Gene Summary

Gene:PDGFD; platelet derived growth factor D
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the platelet-derived growth factor family. The four members of this family are mitogenic factors for cells of mesenchymal origin and are characterized by a core motif of eight cysteines, seven of which are found in this factor. This gene product only forms homodimers and, therefore, does not dimerize with the other three family members. It differs from alpha and beta members of this family in having an unusual N-terminal domain, the CUB domain. Two splice variants have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:platelet-derived growth factor D
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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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.

  • MicroRNAs
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator
  • NOTCH1 Receptor
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Transfection
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mutation
  • Vimentin
  • Apoptosis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Lymphokines
  • Mesoderm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Chromosome 11
  • Bone Cancer
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Disease Progression
  • RNA Interference
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Skin Cancer
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Transcriptome
  • Phenotype
  • siRNA
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Western Blotting
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor beta
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Urinary System Cancers
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: PDGFD (cancer-related)

Olsen RS, Dimberg J, Geffers R, Wågsäter D
Possible Role and Therapeutic Target of PDGF-D Signalling in Colorectal Cancer.
Cancer Invest. 2019; 37(2):99-112 [PubMed] Related Publications
Platelet-derived growth factor D (PDGF-D) has been shown to mediate cellular processes of importance in cancer progression. This study aimed to investigate the expression and putative involvement of PDGF-D signaling in colorectal carcinogenesis. PDGF-D was expressed in vascular endothelial cells in tumor and normal tissues. PDGF-D stimulation of cells altered genes of importance in carcinogenic processes. In addition, PDGF-D increased the proliferation rate while imatinib inhibited these effects. PDGF-D and its PDGF receptor beta (PDGFR-β) are expressed in colorectal cancer and blockage of PDGF-D/PDGFR-β signaling using tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as imatinib, might be important in inhibiting tumor-promoting actions.

Dickson BC, Hornick JL, Fletcher CDM, et al.
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans with a novel COL6A3-PDGFD fusion gene and apparent predilection for breast.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018; 57(9):437-445 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a locally aggressive superficial mesenchymal neoplasm. It typically occurs in adulthood, and has been reported to have a slight male predilection. Tumors have a characteristic histopathologic appearance, including: storiform architecture, infiltrative "honeycomb" growth within subcutaneous adipose tissue, and immunoreactivity for CD34. Virtually all molecularly characterized cases to date have been found to harbor a COL1A1-PDGFB fusion product. Following identification of an index patient with a novel COL6A3-PDGFD fusion gene, we undertook a molecular investigation, using a combination of RNA sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), to assess the prevalence of PDGFD rearrangement in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (N = 63). Three additional patients were found to have balanced PDGFD rearrangements. Interestingly, all 4 tumors arose on the breast of females. As a result, we subsequently examined 16 additional cases of primary breast dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, identifying 2 additional tumors with PDGFD rearrangement. The morphology and immunophenotype of all 6 cases was analogous to those with the canonical COL1A1-PDGFB fusion; none of the cases showed fibrosarcomatous transformation. This study illustrates that the COL6A3-PDGFD fusion product is rare in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and associated with an apparent predilection for breast. An awareness of this variant is important for pathologists, as it will not be detected using conventional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or FISH-based diagnostic assays for dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

Dadone-Montaudié B, Alberti L, Duc A, et al.
Alternative PDGFD rearrangements in dermatofibrosarcomas protuberans without PDGFB fusions.
Mod Pathol. 2018; 31(11):1683-1693 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is underlined by recurrent collagen type I alpha 1 chain-platelet-derived growth factor B chain (COL1A1-PDGFB) fusions but ~ 4% of typical dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans remain negative for this translocation in routine molecular screening. We investigated a series of 21 cases not associated with the pathognomonic COL1A1-PDGFB fusion on routine fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing. All cases displayed morphological and clinical features consistent with the diagnosis of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. RNA-sequencing analysis was successful in 20 cases. The classical COL1A1-PDGFB fusion was present in 40% of cases (n = 8/20), and subsequently confirmed with a COL1A1 break-apart FISH probe in all but one case (n = 7/8). 55% of cases (n = 11/20) displayed novel PDGFD rearrangements; PDGFD being fused either to the 5' part of COL6A3 (2q37.3) (n = 9/11) or EMILIN2 (18p11) (n = 2/11). All rearrangements led to in-frame fusion transcripts and were confirmed at genomic level by FISH and/or array-comparative genomic hybridization. PDGFD-rearranged dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans presented clinical outcomes similar to typical dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Notably, the two EMILIN2-PDGFD cases displayed fibrosarcomatous transformation and homozygous deletions of CDKN2A at genomic level. We report the first recurrent molecular variant of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans involving PDGFD, which functionally mimic bona fide COL1A1-PDGFB fusions, leading presumably to a similar autocrine loop-stimulating PDGFRB. This study also emphasizes that COL1A1-PDGFB fusions can be cytogenetically cryptic on FISH testing in a subset of cases, thereby representing a diagnostic pitfall that pathologists should be aware of.

Bartoschek M, Pietras K
PDGF family function and prognostic value in tumor biology.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 503(2):984-990 [PubMed] Related Publications
The development and progression of a tumor depends on the close interaction of malignant cells and the supportive and suppressive tumor microenvironment. Paracrine signaling enables tumor cells to shape the surrounding tissue in order to decrease recognition by the immune system, attract blood vessels to fuel growth, change metabolic programs, and induce wound healing programs. In this study, we investigate the role of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family members PDGFA, PDGFB, PDGFC and PDGFD and their cognate tyrosine kinase receptors PDGFRA and PDGFRB, using publicly available data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Human Protein Atlas. Large scale analysis of expression correlation in RNA sequencing data from 7616 samples derived from 16 tumor types, revealed conserved functional programs in PDGF signaling in the majority of solid tumor types. Besides the well-known effects of PDGF signaling in mesenchymal cells, our analyses revealed a potential role of PDGF signaling in the composition of the immune microenvironment. We furthermore derived gene signatures with increased prognostic value for each PDGF family member. This study emphasizes the potential to impinge on specific paracrine signaling events to interfere with the crosstalk between malignant cells and their microenvironment.

