Gene Summary

Gene:FURIN; furin, paired basic amino acid cleaving enzyme
Aliases: FUR, PACE, SPC1, PCSK3
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the subtilisin-like proprotein convertase family, which includes proteases that process protein and peptide precursors trafficking through regulated or constitutive branches of the secretory pathway. It encodes a type 1 membrane bound protease that is expressed in many tissues, including neuroendocrine, liver, gut, and brain. The encoded protein undergoes an initial autocatalytic processing event in the ER and then sorts to the trans-Golgi network through endosomes where a second autocatalytic event takes place and the catalytic activity is acquired. The product of this gene is one of the seven basic amino acid-specific members which cleave their substrates at single or paired basic residues. Some of its substrates include proparathyroid hormone, transforming growth factor beta 1 precursor, proalbumin, pro-beta-secretase, membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase, beta subunit of pro-nerve growth factor and von Willebrand factor. It is also thought to be one of the proteases responsible for the activation of HIV envelope glycoproteins gp160 and gp140 and may play a role in tumor progression. This gene is located in close proximity to family member proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 6 and upstream of the FES oncogene. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 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.

  • Messenger RNA
  • Angiogenesis
  • Furin
  • Chromosome 15
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 14
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Proprotein Convertases
  • Cell Movement
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Survival Rate
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Western Blotting
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Wound Healing
  • Lung Cancer
  • Base Sequence
  • Mutation
  • Promoter Regions
  • Translocation
  • U937 Cells
  • HeLa Cells
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Skin Cancer
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: FURIN (cancer-related)

Okada K, Moon HJ, Finney J, et al.
Extracellular Processing of Lysyl Oxidase-like 2 and Its Effect on Amine Oxidase Activity.
Biochemistry. 2018; 57(51):6973-6983 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Overexpression of lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) is associated with several hepatic and vascular fibrotic diseases and tumor progression in some aggressive cancers. Secreted LOXL2 promotes extracellular matrix cross-linking by catalyzing the oxidative deamination of peptidyl lysine. A great deal remains to be learned about the post-translational modifications of LOXL2, including whether such modifications modulate enzymatic and disease-promoting activities; such knowledge would inform the development of potential therapies. We discovered that upon secretion in cell culture, LOXL2 undergoes proteolytic processing of the first two of four scavenger receptor cysteine-rich domains at the N-terminus. A similar pattern of processing was also evident in tissue extracts from an invasive ductal carcinoma patient. Processing occurred at

Gao Y, Yang F, Su Z, et al.
β1,6 GlcNAc branches-modified protein tyrosine phosphatase Mu attenuates its tyrosine phosphatase activity and promotes glioma cell migration through PLCγ-PKC pathways.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 505(2):569-577 [PubMed] Related Publications
The metastatic potential of malignant tumor has been shown to be correlated with the increased expression of tri- and tetra-antennary β1,6-N-acetylglucosamine (β1,6-GlcNAc) N-glycans. In this study, We found that GnT-V expression was negatively correlated with receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase type μ(RPTPμ) in human glioma tissues. To study whether RPTPμ is a novel substance of GnT-V which further affect RPTPμ's downstream dephosphorylation function, we preform lentiviral infection with GnT-V gene to construct stably transfected GnT-V glial cell lines. We found RPTPμ undergone severer cleavage in GnT-V transfected glioma cells compare to Mock cells. RPTPμ intracellular domain fragments increased while β1,6-GlcNAc-branched N-glycans increased, in consistent with the decrease of RPTPμ's catalytic activity. The results showed that abnormal glycosylation could decrease the phosphorylation activity of PTP μ, and affect PLCγ-PKC pathways. Both protease inhibitor Furin and N-glycan biosynthesis inhibitor swainsonine could decrease cell mobility in GnT-V-U87 transfectants and other glioma cell lines. All results above suggest increased post-translational modification of RPTPμ N-glycans by GnT-V attenuates its tyrosine phosphatase activity and promotes glioma cell migration through PLCγ-PKC pathways, and that the β1,6-GlcNAc-branched N-glycans of RPTPμ play a crucial role in glioma invasivity.

Li Y, Chu J, Li J, et al.
Cancer/testis antigen-Plac1 promotes invasion and metastasis of breast cancer through Furin/NICD/PTEN signaling pathway.
Mol Oncol. 2018; 12(8):1233-1248 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Placenta-specific protein 1 (Plac1) is a cancer/testis antigen that plays a critical role in promoting cancer initiation and progression. However, the clinical significance and mechanism of Plac1 in cancer progression remain elusive. Here, we report that Plac1 is an important oncogenic and prognostic factor, which physically interacts with Furin to drive breast cancer invasion and metastasis. We have shown that Plac1 expression positively correlates with clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, hormone receptor status, and overall patient survival. Overexpression of Plac1 promoted invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence cell staining assays revealed that interaction of Plac1 and Furin degraded Notch1 and generated Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD) that could inhibit PTEN activity. These findings are consistent with the results of microarray study in MDA-MB-231 cells overexpressing Plac1. A rescue study showed that inhibition of Furin and overexpression of PTEN in Plac1 overexpression cells blocked Plac1-induced tumor cell progression. Taken together, our findings suggest that functional interaction between Plac1 and Furin enhances breast cancer invasion and metastasis and the Furin/NICD/PTEN axis may act as an important therapeutic target for breast cancer treatment.

