Gene Summary

Gene:GDNF; glial cell derived neurotrophic factor
Aliases: ATF, ATF1, ATF2, HSCR3, HFB1-GDNF
Summary:This gene encodes a secreted ligand of the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) superfamily of proteins. Ligands of this family bind various TGF-beta receptors leading to recruitment and activation of SMAD family transcription factors that regulate gene expression. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate each subunit of the disulfide-linked homodimer. The recombinant form of this protein, a highly conserved neurotrophic factor, was shown to promote the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in culture, and was able to prevent apoptosis of motor neurons induced by axotomy. This protein is a ligand for the product of the RET (rearranged during transfection) protooncogene. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Hirschsprung disease and Tourette syndrome. This gene encodes multiple protein isoforms that may undergo similar proteolytic processing. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: GDNF (cancer-related)

Kim JK, Kang KA, Ryu YS, et al.
Induction of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress via Reactive Oxygen Species Mediated by Luteolin in Melanoma Cells.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(5):2281-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate whether luteolin, a flavonoid, induces apoptosis in human melanoma cells via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To investigate the effects of luteolin in human melanoma cells, the anti-proliferation, apoptosis, ER stress induction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation were evaluated using MTT, Hoechst 33342, ER-tracker Blue White DPX and DCF-DA staining assays, respectively.
RESULTS: Luteolin inhibited cell proliferation and increased apoptotic body formation. Luteolin induced ER stress, as shown by ER staining and mitochondrial Ca(2+) overloading. Luteolin increased expression of the ER stress-related proteins; protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase, phospho eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α, activating transcription factor (ATF) 6, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP), and cleaved caspase 12. Furthermore, luteolin increased the level of intracellular ROS, leading to ROS-mediated apoptosis and ER stress. However, N-acetyl cysteine, a ROS scavenger, decreased ROS levels, apoptosis, and ER stress induced by luteolin treatment. In addition, knockdown of CHOP and ATF6 by small-interfering RNA inhibited luteolin-induced cell death.
CONCLUSION: Luteolin induces apoptosis by ER stress via increasing ROS levels.

Goh GH, Teh M, Vanecek T, et al.
Primary pulmonary clear cell sarcoma-the first two reported cases.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(1):111-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report two cases (male patients 50 and 55 years old) of clear cell sarcoma ("melanoma of soft parts") arising in the lung, of which one case showed regional lymph node metastases. Histologically, both tumors displayed varying clear epithelioid and spindle neoplastic cells arranged in storiform and nested growth patterns, separated by thin fibrovascular septa. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated positive expression of S-100 protein, HMB-45 and Melan-A in one case and S-100 protein only in the other. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed positive EWSR1 gene rearrangement, and a presence of EWS-ATF1 fusion transcript was confirmed by RT-PCR and sequencing in one case.

Zhang L, Jia Z, Mao F, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing identifies a somatic missense mutation of NBN in clear cell sarcoma of the salivary gland.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3349-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) is a rare, low-grade carcinoma commonly located in the distal extremities of young adults involving tendons and aponeuroses. CCS is characterized by its poor prognosis due to late diagnosis, multiple local recurrence, propensity to late metastases, and a high rate of tumor-related mortality. The genetic cause for CCS is thought to be EWSR1 gene translocation. However, CCS lacking a translocation may have other, as yet uncharacterized, genetic mutations that can cause the same pathological effect. A combination of whole‑exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing of cancer tissue and venous blood from a patient diagnosed with CCS of the salivary gland revealed a somatic missense mutation, c.1061C>T (p.P354L), in exon 9 of the Nibrin gene (NBN). This somatic missense mutation led to the conversion of proline to leucine (p.P354L), resulting in deleterious effects for the NBN protein. Multiple-sequence alignments showed that codon 354, where the mutation (c.1061C>T) occurs, is located within a phylogenetically conserved region. In conclusion, we here report a somatic missense mutation c.1061C>T (p.P354L) in the NBN gene in a patient with CCS lacking an EWSR1-ATF1 fusion. Our findings broaden the genotypic spectrum of CCS and provide new molecular insight that should prove useful in the future clinical genetic diagnosis of CCS.

Li K, Wei L, Huang Y, et al.
Leptin promotes breast cancer cell migration and invasion via IL-18 expression and secretion.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2479-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
In recent years, crosstalk between tumor microenvironment and cancer cells have received increasing attention. Accumulating research data suggests that leptin, a key adipokine secreted from adipocytes, plays important roles in breast cancer development. In our study, the effects of leptin on polarization of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and promotion of the invasiveness of tumor cells were investigated. THP1 cells were used to differentiate M2 polarization macrophages. After stimulated by leptin, we established a co-culture system of tumor cells and macrophages to evaluate the function of leptin-induced macrophages in the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. The gene and protein expressions were analyzed and the underlying mechanisms were evaluated. Moreover, pathological human specimens, and xenografts in nude mice, were detected to strengthen the in vitro results. Leptin elevated the expression of an array of cytokines in TAMs, IL-18 was the most increased, with an activation of the NF-κB/NF-κB1 signalling pathway. Additionally, after treated with leptin, TAMs significantly promoted the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. However, these effects of leptin were abolished by the co-incubation of Bay11‑7082, a pharmacological NF-κB inhibitor. Leptin also directly stimulated IL-18 expression in breast cancer cells, which, differently, was via the PI3K/AKT-ATF-2 signaling pathway. In vivo studies showed that malignant breast carcinoma exhibited strong higher expression of Leptin, IL-8, and TAMs markers. Xenograft tumor-bearing mouse models showed that leptin significantly increased tumor volume, enhanced lung metastases, and increased expression of IL-8 and TAM markers, which were abolished by depletion of macrophages by clophosome-clodronate liposomes (CCL). Leptin could induce IL-18 expression both in TAMs and breast cancer cells. Leptin-induced IL-18 expression was regulated via NF-κB/NF-κB1 signaling in TAMs, while via PI3K-AKT/ATF-2 signaling in breast cancer cells, which, eventually, lead to invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells.

