Gene Summary

Gene:PICALM; phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein
Aliases: LAP, CALM, CLTH
Summary:This gene encodes a clathrin assembly protein, which recruits clathrin and adaptor protein complex 2 (AP2) to cell membranes at sites of coated-pit formation and clathrin-vesicle assembly. The protein may be required to determine the amount of membrane to be recycled, possibly by regulating the size of the clathrin cage. The protein is involved in AP2-dependent clathrin-mediated endocytosis at the neuromuscular junction. A chromosomal translocation t(10;11)(p13;q14) leading to the fusion of this gene and the MLLT10 gene is found in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia and malignant lymphomas. The polymorphisms of this gene are associated with the risk of Alzheimer disease. Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, May 2011]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:phosphatidylinositol-binding clathrin assembly protein
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

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: PICALM (cancer-related)

Naesens L, Devos H, Nollet F, et al.
Mediastinal Myeloid Sarcoma with TP53 Mutation Preceding Acute Myeloid Leukemia with a PICALM-MLLT10 Fusion Gene.
Acta Haematol. 2018; 140(2):97-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Myeloid sarcoma (MS), previously known as granulocytic sarcoma or chloroma, is a rare neoplastic condition defined as a tumor mass consisting of myeloblasts or immature myeloid cells occurring at an extramedullary site. Clinical presentation is diverse and determined by a tumor mass effect or local organ dysfunction.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 25-year-old previously healthy male with rapidly progressive shortness of breath. A chest CT scan demonstrated a heterogenous anterosuperior mediastinal mass with pleural and pericardial invasion. A diagnosis of MS with both myeloid and lymphoid characteristics was made by pathologic, morphologic, and immunophenotypic investigation. Next generation analysis revealed a pathogenic TP53 mutation (c.1035_1036insCT, p.Glu346Leufs*25). After 4 cycles of chemotherapy only a partial metabolic response and tumor size reduction was obtained. A pretransplant bone marrow biopsy revealed the progression of disease to acute myeloid leukemia. Cytogenetic analysis demonstrated a t(10; 11)(p12;q21). Fluorescence in situ hybridization confirmed the presence of a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene.
CONCLUSION: MS with a mediastinal localization is rare and often misdiagnosed as malignant lymphoma. Acute leukemia harboring a PICALM-MLLT10 fusion gene is characterized by a mixed T cell and myeloid phenotype. The rearrangement is a rare recurrent translocation associated with specific clinical features, as illustrated in this case report.

Lapthanasupkul P, Juengsomjit R, Poomsawat S, Arayapisit T
Expression profile of polycomb group proteins in odontogenic keratocyst and ameloblastoma.
Acta Histochem. 2018; 120(3):215-220 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are repressive chromatin modifiers required for proliferation and development. PcG proteins form two large repressive complexes, namely, Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 and 2. These proteins have been shown to drive tumorigenesis by repressing cell-type specific sets of target genes. Using immunohistochemistry, we investigated the expression patterns of five human PcG proteins, including Bmi-1, Ring1b, Mel-18, Ezh2, and Suz12, in various cellular components of odontogenic keratocysts (OKCs), ameloblastomas and, pericoronal follicles (PFs). In OKCs, expression of PcG proteins were found in the majority of cases while the expression pattern was relatively different for each PcG proteins. All PcG proteins were strongly expressed in the basal cells while some proteins showed variable expression in the parabasal and luminal cell layer of OKCs. In ameloblastomas, almost all PcG proteins showed a similar expression pattern of moderate to strong staining in the peripheral ameloblast-like cells and metaplastic squamous cells. Some of the central stellate reticulum-like cells also showed positive reaction to most PcG proteins. In PFs, most PcG proteins were intensely expressed in odontogenic epithelium lining the follicles, except Mel-18 and Suz12. The present study provides the initial evidence regarding epigenetic involvement by PcG proteins in these odontogenic lesions. Although these proteins are known to be in the same repressive group proteins, differential expression patterns of these proteins in OKCs and ameloblastomas indicates that these proteins may play different roles in pathogenesis of these odontogenic lesions.

