Research IndicatorsGraph generated 12 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (6)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: LGALS4 (cancer-related)
Wang L, Dong J, Wei M, et al.Selective and augmented β-glucuronidase expression combined with DOX-GA3 application elicits the potent suppression of prostate cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(3):1417-24 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The present study was carried out to evaluate the specific and amplified β-glucuronidase (βG) expression in prostate cancer cells by using a prostate‑specific antigen (PSA) promoter-controlled bicistronic adenovirus and to evaluate the specific killing of prostate cancer cells after the application of the prodrug DOX‑GA3. Bicistronic adenoviral expression vectors were constructed, and the effectiveness of specific and amplified expression was evaluated using luciferase and EGFP as reporter genes. βG expression was detected in LNCaP cells after they were infected with the βG‑expressing PSA promoter-controlled bicistronic adenovirus. MTT assays were conducted to evaluate the cytoxicity on the infected cells after the application of the prodrug DOX‑GA3. Tumor growth inhibition was also evaluated in nude mice after treatment with the βG‑expressing adenovirus and DOX‑GA3. Selective and amplified expression was observed in the PSA-producing LNCaP cells, but not in the PSA‑non‑producing DU145 cells. Potent cytotoxity and a strong bystander effect were observed in the LNCaP cells after infection with the βG‑expressing adenovirus and the application of DOX‑GA3. Intravenous injection of a GAL4 regulated bicistronic adenovirus vector constructed to express βG under the control of the PSA promoter (Ad/PSAP‑GV16‑βG) and the application of DOX‑GA3 strongly inhibited tumor growth and prolonged the survival time of tumor‑bearing nude mice. Selective and amplified βG expression together with the prodrug DOX‑GA3 had an increased antitumor effect, showing great potential for prostate cancer therapy.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is well known as the sixth most common malignant tumor and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. LINC00152 was documented as an important long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) involved in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer; however, the detailed mechanism of action of LINC00152 remains unknown. Here, based on the increased level of LINC00152 in HCC tissues, we found that LINC00152 could promote cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, microarray-based analysis indicated that LINC00152 could activate the mechanistic target of rapamycin(mTOR) pathway by binding to the promoter of EpCAM through a cis-regulation, as confirmed by Gal4-λN/BoxB reporter system. Thus, LINC00152 might be involved in the oncogenesis of HCC by activating the mTOR signaling pathway and might be a novel index for clinical diagnosis in the future.
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) was referred to be participating in various malignant tumors. Location based analysis of the mechanism in lncRNA and genes have been highly focused. In this study, we reported that lncRNA named NALT which was located near NOTCH1 within 100 bp away. We confirmed that up-regulation of NALT associating with NOTCH1 in human samples. Increased expression of NALT dramatically promoted cell proliferation in cell lines via CCK8 assay and EDU stain. Further xenograft tumor also indicated the growth inducing affection of NALT while could be partial reversed by GSI. Besides, through sorting the side-population cells in T ALL cells treated with NALT shRNA could decrease percentage of SP cell which companied by the down-regulation of NOTCH1. Gal4-λN/BoxB reporter system revealed that the nuclear located NALT could function as a transcription activator which caused an activation of NOTCH signal pathway as confirmed by western blot. Taken together, we found a neighbor of NOTCH1, Lnc-RP11-611D20.2 (named NALT) which could regulate the NOTCH1 signal pathway through cis-regulation. This founding may trigger a comparable development of diagnosis or novel molecularly-directed therapies.
El Leithy AA, Helwa R, Assem MM, Hassan NHExpression profiling of cancer-related galectins in acute myeloid leukemia.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(10):7929-39 [PubMed
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Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common type of leukemia in adults with the lowest survival rate of all the leukemias. It is a heterogeneous disease in which a variety of cytogenetic and molecular alterations have been identified. Some galectins were previously reported to have important roles in cancer-like neoplastic transformation, tumor cell survival, angiogenesis, and tumor metastasis. Previous studies have showed that some galectin family members play a role in various types of leukemia. The present study aims at evaluating and clarifying the diagnostic and prognostic value of the expression of cancer-related galectins in relation to the clinicopathological characters of AML patients. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to detect expression profile of eight galectin family members (galectin-1, -2, -3, -4, -8, -9, -12, and -13) in 53 newly diagnosed de novo AML patients. The samples were collected from the inpatient clinic at National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cairo University (CU), diagnosed between July 2012 and May 2013. Our results show that patients with lower LGALS12 gene expression have a lower overall survival than those with higher expression (P value <0.026). Moreover, a statistically significant association between the LGALS4 gene expression and patient age is found. Hence, the higher expression of LGALS4 gene is associated with younger age (adjusted P value <0.001). In conclusion, galectin-12 may be a potential prognostic marker for AML.
Liu Z, Li F, Zhang B, et al.Structural basis of plant homeodomain finger 6 (PHF6) recognition by the retinoblastoma binding protein 4 (RBBP4) component of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) complex.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(10):6630-8 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The NuRD complex is a conserved transcriptional coregulator that contains both chromatin-remodeling and histone deacetylase activities. Mutations of PHF6 are found in patients with Börjeson-Forssman-Lehmann syndrome, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or acute myeloid leukemia. Recently, PHF6 was identified to interact with the NuRD complex, and this interaction is mediated by the RBBP4 component. However, little is known about the molecular basis for the interaction. Here, we present the crystal structure of the complex of the NuRD subunit RBBP4 bound to the PHF6 peptide (residues 162-170). The PHF6 peptide binds to the top surface of the RBBP4 β-propeller. A pair of positively charged residues of the PHF6 peptide insert into the negatively charged pocket of RBBP4, which is critical for the interaction between PHF6 and RBBP4. Corresponding PHF6 mutants impair this interaction in vitro and in vivo. Structural comparison shows that the PHF6-binding pocket overlaps with FOG1 and histone H3 on RBBP4/Nurf55, but it is distinct from the pocket recognizing histone H4, Su(z)12, and MTA1. We further show that the middle disordered region (residues 145-207, containing the RBBP4-binding motif) is sufficient for the transcriptional repression mediated by PHF6 on the GAL4 reporter, and knockdown of RBBP4 diminished the PHF6-mediated repression. Our RBBP4-PHF6 complex structure provides insights into the molecular basis of PHF6-NuRD complex interaction and implicates a role for PHF6 in chromatin structure modulation and gene regulation.
