Gene Summary

Gene:ITGA6; integrin subunit alpha 6
Aliases: CD49f, VLA-6, ITGA6B
Summary:The gene encodes a member of the integrin alpha chain family of proteins. Integrins are heterodimeric integral membrane proteins composed of an alpha chain and a beta chain that function in cell surface adhesion and signaling. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate light and heavy chains that comprise the alpha 6 subunit. This subunit may associate with a beta 1 or beta 4 subunit to form an integrin that interacts with extracellular matrix proteins including members of the laminin family. The alpha 6 beta 4 integrin may promote tumorigenesis, while the alpha 6 beta 1 integrin may negatively regulate erbB2/HER2 signaling. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2015]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:integrin alpha-6
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: ITGA6 (cancer-related)

Shen J, Xu J, Chen B, et al.
Elevated integrin α6 expression is involved in the occurrence and development of lung adenocarcinoma, and predicts a poor prognosis: a study based on immunohistochemical analysis and bioinformatics.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(7):1681-1693 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To study integrin α6 expression in lung adenocarcinoma tissue through comparison with matching adjacent non-cancerous tissues as well as elucidating the correlation between integrin α6 expression with the clinical parameters of lung adenocarcinoma. We also explore the signal pathways associated with integrin α6 up-regulation.
METHODS: The clinical data, cancer tissues, and adjacent non-cancerous tissues of 30 patients diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma were collected from Taizhou Hospital in Zhejiang Province, China, in 2010. The protein levels of integrin α6 were determined by immunohistochemistry methods. mRNA data of 85 lung adenocarcinoma tissues and 14 normal tissues as well as clinical results were collected from GEO30219. We also collected mRNA data of 533 lung adenocarcinoma tissues and 59 normal tissues as well as the clinical results of 522 patients with lung adenocarcinoma from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. The differences in protein and mRNA levels in cancer tissues and non-cancerous tissues were analyzed, and we subsequently investigated the association between integrin α6 expression and key parameters indicating lung adenocarcinoma progression and overall survival rate. Additionally, the possible pathways involved in the up-regulation of integrin α6 were analyzed by GSEA.
RESULTS: The protein levels of integrin α6 in lung adenocarcinoma tissues were significantly higher than those in adjacent tissues (p < 0.01), and were positively correlated with the grade and T stage of lung adenocarcinoma (p < 0.05). Patients with low integrin α6 protein levels had higher survival rates (p < 0.05). The analysis of gene chip data from the TCGA database also showed that the integrin α6 mRNA level was significantly correlated with T stage (p < 0.05), overall survival (OS) rate (p < 0.01), and disease-free survival (DFS) rate (p = 0.005). GSEA gene enrichment analysis identified a series of pathways that may be associated with integrin α6 up-regulation, including the AGR, PYK2, ECM, and PTEN pathways.
CONCLUSION: Integrin α6 plays an important role in the occurrence and progression of lung adenocarcinoma and may act as a prognostic predictor of lung adenocarcinoma in patients. Based on the results of the present study, integrin α6 may be a potential target gene for the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma.

Kuwano M, Shibata T, Watari K, Ono M
Oncogenic Y-box binding protein-1 as an effective therapeutic target in drug-resistant cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(5):1536-1543 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Y-box binding protein-1 (YBX1), a multifunctional oncoprotein containing an evolutionarily conserved cold shock domain, dysregulates a wide range of genes involved in cell proliferation and survival, drug resistance, and chromatin destabilization by cancer. Expression of a multidrug resistance-associated ATP binding cassette transporter gene, ABCB1, as well as growth factor receptor genes, EGFR and HER2/ErbB2, was initially discovered to be transcriptionally activated by YBX1 in cancer cells. Expression of other drug resistance-related genes, MVP/LRP, TOP2A, CD44, CD49f, BCL2, MYC, and androgen receptor (AR), is also transcriptionally activated by YBX1, consistently indicating that YBX1 is involved in tumor drug resistance. Furthermore, there is strong evidence to support that nuclear localization and/or overexpression of YBX1 can predict poor outcomes in patients with more than 20 different tumor types. YBX1 is phosphorylated by kinases, including AKT, p70S6K, and p90RSK, and translocated into the nucleus to promote the transcription of resistance- and malignancy-related genes. Phosphorylated YBX1, therefore, plays a crucial role as a potent transcription factor in cancer. Herein, a novel anticancer therapeutic strategy is presented by targeting activated YBX1 to overcome drug resistance and malignant progression.

Wazir U, Orakzai MMAW, Martin TA, et al.
Correlation of
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2019 Mar-Apr; 16(2):121-127 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) has a well-known role in carcinogenesis due to its functions in inducing cell immortality and preventing senescence. In this study, the relationships between TERT and a panel of known stem cell markers was examined in order to direct future enquiries into the role of 'stem-ness' in human breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Breast cancer tissues (n=124) and adjacent normal tissues (n=30) underwent reverse transcription and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Transcript levels were analyzed for the correlation with that of TERT.
RESULTS: A significant direct correlation was found in cancerous tissue between TERT and BMI1 proto-oncogene polycomb ring finger 4 (BMI1; n=88, p<0.001), nestin (NES; n=88, p<0.001), POU domain, class 5, transcription factor 1 (POU5F1; n=88, p<0.001), aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member A2 (ALDH1A2; n=87, p=0.0298), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A; n=88, p<0.001), integrin subunit beta 1 (ITGNB1; n=88, p<0.001), integrin subunit alpha 6 (ITGA6; n=88, p<0.001), cluster of differentiation antigen 24 (CD24; n=88, p=0.0114), MET proto-oncogene (MET; n=78, p<0.001) and noggin (NOG; n=88, p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The evidence presented in this article of possible interactions between TERT and a discrete subset of known stem cell markers would significantly contribute to further enquiries regarding clonal dynamics in the context of human breast cancer.

