Gene Summary

Gene:NDRG1; N-myc downstream regulated 1
Summary:This gene is a member of the N-myc downregulated gene family which belongs to the alpha/beta hydrolase superfamily. The protein encoded by this gene is a cytoplasmic protein involved in stress responses, hormone responses, cell growth, and differentiation. The encoded protein is necessary for p53-mediated caspase activation and apoptosis. Mutations in this gene are a cause of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4D, and expression of this gene may be a prognostic indicator for several types of cancer. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding multiple isoforms have been observed for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, May 2012]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein NDRG1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

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: NDRG1 (cancer-related)

Cho Y, Cho EJ, Lee JH, et al.
Fucoidan-induced ID-1 suppression inhibits the in vitro and in vivo invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:607-616 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a fast growing tumor associated with a high tendency for vascular invasion and distant metastasis. Recently, we reported that fucoidan displays inhibitory effect on proliferation and invasion of HCC cells. In this study, we investigated the anti-metastatic effect of fucoidan on HCC cells and the key signal that modulates metastasis. The anti-metastatic effect of fucoidan was evaluated in vitro using an invasion assay with human HCC cells (Huh-7, SNU-761, and SNU-3085) under both normoxic (20% O2 and 5% CO2, at 37°C) and hypoxic (1% O2, 5% CO2, and 94% N2, at 37°C) conditions. Complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray analysis was performed to find the molecule which is significantly suppressed by fucoidan. In vivo study using a distant metastasis model by injecting SNU-761 cells into spleen via portal vein was performed to confirm the inhibitory effect by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection. Immunoblot analyses were used to investigate the signaling pathway. Fucoidan significantly suppressed the invasion of human HCC cells (Huh-7, SNU-761, and SNU-3085). Using cDNA microarray analysis, we found the molecule, ID-1, which was significantly suppressed by fucoidan treatment. Downregulation of ID-1 by siRNA significantly decreased invasion of HCC cells, both in vitro and in vivo (both P<0.05) in a NDRG-1/CAP43-dependent manner. In immunoblot assay, downregulation of ID-1 by siRNA decreased the expressions of epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers including CK19, vimentin, MMP2, and fibronectin. Immunofluorescence study also revealed that actin rearrangement was inhibited when ID-1 was down-regulated in HCC cells. Interestingly, in SNU-761 cells, the ID-1 expressions under hypoxic conditions were lower as compared to those under normoxic conditions. Under hypoxic conditions, HIF-1α up-regulated NDRG-1/CAP43, while HIF-2α down-regulated ID-1, which might be a compensatory phenomenon against hypoxia-induced HCC invasion. In conclusion, NDRG-1/CAP43-dependent down-regulation of ID-1 suppressed HCC invasion both in vitro and in vivo, which was modulated by fucoidan treatment. Moreover, the compensatory down-regulation of ID-1 against hypoxia-induced HCC invasion was observed. ID-1 is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of metastatic HCC.

Ma J, Gao Q, Zeng S, Shen H
Knockdown of NDRG1 promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition of colorectal cancer via NF-κB signaling.
J Surg Oncol. 2016; 114(4):520-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: NDRG1 plays important roles in tumor growth and metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC). The relation between NDRG1 and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has not been identified and the mechanism of NDRG1 involving in mCRC needs to be elucidated.
METHODS: Correlations between NDRG1 and clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of 164 patients with mCRC were evaluated. Sensitivity of NDRG1-knockdown colon cancer cell to irinotecan (CPT-11) was determined by MTT assay. Blocking of NF-κB signaling by p65 siRNA interference was carried out to explore the mechanism of NDRG1 involving in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-regulated invasion and metastasis of CRC.
RESULTS: NDRG1 expression was significantly negatively correlated with differentiation (P = 0.008) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.016) of mCRC. NDRG1 was a favorable prognostic factor of mCRC, although might be responsible for CPT-11 resistance in vitro. Knockdown of NDRG1 promoted EMT of CRC cells via NF-κB signaling. Depletion of NDRG1 increased phosphorylation level of NF-κB. E-cadherin expression was increased and Vimentin expression was reduced in the p65-siRNA treated group, compared with the control group (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: NDRG1 appears to prevent EMT-induced metastasis by attenuating NF-κB signaling in mCRC. NDRG1 may be an independent prognostic factor for good survival of mCRC. J. Surg. Oncol. 2016;114:520-527. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Suh M, Thompson CM, Brorby GP, et al.
Inhalation cancer risk assessment of cobalt metal.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016; 79:74-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cobalt compounds (metal, salts, hard metals, oxides, and alloys) are used widely in various industrial, medical and military applications. Chronic inhalation exposure to cobalt metal and cobalt sulfate has caused lung cancer in rats and mice, as well as systemic tumors in rats. Cobalt compounds are listed as probable or possible human carcinogens by some agencies, and there is a need for quantitative cancer toxicity criteria. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has derived a provisional inhalation unit risk (IUR) of 0.009 per μg/m(3) based on a chronic inhalation study of soluble cobalt sulfate heptahydrate; however, a recent 2-year cancer bioassay affords the opportunity to derive IURs specifically for cobalt metal. The mechanistic data support that the carcinogenic mode of action (MOA) is likely to involve oxidative stress, and thus, non-linear/threshold mechanisms. However, the lack of a detailed MOA and use of high, toxic exposure concentrations in the bioassay (≥1.25 mg/m(3)) preclude derivation of a reference concentration (RfC) protective of cancer. Several analyses resulted in an IUR of 0.003 per μg/m(3) for cobalt metal, which is ∼3-fold less potent than the provisional IUR. Future research should focus on establishing the exposure-response for key precursor events to improve cobalt metal risk assessment.

