Gene Summary

Gene:MUC7; mucin 7, secreted
Aliases: MG2
Summary:This gene encodes a small salivary mucin, which is thought to play a role in facilitating the clearance of bacteria in the oral cavity and to aid in mastication, speech, and swallowing. The central domain of this glycoprotein contains tandem repeats, each composed of 23 amino acids. This antimicrobial protein has antibacterial and antifungal activity. The most common allele contains 6 repeats, and some alleles may be associated with susceptibility to asthma. Alternatively spliced transcript variants with different 5' UTR, but encoding the same protein, have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2014]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

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

Latest Publications: MUC7 (cancer-related)

Kamburov A, Lawrence MS, Polak P, et al.
Comprehensive assessment of cancer missense mutation clustering in protein structures.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(40):E5486-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Large-scale tumor sequencing projects enabled the identification of many new cancer gene candidates through computational approaches. Here, we describe a general method to detect cancer genes based on significant 3D clustering of mutations relative to the structure of the encoded protein products. The approach can also be used to search for proteins with an enrichment of mutations at binding interfaces with a protein, nucleic acid, or small molecule partner. We applied this approach to systematically analyze the PanCancer compendium of somatic mutations from 4,742 tumors relative to all known 3D structures of human proteins in the Protein Data Bank. We detected significant 3D clustering of missense mutations in several previously known oncoproteins including HRAS, EGFR, and PIK3CA. Although clustering of missense mutations is often regarded as a hallmark of oncoproteins, we observed that a number of tumor suppressors, including FBXW7, VHL, and STK11, also showed such clustering. Beside these known cases, we also identified significant 3D clustering of missense mutations in NUF2, which encodes a component of the kinetochore, that could affect chromosome segregation and lead to aneuploidy. Analysis of interaction interfaces revealed enrichment of mutations in the interfaces between FBXW7-CCNE1, HRAS-RASA1, CUL4B-CAND1, OGT-HCFC1, PPP2R1A-PPP2R5C/PPP2R2A, DICER1-Mg2+, MAX-DNA, SRSF2-RNA, and others. Together, our results indicate that systematic consideration of 3D structure can assist in the identification of cancer genes and in the understanding of the functional role of their mutations.

Xiong X, Wu M, Zhang H, et al.
Atg5 siRNA inhibits autophagy and enhances norcantharidin-induced apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(4):1321-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cantharidin is a terpenoid isolated from Chinese blister beetles, and norcantharidin (NCTD) is a demethylated analog of cantharidin. It has been reported that cantharidin and norcantharidin have anticancer activities. Growing evidence suggests that inhibiting autophagy can induce apoptosis in the human hepatoma cell line HepG2. The objective of the present study was to determine whether inhibition of autophagy enhances NCTD-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. HepG2 cells were cultured in DMEM containing NCTD. Autophagy was upregulated in the presence of HBSS media supplemented with Ca2+ and Mg2+ and 10 mM HEPES and downregulated in the presence of 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and Atg5 siRNA. Autophagy, cell viability, and the expression of apoptotic proteins were assessed in HepG2 cells. Our data showed that cell apoptosis generally increased after norcantharidin treatment in HepG2 cells. Expression of LC3-II, an autophagosome marker, increased when cells were treated with HBSS media. It also increased cell viability. However, in the presence of 3-MA and Atg5 siRNA, autophagy was inhibited, LC3-II expression decreased and cell apoptosis increased. There was increased expression of Bax, cytochrome c, cleaved caspase-3, caspase-9 and PARP and the mitochondrial membrane potential was disrupted. Additionally, increased apoptosis was accompanied by increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. NCTD has anticancer activity, and Atg5 siRNA-mediated downregulation of autophagy enhanced its anticancer actions due to ROS generation and activation of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.

Behera SK, Praharaj AB, Dehury B, Negi S
Exploring the role and diversity of mucins in health and disease with special insight into non-communicable diseases.
Glycoconj J. 2015; 32(8):575-613 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucins are major glycoprotein components of the mucus that coats the surfaces of cells lining the respiratory, digestive, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. They function to protect epithelial cells from infection, dehydration and physical or chemical injury, as well as to aid the passage of materials through a tract i.e., lubrication. They are also implicated in the pathogenesis of benign and malignant diseases of secretory epithelial cells. In Human there are two types of mucins, membrane-bound and secreted that are originated from mucous producing goblet cells localized in the epithelial cell layer or in mucous producing glands and encoded by MUC gene. Mucins belong to a heterogeneous family of high molecular weight proteins composed of a long peptidic chain with a large number of tandem repeats that form the so-called mucin domain. The molecular weight is generally high, ranging between 0.2 and 10 million Dalton and all mucins contain one or more domains which are highly glycosylated. The size and number of repeats vary between mucins and the genetic polymorphism represents number of repeats (VNTR polymorphisms), which means the size of individual mucins can differ substantially between individuals which can be used as markers. In human it is only MUC1 and MUC7 that have mucin domains with less than 40% serine and threonine which in turn could reduce number of PTS domains. Mucins can be considered as powerful two-edged sword, as its normal function protects from unwanted substances and organisms at an arm's length while, malfunction of mucus may be an important factor in human diseases. In this review we have unearthed the current status of different mucin proteins in understanding its role and function in various non-communicable diseases in human with special reference to its organ specific locations. The findings described in this review may be of direct relevance to the major research area in biomedicine with reference to mucin and mucin associated diseases.