Zhang J, Zheng ZQ, Yuan YW, et al.
NFAT1 Hypermethylation Promotes Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Metastasis in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma by Activating ITGA6 Transcription.
Neoplasia. 2019; 21(3):311-321 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
DNA methylation is an important epigenetic change in carcinogenesis. However, the function and mechanism of DNA methylation dysregulation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is still largely unclear. Our previous genome-wide microarray data showed that NFAT1 is one of the most hypermethylated transcription factor genes in NPC tissues. Here, we found that NFAT1 hypermethylation contributes to its down-regulation in NPC. NFAT1 overexpression inhibited cell migration, invasion, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in vitro and tumor metastasis in vivo. We further established that the tumor suppressor effect of NFAT1 is mediated by its inactivation of ITGA6 transcription. Our findings suggest the significance of activating NFAT1/ITGA6 signaling in aggressive NPC, defining a novel critical signaling mechanism that drives NPC invasion and metastasis and providing a novel target for future personalized therapy.

Joseph C, Arshad M, Kurozomi S, et al.
Overexpression of the cancer stem cell marker CD133 confers a poor prognosis in invasive breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019; 174(2):387-399 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: CD133/ prominin 1 is a cancer stem cell marker associated with cancer progression and patient outcome in a variety of solid tumours, but its role in invasive breast cancer (BC) remains obscure. The current study aims to assess the prognostic value of CD133 expression in early invasive BC.
METHODS: CD133 mRNA was assessed in the METABRIC cohort and at the proteomic level using immunohistochemistry utilising a large well-characterised BC cohort. Association with clinicopathological characteristics, expression of other stem cell markers and patient outcome were evaluated.
RESULTS: High expression of CD133 either in mRNA or protein levels was associated with characteristics of poor prognosis including high tumour grade, larger tumour size, high Nottingham Prognostic Index, HER2 positivity and hormonal receptor negativity (all; p < 0.001). High CD133 expression was positively associated with proliferation biomarkers including p16, Cyclin E and Ki67 (p < 0.01). Tumours expressing CD133 showed higher expression of other stem cell markers including CD24, CD44, SOX10, ALDHA3 and ITGA6. High expression of CD133 protein was associated with shorter BC-specific survival (p = 0.026). Multivariate analysis revealed that CD133 protein expression was an independent risk factor for shorter BC-specific survival (p = 0.038).
CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence for the prognostic value of CD133 in invasive BC. A strong positive association of BC stem cell markers is observed at the protein level. Further studies to assess the value of stem cell markers individually or in combination in BC is warranted.

Guo L, Fu J, Sun S, et al.
MicroRNA-143-3p inhibits colorectal cancer metastases by targeting ITGA6 and ASAP3.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(2):805-816 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs, which regulate mRNAs, operate through a variety of signaling pathways to participate in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we found that microRNA (miR)-143-3p expression was significantly lower in both CRC and liver metastatic CRC tissues from liver compared with normal colonic tissues. Functional assays showed that miR-143-3p inhibited CRC cell invasion and migration in vitro. Using a bioinformatics approach, we identified miR-143-3p target mRNAs. Among the candidate targets, only the expression of integrin alpha 6 (ITGA6) and ArfGAP with the SH3 domain and ankyrin repeat and PH domain 3 (ASAP3) were significantly reduced by miR-143-3p mimics as examined by western blot, and the metastasis potential of CRC cells was attenuated by endogenous ITGA6 and ASAP3 knockdown, determined by migration and invasion assays. Both ITGA6 and ASAP3 were upregulated in CRC tissues compared to normal tissues. Analysis of the relationship between clinicopathological features and ITGA6/ASAP3 protein expression in 200 patients with CRC showed a significant difference in positive ITGA6 expression between the early stage (I + II) and the advanced stage (III + IV), and ASAP3 expression levels positively correlated with metastasis in the lymph nodes. These results indicate that miR-143-3p acts as an anti-oncogene by downregulating ITGA6/ASAP3 protein expression and could offer new insight into potential therapeutic targets for CRC.

Chernaya G, Mikhno N, Khabalova T, et al.
The expression profile of integrin receptors and osteopontin in thyroid malignancies varies depending on the tumor progression rate and presence of BRAF V600E mutation.
Surg Oncol. 2018; 27(4):702-708 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thyroid cancer (TC) is one of the most common malignancy of the human endocrine system. BRAF V600E mutation is the most frequent genetic alteration of papillary carcinoma, the most frequent TC, which effects RAS-RAF-MEK intracellular signaling pathway. These alterations in RAS-RAF-MEK pathway lead to changes in expression levels of cell membrane integrin receptors and their ligand - extracellular matrix protein osteopontin, which in turn increases the metastatic potential of tumor cells. Thus, integrins and their ligand osteopontin can be considered as potential biomarkers of tumor progression and aggressive tumor phenotypes. The aim of the study was to evaluate the expression levels of integrin receptors ITGA2, ITGA3, ITGAV, ITGA6, ITGA9, ITGB1, ITGB3 and their ligands OPNa, OPNb in the thyroid cancer with different BRAF V600E mutation status.
METHODS: Thyroid tumor samples of 70 patients obtained during surgical treatment were analyzed. Expression levels of the investigated genes were evaluated by real time RT-PCR. Fluorescent immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to confirm the PCR results and to estimate the amount of protein levels. For IHC frozen sections were used. BRAF V600E mutation was determined using allele-specific amplification. Nonparametric criteria (Kruskal Wallis, Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney tests) were used to evaluate group differences. P values of less than 0.05 were considered as statistically significant.
RESULTS: A higher gene expression level of ITGA2 (1.9-fold, p = 0.037), ITGA3 (21.1-fold, p = 0.041) and ITGA5 (2.08-fold, p = 0.048) was observed in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) tissue in comparison with median expression level in control samples (conventionally normal tissue of thyroid gland). These changes were confirmed by IHC (significant changes for α2 integrin). ITGAV expression level was statistically significantly higher in follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) (2.0-fold, p = 0.040). Next, high gene expression levels in tissue samples of lymph node metastases were observed for ITGA5 (2.92-fold, p = 0.015), OPNb (4.36-fold, p = 0.037). For genes ITGA3 (37.48-fold, p = 0.017790), ITGA6 (18.76-fold, p = 0.028921) and ITGA9 (12.52-fold, p = 0.026710) higher expression level was detected in T
CONCLUSION: Identified changes in expression levels of the studied genes indicate that they could play an important role in tumor progression, and their expression could be affected by the product of mutant BRAF gene. Integrins and their ligand osteopontin might be considered as potential markers in determining prognosis and treatment of TC.

