Gene Summary

Gene:MXD1; MAX dimerization protein 1
Aliases: MAD, MAD1, BHLHC58
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the MYC/MAX/MAD network of basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factors. The MYC/MAX/MAD transcription factors mediate cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. The encoded protein antagonizes MYC-mediated transcriptional activation of target genes by competing for the binding partner MAX and recruiting repressor complexes containing histone deacetylases. Mutations in this gene may play a role in acute leukemia, and the encoded protein is a potential tumor suppressor. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding multiple isoforms have been observed for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:max dimerization protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (12)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 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.

  • Promoter Regions
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Dimerization
  • Spindle Apparatus
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transfection
  • Thiazoles
  • Trans-Activators
  • Messenger RNA
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Sequence Homology
  • SMAD4
  • Cell Division
  • Transcription
  • myc Genes
  • Transcription Factors
  • Biological Models
  • Apoptosis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Telomerase
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Base Sequence
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cell Cycle
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chromosome 2
  • MicroRNAs
  • Knockout Mice
  • Upstream Stimulatory Factors
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: MXD1 (cancer-related)

Agnihotri S, Gugel I, Remke M, et al.
Gene-expression profiling elucidates molecular signaling networks that can be therapeutically targeted in vestibular schwannoma.
J Neurosurg. 2014; 121(6):1434-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are common benign tumors of the vestibular nerve that cause significant morbidity. The current treatment strategies for VS include surgery or radiation, with each treatment option having associated complications and side effects. The transcriptional landscape of schwannoma remains largely unknown.
METHODS: In this study the authors performed gene-expression profiling of 49 schwannomas and 7 normal control vestibular nerves to identify tumor-specific gene-expression patterns. They also interrogated whether schwannomas comprise several molecular subtypes using several transcription-based clustering strategies. The authors also performed in vitro experiments testing therapeutic inhibitors of over-activated pathways in a schwannoma cell line, namely the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.
RESULTS: The authors identified over 4000 differentially expressed genes between controls and schwannomas with network analysis, uncovering proliferation and anti-apoptotic pathways previously not implicated in VS. Furthermore, using several distinct clustering technologies, they could not reproducibly identify distinct VS subtypes or significant differences between sporadic and germline NF2-associated schwannomas, suggesting that they are highly similar entities. The authors identified overexpression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling networks in their gene-expression study and evaluated this pathway for therapeutic targeting. Testing the compounds BEZ235 and PKI-587, both novel dual inhibitors of PI3K and mTOR, attenuated tumor growth in a preclinical cell line model of schwannoma (HEI-293). In vitro findings demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway with next-generation compounds led to decreased cell viability and increased cell death.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings implicate aberrant activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway as a molecular mechanism of pathogenesis in VS and suggest inhibition of this pathway as a potential treatment strategy.

Zang W, Wang T, Wang Y, et al.
Myricetin exerts anti-proliferative, anti-invasive, and pro-apoptotic effects on esophageal carcinoma EC9706 and KYSE30 cells via RSK2.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12583-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myricetin, a common dietary flavonoid, is widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and is used as a health food supplement based on its anti-tumor properties. However, the effect and mechanisms of myricetin in esophageal carcinoma are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrated the effect of myricetin on the proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion of the esophageal carcinoma cell lines EC9706 and KYSE30 and explored the underlying mechanism and target protein(s) of myricetin. CCK-8 assay, transwell invasion assay, wound-healing assay, cell cycle analysis, and apoptosis assay were used to evaluate the effects of myricetin on cell proliferation, invasion, and apoptosis. Nude mouse tumor xenograft model was built to understand the interaction between myricetin and NTD RSK2. Pull-down assay was used to verify molecular mechanism. Myricetin inhibited proliferation and invasion and induced apoptosis of EC9706 and KYSE30 cells. Moreover, myricetin was shown to bind RSK2 through the NH2-terminal kinase domain. Finally, myricetin inhibited EC9706 and KYSE30 cell proliferation through Mad1 and induced cell apoptosis via Bad. Myricetin inhibits the proliferation and invasion and induces apoptosis in EC9706 and KYSE30 cells via RSK2. Myricetin exerts anti-proliferative, anti-invasive, and pro-apoptotic effects on esophageal carcinoma EC9706 and KYSE30 cells via RSK2. Our results provide novel insight into myricetin as a potential agent for the prevention and treatment of esophageal carcinoma.

Matson DR, Stukenberg PT
CENP-I and Aurora B act as a molecular switch that ties RZZ/Mad1 recruitment to kinetochore attachment status.
J Cell Biol. 2014; 205(4):541-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The RZZ (Rod, ZW10, and Zwilch) complex and Mad1 proteins tightly associate with kinetochores to generate the spindle checkpoint signal, but they are released when a kinetochore forms mature microtubule attachments. Here we demonstrate that the centromere protein CENP-I is required to generate a stable association of RZZ and Mad1 with kinetochores. CENP-I also inhibits their removal by dynein stripping. This regulation of Mad1 and RZZ dissociation functions independently of Aurora B, which regulates their association. We show that the microtubule status of each kinetochore independently dictates the recruitment of Aurora B kinase, kinase activity on a kinetochore substrate, and loading of spindle checkpoint proteins. This dynamic regulation of Mad1 association by Aurora B is only uncovered when CENP-I is depleted, consistent with our finding that CENP-I inhibits the dissociation of Mad1. We conclude that the dual activities of Aurora B and CENP-I generate a molecular switch that maintains a robust spindle checkpoint signal at prometaphase kinetochores until they attain mature attachments to microtubules.

