Gene Summary

Gene:IRF9; interferon regulatory factor 9
Aliases: p48, IRF-9, ISGF3, ISGF3G
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interferon regulatory factor 9
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (14)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (3)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Retinoic Acid
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Interferon-Stimulated Gene Factor 3, gamma Subunit
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Chromosome 14
  • Interferons
  • STAT Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Up-Regulation
  • IRF1
  • X-ray Repair Cross Complementing Protein 1
  • Transfection
  • Base Sequence
  • Vinblastine
  • Interferon-Stimulated Gene Factor 3
  • Promoter Regions
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Transcription
  • Melanoma
  • Drug Resistance
  • Cell Division
  • Mutation
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Interferon Type I
  • Western Blotting
  • Skin Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Trans-Activators
  • Signal Transduction
  • Messenger RNA
  • Interferon-beta
  • Bladder Cancer
  • STAT2 Transcription Factor
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: IRF9 (cancer-related)

Morimoto Y, Kishida T, Kotani SI, et al.
Interferon-β signal may up-regulate PD-L1 expression through IRF9-dependent and independent pathways in lung cancer cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 507(1-4):330-336 [PubMed] Related Publications
The programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) (also called B7-H1 and CD274) belonging to the CD28 family of co-stimulatory molecules is ectopically expressed on the surface of various cancer cells. PD-L1 interacts with programmed death-1 (PD-1) on T cells to trigger an inhibitory signal that suppresses anti-tumor T cell responses as an important mechanism of tumor escape from anti-tumor immune response. Recent development of PD-1/PD-L1 blockades has provided novel immunotherapy strategies for cancers including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although the therapy is quite effective for some patients with NSCLC, others are resistant to the treatment, so that regulatory mechanisms of PD-L1 in lung cancer cells need to be understood in detail. Here we analyzed effect of interferon-β (IFN-β) that can be produced in cancer microenvironment on PD-L1 expression in lung tumor cells. An addition of IFN-β elevated PD-L1 expression in mouse and human lung cancer cell lines in culture. This phenomenon was totally dependent on JAK signaling molecules, while IRF9 deficiency in murine lung cancer cells partially attenuated the IFN-β-induced increase in PD-L1. mTOR may not be significantly involved in the regulation of PD-L1, whereas PI3-K pathway played differential roles on PD-L1 mRNA and cell-surface PD-L1 expression, in the cells treated with IFN-β. These results strongly suggest that the type I IFN receptor signal elicits an increase in PD-L1 expression in lung cancer cells through IRF9-dependent and independent pathways.

Liao L, Liu ZZ, Langbein L, et al.
Multiple tumor suppressors regulate a HIF-dependent negative feedback loop via ISGF3 in human clear cell renal cancer.
Elife. 2018; 7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Ideno N, Yamaguchi H, Ghosh B, et al.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(5):1593-1607.e12 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Mutations at hotspots in GNAS, which encodes stimulatory G-protein, α subunits, are detected in approximately 60% of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) of the pancreas. We generated mice with KRAS-induced IPMNs that also express a constitutively active form of GNAS in pancreas and studied tumor development.
METHODS: We generated p48-Cre; LSL-KrasG12D; Rosa26R-LSL-rtTA-TetO-GnasR201C mice (Kras;Gnas mice); pancreatic tissues of these mice express activated KRAS and also express a mutant form of GNAS (GNAS
RESULTS: All Kras;Gnas mice developed pancreatic cystic lesions that resemble human IPMNs; the grade of epithelial dysplasia increased with time. None of the control mice developed cystic lesions. Approximately one third of Kras;Gnas mice developed PDACs at a median of 30 weeks after doxycycline administration, whereas 33% of control mice developed PDACs. Expression of GNAS
CONCLUSIONS: In mice that express activated KRAS in the pancreas, we found expression of GNAS

Tian WL, Guo R, Wang F, et al.
The IRF9-SIRT1-P53 axis is involved in the growth of human acute myeloid leukemia.
Exp Cell Res. 2018; 365(2):185-193 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a highly heterogeneous disease, with biologically and prognostically different subtypes. Although a growing number of distinct AML subsets have been increasingly characterized, patient management has remained disappointingly uniform. The molecular mechanism underlying AML needs to be further investigated. Here we identify IRF9 as a negative regulator of human AML. We show that IRF9 mRNA and protein levels are down-regulated in human AML samples compared with samples from healthy donors. IRF9 knockdown promotes proliferation, colony formation and survival of OCI/AML-2 and OCI/AML-3 cells, whereas IRF9 overexpression obtains oppose results. Mechanism analysis shows that IRF9 binds SIRT1 promoter and represses SIRT1 expression in OCI/AML-2 and OCI/AML-3 cells. In AML samples, the expression of SIRT1 is up-regulated and negatively correlated with IRF9 level. IRF9 also increases the acetylation of p53, a deacetylation substrate of SIRT1, and promotes the expression of p53 target genes. Knockdown of p53 blocks the effects of IRF9 on cell survival and growth in vitro. These findings provide evidence that IRF9 serves as an important regulator in human AML by repressing SIRT1-p53 pathway and that IRF9 may be a potential target for AML treatment.