Zhang S, Nguyen LH, Zhou K, et al.
Knockdown of Anillin Actin Binding Protein Blocks Cytokinesis in Hepatocytes and Reduces Liver Tumor Development in Mice Without Affecting Regeneration.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 154(5):1421-1434 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cytokinesis can fail during normal postnatal liver development, leading to polyploid hepatocytes. We investigated whether inhibiting cytokinesis in the liver slows tumor growth without compromising the health of normal hepatocytes. We inhibited cytokinesis in cancer cells by knocking down ANLN, a cytoskeletal scaffolding protein that regulates cytokinesis and might promote tumorigenesis, in mice with liver disease.
METHODS: We analyzed clinical and gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, Oncomine, PrognoScan, and a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue microarray. We knocked down ANLN with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in H2.35 liver cells and performed image analyses of cells undergoing cytokinesis. siRNAs were delivered to LAP-MYC mice, which develop hepatoblastoma, using lipid nanoparticles. H2.35 cells with knockdown of ANLN or control cells were injected into FRG mice, which develop chronic liver damage, and tumor growth was monitored. We also developed mice with inducible expression of transgenes encoding small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) against Anln messenger RNA and studied liver tumorigenesis after administration of diethylnitrosamine and carbon tetrachloride. siRNAs against Anln messenger RNA were conjugated to N-acetylgalactosamine to reduce toxicity and increase hepatocyte tropism; their effects were studied in mouse models of liver cancer and regeneration.
RESULTS: Levels of ANLN messenger RNA were increased in human HCC tissues compared to non-tumor liver tissues. siRNA knockdown of ANLN blocked cytokinesis in H2.35 liver cells. Administration of siRNA against ANLN increased survival times of LAP-MYC mice, compared to mice given a control siRNA. H2.35 liver cells with shRNA knockdown of ANLN formed tumors more slowly in FRG mice than control H2.35 cells. Mice with inducible expression of shRNAs against Anln mRNA developed fewer liver tumors after administration of diethylnitrosamine and carbon tetrachloride than control mice. Knockdown of ANLN did not affect liver regeneration after acute and chronic liver injuries.
CONCLUSIONS: Knockdown of ANLN in liver cells blocks cytokinesis and inhibits development of liver tumors in mice. Agents that inhibit ANLN in the liver might be effective for prevention or treatment of HCC.

Nassereddine S, Lap CJ, Haroun F, Tabbara I
The role of mutant IDH1 and IDH2 inhibitors in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
Ann Hematol. 2017; 96(12):1983-1991 [PubMed] Related Publications
For decades, researchers have looked into the pathophysiology of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). With the advances in molecular techniques, the two-hit hypothesis was replaced by a multi-hit model, which also emphasizes the importance of aberrant epigenetic regulation in the pathogenesis of AML. IDH1 and IDH2 are two isoforms of isocitrate dehydrogenase that perform crucial roles in cellular metabolism. Somatic mutations in either of these two genes impart a neomorphic enzymatic activity upon the encoded enzymes resulting in the ability to convert α-ketoglutarate (αKG) into the oncometabolite R2-hydroxyglutarate (R2-HG), which can competitively inhibit multiple αKG-dependent dioxygenases. Inhibition of various classes of αKG-dependent dioxygenases results in dramatic epigenetic changes in hematopoietic cells, which has been found to directly impair differentiation. In addition to a global dysregulation of gene expression, other mechanisms have been described through which R2-HG promotes leukemic transformation including the induction of B cell lymphoma 2 dependency and stimulation of the EglN family of prolyl 4-hydroxylases (EglN). Due to the fact that mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 are acquired early during AML clonal evolution as well as because these mutations tend to remain stable during AML progression, the pharmaceutical industry has prompted the development of specific mutant IDH enzyme inhibitors. More recently, the FDA approved the first mutant IDH2 inhibitor, enasidenib (AG-221), for patients with relapsed or refractory IDH2-mutated AML (RR-AML). This has brought a lot of excitement to researchers, clinicians, and patients, especially because the treatment of AML remains challenging and is still associated with a high mortality.

Meng H, Zhu X, Li L, et al.
Identification of CALM as the potential serum biomarker for predicting the recurrence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma using a mass spectrometry-based comparative proteomic approach.
Int J Mol Med. 2017; 40(4):1152-1164 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To date, there are no serum biomarkers available for the prediction of recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (rNPC). The diagnosis of rNPC mostly depends on imaging and biopsy of diseased tissue; however, both of these methods work mostly if the target tumor is at an advanced stage. Therefore, the identificaqtion of recurrent biomarkers is urgently required. In the present study, we used tandem mass tag (TMT) labeling and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) fractionation followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC‑MS/MS) to identify differentially expressed proteins. Serum was collected from 40 patients with NPC [recurrence (n=20) and no recurrence (n=20)]. Compared to non‑recurrent NPC (nrNPC), we found 59 proteins to be significantly dysregulated in rNPC; most of these have been previously reported to play a role in carcinogenesis. The dysregulation of calmodulin (CALM) was confirmed in 74 new patients [recurrence (n=32) and no recurrence (n=42)] by ELISA. Moreover, we performed a preliminary pathway analysis which revealed that oxidative phosphorylation was altered in the patients with rNPC compared to those with nrNPC. Taken together, these data identify a potential diagnostic biomarker for rNPC and elucidate the potential molecular mechanisms that are dysregulated and contribute to the pathogenesis of rNPC.