Rahme GJ, Luikart BW, Cheng C, Israel MA
A recombinant lentiviral PDGF-driven mouse model of proneural glioblastoma.
Neuro Oncol. 2018; 20(3):332-342 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Mouse models of glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive primary brain tumor, are critical for understanding GBM pathology and can contribute to the preclinical evaluation of therapeutic agents. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling has been implicated in the development and pathogenesis of GBM, specifically the proneural subtype. Although multiple mouse models of PDGF-driven glioma have been described, they require transgenic mice engineered to activate PDGF signaling and/or impair tumor suppressor genes and typically represent lower-grade glioma.
Methods: We designed recombinant lentiviruses expressing both PDGFB and a short hairpin RNA targeting Cdkn2a to induce gliomagenesis following stereotactic injection into the dentate gyrus of adult immunocompetent mice. We engineered these viruses to coexpress CreERT2 with PDGFB, allowing for deletion of floxed genes specifically in transduced cells, and designed another version of this recombinant lentivirus in which enhanced green fluorescent protein was coexpressed with PDGFB and CreERT2 to visualize transduced cells.
Results: The dentate gyrus of injected mice showed hypercellularity one week post-injection and subsequently developed bona fide tumors with the pathologic hallmarks of GBM leading to a median survival of 77 days post-injection. Transcriptomic analysis of these tumors revealed a proneural gene expression signature.
Conclusion: Informed by the genetic alterations observed in human GBM, we engineered a novel mouse model of proneural GBM. While reflecting many of the advantages of transgenic mice, this model allows for the facile in vivo testing of gene function in tumor cells and makes possible the rapid production of large numbers of immunocompetent tumor-bearing mice for preclinical testing of therapeutics.

Nordby Y, Richardsen E, Rakaee M, et al.
High expression of PDGFR-β in prostate cancer stroma is independently associated with clinical and biochemical prostate cancer recurrence.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:43378 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Due to a lack of sufficient diagnostic tools to predict aggressive disease, there is a significant overtreatment of patients with prostate cancer. Platelet derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors (PDGFRs) are key regulators of mesenchymal cells in the tumor microenvironment, and has been associated with unfavorable outcome in several other cancers. Herein, we aimed to investigate the prognostic impact of PDGFR-β and its ligands (PDGF-B and PDGF-D) in a multicenter prostatectomy cohort of 535 Norwegian patients. Using tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry, the expression of ligands PDGF-B and PDGF-D and their corresponding receptor, PDGFR-β, was assessed in neoplastic tissue and tumor-associated stroma. PDGFR-β was expressed in benign and tumor associated stroma, but not in epithelium. High stromal expression of PDGFR-β was independently associated with clinical relapse (HR = 2.17, p = 0.010) and biochemical failure (HR = 1.58, p = 0.002). This large study highlights the prognostic importance of PDGFR-β expression, implicating its involvement in prostate cancer progression even in early stage disease. Hence, analyses of PDGFR-β may help distinguish which patients will benefit from radical treatment, and since PDGFR-β is associated with relapse and shorter survival, it mandates a focus as a therapeutic target.

Levin TR, Corley DA, Jensen CD, et al.
Genetic Biomarker Prevalence Is Similar in Fecal Immunochemical Test Positive and Negative Colorectal Cancer Tissue.
Dig Dis Sci. 2017; 62(3):678-688 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening detects most asymptomatic colorectal cancers. Combining FIT screening with stool-based genetic biomarkers increases sensitivity for cancer, but whether DNA biomarkers (biomarkers) differ for cancers detected versus missed by FIT screening has not been evaluated in a community-based population.
AIMS: To evaluate tissue biomarkers among Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer within 2 years after FIT screening.
METHODS: FIT-negative and FIT-positive colorectal cancer patients 50-77 years of age were matched on age, sex, and cancer stage. Adequate DNA was isolated from paraffin-embedded specimens in 210 FIT-negative and 211 FIT-positive patients. Quantitative allele-specific real-time target and signal amplification assays were performed for 7 K-ras mutations and 10 aberrantly methylated DNA biomarkers (NDRG4, BMP3, SFMBT2_895, SFMBT2_896, SFMBT2_897, CHST2_7890, PDGFD, VAV3, DTX1, CHST2_7889).
RESULTS: One or more biomarkers were found in 414 of 421 CRCs (98.3%). Biomarker expression was not associated with FIT status, with the exception of higher SFMBT2_897 expression in FIT-negative (194 of 210; 92.4%) than in FIT-positive cancers (180 of 211; 85.3%; p = 0.02). There were no consistent differences in biomarker expression by FIT status within age, sex, stage, and cancer location subgroups.
CONCLUSIONS: The biomarkers of a currently in-use multi-target stool DNA test (K-ras, NDRG4, and BMP3) and eight newly characterized methylated biomarkers were commonly expressed in tumor tissue specimens, independent of FIT result. Additional study using stool-based testing with these new biomarkers will allow assessment of sensitivity, specificity, and clinical utility.

Chen J, Yuan W, Wu L, et al.
PDGF-D promotes cell growth, aggressiveness, angiogenesis and EMT transformation of colorectal cancer by activation of Notch1/Twist1 pathway.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(6):9961-9973 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Platelet-derived growth factor-D (PDGF-D) plays a crucial role in the progression of several cancers. However, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear. Our study showed that PDGF-D was highly expressed in CRC tissues and was positively associated with the clinicopathological features. Down-regulation of PDGF-D inhibited the tumor growth, migration and angiogenesis of SW480 cells in vitro and in vivo. Whereas up-regulation of PDGF-D promoted the malignant behaviors of HCT116 cells. Moreover, PDGF-D up-regulated the expression of Notch1 and Twist1 in CRC cells. In addition, PDGF-D expression promoted Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was accompanied with decreased E-cadherin and increased Vimentin expression. Consistently, PDGF-D, Notch1, and Twist1 are obviously up-regulated in transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) treated HCT116 cells. Since Notch1 and Twist1 play an important role in EMT and tumor progression, we examined whether there is a correlation between Notch1 and Twist1 in EMT status. Our results showed that up-regulation of Notch1 was able to rescue the effects of PDGF-D down-regulation on Twist1 expression in SW480 cells, whereas down-regulation of Notch1 reduced Twist1 expression in HCT116 cells. Furthermore, we found that Twist1 promoted EMT and aggressiveness of CRC cells. These results suggest that PDGF-D promotes tumor growth and aggressiveness of CRC, moreover, down-regulation of PDGF-D inactivates Notch1/Twist1 axis, which could reverse EMT and prevent CRC progression.