Wu Q, Yang Z, An Y, et al.
MiR-19a/b modulate the metastasis of gastric cancer cells by targeting the tumour suppressor MXD1.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1144 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The microRNAs 19a and 19b, hereafter collectively referred to as miR-19a/b, were recognised to be the most important miRNAs in the oncomiRs-miR-17-92 cluster. However, the exact roles of miR-19a/b in cancers have not been elucidated. In the present study, miR-19a/b was found to be over-expressed in gastric cancer tissues and significantly associated with the patients' metastasis of gastric cancer. Using gain or loss-of-function in in vitro and in vivo experiments, a pro-metastatic function of miR-19a/b was observed in gastric cancer. Furthermore, reporter gene assay and western blot showed that MXD1 is a direct target of miR-19a/b. Functional assays showed that not only MXD1 had an opposite effect to miR-19a/b in the regulation of gastric cancer cells, but also overexpression of MXD1 reduced both miR-19a/b and c-Myc levels, indicating a potential positive feedback loop among miR-19a/b, MXD1 and c-Myc. In conclusion, miR-17-92 cluster members miR-19a/b facilitated gastric cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis through targeting the antagonist of c-Myc -- MXD1, implicating a novel mechanism for the malignant phenotypes of gastric cancer.

Bilsland AE, Stevenson K, Liu Y, et al.
Mathematical model of a telomerase transcriptional regulatory network developed by cell-based screening: analysis of inhibitor effects and telomerase expression mechanisms.
PLoS Comput Biol. 2014; 10(2):e1003448 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cells depend on transcription of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). Many transcription factors affect TERT, though regulation occurs in context of a broader network. Network effects on telomerase regulation have not been investigated, though deeper understanding of TERT transcription requires a systems view. However, control over individual interactions in complex networks is not easily achievable. Mathematical modelling provides an attractive approach for analysis of complex systems and some models may prove useful in systems pharmacology approaches to drug discovery. In this report, we used transfection screening to test interactions among 14 TERT regulatory transcription factors and their respective promoters in ovarian cancer cells. The results were used to generate a network model of TERT transcription and to implement a dynamic Boolean model whose steady states were analysed. Modelled effects of signal transduction inhibitors successfully predicted TERT repression by Src-family inhibitor SU6656 and lack of repression by ERK inhibitor FR180204, results confirmed by RT-QPCR analysis of endogenous TERT expression in treated cells. Modelled effects of GSK3 inhibitor 6-bromoindirubin-3'-oxime (BIO) predicted unstable TERT repression dependent on noise and expression of JUN, corresponding with observations from a previous study. MYC expression is critical in TERT activation in the model, consistent with its well known function in endogenous TERT regulation. Loss of MYC caused complete TERT suppression in our model, substantially rescued only by co-suppression of AR. Interestingly expression was easily rescued under modelled Ets-factor gain of function, as occurs in TERT promoter mutation. RNAi targeting AR, JUN, MXD1, SP3, or TP53, showed that AR suppression does rescue endogenous TERT expression following MYC knockdown in these cells and SP3 or TP53 siRNA also cause partial recovery. The model therefore successfully predicted several aspects of TERT regulation including previously unknown mechanisms. An extrapolation suggests that a dominant stimulatory system may programme TERT for transcriptional stability.

Sze KM, Chu GK, Mak QH, et al.
Proline-rich acidic protein 1 (PRAP1) is a novel interacting partner of MAD1 and has a suppressive role in mitotic checkpoint signalling in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2014; 233(1):51-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Loss of mitotic checkpoint of cells contributes to chromosomal instability and leads to carcinogenesis. Mitotic arrest deficient 1 (MAD1) is a key component in mitotic checkpoint signalling. In this study, we identified a novel MAD1 interacting partner, proline-rich acidic protein 1 (PRAP1), using yeast-two hybrid screening, and investigated its role in mitotic checkpoint signalling in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We demonstrated the physical interaction of PRAP1 with MAD1 and of PRAP1 with MAD1 isoform MAD1β, using a co-immunoprecipitation assay. Moreover, stable expression of PRAP1 in mitotic checkpoint-competent HCC cells, BEL-7402 and SMMC-7721, induced impairment of the mitotic checkpoint (p < 0.01), formation of chromosome bridges (p < 0.01) and aberrant chromosome numbers (p < 0.001). Interestingly, ectopic expression PRAP1 in HCC cells led to significant under-expression of MAD1. In human HCC tumours, 40.4% (23/57) of HCCs showed under-expression of PRAP1 protein as compared with their corresponding non-tumorous livers; up-regulation of MAD1 protein was significantly associated with down-regulation of PRAP1 (p = 0.030). Our data revealed that PRAP1 is a protein interacting partner of MAD1 and that PRAP1 is able to down-regulate MAD1 and suppress mitotic checkpoint signalling in HCC.

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

Ni M, Chen Y, Fei T, et al.
Amplitude modulation of androgen signaling by c-MYC.
Genes Dev. 2013; 27(7):734-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Androgen-stimulated growth of the molecular apocrine breast cancer subtype is mediated by an androgen receptor (AR)-regulated transcriptional program. However, the molecular details of this AR-centered regulatory network and the roles of other transcription factors that cooperate with AR in the network remain elusive. Here we report a positive feed-forward loop that enhances breast cancer growth involving AR, AR coregulators, and downstream target genes. In the absence of an androgen signal, TCF7L2 interacts with FOXA1 at AR-binding sites and represses the basal expression of AR target genes, including MYC. Direct AR regulation of MYC cooperates with AR-mediated activation of HER2/HER3 signaling. HER2/HER3 signaling increases the transcriptional activity of MYC through phosphorylation of MAD1, leading to increased levels of MYC/MAX heterodimers. MYC in turn reinforces the transcriptional activation of androgen-responsive genes. These results reveal a novel regulatory network in molecular apocrine breast cancers regulated by androgen and AR in which MYC plays a central role as both a key target and a cooperating transcription factor to drive oncogenic growth.

