Research IndicatorsGraph generated 13 March 2017 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 13 March, 2017 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: IL13RA1 (cancer-related)
Circadian clock dysregulation promotes cancer growth. Here we show that PFKFB3, the gene that encodes for inducible 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase as an essential supporting enzyme of cancer cell survival through stimulating glycolysis, mediates circadian control of carcinogenesis. In patients with tongue cancers, PFKFB3 expression in both cancers and its surrounding tissues was increased significantly compared with that in the control, and was accompanied with dys-regulated expression of core circadian genes. In the in vitro systems, SCC9 tongue cancer cells displayed rhythmic expression of PFKFB3 and CLOCK that was distinct from control KC cells. Furthermore, PFKFB3 expression in SCC9 cells was stimulated by CLOCK through binding and enhancing the transcription activity of PFKFB3 promoter. Inhibition of PFKFB3 at zeitgeber time 7 (ZT7), but not at ZT19 caused significant decreases in lactate production and in cell proliferation. Consistently, PFKFB3 inhibition in mice at circadian time (CT) 7, but not CT19 significantly reduced the growth of implanted neoplasms. Taken together, these findings demonstrate PFKFB3 as a mediator of circadian control of cancer growth, thereby highlighting the importance of time-based PFKFB3 inhibition in cancer treatment.
Behray M, Webster CA, Pereira S, et al.Synthesis of Diagnostic Silicon Nanoparticles for Targeted Delivery of Thiourea to Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Expressing Cancer Cells.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016; 8(14):8908-17 [PubMed
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The novel thiourea-functionalized silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs) have been successfully synthesized using allylamine and sulforaphane, an important anticancer drug, followed by a hydrosilylation reaction on the surface of hydrogen terminated SiNPs. Their physiochemical properties have been investigated by photoluminescence emission, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and elemental analysis. The MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay has been employed to evaluate in vitro toxicity in human colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) cells and human normal colon epithelial (CCD) cells. The results show significant toxicity of thiourea SiNPs after 72 h of incubation in the cancer cell line, and the toxicity is concentration dependent and saturated for concentrations above 100 μg/mL. Confocal microscopy images have demonstrated the internalization of thiourea-functionalized SiNPs inside the cells. Flow cytometry data has confirmed receptor-mediated targeting in cancer cells. This nanocomposite takes advantage of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) active targeting of the ligand in addition to the photoluminescence properties of SiNPs for bioimaging purposes. The results suggest that this novel nanosystem can be extrapolated for active targeting of the receptors that are overexpressed in cancer cells such as EGFR using the targeting characteristics of thiourea-functionalized SiNPs and therefore encourage further investigation and development of anticancer agents specifically exploiting the EGFR inhibitory activity of such nanoparticles.
Ross-Adams H, Lamb AD, Dunning MJ, et al.Integration of copy number and transcriptomics provides risk stratification in prostate cancer: A discovery and validation cohort study.
EBioMedicine. 2015; 2(9):1133-44 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Understanding the heterogeneous genotypes and phenotypes of prostate cancer is fundamental to improving the way we treat this disease. As yet, there are no validated descriptions of prostate cancer subgroups derived from integrated genomics linked with clinical outcome.
METHODS: In a study of 482 tumour, benign and germline samples from 259 men with primary prostate cancer, we used integrative analysis of copy number alterations (CNA) and array transcriptomics to identify genomic loci that affect expression levels of mRNA in an expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) approach, to stratify patients into subgroups that we then associated with future clinical behaviour, and compared with either CNA or transcriptomics alone.
FINDINGS: We identified five separate patient subgroups with distinct genomic alterations and expression profiles based on 100 discriminating genes in our separate discovery and validation sets of 125 and 103 men. These subgroups were able to consistently predict biochemical relapse (p = 0.0017 and p = 0.016 respectively) and were further validated in a third cohort with long-term follow-up (p = 0.027). We show the relative contributions of gene expression and copy number data on phenotype, and demonstrate the improved power gained from integrative analyses. We confirm alterations in six genes previously associated with prostate cancer (MAP3K7, MELK, RCBTB2, ELAC2, TPD52, ZBTB4), and also identify 94 genes not previously linked to prostate cancer progression that would not have been detected using either transcript or copy number data alone. We confirm a number of previously published molecular changes associated with high risk disease, including MYC amplification, and NKX3-1, RB1 and PTEN deletions, as well as over-expression of PCA3 and AMACR, and loss of MSMB in tumour tissue. A subset of the 100 genes outperforms established clinical predictors of poor prognosis (PSA, Gleason score), as well as previously published gene signatures (p = 0.0001). We further show how our molecular profiles can be used for the early detection of aggressive cases in a clinical setting, and inform treatment decisions.
INTERPRETATION: For the first time in prostate cancer this study demonstrates the importance of integrated genomic analyses incorporating both benign and tumour tissue data in identifying molecular alterations leading to the generation of robust gene sets that are predictive of clinical outcome in independent patient cohorts.
Green D, Dalmay T, Fraser WDRole of miR-140 in embryonic bone development and cancer.
