Gene Summary

Gene:IER3; immediate early response 3
Aliases: DIF2, IEX1, PRG1, DIF-2, GLY96, IEX-1, IEX-1L
Summary:This gene functions in the protection of cells from Fas- or tumor necrosis factor type alpha-induced apoptosis. Partially degraded and unspliced transcripts are found after virus infection in vitro, but these transcripts are not found in vivo and do not generate a valid protein. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:radiation-inducible immediate-early gene IEX-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 11 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: IER3 (cancer-related)

Kwon SM, Kim DS, Won NH, et al.
Genomic copy number alterations with transcriptional deregulation at 6p identify an aggressive HCC phenotype.
Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(7):1543-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genomic analyses have revealed the enormous heterogeneity in essentially all cancer types. However, the identification of precise subtypes, which are biologically informative and clinically useful, remains a challenge. The application of integrative analysis of multilayered genomic profiles to define the chromosomal regions of genomic copy number alterations with concomitant transcriptional deregulation is posited to provide a promising strategy to identify driver targets. In this study, we performed an integrative analysis of the DNA copy numbers and gene expression profiles of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). By comparing DNA copy numbers between HCC subtypes based on gene expression pattern, we revealed the DNA copy number alteration with concordant gene expression changes at 6p21-p24 particularly in the HCC subtype of aggressive phenotype without expressing stemness genes. Among the genes at 6p21-p24, we identified IER3 as a potential driver. The clinical utility of IER3 copy numbers was demonstrated by validating its clinical correlation with independent cohorts. In addition, short hairpin RNA-mediated knock-down experiment revealed the functional relevance of IER3 in liver cancer progression. In conclusion, our results suggest that genomic copy number alterations with transcriptional deregulation at 6p21-p24 identify an aggressive HCC phenotype and a novel functional biomarker.

Strauss U, Bräuer AU
Current views on regulation and function of plasticity-related genes (PRGs/LPPRs) in the brain.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1831(1):133-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Plasticity-related genes (PRGs, Lipid phosphate phosphatase-related proteins LPPRs) are a defined as a subclass of the lipid phosphate phosphatase (LPP) superfamily, comprising so far five brain- and vertebrate-specific membrane-spanning proteins. LPPs interfere with lipid phosphate signaling and are thereby involved in mediating the extracellular concentration and signal transduction of lipid phosphate esters such as lysophosphatidate (LPA) and spingosine-1 phosphate (S1P). LPPs dephosphorylate their substrates through extracellular catalytic domains, thus making them ecto-phosphatases. PRGs/LPPRs are structurally similar to the other LPP family members in general. They are predominantly expressed in the CNS in a subtype specific pattern rather than having a wide tissue distribution. In contrast to LPPs, PRGs/LPPRs may act by modifying bioactive lipids and their signaling pathways, rather than possessing an ecto-phosphatase activity. However, the exact functional roles of PRGs/LPPRs have just begun to be explored. Here, we discuss new findings on the neuron-specific transcriptional regulation of PRG1/LPPR4 and new insights into protein-protein interaction and signaling pathway regulation. Further, we start to shed light on the subcellular localization and the resulting functional modulatory influence of PRG1/LPPR4 expression in excitatory synaptic transmission to the established neural effects such as promotion of filopodia formation, neurite extension, axonal sprouting and reorganization after lesion. This range of effects suggests an involvement in the pathogenesis and/or reparation attempts in disease. Therefore, we summarize available data on the association of PRGs/LPPRs with several neurological and other diseases in humans and experimental animals. Finally we highlight important open questions and emerging future directions of research. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Advances in Lysophospholipid Research.

Wu MX, Ustyugova IV, Han L, Akilov OE
Immediate early response gene X-1, a potential prognostic biomarker in cancers.
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2013; 17(5):593-606 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The immediate early response gene X-1 (IEX-1) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of cell apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation and metabolism. Deregulation of IEX-1 expression has been confirmed in multiple cancers in humans, in association with either poor or better prognosis depending on the type and progression stages of the cancer.
AREAS COVERED: This review summarizes clinical studies of altered IEX-1 expression in ovarian, pancreatic, blood, breast and colorectal cancers, lymphoma and myeloma. The authors also outline the current understandings of the complex functions of IEX-1 gained from studies with animal models and tumor cell lines so as to help us comprehend the significance of the clinical findings.
EXPERT OPINION: IEX-1 holds great promise to be a valuable biomarker, either alone or in combination with other genes, for monitoring progression of some cancers. IEX-1 expression is highly sensitive to environmental cues and distinct between normal and cancer cells. However, use of IEX-1 as a biomarker remains a significant challenge because too little is understood about the mechanism underlying the diverse activities of IEX-1 and a standardized clinical assay for IEX-1 detection and validation of clinical results across different studies are still critically lacking.

Silva G, Cardoso BA, Belo H, Almeida AM
Vorinostat induces apoptosis and differentiation in myeloid malignancies: genetic and molecular mechanisms.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e53766 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant epigenetic patterns are central in the pathogenesis of haematopoietic diseases such as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Vorinostat is a HDACi which has produced responses in these disorders. The purpose of this study was to address the functional effects of vorinostat in leukemic cell lines and primary AML and MDS myeloid cells and to dissect the genetic and molecular mechanisms by which it exerts its action.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Functional assays showed vorinostat promoted cell cycle arrest, inhibited growth, and induced apoptosis and differentiation of K562, HL60 and THP-1 and of CD33(+) cells from AML and MDS patients. To explore the genetic mechanism for these effects, we quantified gene expression modulation by vorinostat in these cells. Vorinostat increased expression of genes down-regulated in MDS and/or AML (cFOS, COX2, IER3, p15, RAI3) and suppressed expression of genes over-expressed in these malignancies (AXL, c-MYC, Cyclin D1) and modulated cell cycle and apoptosis genes in a manner which would favor cell cycle arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis of neoplastic cells, consistent with the functional assays. Reporter assays showed transcriptional effect of vorinostat on some of these genes was mediated by proximal promoter elements in GC-rich regions. Vorinostat-modulated expression of some genes was potentiated by mithramycin A, a compound that interferes with SP1 binding to GC-rich DNA sequences, and siRNA-mediated SP1 reduction. ChIP assays revealed vorinostat inhibited DNA binding of SP1 to the proximal promoter regions of these genes. These results suggest vorinostat transcriptional action in some genes is regulated by proximal promoter GC-rich DNA sequences and by SP1.
CONCLUSION: This study sheds light on the effects of vorinostat in AML and MDS and supports the implementation of clinical trials to explore the use of vorinostat in the treatment of these diseases.