Zhao L, Chi W, Cao H, et al.
Screening and clinical significance of tumor markers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma through bioinformatics analysis.
Mol Med Rep. 2019; 19(1):143-154 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In order to identify potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, and treatment targets for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), the present study obtained the gene expression profiles in HNSCC through public data mining, and core genes were identified using a series of bioinformatics analysis methods and databases. A total of nine hub genes (SPP1, ITGA6, TMPRSS11D, MMP1, LAMC2, FAT1, ACTA1, SERPINE1 and CEACAM1) were identified to be significantly correlated with HNSCC. Furthermore, overall survival analysis demonstrated that the expression values of hub genes were associated with overall survival in HNSCC. Furthermore, certain of the identified genes, including, TMPRSS11D, ACTA1 and CEACAM1, have not been thoroughly investigated in HNSCC previously. Taken together, the nine hub genes obtained by screening in the present study may serve as potential tumor markers and important prognostic indicators for HNSCC.

Lobo NA, Zabala M, Qian D, Clarke MF
Serially transplantable mammary epithelial cells express the Thy-1 antigen.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):121 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies in murine mammary tissue have identified functionally distinct cell populations that may be isolated by surface phenotype or lineage tracing. Previous groups have shown that CD24
METHODS: Flow cytometry-based enrichment of distinct phenotypic populations was assessed for their gene expression profiles and functional proliferative attributes in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Here, we show Thy-1 is differentially expressed in the CD24
CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, Thy-1 expression in the immature cell compartment is a useful tool to study the functional heterogeneity that drives mammary gland development and has implications for disease etiology.

Bigoni-Ordóñez GD, Ortiz-Sánchez E, Rosendo-Chalma P, et al.
Molecular iodine inhibits the expression of stemness markers on cancer stem-like cells of established cell lines derived from cervical cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):928 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer stem cells (CSC) are characterized by deregulated self-renewal, tumorigenicity, metastatic potential, aberrant stemness signaling pathways, resistance to conventional therapy, and the ability to give rise to a progeny of proliferating cells that constitute the bulk of tumors. Targeting CSC will provide novel treatments for cancer. Different investigations have focused on developing complementary approaches that involve natural compounds that decrease chemo-resistance and reduce the side effects of conventional therapies. Since, it has been reported that molecular iodine (I
METHODS: HeLa and SiHa cervical cancer cells were treated with 200uM I
RESULTS: In the present study, monolayer and CSC-enriched cultures (cervospheres) from cervical cancer-derived cell lines, HeLa and SiHa, showed that 200uM I
CONCLUSIONS: All this data led us to suggest a clinical potential use of I

Kim YR, Byun MR, Choi JW
Integrin α6 as an invasiveness marker for hepatitis B viral X-driven hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Biomark. 2018; 23(1):135-144 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) accounts for more than 60% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases. However, there is limited information about the features of HBV-driven HCC that differentiate it from other types of HCC.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to find a gene specific to HBV-driven HCC and understand its role during tumorigenesis.
METHODS: The differences in gene expression patterns were analyzed among patients with hepatitis virus-unrelated liver cirrhosis, and hepatitis C virus- and HBV-driven HCC. Genes expressed only in HBV patients were compared to genes of transgenic mice expressing hepatitis B viral X gene.
RESULTS: Integrin α6 was commonly overexpressed in both HBV-driven HCC patients and transgenic mice expressing viral X. This gene's activation induced overexpression of integrin α6, as well as formation of integrins α6β1 and α6β4, without changing the expression of non-integrin laminin receptors. Suppression of integrin α6 caused significant inhibition of tumor migration in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: This study found a significant association between HBV and integrin α6, which may be responsible for early migration and invasion of HCC. Thus, integrin α6 is a predictive marker for tumor recurrence and invasiveness of HBV-driven HCC.

Reddy JP, Atkinson RL, Larson R, et al.
Mammary stem cell and macrophage markers are enriched in normal tissue adjacent to inflammatory breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 171(2):283-293 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: We hypothesized that breast tissue not involved by tumor in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) patients contains intrinsic differences, including increased mammary stem cells and macrophage infiltration, which may promote the IBC phenotype.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Normal breast parenchyma ≥ 5 cm away from primary tumors was obtained from mastectomy specimens. This included an initial cohort of 8 IBC patients and 60 non-IBC patients followed by a validation cohort of 19 IBC patients and 25 non-IBC patients. Samples were immunostained for either CD44
RESULTS: 8 of 8 IBC samples expressed isolated CD44
CONCLUSIONS: Normal tissue from IBC patients is enriched for both mammary stem cells and macrophages and has higher association with both a tumorigenic stem cell signature and IBC-specific tumor signature. Collectively, these data suggest that IBC normal tissue differs from non-IBC tissue. Whether these changes occur before the tumor develops or is induced by tumor warrants further investigation.