Blonska M
ATF3, a new player in DLBCL cell survival.
Blood. 2016; 127(14):1736-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this issue of Blood, Juilland and colleagues reveal the expression pattern and the role of different members of the activating transcription factor (ATF) family in survival of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells.

Dong X, Fernandez-Salas E, Li E, Wang S
Elucidation of Resistance Mechanisms to Second-Generation ALK Inhibitors Alectinib and Ceritinib in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells.
Neoplasia. 2016; 18(3):162-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Crizotinib is the first anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor to have been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring an ALK fusion gene, but it has been found that, in the clinic, patients develop resistance to it. Alectinib and ceritinib are second-generation ALK inhibitors which show remarkable clinical responses in both crizotinib-naive and crizotinib-resistant NSCLC patients harboring an ALK fusion gene. Despite their impressive activity, clinical resistance to alectinib and ceritinib has also emerged. In the current study, we elucidated the resistance mechanisms to these second-generation ALK inhibitors in the H3122 NSCLC cell line harboring the EML4-ALK variant 1 fusion in vitro. Prolonged treatment of the parental H3122 cells with alectinib and ceritinib led to two cell lines which are 10 times less sensitive to alectinib and ceritinib than the parental H3122 cell line. Although mutations of ALK in its kinase domain are a common resistance mechanism for crizotinib, we did not detect any ALK mutation in these resistant cell lines. Rather, overexpression of phospho-ALK and alternative receptor tyrosine kinases such as phospho-EGFR, phospho-HER3, and phospho-IGFR-1R was observed in both resistant cell lines. Additionally, NRG1, a ligand for HER3, is upregulated and responsible for resistance by activating the EGFR family pathways through the NRG1-HER3-EGFR axis. Combination treatment with EGFR inhibitors, in particular afatinib, was shown to be effective at overcoming resistance. Our study provides new mechanistic insights into adaptive resistance to second-generation ALK inhibitors and suggests a potential clinical strategy to combat resistance to these second-generation ALK inhibitors in NSCLC.

Eftang LL, Klajic J, Kristensen VN, et al.
GFRA3 promoter methylation may be associated with decreased postoperative survival in gastric cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:225 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A large number of epigenetic alterations has been found to be implicated in the etiology of gastric cancer. We have studied the DNA methylation status of 27 500 gene promoter regions in 24 gastric adenocarcinomas from a Norwegian cohort, and aimed at identifying the hypermethylated regions. We have compared our findings to the gene expression in the same tissue, and linked our results to prognosis and survival.
METHODS: Biopsies from gastric adenocarcinomas and adjacent normal gastric mucosa were obtained from 24 patients following surgical resection of the tumor. Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of the tumor and matched non-cancerous mucosa was performed. The results were compared to whole transcriptome cDNA microarray analysis of the same material.
RESULTS: Most of the gene promoter regions in both types of tissue showed a low degree of methylation, however there was a small, but significant hypermethylation of the tumors. Hierarchical clustering showed separate grouping of the tumor and normal tissue. Hypermethylation of the promoter region of the GFRA3 gene showed a strong correlation to post-operative survival and several of the clinicopathological parameters, however no difference was found between the two main histological types of gastric cancer. There was only a modest correlation between the DNA methylation status and gene expression.
CONCLUSIONS: The different DNA methylation clusters of the tumors and normal tissue indicate that aberrant DNA methylation is a distinct feature of gastric cancer, although there is little difference in the overall, and low, methylation levels between the two tissue types. The GFRA3 promoter region showed marked hypermethylation in almost all tumors, and its correlation with survival and other clinicopathological parameters may have important prognostic significance.

Zhang C, Lu Y, Zhang X, et al.
The role of the RTEL1 rs2297440 polymorphism in the risk of glioma development: a meta-analysis.
Neurol Sci. 2016; 37(7):1023-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
The regulator of the telomere elongation helicase1 (RTEL1) gene plays a crucial role in the DNA double-stand break-repair pathway by maintaining genomic stability. Recent epidemiological studies showed that the rs2297440 polymorphism in the RTEL1 gene was a potential risk locus for glioma development, but the results were inconclusive. To clarify the association between this polymorphism and the risk of glioma, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis. The PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were systematically searched to identify all relevant published studies up to 30 August 2015. Four eligible studies were finally included. The pooled results indicated that the RTEL1 rs2297440 polymorphism moderately increased the risk of glioma in all genetic models. A comparison of the dominant model CT + CC versus TT (OR 1.40; 95 % CI 1.24-1.60; p < 0.001) indicated that having the C allele conferred a 40 % increased risk of developing glioma. In a subgroup analysis based on geographic location (Europe, Asia, and America), there was an association between the rs2297440 polymorphism and the risk of glioma in all three areas. The results of the subgroup analysis based on source of control indicated an elevated risk of glioma in population-based control studies. This meta-analysis demonstrates that the RTEL1 rs2297440 polymorphism plays a moderate, but significant role in the risk of glioma. Further studies with larger sample sizes are necessary to confirm this finding.

