Research IndicatorsGraph generated 31 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 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (5)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
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: HOXA7 (cancer-related)
BACKGROUND: The V-ATPase proton pump controls acidification of intra and extra-cellular milieu in both physiological and pathological conditions. We previously showed that some V-ATPase subunits are enriched in glioma stem cells and in patients with poor survival. In this study, we investigated how expression of a GBM-like V-ATPase pump influences the non-neoplastic brain microenvironment.
METHODS: Large oncosome (LO) vesicles were isolated from primary glioblastoma (GBM) neurospheres, or from patient sera, and co-cultured with primary neoplastic or non-neoplastic brain cells. LO transcript and protein contents were analyzed by qPCR, immunoblotting and immunogold staining. Activation of pathways in recipient cells was determined at gene and protein expression levels. V-ATPase activity was impaired by Bafilomycin A1 or gene silencing.
FINDINGS: GBM neurospheres influence their non-neoplastic microenvironment by delivering the V-ATPase subunit V1G1 and the homeobox genes HOXA7, HOXA10, and POU3F2 to recipient cells via LO. LOs reprogram recipient cells to proliferate, grow as spheres and to migrate. Moreover, LOs are particularly abundant in the circulation of GBM patients with short survival time. Finally, impairment of V-ATPase reduces LOs activity.
INTERPRETATION: We identified a novel mechanism adopted by glioma stem cells to promote disease progression via LO-mediated reprogramming of their microenvironment. Our data provide preliminary evidence for future development of LO-based liquid biopsies and suggest a novel potential strategy to contrast glioma progression. FUND: This work was supported by Fondazione Cariplo (2014-1148 to VV) and by the Italian Minister of Health-Ricerca Corrente program 2017 (to SF).
Duan X, Chen H, Ma H, Song YThe expression and significance of the HOXA7 gene in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
J Oral Sci. 2017; 59(3):329-335 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to examine the expression of HOXA7 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and its correlation with clinical features. Sixty tissue specimens were collected from 60 OSCC patients who underwent surgical treatment at the Stomatological Hospital affiliated to Guizhou Medical University. Sixty specimens of normal oral tissue were also collected from 60 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Expression of HOXA7 was assessed by real time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Relative to the control group, HOXA7 was up-regulated in OSCC tissues at both the mRNA and protein levels (P < 0.05), and HOXA7 expression in poorly differentiated cancers was higher than that in highly differentiated cancers (P < 0.05). HOXA7 expression was higher in patients with stage III and IV cancer than in patients with stage I and II cancer (P < 0.05). Higher HOXA7 expression was also associated with the presence of vascular and nerve invasion, and lymph node and distant metastasis. HOXA7 expression in OSCC is markedly increased at both the mRNA and protein levels, and this is positively correlated with clinical stage and the degree of tumor differentiation. These data suggest that HOXA7 could serve as a diagnostic marker for OSCC or a treatment target.
Chordomas are rare tumours of the bone arising along the spine from clivus to sacrum. We compared three chordoma cell lines of the clivus region including the newly established clivus chordoma cell line, U-CH14, with nine chordoma cell lines originating from sacral primaries by morphology, on genomic and expression levels and with patient samples from our chordoma tissue bank. Clinically, chordomas of the clivus were generally smaller in size at presentation and patients with sacral chordomas had more metastases and more often recurrent disease. All chordoma cell lines had a typical physaliphorous morphology and expressed brachyury, S100-protein and cytokeratin. By expression analyses we detected differentially expressed genes in the clivus derived cell lines as compared to the sacral cell lines. Among these were HOXA7, HOXA9, and HOXA10 known to be important for the development of the anterior-posterior body axis. These results were confirmed by qPCR. Immunohistologically, clivus chordomas had no or very low levels of HOXA10 protein while sacral chordomas showed a strong nuclear positivity in all samples analysed. This differential expression of HOX genes in chordomas of the clivus and sacrum suggests an oncofetal mechanism in gene regulation linked to the anatomic site.
CD133 has been shown to be an important stem cell factor that promotes glioma progression. However, the mechanism for CD133-mediated glioma progression has yet to be fully elucidated. In this study, we found that CD133 mRNA expression was a prognostic marker in three independent glioma patient cohorts, corroborating a putative role for CD133 in glioma progression. Importantly, we found that CD133 expression in glioma was highly correlated with the expression of HOX gene stem cell factors (HOXA5, HOXA7, HOXA10, HOXC4 and HOXC6). The expression of these HOX genes individually was significantly associated with survival. Interestingly, the prognostic significance of CD133 was dependent on the expression level of HOX genes, and vice versa. CD133 (p = 0.021) and HOXA7 (p = 0.001) were independent prognostic markers when the three glioma patient cohorts were combined (n = 231). Our results suggest that HOX genes may play a more important role in progression of glioma when CD133 expression is low. Furthermore, we showed that low-level expression of LIM2 in CD133-high glioma was associated with poorer survival, suggesting that LIM2 could be a therapeutic target for glioma expressing a high level of CD133. Connectivity mapping identified vinblastine and vincristine as agents that could reverse the CD133/HOX genes/LIM2-signature, and we confirmed this by in vitro analysis in glioma cell lines, demonstrating that CD133 and HOX genes were co-expressed and could be downregulated by vincristine. In conclusion, our data show that CD133 and HOX genes are important prognostic markers in glioma and shed light on possible treatment strategies for glioma expressing a high level of CD133.