Lu L, Zhu F, Zhang M, et al.
Gene regulation and suppression of type I interferon signaling by STAT3 in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(3):E498-E505 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
STAT3 is constitutively activated in many cancers and regulates gene expression to promote cancer cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and migration. In diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), activation of STAT3 and its kinase JAK1 is caused by autocrine production of IL-6 and IL-10 in the activated B cell-like subtype (ABC). However, the gene regulatory mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of this aggressive lymphoma by STAT3 are not well characterized. Here we performed genome-wide analysis and identified 2,251 STAT3 direct target genes, which involve B cell activation, survival, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Whole-transcriptome profiling revealed that STAT3 acts as both a transcriptional activator and a suppressor, with a comparable number of up- and down-regulated genes. STAT3 regulates multiple oncogenic signaling pathways, including NF-κB, a cell-cycle checkpoint, PI3K/AKT/mTORC1, and STAT3 itself. In addition, STAT3 negatively regulates the lethal type I IFN signaling pathway by inhibiting expression of

Doherty MR, Cheon H, Junk DJ, et al.
Interferon-beta represses cancer stem cell properties in triple-negative breast cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(52):13792-13797 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the deadliest form of this disease, lacks a targeted therapy. TNBC tumors that fail to respond to chemotherapy are characterized by a repressed IFN/signal transducer and activator of transcription (IFN/STAT) gene signature and are often enriched for cancer stem cells (CSCs). We have found that human mammary epithelial cells that undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) following transformation acquire CSC properties. These mesenchymal/CSCs have a significantly repressed IFN/STAT gene expression signature and an enhanced ability to migrate and form tumor spheres. Treatment with IFN-beta (IFN-β) led to a less aggressive epithelial/non-CSC-like state, with repressed expression of mesenchymal proteins (VIMENTIN, SLUG), reduced migration and tumor sphere formation, and reexpression of CD24 (a surface marker for non-CSCs), concomitant with an epithelium-like morphology. The CSC-like properties were correlated with high levels of unphosphorylated IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 (U-ISGF3), which was previously linked to resistance to DNA damage. Inhibiting the expression of IRF9 (the DNA-binding component of U-ISGF3) reduced the migration of mesenchymal/CSCs. Here we report a positive translational role for IFN-β, as gene expression profiling of patient-derived TNBC tumors demonstrates that an IFN-β metagene signature correlates with improved patient survival, an immune response linked with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), and a repressed CSC metagene signature. Taken together, our findings indicate that repressed IFN signaling in TNBCs with CSC-like properties is due to high levels of U-ISGF3 and that treatment with IFN-β reduces CSC properties, suggesting a therapeutic strategy to treat drug-resistant, highly aggressive TNBC tumors.

Wang R, Wei B, Wei J, et al.
Cysteine-rich 61-associated gene expression profile alterations in human glioma cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(4):5561-5567 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate gene expression profile alterations associated with cysteine‑rich 61 (CYR61) expression in human glioma cells. The GSE29384 dataset, downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus, includes three LN229 human glioma cell samples expressing CYR61 induced by doxycycline (Dox group), and three control samples not exposed to doxycycline (Nodox group). Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the Dox and Nodox groups were identified with cutoffs of |log2 fold change (FC)|>0.5 and P<0.05. Gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analyses for DEGs were performed. Protein‑protein interaction (PPI) network and module analyses were performed to identify the most important genes. Transcription factors (TFs) were obtained by detecting the TF binding sites of DEGs using a Whole Genome rVISTA online tool. A total of 258 DEGs, including 230 (89%) upregulated and 28 (11%) downregulated DEGs were identified in glioma cells expressing CYR61 compared to cells without CYR61 expression. The majority of upregulated DEGs, including interferon (IFN)B1, interferon‑induced (IFI)44 and interferon regulatory factor (IRF)7, were associated with immune, defense and virus responses, and cytokine‑cytokine receptor interaction signaling pathways. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) and DEAD‑box helicase 58 (DDX58) were observed to have high connection degrees in the PPI network. A total of seven TFs of the DEGs, including interferon consensus sequence‑binding protein and IFN‑stimulated gene factor‑3 were additionally detected. In conclusion, IFNB1, genes encoding IFN‑induced proteins (IFI16, IFI27, IFI44 and IFITM1), IRFs (IRF1, IRF7 and IRF9), STAT1 and DDX58 were demonstrated to be associated with CYR61 expression in glioma cells; thus, they may be critical for maintaining the role of CYR61 during cancer progression.

Pickup MW, Owens P, Gorska AE, et al.
Development of Aggressive Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas Depends on Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor Secretion in Carcinoma Cells.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2017; 5(9):718-729 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The survival rate for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains low. More therapeutic options to treat this disease are needed, for the current standard of care is ineffective. Using an animal model of aggressive PDAC (Kras/p48

Zhang J, Chen Z, Tang Z, et al.
RNA editing is induced by type I interferon in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317708546 [PubMed] Related Publications
In recent years, abnormal RNA editing has been shown to play an important role in the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, as such abnormal editing is catalyzed by ADAR (adenosine deaminases acting on RNA). However, the regulatory mechanism of ADAR1 in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated ADAR1 expression and its association with RNA editing in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas. RNA sequencing applied to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma clinical samples showed that ADAR1 expression was correlated with the expression of STAT1, STAT2, and IRF9. In vitro experiments showed that the abundance of ADAR1 protein was associated with the induced activation of the JAK/STAT pathway by type I interferon. RNA sequencing results showed that treatment with type I interferon caused an increase in the number and degree of RNA editing in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. In conclusion, the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway is a regulatory mechanism of ADAR1 expression and causes abnormal RNA editing profile in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. This mechanism may serve as a new target for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma therapy.