Zhang S, Gao L, Thakur A, et al.
miRNA-204 suppresses human non-small cell lung cancer by targeting ATF2.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):11177-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in cancer development and progression. Deregulated expression of miR-204 has been reported in several cancers, but the mechanism through which miR-204 modulates human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is largely unknown. In this study, we investigate the expression and functional role of miR-204 in human NSCLC tissues and cell lines. RNA isolation, qRT-PCR, MTT, colony formation assay, cell cycle assay, cell apoptosis assay, cell migration assay, and Western blot were performed. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 18.0 software and statistical significance was accepted at p value <0.05. miR-204 level was significantly reduced in NSCLC tissues as compared to that of non-neoplastic tissues. Transient over-expression of miR-204 by transfecting with miR-204 mimics suppressed NSCLC cell proliferation, migration, and induced apoptosis and G1 arrest, whereas inhibition of miR-204 showed the converse effects. Additionally, activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2), an important transcription factor, was demonstrated as a potential target gene of miR-204. Subsequent investigations found a negative correlation between miR-204 level and ATF2 expression in NSCLC tissue samples. Moreover, we observed that miR-204 expression inversely affected endogenous ATF2 expression at both mRNA and protein levels in vitro. Taken together, miR-204 may act as a tumor suppressor by directly targeting ATF2 in NSCLC.

Wu CF, Seo EJ, Klauck SM, Efferth T
Cryptotanshinone deregulates unfolded protein response and eukaryotic initiation factor signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
Phytomedicine. 2016; 23(2):174-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Unfolded protein responses (UPR) determine cell fate and are recognized as anticancer targets. In a previous research, we reported that cryptotanshinone (CPT) exerted cytotoxic effects toward acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells through mitochondria-mediated apoptosis.
PURPOSE: In the present study, we further investigated the role of UPR in CPT-induced cytotoxicity on acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells by applying tools of pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics.
METHODS: Gene expression profiling was performed by mRNA microarray hybridization. Potential transcription factor binding motifs were identified in the promoter regions of the deregulated genes by Cistrome software. Molecular docking on eIF-4A and PI3K was performed to investigate the inhibitory activity of CPT on translation initiation.
RESULTS: CPT regulated genes related to UPR and eIF2 signaling pathways. The DNA-Damage-Inducible Transcript 3 (DDIT3) gene, which is activated as consequence of UPR malfunction during apoptosis, was induced and validated by in vitro experiments. Transcription factor binding motif analysis of the microarrary-retrieved deregulated genes in the promoter region emphasized the relevance of transcription factors, such as ATF2, ATF4 and XBP1, regulating UPR and cell apoptosis. Molecular docking suggested inhibitory effects of CPT by binding to eIF-4A and PI3K providing evidence for a role of CPT's in the disruption of protein synthesis.
CONCLUSION: CPT triggered UPR and inhibited protein synthesis via eIF-mediated translation initiation, potentially supporting CPT-induced cytotoxic effects toward acute leukemia cells.

Jiang X, Kim KJ, Ha T, Lee SH
Potential Dual Role of Activating Transcription Factor 3 in Colorectal Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(2):509-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is a member of the ATF/CREB transcription factor family and has been proposed as a molecular target for cancer therapy. The present study was undertaken in order to investigate whether ATF3 influences cancer-related phenotypes in colorectal cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: ATF3 was overexpressed in human colorectal cancer cells and the effects of ATF3 on apoptosis, cell cycle, cell migration and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) were investigated. B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) promoter was cloned and used for luciferase assay in cells transfected with control or ATF3 expression vector.
RESULTS: ATF3 down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 and promoter activity of the Bcl-2 gene. ATF3 increased collective cell migration and expression of cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44) and decreased retinoblastoma (Rb) expression. In addition, ATF3 down-regulated EMT-inducing transcription factors and β-catenin.
CONCLUSION: ATF3 may play a dichotomous role in apoptosis and metastasis in human colorectal cancer cells.

Pillai S, Gopalan V, Smith RA, Lam AK
Updates on the genetics and the clinical impacts on phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma in the new era.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016; 100:190-208 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetic mutations of phaeochromocytoma (PCC) and paraganglioma (PGL) are mainly classified into two major clusters. Cluster 1 mutations are involved with the pseudo hypoxic pathway and comprised of PHD2, VHL, SDHx, IDH, HIF2A, MDH2 and FH mutated PCC/PGL. Cluster 2 mutations are associated with abnormal activation of kinase signalling pathways and included mutations of RET, NF1, KIF1Bβ, MAX and TMEM127. In addition, VHL, SDHx (cluster 1 genes) and RET, NF1 (cluster 2 genes) germline mutations are involved in the neuronal precursor cell pathway in the pathogeneses of PCC/PGL. Also, GDNF, H-ras, K-ras, GNAS, CDKN2A (p16), p53, BAP1, BRCA1&2, ATRX and KMT2D mutations have roles in the development of PCC/PGLs. Overall, known genetic mutations account for the pathogenesis of approximately 60% of PCC/PGLs. Genetic mutations, pathological parameters and biochemical markers are used for better prediction of the outcome of patients with this group of tumours. Immunohistochemistry and gene sequencing can ensure a more effective detection, prediction of malignant potential and treatment of PCC/PCLs.