Roskoski R
A historical overview of protein kinases and their targeted small molecule inhibitors.
Pharmacol Res. 2015; 100:1-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Protein kinases play a predominant regulatory role in nearly every aspect of cell biology and they can modify the function of a protein in almost every conceivable way. Protein phosphorylation can increase or decrease enzyme activity and it can alter other biological activities such as transcription and translation. Moreover, some phosphorylation sites on a given protein are stimulatory while others are inhibitory. The human protein kinase gene family consists of 518 members along with 106 pseudogenes. Furthermore, about 50 of the 518 gene products lack important catalytic residues and are called protein pseudokinases. The non-catalytic allosteric interaction of protein kinases and pseudokinases with other proteins has added an important regulatory feature to the biochemistry and cell biology of the protein kinase superfamily. With rare exceptions, a divalent cation such as Mg2+ is required for the reaction. All protein kinases exist in a basal state and are activated only as necessary by divergent regulatory stimuli. The mechanisms for switching between dormant and active protein kinases can be intricate. Phosphorylase kinase was the first protein kinase to be characterized biochemically and the mechanism of its regulation led to the discovery of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase A, or PKA), which catalyzes the phosphorylation and activation of phosphorylase kinase. This was the first protein kinase cascade or signaling module to be elucidated. The epidermal growth factor receptor-Ras-Raf-MEK-ERK signaling module contains protein-tyrosine, protein-serine/threonine, and dual specificity protein kinases. PKA has served as a prototype of this enzyme family and more is known about this enzyme than any other protein kinase. The inactive PKA holoenzyme consists of two regulatory and two catalytic subunits. After binding four molecules of cAMP, the holoenzyme dissociates into a regulatory subunit dimer (each monomer binds two cAMP) and two free and active catalytic subunits. PKA and all other protein kinase domains have a small amino-terminal lobe and large carboxyterminal lobe as determined by X-ray crystallography. The N-lobe and C-lobe form a cleft that serves as a docking site for MgATP. Nearly all active protein kinases contain a K/E/D/D signature sequence that plays important structural and catalytic roles. Protein kinases contain hydrophobic catalytic and regulatory spines and collateral shell residues that are required to assemble the active enzyme. There are two general kinds of conformational changes associated with most protein kinases. The first conformational change involves the formation of an intact regulatory spine to form an active enzyme. The second conformational change occurs in active kinases as they toggle between open and closed conformations during their catalytic cycles. Because mutations and dysregulation of protein kinases play causal roles in human disease, this family of enzymes has become one of the most important drug targets over the past two decades. Imatinib was approved by the United States FDA for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in 2001; this small molecule inhibits the BCR-Abl protein kinase oncoprotein that results from the formation of the Philadelphia chromosome. More than two dozen other orally effective mechanism-based small molecule protein kinase inhibitors have been subsequently approved by the FDA. These drugs bind to the ATP-binding site of their target enzymes and extend into nearby hydrophobic pockets. Most of these protein kinase inhibitors prolong survival in cancer patients only weeks or months longer than standard cytotoxic therapies. In contrast, the clinical effectiveness of imatinib against chronic myelogenous leukemia is vastly superior to that of any other targeted protein kinase inhibitor with overall survival lasting a decade or more. However, the near universal and expected development of drug resistance in the treatment of neoplastic disorders requires new approaches to solve this therapeutic challenge. Cancer is the predominant indication for these drugs, but disease targets are increasing. For example, we can expect the approval of new drugs inhibiting other protein kinases in the treatment of illnesses such as hypertension, Parkinson's disease, and autoimmune diseases.

Oh HR, An CH, Yoo NJ, Lee SH
Frameshift mutations of MUC15 gene in gastric and its regional heterogeneity in gastric and colorectal cancers.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2015; 21(3):713-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucins are important in tumorigenesis and expressional alterations of mucins are common in human cancers. A membrane-bound mucin MUC15 and secreted mucins MUC4 and MUC7 are known to involve in tumorigenesis, but their mutation status in cancers remains unknown. Aim of this study was to explore whether MUC4, MUC7 and MUC15 genes are mutated and expressionally altered in gastric (GC) and colorectal cancers (CRC). In a public database, we found that MUC15 and MUC7 genes had mononucleotide repeats in the coding sequences that might be mutation targets in the cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI). We analyzed the mutations in 90 GC and 141 CRC (high MSI (MSI-H) or stable MSI/low MSI (MSS/MSI-L)) by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. In the present study, we found MUC15 frameshift mutations (14.7% of GC and 15.2% of CRC with MSI-H), MUC 7 frameshift mutations (2.9% of GC with MSI-H) and MUC4 frameshift mutations (8.8% of GC and 3.8% of CRC with MSI-H). These mutations were not found in in MSS/MSI-L (0/118). Additionally, we analyzed intratumoral heterogeneity (ITH) of MUC15 mutation in 16 CRC and found that seven CRC (43.8%) harbored regional ITH of MUC15. We also analyzed MUC15 expression in GC and CRC by immunohistochemistry. Negative MUC15 expression was identified in 15-41% of the GC and CRC irrespective of MSI status. Of note, the negative expression was more common in those with MUC15 mutations. We identified alterations of MUC genes at various levels (frameshift mutations, genetic ITH and expression loss), which together might play a role in tumorigenesis of GC and CRC with MSI-H. Our data suggest that mutation analysis in multiple regions is needed for a better evaluation of mutation status in CRC with MSI-H.

Pondugula SR, Flannery PC, Apte U, et al.
Mg2+/Mn2+-dependent phosphatase 1A is involved in regulating pregnane X receptor-mediated cytochrome p450 3A4 gene expression.
Drug Metab Dispos. 2015; 43(3):385-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Variations in the expression of human pregnane X receptor (hPXR)-mediated cytochrome p450 3A4 (CYP3A4) in liver can alter therapeutic response to a variety of drugs and may lead to potential adverse drug interactions. We sought to determine whether Mg(2+)/Mn(2+)-dependent phosphatase 1A (PPM1A) regulates hPXR-mediated CYP3A4 expression. PPM1A was found to be coimmunoprecipitated with hPXR. Genetic or pharmacologic activation of PPM1A led to a significant increase in hPXR transactivation of CYP3A4 promoter activity. In contrast, knockdown of endogenous PPM1A not only attenuated hPXR transactivation, but also increased proliferation of HepG2 human liver carcinoma cells, suggesting that PPM1A expression levels regulate hPXR, and that PPM1A expression is regulated in a proliferation-dependent manner. Indeed, PPM1A expression and hPXR transactivation were found to be significantly reduced in subconfluent HepG2 cells compared with confluent HepG2 cells, suggesting that both PPM1A expression and hPXR-mediated CYP3A4 expression may be downregulated in proliferating livers. Elevated PPM1A levels led to attenuation of hPXR inhibition by tumor necrosis factor-α and cyclin-dependent kinase-2, which are known to be upregulated and essential during liver regeneration. In mouse regenerating livers, similar to subconfluent HepG2 cells, expression of both PPM1A and the mouse PXR target gene cyp3a11 was found to be downregulated. Our results show that PPM1A can positively regulate PXR activity by counteracting PXR inhibitory signaling pathways that play a major role in liver regeneration. These results implicate a novel role for PPM1A in regulating hPXR-mediated CYP3A4 expression in hepatocytes and may explain a mechanism for CYP3A repression in regenerating livers.

