Gene Summary

Gene:MED1; mediator complex subunit 1
Summary:The activation of gene transcription is a multistep process that is triggered by factors that recognize transcriptional enhancer sites in DNA. These factors work with co-activators to direct transcriptional initiation by the RNA polymerase II apparatus. The protein encoded by this gene is a subunit of the CRSP (cofactor required for SP1 activation) complex, which, along with TFIID, is required for efficient activation by SP1. This protein is also a component of other multisubunit complexes e.g. thyroid hormone receptor-(TR-) associated proteins which interact with TR and facilitate TR function on DNA templates in conjunction with initiation factors and cofactors. It also regulates p53-dependent apoptosis and it is essential for adipogenesis. This protein is known to have the ability to self-oligomerize. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:mediator of RNA polymerase II transcription subunit 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


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 (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 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.

  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Base Pair Mismatch
  • Mediator Complex Subunit 1
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzymes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • Mutation
  • p53 Protein
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Mediator Complex
  • DNA Repair
  • Drug Resistance
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Promoter Regions
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Base Sequence
  • Transcription Factors
  • Up-Regulation
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Breast Cancer
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases
  • Transfection
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Androgen Receptors
  • DNA Methylation
  • MED1
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Chromosome 17
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: MED1 (cancer-related)

Genrich G, Kruppa M, Lenk L, et al.
The anti-oxidative transcription factor Nuclear factor E2 related factor-2 (Nrf2) counteracts TGF-β1 mediated growth inhibition of pancreatic ductal epithelial cells -Nrf2 as determinant of pro-tumorigenic functions of TGF-β1.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:155 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nuclear factor E2 related factor-2 (Nrf2) is an oxidative stress inducible transcription factor being essential in regulating cell homeostasis. Thus, acute induction of Nrf2 in epithelial cells exposed to inflammation confers protection from oxidative cell damage and mutagenesis supporting an anti-tumorigenic role for Nrf2. However, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by persistent Nrf2 activity conferring therapy resistance which points to a pro-tumorigenic role of Nrf2. A similar dichotomous role in tumorigenesis is described for the Transforming Growth Factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1). The present study therefore aimed at elucidating whether the switch of Nrf2 function towards a tumor promoting one relates to the modulation of TGF-β1 induced cell responses and whether this might occur early in PDAC development.
METHODS: In situ analysis comprised immunohistochemical stainings of activated (phosphorylated) Nrf2 and Ki67 in pancreatic tissues containing normal ducts and pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanINs). In vitro, Nrf2 levels in benign (H6c7-pBp), premalignant (H6c7-kras) and malignant (Colo357) pancreatic ductal epithelial cells were modulated by Nrf2 specific siRNA or Nrf2 overexpression. Then, the effect of Nrf2 alone and in combination with TGF-β1 on cell growth and survival was investigated by cell counting, Ki67 staining and apoptosis assays. The underlying cell signaling was investigated by western blotting. Statistical analysis was performed by Shapiro-Wilk test for normal distribution. Parametric data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA, while non-parametric data were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVA on ranks.
RESULTS: Significantly elevated expression of activated Nrf2 and Ki67 could be detected in PanINs but not in normal pancreatic ductal epithelium. While the effect of Nrf2 on basal cell growth of H6c7-pBp, H6c7-kras and Colo357 cells was minor, it clearly attenuated the growth inhibiting effects of TGF-β1 in all cell lines. This enhanced Nrf2-mediated cell survival was predominantly based on an enhanced proliferative activity. Accordingly, expression of p21 expression along with expression of phospho-p38 and phospho-Smad3 was diminished whereas Erk-phosphorylation was enhanced under these conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our data demonstrate that Nrf2 being elevated in early precursor lesions counteracts the growth inhibiting function of TGF-β1 already in benign and premalignant pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. This could represent one fundamental mechanism underlying the functional switch of both- TGF-β1 and Nrf2 - which may manifest already in early stages of PDAC development.

Shu S, Lin CY, He HH, et al.
Response and resistance to BET bromodomain inhibitors in triple-negative breast cancer.
Nature. 2016; 529(7586):413-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous and clinically aggressive disease for which there is no targeted therapy. BET bromodomain inhibitors, which have shown efficacy in several models of cancer, have not been evaluated in TNBC. These inhibitors displace BET bromodomain proteins such as BRD4 from chromatin by competing with their acetyl-lysine recognition modules, leading to inhibition of oncogenic transcriptional programs. Here we report the preferential sensitivity of TNBCs to BET bromodomain inhibition in vitro and in vivo, establishing a rationale for clinical investigation and further motivation to understand mechanisms of resistance. In paired cell lines selected for acquired resistance to BET inhibition from previously sensitive TNBCs, we failed to identify gatekeeper mutations, new driver events or drug pump activation. BET-resistant TNBC cells remain dependent on wild-type BRD4, which supports transcription and cell proliferation in a bromodomain-independent manner. Proteomic studies of resistant TNBC identify strong association with MED1 and hyper-phosphorylation of BRD4 attributable to decreased activity of PP2A, identified here as a principal BRD4 serine phosphatase. Together, these studies provide a rationale for BET inhibition in TNBC and present mechanism-based combination strategies to anticipate clinical drug resistance.

Tricarico R, Cortellino S, Riccio A, et al.
Involvement of MBD4 inactivation in mismatch repair-deficient tumorigenesis.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(40):42892-904 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The DNA glycosylase gene MBD4 safeguards genomic stability at CpG sites and is frequently mutated at coding poly-A tracks in mismatch repair (MMR)-defective colorectal tumors (CRC). Mbd4 biallelic inactivation in mice provided conflicting results as to its role in tumorigenesis. Thus, it is unclear whether MBD4 alterations are only secondary to MMR defects without functional consequences or can contribute to the mutator phenotype. We investigated MBD4 variants in a large series of hereditary/familial and sporadic CRC cases. Whereas MBD4 frameshifts were only detected in tumors, missense variants were found in both normal and tumor DNA. In CRC with double-MBD4/MMR and single-MBD4 variants, transition mutation frequency was increased, indicating that MBD4 defects may affect the mutational landscape independently of MMR defect. Mbd4-deficient mice showed reduced survival when combined with Mlh1-/- genotype. Taken together, these data suggest that MBD4 inactivation may contribute to tumorigenesis, acting as a modifier of MMR-deficient cancer phenotype.