Shergalis A, Bankhead A, Luesakul U, et al.
Current Challenges and Opportunities in Treating Glioblastoma.
Pharmacol Rev. 2018; 70(3):412-445 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor, has a high mortality rate despite extensive efforts to develop new treatments. GBM exhibits both intra- and intertumor heterogeneity, lending to resistance and eventual tumor recurrence. Large-scale genomic and proteomic analysis of GBM tumors has uncovered potential drug targets. Effective and "druggable" targets must be validated to embark on a robust medicinal chemistry campaign culminating in the discovery of clinical candidates. Here, we review recent developments in GBM drug discovery and delivery. To identify GBM drug targets, we performed extensive bioinformatics analysis using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. We discovered 20 genes,

Sun K, Zhao X, Wan J, et al.
The diagnostic value of long non-coding RNA MIR31HG and its role in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Life Sci. 2018; 202:124-130 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: This study aimed to assess plasma lncRNA microRNA-31 hist gene (MIR31HG) as a novel diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and to investigate its role in ESCC.
MAIN METHODS: The expression of MIR31HG, Furin and MMP1 was examined via quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. MIR31HG expression between plasma and ESCC tissues was compared using Pearson correlation analysis; furthermore, the association between Furin/MMP1 levels and MIR31HG levels in ESCC tissues was analyzed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic value of plasma MIR31HG. A WST-1 assay was performed to assess cell proliferation. The migratability and invasiveness of cells was determined via Transwell assays.
KEY FINDINGS: MIR31HG was significantly upregulated in ESCC tissues and plasma (P < 0.01). A significant positive association was obtained between plasma and tissue MIR31HG expression in ESCC (r = 0.78, P < 0.01). Furthermore, MIR31HG displayed high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for predicting ESCC occurance. Furthermore, knockdown of MIR31HG suppressed the capacity for proliferation, migration, and invasion of ESCC cells (P < 0.01). In addition, silencing of MIR31HG inhibited the expression of Furin and MMP1 in EC9706 and EC1 and the level of Furin/MMP1 in ESCC tissues displayed a significant positive correlation with MIR31HG (P < 0.01).
SIGNIFICANCE: MIR31HG can be used as a novel potential diagnostic biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for ESCC.

Ginefra P, Filippi BGH, Donovan P, et al.
Compartment-Specific Biosensors Reveal a Complementary Subcellular Distribution of Bioactive Furin and PC7.
Cell Rep. 2018; 22(8):2176-2189 [PubMed] Related Publications
Furin trafficking, and that of related proprotein convertases (PCs), may regulate which substrates are accessible for endoproteolysis, but tools to directly test this hypothesis have been lacking. Here, we develop targeted biosensors that indicate Furin activity in endosomes is 10-fold less inhibited by decanoyl-RVKR-chloromethylketone and enriched >3-fold in endosomes compared to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Endogenous PC7, which resists this inhibitor, was active in distinct vesicles. Only overexpressed PC7 activity reached the cell surface, endosomes, and the TGN. A PLC motif in the cytosolic tail of PC7 was dispensable for endosomal activity, but it was specifically required for TGN recycling and to rescue proActivin-A cleavage in Furin-depleted B16F1 melanoma cells. In sharp contrast, PC7 complemented Furin in cleaving Notch1 independently of PLC-mediated TGN access. Our study provides a proof in principle that compartment-specific biosensors can be used to gain insight into the regulation of PC trafficking and to map the tropism of PC-specific inhibitors.

Timoshenko OS, Gureeva TA, Kugaevskaya EV, et al.
[Tissue collagenase MMP-14 and endogenous regulators of its activity in the corpus uteri in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix].
Arkh Patol. 2017; 79(6):36-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: to investigate the expression of the membrane-bound matrix metalloproteinase MT1-MMP (MMP-14), its tissue inhibitor TIMP-2, and the proMMP-14 activator furin in the corpus uteri from the vaginal wall to the bottom of the uterine cavity in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCCC).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Hysterectomy material was examined in patients with SCCC. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and enzyme assays were used.
RESULTS: In SCCC, higher levels of MMP-14 expression were established in tumor cells, as evidenced by IHC (+3) and RT-PCR. IHC showed that the expression of MMP-14 was absent or insignificant in the normal uterine endometrial and myometrial tissues. However, that of MMP-14 mRNA was also found in the normal tissues to the bottom of the uterine cavity. Furin activity in the tumor was much higher than that in normal tissues. IHC indicated that TIMP-2 expression was low or absent in both the tumor and normal tissues. The expression of TIMP-2 mRNA was sufficiently obvious in both the tumor and normal tissues to the bottom of the uterine cavity.
CONCLUSION: In SCCC, MMP-14 expression was substantially increased in tumors. The expression of MMP-14 and regulators of its activity is aimed at enhancing the tumor destructive (invasive) potential in the pericellular space and can occur (be induced) in the morphologically normal uterine tissue apparently with involvement of signaling through the epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. Data are important for understanding the role of MMP-14 in the development of a multistage process of carcinogenesis and may have prognostic value and an impact on therapeutic strategy for the patient.

Popławski P, Piekiełko-Witkowska A, Nauman A
The significance of TRIP11 and T3 signalling pathway in renal cancer progression and survival of patients.
Endokrynol Pol. 2017; 68(6):631-641 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: TRIP11 is a multifunctional protein localizing either to Golgi apparatus, acting as a golgin, or in the nucleus, acting as coactivator of transcription mediated by thyroid hormone receptor (THR) and hypoxia induced factor (HIF). Triiodothyronine (T3) regulates nuclear localization of TRIP11 by inducing its phosphorylation. The exact mechanism of this regulation unknown. The expressions of THR and HIF are disturbed in various cancers, including renal cell cancer (RCC). In this study we aimed to analyze: 1) the mechanism of T3-dependent subcellular localization of TRIP11; 2) the significance of TRIP11 and T3 signaling pathway in RCC progression.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: TRIP11 subcellular localization was analyzed using immunocytochemistry in RCC-derived cell line treated with T3, T3-agarose and PI3K inhibitor, wortmannin. The expressions of TRIP11 and genes involved in T3 signaling and hypoxia were investigated using qPRC in 36 pairs of RCC tumor-control samples, followed by validation/survival analysis in an independent cohort of >450 renal cancer patients.
RESULTS: Wortmannin disrupted T3-dependent nuclear transport of TRIP11. T3-agarose did not change TRIP11 localization, precluding extracellular T3-mediated mechanism. The expressions of TRIP11, HIF-1β, THRA, THRB, FURIN, VEGFA, and GLUT1 were disturbed in renal cancer. Expressions of TRIP11 and HIF-1β correlated with tumor grades. Decreased expressions of TRIP11, THRA, and THRB correlated with poor survival of RCC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: 1) T3 induces nuclear TRIP11 localization via PI3K-dependent mechanism; 2) disturbed expression of T3 signaling pathway genes correlates with RCC progression. The specific mechanisms by which altered T3 signaling may contribute to RCC progression require further investigation.