Funato Y, Yamazaki D, Mizukami S, et al.
Membrane protein CNNM4-dependent Mg2+ efflux suppresses tumor progression.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(12):5398-410 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intracellular Mg(2+) levels are strictly regulated; however, the biological importance of intracellular Mg(2+) levels and the pathways that regulate them remain poorly understood. Here, we determined that intracellular Mg(2+) is important in regulating both energy metabolism and tumor progression. We determined that CNNM4, a membrane protein that stimulates Mg(2+) efflux, binds phosphatase of regenerating liver (PRL), which is frequently overexpressed in malignant human cancers. Biochemical analyses of cultured cells revealed that PRL prevents CNNM4-dependent Mg(2+) efflux and that regulation of intracellular Mg(2+) levels by PRL and CNNM4 is linked to energy metabolism and AMPK/mTOR signaling. Indeed, treatment with the clinically available mTOR inhibitor rapamycin suppressed the growth of cancer cells in which PRL was overexpressed. In ApcΔ(14/+) mice, which spontaneously form benign polyps in the intestine, deletion of Cnnm4 promoted malignant progression of intestinal polyps to adenocarcinomas. IHC analyses of tissues from patients with colon cancer demonstrated an inverse relationship between CNNM4 expression and colon cancer malignancy. Together, these results indicate that CNNM4-dependent Mg(2+) efflux suppresses tumor progression by regulating energy metabolism.

Zhang Z, Faouzi M, Huang J, et al.
N-Myc-induced up-regulation of TRPM6/TRPM7 channels promotes neuroblastoma cell proliferation.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(17):7625-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intracellular levels of the divalent cations Ca2+ and Mg2+ are important regulators of cell cycle and proliferation. However, the precise mechanisms by which they are regulated in cancer remain incompletely understood. The channel kinases TRPM6 and TRPM7 are gatekeepers of human Ca2+/Mg2+ metabolism. Here, we investigated the human neuroblastoma cell line SHEP-21N in which the MYCN oncogene (encoding N-Myc) can be reversibly expressed under control of an inducible repressor. We report that N-Myc expression increases cell growth and up-regulates both TRPM6 and TRPM7 expression. Membrane current analyses reveal that endogenous TRPM6/TRPM7 currents exhibit reduced Mg·ATP suppression, increased Mg2+ sensitivity, and diminished sensitivity to 2-APB inhibition. These properties are consistent with N-Myc-induced increase of heteromeric TRPM7/TRPM6 channels promoting Ca2+ and Mg2+ uptake. Genetic suppression of TRPM6/TRPM7 through siRNA inhibits cell proliferation, suggesting that N-Myc can promote neuroblastoma cell proliferation through up-regulation of divalent cation-transporting channels.

Zhang C, Chen Y, Wang M, et al.
PPM1D silencing by RNA interference inhibits the proliferation of lung cancer cells.
World J Surg Oncol. 2014; 12:258 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: PPM1D (protein phosphatase, Mg2+/Mn2+ dependent, 1D) has been reported to be involved in multiple human tumors. This study was designed to investigate the functional role of PPM1D in lung cancer cells.
METHODS: Expression levels of PPM1D were analyzed in A549 and H1299 cells by real-time PCR and Western blotting. Lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was used to knock down PPM1D expression in both cell lines. The effects of PPM1D on lung cancer cell growth were investigated by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide), colony formation and flow cytometry assays.
RESULTS: Knockdown of PPM1D in lung cancer cells resulted in decreased cell proliferation and impaired colony formation ability. Moreover, flow cytometry analysis showed that knockdown of PPM1D arrested cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase. Furthermore, PPM1D silencing downregulated the expression of cyclin B1 in H1299 cells. Therefore, it is reasonable to speculate that the mechanisms by which PPM1D knockdown alleviates cell growth may be partly via the induction of cell cycle arrest due to the suppression of cyclin B1.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that PPM1D silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) may be a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of lung cancer.

Li FY, Chaigne-Delalande B, Su H, et al.
XMEN disease: a new primary immunodeficiency affecting Mg2+ regulation of immunity against Epstein-Barr virus.
Blood. 2014; 123(14):2148-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an oncogenic gammaherpesvirus that infects and persists in 95% of adults worldwide and has the potential to cause fatal disease, especially lymphoma, in immunocompromised hosts. Primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs) that predispose to EBV-associated malignancies have provided novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of immune defense against EBV. We have recently characterized a novel PID now named "X-linked immunodeficiency with magnesium defect, EBV infection, and neoplasia" (XMEN) disease characterized by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding magnesium transporter 1 (MAGT1), chronic high-level EBV with increased EBV-infected B cells, and heightened susceptibility to EBV-associated lymphomas. The genetic etiology of XMEN disease has revealed an unexpected quantitative role for intracellular free magnesium in immune functions and has led to novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Here, we review the clinical presentation, genetic mutation spectrum, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and diagnostic and therapeutic considerations for this previously unrecognized disease.

Sun Y, Selvaraj S, Varma A, et al.
Increase in serum Ca2+/Mg2+ ratio promotes proliferation of prostate cancer cells by activating TRPM7 channels.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(1):255-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TRPM7 is a novel magnesium-nucleotide-regulated metal current (MagNuM) channel that is regulated by serum Mg(2+) concentrations. Changes in Mg(2+) concentration have been shown to alter cell proliferation in various cells; however, the mechanism and the ion channel(s) involved have not yet been identified. Here we demonstrate that TRPM7 is expressed in control and prostate cancer cells. Supplementation of intracellular Mg-ATP or addition of external 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate inhibited MagNuM currents. Furthermore, silencing of TRPM7 inhibited whereas overexpression of TRPM7 increased endogenous MagNuM currents, suggesting that these currents are dependent on TRPM7. Importantly, although an increase in the serum Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio facilitated Ca(2+) influx in both control and prostate cancer cells, a significantly higher Ca(2+) influx was observed in prostate cancer cells. TRPM7 expression was also increased in cancer cells, but its expression was not dependent on the Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio per se. Additionally, an increase in the extracellular Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio led to a significant increase in cell proliferation of prostate cancer cells when compared with control cells. Consistent with these results, age-matched prostate cancer patients also showed a subsequent increase in the Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio and TRPM7 expression. Altogether, we provide evidence that the TRPM7 channel has an important role in prostate cancer and have identified that the Ca(2+)/Mg(2+) ratio could be essential for the initiation/progression of prostate cancer.