The establishment of effective high throughput screening cascades to identify nuclear receptor (NR) ligands that will trigger defined, therapeutically useful sets of NR activities is of considerable importance. Repositioning of existing approved drugs with known side effect profiles can provide advantages because de novo drug design suffers from high developmental failure rates and undesirable side effects which have dramatically increased costs. Ligands that target estrogen receptor β (ERβ) could be useful in a variety of diseases ranging from cancer to neurological to cardiovascular disorders. In this context, it is important to minimize cross-reactivity with ERα, which has been shown to trigger increased rates of several types of cancer. Because of high sequence similarities between the ligand binding domains of ERα and ERβ, preferentially targeting one subtype can prove challenging. Here, we describe a sequential ligand screening approach comprised of complementary in-house assays to identify small molecules that are selective for ERβ. Methods include differential scanning fluorimetry, fluorescence polarization and a GAL4 transactivation assay. We used this strategy to screen several commercially-available chemical libraries, identifying thirty ERβ binders that were examined for their selectivity for ERβ versus ERα, and tested the effects of selected ligands in a prostate cancer cell proliferation assay. We suggest that this approach could be used to rapidly identify candidates for drug repurposing.
Mishra MN, Mishra MN, Vangara KK, Palakurthi STranscriptional targeting of human liver carboxylesterase (hCE1m6) and simultaneous expression of anti-BCRP shRNA enhances sensitivity of breast cancer cells to CPT-11.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(11):6345-51 [PubMed
] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The major factor limiting the efficacy of breast cancer chemotherapy is multidrug resistance due to overexpression of the breast cancer resistance protein ATP-binding cassette, sub-family G (WHITE), member 2 (ABCG2). We hypothesized that conversion of camptothecin-11 (CPT-11) to its highly cytotoxic metabolite SN-38 by a mutant human carboxyl esterase (hCE1m6) specifically in cancer cells and inhibition of ABCG2 by anti-ABCG2 short hairpin RNA, leads to accumulation of a higher concentration of SN-38, resulting in higher therapeutic efficacy and less toxicity to normal cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A mutant human carboxyl esterase hCE1m6 with human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter was integrated into the VISA (VP16-Gal4-WPRE) amplification system. The plasmid was transfected into MCF-12A, MDA-MB-231, and MCF-7 cells using JetPRIME®. Cancer-specific expression of hCE1m6 in breast cancer cell lines was tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (real time-PCR) and western blot. In vitro conversion of CPT-11 to SN-38 was evaluated on lysates of transfected cells. Cytotoxicity of CPT-11 against cells transfected with the plasmid was evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay.
RESULTS: Real-time PCR and western blot analysis revealed that hCE1m6 was expressed only in breast cancer cells, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, but not in the normal MCF-12A breast cell line. From the CPT-11 conversion assay on cell lysates, it was found that expressed hCE1m6 in cancer cells was able to effectively convert CPT-11 to SN-38.
CONCLUSION: Breast cancer cell lines transfected with hCE1m6 showed an increased susceptibility to CPT-11 in comparison to MCF-12A cells.
Advanced breast cancer requires systemic treatment, therefore developing an efficient and safe strategy is urgently needed. To ensure the success of target therapy, we have developed a breast cancer-specific construct (T-VISA) composed of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT; T) promoter and a versatile transgene amplification vector VISA (VP16-GAL4-WPRE integrated systemic amplifier) to target PEA-15 (phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes) in advanced breast tumors. PEA-15 contains a death effector domain that sequesters extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the cytoplasm, thereby inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis. T-VISA-PEA-15 was found to be highly specific, selectively express PEA-15 in breast cancer cells, and induce cancer-cell killing in vitro and in vivo without affecting normal cells. Moreover, intravenous treatment with T-VISA-PEA-15 coupled with liposome nanoparticles attenuated tumor growth and prolonged survival in mice bearing advanced breast tumors. Importantly, there was virtually no severe toxicity when PEA-15 is expressed by our T-VISA system compared with cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. Thus, our findings demonstrate an effective cancer-targeted therapy that is worthy of development in clinical trials eradicating advanced breast cancer.
Galectin-4 is a multifunctional lectin found at both intracellular and extracellular sites. It could serve as a tumor suppressor intracellularly and promote tumor metastases extracellularly during colorectal cancer development. However, galectin-4 expression and its prognostic value for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have not been well investigated. Here we report that galectin-4 was significantly downregulated in early recurrent/metastatic HCC patients, when compared to non-recurrent/metastatic HCC patients. Low expression of gelectin-4 was well associated with larger tumor size, microvascular invasion, malignant differentiation, more advanced TNM stage, and poor prognosis. Cancer cell migration and invasion could be significantly reduced through overexpression of galectin-4, but upregulated by knocking down of galectin-4 in vitro. Moreover, the serum galectin-4 level could be significantly elevated solely by hepatitis B virus infection. Combined with clinicopathological features, the higher serologic level of galectin-4 was well associated with more aggressive characteristics of HCC. Taken together, galectin-4 expression closely associates with HCC progression and might have potential use as a prognostic biomarker for HCC patients.