Nilsson EM, Laursen KB, Whitchurch J, et al.
MiR137 is an androgen regulated repressor of an extended network of transcriptional coregulators.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):35710-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgens and the androgen receptor (AR) play crucial roles in male development and the pathogenesis and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR functions as a ligand dependent transcription factor which recruits multiple enzymatically distinct epigenetic coregulators to facilitate transcriptional regulation in response to androgens. Over-expression of AR coregulators is implicated in cancer. We have shown that over-expression of KDM1A, an AR coregulator, contributes to PCa recurrence by promoting VEGFA expression. However the mechanism(s) whereby AR coregulators are increased in PCa remain poorly understood. In this study we show that the microRNA hsa-miR-137 (miR137) tumor suppressor regulates expression of an extended network of transcriptional coregulators including KDM1A/LSD1/AOF1, KDM2A/JHDM1A/FBXL11, KDM4A/JMJD2A, KDM5B JARID1B/PLU1, KDM7A/JHDM1D/PHF8, MED1/TRAP220/DRIP205 and NCoA2/SRC2/TIF2. We show that expression of miR137 is increased by androgen in LnCaP androgen PCa responsive cells and that the miR137 locus is epigenetically silenced in androgen LnCaP:C4-2 and PC3 independent PCa cells. In addition, we found that restoration of miR137 expression down-regulates expression of VEGFA, an AR target gene, which suggests a role of miR137 loss also in cancer angiogenesis. Finally we show functional inhibition of miR137 function enhanced androgen induction of PSA/KLK3 expression. Our data indicate that miR137 functions as an androgen regulated suppressor of androgen signaling by modulating expression of an extended network of transcriptional coregulators. Therefore, we propose that epigenetic silencing of miR137 is an important event in promoting androgen signaling during prostate carcinogenesis and progression.

Kämpjärvi K, Kim NH, Keskitalo S, et al.
Somatic MED12 mutations in prostate cancer and uterine leiomyomas promote tumorigenesis through distinct mechanisms.
Prostate. 2016; 76(1):22-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mediator is a multiprotein interface between eukaryotic gene-specific transcription factors and RNA polymerase II. Mutations in exon 2 of the gene encoding MED12, a key subunit of the regulatory kinase module in Mediator, are extremely frequent in uterine leiomyomas, breast fibroadenomas, and phyllodes tumors. These mutations disrupt kinase module interactions and lead to diminished Mediator-associated kinase activity. MED12 mutations in exon 26, resulting in a substitution of leucine 1224 to phenylalanine (L1224F), have been recurrently observed in prostate cancer.
METHODS: To elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to tumorigenesis in prostate cancer, we analyzed global interaction profiles of wild-type and L1224F mutant MED12 with quantitative affinity purification-mass spectrometry (AP-MS). Immunoprecipitation and kinase activity assay were used to further assess the interactions between Mediator complex subunits and kinase activity. The presence of L1224F mutation was analyzed in altogether 877 samples representing prostate hyperplasia, prostate cancer, and various tumor types in which somatic MED12 mutations have previously been observed.
RESULTS: In contrast to N-terminal MED12 mutations observed in uterine leiomyomas, the L1224F mutation compromises neither the interaction of MED12 with kinase module subunits Cyclin C and CDK8/19 nor Mediator-associated CDK activity. Instead, the L1224F mutation was shown to affect interactions between MED12 and other Mediator components (MED1, MED13, MED13L, MED14, MED15, MED17, and MED24). Mutation screening revealed one mutation in a Finnish (Caucasian) prostate cancer patient, whereas no mutations in any other tumor type were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Specific somatic MED12 mutations in prostate cancer and uterine leiomyomas accumulate in two separate regions of the gene and promote tumorigenesis through clearly distinct mechanisms.

Hensel J, Duex JE, Owens C, et al.
Patient Mutation Directed shRNA Screen Uncovers Novel Bladder Tumor Growth Suppressors.
Mol Cancer Res. 2015; 13(9):1306-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of human bladder cancer has revealed many gene alterations compared with normal tissue, with most being predicted to be "loss of function." However, given the high number of alterations, evaluating the functional impact of each is impractical. Here, we develop and use a high-throughput, in vivo strategy to determine which alterations are loss of function in tumor growth suppressors. Genes reported as altered by NGS in bladder cancer patients were bioinformatically processed by MutationTaster and MutationAssessor, with 283 predicted as loss of function. An shRNA lentiviral library targeting these genes was transduced into T24 cells, a nontumorigenic human bladder cancer cell line, followed by injection into mice. Tumors that arose were sequenced and the dominant shRNA constructs were found to target IQGAP1, SAMD9L, PCIF1, MED1, and KATNAL1 genes. In vitro validation experiments revealed that shRNA molecules directed at IQGAP1 showed the most profound increase in anchorage-independent growth of T24 cells. The clinical relevance of IQGAP1 as a tumor growth suppressor is supported by the finding that its expression is lower in bladder cancer compared with benign patient urothelium in multiple independent datasets. Lower IQGAP1 protein expression associated with higher tumor grade and decreased patient survival. Finally, depletion of IQGAP1 leads to increased TGFBR2 with TGFβ signaling, explaining in part how reduced IQGAP1 promotes tumor growth. These findings suggest IQGAP1 is a bladder tumor growth suppressor that works via modulating TGFβ signaling and is a potentially clinically useful biomarker.
IMPLICATIONS: This study used gene mutation information from patient-derived bladder tumor specimens to inform the development of a screen used to identify novel tumor growth suppressors. This included identification of the protein IQGAP1 as a potent bladder cancer growth suppressor.