Cho K, Shin HW, Kim YI, et al.
Mad1 mediates hypoxia-induced doxorubicin resistance in colon cancer cells by inhibiting mitochondrial function.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2013; 60:201-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer cells acquire resistance to chemotherapy under hypoxia, which is mainly driven by the transcription factor HIF (hypoxia-inducible factor). Yet, it is uncertain which molecules mediate such resistance. While profiling gene expression in colon cancer cells, we found that Mad1 (MAX dimerization protein 1) is substantially induced during hypoxia. The hypoxic induction of Mad1 was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blotting. The Mad1 expression was attenuated by HIF-1α small interfering (si) RNAs, but less so by HIF-2α siRNAs. Moreover, luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that HIF-1 transactivates the MAD1 gene by directly targeting a putative hypoxia-response element in the MAD1 promoter. We next investigated if Mad1 is responsible for the hypoxia-induced drug resistance. We treated colon cancer cells with doxorubicin and found that the cells under hypoxia survived more than those under normoxia. The doxorubicin resistance was not induced in Mad1-knocked-down cells even under hypoxia. Mad1 knockdown reactivated the caspase-9/caspase-3/PARP apoptotic pathway under hypoxia. Moreover, doxorubicin-induced production of reactive oxygen species was significantly reduced under hypoxia, which was reversed by Mad1 knockdown. During hypoxia, mitochondria became bigger in size and less active in respiration, both of which were attenuated by Mad1 knockdown. These data indicate that hypoxia-induced Mad1 lowers doxorubicin-stimulated generation of reactive oxygen species through mitochondrial inhibition and subsequently contributes to tumor resistance to doxorubicin. Therefore, Mad1 could be a potential target for sensitizing cancer cells to redox-cycling drugs such as doxorubicin.

Reuss DE, Mucha J, Hagenlocher C, et al.
Sensitivity of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor cells to TRAIL is augmented by loss of NF1 through modulation of MYC/MAD and is potentiated by curcumin through induction of ROS.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e57152 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) is a rare aggressive form of sarcoma often associated with the tumor syndrome neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). We investigated the effects of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) on NF1 associated MPNST and determinants of TRAIL sensitivity. MPNST cell lines with complete neurofibromin deficiency were sensitive to apoptotic cell death induced by TRAIL whereas MPNST cells with retained neurofibromin expression or normal human Schwann cells were resistant. Increased sensitivity to TRAIL was associated with overexpression of death receptors, especially DR5. Re-expression of the GAP related domain of neurofibromin (NF1-GRD) suppressed DR5 expression and decreased sensitivity to TRAIL. We show that death receptor expression and TRAIL sensitivity critically depend on c-MYC and that c-MYC amounts are increased by MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT signalling pathways which are suppressed by neurofibromin. Furthermore PI3K/AKT signalling strongly suppresses the MYC-antagonist MAD1 which significantly contributes to TRAIL sensitivity. Re-expression of the NF1-GRD decreased c-MYC and increased MAD1 amounts suggesting that neurofibromin influences TRAIL sensitivity at least in part by modulating the MYC/MAX/MAD network. The phytochemical curcumin further increased the sensitivity of neurofibromin deficient MPNST cells to TRAIL. This was presumably mediated by ROS, as it correlated with increased ROS production, was blocked by N-acetylcysteine and mimicked by exogenous ROS.

Sandhu SK, Volinia S, Costinean S, et al.
miR-155 targets histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) and impairs transcriptional activity of B-cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6) in the Eμ-miR-155 transgenic mouse model.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012; 109(49):20047-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple studies have established that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the initiation and progression of cancer. Notably, miR-155 is one of the most overexpressed miRNAs in several solid and hematological malignancies. Ectopic miR-155 expression in mice B cells (Eμ-miR-155 transgenic mice) has been shown to induce pre-B-cell proliferation followed by high-grade lymphoma/leukemia. Loss of miR-155 in mice resulted in impaired immunity due to defective T-cell-mediated immune response. Here we provide a mechanistic insight into miR-155-induced leukemogenesis in the Eμ-miR-155 mouse model through genome-wide transcriptome analysis of naïve B cells and target studies. We found that a key transcriptional repressor and proto-oncogene, Bcl6 is significantly down-regulated in Eμ-miR-155 mice. The reduction of Bcl6 subsequently leads to de-repression of some of the known Bcl6 targets like inhibitor of differentiation (Id2), interleukin-6 (IL6), cMyc, Cyclin D1, and Mip1α/ccl3, all of which promote cell survival and proliferation. We show that Bcl6 is indirectly regulated by miR-155 through Mxd1/Mad1 up-regulation. Interestingly, we found that miR-155 directly targets HDAC4, a corepressor partner of BCL6. Furthermore, ectopic expression of HDAC4 in human-activated B-cell-type diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells results in reduced miR-155-induced proliferation, clonogenic potential, and increased apoptosis. Meta-analysis of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patient microarray data showed that miR-155 expression is inversely correlated with Bcl6 and Hdac4. Hence this study provides a better understanding of how miR-155 causes disruption of the BCL6 transcriptional machinery that leads to up-regulation of the survival and proliferation genes in miR-155-induced leukemias.

Barisone GA, Ngo T, Tran M, et al.
Role of MXD3 in proliferation of DAOY human medulloblastoma cells.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e38508 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A subset of medulloblastomas, the most common brain tumor in children, is hypothesized to originate from granule neuron precursors (GNPs) in which the sonic hedgehog (SHH) pathway is over-activated. MXD3, a basic helix-look-helix zipper transcription factor of the MAD family, has been reported to be upregulated during postnatal cerebellar development and to promote GNP proliferation and MYCN expression. Mxd3 is upregulated in mouse models of medulloblastoma as well as in human medulloblastomas. Therefore, we hypothesize that MXD3 plays a role in the cellular events that lead to medulloblastoma biogenesis. In agreement with its proliferative role in GNPs, MXD3 knock-down in DAOY cells resulted in decreased proliferation. Sustained overexpression of MXD3 resulted in decreased cell numbers due to increased apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Structure-function analysis revealed that the Sin3 interacting domain, the basic domain, and binding to E-boxes are essential for this activity. Microarray-based expression analysis indicated up-regulation of 84 genes and down-regulation of 47 genes. Potential direct MXD3 target genes were identified by ChIP-chip. Our results suggest that MXD3 is necessary for DAOY medulloblastoma cell proliferation. However, increased level and/or duration of MXD3 expression ultimately reduces cell numbers via increased cell death and cell cycle arrest.