Somatic activation of the KRAS proto-oncogene is evident in almost all pancreatic cancers, and appears to represent an initiating event. These mutations occur primarily at codon 12 and less frequently at codons 13 and 61. Although some studies have suggested that different KRAS mutations may have variable oncogenic properties, to date there has been no comprehensive functional comparison of multiple KRAS mutations in an in vivo vertebrate tumorigenesis system. We generated a Gal4/UAS-based zebrafish model of pancreatic tumorigenesis in which the pancreatic expression of UAS-regulated oncogenes is driven by a ptf1a:Gal4-VP16 driver line. This system allowed us to rapidly compare the ability of 12 different KRAS mutations (G12A, G12C, G12D, G12F, G12R, G12S, G12V, G13C, G13D, Q61L, Q61R and A146T) to drive pancreatic tumorigenesis in vivo. Among fish injected with one of five KRAS mutations reported in other tumor types but not in human pancreatic cancer, 2/79 (2.5%) developed pancreatic tumors, with both tumors arising in fish injected with A146T. In contrast, among fish injected with one of seven KRAS mutations known to occur in human pancreatic cancer, 22/106 (20.8%) developed pancreatic cancer. All eight tumorigenic KRAS mutations were associated with downstream MAPK/ERK pathway activation in preneoplastic pancreatic epithelium, whereas nontumorigenic mutations were not. These results suggest that the spectrum of KRAS mutations observed in human pancreatic cancer reflects selection based on variable tumorigenic capacities, including the ability to activate MAPK/ERK signaling.
Maftouh M, Belo AI, Avan A, et al.Galectin-4 expression is associated with reduced lymph node metastasis and modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(14):5335-49 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Galectin-4 (Gal-4) has been recently identified as a pivotal factor in the migratory capabilities of a set of defined pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines using zebrafish as a model system. Here we evaluated the expression of Gal-4 in PDAC tissues selected according to their lymph node metastatic status (N0 vs. N1), and investigated the therapeutic potential of targeting the cross-link with the Wnt signaling pathway in primary PDAC cells. Analysis of Gal-4 expression in PDACs showed high expression of Gal-4 in 80% of patients without lymph node metastasis, whereas 70% of patients with lymph node metastases had low Gal-4 expression. Accordingly, in primary PDAC cells high Gal-4 expression was negatively associated with migratory and invasive ability in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of Gal-4 in primary PDAC cells with high Gal-4 expression resulted in significant increase of invasion (40%) and migration (50%, P<0.05), whereas enforced expression of Gal-4 in primary cells with low Gal-4 expression reduced the migratory and invasive behavior compared to the control cells. Gal-4 markedly reduces β-catenin levels in the cell, counteracting the function of Wnt signaling, as was assessed by down-regulation of survivin and cyclin D1. Furthermore, Gal-4 sensitizes PDAC cells to the Wnt inhibitor ICG-001, which interferes with the interaction between CREB binding protein (CBP) and β-catenin. Collectively, our data suggest that Gal-4 lowers the levels of cytoplasmic β-catenin, which may lead to lowered availability of nuclear β-catenin, and consequently diminished levels of nuclear CBP-β-catenin complex and reduced activation of the Wnt target genes. Our findings provide novel insights into the role of Gal-4 in PDAC migration and invasion, and support the analysis of Gal-4 for rational targeting of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the treatment of PDAC.
Galectins, a family of endogenous lectins, are multifunctional effectors that act at various sites and can be used in immunohistochemical localization studies of diseased states. Since they form a potentially cooperative and antagonistic network, we tested the hypothesis that histopathological fingerprinting of galectins could refine the molecular understanding of naso-sinusal pathologies. Using non-cross-reactive antibodies against galectin-1, -3, -4, -7, -8 and -9, we characterized the galectin profiles in chronic rhinosinusitis, nasal polyposis, inverted papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas. The expression, signal location and quantitative parameters describing the percentage of positive cells and labeling intensity were assessed for various cases. We discovered that inverted papillomas showed a distinct galectin immunohistochemical profile. Indeed, epithelial overexpression of galectin-3 (p=0.0002), galectin-4 (p<10-6), galectin-7 (p<10-6) and galectin-9 (p<10-6) was observed in inverted papillomas compared to non-malignant diseases. Regarding carcinomas, we observed increased expression of galectin-9 (p<10-6) in epithelial cells compared to non-tumor pathologies. Our results suggest that galectin-3, -4, -7 and -9 could be involved in the biology of inverted papillomas. In addition, we observed that the expression of galectin in naso-sinusal diseases seems to be affected by tumor progression and not inflammatory or allergic phenomena.
Targeted gene therapy is a promising approach for treating prostate cancer after the discovery of prostate cancer-specific promoters such as prostate-specific antigen, rat probasin, and human glandular kallikrein. However, these promoters are androgen dependent, and after castration or androgen ablation therapy, they become much less active or sometimes inactive. Importantly, the disease will inevitably progress from androgen-dependent (ADPC) to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), at which treatments fail and high mortality ensues. Therefore, it is critical to develop a targeted gene therapy strategy that is effective in both ADPC and CRPC to eradicate recurrent prostate tumors. The human telomerase reverse transcriptase-VP16-Gal4-WPRE integrated systemic amplifier composite (T-VISA) vector we previously developed, which targets transgene expression in ovarian and breast cancer, is also active in prostate cancer. To further improve its effectiveness based on androgen response in ADPC progression, the ARR2 element (two copies of androgen response region from rat probasin promoter) was incorporated into T-VISA to produce AT-VISA. Under androgen analog (R1881) stimulation, the activity of AT-VISA was increased to a level greater than or comparable to the cytomegalovirus promoter in ADPC and CRPC cells, respectively. Importantly, AT-VISA demonstrated little or no expression in normal cells. Systemic administration of AT-VISA-BikDD encapsulated in liposomes repressed prostate tumor growth and prolonged mouse survival in orthotopic animal models as well as in the transgenic adenocarcinoma mouse prostate model, indicating that AT-VISA-BikDD has therapeutic potential to treat ADPC and CRPC safely and effectively in preclinical setting.
