Gene Summary

Gene:MT2A; metallothionein 2A
Aliases: MT2
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (16)

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.

  • Breast Cancer
  • Zinc
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Alleles
  • Western Blotting
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Signal Transduction
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Promoter Regions
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Copper
  • Transcription
  • Messenger RNA
  • Staging
  • Poland
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Metals, Heavy
  • DNA Methylation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chromosome 16
  • Survival Rate
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genotype
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Gene Library
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Metallothionein
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: MT2A (cancer-related)

Ziółko E, Kokot T, Skubis A, et al.
The profile of melatonin receptors gene expression and genes associated with their activity in colorectal cancer: a preliminary report.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2015 Oct-Dec; 29(4):823-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The antiproliferative and immunomodulatory effects of melatonin (MLT) have been demonstrated in a variety of neoplasms including colorectal cancer (CRC). In humans and other mammals, MLT acts on target tissues through membrane and retinoid nuclear receptors. The aim of this study was to evaluate transcription activity of melatonin receptors and genes associated with regulation of their activity in colorectal adenocarcinoma tissues in relation to clinical stage of cancer. A total of 24 pairs of surgically removed tumoral and healthy (marginal) tissue samples from colorectal cancer patients at clinical stages I-II and III-IV were collected. As an additional control, twenty normal samples were tak¬en from people whose large intestine tissues were reported as non-tumoral after colonoscopy. Expression of mRNA genes was studied by microarray HG-U133A analysis. The analysis of gene expression profile was performed using commercially available oligonucleotide microarrays of HG-U133A. High increase of MT1 mRNA expression levels in all cancerous samples vs non-cancerous tissues was observed. The MT2 mRNA expression levels increased slightly in marginal and malignant samples. Among the genes participating in the cascade of signal transfer in cells activated by MLT via melatonin receptors, we found encoding genes (GNA11, OXTR, TPH1) only for differentiating stage III - IV of CRC. Monitoring the expression levels of genes that are related to melatonin receptors may offer a strategy to anticipate tumour development and estimate the molecular changes that occur during carcinogenesis. The mechanism behind this association needs further elucidation.

Polanska H, Heger Z, Gumulec J, et al.
Effect of HPV on tumor expression levels of the most commonly used markers in HNSCC.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):7193-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
Approximately 90 % of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC), and the overall 5-year survival rate is not higher than 50 %. There is much evidence that human papillomavirus (HPV) infection may influence the expression of commonly studied HNSCC markers. Our study was focused on the possible HPV-specificity of molecular markers that could be key players in important steps of cancerogenesis (MKI67, EGF, EGFR, BCL-2, BAX, FOS, JUN, TP53, MT1A, MT2A, VEGFA, FLT1, MMP2, MMP9, and POU5F). qRT-PCR analysis of these selected genes was performed on 74 biopsy samples of tumors from patients with histologically verified HNSCC (22 HPV-, 52 HPV+). Kaplan-Meier analysis was done to determine the relevance of these selected markers for HNSCC prognosis. In conclusion, our study confirms the impact of HPV infection on commonly studied HNSCC markers MT2A, MMP9, FLT1, VEGFA, and POU5F that were more highly expressed in HPV-negative HNSCC patients and also shows the relevance of studied markers in HPV-positive and HPV-negative HNSCC patients.

Song X, Sun X, Ma G, et al.
Family association study between melatonin receptor gene polymorphisms and polycystic ovary syndrome in Han Chinese.
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2015; 195:108-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The melatonin receptor (MTNR) gene, reported to be associated with insulin sensitivity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, could be a plausible candidate gene for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study was designed to investigate whether an association exists between two single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants (rs2119882 and rs10830963) of the MTNR gene and PCOS in Han Chinese.
STUDY DESIGN: In total, 263 family trios (789 participants) were enrolled in this family-based transmission disequilibrium test (TDT). Genotypes were obtained by sequencing. In total, 135 trios of rs2119882 and 127 trios of rs10830963 were tested.
RESULTS: An association was detected between rs2119882 (p=0.0209) and PCOS, suggesting that the MTNR gene may indicate increased susceptibility to PCOS in Chinese. No significant association was found for rs10830963 (transmitted:non-transmitted=76:51, p=0.1573). The association between the MTNR gene variants and clinical characteristics of women with PCOS was investigated. CC genotype carriers had higher levels of clinical and metabolic features than the TC and TT genotypes. A significant difference in transmission of allele C of rs2119882 was found between obese and non-obese women with PCOS (Chi-squared=5.5983, p=0.018).
CONCLUSION: This study may provide a basis for further studies of the MTNR gene in the aetiology of PCOS.

Tan JY, Chen JL, Huang X, Yuan CL
Screening and verification of proteins that interact with HSPC238.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(6):3097-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
HSPC238 is a recently identified tumor suppressor and demonstrates ubiquitin ligase E3 enzyme activity. HSPC238 was found to be significantly downregulated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vivo and to inhibit the proliferation and invasion of hepatoma cells in vitro; however, the underlying molecular mechanism is largely unknown. In the present study, we screened for and identified proteins that physically interact with HSPC238. A bait vector for yeast two-hybrid was constructed with human HSPC238 gene cDNA. Yeast two-hybrid screening was performed using a human fetal liver cDNA library. Multiple reporter gene assays, DNA sequencing and BLAST comparison analysis were performed on positive clones. Protein interaction of screened candidates with HSPC238 was further validated by confocal microscopy, co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays. Yeast two-hybrid screening demonstrated 124 positive clones. Multiple reporter gene assays with LacZ, HIS and ADE2 selective media identified 12 genes. Further co-localization, co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays demonstrated that HMOX1, RPS27A, ubiquitinB and MT2A interacted with HSPC238. These four proteins are involved in tumor development and progression, and are associated with the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Our results suggest that HSPC238 may play a tumor suppressor role and interact with these proteins via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The identification and validation of proteins interacting with HSP238 may lead to the discovery of novel mechanisms through which HSPC238 suppresses tumorigenesis in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

