Research IndicatorsGraph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (4)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: HLF (cancer-related)
As a noninvasive blood testing, the detection of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) methylation in plasma has raised an increasing interest due to diagnostic applications. Although extensively used in cfDNA methylation analysis, bisulfite sequencing is less cost-effective. In this study, we investigated the cfDNA methylation patterns in lung cancer patients by MeDIP-seq. Compared with the healthy individuals, 330 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) at gene promoters were identified in lung cancer patients with 33 hypermethylated and 297 hypomethylated regions, respectively. Moreover, these hypermethylated genes were validated with the publicly available DNA methylation data, yielding a set of ten significant differentially methylated genes in lung cancer, including
Hepcidin is a main regulator of iron metabolism, of which abnormal expression affects intestinal absorption and reticuloendothelial sequestration of iron by interacting with ferroportin. It is also noted that abnormal iron accumulation is one of the key factors to facilitate promotion and progression of cancer including hepatoma. In this study, we firstly revealed that a new alternative HAMP transcript was found in hepatoma-derived cell line HLF, which was identical to the wild-type preprohepcidin sequence except lacking of an internal 60 bases. In addition to HLF, most of hepatoma-derived cell lines have significant copy numbers of variant-type hepcidin mRNA by a copy-based-digital PCR. Furthermore, the copy number of hepcidin mRNA variant was significantly higher in serum exosomes of hepatocellular carcinoma patients. The quantification of exosomal hepcidin mRNA variant may serve as a potential new biomarker for HCC diagnosis.
Li JF, Dai YT, Lilljebjörn H, et al.Transcriptional landscape of B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia based on an international study of 1,223 cases.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(50):E11711-E11720 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Most B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP ALL) can be classified into known major genetic subtypes, while a substantial proportion of BCP ALL remains poorly characterized in relation to its underlying genomic abnormalities. We therefore initiated a large-scale international study to reanalyze and delineate the transcriptome landscape of 1,223 BCP ALL cases using RNA sequencing. Fourteen BCP ALL gene expression subgroups (G1 to G14) were identified. Apart from extending eight previously described subgroups (G1 to G8 associated with
BACKGROUND: Although metabolism is profoundly altered in human liver cancer, the extent to which experimental models, e.g. cell lines, mimic those alterations is unresolved. Here, we aimed to determine the resemblance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines to human liver tumours, specifically in the expression of deregulated metabolic targets in clinical tissue samples.
METHODS: We compared the overall gene expression profile of poorly-differentiated (HLE, HLF, SNU-449) to well-differentiated (HUH7, HEPG2, HEP3B) HCC cell lines in three publicly available microarray datasets. Three thousand and eighty-five differentially expressed genes in ≥2 datasets (P < 0.05) were used for pathway enrichment and gene ontology (GO) analyses. Further, we compared the topmost gene expression, pathways, and GO from poorly differentiated cell lines to the pattern from four human HCC datasets (623 tumour tissues). In well- versus poorly differentiated cell lines, and in representative models HLE and HUH7 cells, we specifically assessed the expression pattern of 634 consistently deregulated metabolic genes in human HCC. These data were complemented by quantitative PCR, proteomics, metabolomics and assessment of response to thirteen metabolism-targeting compounds in HLE versus HUH7 cells.
RESULTS: We found that poorly-differentiated HCC cells display upregulated MAPK/RAS/NFkB signaling, focal adhesion, and downregulated complement/coagulation cascade, PPAR-signaling, among pathway alterations seen in clinical tumour datasets. In HLE cells, 148 downregulated metabolic genes in liver tumours also showed low gene/protein expression - notably in fatty acid β-oxidation (e.g. ACAA1/2, ACADSB, HADH), urea cycle (e.g. CPS1, ARG1, ASL), molecule transport (e.g. SLC2A2, SLC7A1, SLC25A15/20), and amino acid metabolism (e.g. PHGDH, PSAT1, GOT1, GLUD1). In contrast, HUH7 cells showed a higher expression of 98 metabolic targets upregulated in tumours (e.g. HK2, PKM, PSPH, GLUL, ASNS, and fatty acid synthesis enzymes ACLY, FASN). Metabolomics revealed that the genomic portrait of HLE cells co-exist with profound reliance on glutamine to fuel tricarboxylic acid cycle, whereas HUH7 cells use both glucose and glutamine. Targeting glutamine pathway selectively suppressed the proliferation of HLE cells.
CONCLUSIONS: We report a yet unappreciated distinct expression pattern of clinically-relevant metabolic genes in HCC cell lines, which could enable the identification and therapeutic targeting of metabolic vulnerabilities at various liver cancer stages.
Kachroo P, Szymczak S, Heinsen FA, et al.NGS-based methylation profiling differentiates TCF3-HLF and TCF3-PBX1 positive B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Epigenomics. 2018; 10(2):133-147 [PubMed
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AIM: To determine whether methylation differences between mostly fatal TCF3-HLF and curable TCF3-PBX1 pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia subtypes can be associated with differential gene expression and remission.
MATERIALS & METHODS: Five (extremely rare) TCF3-HLF versus five (very similar) TCF3-PBX1 patients were sampled before and after remission and analyzed using reduced representation bisulfite sequencing and RNA-sequencing.
RESULTS: We identified 7000 differentially methylated CpG sites between subtypes, of which 78% had lower methylation levels in TCF3-HLF. Gene expression was negatively correlated with CpG sites in 23 genes. KBTBD11 clearly differed in methylation and expression between subtypes and before and after remission in TCF3-HLF samples.