Satow R, Nakamura T, Kato C, et al.
ZIC5 Drives Melanoma Aggressiveness by PDGFD-Mediated Activation of FAK and STAT3.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(2):366-377 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insights into mechanisms of drug resistance could extend the efficacy of cancer therapy. To probe mechanisms in melanoma, we performed siRNA screening of genes that mediate the development of neural crest cells, from which melanocytes are derived. Here, we report the identification of ZIC5 as a mediator of melanoma drug resistance. ZIC5 is a transcriptional suppressor of E-cadherin expressed highly in human melanoma. ZIC5 enhanced melanoma cell proliferation, survival, drug resistance, in vivo growth and metastasis. Microarray analysis revealed that ZIC5 downstream signaling included PDGFD and FAK activation, which contributes to drug resistance by enhancing STAT3 activation. Silencing of ZIC5 or PDGFD enhanced the apoptotic effects of BRAF inhibition and blocked survival of melanoma cells resistant to BRAF inhibitors. Furthermore, inhibition of FAK or STAT3 suppressed expression of ZIC5, which was positively regulated by PDGFD, FAK, and STAT3 in a positive feedback loop. Taken together, our results identify ZIC5 and PDGFD as candidate therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance in melanoma. Cancer Res; 77(2); 366-77. ©2016 AACR.

Greening DW, Ji H, Chen M, et al.
Secreted primary human malignant mesothelioma exosome signature reflects oncogenic cargo.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:32643 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly-aggressive heterogeneous malignancy, typically diagnosed at advanced stage. An important area of mesothelioma biology and progression is understanding intercellular communication and the contribution of the secretome. Exosomes are secreted extracellular vesicles shown to shuttle cellular cargo and direct intercellular communication in the tumour microenvironment, facilitate immunoregulation and metastasis. In this study, quantitative proteomics was used to investigate MM-derived exosomes from distinct human models and identify select cargo protein networks associated with angiogenesis, metastasis, and immunoregulation. Utilising bioinformatics pathway/network analyses, and correlation with previous studies on tumour exosomes, we defined a select mesothelioma exosomal signature (mEXOS, 570 proteins) enriched in tumour antigens and various cancer-specific signalling (HPGD/ENO1/OSMR) and secreted modulators (FN1/ITLN1/MAMDC2/PDGFD/GBP1). Notably, such circulating cargo offers unique insights into mesothelioma progression and tumour microenvironment reprogramming. Functionally, we demonstrate that oncogenic exosomes facilitate the migratory capacity of fibroblast/endothelial cells, supporting the systematic model of MM progression associated with vascular remodelling and angiogenesis. We provide biophysical and proteomic characterisation of exosomes, define a unique oncogenic signature (mEXOS), and demonstrate the regulatory capacity of exosomes in cell migration/tube formation assays. These findings contribute to understanding tumour-stromal crosstalk in the context of MM, and potential new diagnostic and therapeutic extracellular targets.

Zhang H, Sun JD, Yan LJ, Zhao XP
PDGF-D/PDGFRβ promotes tongue squamous carcinoma cell (TSCC) progression via activating p38/AKT/ERK/EMT signal pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 478(2):845-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Platelet-derived growth factor D (PDGF-D) signaling plays significant roles during the development and progression of human malignancies via interacting with the receptor of PDGF-D (PDGFR). Meanwhile, the majority of human tumor metastasis is closely associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the underlying mechanism between PDGF-D/PDGFR signaling and EMT which involved in tumor metastasis remain dismal. This study aimed to investigate the role of PDGF-D signaling during EMT process of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC). In our study, the expression of PDGF-D and PDGFR were examined in primary TSCC samples and the expression of PDGF-D was also determined in TSCC cell lines. In addition, the correlation between PDGF-D expression and TSCC aggressive histopathological features was analyzed. Our results implied that upregulation of PDGFRβ in UM1 cells induced with exogenous PDGF-D can remarkably promote tumor cells invasiveness; conversely, when using small interfering RNA (siRNA), the invasiveness can be severely prohibited. Furthermore, PDGF-D downstream signal molecules p38, AKT, ERK and EMT biomarkers (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Vimentin and snail) were measured using Western blot. Our results showed that PDGF-D can induce p38, AKT and ERK phosphorylation; downregulate epithelial markers and upregulate mesenchymal markers. On the contrary, PDGFRβ siRNA significantly prohibited p38, AKT and ERK phosphorylation; inhibited EMT process. Function analysis revealed that PDGFRβ siRNA obviously interfered with UM1 cell migration and invasion, according to transwell and wound healing assay. In conclusion, this study suggested that EMT process can be triggered by the PDGF-D/PDGFRβ axis in TSCC, and then involved in the tumor cell invasion via activation of p38/AKT/ERK/EMT pathway.

Paximadis P, Najy AJ, Snyder M, Kim HR
The interaction between androgen receptor and PDGF-D in the radiation response of prostate carcinoma.
Prostate. 2016; 76(6):534-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine the functional relationship between androgen receptor (AR) and PDGF D as it relates to the radiation response of PTEN-null prostate cancer (PCa) cells and the effect of enzalutamide on these interactions.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Using murine PTEN-null prostate epithelial cell line and human prostate carcinoma LNCaP (PTEN-mutant) models, nuclear and cytosolic AR levels were determined by immunoblot analysis and the transcriptional activity of nuclear AR was assessed by RT-PCR analysis of its target genes with or without irradiation. Cell survival was evaluated by clonogenic assay or sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay upon irradiation in the absence or presence of the AR antagonist enzalutamide.
RESULTS: PTEN loss resulted in upregulation of AR expression in a PDGF-D dependent manner and irradiation selectively increased the nuclear AR protein level and its activity in a murine cell model. When the functional significance of AR in cell survival was tested, treatment with enzalutamide resulted in radiosensitization of human LNCaP cells. Similarly to the murine model, PDGF-D overexpression increased the nuclear AR level and its transcriptional activity in LNCaP cells. PDGF-D over-expression was associated with radioresistance and enzalutamide treatment effectively reversed PDGF-D-mediated radioresistance in LNCaP cells.
CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated that AR, a target of the PTEN and PDGF D-downstream signaling program, contributes to radiation resistance in human PCa cells. In addition, this study suggests that anti-androgens such as enzalutamide may serve as radiation sensitizers for the treatment of PCa patients, particularly so in patients with loss of PTEN or overexpression of PDGF-D.