Mosaic analysis, in which two or more populations of cells with differing genotypes are studied in a single animal, is a powerful approach to study developmental mechanisms and gene function in vivo. Over recent years, several genetic methods have been developed to achieve mosaicism in zebrafish, but despite their advances, limitations remain and different approaches and further refinements are warranted. Here, we describe an alternative approach for creating somatic mosaicism in zebrafish that relies on the instability of microsatellite sequences during replication. We placed the coding sequences of various marker proteins downstream of a microsatellite and out-of-frame; in vivo frameshifting into the proper reading frame results in expression of the protein in random individual cells that are surrounded by wild-type cells. We optimized this approach for the binary Gal4-UAS expression system by generating a driver line and effector lines that stochastically express Gal4-VP16 or UAS:H2A-EGFP and self-maintaining UAS:H2A-EGFP-Kaloop, respectively. To demonstrate the utility of this system, we stochastically expressed a constitutively active form of the human oncogene H-RAS and show the occurrence of hyperpigmentation and sporadic tumors within 5 days. Our data demonstrate that inducing somatic mosaicism through microsatellite instability can be a valuable approach for mosaic analysis and tumor induction in Danio rerio.
Yoon H, Shin SH, Shin DH, et al.Differential roles of Sirt1 in HIF-1α and HIF-2α mediated hypoxic responses.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 444(1):36-43 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factors 1α and 2α (HIF-1α and HIF-2α) determine cancer cell fate under hypoxia. Despite the similarities of their structures, HIF-1α and HIF-2α have distinct roles in cancer growth under hypoxia, that is, HIF-1α induces growth arrest whereas HIF-2α promotes cell growth. Recently, sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) was reported to fine-tune cellular responses to hypoxia by deacetylating HIF-1α and HIF-2α. Yet, the roles of Sirt1 in HIF-1α and HIF-2α functions have been controversial. We here investigated the precise roles of Sirt1 in HIF-1α and HIF-2α regulations. Immunological analyses revealed that HIF-1α K674 and HIF-2α K741 are acetylated by PCAF and CBP, respectively, but are deacetylated commonly by Sirt1. In the Gal4 reporter systems, Sirt1 was found to repress HIF-1α activity constantly in ten cancer cell-lines but to regulate HIF-2α activity cell type-dependently. Moreover, Sirt1 determined cell growth under hypoxia depending on HIF-1α and HIF-2α. Under hypoxia, Sirt1 promoted cell proliferation of HepG2, in which Sirt1 differentially regulates HIF-1α and HIF-2α. In contrast, such an effect of Sirt1 was not shown in HCT116, in which Sirt1 inactivates both HIF-1α and HIF-2α because conflicting actions of HIF-1α and HIF-2α on cell growth may be offset. Our results provide a better understanding of the roles of Sirt1 in HIF-mediated hypoxic responses and also a basic concept for developing anticancer strategy targeting Sirt1.
Metastasis is still a major issue in cancer, and the discovery of biomarkers predicting metastatic capacity is essential for the development of better therapeutic strategies for treating lung adenocarcinoma. By using a proteomic approach, we aimed to identify novel predictors for lymph node metastasis in lung adenocarcinoma. Two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed 6 spots differentially expressed between lymph node metastasis-positive and lymph node metastasis-negative groups in a discovery set. Subsequent mass spectrometry showed that 2 of these spots were derived from galectin-4, and western blot analysis confirmed the overexpression of galectin-4 in metastatic samples. The predictive value of galectin-4 was confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis for a validation set consisting of 707 surgically resected specimens of lung adenocarcinomas (stages I to IV). We observed that 148 lung adenocarcinomas (20.9%) expressed galectin-4, which was significantly associated with variables of disease progression such as tumor size (p<0.0001), pleural invasion (p = 0.0071), venous invasion (p = 0.0178), nodal status (p = 0.0007), and TNM stage (p<0.0001). By the multivariate analysis, Galectin-4 expression was revealed as one of the independent predictor for lymph node metastasis, together with solid predominant and micropapillary histologic pattern. Furthermore, galectin-4 expression was revealed to be an independent predictor for lymph node metastasis and an adverse survival factor in patients with lung adenocarcinoma of acinar predominant type. Galectin-4 plays an important role in metastatic process of lung adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemical testing for galectin-4 expression may be useful together with the detection of specific histology to predict the metastatic potential of lung adenocarcinoma.