CONCLUSION: KBTBD11 hypomethylation may be a promising potential target for further experimental validation especially for the TCF3-HLF subtype.
Yokoi K, Kobayashi A, Motoyama H, et al.Survival pathway of cholangiocarcinoma via AKT/mTOR signaling to escape RAF/MEK/ERK pathway inhibition by sorafenib.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(2):843-850 [PubMed
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Cholangiocarcinoma (CCC) is a strongly aggressive malignancy for which surgical resection is the only potential curative therapy. Sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor of the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, is a molecular-targeted drug that is approved for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but not for CCC. The differences in signaling pathway characteristics under sorafenib treatment between HCC (HLF, Huh7, PLC/PRF/5) and CCC (RBE, YSCCC, Huh28) cell lines were therefore investigated using cell proliferation, western blotting, and apoptosis analyses. Sorafenib inhibited cell growth significantly less in CCC cells than in HCC cells, with lower suppression of ERK phosphorylation. Significantly decreased AKT Ser473 phosphorylation in HCC cells, and conversely enhanced phosphorylation of AKT Ser473 and mTORC2 in CCC cells, were observed with sorafenib treatment. Disassembly of the mTORC2 complex in RBE cells with siRNA targeting Rictor resulted in the downregulation of AKT Ser473 phosphorylation and enhanced apoptosis presumably via increased FOXO1, which consequently suppressed RBE cell proliferation. Phosphorylation of mTORC1 and autophagy were not influenced by sorafenib in CCC cells. Simultaneous administration of everolimus to suppress activated mTORC1 in RBE cells revealed that combined everolimus and sorafenib treatment under mTORC2 disassembly could enhance growth inhibition through the suppression of both sorafenib- and everolimus-dependent AKT Ser473 phosphorylation in addition to the inhibition of mTORC1 phosphorylation. Prevention of escape by AKT/mTOR signaling from the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway in sorafenib treatment by suppressing mTORC2 activity may lead to promising new approaches in CCC therapy.
Criscitiello C, Bayar MA, Curigliano G, et al.A gene signature to predict high tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and outcome in patients with triple-negative breast cancer.
Ann Oncol. 2018; 29(1):162-169 [PubMed
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Background: In patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the extent of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the residual disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is associated with better prognosis. Our objective was to develop a gene signature from pretreatment samples to predict the extent of TILs after NACT and then to test its prognostic value on survival.
Patients and methods: Using 99 pretreatment samples, we generated a four-gene signature associated with high post-NACT TILs. Prognostic value of the signature on distant relapse-free survival (DRFS) was first assessed on the training set (n = 99) and then on an independent validation set (n = 115).
Results: A four-gene signature combining the expression levels of HLF, CXCL13, SULT1E1, and GBP1 was developed in baseline samples to predict the extent of lymphocytic infiltration after NACT. In a multivariate analysis performed on the training set, this signature was associated with DRFS [hazard ratio (HR): 0.28, for a one-unit increase in the value of the four-gene signature, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.13-0.63)]. In a multivariate analysis performed on an independent validation set, the four-gene signature was significantly associated with DRFS (HR: 0.17, 95% CI: 0.06-0.43). The four-gene signature added significant prognostic information when compared with the clinicopathologic pretreatment model (likelihood ratio test in the training set P = 0.004 and in the validation set P = 0.002).
Conclusions: A four-gene signature predicts high levels of TILs after anthracycline-containing NACT and outcome in patients with TNBC and adds prognostic information to a clinicopathological model at diagnosis.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignancy of the liver and the third leading cause of cancer-related death. Telmisartan, a widely used antihypertensive drug, is an angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor blocker (ARB) that might inhibit cancer cell proliferation, but the mechanisms through which telmisartan affects various cancers remain unknown. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of telmisartan on human HCC and to assess the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs). We studied the effects of telmisartan on HCC cells using the HLF, HLE, HepG2, HuH-7 and PLC/PRF/5 cell lines. In our experiments, telmisartan inhibited the proliferation of HLF, HLE and HepG2 cells, which represent poorly differentiated types of HCC cells. However, HuH-7 and PLC/PRF/5 cells, which represent well-differentiated types of HCC cells, were not sensitive to telmisartan. Telmisartan induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest of HLF cells by inhibiting the G0-to-G1 cell cycle transition. This blockade was accompanied by a marked decrease in the levels of cyclin D1, cyclin E and other cell cycle-related proteins. Notably, the activity of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway was increased, and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway was inhibited by telmisartan treatment. Additionally, telmisartan increased the level of caspase-cleaved cytokeratin 18 (cCK18), partially contributed to the induction of apoptosis in HLF cells and reduced the phosphorylation of ErbB3 in HLF cells. Furthermore, miRNA expression was markedly altered by telmisartan in vitro. In conclusion, telmisartan inhibits human HCC cell proliferation by inducing cell cycle arrest.
Zhang J, Shen D, Jia M, et al.The targeting effect of Hm2E8b-NCTD-liposomes on B-lineage leukaemia stem cells is associated with the HLF-SLUG axis.