Lehmann R, Childs L, Thomas P, et al.
Assembly of a comprehensive regulatory network for the mammalian circadian clock: a bioinformatics approach.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0126283 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
By regulating the timing of cellular processes, the circadian clock provides a way to adapt physiology and behaviour to the geophysical time. In mammals, a light-entrainable master clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) controls peripheral clocks that are present in virtually every body cell. Defective circadian timing is associated with several pathologies such as cancer and metabolic and sleep disorders. To better understand the circadian regulation of cellular processes, we developed a bioinformatics pipeline encompassing the analysis of high-throughput data sets and the exploitation of published knowledge by text-mining. We identified 118 novel potential clock-regulated genes and integrated them into an existing high-quality circadian network, generating the to-date most comprehensive network of circadian regulated genes (NCRG). To validate particular elements in our network, we assessed publicly available ChIP-seq data for BMAL1, REV-ERBα/β and RORα/γ proteins and found strong evidence for circadian regulation of Elavl1, Nme1, Dhx6, Med1 and Rbbp7 all of which are involved in the regulation of tumourigenesis. Furthermore, we identified Ncl and Ddx6, as targets of RORγ and REV-ERBα, β, respectively. Most interestingly, these genes were also reported to be involved in miRNA regulation; in particular, NCL regulates several miRNAs, all involved in cancer aggressiveness. Thus, NCL represents a novel potential link via which the circadian clock, and specifically RORγ, regulates the expression of miRNAs, with particular consequences in breast cancer progression. Our findings bring us one step forward towards a mechanistic understanding of mammalian circadian regulation, and provide further evidence of the influence of circadian deregulation in cancer.

Liu G, Sprenger C, Wu PJ, et al.
MED1 mediates androgen receptor splice variant induced gene expression in the absence of ligand.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(1):288-304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The appearance of constitutively active androgen receptor splice variants (AR-Vs) has been proposed as one of the causes of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). However, the underlying mechanism of AR-Vs in CRPC transcriptional regulation has not been defined. A distinct transcriptome enriched with cell cycle genes, e.g. UBE2C, has been associated with AR-Vs, which indicates the possibility of an altered transcriptional mechanism when compared to full-length wild-type AR (ARfl). Importantly, a recent study reported the critical role of p-MED1 in enhancing UBE2C expression through a locus looping pattern, which only occurs in CRPC but not in androgen-dependent prostate cancer (ADPC). To investigate the potential correlation between AR-V and MED1, in the present study we performed protein co-immunoprecipitation, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and cell proliferation assays and found that MED1 is necessary for ARv567es induced UBE2C up-regulation and subsequent prostate cancer cell growth. Furthermore, p-MED1 is bound to ARv567es independent of full-length AR; p-MED1 has higher recruitment to UBE2C promoter and enhancer regions in the presence of ARv567es. Our data indicate that p-MED1 serves as a key mediator in ARv567es induced gene expression and suggests a mechanism by which AR-Vs promote the development and progression of CRPC.

Fidalgo F, Rodrigues TC, Pinilla M, et al.
Lymphovascular invasion and histologic grade are associated with specific genomic profiles in invasive carcinomas of the breast.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(3):1835-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) and histologic grade are clinical parameters of high prognostic value in breast cancer and indicate the level of tumor aggressiveness. Many studies have focused on the association of breast cancer subtypes with gene expression and chromosomal profiles, but considerably less genomic information is available regarding traditional prognostic factors such as histologic grade and LVI. We studied by array-CGH a group of 57 invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast to outline the DNA copy number aberration (CNA) profile linked to high histologic grades and LVI. Selected CNAs were validated using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Furthermore, gene expression analysis was performed in a subset of 32 of these tumors, and findings were integrated with array-CGH data. Our findings indicated an accumulation of genomic alterations in high-grade breast tumors compared to low-grade samples. Grade III tumors showed higher number of CNAs and larger aberrations than low-grade tumors and displayed a wide range of chromosomal aberrations, which were mainly 5p, 8q, 10p, 17q12, and 19 gains, and 3p, 4, 5q proximal, 9p, 11p, 18q, and 21 losses. The presence of LVI, a well-established prognostic marker, was not significantly associated with increased genomic instability in comparison to breast tumors negative for LVI, considering the total number of chromosomal alterations. However, a slightly increase in the frequency of specific alterations could be detected in LVI-positive group, such as gains at 5p, 16p, 17q12, and 19, and losses at 8p, 11q, 18q, and 21. Three newly reported small-scale rearrangements were detected in high-risk tumors (LVI-positive grade III) harboring putative breast cancer genes (amplicons at 4q13.3 and 11p11.2, and a deletion at 12p12.3). Furthermore, gene expression analysis uncovered networks highlighting S100A8, MMP1, and MED1 as promising candidate genes involved in high-grade and LVI-positive tumors. In summary, a group of genomic regions could be associated with high-risk tumors, and expression analysis pinpointed candidate genes deserving further investigation. The data has shed some light on the molecular players involved in two highly relevant prognostic factors and may further add to the understanding of the mechanisms of breast cancer aggressiveness.

Jiang C, Chen H, Shao L, Wang Q
MicroRNA-1 functions as a potential tumor suppressor in osteosarcoma by targeting Med1 and Med31.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(3):1249-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-1 (miR-1) has been shown to function as a critical gene regulator in multiple types of cancers. However, the role of miR-1 in osteosarcoma has not been totally clarified. In the present study, we investigated the effects of miR-1 on osteosarcoma and the underlying mechanism. We found that miR-1 was downregulated in osteosarcoma tissues and osteosarcoma cell lines. Restoration of miR-1 significantly suppressed osteosarcoma cell proliferation by inhibiting cell cycle progression. Mediator complex subunit 1 (Med1) and 31 (Med31) were validated as targets of miR-1 in osteosarcoma by luciferase reporter assay. Downregulation of Med1 and Med31 suppressed the proliferation of osteosarcoma cells, and overexpression of Med1 and Med31 abrogated the effects of miR-1 on cell proliferation. Furthermore, both miR-1 and knockdown of Med1 or Med31 reduced the expression of met proto-oncogene (MET) and blocked the downstream signaling of MET responding to hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Taken together, the findings of this study suggest that Med1 and Med31 serve as potential gene therapeutic targets in osteosarcoma and miR-1 may prove to be a promising agent.