Bisected, complex N-glycans on glycoproteins are generated by the glycosyltransferase MGAT3 and cause reduced cell surface binding of galectins. Previously, we showed that MGAT3 reduces growth factor signaling and retards mammary tumor progression driven by the Polyoma middle T antigen (PyMT) expressed in mammary epithelium under the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter. However, the penetrance of the tumor phenotype became variable in mixed FVB/N and C57BL/6 female mice and we therefore investigated a congenic C57BL/6 Mgat3(-/-)/MMTV-PyMT model. In the absence of MGAT3, C57BL/6 Mgat3(-/-)/MMTV-PyMT females exhibited accelerated tumor appearance and increased tumor burden, glucose uptake in tumors and lung metastasis. Nevertheless, activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 or protein kinase B (AKT) was reduced in ∼20-week C57BL/6 MMTV-PyMT tumors lacking MGAT3. Activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), protein tyrosine kinase Src, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase were similar to that of controls. All the eight mouse galectin genes were expressed in mammary tumors and tumor epithelial cells (TECs), but galectin-2 and -12 were not detected by western analysis in tumors, and galectin-7 was not detected in 60% of the TEC lines. From microarray data reported for human breast cancers, at least 10 galectin and 7 N-glycan N-acetylglucosaminyl (GlcNAc)-transferase (MGAT) genes are expressed in tumor tissue, and expression often varies significantly between different breast cancer subtypes. Thus, in summary, while MGAT3 and bisected complex N-glycans retard mouse mammary tumor progression, genetic background may modify this effect; identification of key galectins that promote mammary tumor progression in mice is not straightforward because all the eight galectin genes are expressed; and high levels of MGAT3, galectin-4, -8, -10, -13 and -14 transcripts correlate with better relapse-free survival in human breast cancer.
Kim SW, Park KC, Jeon SM, et al.Abrogation of galectin-4 expression promotes tumorigenesis in colorectal cancer.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2013; 36(2):169-78 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: Although it has been well established that galectin-4 is selectively expressed by intestinal epithelial cells, the role of galectin-4 in colorectal cancer (CRC) development is, as yet, poorly understood. Here, we aimed to explore the role of galectin-4 in CRC development, both in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: Galectin-4 expression was investigated in tissue specimens from patients with adenoma, carcinoma and ulcerative colitis (UC) using immunohistochemistry. Colorectal cancer-derived HT-29 cells, in which galectin-4 expression was knocked down, were established using shRNA. mRNA and protein expression levels of galectin-4 and several downstream cancer-related genes were analyzed using RT-PCR, qPCR array, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence assays. To investigate the effect of galectin-4 expression abrogation on tumorigenesis in vivo, xenograft assays were performed.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry analyses showed high expression levels of galectin-4 in normal colon mucosa tissues. Conversely, the expression levels of galectin-4 were significantly lower in CRC samples and its precursor lesions with dysplasia or inflammation. We found that shRNA-mediated galectin-4 silencing increases cell proliferation and, concomitantly, activates NF-κB and STAT3 signaling along with IL-6 up-regulation. In addition, we found that shRNA-mediated galectin-4 silencing promotes the expression of NF-κB target genes and other cancer-related genes and, concomitantly, enhances the in vivo growth of xenografts.
CONCLUSIONS: We show that abrogation of galectin-4 expression promotes cancer cell proliferation and, for the first time, provide evidence that down-regulation of galectin-4 elicits tumor promotion in vitro and in vivo through activation of IL-6/NF-κB/STAT3 signaling.
BACKGROUND: The development of vectors for cell-specific gene delivery is a major goal of gene therapeutic strategies. Transferrin receptor (TfR) is an endocytic receptor and identified as tumor relative specific due to its overexpression on most tumor cells or tissues, and TfR binds and intakes of transferrin-iron complex. We have previously generated an anti-TfR single-chain variable fragments of immunoglobulin (scFv) which were cloned from hybridoma cell line producing antibody against TfR linked with a 20 aa-long linker sequence (G4S)4. In the present study, the anti-TfR single-chain antibody (TfRscFv) was fused to DNA-binding domain of the yeast transcription factor GAL4. The recombinant fusion protein, designated as TfRscFv-GAL4, is expected to mediate the entry of DNA-protein complex into targeted tumor cells.
RESULTS: Fusion protein TfRscFv-GAL4 was expressed in an E. coli bacterial expression system and was recovered from inclusion bodies with subsequent purification by metal-chelate chromatography. The resulting proteins were predominantly monomeric and, upon refolding, became a soluble biologically active bifunctional protein. In biological assays, the antigen-binding activity of the re-natured protein, TfRscFv-GAL4, was confirmed by specific binding to different cancer cells and tumor tissues. The cell binding rates, as indicated by flow cytometry (FCM) analysis, ranged from 54.11% to 8.23% in seven different human carcinoma cell lines. It showed similar affinity and binding potency as those of parent full-length mouse anti-TfR antibody. The positive binding rates to tumor tissues by tissue microarrays (TMA) assays were 75.32% and 63.25%, but it showed weakly binding with hepatic tissue in 5 cases, and normal tissues such as heart, spleen, adrenal cortex blood vessel and stomach. In addition, the re-natured fusion protein TfRscFv-GAL4 was used in an ELISA with rabbit anti-GAL4 antibody. The GAL4-DNA functional assay through the GAL4 complementary conjugation with the GAL4rec-GFP-pGes plasmid to verify the GLA4 activity and GAL4rec-recognized specificity functions. It also shows the complex, TfRscFv-GAL4-GAL4rec-GFP-pGes, could be taken into endochylema to express the green fluorescent protein (GFP) with 8 to 10-fold transfection efficiency.
CONCLUSIONS: Results of our study demonstrated that the biofunctianality of genetically engineered fusion protein, TfRscFv-GAL4, was retained, as the fusion protein could both carry the plasmid of GAL4rec-pGes and bind TfR on tumour cells. This product was able to transfect target cells effectively in an immuno-specific manner, resulting in transient gene expression. This protein that can be applied as an effective therapeutic and diagnostic delivery to the tumor using endogenous membrane transport system with potential widespread utility.