Juilland M, Gonzalez M, Erdmann T, et al.
CARMA1- and MyD88-dependent activation of Jun/ATF-type AP-1 complexes is a hallmark of ABC diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
Blood. 2016; 127(14):1780-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A hallmark of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the activated B-cell (ABC) type, a molecular subtype characterized by adverse outcome, is constitutive activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which controls expression of genes promoting cellular survival and proliferation. Much less, however, is known about the role of the transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1) in ABC DLBCL. Here, we show that AP-1, like NF-κB, was controlled by constitutive activation of the B-cell receptor signaling component caspase recruitment domain-containing membrane-associated guanylate kinase 1 (CARMA1) and/or the Toll-like receptor signaling component myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) in ABC DLBCL cell lines. In contrast to germinal center (GC) B-cell (GCB) DLBCL, ABC DLBCL cell lines expressed high levels of the AP-1 family members c-Jun, JunB, and JunD, which formed heterodimeric complexes with the AP-1 family members activating transcription factor (ATF) 2, ATF3, and ATF7. Inhibition of these complexes by a dominant-negative approach led to impaired growth of a majority of ABC DLBCL cell lines. Individual silencing of c-Jun, ATF2, or ATF3 decreased cellular survival and revealed c-Jun/ATF2-dependent control of ATF3 expression. As a consequence, ATF3 expression was much higher in ABC vs GCB DLBCL cell lines. Samples derived from DLBCL patients showed a clear trend toward high and nuclear ATF3 expression in nodal DLBCL of the non-GC or ABC subtype. These findings identify the activation of AP-1 complexes of the Jun/ATF-type as an important element controlling the growth of ABC DLBCL.

Zhang W, Zhang ZZ, Tang LY, et al.
Genetic variants in EBV reactivation-related genes and the risk and survival of breast cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):8337-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) and activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) have been suggested to involve in the reactivation of EBV which has implications in the development and progression of breast cancer. Therefore, the polymorphisms of TSG101 and ATF2 may associate with breast cancer risk and prognosis. A case-control study with 1551 breast cancer cases and 1605 age-matched controls were conducted in Guangzhou, China. We have also successfully followed up 1168 cases until December 31, 2014. The variant allele of TSG101 rs2292179 was associated with a non-significant reduced risk of breast cancer, particularly among women with BMI < 24 (kg/m(2)) (P for interaction <0.05). For ATF2 rs3845744, the variant allele was also associated with a significantly reduced breast cancer risk [odds ratio (OR) (95 % confidence interval (CI)) 0.86 (0.74∼1.00)], and the association occurred among only postmenopausal women [OR (95 % CI) 0.69 (0.54∼0.88)] (P for interaction <0.05). Breast cancer risk was further reduced with the increasing numbers of the variant G alleles of the two polymorphisms (P for trend <0.05). We did not find an overall association of the two loci with breast cancer prognosis, while the hazard ratios of the two loci (AG/GG vs. AA) were significantly higher among postmenopausal women than premenopausal women (P = 0.046, 0.016 for TSG101 rs2292179 and ATF2 rs3845744, respectively). In summary, the variant alleles of TSG101 rs2292179 and ATF2 rs3845744 were associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, particularly for subjects with BMI <24 (kg/m(2)) and postmenopausal women, respectively. The two SNPs and menopausal status may have a significant interaction on breast cancer progression.

Su M, Chang W, Zhang K, et al.
Expression and purification of recombinant ATF-mellitin, a new type fusion protein targeting ovarian cancer cells, in P. pastoris.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):1179-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melittin is well known to possess cytolytic activity with wide-spectrum lytic properties and its potential use as an agent to treat several types of cancer has been tested. Due to the non-specific toxicity, melittin can impair not only cancer cells but also normal tissue. Thus, tumor-targeted toxins may be helpful for developing novel anticancer therapeutics. The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) plays a central role in tissue remodelling events occurring in normal physiology and in pathophysiology, including cancer invasion and metastasis. Heartening findings showed that uPA receptor is predominantly expressed on many types of cancer. Therefore, the amino-terminal fragment (ATF) of uPA which was able to identify and bond with cancer cells was used as the cell-targeting domain to make up tumor-targeted toxin in this study. In the present study, pPICZαC-ATF-melittin eukaryotic expression vector was successfully constructed. After transformed into P. pastoris and induced by methanol, rATF-mellitin was detected by SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis. After induction with methanol, the expression level of rATF-mellitin was 312 mg/l in 80-l fermentor. rATF‑mellitin was purified to >95% purity using SP Sepharose ion exchange chromatography and source™ 30 RPC with 67.2% recovery. Cell proliferation assay showed that rATF-melittin inhibited growth of SKOV3 cells and had no cytotoxicity effect on normal cells. For the first time, we established a stable and effective rATF-mellitin P. pastoris expression system to obtain a high level of expression of secreted rATF-mellitin which was purified by a highly efficient purification procedure.

Yuan CT, Hsieh MS
Tigroid background in cytology of hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of the salivary gland.
Diagn Cytopathol. 2016; 44(4):338-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a rare and low grade salivary gland carcinoma with a unique recurrent EWSR1 gene translocation. HCCC most commonly arises from intraoral minor salivary glands and its cytological features have not been well evaluated. We report a 28-year-old man with palatal HCCC and emphasize the "tigroid background" and metachromatic matrix observed in scrape cytology. This "tigroid background," usually associated with glycogen-rich clear cell tumors, is an important cytological feature of HCCC. Awareness of this feature can do great help in pathological research and diagnosis.

