Gene Summary

Gene:NR4A1; nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1
Aliases: HMR, N10, TR3, NP10, GFRP1, NAK-1, NGFIB, NUR77
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the steroid-thyroid hormone-retinoid receptor superfamily. Expression is induced by phytohemagglutinin in human lymphocytes and by serum stimulation of arrested fibroblasts. The encoded protein acts as a nuclear transcription factor. Translocation of the protein from the nucleus to mitochondria induces apoptosis. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (28)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Promoter Regions
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Gene Expression
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Indoles
  • siRNA
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Transcription
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Western Blotting
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Nucleic Acid Regulatory Sequences
  • p300-CBP Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Chromosome 12
  • Apoptosis
  • Protein Binding
  • Pyridines
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 4, Group A, Member 2
  • BCL2 protein
  • Disease Progression
  • RNA Interference
  • Translocation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • NR4A1
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 4, Group A, Member 1
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Messenger RNA
  • Liver Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: NR4A1 (cancer-related)

Mohankumar K, Li X, Sridharan S, et al.
Nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1) antagonists induce ROS-dependent inhibition of mTOR signaling in endometrial cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2019; 154(1):218-227 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: NR4A1 is overexpressed in many solid tumors, and the objectives of this study were to investigate the expression and functional role of this receptor in endometrial cancer cells and demonstrate that NR4A1 antagonist inhibit mTOR.
METHODS: Ishikawa and Hec-1B endometrial cells were used as models to investigate the parallel effects of NR4A1 knockdown by RNA interference (siNR4A1) and treatment with bis-indole-derived NR4A1 ligands (antagonists) on cell growth and survival by determining cell numbers and effects on Annexin V staining. Western blot analysis of whole cell lysates was used to determine effects of these treatments on expression of growth promoting, survival and apoptotic genes and mTOR signaling. Effects of NR4A1 antagonists on tumor growth were determined in athymic nude mice bearing Hec-1B cells as xenografts.
RESULTS: siNR4A1 or treatment with bis-indole-derived NR4A1 antagonists inhibited growth of endometrial cancer cells in vitro and endometrial tumors in vivo and this was accompanied by decreased expression of growth promoting and survival genes and mTOR inhibition.
CONCLUSIONS: NR4A1 exhibited pro-oncogenic activity in endometrial cells due, in part, to regulation of cell growth, survival and mTOR signaling, and all of these pathways and their associated gene products were inhibited after treatment with bis-indole-derived NR4A1 antagonists. Moreover, these compounds also blocked endometrial tumor growth in vivo demonstrating that NR4A1 is a potential novel drug target for treatment of endometrial cancer.

Zhong C, Mai Y, Gao H, et al.
Mitochondrial targeting of TR3 is involved in TPA induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells.
Gene. 2019; 693:61-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
TPA is considered to be a tumor promoting molecule that induces the expression of COX-2 protein. However, it is contradictory to find that TPA can induce tumor cell apoptosis and exert antitumor activity. Therefore, the role of TPA in tumorigenesis and development has not yet been elucidated. Here we show that TPA can promote the apoptosis of breast cancer cells and increase the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2. It is suggested that TPA may induce apoptosis of breast cancer cells through mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Further studies showed that TPA could cause mitochondrial dysfunction and trigger mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. In mechanism, the mitochondrial targeting of TR3 is involved in TPA induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells. In conclusion, our findings suggest that TPA can play a role in inhibiting cancer by inducing apoptosis and TR3 is expected to be a new target for cancer treatment.

Mohammadoo Khorasani M, Karami Tehrani F, Parizadeh SMR, Atri M
Differential expression of alternative transcripts of soluble guanylyl cyclase, GYCY1a3 and GUCY1b3 genes, in the malignant and benign breast tumors.
Nitric Oxide. 2019; 83:65-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extensive alterations in splicing is one of the molecular indicator for human cancers. Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), an obligatory heterodimer, is composed of α1 and β1 subunits. Each subunit is encoded by a separate gene, GUCY1a3 and GUCY1b3, correspondingly. sGC activity has been regulated by an alternative splicing and it has an important effect on the breast cancer. sGC alternative splicing has been evaluated in the 55 malignant, 25 benign and 30 normal breast tissues using qRT-PCR and RT-PCR. The differences between groups were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U. The expression of six different splice forms have been detected, three for α1 and three for β1 sGC. Expressions of Tr1, Tr2 β1 sGC and Tr7, Tr6 α1 sGC mRNA in the malignant breast tumors were significantly lower than those of benign and normal breast tissues. However, the expression of Tr3 α1 sGC mRNA was significantly higher than that of benign and normal tissues. Present data have provided some evidences for an alteration in the expression of α1 and β1 sGC alternative splicing forms which may contribute to the loss of sGC functions in the breast cancer. The observed information might be discussed by the cGMP status.