J Drug Target. 2018; 26(1):55-65 [PubMed
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To identify an agent with specific activity against B-lineage leukaemia stem cells (B-LSCs), we generated norcantharidin (NCTD)-encapsulated liposomes modified with a novel humanised anti-human CD19 monoclonal antibody, Hm2E8b (Hm2E8b-NCTD-liposomes). These liposomes were specially designed to recognise and kill B-LSCs in vitro, and to decrease non-specific cytotoxicity to untargeted cells. Hm2E8b-NCTD-liposomes selectively ablated B-LSCs through targeting hepatic leukaemia factor (HLF), which is implicated in haematopoietic stem cell regulation and is overexpressed in LSCs. Hm2E8b-NCTD-liposomes decreased HLF protein levels and induced apoptosis in the HAL-01 cell line harbouring the oncoprotein E2A-HLF. This resulted in modulation of the expression of several molecules that govern survival pathways, including HLF, SLUG, NFIL3 and C-Myc, thereby causing the induction of p53 and the mitochondrial caspase cascade. Therefore, the potent in vitro effect of Hm2E8b-NCTD-liposomes on B-LSC activity and survival pathways have the potential to be exploited clinically with appropriate drug combinations.
PIWIL2-like (PL2L) protein 60 (PL2L60), a product of aberrantly activated PIWIL2 gene, is widely expressed in various types of tumors and may promote tumorigenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying the activation of expression of PL2L60 remain unknown. In this study, an intragenic promoter responsible for the activation of PL2L60 within the human PIWIL2 gene has been identified, cloned and characterized. The promoter of PL2L60 is located in the intron 10 of the host gene PIWIL2. Bioinformatic and mutagenic analysis reveals that this intragenic promoter within the sequence of 50 nucleotides contains two closely arranged cis-acting elements specific for the hepatic leukemia factor (HLF) in the positive strand and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in the negative strand. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrates that both the HLF and polymerase II (Pol II), a hallmark of active promoters, directly bind to the sequence, although STAT3 does not. Knockdown of HLF and STAT3 alone or both by RNA interference significantly reduced both promoter activity and the PL2L60 protein expression, although there is no additive effect. The expression of PL2L60 proteins was enhanced when host gene Piwil2 was genetically disrupted in a murine cell model. Taken together, we have identified a PL2L60-specific intragenic promoter in the host gene of PIWIL2, which is interdependently activated by HLF and STAT3 through steric interaction. This activation is dependent on cellular milieu rather than the integrity of host gene PIWIL2, highlighting a novel, important mechanism for a cancer-causing gene to be activated during tumorigenesis.
Yan F, Ying L, Li X, et al.Overexpression of the transcription factor ATF3 with a regulatory molecular signature associates with the pathogenic development of colorectal cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(29):47020-47036 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The identification of novel biomarkers of cancer is important for improved diagnosis and prognosis. With an abundant amount of resources in the publicly available database, such as the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, an integrative strategy is used to systematically characterize the aberrant patterns of colorectal cancer (CRC) based on RNA-Seq, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq), tissue microarray (TMA), gene profiling and molecular signatures. The expression of the transcription factor ATF3 was elevated in human CRC specimens in a TMA by immunochemistry analysis compared to the adjacent normal tissues. In addition, ATF3 overexpression associated with a regulatory molecular signature, and its functions are related to the pathogenic development of CRC. Furthermore, putative ATF3 regulatory elements were identified within the promoters of ATF3 target genes and were confirmed by ChIP-Seq. Critically, in higher ATF3 expression cell lines (HCT116 and RKO) with CRISPR/Cas9 mediated ATF3 knock out, we are able to show that ATF3 target genes such as CEACAM1, DUSP14, HDC, HLF and ULBP2, are required for invasion and proliferation, and they are robustly linked with poor prognosis in CRC. Our findings have important implications for CRC tumorigenesis and may be exploited for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Sawahara H, Shiraha H, Uchida D, et al.Promising therapeutic efficacy of a novel reduced expression in immortalized cells/dickkopf-3 expressing adenoviral vector for hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017; 32(10):1769-1777 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Reduced expression in immortalized cells (REIC)/dickkopf-3 (Dkk-3) is a tumor suppressor gene that is downregulated in various cancers. In our previous study of prostate cancer, the REIC/Dkk-3-expressing adenoviral vector (Ad-REIC) was found to induce cancer-selective apoptosis. This study recently developed a novel super gene expression (SGE) system and used this system to re-construct an Ad-REIC vector, termed the Ad-SGE-REIC, to achieve more effective therapeutic outcomes. In this study, the therapeutic effects of Ad-SGE-REIC on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was assessed.
METHODS: Human HCC cell lines (HLE, Huh7, HepG2, HLF, SK-Hep1, and PLC), human HCC tissues, and mouse HCC cell line (Hepa1-6) were used in this study. REIC/Dkk-3 expression was assessed by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. The relative cell viability and the apoptotic effect were examined in vitro, and the anti-tumor effects of Ad-SGE-REIC treatment were analyzed in the mouse xenograft model. This study additionally assessed anti-tumor immunological effects on the immunocompetent mice.
RESULTS: REIC/Dkk-3 expression was decreased in HCC cell lines and HCC tissues. Ad-SGE-REIC reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis in HCC cell lines (HLE and Huh7), inhibited tumor growth in the mouse xenograft model, and demonstrated in vivo anti-cancer immunostimulatory effects on the HCC cell line (Hepa1-6).
CONCLUSIONS: Ad-SGE-REIC treatment not only enhanced cell killing effects in vitro but also elicited significant therapeutic effects, with tumor growth suppression, in vivo. REIC/Dkk-3 gene therapy using Ad-SGE-REIC potentially represents an innovative new therapeutic tool for HCC.