Clin Sci (Lond). 2015; 129(10):863-73 [PubMed
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Bone is increasingly viewed as an endocrine organ with key biological functions. The skeleton produces hormones and cytokines, such as FGF23 and osteocalcin, which regulate an extensive list of homoeostatic functions. Some of these functions include glucose metabolism, male fertility, blood cell production and calcium/phosphate metabolism. Many of the genes regulating these functions are specific to bone cells. Some of these genes can be wrongly expressed by other malfunctioning cells, driving the generation of disease. The miRNAs are a class of non-coding RNA molecules that are powerful regulators of gene expression by suppressing and fine-tuning target mRNAs. Expression of one such miRNA, miR-140, is ubiquitous in chondrocyte cells during embryonic bone development. Activity in cells found in the adult breast, colon and lung tissue can silence genes required for tumour suppression. The realization that the same miRNA can be both normal and detrimental, depending on the cell, tissue and time point, provides a captivating twist to the study of whole-organism functional genomics. With the recent interest in miRNAs in bone biology and RNA-based therapeutics on the horizon, we present a review on the role of miR-140 in the molecular events that govern bone formation in the embryo. Cellular pathways involving miR-140 may be reactivated or inhibited when treating skeletal injury or disorder in adulthood. These pathways may also provide a novel model system when studying cancer biology of other cells and tissues.
Maxwell EG, Colquhoun IJ, Chau HK, et al.Rhamnogalacturonan I containing homogalacturonan inhibits colon cancer cell proliferation by decreasing ICAM1 expression.
Carbohydr Polym. 2015; 132:546-53 [PubMed
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Pectin modified with pH, heat or enzymes, has previously been shown to exhibit anti-cancer activity. However, the structural requirements for modified pectin bioactivity have rarely been addressed. In this study several pectin extracts representing different structural components of pectin were assessed for effects against colon cancer cells. Rhamnogalacturonan I (RGI) extracts reduced proliferation of DLD1 and HCT116 colon cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. RGI reduced ICAM1 gene expression and siRNA-mediated knockdown of ICAM1 expression decreased cell proliferation providing a potential novel mechanism for the anti-cancer activity of pectin. Structural analysis of bioactive and non-bioactive RGIs suggested that a homogalacturonan component is maybe essential for the anti-proliferative activity, furthering the understanding of the structural requirements for pectin bioactivity.
Ellison TS, Atkinson SJ, Steri V, et al.Suppression of β3-integrin in mice triggers a neuropilin-1-dependent change in focal adhesion remodelling that can be targeted to block pathological angiogenesis.
Dis Model Mech. 2015; 8(9):1105-19 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Anti-angiogenic treatments against αvβ3-integrin fail to block tumour growth in the long term, which suggests that the tumour vasculature escapes from angiogenesis inhibition through αvβ3-integrin-independent mechanisms. Here, we show that suppression of β3-integrin in mice leads to the activation of a neuropilin-1 (NRP1)-dependent cell migration pathway in endothelial cells via a mechanism that depends on NRP1's mobilisation away from mature focal adhesions following VEGF-stimulation. The simultaneous genetic targeting of both molecules significantly impairs paxillin-1 activation and focal adhesion remodelling in endothelial cells, and therefore inhibits tumour angiogenesis and the growth of already established tumours. These findings provide a firm foundation for testing drugs against these molecules in combination to treat patients with advanced cancers.
The ADAMTS (A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin motifs) enzymes are secreted, multi-domain matrix-associated zinc metalloendopeptidases that have diverse roles in tissue morphogenesis and patho-physiological remodeling, in inflammation and in vascular biology. The human family includes 19 members that can be sub-grouped on the basis of their known substrates, namely the aggrecanases or proteoglycanases (ADAMTS1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 15 and 20), the procollagen N-propeptidases (ADAMTS2, 3 and 14), the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein-cleaving enzymes (ADAMTS7 and 12), the von-Willebrand Factor proteinase (ADAMTS13) and a group of orphan enzymes (ADAMTS6, 10, 16, 17, 18 and 19). Control of the structure and function of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a central theme of the biology of the ADAMTS, as exemplified by the actions of the procollagen-N-propeptidases in collagen fibril assembly and of the aggrecanases in the cleavage or modification of ECM proteoglycans. Defects in certain family members give rise to inherited genetic disorders, while the aberrant expression or function of others is associated with arthritis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In particular, ADAMTS4 and 5 have emerged as therapeutic targets in arthritis. Multiple ADAMTSs from different sub-groupings exert either positive or negative effects on tumorigenesis and metastasis, with both metalloproteinase-dependent and -independent actions known to occur. The basic ADAMTS structure comprises a metalloproteinase catalytic domain and a carboxy-terminal ancillary domain, the latter determining substrate specificity and the localization of the protease and its interaction partners; ancillary domains probably also have independent biological functions. Focusing primarily on the aggrecanases and proteoglycanases, this review provides a perspective on the evolution of the ADAMTS family, their links with developmental and disease mechanisms, and key questions for the future.
Cancers emerge from an ongoing Darwinian evolutionary process, often leading to multiple competing subclones within a single primary tumour. This evolutionary process culminates in the formation of metastases, which is the cause of 90% of cancer-related deaths. However, despite its clinical importance, little is known about the principles governing the dissemination of cancer cells to distant organs. Although the hypothesis that each metastasis originates from a single tumour cell is generally supported, recent studies using mouse models of cancer demonstrated the existence of polyclonal seeding from and interclonal cooperation between multiple subclones. Here we sought definitive evidence for the existence of polyclonal seeding in human malignancy and to establish the clonal relationship among different metastases in the context of androgen-deprived metastatic prostate cancer. Using whole-genome sequencing, we characterized multiple metastases arising from prostate tumours in ten patients. Integrated analyses of subclonal architecture revealed the patterns of metastatic spread in unprecedented detail. Metastasis-to-metastasis spread was found to be common, either through de novo monoclonal seeding of daughter metastases or, in five cases, through the transfer of multiple tumour clones between metastatic sites. Lesions affecting tumour suppressor genes usually occur as single events, whereas mutations in genes involved in androgen receptor signalling commonly involve multiple, convergent events in different metastases. Our results elucidate in detail the complex patterns of metastatic spread and further our understanding of the development of resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy in prostate cancer.