Wongprayoon P, Govitrapong P
Melatonin attenuates methamphetamine-induced neuroinflammation through the melatonin receptor in the SH-SY5Y cell line.
Neurotoxicology. 2015; 50:122-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Methamphetamine is a well-known psychostimulant drug, the abuse of which is a serious worldwide public health issue. In addition to its addictive effect, methamphetamine exposure has been shown to be associated with neuroinflammation in several brain areas. Several lines of evidence indicate that TNFα plays an important role in the methamphetamine-induced neuroinflammatory processes that result in apoptotic cell death. Many investigators have demonstrated the anti-neuroinflammatory effects of melatonin, but the mechanism by which this occurs still needs to be explored. In this study, we investigated the effect of methamphetamine on TNFα expression and NFκB activation in the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. We demonstrated the time-dependent effect of methamphetamine on the induction of TNFα expression as well as IκB degradation and NFκB nuclear translocation. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of melatonin on methamphetamine-induced TNFα overexpression and NFκB activation. The results showed that pretreatment with 100nM melatonin could prevent the TNFα overexpression caused by methamphetamine exposure. This attenuating effect was prevented by pre-incubation with luzindole, an antagonist of the melatonin MT1/MT2 receptors. Furthermore, methamphetamine-induced IκB degradation and NFκB nuclear translocation were also suppressed by pretreatment with melatonin, and pretreatment with luzindole diminished these protective effects. MT2 knockdown by siRNA abrogated the anti-inflammatory effect exerted by melatonin. From these findings, we propose that melatonin exerts its protective effects on methamphetamine-induced neuroinflammation through the membrane receptor, at least in part MT2 subtype, in the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line.

Raudenska M, Sztalmachova M, Gumulec J, et al.
Prognostic significance of the tumour-adjacent tissue in head and neck cancers.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(12):9929-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
Even with significant advances in operative skills and adjuvant therapies, the overall survival of patients suffering with head and neck squamous cancers (HNSCC) is unsatisfactory. Accordingly, no clinically useful prognostic biomarkers have been found yet for HNSCC. Many studies analysed the expression of potential markers in tumour tissues compared to adjacent tissues. Nevertheless, due to the sharing of the same microenvironment, adjacent tissues show molecular similarity to tumour tissues. Thus, gene expression patterns of 94 HNSCC tumorous tissues were compared with 31 adjacent tissues and with 10 tonsillectomy specimens of non-cancer individuals. The genes analysed at RNA level using quantitative RT-PCR and correlated with clinico-pathological conditions were as follows: EGF, EGFR, MKI67, BCL2, BAX, FOS, JUN, TP53, VEGF, FLT1, MMP2, MMP9, MT1A and MT2A. The elevated MT2A, BAX, EGF and JUN expression was associated with the influence of tumour cells on the rearrangement of healthy tissues, as well as a significant shift in the BAX/BCL2 ratio. Our investigation also indicated that adjacent tissues play an important role in cancerogenesis by releasing several tumour-supporting factors such as EGF. A gradual increase in the metallothionein expression, from the lowest one in tonsillectomy samples to the highest ones in tumour samples, suggests that MT expression might be tissue reaction to the presence of tumour cells. The results of this study confirmed the significance of metallothionein in tumori-genesis and gave evidences for its use as a potential HNSCC biomarker. Furthermore, this study highlighted the importance of histologically normal tumour-adjacent tissue in prediction of HNSCC progress.

Fűri I, Kalmár A, Wichmann B, et al.
Cell Free DNA of Tumor Origin Induces a 'Metastatic' Expression Profile in HT-29 Cancer Cell Line.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0131699 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial cells in malignant conditions release DNA into the extracellular compartment. Cell free DNA of tumor origin may act as a ligand of DNA sensing mechanisms and mediate changes in epithelial-stromal interactions.
AIMS: To evaluate and compare the potential autocrine and paracrine regulatory effect of normal and malignant epithelial cell-related DNA on TLR9 and STING mediated pathways in HT-29 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and normal fibroblasts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA isolated from normal and tumorous colonic epithelia of fresh frozen surgically removed tissue samples was used for 24 and 6 hour treatment of HT-29 colon carcinoma and HDF-α fibroblast cells. Whole genome mRNA expression analysis and qRT-PCR was performed for the elements/members of TLR9 signaling pathway. Immunocytochemistry was performed for epithelial markers (i.e. CK20 and E-cadherin), DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3a) and NFκB (for treated HDFα cells).
RESULTS: Administration of tumor derived DNA on HT29 cells resulted in significant (p<0.05) mRNA level alteration in 118 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including overexpression of metallothionein genes (i.e. MT1H, MT1X, MT1P2, MT2A), metastasis-associated genes (i.e. TACSTD2, MACC1, MALAT1), tumor biomarker (CEACAM5), metabolic genes (i.e. INSIG1, LIPG), messenger molecule genes (i.e. DAPP, CREB3L2). Increased protein levels of CK20, E-cadherin, and DNMT3a was observed after tumor DNA treatment in HT-29 cells. Healthy DNA treatment affected mRNA expression of 613 genes (logFc≥1, p≤0.05), including increased expression of key adaptor molecules of TLR9 pathway (e.g. MYD88, IRAK2, NFκB, IL8, IL-1β), STING pathway (ADAR, IRF7, CXCL10, CASP1) and the FGF2 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: DNA from tumorous colon epithelium, but not from the normal epithelial cells acts as a pro-metastatic factor to HT-29 cells through the overexpression of pro-metastatic genes through TLR9/MYD88 independent pathway. In contrast, DNA derived from healthy colonic epithelium induced TLR9 and STING signaling pathway in normal fibroblasts.