Cascón A, Robledo M
MAX and MYC: a heritable breakup.
Cancer Res. 2012; 72(13):3119-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The overexpression of MYC, which occurs in many tumors, dramatically disrupts the equilibrium between activation and repression of the oncogenic MYC/MYC-associated protein X (MAX)/MAX dimerization protein 1 (MXD1) network, favoring MYC-MAX complexes and thereby impairing differentiation and promoting cell growth. Although for some time it has appeared that MAX is necessary for both the activation and repression of the axis, recent evidence shows that MYC retains considerable biologic function in the absence of MAX. The presence of germline MAX mutations in patients with hereditary pheochromocytoma supports the predominant role of MAX as a negative regulator of the network and suggests that MYC deregulation plays a role in hereditary cancer predisposition. This finding also confirms the importance of impairment of the MYC/MAX/MXD1 axis in the development of aggressive neural tumors, because MYCN overexpression is an established genetic hallmark of malign neuroblastoma, and it is likely that MXI1 plays a relevant role in the development of medulloblastoma and glioblastoma. Finally, the likely malignant behavior of tumors with mutations in MAX points to MYC as a candidate therapeutic target in the treatment of metastatic pheochromocytoma.

Quintás-Cardama A, Qiu YH, Post SM, et al.
Reverse phase protein array profiling reveals distinct proteomic signatures associated with chronic myeloid leukemia progression and with chronic phase in the CD34-positive compartment.
Cancer. 2012; 118(21):5283-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a clonal stem cell malignancy whose pathogenesis is driven by constitutive activation of the breakpoint cluster region-v-abl Abelson murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (BCR-ABL1) kinase. Although BCR-ABL1 activation is present in all patients with CML, patients can present in 3 different phases characterized by an increasingly worse prognosis and diminished responsiveness to tyrosine kinase inhibitors: chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blastic phase. The biologic basis for progression from chronic phase to blastic phase and for regulating the homeostasis of tyrosine kinase inhibitor-resistant CML stem cells is not entirely understood.
METHODS: To shed some light into these aspects of CML biology, the authors used reverse phase protein arrays probed with 112 individual monoclonal antibodies to compare protein expression patterns in 40 samples of leukemia-enriched fractions from patients with CML (25 in chronic phase, 5 in accelerated phase, and 10 in phase).
RESULTS: An analysis of variance (significance cutoff, P < .01) unveiled a set of proteins that were overexpressed in blastic phase, including heat-shock protein 90 (hsp90); retinoblastoma (Rb); apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF); serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A); B-cell leukemia 2 (Bcl-2); X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (Xiap); human homolog of Drosophila Mad (mothers against decapentaplegic) and related Caenorhabditis elegans gene Sma, family member 1 (Smad1); single-stranded DNA binding protein 2 alpha (SSBP2α); poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP); GRB2-associated binding protein 2 (Gab2); and tripartite motif containing 24 (Trim24). It is noteworthy that several of these proteins also were overexpressed in the CD34-positive compartment, which putatively contains the CML stem cell population.
CONCLUSIONS: The results from this study indicated that reverse phase protein array analysis can unveil differentially expressed proteins in advanced phase CML that can be exploited therapeutically with targeted approaches.

Wu J, Zhou Q, Wang Y, et al.
MNT inhibits the migration of human hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC7721 cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012; 418(1):93-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Max binding protein (MNT) is a member of the Myc/Max/Mad network that plays a role in cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. We previously observed that MNT was differentially expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and interacted with Nck1 by 2-DE. Nck family adaptor proteins function to couple tyrosine phosphorylation signals, regulate actin cytoskeletal reorganization and lead to cell motility. In order to investigate the regulatory role of MNT in HCC migration, we used transient transfection with a MNT expressing vector to overexpress MNT protein in SMMC7721 cells, and MNT siRNA to knockdown MNT expression. Rho Family Small GTPase activation assay, Western blots and transwell assay were used to determine the migration potential of cells. We found that knockdown of MNT expression might promote SMMC7721 cell migration, while the overexpressed MNT could significantly inhibit cell migration. It further emphasized the role of MNT in inhibition of cell migration that might be a promising target for HCC chemotherapy.

Krijgsman O, Israeli D, Haan JC, et al.
CGH arrays compared for DNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012; 51(4):344-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) archival tissue is an important source of DNA material. The most commonly used technique to identify copy number aberrations from chromosomal DNA in tumorigenesis is array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Although copy number analysis using DNA from FFPE archival tissue is challenging, several research groups have reported high quality and reproducible DNA copy number results using aCGH. Aim of this study is to compare the commercially available aCGH platforms suitable for high-resolution copy number analysis using FFPE-derived DNA. Two dual channel aCGH platforms (Agilent and NimbleGen) and a single channel SNP-based platform (Affymetrix) were evaluated using seven FFPE colon cancer samples, and median absolute deviation (MAD), deflection, signal-to-noise ratio, and DNA input requirements were used as quality criteria. Large differences were observed between platforms; Agilent and NimbleGen showed better MAD values (0.13 for both) compared with Affymetrix (0.22). On the contrary, Affymetrix showed a better deflection of 0.94, followed by 0.71 for Agilent and 0.51 for NimbleGen. This resulted in signal-to-nose ratios that were comparable between the three commercially available platforms. Interestingly, DNA input amounts from FFPE material lower than recommended still yielded high quality profiles on all platforms. Copy number analysis using DNA derived from FFPE archival material is feasible using all three high-resolution copy number platforms and shows reproducible results, also with DNA input amounts lower than recommended.