Ventura E, Weller M, Burghardt I
Cutting Edge: ERK1 Mediates the Autocrine Positive Feedback Loop of TGF-β and Furin in Glioma-Initiating Cells.
J Immunol. 2017; 198(12):4569-4574 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive intrinsic brain tumor in adults. Self-renewing, highly tumorigenic glioma-initiating cells (GIC) have been linked to glioma invasive properties, immunomodulation, and increased angiogenesis, leading to resistance to therapy. TGF-β signaling has been associated with the tumorigenic activity of GIC. TGF-β is synthesized as a precursor molecule and proteolytically processed to the mature form by members of the family of the proprotein convertases subtilisin/kexin. In this study we report that furin is unique among the proprotein convertases subtilisin/kexin in being highly expressed in human GIC. Furin cleaves and promotes activation of pro-TGF-β1 and pro-TGF-β2, and TGF-β2 in turn increases furin levels. Notably, TGF-β2 controls furin activity in an ALK-5-dependent manner involving the ERK/MAPK pathway. We thus uncover a role of ERK1 in the regulation of furin activity by supporting a self-sustaining loop for high TGF-β activity in GIC.

Zheng NQ, Zheng ZH, Xu HX, et al.
Glucose-regulated protein 78 demonstrates antiviral effects but is more suitable for hepatocellular carcinoma prevention in hepatitis B.
Virol J. 2017; 14(1):77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in Asia and Africa. Existing antivirals cannot cure HBV or eliminate risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) can inhibit HBV replication, but promote virion secretion and hepatocellular cancer cell invasion. For these reasons, the overall effect of GRP78 on HBV production and whether to utilize the HBV replication-inhibitory effect of GRP78 up-regulation or the hepatocellular cancer cell invasion-inhibitory effect of its down-regulation were further investigated in order to improve the efficacy of current antiviral therapy.
METHODS: GRP78 regulations in HepG2.2.15 cells were conducted by transfections of expressing vector and small interfering RNA, respectively. The changes in HBV replication, hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) synthesis and hepatoma cell motility were monitored.
RESULTS: GRP78 overall decreased HBV production due to its HBV replication-inhibitory effect time-dependently overwhelming virion secretion-promoting effect in HepG2.2.15 cells. Unlike the parental cells (HepG2), HepG2.2.15 cells demonstrated decreased expressions of the major genes in the interferon-β1-dependent pathway. Moreover, the expressions of these genes were not affected by GRP78 regulations. However, GRP78 was found to inhibit HBeAg secretion and to increase the retro-transportation of capsid assembly-interfering HBeAg precursor from the endoplasmic reticulum into the cytosol where new viral nucleocapsids formed. Furthermore, GRP78 overexpression promoted wound healing process (the motility) of HepG2.2.15 cells. In contrast, GRP78 knockdown enhanced HBV replication and HBeAg secretion, but they were abolished by entecavir and furin inhibitor, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: GRP78 mainly demonstrates anti-HBV effects, reducing HBV production and HBeAg secretion. With due regard to the hepatocellular cancer invasion risk of the overexpression and the rectifiability of the unpleasant effects of the knockdown, GRP78 down-regulation may be more suitable to serve as an additive strategy to cover the hepatocellular cancer prevention shortage of current antiviral therapy in the future.

Jaaks P, Bernasconi M
The proprotein convertase furin in tumour progression.
Int J Cancer. 2017; 141(4):654-663 [PubMed] Related Publications
Proprotein convertases are proteases that have been implicated in the activation of a wide variety of proteins. These proteins are generally synthesised as precursor proteins and require limited proteolysis for conversion into their mature bioactive counterparts. Many of these proteins, including metalloproteases, growth factors and their receptors or adhesion molecules, have been shown to facilitate tumour formation and progression. Hence, this review will focus on the proprotein convertase furin and its role in cancer. The expression of furin has been confirmed in a large spectrum of cancers such as head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, breast cancer and rhabdomyosarcoma. Functional studies modulating furin activity uncovered its importance for the processing of many cancer-related substrates and strongly indicate that high furin activity promotes the malignant phenotype of cancer cells. In this review, we summarise the expression and function of furin in different cancer types, discuss its role in processing cancer-related proproteins and give examples of potential therapeutic approaches that take advantage of the proteolytic activity of furin in cancer cells.

