Gene Summary

Gene:LTA; lymphotoxin alpha
Summary:The encoded protein, a member of the tumor necrosis factor family, is a cytokine produced by lymphocytes. The protein is highly inducible, secreted, and forms heterotrimers with lymphotoxin-beta which anchor lymphotoxin-alpha to the cell surface. This protein also mediates a large variety of inflammatory, immunostimulatory, and antiviral responses, is involved in the formation of secondary lymphoid organs during development and plays a role in apoptosis. Genetic variations in this gene are associated with susceptibility to leprosy type 4, myocardial infarction, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and psoriatic arthritis. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been observed for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2012]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 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

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

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 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).

Latest Publications: LTA (cancer-related)

Cheng J, Li Y, Kong J
Ginkgetin inhibits proliferation of HeLa cells via activation of p38/NF-κB pathway.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2019; 65(4):79-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Effect of ginkgetin on proliferation of human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells and the underlying mechanism   were investigated. Human cervical cancer (HeLa) cells were cultured at 37 °C in 10 % fetal bovine serum (FBS) supplemented RPMI 1640 medium in a humidified incubator containing 5 % CO2. Cell proliferation was determined using MTT assay, while real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to determine the levels of expression of interleukin 1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin 8 (IL-8). The expressions of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38 MAPK) and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF- κB) were determined using Western blotting. Treatment of HeLa cells with ginkgetin significantly and time- and dose-dependently inhibited their proliferation (p < 0.05). The invasion of the cells were also significantly and dose-dependently decreased, when compared with control cells (p < 0.05). The expressions of p-p38 and p-NF-κB were significantly and dose-dependently down-regulated, relative to control group (p < 0.05). However, the expressions of p38 and NF-κB in ginkgetin-treated cells were not significantly different from those of control group (p > 0.05). The results of qRT-PCR and ELISA showed that the levels of expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8 mRNAs were significantly and dose-dependently reduced in HeLa cells after 48 h of treatment with ginkgetin, when compared with the control group (p < 0.05). The anti-proliferative effect of ginkgetin on HeLa cells is exerted via a mechanism involving the p38/NF-κB pathway.

Sidaraite A, Vilkeviciute A, Glebauskiene B, et al.
Association of ApoE haplotype with clinical evidence of pituitary adenoma.
Gene. 2019; 706:154-161 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the association of the presence, invasiveness, hormonal activity and recurrence of pituitary adenoma (PA) with ApoE genotypes and alleles.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Our study group included 142 patients with PA and the control group included 256 healthy individuals. The genotyping of ApoE (rs7412 and rs429358) was performed using a real-time PCR method.
RESULTS: After statistical analysis we found that ApoE genotype E2/E3 was associated with 2.6-fold increased odds of active PA (OR = 2.609; 95%CI: 1.380-4.932; p = 0.003), while the presence of ApoE E3/E3 decreased odds of active PA by 65% (OR = 0.343; 95%CI: 0.205-0.575; p < 0.001). The frequency of the allele ε3 was lesser in the PA group (74.3% vs. 83%, p = 0.003) when compared to controls but it was statistically significantly more frequent in the invasive PA than in the noninvasive PA subgroup (80.4% vs. 65.5%, p = 0.005). The ApoE E2/E4 genotype was more frequent in the noninvasive PA subgroup (10.3% vs. 0%, p = 0.003) than in the invasive PA subgroup. The ApoE E4/E4 genotype was more frequent in the recurrent than in the non-recurrent PA subgroup (6.6% vs. 0%, p = 0.006). No associations between ApoE polymorphisms and Ki-67 labelling index were found.
CONCLUSION: The ApoE E2/E3 genotype is associated with the presence of PA while the ApoE genotype E2/E4 is associated with noninvasive PA development. The allele ε3 could possibly have a protective effect against PA. The genotype E4/E4 is associated with the development of recurrent PA.

Kazlauskas A, Darinskas A, Meškys R, et al.
Isocytosine deaminase Vcz as a novel tool for the prodrug cancer therapy.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):197 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The cytosine deaminase (CD)/5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) system is among the best explored enzyme/prodrug systems in the field of the suicide gene therapy. Recently, by the screening of the environmental metagenomic libraries we identified a novel isocytosine deaminase (ICD), termed Vcz, which is able of specifically converting a prodrug 5-fluoroisocytosine (5-FIC) into toxic drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The aim of this study is to test the applicability of the ICD Vcz / 5-FIC pair as a potential suicide gene therapy tool.
METHODS: Vcz-expressing human glioblastoma U87 and epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cells were treated with 5-FIC, and the Vcz-mediated cytotoxicity was evaluated by performing an MTT assay. In order to examine anti-tumor effects of the Vcz/5-FIC system in vivo, murine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were transduced with the Vcz-coding lentivirus and co-injected with 5-FIC or control reagents into subcutaneous GL261 tumors evoked in C57/BL6 mice.
RESULTS: 5-FIC alone showed no significant toxic effects on U87 and Caco-2 cells at 100 μM concentration, whereas the number of cells of both cell lines that express Vcz cytosine deaminase gene decreased by approximately 60% in the presence of 5-FIC. The cytotoxic effects on cells were also induced by media collected from Vcz-expressing cells pre-treated with 5-FIC. The co-injection of the Vcz-transduced mesenchymal stem cells and 5-FIC have been shown to augment tumor necrosis and increase longevity of tumorized mice by 50% in comparison with control group animals.
CONCLUSIONS: We have confirmed that the novel ICD Vcz together with the non-toxic prodrug 5-FIC has a potential of being a new enzyme/prodrug system for suicide gene therapy.