Ben-Shachar S, Dubov T, Toledano-Alhadef H, et al.
Predicting neurofibromatosis type 1 risk among children with isolated café-au-lait macules.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017; 76(6):1077-1083.e3 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although isolated cafe-au-lait macules (CALMs) are a common skin finding, they are an early feature of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).
OBJECTIVE: We sought to develop an algorithm determining the risk of children with CALMs to have constitutional NF1.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of patients with isolated CALMs. Diagnosis of NF1 was based on detecting NF1 mutation in blood or fulfilling clinical criteria.
RESULTS: In all, 170 of 419 (41%) and 21 of 86 (24%) children with isolated CALMs who underwent molecular testing and clinical follow-up, respectively, were given a diagnosis of NF1. Presence of fewer than 6 CALMs at presentation or atypical CALMs was associated with not having NF1 (P < .001). An algorithm based on age, CALMs number, and presence of atypical macules predicted NF1 in both cohorts. According to the algorithm, children older than 29 months with at least 1 atypical CALM or less than 6 CALMs have a 0.9% (95% confidence interval 0%-2.6%) risk for constitutional NF1 whereas children younger than 29 months with 6 or more CALMs have a high risk (80.4%, 95% confidence interval 74.6%-86.2%).
LIMITATIONS: The study was designed to detect constitutional NF1 and not NF1 in mosaic form.
CONCLUSIONS: A simple algorithm enables categorization of children with isolated CALMs as being at low or high risk for having NF1.

Li W, Zhang J, Guo L, et al.
Combinational Analysis of FISH and Immunohistochemistry Reveals Rare Genomic Events in ALK Fusion Patterns in NSCLC that Responds to Crizotinib Treatment.
J Thorac Oncol. 2017; 12(1):94-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to explore the complicated rearrangement mechanisms underlying cases with atypical and negative anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase gene (ALK) fluorescence hybridization (FISH) and positive immunohistochemistry (IHC) results and to stress the importance of combinational assay of these two methods in current pathological diagnosis.
METHODS: A total of 3128 NSCLCs were screened for ALK fusions through both FISH analysis and IHC assays with Ventana-D5F3 antibody. Fourteen cases with atypical and negative FISH results with the current criteria and positive IHC results were analyzed with targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS).
RESULTS: Of the 3128 cases tested, 228 (7.3%) and 214 (6.8%) were ALK positive by IHC and FISH, respectively. Fourteen cases with negative and atypical FISH results all demonstrated IHC positivity. Of 2991 cases, eight (0.27%) with negative FISH results demonstrated echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4 gene (EML4)-ALK fusions revealed by targeted NGS, and the relative abundance of fusion ranged from 0.9% to 46.8%. Three of 2991 cases (0.1%) did not exhibit any type of ALK fusions. In addition, two patients showed an isolated 5' side signal and targeted NGS revealed two novel ALK partner genes, baculoviral IAP repeat containing 6 gene (BIRC6) and phosphatidylinositol binding clathrin assembly protein gene (PICALM). One patient showed an isolated and attenuated 3' red signal and demonstrated a novel translocation partner with CCAAT/enhancer binding protein zeta gene (CEBPZ). Of all the patients, four received crizotinib treatment and demonstrated partial responses at the end of follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that patients with negative and atypical ALK FISH patterns may have positive results for IHC testing and harbor the translocation partners of EML4 or other genes. Therefore, additional testing with NGS should be conducted to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the complicated gene rearrangement events.

Barbutti I, Xavier-Ferrucio JM, Machado-Neto JA, et al.
CATS (FAM64A) abnormal expression reduces clonogenicity of hematopoietic cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(42):68385-68396 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CATS (FAM64A) protein interacts with CALM (PICALM) and the leukemic fusion protein CALM/AF10. CATS is highly expressed in leukemia, lymphoma and tumor cell lines and its protein levels strongly correlates with cellular proliferation in both malignant and normal cells. In order to obtain further insight into CATS function we performed an extensive analysis of CATS expression during differentiation of leukemia cell lines. While CATS expression decreased during erythroid, megakaryocytic and monocytic differentiation, a markedly increase was observed in the ATRA induced granulocytic differentiation. Lentivirus mediated silencing of CATS in U937 cell line resulted in somewhat reduced proliferation, altered cell cycle progression and lower migratory ability in vitro; however was not sufficient to inhibit tumor growth in xenotransplant model. Of note, CATS knockdown resulted in reduced clonogenicity of CATS-silenced cells and reduced expression of the self-renewal gene, GLI-1. Moreover, retroviral mediated overexpression of the murine Cats in primary bone marrow cells lead to decreased colony formation. Although our in vitro data suggests that CATS play a role in cellular processes important for tumorigenesis, such as cell cycle control and clonogenicity, these effects were not observed in vivo.