Meng P, Dong QC, Tan GG, et al.
Anti-tumor effects of a recombinant anti-prostate specific membrane antigen immunotoxin against prostate cancer cells.
BMC Urol. 2017; 17(1):14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To evaluate anti-prostate cancer effects of a chimeric tumor-targeted killer protein.
METHODS: We established a novel fusion gene, immunocasp-3, composed of NH2-terminal leader sequence fused with an anti-prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) antibody (J591), the furin cleavage sequences of diphtheria toxin (Fdt), and the reverse coding sequences of the large and small subunits of caspase-3 (revcaspase-3). The expressing level of the immunocasp-3 gene was evaluated by using the reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and western blot analysis. Cell viability assay and cytotoxicity assay were used to evaluate its anti-tumor effects in vitro. Apoptosis was confirmed by electron microscopy and Annexin V-FITC staining. The antitumor effects of immunocasp-3 were assessed in nude mice xenograft models containing PSMA-overexpressing LNCaP cells.
RESULTS: This study shows that the immunocasp-3 proteins selectively recognized and induced apoptotic death in PSMA-overexpressing LNCaP cells in vitro, where apoptotic cells were present in 15.3% of the cells transfected with the immunocasp-3 expression vector at 48 h after the transfection, in contrast to 5.5% in the control cells. Moreover, LNCaP cells were significantly killed under the condition of the co-culture of the immunocasp-3-secreting Jurkat cells and more than 50% of the LNCaP cells died when the two cell lines were co-cultured within 5 days. In addition, The expression of immunocasp-3 also significantly suppressed tumor growth and greatly prolonged the animal survival rate in vivo.
CONCLUSION: A novel fusion gene, immunocasp-3, may represent a viable approach to treating PSMA-positive prostate cancer.

Nakajima K, Oiso S, Uto T, et al.
Triterpenes suppress octanoylated ghrelin production in ghrelin-expressing human gastric carcinoma cells.
Biomed Res. 2016; 37(6):343-349 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating peptide hormone with an octanoyl modification at serine 3 that is essential for its orexigenic effect. Ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) is the enzyme that catalyzes ghrelin acylation using fatty acyl-coenzyme A as a substrate. We previously developed an assay system based on the AGS-GHRL8 cell line that produces octanoylated ghrelin in the presence of octanoic acid, and demonstrated that some fatty acids suppressed octanoylated ghrelin production. Recent studies have reported that triterpenes have anti-obesity effect. Since such triterpenes, like fatty acids, have a carboxyl group, we speculated that they can suppress octanoylated ghrelin production. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of triterpenes on octanoylated ghrelin production. Asiatic acid, corosolic acid, glycyrrhetinic acid, oleanolic acid and ursolic acid suppressed octanoylated ghrelin levels in AGS-GHRL8 cells without decreasing transcript expression of GOAT or furin, a protease required for ghrelin maturation. β-amyrin had no effect on octanoylated ghrelin level, which was only slightly inhibited by uvaol; the fact that both these triterpenes lack a carboxyl group indicates that this group is important for suppressing octanoylated ghrelin production. These results suggest that triterpenes may have the potential as obesity-preventing agents with suppressive effect on octanoylated ghrelin production.

Bassi DE, Zhang J, Renner C, Klein-Szanto AJ
Targeting proprotein convertases in furin-rich lung cancer cells results in decreased in vitro and in vivo growth.
Mol Carcinog. 2017; 56(3):1182-1188 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Proprotein convertases (PCs) are serine proteases with an active role in the post-translational processing of numerous inactive proteins to active proteins including many substrates of paramount importance in cancer development and progression. Furin (PCSKC3), a well-studied member of this family, is overexpressed in numerous human and experimental malignancies. In the present communication, we treated two furin-overexpressing non-small cell carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines (Calu-6 and HOP-62) with the PC inhibitor CMK (Decanoyl-Arg-Val-Lys-Arg-chloromethylketone). This resulted in a diminished IGF-1R processing and a simultaneous decrease in cell proliferation of two NSCLC lines. Similarly, growth of subcutaneous xenografts of both cell lines, were partially inhibited by an in vivo treatment with the same drug. These observations point to a potential role of PC inhibitors in cancer therapy. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Jaaks P, Meier G, Alijaj N, et al.
The proprotein convertase furin is required to maintain viability of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(47):76743-76755 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. Success of current therapies is still limited and outcome is particularly poor for metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS). We previously identified the proprotein convertase furin as potential target for specific drug delivery with RMS-homing peptides. Furin is a protease that converts inactive precursor proteins into bioactive proteins and peptides. In this study, we investigate the biological role of furin in aRMS progression in vitro and in vivo. Furin expression was confirmed in over 86% RMS biopsies in a tissue microarray (n=89). Inducible furin silencing in vitro led to significant impairment of cell viability and proliferation in all investigated aRMS cell lines, but not in MRC5 fibroblasts. Furthermore, the aRMS cell lines Rh3 and Rh4 revealed to be very sensitive to furin silencing, undergoing caspase-dependent cell death. Notably, furin silencing in vivo led to complete remission of established Rh4 tumors and to delayed growth in Rh30 tumors. Taken together, these findings identify furin as an important factor for aRMS progression and survival. Thus, we propose furin as a novel therapeutic target for treatment of aRMS.

Jaaks P, D'Alessandro V, Grob N, et al.
The Proprotein Convertase Furin Contributes to Rhabdomyosarcoma Malignancy by Promoting Vascularization, Migration and Invasion.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(8):e0161396 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The proprotein convertase (PC) furin cleaves precursor proteins, an important step in the activation of many cancer-associated proteins. Substrates of furin and furin-like PCs play a role in proliferation, metastasis and invasion. Some of them are involved in the progression of the pediatric soft tissue sarcoma rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). In this study, we show that PCs, and in particular furin, are expressed in RMS cell lines. To investigate the functional role of furin, we generated RMS cell lines with modulated furin activity. Silencing or stable inhibition of furin delayed tumor growth in Rh30 and RD xenografts in vivo, and was correlated with lower microvessel density. Reduced furin activity also decreased migration and invasion abilities in vitro, and inhibition of furin in RMS cells diminished processing of IGF1R, VEGF-C, PDGF-B and MT1-MMP, leading to lower levels of mature proteins. Furthermore, we found that furin activity is required for proper IGF signaling in RMS cells, as furin silencing resulted in reduced phosphorylation of Akt upon IGF1 stimulation. Taken together, our results suggest that furin plays an important role in the malignant phenotype of RMS cells by activating proteins involved in tumor growth and vascularization, metastasis and invasion.