Chang X, Xu X, Xue X, et al.
NDRG1 Controls Gastric Cancer Migration and Invasion through Regulating MMP-9.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2016; 22(4):789-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study is to detect the clinical significance of NDRG1 and its relationship with MMP-9 in gastric cancer metastatic progression. 101 cases of gastric cancer specimens were utilized to identify the protein expression of NDRG1 and MMP-9 by immunohistochemistry, their clinical significance was also analyzed. The suppression by siRNA-NDRG1 was employed to detect the role of NDRG1 in gastric cancer progression and its relationship with MMP-9. NDRG1 expression was correlated inversely with the degree of tumor cell differentiation (p < 0.01), invasion depth (p < 0.05), lymph node metastasis (p < 0.05) and TNM stage (p < 0.05), whereas MMP-9 was positive correlated with the degree of tumor cell differentiation (p < 0.01), lymph node metastasis (p < 0.05) and TNM stage (p < 0.05), but not correlated with invasion depth (p>0.05). Furthermore, cell proliferation and invasion effect were remarkably enhanced when NDRG1 was silencing, but MMP-9 expression was increased. NDRG1 silencing enhances gastric cancer cells progression through upregulating MMP-9. It suggests that NDRG1 may inhibit the metastasis of gastric cancer via regulating MMP-9.

Tsui KH, Lin YH, Chung LC, et al.
Prostate-derived ets factor represses tumorigenesis and modulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in bladder carcinoma cells.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 375(1):142-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate-derived Ets (E-twenty six) factor (PDEF), an epithelium-specific member of the Ets family of transcription factors, has been shown to play a role in suppressing the development of many epithelium-derived cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. It is not clear, however, whether PDEF is involved in the development or progression of bladder cancer. In a comparison between normal urothelium and bladder tumor tissue, we identified significant decreases of PDEF in the tumor tissue. Further, the immunohistochemistry assays indicated a significantly higher immunostaining of PDEF in low-grade bladder tumors. Additionally, the highly differentiated transitional-cell bladder carcinoma RT-4 cells expressed significantly more PDEF levels than the bladder carcinoma HT1376 and the T24 cells. Ectopic overexpression of PDEF attenuated proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis of bladder carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo. PDEF enhanced the expression levels of mammary serine protease inhibitor (MASPIN), N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), KAI1, and B-cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2). PDEF modulated epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) by upregulating E-cadherin expression and downregulating the expression of N-cadherin, SNAIL, SLUG, and vimentin, leading to lower migration and invasion abilities of bladder carcinoma cells. Filamentous actin (F-actin) polarization and remodeling were observed in PDEF-knockdown RT-4 cells. Our results suggest that PDEF gene expression is associated with the extent of bladder neoplasia and PDEF modulated the expressions of EMT-related genes. The induction of BTG2, NDRG1, MASPIN, and KAI1 gene expressions by PDEF may explain the inhibitory functions of PDEF on the proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis in bladder carcinoma cells.

Choi JH, Kim JS, Won YW, et al.
The potential of deferasirox as a novel therapeutic modality in gastric cancer.
World J Surg Oncol. 2016; 14:77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Iron is a crucial element for cell proliferation, growth, and metabolism. However, excess iron and altered iron metabolism are both associated with tumor initiation and tumor growth. Deferasirox is an oral iron chelator. Although some studies have indicated that deferasirox is a promising candidate for anti-cancer therapies, its effectiveness against gastric cancer has not yet been determined. This study was conducted to determine whether deferasirox exerts anti-tumor effects in gastric cancer cell lines and whether deferasirox and cisplatin act synergistically.
METHODS: Four human gastric cancer cell lines (AGS, MKN-28, SNU-484, and SNU-638) were treated with various concentrations of deferasirox to determine the IC50 for each cell line. The effects of deferasirox on the cell cycle were evaluated by flow cytometry, and the effects of deferasirox on iron metabolism, the cell cycle, and apoptosis were assessed by Western blotting. To determine whether deferasirox enhances the effect of cisplatin, AGS cells were cultured in the presence and absence of cisplatin.
RESULTS: Deferasirox inhibited the proliferation of all gastric cancer cell lines as assessed by MTT assays. Since the IC50 of deferasirox was the lowest (below 10 μM) in AGS cells, subsequent experiments were performed in this line. Deferasirox upregulated transferrin receptor 1 expression and decreased ferroportin expression. Moreover, deferasirox induced G1 arrest; upregulated p21, p27, and p53 expression; and downregulated cyclin D1, cyclin B, and CDK4 expression. Furthermore, deferasirox induced apoptosis, upregulated N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), and downregulated p-mTOR and c-myc expression. It was also found to act synergistically with cisplatin.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that deferasirox may exert anti-tumor effects in the context of gastric cancer. Deferasirox affects a number of different pathways and molecules; for instance, deferasirox upregulates NDRG1 expression, inhibits the cell cycle, downregulates mTOR and c-myc expression, and induces apoptosis. In addition, deferasirox appears to potentiate the anti-cancer effects of cisplatin. Although the efficacy of deferasirox remains to be tested in future studies, the results presented here indicate that deferasirox is a promising novel anti-cancer therapeutic agent.

Wangpu X, Lu J, Xi R, et al.
Targeting the Metastasis Suppressor, N-Myc Downstream Regulated Gene-1, with Novel Di-2-Pyridylketone Thiosemicarbazones: Suppression of Tumor Cell Migration and Cell-Collagen Adhesion by Inhibiting Focal Adhesion Kinase/Paxillin Signaling.
Mol Pharmacol. 2016; 89(5):521-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastasis is a complex process that is regulated by multiple signaling pathways, with the focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/paxillin pathway playing a major role in the formation of focal adhesions and cell motility. N-myc downstream regulated gene-1 (NDRG1) is a potent metastasis suppressor in many solid tumor types, including prostate and colon cancer. Considering the antimetastatic effect of NDRG1 and the crucial involvement of the FAK/paxillin pathway in cellular migration and cell-matrix adhesion, we assessed the effects of NDRG1 on this important oncogenic pathway. In the present study, NDRG1 overexpression and silencing models of HT29 colon cancer and DU145 prostate cancer cells were used to examine the activation of FAK/paxillin signaling and the formation of focal adhesions. The expression of NDRG1 resulted in a marked and significant decrease in the activating phosphorylation of FAK and paxillin, whereas silencing of NDRG1 resulted in an opposite effect. The expression of NDRG1 also inhibited the formation of focal adhesions as well as cell migration and cell-collagen adhesion. Incubation of cells with novel thiosemicarbazones, namely di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone and di-2-pyridylketone 4-cyclohexyl-4-methyl-3-thiosemicarbazone, that upregulate NDRG1 also resulted in decreased phosphorylation of FAK and paxillin. The ability of these thiosemicarbazones to inhibit cell migration and metastasis could be mediated, at least in part, through the FAK/paxillin pathway.