Cassani B, Soldano G, Finocchiaro D, et al.
Detection and genotyping of HPV-DNA through different types of diagnostic platforms in liquid-based cervical-cytology samples.
Pathologica. 2018; 110(4):294-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background: At present cervical cancer represents the second most common cancer in women worldwide and it reaches a global mortality rate of 52%. Only the early detection and the adequate treatment of pre-neoplastic lesions and early-stage cervical cancer decrease the mortality rate for this type of cancer. Cervical carcinoma screening, as a method of second prevention, is currently feasible through molecular research of high-risk HPV genotypes and in lots of organized screening programs the Pap-test is performed only in women with positive HPV-test. Currently, there are various diagnostic platforms detecting and molecular genotyping HPV, which are based on different procedures, determining uneven viral genotypes panels and using diverse type of vials to collect and store the samples. Previous studies have pointed out that DNA-HPV test can be negative in pre-neoplastic lesions, even of high grade, or in presence of cervical cancer. Therefore, it's important to assess the risk of false negative diagnoses using DNA-HPV molecular test, because in this circumstance women do not undergo immediately Pap-test, but they are submitted to second round screening with DNA-HPV test after 5 years: this protocol could increase the incidence of "interval cancers". The present study aims at comparing the results of HPV detection and genotyping on liquid based cervical cytology, using some of the most relevant diagnostic platforms in commerce.
Methods: The study is based on a group of patients which went to their private gynecologist in a contest of opportunistic screening. The vial used in the examined population has been EASYPREP
Results: We have examined 1284 samples of women aged 16 to 73 years: 1125 have been tested using HC2 procedure, 272 samples with Onclarity method, 159 with Xpert
Discussion: The present study highlights the following: 1) Positive results' percentage for high-risk HPV-DNA genotypes, deriving from the three diagnostic platforms used and with the same vial to collect and store samples, does not significantly vary on the basis of the type of equipment and it is congruent with the Italian percentage already detected during organized screening programs. 2) Even the molecular diagnostic approach could give false negative results, preventing the detection in the screened population of cervical HPV-related lesions and theoretically endangering women to develop "interval cancer". 3) In the population examined, genotype 16 has been the most expressed, whereas genotype 18 was among the less frequently detected. Other genotypes often noticed have been: 56-59-66 (Onclarity P3 group), 31, 51 and 35-39-68 (Onclarity P2 group). This remark emphasizes the importance of HPV infection and genotypes distribution's continuous monitoring, considering that HPV-vaccines planned in Italy in the "National vaccination prevention program 2017-2019" are not specific for the majority of these genotypes. 4) The necessity to improve the screening program to identify cervical carcinomas and pre-neoplastic cervical lesions is remarked by the detection during HPV-test of possible coinfection (present at least in 8,76% of our records). In fact, the risk of development of cervical cancer might be associated with type-specific interactions between genotypes in multiple infections and, in addition, other genotypes, not targeted by quadrivalent HPV-vaccine, can increase the risk of cervical carcinoma. 5) As there's a different combination of HPV-genotypes in diagnostic categories used by the HPV screening platforms, it's important that anyone who is in charge of this diagnostic analysis promotes among clinicians the adequate rendition of the laboratory's data in the patient records, reporting both the diagnostic result and the method through which it has been obtained.

Choi JE, Verhaegen ME, Yazdani S, et al.
Characterizing the Therapeutic Potential of a Potent BET Degrader in Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
Neoplasia. 2019; 21(3):322-330 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Studies on the efficacy of small molecule inhibitors in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) have been limited and largely inconclusive. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of a potent BET degrader, BETd-246, in the treatment of MCC. We found that MCC cell lines were significantly more sensitive to BETd-246 than to BET inhibitor treatment. Therapeutic targeting of BET proteins resulted in a loss of "MCC signature" genes but not MYC expression as previously described irrespective of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) status. In MCPyV+ MCC cells, BETd-246 alone suppressed downstream targets in the MCPyV-LT Ag axis. We also found enrichment of HOX and cell cycle genes in MCPyV- MCC cell lines that were intrinsically resistant to BETd-246. Our findings uncover a requirement for BET proteins in maintaining MCC lineage identity and point to the potential utility of BET degraders for treating MCC.

Piskunova IS, Obukhova TN, Parovichnikova EN, et al.
Structure and significance of cytogenetic abnormalities in adult patients with Ph-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Ter Arkh. 2018; 90(7):30-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To evaluate occurrence, variety, structural peculiarities and prognostic meaning of cytogenetic abnormalities in adult patients with Ph-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) receiving therapy according to ALL-2009 protocol.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 115 adult patients with firstly diagnosed Ph-negative ALL: 58 male and 57 female aged from 15 to 61 years (mean age 26.5 years), who underwent treatment from September 2009 to September 2015 in National Medical Research Center for Hematology MH RF (n=101) and in hematology departments of regional hospitals (n=14). All patients received therapy of ALL-2009 protocol (, NCT01193933). The median follow-up was 24.5 months (0.2-94.4 months). As a part of the study results of a standard cytogenetic assay (SCA) were analyzed and fluorescence hybridization in situ (FISH) with the use of DNA-probes was performed on archived biological material for structural changes in gene locuses MLL/t(11q23), с-MYC/t(8q24), TP53/ deletion 17p13, CDKN2A/ deletion 9p21, translocation t(1;19)/E2A-PBX1 и t(12;21)/ETV6-RUNX1; iAMP21 identification.
RESULTS: Karyotype was defined using SCA in 86% of patients. Normal karyotype was found in 48.5% of them, chromosome aberrations in 51.5% (structural changes were found in 19.2%, hyperploidy in 27.2%, and hypoploidy in 5.1%). In 17.2% of patients complex karyotype abnormalities were found. With the use of FISH technique aberrations were found in 67% of patients: 9p21/CDKN2A deletion in 24.3%, MLL/t(11q23) gene abnormalities in 7.8%, 17p13/TP53 deletion in 5.2%, abnormalities of c-MYC/t(8q24) in 1.7%, t(1;19)/E2A-PBX1 in 0.8%, and iAMP21 in 0.8%, other abnormalities (additional signals/absence of signals from gene locuses) in 26.4%, t(12;21)/ETV6-RUNX1 was not found. FISH technique use in addition to SCA allows to increase aberrant karyotype location from 51.5 to 67%. A statistically significant correlation of 9p21/CDKN2A deletion with high serum lactate dehydrogenase activity (p=0.02); MLL/t(11q23) gene abnormalities - with leucocytosis and high blast cells level in blood (p=0.0016), hyperploidy - with normal leukocyte count (p=0.02) was shown. In groups with different cytogenetic abnormalities no statistically significant differences of treatment with ALL-2009 protocol were found (in terms of complete remission, early mortality and treatment resistance). When connection of cytogenetic abnormalities and their combinations with long-term results were analyzed according to ALL-2009 protocol, only two characteristics - MLL/t(11q23) and c MYC/t(8q24) gene abnormalities had a statistically significant influence on disease-free survival (HR - 176.9; p<0.0001) and chance of recurrence (HR - 6.4; p=0.02).
CONCLUSION: Adverse prognostic factors in terms of therapeutic management provided in ALL-2009 protocol were MLL/t(11q23) and с-MYC/t(8q24) genes abnormalities. CDKN2A/9p21 and TP53/17p13 genes deletions, quantative and complex karyotype abnormalities were not prognostic factors in adult patients with Ph-negative ALL in ALL-2009 protocol use.