Li J, Tan W, Peng L, et al.
Integrative analysis of gene expression profiles reveals specific signaling pathways associated with pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Commun (Lond). 2018; 38(1):13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a major health problem because conventional cancer treatments are relatively ineffective against it. Microarray studies have linked many genes to pancreatic cancer, but the available data have not been extensively mined for potential insights into PDAC. This study attempted to identify PDAC-associated genes and signaling pathways based on six microarray-based profiles of gene expression in pancreatic cancer deposited in the gene expression omnibus database.
METHODS: Pathway network methods were used to analyze core pathways in six publicly available pancreatic cancer gene (GSE71989, GSE15471, GSE16515, GSE32676, GSE41368 and GSE28735) expression profiles. Genes potentially linked to PDAC were assessed for potential impact on survival time based on data in The Cancer Genome Atlas and International Cancer Genome Consortium databases, and the expression of one candidate gene (CKS2) and its association with survival was examined in 102 patients with PDAC from our hospital. Effects of CKS2 knockdown were explored in the PDAC cell lines BxPC-3 and CFPAC-1.
RESULTS: The KEGG signaling pathway called "pathway in cancer" may play an important role in pancreatic cancer development and progression. Five genes (BIRC5, CKS2, ITGA3, ITGA6 and RALA) in this pathway were significantly associated with survival time in patients with PDAC. CKS2 was overexpressed in PDAC samples from our hospital, and higher CKS2 expression in these patients was associated with shorter survival time. CKS2 knockdown substantially inhibited PDAC cell proliferation in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: Analysis integrating existing microarray datasets allowed identification of the "pathway in cancer" as an important signaling pathway in PDAC. This integrative approach may be powerful for identifying genes and pathways involved in cancer.

Padua MB, Bhat-Nakshatri P, Anjanappa M, et al.
Dependence receptor UNC5A restricts luminal to basal breast cancer plasticity and metastasis.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The majority of estrogen receptor-positive (ERα
METHODS: We used short hairpin (sh)RNA and/or the CRISPR/Cas9 system to knockdown the expression of the dependence receptor UNC5A in ERα
RESULTS: Knockdown of the E2-inducible UNC5A resulted in altered basal gene expression affecting plasma membrane integrity and ERα signaling, as evident from ligand-independent activity of ERα, altered turnover of phosphorylated ERα, unique E2-dependent expression of genes effecting histone demethylase activity, enhanced upregulation of E2-inducible genes such as BCL2, and E2-independent tumorigenesis accompanied by multiorgan metastases. UNC5A depletion led to the appearance of a luminal/basal hybrid phenotype supported by elevated expression of basal/stem cell-enriched ∆Np63, CD44, CD49f, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and the lymphatic vessel permeability factor NTN4, but lower expression of luminal/alveolar differentiation-associated ELF5 while maintaining functional ERα. In addition, UNC5A-depleted cells acquired bipotent luminal progenitor characteristics based on KRT14
CONCLUSION: These studies reveal an unexpected role of the axon guidance receptor UNC5A in fine-tuning ERα and EGFR signaling and the luminal progenitor status of hormone-sensitive breast cancers. Furthermore, UNC5A knockdown cells provide an ideal model system to investigate metastasis of ERα

Wang D, Tang L, Wu H, et al.
MiR-127-3p inhibits cell growth and invasiveness by targeting ITGA6 in human osteosarcoma.
IUBMB Life. 2018; 70(5):411-419 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma (OS) is one of the most universal malignant bone tumors that occur mostly in children and adolescents. This study aimed to investigate the roles of miR-127-3p and integrin subunit-α 6 (ITGA6) in OS proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration, and to explore the possible molecular mechanism and target relationship. By conducting quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot, the microRNA (miRNA) and protein expressions of miR-127-3p and ITGA6 in both tissues and cells were determined. The expression of apoptosis and migration related were also detected by western blot. The target relationship between miR-127-3p and ITGA6 was predicted by TargetScan and verified by dual-luciferase reporter assay. The biological functions of miR-127-3p and ITGA6 in OS were investigated by following experiments: cell counting kit 8 (CCK-8) and colony formation assays to inspect cell proliferation, flow cytometry, and caspase 3 activity assay to examine apoptosis, and transwell and wound healing assays to analyze invasion and migration. Significant down-regulation of miR-127-3p and up-regulation of ITGA6 was found out in OS tissues and cells. ITGA6 was proved to be the downstream target gene of miR-127-3p and functioned as a tumor promotor in OS, while miR-127-3p restrained deterioration of OS by suppressing cell viability, reducing migration and invasion, and promoting apoptosis. MiR-127-3p suppressed proliferation, invasion, and migration while stimulated apoptosis of OS cells through knocking down ITGA6. © 2018 IUBMB Life, 70(5):411-419, 2018.

Johnson J, Bessette DC, Saunus JM, et al.
Characterization of a novel breast cancer cell line derived from a metastatic bone lesion of a breast cancer patient.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 170(1):179-188 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We aimed to generate and characterize a novel cell line from a breast cancer bone metastasis to better study the progression of the disease.
METHODS: The cell line, P7731, was derived from a metastatic bone lesion of a breast cancer patient and assessed for marker expression. P7731 was analyzed for DNA copy number variation, somatic mutations, and gene expression and was compared with the primary tumor.
RESULTS: P7731 cells are negative for estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2 (triple-negative); strongly express vimentin (100% of cells positive) and also express cytokeratins 8/18 and 19 but at lower frequencies. Flow cytometry indicates P7731 cells are predominantly CD44
CONCLUSION: This novel human breast cancer-bone metastasis cell line will be a useful model to study aspects of breast cancer biology, particularly metastasis-related changes from breast to bone.