Li EY, Huang WY, Chang YC, et al.
Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activates NDRG1 Transcription under Hypoxia in Breast Cancer Cells.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:20808 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypoxia has been intensively investigated over the past several decades based on the observations that hypoxic tumors are more resistant to therapy and have a worse prognosis. Previously, we reported that N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is strongly up-regulated under hypoxia and may play an important role in tumor adaptation to fluctuating oxygen concentrations. However, the regulatory mechanism of NDRG1 under hypoxia remains elusive. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the transcription factors that regulate NDRG1 and to investigate the functional roles of NDRG1 in hypoxia. We showed that binding sites of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) were predicted in the NDRG1 promoter. Nuclear AHR was up-regulated in the presence of cobalt and hypoxia. AHR translocated to nuclei and bound between base pairs -412 and -388 of the NDRG1 promoter in hypoxia. Moreover, hypoxia-mimetic induction of NDRG1 was attenuated by knockdown of AHR expression. Also, overexpression of AHR facilitated cell proliferation and migration via up-regulation of NDRG1. These results showed for the first time that AHR positively regulates NDRG1 transcription through an AHR binding site by way of hypoxia-mimetic signaling, which may lead to development of a specific therapeutic regimen to prevent tumor malignancy under hypoxia.

Zhang D, Chen P, Zheng CH, Xia J
Identification of ovarian cancer subtype-specific network modules and candidate drivers through an integrative genomics approach.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):4298-309 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Identification of cancer subtypes and associated molecular drivers is critically important for understanding tumor heterogeneity and seeking effective clinical treatment. In this study, we introduced a simple but efficient multistep procedure to define ovarian cancer types and identify core networks/pathways and driver genes for each subtype by integrating multiple data sources, including mRNA expression, microRNA expression, copy number variation, and protein-protein interaction data. Applying similarity network fusion approach to a patient cohort with 379 ovarian cancer samples, we found two distinct integrated cancer subtypes with different survival profiles. For each ovarian cancer subtype, we explored the candidate oncogenic processes and driver genes by using a network-based approach. Our analysis revealed that alterations in DLST module involved in metabolism pathway and NDRG1 module were common between the two subtypes. However, alterations in the RB signaling pathway drove distinct molecular and clinical phenotypes in different ovarian cancer subtypes. This study provides a computational framework to harness the full potential of large-scale genomic data for discovering ovarian cancer subtype-specific network modules and candidate drivers. The framework may also be used to identify new therapeutic targets in a subset of ovarian cancers, for which limited therapeutic opportunities currently exist.

Zhang D, Jia J, Zhao G, et al.
NDRG1 promotes the multidrug resistance of neuroblastoma cells with upregulated expression of drug resistant proteins.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2015; 76:46-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and recurrence are two major causes of poor prognosis in many tumors including neuroblastoma. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the elevated intracellular NDRG1 expression on drug resistance of human neuroblastoma cells to chemotherapy, for exploring novel approaches for biotherapy of neuroblastoma.
METHODS: Human neuroblastoma KP-N-Ns cell lines were transfected with the lentivirus vector containing human NDRG1 cDNA, with empty vector-transfected or blank cells as controls. Transfection status was confirmed under fluorescence microscope, while PCR assay and western blot analysis were performed to determine the expression changes. MTT and TUNEL assays were used to detect the resistance of the cells to anticancer drugs, including vincristine, cyclophosphamide and so on. Additionally, the expression of drug resistant proteins was detected.
RESULTS: Stable lentiviral transfection cell line was successfully established with significantly upregulated NDRG1 expression. MTT assay revealed greater cell growth under NDRG1 overexpression with drugs stimulation, as compared to controls. TUNEL assay also showed less apoptosis of NDRG1 overexpressing cells than those of controls when exposed to these drugs, suggesting the increasing drug resistance through NDRG1 overexpression. Besides, the expression of MDR, LRP-1 and MRP-1 was also increased in NDRG1 overexpressing cells, implying NDRG1-mediated pathways in multidrug resistance of neuroblastoma.
CONCLUSION: NDRG1 could increase the resistance of neuroblastoma cells to chemotherapeutic drugs, with its positive regulation on drug resistant proteins. This study provided new insights for exploring the mechanism of the resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and also novel approach for biotherapy in neuroblastoma.

Li XL, Zhou CY, Sun Y, et al.
Bioinformatic analysis of potential candidates for therapy of inflammatory bowel disease.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015; 19(22):4275-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) increased the risk for developing colorectal cancer. However, there is no effective therapy for IBDs. The aim of this study was to identify potential therapeutic targets for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and explore the possible mechanism underlying this disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gene expression profile GSE6731 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, which included 9 UC samples and 19 CD samples. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between affected colon tissues and non-affected tissues were identified in UC and CD group. Then, Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways analysis of DEGs were performed. Modules in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network were identified, and significant node genes were selected.
RESULTS: Total 619 DEGs including 285 up-regulated genes and 334 down-regulated genes were identified in UC group and total 1159 DEGs of CD including 585 up-regulated genes and 574 down-regulated genes were selected. Module was selected from PPI network. From the PPI network and module, DEGs of mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 (MAPK3), N-myc downstream regulated 1 (NDRG1) and major histocompatibility complex, class II, DR alpha (HLA-DRA) have high degree.
CONCLUSIONS: MAPK3, NDRG1 and HLA-DRA may play key roles in the progression and development of IBD. They may be used as specific therapeutic targets in the treatment of IBD. However, further experiments are still needed to confirm our results.