Park DE, Cheng J, Berrios C, et al.
Dual inhibition of MDM2 and MDM4 in virus-positive Merkel cell carcinoma enhances the p53 response.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(3):1027-1032 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) contributes to approximately 80% of all Merkel cell carcinomas (MCCs), a highly aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. MCV-positive MCC expresses small T antigen (ST) and a truncated form of large T antigen (LT) and usually contains wild-type p53 (TP53) and RB (RB1). In contrast, virus-negative MCC contains inactivating mutations in TP53 and RB1. While the MCV-truncated LT can bind and inhibit RB, it does not bind p53. We report here that MCV LT binds to RB, leading to increased levels of ARF, an inhibitor of MDM2, and activation of p53. However, coexpression of ST reduced p53 activation. MCV ST recruits the MYC homologue MYCL (L-Myc) to the EP400 chromatin remodeler complex and transactivates specific target genes. We observed that depletion of EP400 in MCV-positive MCC cell lines led to increased p53 target gene expression. We suspected that the MCV ST-MYCL-EP400 complex could functionally inactivate p53, but the underlying mechanism was not known. Integrated ChIP and RNA-sequencing analysis following EP400 depletion identified MDM2 as well as CK1α, an activator of MDM4, as target genes of the ST-MYCL-EP400 complex. In addition, MCV-positive MCC cells expressed high levels of MDM4. Combining MDM2 inhibitors with lenalidomide targeting CK1α or an MDM4 inhibitor caused synergistic activation of p53, leading to an apoptotic response in MCV-positive MCC cells and MCC-derived xenografts in mice. These results support dual targeting of MDM2 and MDM4 in virus-positive MCC and other p53 wild-type tumors.

Dargiene G, Streleckiene G, Skieceviciene J, et al.
TLR1 and PRKAA1 Gene Polymorphisms in the Development of Atrophic Gastritis and Gastric Cancer.
J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2018; 27(4):363-369 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Previous genome-wide association studies showed that genetic polymorphisms in toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1) and protein kinase AMP-activated alpha 1 catalytic subunit (PRKAA1) genes were associated with gastric cancer (GC) or increased Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection susceptibility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between TLR1 and PRKAA1 genes polymorphisms and H. pylori infection, atrophic gastritis (AG) or GC in the European population.
METHODS: Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analysed in 511 controls, 340 AG patients and 327 GC patients. TLR1 C>T (rs4833095) and PRKAA1 C>T (rs13361707) were genotyped by the real-time polymerase chain reaction. H. pylori status was determined by testing for anti-H. pylori IgG antibodies in the serum.
RESULTS: The study included 697 (59.2%) H. pylori positive and 481 (40.8%) H. pylori negative cases. We observed similar distribution of TLR1 and PRKAA1 alleles and genotypes in H. pylori positive and negative cases. TLR1 and PRKAA1 SNPs were not linked with the risk of AG. TC genotype of TLR1 gene was more prevalent in GC patients compared to the control group (29.7% and 22.3% respectively, p=0.002). Carriers of TC genotype had a higher risk of GC (aOR=1.89, 95% CI: 1.26-2.83, p=0.002). A similar association was observed in a dominant inheritance model for TLR1 gene SNP, where comparison of CC+TC vs. TT genotypes showed an increased risk of GC (aOR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.26-2.75, p=0.002). No association between genetic polymorphism in PRKAA1 gene and GC was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: TLR1 rs4833095 SNP was associated with an increased risk of GC in a European population, while PRKAA1 rs13361707 genetic variant was not linked with GC. Both genetic polymorphisms were not associated with H. pylori infection susceptibility or the risk of AG.

Cacina C, Kaşarci G, Bektaş K, et al.
The COX2 genetic variants in oral squamous cell carcinoma in Turkish population.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2018; 64(14):96-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a common type of cancer that genetic and environmental factors also lifestyle habits, infections play important roles in the pathogenesis of disease. Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) is the inducible isoform of enzyme which convert arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. It was known that alterations in COX2 gene functions contribute to the inflammation process thus induce cancer progression, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, invasion and metastasis. A total of 114 cases 165 healthy individuals were included in present study. We aimed to evaluate possible association between the COX2; -765, -1195 polymorphisms and the risk of OSCC. The genotypes were determined by using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism techniques. In our study group the carriers of COX2 -765 C allele were statistically higher in patients compared with controls and individuals who had CC genotype had a 3,4 fold high risk for OSCC (p <0,05). We also observed the COX2 -1195 AA genotype frequency was higher in cases that of healthy group and individuals who had AA genotype showed a 1,7 fold increased risk for OSCC (p < 0,05). Haplotype analysis confirmed our result and revealed that the frequencies of COX2 -765C, -1195A haplotype frequencies were significantly higher in patients as compared with those of controls. In conclusion we suggest that COX2, -765, -1195 polymorphisms appear to be an important predictive factor and may be a prognostic biomarker for risk of OSCC. Further investigations with larger study groups are needed to fully elucidate the role of COX2 -765, -1195 variations in the development of OSCC.

