect of butyrate against H2 O2 -mediated DNA damage. Despite a significantly lowered SOD2 transcript (0.51-fold, P < 0.01) and, to a lesser extent, protein level (0.86-fold) after butyrate exposure of normal colon cells, the catalytic activity was significantly enhanced (1.19-fold, P < 0.05), suggesting an increased protection against tissue superoxide radicals. In malignant tissues, greater variations in response to butyrate were observed. Furthermore, both enzymes showed an age-dependent decrease in activity in normal colon epithelium (CAT: r = -0.49, P = 0.09; SOD2: r = -0.58, P = 0.049). In conclusion, butyrate exhibited potential antioxidant features ex vivo but cellular consequences need to be investigated more in depth.

Qin S, Zhang Z, Li J, Zang L
FRZB knockdown upregulates β-catenin activity and enhances cell aggressiveness in gastric cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(5):2351-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies have shown that FRZB correlates with gastric tumorigenicity and may play role in regulating the Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway. In the present study, we investigated the correlation between FRZB and the Wnt/β‑catenin signaling pathway using gastric cancer tissues and an FRZB‑knockdown gastric cancer cell line model. The protein levels of FRZB and β‑catenin were examined using immunohistochemical staining. FRZB-specific shRNAs were used to generate FRZB‑knockdown MKN45 gastric cancer cells. Cell proliferation assay, suspending culture and Annexin V/PI double staining analysis were used to investigate the role of FRZB knockdown in cell growth. In vitro migration/invasion assays were performed. The expression of Wnt/β‑catenin downstream targets was analyzed by RT-PCR. FRZB mRNA levels showed negative correlation with β‑catenin levels in paired non-tumor and tumor tissues. FRZB protein levels were negatively correlated with β‑catenin levels analyzed by IHC staining. Furthermore, high FRZB protein levels were correlated with membrane localization of β‑catenin. FRZB knockdown increased gastric cancer cell growth in monolayer and soft agar culture; it increased cell aggregates in suspending culture and rendered less apoptosis which indicated increased anti-anoikis growth. FRZB knockdown increased cell migration and invasion and increased the expression of Wnt/β‑catenin downstream targets such as MMP7 and cyclin D1. Our studies revealed that FRZB levels were correlated with β‑catenin subcellular localization. Knockdown of FRZB in gastric cancer cells increased cell growth and migration/invasion which was also accompanied by activation of Wnt/β‑catenin downstream targets. FRZB knockdown may upregulate the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway and promote aggressiveness in gastric cancer.

Braig M, Pällmann N, Preukschas M, et al.
A 'telomere-associated secretory phenotype' cooperates with BCR-ABL to drive malignant proliferation of leukemic cells.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(10):2028-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
Telomere biology is frequently associated with disease evolution in human cancer and dysfunctional telomeres have been demonstrated to contribute to genetic instability. In BCR-ABL(+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), accelerated telomere shortening has been shown to correlate with leukemia progression, risk score and response to treatment. Here, we demonstrate that proliferation of murine CML-like bone marrow cells strongly depends on telomere maintenance. CML-like cells of telomerase knockout mice with critically short telomeres (CML-iG4) are growth retarded and proliferation is terminally stalled by a robust senescent cell cycle arrest. In sharp contrast, CML-like cells with pre-shortened, but not critically short telomere lengths (CML-G2) grew most rapidly and were found to express a specific 'telomere-associated secretory phenotype', comprising secretion of chemokines, interleukins and other growth factors, thereby potentiating oncogene-driven growth. Moreover, conditioned supernatant of CML-G2 cells markedly enhanced proliferation of CML-WT and pre-senescent CML-iG4 cells. Strikingly, a similar inflammatory mRNA expression pattern was found with disease progression from chronic phase to accelerated phase in CML patients. These findings demonstrate that telomere-induced senescence needs to be bypassed by leukemic cells in order to progress to blast crisis and provide a novel mechanism by which telomere shortening may contribute to disease evolution in CML.