Walter KR, Goodman ML, Singhal H, et al.
Interferon-Stimulated Genes Are Transcriptionally Repressed by PR in Breast Cancer.
Mol Cancer Res. 2017; 15(10):1331-1340 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The progesterone receptor (PR) regulates transcriptional programs that drive proliferation, survival, and stem cell phenotypes. Although the role of native progesterone in the development of breast cancer remains controversial, PR clearly alters the transcriptome in breast tumors. This study identifies a class of genes, Interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs), potently downregulated by ligand-activated PR which have not been previously shown to be regulated by PR. Progestin-dependent transcriptional repression of ISGs was observed in breast cancer cell line models and human breast tumors. Ligand-independent regulation of ISGs was also observed, as basal transcript levels were markedly higher in cells with PR knockdown. PR repressed ISG transcription in response to IFN treatment, the canonical mechanism through which these genes are activated. Liganded PR is robustly recruited to enhancer regions of ISGs, and ISG transcriptional repression is dependent upon PR's ability to bind DNA. In response to PR activation, key regulatory transcription factors that are required for IFN-activated ISG transcription, STAT2 and IRF9, exhibit impaired recruitment to ISG promoter regions, correlating with PR/ligand-dependent ISG transcriptional repression. IFN activation is a critical early step in nascent tumor recognition and destruction through immunosurveillance. As the large majority of breast tumors are PR positive at the time of diagnosis, PR-dependent downregulation of IFN signaling may be a mechanism through which early PR-positive breast tumors evade the immune system and develop into clinically relevant tumors.

Mao Y, Zhao Q, Yin S, et al.
Genome-wide expression profiling and bioinformatics analysis of deregulated genes in human gastric cancer tissue after gastroscopy.
Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2018; 14(2):e29-e36 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of this study was to analyze the gene expression profile and biological processes enriched in gastric cancer.
METHODS: We collected five human advanced gastric cancer tissues by gastroscopy and five peritumor normal tissues as controls and examined the gene expression changes by microarray. KEGG Orthology Based Annotation System annotation was used to identify pathways and biological processes regulated by the deregulated genes. Protein-protein interaction network analysis identified protein complex and functional modules. We also selected 14 genes for further verification by real-time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
RESULTS: Human gene expression profile analysis showed that 2028 deregulated genes were detected in gastric cancer compared with the control group (at least a 2.0-fold change and P < 0.05), among which there were 689 upregulated and 1339 downregulated genes. Interestingly, we identified some important genes, such as CXCL17, OTX1 and CCDC125, which have not previously been reported in gastric cancer. Real-time quantitative PCR results verified that CXCL8, OTX1, CEBPB, FOSL1, FOXS1, ARFRP1 and IRF9 were upregulated in gastric cancer and CCDC125, PPP1R36, SOX2, JUN and MIA2 were downregulated. Moreover, bioinformatics analysis demonstrated that the biological processes of inflammatory response, angiogenesis, cell migration and pathways of chemokine signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway were enriched. We also selected the top 30 significant Gene Ontology terms and select pathways for a brief summary.
CONCLUSION: We performed a global analysis of the mRNA landscape in gastric cancer. Our results may stimulate a deeper understanding of the disease, and lead to the development of potential therapies and the identification of novel biomarkers.

Zhang Q, Zhang Y, Parsels JD, et al.
Fbxw7 Deletion Accelerates Kras
Neoplasia. 2016; 18(11):666-673 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancers driven by KRAS mutations require additional mutations for tumor progression. The tumor suppressor FBXW7 is altered in pancreatic cancers, but its contribution to pancreatic tumorigenesis is unknown. To determine potential cooperation between Kras mutation and Fbxw7 inactivation in pancreatic tumorigenesis, we generated P48-Cre;LSL-Kras

Piotrowska-Kempisty H, Ruciński M, Borys S, et al.
3'-hydroxy-3,4,5,4'-tetramethoxystilbene, the metabolite of resveratrol analogue DMU-212, inhibits ovarian cancer cell growth in vitro and in a mice xenograft model.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:32627 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
In screening studies, the cytotoxic activity of four metabolites of resveratrol analogue 3,4,5,4'-tetramethoxystilbene (DMU-212) against A-2780 and SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells was investigated. The most active metabolite, 3'-hydroxy-3,4,5,4'-tetramethoxystilbene (DMU-214), was chosen for further studies. The cytotoxicity of DMU-214 was shown to be higher than that of the parent compound, DMU-212, in both cell lines tested. Since DMU-212 was supposed to undergo metabolic activation through its conversion to DMU-214, an attempt was made to elucidate the mechanism of its anti-proliferative activity. We found that in SKOV-3 cells lacking p53, DMU-214 induced receptor-mediated apoptosis. In A-2780 cell line with expression of wild-type p53, DMU-214 modulated the expression pattern of p53-target genes driving intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways, as well as DNA repair and damage prevention. Regardless of the up-regulation of p48, p53R2, sestrins and Gaad45 genes involved in cancer cell DNA repair, we demonstrated the stronger anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of DMU-214 in A-2780 cells when compared to those in SKOV-3. Hence we verified DMU-214 activity in the xenograft model using SCID mice injected with A-2780 cells. The strong anti-proliferative activity of DMU-214 in the in vivo model allowed to suggest the tested compound as a potential therapeutic in ovarian cancer treatment.