Xu G, Zhang M, Zhu H, Xu JA 15-gene signature for prediction of colon cancer recurrence and prognosis based on SVM.
Gene. 2017; 604:33-40 [PubMed
] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To screen the gene signature for distinguishing patients with high risks from those with low-risks for colon cancer recurrence and predicting their prognosis.
METHODS: Five microarray datasets of colon cancer samples were collected from Gene Expression Omnibus database and one was obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). After preprocessing, data in GSE17537 were analyzed using the Linear Models for Microarray data (LIMMA) method to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs). The DEGs further underwent PPI network-based neighborhood scoring and support vector machine (SVM) analyses to screen the feature genes associated with recurrence and prognosis, which were then validated by four datasets GSE38832, GSE17538, GSE28814 and TCGA using SVM and Cox regression analyses.
RESULTS: A total of 1207 genes were identified as DEGs between recurrence and no-recurrence samples, including 726 downregulated and 481 upregulated genes. Using SVM analysis and five gene expression profile data confirmation, a 15-gene signature (HES5, ZNF417, GLRA2, OR8D2, HOXA7, FABP6, MUSK, HTR6, GRIP2, KLRK1, VEGFA, AKAP12, RHEB, NCRNA00152 and PMEPA1) were identified as a predictor of recurrence risk and prognosis for colon cancer patients.
CONCLUSION: Our identified 15-gene signature may be useful to classify colon cancer patients with different prognosis and some genes in this signature may represent new therapeutic targets.
OBJECTIVE: To identify a gene-based signature as a novel prognostic model in lower grade gliomas.
RESULTS: A gene signature developed from HOXA7, SLC2A4RG and MN1 could segregate patients into low and high risk score groups with different overall survival (OS), and was validated in TCGA RNA-seq and GSE16011 mRNA array datasets. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was performed to show that the three-gene signature was more sensitive and specific than histology, grade, age, IDH1 mutation and 1p/19q co-deletion. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) and GO analysis showed high-risk samples were associated with tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) and highly invasive phenotypes. Moreover, HOXA7-siRNA inhibited migration and invasion in vitro, and downregulated MMP9 at the protein level in U251 glioma cells.
METHODS: A cohort of 164 glioma specimens from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA) array database were assessed as the training group. TCGA RNA-seq and GSE16011 mRNA array datasets were used for validation. Regression analyses and linear risk score assessment were performed for the identification of the three-gene signature comprising HOXA7, SLC2A4RG and MN1.
CO NCLUSIONS: We established a three-gene signature for lower grade gliomas, which could independently predict overall survival (OS) of lower grade glioma patients with higher sensitivity and specificity compared with other clinical characteristics. These findings indicate that the three-gene signature is a new prognostic model that could provide improved OS prediction and accurate therapies for lower grade glioma patients.
BACKGROUND: Liver cancer is one of the main causes of cancer-related death in human. HOXA7 has been proved to be related with several cancers.
METHOD: The expression levels of HOXA7 were examined by Western blot, qRT-PCR or ICH. MTT was used to detect the proliferative rate of liver cancer cells. The invasive abilities were examined by matrigel and transwell assay. The metastatic abilities of liver cancer cells were revealed in BALB/c nude mice.
RESULTS: In this report, we revealed that HOXA7 promoted metastasis of HCC patients. First, increased levels of HOXA7 were examined in liver cancer especially in metastatic liver cancer. Moreover, higher expression level of HOXA7 was associated with poorer prognosis of liver cancer patients. Overexpression of HOXA7 significantly enhanced proliferation, migration, invasion in vitro and tumor growth and metastasis in vivo meanwhile silencing HOXA7 significantly inhibited the aboves abilities of liver cancer cells. In this research, we identified that HOXA7 performed its oncogenic characteristics through activating Snail.
CONCLUSION: Collectively, we identify the critical role and possible mechanism of HOXA7 in metastasis of liver cancer which suggest that HOXA7 may be a potential therapeutic target of liver cancer patients.
BACKGROUND: DNA methylation has been hypothesized as a mechanism for explaining the association between smoking and adverse prostate cancer (PCa) outcomes. This study was aimed at assessing whether smoking is associated with prostate tumor DNA methylation and whether these alterations may explain in part the association of smoking with PCa recurrence and mortality.