Sharma A, Bender S, Zimmermann M, et al.
Secretome Signature Identifies ADAM17 as Novel Target for Radiosensitization of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(17):4428-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Ionizing radiation (IR) induces intracellular signaling processes as part of a treatment-induced stress response. Here we investigate IR-induced ADAM17 activation and the role of ADAM17-shed factors for radiation resistance in non-small cell lung cancer.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Large-scale secretome profiling was performed using antibody arrays. Secretion kinetics of ADAM17 substrates was determined using ELISA across multiple in vitro and in vivo models of non-small cell lung cancer. Clonogenic survival and tumor xenograft assays were performed to determine radiosensitization by ADAM17 inhibition.
RESULTS: On the basis of a large-scale secretome screening, we investigated secretion of auto- or paracrine factors in non-small cell lung cancer in response to irradiation and discovered the ADAM17 network as a crucial mediator of resistance to IR. Irradiation induced a dose-dependent increase of furin-mediated cleavage of the ADAM17 proform to active ADAM17, which resulted in enhanced ADAM17 activity in vitro and in vivo Genetic or pharmacologic targeting of ADAM17 suppressed IR-induced shedding of secreted factors, downregulated ErbB signaling in otherwise cetuximab-resistant target cells, and enhanced IR-induced cytotoxicity. The combined treatment modality of IR with the ADAM17 inhibitor TMI-005 resulted in a supra-additive antitumor response in vivo demonstrating the potential of ADAM17 targeting in combination with radiotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Radiotherapy activates ADAM17 in non-small cell lung cancer, which results in shedding of multiple survival factors, growth factor pathway activation, and IR-induced treatment resistance. We provide a sound rationale for repositioning ADAM17 inhibitors as short-term adjuvants to improve the radiotherapy outcome of non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 22(17); 4428-39. ©2016 AACR.

Qiu H, Tang X, Ma J, et al.
Notch1 Autoactivation via Transcriptional Regulation of Furin, Which Sustains Notch1 Signaling by Processing Notch1-Activating Proteases ADAM10 and Membrane Type 1 Matrix Metalloproteinase.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 35(21):3622-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Notch1 is an evolutionarily conserved transmembrane receptor involved in melanoma growth. Notch1 is first cleaved by furin in the Golgi apparatus to produce the biologically active heterodimer. Following ligand binding, Notch1 is cleaved at the cell membrane by proteases such as ADAM10 and -17 and membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), the latter of which we recently identified as a novel protease involved in Notch1 processing. The final cleavage is γ-secretase dependent and releases the active Notch intracellular domain (NIC). We now demonstrate that Notch1 directly regulates furin expression. Aside from activating Notch1, furin cleaves and activates several proteases, including MT1-MMP, ADAM10, and ADAM17. By chromatin immunoprecipitation and a reporter assay, we demonstrate that Notch1 binds at position -1236 of the furin promoter and drives furin expression. The Notch1-dependent enhancement of furin expression increases the activities of MT1-MMP and ADAM10 but not that of ADAM17, as demonstrated by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown of furin, and promotes the cleavage of Notch1 itself. These data highlight a novel positive-feedback loop whereby Notch1-dependent furin expression can induce Notch1 signaling by increasing Notch1 processing and by potentiating the activity of the proteases responsible for Notch1 activation. This leads to Notch1 signal amplification, which can promote melanoma tumor growth and progression, as demonstrated by the inhibition of cell migration and invasion upon furin inhibition downstream of Notch1. Disruption of such feedback signaling might represent an avenue for the treatment of melanoma.

Declercq J, Jacobs B, Biesmans B, et al.
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (rs4932178) in the P1 Promoter of FURIN Is Not Prognostic to Colon Cancer.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:321276 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
High expression of the proprotein processing enzyme FURIN has been associated with tumor progression and metastasis. A SNP (rs4932178) in the promoter of FURIN has been reported to affect expression in liver, with the T allele resulting in higher expression than the C allele. In this study we have investigated the association of this SNP with prognostic and biological subgroups of colorectal cancer (CRC). In a panel of 1382 patients with CRC, this SNP had no impact on overall survival or on postoperative risk of relapse. This SNP also could not be linked with FURIN expression levels in CRC samples from the patients. Furthermore, we demonstrate in luciferase reporter experiments in the colon cancer cell lines Caco-2 and SW480 and in the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line Huh 7 that expression is not affected by the SNP. Since, FURIN inhibition in human colon cancer cell lines has previously been shown to repress tumor metastases, association between FURIN gene expression levels and postoperative relapse-free survival was also investigated. However, no association could be found. Altogether, we could not confirm an effect of the SNP on FURIN expression in vitro and no correlations could be found in vivo with FURIN expression or outcome.

Rodríguez-García A, Svensson E, Gil-Hoyos R, et al.
Insertion of exogenous epitopes in the E3-19K of oncolytic adenoviruses to enhance TAP-independent presentation and immunogenicity.
Gene Ther. 2015; 22(7):596-601 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oncolytic adenoviruses can promote immune responses against tumors by expressing and/or displaying tumor-associated antigens. However, the strong immunodominance of viral antigens mask responses against tumor epitopes. In addition, defects in major histocompatibility complex class I antigen presentation pathway such as the downregulation of the transporter-associated with antigen processing (TAP) are frequently associated with immune evasion of tumor cells. To promote the immunogenicity of exogenous epitopes in the context of an oncolytic adenovirus, we have taken advantage of the ER localization of the viral protein E3-19K. We have inserted tumor-associated epitopes after the N-terminal signal sequence for membrane insertion of this protein and flanked them with linkers cleavable by the protease furin to facilitate their TAP-independent presentation. This strategy allowed an enhanced presentation of the exogenous epitopes in TAP-deficient tumor cells in vitro and the generation of higher specific immune responses in vivo that were able to significantly control tumor growth.