Das R, Coupar J, Clavijo PE, et al.
Lymphotoxin-β receptor-NIK signaling induces alternative RELB/NF-κB2 activation to promote metastatic gene expression and cell migration in head and neck cancer.
Mol Carcinog. 2019; 58(3):411-425 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) preferentially spread to regional cervical tissues and lymph nodes. Here, we hypothesized that lymphotoxin-β (LTβ), receptor LTβR, and NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK), promote the aberrant activation of alternative NF-κB2/RELB pathway and genes, that enhance migration and invasion of HNSCC. Genomic and expression alterations of the alternative NF-kB pathway were examined in 279 HNSCC tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and a panel of HNSCC lines. LTβR is amplified or overexpressed in HNSCC of the larynx or oral cavity, while LTβ, NIK, and RELB are overexpressed in cancers arising within lymphoid oropharyngeal and tonsillar sites. Similarly, subsets of HNSCC lines displayed overexpression of LTβR, NIK, and RELB proteins. Recombinant LTβ, and siRNA depletion of endogenous LTβR and NIK, modulated expression of LTβR, NIK, and nuclear translocation of NF-κB2(p52)/RELB as well as functional NF-κB promoter reporter activity. Treatment with a NIK inhibitor (1,3[2H,4H]-Iso-Quinoline Dione) reduced the protein expression of NIK and NF-κB2(p52)/RELB, and blocked LTβ induced nuclear translocation of RELB. NIK and RELB siRNA knockdown or NIK inhibitor slowed HNSCC migration or invation in vitro. LTβ-induces expression of migration and metastasis related genes, including hepatocyte growth/scatter factor receptor MET. Knockdown of NIK or MET similarly inhibited the migration of HNSCC cell lines. This may help explain why HNSCC preferentially migrate to local lymph nodes, where LTβ is expressed. Our findings show that LTβ/LTβR promotes activation of the alternative NIK-NF-κB2/RELB pathway to enhance MET-mediated cell migration in HNSCC, which could be potential therapeutic targets in HNSCC.

Li Y, Zhang XY, Han J, Wang L
Analysis of clinical characteristics of bone marrow proliferative tumor progression to acute myeloid leukemia.
Cancer Biomark. 2018; 23(4):469-472 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to analyze Chinese patients who developed acute leukemia after being diagnosed and treated for Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), and compare the findings of this series with similar studies from literature.
METHODS: Nine patients who progressed to leukemia after being diagnosed with MPN were included into the present study. Clinical data including age, treatment modalities and duration of use in the myeloproliferative phase, latency to leukemic transformation (LT), characteristics of leukemia, chemotherapy administration, and survival after LT were examined. Furthermore, factors associated with leukemia transformation were analyzed.
RESULTS: Over a 13-year period, nine patients had LT in 192 Ph-negative MPNs. Among these patients, two patients had polycythemia vera (PV), three patients had essential thrombocythemia (ET), and four patients had myelofibrosis (MF). The median age at MPN diagnosis was 51 years old (range: 42-69 years old), and the median age upon reaching LT was 57 years old (range: 46-72 years old). Furthermore, the median latency to LT was 72.8 months (range: 7-144 months). Five patients had cytogenetic abnormalities (62.5%), with abnormalities in chromosomes -5, +8 and -7 being common. Eight patients underwent the JAK2 V617F gene test when diagnosed with MPN. The prognosis of patients with LT was poor, and the average survival time was 6.7 months. This was not correlated with the treatment.
CONCLUSION: LT in Ph-negative MPNs is rare, and has poor prognosis, which has been consistently reported in a number of studies, However, this needs to be further confirmed through larger studies.

Cheng C, Xiaohua W, Ning J, et al.
MiR-122 exerts anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects on nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells via the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2018; 64(13):21-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
To investigate the effects of microRNA-122 (miR-122) on the proliferation and apoptosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) HONE-1 cells, and its correlation with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. Human NPC cell line (HONE-1) was transfected with miR-122 inhibitor (anti-miR-122 group), negative controls (vector control group) via lipofectamines, and HONE-1 cell lines undergoing no transfection were selected (non-transfection group). The expression of miR-122, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and expressions of PI3K/AKT pathway and downstream target proteins in the three groups were determined using fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), cell counting kit-8 (CCK8), immunofluorescence (IF) and Western blotting, respectively. The expression of miR-122 in the anti-miR-122 group was significantly lower than corresponding expressions in the non-transfection and vector control groups after 48h of transfection (p <0.05). The proliferation of cells in the anti-miR-122 group was significantly reduced with time after transfection (p <0.05). After 48h of transfection, the extent of apoptosis in the anti-miR-122 group (47.11 ± 1.95%) was significantly higher than that in normal control (7.37 ± 0.82%) and vector control group (8.54 ± 0.96%; p <0.05). There were no significant differences in the expressions of PI3K, AKT, mTOR protein, and the downstream signal proteins (p70S6K and 4E-BP1) in the three groups (p >0.05). However, the expressions of phosphorylated forms of these proteins were significantly lower in the anti-miR-122 group than in the non-transfection and vector control groups (p <0.05). IF results revealed that there were no significant differences in the fluorescence intensity value of PI3K and Akt among the three groups of patients (p>0.05). Inhibition of the expression of miR-122 in NPC suppresses the proliferation, and promotes their apoptosis through the PI3K/AKT signal transduction pathway.