Kovacevic Z, Menezes SV, Sahni S, et al.
The Metastasis Suppressor, N-MYC Downstream-regulated Gene-1 (NDRG1), Down-regulates the ErbB Family of Receptors to Inhibit Downstream Oncogenic Signaling Pathways.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(3):1029-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
N-MYC downstream-regulated gene-1 (NDRG1) is a potent growth and metastasis suppressor that acts through its inhibitory effects on a wide variety of cellular signaling pathways, including the TGF-β pathway, protein kinase B (AKT)/PI3K pathway, RAS, etc. To investigate the hypothesis that its multiple effects could be regulated by a common upstream effector, the role of NDRG1 on the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and other members of the ErbB family, namely human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3), was examined. We demonstrate that NDRG1 markedly decreased the expression and activation of EGFR, HER2, and HER3 in response to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) ligand, while also inhibiting formation of the EGFR/HER2 and HER2/HER3 heterodimers. In addition, NDRG1 also decreased activation of the downstream MAPKK in response to EGF. Moreover, novel anti-tumor agents of the di-2-pyridylketone class of thiosemicarbazones, namely di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone and di-2-pyridylketone 4-cyclohexyl-4-methyl-3-thiosemicarbazone, which markedly up-regulate NDRG1, were found to inhibit EGFR, HER2, and HER3 expression and phosphorylation in cancer cells. However, the mechanism involved appeared dependent on NDRG1 for di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone, but was independent of this metastasis suppressor for di-2-pyridylketone 4-cyclohexyl-4-methyl-3-thiosemicarbazone. This observation demonstrates that small structural changes in thiosemicarbazones result in marked alterations in molecular targeting. Collectively, these results reveal a mechanism for the extensive downstream effects on cellular signaling attributed to NDRG1. Furthermore, this study identifies a novel approach for the treatment of tumors resistant to traditional EGFR inhibitors.

Talarico C, D'Antona L, Scumaci D, et al.
Preclinical model in HCC: the SGK1 kinase inhibitor SI113 blocks tumor progression in vitro and in vivo and synergizes with radiotherapy.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(35):37511-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The SGK1 kinase is pivotal in signal transduction pathways operating in cell transformation and tumor progression. Here, we characterize in depth a novel potent and selective pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-based SGK1 inhibitor. This compound, named SI113, active in vitro in the sub-micromolar range, inhibits SGK1-dependent signaling in cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. We recently showed that SI113 slows down tumor growth and induces cell death in colon carcinoma cells, when used in monotherapy or in combination with paclitaxel. We now demonstrate for the first time that SI113 inhibits tumour growth in hepatocarcinoma models in vitro and in vivo. SI113-dependent tumor inhibition is dose- and time-dependent. In vitro and in vivo SI113-dependent SGK1 inhibition determined a dramatic increase in apoptosis/necrosis, inhibited cell proliferation and altered the cell cycle profile of treated cells. Proteome-wide biochemical studies confirmed that SI113 down-regulates the abundance of proteins downstream of SGK1 with established roles in neoplastic transformation, e.g. MDM2, NDRG1 and RAN network members. Consistent with knock-down and over-expressing cellular models for SGK1, SI113 potentiated and synergized with radiotherapy in tumor killing. No short-term toxicity was observed in treated animals during in vivo SI113 administration. These data show that direct SGK1 inhibition can be effective in hepatic cancer therapy, either alone or in combination with radiotherapy.

Hung CL, Yen CS, Tsai HW, et al.
Upregulation of MicroRNA-19b predicts good prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma presenting with vascular invasion or multifocal disease.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:665 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: After surgical resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), recurrence is common, especially in patients presenting with vascular invasion or multifocal disease after curative surgery. Consequently, we examined the expression pattern and prognostic value of miR-19b in samples from these patients.
METHODS: We performed a miRNA microarray to detect differential expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in 5 paired samples of HCC and non-tumoral adjacent liver tissue and a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis to validate the results in 81 paired samples of HCC and adjacent non-tumoral liver tissues. We examined the associations of miR-19b expression with clinicopathological parameters and survival. MiR-19b was knocked down in Hep3B and an mRNA microarray was performed to detect the affected genes.
RESULTS: In both the miRNA microarray and real-time PCR, miR-19b was significantly overexpressed in the HCC tumor compared with adjacent non-tumor liver tissues (P < 0.001). The expression of miR-19b was significantly higher in patients who were disease-free 2 years after surgery (P < 0.001). High miR-19b expression levels were associated with higher α-fetoprotein levels (P = 0.017). In the log-rank test, high miR-19b was associated with better disease-free survival (median survival 37.107 vs. 11.357; P = 0.022). In Cox multivariate analysis, high miR-19b predicted better disease-free survival and overall survival (hazards ratio [HR] = 0.453, 95 % confidence interval [CI] = 0.245-0.845, P = 0.013; HR = 0.318, CI = 0.120-0.846, P = 0.022, respectively). N-myc downstream regulated 1 (NDRG1) was downregulated, while epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EPCAM), hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1A), high-mobility group protein B2 (HMGB2), and mitogen activated protein kinase 14 (MAPK14) were upregulated when miR-19b was knocked down in Hep3B.
CONCLUSIONS: The overexpression of miR-19b was significantly correlated with better disease-free and overall survival in patients with HCC presenting with vascular invasion or multifocal disease after curative surgery. MiR-19b may influence the expression of NDRG1, EPCAM, HMGB2, HIF1A, and MAPK14.