Shigemura T, Shiohara M, Kato M, et al.
Superoxide-Generating Nox5α Is Functionally Required for the Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1-Induced Cell Transformation Phenotype.
J Virol. 2015; 89(17):9080-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is associated with adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and transforms T cells in vitro. To our knowledge, the functional role of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating NADPH oxidase 5 (Nox5) in HTLV-1 transformation remains undefined. Here, we found that Nox5α expression was upregulated in 88% of 17 ATL patient samples but not in normal peripheral blood T cells. Upregulation of the Nox5α variant was transcriptionally sustained by the constitutive Janus family tyrosine kinase (Jak)-STAT5 signaling pathway in interleukin-2 (IL-2)-independent HTLV-1-transformed cell lines, including MT1 and MT2, whereas it was transiently induced by the IL-2-triggered Jak-STAT5 axis in uninfected T cells. A Nox inhibitor, diphenylene iodonium, and antioxidants such as N-acetyl cysteine blocked proliferation of MT1 and MT2 cells. Ablation of Nox5α by small interfering RNAs abrogated ROS production, inhibited cellular activities, including proliferation, migration, and survival, and suppressed tumorigenicity in immunodeficient NOG mice. The findings suggest that Nox5α is a key molecule for redox-signal-mediated maintenance of the HTLV-1 transformation phenotype and could be a potential molecular target for therapeutic intervention in cancer development.
IMPORTANCE: HTLV-1 is the first human oncogenic retrovirus shown to be associated with ATL. Despite the extensive study over the years, the mechanism underlying HTLV-1-induced cell transformation is not fully understood. In this study, we addressed the expression and function of ROS-generating Nox family genes in HTLV-1-transformed cells. Our report provides the first evidence that the upregulated expression of Nox5α is associated with the pathological state of ATL peripheral blood mononuclear cells and that Nox5α is an integral component of the Jak-STAT5 signaling pathway in HTLV-1-transformed T cells. Nox5α-derived ROS are critically involved in the regulation of cellular activities, including proliferation, migration, survival, and tumorigenicity, in HTLV-1-transformed cells. These results indicate that Nox5α-derived ROS are functionally required for maintenance of the HTLV-1 transformation phenotype. The finding provides new insight into the redox-dependent mechanism of HTLV-1 transformation and raises an intriguing possibility that Nox5α serves as a potential molecular target to treat HTLV-1-related leukemia.

Rezk NA, Zidan HE, Riad M, et al.
Metallothionein 2A expression and its relation to different clinical stages and grades of breast cancer in Egyptian patients.
Gene. 2015; 571(1):17-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To assess the relation of blood MT-2A expression, serum zinc, copper, Cu/Zn ratio, total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS) and oxidant status index (OSI) with benign and malignant breast tumors, also, their relation to different clinical stages and grades of breast cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Unrelated 199 female patients with breast tumor and 120 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Metallothionein-2A (MT-2A) expression was assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serum MT-2A levels were measured by ELISA. Serum copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Serum TOS and TAS levels were measured colorimetrically.
RESULTS: Our study demonstrated that blood metallothionein-2A mRNA level, serum MT-2A, copper, Cu/Zn ratio, total oxidant status and oxidant status index were significantly increased, while, serum zinc level and total antioxidant status were significantly decreased in patients with breast cancer and benign breast disease as compared to controls and in breast cancer group as compared to the benign one.
CONCLUSIONS: Blood metallothionein-2A expression and serum MT-2A levels could be important prognostic indices of less differentiated, more aggressive breast cancer phenotype. Disturbance of copper, zinc and oxidative stress status might contribute to the pathogenesis of breast tumor and could be useful biomarkers for diagnosing and monitoring such disease.

Starska K, Bryś M, Forma E, et al.
Metallothionein 2A core promoter region genetic polymorphism and its impact on the risk, tumor behavior, and recurrences of sinonasal inverted papilloma (Schneiderian papilloma).
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(11):8559-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Inverted papillomas are a unique group of locally aggressive benign epithelial neoplasms in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses arising from the Schneiderian mucosa. Metallothioneins are sulfhydryl-rich heavy metal-binding proteins required for metal toxicity protection and regulation of biological mechanisms including proliferation and invasion. The goal of this study was to identify three SNPs at loci -5 A/G (rs28366003) and -209 A/G (rs1610216) in the core promoter region and at locus +838 C/G (rs10636) in 3'UTR region of the MT2A gene with IP risk and with tumor invasiveness according to Krouse staging. Genotyping was performed using the PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism technique in 130 genetically unrelated IP individuals, and 418 randomly selected healthy volunteers. The presence of the rs28366003 SNP was significantly related to the risk of IP within the present population-based case-control study. Compared to homozygous common allele carriers, heterozygosity and homozygosity for the G variant had a significantly increased risk of IP (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 7.71, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.01-14.91, p(dominant) < 0.001). Moreover, risk allele carriers demonstrated higher Krouse stage (pT1 vs. pT2-4) (OR = 19.32; 95% CI, 2.30-173.53; p < 0.0001), diffuse tumor growth (OR = 4.58; 95% CI, 1.70-12.11; p = 0.0008), bone destruction (OR = 4.13; 95% CI, 1.50-11.60; p = 0.003), and higher incidence of tumor recurrences (OR = 5.11; 95% CI, 1.68-15.20; p = 0.001). The findings suggest that MT2A gene variation rs28366003 may be implicated in the etiology of sinonasal inverted papilloma in a Polish population.