Lin YW, Shih YL, Lien GS, et al.
Promoter methylation of SFRP3 is frequent in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dis Markers. 2014; 2014:351863 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Oncogenic activation of the Wnt/ β -catenin signaling pathway is common in human cancers. The secreted frizzled-related proteins (SFRPs) function as negative regulators of Wnt signaling and have important implications in carcinogenesis. Because there have been no reports about the role of SFRP3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we investigated the level of methylation and transcription of SFRP3. Four HCC cell lines, 60 HCCs, 23 cirrhosis livers, 37 chronic hepatitis livers, and 30 control livers were prescreened for SFRP3 promoter methylation by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR) and bisulfite sequencing. SFRP3 promoter methylation was observed in 100%, 60%, 39.1%, 16.2%, and 0% in HCC cell lines, primary HCCs, cirrhosis livers, chronic hepatitis livers, and control livers, respectively. Demethylation treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in HCC cells restored or increased the SFRP3 mRNA expression. We next used quantitative MS-PCR (QMSP) to analyze the methylation level of SFRP3 in 60 HCCs and their corresponding nontumor tissues. Methylation of SFRP3 promoter region in HCCs increased significantly compared with control tissues. There is a positive correlation between promoter hypermethylation and SFRP3 mRNA downregulation. Our data suggest that promoter hypermethylation of SFRP3 is a common event in HCCs and plays an important role in regulation of SFRP3 mRNA expression.

Gruber K, Horn H, Kalla J, et al.
Detection of rearrangements and transcriptional up-regulation of ALK in FFPE lung cancer specimens using a novel, sensitive, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(3):307-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The approved dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test for the detection of anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) gene rearrangements in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is complex and represents a low-throughput assay difficult to use in daily diagnostic practice. We devised a sensitive and robust routine diagnostic test for the detection of rearrangements and transcriptional up-regulation of ALK.
METHODS: We developed a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay adapted to RNA isolated from routine formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material and applied it to 652 NSCLC specimens. The reliability of this technique to detect ALK dysregulation was shown by comparison with FISH and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: qRT-PCR analysis detected unbalanced ALK expression indicative of a gene rearrangement in 24 (4.6%) and full-length ALK transcript expression in six (1.1%) of 523 interpretable tumors. Among 182 tumors simultaneously analyzed by FISH and qRT-PCR, the latter accurately typed 97% of 19 rearranged and 158 nonrearranged tumors and identified ALK deregulation in two cases with insufficient FISH. Six tumors expressing full-length ALK transcripts did not show rearrangements of the gene. Immunohistochemistry detected ALK protein overexpression in tumors with gene fusions and transcriptional up-regulation, but did not distinguish between the two. One case with full-length ALK expression carried a heterozygous point mutation (S1220Y) within the kinase domain potentially interfering with kinase activity and/or inhibitor binding.
CONCLUSIONS: Our qRT-PCR assay reliably identifies and distinguishes ALK rearrangements and full-length transcript expression in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material. It is an easy-to-perform, cost-effective, and high-throughput tool for the diagnosis of ALK activation. The expression of full-length ALK transcripts may be relevant for ALK inhibitor therapy in NSCLC.

Surana R, Sikka S, Cai W, et al.
Secreted frizzled related proteins: Implications in cancers.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1845(1):53-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wnt (wingless-type) signaling pathway plays an important role in embryonic development, tissue homeostasis, and tumor progression becaluse of its effect on cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Secreted frizzled-related proteins (SFRPs) are extracellular inhibitors of Wnt signaling that act by binding directly to Wnt ligands or to Frizzled receptors. In recent years, aberrant expression of SFRPs has been reported to be associated with numerous cancers. As gene expression of SFRP members is often lost through promoter hypermethylation, inhibition of methylation through the use of epigenetic modifying agents could renew the expression of SFRP members and further antagonize deleterious Wnt signaling. Several reports have described epigenetic silencing of these Wnt signaling antagonists in various human cancers, suggesting their possible role as tumor suppressors. SFRP family members thus come across as potential tools in combating Wnt-driven tumorigenesis. However, little is known about SFRP family members and their role in different cancers. This review comprehensively covers all the available information on the role of SFRP molecules in various human cancers.