Fedorova O, Petukhov A, Daks A, et al.
Orphan receptor NR4A3 is a novel target of p53 that contributes to apoptosis.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(12):2108-2122 [PubMed] Related Publications
Major tumor suppressor and transcription factor p53 coordinates expression of many genes hence affecting critical cellular functions including cell cycle, senescence, and apoptosis. The NR4A family of orphan receptors (NR4A1-3) belongs to the superfamily of nuclear receptors. They regulate genes involved in proliferation, cell migration, and apoptosis. In this study, we report an identification of NR4A3 as a direct transcriptional target of p53. Using various techniques, we showed that p53 directly bound the promoter of NR4A3 gene and induced its transcription. Functionally, over-expression of NR4A3 attenuated proliferation of cancer cells and promoted apoptosis by augmenting the expression of pro-apoptotic genes, PUMA and Bax. Knockdown of NR4A3 reversed these phenotypes. Importantly, NR4A3 exhibited tumor suppressive functions both in p53-dependent and independent manner. In addition, NR4A3 physically interacted with an anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein hence sequestering it from blunting apoptosis. These observations were corroborated by the bioinformatics analysis, which demonstrated a correlation between high levels of NR4A3 expression and better survival of breast and lung cancer patients. Collectively, our studies revealed a novel transcriptional target of p53, NR4A3, which triggers apoptosis and thus likely has a tumor suppressive role in breast and lung cancers.

Tian B, Li J, Pang R, et al.
Gold Nanoparticles Biosynthesized and Functionalized Using a Hydroxylated Tetraterpenoid Trigger Gene Expression Changes and Apoptosis in Cancer Cells.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018; 10(43):37353-37363 [PubMed] Related Publications
Understanding the synthetic mechanisms and cell-nanoparticle interactions of biosynthesized and functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) using natural products is of great importance for developing their applications in nanomedicine. In this study, we detailed the biotransformation mechanism of Au(III) into AuNPs using a hydroxylated tetraterpenoid deinoxanthin (DX) from the extremophile Deinococcus radiodurans. During the process, Au(III) was rapidly reduced to Au(I) and subsequently reduced to Au(0) by deprotonation of the hydroxyl head groups of the tetraterpenoid. The oxidized form, deprotonated 2-ketodeinoxanthin (DX3), served as a surface-capping agent to stabilize the AuNPs. The functionalized DX-AuNPs demonstrated stronger inhibitory activity against cancer cells compared with sodium citrate-AuNPs and were nontoxic to normal cells. DX-AuNPs accumulated in the cytoplasm, organelles, and nuclei, and induced reactive oxygen species generation, DNA damage, and apoptosis within MCF-7 cancer cells. In the cells treated with DX-AuNPs, 374 genes, including RRAGC gene, were upregulated; 135 genes, including the genes encoding FOXM1 and NR4A1, were downregulated. These genes are mostly involved in metabolism, cell growth, DNA damage, oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis. The anticancer activity of the DX-AuNPs was attributed to the alteration of gene expression and induction of apoptosis. Our results provide significant insight into the synthesis mechanism of AuNPs functionalized with natural tetraterpenoids, which possess enhanced anticancer potential.

Wu L, Chen L
Characteristics of Nur77 and its ligands as potential anticancer compounds (Review).
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(6):4793-4801 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2020 Related Publications
Nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1 (NR4A1; also termed Nur77/TR3/NGFIB), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, is expressed as an early response gene to regulate the expression of multiple target genes. Nur77 has the typical structure of a nuclear receptor, including an N‑terminal domain, a DNA binding domain, and a ligand‑binding domain. The expression and localization of Nur77 are closely associated with its roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Nur77 was first identified as an orphan receptor, the endogenous ligand of which has not yet been identified; however, an increasing number of compounds targeting Nur77 have been reported to have beneficial effects in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. This review provides a brief overview of the identification, structure, expression and localization, transcriptional role and non‑genomic function of Nur77, and summarizes the ligands that have been shown to interact with Nur77, including cytosporone B, cisplatin, TMPA, PDNPA, CCE9, THPN, Z‑ligustilide, celastrol and bisindole methane compounds, which may potentially be used to treat cancer in humans.

Wu L, Amarachintha S, Xu J, et al.
Mesenchymal COX2-PG secretome engages NR4A-WNT signalling axis in haematopoietic progenitors to suppress anti-leukaemia immunity.
Br J Haematol. 2018; 183(3):445-456 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The bone marrow (BM) microenvironment (niche) plays important roles in supporting normal/abnormal haematopoiesis. We investigated the interaction between leukaemic mesenchymal niche and haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) using the model of Fanconi anaemia (FA), a genetic disorder characterized by BM failure and leukaemia. Healthy donor HSPCs co-cultured on mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) derived from FA patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) exhibited higher human engraftment and myeloid expansion in Non-obese diabetic severe combined immunodeficiency IL-2γ