Mason MJ, Schaffner C, Floto RA, Teo QA
Constitutive expression of a Mg2+-inhibited K+ current and a TRPM7-like current in human erythroleukemia cells.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012; 302(6):C853-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Whole cell patch-clamp experiments were undertaken to define the basal K(+) conductance(s) in human erythroleukemia cells and its contribution to the setting of resting membrane potential. Experiments revealed a non-voltage-activated, noninactivating K(+) current. The magnitude of the current recorded under whole cell conditions was inhibited by an increase in free intracellular Mg(2+) concentration. Activation or inactivation of the Mg(2+)-inhibited K(+) current (MIP) was paralleled by activation or inactivation of a Mg(2+)-inhibited TRPM7-like current displaying characteristics indistinguishable from those reported for molecularly identified TRPM7 current. The MIP and TRPM7 currents were inhibited by 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors. However, inhibition of the MIP current was temporally distinct from inhibition of TRPM7 current, allowing for isolation of the MIP current. Isolation of the MIP conductance revealed a current reversing near the K(+) equilibrium potential, indicative of a highly K(+)-selective conductance. Consistent with this finding, coactivation of the nonselective cation current TRPM7 and the MIP current following dialysis with nominally Mg(2+)-free pipette solution resulted in hyperpolarized whole cell reversal potentials, consistent with an important role for the MIP current in the setting of a negative resting membrane potential. The MIP and TRPM7-like conductances were constitutively expressed under in vivo conditions of intracellular Mg(2+), as judged by their initial detection and subsequent inactivation following dialysis with a pipette solution containing 5 mM free Mg(2+). The MIP current was blocked in a voltage-dependent fashion by extracellular Cs(+) and, to a lesser degree, by Ba(2+) and was blocked by extracellular La(3+) and 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate. MIP currents were unaffected by blockers of ATP-sensitive K(+) channels, human ether-à-go-go-related gene current, and intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels. In addition, the MIP current displayed characteristics distinct from conventional inwardly rectifying K(+) channels. A similar current was detected in the leukemic cell line CHRF-288-11, consistent with this current being more generally expressed in cells of leukemic origin.

Mahomed F
Recent advances in mucin immunohistochemistry in salivary gland tumors and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oral Oncol. 2011; 47(9):797-803 [PubMed] Related Publications
This review focuses on the immunohistochemical expression of members of the MUC-type mucin family in salivary gland tumors and head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Information is available on changes in the expression levels and distribution profiles of MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6 and MUC7 in tumors of the salivary glands; and of MUC1, MUC2 and MUC4 in HNSCC. In salivary gland tumors the expression patterns of MUC2, MUC3, MUC5AC and MUC6 appear to be very closely correlated with the histopathological tumor type indicating their potential use to improve diagnostic accuracy in salivary gland neoplasia. Some MUC-type mucins have emerged as valuable prognostic indicators in pleomorphic adenoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma and HNSCC. Nine antibodies directed against different MUC1 antigens have thus far been examined in HNSCC of which monoclonal antibodies DF3, HMFG-1 and Ma695 have shown significant correlations with disease outcome. The importance of taking the specific anti-MUC antibody into consideration when comparing the results of different studies on MUC expression in salivary gland tumors and HNSCC is also highlighted in this review.

Carrara S, Cangi MG, Arcidiacono PG, et al.
Mucin expression pattern in pancreatic diseases: findings from EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsies.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2011; 106(7):1359-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Alterations in mucin (MUC) glycosylation and expression have been described in cancer. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) can provide material for molecular biology analysis. This study assessed the feasibility of evaluating MUC expression from material obtained by EUS-FNA and studied the profile of MUC expression in benign and malignant pancreatic lesions.
METHODS: A total of 90 patients with solid or cystic pancreatic lesions underwent FNA. The aspirated material was used for cytological analysis and RNA extraction to assess the expression pattern of MUCs by reverse transcription-PCR with primers specific for the MUC1, MUC2, MUC3, MUC4, MUC5A, MUC5B, MUC6, and MUC7 genes.
RESULTS: RNA extraction was successful in 81% of the biopsies. The prevalences of MUC1, MUC2, MUC4, and MUC7 in ductal adenocarcinoma were 57.7, 51.4, 18.9, and 73.0%, respectively. Fifty percent of benign lesions and neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), and 63% of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) were positive for MUC1. Twenty-five percent of benign lesions, 86% of NETs, and 47% of IPMNs were positive for MUC2. Of NETs, 50% were positive for MUC1, and 14% were positive for MUC7. None of the benign lesions or NETs expressed MUC4. MUC7 expression was highly significant for adenocarcinoma (P=0.007) and borderline for IPMN (P=0.05). MUC7 was expressed in 37.5% of chronic pancreatitis cases.
CONCLUSIONS: RNA can be extracted from samples obtained under EUS-FNA. MUC7 could serve as a potential biological marker to identify malignant lesions, especially pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Costa-Rodrigues J, Teixeira CA, Fernandes MH
Paracrine-mediated osteoclastogenesis by the osteosarcoma MG63 cell line: is RANKL/RANK signalling really important?
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2011; 28(6):505-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although in the past little attention has been paid to the influence of osteosarcoma cells in osteoclast function, recent studies suggest a close relationship between osteosarcoma aggressiveness and osteoclastic activity. The present study addresses the paracrine effects of MG63 cells, a human osteosarcoma-derived cell line, on the differentiation of peripheral blood osteoclast precursor cells (PBMC). PBMC were cultured for 21 days in the presence of conditioned media from MG63 cell cultures (CM) collected at 48 h (CM_MG1), 7 days (CM_MG2) and 14 days (CM_MG3). MG63 cell cultures displayed the expression of ALP and BMP-2 and, also, the osteoclastogenic genes M-CSF and RANKL, although with a low expression of RANKL. PBMC cultures supplemented with CM presented an evident osteoclastogenic behavior, which was dependent on the culture period of the MG63 cells. The inductive effect appeared to be more relevant for the differentiation and activation genes, c-myc and c-src, and lower for genes associated with osteoclast function. In addition, PBMC cultures displayed increased functional parameters, including calcium phosphate resorbing activity. Assessment of the PBMC cultures in the presence of U0126, PDTC, and indomethacin suggested that in addition to MEK and NFkB pathways, other signaling mechanisms, probably not involving RANKL/RANK interaction, might be activated in the presence of conditioned medium from MG63. In conclusion, MG63 cell line appears to induce a significant paracrine-mediated osteoclastogenic response. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the interaction of osteosarcoma cells and osteoclasts may contribute to the development of new potential approaches in the treatment of such bone metabolic diseases.