Xie X, Li L, Xiao X, et al.Targeted expression of BikDD eliminates breast cancer with virtually no toxicity in noninvasive imaging models.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2012; 11(9):1915-24 [PubMed
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Breast cancer is a major public health problem all over the world, and the current treatment strategies are not potent enough for some patients, especially those with triple-negative breast cancer. Therefore, novel and more effective treatments are critically needed. Of the current methods, targeted therapy, which not only retains cancer-specific expression but also limits toxicity, is a new strategy for treating cancers. In this study, we found that the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT; T) promoter also possesses high target specificity in breast cancer. Moreover, we developed a versatile T-based breast cancer-specific promoter VISA (VP16-Gal4-WPRE integrated systemic amplifier) composite (T-VISA) to target transgene expression in breast tumors, which has stronger activity comparable or higher than that of the cytomegalovirus promoter in cancer cells. Thereafter, targeted expression of BikDD (a mutant form of proapoptotic gene Bik) through the T-VISA platform in breast cancer initiated robust antitumor effects and prolonged survival in multiple xenograft and syngeneic orthotopic mouse models of breast tumors with virtually no toxicity in intact mice. Thus, these findings show that our T-VISA-BikDD nanoparticles effectively and safely eradicate breast cancer in vitro and in vivo and are worthy of development in clinical trials treating breast cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and adenocarcinoma is its most common histological subtype. Clinical and molecular evidence indicates that lung adenocarcinoma is a heterogeneous disease, which has important implications for treatment. Here we performed genome-scale DNA methylation profiling using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 platform on 59 matched lung adenocarcinoma/non-tumor lung pairs, with genome-scale verification on an independent set of tissues. We identified 766 genes showing altered DNA methylation between tumors and non-tumor lung. By integrating DNA methylation and mRNA expression data, we identified 164 hypermethylated genes showing concurrent down-regulation, and 57 hypomethylated genes showing increased expression. Integrated pathways analysis indicates that these genes are involved in cell differentiation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, RAS and WNT signaling pathways, and cell cycle regulation, among others. Comparison of DNA methylation profiles between lung adenocarcinomas of current and never-smokers showed modest differences, identifying only LGALS4 as significantly hypermethylated and down-regulated in smokers. LGALS4, encoding a galactoside-binding protein involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, was recently shown to be a tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer. Unsupervised analysis of the DNA methylation data identified two tumor subgroups, one of which showed increased DNA methylation and was significantly associated with KRAS mutation and to a lesser extent, with smoking. Our analysis lays the groundwork for further molecular studies of lung adenocarcinoma by identifying novel epigenetically deregulated genes potentially involved in lung adenocarcinoma development/progression, and by describing an epigenetic subgroup of lung adenocarcinoma associated with characteristic molecular alterations.
Lim B, Jun HJ, Kim AY, et al.The TFG-TEC fusion gene created by the t(3;9) translocation in human extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas encodes a more potent transcriptional activator than TEC.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(8):1450-8 [PubMed
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The t(3;9)(q11-q12;q22) translocation associated with human extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas results in a chimeric molecule in which the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the TFG (TRK-fused gene) is fused to the TEC (Translocated in Extraskeletal Chondrosarcoma) gene. Little is known about the biological function of TFG-TEC. Because the NTDs of TFG-TEC and TEC are structurally different, and the TFG itself is a cytoplasmic protein, the functional consequences of this fusion in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas were examined. The results showed that the chimeric gene encoded a nuclear protein that bound DNA with the same sequence specificity as the parental TEC protein. Comparison of the transactivation properties of TFG-TEC and TEC indicated that the former has higher transactivation activity for a known target reporter containing TEC-binding sites. Additional reporter assays for TFG (NTD) showed that the TGF (NTD) of TFG-TEC induced a 12-fold increase in the activation of luciferase from a reporter plasmid containing GAL4 binding sites when fused to the DNA-binding domain of GAL4, indicating that the TFG (NTD) of the TFG-TEC protein has intrinsic transcriptional activation properties. Finally, deletion analysis of the functional domains of TFG (NTD) indicated that the PB1 (Phox and Bem1p) and SPYGQ-rich region of TFG (NTD) were capable of activating transcription and that full integrity of TFG (NTD) was necessary for full transactivation. These results suggest that the oncogenic effect of the t(3;9) translocation may be due to the TFG-TEC chimeric protein and that fusion of the TFG (NTD) to the TEC protein produces a gain-of-function chimeric product.
Sher YP, Chang CM, Juo CG, et al.Targeted endostatin-cytosine deaminase fusion gene therapy plus 5-fluorocytosine suppresses ovarian tumor growth.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(9):1082-90 [PubMed
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There are currently no effective therapies for cancer patients with advanced ovarian cancer, therefore developing an efficient and safe strategy is urgent. To ensure cancer-specific targeting, efficient delivery, and efficacy, we developed an ovarian cancer-specific construct (Survivin-VISA-hEndoyCD) composed of the cancer specific promoter survivin in a transgene amplification vector (VISA; VP16-GAL4-WPRE integrated systemic amplifier) to express a secreted human endostatin-yeast cytosine deaminase fusion protein (hEndoyCD) for advanced ovarian cancer treatment. hEndoyCD contains an endostatin domain that has tumor-targeting ability for anti-angiogenesis and a cytosine deaminase domain that converts the prodrug 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) into the chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil. Survivin-VISA-hEndoyCD was found to be highly specific, selectively express secreted hEndoyCD from ovarian cancer cells, and induce cancer-cell killing in vitro and in vivo in the presence of 5-FC without affecting normal cells. In addition, Survivin-VISA-hEndoyCD plus 5-FC showed strong synergistic effects in combination with cisplatin in ovarian cancer cell lines. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) treatment with Survivin-VISA-hEndoyCD coupled with liposome attenuated tumor growth and prolonged survival in mice bearing advanced ovarian tumors. Importantly, there was virtually no severe toxicity when hEndoyCD is expressed by Survivin-VISA plus 5-FC compared with CMV plus 5-FC. Thus, the current study demonstrates an effective cancer-targeted gene therapy that is worthy of development in clinical trials for treating advanced ovarian cancer.