Najy AJ, Dyson G, Jena BP, et al.
Matriptase activation and shedding through PDGF-D-mediated extracellular acidosis.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2016; 310(4):C293-304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activation of β-platelet-derived growth factor receptor (β-PDGFR) is associated with prostate cancer (PCa) progression and recurrence after prostatectomy. Analysis of the β-PDGFR ligands in PCa revealed association between PDGF-D expression and Gleason score as well as tumor stage. During the course of studying the functional consequences of PDGF ligand-specific β-PDGFR signaling in PCa, we discovered a novel function of PDGF-D for activation/shedding of the serine protease matriptase leading to cell invasion, migration, and tumorigenesis. The present study showed that PDGF-D, not PDGF-B, induces extracellular acidification, which correlates with increased matriptase activation. A cDNA microarray analysis revealed that PDGF-D/β-PDGFR signaling upregulates expression of the acidosis regulator carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), a classic target of the transcriptional factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). Cellular fractionation displayed a strong HIF-1α nuclear localization in PDGF-D-expressing cells. Treatment of vector control or PDGF-B-expressing cells with the HIF-1α activator CoCl2 led to increased CAIX expression accompanied by extracellular acidosis and matriptase activation. Furthermore, the analysis of the CAFTD cell lines, variants of the BPH-1 transformation model, showed that increased PDGF-D expression is associated with enhanced HIF-1α activity, CAIX induction, cellular acidosis, and matriptase shedding. Importantly, shRNA-mediated knockdown of CAIX expression effectively reversed extracellular acidosis and matriptase activation in PDGF-D-transfected BPH-1 cells and in CAFTD variants that express endogenous PDGF-D at a high level. Taken together, these novel findings reveal a new paradigm in matriptase activation involving PDGF-D-specific signal transduction leading to extracellular acidosis.

Jiang W, Jia P, Hutchinson KE, et al.
Clinically relevant genes and regulatory pathways associated with NRASQ61 mutations in melanoma through an integrative genomics approach.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(4):2496-508 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Therapies such as BRAF inhibitors have become standard treatment for melanoma patients whose tumors harbor activating BRAFV600 mutations. However, analogous therapies for inhibiting NRAS mutant signaling have not yet been well established. In this study, we performed an integrative analysis of DNA methylation, gene expression, and microRNA expression data to identify potential regulatory pathways associated with the most common driver mutations in NRAS (Q61K/L/R) through comparison of NRASQ61-mutated melanomas with pan-negative melanomas. Surprisingly, we found dominant hypomethylation (98.03%) in NRASQ61-mutated melanomas. We identified 1,150 and 49 differentially expressed genes and microRNAs, respectively. Integrated functional analyses of alterations in all three data types revealed important signaling pathways associated with NRASQ61 mutations, such as the MAPK pathway, as well as other novel cellular processes, such as axon guidance. Further analysis of the relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression changes revealed 9 hypermethylated and down-regulated genes and 112 hypomethylated and up-regulated genes in NRASQ61 melanomas. Finally, we identified 52 downstream regulatory cascades of three hypomethylated and up-regulated genes (PDGFD, ZEB1, and THRB). Collectively, our observation of predominant gene hypomethylation in NRASQ61 melanomas and the identification of NRASQ61-linked pathways will be useful for the development of targeted therapies against melanomas harboring NRASQ61 mutations.

Torres-Martin M, Lassaletta L, Isla A, et al.
Global expression profile in low grade meningiomas and schwannomas shows upregulation of PDGFD, CDH1 and SLIT2 compared to their healthy tissue.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(6):2327-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Schwannomas and grade I meningiomas are non‑metastatic neoplasms that share the common mutation of gene NF2. They usually appear in neurofibromatosis type 2 patients. Currently, there is no drug treatment available for both tumors, thus the use of wide expression technologies is crucial to identify therapeutic targets. Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST was used to test global gene expression in 22 meningiomas, 31 schwannomas and, as non-tumoral controls, 3 healthy meningeal tissues, 8 non-tumoral nerves and 1 primary Schwann cell culture. A non-stringent P-value cut-off and fold change were used to establish deregulated genes. We identified a subset of genes that were upregulated in meningiomas and schwannomas when compared to their respectively healthy tissues, including PDGFD, CDH1 and SLIT2. Thus, these genes should be thoroughly studied as targets in a possible combined treatment.

Misuraca KL, Barton KL, Chung A, et al.
Pax3 expression enhances PDGF-B-induced brainstem gliomagenesis and characterizes a subset of brainstem glioma.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014; 2:134 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
High-grade Brainstem Glioma (BSG), also known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), is an incurable pediatric brain cancer. Increasing evidence supports the existence of regional differences in gliomagenesis such that BSG is considered a distinct disease from glioma of the cerebral cortex (CG). In an effort to elucidate unique characteristics of BSG, we conducted expression analysis of mouse PDGF-B-driven BSG and CG initiated in Nestin progenitor cells and identified a short list of expression changes specific to the brainstem gliomagenesis process, including abnormal upregulation of paired box 3 (Pax3). In the neonatal mouse brain, Pax3 expression marks a subset of brainstem progenitor cells, while it is absent from the cerebral cortex, mirroring its regional expression in glioma. Ectopic expression of Pax3 in normal brainstem progenitors in vitro shows that Pax3 inhibits apoptosis. Pax3-induced inhibition of apoptosis is p53-dependent, however, and in the absence of p53, Pax3 promotes proliferation of brainstem progenitors. In vivo, Pax3 enhances PDGF-B-driven gliomagenesis by shortening tumor latency and increasing tumor penetrance and grade, in a region-specific manner, while loss of Pax3 function extends survival of PDGF-B-driven;p53-deficient BSG-bearing mice by 33%. Importantly, Pax3 is regionally expressed in human glioma as well, with high PAX3 mRNA characterizing 40% of human BSG, revealing a subset of tumors that significantly associates with PDGFRA alterations, amplifications of cell cycle regulatory genes, and is exclusive of ACVR1 mutations. Collectively, these data suggest that regional Pax3 expression not only marks a novel subset of BSG but also contributes to PDGF-B-induced brainstem gliomagenesis.