Liu W, Kovacevic Z, Peng Z, et al.
The molecular effect of metastasis suppressors on Src signaling and tumorigenesis: new therapeutic targets.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):35522-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A major problem for cancer patients is the metastasis of cancer cells from the primary tumor. This involves: (1) migration through the basement membrane; (2) dissemination via the circulatory system; and (3) invasion into a secondary site. Metastasis suppressors, by definition, inhibit metastasis at any step of the metastatic cascade. Notably, Src is a non-receptor, cytoplasmic, tyrosine kinase, which becomes aberrantly activated in many cancer-types following stimulation of plasma membrane receptors (e.g., receptor tyrosine kinases and integrins). There is evidence of a prominent role of Src in tumor progression-related events such as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the development of metastasis. However, the precise molecular interactions of Src with metastasis suppressors remain unclear. Herein, we review known metastasis suppressors and summarize recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of how these proteins inhibit metastasis through modulation of Src. Particular emphasis is bestowed on the potent metastasis suppressor, N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) and its interactions with the Src signaling cascade. Recent studies demonstrated a novel mechanism through which NDRG1 plays a significant role in regulating cancer cell migration by inhibiting Src activity. Moreover, we discuss the rationale for targeting metastasis suppressor genes as a sound therapeutic modality, and we review several examples from the literature where such strategies show promise. Collectively, this review summarizes the essential interactions of metastasis suppressors with Src and their effects on progression of cancer metastasis. Moreover, interesting unresolved issues regarding these proteins as well as their potential as therapeutic targets are also discussed.

Salis O, Okuyucu A, Bedir A, et al.
Antimetastatic effect of fluvastatin on breast and hepatocellular carcinoma cells in relation to SGK1 and NDRG1 genes.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(3):3017-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastasis occurs due to migration of the cells from primary tumor toward other tissues by gaining invasive properties. Since metastatic invasion shows a strong resistance against conventional cancer treatments, the studies on this issue have been focused. Within this context, inhibition of migration and determination of the relationships at the gene level will contribute to treatment of metastatic cancer cases. We have aimed to demonstrate the impact of TGF-β1 and fluvastatin on human breast cancer (MCF-7) and human hepatocellular carcinoma (Hep3B) cell cultures via Real-Time Cell Analyzer (RTCA) and to test the expression levels of some genes (NDRG1, SGK1, TWIST1, AMPKA2) and to compare their gene expression levels according to RTCA results. Both of cell series were applied TGF-β1 and combinations of TGF-β1/fluvastatin. Primer and probes were synthesized using Universal Probe Library (UPL, Roche) software, and expression levels of genes were tested via qPCR using the device LightCycler 480 II (Roche). Consequently, fluvastatin dose-dependently inhibited migration induced by TGF-β1 in both groups. This inhibition was accompanied by low level of SGK1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and high levels of NDRG1 and AMPKA2 mRNA. Thus, we conclude that fluvastatin plays an important role in reducing resistance to chemotherapeutics and preventing metastasis.

Wangpu X, Yang X, Zhao J, et al.
The metastasis suppressor, NDRG1, inhibits "stemness" of colorectal cancer via down-regulation of nuclear β-catenin and CD44.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(32):33893-911 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), has been identified as an important metastasis suppressor for colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we investigated: (1) the effects of NDRG1 on CRC stemness and tumorigenesis; (2) the molecular mechanisms involved; and (3) the relationship between NDRG1 expression and colorectal cancer prognosis. Our investigation demonstrated that CRC cells with silenced NDRG1 showed more tumorigenic ability and stem cell-like properties, such as: colony and sphere formation, chemoresistance, cell invasion, high expression of CD44, and tumorigenicity in vivo. Moreover, NDRG1 silencing reduced β-catenin expression on the cell membrane, while increasing its nuclear expression. The anti-tumor activity of NDRG1 was demonstrated to be mediated by preventing β-catenin nuclear translocation, as silencing of this latter molecule could reverse the effects of silencing NDRG1 expression. NDRG1 expression was also demonstrated to be negatively correlated to CRC prognosis. In addition, there was a negative correlation between NDRG1 and nuclear β-catenin and also NDRG1 and CD44 expression in clinical CRC specimens. Taken together, our investigation demonstrates that the anti-metastatic activity of NDRG1 in CRC occurs through the down-regulation of nuclear β-catenin and suggests that NDRG1 is a significant therapeutic target.

Butler KS, Young MY, Li Z, et al.
Performance characteristics of the AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot panel v2 in combination with the Ion Torrent Next Generation Sequencing Personal Genome Machine.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016; 74:178-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Next-Generation Sequencing is a rapidly advancing technology that has research and clinical applications. For many cancers, it is important to know the precise mutation(s) present, as specific mutations could indicate or contra-indicate certain treatments as well as be indicative of prognosis. Using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine and the AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot panel v2, we sequenced two pancreatic cancer cell lines, BxPC-3 and HPAF-II, alone or in mixtures, to determine the error rate, sensitivity, and reproducibility of this system. The system resulted in coverage averaging 2000× across the various amplicons and was able to reliably and reproducibly identify mutations present at a rate of 5%. Identification of mutations present at a lower rate was possible by altering the parameters by which calls were made, but with an increase in erroneous, low-level calls. The panel was able to identify known mutations in these cell lines that are present in the COSMIC database. In addition, other, novel mutations were also identified that may prove clinically useful. The system was assessed for systematic errors such as homopolymer effects, end of amplicon effects and patterns in NO CALL sequence. Overall, the system is adequate at identifying the known, targeted mutations in the panel.