METHODS: A total of 523 men had radical prostatectomy as their primary treatment, detailed smoking history data, long-term follow-up for PCa outcomes, and tumor tissue profiled for DNA methylation. Ninety percent of the men also had matched tumor gene expression data. A methylome-wide analysis was conducted to identify differentially methylated regions (DMRs) by smoking status. To select potential functionally relevant DMRs, their correlation with the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of corresponding genes was evaluated. Finally, a smoking-related methylation score based on the top-ranked DMRs was created to assess its association with PCa outcomes.
RESULTS: Forty DMRs were associated with smoking status, and 10 of these were strongly correlated with mRNA expression (aldehyde oxidase 1 [AOX1], claudin 5 [CLDN5], early B-cell factor 1 [EBF1], homeobox A7 [HOXA7], lectin galactoside-binding soluble 3 [LGALS3], microtubule-associated protein τ [MAPT], protocadherin γ A [PCDHGA]/protocadherin γ B [PCDHGB], paraoxonase 3 [PON3], synaptonemal complex protein 2 like [SYCP2L], and zinc finger and SCAN domain containing 12 [ZSCAN12]). Men who were in the highest tertile for the smoking-methylation score derived from these DMRs had a higher risk of recurrence (odds ratio [OR], 2.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42-3.72) and lethal disease (OR, 4.21; 95% CI, 1.65-11.78) in comparison with men in the lower 2 tertiles.
CONCLUSIONS: This integrative molecular epidemiology study supports the hypothesis that smoking-associated tumor DNA methylation changes may explain at least part of the association between smoking and adverse PCa outcomes. Future studies are warranted to confirm these findings and understand the implications for improving patient outcomes. Cancer 2016;122:2168-77. © 2016 American Cancer Society.
Guo Q, Jiang Q, Liu W, Bai YAll-trans retinoic acid inhibits HOXA7 expression in leukemia cell NB4.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2016; 62(1):63-6 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Leukemia is a malignant proliferative disease of blood system, which is caused by hyperplasia of white blood cells and infiltration into other tissues and organs with blood flow, leading to a series of clinical manifestations. In this study, we detected the expression of HOXA7 gene in human acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line NB4. The expression level of HOXA7 decreased in the presence of ATRA, which was able to inhibit the proliferation of NB4 cells. Furthermore, ATRA altered the morphology of NB4 cells. The study suggested that HOXA7 might be a new gene candidate that influences the maturation of acute myeloid leukemia, and provided the molecular basis for the treatment for acute promyelocyticleukemia.
Horibe T, Torisawa A, Kohno M, Kawakami KSynergetic cytotoxic activity toward breast cancer cells enhanced by the combination of Antp-TPR hybrid peptide targeting Hsp90 and Hsp70-targeted peptide.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:615 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 and Hsp70 are indispensable for cell survival under conditions of stress. They bind to client proteins to assist in protein stabilization, translocation of polypeptides across the cell membrane, and recovery of proteins from aggregates in the cell. Therefore, these proteins have recently emerged as important targets in the treatment of cancer. We previously reported that the newly designed Antp-TPR hybrid peptide targeting Hsp90 induced cytotoxic activity to cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: To further improve the cytotoxic activity of Antp-TPR toward cancer cells, we investigated the effect of a Hsp70-targeted peptide, which was made cell-permeable by adding the polyarginine with a linker sequence, on the cytotoxic activity of Antp-TPR in breast cancer cell lines.
RESULTS: It was revealed that Antp-TPR in the presence of a Hsp70-targeted peptide induced effective cytotoxic activity toward breast cancer cells through the descrease of Hsp90 client proteins such as p53, Akt, and cRaf. Moreover, the combined treatment with these peptides did not induce the up-regulation of Hsp70 protein, as determined by western blotting, a promoter assay using a luminometer, and single-cell level imaging with the LV200 system, although a small-molecule inhibitor of Hsp90, 17-allylamino-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), did induce the up-regulation of this protein. We also found that treatment with Antp-TPR, Hsp70-targeted peptide, or a combination of the two did not induce an increase in the glutathione concentrations in the cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that targeting both Hsp90 and Hsp70 with Antp-TPR and Hsp70-targeted peptide is an attractive approach for selective cancer cell killing that might provide potent and selective therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer.