Wang W, Meng M, Zhang Y, et al.
Global transcriptome-wide analysis of CIK cells identify distinct roles of IL-2 and IL-15 in acquisition of cytotoxic capacity against tumor.
BMC Med Genomics. 2014; 7:49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are an emerging approach of cancer treatment. Our previous study have shown that CIK cells stimulated with combination of IL-2 and IL-15 displayed improved proliferation capacity and tumor cytotoxicity. However, the mechanisms of CIK cell proliferation and acquisition of cytolytic function against tumor induced by IL-2 and IL-15 have not been well elucidated yet.
METHODS: CIK(IL-2) and CIK(IL-15) were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells primed with IFN-γ, and stimulated with IL-2 and IL-15 in combination with OKT3 respectively. RNA-seq was performed to identify differentially expressed genes, and gene ontology and pathways based analysis were used to identify the distinct roles of IL-2 and IL-15 in CIK preparation.
RESULTS: The results indicated that CIKIL-15 showed improved cell proliferation capacity compared to CIK(IL-2). However, CIK(IL-2) has exhibited greater tumor cytotoxic effect than CIKIL-15. Employing deep sequencing, we sequenced mRNA transcripts in CIK(IL-2) and CIK(IL-15). A total of 374 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified including 175 up-regulated genes in CIK(IL-15) and 199 up-regulated genes in CIK(IL-2)). Among DEGs in CIK(IL-15), Wnt signaling and cell adhesion were significant GO terms and pathways which related with their functions. In CIK(IL-2, type I interferon signaling and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction were significant GO terms and pathways. We found that the up-regulation of Wnt 4 and PDGFD may contribute to enhanced cell proliferation capacity of CIK(IL-15), while inhibitory signal from interaction between CTLA4 and CD80 may be responsible for the weak proliferation capacity of CIK(IL-2). Moreover, up-regulated expressions of CD40LG and IRF7 may make for improved tumor cytolytic function of CIK(IL-2) through type I interferon signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: Through our findings, we have preliminarily elucidated the cells proliferation and acquisition of tumor cytotoxicity mechanism of CIK(IL-15) and CIK(IL-2). Better understanding of these mechanisms will help to generate novel CIK cells with greater proliferation potential and improved tumor cytolytic function.

Wang Y, Qiu H, Hu W, et al.
Over-expression of platelet-derived growth factor-D promotes tumor growth and invasion in endometrial cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(3):4780-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The platelet-derived growth factor-D (PDGF-D) was demonstrated to be able to promote tumor growth and invasion in human malignancies. However, little is known about its roles in endometrial cancer. In the present study, we investigated the expression and functions of PDGF-D in human endometrial cancer. Alterations of PDGF-D mRNA and protein were determined by real time PCR, western blot and immunohistochemical staining. Up-regulation of PDGF-D was achieved by stably transfecting the pcDNA3-PDGF-D plasmids into ECC-1 cells; and knockdown of PDGF-D was achieved by transient transfection with siRNA-PDGF-D into Ishikawa cells. The MTT assay, colony formation assay and Transwell assay were used to detect the effects of PDGF-D on cellular proliferation and invasion. The xenograft assay was used to investigate the functions of PDGF-D in vivo. Compared to normal endometrium, more than 50% cancer samples showed over-expression of PDGF-D (p < 0.001), and high level of PDGF-D was correlated with late stage (p = 0.003), deep myometrium invasion (p < 0.001) and lympha vascular space invasion (p = 0.006). In vitro, over-expressing PDGF-D in ECC-1 cells significantly accelerated tumor growth and promoted cellular invasion by increasing the level of MMP2 and MMP9; while silencing PDGF-D in Ishikawa cells impaired cell proliferation and inhibited the invasion, through suppressing the expression of MMP2 and MMP9. Moreover, we also demonstrated that over-expressed PDGF-D could induce EMT and knockdown of PDGF-D blocked the EMT transition. Consistently, in xenografts assay, PDGF-D over-expression significantly promoted tumor growth and tumor weights. We demonstrated that PDGF-D was commonly over-expressed in endometrial cancer, which was associated with late stage deep myometrium invasion and lympha vascular space invasion. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments showed PDGF-D could promote tumor growth and invasion through up-regulating MMP2/9 and inducing EMT. Thus, we propose targeting PDGF-D to be a potent strategy for endometrial cancer treatment.

Yang TY, Hsu LI, Chiu AW, et al.
Comparison of genome-wide DNA methylation in urothelial carcinomas of patients with and without arsenic exposure.
Environ Res. 2014; 128:57-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Arsenic is a well-documented carcinogen of human urothelial carcinoma (UC) with incompletely understood mechanisms.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare the genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of arsenic-induced UC (AsUC) and non-arsenic-induced UC (Non-AsUC), and to assess associations between site-specific methylation levels and cumulative arsenic exposure.
METHODS: Genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in 14 AsUC and 14 non-AsUC were analyzed by Illumina Infinium methylation27 BeadChip and validated by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Mean methylation levels (β¯) in AsUC and non-AsUC were compared by their ratio (β¯ ratio) and difference (Δβ¯). Associations between site-specific methylation levels in UC and cumulative arsenic exposure were examined.
RESULTS: Among 27,578 methylation sites analyzed, 231 sites had β¯ ratio >2 or <0.5 and 45 sites had Δβ¯ >0.2 or <-0.2. There were 13 sites showing statistically significant (q<0.05) differences in β¯ between AsUC and non-AsUC including 12 hypermethylation sites in AsUC and only one hypermethylation site in non-AsUC. Significant associations between cumulative arsenic exposure and DNA methylation levels of 28 patients were observed in nine CpG sites of nine gens including PDGFD (Spearman rank correlation, 0.54), CTNNA2 (0.48), KCNK17 (0.52), PCDHB2 (0.57), ZNF132 (0.48), DCDC2 (0.48), KLK7 (0.48), FBXO39 (0.49), and NPY2R (0.45). These associations remained statistically significant for CpG sites in CTNNA2, KLK7, NPY2R, ZNF132 and KCNK17 in 20 non-smoking women after adjustment for tumor stage and age.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant associations between cumulative arsenic exposure and methylation level of CTNNA2, KLK7, NPY2R, ZNF132 and KCNK17 were found in smoking-unrelated urothelial carcinoma. Arsenic exposure may cause urothelial carcinomas through the hypermethylation of genes involved in cell adhesion, proteolysis, transcriptional regulation, neuronal pathway, and ion transport. The findings of this study, which are limited by its small sample size and moderate dose-response relation, remain to be validated by further studies with large sample sizes.