Paulus A, Chitta K, Akhtar S, et al.
AT-101 downregulates BCL2 and MCL1 and potentiates the cytotoxic effects of lenalidomide and dexamethasone in preclinical models of multiple myeloma and Waldenström macroglobulinaemia.
Br J Haematol. 2014; 164(3):352-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Multiple myeloma, the second most common haematological malignancy in the U.S., is currently incurable. Disruption of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway by BCL2 and MCL1 upregulation is observed in >80% of myeloma cases and is associated with an aggressive clinical course. Remarkably, there is no approved drug with the ability to target BCL2 or MCL1. Thus, we investigated the anti-tumour effects of a pan-BCL2 inhibitor, AT-101, which has high binding specificity for BCL2 and MCL1 in preclinical models of plasma cell cancers (Multiple myeloma and Waldenström macroglobulinaemia). Gene expression and immunoblot analysis of six plasma cell cancer models showed upregulation of BCL2 family members. AT-101 was able to downregulate BCL2 and MCL1 in all plasma cell cancer models and induced apoptotic cell death in a caspase-dependent manner by altering mitochondrial membrane permeability. This cytotoxic effect and BCL2 downregulation were further potentiated when AT-101 was combined with lenalidomide/dexamethasone (LDA). NanoString nCounter mRNA quantification and Ingenuity Pathways Analysis revealed differential changes in the CCNA2, FRZB, FYN, IRF1, PTPN11 genes in LDA-treated cells. In summary, we describe for the first time the cellular and molecular events associated with the use of AT-101 in combination with lenalidomide/dexamethasone in preclinical models of plasma cell malignancy.

Pietraszek K, Brézillon S, Perreau C, et al.
Lumican - derived peptides inhibit melanoma cell growth and migration.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e76232 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Lumican, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan of the extracellular matrix, presents potent anti-tumor properties. Previous works from our group showed that lumican inhibited melanoma cell migration and tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. Melanoma cells adhered to lumican, resulting in a remodeling of their actin cytoskeleton and preventing their migration. In addition, we identified a sequence of 17 amino acids within the lumican core protein, named lumcorin, which was able to inhibit cell chemotaxis and reproduce anti-migratory effect of lumican in vitro. The aim of the present study was to characterize the anti-tumor mechanism of action of lumcorin. Lumcorin significantly decreased the growth in monolayer and in soft agar of two melanoma cell lines - mice B16F1 and human SK-MEL-28 cells - in comparison to controls. Addition of lumcorin to serum free medium significantly inhibited spontaneous motility of these two melanoma cell lines. To characterize the mechanisms involved in the inhibition of cell migration by lumcorin, the status of the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of proteins was examined. Inhibition of focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation was observed in presence of lumcorin. Since cancer cells have been shown to migrate and to invade by mechanisms that involve matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), the expression and activity of MMPs were analyzed. Lumcorin induced an accumulation of an intermediate form of MMP-14 (~59kDa), and inhibited MMP-14 activity. Additionally, we identified a short, 10 amino acids peptide within lumcorin sequence, which was able to reproduce its anti-tumor effect on melanoma cells. This peptide may have potential pharmacological applications.