Yang SYC, Lheureux S, Karakasis K, et al.
Landscape of genomic alterations in high-grade serous ovarian cancer from exceptional long- and short-term survivors.
Genome Med. 2018; 10(1):81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients diagnosed with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) who received initial debulking surgery followed by platinum-based chemotherapy can experience highly variable clinical responses. A small percentage of women experience exceptional long-term survival (long term (LT), 10+ years), while others develop primary resistance to therapy and succumb to disease in less than 2 years (short term (ST)). To improve clinical management of HGSOC, there is a need to better characterize clinical and molecular profiles to identify factors that underpin these disparate survival responses.
METHODS: To identify clinical and tumor molecular biomarkers associated with exceptional clinical response or resistance, we conducted an integrated clinical, exome, and transcriptome analysis of 41 primary tumors from LT (n = 20) and ST (n = 21) HGSOC patients.
RESULTS: Younger age at diagnosis, no residual disease post debulking surgery and low CA125 levels following surgery and chemotherapy were clinical characteristics of LT. Tumors from LT survivors had increased somatic mutation burden (median 1.62 vs. 1.22 non-synonymous mutations/Mbp), frequent BRCA1/2 biallelic inactivation through mutation and loss of heterozygosity, and enrichment of activated CD4+, CD8+ T cells, and effector memory CD4+ T cells. Characteristics of ST survival included focal copy number gain of CCNE1, lack of BRCA mutation signature, low homologous recombination deficiency scores, and the presence of ESR1-CCDC170 gene fusion.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that exceptional long- or short-term survival is determined by a concert of clinical, molecular, and microenvironment factors.

Li B, Mascarenhas JO, Rampal RK
Leukemic Transformation of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Therapeutic and Genomic Considerations.
Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2018; 13(6):588-595 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are chronic, clonal hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) disorders marked by proliferation of one or more myeloid lineages, a substantial proportion of patients transform to acute myeloid leukemia. Leukemic transformation (LT) from a pre-existing MPN carries a dismal prognosis. Here, we review recent genetic, biological, and clinical data regarding LT.
RECENT FINDINGS: In the last decade, DNA sequencing has revolutionized our understanding of the genomic landscape of LT. Mutations in TP53, ASXL1, EZH2, IDH1/2, and SRSF2 are significantly associated with increased risk of LT of MPNs. Preclinical modeling of these mutations is underway and has yielded important biological insights, some of which have therapeutic implications. Recent progress has led to the identification of recurrent genomic alterations in patients with LT. This has allowed mechanistic and therapeutic insight into the process of LT. In turn, this may lead to more mechanism-based therapeutic strategies that may improve patient outcomes.

Buivydiene A, Liakina V, Kashuba E, et al.
Impact of the Uridine⁻Cytidine Kinase Like-1 Protein and IL28B rs12979860 and rs8099917 SNPs on the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Cirrhotic Chronic Hepatitis C Patients-A Pilot Study.
Medicina (Kaunas). 2018; 54(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Ger M, Kaupinis A, Petrulionis M, et al.
Proteomic Identification of FLT3 and PCBP3 as Potential Prognostic Biomarkers for Pancreatic Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(10):5759-5765 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest types of cancer, particularly due to its aggressive course and challenging diagnostics in early-stage disease. The aim of this study was to discover new potential prognostic and diagnostic pancreatic cancer biomarkers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The proteomes of 37 samples from pancreatic cancer, inflammatory or healthy pancreatic tissue derived through in-depth differential proteomic analysis were compared.
RESULTS: A set of candidate proteins as pancreatic cancer-specific diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers were identified. Survival data of patients after two-year follow-up indicated FLT3 and PCBP3 proteins as potential biomarkers for favourable pancreatic cancer prognosis. The levels of PCBP3 correlated with tumour stage and FLT3 levels, were evaluated as independent prognostic marker.
CONCLUSION: FLT3 and PCBP3 represent potential biomarkers for improved individualized pancreatic cancer prognosis. Moreover, FLT3 may play a role in future treatment selection.

Vitkeviciene A, Baksiene S, Borutinskaite V, Navakauskiene R
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and BIX-01294 have different impact on epigenetics and senescence modulation in acute and chronic myeloid leukemia cells.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2018; 838:32-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloid leukemia treatment is quite successful nowadays; nevertheless the development of new therapies is still necessary. In the present study, we investigated the potential of epigenetic modulators EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) and BIX-01294 (N-(1-benzylpiperidin-4-yl)-6,7-dimethoxy-2-(4-methyl-1,4-diazepan-1-yl)quinazolin-4-amine) to alter epigenetic state and cause cellular senescence in acute and chronic myeloid leukemia NB4 and K562 cells. We have shown that after leukemia cell treatment with EGCG and BIX-01294 the proliferation and survival were inhibited of both cell lines; however, only NB4 cells underwent apoptosis. Both epigenetic modulators caused cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase as assessed by RT-qPCR (p53, p21, Rb) and flow cytometry analysis. Increased levels of ATM, HMGA2, phosphorylated ATM, and SA-β-galactosidase staining indicated that EGCG caused cellular senescence, whereas BIX-01294 did not. Immunoblot analysis of epigenetic players DNMT1, HP1α, H3K9me3, EZH2, and SUZ12 demonstrated beneficial epigenetic modulation by both agents with exception of mainly no epigenetic changes caused in K562 cells by EGCG. Therefore, we suggest EGCG as a promising epigenetic modulator for acute promyelocytic leukemia therapy and as a potential cellular senescence inducer in both acute and chronic myeloid leukemia treatment, whereas BIX-01294 could be beneficial as an epigenetic modifier for both myeloid leukemias treatment.