Park JY, Amankwah EK, Anic GM, et al.
Gene variants in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis and cutaneous melanoma progression.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013; 22(5):827-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are important in the progression of melanoma. We investigated associations between genetic variants in these pathways with sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastasis and mortality in 2 independent series of patients with melanoma.
METHODS: Participants at Moffitt Cancer Center were 552 patients, all Caucasian, with primary cutaneous melanoma referred for SLN biopsy. A total of 177 patients had SLN metastasis, among whom 60 died from melanoma. Associations between 238 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 26 genes and SLN metastasis were estimated as ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using logistic regression. Competing risk regression was used to estimate HRs and 95% CI for each SNP and melanoma-specific mortality. We attempted to replicate significant findings using data from a genome-wide association study comprising 1,115 patients with melanoma who were referred for SLN biopsy from MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), among whom 189 patients had SLN metastasis and 92 patients died from melanoma.
RESULTS: In the Moffitt dataset, we observed significant associations in 18 SNPs with SLN metastasis and 17 SNPs with mortality. Multiple SNPs in COL18A1, EGF receptor (EGFR), FLT1, interleukin (IL)-10, platelet-derived growth factor D (PDGFD), PIK3CA, and toll-like receptor (TLR)-3 were associated with the risk of SLN metastasis and/or patient mortality. The MDACC data set replicated an association between mortality and rs2220377 in PDGFD. Furthermore, in a meta-analysis, 3 additional SNPs were significantly associated with SLN metastasis (EGFR rs723526 and TLR3 rs3775292) and melanoma-specific death (TLR3 rs7668666).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that genetic variation in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis contributes to regional nodal metastasis and progression of melanoma.
IMPACT: Additional research attempting to replicate these results is warranted.

Newey PJ, Nesbit MA, Rimmer AJ, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing studies of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(4):E796-800 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: The tumorigenic role of genetic abnormalities in sporadic pituitary nonfunctioning adenomas (NFAs), which usually originate from gonadotroph cells, is unknown.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to identify somatic genetic abnormalities in sporadic pituitary NFAs.
DESIGN: Whole-exome sequencing was performed using DNA from 7 pituitary NFAs and leukocyte samples obtained from the same patients. Somatic variants were confirmed by dideoxynucleotide sequencing, and candidate driver genes were assessed in an additional 24 pituitary NFAs.
RESULTS: Whole-exome sequencing achieved a high degree of coverage such that approximately 97% of targeted bases were represented by more than 10 base reads; 24 somatic variants were identified and confirmed in the discovery set of 7 pituitary NFAs (mean 3.5 variants/tumor; range 1-7). Approximately 80% of variants occurred as missense single nucleotide variants and the remainder were synonymous changes or small frameshift deletions. Each of the 24 mutations occurred in independent genes with no recurrent mutations. Mutations were not observed in genes previously associated with pituitary tumorigenesis, although somatic variants in putative driver genes including platelet-derived growth factor D (PDGFD), N-myc down-regulated gene family member 4 (NDRG4), and Zipper sterile-α-motif kinase (ZAK) were identified; however, DNA sequence analysis of these in the validation set of 24 pituitary NFAs did not reveal any mutations indicating that these genes are unlikely to contribute significantly in the etiology of sporadic pituitary NFAs.
CONCLUSIONS: Pituitary NFAs harbor few somatic mutations consistent with their low proliferation rates and benign nature, but mechanisms other than somatic mutation are likely involved in the etiology of sporadic pituitary NFAs.

Han Y, Guo XH, Zheng QF, et al.
Down-regulation of platelet-derived growth factor-D expression blockades NF-κB pathway to inhibit cell proliferation and invasion as well as induce apoptosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(3):2473-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Substantial evidence has demonstrated that platelet-derived growth factor-D (PDGF-D) is tightly associated with the development and progression of tumors. However, its biological functions in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remain to be delineated. In this study, we found that expressions of PDGF-D mRNA and protein in ESCC tissues and cells were significantly higher than that in normal esophageal epithelial tissues (P < 0.05), further investigation showed that PDGF-D protein level in EC1 cells was obviously higher than those in EC9706 and Eca109 cells (P < 0.05). Elevated PDGF-D level was closely associated with TNM staging, tumor differentiation and lymph node metastasis (P < 0.05), but not related to the patients' age and gender (P > 0.05). In addition, down-regulation of PDGF-D expression markedly inhibited proliferation, reduced invasion and induced apoptosis in EC1 cells. More importantly, reduced PDGF-D level evoked the down-regulation of p65 and p-IκBα proteins and elevation of IκBα protein of NF-κB pathway, accompanied with the decreases of bcl-2 and MMP-9 protein expressions and increases of bax protein level and caspase-3 activities. Correctively, our data suggest that PDGF-D plays pivotal roles in the development and progression of ESCC, and combinations with PDGF-D and NF-κB pathway may be effective and feasible molecular targets for therapy of ESCC.

Niini T, Scheinin I, Lahti L, et al.
Homozygous deletions of cadherin genes in chondrosarcoma-an array comparative genomic hybridization study.
Cancer Genet. 2012; 205(11):588-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chondrosarcoma is a malignant bone tumor that is often resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We applied high resolution oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization to 46 tumor specimens from 44 patients with chondrosarcoma and identified several genes with potential importance for the development of chondrosarcoma. Several homozygous deletions were detected. The tumor suppressor genes CDKN2A and MTAP were each homozygously deleted in four of the cases, and the RB1 gene was homozygously deleted in one. Two homozygous deletions of MTAP did not affect CDKN2A. Deletions were also found to affect genes of the cadherin family, including CDH4 and CDH7, each of which had a targeted homozygous loss in one case, and CDH19, which had a targeted homozygous loss in two cases. Loss of the EXT1 and EXT2 genes was uncommon; EXT1 was homozygously deleted in none and EXT2 in two of the cases, and large heterozygous losses including EXT1 and/or EXT2 were seen in three cases. Targeted gains and amplifications affected the MYC, E2F3, CDK6, PDGFRA, KIT, and PDGFD genes in one case each. The data indicate that chondrosarcomas develop through a combination of genomic imbalances that often affect the RB1 signaling pathway. The inactivation of cadherin genes may also be critical in the pathogenesis of the tumor.