The NUP98-NSD1 fusion, product of the t(5;11)(q35;p15.5) chromosomal translocation, is one of the most prevalent genetic alterations in cytogenetically normal pediatric acute myeloid leukemias and is associated with poor prognosis. Co-existence of an FLT3-ITD activating mutation has been found in more than 70% of NUP98-NSD1-positive patients. To address functional synergism, we determined the transforming potential of retrovirally expressed NUP98-NSD1 and FLT3-ITD in the mouse. Expression of NUP98-NSD1 provided mouse strain-dependent, aberrant self-renewal potential to bone marrow progenitor cells. Co-expression of FLT3-ITD increased proliferation and maintained self-renewal in vitro. Transplantation of immortalized progenitors co-expressing NUP98-NSD1 and FLT3-ITD into mice resulted in acute myeloid leukemia after a short latency. In contrast, neither NUP98-NSD1 nor FLT3-ITD single transduced cells were able to initiate leukemia. Interestingly, as reported for patients carrying NUP98-NSD1, an increased Flt3-ITD to wild-type Flt3 mRNA expression ratio with increased FLT3-signaling was associated with rapidly induced disease. In contrast, there was no difference in the expression levels of the NUP98-NSD1 fusion or its proposed targets HoxA5, HoxA7, HoxA9 or HoxA10 between animals with different latencies to develop disease. Finally, leukemic cells co-expressing NUP98-NSD1 and FLT3-ITD were very sensitive to a small molecule FLT3 inhibitor, which underlines the significance of aberrant FLT3 signaling for NUP98-NSD1-positive leukemias and suggests new therapeutic approaches that could potentially improve patient outcome.
Xavier FC, Destro MF, Duarte CM, Nunes FDEpigenetic repression of HOXB cluster in oral cancer cell lines.
Arch Oral Biol. 2014; 59(8):783-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Aberrant DNA methylation is a fundamental transcriptional control mechanism in carcinogenesis. The expression of homeobox genes is usually controlled by an epigenetic mechanism, such as the methylation of CpG islands in the promoter region. The aim of this study was to describe the differential methylation pattern of HOX genes in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and transcript status in a group of hypermethylated and hypomethylated genes.
DESIGN: Quantitative analysis of DNA methylation was performed on two OSCC cell lines (SCC4 and SCC9) using a method denominated Human Homeobox Genes EpiTect Methyl qPCR Arrays, which allowed fast, precise methylation detection of 24 HOX specific genes without bisulfite conversion.
RESULTS: Methylation greater than 50% was detected in HOXA11, HOXA6, HOXA7, HOXA9, HOXB1, HOXB2, HOXB3, HOXB4, HOXB5, HOXB6, HOXC8 and HOXD10. Both cell lines demonstrated similar hypermethylation status for eight HOX genes. A similar pattern of promoter hypermethylation and hypomethylation was demonstrated for the HOXB cluster and HOXA cluster, respectively. Moreover, the hypermethylation profile of the HOXB cluster, especially HOXB4, was correlated with decreased transcript expression, which was restored following treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine.
CONCLUSIONS: The homeobox methylation profile in OSCC cell lines is consistent with an epigenetic biomarker.
Zhang Y, Cheng JC, Huang HF, Leung PCHomeobox A7 stimulates breast cancer cell proliferation by up-regulating estrogen receptor-alpha.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 440(4):652-7 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common hormone-dependent malignancy in women. Homeobox (HOX) transcription factors regulate many cellular functions, including cell migration, proliferation and differentiation. The aberrant expression of HOX genes has been reported to be associated with human reproductive cancers. Estradiol (E2) and its nuclear receptors, estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and ER-beta, are known to play critical roles in the regulation of breast cancer cell growth. However, an understanding of the potential relationship between HOXA7 and ER in breast cancer cells is limited. In this study, our results demonstrate that knockdown of HOXA7 in MCF7 cells significantly decreased cell proliferation and ERα expression. In addition, HOXA7 knockdown attenuated E2-induced cell proliferation as well as progesterone receptor (PR) expression. The stimulatory effects of E2 on cell proliferation and PR expression were abolished by co-treatment with ICI 182780, a selective ERα antagonist. In contrast, overexpression of HOXA7 significantly stimulated cell proliferation and ERα expression. Moreover, E2-induced cell proliferation, as well as PR expression, was enhanced by the overexpression of HOXA7. Neither knockdown nor overexpression of HOXA7 affected the ER-beta levels. Our results demonstrate a novel mechanistic role for HOXA7 in modulating breast cancer cell proliferation via regulation of ERα expression. This finding contributes to our understanding of the role HOXA7 plays in regulating the proliferation of ER-positive cancer cells.