Link A, Kupcinskas J
MicroRNAs as non-invasive diagnostic biomarkers for gastric cancer: Current insights and future perspectives.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(30):3313-3329 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-invasive diagnostic biomarkers may contribute to an early identification of gastric cancer (GC) and improve the clinical management. Unfortunately, no sensitive and specific screening biomarkers are available yet and the currently available approaches are limited by the nature of the disease. GC is a heterogenic disease with various distinct genetic and epigenetic events that occur during the multifactorial cascade of carcinogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are commonly deregulated in gastric mucosa during the

Messeha SS, Zarmouh NO, Mendonca P, et al.
The inhibitory effects of plumbagin on the NF-қB pathway and CCL2 release in racially different triple-negative breast cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(7):e0201116 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer (BC) is the second leading cause of death among women in the US, and its subtype triple-negative BC (TNBC) is the most aggressive BC with poor prognosis. In the current study, we investigated the anticancer effects of the natural product plumbagin (PL) on racially different TNBC cells. The PL effects were examined in two TNBC cell lines: MDA-MB-231 (MM-231) and MDA-MB-468 (MM-468), representing Caucasian Americans and African Americans, respectively. The results obtained indicate that PL inhibited cell viability and cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in both cell lines. Notably, MM-468 cells were 5-fold more sensitive to PL than MM-231 cells were. Testing PL and Taxol® showed the superiority of PL over Taxol® as an antiproliferative agent in MM-468 cells. PL treatment resulted in an approximately 20-fold increase in caspase-3 activity with 3 μM PL in MM-468 cells compared with an approximately 3-fold activity increase in MM-231 cells with 8 μM PL. Moreover, the results indicate a higher sensitivity to PL in MM-468 cells than in MM-231 cells. The results also show that PL downregulated CCL2 cytokine expression in MM-468 cells by 30% compared to a 90% downregulation in MM-231 cells. The ELISA results confirmed the array data (35% vs. 75% downregulation in MM-468 and MM-231 cells, respectively). Moreover, PL significantly downregulated IL-6 and GM-CSF in the MM-231 cells. Indeed, PL repressed many NF-қB-regulated genes involved in the regulation of apoptosis, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. The compound significantly downregulated the same genes (BIRC3, CCL2, TLR2, and TNF) in both types of cells. However, PL impacted five more genes in MM-231 cells, including BCL2A1, ICAM1, IKBKE, IL1β, and LTA. In conclusion, the data obtained in this study indicate that the quinone compound PL could be a novel cancer treatment for TNBC in African American women.

Poffenberger MC, Metcalfe-Roach A, Aguilar E, et al.
LKB1 deficiency in T cells promotes the development of gastrointestinal polyposis.
Science. 2018; 361(6400):406-411 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germline mutations in

Campagna R, Cecati M, Pozzi V, et al.
Involvement of transforming growth factor beta 1 in the transcriptional regulation of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2018; 64(7):51-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common tumor of the kidney and its major histologic subtype is clear cell RCC (ccRCC). About 30% of diagnosed ccRCCs already have metastasis. Traditionally, localized ccRCC is treated with nephrectomy but the relapse rate is 30%. Thus, the discovery of effective biomarkers for early detection, as well as the identification of new targets for molecular-based therapy of ccRCC are urgently required. In this study, we focused on molecules that could modulate the trascription of the enzyme nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) that is known to be up-regulated in ccRCC. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), interleukin 6 (IL-6), hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 beta (HNF-1β) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) expression levels were determined in tumor and non tumor samples obtained from 30 patients with ccRCC, using Real-Time PCR. Results obtained showed that TGF-β1 is significantly (p<0.05) overexpressed in tumor compared with normal tissue samples of ccRCC patients. Conversely, we did not find any statistically significant difference concerning STAT3, IL-6, HNF-1β gene expression levels. TGF-β1 up-regulation could be responsible for the high levels of NNMT observed in ccRCC. Targeting TGF-β1 could improve the outcome of ccRCC patients due to its role in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), that is known to be associated with a worse overall survival (OS) in this neoplasm.

Sanaei M, Kavoosi F, Mansoori O
Effect of valproic acid in comparison with vorinostat on cell growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in the human colon cancer SW48 cells in vitro.
Exp Oncol. 2018; 40(2):95-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Acetylation levels of histones are the result of the balance between histone acetyltransfrases and histone deacetylases activities, which plays an important role in chromatin remodeling and regulation of gene expression. Histone deacetylases inhibitors such as valproic acid, vorinostat have attracted interest because of their ability to induce differentiation and apoptosis of cancer cells. The current study was designed to assess the effect of valproic acid in comparison to and in combination with vorinostat on cell growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in the human colon cancer SW48 cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The colon cancer SW48 cells were seeded and treated with various doses of valproic acid and vorinostat and MTT assay and flow cytometric assay were done to determine cell viability and cell apoptosis, respectively.
RESULTS: All concentrations of both agents reduced viability significantly in a dose- and time-dependent fashion (p < 0.004). Both compounds, either single or combined agents, induced apoptosis significantly, whereas the ratio of the apoptotic cells treated with combined agents was more significant than the single.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that vaproic acid and vorinostat can significantly inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in colon cancer SW48 cells.

Kryzhanivska AE, Dyakiv IB, Kyshakevych I
Clinical and immunohistochemical features of primary breast cancer and metachronous ovarian and endometrial tumors.
Exp Oncol. 2018; 40(2):124-127 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was to assess the patterns of development of metachronous cancer (endometrial cancer, EC, and ovarian cancer, OC) in breast cancer (BC) patients dependent of receptor phenotype of breast tumors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the study, 63 patients with ВС, who developed metachronous EC (n = 47) or OC (n = 16) were enrolled. Expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), HER/2neu was assessed using immunohistochemical approach.
RESULTS: BC in patients with metachronous EC and OC was characterized by a different frequency of molecular subtypes with the dominance of luminal A (36%) and B (43%) subtypes. In primary BC, we have established a correlation between ER expression and regional lymph nodes status (r = -0.50, p < 0.05); negative correlation between HER2/neu expression and tumor stage (r = -0.48, p < 0.05); between the molecular subtype of BC and its size (r = -0.33, p <0.05), the molecular subtype of primary BC and metastases in regional lymph nodes (r = 0.27, p <0.05). In the patients with luminal subtype BC metachronous tumors developed with the highest frequency (OC - 50%, EC - 50%). After treatment of primary BC metachronous tumors developed at different period: EC (22.2%) - most often in 3-5 years, OC (11.0%) - after 10 years and more.
CONCLUSION: Our data evidence on the clinical significance of the individual characteristics of the BC, especially its molecular subtype, and the need to calculate the personalized risk of development of metachronous tumors of the reproductive system in patients with the BC.