Dénes J, Swords F, Rattenberry E, et al.Heterogeneous genetic background of the association of pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and pituitary adenoma: results from a large patient cohort.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(3):E531-41 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Pituitary adenomas and pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas (pheo/PGL) can occur in the same patient or in the same family. Coexistence of the two diseases could be due to either a common pathogenic mechanism or a coincidence.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the investigation was to study the possible coexistence of pituitary adenoma and pheo/PGL.
DESIGN: Thirty-nine cases of sporadic or familial pheo/PGL and pituitary adenomas were investigated. Known pheo/PGL genes (SDHA-D, SDHAF2, RET, VHL, TMEM127, MAX, FH) and pituitary adenoma genes (MEN1, AIP, CDKN1B) were sequenced using next generation or Sanger sequencing. Loss of heterozygosity study and pathological studies were performed on the available tumor samples.
SETTING: The study was conducted at university hospitals.
PATIENTS: Thirty-nine patients with sporadic of familial pituitary adenoma and pheo/PGL participated in the study.
OUTCOME: Outcomes included genetic screening and clinical characteristics.
RESULTS: Eleven germline mutations (five SDHB, one SDHC, one SDHD, two VHL, and two MEN1) and four variants of unknown significance (two SDHA, one SDHB, and one SDHAF2) were identified in the studied genes in our patient cohort. Tumor tissue analysis identified LOH at the SDHB locus in three pituitary adenomas and loss of heterozygosity at the MEN1 locus in two pheochromocytomas. All the pituitary adenomas of patients affected by SDHX alterations have a unique histological feature not previously described in this context.
CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in the genes known to cause pheo/PGL can rarely be associated with pituitary adenomas, whereas mutation in a gene predisposing to pituitary adenomas (MEN1) can be associated with pheo/PGL. Our findings suggest that genetic testing should be considered in all patients or families with the constellation of pheo/PGL and a pituitary adenoma.
The G protein-coupled receptors CB2 (CB2R) and GPR55 are overexpressed in cancer cells and human tumors. Because a modulation of GPR55 activity by cannabinoids has been suggested, we analyzed whether this receptor participates in cannabinoid effects on cancer cells. Here we show that CB2R and GPR55 form heteromers in cancer cells, that these structures possess unique signaling properties, and that modulation of these heteromers can modify the antitumoral activity of cannabinoids in vivo. These findings unveil the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms that help explain the complex behavior of cannabinoids and may constitute new targets for therapeutic intervention in oncology.
BACKGROUND: DNA methylation (DNAm) has important regulatory roles in many biological processes and diseases. It is the only epigenetic mark with a clear mechanism of mitotic inheritance and the only one easily available on a genome scale. Aberrant cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) methylation has been discussed in the context of disease aetiology, especially cancer. CpG hypermethylation of promoter regions is often associated with silencing of tumour suppressor genes and hypomethylation with activation of oncogenes.Supervised principal component analysis (SPCA) is a popular machine learning method. However, in a recent application to phenotype prediction from DNAm data SPCA was inferior to the specific method EVORA.
RESULTS: We present Model-Selection-SPCA (MS-SPCA), an enhanced version of SPCA. MS-SPCA applies several models that perform well in the training data to the test data and selects the very best models for final prediction based on parameters of the test data.We have applied MS-SPCA for phenotype prediction from genome-wide DNAm data. CpGs used for prediction are selected based on the quantification of three features of their methylation (average methylation difference, methylation variation difference and methylation-age-correlation). We analysed four independent case-control datasets that correspond to different stages of cervical cancer: (i) cases currently cytologically normal, but will later develop neoplastic transformations, (ii, iii) cases showing neoplastic transformations and (iv) cases with confirmed cancer. The first dataset was split into several smaller case-control datasets (samples either Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) positive or negative). We demonstrate that cytology normal HPV+ and HPV- samples contain DNAm patterns which are associated with later neoplastic transformations. We present evidence that DNAm patterns exist in cytology normal HPV- samples that (i) predispose to neoplastic transformations after HPV infection and (ii) predispose to HPV infection itself. MS-SPCA performs significantly better than EVORA.
CONCLUSIONS: MS-SPCA can be applied to many classification problems. Additional improvements could include usage of more than one principal component (PC), with automatic selection of the optimal number of PCs. We expect that MS-SPCA will be useful for analysing recent larger DNAm data to predict future neoplastic transformations.
The colorectal mucosal epithelium is composed of rapidly proliferating crypt cells derived by clonal expansion from stem cells. The aging human colorectal mucosa develops aberrant patterns of DNA methylation that may contribute to its increasing vulnerability to cancer. Various types of evidence suggest that age-dependent loss of global methylation, together with hypermethylation of CpG islands associated with cancer-related genes, may be influenced by nutritional and metabolic factors. Folates are essential for the maintenance of normal DNA methylation, and folate metabolism is known to modify epigenetic mechanisms under experimental conditions. Human intervention trials and cross-sectional studies suggest a role for folates and other nutritional and metabolic factors as determinants of colorectal mucosal DNA methylation. Future studies should focus on the possibility that folic acid fortification may exert unforeseen effects on the human gastrointestinal epigenome. Naturally occurring DNA methyltransferase inhibitors in plant foods may be useful for the manipulation of epigenetic profiles in health and disease.