Chen L, Wu L, Zhu L, Zhao Y
Overview of the structure-based non-genomic effects of the nuclear receptor RXRα.
Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2018; 23:36 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2019 Related Publications
The nuclear receptor RXRα (retinoid X receptor-α) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of multiple genes. Its non-genomic function is largely related to its structure, polymeric forms and modification. Previous research revealed that some non-genomic activity of RXRα occurs via formation of heterodimers with Nur77. RXRα-Nur77 heterodimers translocate from the nucleus to the mitochondria in response to certain apoptotic stimuli and this activity correlates with cell apoptosis. More recent studies revealed a significant role for truncated RXRα (tRXRα), which interacts with the p85α subunit of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, leading to enhanced activation of AKT and promoting cell growth in vitro and in animals. We recently reported on a series of NSAID sulindac analogs that can bind to tRXRα through a unique binding mechanism. We also identified one analog, K-80003, which can inhibit cancer cell growth by inducing tRXRα to form a tetramer, thus disrupting p85α-tRXRα interaction. This review analyzes the non-genomic effects of RXRα in normal and tumor cells, and discusses the functional differences based on RXRα protein structure (structure source: the RCSB Protein Data Bank).

Hedrick E, Mohankumar K, Safe S
TGFβ-Induced Lung Cancer Cell Migration Is NR4A1-Dependent.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(12):1991-2002 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
TGFβ induces migration of lung cancer cells (A549, H460, and H1299), dependent on activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK1), and is inhibited by the JNK1 inhibitor SP600125. Moreover, TGFβ-induced migration of the cells is also blocked by the nuclear export inhibitor leptomycin B (LMB) and the orphan nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1) ligand 1,1-bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(

Liu X, Li Z, Loh XJ, et al.
Targeted and Sustained Corelease of Chemotherapeutics and Gene by Injectable Supramolecular Hydrogel for Drug-Resistant Cancer Therapy.
Macromol Rapid Commun. 2019; 40(5):e1800117 [PubMed] Related Publications
Coadministration of chemotherapeutics as well as therapeutic gene could play a synergistic effect on cancer treatment. It is noteworthy that targeted and sustained codelivery of chemotherapeutic and therapeutic gene was rarely achieved in previous reports, while it might serve as an important platform for treating solid tumor with possible surrounding lesions. Herein, an injectable supramolecular hydrogel formed by α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) and cationic amphiphilic copolymer made of methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-poly(ethylene imine) with folic acid targeted group (MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA), is rationally designed to achieve sustained codelivery of chemotherapeutic paclitaxel (PTX) and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) conversion gene Nur77 in the form of nanocomplex up to 7 days, to effectively inhibit the growth of folate receptor overexpressing H460/Bcl-2 therapeutic-resistant tumors (induced by overexpression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein), with peritumoral injection rather than direct intratumoral injection of hydrogel. To the best of our knowledge, this is a pioneer report on injectable MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA/α-CD supramolecular hydrogel with the ability to codeliver and sustainedly release PTX and Nur77 gene to combat Bcl-2 overexpressed therapeutic-resistant tumors in a targeted manner, which might be beneficial for further design in personalized medicine.

Boudreaux SP, Duren RP, Call SG, et al.
Drug targeting of NR4A nuclear receptors for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2019; 33(1):52-63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
NR4As are AML tumor suppressors that are frequently silenced in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Despite their potential as novel targets for therapeutic intervention, mechanisms of NR4A silencing and strategies for their reactivation remain poorly defined. Here we show that NR4A silencing in AML occurs through blockade of transcriptional elongation rather than epigenetic promoter silencing. By intersection of NR4A-regulated gene signatures captured upon acute, exogenous expression of NR4As in human AML cells with in silico chemical genomics screening, we identify several FDA-approved drugs including dihydroergotamine (DHE) that reactivate NR4A expression and regulate NR4A-dependent gene signatures. We show that DHE induces NR4A expression via recruitment of the super elongation complex to enable elongation of NR4A promoter paused RNA polymerase II. Finally, DHE exhibits AML selective NR4A-dependent anti-leukemic activity in cytogenetically distinct human AML cells in vitro and delays AML progression in mice revealing its potential as a novel therapeutic agent in AML.