Qian X, Tan H, Zhang J, et al.
Identification of biomarkers for pseudo and true progression of GBM based on radiogenomics study.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(34):55377-55394 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The diagnosis for pseudoprogression (PsP) and true tumor progression (TTP) of GBM is a challenging task in clinical practices. The purpose of this study is to identify potential genetic biomarkers associated with PsP and TTP based on the clinical records, longitudinal imaging features, and genomics data. We are the first to introduce the radiogenomics approach to identify candidate genes for PsP and TTP of GBM. Specifically, a novel longitudinal sparse regression model was developed to construct the relationship between gene expression and imaging features. The imaging features were extracted from tumors along the longitudinal MRI and provided diagnostic information of PsP and TTP. The 33 candidate genes were selected based on their association with the imaging features, reflecting their relation with the development of PsP and TTP. We then conducted biological relevance analysis for 33 candidate genes to identify the potential biomarkers, i.e., Interferon regulatory factor (IRF9) and X-ray repair cross-complementing gene (XRCC1), which were involved in the cancer suppression and prevention, respectively. The IRF9 and XRCC1 were further independently validated in the TCGA data. Our results provided the first substantial evidence that IRF9 and XRCC1 can serve as the potential biomarkers for the development of PsP and TTP.

Ko HR, Chang YS, Park WS, Ahn JY
Opposing roles of the two isoforms of ErbB3 binding protein 1 in human cancer cells.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 139(6):1202-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The different functions of the two isoforms of ErbB3 binding protein 1 (Ebp1), p48 and p42, have recently become the focus of interest as they reveal contradictory roles in cell growth promoting ability. The conformational change that crystal structure of p42 was shown to lack α helices at the amino-terminus present in p48 represents the differential binding partners and protein modifications of two Ebp1 isoforms. N-terminal specific phosphorylation by CDK2 and deregulation of the p53 tumor suppressor through specific interaction with HDM2 and Akt activation is postulated to contribute to p48-mediated tumorigenesis. The short isoform p42 Ebp1, which is actual binding partner of ErbB3 has been implicated as a tumor suppressor with many binding partners such as Rb, HDAC2, Sin3A and the p85 subunit of PI3K with HSP70/CHIP, inhibiting its own antiproliferative activity or inhibiting PI3K activity. The aim of the current review is to provide a summary on distinctive cellular functions of two Ebp1 proteins and their molecular partners that might be responsible for the unique functions of each isoform of Ebp1.

Ocal O, Pashkov V, Kollipara RK, et al.
A rapid in vivo screen for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma therapeutics.
Dis Model Mech. 2015; 8(10):1201-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and is projected to be second by 2025. It has the worst survival rate among all major cancers. Two pressing needs for extending life expectancy of affected individuals are the development of new approaches to identify improved therapeutics, addressed herein, and the identification of early markers. PDA advances through a complex series of intercellular and physiological interactions that drive cancer progression in response to organ stress, organ failure, malnutrition, and infiltrating immune and stromal cells. Candidate drugs identified in organ culture or cell-based screens must be validated in preclinical models such as KIC (p48(Cre);LSL-Kras(G12D);Cdkn2a(f/f)) mice, a genetically engineered model of PDA in which large aggressive tumors develop by 4 weeks of age. We report a rapid, systematic and robust in vivo screen for effective drug combinations to treat Kras-dependent PDA. Kras mutations occur early in tumor progression in over 90% of human PDA cases. Protein kinase and G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling activates Kras. Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins are coincidence detectors that can be induced by multiple inputs to feedback-regulate GPCR signaling. We crossed Rgs16::GFP bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice with KIC mice and show that the Rgs16::GFP transgene is a Kras(G12D)-dependent marker of all stages of PDA, and increases proportionally to tumor burden in KIC mice. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis of cultured primary PDA cells reveals characteristics of embryonic progenitors of pancreatic ducts and endocrine cells, and extraordinarily high expression of the receptor tyrosine kinase Axl, an emerging cancer drug target. In proof-of-principle drug screens, we find that weanling KIC mice with PDA treated for 2 weeks with gemcitabine (with or without Abraxane) plus inhibitors of Axl signaling (warfarin and BGB324) have fewer tumor initiation sites and reduced tumor size compared with the standard-of-care treatment. Rgs16::GFP is therefore an in vivo reporter of PDA progression and sensitivity to new chemotherapeutic drug regimens such as Axl-targeted agents. This screening strategy can potentially be applied to identify improved therapeutics for other cancers.

Pisapia L, Barba P, Cortese A, et al.
EBP1 protein modulates the expression of human MHC class II molecules in non-hematopoietic cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(2):481-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Many solid tumours including melanoma, glioblastoma, and breast carcinomas express MHC class II molecules (MHC II). The surface expression of these molecules confers to non-hematopoietic tumour cells the role of non-professional antigen presenting cells and the ability to potentially stimulate tumour-specific CD4+ T cell response. We studied EBP1, an ErbB3 binding protein, and the effects of p48 and p42 isoforms on the MHC II expression in U87 glioblastoma, M14 melanoma and MCF7 mammary carcinoma cell lines. We found that overexpression of p48 increases MHC II transcription in U87 and M14, through upregulation of CIITA transactivator and STAT1 phosphorylation. In addition, p48 protein influences MHC II expression by increasing mRNA stability. In melanoma and glioblastoma cell lines, p48 isoform functions as oncogene promoting tumour growth, while p42 isoform, that does not affect MHC II expression, acts as a tumour suppressor by blocking cell growth and inducing apoptosis. In contrast, p48 seems to act as tumour suppressor in breast carcinoma inhibiting proliferation, favouring apoptosis, and inducing a slight increase of MHC II expression similar to p42. Our data highlight the tissue specificity function of EBP1 isoforms and demonstrate that only the oncogene p48 activates MHC II expression in human solid tumours, via STAT1 phosphorylation, in order to affect tumour progression by triggering specific immune response.