Dou L, Li J, Zheng D, et al.MicroRNA-142-3p inhibits cell proliferation in human acute lymphoblastic leukemia by targeting the MLL-AF4 oncogene.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(12):6811-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL)-AF4 fusion protein encoded by the chromosomal translocation t(4;11) predicts a poorer prognosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) than in other MLL-associated leukemias. However, the detailed mechanism underlying regulation of MLL-AF4 expression remains largely unknown. In this study, we showed that microRNA (miR)-142-3p was significantly downregulated in ALL patients expressing MLL-AF4. Upregulation of miR-142-3p decreased MLL-AF4 expression in the RS4;11 leukemic cell line, which suggests that MLL-AF4 is a direct target of miR-142-3p. Ectopic expression of miR-142-3p remarkably suppressed cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in RS4;11 cells expressing the MLL-AF4 fusion protein. We also found that exogenous expression of miR-142-3p strongly reduced the expression of MLL-AF4 target genes such as homeobox A (HOXA)9, HOXA7, and HOXA10 in RS4;11 cells. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-142-3p functions as a growth suppressor in MLL-AF4(+) ALL, and its suppressive effects are mediated primarily through repression of MLL-AF4 expression.
Kang JUCharacterization of amplification patterns and target genes on the short arm of chromosome 7 in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2013; 8(5):1373-8 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Chromosomal alterations are a predominant genomic force contributing to the development of lung adenocarcinoma (ADC). High density genomic arrays were conducted to identify critical genetic landmarks that may be important mediators in the formation or progression of early‑stage ADC. In this study, the most noteworthy and consistent observation was a copy number gain on the short arm of chromosome 7, which was detected in 85.7% (12/14) of cases. Notably, three distinct regions of amplification were identified between the 7p22.3 and q11.2 regions in 28.6% (4/14) of cases; at a size of 4.1 Mbp (7p22.3‑p21.1), 2.6 Mbp (7p15.2-p14.1) and 1.5 Mbp (7p12.3‑p11.2). Variations of the 7p11.2 locus that encodes EGFR are known to be oncogenic. Furthermore, potential target genes were identified that were previously not assumed to be involved in the pathogenesis of ADC, including CALM1P2 (7p11.2), HOXA4, HOXA5, HOXA6, HOXA7, HOXA9, HOXA10, HOXA11 and HOXA13 (7p15.2) and LOC442586, LOC442589, LOC442282, FAM20C and LOC442651 (7p22.3). The present study determined critical regions on the 7p arm of chromosome 7, which were implicated in ADC. The pattern of rearrangements on the 7p arm may be a consequence of the high density of potential targets and the identified genes at the 7p regions may aid in the development of therapeutic targets for ADC.
The ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of methylcytosine dioxygenases initiates demethylation of DNA and is associated with tumorigenesis in many cancers; however, the mechanism is mostly unknown. Here we identify upstream activators and downstream effectors of TET1 in breast cancer using human breast cancer cells and a genetically engineered mouse model. We show that depleting the architectural transcription factor high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) induces TET1. TET1 binds and demethylates its own promoter and the promoter of homeobox A (HOXA) genes, enhancing its own expression and stimulating expression of HOXA genes including HOXA7 and HOXA9. Both TET1 and HOXA9 suppress breast tumor growth and metastasis in mouse xenografts. The genes comprising the HMGA2-TET1-HOXA9 pathway are coordinately regulated in breast cancer and together encompass a prognostic signature for patient survival. These results implicate the HMGA2-TET1-HOX signaling pathway in the epigenetic regulation of human breast cancer and highlight the importance of targeting methylation in specific subpopulations as a potential therapeutic strategy.
Ding X, Yang Z, Zhou F, et al.Transcription factor AP-2α regulates acute myeloid leukemia cell proliferation by influencing Hoxa gene expression.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013; 45(8):1647-56 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Transcription factor AP-2α mediates transcription of a number of genes implicated in mammalian development, cell proliferation and carcinogenesis. In the current study, we identified Hoxa7, Hoxa9 and Hox cofactor Meis1 as AP-2α target genes, which are involved in myeloid leukemogenesis. Luciferase reporter assays revealed that overexpression of AP-2α activated transcription activities of Hoxa7, Hoxa9 and Meis1, whereas siRNA of AP-2α inhibited their transcription activities. We found that AP-2 binding sites in regulatory regions of three genes activated their transcription by mutant analysis and AP-2α could interact with AP-2 binding sites in vivo by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Further results showed that the AP-2α shRNA efficiently inhibited mRNA and protein levels of Hoxa7, Hoxa9 and Meis1 in AML cell lines U937 and HL60. Moreover, decreased expression of AP-2α resulted in a significant reduction in the growth and proliferation of AML cells in vitro. Remarkably, AP-2α knockdown leukemia cells exhibit decreased tumorigenicity in vivo compared with controls. Finally, AP-2α and target genes in clinical acute myeloid leukemia samples of M5b subtype revealed variable expression levels and broadly paralleled expression. These data support a role of AP-2α in mediating the expression of Hoxa genes in acute myeloid leukemia to influence the proliferation and cell survival.