Wu J, Sun H, Yang X, Sun X
Nur77 suppression facilitates androgen deprivation-induced cell invasion of prostate cancer cells mediated by TGF-β signaling.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2018; 20(10):1302-1313 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) remains a standard treatment for advanced prostate cancers. However, recent studies revealed that while inhibiting the growth of certain types of prostate cancer cells, ADT promotes invasion. In the current study, we explored the effects of Nur77, an orphan nuclear receptor, on prostate cancer cell invasion following ADT.
METHODS: Androgen receptor (AR) and Nur77 protein expression in patient tissues and cell lines were quantified via ELISA and western blot. The effects of AR-signaling on Nur77 expression were examined. The effects of Nur77 over-expression and knockdown on ADT-induced prostate cancer cell invasion were characterized.
RESULTS: The results showed that AR and Nur77 are both highly expressed in prostate cancers of patients. Nur77 is positively regulated by AR-signaling at transcriptional level in NCI-H660, a widely used prostate cancer cell line. AR antagonists, Casodex and MDV3100 treatment resulted in significant inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth but enhanced cancer cell invasion. Nur77 over-expression blocked invasion-promoting effect of ADT, which is consistent with the down-regulation of MMP9 and Snail protein expression. Further mechanistic investigations showed that Nur77 inhibited transcription of TGF-β target genes (Snail and MMP9), and thereby inhibits TGF-β-mediated prostate cancer cell invasion following androgen antagonism. In addition, our data suggested the nature of this inhibitory effect of Nur77 on TGF-β-signaling is selective, for Smad3-signaling, the classical effector of TGF-β-signaling, was not interrupted by Nur77 over-expression.
CONCLUSION: Considering the limited success of management of prostate cancer metastasis following ADT, our data strongly suggest that Nur77 regulation could be a promising direction for search of complementary therapeutic strategy on top of classic ADT therapy.

Poirot M, Silvente-Poirot S
The tumor-suppressor cholesterol metabolite, dendrogenin A, is a new class of LXR modulator activating lethal autophagy in cancers.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2018; 153:75-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dendrogenin A (DDA) is a mammalian cholesterol metabolite recently identified that displays tumor suppressor properties. The discovery of DDA has revealed the existence in mammals of a new metabolic branch in the cholesterol pathway centered on 5,6α-epoxycholesterol and bridging cholesterol metabolism with histamine metabolism. Metabolic studies showed a drop in DDA levels in cancer cells and tumors compared to normal cells, suggesting a link between DDA metabolism deregulation and oncogenesis. Importantly, complementation of cancer cells with DDA induced 1) cancer cell re-differentiation, 2) blockade of 6-oxo-cholestan-3β,5α-diol (OCDO) production, an endogenous tumor promoter and 3) lethal autophagy in tumors. Importantly, by binding the liver X receptor (LXR), DDA activates the expression of genes controlling autophagy. These genes include NR4A1, NR4A3, LC3 and TFEB. The canonical LXR ligands 22(R)hydroxycholesterol, TO901317 and GW3965 did not induce these effects indicating that DDA delineates a new class of selective LXR modulator (SLiM). The induction of lethal autophagy by DDA was associated with the accumulation in cancer cells of lysosomes and of the pro-lysosomal cholesterol precursor zymostenol due to the inhibition of the 3β-hydroxysteroid-Δ

Cheng H, Wu Z, Wu C, et al.
Overcoming STC2 mediated drug resistance through drug and gene co-delivery by PHB-PDMAEMA cationic polyester in liver cancer cells.
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2018; 83:210-217 [PubMed] Related Publications
Stanniocalcin 2 (STC2) overexpression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) could lead to poor prognosis, which might be due to its induced P-glycoprotein and Bcl-2 protein expression level increase. P-glycoprotein or membrane pump induced drug efflux and altered prosurvival Bcl-2 expression are key mechanisms for drug resistance leading to failure of chemotherapy in HCC. However, current strategy to overcome both P-glycoprotein and Bcl-2 protein induced drug resistance was rarely reported. In this work, we utilized an amphiphilic poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (PHB)-b-poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) cationic polyester to encapsulate chemotherapeutic paclitaxel (PTX) in hydrophobic PHB domain and Bcl-2 convertor Nur77/ΔDBD gene (Nur77 without DNA binding domain for mitochondria localization) by formation of polyplex due to cationic PDMAEMA segment, to effectively inhibit the drug resistant HepG2/STC2 and SMCC7721/STC2 liver cancer cell growth. Thanks to the cationic nanoparticle complex formation ability and high transfection efficiency to express Bcl-2 conversion proteins, PHB-PDMAEMA/PTX@polyplex could partially impair P-glycoprotein induced PTX efflux and activate the apoptotic function of previous prosurvival Bcl-2 protein. This is the pioneer report of cationic amphiphilic polyester PHB-PDMAEMA to codeliver anticancer drug and therapeutic plasmid to overcome both pump and non-pump mediated chemotherapeutic resistance in liver cancer cells, which might be inspiring for the application of polyester in personalized cancer therapy.