Jennings BA, Willis GHow folate metabolism affects colorectal cancer development and treatment; a story of heterogeneity and pleiotropy.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 356(2 Pt A):224-30 [PubMed
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Folate was identified as an essential micronutrient early in the twentieth century and anti-folate chemotherapy such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) has been central to the medical management of solid tumours including colorectal cancer for more than five decades. In the intervening years, evidence has been gathered which shows that folate deficiency leads to many human diseases throughout the life-course. However, we still do not know all of the mechanisms behind functional folate deficiency, or indeed its rescue through supplementation with natural and particularly synthetic folates. There is growing evidence that one adverse effect of folic acid fortification programmes is an increased risk of colorectal cancer within populations. The complexity of folate-dependent, one-carbon metabolism and the heterogeneity that exists between individuals with respect to the enzymes involved in the anabolic pathways, and the catabolism of 5-FU, are explored in this review. The enzyme products of some genes such as MTHFR exert multiple and perhaps unrelated effects on many phenotypes, including cancer development. We describe this pleiotropy and the common genetic variants that affect folate metabolism; and discuss some of the studies that have investigated their potential as predictive biomarkers.
Soond SM, Smith PG, Wahl L, et al.Novel WWP2 ubiquitin ligase isoforms as potential prognostic markers and molecular targets in cancer.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1832(12):2127-35 [PubMed
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The WWP2 E3 ubiquitin ligase has previously been shown to regulate TGFβ/Smad signalling activity linked to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Whilst inhibitory I-Smad7 was found to be the preferred substrate for full-length WWP2-FL and a WWP2-C isoform, WWP2-FL also formed a stable complex with an N-terminal WWP2 isoform (WWP2-N) in the absence of TGFβ, and rapidly stimulated activating Smad2/3 turnover. Here, using stable knockdown experiments we show that specific depletion of individual WWP2 isoforms impacts differentially on Smad protein levels, and in WWP2-N knockdown cells we unexpectedly find spontaneous expression of the EMT marker vimentin. Re-introduction of WWP2-N into WWP2-N knockout cells also repressed TGFβ-induced vimentin expression. In support of the unique role for WWP2-N in regulating TGFβ/Smad functional activity, we then show that a novel V717M-WWP2 mutant in the MZ7-mel melanoma cell line forms a stable complex with the WWP2-N isoform and promotes EMT by stabilizing Smad3 protein levels. Finally, we report the first analysis of WWP2 expression in cancer cDNA panel arrays using WWP2 isoform-specific probes and identify unique patterns of WWP2 isoform abundance associated with early/advanced disease stages. WWP2-N is significantly downregulated in stage IIIC melanoma and up-regulated in stage II/III prostate cancer, and we also find isolated examples of WWP2-FL and WWP2-C overexpression in early-stage breast cancer. Together, these data suggest that individual WWP2 isoforms, and particularly WWP2-N, could play central roles in tumourigenesis linked to aberrant TGFβ-dependent signalling function, and also have potential as both prognostic markers and molecular therapeutic targets.
Kerr JS, Wilson CHNuclear receptor-binding protein 1: a novel tumour suppressor and pseudokinase.
Biochem Soc Trans. 2013; 41(4):1055-60 [PubMed
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Pseudokinases are a class of kinases which are structurally designated as lacking kinase activity. Despite the lack of kinase domain sequence conservation, there is increasing evidence that a number of pseudokinases retain kinase activity and/or have critical cellular functions, casting aside previous notions that pseudokinases simply exist as redundant kinases. Moreover, a number of recent studies have implicated pseudokinases as critical components in cancer formation and progression. The present review discusses the interactions and potential functions that nuclear receptor-binding protein 1, a pseudokinase recently described to have a tumour-suppressive role in cancer, may play in cellular homoeostasis and protein regulation. The recent findings highlighted in the present review emphasize the requirement to fully determine the function of pseudokinases in vitro and in vivo, the understanding of which may ultimately uncover new directions for drug discovery.
Fang ZQ, Zang WD, Chen R, et al.Gene expression profile and enrichment pathways in different stages of bladder cancer.
Genet Mol Res. 2013; 12(2):1479-89 [PubMed
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Bladder cancer is a highly heterogeneous neoplasm. We examined the gene expression profile in 3 bladder cancer stages (Ta, T1, T2) using expression microarray analysis of 40 bladder tumors. Differentially expressed genes were found by the t-test, with <0.005 as the significance threshold. KEGG pathway-enrichment analysis was used to study the signaling pathways of the genes. We found 36 genes that could be used as molecular markers for predicting the transition from Ta-T1 to T1-T2. Among these, 11 overlapped between Ta-T1 and T1-T2 stages. Six genes were down-regulated at the Ta-T1 stage, but were up-regulated at the T1-T2 stage (ANXA5, ATP6V1B2, CTGF, GEM, IL13RA1, and LCP1); 5 genes were up-regulated at the Ta-T1 stage, but down-regulated at the T1-T2 stage (ACPP, GNL1, RIPK1, RAPGEF3, and ZER1). Another 25 genes changed relative expression levels at the T1-T2 stage. These genes (including COL1A1, COL1A2, FN1, ITGA5, LGALS1, SPP1, VIM, POSTN, and COL18A1) may be involved in bladder cancer progression by affecting extracellular matrix-receptor interaction and focal adhesion. The cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and calcium-signaling pathway were associated with bladder cancer progression at both the Ta-T1 and T1-T2 stages.
Matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP-8) is a tumor-suppressive protease that cleaves numerous substrates, including matrix proteins and chemokines. In particular, MMP-8 proteolytically activates IL-8 and, thereby, regulates neutrophil chemotaxis in vivo. We explored the effects of expression of either a WT or catalytically inactive (E198A) mutant version of MMP-8 in human breast cancer cell lines. Analysis of serum-free conditioned media from three breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, SK-BR-3, and MDA-MB-231) expressing WT MMP-8 revealed elevated levels of IL-6 and IL-8. This increase was mirrored at the mRNA level and was dependent on MMP-8 catalytic activity. However, sustained expression of WT MMP-8 by breast cancer cells was non-permissive for long-term growth, as shown by reduced colony formation compared with cells expressing either control vector or E198A mutant MMP-8. In long-term culture of transfected MDA-MB-231 cells, expression of WT but not E198A mutant MMP-8 was lost, with IL-6 and IL-8 levels returning to base line. Rare clonal isolates of MDA-MB-231 cells expressing WT MMP-8 were generated, and these showed constitutively high levels of IL-6 and IL-8, although production of the interleukins was no longer dependent upon MMP-8 activity. These studies support a causal connection between MMP-8 activity and the IL-6/IL-8 network, with an acute response to MMP-8 involving induction of the proinflammatory mediators, which may in part serve to compensate for the deleterious effects of MMP-8 on breast cancer cell growth. This axis may be relevant to the recognized ability of MMP-8 to orchestrate the innate immune system in inflammation in vivo.
Pereira-Caro G, Mateos R, Traka MH, et al.Hydroxytyrosyl ethyl ether exhibits stronger intestinal anticarcinogenic potency and effects on transcript profiles compared to hydroxytyrosol.
Food Chem. 2013; 138(2-3):1172-82 [PubMed
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The anticarcinogenic activity of hydroxytyrosyl ethyl ether (HTy-Et) compared to its precursor hydroxytyrosol (HTy) has been studied in human Caco-2 colon adenocarcinoma cells. 451 and 977 genes were differentially expressed in Caco-2 cells exposed to HTy or HTy-Et for 24h, respectively, compared with untreated cells (P<0.005; FDR=0), using Affymetrix microarrays. Results showed that both HTy and HTy-Et inhibited cell proliferation and arrested the cell cycle by up-regulating p21 and CCNG2 and down-regulating CCNB1 protein expression. HTy and HTy-Et also altered the transcription of specific genes involved in apoptosis, as suggested by the up-regulation of BNIP3, BNIP3L, PDCD4 and ATF3 and the activation of caspase-3. Moreover, these polyphenols up-regulated xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes UGT1A10 and CYP1A1, enhancing carcinogen detoxification. In conclusion, these results highlight that HTy and its derivative HTy-Et modulate molecular mechanisms involved in colon cancer, with HTy-Et being more effective than HTy.
Despite surgery and radiotherapy, as many as 50 % of children with ependymomas will suffer from tumor recurrences that will ultimately lead to death. Our group's initial peptide-based glioma vaccine targeting EphA2, IL-13Rα2, and Survivin, which are overexpressed in pediatric gliomas, has shown promise in its initial phase of testing. We therefore investigated whether EphA2, IL-13Rα2, Survivin, and, additionally, Wilms' Tumor 1 (WT1), are overexpressed in pediatric ependymomas to determine if a similar immunotherapy approach could be applicable. Immunohistochemistry was performed using antibodies specific for EphA2, IL-13Rα2, Survivin, and WT1 on paraffin-embedded specimens from 19 pediatric and 13 adult ependymomas. Normal brain and ependyma were used for background staining controls. Negative staining was defined as no staining or staining equaling the background intensity in normal brain tissues. In the 19 pediatric cases, 18 (95 %) demonstrated positive staining for EphA2, 16 (84 %) for IL-13Rα2, 18 (95 %) for Survivin, and only 7 (37 %) for WT1. Only 3 of 19 cases were positive for two or fewer tumor-associated antigens (TAAs); 16 of 19 cases were positive for three or more TAAs. In the 13 adult cases, all 13 demonstrated positive staining for EphA2, IL-13Rα2, and Survivin. Only 2 of 13 cases (15 %) demonstrated positive staining for WT1. All adult specimens were positive for three or more TAAs. Some ependymomas showed patchy variability in intensity. Pediatric and adult ependymomas frequently express EphA2, IL-13Rα2, and Survivin. This provides the basis for the utilization of an established multiple peptide vaccine for ependymoma in a clinical trial setting.
Melchini A, Needs PW, Mithen RF, Traka MHEnhanced in vitro biological activity of synthetic 2-(2-pyridyl) ethyl isothiocyanate compared to natural 4-(methylsulfinyl) butyl isothiocyanate.
J Med Chem. 2012; 55(22):9682-92 [PubMed
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Dietary isothiocyanates (ITC) derived from cruciferous vegetables have been shown to have numerous biological effects consistent with chemoprotective activity. In this study we synthesized a novel ITC, 2-(2-pyridyl) ethyl ITC (PY-ITC), and assessed its chemopreventive ability in comparison to sulforaphane (SF), the ITC derived from broccoli. PY-ITC suppressed cancerous cell growth and proliferation at lower concentrations than SF and was more potent at inducing p21 protein. Through the use of whole genome arrays we demonstrate that prostate cells exposed to PY-ITC or SF have similar biological response, albeit PY-ITC alters a greater number of genes, and to a greater extent. In the presence of a phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor PY-ITC had a more pronounced effect on gene expression, emphasizing the important role of PI3K/AKT signaling in mediating the chemopreventive effects of ITCs. These results highlight the importance of the ITC side chain in bioactivity.