Velpula KK, Dasari VR, Tsung AJ, et al.
Transcriptional repression of Mad-Max complex by human umbilical cord blood stem cells downregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase in glioblastoma.
Stem Cells Dev. 2012; 21(10):1779-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Previously, we have shown that human umbilical cord blood stem cell (hUCBSC) treatment downregulate cyclin D1 in glioma cells. To study the cell cycle progression and investigate the upstream molecules regulating cyclin D1 expression, we analyzed the involvement of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and its functionality after treatment with hUCBSC. We observed downregulation of pERK after hUCBSC treatment at both transcriptional and translational levels. Increased translocation of ERK from cytoplasm to the nucleus was observed in glioma cells, whereas hUCBSC cocultures with glioma cells showed suppressed nuclear translocation. This finding suggests that hUCBSC regulates ERK by suppressing its phosphorylation at phospho-Thr(202)/Tyr(204) retarding pERK nuclear translocation. ERK promoter analysis has shown c-Myc binding sites, indicative of possible transcriptional interactions that regulate cyclin D1 and ERK expression levels. Treatment of U251 and 5310 glioma cells with U0126, a MEK/ERK inhibitor receded pERK and c-Myc levels. In another experiment, U251 and 5310 cells treated with 10074-G5, c-Myc/Max inhibitor displayed reduction in pERK and c-Myc levels suggestive of a positive feedback loop between ERK/c-Myc/Max molecules. In the present study, we show that glioma cells exhibit abundant c-Myc expression and increased c-Myc/Max activity. In contrast, the glioma cells cocultured with hUCBSC demonstrated high Mad1 expression that competitively binds to Max to repress the c-Myc/Max mediated gene transcription. Our studies thus elucidate the potential role of hUCBSC in controlling glioma cell cycle progression and invasion by limiting Max binding to c-Myc, thus regulating the expression of glioma cell cycle and invasion associated molecules such as ERK, integrins via increased levels of Mad1 expression.

Ponnala S, Chetty C, Veeravalli KK, et al.
MMP-9 silencing regulates hTERT expression via β1 integrin-mediated FAK signaling and induces senescence in glioma xenograft cells.
Cell Signal. 2011; 23(12):2065-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In more than 90% of cancers including glioma, telomere elongation reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is overexpressed. In the present study, we sought to explore whether matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) shRNA could alter hTERT-mediated proliferation in glioma cells. MMP-9 shRNA induced senescence and apoptosis in glioma cells by inhibiting hTERT expression and telomere activity. MMP-9 silencing decreased oncogenic c-Myc expression (hTERT activator), whereas the expression of the c-Myc antagonist MAD increased drastically (hTERT repressor); both c-Myc and MAD are transcription factors for hTERT. In addition, MMP-9 suppression turns the switch from c-Myc/MAX to MAD/MAX heterodimer binding to the hTERT promoter as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. We also show that silencing MAD via siRNA restored hTERT expression and inhibited senescence in glioma cells. MMP-9 transcriptional suppression decreased the expression of FAK, phospho FAK and β1 integrin in glioma xenograft cells. Further, MMP-9 suppression decreased the interaction of β1 integrin/FAK and also MMP-9/β1 integrin as confirmed by immunoprecipitation analysis. Studies with either function blocking β1 integrin or FAK shRNA indicate that suppression of MMP-9 decreased β1 integrin-mediated induction of FAK, which led to decreased hTERT expression. Moreover, 4910 and 5310 glioma xenograft tissue sections from mice treated with MMP-9 shRNA showed reduced expression of FAK/c-Myc and elevated MAD levels. Decreased co-localization of β1 integrin and MMP-9 was associated with MMP-9-suppressed tumor sections. Further, immunoprecipitation analysis showed decreased association of proteins involved in telomere end repair in MMP-9 shRNA-treated glioma cells. Elevated levels of p73 and TRAIL and the results of the FACS analysis show induction of apoptosis in MMP-9-silenced glioma cells. Taken together, these data provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying MMP-9-mediated hTERT expression in glioma proliferation.

Tram E, Ibrahim-Zada I, Briollais L, et al.
Identification of germline alterations of the mad homology 2 domain of SMAD3 and SMAD4 from the Ontario site of the breast cancer family registry (CFR).
Breast Cancer Res. 2011; 13(4):R77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: A common feature of neoplastic cells is that mutations in SMADs can contribute to the loss of sensitivity to the anti-tumor effects of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). However, germline mutation analysis of SMAD3 and SMAD4, the principle substrates of the TGF-β signaling pathway, has not yet been conducted in breast cancer. Thus, it is currently unknown whether germline SMAD3 and SMAD4 mutations are involved in breast cancer predisposition.
METHODS: We performed mutation analysis of the highly conserved mad-homology 2 (MH2) domains for both genes in genomic DNA from 408 non-BRCA1/BRCA2 breast cancer cases and 710 population controls recruited by the Ontario site of the breast cancer family registry (CFR) using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and direct DNA sequencing. The results were interpreted in several ways. First, we adapted nucleotide diversity analysis to quantitatively assess whether the frequency of alterations differ between the two genes. Next, in silico tools were used to predict variants' effect on domain function and mRNA splicing. Finally, 37 cases or controls harboring alterations were tested for aberrant splicing using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR statistical comparison of germline expressions by non-parametric Mann-Whitney test of independent samples.
RESULTS: We identified 27 variants including 2 novel SMAD4 coding variants c.1350G > A (p.Gln450Gln), and c.1701A > G (p.Ile525Val). There were no inactivating mutations even though c.1350G > A was predicted to affect exonic splicing enhancers. However, several additional findings were of note: 1) nucleotide diversity estimate for SMAD3 but not SMAD4 indicated that coding variants of the MH2 domain were more infrequent than expected; 2) in breast cancer cases SMAD3 was significantly over-expressed relative to controls (P < 0.05) while the case harboring SMAD4 c.1350G > A was associated with elevated germline expression (> 5-fold); 3) separate analysis using tissue expression data showed statistically significant over-expression of SMAD3 and SMAD4 in breast carcinomas.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that inactivating germline alterations in SMAD3 and SMAD4 are rare, suggesting a limited role in driving tumorigenesis. Nevertheless, aberrant germline expressions of SMAD3 and SMAD4 may be more common in breast cancer than previously suspected and offer novel insight into their roles in predisposition and/or progression of breast cancer.