Segala G, David M, de Medina P, et al.
Dendrogenin A drives LXR to trigger lethal autophagy in cancers.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8(1):1903 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Dendrogenin A (DDA) is a newly discovered cholesterol metabolite with tumor suppressor properties. Here, we explored its efficacy and mechanism of cell death in melanoma and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We found that DDA induced lethal autophagy in vitro and in vivo, including primary AML patient samples, independently of melanoma Braf status or AML molecular and cytogenetic classifications. DDA is a partial agonist on liver-X-receptor (LXR) increasing Nur77, Nor1, and LC3 expression leading to autolysosome formation. Moreover, DDA inhibited the cholesterol biosynthesizing enzyme 3β-hydroxysterol-Δ

Li X, Wang B, Tang L, et al.
GSTA1 Expression Is Correlated With Aldosterone Level in KCNJ5-Mutated Adrenal Aldosterone-Producing Adenoma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018; 103(3):813-823 [PubMed] Related Publications
Context: KCNJ5 mutation is a major cause of aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs). The development of APA apart from KCNJ5 mutation is less investigated.
Objective: To investigate other mechanisms affecting aldosterone secretion apart from KCNJ5.
Patients and Methods: Six pairs of KCNJ5-mutated, high and low aldosterone-secreting APAs, five non-KCNJ5-mutated APAs, and four normal adrenal glands were assayed by Affymetrix GeneChip Human Transcriptome Array 2.0. A total of 113 APA samples were investigated to explore the expression of glutathione-S-transferase A1 (GSTA1). H295R cells were used to verify the function of GSTA1.
Results: GSTA1 was the top gene downregulated in high-aldosterone KCNJ5-mutated APAs. GSTA1 was also downregulated in KCNJ5-mutated APAs compared with wild-type KCNJ5 APAs. Accordingly, mutant KCNJ5 decreased GSTA1 messenger RNA and protein expression levels. GSTA1 overexpression suppressed aldosterone secretion whether in wild-type or mutant KCNJ5 H295R cells. Adding ethacrynic acid or silencing of GSTA1 increased aldosterone secretion by increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide, H2O2 levels, and Ca2+ influx. The expression of the transcription factors NR4A1, NR4A2, and CAMK1 and intracellular Ca2+ were significantly upregulated by GSTA1 inhibition. The reduced form of NAD phosphate oxidase inhibitor or H2O2 scavenger or blocking calmodulin or calcium channels could significantly reduce aldosterone secretion in GSTA1-inhibited cells.
Conclusions: (1) GSTA1 expression is reversely correlated with aldosterone level in KCNJ5-mutated APAs, (2) GSTA1 regulates aldosterone secretion by ROS and Ca2+ signaling, and (3) KCNJ5 mutation downregulates GSTA1 expression, and overexpression of GSTA1 reverses increased aldosterone in KCNJ5-mutated adrenal cells.

Giletti A, Vital M, Lorenzo M, et al.
Methotrexate pharmacogenetics in Uruguayan adults with hematological malignant diseases.
Eur J Pharm Sci. 2017; 109:480-485 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Individual variability is among the causes of toxicity and interruption of treatment in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and severe non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients under protocols including Methotrexate (MTX): 2,4-diamino-N10-methyl propyl-glutamic acid.
METHODS: 41 Uruguayan patients were recruited. Gene polymorphisms involved in MTX pathway were analyzed and their association with treatment toxicities and outcome was evaluated.
RESULTS: Genotype distribution and allele frequency were determined for SLC19A1 G
CONCLUSIONS: The associations found between gene polymorphisms and toxicities in this small cohort are encouraging for a more extensive research to gain a better dose individualization in adult ALL and NHL patients. Besides, genotype distribution showed to be different from other populations, reinforcing the idea that genotype data from other populations should not be extrapolated to ours.

Wohlkoenig C, Leithner K, Olschewski A, et al.
TR3 is involved in hypoxia-induced apoptosis resistance in lung cancer cells downstream of HIF-1α.
Lung Cancer. 2017; 111:15-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Like in all solid tumors, hypoxia is common in lung cancer and contributes to apoptosis, and thus chemotherapy resistance. However, the underlying mechanisms are not entirely clear. TR3 (NR4A1, Nur77) is an orphan nuclear receptor that induces apoptosis and may mediate chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in cancer cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used A549, H23 and H1299 cell lines to investigate how TR3-mediated apoptosis is affected by hypoxia in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Cell culture, western blot analysis, apoptosis assay, and siRNA-mediated gene silencing were performed in this study.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The TR3 activator cytosporone B was used to investigate TR3-mediated apoptosis in NSCLC cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Cytosporone B induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Chronic moderate hypoxia induced a significant down-regulation of TR3. Accordingly, the cytosporone B effect was reduced under these conditions. Hypoxia-induced down-regulation of TR3 was mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α. Our immunoblotting analysis and expression data from a public dataset suggest that TR3 is downregulated in NSCLC. In conclusion, our findings suggest that hypoxia-induced down-regulation of TR3 might play an important role for hypoxia-induced apoptosis resistance in NSCLC.