Garcia-Carracedo D, Yu CC, Akhavan N, et al.
Smad4 loss synergizes with TGFα overexpression in promoting pancreatic metaplasia, PanIN development, and fibrosis.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0120851 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
AIMS: While overexpression of TGFα has been reported in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), mice with overexpressed TGFα develop premalignant pancreatic acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) but not PDAC. TGF-β signaling pathway is pivotal to the development of PDAC and tissue fibrosis. Here we sought to investigate the interplay between TGFα and TGF-β signaling in pancreatic tumorigenesis and fibrosis, namely via Smad4 inactivation.
METHODS: The MT-TGFα mouse was crossed with a new Smad4 conditional knock-out mouse (Smad4flox/flox;p48-Cre or S4) to generate Smad4flox/flox;MT-TGFα;p48-Cre (STP). After TGFα overexpression was induced with zinc sulfate water for eight months, the pancreata of the STP, MT-TGFα, and S4 mice were examined for tumor development and fibrotic responses. PanIN lesions and number of ducts were counted, and proliferation was measured by Ki67 immunohistochemistry (IHC). Qualitative analysis of fibrosis was analyzed by Trichrome Masson and Sirius Red staining, while vimentin was used for quantification. Expression analyses of fibrosis, pancreatitis, or desmoplasia associated markers (α-SMA, Shh, COX-2, Muc6, Col1a1, and Ctgf) were performed by IHC and/or qRT-PCR.
RESULTS: Our STP mice exhibited advanced ADM, increased fibrosis, increased numbers of PanIN lesions, overexpression of chronic pancreatitis-related marker Muc6, and elevated expression of desmoplasia-associated marker Col1A1, compared to the MT-TGFα mice. The inactivation of Smad4 in the exocrine compartment was responsible for both the enhanced PanIN formation and fibrosis in the pancreas. The phenotype of the STP mice represents a transient state from ADMs to PanINs, closely mimicking the interface area seen in human chronic pancreatitis associated with PDAC.
CONCLUSION: We have documented a novel mouse model, the STP mice, which displayed histologic presentations reminiscent to those of human chronic pancreatitis with signs of early tumorigenesis. The STP mice could be a suitable animal model for interrogating the transition of chronic pancreatitis to pancreatic cancer.

Bogdan C
Nitric oxide synthase in innate and adaptive immunity: an update.
Trends Immunol. 2015; 36(3):161-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thirty years after the discovery of its production by activated macrophages, our appreciation of the diverse roles of nitric oxide (NO) continues to grow. Recent findings have not only expanded our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the expression of NO synthases (NOS) in innate and adaptive immune cells, but have also revealed new functions and modes of action of NO in the control and escape of infectious pathogens, in T and B cell differentiation, and in tumor defense. I discuss these findings, in the context of a comprehensive overview of the various sources and multiple reaction partners of NO, and of the regulation of NOS2 by micromilieu factors, antisense RNAs, and 'unexpected' cytokines.

Wang AS, Lodi A, Rivera LB, et al.
HR-MAS MRS of the pancreas reveals reduced lipid and elevated lactate and taurine associated with early pancreatic cancer.
NMR Biomed. 2014; 27(11):1361-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The prognosis for patients with pancreatic cancer is extremely poor, as evidenced by the disease's five-year survival rate of ~5%. New approaches are therefore urgently needed to improve detection, treatment, and monitoring of pancreatic cancer. MRS-detectable metabolic changes provide useful biomarkers for tumor detection and response-monitoring in other cancers. The goal of this study was to identify MRS-detectable biomarkers of pancreatic cancer that could enhance currently available imaging approaches. We used (1) H high-resolution magic angle spinning MRS to probe metabolite levels in pancreatic tissue samples from mouse models and patients. In mice, the levels of lipids dropped significantly in pancreata with lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation, in pancreata with pre-cancerous metaplasia (4 week old p48-Cre;LSL-Kras(G12D) mice), and in pancreata with pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia, which precedes invasive pancreatic cancer (8 week old p48-Cre LSL-Kras(G12D) mice), to 26 ± 19% (p = 0.03), 19 ± 16% (p = 0.04), and 26 ± 10% (p = 0.05) of controls, respectively. Lactate and taurine remained unchanged in inflammation and in pre-cancerous metaplasia but increased significantly in pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia to 266 ± 61% (p = 0.0001) and 999 ± 174% (p < 0.00001) of controls, respectively. Importantly, analysis of patient biopsies was consistent with the mouse findings. Lipids dropped in pancreatitis and in invasive cancer biopsies to 29 ± 15% (p = 0.01) and 26 ± 38% (p = 0.02) of normal tissue. In addition, lactate and taurine levels remained unchanged in inflammation but rose in tumor samples to 244 ± 155% (p = 0.02) and 188 ± 67% (p = 0.02), respectively, compared with normal tissue. Based on these findings, we propose that a drop in lipid levels could serve to inform on pancreatitis and cancer-associated inflammation, whereas elevated lactate and taurine could serve to identify the presence of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia and invasive tumor. Our findings may help enhance current imaging methods to improve early pancreatic cancer detection and monitoring.