Yee NS, Zhou W, Liang IC
Transient receptor potential ion channel Trpm7 regulates exocrine pancreatic epithelial proliferation by Mg2+-sensitive Socs3a signaling in development and cancer.
Dis Model Mech. 2011; 4(2):240-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genetic analysis of pancreatic development has provided new insights into the mechanisms underlying the formation of exocrine pancreatic neoplasia. Zebrafish sweetbread (swd) mutants develop hypoplastic acini and dysmorphic ducts in the exocrine pancreas, with impeded progression of cell division cycle and of epithelial growth. Positional cloning and allelic complementation have revealed that the swd mutations affect the transient receptor potential melastatin-subfamily member 7 (trpm7) gene, which encodes a divalent cation-permeable channel with kinase activity. Supplementary Mg(2+) partially rescued the exocrine pancreatic defects of the trpm7 mutants by improving cell-cycle progression and growth and repressing the suppressor of cytokine signaling 3a (socs3a) gene. The role of Socs3a in Trpm7-mediated signaling is supported by the findings that socs3a mRNA level is elevated in the trpm7 mutants, and antisense inhibition of socs3a expression improved their exocrine pancreatic growth. TRPM7 is generally overexpressed in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. TRPM7-deficient cells are impaired in proliferation and arrested in the G0-G1 phases of the cell division cycle. Supplementary Mg(2+) rescued the proliferative defect of the TRPM7-deficient cells. Results of this study indicate that Trpm7 regulates exocrine pancreatic development via the Mg(2+)-sensitive Socs3a pathway, and suggest that aberrant TRPM7-mediated signaling contributes to pancreatic carcinogenesis.

Wu JC, Sun BS, Ren N, et al.
Genomic aberrations in hepatocellular carcinoma related to osteopontin expression detected by array-CGH.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2010; 136(4):595-601 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We have demonstrated that overexpression of osteopontin (OPN) could contribute to metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and that OPN-positive cancer cells are often localized in the periphery of cancer nodules adjacent to stromal cells. This study was to identify the difference of intratumor genomic aberrations between OPN-positive and OPN-negative HCC cells.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining for OPN was performed in both archival and fresh HCC tumor tissues. Seven cases of OPN-positive HCC were chosen for laser capture microdissection. The OPN-positive and OPN-negative cancer cells were captured separately from serial frozen sections. Genomic DNA was extracted and quantified. Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) was used to achieve high-resolution analysis of whole-genome-wide aberrations.
RESULTS: The OPN expression level in HCC tissues was significantly associated with vascular or bile duct invasion (P = 0.003), Edmondson's grade (P = 0.047), and intrahepatic spreading (P = 0.011). When compared with the OPN-negative cancer cells, much more amplifications of chromosomal regions, including 4q13.1-q13.3, 4q21.23-q22.1, and 13q32.1-q32.3, were found in OPN-positive HCC cells. Some candidate tumor-related genes, such as SMR3B, MUC7, EPHA5, SPP1, and CLDN10 were detected with over 1.5-fold amplification.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant intratumor genomic heterogeneity between the OPN-positive and negative HCC cells, and OPN-positive HCC cells play a more important role in the development of HCC malignancy than their OPN-negative counterparts.

Sun B, Wu J, Zhang T, Wang C
High-resolution analysis of genomic profiles of hepatocellular carcinoma cells with differential osteopontin expression.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2008; 7(3):387-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of osteopontin (OPN) could contribute to tumorigenesis and metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previous studies have shown that OPN-positive cancer cells are often localized in the periphery of cancer nodules adjacent to stromal cells. To identify the difference in intratumor genomic aberration pattern between OPN-positive and OPN-negative HCC cells, we adopted microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) to achieve high-resolution analysis of genome-wide aberrations. Our present study indicates that, compared to OPN-negative cancer cells, OPN-positive cancer cells show much more amplification of chromosomal regions, including 4q13.1-q13.3, 4q21.23-q22.1 and 13q32.1-q32.3. Some candidate tumor related genes, such as SMR3B, MUC7, EPHA5, SPP1 and CLDN10, were detected with over 1.5-fold amplification. Together, the intratumor genomic heterogeneity may suggest that OPN-positive cancer cells play a more important role in the development of HCC malignancy than their OPN-negative counterparts.

Fostira F, Apessos A, Oikonomou E, et al.
Culture of primary epithelial adenoma cells from familial adenomatous polyposis patients.
Anticancer Res. 2008 Mar-Apr; 28(2A):843-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal tumors arise from unregulated cell proliferation of the intestinal epithelium through a multistep process the first step usually being premalignant adenomas. Familial adenomatous polyposis patients carry a germ line mutation in the APC gene leading to the development of thousands of polyps, which, if left untreated, lead to cancer. The goal of this study was the establishment of conditions for the culture of epithelial cells composing an adenomatic structure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All colorectal specimens were obtained from FAP patients within 1-2 hours of surgery. Cells were cultured by standard procedures. Characterization was carried out by immunostaining with pancytokeratin, vimentin and desmoplakin antibodies.
RESULTS: A culture protocol that gave rise to epithelial cell growth with high efficiency and efficacy was established. Successful subculturing of the cell sheets took place only when dispase prepared in Ca2+ and Mg2+ free medium, was used to digest polyp tissue taken from FAP patients. By using immunostaining these cells were characterized as epithelial.
CONCLUSION: The protocol we developed here provides a means of preparing cell cultures from human colorectal adenomas, which aid in the research of the transition from adenoma to carcinoma.