Wang C, He H, Dou G, et al.
Ginsenoside 20(S)-Rh2 Induces Apoptosis and Differentiation of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells: Role of Orphan Nuclear Receptor Nur77.
J Agric Food Chem. 2017; 65(35):7687-7697 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ginsenoside 20(S)-Rh2 has been shown to induce apoptosis and differentiation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. In our study, 20(S)-Rh2 induced the expression of orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 and death receptor proteins Fas, FasL, DR5, and TRAIL, as well as the cleavage of caspase 8 and caspase 3 in HL-60 cells. Importantly, shNur77 attenuated 20(S)-Rh2-induced apoptosis and Fas and DR5 expression. Meanwhile, 20(S)-Rh2 promoted Nur77 translocation from the nucleus to mitochondria and enhanced the interaction between Nur77 and Bcl-2, resulting in the exposure of the BH3 domain of Bcl-2 and activation of Bax. Furthermore, 20(S)-Rh2 promoted the differentiation of HL-60 cells as evidenced by Wright-Giemsa staining, NBT reduction assay, and detection of the myeloid differentiation marker CD11b by flow cytometry. Notably, shNur77 reversed 20(S)-Rh2-mediated HL-60 differentiation. Additionally, 20(S)-Rh2 also exhibited an antileukemic effect and induced Nur77 expression in NOD/SCID mice with the injection of HL-60 cells into the tail vein. Together, our studies suggest that the Nur77-mediated signaling pathway is highly involved in 20(S)-Rh2-induced apoptosis and differentiation of AML cells.

Wang X, Liow SS, Wu Q, et al.
Codelivery for Paclitaxel and Bcl-2 Conversion Gene by PHB-PDMAEMA Amphiphilic Cationic Copolymer for Effective Drug Resistant Cancer Therapy.
Macromol Biosci. 2017; 17(11) [PubMed] Related Publications
Antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein's upregulated expression is a key reason for drug resistance leading to failure of chemotherapy. In this report, a series of biocompatible amphiphilic cationic poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (PHB)-b-poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) copolymer, comprising hydrophobic PHB block and cationic PDMAEMA block, is designed to codeliver hydrophobic chemotherapeutic paclitaxel and Bcl-2 converting gene Nur77/ΔDBD with enhanced stability, due to the micelle formation by hydrophobic PHB segment. This copolymer shows less toxicity but similar gene transfection efficiency to polyethyenimine (25k). More importantly, this codelivery approach by PHB-PDMAEMA leads to increased drug resistant HepG2/Bcl-2 cancer cell death, by increased expression of Nur77 proteins in the Bcl-2 present intracellular mitochondria. This work signifies for the first time that cationic amphiphilic PHB-b-PDMAEMA copolymers can be utilized for the drug and gene codelivery to drug resistant cancer cells with high expression of antiapoptosis Bcl-2 protein and the positive results are encouraging for the further design of codelivery platforms for combating drug resistant cancer cells.

van Haaften C, van Eendenburg J, Boot A, et al.
Chemosensitivity of BRCA1-Mutated Ovarian Cancer Cells and Established Cytotoxic Agents.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2017; 27(8):1571-1578 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Serous adenocarcinomas that arise in patients with inherited mutations in the tumor suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are initially well treatable with platinum/paclitaxel. For recurrent disease in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, olaparib treatment is available. To study additional therapeutic regimens, a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the tumors in in vitro models is important.
METHODS/MATERIALS: From a high-grade serous ovarian tumor of a BRCA1 mutation carrier, we established 3 distinct cell line subclones, OVCA-TR3.1, -2, and -3. Immunohistochemical characterization, flow cytometric analyses, chemosensitivity, and somatic mutation profiling were performed.
RESULTS: The cell lines expressed AE1/AE3, Pax8, WT-1, OC125, estrogen receptor (ER), and p53, comparable to the primary tumor. Synergism could be shown in the combination treatment eremophila-1-(10)-11(13)-dien-12,8β-olide (EPD), with cisplatin, whereas combination with olaparib did not show synergism. Eremophila-1-(10)-11(13)-dien-12,8β-olide, a sesquiterpene lactone, is a novel chemotherapeutic agent. The inherited BRCA1 c.2989_2990dupAA mutation was confirmed in the cell lines. Loss of heterozygosity of BRCA1 was detected in each cell line, as well as a homozygous TP53 c.722C>A mutation. Flow cytometry showed that all cell lines had a distinct DNA index.
CONCLUSIONS: Three new isogenic ovarian cancer cell lines were developed from a patient with a germ line BRCA1 mutation. Chemosensitivity profiling of the cell lines showed high tolerance for olaparib. Treatment with EPD proved synergistic with cisplatin. The effects of EPD will be further investigated for future clinical efficacy.