Communal L, Vilasco M, Hugon-Rodin J, et al.
Ulipristal acetate does not impact human normal breast tissue.
Hum Reprod. 2012; 27(9):2785-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Antiprogestins are of growing interest for the development of new treatments in the gynecological field. Ulipristal acetate (UPA) is a progesterone receptor (PR) modulator considered for long-term administration in contraception and is currently being registered for the treatment of uterine fibroids. In light of the influences of hormonal dysfunction in breast pathologies, the secondary consequences of chronic UPA therapy need to be established. The aim of this study was to determine UPA actions mediated by PR and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in normal and transformed breast.
METHODS: UPA, progesterone (P) and dexamethasone (DEX) effects were observed on PR and GR responsive genes and on proliferation and apoptosis of normal human breast epithelial (HBE) and breast cancer cells. Human normal breast tissue samples were xenografted in athymic mice and treated with estradiol (E2), or E2 + P, or E2 + P + UPA.
RESULTS: Analysis of PR and GR reporter gene transactivation and their respective endogenous target genes indicated that UPA exerted anti-progestational and anti-glucocorticoid activity in both types of cells with a more pronounced effect in cancer cells. When combined with P or DEX, UPA limits the proliferation of HBE cells but increases growth in breast cancer cell lines. UPA administration had no impact on the mitotic index on xenografted human breast tissue exposed to gonadal hormones at similar concentrations to those present in normal women.
CONCLUSIONS: Although further clinical trials are required to confirm that the results from our experimental models can be extrapolated to women treated with UPA, they suggest that such treatment would not be deleterious to normal breast tissue at least for a cycle (28 days) of continuous administration.

Hamidi T, Algül H, Cano CE, et al.
Nuclear protein 1 promotes pancreatic cancer development and protects cells from stress by inhibiting apoptosis.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(6):2092-103 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has the lowest survival rate of all cancers and shows remarkable resistance to cell stress. Nuclear protein 1 (Nupr1), which mediates stress response in the pancreas, is frequently upregulated in pancreatic cancer. Here, we report that Nupr1 plays an essential role in pancreatic tumorigenesis. In a mouse model of pancreatic cancer with constitutively expressed oncogenic Kras(G12D), we found that loss of Nupr1 protected from the development of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs). Further, in cultured pancreatic cells, nutrient deprivation activated Nupr1 expression, which we found to be required for cell survival. We found that Nupr1 protected cells from stress-induced death by inhibiting apoptosis through a pathway dependent on transcription factor RelB and immediate early response 3 (IER3). NUPR1, RELB, and IER3 proteins were coexpressed in mouse PanINs from Kras(G12D)-expressing pancreas. Moreover, pancreas-specific deletion of Relb in a Kras(G12D) background resulted in delayed in PanIN development associated with a lack of IER3 expression. Thus, efficient PanIN formation was dependent on the expression of Nupr1 and Relb, with likely involvement of IER3. Finally, in patients with PDAC, expression of NUPR1, RELB, and IER3 was significantly correlated with a poor prognosis. Cumulatively, these results reveal a NUPR1/RELB/IER3 stress-related pathway that is required for oncogenic Kras(G12D)-dependent transformation of the pancreas.

Akilov OE, Wu MX, Ustyugova IV, et al.
Resistance of Sézary cells to TNF-α-induced apoptosis is mediated in part by a loss of TNFR1 and a high level of the IER3 expression.
Exp Dermatol. 2012; 21(4):287-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Failure to execute an apoptotic programme is one of the critical steps and a common mechanism promoting tumorogenesis. Immediate early responsive gene 3 (IER3) has been shown to be upregulated in several cancers. IER3 is a stress-induced gene, which upregulation leads to reduction in production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) protecting malignant cells from apoptosis. We observed that malignant lymphocytes from patients with Sézary syndrome (SzS) were resistant to pro-apoptotic dose of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The aim of this study was to investigate the role of IER3 in the mechanism of such resistance. CD4+ CD26- lymphocytes from the peripheral blood of patients with SzS and healthy controls were negatively selected using CD4 and CD26 magnetic beads and analysed for expression of TNFR1, TNFR2, IER3 expression, and ROS production in response to TNF-α at an apoptotic dose. Sézary cells with a higher level of IER3 expression retained their viability to TNF-α. IER3 upregulation correlated with a decrease level of intracellular ROS and low TNFR1 expression on malignant cells. Targeting IER3 could be of interest for the development of future therapeutic strategies for patients with SzS.

Lee YH, Kim JH, Zhou H, et al.
Salivary transcriptomic biomarkers for detection of ovarian cancer: for serous papillary adenocarcinoma.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2012; 90(4):427-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer due to lack of clear symptom and reliable screening biomarker in the early stage. The capability to detect the initiation of malignancy with a sensitive and effective approach is one of the most desirable goals for ovarian cancer therapy. In this study, we spearheaded noninvasive detection of ovarian cancer by salivary transcriptomic biomarkers, and evaluated the clinical utilities of discovered biomarkers using a clinical case-control study. To find salivary mRNA biomarkers, salivary transcriptomes in 11 ovarian cancer patients and 11 matched controls were profiled by Affymetrix HG-U133-Plus-2.0 array. The biomarker candidates selected from the microarray results were then subjected to clinical validation by RT-qPCR using an independent sample cohort including 21 ovarian cancer patients and 35 healthy controls. Seven downregulated mRNA biomarkers were validated. The logistic regression model revealed the combination of five validated biomarkers (AGPAT1, B2M, BASP2, IER3, and IL1B) can significantly discriminate ovarian cancer patients (n = 21) from the healthy controls (n = 35), yielding a receiver operating characteristic plot, area under the curve value of 0.909 with 85.7% sensitivity and 91.4% specificity. In summary, we have demonstrated that the RNA signatures in saliva could serve as biomarkers for detection of ovarian cancer with high sensitivity and specificity. This emerging approach with high-throughput, noninvasive, and effective advantages provides a feasible means for detection of systemic cancer, and opens a new avenue for early disease detection.