Chen J, Nagle AM, Wang YF, et al.
Controlled dimerization of insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin receptors reveals shared and distinct activities of holo and hybrid receptors.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(10):3700-3709 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer development and progression are influenced by insulin-like growth factor receptor 1 (IGF1R) and insulin receptor (InsR) signaling, which drive cancer phenotypes such as cell growth, proliferation, and migration. IGF1R and InsR form IGF1R/InsR hybrid receptors (HybRs) consisting of one molecule of IGF1R and one molecule of InsR. The specific signaling and functions of HybR are largely unknown, as HybR is activated by both IGF1 and insulin, and no cellular system expresses HybR in the absence of holo-IGF1R or holo-InsR. Here we studied the role of HybR by constructing inducible chimeric receptors and compared HybR signaling with that of holo-IGF1R and holo-InsR. We cloned chemically inducible chimeric IGF1R and InsR constructs consisting of the extracellular domains of the p75 nerve growth factor receptor fused to the intracellular β subunit of IGF1R or InsR and a dimerization domain. Dimerization with the drugs AP20187 or AP21967 allowed specific and independent activation of holo-IGF1R, holo-InsR, or HybR, resulting in activation of the PI3K pathway. Holo-IGF1R and HybR both promoted cell proliferation and glucose uptake, whereas holo-InsR only promoted glucose uptake, and only holo-IGF1R showed anti-apoptotic effects. We also found that the three receptors differentially regulated gene expression: holo-IGF1R and HybR up-regulated EGR3; holo-InsR specifically down-regulated JUN and BCL2L1; holo-InsR down-regulated but HybR up-regulated HK2; and HybR specifically up-regulated FHL2, ITGA6, and PCK2. Our findings suggest that, when expressed and activated in mammary epithelial cells, HybR acts in a manner similar to IGF1R and support further investigation of the role of HybR in breast cancer.

Prichard DO, Byrne AM, Murphy JO, et al.
Deoxycholic acid promotes development of gastroesophageal reflux disease and Barrett's oesophagus by modulating integrin-αv trafficking.
J Cell Mol Med. 2017; 21(12):3612-3625 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The fundamental mechanisms underlying erosive oesophagitis and subsequent development of Barrett's oesophagus (BO) are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the contribution of specific components of the gastric refluxate on adhesion molecules involved in epithelial barrier maintenance. Cell line models of squamous epithelium (HET-1A) and BO (QH) were used to examine the effects of bile acids on cell adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins (Collagen, laminin, vitronectin, fibronectin) and expression of integrin ligands (α

Saunus JM, Smart CE, Kutasovic JR, et al.
Multidimensional phenotyping of breast cancer cell lines to guide preclinical research.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 167(1):289-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cell lines are extremely useful tools in breast cancer research. Their key benefits include a high degree of control over experimental variables and reproducibility. However, the advantages must be balanced against the limitations of modelling such a complex disease in vitro. Informed selection of cell line(s) for a given experiment now requires essential knowledge about molecular and phenotypic context in the culture dish.
METHODS: We performed multidimensional profiling of 36 widely used breast cancer cell lines that were cultured under standardised conditions. Flow cytometry and digital immunohistochemistry were used to compare the expression of 14 classical breast cancer biomarkers related to intrinsic molecular profiles and differentiation states: EpCAM, CD24, CD49f, CD44, ER, AR, HER2, EGFR, E-cadherin, p53, vimentin, and cytokeratins 5, 8/18 and 19.
RESULTS: This cell-by-cell analysis revealed striking heterogeneity within cultures of individual lines that would be otherwise obscured by analysing cell homogenates, particularly amongst the triple-negative lines. High levels of p53 protein, but not RNA, were associated with somatic mutations (p = 0.008). We also identified new subgroups using the nanoString PanCancer Pathways panel (730 transcripts representing 13 canonical cancer pathways). Unsupervised clustering identified five groups: luminal/HER2, immortalised ('normal'), claudin-low and two basal clusters, distinguished mostly by baseline expression of TGF-beta and PI3-kinase pathway genes.
CONCLUSION: These features are compared with other published genotype and phenotype information in a user-friendly reference table to help guide selection of the most appropriate models for in vitro and in vivo studies, and as a framework for classifying new patient-derived cancer cell lines and xenografts.

He X, Ding X, Wen D, et al.
Exploration of the pathways and interaction network involved in bladder cancer cell line with knockdown of Opa interacting protein 5.
Pathol Res Pract. 2017; 213(9):1059-1066 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: In our previous study, we displayed that knockdown of Opa interacting protein 5 (OIP5) inhibited cell growth, disturbed cell cycle and increased cell apoptosis in bladder cancer (BC) cell line. Our present study aimed to explore the underlying pathways and interaction network involved in the roles of OIP5 in BC.
METHODS: Microarray analysis was conducted to obtain mRNA expression profiling of OIP5 knockdown (shOIP5) and control (shCtrl) BC cell lines. Bioinformatics analyses were performed including differentially expressed mRNAs (DEGs) identification, protein-protein interaction network construction, biological functions of prediction and ingenuity pathways analysis (IPA). Western Blotting (WB) was subjected to validate the protein expression levels of candidate DEGs in shOIP5 BC cell line.
RESULTS: Respective 255 up- and 184 down-regulated DEGs were identified in shOIP5 group compared with shCtrl group. In the PPI network, CAND1 and MYC had the highest connectivity with DEGs. 439 DEGs were significantly enriched in inflammatory response, regulation of cell proliferation, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction and bladder cancer. In the disease and function enrichment, DEGs were obviously involved in cellular movement, cellular growth and proliferation, cancer, inflammatory response, cell death and survival. In the OIP5 regulatory network, CDH2, IRS1, IRAK3, ID1, TNF, IL6, ITGA6, MYC and SOD2 interacted with OIP5. The WB validation results were compatible with our bioinformatics analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: OIP5 interaction network might function as an oncogene in BC progression based on aberrant inflammatory responses. Our study might provide valuable information for investigation of tumorigenesis mechanism in BC.