Rizq O, Mimura N, Oshima M, et al.
Dual Inhibition of EZH2 and EZH1 Sensitizes PRC2-Dependent Tumors to Proteasome Inhibition.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(16):4817-4830 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications

Li Z, Liu X, Chen X, et al.
Targeted delivery of Bcl-2 conversion gene by MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA cationic copolymer to combat therapeutic resistant cancer.
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2017; 76:66-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulation of anti-apoptosis Bcl-2 protein expression was a key feature in human cancers with therapeutic resistance. Nuclear receptor Nur77 could induce the conformation change of Bcl-2 protein and converted it into an apoptosis inducer by "enemy to friend" strategy. However, the safe and effective delivery of this gene to combat therapeutic resistant cancer remained largely unexplored. In this report, we designed an amphiphilic cationic MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA copolymer, comprising biocompatible and hydrophilic methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) (MPEG), biodegradable and hydrophobic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), cationic poly(ethylene imine) (PEI) segments, and folic acid (FA) as targeting group, as a high efficient Nur77 gene carrier to folate receptor (FR) highly expressed and therapeutic resistant HeLa/Bcl-2 cancer cells. Interestingly, due to the incorporation of PCL and PEG segments, this MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA copolymer showed less toxicity but better gene transfection efficiency than non-viral gene carrier gold standard PEI (25kDa). This might be due to the formation of micelles to stabilize polyplex for enhanced gene transfection ability. More importantly, MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA copolymer exhibited excellent growth inhibition ability on therapeutic resistant HeLa/Bcl-2 cancer cells, which was FR overexpressed HeLa cervical cancer cells with high expression of Bcl-2 protein, thanks to its FA induced targeting ability, high gene transfection efficiency, and low cytotoxicity. This work signifies the first time that cationic amphiphilic MPEG-PCL-PEI-FA copolymers could be utilized for the gene delivery to therapeutic resistant cancer cells with high expression of anti-apoptosis Bcl-2 protein and the positive results are encouraging for the further design of polymeric platforms for combating drug resistant tumors.

Liu X, Chen X, Chua MX, et al.
Injectable Supramolecular Hydrogels as Delivery Agents of Bcl-2 Conversion Gene for the Effective Shrinkage of Therapeutic Resistance Tumors.
Adv Healthc Mater. 2017; 6(11) [PubMed] Related Publications
Injectable hydrogels to deliver therapeutic genes in a minimally invasive manner and to achieve long term sustained release at tumor sites to minimize side effects are attractive for cancer therapy and precision medicine, but its rational design remains a challenge. In this report, an injectable supramolecular hydrogel system is designed based on the polypesudorotaxane formation between α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) and cationic methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-poly(ethylene imine) (MPEG-PCL-PEI) copolymer, with the ability to form polyplexes with anionic plasmid DNA for effective sustained gene delivery. To be mentioned, the MPEG-PCL-PEI copolymers show similar pDNA binding ability, better gene transfection efficiency, lower cytotoxicity than nonviral gene transfection gold standard PEI (25 kDa), due to the formation of micelles and more stable polyplexes. More importantly, this MPEG-PCL-PEI/α-CD/pDNA supramolecular hydrogel shows a sustained release of pDNA in form of polyplex for up to 7 d. By taking these advantages, this supramolecular hydrogel system is applied as an injectable carrier for sustained Bcl-2 conversion gene release, in an in vivo rodent model of therapeutic resistant hepatocarcinoma with high expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein. This work represents the first time that injectable MPEG-PCL-PEI/α-CD supramolecular hydrogels possess good controllable release effect of Bcl-2 conversion genes in the form of polyplex to effectively inhibit in vivo tumor growth and this "enemy to friend" strategy will benefit various applications, including on-demand gene delivery and personalized medicine.

Hedrick E, Lee SO, Safe S
The nuclear orphan receptor NR4A1 regulates β1-integrin expression in pancreatic and colon cancer cells and can be targeted by NR4A1 antagonists.
Mol Carcinog. 2017; 56(9):2066-2075 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
β1-Integrin is highly expressed and is a negative prognostic factor for colon and pancreatic cancer patients and the gene plays a functional role in cell migration and invasion. In this study, we demonstrate that β1-integrin expression is regulated in pancreatic and colon cancer cells by the pro-oncogenic orphan nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1, Nur77, TR3) and knockdown of this receptor by RNA interference decreases β1-integrin protein and mRNA expression, α5-integrin, and also expression of β1-integrin-dependent phosphorylation of FAK (pFak). Knockdown of NR4A1 also decreased migration and fibronectin-induced adhesion in pancreatic (Panc1, L3.6 pL, and MiaPaCa2) and colon (RKO and SW480) cancer cells. 1,1-Bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methane (C-DIM) compounds containing p-hydroxy (DIM-C-pPhOH) and p-carbomethoxy (DIM-C-pPhCO

Mognol GP, Spreafico R, Wong V, et al.
Exhaustion-associated regulatory regions in CD8
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(13):E2776-E2785 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
T-cell exhaustion is a progressive loss of effector function and memory potential due to persistent antigen exposure, which occurs in chronic viral infections and cancer. Here we investigate the relation between gene expression and chromatin accessibility in CD8

Rastogi B, Kumar A, Raut SK, et al.
Downregulation of miR-377 Promotes Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Growth and Migration by Targeting HDAC9.
Cancer Invest. 2017; 35(3):152-162 [PubMed] Related Publications
microRNAs are the post-transcriptional regulators implicated in the initiation and progression of various cancer types, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Here, we investigated the role of miR-377 in OSCC tumorigenesis. miR-377 expression was reduced in OSCC samples and cell line (UPCI-SCC-116), and was associated with patient survival. In vitro restoration of miR-377 repressed cell growth, induced apoptosis, and reduced cell migration. We identified HDAC9 as a target of miR-377 and found miR-377 to regulate HDAC9 and its pro-apoptotic target, NR4A1/Nur77. Our findings show that miR-377 targets HDAC9 pathway in OSCC, suggesting that miR-377-HDAC9 axis may provide a novel therapeutic target for OSCC therapy.