Li YL, Torchet C, Vergne J, Maurel MC
A cis and trans adenine-dependent hairpin ribozyme against Tpl-2 target.
Biochimie. 2007; 89(10):1257-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ribozymes are catalytic RNAs that possess the property of cutting an RNA target via site-specific cleavage after sequence-specific recognition. Ribozymes can moreover cleave multiple substrate molecules. An increasing number of studies show that ribozymes are particularly well adapted tools against cancer, silencing or down-regulating gene expression at the RNA level. We have constructed an adenine-dependent hairpin ribozyme that cleaves the sequence at nucleotides A(225)(downward arrow)G(226) relative to the start codon of translation of the Tpl-2 kinase mRNA; this serine/threonine kinase activates the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway implicated in cell proliferation in breast cancer. An adenine-dependent hairpin ribozyme 1 (ADHR1) was previously isolated using the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment procedure. Switch on/switch off ribozymes are particularly useful since high amounts of stable ribozyme can be produced in the absence of adenine and the ribozyme specifically cleaves its target in the presence of adenine. The ADHR1 target sequence was replaced by a sequence derived from the Tpl-2 kinase mRNA. The resulting Tpl-2 ribozyme is active in cis cleavage: kinetic studies have been performed as a function of Mg2+ concentration, adenine concentration, as well as at different pH and with various cofactors. Finally, the Tpl-2 ribozyme was shown to cleave its target in trans successfully. These findings demonstrate that a potential therapeutic ribozyme can be produced by simple sequence modification.

Sato S, Cerny RL, Buescher JL, Ikezu T
Tau-tubulin kinase 1 (TTBK1), a neuron-specific tau kinase candidate, is involved in tau phosphorylation and aggregation.
J Neurochem. 2006; 98(5):1573-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neurofibrillary tangles, which are major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), are composed of paired helical filaments (PHFs) containing hyperphosphorylated tau. Specific kinases regulate tau phosphorylation and are closely linked to the pathogenesis of AD. We have characterized a human tau-tubulin kinase 1 (TTBK1) gene located on chromosome 6p21.1. TTBK1 is a serine/threonine/tyrosine kinase that is conserved among species and belongs to the casein kinase 1 superfamily. It is specifically expressed in the brain, especially in the cytoplasm of cortical and hippocampal neurons. TTBK1 phosphorylates tau proteins in both a Mg2+- and a Mn2+-dependent manner. Phosphopeptide mapping and immunoblotting analysis confirmed a direct tau phosphorylation by TTBK1 at Ser198, Ser199, Ser202 and Ser422, which are also phosphorylated in PHFs. TTBK1 also induces tau aggregation in human neuronal cells in a dose-dependent manner. We conclude that TTBK1 is a neuron-specific dual kinase involved in tau phosphorylation at AD-related sites and is also associated with tau aggregation.

Woenckhaus M, Klein-Hitpass L, Grepmeier U, et al.
Smoking and cancer-related gene expression in bronchial epithelium and non-small-cell lung cancers.
J Pathol. 2006; 210(2):192-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer worldwide. Gene expression in surgically resected and microdissected samples of non-small-cell lung cancers (18 squamous cell carcinomas and nine adenocarcinomas), matched normal bronchial epithelium, and peripheral lung tissue from both smokers (n = 22) and non-smokers (n = 5) was studied using the Affymetrix U133A array. A subset of 15 differentially regulated genes was validated by real-time PCR or immunohistochemistry. Hierarchical cluster analysis clearly distinguished between benign and malignant tissue and between squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas. The bronchial epithelium and adenocarcinomas could be divided into the two subgroups of smokers and non-smokers. By comparison of the gene expression profiles in the bronchial epithelium of non-smokers, smokers, and matched cancer tissues, it was possible to identify a signature of 23 differentially expressed genes, which might reflect early cigarette smoke-induced and cancer-relevant molecular lesions in the central bronchial epithelium of smokers. Ten of these genes are involved in xenobiotic metabolism and redox stress (eg AKR1B10, AKR1C1, and MT1K). One gene is a tumour suppressor gene (HLF); two genes act as oncogenes (FGFR3 and LMO3); two genes are involved in matrix degradation (MMP12 and PTHLH); three genes are related to cell differentiation (SPRR1B, RTN1, and MUC7); and five genes have not been well characterized to date. By comparison of the tobacco-exposed peripheral alveolar lung tissue of smokers with non-smokers and with adenocarcinomas from smokers, it was possible to identify a signature of 27 other differentially expressed genes. These genes are involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics (eg GPX2 and FMO3) and may represent cigarette smoke-induced, cancer-related molecular targets that may be utilized to identify smokers with increased risk for lung cancer.

Grzesiak JJ, Smith KC, Chalberg C, et al.
Type I collagen and divalent cation shifts disrupt cell-cell adhesion, increase migration, and decrease PTHrP, IL-6, and IL-8 expression in pancreatic cancer cells.
Int J Gastrointest Cancer. 2005; 36(3):131-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have shown in FG pancreatic cancer cells that alpha2beta1 integrin-mediated type I collagen adhesion decreases parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression, decreases the localization of E-cadherin and beta-catenin in cell-cell contacts, increases cell migration, and increases glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) and protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) phosphorylation states relative to alpha5beta1 integrin-mediated fibronectin (Fn) adhesion.
AIM OF THE STUDY: To extend our observations in FG cells to other pancreatic cancer cell lines, and to determine whether E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion and its downstream effectors were functionally involved in the ECM-mediated regulation of PTHrP, IL-6, and IL-8.
METHODS: We used standard biochemical techniques to determine ECM-specific differences in E-cadherin and beta-catenin localization, GSK3 and PKB/Akt phosphorylation, haptokinetic cell migration, and cytokine expression in pancreatic cancer cells. We also conducted functional studies using pharmacological inhibitors for GSK3 and PKB/Akt, as well as elevated Mg2+/Ca2+ ratios similar to pancreatic juice, and examined their effects on cytokine expression.
RESULTS: Differences in E-cadherin and beta-catenin localization along with GSK3 and PKB/Akt phosphorylation occur in multiple pancreatic cancer cell lines, resulting in differences in ECM-mediated haptokinesis and cytokine expression that are generally consistent with previous observations in FG cells. Our functional studies also suggest that E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion and downstream effectors are involved in PTHrP, IL-6, and IL-8 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that alpha2beta1 integrin-mediated type I collagen adhesion disrupts cell-cell adhesion architecture, resulting in increased migration and decreased PTHrP, IL-6, and IL-8 expression in pancreatic cancer cells.