PURPOSE: The lack of biomarkers that can distinguish aggressive from indolent prostate cancer has caused substantial overtreatment of clinically insignificant disease. Here, by genome-wide DNA methylome profiling, we sought to identify new biomarkers to improve the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Eight novel candidate markers, COL4A6, CYBA, TCAF1 (FAM115A), HLF, LINC01341 (LOC149134), LRRC4, PROM1, and RHCG, were selected from Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip analysis of 21 tumor (T) and 21 non-malignant (NM) prostate specimens. Diagnostic potential was further investigated by methylation-specific qPCR analysis of 80 NM vs. 228 T tissue samples. Prognostic potential was assessed by Kaplan-Meier, uni- and multivariate Cox regression analysis in 203 Danish radical prostatectomy (RP) patients (cohort 1), and validated in an independent cohort of 286 RP patients from Switzerland and the U.S. (cohort 2).
RESULTS: Hypermethylation of the 8 candidates was highly cancer-specific (area under the curves: 0.79-1.00). Furthermore, high methylation of the 2-gene panel RHCG-TCAF1 was predictive of biochemical recurrence (BCR) in cohort 1, independent of the established clinicopathological parameters Gleason score, pathological tumor stage, and pre-operative PSA (HR (95% confidence interval (CI)): 2.09 (1.26 - 3.46); P = 0.004), and this was successfully validated in cohort 2 (HR (95% CI): 1.81 (1.05 - 3.12); P = 0.032).
CONCLUSION: Methylation of the RHCG-TCAF1 panel adds significant independent prognostic value to established prognostic parameters for prostate cancer and thus may help to guide treatment decisions in the future. Further investigation in large independent cohorts is necessary before translation into clinical utility.
Hou JY, Wang YG, Ma SJ, et al.Identification of a prognostic 5-Gene expression signature for gastric cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(4):619-629 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: Gastric cancer (GC) is a major tumor throughout the world with remaining high morbidity and mortality. The aim is to generate a gene model to assess the prognoses risk of patients with GC.
METHODS: Gene expression profiling of gastric cancer patients, GSE62254 (300 samples) and GSE26253 (432 samples), was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Univariate survival analysis and LASSO (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selectionator operator) (1000 iterations) of differentially expressed genes in GSE62254 was assessed using survival and glmnet in R package, respectively. Kaplan-Meier analysis on the clustering algorithm from each regression model was performed to calculate the influence to the prognosis. Random samples in GSE26253 were analyzed in multivariate and univariate survival analysis for one thousand times to calculate statistical stability of each regression model.
RESULTS: A total of 854 Genes were identified differentially expressed in GSE62254, among which 367 Genes were found influencing the prognoses. Six gene clusters were selected with good stability. Hereinto, five or more genes in 11-Gene model, TRPC1, SGCE, TNFRSF11A, LRRN1, HLF, CYS1, PPP1R14A, NOV, NBEA, CES1 and RGN, was available to evaluate the prognostic risk of GC patients in GSE26253 (P = 0.00445). The validity and reliability was validated.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, we successfully generated a stable 5-Gene model, which could be utilized to predict prognosis of GC patients and would contribute to postoperational treatment and follow-up strategies.
Piao J, Takai S, Kamiya T, et al.Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors selectively induce cytotoxicity in TCF3-HLF-positive leukemic cells.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 386:131-140 [PubMed
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Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is an indispensable component of the DNA repair machinery. PARP inhibitors are used as cutting-edge treatments for patients with homologous recombination repair (HRR)-defective breast cancers harboring mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. Other tumors defective in HRR, including some hematological malignancies, are predicted to be good candidates for treatment with PARP inhibitors. Screening of leukemia-derived cell lines revealed that lymphoid lineage-derived leukemia cell lines, except for those derived from mature B cells and KMT2A (MLL)-rearranged B-cell precursors, were relatively sensitive to PARP inhibitors. By contrast, acute myelogenous leukemia cell lines, except for RUNX1-RUNXT1 (AML1-ETO)-positive lines, were relatively resistant. Intriguingly, TCF3 (E2A)-HLF-positive leukemia was sensitive to PARP inhibitors. TCF3-HLF expression suppressed HRR activity, suggesting that PARP inhibitor treatment induced synthetic lethality. Furthermore, TCF3-HLF expression decreased levels of MCPH1, which regulates the expression of BRCA1, resulting in attenuation of HRR activity. The PARP inhibitor olaparib was also effective in an in vivo xenograft model. Our results suggest a novel therapeutic approach for treating refractory leukemia, particularly the TCF3-HLF-positive subtype.
Chen S, Wang Y, Ni C, et al.HLF/miR-132/TTK axis regulates cell proliferation, metastasis and radiosensitivity of glioma cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:898-904 [PubMed
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Glioma is a malignant cancer with high mortality. A key prognostic factor of glioma is radiosensitivity. It has also been known that microRNAs (miR) significantly contribute to the development of glioma. miR-132 has been previously reported to inhibit tumor growth in some cancers, but not well studied in glioma. It is necessary to understand the association between miR-132 and glioma, including miR-132 expression in glioma, effects of miR-132 on cancer metastasis and radiosensitivity, and the involved molecular mechanism. We first explored the expression levels of miR-132 in human normal and glioma tissues, then correlated the expression levels with different stages of glioma. Utilizing human glioma U87 cells, lentiviral transduction technique, luciferase reporter assay, wound healing assay, transwell invasion assay and clonogenic assay, we investigated the effects of hepatic leukemia factor (HLF), miR-132 and TTK protein kinase (TTK) on cancer cell viability, proliferation, migration, invasion and radiosensitivity. The expression of miR-132 was low in human glioma tissues, and the downregulated expression was associated with advanced glioma grades. HLF directly bound to the BS1 site of miR-132 promoter to enhance the expression of miR-132. HLF-mediated miR-132 was able to directly target and inhibit a downstream factor TTK, which had an oncogenic role. Overexpression of TTK could reverse the inhibitory effects of either miR-132 or HLF on cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and radioresistance. TTK acts as an oncogene in glioma. HLF-mediated miR-132 directly suppresses TTK expression, thus exerting inhibitory effects on cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and radioresistance.