Escobar-Zarate D, Liu YP, Suksanpaisan L, et al.
Overcoming cancer cell resistance to VSV oncolysis with JAK1/2 inhibitors.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2013; 20(10):582-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has potent antitumor activity but some cancer cells are resistant to VSV killing, either constitutively or due to type I interferon (IFN) inducing an antiviral state in the cells. Here, we evaluated VSV oncolysis of a panel of human head and neck cancer cells and showed that VSV resistance in SCC25 and SCC15 cells could be reversed with Janus kinase (JAK) 1/2 inhibitors (JAK inhibitor I and ruxolitinib). Pre-treatment of cells with JAK1/2 inhibitors before or in conjunction with VSV enhanced viral infection, spread and progeny yield (100- to 1000-fold increase). In contrast, inhibitors of histone deacetylase (LBH589), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (GDC-0941, LY294002), mammalian target of rapamycin (rapamycin) or signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 inhibitor VII) were ineffective. Compared with VSV-sensitive SW579 cells, IFNα/β responsive antiviral genes (IRF-9, IRF-7, OAS1 but not MxA) are constitutively expressed in SCC25 cells. Pretreatment with JAK inhibitors reduced mRNA levels of these genes, increasing VSV expression in the cells. Interestingly, 1 h of drug exposure was sufficient to reverse SCC25 resistance to VSV and was still effective if virus was added 24 h later. Overall, we show here that JAK inhibitor I and ruxolitinib (Jakafi) can reverse resistance to VSV, supporting the rationale to incorporate JAK1/2 inhibitors in future VSV virotherapy trials.

Erb HH, Langlechner RV, Moser PL, et al.
IL6 sensitizes prostate cancer to the antiproliferative effect of IFNα2 through IRF9.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013; 20(5):677-89 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa) are associated with chronic inflammation. The cytokine interleukin 6 (IL6) can influence progression, differentiation, survival, and angiogenesis of PCa. To identify novel pathways that are triggered by IL6, we performed a gene expression profiling of two PCa cell lines, LNCaP and MDA PCa 2b, treated with 5 ng/ml IL6. Interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 9 (IRF9) was identified as one of the most prevalent IL6-regulated genes in both cell lines. IRF9 is a mediator of type I IFN signaling and acts together with STAT1 and 2 to activate transcription of IFN-responsive genes. The IL6 regulation of IRF9 was confirmed at mRNA and protein levels by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot respectively in both cell lines and could be blocked by the anti-IL6 antibody Siltuximab. Three PCa cell lines, PC3, Du-145, and LNCaP-IL6+, with an autocrine IL6 loop displayed high expression of IRF9. A tissue microarray with 36 PCa tissues showed that IRF9 protein expression is moderately elevated in malignant areas and positively correlates with the tissue expression of IL6. Downregulation and overexpression of IRF9 provided evidence for an IFN-independent role of IRF9 in cellular proliferation of different PCa cell lines. Furthermore, expression of IRF9 was essential to mediate the antiproliferative effects of IFNα2. We concluded that IL6 is an inducer of IRF9 expression in PCa and a sensitizer for the antiproliferative effects of IFNα2.

Amalraj J, Cutler SJ, Ghazawi I, et al.
REST negatively and ISGF3 positively regulate the human STAT1 gene in melanoma.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(7):1288-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
STAT1 plays a pivotal role in signal transduction and transcriptional activation in response to type I and II IFNs. Regulation of STAT1 expression has significant consequences in human cancer cells, where STAT1 deficiencies have been associated with cellular resistance to type I IFN. Distinct promoter, enhancer, and repressor regions have previously been described in the regulatory part of the human STAT1 gene extending as far as the second intron. A putative IFN-stimulated response element sequence in the STAT1 promoter is inducible by type I IFN and binds the IFN-α/β-induced complex, ISGF3. Together with the previously characterized IRF-E/GAS/IRF-E (IGI) motif, these positive regulatory elements provide a means for intracellular amplification of STAT1 expression, which is necessary for increasing cell responsiveness to the IFNs. In contrast, the transcriptional repressor REST binds to an RE-1 element in the STAT1 repressor region and in doing so represses transcription from the STAT1 gene regulatory region in melanoma cells lines. Repression significantly decreased in a REST-null cell line. Altering REST function from a transcriptional repressor into an activator as REST-VP16 increased expression from RE-1-targeted reporters. RNA expression of 65 melanoma cell lines by microarray and selected lines with known IFN responsiveness showed significant inverse correlations between STAT1/REST that were related to cellular responses to IFN. Thus REST, through the intronic RE-1 element, provides a means for downregulating STAT1 expression, affecting melanoma responsiveness to IFN. Intracellular levels of REST may be a useful marker to test for IFN resistance and as a novel therapeutic target in IFN-resistant melanomas.