Huggins CJ, Mayekar MK, Martin N, et al.
C/EBPγ Is a Critical Regulator of Cellular Stress Response Networks through Heterodimerization with ATF4.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 36(5):693-713 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The integrated stress response (ISR) controls cellular adaptations to nutrient deprivation, redox imbalances, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. ISR genes are upregulated in stressed cells, primarily by the bZIP transcription factor ATF4 through its recruitment to cis-regulatory C/EBP:ATF response elements (CAREs) together with a dimeric partner of uncertain identity. Here, we show that C/EBPγ:ATF4 heterodimers, but not C/EBPβ:ATF4 dimers, are the predominant CARE-binding species in stressed cells. C/EBPγ and ATF4 associate with genomic CAREs in a mutually dependent manner and coregulate many ISR genes. In contrast, the C/EBP family members C/EBPβ and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) were largely dispensable for induction of stress genes. Cebpg(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) proliferate poorly and exhibit oxidative stress due to reduced glutathione levels and impaired expression of several glutathione biosynthesis pathway genes. Cebpg(-/-) mice (C57BL/6 background) display reduced body size and microphthalmia, similar to ATF4-null animals. In addition, C/EBPγ-deficient newborns die from atelectasis and respiratory failure, which can be mitigated by in utero exposure to the antioxidant, N-acetyl-cysteine. Cebpg(-/-) mice on a mixed strain background showed improved viability but, upon aging, developed significantly fewer malignant solid tumors than WT animals. Our findings identify C/EBPγ as a novel antioxidant regulator and an obligatory ATF4 partner that controls redox homeostasis in normal and cancerous cells.

Koroknai V, Ecsedi S, Vízkeleti L, et al.
Genomic profiling of invasive melanoma cell lines by array comparative genomic hybridization.
Melanoma Res. 2016; 26(2):100-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant melanoma is one of the most aggressive human cancers. Invasion of cells is the first step in metastasis, resulting in cell migration through tissue compartments. We aimed to evaluate genomic alterations specifically associated with the invasive characteristics of melanoma cells. Matrigel invasion assays were used to determine the invasive properties of cell lines that originated from primary melanomas. Array comparative genomic hybridization analyses were carried out to define the chromosome copy number alterations (CNAs). Several recurrent CNAs were identified by array comparative genomic hybridization that affected melanoma-related genes. Invasive primary cell lines showed high frequencies of CNAs, including the loss of 7q and gain of 12q chromosomal regions targeting PTPN12, ADAM22, FZD1, TFPI2, GNG11, COL1A2, SMURF1, VGF, RELN and GLIPR1 genes. Gain of the GDNF (5p13.1), GPAA1, PLEC and SHARPIN (8q24.3) genes was significantly more frequent in invasive cell lines compared with the noninvasive ones. Importantly, copy number gains of these genes were also found in cell lines that originated from metastases, suggesting their role in melanoma metastasis formation. The present study describes genomic differences between invasive and noninvasive melanoma cell lines that may contribute toward the aggressive phenotype of human melanoma cells.

Lau E, Feng Y, Claps G, et al.
The transcription factor ATF2 promotes melanoma metastasis by suppressing protein fucosylation.
Sci Signal. 2015; 8(406):ra124 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Melanoma is one of the most lethal skin cancers worldwide, primarily because of its propensity to metastasize. Thus, the elucidation of mechanisms that govern metastatic propensity is urgently needed. We found that protein kinase Cε (PKCε)-mediated activation of activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) controls the migratory and invasive behaviors of melanoma cells. PKCε-dependent phosphorylation of ATF2 promoted its transcriptional repression of the gene encoding fucokinase (FUK), which mediates the fucose salvage pathway and thus global cellular protein fucosylation. In primary melanocytes and cell lines representing early-stage melanoma, the abundance of PKCε-phosphorylated ATF2 was low, thereby enabling the expression of FUK and cellular protein fucosylation, which promoted cellular adhesion and reduced motility. In contrast, increased expression of the gene encoding PKCε and abundance of phosphorylated, transcriptionally active ATF2 were observed in advanced-stage melanomas and correlated with decreased FUK expression, decreased cellular protein fucosylation, attenuated cell adhesion, and increased cell motility. Restoring fucosylation in mice either by dietary fucose supplementation or by genetic manipulation of murine Fuk expression attenuated primary melanoma growth, increased the number of intratumoral natural killer cells, and decreased distal metastasis in murine isograft models. Tumor microarray analysis of human melanoma specimens confirmed reduced fucosylation in metastatic tumors and a better prognosis for primary melanomas that had high abundance of fucosylation. Thus, inhibiting PKCε or ATF2 or increasing protein fucosylation in tumor cells may improve clinical outcome in melanoma patients.