Savino M, Annibali D, Carucci N, et al.
The action mechanism of the Myc inhibitor termed Omomyc may give clues on how to target Myc for cancer therapy.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(7):e22284 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent evidence points to Myc--a multifaceted bHLHZip transcription factor deregulated in the majority of human cancers--as a priority target for therapy. How to target Myc is less clear, given its involvement in a variety of key functions in healthy cells. Here we report on the action mechanism of the Myc interfering molecule termed Omomyc, which demonstrated astounding therapeutic efficacy in transgenic mouse cancer models in vivo. Omomyc action is different from the one that can be obtained by gene knockout or RNA interference, approaches designed to block all functions of a gene product. This molecule--instead--appears to cause an edge-specific perturbation that destroys some protein interactions of the Myc node and keeps others intact, with the result of reshaping the Myc transcriptome. Omomyc selectively targets Myc protein interactions: it binds c- and N-Myc, Max and Miz-1, but does not bind Mad or select HLH proteins. Specifically, it prevents Myc binding to promoter E-boxes and transactivation of target genes while retaining Miz-1 dependent binding to promoters and transrepression. This is accompanied by broad epigenetic changes such as decreased acetylation and increased methylation at H3 lysine 9. In the presence of Omomyc, the Myc interactome is channeled to repression and its activity appears to switch from a pro-oncogenic to a tumor suppressive one. Given the extraordinary therapeutic impact of Omomyc in animal models, these data suggest that successfully targeting Myc for cancer therapy might require a similar twofold action, in order to prevent Myc/Max binding to E-boxes and, at the same time, keep repressing genes that would be repressed by Myc.

Comino-Méndez I, Gracia-Aznárez FJ, Schiavi F, et al.
Exome sequencing identifies MAX mutations as a cause of hereditary pheochromocytoma.
Nat Genet. 2011; 43(7):663-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hereditary pheochromocytoma (PCC) is often caused by germline mutations in one of nine susceptibility genes described to date, but there are familial cases without mutations in these known genes. We sequenced the exomes of three unrelated individuals with hereditary PCC (cases) and identified mutations in MAX, the MYC associated factor X gene. Absence of MAX protein in the tumors and loss of heterozygosity caused by uniparental disomy supported the involvement of MAX alterations in the disease. A follow-up study of a selected series of 59 cases with PCC identified five additional MAX mutations and suggested an association with malignant outcome and preferential paternal transmission of MAX mutations. The involvement of the MYC-MAX-MXD1 network in the development and progression of neural crest cell tumors is further supported by the lack of functional MAX in rat PCC (PC12) cells and by the amplification of MYCN in neuroblastoma and suggests that loss of MAX function is correlated with metastatic potential.

Portal D, Zhao B, Calderwood MA, et al.
EBV nuclear antigen EBNALP dismisses transcription repressors NCoR and RBPJ from enhancers and EBNA2 increases NCoR-deficient RBPJ DNA binding.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(19):7808-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
EBV nuclear antigen 2 (EBNA2) and EBV nuclear antigen LP (EBNALP) are critical for B-lymphocyte transformation to lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). EBNA2 activates transcription through recombination signal-binding immunoglobulin κJ region (RBPJ), a transcription factor associated with NCoR repressive complexes, and EBNALP is implicated in repressor relocalization. EBNALP coactivation with EBNA2 was found to dominate over NCoR repression. EBNALP associated with NCoR and dismissed NCoR, NCoR and RBPJ, or NCoR, RBPJ, and EBNA2 from matrix-associated deacetylase (MAD) bodies. In non-EBV-infected BJAB B lymphoma cells that stably express EBNA2, EBNALP, or EBNA2 and EBNALP, EBNALP was associated with hairy and enhancer of split 1 (hes1), cd21, cd23, and arginine and glutamate-rich 1 (arglu1) enhancer or promoter DNA and was associated minimally with coding DNA. With the exception of RBPJ at the arglu1 enhancer, NCoR and RBPJ were significantly decreased at enhancer and promoter sites in EBNALP or EBNA2 and EBNALP BJAB cells. EBNA2 DNA association was unaffected by EBNALP, and EBNALP was unaffected by EBNA2. EBNA2 markedly increased RBPJ at enhancer sites without increasing NCoR. EBNALP further increased hes1 and arglu1 RNA levels with EBNA2 but did not further increase cd21 or cd23 RNA levels. EBNALP in which the 45 C-terminal residues critical for transformation and transcriptional activation were deleted associated with NCoR but was deficient in dismissing NCoR from MAD bodies and from enhancer and promoter sites. These data strongly support a model in which EBNA2 association with NCoR-deficient RBPJ enhances transcription and EBNALP dismisses NCoR and RBPJ repressive complexes from enhancers to coactivate hes1 and arglu1 but not cd21 or cd23.

Kretzner L, Scuto A, Dino PM, et al.
Combining histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat with aurora kinase inhibitors enhances lymphoma cell killing with repression of c-Myc, hTERT, and microRNA levels.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(11):3912-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MK-0457 and MK-5108 are novel aurora kinase inhibitors (AKi) leading to G(2)-M cell-cycle arrest. Growth and survival of multiple lymphoma cell lines were studied with either drug alone or in combination with vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), using MTS and Annexin V assays, followed by molecular studies. Either of the AKi alone at 100 to 500 nmol/L resulted in approximately 50% reduced cell growth and 10% to 40% apoptosis. Addition of vorinostat reactivated proapoptotic genes and enhanced lymphoma cell death. Quantitative PCR and immunoblotting revealed that epigenetic and protein acetylation mechanisms were responsible for this activity. The prosurvival genes Bcl-X(L) and hTERT were downregulated 5-fold by combination drug treatment, whereas the proapoptotic BAD and BID genes were upregulated 3-fold. The p53 tumor suppressor was stabilized by an increased acetylation in response to vorinostat and a reduced Ser315 phosphorylation in response to aurora kinase A. Vorinostat or trichostatin A decreased MYC mRNA and protein as well as c-Myc-regulated microRNAs. MYC is a critical gene in these responses, as MYC knockdown combined with the expression of the c-Myc antagonist MXD1 raised cell sensitivity to the effects of either AKi. Thus, the HDACi vorinostat leads to both transcriptional and posttranscriptional changes to create a proapoptotic milieu, sensitizing cells to mitosis-specific agents such as AKis.