Henry G, Malewska A, Mauck R, et al.
Molecular pathogenesis of human prostate basal cell hyperplasia.
Prostate. 2017; 77(13):1344-1355 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Understanding the molecular pathogenesis of distinct phenotypes in human benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is essential to improving therapeutic intervention. Current therapies target smooth muscle and luminal epithelia for relief of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to BPH, but basal cell hyperplasia (BCH) remains untargeted. The incidence of has been reported at 8-10%, but a molecular and cellular characterization has not been performed on this phenotype.
METHODS: Using freshly digested tissue from surgical specimens, we performed RNA-seq analysis of flow cytometry-purified basal epithelia from 3 patients with and 4 patients without a majority BCH phenotype. qPCR was performed on 28 genes identified as significant from 13 non-BCH and 7 BCH specimens to confirm transcriptomic analysis. IHC was performed on several non-BCH and BCH specimens for 3 proteins identified as significant by transcriptomic analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 141 human BPH specimens were analyzed for the presence of BCH. Clinical characteristics of non-BCH and BCH cohorts revealed no significant differences in age, PSA, prostate volume, medical treatment, or comorbidities. Quantitation of cellular subsets by flow cytometry in 11 BCH patients vs. 11 non-BCH patients demonstrated a significant increase in the ratio of basal to luminal epithelia in patients with BCH (P <0.05), but no significant differences in the total number of leukocytes. RNA-seq data from flow cytometry isolated basal epithelia from patients with and without BCH were subjected to gene set enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes, which revealed increased expression of members of the epidermal differentiation complex. Transcriptomic data were complemented by immunohistochemistry for members of the epidermal differentiation complex, revealing a morphological similarity to other stratified squamous epithelial layers.
CONCLUSIONS: Increased expression of epidermal differentiation complex members and altered epithelial stratification resembles the progression of other metaplastic diseases. These data provide insight into the plasticity of the human prostate epithelium and suggest a classification of basal cell hyperplasia as a metaplasia.

Zhang D, Fu M, Li L, et al.
PKC-δ attenuates the cancer stem cell among squamous cell carcinoma cells through down-regulating p63.
Pathol Res Pract. 2017; 213(9):1119-1124 [PubMed] Related Publications
Protein kinase C delta (PKC-δ) has been identified as a tumor suppressor. However, the effects of PKC-δ on the cancer stem cells in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) have not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to detect the regulation of PKC-δ on cancer stem cell among SSC cells and the role of p63 during the regulation. Immunohistochemistry of human cutaneous SCC tissues was performed to detect the expression of PKC-δ. After the human SCC13 cells infected by recombinant adenoviruses, the cell proliferation were determined. The correlation of PKC-δ and p63 was detected by western blot. The colony forming activity and the number of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in SCC identified by double-staining with anti-integrin α

Zhao W, Mo Y, Wang S, et al.
Quantitation of DNA methylation in Epstein-Barr virus-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma by bisulfite amplicon sequencing.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):489 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, disrupt normal cell function, thus contributing to multiple steps of carcinogenesis. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is endemic in southern China and is highly associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Significant changes of the host cell methylome are observed in EBV-associated NPC with cancer development. Epigenetic marks for NPC diagnosis are urgently needed. In order to explore DNA methylation marks, we investigated DNA methylation of candidate genes in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
METHODS: We first employed methyl-capture sequencing and cDNA microarrays to compare the genome-wide methylation profiles of seven NPC tissues and five non-cancer nasopharyngeal epithelium (NNE) tissues. We found 150 hypermethylated CpG islands spanning promoter regions and down-regulated genes. Furthermore, we quantified the methylation rates of seven candidate genes using bisulfite amplicon sequencing for nine NPC and nine NNE tissues.
RESULTS: All seven candidate genes showed significantly higher methylation rates in NPC than in NNE tissues, and the ratios (NPC/NNE) were in descending order as follows: ITGA4 > RERG > ZNF671 > SHISA3 > ZNF549 > CR2 > RRAD. In particular, methylation levels of ITGA4, RERG, and ZNF671 could distinguish NPC patients from NNE subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified the DNA methylation rates of previously unidentified NPC candidate genes. The combination of genome-wide and targeted methylation profiling by next-generation sequencers should provide useful information regarding cancer-specific aberrant methylation.