Brozovic A, Vuković L, Polančac DS, et al.
Endoplasmic reticulum stress is involved in the response of human laryngeal carcinoma cells to Carboplatin but is absent in Carboplatin-resistant cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e76397 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The major obstacle of successful tumor treatment with carboplatin (CBP) is the development of drug resistance. In the present study, we found that following treatment with CBP the amount of platinum which enters the human laryngeal carcinoma (HEp2)-derived CBP-resistant (7T) cells is reduced relative to the parental HEp2. As a consequence, the formation of reactive oxidative species (ROS) is reduced, the induction of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is diminished, the amount of inter- and intrastrand cross-links is lower, and the induction of apoptosis is depressed. In HEp2 cells, ROS scavenger tempol, inhibitor of ER stress salubrinal, as well as gene silencing of ER stress marker CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (CHOP) increases their survival and renders them as resistant to CBP as 7T cell subline but did not influence the survival of 7T cells. Our results suggest that in HEp2 cells CBP-induced ROS is a stimulus for ER stress. To the contrary, despite the ability of CBP to induce formation of ROS and activate ER stress in 7T cells, the cell death mechanism in 7T cells is independent of ROS induction and activation of ER stress. The novel signaling pathway of CBP-driven toxicity that was found in the HEp2 cell line, i.e. increased ROS formation and induction of ER stress, may be predictive for therapeutic response of epithelial cancer cells to CBP-based therapy.

Poplineau M, Schnekenburger M, Dufer J, et al.
The DNA hypomethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, enhances tumor cell invasion through a transcription-dependent modulation of MMP-1 expression in human fibrosarcoma cells.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(1):24-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
In diseases such as cancer, cells need to degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) and therefore require high protease levels. Thus, aberrant tissue degradation is associated to matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) overexpression resulting from different mechanisms including epigenetic events. One of the most characterized epigenetic mechanisms is DNA methylation causing changes in chromatin conformation, thereby decreasing the accessibility to the transcriptional machinery and resulting in a robust gene silencing. Modulation of DNA methylation by DNA hypomethylating agents such as 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-azadC) is widely used in epigenetic anticancer treatments. Here, we focus on the effects of this drug on the expression level of MMP-1, -2, and -9 in human HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells. We demonstrate that 5-azadC increases MMP expression at both mRNA and protein levels, and promotes invasion potential of HT1080 cells. Using broad-spectrum and specific MMP inhibitors, we establish that MMP-1, but not MMP-2 and -9, plays a key role in 5-azadC-enhanced cell invasion. We show that 5-azadC induces MMP-1 expression through a transcriptional mechanism without affecting MMP-1 promoter methylation status. Finally, we demonstrate that 5-azadC treatment increases the nuclear levels of Sp1 and Sp3 transcription factors, and modulates their recruitment to the MMP-1 promoter, resulting in chromatin remodeling associated to 5-azadC-induced MMP-1 expression. All together, our data indicate that the hypomethylating agent 5-azadC modulates, mainly via Sp1 recruitment, MMP-1 expression resulting in an increased invasive potential of HT1080 cells.

Konac E, Varol N, Yilmaz A, et al.
DNA methyltransferase inhibitor-mediated apoptosis in the Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway in a renal cell carcinoma cell line.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2013; 238(9):1009-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wnt signaling pathway is activated in most cancer types when Wnt antagonist genes are inactivated. Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3β) is an important regulator of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. The mechanisms underlying GSK3β regulation of neoplastic transformation and tumor development are unclear. Studies have raised the possibility that the Wnt signaling pathway may be implicated in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Therefore, in the present study, we hypothesize that the expression and methylation status of the secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (sFRP2) gene, one of the secreted antagonists that bind Wnt protein, and re-expression of this gene with the demethylation agent (5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine; DAC) may induce apoptosis in RCC cells. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relationship among epigenetic inactivation of sFRP2 and p-GSK3β (Ser9) and other Wnt antagonists (sFRP1, DKK3, WIF-1) and apoptotic factors (Bax and Caspase3) as well as the anti-apoptotic factor BCL2. Our results indicate that DAC-mediated inhibition of DNA methylation led to a re-activation of sFRP2 expression and increased expression levels of the Wnt antagonists and apoptotic factors. In contrast, the level of β-catenin (CTNNB1) expression decreased. The p-GSK3β (Ser9) protein level in Caki-2 cells was significantly down-regulated, while the DNA fragmentation rate increased after treatment with 5 μM DAC at 96 h. Our data show that sFRP2 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in RCC and that its restoration may offer a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of RCC. Moreover, our study draws attention to the regulatory features of epigenetic molecules and analyses their underlying molecular mechanisms of action and their potential use in clinical practice.