Deutsch AJA, Rinner B, Pichler M, et al.
NR4A3 Suppresses Lymphomagenesis through Induction of Proapoptotic Genes.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(9):2375-2386 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nuclear orphan receptor NR4A1 exerts an essential tumor suppressor function in aggressive lymphomas. In this study, we investigated the hypothesized contribution of the related NR4A family member NR4A3 to lymphomagenesis. In aggressive lymphoma patients, low expression of NR4A3 was associated with poor survival. Ectopic expression or pharmacological activation of NR4A3 in lymphoma cell lines led to a significantly higher proportion of apoptotic cells. In a mouse NSG xenograft model of lymphoma (stably transduced SuDHL4 cells), NR4A3 expression abrogated tumor growth, compared with vector control and uninduced cells that formed massive tumors. Transcript analysis of four different aggressive lymphoma cell lines overexpressing either NR4A3 or NR4A1 revealed that apoptosis was driven similarly by induction of BAK, Puma, BIK, BIM, BID, and Trail. Overall, our results showed that NR4A3 possesses robust tumor suppressor functions of similar impact to NR4A1 in aggressive lymphomas.

Bian XL, Chen HZ, Yang PB, et al.
Nur77 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma via switching glucose metabolism toward gluconeogenesis through attenuating phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase sumoylation.
Nat Commun. 2017; 8:14420 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Gluconeogenesis, an essential metabolic process for hepatocytes, is downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we show that the nuclear receptor Nur77 is a tumour suppressor for HCC that regulates gluconeogenesis. Low Nur77 expression in clinical HCC samples correlates with poor prognosis, and a Nur77 deficiency in mice promotes HCC development. Nur77 interacts with phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK1), the rate-limiting enzyme in gluconeogenesis, to increase gluconeogenesis and suppress glycolysis, resulting in ATP depletion and cell growth arrest. However, PEPCK1 becomes labile after sumoylation and is degraded via ubiquitination, which is augmented by the p300 acetylation of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 9 (Ubc9). Although Nur77 attenuates sumoylation and stabilizes PEPCK1 via impairing p300 activity and preventing the Ubc9-PEPCK1 interaction, Nur77 is silenced in HCC samples due to Snail-mediated DNA methylation of the Nur77 promoter. Our study reveals a unique mechanism to suppress HCC by switching from glycolysis to gluconeogenesis through Nur77 antagonism of PEPCK1 degradation.

Lan X, Xing J, Gao H, et al.
Decreased Expression of Selenoproteins as a Poor Prognosticator of Gastric Cancer in Humans.
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2017; 178(1):22-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to analyze the selenoprotein expression levels in gastric cancer patients. We enrolled 40 patients (29 males, 11 females) who were recently diagnosed with gastric cancer and 50 healthy people (30 males, 20 females) as controls. The expression of 25 selenoprotein genes (Dio1, Dio2, Dio3, Gpx1, Gpx2, Gpx3, Gpx4, Gpx6, SelH, SelI, SelK, SelM, SelN, SelO, SelP, SelS, SelT, SelV, SelW, SelX, Sel15, Sps2, TR1, TR2, and TR3) in human gastric cancer tissues, para-carcinoma tissues, adjacent normal gastric tissues, erythrocytes, and lymphocytes in the gastric cancer group and healthy control group was analyzed by qRT-PCR. Here, we showed that among the 25 selenoproteins, 13 selenoproteins in erythrocytes (Gpx1, Gpx4, Sel15, TR1, TR2, SelH, SelK, SelM, SelO, SelS, SelV, SelW, and Sps2), 15 selenoproteins in lymphocytes (Gpx1, Gpx4, Sel15, TR1, TR2, SelH, SelK, SelN, SelO, SelS, SelT, SelV, SelX, SelW, and Sps2) and 13 selenoproteins in gastric cancer and para-carcinoma tissues (Dio1, Dio2, Dio3, Gpx1, Gpx4, Sel15, SelH, SelK, SelM, SelS, SelT, SelW, and Sps2) were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) in the gastric cancer group compared to the control group. In summary, the decreasing expression of selenoprotein genes in gastric cancer patients play an important role in the gastric cancer, although further studies are needed to better understand our findings.

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