Timoshenko OS, Gureeva TA, Kugaevskaia EV, Solov'eva NI
[Membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and the regulators of its activity as invasive factors in squamous cell cervical carcinomas].
Biomed Khim. 2014 Nov-Dec; 60(6):683-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1MMP) is one of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), which play а key role in tumor invasion and metastasis. The aim of this study was to elucidate the peculiarities of expression of MT1MMP and endogenous regulators of its activity: the activator - furin and the inhibitor - TIMP-2, as invasive factors of squamous cell cervical carcinomas (SCC). The study was carried out using 11 specimens of SCC and 11 specimens of morphologically normal tissue adjacent to the tumor. It was shown that the increase of MT1-MMP and furin expression and low of TIMP-2 expression makes the main contribution to the destructive (invasive) potential of SCC. Moreover, substantial expression of MT1-MMP was registered in the specimens of morphologically normal adjoining to tumor tissue. This expression was found to make an additional contribution to the destructive potential of the cervical tumor.

Yu R, Albarenque SM, Cool RH, et al.
DR4 specific TRAIL variants are more efficacious than wild-type TRAIL in pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2014; 15(12):1658-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Current treatment modalities for pancreatic carcinoma afford only modest survival benefits. TRAIL, as a potent and specific inducer of apoptosis in cancer cells, would be a promising new treatment option. However, since not all pancreatic cancer cells respond to TRAIL, further improvements and optimizations are still needed. One strategy to improve the effectiveness of TRAIL-based therapies is to specifically target one of the 2 cell death inducing TRAIL-receptors, TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 to overcome resistance. To this end, we designed constructs expressing soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) variants that were rendered specific for either TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 by amino acid changes in the TRAIL ectodomain. When we expressed these constructs, including wild-type sTRAIL (sTRAIL(wt)), TRAIL-R1 (sTRAIL(DR4)) and TRAIL-R2 (sTRAIL(DR5)) specific variants, in 293 producer cells we found all to be readily expressed and secreted into the supernatant. These supernatants were subsequently transferred onto target cancer cells and apoptosis measured. We found that the TRAIL-R1 specific variant had higher apoptosis-inducing activity in human pancreatic carcinoma Colo357 cells as well as PancTu1 cells that were additionally sensitized by targeting of XIAP. Finally, we tested TRAIL-R1 specific recombinant TRAIL protein (rTRAIL(DR4)) on Colo357 xenografts in nude mice and found them to be more efficacious than rTRAIL(wt). Our results demonstrate the benefits of synthetic biological approaches and show that TRAIL-R1 specific variants can potentially enhance the therapeutic efficacy of TRAIL-based therapies in pancreatic cancer, suggesting that they can possibly become part of individualized and tumor specific combination treatments in the future.

Tao L, Pavlova SI, Gasparovich SR, et al.
Alcohol metabolism by oral streptococci and interaction with human papillomavirus leads to malignant transformation of oral keratinocytes.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015; 815:239-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Poor oral hygiene, ethanol consumption, and human papillomavirus (HPV) are associated with oral and esophageal cancers. However, the mechanism is not fully known. This study examines alcohol metabolism in Streptococcus and its interaction with HPV-16 in the malignant transformation of oral keratinocytes. The acetaldehyde-producing strain Streptococcus gordonii V2016 was analyzed for adh genes and activities of alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases. Streptococcus attachment to immortalized HPV-16 infected human oral keratinocytes, HOK (HPV/HOK-16B), human oral buccal keratinocytes, and foreskin keratinocytes was studied. Acetaldehyde, malondialdehyde, DNA damage, and abnormal proliferation among keratinocytes were also quantified. We found that S. gordonii V2016 expressed three primary alcohol dehydrogenases, AdhA, AdhB, and AdhE, which all oxidize ethanol to acetaldehyde, but their preferred substrates were 1-propanol, 1-butanol, and ethanol, respectively. S. gordonii V2016 did not show a detectable aldehyde dehydrogenase. AdhE is the major alcohol dehydrogenase in S. gordonii. Acetaldehyde and malondialdehyde production from permissible Streptococcus species significantly increased the bacterial attachment to keratinocytes, which was associated with an enhanced expression of furin to facilitate HPV infection and several malignant phenotypes including acetaldehyde adduct formation, abnormal proliferation, and enhanced migration through integrin-coated basement membrane by HPV-infected oral keratinocytes. Therefore, expression of multiple alcohol dehydrogenases with no functional aldehyde dehydrogenase contributes to excessive production of acetaldehyde from ethanol by oral streptococci. Oral Streptococcus species and HPV may cooperate to transform oral keratinocytes after ethanol exposure. These results suggest a significant clinical interaction, but further validation is warranted.