Starska K, Bryś M, Forma E, et al.
The effect of metallothionein 2A core promoter region single-nucleotide polymorphism on accumulation of toxic metals in sinonasal inverted papilloma tissues.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 285(3):187-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metallothioneins (MTs) are intracellular thiol-rich heavy metal-binding proteins which join trace metal ions protecting cells against heavy metal toxicity and regulate metal distribution and donation to various enzymes and transcription factors. The goal of this study was to identify the -5 A/G (rs28366003) single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the core promoter region of the MT2A gene, and to investigate its effect on allele-specific gene expression and Cd, Zn, Cu and Ni content in sinonasal inverted papilloma tissue (IP), with non-cancerous sinonasal mucosa (NCM) as a control. The MT2A promoter region -5 A/G SNP was identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism using 117 IP and 132 NCM. MT2A gene analysis was performed by quantitative real-time PCR. Metal levels were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The frequency of A allele carriage was 99.2% and 100% in IP and NCM, respectively. The G allele carriage was detected in 23.9% of IP and in 12.1% of the NCM samples. As a result, a significant association of -5 A/G SNP in MT2A gene with mRNA expression in both groups was determined. A significant association was identified between the -5 A/G SNP in the MT2A gene with mRNA expression in both groups. A highly significant association was detected between the rs28366003 genotype and Cd and Zn content in IP. Furthermore, significant differences were identified between A/A and A/G genotype with regard to the type of metal contaminant. The Spearman rank correlation results showed the MT2A gene expression and both Cd and Cu levels were negatively correlated. The results obtained in this study suggest that the -5 A/G SNP in the MT2A gene may have an effect on allele-specific gene expression and toxic metal accumulation in sinonasal inverted papilloma.

Person RJ, Ngalame NN, Makia NL, et al.
Chronic inorganic arsenic exposure in vitro induces a cancer cell phenotype in human peripheral lung epithelial cells.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 286(1):36-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Inorganic arsenic is a human lung carcinogen. We studied the ability of chronic inorganic arsenic (2 μM; as sodium arsenite) exposure to induce a cancer phenotype in the immortalized, non-tumorigenic human lung peripheral epithelial cell line, HPL-1D. After 38 weeks of continuous arsenic exposure, secreted matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) activity increased to over 200% of control, levels linked to arsenic-induced cancer phenotypes in other cell lines. The invasive capacity of these chronic arsenic-treated lung epithelial (CATLE) cells increased to 320% of control and colony formation increased to 280% of control. CATLE cells showed enhanced proliferation in serum-free media indicative of autonomous growth. Compared to control cells, CATLE cells showed reduced protein expression of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN (decreased to 26% of control) and the putative tumor suppressor gene SLC38A3 (14% of control). Morphological evidence of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurred in CATLE cells together with appropriate changes in expression of the EMT markers vimentin (VIM; increased to 300% of control) and e-cadherin (CDH1; decreased to 16% of control). EMT is common in carcinogenic transformation of epithelial cells. CATLE cells showed increased KRAS (291%), ERK1/2 (274%), phosphorylated ERK (p-ERK; 152%), and phosphorylated AKT1 (p-AKT1; 170%) protein expression. Increased transcript expression of metallothioneins, MT1A and MT2A and the stress response genes HMOX1 (690%) and HIF1A (247%) occurred in CATLE cells possibly in adaptation to chronic arsenic exposure. Thus, arsenic induced multiple cancer cell characteristics in human peripheral lung epithelial cells. This model may be useful to assess mechanisms of arsenic-induced lung cancer.

Itoh Y
Membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases: Their functions and regulations.
Matrix Biol. 2015 May-Jul; 44-46:207-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) form a subgroup of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family, and there are 6 MT-MMPs in humans. MT-MMPs are further sub-classified into type I transmembrane-type (MT1, -MT2-, MT3- and MT5-MMPs) and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored type (MT4- and MT6-MMPs). In either case MT-MMPs are tethered to the plasma membrane, and this cell surface expression provides those enzymes with unique functionalities affecting various cellular behaviours. Among the 6 MT-MMPs, MT1-MMP is the most investigated enzyme and many of its roles and regulations have been revealed to date, but the potential roles and regulatory mechanisms of other MT-MMPs are gradually getting clearer as well. Further investigations of MT-MMPs are likely to reveal novel pathophysiological mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies for different diseases in the future.

Liu F, Li H, Chang H, et al.
Identification of hepatocellular carcinoma-associated hub genes and pathways by integrated microarray analysis.
Tumori. 2015 Mar-Apr; 101(2):206-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a dismal malignancy associated with multiple molecular changes. The purpose of this study was to identify the differentially expressed genes and analyze the biological processes related to HCC.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Datasets of HCC were obtained from the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus. Integrated analysis of differentially expressed genes was performed using the INMEX program. Then Gene Ontology enrichment analyses and pathway analysis were performed based on the Gene Ontology website and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. A protein-protein interaction network was constructed using the Cytoscape software; the netwerk served to find hub genes for HCC. Real-time RT-PCR was used to validate the microarray data for hub genes.
RESULTS: We identified 273 genes that were differentially expressed in HCC. Gene Ontology enrichment analyses revealed response to cadmium ion, cellular response to cadmium ion, and cellular response to zinc ion for these genes. Pathway analysis showed that significant pathways included fatty acid metabolism, butanoate metabolism, and PPAR signaling pathway. The protein-protein interaction network indicated that CDH1, ECHS1, ACAA1, MT2A, and MYC were important genes which participated in many interactions. Experimental validation of the role of four upregulated genes (ECHS1, ACAA1, MT2A and MYC) in the progression of HCC was carried out.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study displayed genes that were consistently differentially expressed in HCC. The biological pathways and protein-protein interaction networks associated with those genes were also identified. We predicted that CDH1, ECHS1, ACAA1, MT2A, and MYC might be target genes for diagnosing HCC.

Sztalmachova M, Gumulec J, Raudenska M, et al.
Molecular response of 4T1-induced mouse mammary tumours and healthy tissues to zinc treatment.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(4):1810-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer patients negative for the nuclear oestrogen receptor α have a particularly poor prognosis. Therefore, the 4T1 cell line (considered as a triple-negative model) was chosen to induce malignancy in mice. The aim of the present study was to assess if zinc ions, provided in excess, may significantly modify the process of mammary oncogenesis. Zn(II) ions were chosen because of their documented antitumour effects. Zn(II) is also known to induce the expression of metallothioneins (MT) and glutathion (GSH). A total dose of zinc sulphate per one gram of mouse weight used in the experiment was 0.15 mg. We studied the expression of MT1, MT2, TP53 and MTF-1 genes and also examined the effect of the tumour on antioxidant capacity. Tumour-free mice had significantly higher expression levels of the studied genes (p<0.003). Significant differences were also revealed in the gene expression between the tissues (p<0.001). The highest expression levels were observed in the liver. As compared to brain, lung and liver, significantly lower concentrations of MT protein were found in the primary tumour; an inverse trend was observed in the concentration of Zinc(II). In non-tumour mice, the amount of hepatic hydrosulphuryl groups significantly increased by the exposure to Zn(II), but the animals with tumour induction showed no similar trend. The primary tumour size of zinc-treated animals was 20% smaller (p=0.002); however, no significant effect on metastasis progression due to the zinc treatment was discovered. In conclusion, Zn(II) itself may mute the growth of primary breast tumours especially at their early stages.