Han L, Geng L, Liu X, et al.
Clinical significance of IEX-1 expression in ovarian carcinoma.
Ultrastruct Pathol. 2011; 35(6):260-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The stress-inducible immediate early response gene X-1 (IEX-1) regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis in a cell type and stimulus-dependent manner. The aim of this study was to investigate IEX-1 expression and its role in apoptosis of ovarian epithelial tumors for potential use in clinical diagnosis and therapy.
METHODS: IEX-1 expression was examined in paraffin-embedded specimens from 77 patients with epithelial ovarian tumors using immunohistochemistry. Correlation between IEX-1 expression and other clinicopathological parameters was evaluated. Apoptosis of tumor cells was detected by terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL).
RESULTS: IEX-1 expression was significantly lower in ovarian cancers compared to cystadenomas and borderline tumors (p < .05). The expression was significantly associated with FIGO stage and histological grade (p < .05), but not with age, histological type, or residual tumor (p > .05). A positive correlation was also observed between IEX-1 expression and apoptotic index (p < .01) or survival (p=.005).
CONCLUSION: With the development of epithelial ovarian tumors from benign to malignant, IEX-1 expression is decreased, concomitant with a decreased rate of cell apoptosis. Thus, IEX-1 is pro-apoptotic in the development of epithelial ovarian cancer. The pro-apoptotic activity may take part in restraining tumor growth at the early stage of ovarian epithelial cancer, whereas its decreased expression probably contributes to the abnormal survival advantage for malignant cancer. Altered IEX-1 expression can potentially be a new predictor of the malignant transformation and a prognostic indicator for cancer therapy.

De Luisi A, Ferrucci A, Coluccia AM, et al.
Lenalidomide restrains motility and overangiogenic potential of bone marrow endothelial cells in patients with active multiple myeloma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(7):1935-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine the in vivo and in vitro antiangiogenic power of lenalidomide, a "lead compound" of IMiD immunomodulatory drugs in bone marrow (BM) endothelial cells (EC) of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) in active phase (MMEC).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The antiangiogenic effect in vivo was studied using the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. Functional studies in vitro (angiogenesis, "wound" healing and chemotaxis, cell viability, adhesion, and apoptosis) were conducted in both primary MMECs and ECs of patients with monoclonal gammopathies (MGUS) of undetermined significance (MGEC) or healthy human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Real-time reverse transcriptase PCR, Western blotting, and differential proteomic analysis were used to correlate morphologic and biological EC features with the lenalidomide effects at the gene and protein levels.
RESULTS: Lenalidomide exerted a relevant antiangiogenic effect in vivo at 1.75 μmol/L, a dose reached in interstitial fluids of patients treated with 25 mg/d. In vitro, lenalidomide inhibited angiogenesis and migration of MMECs, but not of MGECs or control HUVECs, and had no effect on MMEC viability, apoptosis, or fibronectin- and vitronectin-mediated adhesion. Lenalidomide-treated MMECs showed changes in VEGF/VEGFR2 signaling pathway and several proteins controlling EC motility, cytoskeleton remodeling, and energy metabolism pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides information on the molecular mechanisms associated with the antimigratory and antiangiogenic effects of lenalidomide in primary MMECs, thus giving new avenues for effective endothelium-targeted therapies in MM.

Jung M, Dimtchev A, Velena A, Dritschilo A
Combining radiation therapy with interstitial radiation-inducible TNF-α expression for locoregional cancer treatment.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2011; 18(3):189-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Brachytherapy (BRT) is used in the treatment of human cancers, including the cervix, breast, prostate and head and neck cancers. The primary advantage of BRT lies in the spatial conformation of the radiation deposition. Previously, we have shown that similar techniques (using hollow metallic cylinders) may be used to deliver gene-therapy vectors capable of expressing the radiation-sensitizing cytokine, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, within a restricted volume of tissue. Herein, we report radiation sensitization of cancer cells using a TNF-α expressing vector driven by the radiation-inducible immediate-early gene-1 (IEX-1) promoter (pIEX-TNF-α). TNF-α, determined by ELISA assays using culture medium, increased between 5 and 10 fold, 48 h following exposure to radiation, and radiation sensitization was comparable with that observed in cells in which TNF-α was constitutively expressed under cytomegalo viral (CMV) promoter using the plasmid vector (pCMV-TNF-α). This efficiency of induced TNF-α radiation sensitization was also observed in cervix (SW756) and prostate tumor (PC-3) xenograft models. IEX-1-driven TNF-α expression following external radiation exposure resulted in enhanced regression of tumor xenografts as compared with radiation alone. A feasibility of using radioactive Pd-103 seeds with GeneSeeds was further examined using PC-3 xenograft models. The data showed substantial tumor growth suppression following co-implantation with a metal seed containing Pd-103. Taken together, these results show the enhanced effect on tumor regression by treatment with radiation-inducible TNF-α expression in combination with radiation and support for the IEX-1 promoter as a useful regulator for temporal activation of radiation-sensitizing gene expression.