Lu WJ, Chua MS, Wei W, So SK
NDRG1 promotes growth of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by directly interacting with GSK-3β and Nur77 to prevent β-catenin degradation.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(30):29847-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is significantly associated with advanced tumor stages and poor survival of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), thereby implicating it as a potential target for HCC treatment. We aim to further understand its biological roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, as a means to exploit it for therapeutic purposes. By screening using the ProtoArray® Human Protein Microarrays, we identified glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) and the orphan nuclear receptor (Nur77) as potential interaction partners of NDRG1. These interactions were confirmed in HCC cell lines in vitro by co-immunoprecipitation; and co-localizations of NDRG1 with GSK-3β and Nur77 were observed by immunofluorescence staining. Additionally, high levels of NDRG1 competitively bind to GSK-3β and Nur77 to allow β-catenin to escape degradation, with consequent elevated levels of downstream oncogenic genes. In vivo, we consistently observed that NDRG1 suppression in HCC xenografts decreased β-catenin levels and its downstream target Cyclin D1, with concomitant tumor growth inhibition. Clinically, the over-expression of NDRG1 in HCC patient samples is positively correlated with GSK-3β-9ser (|”‚ R | = 0.28, p = 0.01), Nur77 (|”‚ R | = 0.42, p < 0.001), and β-catenin (| R |= 0.32, p = 0.003) expressions. In conclusion, we identified GSK-3β and Nur77 as novel interaction partners of NDRG1. These protein-protein interactions regulate the turnover of β-catenin and subsequent downstream signaling mediated by β-catenin in HCC cells, and provides potential targets for future therapeutic interventions.

Wu F, Rom WN, Koshiji M, et al.
Role of GLI1 and NDRG1 in Increased Resistance to Apoptosis Induction.
J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2015; 34(3):213-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We examined the effects of GLI1 expression in PW mouse embryo fibroblasts and H441 lung carcinoma cells. Ectopic expression of GLI1 in PW cells induced anchorage-independent growth and increased resistance to staurosporine-induced apoptosis, and overexpression of GLI1 in H441 cells caused resistance to apoptosis induced by staurosporine and etoposide. GLI1 expression in both H441 and PW cells was associated with increased expression of NDRG1, a gene known to be downregulated by the MYC family of proteins, indicating that upregulation of NDRG1 by GLI1 is not cell-type specific. Consistent with suppression of NDRG1 by c-MYC and N-MYC, increased NDRG1 expression correlated with decreased expression of c-MYC and N-MYC in GLI1-expressing H441 and GLI1-expressing PW cells, respectively. Downregulation of GLI1 expression in A549 cells by siRNA transfection increased sensitivity to etoposide-induced apoptosis, and downregulation of NDRG1 expression in H441 cells by siRNA transfection increased sensitivity to etoposide-induced apoptosis. Of clinical significance, inhibition of GLI1 and NDRG1 expression may increase sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. Strategies that aim to inhibit GLI1 function and NDRG1 expression may be useful for targeted therapy of cancers induced by the SHH-GLI signaling pathway.

Moussa RS, Kovacevic Z, Richardson DR
Differential targeting of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21CIP1/WAF1, by chelators with anti-proliferative activity in a range of tumor cell-types.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(30):29694-711 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chelators such as 2-hydroxy-1-napthylaldehyde isonicotinoyl hydrazone (311) and di-2-pyridylketone-4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) target tumor cell iron pools and inhibit proliferation. These agents also modulate multiple targets, one of which is the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21. Hence, this investigation examined the mechanism of action of these compounds in targeting p21. All the chelators up-regulated p21 mRNA in the five tumor cell-types assessed. In contrast, examining their effect on total p21 protein levels, these agents induced either: (1) down-regulation in MCF-7 cells; (2) up-regulation in SK-MEL-28 and CFPAC-1 cells; or (3) had no effect in LNCaP and SK-N-MC cells. The nuclear localization of p21 was also differentially affected by the ligands depending upon the cell-type, with it being decreased in MCF-7 cells, but increased in SK-MEL-28 and CFPAC-1 cells. Further studies assessing the mechanisms responsible for these effects demonstrated that p21 expression was not correlated with p53 status, suggesting a p53-independent mechanism. Considering this, we examined proteins that modulate p21 independently of p53, namely NDRG1, MDM2 and ΔNp63. These studies demonstrated that a dominant negative MDM2 isoform (p75(MDM2)) closely resembled p21 expression in response to chelation in three cell lines. These data suggest MDM2 may be involved in the regulation of p21 by chelators.

Croessmann S, Wong HY, Zabransky DJ, et al.
NDRG1 links p53 with proliferation-mediated centrosome homeostasis and genome stability.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(37):11583-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The tumor protein 53 (TP53) tumor suppressor gene is the most frequently somatically altered gene in human cancers. Here we show expression of N-Myc down-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is induced by p53 during physiologic low proliferative states, and mediates centrosome homeostasis, thus maintaining genome stability. When placed in physiologic low-proliferating conditions, human TP53 null cells fail to increase expression of NDRG1 compared with isogenic wild-type controls and TP53 R248W knockin cells. Overexpression and RNA interference studies demonstrate that NDRG1 regulates centrosome number and amplification. Mechanistically, NDRG1 physically associates with γ-tubulin, a key component of the centrosome, with reduced association in p53 null cells. Strikingly, TP53 homozygous loss was mutually exclusive of NDRG1 overexpression in over 96% of human cancers, supporting the broad applicability of these results. Our study elucidates a mechanism of how TP53 loss leads to abnormal centrosome numbers and genomic instability mediated by NDRG1.