Higashi T, Hayashi H, Kitano Y, et al.Statin attenuates cell proliferative ability via TAZ (WWTR1) in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Med Oncol. 2016; 33(11):123 [PubMed
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Diabetes and obesity are associated with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and an increased incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). TAZ and YAP are equivalently placed downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway with oncogenic roles in human cancers. Statins are commonly used to patients with metabolic problems as hypercholesterolemia. Statins also have anti-cancer properties, and the cross-talk between mevalonate pathway and Hippo pathway was known. The aim of this study is to confirm the statin's anti-cancer effects on HCC cells and its survival benefits in HCC patients with curative surgery. TAZ expression level in HCC cell lines was analyzed by western blot. Two cell lines (HLF and HuH1) were used in this study. Then the mechanism of statin's anti-proliferative effect was examined in HLF and HuH1 cells. In clinical setting, overall survival and recurrence-free survival (RFS) rate were examined in comparison between statin intake and statin non-intake group. The proliferation assay using four different statins (atorvastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin, simvastatin). Simvastatin and fluvastatin showed very strong growth suppressive effects, and induced apoptosis in HLF cells, but not HuH1 cells. TAZ expression was suppressed in HLF cells by fluvastatin and simvastatin treatment. The similar change pattern was confirmed in p-ERK1/2 and ERK. In HuH1 cells, such expression change was not confirmed. In clinical setting, statin intake was significantly associated with longer RFS in the HCC patients with hepatectomy (P = 0.038). The statin had the anti-proliferative effects and induced apoptosis in HCC cells and improved the prognosis of HCC patients.
Tran DDH, Koch A, Allister A, et al.Treatment with MAPKAP2 (MK2) inhibitor and DNA methylation inhibitor, 5-aza dC, synergistically triggers apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) via tristetraprolin (TTP).
Cell Signal. 2016; 28(12):1872-1880 [PubMed
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Over 100 putative driver genes that are associated with multiple recurrently altered pathways were detected in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), suggesting that multiple pathways will need to be inhibited for any therapeutic method to be effective. In this context, functional modification of the RNA regulating protein, tristetraprolin (TTP) that regulates approximately 2500 genes represents a promising strategy in HCC therapy. Since overexpression of TTP induces cell death in all cell types, it would be useful to target the regulator of TTP. In this study, we applied an inhibitor to MAPKAP2 (MK2) that suppresses TTP function. Importantly, cBIOportal for HCC genomics shows that expression level of the MK2 gene correlates with clinical outcome of HCC. We show that upon treatment with MK2 inhibitor, all 5 HCC cell lines, namely HepG2, Huh7, Hep3B, HLE and HLF, reduced cell growth, especially HepG2 and Hep3B cells underwent apoptosis. Simultaneously, TTP target genes such as c-Myc, IER3 or AKT-1 were downregulated. Depletion of the TTP gene rescued cells from apoptosis and restored the TTP-target mRNA expression in the presence of MK2 inhibitor. Furthermore, MK2 was activated in primary HCC that express TTP at high level. The TTP gene was induced upon treatment with DNA methylation inhibitor, 5-aza dC or interferon in three other cell lines, Huh7, HLE or HLF. Upon treatment with MK2 inhibitor and 5-aza dC or interferon these cells underwent apoptosis. The depletion of TTP in these cells partially rescued them from apoptosis, suggesting that the MK2/TTP pathway plays a role in proliferation and maintenance of HCCs. Notably, under the same conditions human hepatocyte cells (THLE-2) did not undergo apoptosis. These data also suggest that MK2 inhibitor with 5-aza dC or interferon may be a useful tool for therapy against HCC.
Y-box binding protein 1 (YBX1) is involved in the multi-tumor occurrence and development. However, the regulation of YBX1 in lung tumorigenesis and the underlying mechanisms, especially its relationship with CDC25a, was remains unclear. In this study, we analyzed the expression and clinical significance of YBX1 and CDC25a in lung adenocarcinoma and identified their roles in the regulation of lung cancer growth. The retrospective analysis of 116 patients with lung adenocarcinoma indicated that YBX1 was positively correlated with CDC25a expression. The Cox-regression analysis showed only high-ranking TNM stage and low CDC25a expression were an independent risk factor of prognosis in enrolled patients. High expression of YBX1 or CDC25a protein was also observed in lung adenocarcinoma cells compared with HLF cells. ChIP assay demonstrated the binding of endogenous YBX1 to the CDC25a promoter region. Overexpression of exogenous YBX1 up-regulated the expression of the CDC25a promoter-driven luciferase. By contrast, inhibition of YBX1 by siRNA markedly decreased the capability of YBX1 binding to CDC25a promoter in A549 and H322 cells. Inhibition of YBX1 expression also blocked cell cycle progression, suppressed cell proliferation and induced apoptosis via the CDC25a pathway in vitro. Moreover, inhibition of YBX1 by siRNA suppressed tumorigenesis in a xenograft mouse model and down-regulated the expression of YBX1, CDC25a, Ki67 and cleaved caspase 3 in the tumor tissues of mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate inhibition of YBX1 suppressed lung cancer growth partly via the CDC25a pathway and high expression of YBX1/CDC25a predicts poor prognosis in human lung adenocarcinoma.