Hoppe R, Achinger-Kawecka J, Winter S, et al.
Increased expression of miR-126 and miR-10a predict prolonged relapse-free time of primary oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer following tamoxifen treatment.
Eur J Cancer. 2013; 49(17):3598-608 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Adjuvant tamoxifen is a valid treatment option for women with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. However, up to 40% of patients experience distant or local recurrence or die. MicroRNAs have been suggested to be important prognosticators in breast cancer. This study aims to identify microRNAs with the potential to predict tamoxifen response.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a global microRNA screen (1105 human microRNAs) in primary tumours of six matched pairs of postmenopausal, ER-positive breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen, who were either recurrence free or had developed a recurrence (median follow up: 8.84 years; range: 1.28-12.7 years). Patients of this discovery set and the 81 patients of the validation set (median follow up: 8.64 years; range: 0.21-19.85 years) were treated at the Robert Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany, between 1986 and 2005.
RESULTS: Out of the top 20 deregulated microRNAs (12 up-regulated, eight down-regulated) miR-126 (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.38-0.83; Holm-adj. P = 0.022) and miR-10a (HR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.33-0.85; Holm-adj. P = 0.031) were identified as significant predictors of tamoxifen outcome by multivariate Cox regression analysis in the independent validation set of 81 postmenopausal, ER-positive patients. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses based on cut-offs determined by receiver operating characteristics curves confirmed that a higher expression of miR-126 and miR-10a in the patients tumour was associated with longer relapse-free time (log-rank P = 0.037, P<0.0001, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that miR-126 and miR-10a are independent predictors for tumour relapse in early postmenopausal breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.

Kristensen IB, Christensen JH, Lyng MB, et al.
Expression of osteoblast and osteoclast regulatory genes in the bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma: only up-regulation of Wnt inhibitors SFRP3 and DKK1 is associated with lytic bone disease.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(4):911-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) lytic bone disease (LBD) is caused by osteoclast activation and osteoblast inhibition. RANK/RANKL/OPG play central roles in osteoclast activation and Wnt inhibitor DKK1 in osteoblast inhibition. The role of other Wnt inhibitors is less clear. We evaluated gene expression of osteoclast regulators (RANK, RANKL, OPG, TRAIL, MIP1A), Wnt inhibitors (DKK1, SFRP2, SFRP3, sclerostin, WIF1) and osteoblast transcription factors (RUNX2, osterix) by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment using snap-frozen BM biopsies, thereby achieving minimal post-sampling manipulation, and gene expression profiling (GEP) data, reflecting the in vivo situation. We analyzed 110 biopsies from newly diagnosed patients with MM and monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) and healthy volunteers. LBD was evaluated using standard radiographs and the bone resorption marker CTX-1. Protein levels were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunohistochemistry. Among Wnt inhibitors, only SFRP3 and DKK1 were significantly overexpressed in advanced LBD, correlating with protein levels. SFRP3 correlated with CTX-1. Our findings support osteoblast inhibition as the driving force behind MM LBD.