Davidov T, Nagar M, Kierson M, et al.
Carbonic anhydrase 4 and crystallin α-B immunoreactivity may distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules in patients with indeterminate thyroid cytology.
J Surg Res. 2014; 190(2):565-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Thyroid nodules are present in 19%-67% of the population and carry a 5%-10% risk of malignancy. Unfortunately, fine-needle aspiration biopsies are indeterminate in 20%-30% of patients, often necessitating thyroid surgery for diagnosis. Numerous DNA microarray studies including a recently commercialized molecular classifier have helped to better distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules. Unfortunately, these assays often require probes for >100 genes, are expensive, and only available at a few laboratories. We sought to validate these DNA microarray assays at the protein level and determine whether simple and widely available immunohistochemical biomarkers alone could distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules.
METHODS: A tissue microarray (TMA) composed of 26 follicular thyroid carcinomas (FTCs) and 53 follicular adenomas (FAs) from patients with indeterminate thyroid nodules was stained with 17 immunohistochemical biomarkers selected based on prior DNA microarray studies. Antibodies used included galectin 3, growth and differentiation factor 15, protein convertase 2, cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase 1 (GOT1), trefoil factor 3 (TFF3), Friedreich Ataxia gene (X123), fibroblast growth factor 13 (FGF13), carbonic anhydrase 4 (CA4), crystallin alpha-B (CRYAB), peptidylprolyl isomerase F (PPIF), asparagine synthase (ASNS), sodium channel, non-voltage gated, 1 alpha subunit (SCNN1A), frizzled homolog 1 (FZD1), tyrosine related protein 1 (TYRP1), E cadherin, type 1 (ECAD), and thyroid hormone receptor associated protein 220 (TRAP220). Of note, two of these biomarkers (GOT1 and CD44) are now used in the Afirma classifier assay. We chose to compare specifically FTC versus FA rather than include all histologic categories to create a more uniform immunohistochemical comparison. In addition, we have found that most papillary thyroid carcinoma could often be reasonably distinguished from benign disease by morphological cytology findings alone.
RESULTS: Increased immunoreactivity of CRYAB was associated with thyroid malignancy (c-statistic, 0.644; negative predictive value [NPV], 0.90) and loss of immunoreactivity of CA4 was also associated with malignancy (c-statistic, 0.715; NPV, 0.90) in indeterminate thyroid specimens. The combination of CA4 and CRYAB for discriminating FTC from FA resulted in a better c-statistic of 0.75, sensitivity of 0.76, specificity of 0.59, positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.32, and NPV of 0.91. When comparing widely angioinvasive FTC from FA, the resultant c-statistic improved to 0.84, sensitivity of 0.75, specificity of 0.76, PPV of 0.11, and NPV of 0.99.
CONCLUSIONS: Loss of CA4 and increase in CRYAB immunoreactivity distinguish FTC from FA in indeterminate thyroid nodules on a thyroid TMA with an NPV of 91%. Further studies in preoperative patient fine needle aspiration (FNAs) are needed to validate these results.

Jia Y, Viswakarma N, Reddy JK
Med1 subunit of the mediator complex in nuclear receptor-regulated energy metabolism, liver regeneration, and hepatocarcinogenesis.
Gene Expr. 2014; 16(2):63-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several nuclear receptors regulate diverse metabolic functions that impact on critical biological processes, such as development, differentiation, cellular regeneration, and neoplastic conversion. In the liver, some members of the nuclear receptor family, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), farnesoid X receptor (FXR), liver X receptor (LXR), pregnane X receptor (PXR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and others, regulate energy homeostasis, the formation and excretion of bile acids, and detoxification of xenobiotics. Excess energy burning resulting from increases in fatty acid oxidation systems in liver generates reactive oxygen species, and the resulting oxidative damage influences liver regeneration and liver tumor development. These nuclear receptors are important sensors of exogenous activators as well as receptor-specific endogenous ligands. In this regard, gene knockout mouse models revealed that some lipid-metabolizing enzymes generate PPARα-activating ligands, while others such as ACOX1 (fatty acyl-CoA oxidase1) inactivate these endogenous PPARα activators. In the absence of ACOX1, the unmetabolized ACOX1 substrates cause sustained activation of PPARα, and the resulting increase in energy burning leads to hepatocarcinogenesis. Ligand-activated nuclear receptors recruit the multisubunit Mediator complex for RNA polymerase II-dependent gene transcription. Evidence indicates that the Med1 subunit of the Mediator is essential for PPARα, PPARγ, CAR, and GR signaling in liver. Med1 null hepatocytes fail to respond to PPARα activators in that these cells do not show induction of peroxisome proliferation and increases in fatty acid oxidation enzymes. Med1-deficient hepatocytes show no increase in cell proliferation and do not give rise to liver tumors. Identification of nuclear receptor-specific coactivators and Mediator subunits should further our understanding of the complexities of metabolic diseases associated with increased energy combustion in liver.

Hsieh CL, Fei T, Chen Y, et al.
Enhancer RNAs participate in androgen receptor-driven looping that selectively enhances gene activation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(20):7319-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The androgen receptor (AR) is a key factor that regulates the behavior and fate of prostate cancer cells. The AR-regulated network is activated when AR binds enhancer elements and modulates specific enhancer-promoter looping. Kallikrein-related peptidase 3 (KLK3), which codes for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), is a well-known AR-regulated gene and its upstream enhancers produce bidirectional enhancer RNAs (eRNAs), termed KLK3e. Here, we demonstrate that KLK3e facilitates the spatial interaction of the KLK3 enhancer and the KLK2 promoter and enhances long-distance KLK2 transcriptional activation. KLK3e carries the core enhancer element derived from the androgen response element III (ARE III), which is required for the interaction of AR and Mediator 1 (Med1). Furthermore, we show that KLK3e processes RNA-dependent enhancer activity depending on the integrity of core enhancer elements. The transcription of KLK3e was detectable and its expression is significantly correlated with KLK3 (R(2) = 0.6213, P < 5 × 10(-11)) and KLK2 (R(2) = 0.5893, P < 5 × 10(-10)) in human prostate tissues. Interestingly, RNAi silencing of KLK3e resulted in a modest negative effect on prostate cancer cell proliferation. Accordingly, we report that an androgen-induced eRNA scaffolds the AR-associated protein complex that modulates chromosomal architecture and selectively enhances AR-dependent gene expression.