Wang Z, Ali S, Banerjee S, et al.
Activated K-Ras and INK4a/Arf deficiency promote aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer by induction of EMT consistent with cancer stem cell phenotype.
J Cell Physiol. 2013; 228(3):556-562 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, suggesting that there is an urgent need to design novel strategies for achieving better treatment outcome of patients diagnosed with PDAC. Our previous study has shown that activation of Notch and NF-κB play a critical role in the development of PDAC in the compound K-Ras(G12D) and Ink4a/Arf deficient transgenic mice. However, the exact molecular mechanism by which mutated K-Ras and Ink4a/Arf deficiency contribute to progression of PDAC remains largely elusive. In the present study, we used multiple methods, such as real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting assay, and immunohistochemistry to gain further mechanistic insight. We found that the deletion of Ink4a/Arf in K-Ras(G12D) expressing mice led to high expression of PDGF-D signaling pathway in the tumor and tumor-derived cell line (RInk-1 cells). Furthermore, PDGF-D knock-down in RInk-1 cells resulted in the inhibition of pancreatosphere formation and down-regulation of EZH2, CD44, EpCAM, and vimentin. Moreover, we demonstrated that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was induced in the compound mice, which is linked with aggressiveness of PDAC. In addition, we demonstrated that tumors from compound transgenic mice have higher expression of cancer stem cell (CSC) markers. These results suggest that the acquisition of EMT phenotype and induction of CSC characteristics could be linked with the aggressiveness of PDAC mediated in part through the activation of PDGF-D, signaling.

Najy AJ, Won JJ, Movilla LS, Kim HR
Differential tumorigenic potential and matriptase activation between PDGF B versus PDGF D in prostate cancer.
Mol Cancer Res. 2012; 10(8):1087-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF A, B, C, and D) and their receptors (α-PDGFR and β-PDGFR) play an indispensible role in physiologic and pathologic conditions, including tumorigenesis. The transformative β-PDGFR is overexpressed and activated during prostate cancer progression, but the identification and functional significance of its complementary ligand have not been elucidated. This study examined potential oncogenic functions of β-PDGFR ligands PDGF B and PDGF D, using nonmalignant prostate epithelial cells engineered to overexpress these ligands. In our models, PDGF D induced cell migration and invasion more effectively than PDGF B in vitro. Importantly, PDGF D supported prostate epithelial cell tumorigenesis in vivo and showed increased tumor angiogenesis compared with PDGF B. Autocrine signaling analysis of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathways found PDGF D-specific activation of the c-jun-NH2-kinase (JNK) signaling cascade. Using short hairpin RNA and pharmacologic inhibitors, we showed that PDGFD-mediated phenotypic transformation is β-PDGFR and JNK dependent. Importantly, we made a novel finding of PDGF D-specific increase in the shedding and activation of the serine protease matriptase in prostate epithelial cells. Our study, for the first time to our knowledge, showed ligand-specific β-PDGFR signaling as well as PDGF D-specific regulation of matriptase activity and its spatial distribution through shedding. Taken together with our previous finding that matriptase is a proteolytic activator of PDGF D, this study provides a molecular insight into signal amplification of the proteolytic network and PDGF signaling loop during cancer progression.

Zhao Z, Liu Y, He H, et al.
Candidate genes influencing sensitivity and resistance of human glioblastoma to Semustine.
Brain Res Bull. 2011; 86(3-4):189-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The prognosis of glioblastoma (GBM) is poor. The therapeutic outcome of conventional surgical and adjuvant treatments remains unsatisfactory, and therefore individualized adjuvant chemotherapy has aroused more attention. Microarrays have been applied to study mechanism of GBM development and progression but it has difficulty in determining responsible genes from the plethora of genes on microarrays unrelated to outcome. The present study was attempted to use bioinformatics method to investigate candidate genes that may influence chemosensitivity of GBM to Semustine (Me-CCNU).
METHODS: Clinical data of 4 GBM patients in Affymetrix microarray were perfected through long-term follow-up study. Differential expression genes between the long- and short-survival groups were picked out, GO-analysis and pathway-analysis of the differential expression genes were performed. Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks were constructed. The methods combined three steps before were used to screen core genes that influenced Me-CCNU chemosensitivity in GBM.
RESULTS: In Affymetrix microarray there were altogether 2018 differential expression genes that influenced survival duration of GBM. Of them, 934 genes were up-regulated and 1084 down-regulated. They mainly participated in 94 pathways. Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks were constructed. The total number of genes in the networks was 466, of which 66 were also found in survival duration-related differential expression genes. Studied key genes through GO-analysis, pathway-analysis and in the Me-CCNU-related signal transduction networks, 25 core genes that influenced chemosensitivity of GBM to Me-CCNU were obtained, including TP53, MAP2K2, EP300, PRKCA, TNF, CCND1, AKT2, RBL1, CDC2, ID2, RAF1, CDKN2C, FGFR1, SP1, CDK6, IGFBP3, MDM4, PDGFD, SOCS2, CCNG2, CDK2, SDC2, STMN1, TCF7L1, TUBB.
CONCLUSION: Bioinformatics may help excavate and analyze large amounts of data in microarrays by means of rigorous experimental planning, scientific statistical analysis and collection of complete data about survival of GBM patients. In the present study, a novel differential gene expression pattern was constructed and advanced study will provide new targets for chemosensitivity of GBM.

Kong D, Banerjee S, Ahmad A, et al.
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition is mechanistically linked with stem cell signatures in prostate cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(8):e12445 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Current management of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa) is very effective; however, tumor recurrence with Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC) and subsequent metastasis lead to poor survival outcome, suggesting that there is a dire need for novel mechanistic understanding of tumor recurrence, which would be critical for designing novel therapies. The recurrence and the metastasis of PCa are tightly linked with the biology of prostate cancer stem cells or cancer-initiating cells that is reminiscent of the acquisition of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) phenotype. Increasing evidence suggests that EMT-type cells share many biological characteristics with cancer stem-like cells.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we found that PCa cells with EMT phenotype displayed stem-like cell features characterized by increased expression of Sox2, Nanog, Oct4, Lin28B and/or Notch1, consistent with enhanced clonogenic and sphere (prostasphere)-forming ability and tumorigenecity in mice, which was associated with decreased expression of miR-200 and/or let-7 family. Reversal of EMT by re-expression of miR-200 inhibited prostasphere-forming ability of EMT-type cells and reduced the expression of Notch1 and Lin28B. Down-regulation of Lin28B increased let-7 expression, which was consistent with repressed self-renewal capability.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that miR-200 played a pivotal role in linking the characteristics of cancer stem-like cells with EMT-like cell signatures in PCa. Selective elimination of cancer stem-like cells by reversing the EMT phenotype to Mesenchymal-Epithelial Transition (MET) phenotype using novel agents would be useful for the prevention of tumor recurrence especially by eliminating those cells that are the "Root Cause" of tumor development and recurrence.