Roman S
Occult Hepatitis B and Other Unexplored Risk Factors for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Latin America.
Ann Hepatol. 2018; 17(4):541-543 [PubMed] Related Publications
Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the liver and/or serum (< 200 IU/mL) in HBsAgnegative patients with or without serologic markers of previous viral exposure. The clinical significance of OBI is of concern in posttransfusional hepatitis B infection, hepatitis B reactivation, chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The diagnosis of OBI relays on the use of highly sensitive and specific laboratory techniques. Herein, comments derived from a study analyzing the frequency and characteristics of OBI in HCC Japanese patients are stated. While OBI and other causes of HCC have been highly studied in Asia and Europe, research in Latin America in these topics is limited. Several findings such as population risk groups with high prevalence of overt and OBI infection, HBV genotype F in Argentinean HCC patients, and the clinical impact of the foreign A-D genotypes suggest the need of further investigation. Additionally, alcoholism, obesity, NASH and type 2 diabetes may override the presence of OBI. Therefore, OBI diagnosis is essential. It is known that anti-HBc alone is a predictive signal of potential OBI and given the fluctuations of the HBV infection markers, testing for HBsAg and anti-HBc at baseline and follow-up is recommended. In conclusion, OBI and other causes involved in the epidemiology of HCC in Latin America are unexplored risk factors. Genome-based research is required to decipher the role of gene-environmental interactions associated with chronic liver disease. Novel algorithms to detect OBI supported by basic/applied/clinical research are also needed.

Huang LQ, Wang JX, He K, et al.
Analysis of peripheral blood T-cell subsets and regulatory T-cells in multiple myeloma patients.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2018; 64(5):113-117 [PubMed] Related Publications
To study the peripheral blood T-cell subsets and regulatory T-cells of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. 48 MM patients and 24 healthy controls were enrolled. Changes in peripheral blood T-cell subsets in the MM patients i.e. CD4+CD25+T cells and CD4+CD25+CD127lowT regulatory cells (CD4+CD25+CD127lowTregs) and in healthy controls were measured using flow cytometry and immunohischemistry. The total T-cells (CD3+) in peripheral blood lymphocyte and auxiliary/induced T-cells (CD3+CD4+ T cell) of the 48 MM patients showed no statistical significance when compared with those of the control group. Suppressor/cytotoxicity T-cells (CD3+CD8+ T cell) increased (p < 0.05). CD4+CD25+T cells and CD4+CD25+CD127low Tregs were significantly higher than corresponding values in the healthy group (p < 0.05). The CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio of Stage III MM patients was significantly lower than that of the control group (p < 0.05). The CD4+CD25+T cells and CD4+CD25+CD127low Tregs of MM patients in the stable and the progressive stages  were significantly higher than those of MM patients in the control group (p < 0.05). The abnormality of the peripheral blood T-cell subset, increased expression of CD4+CD25+CD127low Tregs, and low cellular immunity of MM patients are related to clinical staging and progression of the disease. The quantity of CD4+CD25+CD127lowTregs of peripheral blood cells of MM patients could be significantly increased through the inhibition of CD4+ and CD8+T cell activities. CD4+CD25+CD127low Tregs promotes tumor growth through the inhibition of immunologic cell proliferation. Immunological dysfunction based on Tregs cells plays an important role in the pathogenic course.

Bulgurcuoglu Kuran S, Iplik ES, Cakmakoglu B, et al.
Relation of MPO, MnSOD, NQO1 gene variants in endometrial carcinoma in the line of PCR-RFLP methods.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2018; 64(4):78-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to be responsible for inducing DNA damage leading to mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, and cell death if the capacity of the protective antioxidant system is impaired. Endometrial carcinoma is the primary cancer type in the female genital system. The enhanced cell lipid peroxidation and impaired antioxidant enzyme activities observed in patients with endometrial cancer indicate the potential for oxidative injury to cells and cell membranes in such patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the possible association between gene variants of superoxide dismutase (SOD), myeloperoxidase (MPO), and NADPH quinone oxido reductase (NQO1), and their possible role in endometrial cancer in Turkish patients. According to results, MPO G+ genotype and AG genotype were significantly increased in patients compared with controls (P<0.001). We suggest that the MPO polymorphism might be a risk for endometrial cancer.

Batar B, Mutlu T, Bostanci M, et al.
DNA repair and apoptosis: Roles in radiotherapy-related acute reactions in breast cancer patients.
Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2018; 64(4):64-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Normal tissue reactions are therapy limiting factor for the effectiveness of the radiotherapy in cancer patients. DNA repair and apoptosis are estimated to be critical players of adverse effects in response to radiotherapy. Our aim was to define the association of DNA repair (ERCC1 and XPC) and apoptotic (BCL2, CASP3 and NFKB1) gene expression, DNA damage levels, apoptosis changes and DNA repair gene variations with the risk of acute side effects in breast cancer patients. The study included 100 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer; an experimental case group (n=50) with acute side effects and the control group (n=50) without side effects. Gene expression was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Micronucleus (MN) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) assays were performed to compare the DNA damage levels. Apoptosis was examined by TDT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) staining. ERCC1 rs3212986 and XPC rs3731055 polymorphisms were genotyped by real-time PCR technique. No significantly correlation of DNA repair and apoptosis gene expression and DNA damage levels with acute side effects in response to radiotherapy. Also, there was no association between apoptosis levels and acute effects. ERCC1 rs3212986 CC genotype showed a protective effect against radiotherapy-induced acute reactions (p<0.001; OR: 0.21; 95% CI= 0.08-0.52). Our results suggest that apoptosis and DNA damage levels are not associated with acute radiosensitivity. DNA repair may affect the risk of acute reactions. Further studies are needed to validate the current findings.