Williams YN, Masuda M, Sakurai-Yageta M, et al.
Cell adhesion and prostate tumor-suppressor activity of TSLL2/IGSF4C, an immunoglobulin superfamily molecule homologous to TSLC1/IGSF4.
Oncogene. 2006; 25(10):1446-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
The TSLL2/IGSF4C encodes an immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily molecule showing significant homology with a lung tumor suppressor, TSLC1. The TSLL2 protein of 55 kDa is mainly expressed in the kidney, bladder, and prostate in addition to the brain. Here, we report the biological significance of TSLL2 in the urinary tissues. An immunohistochemical study reveals that TSLL2 is expressed at the cell-cell attachment sites in the renal tubules, the transitional epithelia of the bladder, and the glandular epithelia of the prostate. Confocal microscopy analysis demonstrates that TSLL2 is localized in the lateral membranes in polarized Mardin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. TSLL2 forms homo-dimers and its overexpression induces aggregation of suspended MDCK cells in a Ca2+/Mg2+-independent manner, suggesting that it is involved in cell adhesion through homophilic trans-interaction. The TSLL2 gene is mapped on the chromosomal region 19q13.2, whose loss of heterozygosity has been frequently reported in prostate cancer. TSLL2 protein is lost in nine of nine primary prostate cancers and in a prostate cancer cell, PPC-1. Introduction of TSLL2 into PPC-1 strongly suppresses subcutaneous tumor formation in nude mice. These results suggest that TSLL2 is a new member of the Ig superfamily cell adhesion molecules and is a tumor-suppressor candidate in prostate cancer.

Tang B, Li L, Jiang Z, et al.
Characterization of the mechanisms of electrochemotherapy in an in vitro model for human cervical cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2005; 26(3):703-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Electrochemical treatment is among the most effective therapies in the management of cervical malignancy. However, the mechanism of action of this treatment remains largely unknown. Therefore, the purpose of the current project was to establish a suitable eletrochemotherapy regimen for cervical cancer and to investigate the mechanism of the therapy in an in vitro model for human cervical carcinoma. HeLa cells were used as a model for cervical cancer in this study, and the effect of electrochemical treatment on these cells was examined in four different dosage groups (5 V + 5 C, 10 V + 5 C, 5 V + 10 C and 10 V + 10 C). Our results showed that the combinations of lower voltage and higher current (5 V/10 V + 10 C) had a greater anticancer effect in this model as compared to other groups. In addition, we compared the cytotoxic effect between electrochemical treatment and different pH condition treatments in this system, and found that the efficacy of electrochemical treatment in cell killing was better than that of acidic or basic medium treatment. Moreover, we demonstrated that the efficacy of electrochemical treatment was correlated with the degree of ionization and alteration in pH scale. The electrodes were basic on the cathode side which elevated the cations K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+, while the electrodes were acidic on the anode side which reduced the anion Cl-. We also assessed the effect of electrochemical treatment on cell cycle distribution in HeLa cells and showed that the percentage of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle was increased (G1 arrest), while the cell population in the S phase was decreased. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the levels of the cell cycle regulator cyclin D1 expression were dramatically reduced when 5 V/10 V + 10 C treatments were applied to these cells, as determined by RT-PCR analysis. By contrast, no significant changes in the levels of cyclin B1, CDK1 or CDK4 were detected. Based on these observations, we conclude that the combination of lower voltage and higher current may be a potentially effective eletrochemotherapy regimen for cervical cancer in the clinic, and that the antitumor effect of electrochemical treatment on cervical carcinoma cells is mediated partly via regulating ionization degree, pH state and cell cycle control.

Journé F, Dumon JC, Kheddoumi N, et al.
Extracellular calcium downregulates estrogen receptor alpha and increases its transcriptional activity through calcium-sensing receptor in breast cancer cells.
Bone. 2004; 35(2):479-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
Skeleton is the most common organ targeted by breast cancer cells, especially from estrogen receptor alpha (ER)-positive neoplasms. Metastatic cells can stimulate directly or indirectly osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Tumor-induced osteolysis is often extensive and leads to the release of large quantities of calcium. Metastatic cancer cells can be thus exposed to high calcium concentrations (40 mM has been reported at the resorption site). However, the effects of Ca2+ on breast cancer cells have been minimally examined. We showed that 20-mM extracellular Ca2+ induced a downregulation of ER protein in MCF-7 cells and caused ER-mediated transactivation of a reporter gene by 55 +/- 10% (mean +/- SD) in MVLN cells (MCF-7 cells stably transfected with ERE and luciferase reporter gene). Moreover, 3 mM Ca2+ increased progesterone receptor (PgR) expression by 45 +/- 8%. Mg2+ tested at up to 20 mM did not exert any effects, while 17beta-estradiol downregulated ER, transactivated the reporter gene, and enhanced PgR expression. The pure antiestrogen ICI 182,780 was able to abrogate the transactivation of the reporter gene and the increase in PgR levels induced by Ca2+, indicating that Ca2+ may exert a weak and specific estrogenic effect in MCF-7 cells. Ca2+ effects on ER probably start at the cell membrane level since a large Ca2+ influx caused by the ionophore A23187 failed to activate ER. We have thus studied the involvement of the membrane calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) that is known to be expressed notably in MCF-7 cells. We first tested the effects of a specific activator of CaR. Exposure to 10(-4) M calcimimetic NPS R-467 mirrored the changes observed with extracellular Ca2+ by inducing a marked decrease in ER protein levels, increasing the transcriptional activity of ER (67 +/- 12%) and stimulating PgR expression (41 +/- 4%). As expected, the NPS S-467 isomer was less effective. Furthermore, a highly selective CaR antagonist partly suppressed the downregulation of ER as well as transactivation of the reporter gene induced by Ca(2+). Our results suggest that the effects of extracellular Ca2+ on ER expression and activity are mediated, at least in part, by the CaR. In summary, calcium released during the process of metastatic bone destruction could modulate the functions of the estrogen receptor, a key receptor involved in breast cancer cells growth and function, and thus participate in the pathogenesis of tumor-induced osteolysis.