Verschuur-Maes AH, Moelans CB, de Bruin PC, van Diest PJ
Analysis of gene copy number alterations by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification in columnar cell lesions of the breast.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2014; 37(2):147-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Columnar cell lesions (CCLs) are possible precursors of breast cancer, but little is known about the role of breast cancer-related genes in the progression of CCL to invasive breast cancer.
METHODS: Gene copy numbers of 17 breast cancer-related genes were analyzed using Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) in CCL (N = 28), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) grade I likely originating from CCL (N = 5), and paired CCL (N = 14/28) with DCIS (N = 7) and/or invasive carcinoma (N = 13). The genes included were BIRC5, C11orf30, CCND1, CCNE1, CDH1, CPD, EGFR, ERBB2, ESR1, FGFR1, IKBKB, MAPT, MED1, MTDH, MYC, TOP2A and TRAF4.
RESULTS: No high level gene amplifications were observed in CCL, but copy number gains were encountered for the C11orf30 (3/28), MYC, CPD, MTDH (2/28), and CCND1, CCNE1, ESR1 and TOP2A genes (1/28). In addition, CDH1 showed loss in 2/28 and TOP2A in 1/28 cases. CCLs with or without atypia exhibited comparable numbers of copy number changes (p = 0.312). Overall, the frequency of gene copy number changes increased from CCL towards DCIS and invasive carcinoma (p = 0.004). Also in the cases with synchronous lesions, the CCLs exhibited fewer copy number changes than the DCIS/invasive carcinomas.
CONCLUSIONS: CCLs carry copy number changes of several known breast cancer-related genes, thereby substantiating their role in breast carcinogenesis. Among them, CCND1 and ESR1 copy number gains and CDH1 copy number losses are of particular interest. Since the copy number changes observed were more prevalent in DCIS and invasive carcinoma than in CCL, the corresponding gene alterations may represent rather late occurring events in low nuclear grade breast carcinogenesis.

Wu D, Sunkel B, Chen Z, et al.
Three-tiered role of the pioneer factor GATA2 in promoting androgen-dependent gene expression in prostate cancer.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(6):3607-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In prostate cancer, androgen receptor (AR) binding and androgen-responsive gene expression are defined by hormone-independent binding patterns of the pioneer factors FoxA1 and GATA2. Insufficient evidence of the mechanisms by which GATA2 contributes to this process precludes complete understanding of a key determinant of tissue-specific AR activity. Our observations suggest that GATA2 facilitates androgen-responsive gene expression by three distinct modes of action. By occupying novel binding sites within the AR gene locus, GATA2 positively regulates AR expression before and after androgen stimulation. Additionally, GATA2 engages AR target gene enhancers prior to hormone stimulation, producing an active and accessible chromatin environment via recruitment of the histone acetyltransferase p300. Finally, GATA2 functions in establishing and/or sustaining basal locus looping by recruiting the Mediator subunit MED1 in the absence of androgen. These mechanisms may contribute to the generally positive role of GATA2 in defining AR genome-wide binding patterns that determine androgen-responsive gene expression profiles. We also find that GATA2 and FoxA1 exhibit both independent and codependent co-occupancy of AR target gene enhancers. Identifying these determinants of AR transcriptional activity may provide a foundation for the development of future prostate cancer therapeutics that target pioneer factor function.

Xie C, Powell C, Yao M, et al.
Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C: a potential cancer biomarker.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014; 47:113-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes 2C (UBE2C) is an integral component of the ubiquitin proteasome system. UBE2C consists of a conserved core domain containing the catalytic Cys residue and an N-terminal extension. The core domain is required for ubiquitin adduct formation by interacting with the ubiquitin-fold domain in the E1 enzyme, and contributes to the E3 enzyme binding. UBE2C N-terminal extension regulates E3 enzyme activity as a part of an intrinsic inhibitory mechanism. UBE2C is required for the destruction of mitotic cyclins and securin, which are essential for spindle assembly checkpoint and mitotic exit. The UBE2C mRNA and/or protein levels are aberrantly increased in many cancer types with poor clinical outcomes. Accumulation of UBE2C stimulates cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth. UBE2C transgenic mice are prone to develop spontaneous tumors and carcinogen-induced tumor with evidence of chromosome aneuploidy.

Schiano C, Casamassimi A, Rienzo M, et al.
Involvement of Mediator complex in malignancy.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1845(1):66-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mediator complex (MED) is an evolutionarily conserved multiprotein, fundamental for growth and survival of all cells. In eukaryotes, the mRNA transcription is dependent on RNA polymerase II that is associated to various molecules like general transcription factors, MED subunits and chromatin regulators. To date, transcriptional machinery dysfunction has been shown to elicit broad effects on cell proliferation, development, differentiation, and pathologic disease induction, including cancer. Indeed, in malignant cells, the improper activation of specific genes is usually ascribed to aberrant transcription machinery. Here, we focus our attention on the correlation of MED subunits with carcinogenesis. To date, many subunits are mutated or display altered expression in human cancers. Particularly, the role of MED1, MED28, MED12, CDK8 and Cyclin C in cancer is well documented, although several studies have recently reported a possible association of other subunits with malignancy. Definitely, a major comprehension of the involvement of the whole complex in cancer may lead to the identification of MED subunits as novel diagnostic/prognostic tumour markers to be used in combination with imaging technique in clinical oncology, and to develop novel anti-cancer targets for molecular-targeted therapy.

Moelans CB, van der Groep P, Hoefnagel LD, et al.
Genomic evolution from primary breast carcinoma to distant metastasis: Few copy number changes of breast cancer related genes.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 344(1):138-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer initiation and progression is characterized by (epi)genetic aberrations. However, little is known about the changes that occur during breast cancer metastasis. In the present study, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification was used to compare copy numbers of 21 established oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes between 55 primary breast cancer samples and corresponding distant metastases. Distant breast cancer metastases generally showed similar gene copy number aberrations compared to their corresponding primary tumors. The few genes that showed differences between primary tumor and metastasis (PRDM14, MED1, CCNE1, TRAF4, MTDH, CDH1) have been implicated in the development of therapy resistance.