Tsui KH, Hsu SY, Chung LC, et al.
Growth differentiation factor-15: a p53- and demethylation-upregulating gene represses cell proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis in bladder carcinoma cells.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:12870 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF15), a member of the TGF-β superfamily, affects tumor biology of certain cancers, but remains poorly understood in bladder cancer cells. This study determined the expression, regulation, function, and potential downstream target genes of GDF15 in bladder carcinoma cells. The transitional papilloma carcionoma cells (RT4) expressed higher levels of GDF15 as compared with the bladder carcinoma cells (HT1376 and T24). Treatments of recombinant human GDF15 (rhGDF15) reduced the proliferations of HT1376 and T24 cells. Expression of GDF15 was upregulated via DNA demethylation and p53. The cell proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis were reduced in ectopic overexpression of GDF15, while enhanced in GDF15 knockdown. The expressions of mammary serine protease inhibitor (MASPIN) and N-myc downstream-regulated family genes (NDRG1, NDRG2, and NDRG3) were upregulated by GDF15 overexpressions and rhGDF15 treatments in bladder carcinoma cells. GDF15 knockdown induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and F-actin polarization in HT1376 cells. Our results suggest that enhanced expressions of MASPIN and N-myc downstream-regulated family genes and the modulation of EMT may account for the inhibitory functions of GDF15 in the cell proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis of bladder carcinoma cells. The GDF15 should be considered as a tumor suppressor in human bladder carcinoma cells.

Pon JR, Wong J, Saberi S, et al.
MEF2B mutations in non-Hodgkin lymphoma dysregulate cell migration by decreasing MEF2B target gene activation.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:7953 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Myocyte enhancer factor 2B (MEF2B) is a transcription factor with mutation hotspots at K4, Y69 and D83 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). To provide insight into the regulatory network of MEF2B, in this study, we analyse global gene expression and DNA-binding patterns. We find that candidate MEF2B direct target genes include RHOB, RHOD, CDH13, ITGA5 and CAV1, and that indirect target genes of MEF2B include MYC, TGFB1, CARD11, MEF2C, NDRG1 and FN1. MEF2B overexpression increases HEK293A cell migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and decreases DLBCL cell chemotaxis. K4E, Y69H and D83V MEF2B mutations decrease the capacity of MEF2B to activate transcription and decrease its' effects on cell migration. The K4E and D83V mutations decrease MEF2B DNA binding. In conclusion, our map of the MEF2B regulome connects MEF2B to drivers of oncogenesis.

Li Y, Pan P, Qiao P, Liu R
Downregulation of N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 caused by the methylation of CpG islands of NDRG1 promoter promotes proliferation and invasion of prostate cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(3):1001-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Current studies tend to consider N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) as a tumor suppressor gene, inhibiting cell proliferation and invasion. NDRG1 expression in cancer cells is generally low, but the molecular mechanism is unclear. Aberrant methylation of CpG islands (CGIs) in gene promoter was able to inactivate tumor suppressor genes and activate oncogenes, disordering cell proliferation and apoptosis, playing a promotion role in tumor occurrence and progression. The present study was performed to investigate the effect of epigenetic modification of NDRG1 on prostate cancer (PCa) cells. The protein expression in human specimens was measured by immunohistochemical staining. The expression level of NDRG1 was changed by plasmid vectors in PCa cells. These cells were used to study proliferation and invasiveness. NDRG1 expression in normal prostate cells was higher than that in PCa cells. Downregulation of NDRG1 expression enhanced cell proliferation and invasiveness. In contrast, its upregulation could reduce cell proliferation and invasiveness. In PCa cells, the methylation rate of CGIs in the promoter region of NDRG1 was higher than that in normal prostate cells. 5-Aza-CdR, a methylation inhibitor, was able to effectively reverse the aberrant methylation of NDRG1, enhancing its expression, inhibiting cell growth. NDRG1 can inhibit the cell proliferation and invasion of PCa, but its expression level is low. The aberrant methylation of NDRG1 promoter is an important mechanism for gene silencing, playing an important role in tumor occurrence and progression. Therefore, reversing the aberrant methylation of NDRG1 may be used for PCa treatment.

Becker RA, Patlewicz G, Simon TW, et al.
The adverse outcome pathway for rodent liver tumor promotion by sustained activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015; 73(1):172-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
An Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) represents the existing knowledge of a biological pathway leading from initial molecular interactions of a toxicant and progressing through a series of key events (KEs), culminating with an apical adverse outcome (AO) that has to be of regulatory relevance. An AOP based on the mode of action (MOA) of rodent liver tumor promotion by dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) has been developed and the weight of evidence (WoE) of key event relationships (KERs) evaluated using evolved Bradford Hill considerations. Dioxins and DLCs are potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) ligands that cause a range of species-specific adverse outcomes. The occurrence of KEs is necessary for inducing downstream biological responses and KEs may occur at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels. The common convention is that an AOP begins with the toxicant interaction with a biological response element; for this AOP, this initial event is binding of a DLC ligand to the AHR. Data from mechanistic studies, lifetime bioassays and approximately thirty initiation-promotion studies have established dioxin and DLCs as rat liver tumor promoters. Such studies clearly show that sustained AHR activation, weeks or months in duration, is necessary to induce rodent liver tumor promotion--hence, sustained AHR activation is deemed the molecular initiating event (MIE). After this MIE, subsequent KEs are 1) changes in cellular growth homeostasis likely associated with expression changes in a number of genes and observed as development of hepatic foci and decreases in apoptosis within foci; 2) extensive liver toxicity observed as the constellation of effects called toxic hepatopathy; 3) cellular proliferation and hyperplasia in several hepatic cell types. This progression of KEs culminates in the AO, the development of hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas and cholangiolar carcinomas. A rich data set provides both qualitative and quantitative knowledge of the progression of this AOP through KEs and the KERs. Thus, the WoE for this AOP is judged to be strong. Species-specific effects of dioxins and DLCs are well known--humans are less responsive than rodents and rodent species differ in sensitivity between strains. Consequently, application of this AOP to evaluate potential human health risks must take these differences into account.