Although PBX proteins are known to increase DNA-binding/transcriptional activity of HOX proteins through their direct binding, the functional importance of their interaction in leukemogenesis is unclear.We recently reported that overexpression of a 4-homeobox-gene signature (ie, PBX3/HOXA7/HOXA9/HOXA11) is an independent predictor of poor survival in patients with cytogenetically abnormal acute myeloid leukemia (CA-AML). Here we show that it is PBX3, but not PBX1 or PBX2, that is consistently coexpressed with HOXA9 in various subtypes of CA-AML, particularly MLL-rearranged AML, and thus appears as a potential pathologic cofactor of HOXA9 in CA-AML. We then show that depletion of endogenous Pbx3 expression by shRNA significantly inhibits MLL-fusion-mediated cell transformation, and coexpressed PBX3 exhibits a significantly synergistic effect with HOXA9 in promoting cell transformation in vitro and leukemogenesis in vivo. Furthermore, as a proof of concept, we show that a small peptide, namely HXR9, which was developed to specifically disrupt the interactions between HOX and PBX proteins, can selectively kill leukemic cells with overexpression of HOXA/PBX3 genes. Collectively, our data suggest that PBX3 is a critical cofactor of HOXA9 in leukemogenesis, and targeting their interaction is a feasible strategy to treat presently therapy resistant CA-AML (eg, MLL-rearranged leukemia) in which HOXA/PBX3 genes are overexpressed.
BACKGROUND: A significant number of cancers are caused by defects in p21 causing functional defects in p21 or p53 tumour-suppressor proteins. This has led to many therapeutic approaches including restoration by gene therapy with wild-type p53 or p21 using viral or liposomal vectors, which have toxicity or side-effect limitations. We set out to develop a safer, novel fusion protein which has the ability to reconstitute cancer cell lines with active p21 by protein transduction.
METHODS: The fusion protein was produced from the cell-translocating peptide Antennapedia (Antp) and wild-type, full-length p21 (Antp-p21). This was expressed and refolded from E. coli and tested on a variety of cell lines and tumours (in a BALB/c nude xenograft model) with differing p21 or p53 status.
RESULTS: Antp-p21 penetrated and killed cancer cells that do not express wild type p53 or p21. This included cells that were matched to cogenic parental cell lines. Antp-p21 killed cancer cells selectively that were malignant as a result of mutations or nuclear exclusion of the p53 and p21 genes and over-expression of MDM2. Non-specific toxicity was excluded by showing that Antp-p21 penetrated but did not kill p53- or p21- wild-type cells. Antp-p21 was not immunogenic in normal New Zealand White rabbits. Recombinant Antp peptide alone was not cytotoxic, showing that killing was due to the transduction of the p21 component of Antp-p21. Antp-p21 was shown to penetrate cancer cells engrafted in vivo and resulted in tumour eradication when administered with conventionally-used chemotherapeutic agents, which alone were unable to produce such an effect.
CONCLUSIONS: Antp-p21 may represent a new and promising targeted therapy for patients with p53-associated cancers supporting the concept that rational design of therapies directed against specific cancer mutations will play a part in the future of medical oncology.
Di Vinci A, Brigati C, Casciano I, et al.HOXA7, 9, and 10 are methylation targets associated with aggressive behavior in meningiomas.
Transl Res. 2012; 160(5):355-62 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Meningioma is one of the most common intracranial tumors and is graded according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification system. Although these tumors are often surgically curable, a malignant behavior also may occur in meningiomas with benign histologic profiles (WHO I). Thus, it is mandatory to identify biomolecular parameters useful to improve the classification of these tumors. HOXA genes belong to the HOX gene family that encodes homeodomain-containing transcription factors known to be key regulators of embryonic development, involved in cell growth and differentiation and in the development of the central nervous system. Moreover, altered HOXA gene methylation and expression have prognostic value in many tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the level of HOXA3, 7, 9, and 10 methylation in meningioma could be a biomarker linked to the pathologic characteristics of the tumor. We found that methylation levels of HOXA7, 9, and 10 in 131 meningioma samples were significantly higher in WHO II/III tumors compared with WHO I tumors. Moreover, in newly diagnosed WHO I meningiomas, HOXA7, 9, and 10 methylation was significantly lower than in WHO I samples derived from recurring tumors, and multiple meningiomas presented significantly higher HOXA 10 methylation with respect to solitary meningiomas. This study demonstrates that HOXA7, 9, and 10 are methylation targets in meningioma, associated with histopathology and clinical aggressiveness parameters. Our findings suggest the possibility of detecting the malignancy potential of meningioma by assessing the HOXA methylation level and identifying patients at higher risk who could benefit from closer follow-up or postoperative adjuvant treatments.
Li Z, Huang H, Li Y, et al.Up-regulation of a HOXA-PBX3 homeobox-gene signature following down-regulation of miR-181 is associated with adverse prognosis in patients with cytogenetically abnormal AML.