Rasmussen LM, Frederiksen KS, Din N, et al.
Prolactin and oestrogen synergistically regulate gene expression and proliferation of breast cancer cells.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2010; 17(3):809-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL) plays an important role in mammary gland development. It was also suggested to contribute to breast cancer progression. In vivo data strongly supported a crucial role of PRL in promoting tumour growth; however, PRL demonstrated only a weak, if any, pro-proliferative effect on cancer cells in vitro. Several recent studies indicated that PRL action in vivo may be influenced by the hormonal milieu, e.g. other growth factors such as 17beta-oestradiol (E(2)). Here, we explored the potential interplay between PRL and E(2) in regulation of gene expression and cell growth. PRL alone induced either a weak or no proliferative response of T47D and BT-483 cells respectively, while it drastically enhanced cell proliferation in E(2)-stimulated cultures. Affymetrix microarray analysis revealed 12 genes to be regulated by E(2), while 57 genes were regulated by PRL in T47D cells. Most of the PRL-regulated genes (42/57) were not previously described as PRL target genes, e.g. WT1 and IER3. One hundred and five genes were found to be regulated upon PRL/E(2) co-treatment: highest up-regulation was found for EGR3, RUNX2, EGR1, MAFF, GLIPR1, IER3, SOCS3, WT1 and AREG. PRL and E(2) synergised to regulate EGR3, while multiple genes were regulated additively. These data show a novel interplay between PRL and E(2) to modulate gene regulation in breast cancer cells.

Davids MS, Steensma DP
The molecular pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2010; 10(4):309-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are frequently associated with clonally restricted cytogenetic abnormalities, but until recently, the molecular pathobiology underlying this diverse group of neoplastic bone marrow disorders has been largely obscure. During the last 10 years, many investigative groups have applied the formidable power of new molecular biology techniques to hunt for recurrent genetic alterations in MDS primary cells. Several genetic abnormalities, including mutations in RUNX1 (AML1), TET2, ASXL1 and TP53, have been discovered in a substantial fraction of MDS cases; genes rearranged or mutated less commonly in MDS include IER3, ATRX, RAS and FLT3. Furthermore, haploinsufficiency and expression changes in RPS14, miR-145 and miR-146a, CDC25c, PP2A and SPARC in the absence of point mutations have also been implicated in MDS pathobiology. A major challenge will be to determine which of these mutations are causative "drivers" either in the development or progression of MDS, which might be therapeutically important because they predict response to treatment, and which are merely "passengers" along for the ride that alter phenotype but have no effect on the natural history of the disease. While the altered cellular biology of MDS is also increasingly well-understood, many mysteries remain. Abnormalities in iron regulation, microenvironment interactions, regulation of apoptosis and oxidative damage/DNA repair may all play an important pathobiological role. By gaining a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of these complex and heterogeneous diseases, we will hopefully improve our ability to treat our patients with MDS beyond the therapies with limited effectiveness that are available at present.

Bruheim S, Xi Y, Ju J, Fodstad O
Gene expression profiles classify human osteosarcoma xenografts according to sensitivity to doxorubicin, cisplatin, and ifosfamide.
Clin Cancer Res. 2009; 15(23):7161-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In osteosarcoma, aggressive preoperative and postoperative multidrug chemotherapy given to all patients has improved patient survival rate to the present level of approximately 60%. However, no tumor marker is available that reliably can identify those patients who will or will not respond to chemotherapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In an attempt to find leads to such markers, we have obtained microarray gene expression profiles from a panel of 10 different human osteosarcoma xenografts and related the results to their sensitivity to ifosfamide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin.
RESULTS: The expression data identified genes with highly significant differential expression between poor and good responder xenografts to the three different drugs: 85 genes for doxorubicin, 74 genes for cisplatin, and 118 genes for ifosfamide. Technical validation with quantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed good correlation with the microarray expression data. Gene Ontology-guided analysis suggested that properties of the poorly responsive xenografts were resistance to undergo programmed cell death and, particularly for ifosfamide, a drive toward dedifferentiation and increased tumor aggressiveness. Leads toward metabolic alterations and involvement of mitochondrial pathways for apoptosis and stress response were more prominent for doxorubicin and cisplatin. Finally, small interfering RNA-mediated gene silencing of IER3 and S100A2 sensitized the human osteosarcoma cell line OHS to treatment with 4-hydroperoxyifosfamide.
CONCLUSIONS: The expression profiles contained several novel biomarker candidates that may help predict the responsiveness of osteosarcoma to doxorubicin, cisplatin, and ifosfamide. The potential of selected candidates will be further validated on clinical specimens from osteosarcoma patients.

Schetter AJ, Nguyen GH, Bowman ED, et al.
Association of inflammation-related and microRNA gene expression with cancer-specific mortality of colon adenocarcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2009; 15(18):5878-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Inflammatory genes and microRNAs have roles in colon carcinogenesis; therefore, they may provide useful biomarkers for colon cancer. This study examines the potential clinical utility of an inflammatory gene expression signature as a prognostic biomarker for colon cancer in addition to previously examined miR-21 expression.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. was used to measure the expression of 23 inflammatory genes in colon adenocarcinomas and adjacent noncancerous tissues from 196 patients. These data were used to develop models for cancer-specific mortality on a training cohort (n = 57), and this model was tested in both a test (n = 56) and a validation (n = 83) cohort. Expression data for miR-21 were available for these patients and were compared and combined with inflammatory gene expression.
RESULTS: PRG1, IL-10, CD68, IL-23a, and IL-12a expression in noncancerous tissue, and PRG1, ANXA1, IL-23a, IL-17a, FOXP3, and HLA-DRA expression in tumor tissues were associated with poor prognosis based on Cox regression (/Z-score/ >1.5) and were used to generate the inflammatory risk score (IRS). IRS was associated with cancer-specific mortality in the training, test (P = 0.01), and validation (P = 0.02) cohorts. This association was strong for stage II cases (P = 0.002). Expression of miR-21 was associated with IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12a, and NOS2a, providing evidence that the function of this microRNA and these inflammatory genes are linked. Both IRS and miR-21 expression were independently associated with cancer-specific mortality, including stage II patients alone.
CONCLUSION: IRS and miR-21 expression are independent predictors of colon cancer prognosis and may provide a clinically useful tool to identify high-risk patients.