PURPOSE: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains highly incurable, with frequent recurrences after standard therapies of maximal surgical resection, radiation, and chemotherapy. To address the need for new treatments, we have undertaken a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) "designer T cell" (dTc) immunotherapeutic strategy by exploiting interleukin (IL)13 receptor α-2 (IL13Rα2) as a GBM-selective target.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We tested a second-generation IL13 "zetakine" CAR composed of a mutated IL13 extracellular domain linked to intracellular signaling elements of the CD28 costimulatory molecule and CD3ζ. The aim of the mutation (IL13.E13K.R109K) was to enhance selectivity of the CAR for recognition and killing of IL13Rα2(+) GBMs while sparing normal cells bearing the composite IL13Rα1/IL4Rα receptor.
RESULTS: Our aim was partially realized with improved recognition of tumor and reduced but persisting activity against normal tissue IL13Rα1(+) cells by the IL13.E13K.R109K CAR. We show that these IL13 dTcs were efficient in killing IL13Rα2(+) glioma cell targets with abundant secretion of cytokines IL2 and IFNγ, and they displayed enhanced tumor-induced expansion versus control unmodified T cells in vitro. In an in vivo test with a human glioma xenograft model, single intracranial injections of IL13 dTc into tumor sites resulted in marked increases in animal survivals.
CONCLUSIONS: These data raise the possibility of immune targeting of diffusely invasive GBM cells either via dTc infusion into resection cavities to prevent GBM recurrence or via direct stereotactic injection of dTcs to suppress inoperable or recurrent tumors. Systemic administration of these IL13 dTc could be complicated by reaction against normal tissues expressing IL13Ra1.
Elliott GO, Johnson IT, Scarll J, et al.Quantitative profiling of CpG island methylation in human stool for colorectal cancer detection.
Int J Colorectal Dis. 2013; 28(1):35-42 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to investigate the use of quantitative CGI methylation data from stool DNA to classify colon cancer patients and to relate stool CGI methylation levels to those found in corresponding tissue samples.
METHODS: We applied a quantitative methylation-specific PCR assay to determine CGI methylation levels of six genes, previously shown to be aberrantly methylated during colorectal carcinogenesis. Assays were performed on DNA from biopsies of "normal" mucosa and stool samples from 57 patients classified as disease-free, adenoma, or cancer by endoscopy, and in tumour tissue from cancer patients. Additionally, CGI methylation was analysed in stool DNA from an asymptomatic population of individuals covering a broad age range (mean = 47 ± 24 years)
RESULTS: CGI methylation levels in stool DNA were significantly higher than in DNA from macroscopically normal mucosa, and a significant correlation between stool and mucosa was observed for ESR1 only. Multivariate statistical analyses using the methylation levels of each CGI in stool DNA as a continuous variable revealed a highly significant (p = 0.003) classification of cancer vs. non-cancer (adenoma + disease-free) patients (sensitivity = 65 %, specificity = 81 %).
CONCLUSION: CGI methylation profiling of stool DNA successfully identified patients with cancer despite the methylation status of CGIs in stool DNA not generally reflecting those in DNA from the colonic mucosa.
Barrera LN, Cassidy A, Johnson IT, et al.Epigenetic and antioxidant effects of dietary isothiocyanates and selenium: potential implications for cancer chemoprevention.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2012; 71(2):237-45 [PubMed
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There is evidence from epidemiological studies suggesting that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables may protect against specific cancers more effectively than total fruit and vegetable intake. These beneficial effects are attributed to the glucosinolate breakdown products, isothiocyanates (ITC). Similarly, selenium (Se) consumption has also been inversely associated with cancer risk and as an integral part of many selenoproteins may influence multiple pathways in the development of cancer. This paper will briefly review the current state of knowledge concerning the effect of Se and ITC in cancer development with a particular emphasis on its antioxidant properties, and will also address whether alterations in DNA methylation may be a potential mechanism whereby these dietary constituents protect against the carcinogenic process. Furthermore, we will discuss the advantages of combining ITC and Se to benefit from their complementary mechanisms of action to potentially protect against the alterations leading to neoplasia. Based on this review it may be concluded that an understanding of the impact of ITC and Se on aberrant DNA methylation in relation to factors modulating gene-specific and global methylation patterns, in addition to the effect of these food constituents as modulators of key selenoenzymes, such as gastrointestinal glutathione peroxidase-2 (GPx2) and thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR1), may provide insights into the potential synergy among various components of a plant-based diet that may counteract the genetic and epigenetic alterations that initiate and sustain neoplasia.