Páez D, Gerger A, Zhang W, et al.
Association of common gene variants in the WNT/β-catenin pathway with colon cancer recurrence.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2014; 14(2):142-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt/β-catenin signaling has a central role in the development and progression of most colon cancers (CCs). Germline variants in Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes may result in altered gene function and/or activity, thereby causing inter-individual differences in relation to tumor recurrence capacity and chemoresistance. We investigated germline polymorphisms in a comprehensive panel of Wnt/β-catenin pathway genes to predict time to tumor recurrence (TTR) in patients with stage III and high-risk stage II CC. A total of 234 patients treated with 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy were included in this study. Whole-blood samples were analyzed for putative functional germline polymorphisms in SFRP3, SFRP4, DKK2, DKK3, Axin2, APC, TCF7L2, WNT5B, CXXC4, NOTCH2 and GLI1 genes by PCR-based restriction fragment-length polymorphism or direct DNA sequencing. Polymorphisms with statistical significance were validated in an independent study cohort. The minor allele of WNT5B rs2010851 T>G was significantly associated with a shorter TTR (10.7 vs 4.9 years; hazard ratio: 2.48; 95% CI, 0.96-6.38; P=0.04) in high-risk stage II CC patients. This result remained significant in multivariate Cox's regression analysis. This study shows that the WNT5B germline variant rs2010851 was significantly identified as a stage-dependent prognostic marker for CC patients after 5-fluorouracil-based adjuvant therapy.

Rivera Vargas T, Boudoukha S, Simon A, et al.
Post-transcriptional regulation of cyclins D1, D3 and G1 and proliferation of human cancer cells depend on IMP-3 nuclear localization.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(22):2866-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA-binding proteins of the IMP family (insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) mRNA-binding proteins 1-3) are important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Multiple studies have linked high expression of IMP proteins, and especially of IMP-3, to an unfavorable prognosis in numerous types of cancer. The specific importance of IMP-3 for cancer transformation remains poorly understood. We here show that all three IMPs can directly bind the mRNAs of cyclins D1, D3 and G1 (CCND1, D3 and G1) in vivo and in vitro, and yet only IMP-3 regulates the expression of these cyclins in a significant manner in six human cancer cell lines of different origins. In the absence of IMP-3, the levels of CCND1, D3 and G1 proteins fall dramatically, and the cells accumulate in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, leading to almost complete proliferation arrest. Our results show that, compared with IMP-1 and IMP-2, IMP-3 is enriched in the nucleus, where it binds the transcripts of CCND1, D3 and G1. The nuclear localization of IMP-3 depends on its protein partner HNRNPM and is indispensable for the post-transcriptional regulation of expression of the cyclins. Cytoplasmic retention of IMP-3 and HNRNPM in human cancer cells leads to significant drop in proliferation. In conclusion, a nuclear IMP-3-HNRNPM complex is important for the efficient synthesis of CCND1, D3 and G1 and for the proliferation of human cancer cells.

Riabinska A, Daheim M, Herter-Sprie GS, et al.
Therapeutic targeting of a robust non-oncogene addiction to PRKDC in ATM-defective tumors.
Sci Transl Med. 2013; 5(189):189ra78 [PubMed] Related Publications
When the integrity of the genome is threatened, cells activate a complex, kinase-based signaling network to arrest the cell cycle, initiate DNA repair, or, if the extent of damage is beyond repair capacity, induce apoptotic cell death. The ATM protein lies at the heart of this signaling network, which is collectively referred to as the DNA damage response (DDR). ATM is involved in numerous DDR-regulated cellular responses-cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, and apoptosis. Disabling mutations in the gene encoding ATM occur frequently in various human tumors, including lung cancer and hematological malignancies. We report that ATM deficiency prevents apoptosis in human and murine cancer cells exposed to genotoxic chemotherapy. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that ATM-defective cells display strong non-oncogene addiction to DNA-PKcs (DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit). Further, this dependence of ATM-defective cells on DNA-PKcs offers a window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention: We show that pharmacological or genetic abrogation of DNA-PKcs in ATM-defective cells leads to the accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks and the subsequent CtBP-interacting protein (CtIP)-dependent generation of large single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) repair intermediates. These ssDNA structures trigger proapoptotic signaling through the RPA/ATRIP/ATR/Chk1/p53/Puma axis, ultimately leading to the apoptotic demise of ATM-defective cells exposed to DNA-PKcs inhibitors. Finally, we demonstrate that DNA-PKcs inhibitors are effective as single agents against ATM-defective lymphomas in vivo. Together, our data implicate DNA-PKcs as a drug target for the treatment of ATM-defective malignancies.

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