Ria R, Todoerti K, Berardi S, et al.
Gene expression profiling of bone marrow endothelial cells in patients with multiple myeloma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2009; 15(17):5369-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine a "gene/molecular fingerprint" of multiple myeloma endothelial cells and identify vascular mechanisms governing the malignant progression from quiescent monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Comparative gene expression profiling of multiple myeloma endothelial cells and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance endothelial cells with the Affymetrix U133A Arrays was carried out in patients at diagnosis; expression and function of selective vascular markers was validated by real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR, Western blot, and small interfering RNA analyses.
RESULTS: Twenty-two genes were found differentially expressed (14 down-regulated and eight up-regulated) at relatively high stringency in multiple myeloma endothelial cells compared with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance endothelial cells. Functional annotation revealed a role of these genes in the regulation of extracellular matrix formation and bone remodeling, cell adhesion, chemotaxis, angiogenesis, resistance to apoptosis, and cell-cycle regulation. Validation was focused on six genes (DIRAS3, SERPINF1, SRPX, BNIP3, IER3, and SEPW1) not previously found to be functionally correlated to the overangiogenic phenotype of multiple myeloma endothelial cells in active disease. The small interfering RNA knockdown of BNIP3, IER3, and SEPW1 genes affected critical multiple myeloma endothelial cell functions correlated with the overangiogenic phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS: The distinct endothelial cell gene expression profiles and vascular phenotypes detected in this study may influence remodeling of the bone marrow microenvironment in patients with active multiple myeloma. A better understanding of the linkage between plasma cells and endothelial cells in multiple myeloma could contribute to the molecular classification of the disease and thus pinpoint selective gene targets for more effective antiangiogenic treatments.

Laurenzana A, Petruccelli LA, Pettersson F, et al.
Inhibition of DNA methyltransferase activates tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced monocytic differentiation in acute myeloid leukemia cells.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(1):55-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcriptional silencing via promoter methylation of genes important for cell growth and differentiation plays a key role in myeloid leukemogenesis. We find that clinically achievable levels of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-AZA-dC), a potent inhibitor of DNA methylation, can modify chromatin and restore the ability of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) to induce monocytic differentiation of the acute myeloid leukemia cells NB4 and U937. Although 5-AZA-dC cannot fully induce differentiation, we show that 5-AZA-dC acts directly on TNFalpha-responsive promoters to facilitate TNFalpha-induced transcriptional pathways leading to differentiation. 5-AZA-dC regulates the expression of Dif-2, a TNFalpha target gene, by deacetylating chromatin domains in a methylation-dependent manner. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses of the Dif-2 promoter show histone hyperacetylation and a recruitment of the nuclear factor-kappaB transcription factor in response to 5-AZA-dC. Furthermore, 5-AZA-dC plus TNFalpha enhances the level of phosphorylated RNA Pol II at the Dif-2 promoter via synergistic recruitment of TFIIH. We conclude that nonspecific changes in chromatin can allow a specific transcriptional inducer to overcome blocks in leukemic cell differentiation. Our results support the concept of low doses of 5-AZA-dC acting in combination with other agents to target epigenetic changes that drive malignant growth in leukemic cells. [Cancer Res 2009;69(1):55-64].

Daigeler A, Klein-Hitpass L, Chromik MA, et al.
Heterogeneous in vitro effects of doxorubicin on gene expression in primary human liposarcoma cultures.
BMC Cancer. 2008; 8:313 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Doxorubicin is considered one of the most potent established chemotherapeutics in the treatment of liposarcoma; however, the response rates usually below 30%, are still disappointing. This study was performed to identify gene expression changes in liposarcoma after doxorubicin treatment.
METHODS: Cells of 19 primary human liposarcoma were harvested intraoperatively and brought into cell culture. Cells were incubated with doxorubicin for 24 h, RNA was isolated and differential gene expression was analysed by the microarray technique.
RESULTS: A variety of genes involved in apoptosis were up and down regulated in different samples revealing a heterogeneous expression pattern of the 19 primary tumor cell cultures in response to doxorubicin treatment. However, more than 50% of the samples showed up-regulation of pro-apoptotic genes such as TRAIL Receptor2, CDKN1A, GADD45A, FAS, CD40, PAWR, NFKBIA, IER3, PSEN1, RIPK2, and CD44. The anti-apoptotic genes TNFAIP3, PEA15, Bcl2A1, NGFB, and BIRC3 were also up-regulated. The pro-apoptotic CD14, TIA1, and ITGB2 were down-regulated in more than 50% of the tumor cultures after treatment with doxorubicin, as was the antiapoptotic YWHAH.
CONCLUSION: Despite a correlation of the number of differentially regulated genes to the tumor grading and to a lesser extent histological subtype, the expression patterns varied strongly; however, especially among high grade tumors the responses of selected apoptosis genes were similar. The predescribed low clinical response rates of low grade liposarcoma to doxorubicin correspond to our results with only little changes on gene expression level and also divergent findings concerning the up- and down-regulation of single genes in the different sarcoma samples.

Segditsas S, Sieber O, Deheragoda M, et al.
Putative direct and indirect Wnt targets identified through consistent gene expression changes in APC-mutant intestinal adenomas from humans and mice.
Hum Mol Genet. 2008; 17(24):3864-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In order to identify new genes with differential expression in early intestinal tumours, we performed mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) expression profiling of 16 human and 63 mouse adenomas. All individuals had germline APC mutations to ensure that tumorigenesis was driven by 'second hits' at APC. Using stringent filtering to identify changes consistent between humans and mice, we identified 60 genes up-regulated and 151 down-regulated in tumours. For 22 selected genes--including known Wnt targets--expression differences were confirmed by qRT-PCR (quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). Most, but not all, differences were also present in colorectal carcinomas. In situ analysis showed a complex picture. Expression of up-regulated genes in adenomas was usually uniform/diffuse (e.g. ITGA6) or prominent in the tumour core (e.g. LGR5); in normal tissue, these genes were expressed at crypt bases or the transit amplifying zone. Down-regulated genes were often undetectable in adenomas, but in normal tissue were expressed in mesenchyme (e.g. GREM1/2) or differentiated cells towards crypt tops (e.g. SGK1). In silico analysis of TCF4-binding motifs showed that some of our genes were probably direct Wnt targets. Previous studies, mostly focused on human tumours, showed partial overlap with our 'expression signature', but 37 genes were unique to our study, including TACSTD2, SEMA3F, HOXA9 and IER3 (up-regulated), and TAGLN, GREM1, GREM2, MAB21L2 and RARRES2 (down-regulated). Combined analysis of our and published human data identified additional genes differentially expressed in adenomas, including decreased BMPs (bone morphogenetic proteins) and increased BUB1/BUB1B. Several of the newly identified, differentially expressed genes represent potential diagnostic or therapeutic targets for intestinal tumours.