BACKGROUND: Histone deacetylation, a common hallmark in malignant tumors, strongly alters the transcription of genes involved in the control of proliferation, cell survival, differentiation and genetic stability. We have previously shown that HDAC1, HDAC2, and HDAC3 (HDAC1-3) genes encoding histone deacetylases 1-3 are upregulated in primary human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to characterize the functional effects of HDAC1-3 downregulation and to identify functionally important target genes of histone deacetylation in HCC.
METHODS: Therefore, HCC cell lines were treated with the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) trichostatin A and by siRNA-knockdown of HDAC1-3. Differentially expressed mRNAs were identified after siRNA-knockdown of HDAC1-3 using mRNA expression profiling. Findings were validated after siRNA-mediated silencing of HDAC1-3 using qRTPCR and Western blotting assays.
RESULTS: mRNA profiling identified apoptotic protease-activating factor 1 (Apaf1) to be significantly upregulated after HDAC inhibition (HLE siRNA#1/siRNA#2 p < 0.05, HLF siRNA#1/siRNA#2 p < 0.05). As a component of the apoptosome, a caspase-activating complex, Apaf1 plays a central role in the mitochondrial caspase activation pathway of apoptosis. Using annexin V, a significant increase in apoptosis could also be shown in HLE (siRNA #1 p = 0.0034) and HLF after siRNA against HDAC1-3 (Fig. 3a, b). In parallel, caspase-9 activity was increased after siRNA-knockdown of HDAC1-3 leading to enhanced apoptosis after HDAC inhibition (Fig. 3c, d).
CONCLUSIONS: The present data show that siRNA-knockdown of HDAC1-3 plays a major role in mediating apoptotic response to HDAC inhibitors through regulation of Apaf1.
Toki Y, Sasaki K, Tanaka H, et al.A selective splicing variant of hepcidin mRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 476(4):501-507 [PubMed
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Hepcidin is a main regulator of iron metabolism, of which abnormal expression affects intestinal absorption and reticuloendothelial sequestration of iron by interacting with ferroportin. It is also noted that abnormal iron accumulation is one of the key factors to facilitate promotion and progression of cancer including hepatoma. By RT-PCR/agarose gel electrophoresis of hepcidin mRNA in a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HLF, a smaller mRNA band was shown in addition to the wild-type hepcidin mRNA. From sequencing analysis, this additional band was a selective splicing variant of hepcidin mRNA lacking exon 2 of HAMP gene, producing the transcript that encodes truncated peptide lacking 20 amino acids at the middle of preprohepcidin. In the present study, we used the digital PCR, because such a small amount of variant mRNA was difficult to quantitate by the conventional RT-PCR amplification. Among seven hepatoma-derived cell lines, six cell lines have significant copy numbers of this variant mRNA, but not in one cell line. In the transient transfection analysis of variant-type hepcidin cDNA, truncated preprohepcidin has a different character comparing with native preprohepcidin: its product is insensitive to digestion, and secreted into the medium as a whole preprohepcidin form without maturation. Loss or reduction of function of HAMP gene by aberrantly splicing may be a suitable phenomenon to obtain the proliferating advantage of hepatoma cells.
E2A-PBX1 is a chimeric gene product detected in t(1;19)-bearing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with B-cell lineage. To investigate the leukemogenic process, we generated conditional knock-in (cKI) mice for E2A-PBX1, in which E2A-PBX1 is inducibly expressed under the control of the endogenous E2A promoter. Despite the induced expression of E2A-PBX1, no hematopoietic disease was observed, strongly suggesting that additional genetic alterations are required to develop leukemia. To address this possibility, retroviral insertional mutagenesis was used. Virus infection efficiently induced T-cell, B-cell, and biphenotypic ALL in E2A-PBX1 cKI mice. Inverse PCR identified eight retroviral common integration sites, in which enhanced expression was observed in the Gfi1, Mycn, and Pim1 genes. In addition, it is of note that viral integration and overexpression of the Zfp521 gene was detected in one tumor with B-cell lineage; we previously identified Zfp521 as a cooperative gene with E2A-HLF, another E2A-involving fusion gene with B-lineage ALL. The cooperative oncogenicity of E2A-PBX1 with overexpressed Zfp521 in B-cell tumorigenesis was indicated by the finding that E2A-PBX1 cKI, Zfp521 transgenic compound mice developed B-lineage ALL. Moreover, upregulation of ZNF521, the human counterpart of Zfp521, was found in several human leukemic cell lines bearing t(1;19). These results indicate that E2A-PBX1 cooperates with additional gene alterations to develop ALL. Among them, enhanced expression of ZNF521 may play a clinically relevant role in E2A fusion genes to develop B-lineage ALL.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous disease at the genetic level. Chromosomal abnormalities are used as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers to provide subtype, outcome and drug response information. t(12;21)/ETV6-RUNX1 and high hyper-diploidy are good-risk prognostic biomarkers whereas KMT2A(MLL) translocations, t(17;19)/TCF3-HLF, haploidy or low hypodiploidy are high-risk biomarkers. t(9;22)/BCR-ABL1 patients require targeted treatment (imatinib/dasatinib), whereas iAMP21 patients achieve better outcomes when treated intensively. High-risk genetic biomarkers are four times more prevalent in adults compared to children. The application of genomic technologies to cases without an established abnormality (B-other) reveals copy number alterations which can be used either individually or in combination as prognostic biomarkers. Transcriptome sequencing studies have identified a network of fusion genes involving kinase genes -ABL1,ABL2,PDGFRB,CSF1R,CRLF2,JAK2 and EPOR in-vitro and in-vivo studies along with emerging clinical observations indicate that patients with a kinase-activating aberration may respond to treatment with small molecular inhibitors like imatinib/dasatinib and ruxolitinib. Further work is required to determine the true frequency of these abnormalities across the age spectrum and the optimal way to incorporate such inhibitors into protocols. In conclusion, genetic biomarkers are playing an increasingly important role in the management of patients with ALL.