Blood. 2012; 119(10):2314-24 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased expression levels of miR-181 family members have been shown to be associated with favorable outcome in patients with cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia. Here we show that increased expression of miR-181a and miR-181b is also significantly (P < .05; Cox regression) associated with favorable overall survival in cytogenetically abnormal AML (CA-AML) patients. We further show that up-regulation of a gene signature composed of 4 potential miR-181 targets (including HOXA7, HOXA9, HOXA11, and PBX3), associated with down-regulation of miR-181 family members, is an independent predictor of adverse overall survival on multivariable testing in analysis of 183 CA-AML patients. The independent prognostic impact of this 4-homeobox-gene signature was confirmed in a validation set of 271 CA-AML patients. Furthermore, our in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that ectopic expression of miR-181b significantly promoted apoptosis and inhibited viability/proliferation of leukemic cells and delayed leukemogenesis; such effects could be reversed by forced expression of PBX3. Thus, the up-regulation of the 4 homeobox genes resulting from the down-regulation of miR-181 family members probably contribute to the poor prognosis of patients with nonfavorable CA-AML. Restoring expression of miR-181b and/or targeting the HOXA/PBX3 pathways may provide new strategies to improve survival substantially.
Jo S, Lee H, Kim S, et al.Inhibition of PCGF2 enhances granulocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60 via induction of HOXA7.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 416(1-2):86-91 [PubMed
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This study tested the hypothesis that Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) may play a negative role in the granulocytic differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells. We first examined the expression of PRC1 genes during all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-mediated differentiation of human HL-60 cells, and identified PCGF2 as a gene down-regulated by ATRA in a time-dependent manner. Upon gene silencing of PCGF2 with lentiviral short hairpin RNA, granulocytic differentiation was induced as assessed by differentiation marker gene expression, nitroblue tetrazolium staining, Wright-Giemsa staining, and cell cycle analysis. We next identified HOXA7 as a homeobox gene up-regulated by ATRA and successfully induced granulocytic differentiation by overexpression of HOXA7. We next tested the relationship between PCGF2 and HOXA7 by quantifying the changes in HOXA7 and PCGF2 expression upon PCGF2 gene silencing and HOXA7 overexpression, respectively. HOXA7 expression was up-regulated by PCGF2 gene silencing, while PCGF2 expression remained unchanged by ectopic HOXA7 expression, suggesting PCGF2 as acting upstream of HOXA7. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed with HOXA7 chromatin. We observed gene-specific reduction in direct binding of Pcgf2 protein to HOXA7 chromatin upon PCGF2 gene silencing. Taken together, these results support the notion that down-regulation of PCGF2 is sufficient to induce granulocytic differentiation of HL-60 cells via de-repression of HOXA7 gene expression. In conclusion, we report that PCGF2, a PRC1 gene, played a negative role in the granulocytic differentiation of human APL cells.
Structural chromosomal rearrangements of the Nucleoporin 98 gene (NUP98), primarily balanced translocations and inversions, are associated with a wide array of hematopoietic malignancies. NUP98 is known to be fused to at least 28 different partner genes in patients with hematopoietic malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia in blast crisis, myelodysplastic syndrome, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and bilineage/biphenotypic leukemia. NUP98 gene fusions typically encode a fusion protein that retains the amino terminus of NUP98; in this context, it is important to note that several recent studies have demonstrated that the amino-terminal portion of NUP98 exhibits transcription activation potential. Approximately half of the NUP98 fusion partners encode homeodomain proteins, and at least 5 NUP98 fusions involve known histone-modifying genes. Several of the NUP98 fusions, including NUP98-homeobox (HOX)A9, NUP98-HOXD13, and NUP98-JARID1A, have been used to generate animal models of both lymphoid and myeloid malignancy; these models typically up-regulate HOXA cluster genes, including HOXA5, HOXA7, HOXA9, and HOXA10. In addition, several of the NUP98 fusion proteins have been shown to inhibit differentiation of hematopoietic precursors and to increase self-renewal of hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells, providing a potential mechanism for malignant transformation.
Di Vinci A, Casciano I, Marasco E, et al.Quantitative methylation analysis of HOXA3, 7, 9, and 10 genes in glioma: association with tumor WHO grade and clinical outcome.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2012; 138(1):35-47 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether specific HOXA epigenetic signatures could differentiate glioma with distinct biological, pathological, and clinical characteristics.
METHODS: We evaluated HOXA3, 7, 9, and 10 methylation in 63 glioma samples by MassARRAY and pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: We demonstrated the direct statistical correlation between the level of methylation of all HOXA genes examined and WHO grading. Moreover, in glioblastoma patients, higher level of HOXA9 and HOXA10 methylation significantly correlated with increased survival probability (HOXA9-HR: 0.36, P = 0.007; HOXA10-HR: 0.46, P = 0.045; combined HOXA9 and 10-HR 0.28, P = 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies HOXA3, 7, 9, and 10 as methylation targets mainly in high-grade glioma and hypermethylation of the HOXA9 and 10 as prognostic factor in glioblastoma patients. Our data indicate that these epigenetic changes may be biomarkers of clinically different subgroups of glioma patients that could eventually benefit from personalized therapeutic strategies.