Peng B, Chai Y, Li Y, et al.
CIP2A overexpression induces autoimmune response and enhances JNK signaling pathway in human lung cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:895 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) is a recently characterized oncoprotein, which promotes cancer cell proliferation. But the role of CIP2A in lung cancer progression is still not well understood.
METHODS: The expression level of CIP2A in lung cancer tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry. CIP2A-associated cell proliferation was performed by knock down or overexpression of CIP2A in lung cancer cells. Phospho-array was used to screen kinase candidates related to expression change of CIP2A. Western-blot and luciferase reporter assay were used to validate phospho-array results.
RESULTS: Overexpression of CIP2A in lung cancer not only triggers immune response in lung cancer patients but also promotes lung cancer cell proliferation. By phospho-array, several kinase candidates were identified, one of which is c-Jun activated kinases (JNK). The knock down of CIP2A decreased JNK phosphorylation, and the phosphorylation of downstream transcriptional factors, ATF2 and c-Jun, whose transcriptional activity were decreased as well. Furthermore, the expression level of CIP2A also affected the phosphorylation of the upstream kinase of JNK, MKK4/MKK7. At last, treatment with JNK inhibitor partially abolished CIP2A-induced cell proliferation.
CONCLUSION: CIP2A is a tumor-associated autoantigen in lung cancer, which promote lung cancer proliferation partially through MKK4/7-JNK signaling pathway.

Timofeeva MN, Kinnersley B, Farrington SM, et al.
Recurrent Coding Sequence Variation Explains Only A Small Fraction of the Genetic Architecture of Colorectal Cancer.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:16286 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Whilst common genetic variation in many non-coding genomic regulatory regions are known to impart risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), much of the heritability of CRC remains unexplained. To examine the role of recurrent coding sequence variation in CRC aetiology, we genotyped 12,638 CRCs cases and 29,045 controls from six European populations. Single-variant analysis identified a coding variant (rs3184504) in SH2B3 (12q24) associated with CRC risk (OR = 1.08, P = 3.9 × 10(-7)), and novel damaging coding variants in 3 genes previously tagged by GWAS efforts; rs16888728 (8q24) in UTP23 (OR = 1.15, P = 1.4 × 10(-7)); rs6580742 and rs12303082 (12q13) in FAM186A (OR = 1.11, P = 1.2 × 10(-7) and OR = 1.09, P = 7.4 × 10(-8)); rs1129406 (12q13) in ATF1 (OR = 1.11, P = 8.3 × 10(-9)), all reaching exome-wide significance levels. Gene based tests identified associations between CRC and PCDHGA genes (P < 2.90 × 10(-6)). We found an excess of rare, damaging variants in base-excision (P = 2.4 × 10(-4)) and DNA mismatch repair genes (P = 6.1 × 10(-4)) consistent with a recessive mode of inheritance. This study comprehensively explores the contribution of coding sequence variation to CRC risk, identifying associations with coding variation in 4 genes and PCDHG gene cluster and several candidate recessive alleles. However, these findings suggest that recurrent, low-frequency coding variants account for a minority of the unexplained heritability of CRC.

Streiter S, Fisch B, Sabbah B, et al.
The importance of neuronal growth factors in the ovary.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2016; 22(1):3-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
The neurotrophin family consists of nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin 3 (NT3) and neurotrophin 4/5 (NT4/5), in addition to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the neuronal growth factors, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and vasointestinal peptide (VIP). Although there are a few literature reviews, mainly of animal studies, on the importance of neurotrophins in the ovary, we aimed to provide a complete review of neurotrophins as well as neuronal growth factors and their important roles in normal and pathological processes in the ovary. Follicular assembly is probably stimulated by complementary effects of NGF, NT4/5 and BDNF and their receptors. The neurotrophins, GDNF and VIP and their receptors have all been identified in preantral and antral follicles of mammalian species, including humans. Transgenic mice with mutations in the genes encoding for Ngf, Nt4/5 and Bdnf and their tropomyosin-related kinase β receptor showed a reduction in preantral follicles and an abnormal ovarian morphology, whereas NGF, NT3, GDNF and VIP increased the in vitro activation of primordial follicles in rats and goats. Additionally, NGF, NT3 and GDNF promoted follicular cell proliferation; NGF, BDNF and VIP were shown to be involved in ovulation; VIP inhibited follicular apoptosis; NT4/5, BDNF and GDNF promoted oocyte maturation and NGF, NT3 and VIP stimulated steroidogenesis. NGF may also exert a stimulatory effect in ovarian cancer and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Low levels of NGF and BDNF in follicular fluid may be associated with diminished ovarian reserve and high levels with endometriosis. More knowledge of the roles of neuronal growth factors in the ovary has important implications for the development of new therapeutic drugs (such as anti-NGF agents) for ovarian cancer and PCOS as well as various infertility problems, warranting further research.

Wang W, Corrigan-Cummins M, Barber EA, et al.
Aberrant Levels of miRNAs in Bone Marrow Microenvironment and Peripheral Blood of Myeloma Patients and Disease Progression.
J Mol Diagn. 2015; 17(6):669-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The bone marrow (BM) microenvironment of multiple myeloma (MM) is reported to play a role in the biology of disease. In this study, we found that the extracellular BM microenvironment in MM contains a unique miRNA signature detectable by miRNA microarray and quantitative real-time PCR, which is partially represented in the peripheral blood. Eleven miRNAs were significantly decreased in both BM and serum of MM patients in comparison with controls. Evaluation of these miRNAs in plasma of a separate cohort of MM patients and controls confirmed significantly aberrant levels of let-7a, let-7b, let-7i, miR-15b, miR-16, and miR-20a in both serum and plasma. We then studied the myeloma precursor diseases and found that a subset of the MM miRNAs exhibited aberrant expression in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering myeloma. miRNA analysis of enriched CD138(+) plasma cells from MM and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance found that most of the validated MM BM signature miRNAs were significantly decreased in MM plasma cells. Gene expression profiling indicated that multiple targets of the decreased miRNAs found increased expression in MM plasma cells, including ATF2, HRAS, HDAC4, TGFB1, TGFBR1, and mitogen-activated protein kinases. The findings suggest that these miRNAs are detectable in aberrant levels in the peripheral blood of patients with plasma cell proliferation and may play a role in aberrant plasma cell proliferation and disease progression.