Nemunaitis J, Barve M, Orr D, et al.
Summary of bi-shRNA/GM-CSF augmented autologous tumor cell immunotherapy (FANG™) in advanced cancer of the liver.
Oncology. 2014; 87(1):21-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Therapies for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are limited. We carried out a phase I trial of a novel autologous whole-cell tumor cell immunotherapy (FANG™), which incorporates a dual granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) expressive/bifunctional small hairpin RNA interference (bi-shRNAi) vector. The bi-shRNAi DNA targets furin, which is a proconvertase of transforming growth factors beta (TGFβ) 1 and 2. Safety, mechanism, immunoeffectiveness, and suggested benefit were previously shown [Senzer et al.: Mol Ther 2012;20:679-689; Senzer et al.: J Vaccines Vaccin 2013;4:209]. We now provide further follow-up of a subset of 8 HCC patients. FANG manufacturing was successful in 7 of 8 attempts (one failure due to insufficient cell yield). Median GM-CSF expression was 144 pg/10(6) cells, TGFβ1 knockdown was 100%, and TGFβ2 knockdown was 93% of the vector-transported cells. Five patients were vaccinated (1 or 2.5×10(7) cells/intradermal injection, 6-11 vaccinations). No FANG toxicity was observed. Three of these patients demonstrated evidence of an immune response to the autologous tumor cell sample. Long-term follow-up demonstrated survival of 319, 729, 784, 931+, and 1,043+ days of the FANG-treated patients. In conclusion, evidence supports further assessment of the FANG immunotherapy in HCC.

Kang S, Zhao Y, Hu K, et al.
miR-124 exhibits antiproliferative and antiaggressive effects on prostate cancer cells through PACE4 pathway.
Prostate. 2014; 74(11):1095-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: PACE4 plays an important role in prostate cancer (PCa) proliferation and aggression, which might provide a useful target against prostate cancer. In this study, we had strived to find some key miRNAs to decrease malignancy and invasiveness of PCa through regulating PACE4 expression.
METHODS: Clinically pathological analysis of immunohistochemistry/in situ hybridization was carried out to detect the relationship between PACE4 expression/miRNAs and the malignancy of prostate mass. Prostate cell lines (DU145, C4-2, and BPH-1) were cultured for growth curve, immunocytochemistry analysis, colony formation, Matrigel invasion, and transcriptional/translational expression assay of PACE4-related signaling molecules for confirming the relationship. MiRNAs targeting PACE4 were predicted, validated and further-corroborated using bio-software, real-time PCR, luciferase reporter assay and transfection of miRNA mimics and inhibitor.
RESULTS: It was suggested that PACE4 might reflect the pathological malignancy of prostate lesion from pathology analysis. Moreover, DU145 cells, the highest PACE4-level and related TF expression indicated of the strongest malignancy and invasiveness. It was significantly found that miR-124 was presented with the biggest odd to target PACE4-3'UTR, the capability of decreasing PACE expression and slowing down cell growth and cell invasion.
CONCLUSIONS: It was clear that PACE4 level was closely associated with malignancy and invasiveness of PCa in vivo or in vitro MiR-124, played a crucial role inhibiting PACE4 transcription thus exhibiting obvious effects of antiproliferation and antiaggression of PCa.

Yang Y, Bai ZG, Yin J, et al.
Role of c-Src activity in the regulation of gastric cancer cell migration.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(1):45-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is associated with increased migration and invasion. In the present study, we explored the role of c-Src in gastric cancer cell migration and invasion. BGC-823 gastric cancer cells were used to investigate migration following treatment of these cells with the c-Src inhibitors, PP2 and SU6656. Migration and invasion were analyzed by wound healing and Transwell assays. Western blot analysis was used to detect the expression of MT1-MMP and VEGF-C, while the activity of MMP2 and MMP9 was monitored with gelatin zymography assay. Immunoprecipitation was used to detect interactions among furin, pro-MT1-MMP and pro-VEGF-C. MT1-MMP and VEGF-C expression levels were inhibited by PP2 and SU6656 treatment, in accordance with decreased c-Src activity. Similarly, the zymography assay demonstrated that the activity of MMP2 and MMP9 was decreased following PP2 or SU6656 treatment. Blockade of c-Src also inhibited the invasive and migratory capacity of BGC-823 cells. Notably, c-Src interacted with furin in vivo, while interactions between furin and its substrates, pro-MT1-MMP and pro-VEGF-C, were decreased by c-Src inhibitors. In conclusion, the interaction among furin and pro-MT1-MMP or pro-VEGF-C or other tumor-associated precursor enzymes can be regulated by c-Src activity, thus reducing or changing the expression of these enzymes in order to reduce the development of gastric cancer, invasion and metastasis.

Vargas A, Zhou S, Éthier-Chiasson M, et al.
Syncytin proteins incorporated in placenta exosomes are important for cell uptake and show variation in abundance in serum exosomes from patients with preeclampsia.
FASEB J. 2014; 28(8):3703-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that mediate intercellular communication and are involved in several biological processes. The objective of our study was to determine whether endogenous retrovirus group WE, member l (ERVWE1)/syncytin-1 and endogenous retrovirus group FRD, member 1 (ERVFRDE1)/syncytin-2, encoded by human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) envelope (env) genes, are present at the surface of exosomes produced by placenta-derived villous cytotrophoblasts and whether they play a role in cellular uptake of exosomes. In addition, we sought to determine whether these proteins are present in various abundances in serum-derived exosomes from normal pregnant women vs. women with preeclampsia (PE). Isolated exosomes were analyzed for their content by Western blot, a bead-associated flow cytometry approach, and a syncytin-2 ELISA. Binding and uptake were tested through confocal and electron microscopy using the BeWo choriocarcinoma cell line. Quality control of exosome preparations consisted of detection of exosomal and nonexosomal markers. Exosome-cell interactions were compared between cells incubated in the presence of control exosomes, syncytin-1 or syncytin-2-deprived exosomes, or exosomes solely bearing the uncleaved forms of these HERV env proteins. From our data, we conclude that villous cytotrophoblast exosomes are positive for both env proteins and are rapidly taken up by BeWo cells in a syncytin-1- and syncytin-2-dependent manner and that syncytin-2 is reduced in serum-derived exosomes from women with PE when compared to exosomes from normal pregnant women.