Ishino R, Minami K, Tanaka S, et al.
FGF7 supports hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and niche-dependent myeloblastoma cells via autocrine action on bone marrow stromal cells in vitro.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 440(1):125-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
FGF1 and FGF2 support hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) under stress conditions. In this study, we show that fibroblast growth factor (FGF7) may be a novel niche factor for HSPC support and leukemic growth. FGF7 expression was attenuated in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient for the MED1 subunit of the Mediator transcriptional coregulator complex. When normal mouse bone marrow (BM) cells were cocultured with Med1(+/+) MEFs or BM stromal cells in the presence of anti-FGF7 antibody, the growth of BM cells and the number of long-time culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs) decreased significantly. Anti-FGF7 antibody also attenuated the proliferation and cobblestone formation of MB1 stromal cell-dependent myeloblastoma cells. The addition of recombinant FGF7 to the coculture of BM cells and Med1(-/-) MEFs increased BM cells and LTC-ICs. FGF7 and its cognate receptor, FGFR2IIIb, were undetectable in BM cells, but MEFs and BM stromal cells expressed both. FGF7 activated downstream targets of FGFR2IIIb in Med1(+/+) and Med1(-/-) MEFs and BM stromal cells. Taken together, we propose that FGF7 supports HSPCs and leukemia-initiating cells indirectly via FGFR2IIIb expressed on stromal cells.

Hayden Gephart MG, Su YS, Bandara S, et al.
Neuropilin-2 contributes to tumorigenicity in a mouse model of Hedgehog pathway medulloblastoma.
J Neurooncol. 2013; 115(2):161-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway has been implicated in the most common childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma (MB). Given the toxicity of post-surgical treatments for MB, continued need exists for new, targeted therapies. Based upon our finding that Neuropilin (Nrp) transmembrane proteins are required for Hh signal transduction, we investigated the role of Nrp in MB cells. Cultured cells derived from a mouse Ptch (+/-) ;LacZ MB (Med1-MB), effectively modeled the Hh pathway-related subcategory of human MBs in vitro. Med1-MB cells maintained constitutively active Hh target gene transcription, and consistently formed tumors within one month after injection into mouse cerebella. The proliferation rate of Med1-MBs in culture was dependent upon Nrp2, while reducing Nrp1 function had little effect. Knockdown of Nrp2 prior to cell implantation significantly increased mouse survival, compared to transfection with a non-targeting siRNA. Knocking down Nrp2 specifically in MB cells avoided any direct effect on tumor vascularization. Nrp2 should be further investigated as a potential target for adjuvant therapy in patients with MB.

Zhang L, Cui J, Leonard M, et al.
Silencing MED1 sensitizes breast cancer cells to pure anti-estrogen fulvestrant in vitro and in vivo.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e70641 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pure anti-estrogen fulvestrant has been shown to be a promising ER antagonist for locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of patients developed resistance to this type of endocrine therapy but the molecular mechanisms governing cellular responsiveness to this agent remain poorly understood. Here, we've reported that knockdown of estrogen receptor coactivator MED1 sensitized fulvestrant resistance breast cancer cells to fulvestrant treatment. We found that MED1 knockdown further promoted cell cycle arrest induced by fulvestrant. Using an orthotopic xenograft mouse model, we found that knockdown of MED1 significantly reduced tumor growth in mice. Importantly, knockdown of MED1 further potentiated tumor growth inhibition by fulvestrant. Mechanistic studies indicated that combination of fulvestrant treatment and MED1 knockdown is able to cooperatively inhibit the expression of ER target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments further supported a role for MED1 in regulating the recruitment of RNA polymerase II and transcriptional corepressor HDAC1 on endogenous ER target gene promoter in the presence of fulvestrant. These results demonstrate a role for MED1 in mediating resistance to the pure anti-estrogen fulvestrant both in vitro and in vivo.

Seo WY, Jeong BC, Yu EJ, et al.
CCAR1 promotes chromatin loading of androgen receptor (AR) transcription complex by stabilizing the association between AR and GATA2.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2013; 41(18):8526-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor, plays a critical role in prostate cancer onset and progression, and its transcriptional function is mediated largely by distinct nuclear receptor co-regulators. Here, we show that cell cycle and apoptosis regulator 1 (CCAR1) functions as an AR co-activator. CCAR1 interacted with and enhanced the transcriptional activity of AR. Depletion of CCAR1 caused reduction in androgen-dependent expression of a subset of AR target genes. We further showed that CCAR1 is required for recruitment of AR, MED1 and RNA polymerase II to the enhancers of AR target genes and for androgen-induced long-range prostate specific antigen enhancer-promoter interaction. The molecular mechanism underlying CCAR1 function in AR-mediated transcription involves CCAR1-mediated enhanced recruitment of GATA2, a pioneer factor for AR, to AR-binding sites. CCAR1 stabilized the interaction between AR and GATA2 by interacting directly with both proteins, thereby facilitating AR and GATA2 occupancy on the enhancers. Furthermore, CCAR1 depletion inhibited the growth, migration, invasion of prostate cancer cells and reduced the tumorigenicity of prostate cancer cells in vivo. Our results firmly established CCAR1 as an AR co-activator that plays a key role in AR transcription complex assembly and has an important physiological role in androgen signaling and prostate tumorigenesis.