Brazão-Silva MT, Rodrigues MF, Eisenberg AL, et al.
Metallothionein gene expression is altered in oral cancer and may predict metastasis and patient outcomes.
Histopathology. 2015; 67(3):358-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Metallothioneins (MTs) are proteins associated with the carcinogenesis and prognosis of various tumours. Previous studies have shown their potential as biomarkers in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Aiming to understand more clearly the function of MTs in OSCC we evaluated, for the first time, the gene expression profile of MTs in this neoplasm.
MATERIALS AND RESULTS: Tissue samples from 35 cases of tongue and/or floor of mouth OSCC, paired with their corresponding non-neoplastic oral mucosa (NNOM), were retrieved (2007-09). All tissues were analysed for the following genes using TaqMan(®) reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assays: MT1A, MT1B, MT1E, MT1F, MT1G, MT1H, MT1X, MT2A, MT3 and MT4. The expression of MT1B and MT1H was seldom detected in both OSCC and NNOM. A significant loss of MT1A, MT1X, MT3 and MT4 expression and gain of MT1F expression was observed in OSCC, compared to NNOM. Cases with MT1G down-regulation exhibited the worst prognoses. The up-regulation of MT1X was restricted to non-metastatic cases, whereas up-regulation of MT3 was related to cases with lymph node metastasis.
CONCLUSIONS: Metallothionein mRNA expression is altered significantly in oral squamous cell carcinomas. The expression of MT1G, MT1X and MT3 may aid in the prognostic discrimination of OSCC cases.

Rabstein S, Harth V, Justenhoven C, et al.
Polymorphisms in circadian genes, night work and breast cancer: results from the GENICA study.
Chronobiol Int. 2014; 31(10):1115-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The role of genetic variants and environmental factors in breast cancer etiology has been intensively studied in the last decades. Gene-environment interactions are now increasingly being investigated to gain more insights into the development of breast cancer, specific subtypes, and therapeutics. Recently, night shift work that involves circadian disruption has gained rising interest as a potential non-genetic breast cancer risk factor. Here, we analyzed genetic polymorphisms in genes of cellular clocks, melatonin biosynthesis and signaling and their association with breast cancer as well as gene-gene and gene-night work interactions in a German case-control study on breast cancer.
METHODS: GENICA is a population-based case-control study on breast cancer conducted in the Greater Region of Bonn. Associations between seven polymorphisms in circadian genes (CLOCK, NPAS2, ARTNL, PER2 and CRY2), genes of melatonin biosynthesis and signaling (AANAT and MTNR1B) and breast cancer were analyzed with conditional logistic regression models, adjusted for potential confounders for 1022 cases and 1014 controls. Detailed shift-work information was documented for 857 breast cancer cases and 892 controls. Gene-gene and gene-shiftwork interactions were analyzed using model-based multifactor dimensionality reduction (mbMDR).
RESULTS: For combined heterozygotes and rare homozygotes a slightly elevated breast cancer risk was found for rs8150 in gene AANAT (OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.01-1.36), and a reduced risk for rs3816358 in gene ARNTL (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.69-0.97) in the complete study population. In the subgroup of shift workers, rare homozygotes for rs10462028 in the CLOCK gene had an elevated risk of breast cancer (OR for AA vs. GG: 3.53; 95% CI 1.09-11.42). Shift work and CLOCK gene interactions were observed in the two-way interaction analysis. In addition, gene-shiftwork interactions were detected for MTNR1B with NPAS2 and ARNTL.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the results of our population-based case-control study support a putative role of the CLOCK gene in the development of breast cancer in shift workers. In addition, higher order interaction analyses suggest a potential relevance of MTNR1B with the key transcriptional factor NPAS2 with ARNTL. Hence, in the context of circadian disruption, multivariable models should be preferred that consider a wide range of polymorphisms, e.g. that may influence chronotype or light sensitivity. The investigation of these interactions in larger studies is needed.

Starska K, Krześlak A, Forma E, et al.
The -5 A/G single-nucleotide polymorphism in the core promoter region of MT2A and its effect on allele-specific gene expression and Cd, Zn and Cu levels in laryngeal cancer.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2014; 280(2):256-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metallothioneins (MTs) are low molecular weight, cysteine-rich heavy metal-binding proteins which participate in the mechanisms of Zn homeostasis, and protect against toxic metals. MTs contain metal-thiolate cluster groups and suppress metal toxicity by binding to them. The aim of this study was to determine the -5 A/G (rs28366003) single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the core promoter region of the MT2A gene and to investigate its effect on allele-specific gene expression and Cd, Zn and Cu content in squamous cell laryngeal cancer (SCC) and non-cancerous laryngeal mucosa (NCM) as a control. The MT2A promoter region -5 A/G SNP was determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism using 323 SCC and 116 NCM. MT2A gene analysis was performed by quantitative real-time PCR. The frequency of A allele carriage was 94.2% and 91.8% in SCC and NCM, respectively, while G allele carriage was detected in 5.8% and 8.2% of SCC and NCM samples, respectively. As a result, a significant association was identified between the -5 A/G SNP in the MT2A gene with mRNA expression in both groups. Metal levels were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The significant differences were identified between A/A and both the A/G and G/G genotypes, with regard to the concentration of the contaminating metal. The Spearman rank correlation results showed that the MT2A expression and Cd, Zn, Cu levels were negatively correlated. Results obtained in this study suggest that -5 A/G SNP in MT2A gene may have an effect on allele-specific gene expression and accumulation of metal levels in laryngeal cancer.