Wilkinson JM, Davidson RK, Swingler TE, et al.MMP-14 and MMP-2 are key metalloproteases in Dupuytren's disease fibroblast-mediated contraction.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012; 1822(6):897-905 [PubMed
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Dupuytren's disease (DD) is a common fibrotic condition of the palmar fascia, leading to deposition of collagen-rich cords and progressive flexion of the fingers. The molecular mechanisms underlying the disease are poorly understood. We have previously shown altered expression of extracellular matrix-degrading proteases (matrix metalloproteases, MMPs, and 'a disintegrin and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin motifs', ADAMTS, proteases) in palmar fascia from DD patients compared to control and shown that the expression of a sub-set of these genes correlates with post-operative outcome. In the current study we used an in vitro model of collagen contraction to identify the specific proteases which mediate this effect. We measured the expression of all MMPs, ADAMTSs and their inhibitors in fibroblasts derived from the palmar fascia of DD patients, both in monolayer culture and in the fibroblast-populated collagen lattice (FPCL) model of cell-mediated contraction. Key proteases, previously identified in our tissue studies, were expressed in vitro and regulated by tension in the FPCL, including MMP1, 2, 3, 13 and 14. Knockdown of MMP2 and MMP14 (but not MMP1, 3 and 13) inhibited cell-mediated contraction, and knockdown of MMP14 inhibited proMMP-2 activation. Interestingly, whilst collagen is degraded during the FPCL assay, this is not altered upon knockdown of any of the proteases examined. We conclude that MMP-14 (via its ability to activate proMMP-2) and MMP-2 are key proteases in collagen contraction mediated by fibroblasts in DD patients. These proteases may be drug targets or act as biomarkers for disease progression.
BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma is a complex multifactorial disorder that has swift and devastating consequences. Few genes have been consistently identified as prognostic biomarkers of glioblastoma survival. The goal of this study was to identify general and clinical-dependent biomarker genes and biological processes of three complementary events: lifetime, overall and progression-free glioblastoma survival.
METHODS: A novel analytical strategy was developed to identify general associations between the biomarkers and glioblastoma, and associations that depend on cohort groups, such as race, gender, and therapy. Gene network inference, cross-validation and functional analyses further supported the identified biomarkers.
RESULTS: A total of 61, 47 and 60 gene expression profiles were significantly associated with lifetime, overall, and progression-free survival, respectively. The vast majority of these genes have been previously reported to be associated with glioblastoma (35, 24, and 35 genes, respectively) or with other cancers (10, 19, and 15 genes, respectively) and the rest (16, 4, and 10 genes, respectively) are novel associations. Pik3r1, E2f3, Akr1c3, Csf1, Jag2, Plcg1, Rpl37a, Sod2, Topors, Hras, Mdm2, Camk2g, Fstl1, Il13ra1, Mtap and Tp53 were associated with multiple survival events.Most genes (from 90 to 96%) were associated with survival in a general or cohort-independent manner and thus the same trend is observed across all clinical levels studied. The most extreme associations between profiles and survival were observed for Syne1, Pdcd4, Ighg1, Tgfa, Pla2g7, and Paics. Several genes were found to have a cohort-dependent association with survival and these associations are the basis for individualized prognostic and gene-based therapies. C2, Egfr, Prkcb, Igf2bp3, and Gdf10 had gender-dependent associations; Sox10, Rps20, Rab31, and Vav3 had race-dependent associations; Chi3l1, Prkcb, Polr2d, and Apool had therapy-dependent associations. Biological processes associated glioblastoma survival included morphogenesis, cell cycle, aging, response to stimuli, and programmed cell death.
CONCLUSIONS: Known biomarkers of glioblastoma survival were confirmed, and new general and clinical-dependent gene profiles were uncovered. The comparison of biomarkers across glioblastoma phases and functional analyses offered insights into the role of genes. These findings support the development of more accurate and personalized prognostic tools and gene-based therapies that improve the survival and quality of life of individuals afflicted by glioblastoma multiforme.
Lund EK, Belshaw NJ, Elliott GO, Johnson ITRecent advances in understanding the role of diet and obesity in the development of colorectal cancer.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2011; 70(2):194-204 [PubMed
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major cause of premature death in the UK and many developed countries. However, the risk of developing CRC is well recognised to be associated not only with diet but also with obesity and lack of exercise. While epidemiological evidence shows an association with factors such as high red meat intake and low intake of vegetables, fibre and fish, the mechanisms underlying these effects are only now being elucidated. CRC develops over many years and is typically characterised by an accumulation of mutations, which may arise as a consequence of inherited polymorphisms in key genes, but more commonly as a result of spontaneously arising mutations affecting genes controlling cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and DNA repair. Epigenetic changes are observed throughout the progress from normal morphology through formation of adenoma, and the subsequent development of carcinoma. The reasons why this accumulation of loss of homoeostatic controls arises are unclear but chronic inflammation has been proposed to play a central role. Obesity is associated with increased plasma levels of chemokines and adipokines characteristic of chronic systemic inflammation, and dietary factors such as fish oils and phytochemicals have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as modulating established risk factors such as apoptosis and cell proliferation. There is also some evidence that diet can modify epigenetic changes. This paper briefly reviews the current state of knowledge in relation to CRC development and considers evidence for potential mechanisms by which diet may modify risk.
Nicolas FE, Lopez-Gomollon S, Lopez-Martinez AF, Dalmay TSilencing human cancer: identification and uses of microRNAs.
Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2011; 6(1):94-105 [PubMed
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of negative regulators that repress gene expression by pairing with their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). There are hundreds of miRNAs coded in the human genome and thousands of target mRNAs participating in a wide variety of physiological processes such as development and cell identity. It is therefore not surprising that several recent reports involved deregulated miRNAs in the complex mechanism of human carcinogenesis, and proposed them as new key regulators to correct the unbalanced expression of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes exhibited in cancer cells. This review summarises most of the recent patents related to the use of miRNA signatures in cancer diagnosis and prognosis, the detection and profiling of miRNAs from tumour samples and the identification of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes targeted by miRNAs, as well as new cancer therapies based on miRNA modulators.