Leng C, Zhang ZG, Chen WX, et al.An integrin beta4-EGFR unit promotes hepatocellular carcinoma lung metastases by enhancing anchorage independence through activation of FAK-AKT pathway.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 376(1):188-96 [PubMed
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Anoikis, a form of programmed cell death, occurs when the cells are detached from the appropriate extracellular matrix. Anoikis resistance or anchorage independence is necessary for distant metastases of cancer. The mechanisms by which hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells become resistant to anoikis are not fully understood. Integrin beta4 (ITGB4, also known as CD104) is associated with progression of many human cancers. In this study, we demonstrate that ITGB4 is over-expressed in HCC tissues and aggressive HCC cell lines. To explore the role of ITGB4 in HCC, we inhibited its expression using small interfering RNA in two HCC cell lines: HCCLM3 and HLF. We show that knockdown of ITGB4 significantly enhanced susceptibility to anoikis through inhibition of AKT/PKB signaling. Moreover, ITGB4 interacts with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in a ligand independent manner. Inactivation of EGFR inhibits the anchorage independence and AKT pathway promoted by ITGB4. Further investigation proved that the ITGB4-EGFR unit triggers the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) to activate the AKT signaling pathway. Finally, we demonstrate that over-expression of ITGB4 is positively associated with tumor growth and lung metastases of HCC in vivo. Collectively, we demonstrate for the first time that ITGB4 is overexpressed in HCC tissues and promotes metastases of HCC by conferring anchorage independence through EGFR-dependent FAK-AKT activation.
Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) is known to function as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer and other types of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its role has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the role of RUNX3 in HCC. We used the human HCC cell lines Hep3B, Huh7 and HLF; RUNX3 cDNA was introduced into Hep3B and Huh7 cells, which were negative for endogenous RUNX3 expression, and RUNX3 siRNA was transfected into HLF cells, which were positive for endogenous RUNX3. We analyzed the expression of RUNX3 and multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) by immunoblotting. MTT assays were used to determine the effects of RUNX3 expression on 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin (CDDP) sensitivity. Finally, 23 HCC specimens resected from patients with HCC at Okayama University Hospital were analyzed, and correlations among immunohistochemical expression of RUNX3 protein and MRP protein were evaluated in these specimens. Exogenous RUNX3 expression reduced the expression of MRP1, MRP2, MRP3 and MRP5 in the RUNX3-negative cells, whereas knockdown of RUNX3 in the HLF cells stimulated the expression of these MRPs. An inverse correlation between RUNX3 and MRP expression was observed in the HCC tissues. Importantly, loss of RUNX3 expression contributed to 5-FU and CDDP resistance by inducing MRP expression. These data have important implications in the study of chemotherapy resistance in HCC.
Montalbano R, Honrath B, Wissniowski TT, et al.Exogenous hepatitis B virus envelope proteins induce endoplasmic reticulum stress: involvement of cannabinoid axis in liver cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(15):20312-23 [PubMed
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HBV represents the most common chronic viral infection and major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), although its exact role in liver tumorigenesis is unclear. Massive storage of the small (SHBs), middle (MHBs) and large surface (LHBs) HBV envelope proteins leads to cell stress and sustained inflammatory responses. Cannabinoid (CB) system is involved in the pathogenesis of liver diseases, stimulating acute and chronic inflammation, liver damage and fibrogenesis; it triggers endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. The aim of our work was to investigate the activation of ER stress pathway after ectopic HBV envelope proteins expression, in liver cancer cells, and the role exerted by CB receptors. PCR, immunofluorescence and western blotting showed that exogenous LHBs and MHBs induce a clear ER stress response in Huh-7 cells expressing CB1 receptor. Up-regulation of the chaperone BiP/GRP78 (Binding Immunoglobulin Protein/Glucose-Regulated Protein 78) and of the transcription factor CHOP/GADD153 (C/EBP Homologous Protein/Growth Arrest and DNA Damage inducible gene 153), phosphorylation of PERK (PKR-like ER Kinase) and eIF2α (Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 2α) and splicing of XBP1 (X-box binding protein 1) was observed. CB1-/- HepG2 cells did not show any ER stress activation. Inhibition of CB1 receptor counteracted BiP expression in transfected Huh-7 and in HBV+ PLC/PRF/5 cells; whereas no effect was observed in HBV- HLF cells. These results suggest that HBV envelope proteins are able to induce the ER stress pathway. CB1 expression is directly correlated with ER stress function. Further investigations are needed to clarify the involvement of cannabinoid in HCC progression after HBV infection.