Ekmekcioglu C
Expression and putative functions of melatonin receptors in malignant cells and tissues.
Wien Med Wochenschr. 2014; 164(21-22):472-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melatonin, the popular hormone of the darkness, is primarily synthesized in the pineal gland, and acts classically through the G-protein coupled plasma membrane melatonin receptors MT1 and MT2, respectively. Although some of the receptor mediated functions of melatonin, especially those on the (central) circadian system, have been more or less clarified, the functional meaning of MT-receptors in various peripheral organs are still not sufficiently investigated yet. There is, however, accumulating evidence for oncostatic effects of melatonin with both, antioxidative and MT-receptor mediated mechanisms possibly playing a role. This review briefly summarizes the physiology of melatonin and MT-receptors, and discusses the expression and function of MT-receptors in human cancer cells and tissues.

Starska K, Krześlak A, Forma E, et al.
Genetic polymorphism of metallothionein 2A and risk of laryngeal cancer in a Polish population.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(7):75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metallothioneins are intracellular regulators of many biological mechanisms including differentiation, proliferation, angiogenesis and invasion, which are crucial processes in carcinogenesis. This study examines the association between three single-nucleotide polymorphisms at loci -5 A/G (rs28366003) and -209 A/G (rs1610216) in the core promoter region and at locus +838 C/G (rs10636) in 3'UTR region of the metallothionein 2A (MT2A) gene with squamous cell laryngeal cancer (SCLC) risk, as well as with tumor invasiveness according to tumor front grading (TFG). Genotyping was performed using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism technique in 323 genetically unrelated individuals with SCLC and 418 randomly selected healthy volunteers. Only one SNP (rs28366003) was significantly related to laryngeal cancer in the study population. Compared with homozygous common allele carriers, heterozygous and homozygous for the G variant had significantly increased risk of SCLC [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.90, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.53-5.21, p dominant < 0.001]. The A/G allele carriers at rs28366003 MT2A were at higher risk of SCLC development (OR = 2.63, 95 % CI 1.41-2.85, p < 0.001]. There was a significant association between the rs28366003 and stage and TFG classification. Most carriers of minor allele had a higher stage (OR = 2.76, 95 % CI 1.11-7.52, p = 0.03), increased cancer aggressiveness, as defined by a higher total TFG score (>18 points) (OR = 3.76, 95 % CI 1.15-12.56, p = 0.03) and diffuse tumor growth (OR = 5.86, 95 % Cl 0.72-44.79, p = 0.08). The results of this study raise a possibility that a genetic variation of MT2A may be implicated in the etiology of laryngeal cancer in a Polish population.

Holubova M, Axmanova M, Gumulec J, et al.
KRAS NF-κB is involved in the development of zinc resistance and reduced curability in prostate cancer.
Metallomics. 2014; 6(7):1240-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Zinc(II) ions are important components of many proteins and are involved in numerous cellular processes such as apoptosis or drug resistance. Prostate cancer has a unique relationship with zinc(II) ions. However, the relationship was examined only in short-term zinc(II) treatments. Therefore, the aim of this study was to create zinc-resistant prostatic cell lines at various stages of the disease (22Rv1 and PC-3) and a normal prostate epithelium (PNT1A) using a long-term zinc exposure. Consequently, the expression profile of the following genes was analyzed: BAX, Bcl-2, Beclin-1, CFLAR, HIF1α, KRAS, mTOR, MT1A, MT2A, NF-κB1, p53, survivin, ZIP1, ZnT-1. The resistance was verified using the MTT test; on average a 1.35-fold lower zinc(II) toxicity (higher IC50) was determined in zinc(II)-resistant cells. The associated resistance to cisplatin was also determined; IC50 for cisplatin was 1.52-fold higher. With regard to the gene expression profiles, our results indicate that differential mechanisms participate in the short-term zinc toxicity regulation and long-term resistance; the short-term treatment was associated with MT2A (p < 0.001), ZnT-1 (p < 0.001), and MT1A (p < 0.03) and the long-term resistance was associated particularly with NF-κB1 (p < 0.001), CFLAR (p < 0.001), KRAS (p < 0.001), p53 (p < 0.002), survivin (p = 0.02), ZIP1 (p = 0.002), BAX (p = 0.005), and HIF1α (p = 0.05). Therefore, the KRAS-PI3K-NF-κB pathway is expected to play a crucial role in the regulation of zinc resistance. In summary, compared to previous studies, identical mechanisms of resistance were demonstrated on multiple cell lines, both non-tumor and tumorous, derived both from primary and advanced secondary sites.

Ellina MI, Bouris P, Aletras AJ, et al.
EGFR and HER2 exert distinct roles on colon cancer cell functional properties and expression of matrix macromolecules.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1840(8):2651-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ErbB receptors, EGFR and HER2, have been implicated in the development and progression of colon cancer. Several intracellular pathways are mediated upon activation of EGFR and/or HER2 by EGF. However, there are limited data regarding the EGF-mediated signaling affecting functional cell properties and the expression of extracellular matrix macromolecules implicated in cancer progression.
METHODS: Functional assays, such as cell proliferation, transwell invasion assay and migration were performed to evaluate the impact of EGFR/HER2 in constitutive and EGF-treated Caco-2 cells. Signaling pathways were evaluated using specific intracellular inhibitors. Western blot was also utilized to examine the phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2. Real time PCR was performed to evaluate gene expression of matrix macromolecules.
RESULTS: EGF increases cell proliferation, invasion and migration and importantly, EGF mediates overexpression of EGFR and downregulation of HER2. The EGF-EGFR axis is the main pathway affecting colon cancer's invasive potential, proliferative and migratory ability. Intracellular pathways (PI3K-Akt, MEK1/2-Erk and JAK-STAT) are all implicated in the migratory profile. Notably, MT1- and MT2-MMP as well as TIMP-2 are downregulated, whereas uPA is upregulated via an EGF-EGFR network. The EGF-EGFR axis is also implicated in the expression of syndecan-4 and TIMP-1. However, glypican-1 upregulation by EGF is mainly mediated via HER2.
CONCLUSIONS AND GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The obtained data highlight the crucial importance of EGF on the expression of both receptors and on the EGF-EGFR/HER2 signaling network, reveal the distinct roles of EGFR and HER2 on expression of matrix macromolecules and open a new area in designing novel agents in targeting colon cancer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Matrix-mediated cell behaviour and properties.