Meeran SM, Patel SN, Chan TH, Tollefsbol TO
A novel prodrug of epigallocatechin-3-gallate: differential epigenetic hTERT repression in human breast cancer cells.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011; 4(8):1243-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major component of green tea polyphenols (GTP), has been reported to downregulate telomerase activity in breast cancer cells thereby increasing cellular apoptosis and inhibiting cellular proliferation. However, the major concerns with GTPs are their bioavailability and stability under physiologic conditions. In the present study, we show that treatments with EGCG and a novel prodrug of EGCG (pro-EGCG or pEGCG) dose- and time-dependently inhibited the proliferation of human breast cancer MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells but not normal control MCF10A cells. Furthermore, both EGCG and pro-EGCG inhibited the transcription of hTERT (human telomerase reverse transcriptase), the catalytic subunit of telomerase, through epigenetic mechanisms in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive MCF-7 and ER-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. The downregulation of hTERT expression was found to be because of hTERT promoter hypomethylation and histone deacetylations, mediated at least partially through inhibition of DNA methyltransferase and histone acetyltransferase activities, respectively. In addition, we also observed that EGCG and pEGCG can remodel chromatin structures of the hTERT promoter by decreasing the level of acetyl-H3, acetyl-H3K9, and acetyl-H4 to the hTERT promoter. EGCG and pEGCG induced chromatin alterations that facilitated the binding of many hTERT repressors such as MAD1 and E2F-1 to the hTERT regulatory region. Depletion of E2F-1 and MAD1 by using siRNA reversed the pEGCG downregulated hTERT expression and associated cellular apoptosis differently in ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer cells. Collectively, our data provide new insights into breast cancer prevention through epigenetic modulation of telomerase by using pro-EGCG, a more stable form of EGCG, as a novel chemopreventive compound.

Palianopoulou M, Papanikolaou V, Stefanou N, Tsezou A
The activation of leptin-mediated survivin is limited by the inducible suppressor SOCS-3 in MCF-7 cells.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011; 236(1):70-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although leptin has been found to be implicated in obesity-related breast carcinogenesis in postmenopausal women, the molecular mechanisms involved are yet to be defined. Recently, the antiapoptotic gene survivin has been recognized as a target gene for leptin in breast cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of leptin on the expression of survivin and on the transcriptional activity of its promoter in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. We also studied the potential involvement of SOCS-3 (a negative regulator of leptin's main signaling pathway JAK2/STAT3) in the expression of leptin-mediated survivin. Our results showed a significant increase in the mRNA (dose-dependent increase of 40-70%) and protein expression levels of survivin 24 h post-leptin treatment, which was followed by a significant decrease at 48 and 72 h (of 60-70%). In accordance, a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed an initial strong binding of STAT3 to the survivin promoter, which was no longer detected after 24 h. Myc/mad/max network proteins and histone H3 acetylation status were not found to contribute to the expression of leptin-mediated survivin. Furthermore, a protein immunoprecipitation assay detected an enhanced SOCS-3 binding to the long isoform of leptin's receptor (Ob-Rb) 48 and 72 h after leptin administration, thus conferring inhibition to leptin signaling. In conclusion, our findings suggest, for the first time to our knowledge, that the effect of leptin on the antiapoptotic gene survivin is limited by the inhibitory role of SOCS-3 in the leptin-activated JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

Stefanou N, Papanikolaou V, Furukawa Y, et al.
Leptin as a critical regulator of hepatocellular carcinoma development through modulation of human telomerase reverse transcriptase.
BMC Cancer. 2010; 10:442 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Numerous epidemiological studies have documented that obesity is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate the biological actions regulated by leptin, the obesity biomarker molecule, and its receptors in HCC and the correlation between leptin and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), a known mediator of cellular immortalization.
METHODS: We investigated the relationship between leptin, leptin receptors and hTERT mRNA expression in HCC and healthy liver tissue samples. In HepG2 cells, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was used to study signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) and myc/mad/max transcription factors downstream of leptin which could be responsible for hTERT regulation. Flow cytometry was used for evaluation of cell cycle modifications and MMP1, 9 and 13 expression after treatment of HepG2 cells with leptin. Blocking of leptin's expression was achieved using siRNA against leptin and transfection with liposomes.
RESULTS: We showed, for the first time, that leptin's expression is highly correlated with hTERT expression levels in HCC liver tissues. We also demonstrated in HepG2 cells that leptin-induced up-regulation of hTERT and TA was mediated through binding of STAT3 and Myc/Max/Mad network proteins on hTERT promoter. We also found that leptin could affect hepatocellular carcinoma progression and invasion through its interaction with cytokines and matrix mettaloproteinases (MMPs) in the tumorigenic microenvironment. Furthermore, we showed that histone modification contributes to leptin's gene regulation in HCC.
CONCLUSIONS: We propose that leptin is a key regulator of the malignant properties of hepatocellular carcinoma cells through modulation of hTERT, a critical player of oncogenesis.