Misra P, Viswakarma N, Reddy JK
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α signaling in hepatocarcinogenesis.
Subcell Biochem. 2013; 69:77-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peroxisomes are subcellular organelles that are found in the cytoplasm of most animal cells. They perform diverse metabolic functions, including H2O2-derived respiration, β-oxidation of fatty acids, and cholesterol metabolism. Peroxisome proliferators are a large class of structurally dissimilar industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals that were originally identified as inducers of both the size and the number of peroxisomes in rat and mouse livers or hepatocytes in vitro. Exposure to peroxisome proliferators leads to a stereotypical orchestration of adaptations consisting of hepatocellular hypertrophy and hyperplasia, and transcriptional induction of fatty acid metabolizing enzymes regulated in parallel with peroxisome proliferation. Chronic exposure to peroxisome proliferators causes liver tumors in both male and female mice and rats. Evidence indicates a pivotal role for a subset of nuclear receptor superfamily members, called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), in mediating energy metabolism. Upon activation, PPARs regulate the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism and peroxisome proliferation, as well as genes involved in cell growth. In this review, we describe the molecular mode of action of PPAR transcription factors, including ligand binding, interaction with specific DNA response elements, transcriptional activation, and cross talk with other signaling pathways. We discuss the evidence that suggests that PPARα and transcriptional coactivator Med1/PBP, a key subunit of the Mediator complex play a central role in mediating hepatic steatosis to hepatocarcinogenesis. Disproportionate increases in H2O2-generating enzymes generates excess reactive oxygen species resulting in sustained oxidative stress and progressive endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress with activation of unfolded protein response signaling. Thus, these major contributors coupled with hepatocellular proliferation are the key players of peroxisome proliferators-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.

Wang X, Sun Y, Wong J, Conklin DS
PPARγ maintains ERBB2-positive breast cancer stem cells.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(49):5512-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Overexpression of the adverse prognostic marker ERBB2 occurs in 30% of breast cancers and is associated with aggressive disease and poor outcomes. Our recent findings have shown that NR1D1 and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ)-binding protein (PBP) act through a common pathway in upregulating several genes in the de novo fatty acid synthesis network, which is highly active in ERBB2-positive breast cancer cells. NR1D1 and PBP are functionally related to PPARγ, a well-established positive regulator of adipogenesis and lipid storage. Here, we report that inhibition of the PPARγ pathway reduces the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)-positive population in ERBB2-positive breast cancer cells. Results from in vitro tumorsphere formation assays demonstrate that the PPARγ antagonists GW9662 and T0070907 decrease tumorsphere formation in ERBB2-positive cells, but not other breast cells. We show that the mechanism by which GW9662 treatment causes a reduction in ALDH-positive population cells is partially due to ROS, as it can be rescued by treatment with N-acetyl-cysteine. Furthermore, global gene expression analyses show that GW9662 treatment suppresses the expression of several lipogenic genes, including ACLY, MIG12, FASN and NR1D1, and the stem-cell related genes KLF4 and ALDH in BT474 cells. Antagonist treatment also decreases the level of acetylation in histone 3 and histone 4 in BT474 cells, compared with MCF7 cells. In vivo, GW9662 pre-treatment inhibits the tumor-seeding ability of BT474 cells. Together, these results show that the PPARγ pathway is critical for the cancer stem cell properties of ERBB2-positive breast cancer cells.

Salnikova LE, Belopolskaya OB, Zelinskaya NI, Rubanovich AV
The potential effect of gender in CYP1A1 and GSTM1 genotype-specific associations with pediatric brain tumor.
Tumour Biol. 2013; 34(5):2709-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Brain tumors are the common site for solid tumors in childhood. Very few studies have investigated genes with low penetrance in relation to pediatric brain tumor (pBT) development. Brain tumors do occur more frequently in males compared to females regardless of age, tumor histology, or region of the world. Taken into account these facts, we have designed a study aimed to analyse the contribution of some genetic factors to pBP in males and females. Patients with glial and embryonic brain tumors (160 males, 124 females) and healthy controls (277 males, 187 females) were included in the study. All subjects were genotyped for eight polymorphic variants in the genes of xenobiotics detoxification CYP1A1 (rs2606345, rs4646903, rs1048943), GSTM1 (Ins/del), GSTT1 (Ins/del), repair ERCC2 (rs1799793, rs13181), and folate pathway MTHFR (rs1801133). Genotype-specific risks of pBT were sex-dependent. GSTM1 deletion and dual deletions in GSTM1-GSTT1 loci were associated with brain tumor in males (P = 1.2 × 10(-5); odds ratio (OR) = 2.56; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.45-3.85 and P = 4.9 × 10(-4); OR = 3.09; 95 % CI, 1.63-5.89, relatively). The increased risk of brain tumors was evident for CYP1A1 rs2606345 (P = 0.0028; OR = 2.06; 95 % CI, 1.27-3.34) and minor haplotypes rs2606345-rs1048943-rs4646903 in females (global haplotype association P value, 0.0011). This study provides first evidence for the different pronounced pBT associations in males and females. This phenomenon possibly reflects the sexual dimorphism as an important determinant of brain tumor biology.

Jacot W, Fiche M, Zaman K, et al.
The HER2 amplicon in breast cancer: Topoisomerase IIA and beyond.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1836(1):146-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2 gene amplification is observed in about 15% of breast cancers. The subgroup of HER2-positive breast cancers appears to be heterogeneous and presents complex patterns of gene amplification at the locus on chromosome 17q12-21. The molecular variations within the chromosome 17q amplicon and their clinical implications remain largely unknown. Besides the well-known TOP2A gene encoding Topoisomerase IIA, other genes might also be amplified and could play functional roles in breast cancer development and progression. This review will focus on the current knowledge concerning the HER2 amplicon heterogeneity, its clinical and biological impact and the pitfalls associated with the evaluation of gene amplifications at this locus, with particular attention to TOP2A and the link between TOP2A and anthracycline benefit. In addition it will discuss the clinical and biological implications of the amplification of ten other genes at this locus (MED1, STARD3, GRB7, THRA, RARA, IGFPB4, CCR7, KRT20, KRT19 and GAST) in breast cancer.