NR4A2 (Nurr1) is an orphan nuclear receptor with no known endogenous ligands and is highly expressed in many cancer cell lines including Panc1 and Panc28 pancreatic cancer cells. Structure-dependent activation of NR4A2 by a series of 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(aromatic)methane (C-DIM) analogs was determined in pancreatic cancer cells transfected with yeast GAL4-Nurr1 chimeras and a UASx5-luc reporter gene or constructs containing response elements that bind NR4A2. Among 23 different structural analogs, phenyl groups containing p-substituted trifluoromethyl, t-butyl, cyano, bromo, iodo and trifluoromethoxy groups were the most active compounds in transactivation assay. The p-bromophenyl analog (DIM-C-pPhBr) was used as a model for structure-activity studies among a series of ortho-, meta- and para-bromophenyl isomers and the corresponding indole 2- and N-methyl analogs. Results show that NR4A2 activation was maximal with the p-bromophenyl analog and methylation of the indole NH group abrogated activity. Moreover, using GAL4-Nurr1 (full length) or GAL-Nurr1-A/B and GAL4-Nurr1-(C-F) chimeras expressing N- and C-terminal domains of Nurr1, respectively, DIM-C-pPhBr activated all three constructs and these responses were differentially affected by kinase inhibitors. DIM-C-pPhBr also modulated expression of several Nurr1-regulated genes in pancreatic cancer cells including vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and the immunohistochemical and western blot analyses indicated that DIM-C-pPhBr activates nuclear NR4A2.
BACKGROUND: Our previous study indicated that gene expression profiling of intestinal metaplasia (IM) or spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) can identify useful prognostic markers of early-stage gastric cancer, and seven metaplasia biomarkers (MUC13, CDH17, OLFM4, KRT20, LGALS4, MUC5AC, and REG4) were selectively expressed in 17-50% of gastric cancer tissues. We investigated whether the combined expression of these metaplasia biomarkers could predict the prognosis of advanced stage gastric cancer.
METHODS: The expression of seven metaplasia biomarkers was evaluated immunohistochemically using tissue microarrays comprised of 450 gastric cancer patients. The clinicopathologic correlations and the prognostic impact were analyzed according to the expression of multiple biomarkers.
RESULTS: MUC13, CDH17, LGALS4, and REG4 were significant prognostic biomarkers in univariate analysis. No expression of four markers was found in 56 cases (14.2%); 1 marker was seen in 67 cases (17%), 2 in 106 cases (27%), 3 in 101 cases (25.7%), and 4 in 63 cases (16%). Patients in which two or fewer proteins were expressed (group B) showed younger age, undifferentiated or diffuse type cancer, larger tumor size, larger number of metastatic lymph nodes, and more advanced stage than those in which three or more proteins were expressed (group A). In undifferentiated or stage II/III gastric cancer, the prognosis of group B was significantly poorer than that of group A by multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The combined loss of expression of multiple metaplasia biomarkers is considered an independent prognostic indicator in undifferentiated or stage II/III gastric cancer.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most well-known breast cancer susceptibility genes. Additional genes involved in DNA repair have been identified as predisposing to breast cancer. One such gene, RAD51C, is essential for homologous recombination repair. Several likely pathogenic RAD51C mutations have been identified in BRCA1- and BRCA2-negative breast and ovarian cancer families. We performed complete sequencing of RAD51C in germline DNA of 286 female breast and/or ovarian cancer cases with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers, who had previously tested negative for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. We screened 133 breast cancer cases, 119 ovarian cancer cases, and 34 with both breast and ovarian cancers. Fifteen DNA sequence variants were identified; including four intronic, one 5' UTR, one promoter, three synonymous, and six non-synonymous variants. None were truncating. The in-silico SIFT and Polyphen programs were used to predict possible pathogenicity of the six non-synonomous variants based on sequence conservation. G153D and T287A were predicted to be likely pathogenic. Two additional variants, A126T and R214C alter amino acids in important domains of the protein such that they could be pathogenic. Two-hybrid screening and immunoblot analyses were performed to assess the functionality of these four non-synonomous variants in yeast. The RAD51C-G153D protein displayed no detectable interaction with either XRCC3 or RAD51B, and RAD51C-R214C displayed significantly decreased interaction with both XRCC3 and RAD51B (p<0.001). Immunoblots of RAD51C-Gal4 activation domain fusion peptides showed protein levels of RAD51C-G153D and RAD51C-R214C that were 50% and 60% of the wild-type, respectively. Based on these data, the RAD51C-G153D variant is likely to be pathogenic, while the RAD51C- R214C variant is hypomorphic of uncertain pathogenicity. These results provide further support that RAD51C is a rare breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene.