Bidwell BN, Slaney CY, Withana NP, et al.
Silencing of Irf7 pathways in breast cancer cells promotes bone metastasis through immune escape.
Nat Med. 2012; 18(8):1224-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasis is a key determinant of long-term patient survival. By comparing the transcriptomes of primary and metastatic tumor cells in a mouse model of spontaneous bone metastasis, we found that a substantial number of genes suppressed in bone metastases are targets of the interferon regulatory factor Irf7. Restoration of Irf7 in tumor cells or administration of interferon led to reduced bone metastases and prolonged survival time. In mice deficient in the interferon (IFN) receptor or in natural killer (NK) and CD8(+) T cell responses, metastasis was accelerated, indicating that Irf7-driven suppression of metastasis was reliant on IFN signaling to host immune cells. We confirmed the clinical relevance of these findings in over 800 patients in which high expression of Irf7-regulated genes in primary tumors was associated with prolonged bone metastasis-free survival. This gene signature may identify patients that could benefit from IFN-based therapies. Thus, we have identified an innate immune pathway intrinsic to breast cancer cells, the suppression of which restricts immunosurveillance to enable metastasis.

Mohammed A, Qian L, Janakiram NB, et al.
Atorvastatin delays progression of pancreatic lesions to carcinoma by regulating PI3/AKT signaling in p48Cre/+ LSL-KrasG12D/+ mice.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 131(8):1951-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is the one of most common causes of cancer deaths and has the worst prognosis. Clinical observational studies suggest that statins may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. The chemopreventive efficacy of the statin atorvastatin (Lipitor(®)) and the role of the phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase (PI3/AKT) signaling pathway were evaluated for the progression of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms (PanINs) to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) in conditional p48(Cre/+) -LSL-Kras(G12D/+) transgenic mice. Six-week-old male p48(Cre/+) -LSL-Kras(G12D/+) (20/group) mice were fed AIN-76A diets containing 0, 200 and 400 ppm atorvastatin for 35 weeks. At termination, pancreata were evaluated histopathologically for PanINs and PDAC, and for various PI3/AKT signaling markers, and inflammatory cytokines, by immunohistochemistry/immunohistoflourscence, ELISA, Western blotting and/or reverse transcription-PCR methods. Control diet-fed mice showed 85% incidence of PDAC; whereas, mice fed with atorvastatin showed PDAC incidence of 65 and 35%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Similarly, significant suppression of PanIN-3 (22.6%) was observed in mice fed 400 ppm atorvastatin. Importantly, pancreata from atorvastatin-treated mice were ∼68% free from ductal lesions. Furthermore, pancreas of mice administered with atorvastatin had significantly reduced expressions levels of PCNA, p2X7, p-ERK, RhoA, cyclin D1, survivin, Akt, pAKT, β-catenin, cyclin E, cdK2 and caveolin-1. Also, atorvastatin-treated mice had shown dose-dependent suppression of inflammatory cytokines and a significant increase in tunnel-positive cells, p21 and PARP expression levels in pancreas. Atorvastatin significantly delays the progression of PanIN-1 and -2 lesions to PanIN-3 and PDAC by modulating PI3/AKT signal molecules in a preclinical model, suggesting potential clinical benefits of statins for high-risk pancreatic cancer patients.

LaConti JJ, Shivapurkar N, Preet A, et al.
Tissue and serum microRNAs in the Kras(G12D) transgenic animal model and in patients with pancreatic cancer.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(6):e20687 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
microRNAs (miRs) modulate the expression levels of mRNAs and proteins and can thus contribute to cancer initiation and progression. In addition to their intracelluar function, miRs are released from cells and shed into the circulation. We postulated that circulating miRs could provide insight into pathways altered during cancer progression and may indicate responses to treatment. Here we focus on pancreatic cancer malignant progression. We report that changes in miR expression patterns during progression of normal tissues to invasive pancreatic adenocarcinoma in the p48-Cre/LSL-Kras(G12D) mouse model mirrors the miR changes observed in human pancreatic cancer tissues. miR-148a/b and miR-375 expression were found decreased whereas miR-10, miR-21, miR-100 and miR-155 were increased when comparing normal tissues, premalignant lesions and invasive carcinoma in the mouse model. Predicted target mRNAs FGFR1 (miR-10) and MLH1 (miR-155) were found downregulated. Quantitation of nine microRNAs in plasma samples from patients distinguished pancreatic cancers from other cancers as well as non-cancerous pancreatic disease. Finally, gemcitabine treatment of control animals and p48-Cre/LSL-Kras(G12D) animals with pancreatic cancer caused distinct and up to 60-fold changes in circulating miRs that indicate differential drug effects on normal and cancer tissues. These findings support the significance of detecting miRs in the circulation and suggests that circulating miRs could serve as indicators of drug response.

Hung HC, Wang HC, Shih SR, et al.
Synergistic inhibition of enterovirus 71 replication by interferon and rupintrivir.
J Infect Dis. 2011; 203(12):1784-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) can cause severe diseases and even lead to death in children. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral therapy to prevent or cure EV71 infection. Although interferon (IFN)-α has been used in the treatment of several viral infections, we found that IFN-α alone was ineffective in restricting EV71 replication in Vero cells.
METHODS: Through a bioinformatics analysis, several cellular proteins in the IFN response pathway were identified as susceptible substrates that might be degraded by the EV71-encoded 3C protease (3C(pro)).
RESULTS: Indeed, IRF9 was shown to be vulnerable to 3C(pro) cleavage, as revealed by enzyme-based and cell-based assays. Thus, the IFN-mediated antiviral mechanism compromised by the viral 3C(pro) in EV71-infected cells may be accountable, at least partially, for that IFN-α cannot inhibit EV71 replication. Because rupintrivir (AG7088) is known to be an effective EV71 inhibitor, we investigated the effects of the combination of rupintrivir and IFN-α on EV71 replication and found that they strongly synergized with each other in inhibiting EV71 replication.
CONCLUSIONS: Because rupintrivir was shown to be generally tolerable in earlier clinical investigations, it is worth evaluating whether a combination of rupintrivir and IFN-α could be an effective treatment for EV71.