Huynh KM, Soh JW, Dash R, et al.
FOXM1 expression mediates growth suppression during terminal differentiation of HO-1 human metastatic melanoma cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2011; 226(1):194-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
Induction of terminal differentiation represents a potentially less toxic cancer therapy. Treatment of HO-1 human metastatic melanoma cells with IFN-β plus mezerein (MEZ) promotes terminal differentiation with an irreversible loss of growth potential. During this process, the transcription factor FOXM1 is down-regulated potentially inhibiting transactivation of target genes including those involved in G(2)/M progression and cell proliferation. We investigated the mechanism of FOXM1 down-regulation and its physiological role in terminal differentiation. Genetic and pharmacological studies revealed that FOXM1 down-regulation was primarily caused by MEZ activation of PKCα and co-treatment with IFN-β plus MEZ augmented the effect of PKCα. Promoter analysis with a mutated E-box on the FOXM1 promoter, and in vitro and in vivo binding assays confirm a direct role of c-Myc on FOXM1 expression. Reduction of c-Myc and overexpression of Mad1 by IFN-β plus MEZ treatment should cause potent and persistent reduction of FOXM1 expression during terminal differentiation. Overexpression of FOXM1 restored expression of cell cycle-associated genes and increased the proportion of cells in the S phase. Our experiments support a model for terminal differentiation in which FOXM1 down-regulation via activation of PKCα followed by suppression of c-Myc expression, are causal events in promoting growth inhibition during terminal differentiation.

Meeran SM, Patel SN, Tollefsbol TO
Sulforaphane causes epigenetic repression of hTERT expression in human breast cancer cell lines.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(7):e11457 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sulforaphane (SFN), an isothiocyanate found in cruciferous vegetables, is a common dietary component that has histone deacetylase inhibition activity and exciting potential in cancer prevention. The mechanisms by which SFN imparts its chemopreventive properties are of considerable interest and little is known of its preventive potential for breast cancer.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that SFN significantly inhibits the viability and proliferation of breast cancer cells in vitro while it has negligible effects on normal breast cells. Inhibition of telomerase has received considerable attention because of its high expression in cancer cells and extremely low level of expression in normal cells. SFN treatment dose- and time-dependently inhibited human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), the catalytic regulatory subunit of telomerase, in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), especially DNMT1 and DNMT3a, were also decreased in SFN-treated breast cancer cells suggesting that SFN may repress hTERT by impacting epigenetic pathways. Down-regulation of DNMTs in response to SFN induced site-specific CpG demethylation occurring primarily in the first exon of the hTERT gene thereby facilitating CTCF binding associated with hTERT repression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis of the hTERT promoter revealed that SFN increased the level of active chromatin markers acetyl-H3, acetyl-H3K9 and acetyl-H4, whereas the trimethyl-H3K9 and trimethyl-H3K27 inactive chromatin markers were decreased in a dose-dependent manner. SFN-induced hyperacetylation facilitated the binding of many hTERT repressor proteins such as MAD1 and CTCF to the hTERT regulatory region. Depletion of CTCF using siRNA reduced the SFN-induced down-regulation of hTERT mRNA transcription in these breast cancer cells. In addition, down-regulation of hTERT expression facilitated the induction of cellular apoptosis in human breast cancer cells.
SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively, our results provide novel insights into SFN-mediated epigenetic down-regulation of telomerase in breast cancer prevention and may open new avenues for approaches to SFN-mediated cancer prevention.

Wang HB, Wang XW, Zhou G, et al.
PinX1 inhibits telomerase activity in gastric cancer cells through Mad1/c-Myc pathway.
J Gastrointest Surg. 2010; 14(8):1227-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Mad1/c-Myc in telomerase regulation in gastric cancer cells in order to gain insight into telomerase activity and to evaluate PinX1 as a putative inhibitor of gastric cancer.
METHODS: PinX1 and PinX1siRNA eukaryotic expression vectors were constructed by recombinant technology and transfected into gastric carcinoma cells using Lipofectamine 2000. Telomerase activity was measured by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol. Apoptosis of gastric cancer cells was analyzed by flow cytometry and transmission electron microscopy. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were used to assess the expression levels of PinX1 and Mad1/c-Myc.
RESULTS: We found that PinX1-negative gastric cancer cells showed significantly higher telomerase activity than did the PinX1-postive cells. PinX1-transfection reduced telomerase activity in PinX1-negative gastric cancer cells and exhibited an upregulation of Mad1 and downregulation of c-Myc expression. Pinx1 RNAi treatment led to downregulation of Mad1 and upregulation of c-Myc.
CONCLUSION: Suppression of telomerase activity mediated by PinX1 is involved in the Mad1/c-Myc pathway.

Guo Y, Zhang X, Yang M, et al.
Functional evaluation of missense variations in the human MAD1L1 and MAD2L1 genes and their impact on susceptibility to lung cancer.
J Med Genet. 2010; 47(9):616-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human MAD1 mitotic arrest deficient-like 1 (MAD1L1) and MAD2 mitotic arrest deficient-like 1 (MAD2L1) are two interactive proteins playing important roles in maintaining spindle checkpoint function. This study examined the functional relevance of missense coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MAD1L1 and MAD2L1 and their association with susceptibility to lung cancer.
METHODS: SNPs in the MAD2L1 coding region were discovered by sequencing and impact of MAD1L1 and MAD2L1 variants on spindle checkpoint function was examined by flow cytometry and mitotic index assay. The associations of MAD1L1 and MAD2L1 variants with lung cancer were analysed in a case-control cohort of 1000 patients and 1000 controls. ORs and 95% CIs were estimated by logistic regression.
RESULTS: A novel C-to-A SNP at codon 84 of MAD2L1 (Leu84Met substitution) was discovered. Cells expressing MAD2L1-84Met and MAD1L1-558His had impaired spindle checkpoint function, with a lower 4N-DNA content and mitotic index when treated with nocodazole. Case-control analysis showed that the MAD2L1 Leu84Met SNP was associated with increased risk of lung cancer in an allele dose dependent manner, with the ORs being 2.55 (95% CI 1.95 to 3.33) for the Leu/Met and 2.68 (95% CI 2.05 to 3.48) for the Met/Met genotype compared with the Leu/Leu genotype. The MAD1L1 558 His/His genotype was also associated with 1.4-fold elevated lung cancer risk compared with the Arg/Arg genotype.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that genetic variants in MAD1L1 and MAD2L1 confer susceptibility to lung cancer, which might result from reduced spindle checkpoint function due to attenuated function of MAD1L1 and/or MAD2L1.

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