Yamashita K, Nakashima S, You F, et al.
Overexpression of immediate early gene X-1 (IEX-1) enhances gamma-radiation-induced apoptosis of human glioma cell line, U87-MG.
Neuropathology. 2009; 29(1):20-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant gliomas are usually incurable even if adjuvant therapy is delivered after neurosurgical treatment. Therefore, to enhance their radiation-induced apoptosis, it is important to detect the mechanism(s) leading to the death of malignant glioma cells. We report that apoptosis was induced in a time-dependent manner after gamma-radiation and that irradiated U87-MG cells (human glioblastoma cell line) expressed immediate early gene X-1 (IEX-1) with p53. We also document that their apoptotic sensitivity to gamma-radiation was enhanced by the overexpression of IEX-1. Our findings suggest that IEX-1 may represent a new factor for the enhancement of radiation-induced apoptosis of human glioma cells.

Sasada T, Azuma K, Hirai T, et al.
Prognostic significance of the immediate early response gene X-1 (IEX-1) expression in pancreatic cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2008; 15(2):609-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The immediate early response gene X-1 (IEX-1) is a stress-inducible protein that is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of IEX-1 expression in pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: IEX-1 protein expression was examined on paraffin-embedded specimens from 78 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma using immunohistochemistry. The relationships between the IEX-1 expression and other clinicopathological parameters and patient survival were evaluated. A similar analysis was conducted in a subgroup of 48 patients, who underwent a macroscopically curative resection with detailed information on the pathological findings.
RESULTS: Among 78 pancreatic cancer patients, 41 patients (53%) were positive for IEX-1 staining. In a multivariate analysis, curative operation (P < .001), pathological stage I-III (P = .001), and positive IEX-1 expression (P = .002) were significantly favorable factors for survival. In a subgroup of 48 patients undergoing a macroscopically curative surgery, IEX-1 expression was positive in 28 patients (58%). A significant negative correlation was observed between the IEX-1 expression and serosal (P = .032) or arterial (P = .040) invasion of tumors. A multivariate analysis demonstrated limited local invasion (pT1-3, P = .021), negative lymph node involvement (pN0, P < .001), and positive IEX-1 expression (P = .004) to be significantly favorable factors for survival.
CONCLUSIONS: The positive IEX-1 expression in tumor tissues may be associated with a better prognosis in pancreatic cancer. An immunohistochemical assessment of IEX-1 expression may therefore be helpful for predicting patient prognosis in this disease.

Sebens Müerköster S, Rausch AV, Isberner A, et al.
The apoptosis-inducing effect of gastrin on colorectal cancer cells relates to an increased IEX-1 expression mediating NF-kappa B inhibition.
Oncogene. 2008; 27(8):1122-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Addressing the puzzling role of amidated gastrin(17) (G17) and the gastrin/CCKB/CCK2 receptor in colorectal carcinogenesis, we analysed potential candidate genes involved in G17-dependent NF-kappaB inhibition and apoptosis. The colorectal carcinoma cell line Colo320 overexpressing the wild-type CCK2 receptor (Colo320wt) underwent G17-induced apoptosis along with suppressed NF-kappaB activation and decreased expression of the antiapoptotic NF-kappaB target genes cIAP1 and cIAP2, whereas G17 was without effect on Colo320 cells expressing a CCK2 receptor bearing a loss of function mutation (Colo320mut). Gene microarray analysis revealed an elevated expression of the stress response gene IEX-1 in G17-treated Colo320wt but not Colo320mut cells. Quantitative real-time PCR and conventional RT-PCR confirmed this G17-dependent increase of IEX-1 expression in Colo320wt cells. If these cells were subjected to IEX-1 knockdown by small interfering RNA transfection, the apoptosis-inducing effect of G17 was abolished. Moreover, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)- or 5-FU-induced apoptosis that is greatly enhanced by G17 treatment in Colo320wt cells was prevented if IEX-1 expression was repressed. Under these conditions of blocked IEX-1 expression, the NF-kappaB activity remained unaffected by G17, in particular in Colo320wt cells co-treated with TNFalpha and also the suppressive effect of G17 on cIAP1 and cIAP2 expression was not observed anymore if IEX-1 expression was blocked. Conversely, IEX-1 overexpression in Colo320mut cells caused an increase of basal and TNFalpha- or 5-FU-induced apoptosis, an effect not further triggered by G17 treatment. Using a xenograft tumor model in severe combined immune deficiency mice, we could show that experimental systemic hypergastrinemia induced by the administration of omeprazole led to enhanced apoptosis as well as to a marked increase of IEX-1 expression in Colo320wt tumors, but not in Colo320mut tumors. These observations indicate that the proapoptotic effect of G17 on human colon cancer cells expressing the wild-type CCK2 receptor is mediated by IEX-1, which modulates NF-kappaB-dependent antiapoptotic protection and thereby exerts tumor-suppressive potential.