Bhullar KS, Jha A, Rupasinghe HP
Novel carbocyclic curcumin analog CUR3d modulates genes involved in multiple apoptosis pathways in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Chem Biol Interact. 2015; 242:107-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anticancer activity of a novel curcumin analog (E)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-5-((E)-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)acryloyl)cyclopentanone (CUR3d) was studied using a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2). The results showed that CUR3d completely inhibits the tumor cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. CUR3d at 100 μmol/L activated the pro-apoptotic caspase-3 along with downregulation of anti-apoptotic BIRC5 and Bcl2. CUR3d treatment controlled the cancer cell growth by downregulating the expression of PI3K/Akt (Akt1, Akt2) pathway along with NF-κB. CUR3d down-regulated the members of epidermal growth receptor family (EGFR, ERBB3, ERBB2) and insulin like growth receptors (IGF1, IGF-1R, IGF2). This correlated with the downregulation of G-protein (RHOA, RHOB) and RAS (ATF2, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS) pathway signaling. CUR3d also arrested cell cycle via inhibition of CDK2, CDK4, CDK5, CDK9, MDM2, MDM4 and TERT genes. Cell cycle essential aurora kinases (AURKα, AURKβ) and polo-like kinases (PLK1, PLK2, PLK3) were also modulated by CUR3d. Topoisomerases (TOP2α, TOP2β), important factors in cancer cell immortality, as well as HIF-1α were downregulated following CUR3d treatment. The expression of protein kinase-C family (PRKC-A, PRKC-D, PRKC-E) was also attenuated by CUR3d. The downregulation of histone deacetylases (Class I, II, IV) and PARP I further strengthened the anticancer efficacy of CUR3d. Downregulation of carcinogenic cathepsins (CTSB, CTSD) and heat shock proteins exhibited CUR3d's potency as a potential immunological adjuvant. Finally, the non-toxic manifestation of CUR3d in healthy liver and lung cells along with downregulation of drug resistant gene ABCC1 further warrant need for advance investigations.

Arretxe E, Armengol S, Mula S, et al.
Profiling of promoter occupancy by the SND1 transcriptional coactivator identifies downstream glycerolipid metabolic genes involved in TNFα response in human hepatoma cells.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(22):10673-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The NF-κB-inducible Staphylococcal nuclease and tudor domain-containing 1 gene (SND1) encodes a coactivator involved in inflammatory responses and tumorigenesis. While SND1 is known to interact with certain transcription factors and activate client gene expression, no comprehensive mapping of SND1 target genes has been reported. Here, we have approached this question by performing ChIP-chip assays on human hepatoma HepG2 cells and analyzing SND1 binding modulation by proinflammatory TNFα. We show that SND1 binds 645 gene promoters in control cells and 281 additional genes in TNFα-treated cells. Transcription factor binding site analysis of bound probes identified motifs for established partners and for novel transcription factors including HSF, ATF, STAT3, MEIS1/AHOXA9, E2F and p300/CREB. Major target genes were involved in gene expression and RNA metabolism regulation, as well as development and cellular metabolism. We confirmed SND1 binding to 21 previously unrecognized genes, including a set of glycerolipid genes. Knocking-down experiments revealed that SND1 deficiency compromises the glycerolipid gene reprogramming and lipid phenotypic responses to TNFα. Overall, our findings uncover an unexpected large set of potential SND1 target genes and partners and reveal SND1 to be a determinant downstream effector of TNFα that contributes to support glycerophospholipid homeostasis in human hepatocellular carcinoma during inflammation.

Wang K, Zhu X, Zhang K, et al.
Gas1 Knockdown Increases the Neuroprotective Effect of Glial Cell-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Against Glutamate-Induced Cell Injury in Human SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells.
Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2016; 36(4):603-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Growth arrest-specific 1 (Gas1) protein acts as an inhibitor of cell growth and a mediator of cell death in nervous system during development and is also re-expressed in adult neurons during excitotoxic insult. Due to its structural similarity to the glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor family receptors α (GFRα), Gas1 is likely to interfere with the neuroprotective effect of GDNF. In the present study, we investigated the expression profile of Gas1 during glutamate insults in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells as well as the influence of Gas1 inhibition on the protective effect of GDNF against glutamate-induced cell injury. Our data showed that Gas1 expression was significantly increased with the treatment of glutamate in SH-SY5Y cells. The silencing of Gas1 by small interfering RNA promoted the protective effect of GDNF against glutamate-induced cytotoxicity as well as cell apoptosis, which effect was likely mediated through activating Akt/PI3 K-dependent cell survival signaling pathway and inhibiting mitochondrial-dependent cell apoptosis signaling pathway via Bad dephosphorylation blockade. In summary, this study showed the synergistic effect of Gas1 inhibition and GDNF against glutamate-induced cell injury in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, which information might significantly contribute to better understanding the function of Gas1 in neuronal cells and form the basis of the therapeutic development of GDNF in treating human neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