Cheng Y, Hong M, Cheng B
Identified differently expressed genes in renal cell carcinoma by using multiple microarray datasets running head: differently expressed genes in renal cell carcinoma.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014; 18(7):1033-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify differentially expressed genes and analysis biological processes related to renal cell carcinoma.
METHODS: A meta-analysis was performed using the Rank Product package of Gene Expression Omnibus datasets of renal cell carcinoma. Then Gene Ontology enrichment analyses and pathway analysis were performed based on Gene Ontology website and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Protein-protein interaction network was constructed used Cytoscape software.
RESULTS: We identified a total of 1992 differentially expressed genes Rank Product package of renal cell carcinoma, 840 of them were not involved in individual DEGs. Gene Ontology enrichment analyses showed that those 840 genes enriched in terms such as response to hormone stimulus, endogenous stimulus, biological adhesion, and cell proliferation. Pathway analysis showed that significant pathways included pyruvate metabolism, glycerolipid metabolism, complement and coagulation cascades and so on. Protein-protein interaction network indicated that MT2A, MYC, CENPF and NEK2 has high degree which participated many interactions.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study displayed genes that were consistently differentially expressed in renal cell carcinoma, and the biological pathways, protein-protein interaction network associated with those genes.

Alkamal I, Ikromov O, Tölle A, et al.
An epigenetic screen unmasks metallothioneins as putative contributors to renal cell carcinogenesis.
Urol Int. 2015; 94(1):99-110 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Functional epigenetic studies aimed to re-express transcriptionally silenced genes in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may facilitate the ongoing search for appropriate markers supporting clinical decision-making.
METHODS: The RCC cell line A-498 was treated with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor zebularine under low-cytotoxicity conditions. RNA chip analyses revealed several upregulated transcripts that were further validated by qPCR on 49 matched pairs of human kidney tissues to identify suitable marker candidates.
RESULTS: Members of the metallothionein (MT) group were remarkably downregulated in tumor tissues. MT1G and MT1H expression was decreased in 98% of cases, whereas MT2A expression was downregulated in 73% of all cases. Comparison of 308 reactivated transcripts upregulated more than 1.5-fold to published data revealed a high number of shared candidates, which supports the consistency of this experimental approach.
CONCLUSION: MTs were found to be transcriptionally inactivated in human RCC. Our observations support the hypothesis of a possible involvement of these metalloproteins in renal cell carcinogenesis. Additional functional studies of these genes may provide clues for understanding renal cancers as essentially metabolic diseases.

Habel N, Hamidouche Z, Girault I, et al.
Zinc chelation: a metallothionein 2A's mechanism of action involved in osteosarcoma cell death and chemotherapy resistance.
Cell Death Dis. 2013; 4:e874 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary tumor of bone occurring in children and adolescents. The histological response to chemotherapy represents a key clinical factor related to survival. We previously showed that statins exhibit antitumor effects in vitro, inducing apoptotic cell death, reducing cell migration and invasion capacities and strengthening cytotoxic effects in combination with standard drugs. Comparative transcriptomic analysis between control and statin-treated cells revealed strong expression of several genes, including metallothionein (MT) 2A. MT2A overexpression by lentiviral transduction reduced bioavailable zinc levels, an effect associated with reduced osteosarcoma cell viability and enhanced cell differentiation. In contrast, MT2A silencing did not modify cell viability but strongly inhibited expression of osteoblastic markers and differentiation process. MT2A overexpression induced chemoresistance to cytotoxic drugs through direct chelation of platinum-containing drugs and indirect action on p53 zinc-dependent activity. In contrast, abrogation of MT2A enhanced cytotoxic action of chemotherapeutic drugs on osteosarcoma cells. Finally, clinical samples derived from chemonaive biopsies revealed that tumor cells expressing low MT2A levels correspond to good prognostic (good responder patients with longer survival rate), whereas high MT2A levels were associated with adverse prognosis (poor responder patients). Taken together, these data show that MT2A contributes to chemotherapy resistance in osteosarcoma, an effect partially mediated by zinc chelation. The data also suggest that MT2A may be a potential new prognostic marker for osteosarcoma sensitivity to chemotherapy.

Nasrabadi NN, Ataee R, Abediankenari S, et al.
Expression of MT2 receptor in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma and its relationship with clinicopathological features.
J Gastrointest Cancer. 2014; 45(1):54-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer accounts 8% of the total cancer cases and 10% of total cancer deaths worldwide. The indoleamine N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, better known as melatonin, is the principal hormone produced by the pineal gland. Recently, it has shown some anticancer role in some malignancies such as breast and colon cancer; also, some of its protective roles in the GI tract are as free radical scavenger and as antimitogenic and apoptotic agents. Based on the anticancer effects of melatonin and wide distribution of this neurohormone in the GI tract and some proposed physiologic and pharmacologic roles for this neurohormone, this study is initially scheduled to determine the expression of melatonin receptor MT2 in tissue samples of adenocarcinoma cancer patients.
METHODS: For this aim, a total of 30 gastric adenocarcinoma patients and 30 normal individuals were selected and examined for MT2 gene expression by real-time PCR.
RESULTS: Our results have shown interestingly high expression for MT2 receptor in cancer and marginal cancer tissues compared with normal people.
CONCLUSIONS: According to our results, it is concluded that for the first time, the expression of MT2 receptor in gastric adenocarcinoma tissues which was in parallel with breast and colon cancer studies and high expression of this receptor in the marginal tissues indicate refractory mechanism which shows the defending role of melatonin in the GI system. Our experiments has not shown any relationship between MT2 receptor expression and grade and clinicopathological features of gastric tumor, so we cannot conclude any relationship between this receptor expression and progression of the tumor, although this expression can be considered as an etiology.