Matsueda S, Takedatsu H, Sasada T, et al.
New peptide vaccine candidates for epithelial cancer patients with HLA-A3 supertype alleles.
J Immunother. 2007; 30(3):274-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously identified 2 cancer-associated antigens, immediate early response gene X-1 (IEX) and small GTPase (Ran), and their 5 epitopes using human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A33-restricted and tumor-infiltrating T cells from a colon cancer patient. In this study, we examined whether or not these peptides can induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in HLA-A11+ or HLA-A31+ epithelial cancer patients because the HLA-A11, HLA-A31, and HLA-A33 alleles share binding motifs as an HLA-A3 supertype family, which is widely distributed in many ethnic populations. Among them, the 2 peptides, IEX 47-56 and IEX 61-69, induced peptide-specific CTLs from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of cancer patients with the HLA-A11 and HLA-A31 alleles more efficiently than the other 3 peptides. Antibody blocking and cold inhibition experiments revealed that the cytotoxicity of peptide-induced CTLs against cancer cells was attributable to peptide-specific and CD8+ T cells. Together with our previous findings, these results indicate that the 2 IEX peptides could be appropriate vaccine candidates for HLA-A11, HLA-A31, and HLA-A33 positive epithelial cancer patients. This information could expand the chance of a peptide-based cancer vaccine for epithelial cancer patients of many ethnic populations.

Mohankumar KM, Xu XQ, Zhu T, et al.
HOXA1-stimulated oncogenicity is mediated by selective upregulation of components of the p44/42 MAP kinase pathway in human mammary carcinoma cells.
Oncogene. 2007; 26(27):3998-4008 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expression of homeobox A1 (HOXA1) results in oncogenic transformation of immortalized human mammary epithelial cells with aggressive tumor formation in vivo. However, the mechanisms by which HOXA1 mediates oncogenic transformation is not well defined. To identify molecules that could potentially be involved in HOXA1-mediated oncogenic transformation, microarray analysis was utilized to characterize and compare the gene expression pattern in response to forced expression or depletion of HOXA1 in human mammary carcinoma cells. Gene expression profiling identified that genes involved in the p44/42 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation pathway (GRB2, MAP kinase kinase (MEK1) and SDFR1) or p44/42 MAP kinase-regulated genes (IER3, EPAS1, PCNA and catalase) are downstream expression targets of HOXA1. Forced expression of HOXA1 increased GRB2 and MEK1 mRNA and protein expression and increased p44/42 MAP kinase phosphorylation, activity and Elk-1-mediated transcription. Use of a MEK1 inhibitor demonstrated that increased p44/42 MAP kinase activity is required for the HOXA1-mediated increase in cell proliferation, survival, oncogenicity and oncogenic transformation. Thus, modulation of the p44/42 MAP kinase pathway is one mechanism by which HOXA1 mediates oncogenic transformation of the human mammary epithelial cell.

Yang C, Trent S, Ionescu-Tiba V, et al.
Identification of cyclin D1- and estrogen-regulated genes contributing to breast carcinogenesis and progression.
Cancer Res. 2006; 66(24):11649-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumors can become lethal when they progress from preinvasive lesions to invasive carcinomas. Here, we identify candidate tumor progression genes using gene array analysis of preinvasive and invasive tumors from mice, which were then evaluated in human cancers. Immediate early response protein IEX-1, small stress protein 1 (HSPB8), and tumor necrosis factor-associated factor-interacting protein mRNAs displayed higher expression levels in invasive lesions than in preinvasive lesions using samples obtained by laser capture microdissection (LCM) from transgenic erbB2, ras, and cyclin D1 mice. LCM-isolated tissues from patient-matched normal, ductal carcinoma in situ, and invasive ductal carcinoma revealed similar increased expression in invasive human cancers compared with preinvasive and normal samples. These genes induced anchorage independence, increased cell proliferation, and protected against apoptosis, singly or in collaboration with erbB2. Surprisingly, they were all up-regulated by 17beta-estradiol and cyclin D1, and cyclin D1 overexpression increased p300/CBP binding to their promoters, supporting the model that cyclin D1-estrogen receptor (ER) coactivator interactions may be important to its role in ER-positive breast cancer. Additionally, an irreversible dual kinase inhibitor of ErbB signaling inhibited expression of the same genes. The up-regulation of genes contributing to increased invasiveness of ER-positive cancers offers a novel explanation for the contribution of cyclin D1 to a worse prognosis in ER-positive cancers. As targets of estrogen, cyclin D1, and erbB2 signaling, these candidates offer insights into the nature of the second events involved in breast cancer progression, regulatory events contributing to invasion, and potential targets of combined inhibition of hormone and growth factor signaling pathways.

Lee S, Bang S, Song K, Lee I
Differential expression in normal-adenoma-carcinoma sequence suggests complex molecular carcinogenesis in colon.
Oncol Rep. 2006; 16(4):747-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
The majority of colon cancers develop from pre-existing adenomas. We analyzed the expression profiles in the sequence of normal colon crypts, adenomas and early-stage carcinomas using microdissected cells from tubular adenomas with foci of malignant transformation. Differentially expressed genes were detected between normal-adenoma and adenoma-carcinoma, and were grouped according to the patterns of expression changes in the sequence. Down-regulated genes in the sequence included PLA2G2A, TSPAN1, PDCD4, FCGBP, AATK, EPLIN, FABP1, AGR2, MTUS1, TSC1, galectin 4 and MT1F. PLA2G2A has been shown to suppress colon tumorigenesis in mice, but the pathobiological role in humans has been controversial. Our data showed continuous down-regulation of PLA2G2A in the sequence supporting an implication in human colon cancer. Tumor suppressor and/ or proapoptotic activities have also been reported in other genes. Up-regulated genes included ribosomal proteins, IER3 and TPR. TGF-beta2 and matrix metalloproteinase 23B were up-regulated in carcinoma but not in adenoma, supporting the pathobiological roles in malignant transformation. Differentially expressed genes partly coincided with those in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence of the stomach, which was published previously, suggesting a partial overlap between the adenoma-carcinoma sequences of the colon and stomach.