Kiniwa Y, Li J, Wang M, et al.
Identification of DRG-1 As a Melanoma-Associated Antigen Recognized by CD4+ Th1 Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0124094 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Immunotherapy has emerged as a promising strategy for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Clinical studies have demonstrated the feasibility of cancer immunotherapy using tumor antigens recognized by CD8(+) T cells. However, the overall immune responses induced by these antigens are too weak and transient to induce tumor regression in the majority of patients who received immunization. A growing body of evidence suggests that CD4(+) T helper (Th) cells play an important role in antitumor immunity. Therefore, the identification of MHC class II-restricted tumor antigens capable of stimulating CD4(+) T cells may provide opportunities for developing effective cancer vaccines. To this end, we describe the identification of developmentally regulated GTP-binding protein 1 (DRG-1) as a melanoma-associated antigen recognized by HLA-DR11-restricted CD4(+) Th1 cells. Epitope mapping analysis showed that the DRG1248-268 epitope of DRG-1 was required for T cell recognition. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed that DRG-1 was highly expressed in melanoma cell lines but not in normal tissues. DRG-1 knockdown by lentiviral-based shRNA suppressed melanoma cell proliferation and soft agar colony formation. Taken together, these data suggest that DRG-1 plays an important role in melanoma cell growth and transformation, indicating that DRG1 may represent a novel target for CD4(+) T cell-mediated immunotherapy in melanoma.

Liu W, Yue F, Zheng M, et al.
The proto-oncogene c-Src and its downstream signaling pathways are inhibited by the metastasis suppressor, NDRG1.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(11):8851-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
N-myc downstream regulated gene-1 (NDRG1) is a potent metastasis suppressor that plays a key role in regulating signaling pathways involved in mediating cancer cell invasion and migration, including those derived from prostate, colon, etc. However, the mechanisms and molecular targets through which NDRG1 reduces cancer cell invasion and migration, leading to inhibition of cancer metastasis, are not fully elucidated. In this investigation, using NDRG1 over-expression models in three tumor cell-types (namely, DU145, PC3MM and HT29) and also NDRG1 silencing in DU145 and HT29 cells, we reveal that NDRG1 decreases phosphorylation of a key proto-oncogene, cellular Src (c-Src), at a well-characterized activating site (Tyr416). NDRG1-mediated down-regulation of EGFR expression and activation were responsible for the decreased phosphorylation of c-Src (Tyr416). Indeed, NDRG1 prevented recruitment of c-Src to EGFR and c-Src activation. Moreover, NDRG1 suppressed Rac1 activity by modulating phosphorylation of a c-Src downstream effector, p130Cas, and its association with CrkII, which acts as a "molecular switch" to activate Rac1. NDRG1 also affected another signaling molecule involved in modulating Rac1 signaling, c-Abl, which then inhibited CrkII phosphorylation. Silencing NDRG1 increased cell migration relative to the control and inhibition of c-Src signaling using siRNA, or a pharmacological inhibitor (SU6656), prevented this increase. Hence, the role of NDRG1 in decreasing cell migration is, in part, due to its inhibition of c-Src activation. In addition, novel pharmacological agents, which induce NDRG1 expression and are currently under development as anti-metastatic agents, markedly increase NDRG1 and decrease c-Src activation. This study leads to important insights into the mechanism involved in inhibiting metastasis by NDRG1 and how to target these pathways with novel therapeutics.

Rasoulpour RJ, Andrus AK, Marty MS, et al.
Pronamide: Human relevance of liver-mediated rat leydig cell tumors.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015; 72(2):394-404 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dietary exposure to pronamide resulted in higher incidences of Leydig cell tumors (LCT) at 1000ppm in a 2-year cancer bioassay, but there were no testes effects at 40 or 200ppm, and no testes effects at 12-months at any concentration. A 90-day mode-of-action (MoA) study was conducted at concentrations of 0, 200, 1000 and 2000ppm. Standard parameters and stereological and proliferation analyses of LCs, targeted testis and liver gene expression, in vitro metabolism of testosterone by liver microsomes, and quantification of serum hormones and testosterone metabolites were evaluated. Increased testosterone metabolism due to increases in hepatic microsomal activity, alterations in serum hormone levels, and other data suggest that LCTs were mediated through a perturbation of the HPG-axis. Data suggest that this occurs after a threshold of exposure is reached, indicating a nonlinear/threshold dose-response. Pronamide-induced rat LCTs mediated by alterations to the HPG-axis have low relevance to humans due to quantitative differences in sensitivity between rats and humans to LCTs. Pronamide displayed no genotoxicity or direct endocrine effects. A margin of exposure approach for risk assessment and derivation of the chronic reference dose based on a point of departure of 200ppm is most appropriate and protective of human health.

Ma W, Na M, Tang C, et al.
Overexpression of N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 inhibits human glioma proliferation and invasion via phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT pathways.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(1):1050-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) was previously shown to exhibit low expression in glioma tissue as compared with that in normal brain tissue; however, the role of NDRG1 in human glioma cells has remained to be elucidated. The present study used the U87 MG and SHG-44 human glioma cell lines as well as the normal human astrocyte cell line 1800, which are known to have differential NDRG1 expression. Small interfering (si)RNA targeting NDRG1, and NDRG1 overexpression vectors were transfected into the SHG-44 and U87 MG glioma cells, respectively. Cell proliferation, invasion, apoptosis and cell cycle arrest were subsequently examined by MTT assay, transwell chamber assay, flow cytometry and western blot analysis, respectively. Furthermore, a subcutaneous tumor mouse model was used to investigate the effects of NDRG1 on the growth of glioma cells in vivo. Overexpression of NDRG1 was shown to inhibit cell proliferation and invasion, and induce apoptosis in the U87 MG glioma cells, whereas NDRG1 downregulation increased proliferation, suppressed apoptosis and promoted invasion of the SHG‑44 glioma cells. In addition, in the subcutaneous tumor mouse model, overexpression of NDRG1 in U-87 MG cells suppressed tumorigenicity in vivo. The findings of the present study indicated that NDRG1 is required for the inhibition of gliomagenesis; therefore, targeting NDRG1 and its downstream targets may represent novel therapies for the treatment of glioma.

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