Raudenska M, Gumulec J, Podlaha O, et al.
Metallothionein polymorphisms in pathological processes.
Metallomics. 2014; 6(1):55-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metallothioneins (MTs) are a class of metal-binding proteins characterized by a high cysteine content and low molecular weight. MTs play an important role in metal metabolism and protect cells against the toxic effects of radiation, alkylating agents and oxygen free radicals. The evidence that individual genetic characteristics of MTs play an important role in physiological and pathological processes associated with antioxidant defense and detoxification inspired targeted studies of genetic polymorphisms in a clinical context. In recent years, common MT polymorphisms were identified and associated with, particularly, western lifestyle diseases such as cancer, complications of atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes mellitus along with related complications. This review summarizes all evidence regarding MT polymorphisms of major human MTs (MT1, MT2, MT3 and MT4), their relation to pathological processes, and outlines specific applications of MTs as a set of genetic markers for certain pathologies.

Liang GY, Lu SX, Xu G, et al.
Expression of metallothionein and Nrf2 pathway genes in lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues.
World J Surg Oncol. 2013; 11:199 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like (Nrf)2 and metallothionein have been implicated in carcinogenesis. This study investigated the expression of Nrf2 and of Nrf2-targeted genes (NQO1 and GCLC) and the genes for the metallothionein (MT) isoforms (MT-1A and MT-2A) in human lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues.
METHODS: Surgically removed lung cancer samples (n = 80) and cancer-surrounding tissues (n = 38) were collected from Zunyi Medical College Hospital, China. Total RNA was extracted, purified, and used for real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis of interested genes.
RESULTS: Expression of the Nrf2-targed genes NQO1 and GCLC tended to be higher (30 to 60%) in lung cancers, but was not significantly different from that in peri-cancer tissues. By contrast, expression of the genes for M)-1A, MT-2A, and the metal transcription factor MTF-1 were three-fold to four-fold lower in lung cancers.
CONCLUSION: In surgical samples of lung cancer, MT expression was generally downregulated, whereas Nrf2 expression tended to be upregulated. These changes could play an integral role in lung carcinogenesis.

Pan Y, Huang J, Xing R, et al.
Metallothionein 2A inhibits NF-κB pathway activation and predicts clinical outcome segregated with TNM stage in gastric cancer patients following radical resection.
J Transl Med. 2013; 11:173 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metallothionein 2A (MT2A) as a stress protein, plays a protective role in gastric mucosal barrier. Its role in the development of gastric cancer (GC) is unclear. The mechanism of MT2A will be investigated in gastric tumorigenesis.
METHODS: MT2A expression was detected in 973 gastric specimens. The biological function was determined through ectopic expressing MT2A in vitro and in vivo. The possible downstream effectors of MT2A were investigated in NF-κB signaling. The protein levels of MT2A, IκB-α and p-IκB-α (ser32/36) expression were analyzed in a subset of 258 patients by IHC staining. The prognostic effects of MT2A, status of IκB-α and TNM stage were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test.
RESULTS: Decreased MT2A expression was detected in cell lines and primary tumors of GC. In clinical data, loss of MT2A (MT2A + in Normal (n =171, 76.0%); Intestinal metaplasia (n = 118, 50.8%); GC (n = 684. 22.4%, P < 0.001)) was associated with poor prognosis (P < 0.001), advanced TNM stage (P = 0.05), and down-regulation of IκB-α expression (P < 0.001). Furthermore, MT2A was the independent prognostic signature segregated from the status of IκB-α and pathological features. In addition, MT2A inhibited cell growth through apoptosis and G2/M arrest, which negatively regulated NF-κB pathway through up-regulation of IκB-α and down-regulation of p-IκB-α and cyclin D1 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: MT2A might play a tumor suppressive activity through inhibiting NF-κB signaling and may be a prognostic biomarker and potential target for individual therapy of GC patients.

Juang HH, Chung LC, Sung HC, et al.
Metallothionein 3: an androgen-upregulated gene enhances cell invasion and tumorigenesis of prostate carcinoma cells.
Prostate. 2013; 73(14):1495-506 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metallothioneins (MT1, MT2, MT3, and MT4) are regarded as modulators regulating a number of biological processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, and invasion. We determined the effects of androgen, cadmium, and arsenic on MT1/2 and MT3 in prostate carcinoma cells, and evaluated the functional effects of MT3 on cell proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis.
METHODS: We determined the expression of MT1/2 and MT3 in prostate carcinoma cells by immunoblotting assays or real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions. The effects of ectopic MT3 overexpression or MT3-knockdown on cell proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis were determined by (3) H-thymidine incorporation, matrigel invasion, and murine xenograft studies. The effects of androgen, cadmium, and arsenic on target genes were assessed using immunoblotting and reporter assays.
RESULTS: Androgen, cadmium, and arsenic treatments enhanced gene expression of MT1/2 and MT3 in prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells. Results of immunohistochemical staining indicated MT3 overexpression was found predominantly in the nuclear areas of PC-3 cells overexpressing MT3. Overexpression of MT3 significantly increased cell proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenic activities in PC-3 cells in vitro and in vivo. MT3 overexpression downregulated the gene expressions of N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (Ndrg1) and maspin, and attenuated blocking effects of doxorubicin in PC-3 cells on cell proliferation. MT3-knockdown enhanced Ndrg1 and maspin expressions in LNCaP cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The experiments indicate that MT3 is an androgen-upregulated gene, and promotes tumorigenesis of prostate carcinoma cells. The downregulation of Ndrg1 and maspin gene expressions appears to account for the enhancement of proliferative and invasive functions of MT3 in PC-3 cells.

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