Testoni B, Schinzari V, Guerrieri F, et al.
p53-paralog DNp73 oncogene is repressed by IFNα/STAT2 through the recruitment of the Ezh2 polycomb group transcriptional repressor.
Oncogene. 2011; 30(23):2670-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The DNp73 proteins act as trans-repressors of p53 and p73-dependent transcription and exert both anti-apoptotic activity and pro-proliferative activity. DNp73s are frequently up-regulated in a variety of human cancers, including human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Increased levels of DNp73 proteins confer to HCC cells resistance to apoptosis and, irrespective to p53 status, a chemoresistant phenotype. Here, we show that interferon (IFN)α down-regulates DNp73 expression in primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) and HCC cell lines. IFNα has been used as pro-apoptotic agent in the treatment of malignancies and there is increasing evidence of IFNα effectiveness in HCC treatment and prevention of recurrence. The precise mechanisms by which class I IFNs exert their anti-proliferative and anti-tumor activity remain unclear. IFNα binding to its receptor activates multiple intracellular signaling cascades regulating the transcription of numerous direct target genes through the recruitment of a complex comprising of STAT1, STAT2 and IFN regulatory factor (IRF)9 to their promoters. We found that, in response to IFNα, the P2p73 promoter undergoes substantial chromatin remodeling. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) replace histone acetyl transferases. STAT2 is recruited onto the endogenous P2p73 promoter together with the polycomb group protein Ezh2, leading to increased H3K27 methylation and transcriptional repression. The reduction of DNp73 levels by IFNα is paralleled by an increased susceptibility to IFNα-triggered apoptosis of Huh7 hepatoma cells. Our results show, for the first time, that IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 recruitment may serve both in activating and repressing gene expression and identify the down-regulation of DNp73 as an additional mechanism to counteract the chemoresistance of liver cancer cells.

Kim CK, Nguyen TL, Joo KM, et al.
Negative regulation of p53 by the long isoform of ErbB3 binding protein Ebp1 in brain tumors.
Cancer Res. 2010; 70(23):9730-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ErbB3 binding protein Ebp1 has been implicated in a number of human cancers. Ebp1 includes 2 isoforms, p48 and p42, that exhibit different cellular activities. Here we show that the larger p48 isoform is transforming and that it promotes cell growth, clonogenicity, and invasion in human glioblastoma (GBM). P48 overexpression in GBM cells facilitated tumorigenesis and enhanced tumor growth in mouse xenograft models. Human GBM tissues displayed elevated levels of p48 compared with surrounding normal tissues or low-grade tumors. Notably, p48 levels were inversely correlated with poor prognosis in GBM patients. We determined that p48 binds to the p53 E3 ligase HDM2, enhancing HDM2-p53 association and thereby promoting p53 polyubiquitination and degradation to reduce steady-state p53 levels and activity. Together, our findings suggest that p48 functions as an oncogene by promoting glioma tumorigenicity via interactions with HDM2 that contribute to p53 downregulation.

Dufresne M, Clerc P, Dieng M, et al.
Id3 modulates cellular localization of bHLH Ptf1-p48 protein.
Int J Cancer. 2011; 129(2):295-306 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ptf1-p48 is a pancreas-specific bHLH transcriptional protein, which, in the normal adult pancreas, shows a restricted expression in acinar cells where it is predominantly localized in the nucleus and activates the transcription of exocrine-specific genes. Ptf1-p48 partners with two proteins to form the PTF1 active complex: a bHLH E-protein and suppressor of hairless RBP-J. Cytoplasmic mislocalization of Ptf1-p48 has been reported in pancreatic pathologies, suggesting its contribution in the early steps of pancreatic carcinogenesis. The aim of the our work was to elucidate the mechanisms regulating Ptf1-p48 subcellular localization. We hypothesized a role of Id proteins acting in a dominant-negative fashion by heterodimerizing with bHLH proteins. We reproduced Ptf1-p48 cytoplasmic mislocalization in acinar AR4-2J cells and demonstrated that a proliferative signal elicited by gastrin leads to increases in Id3 protein expression and levels of Id3/E47 and Id3/Ptf1-p48 interactions, and a decrease in the level of E47/Ptf1-p48 interaction. By contrast, Id3 silencing reversed the cytoplasmic mislocalization of Ptf1-p48 induced by gastrin. As E47 is responsible for the nuclear import of the PTF1 complex, disruption of this complex via Id3 interactions with both E47 and Ptf1-p48 appears to induce cytoplasmic mislocalization of Ptf1-p48. We then found that Ptf1-p48 is either absent or mislocalized in the cytoplasm and Id3 is overexpressed in human and murine pancreatic preneoplastic lesions. Our data provide novel insight into the regulation of Ptf1-p48 function and provide evidence that Ptf1-p48 cytoplasmic mislocalization and Id3 overexpression are early events in pancreatic cancer progression.

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