You F, Osawa Y, Hayashi S, Nakashima S
Immediate early gene IEX-1 induces astrocytic differentiation of U87-MG human glioma cells.
J Cell Biochem. 2007; 100(1):256-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The immediate early response gene IEX-1 is involved in the regulation of apoptosis and cell growth. In order to increase the apoptotic sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs and gamma-ray, we attempted to establish U87-MG human glioma cell line expressing IEX-1. Unexpectedly, however, transfection of IEX-1 into U87-MG glioma cells resulted in morphological changes to astrocytic phenotype and increase in glial differentiation marker proteins, S-100 and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Glial cell differentiation was used to examine in rat C6 glioma cell line, since this cell line express astrocytic phenotypes by increase in intracellular cAMP concentration. Stimulation of human U87-MG glioma cells by membrane-permeable dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP) not only elicited their morphological changes but also induced expression of IEX-1 as well as S-100 and GFAP. H89, an inhibitor of protein kinase A (PKA), blocked dbcAMP-induced morphological changes of U87-MG cells and expression of IEX-1. In contrast, morphological changes and expression of S-100 and GFAP induced by IEX-1 were not affected by H89. Morphological changes induced by dbcAMP were totally abolished by functional disruption of IEX-1 expression by anti-sense RNA. These results indicate that IEX-1 plays an important role in astrocytic differentiation of human glioma cells and that IEX-1 functions at downstream of PKA.

Lefeuvre A, Contamin H, Decelle T, et al.
Host-cell interaction of attenuated and wild-type strains of yellow fever virus can be differentiated at early stages of hepatocyte infection.
Microbes Infect. 2006; 8(6):1530-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Yellow fever (YF) virus is currently found in tropical Africa and South America, and is responsible for a febrile to severe illness characterized by organ failure and shock. The attenuated YF 17D strain, used in YF vaccine, was derived from the wild-type strain Asibi. Although studies have been done on genetic markers of YF virulence, differentiation of the two strains in terms of host-cell interaction during infection remains elusive. As YF wild-type strains are hepatotropic, we chose a hepatic cell line (HepG2) to study YF virus-host cell interaction. HepG2 cells rapidly produced high titres of infectious viral particles for 17D and Asibi YF strains. However, HepG2 cells were more susceptible to the attenuated 17D virus infection, and only this virus strain induced early apoptosis in these cells. Molecular markers specific for the 17D virus were identified by microarray analysis and confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR analysis. As early as 1h postinfection, three genes, (IEX-1, IRF-1, DEC-1) all implicated in apoptosis pathways, were upregulated. Later in infection (48 h) two other genes (HSP70-1A and 1B), expressed in cases of cellular stress, were highly upregulated in 17D-infected HepG2 cells. The early specific upregulation of these cellular genes in HepG2 cells may be considered markers of the 17D virus. This study on the YF attenuated strain gives a new approach to the analysis of the factors involved in virus attenuation.

Kerley-Hamilton JS, Pike AM, Li N, et al.
A p53-dominant transcriptional response to cisplatin in testicular germ cell tumor-derived human embryonal carcinoma.
Oncogene. 2005; 24(40):6090-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Testicular germ cell cancers remain one of the few solid tumors routinely cured in advanced stages with conventional cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The mechanisms remain largely unknown. Through use of gene-expression array profiling we define immediate transcriptional targets in response to cisplatin in testicular germ cell-derived human embryonal carcinoma cells. We report 46 genes upregulated and five genes repressed by cisplatin. Several of these gene products, including FAS, TRAILR3, PHLDA3, LRDD, and IER3 are previously implicated in the apoptotic death receptor pathway, while others including SESN1, FDXR, PLK3, and DDIT4 are known mediators of reactive oxygen species generation. Approximately 54% of the upregulated genes are established or suspected downstream targets of p53. Specific siRNA to p53 prevents cisplatin-mediated activation of p53 and p53 pathway genes and renders embryonal carcinoma cells relatively resistant to cisplatin cytotoxicity. Interestingly, in p53 knockdown cells nearly the entire set of identified cisplatin targets fail to respond or have a diminished response to cisplatin, suggesting that many are new direct or indirect targets of p53 including GPR87, STK17A, INPP5D, FLJ11259, and EPS8L2. The data indicate that robust transcriptional activation of p53 is linked to the known hypersensitivity of testicular germ cell tumors to chemotherapy. Many of the gene products may participate in the unique curability of this disease.

Dilley WG, Kalyanaraman S, Verma S, et al.
Global gene expression in neuroendocrine tumors from patients with the MEN1 syndrome.
Mol Cancer. 2005; 4(1):9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 1 (MEN1, OMIM 131100) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by endocrine tumors of the parathyroids, pancreatic islets and pituitary. The disease is caused by the functional loss of the tumor suppressor protein menin, coded by the MEN1 gene. The protein sequence has no significant homology to known consensus motifs. In vitro studies have shown menin binding to JunD, Pem, Smad3, NF-kappaB, nm23H1, and RPA2 proteins. However, none of these binding studies have led to a convincing theory of how loss-of-menin leads to neoplasia.
RESULTS: Global gene expression studies on eight neuroendocrine tumors from MEN1 patients and 4 normal islet controls was performed utilizing Affymetrix U95Av2 chips. Overall hierarchical clustering placed all tumors in one group separate from the group of normal islets. Within the group of tumors, those of the same type were mostly clustered together. The clustering analysis also revealed 19 apoptosis-related genes that were under-expressed in the group of tumors. There were 193 genes that were increased/decreased by at least 2-fold in the tumors relative to the normal islets and that had a t-test significance value of p < or = 0.005. Forty-five of these genes were increased and 148 were decreased in the tumors relative to the controls. One hundred and four of the genes could be classified as being involved in cell growth, cell death, or signal transduction. The results from 11 genes were selected for validation by quantitative RT-PCR. The average correlation coefficient was 0.655 (range 0.235-0.964).
CONCLUSION: This is the first analysis of global gene expression in MEN1-associated neuroendocrine tumors. Many genes were identified which were differentially expressed in neuroendocrine tumors arising in patients with the MEN1 syndrome, as compared with normal human islet cells. The expression of a group of apoptosis-related genes was significantly suppressed, suggesting that these genes may play crucial roles in tumorigenesis in this syndrome. We identified a number of genes which are attractive candidates for further investigation into the mechanisms by which menin loss causes tumors in pancreatic islets. Of particular interest are: FGF9 which may stimulate the growth of prostate cancer, brain cancer and endometrium; and IER3 (IEX-1), PHLDA2 (TSS3), IAPP (amylin), and SST, all of which may play roles in apoptosis.

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