Rodland KD
The role of the calcium-sensing receptor in cancer.
Cell Calcium. 2004; 35(3):291-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
The extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) is a versatile sensor of small, polycationic molecules ranging from Ca2+ and Mg2+ through polyarginine, spermine, and neomycin. The sensitivity of the CaR to changes in extracellular Ca2+ over the range of 0.05-5 mM positions the CaR as a key mediator of cellular responses to physiologically relevant changes in extracellular Ca2+. For many cell types, including intestinal epithelial cells, breast epithelial cells, keratinocytes, and ovarian surface epithelial cells, changes in extracellular Ca2+ concentration over this range can switch the cellular behaviour from proliferation to terminal differentiation or quiescence. As cancer is predominantly a disease of disordered balance between proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, disruptions in the function of the CaR could contribute to the progression of neoplastic disease. Loss of the growth suppressing effects of elevated extracellular Ca2+ have been demonstrated in parathyroid hyperplasias and in colon carcinoma, and have been correlated with changes in the level of CaR expression. Activation of the CaR has also been linked to increased expression and secretion of PTHrP (parathyroid hormone-related peptide), a primary causal factor in hypercalcemia of malignancy and a contributor to metastatic processes involving bone. Although mutation of the CaR does not appear to be an early event in carcinogenesis, loss or upregulation of normal CaR function can contribute to several aspects of neoplastic progression, so that therapeutic strategies directed at the CaR could potentially serve a supportive function in cancer management.

Kim H, Seo JH, Kim KH
The effect of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase on mucin gene expression and apoptosis in Helicobacter pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003; 1010:90-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The loss of mucus coat continuity and apoptosis have been shown in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-infected gastric tissues. Blockade of p38 mitogen-activated kinase (MAPK) produced reversal in the LPS-induced reduction in mucin synthesis and apoptosis in gastric epithelial cells. This study investigates whether H. pylori induces apoptosis, alterations in mucin gene (MUC) expression, and p38 MAPK activation in human gastric epithelial AGS cells. After treatment of AGS cells with H. pylori at the ratio of 1:300, apoptosis was determined by DNA fragmentation and DNA laddering. MUC expression was assessed by RT-PCR. p38 MAPK activation and mucin protein level, using anti-mucin antibody for MUC5/6, were determined by Western blot analysis. As a result, H. pylori induced apoptosis and loss of mucin, which was supported by reduced mRNA expression of MUC5AC by H. pylori in AGS cells. MUC7/8 expression and p38 MAPK activation were induced in H. pylori-infected AGS cells. In conclusion, H. pylori induces p38 MAPK activation, wh3.ich may be the underlying mechanism of alterations in MUC expression and apoptosis in gastric epithelial cells.

Byrd JC, Bresalier RS
Mucins and mucin binding proteins in colorectal cancer.
Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2004 Jan-Jun; 23(1-2):77-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mucins are high-molecular weight epithelial glycoproteins with a high content of clustered oligosaccharides O-glycosidically linked to tandem repeat peptides rich in threonine, serine, and proline. There are two structurally and functionally distinct classes of mucins: secreted gel-forming mucins (MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6) and transmembrane mucins (MUC1, MUC3A, MUC3B, MUC4, MUC12, MUC17), although the products of some MUC genes do not fit well into either class (MUC7, MUC8, MUC9, MUC13, MUC15, MUC16). MUC1 mucin, as detected immunologically, is increased in expression in colon cancers, which correlates with a worse prognosis. Expression of MUC2 secreted gel-forming mucin is generally decreased in colorectal adenocarcinoma, but preserved in mucinous carcinomas, a distinct subtype of colon cancer associated with microsatellite instability. Another secreted gel-forming mucin, MUC5AC, a product of normal gastric mucosa, is absent from normal colon, but frequently present in colorectal adenomas and colon cancers. The O-glycosidically linked oligosaccharides of mucins can be described in terms of core type, backbone type, and peripheral structures. Colon cancer mucins have differences in both core carbohydrates and in peripheral carbohydrate structures that are being investigated as diagnostic and prognostic markers, and also as targets for cancer vaccines. Colon cancer mucins typically have increases in three core structures: Tn antigen (GalNAcalphaThr/Ser), TF antigen (Galbeta3GalNAc) and sialyl Tn (NeuAcalpha6GalNAc). The type 3 core (GlcNAcbeta3Ga1NAc) predominant in normal colonic mucin is lacking in colon cancer mucins. There are cancer-associated alterations in the peripheral carbohydrates of colonic mucins including a decrease in O-acetyl-sialic acid and a decrease in sulfation. There are, however, cancer-associated increases in sialyl LeX and related structures on mucins and other glycoproteins that can serve as ligands for selectins, increasing the metastatic capacity of colon cancer cells. The endogenous galactoside-binding protein galectin-3, which is expressed at higher levels in colon cancers than normal colon, binds to colon cancer mucin as well as other glycoproteins. Interference of the binding of selectins and galectin-3 to mucin may show therapeutic or preventative promise for colon cancer.

Kinjo M, Okegawa T, Horie S, et al.
Detection of circulating MUC7-positive cells by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in bladder cancer patients.
Int J Urol. 2004; 11(1):38-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To determine whether MUC7 gene expression can be used as a bladder cancer marker in peripheral blood.
METHODS: Nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on four types of bladder cancer cell lines (RT4, T24, EJ-1 and TCC) and the peripheral blood of 38 (31 superficial disease and seven invasive disease) bladder cancer patients and 18 subjects with urinary tract infections or other non-malignant conditions to determine the expression of MUC7.
RESULTS: No MUC7 gene expression was detected in control subjects. MUC7-positive cells were detected in all bladder cancer cell lines and in 18 of 38 (47.4%) peripheral blood samples of bladder cancer patients. Based on the tumor stage, MUC7 was detected in 11 of 29 (37.9%) patients with superficial disease (Ta and T1) and in seven of nine (77.7%) invasive disease patients (>/=T2). There was a significant difference between superficial and invasive disease (P = 0.042). Based on tumor grade, we could not detect MUC7 in five patients with grade 1, in five of 15 patients (33.3%) with grade 2 and in 13 of 18 patients (72.2%) with grade 3. There was a significant difference between grades 1 and 3 (P = 0.007) and grades 2 and 3 (P = 0.025).
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that MUC7 is a highly specific marker for bladder cancer and may be a useful method for the molecular staging and management of bladder cancer.

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