Laudato S, Patil N, Abba ML, et al.
P53-induced miR-30e-5p inhibits colorectal cancer invasion and metastasis by targeting ITGA6 and ITGB1.
Int J Cancer. 2017; 141(9):1879-1890 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumor suppressor P53 is a critical regulator of normal cellular homeostasis whose function is either distorted or lost in several cancer types including colorectal cancer (CRC). A small group of microRNAs have come to be recognized as essential mediators of P53 function. In a genome-wide systematic approach, we explored miRNAs that are substantially altered by P53 loss and found miR-30e to be the most significantly deregulated miRNA in P53-knockout human CRC cells. We identified miR-30e-5p to be a novel direct transcriptional target of P53 with gain and loss of function experiments revealing miR-30e-5p to be a significant regulator of tumor cell migration, invasion and in vivo metastasis mediated in part by integrins alpha-6 and beta-1 as novel targets. MiR-30e-5p also significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation by causing G1/S cell cycle arrest, which was achieved by inducing P21 and P27 expression. Finally, we found miR-30e-5p to be lost in resected CRC tumors as compared to normal colon tissues. Taken together, miR-30e-5p is a novel effector of P53-induced suppression of migration, invasion and metastasis.

Sobral LM, Coletta RD, Alberici LC, et al.
SET/I2PP2A overexpression induces phenotypic, molecular, and metabolic alterations in an oral keratinocyte cell line.
FEBS J. 2017; 284(17):2774-2785 [PubMed] Related Publications
The multifunctional SET/I2PP2A protein is known to be overexpressed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, SET has been reported to have apparently conflicting roles in promoting cancer cell survival under oxidative stress conditions and preventing invasion and metastasis, complicating efforts to understand the contribution of SET to carcinogenesis. In the present study, we overexpressed SETin a spontaneously immortalized oral keratinocyte cell line (NOK-SI SET) and demonstrated that SET upregulation alone was sufficient to transform cells. In comparison with NOK-SI cells, NOK-SI SET cells demonstrated increased levels of phosphorylated Akt, c-Myc and inactive/phosphorylated Rb, together with decreased total Rb protein levels. In addition, NOK-SI SET cells presented the following: (a) a spindle-cell shape morphology compared with the polygonal morphology of NOK-SI cells; (b) loss of mesenchymal stem cell markers CD44 and CD73, and epithelial cell markers CD71 and integrin α6/β4; (c) the ability to form xenograft tumors in nude mice; and (d) increased mitochondrial respiration accompanied by decreased ROSlevels. Overall, our results show that SEToverexpression promotes morphological and oncogenic cell transformation of an oral keratinocyte cell.

Seifert A, Posern G
Tightly controlled MRTF-A activity regulates epithelial differentiation during formation of mammary acini.
Breast Cancer Res. 2017; 19(1):68 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTF) A and B link actin dynamics and mechanotransduction to gene expression. In mice, MRTF-A is involved in mammary gland differentiation, but its role in human mammary epithelial cells remains unclear.
METHODS: Three-dimensional cultures of human mammary epithelial MCF10A cells were used to model acinar morphogenesis. Stable MRTF-A knockdown, MRTF-A/B rescue and MRTF-A/B overexpression was established to characterize the functional role during morphogenesis using confocal microscopy and expression analysis. Breast cancer patient databases were analyzed for MRTF-A expression.
RESULTS: We showed that a precise temporal control of MRTFs is required for normal morphogenesis of MCF10A mammary acini. MRTF transcriptional activity, but not their protein amounts, is transiently induced during 3D acini formation. MRTF-A knockdown dramatically reduces acini size and prevents lumen formation. These effects are rescued by re-expression of MRTF-A, and partially by MRTF-B. Conversely, overexpression of MRTF-A and MRTF-B increases acini size, resulting in irregular spheroids without lumen and defective apico-basal polarity. These phenotypes correlate with deregulated expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21/Waf1, p27/Kip1 and altered phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein. In MRTF overexpressing spheroids, proliferation and apoptosis are simultaneously increased at late stages, whilst neither occurs in control acini. MRTFs interfere with anoikis of the inner cells and cause an integrin switch from α6 to α5, repression of E-cadherin and induction of mesenchymal markers vimentin, Snai2 and Zeb1. Moreover, MRTF-overexpressing spheroids are insensitive to alteration in matrix stiffness. In two breast cancer cohorts, high expression of MRTF-A and known target genes was associated with decreased patient survival.
CONCLUSION: MRTF-A is required for proliferation and formation of mammary acini from luminal epithelial cells. Conversely, elevated MRTF activity results in pre-malignant spheroid formation due to defective proliferation, polarity loss and epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Zhao SG, Chang SL, Erho N, et al.
Associations of Luminal and Basal Subtyping of Prostate Cancer With Prognosis and Response to Androgen Deprivation Therapy.
JAMA Oncol. 2017; 3(12):1663-1672 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Importance: There is a clear need for a molecular subtyping approach in prostate cancer to identify clinically distinct subgroups that benefit from specific therapies.
Objectives: To identify prostate cancer subtypes based on luminal and basal lineage and to determine associations with clinical outcomes and response to treatment.
Design, Setting, and Participants: The PAM50 classifier was used to subtype 1567 retrospectively collected (median follow-up, 10 years) and 2215 prospectively collected prostate cancer samples into luminal- and basal-like subtypes.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Metastasis, biochemical recurrence, overall survival, prostate cancer–specific survival, associations with biological pathways, and clinicopathologic variables were the main outcomes.
Results: Among the 3782 samples, the PAM50 classifier consistently segregated prostate cancer into 3 subtypes in both the retrospective and prospective cohorts: luminal A (retrospective, 538 [34.3%]; prospective, 737 [33.3%]), luminal B (retrospective, 447 [28.5%]; prospective, 723 [32.6%]), and basal (retrospective, 582 [37.1%]; prospective, 755 [34.1%]). Known luminal lineage markers, such as NKX3.1 and KRT18, were enriched in luminal-like cancers, and the basal lineage CD49f signature was enriched in basal-like cancers, demonstrating the connection between these subtypes and established prostate cancer biology. In the retrospective cohort, luminal B prostate cancers exhibited the poorest clinical prognoses on both univariable and multivariable analyses accounting for standard clinicopathologic prognostic factors (10-year biochemical recurrence-free survival [bRFS], 29%; distant metastasis-free survival [DMFS], 53%; prostate cancer-specific survival [PCSS], 78%; overall survival [OS], 69%), followed by basal prostate cancers (10-year bRFS, 39%; DMFS, 73%; PCSS, 86%; OS, 80%) and luminal A prostate cancers (10-year bRFS, 41%; DMFS, 73%; PCSS, 89%; OS, 82%). Although both luminal-like subtypes were associated with increased androgen receptor expression and signaling, only luminal B prostate cancers were significantly associated with postoperative response to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in a subset analysis in our retrospective cohorts (n = 315) matching patients based on clinicopathologic variables (luminal B 10-year metastasis: treated, 33% vs untreated, 55%; nonluminal B 10-year metastasis: treated, 37% vs untreated, 21%; P = .006 for interaction).
Conclusions and Relevance: Luminal- and basal-like prostate cancers demonstrate divergent clinical behavior, and patients with luminal B tumors respond better to postoperative ADT than do patients with non–luminal B tumors. These findings contribute novel insight into prostate cancer biology, providing a potential clinical tool to personalize ADT treatment for prostate cancer by predicting which men may benefit from ADT after surgery.