Alam K, Farasyn T, Ding K, Yue W
Characterization of Liver- and Cancer-type-Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide (OATP) 1B3 Messenger RNA Expression in Normal and Cancerous Human Tissues.
Drug Metab Lett. 2018; 12(1):24-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Membrane transport protein organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) 1B3 mediates the cellular uptake of many clinically important drugs including anti-cancer drugs (e.g., paclitaxel). In addition to the well-recognized hepatic expression and function of OATP1B3 [herein named liver-type (Lt) OATP1B3], OATP1B3 also expresses in cancers and has been postulated to play a role in cancer therapy, presumably by facilitating the influx of anti-cancer drugs. Recently, a cancer type (Ct)-OATP1B3 mRNA variant was identified in colon and lung cancer tissues, which encodes truncated Ct-OATP1B3 with negligible transport activity. Other than in colon and lung cancers, reports on mRNA expression of OATP1B3 in other cancers cannot distinguish between the Ltand Ct-OATP1B3.
OBJECTIVE: The current studies were designed to characterize the expression of Lt- and Ct-OATP1B3 mRNA in ovarian, prostate, bladder, breast, and lung tissues.
METHODS: Lt- and Ct-OATP1B3 isoform-specific PCR primers were utilized to determine the mRNA levels of Lt- and Ct-OATP1B3, respectively. An expression vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Lt-OATP1B3 was transiently transfected into the ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3. Confocal live-cell microscopy was utilized to determine the localization of GFP-Lt-OATP1B3 in SKOV3 cells.
RESULTS: For the first time, Lt-OATP1B3 mRNA was detected in ovarian, prostate, bladder and breast cancers. The localization of GFP-Lt-OATP1B3 on the plasma membrane of SKOV3 cells after transient transfection was readily detected by confocal microscopy.
CONCLUSION: Our findings are supportive of the potential role of Lt-OATP1B3 in cancer cells.

Zhang B, Nguyen LXT, Li L, et al.
Bone marrow niche trafficking of miR-126 controls the self-renewal of leukemia stem cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Nat Med. 2018; 24(4):450-462 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) in individuals with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) (hereafter referred to as CML LSCs) are responsible for initiating and maintaining clonal hematopoiesis. These cells persist in the bone marrow (BM) despite effective inhibition of BCR-ABL kinase activity by tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Here we show that although the microRNA (miRNA) miR-126 supported the quiescence, self-renewal and engraftment capacity of CML LSCs, miR-126 levels were lower in CML LSCs than in long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) from healthy individuals. Downregulation of miR-126 levels in CML LSCs was due to phosphorylation of Sprouty-related EVH1-domain-containing 1 (SPRED1) by BCR-ABL, which led to inhibition of the RAN-exportin-5-RCC1 complex that mediates miRNA maturation. Endothelial cells (ECs) in the BM supply miR-126 to CML LSCs to support quiescence and leukemia growth, as shown using mouse models of CML in which Mir126a (encoding miR-126) was conditionally knocked out in ECs and/or LSCs. Inhibition of BCR-ABL by TKI treatment caused an undesired increase in endogenous miR-126 levels, which enhanced LSC quiescence and persistence. Mir126a knockout in LSCs and/or ECs, or treatment with a miR-126 inhibitor that targets miR-126 expression in both LSCs and ECs, enhanced the in vivo anti-leukemic effects of TKI treatment and strongly diminished LSC leukemia-initiating capacity, providing a new strategy for the elimination of LSCs in individuals with CML.

Strainiene E, Binkis M, Urnikyte S, et al.
Microenvironment dependent gene expression signatures in reprogrammed human colon normal and cancer cell lines.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):222 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Since the first evidence suggesting existence of stem-like cancer cells, the process of cells reprogramming to the stem cell state remains as an attractive tool for cancer stemness research. Current knowledge in the field of cancer stemness, indicates that the microenvironment is a fundamental regulator of cell behavior. With regard to this, we investigated the changes of genome wide gene expression in reprogrammed human colon normal epithelial CRL-1831 and colon carcinoma DLD1 cell lines grown under more physiologically relevant three-dimensional (3D) cell culture microenvironment compared to 2D monolayer.
METHODS: Whole genome gene expression changes were evaluated in both cell lines cultured under 3D conditions over a 2D monolayer by gene expression microarray analysis. To evaluate the biological significance of gene expression changes, we performed pathway enrichment analysis using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database. Gene network analysis was used to study relationships between differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in functional categories by the GeneMANIA Cytoscape toolkit.
RESULTS: In total, we identified 3228 and 2654 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) for colon normal and cancer reprogrammed cell lines, respectively. Furthermore, the expression of 1097 genes was commonly regulated in both cell lines. KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that in total 129 and 101 pathways for iPSC-CRL-1831 and for CSC-DLD1, respectively, were enriched. Next, we grouped these pathways into three functional categories: cancer transformation/metastasis, cell interaction, and stemness. β-catenin (CTNNB1) was confirmed as a hub gene of all three functional categories.
CONCLUSIONS: Our present findings suggest common pathways between reprogrammed human colon normal epithelium (iPSC-CRL-1831) and adenocarcinoma (CSC-DLD1) cells grown under 3D microenvironment. In addition, we demonstrated that pathways important for cancer transformation and tumor metastatic activity are altered both in normal and cancer stem-like cells during the transfer from 2D to 3D culture conditions. Thus, we indicate the potential of cell culture models enriched in normal and cancer stem-like cells for the identification of new therapeutic targets in cancer treatment.

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