Yi H, Ye J, Yang XM, et al.
High-grade ovarian cancer secreting effective exosomes in tumor angiogenesis.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(5):5062-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian cancer, the most lethal gynecological cancer, related closely to tumor stage. High-grade ovarian cancer always results in a late diagnose and high recurrence, which reduce survival within five years. Until recently, curable therapy is still under research and anti-angiogenesis proves a promising way. Tumor-derived exosomes are essential in tumor migration and metastases such as angiogenesis is enhanced by exosomes. In our study, we have made comparison between high-grade and unlikely high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells on exosomal function of endothelial cells proliferation, migration and tube formation. Exosomes derived from high-grade ovarian cancer have a profound impact on angiogenesis with comparison to unlikely high-grade ovarian cancer. Proteomic profiles revealed some potential proteins involved in exosomal function of angiogenesis such as ATF2, MTA1, ROCK1/2 and so on. Therefore, exosomes plays an influential role in angiogenesis in ovarian serous cancer and also function more effectively in high-grade ovarian cancer cells.

Insabato L, Guadagno E, Natella V, et al.
An unusual association of malignant gastrointestinal neuroectodermal tumor (clear cell sarcoma-like) and Ewing sarcoma.
Pathol Res Pract. 2015; 211(9):688-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Very recently a new designation of "Malignant Neuroectodermal Gastrointestinal Tumor" has been proposed for an aggressive form of neuroectodermal tumor with features similar to that of Clear Cell Sarcoma of Soft Tissue, however without a melanocytic differentiation. Also known as "clear cell sarcoma-like tumors of the gastrointestinal tract", these tumors show some features strongly suggesting an origin from a gastrointestinal neuroectodermal precursor cell unable to differentiate along the melanocytic lineage. They occur mainly in young and middle-aged adults, and have a poor prognosis with a high rate of liver and lymphnode metastases. Histologically they are composed of epithelioid or oval-to spindle cells with a sheet-like or nested pattern of growth, strongly positive for neural markers (S-100, SOX10, and vimentin) and negative for the melanocytic ones. EWSR1 gene rearrangements including EWSR1-ATF1 or EWSR1-CREB1 GENE fusions are typically assessed in these tumors. Here we report a case of malignant neuroectodermal gastrointestinal tumor which immunophenotypically unusually expressed FLI-1, occurring in a 29-year-old man with a previous medical history of Ewing sarcoma. We finally suggest that this case might be a further evidence of a link between these two entities.

Harbhajanka A, Lamzabi I, Jain R, et al.
Cytomorphology and immunohistochemistry of a recurrent clear cell odontogenic carcinoma with molecular analysis: A case report with review of literature.
Diagn Cytopathol. 2015; 43(9):743-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell odontogenic carcinoma (CCOC) is a rare, odontogenic tumor of the jaws with mandibular involvement usually present in sixth decade of life with female preponderance. It is classified as a malignant tumor of odontogenic origin in 2005 by the World Health Organization because of its aggressive and destructive growth capacity and potential to metastasize. It needs to be distinguished from other primary and metastatic clear cell tumors of the oral and maxillofacial region. Recently, CCOCs have been noted to harbor a Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 gene RNA-binding protein 1 (EWSR1) and activating transcription factor (ATF) gene translocation. To date, cytologic features of only one case have been reported in the literature. We report an additional case of 55-year-old woman with enlarging mass in the left mandible. This report describes cytologic and immunohistochemical features of CCOC with positive EWSR1 gene rearrangements by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). As diagnosis of CCOC is challenging on fine-needle aspiration, immunohistochemistry and FISH analysis are very useful diagnostic tool in clear cell lesions of mandible.

Fan Z, Duan X, Cai H, et al.
Curcumin inhibits the invasion of lung cancer cells by modulating the PKCα/Nox-2/ROS/ATF-2/MMP-9 signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(2):691-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Invasion and metastasis are the major causes of tumor-related mortality in lung cancer. It is believed that curcumin is an effective drug possessing anti-invasive and anti-metastatic activities in the treatment of cancer. However, the specific mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether the PKCα/Nox-2/ATF-2/MMP-9 signaling pathway is involved in the invasive behavior of lung cancer and whether curcumin could inhibit invasion by modulating this pathway. The cytotoxic effect of curcumin was evaluated by MTT assay and the capacity of invasion was assessed by Transwell assay. siRNA and plasmid transfection techniques were used to study the function of targeted genes. Real-time PCR and western blot analysis were used to evaluate the expression levels of PKCα, Nox-2, MMP-9 and the phosphorylation of ATF-2. The results showed that curcumin inhibited the proliferation and invasion of A549 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Overexpression of MMP-9 enhanced the invasion of A549 cells. However, inhibition of MMP-9 by siRNA or curcumin suppressed cell invasion. Moreover, we also demonstrated the catalytic role of PKCα in expression of MMP-9 and cellular invasion in A549 cells, which was dependent on the expression of Nox-2 and phosphorylation of ATF-2. Finally, we also showed that curcumin dose-dependently reduced the expression of PKCα, P47phox, Nox-2 and phosphorylated ATF-2, as well as intracellular ROS generation, suggesting the inhibitory effect of curcumin on the activation of the PKCα/Nox-2/ROS/ATF-2 pathway. In conclusion, the PKCα/Nox-2/ROS/ATF-2/MMP-9 signaling pathway is activated in lung cancer A549 cells, which could be modulated by curcumin to inhibit cell invasiveness.

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