Koshizuka K, Nohata N, Hanazawa T, et al.
Deep sequencing-based microRNA expression signatures in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: dual strands of pre-miR-150 as antitumor miRNAs.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(18):30288-30304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We adopted into RNA-sequencing technologies to construct the microRNA (miRNA) expression signature of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Our signature revealed that a total of 160 miRNAs (44 upregulated and 116 downregulated) were aberrantly expressed in cancer tissues. Expression of miR-150-5p (guide strand miRNA) and miR-150-3p (passenger strand miRNA) were significantly silenced in cancer tissues, suggesting both miRNAs act as antitumor miRNAs in HNSCC cells. Ectopic expression of mature miRNAs, miR-150-5p and miR-150-3p inhibited cancer cell aggressiveness. Low expression of miR-150-5p and miR-150-3p predicted significantly shorter overall survival in patients with HNSCC (P = 0.0091 and P = 0.0386) by Kaplan-Meier survival curves analyses. We identified that integrin α3 (ITGA3), integrin α6 (ITGA6), and tenascin C (TNC) were coordinately regulated by these miRNAs in HNSCC cells. Knockdown assays using siRNAs showed that ITGA3, ITGA6 and TNC acted as cancer promoting genes in HNSCC cells. Moreover, ITGA3, ITGA6, and TNC alterations were associated with significantly poorer overall survival (P = 0.0177, P = 0.0237, and P = 0.026, respectively). Dual strands of pre-150 (miR-150-5p and miR-150-3p) functioned as antitumor miRNAs based on the miRNA expression signature of HNSCC. Identification of antitumor miR-150-mediated RNA networks may provide novel insights into pathogenesis of HNSCC.

Wei L, Yin F, Zhang W, Li L
STROBE-compliant integrin through focal adhesion involve in cancer stem cell and multidrug resistance of ovarian cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(12):e6345 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are considered to be the root of carcinoma relapse and drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Hunting for the potential CSC genes and explain their functions would be a feasible strategy to meet the challenge of the drug resistance in ovarian cancer. In this study, we performed bioinformatic approaches such as biochip data extraction and pathway enrichment analyses to elucidate the mechanism of the CSC genes in regulation of drug resistance. Potential key genes, integrins, were identified to be related to CSC in addition to their associations with drug resistance and prognosis in ovarian cancer. A total of 36 ovarian CSC genes involved in regulation of drug resistance were summarized, and potential drug resistance-related CSC genes were identified based on 3 independent microarrays retrieved from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) Profiles. Pathway enrichment of CSC genes associated with drug resistance in ovarian cancer indicated that focal adhesion signaling might play important roles in CSC genes-mediated drug resistance. Integrins are members of the adhesion molecules family, and integrin subunit alpha 1, integrin subunit alpha 5, and integrin subunit alpha 6 (ITGA6) were identified as central CSC genes and their expression in side population cells, cisplatin-resistant SKOV3 (SKOV3/DDP2) cells, and cisplatin-resistant A2780 (A2780/DDP) cells were dysregulated as measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The high expression of ITGA6 in 287 ovarian cancer patients of TCGA cohort was significantly associated with poorer progression-free survival. This study provide the basis for further understanding of CSC genes in regulation of drug resistance in ovarian cancer, and integrins could be a potential biomarker for prognosis of ovarian cancer.

Kim BG, Gao MQ, Kang S, et al.
Mechanical compression induces VEGFA overexpression in breast cancer via DNMT3A-dependent miR-9 downregulation.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(3):e2646 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor growth generates mechanical compression, which may trigger mechanotransduction in cancer and stromal cells and promote tumor progression. However, very little is known about how compression stimulates signal transduction and contributes to tumor progression. In the present study, we demonstrated that compression enhances a tumor progression phenotype using an in vitro compression model, and validated the results from the in vitro model with high- and low-compressed breast cancer tissues. Mechanical compression induced miR-9 downregulation by DNMT3A-dependent promoter methylation in the MDA-MB-231 and BT-474 breast cancer cell lines and in cancer-associated fibroblasts. The overexpression of miR-9 target genes (LAMC2, ITGA6, and EIF4E) was induced by miR-9 downregulation, which eventually enhanced vascular endothelial growth factors production. Demethylation and decompression could reverse compression-induced miR-9 downregulation and following overexpression of miR-9 target genes and VEGFA.

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