Murtaza M, Dawson SJ, Tsui DW, et al.
Non-invasive analysis of acquired resistance to cancer therapy by sequencing of plasma DNA.
Nature. 2013; 497(7447):108-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancers acquire resistance to systemic treatment as a result of clonal evolution and selection. Repeat biopsies to study genomic evolution as a result of therapy are difficult, invasive and may be confounded by intra-tumour heterogeneity. Recent studies have shown that genomic alterations in solid cancers can be characterized by massively parallel sequencing of circulating cell-free tumour DNA released from cancer cells into plasma, representing a non-invasive liquid biopsy. Here we report sequencing of cancer exomes in serial plasma samples to track genomic evolution of metastatic cancers in response to therapy. Six patients with advanced breast, ovarian and lung cancers were followed over 1-2 years. For each case, exome sequencing was performed on 2-5 plasma samples (19 in total) spanning multiple courses of treatment, at selected time points when the allele fraction of tumour mutations in plasma was high, allowing improved sensitivity. For two cases, synchronous biopsies were also analysed, confirming genome-wide representation of the tumour genome in plasma. Quantification of allele fractions in plasma identified increased representation of mutant alleles in association with emergence of therapy resistance. These included an activating mutation in PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha) following treatment with paclitaxel; a truncating mutation in RB1 (retinoblastoma 1) following treatment with cisplatin; a truncating mutation in MED1 (mediator complex subunit 1) following treatment with tamoxifen and trastuzumab, and following subsequent treatment with lapatinib, a splicing mutation in GAS6 (growth arrest-specific 6) in the same patient; and a resistance-conferring mutation in EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor; T790M) following treatment with gefitinib. These results establish proof of principle that exome-wide analysis of circulating tumour DNA could complement current invasive biopsy approaches to identify mutations associated with acquired drug resistance in advanced cancers. Serial analysis of cancer genomes in plasma constitutes a new paradigm for the study of clonal evolution in human cancers.

Jin F, Irshad S, Yu W, et al.
ERK and AKT signaling drive MED1 overexpression in prostate cancer in association with elevated proliferation and tumorigenicity.
Mol Cancer Res. 2013; 11(7):736-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
MED1 is a key coactivator of the androgen receptor (AR) and other signal-activated transcription factors. Whereas MED1 is overexpressed in prostate cancer cell lines and is thought to coactivate distinct target genes involved in cell-cycle progression and castration-resistant growth, the underlying mechanisms by which MED1 becomes overexpressed and its oncogenic role in clinical prostate cancer have remained unclear. Here, we report that MED1 is overexpressed in the epithelium of clinically localized human prostate cancer patients, which correlated with elevated cellular proliferation. In a Nkx3.1:Pten mutant mouse model of prostate cancer that recapitulates the human disease, MED1 protein levels were markedly elevated in the epithelium of both invasive and castration-resistant adenocarcinoma prostate tissues. Mechanistic evidence showed that hyperactivated ERK and/or AKT signaling pathways promoted MED1 overexpression in prostate cancer cells. Notably, ectopic MED1 overexpression in prostate cancer xenografts significantly promoted tumor growth in nude mice. Furthermore, MED1 expression in prostate cancer cells promoted the expression of a number of novel genes involved in inflammation, cell proliferation, and survival. Together, these findings suggest that elevated MED1 is a critical molecular event associated with prostate oncogenesis.

Cui J, Germer K, Wu T, et al.
Cross-talk between HER2 and MED1 regulates tamoxifen resistance of human breast cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2012; 72(21):5625-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite the fact that most breast cancer patients have estrogen receptor (ER) α-positive tumors, up to 50% of the patients are or soon develop resistance to endocrine therapy. It is recognized that HER2 activation is one of the major mechanisms contributing to endocrine resistance. In this study, we report that the ER coactivator MED1 is a novel cross-talk point for the HER2 and ERα pathways. Tissue microarray analysis of human breast cancers revealed that MED1 expression positively correlates most strongly with HER2 status of the tumors. MED1 was highly phosphorylated, in a HER2-dependent manner, at the site known to be critical for its activation. Importantly, RNAi-mediated attenuation of MED1 sensitized HER2-overexpressing cells to tamoxifen treatment. MED1 and its phosphorylated form, but not the corepressors N-CoR and SMRT, were recruited to the ERα target gene promoter by tamoxifen in HER2-overexpressing cells. Significantly, MED1 attenuation or mutation of MED1 phosphorylation sites was sufficient to restore the promoter recruitment of N-CoR and SMRT. Notably, we found that MED1 is required for the expression of not only traditional E2-ERα target genes but also the newly described EGF-ERα target genes. Our results additionally indicated that MED1 is recruited to the HER2 gene and required for its expression. Taken together, these findings support a key role for MED1 in HER2-mediated tamoxifen resistance and suggest its potential usage as a therapeutic target to simultaneously block both ERα and HER2 pathways for the treatment of this type of endocrine resistant breast cancer.

Höbaus J, Fetahu ISh, Khorchide M, et al.
Epigenetic regulation of the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1) in colon cancer cells.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2013; 136:296-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Calcitriol is the hormonally active form of vitamin D and has anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. Calcitriol and its precursor calcidiol (25(OH)D3) are degraded by the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 24-hydroxylase (CYP24A1). This enzyme is overexpressed in colorectal tumors, however, the mechanisms of this overexpression remain to be elucidated. CYP24A1 mRNA level differs among colorectal cancer cell lines and range from almost undetectable to high. Since DNA methylation and histone acetylation regulate CYP24A1 gene expression in prostate cancer cell lines, we investigated whether epigenetic mechanisms could explain the differences in basal expression of CYP24A1 in colon cancer cells. Methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) treatment resulted in an over 50-fold induction of CYP24A1 mRNA expression in Coga1A and HT-29 cells but in no response in Caco2/AQ and Coga13 cells. This finding is supported by a strong increase in CYP24A1 activity after DAC treatment in Coga1A (35%). In addition, calcitriol and DAC had synergistic effects on CYP24A1 gene transcription. Interestingly, the CYP24A1 promoter was not methylated in Coga1A and HT-29 (<5%), while in Caco2/AQ it was 62% methylated. This suggests that DNA demethylation must activate genes upstream of CYP24A1 rather than act on the gene itself. However, transcriptional regulators of CYP24A1 such as vitamin D receptor (VDR), retinoid X receptor (RXR), specificity protein 1 (SP1), or mediator complex subunit 1 (MED1) were not upregulated. We conclude that in colon cancer cells, CYP24A1 gene expression is inducible by methyltransferase and some histone deacetylase inhibitors in a cell line-dependent manner. This effect does not correlate with the methylation state of the promoter and therefore must affect genes upstream of CYP24A1. This article is part of a Special Issue 'Vitamin D Workshop'.

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