Pancreatic cancer is a genetic disease in which somatic mutations in the KRAS proto-oncogene are detected in a majority of tumors. KRAS mutations represent an early event during pancreatic tumorigenesis, crucial for cancer initiation and progression. Recent studies, including comprehensive sequencing of the pancreatic cancer exome, have implicated the involvement of a number of additional core signaling pathways during pancreatic tumorigenesis. Improving our understanding of genetic interactions between KRAS and these additional pathways represents a critical challenge, as these interactions may provide novel opportunities for diagnosis and treatment. However, studying these interactions requires the expression of multiple transgenes in relevant cell types, an effort that has proven very difficult to achieve using gene targeted mice and is also technically challenging in zebrafish. Based on the ability of the Gal4 transcriptional activator to drive the expression of multiple transgenes under regulation of UAS (upstream activator sequence) regulatory elements, the Gal4/UAS system represents an attractive strategy for the study of genetic interactions. In this chapter, we review our experience using the Gal4/UAS system to model KRAS-initiated pancreatic cancer in zebrafish, as well as our early efforts using this system to study the influence of other cooperating oncogenes. We also describe techniques used to identify and characterize pancreatic tumors in adult transgenic fish.
Androgen receptor (AR) is a member of the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors. Upon binding to androgens, AR becomes transcriptionally active to regulate the expression of target genes that harbor androgen response elements (AREs) in their promoters and/or enhancers. AR is essential for the growth and survival of prostate cancer cells and is therefore a target for current and next-generation therapeutic modalities against prostate cancer. Pathophysiologically relevant protein-protein interaction networks involving AR are, however, poorly understood. In this study, we identified the protein FUsed/Translocated in LipoSarcoma (FUS/TLS) as an AR-interacting protein by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous proteins in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. The hormonal response of FUS expression in LNCaP cells was shown to resemble that of other AR co-activators. FUS displayed a strong intrinsic transactivation capacity in prostate cancer cells when tethered to basal promoters using the GAL4 system. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed that FUS was recruited to ARE III of the enhancer region of the PSA gene. Data from ectopic overexpression and "knock-down" approaches demonstrated that AR transcriptional activity was enhanced by FUS. Depletion of FUS reduced androgen-dependent proliferation of LNCaP cells. Thus, FUS is a novel co-activator of AR in prostate cancer cells.
Watanabe M, Ueki H, Ochiai K, et al.Advanced two-step transcriptional amplification as a novel method for cancer-specific gene expression and imaging.
Oncol Rep. 2011; 26(4):769-75 [PubMed
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The two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system was previously reported to enhance the tissue-specific gene expression driven by weak promoters, but the enhancement of the gene expression is limited to use in in vitro and in vivo experimental situations. To achieve robust tissue-specific gene expression using the TSTA system, we developed an advanced TSTA system which includes polyglutamines and rat glucocorticoid receptor sequences between the GAL4 and VP16 sequences in the region of the first step of transcription. We evaluated the advanced TSTA system as a method to enhance the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter-driving cancer-specific transcription in various cancer cell lines. As a result, the advanced TSTA enhanced cancer-specific luciferase gene expression in all of the examined cancer cell lines, when compared with both the one-step and conventional TSTA systems (an ~6- and ~17-fold enhancement, respectively). Notably, the enhancement of the hTERT driven expression by the conventional TSTA system was modest and even inferior to the one-step system in several cancer cell lines. We then constructed a luciferase gene encoding the adeno-associated virus vector in which the hTERT promoter-mediated expression was driven by the advanced TSTA or control systems. In an orthotopic liver tumor model, mice were treated with the vector via tail vein injection. An optical imaging device was used to visualize the in vivo luciferase expression in the orthotopic tumor. The advanced TSTA system significantly enhanced the luciferase expression compared with the one-step and conventional TSTA systems (18.0±1.0- and 15.9±0.85-fold gain, respectively). Therefore, the advanced TSTA system significantly improves hTERT-dependent cancer-specific gene expression both in vitro and in vivo when compared with the previous systems. Since the advanced TSTA method can also be applied to other site-specific gene expression systems using tissue-specific promoters, this approach is expected to become a valuable tool enabling in vivo site-specific targeting in the field of gene therapy and molecular imaging.
Tan IB, Ivanova T, Lim KH, et al.Intrinsic subtypes of gastric cancer, based on gene expression pattern, predict survival and respond differently to chemotherapy.
Gastroenterology. 2011; 141(2):476-85, 485.e1-11 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Gastric cancer (GC) is a heterogeneous disease comprising multiple subtypes that have distinct biological properties and effects in patients. We sought to identify new, intrinsic subtypes of GC by gene expression analysis of a large panel of GC cell lines. We tested if these subtypes might be associated with differences in patient survival times and responses to various standard-of-care cytotoxic drugs.
METHODS: We analyzed gene expression profiles for 37 GC cell lines to identify intrinsic GC subtypes. These subtypes were validated in primary tumors from 521 patients in 4 independent cohorts, where the subtypes were determined by either expression profiling or subtype-specific immunohistochemical markers (LGALS4, CDH17). In vitro sensitivity to 3 chemotherapy drugs (5-fluorouracil, cisplatin, oxaliplatin) was also assessed.
RESULTS: Unsupervised cell line analysis identified 2 major intrinsic genomic subtypes (G-INT and G-DIF) that had distinct patterns of gene expression. The intrinsic subtypes, but not subtypes based on Lauren's histopathologic classification, were prognostic of survival, based on univariate and multivariate analysis in multiple patient cohorts. The G-INT cell lines were significantly more sensitive to 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin, but more resistant to cisplatin, than the G-DIF cell lines. In patients, intrinsic subtypes were associated with survival time following adjuvant, 5-fluorouracil-based therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Intrinsic subtypes of GC, based on distinct patterns of expression, are associated with patient survival and response to chemotherapy. Classification of GC based on intrinsic subtypes might be used to determine prognosis and customize therapy.