Bruland O, Fluge Ø, Akslen LA, et al.
Inverse correlation between PDGFC expression and lymphocyte infiltration in human papillary thyroid carcinomas.
BMC Cancer. 2009; 9:425 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Members of the PDGF family have been suggested as potential biomarkers for papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC). However, it is known that both expression and stimulatory effect of PDGF ligands can be affected by inflammatory cytokines. We have performed a microarray study in a collection of PTCs, of which about half the biopsies contained tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes or thyroiditis. To investigate the expression level of PDGF ligands and receptors in PTC we measured the relative mRNA expression of all members of the PDGF family by qRT-PCR in 10 classical PTC, eight clinically aggressive PTC, and five non-neoplastic thyroid specimens, and integrated qRT-PCR data with microarray data to enable us to link PDGF-associated gene expression profiles into networks based on recognized interactions. Finally, we investigated potential influence on PDGF mRNA levels by the presence of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes.
METHODS: qRT-PCR was performed on PDGFA, PDGFB, PDGFC, PDGFD, PDGFRA PDGFRB and a selection of lymphocyte specific mRNA transcripts. Semiquantitative assessment of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes was performed on the adjacent part of the biopsy used for RNA extraction for all biopsies, while direct quantitation by qRT-PCR of lymphocyte-specific mRNA transcripts were performed on RNA also subjected to expression analysis. Relative expression values of PDGF family members were combined with a cDNA microarray dataset and analyzed based on clinical findings and PDGF expression patterns. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was used to elucidate potential molecular interactions and networks.
RESULTS: PDGF family members were differentially regulated at the mRNA level in PTC as compared to normal thyroid specimens. Expression of PDGFA (p = 0.003), PDGFB (p = 0.01) and PDGFC (p = 0.006) were significantly up-regulated in PTCs compared to non-neoplastic thyroid tissue. In addition, expression of PDGFC was significantly up-regulated in classical PTCs as compared to clinically aggressive PTCs (p = 0.006), and PDGFRB were significantly up-regulated in clinically aggressive PTCs (p = 0.01) as compared to non-neoplastic tissue. Semiquantitative assessment of lymphocytes correlated well with quantitation of lymphocyte-specific gene expression. Further more, by combining TaqMan and microarray data we found a strong inverse correlation between PDGFC expression and the expression of lymphocyte specific mRNAs.
CONCLUSION: At the mRNA level, several members of the PDGF family are differentially expressed in PTCs as compared to normal thyroid tissue. Of these, only the PDGFC mRNA expression level initially seemed to distinguish classical PTCs from the more aggressive PTCs. However, further investigation showed that PDGFC expression level correlated inversely to the expression of several lymphocyte specific genes, and to the presence of lymphocytes in the biopsies. Thus, we find that PDGFC mRNA expression were down-regulated in biopsies containing infiltrated lymphocytes or thyroiditis. No other PDGF family member could be linked to lymphocyte specific gene expression in our collection of PTCs biopsies.

Fèvre-Montange M, Champier J, Durand A, et al.
Microarray gene expression profiling in meningiomas: differential expression according to grade or histopathological subtype.
Int J Oncol. 2009; 35(6):1395-407 [PubMed] Related Publications
Meningiomas, one of the largest subgroup of intracranial tumours are generally benign, but can progress to malignancy. They are classified into the three World Health Organization grades: benign, atypical and anaplastic meningiomas. Various histopathological features have been associated with aggressiveness or recurrence. Several genes have been suggested as prognostic factors, but molecular signatures have not permitted the classification of the tumours into the three grades. We have performed a microarray transcriptomic study on 17 meningiomas of different malignancy using CodeLink Uniset Human Whole Genome Bioarrays to try to distinguish the different grades and histopathological subtypes. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering classified the meningiomas into groups A, B and C, which corresponded to the three grades except for 3 benign meningiomas with higher proliferation indexes and/or recurrence, included in the atypical group. Several genes involved in cell adhesion (CD44, LOX), cell division (CKS2, BIRC5 and UBE2C), cell differentiation (Notch1) or signal transduction (ARHGAP28) were upregulated, whereas tumour suppressor genes (LR1B, DRR1, PLZF, GPX3, SYNPO, TIMP3 and HOPS) and genes involved in cell adhesion (PROS1), proliferation (SERPINF1 and PDGFD) and differentiation (AOX1) were downregulated in groups B and C compared to group A. In the benign tumours, we identified genes with signatures specific for fibroblastic meningiomas (FBLN1, Tenascin C and MMP2 encoding extracellular matrix proteins) and for meningothelial meningiomas (MLPH, DEFB1 and FAT3), suggesting different mechanisms involved in the tumorigenesis of these subtypes. This microarray-based expression profiling study revealed candidate genes and pathways that may contribute to a better understanding of the recurrence of a benign meningioma. Our results might make it possible to determine which benign meningiomas might recur despite complete resection, and will provide helpful information for neurosurgeons in the follow-up of the patients.

Kong D, Li Y, Wang Z, et al.
miR-200 regulates PDGF-D-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition, adhesion, and invasion of prostate cancer cells.
Stem Cells. 2009; 27(8):1712-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs have been implicated in tumor progression. Recent studies have shown that the miR-200 family regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by targeting zinc-finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) and ZEB2. Emerging evidence from our laboratory and others suggests that the processes of EMT can be triggered by various growth factors, such as transforming growth factor beta and platelet-derived growth factor-D (PDGF-D). Moreover, we recently reported that overexpression of PDGF-D in prostate cancer cells (PC3 PDGF-D cells) leads to the acquisition of the EMT phenotype, and this model offers an opportunity for investigating the molecular interplay between PDGF-D signaling and EMT. Here, we report, for the first time, significant downregulation of the miR-200 family in PC3 PDGF-D cells as well as in PC3 cells exposed to purified active PDGF-D protein, resulting in the upregulation of ZEB1, ZEB2, and Snail2 expression. Interestingly, re-expression of miR-200b in PC3 PDGF-D cells led to reversal of the EMT phenotype, which was associated with the downregulation of ZEB1, ZEB2, and Snail2 expression, and these results were consistent with greater expression levels of epithelial markers. Moreover, transfection of PC3 PDGF-D cells with miR-200b inhibited cell migration and invasion, with concomitant repression of cell adhesion to the culture surface and cell detachment. From these results, we conclude that PDGF-D-induced acquisition of the EMT phenotype in PC3 cells is, in part, a result of repression of miR-200 and that any novel strategy by which miR-200 could be upregulated would become a promising approach for the treatment of invasive prostate cancer.

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