Johnson LG, Schwartz SM, Malkki M, et al.Risk of cervical cancer associated with allergies and polymorphisms in genes in the chromosome 5 cytokine cluster.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011; 20(1):199-207 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus is the acknowledged cause of cervical cancer. We hypothesized that allergies, characterized by hyperimmune reaction to common allergens and which have been associated with various cancers, may be related to cervical cancer, and that genetic variation in cytokine genes related to allergies might impact cervical cancer risk.
METHODS: We investigated the risk of invasive squamous cell cervical cancer (SCC) associated with self-reported allergies and with variation in allergy-related cytokine genes using data from a case-control study (561 cases, 1,258 controls) conducted in Washington State. Logistic regression models yielded odds ratios (OR) and 95% CI.
RESULTS: Pollen allergy, the most commonly reported allergy, was associated with reduced SCC risk (OR: 0.6; 95% CI: 0.5-0.8). Of 60 tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms covering eight genes (CSF2, IL3, IL4, IL13, CSF2RB, IL4R, IL13RA1, IL13RA2), several were related to pollen allergies among controls: IL4R rs3024647 (dominant OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.0-2.3; P = 0.04), CSF2RB rs16997517 (dominant OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.0-4.7; P = 0.04), and IL13 rs1800925 (per-allele OR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.3-2.4; P = 0.0007). Two variants were inversely associated with SCC risk: IL4R rs3024656 (per-allele OR: 0.8; 95% CI: 0.6-1.0; P = 0.03) and CSF2RB rs16997517 (dominant OR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.2-0.9; P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS: Pollen allergies were related to reduced SCC risk. CSF2RB rs16997517 was directly related to pollen allergies in controls and to reduced SCC risk.
IMPACT: If other studies confirm these results, the mechanism behind allergy-associated immune response associated with SCC risk may be worth exploring in the context of therapeutic or prophylactic vaccines.
Azoitei N, Pusapati GV, Kleger A, et al.Protein kinase D2 is a crucial regulator of tumour cell-endothelial cell communication in gastrointestinal tumours.
Gut. 2010; 59(10):1316-30 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: Tumour angiogenesis is crucially dependent on the communication between the tumour and the associated endothelium. Protein kinase D (PKD) isoenzymes mediate vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) induced endothelial cell proliferation and migration and are also highly expressed in various tumours.
AIM: To examine the role of PKDs for tumour proliferation and angiogenesis selectively in pancreatic and gastric tumours and in tumour-associated endothelium in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: PKD2 expression in human tumours was determined by immunohistochemistry. The effect of PKD2 depletion in endothelial cells by siRNAs was examined in sprouting assays, the chorioallantois model (CAM) and tumour xenografts. In murine endothelium in vivo PKD2 was knocked-down by splice switching oligonucleotides. Human PKD2 was depleted in xenografts by siRNAs and PKD2-miRs. PKD2 activation by hypoxia and its role for hypoxia-induced NR4/TR3- and VEGF-A promoter activity, expression and secretion was investigated in cell lines.
RESULTS: PKD2 is expressed in gastrointestinal tumours and in the tumour-associated endothelium. Tumour growth and angiogenesis in the CAM and in tumour xenografts require PKD expression in endothelial cells. Conversely, hypoxia activates PKD2 in pancreatic cancer cells and PKD2 was identified as the major mediator of hypoxia-stimulated VEGF-A promoter activity, expression and secretion in tumour cells. PKD2 depletion in pancreatic tumours inhibited tumour-driven blood vessel formation and tumour growth in the CAM and in orthotopic pancreatic cancer xenografts.
CONCLUSION: PKD2 regulates hypoxia-induced VEGF-A expression/secretion by tumour cells and VEGF-A stimulated blood vessel formation. PKD2 is a novel, essential mediator of tumour cell-endothelial cell communication and a promising therapeutic target to inhibit angiogenesis in gastrointestinal cancers.
Belshaw NJ, Pal N, Tapp HS, et al.Patterns of DNA methylation in individual colonic crypts reveal aging and cancer-related field defects in the morphologically normal mucosa.
Carcinogenesis. 2010; 31(6):1158-63 [PubMed
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Methylation of CpG islands (CGIs) in the promoter regions of tumour suppressor genes is common in colorectal cancer and occurs also in an age-dependent manner in the morphologically normal colorectal mucosa. In this study, we quantified the level of methylation of six genes associated with the Wnt signalling pathway (adenomatous polyposis coli, DKK1, WIF1, SFRP1, SFRP2 and SFRP5) together with long-interspersed nuclear element-1 as a surrogate for global methylation. DNA methylation was analysed in 260 individual colorectal crypts obtained from eight female patients with no evidence of colorectal disease and five with colorectal cancer. Significant variation in methylation levels for each of the six genes existed between crypts from the same biopsy. The variation in both global and gene-specific CGI methylation between crypts from the same individual was significantly less than that between individuals. Bisulphite sequencing provided insight into the mechanism of aberrant methylation showing that CGI methylation occurs in an 'all-or-none' manner by the directional spreading of methylation from further upstream. Univariate statistical analyses revealed that there were significant differences in crypt-specific methylation associated with both aging and disease status. A multivariate statistical modelling approach was able to distinguish both subject age and health status based on crypt-specific methylation profiles. Our results indicate that the differential methylation of genes associated with the Wnt signalling pathway affecting individual morphologically normal crypts may contribute to the age-dependent generation of the colonic field defect and, in combination with mutations, to the stepwise development of colorectal neoplasia.