Fu J, Zhang J, Gong Y, et al.
Regulation of HIF-1 alpha by the proprotein convertases furin and PC7 in human squamous carcinoma cells.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(9):698-706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Proprotein convertases (PC), a family of serine proteases, process cancer-related substrates such as growth factors, growth factor receptors, cell adhesion molecules, metalloproteinases, etc. HIF-1α is a major transcription factor involved in tumorigenesis by sensing intratumoral hypoxia. Furin (PCSK3) is one of the numerous target genes regulated by HIF-1α transactivation and its distribution into endosomal compartments and onto the cell surface can be triggered by hypoxia via HIF-1α. siRNAs to knockdown PCs were transfected into cells alone or in combination with different drug treatments. Protein and RNA expression levels were analyzed by Western blotting or RT-PCR, respectively. PC7 (PCSK7) and furin siRNAs upregulated HIF-1α protein under normoxic condition to a level similar to that obtained by cobalt chloride treatment, eventually leading to activation of VEGF-A synthesis in two human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. The unchanged levels of HIF-1α mRNA expression under siRNA treatment and the additive HIF-1α induction of PC siRNAs and either cobalt chloride or the 26S ribosome inhibitor, MG-132, suggested a post-transcriptional PC-mediated regulation. Furthermore, cycloheximide chase showed that PC7/furin siRNA regulation occurred at the level of HIF-1α translation. A specific IGF-1R signaling inhibitor was able to attenuate the PC siRNA induction of HIF-1α, suggesting the involvement of the IGF-1R pathway. Thus, the data show that PCs regulate HIF-1α. Furin and PC7 siRNAs induced HIF-1α protein by increasing its translation, resulting in upregulation of VEGF-A. This finding may provide insight into intricate PC functions that seem to be independent from their substrate-processing activity.

Liu XF, Xiang L, FitzGerald DJ, Pastan I
Antitumor effects of immunotoxins are enhanced by lowering HCK or treatment with SRC kinase inhibitors.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(1):82-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recombinant immunotoxins (RIT) are agents being developed for cancer treatment. They are composed of an Fv that binds to a cancer cell, fused to a 38-kDa fragment of Pseudomonas exotoxin A. SS1P is a RIT that targets mesothelin, a protein expressed on mesothelioma as well as pancreatic, ovarian, lung, and other cancers. Because the protein tyrosine kinase family regulates a variety of cellular processes and pathways, we hypothesized that tyrosine kinases might regulate susceptibility to immunotoxin killing. To investigate their role, we used siRNAs to lower the level of expression of the 88 known tyrosine kinases. We identified five tyrosine kinases, INSR, HCK, SRC, PDGFRβ, and BMX that enhance the activity of SS1P when their level of expression is lowered by siRNAs. We further investigated the Src family member HCK in this study. Knocking down of SRC slightly increased SS1P killing in A431/H9 cells, but knocking down HCK substantially enhanced killing by SS1P. We investigated the mechanism of enhancement and found that HCK knockdown enhanced SS1P cleavage by furin and lowered levels of Mcl-1 and raised Bax. We then found that Src inhibitors mimic the stimulatory effect of HCK knockdown; both SU6656 and SKI-606 (bosutinib) enhanced immunotoxin killing of mesothelin-expressing cells by SS1P and CD22-expressing cells by HA22 (moxetumomab pasudotox). SU6656 also enhanced the antitumor effects of SS1P and HA22 in mouse xenograft tumor models. Our data suggest that the combination of immunotoxin with tyrosine kinase inhibitors may be an effective way to treat some cancers.

Seim I, Jeffery PL, de Amorim L, et al.
Ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) is expressed in prostate cancer tissues and cell lines and expression is differentially regulated in vitro by ghrelin.
Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2013; 11:70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid peptide hormone that is expressed in the stomach and a range of peripheral tissues, where it frequently acts as an autocrine/paracrine growth factor. Ghrelin is modified by a unique acylation required for it to activate its cognate receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), which mediates many of the actions of ghrelin. Recently, the enzyme responsible for adding the fatty acid residue (octanoyl/acyl group) to the third amino acid of ghrelin, GOAT (ghrelin O-acyltransferase), was identified.
METHODS: We used cell culture, quantitative real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and immunohistochemistry to demonstrate the expression of GOAT in prostate cancer cell lines and tissues from patients. Real-time RT-PCR was used to demonstrate the expression of prohormone convertase (PC)1/3, PC2 and furin in prostate cancer cell lines. Prostate-derived cell lines were treated with ghrelin and desacyl ghrelin and the effect on GOAT expression was measured using quantitative RT-PCR.
RESULTS: We have demonstrated that GOAT mRNA and protein are expressed in the normal prostate and human prostate cancer tissue samples. The RWPE-1 and RWPE-2 normal prostate-derived cell lines and the LNCaP, DU145, and PC3 prostate cancer cell lines express GOAT and at least one other enzyme that is necessary to produce mature, acylated ghrelin from proghrelin (PC1/3, PC2 or furin). Finally, ghrelin, but not desacyl ghrelin (unacylated ghrelin), can directly regulate the expression of GOAT in the RWPE-1 normal prostate derived cell line and the PC3 prostate cancer cell line. Ghrelin treatment (100nM) for 6 hours significantly decreased GOAT mRNA expression two-fold (P < 0.05) in the PC3 prostate cancer cell line, however, ghrelin did not regulate GOAT expression in the DU145 and LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that GOAT is expressed in prostate cancer specimens and cell lines. Ghrelin regulates GOAT expression, however, this is likely to be cell-type specific. The expression of GOAT in prostate cancer supports the hypothesis that the ghrelin axis has autocrine/paracrine roles. We propose that the RWPE-1 prostate cell line and the PC3 prostate cancer cell line may be useful for investigating GOAT regulation and function.

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