Dou L, Zheng D, Li J, et al.Methylation-mediated repression of microRNA-143 enhances MLL-AF4 oncogene expression.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(4):507-17 [PubMed
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Fusion proteins containing the amino terminus of mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) are common in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) due to translocations. The MLL-AF4 fusion protein is generated by the translocation t(4;11)(q21;q23), and t(4;11)-positive ALL patients (MLL-AF4 ALL), have a notoriously poorer prognosis compared with patients with other MLL-associated leukemias. The detailed role of this fusion protein in leukemogenesis is not well understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) targeting the AF4 3' untranslated regions may modulate MLL-AF4 fusion protein levels, raising the question of whether regulation of these miRNAs are involved in the progression of MLL-AF4 ALL. In this study, we show that miR-143 was identified as a regulator of MLL-AF4 expression in MLL-AF4 ALL samples. Restoration of miR-143 in MLL-AF4-positive RS4;11 and MV4-11 cells induced apoptosis, negatively contributing to leukemia cell growth by reducing MLL-AF4 fusion protein levels. Furthermore, miR-143 was epigenetically repressed by promoter hypermethylation in MLL-AF4-positive primary blasts and cell lines, but not in normal bone marrow cells and MLL-AF4-negative primary blasts, which was directly associated with expression of the MLL-AF4 oncogene. This is the first study to show that miR-143 functions as a tumor suppressor in MLL-AF4 B-cell ALL. These data reveal the therapeutic promise of upregulating miR-143 expression for MLL-AF4 B-cell ALL.
Cillo C, Schiavo G, Cantile M, et al.The HOX gene network in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2011; 129(11):2577-87 [PubMed
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Liver organogenesis and cancerogenesis share common mechanisms. HOX genes control normal development, primary cellular processes and are characterized by a unique genomic network organization. Less is known about the involvement of HOX genes with liver cancerogenesis. The comparison of the HOX gene network expression between nontumorous livers and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) highlights significant differences in the locus A HOX genes, located on chromosome 7, with a consistent overexpression of HOXA13 mRNA thus validating this gene deregulation as a feature of HCC. HOXA13 is a determinant of gut primordia and posterior body structures. Transcriptome analysis of HCC/nontumorous liver mRNAs, selected on the basis of HOXA13 overexpression, recognizes a set of deregulated genes. The matching of these genes with previously reported HCC transcriptome analysis identifies cell-cycle and nuclear pore-related HCC phenotype displaying poor prognosis. HOXA13 and HOXA7 homeoproteins share a consensus sequence that physically links eIF4E nuclear bodies acting on the export of specific mRNAs (c-myc, FGF-2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclin D1). We report the protein-protein interaction between HOXA13 and eIF4E in liver cancer cells and the deregulation of eIF4E mRNA and protein in cell cycle/nuclear pore HCC group phenotype and in T4 stage HCCs, respectively. Thus, transcriptional and post-transcriptional HOXA13 deregulation is involved in HCC possibly through the mRNA nuclear export of eIF4E-dependent transcripts.
Orlovsky K, Kalinkovich A, Rozovskaia T, et al.Down-regulation of homeobox genes MEIS1 and HOXA in MLL-rearranged acute leukemia impairs engraftment and reduces proliferation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(19):7956-61 [PubMed
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Rearrangements of the MLL (ALL1) gene are very common in acute infant and therapy-associated leukemias. The rearrangements underlie the generation of MLL fusion proteins acting as potent oncogenes. Several most consistently up-regulated targets of MLL fusions, MEIS1, HOXA7, HOXA9, and HOXA10 are functionally related and have been implicated in other types of leukemias. Each of the four genes was knocked down separately in the human precursor B-cell leukemic line RS4;11 expressing MLL-AF4. The mutant and control cells were compared for engraftment in NOD/SCID mice. Engraftment of all mutants into the bone marrow (BM) was impaired. Although homing was similar, colonization by the knockdown cells was slowed. Initially, both types of cells were confined to the trabecular area; this was followed by a rapid spread of the WT cells to the compact bone area, contrasted with a significantly slower process for the mutants. In vitro and in vivo BrdU incorporation experiments indicated reduced proliferation of the mutant cells. In addition, the CXCR4/SDF-1 axis was hampered, as evidenced by reduced migration toward an SDF-1 gradient and loss of SDF-1-augmented proliferation in culture. The very similar phenotype shared by all mutant lines implies that all four genes are involved and required for expansion of MLL-AF4 associated leukemic cells in mice, and down-regulation of any of them is not compensated by the others.