The limited efficacy of vaccines in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), due to the low frequency of tumor-infiltrating cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), indicates the importance of innate immune surveillance, which assists acquired immunity by directly recognizing and eliminating HCC. Innate Vγ9Vδ2 T cells have major histocompatibility complex-unrestricted antitumor activity and are activated by phosphoantigens, which are upregulated in cancer cells by the nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate, zoledronate (Zol). A better understanding of HCC susceptibility to Zol and downstream γδ T cell-mediated killing is essential to optimize γδ T cell-mediated immunotherapy. This study systematically examined the interactions between γδ T cells and Zol-treated HCC cell lines (HepG2, HLE, HLF, HuH-1, JHH5, JHH7, and Li-7) in vitro. All HCC cell lines expressed the DNAX accessory molecule-1 ligands, poliovirus receptor, and Nectin-2, and γδ T cell-mediated killing of these cells was significantly enhanced by Zol. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of these ligands did not affect the susceptibility to γδ T cell lysis. This killing activity was partly inhibited by mevastatin, an inhibitor of the mevalonate pathway, and markedly reduced by a monoclonal antibody to γ- and δ-chain T cell receptor, indicating that this is crucial for Zol-induced HCC killing. In addition, Zol-treated HCC cell lines triggered γδ T cell proliferation and induced production of Th1 and Th2, but not Th17, cytokines. The Zol concentration that enhanced HCC cell susceptibility to γδ T cell killing was lower than that required to directly inhibit HCC proliferation. Thus, γδ T cells may be important effector cells in the presence of Zol, especially where there are insufficient number of cancer antigen-specific CTLs to eliminate HCC. Our in vitro data support the proposal that Zol-treatment, combined with adaptive γδ T cell immunotherapy, may provide a feasible and effective approach for treatment of HCC.
Tomizawa M, Shinozaki F, Motoyoshi Y, et al.Suppression of hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation by short hairpin RNA of frizzled 2 with Sonazoid-enhanced irradiation.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(1):123-9 [PubMed
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Short-hairpin RNA of frizzled-2 (shRNA-Fz2) is known to suppress the proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells; however, its effect on HCC cell motility is unknown. In this study, suppression of HCC cell motility by shRNA-Fz2 was analyzed, and introduction of shRNA-Fz2 into HCC cells was facilitated with ultrasound (US) irradiation generated from a diagnostic US device, which was enhanced by the contrast-enhanced US reagent Sonazoid. The HCC cell lines HLF and PLC/PRF/5 that were transfected with shRNA-Fz2 were plated to form monolayers, following which the cell monolayers were scratched with a sterile razor. After 48 h, the cells were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and the distance between the growing edge of the cell layer and the scratch lines was measured. Total RNA from the cells was isolated and subjected to real-time quantitative PCR to quantify matrix metalloproteinase 9 expression at 48 h after transfection of shRNA-Fz2. Starch-iodide method was applied to analyze the generation of H2O2 following US irradiation with the addition of Sonazoid in the liquid, and cell proliferation was analyzed 72 h later. The distances between the growing edge of the cell layer and the scratch lines and MMP9 expression levels were significantly decreased with transfection of shRNA-Fz2 (P<0.05). In the starch-iodide method, absorbance significantly decreased with the addition of Sonazoid (P<0.05), which suggested that US irradiation with Sonazoid generated H2O2 and enhanced sonoporation. ShRNA-Fz2 suppressed cell proliferation of both cell lines at a mechanical index of 0.4. Motility of HLF cells and PLC/PRF/5 cells was suppressed by shRNA-FZ2. Sonazoid enhanced sonoporation of the cells with the diagnostic US device and the suppression of proliferation of both HCC cell lines by shRNA-Fz2.
Chromosomal translocations are driver mutations of human cancers, particularly leukemias. They define disease subtypes and are used as prognostic markers, for minimal residual disease monitoring and therapeutic targets. Due to their low incidence, several translocations and their biological consequences remain poorly characterized. To address this, we engineered mouse strains that conditionally express E2A-HLF, a fusion oncogene from the translocation t(17;19) associated with 1% of pediatric B-cell precursor ALL. Conditional oncogene activation and expression were directed to the B-cell compartment by the Cre driver promoters CD19 or Mb1 (Igα, CD79a), or to the hematopoietic stem cell compartment by the Mx1 promoter. E2A-HLF expression in B-cell progenitors induced hyposplenia and lymphopenia, whereas expression in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells was embryonic lethal. Increased cell death was detected in E2A-HLF expressing cells, suggesting the need for cooperating genetic events that suppress cell death for B-cell oncogenic transformation. E2A-HLF/Mb1.Cre aged mice developed a fatal myeloproliferative-like disorder with low frequency characterized by leukocytosis, anemia, hepatosplenomegaly and organ-infiltration by mature myelocytes. In conclusion, we have developed conditional E2A-HLF knock-in mice, which provide an experimental platform to study cooperating genetic events and further elucidate translational biology in cross-species comparative studies.
Tomizawa M, Shinozaki F, Motoyoshi Y, et al.Suppressive effects of 3-bromopyruvate on the proliferation and the motility of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(1):59-63 [PubMed
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The compound 3-bromopyruvate (3BP) is an analogue of pyruvate, which is the final product of glycolysis that enters the citric acid cycle. The present study aimed to investigate the suppressive effects of 3BP on the proliferation and motility of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. HLF and PLC/PRF/5 cells were cultured with 3BP and subjected to an MTS assay. Apoptosis was analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Cell motility was analyzed using a scratch assay. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to determine the expression levels of cyclin D1 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)9. Proliferation of both cell lines was significantly suppressed by 3BP at 100 µM (P<0.05). The expression level of cyclin D1 was decreased after 3BP treatment at 100 µM in both cell lines (P<0.05). Pyknotic nuclei were observed in the cells cultured with 3BP at 100 µM. These results revealed that 3BP suppressed cell proliferation, decreased the expression of cyclin D1, and induced apoptosis in HCC cells. 3BP significantly suppressed motility in both cell lines (P<0.05). The expression level of MMP9 was significantly decreased (P<0.05). 3BP suppressed the proliferation and motility of HCC cells by decreasing the expression of cyclin D1 and MMP9.