Selagea L, Mishra A, Anand M, et al.
EGFR and C/EBP-β oncogenic signaling is bidirectional in human glioma and varies with the C/EBP-β isoform.
FASEB J. 2016; 30(12):4098-4108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We investigated the intersection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)-β signaling in glioblastoma (GBM), given that both gene products strongly influence neoplastic behavior. C/EBP-β is known to drive the mesenchymal transcriptional signature in GBM, likely through strong microenvironmental influences, whereas the genetic contributions to its up-regulation in this disease are not well described. We demonstrated that stable overexpression and activation of WT EGFR (U87MG-WT) led to elevated C/EBP-β expression, as well as enhanced nuclear translocation and DNA-binding activity, leading to up-regulation of C/EBP-β transcription and translation. Deeper investigation identified bidirectional regulation, with C/EBP-β also causing up-regulation of EGFR that was at least partially dependent on the STAT3. Based on ChIP-based studies, we also found that that the translational isoforms of C/EBP-β [liver-enriched transcription-activating protein (LAP)-1/2 and liver inhibitory protein (LIP)] have differential occupancy on STAT3 promoter and opposing roles in transcriptional regulation of STAT3 and EGFR. We further demonstrated that the shorter C/EBP-β isoform, LIP, promoted proliferation and migration of U87MG glioma cells, potentially via induction of cytokine IL-6. Our molecular dissection of EGFR and C/EBP-β pathway interactions uncovered a complex signaling network in which increased activity of either EGFR or C/EBP-β leads to the up-regulation of the other, enhancing oncogenic signaling. Disrupting the EGFR-C/EBP-β signaling axis could attenuate malignant behavior of glioblastoma.-Selagea, L., Mishra, A., Anand, M., Ross, J., Tucker-Burden, C., Kong, J., Brat, D. J. EGFR and C/EBP-β oncogenic signaling is bidirectional in human glioma and varies with the C/EBP-β isoform.

Somers K, Chudakova DA, Middlemiss SM, et al.
CCI-007, a novel small molecule with cytotoxic activity against infant leukemia with MLL rearrangements.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(29):46067-46087 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is an urgent need for the development of less toxic, more selective and targeted therapies for infants with leukemia characterized by translocation of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene. In this study, we performed a cell-based small molecule library screen on an infant MLL-rearranged (MLL-r) cell line, PER-485, in order to identify selective inhibitors for MLL-r leukemia. After screening initial hits for a cytotoxic effect against a panel of 30 cell lines including MLL-r and MLL wild-type (MLL-wt) leukemia, solid tumours and control cells, small molecule CCI-007 was identified as a compound that selectively and significantly decreased the viability of a subset of MLL-r and related leukemia cell lines with CALM-AF10 and SET-NUP214 translocation. CCI-007 induced a rapid caspase-dependent apoptosis with mitochondrial depolarization within twenty-four hours of treatment. CCI-007 altered the characteristic MLL-r gene expression signature in sensitive cells with downregulation of the expression of HOXA9, MEIS1, CMYC and BCL2, important drivers in MLL-r leukemia, within a few hours of treatment. MLL-r leukemia cells that were resistant to the compound were characterised by significantly higher baseline gene expression levels of MEIS1 and BCL2 in comparison to CCI-007 sensitive MLL-r leukemia cells.In conclusion, we have identified CCI-007 as a novel small molecule that displays rapid toxicity towards a subset of MLL-r, CALM-AF10 and SET-NUP214 leukemia cell lines. Our findings suggest an important new avenue in the development of targeted therapies for these deadly diseases and indicate that different therapeutic strategies might be needed for different subtypes of MLL-r leukemia.

Li LS, Reddy S, Lin ZH, et al.
NQO1-Mediated Tumor-Selective Lethality and Radiosensitization for Head and Neck Cancer.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2016; 15(7):1757-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Ionizing radiation (IR) is a key therapeutic regimen for many head and neck cancers (HNC). However, the 5-year overall survival rate for locally advanced HNCs is approximately 50% and better therapeutic efficacy is needed.
NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is overexpressed in many cancers, and β-lapachone (β-lap), a unique NQO1 bioactivatable drug, exploits this enzyme to release massive reactive oxygen species (ROS) that synergize with IR to kill by programmed necrosis. β-Lap represents a novel therapeutic opportunity in HNC leading to tumor-selective lethality that will enhance the efficacy of IR. Immunohistochemical staining and Western blot assays were used to assess the expression levels of NQO1 in HNC cells and tumors. Forty-five percent of endogenous HNCs expressed elevated NQO1 levels. In addition, multiple HNC cell lines and tumors demonstrated elevated levels of NQO1 expression and activity and were tested for anticancer lethality and radiosensitization by β-lap using long-term survival assays. The combination of nontoxic β-lap doses and IR significantly enhanced NQO1-dependent tumor cell lethality, increased ROS, TUNEL-positive cells, DNA damage, NAD(+), and ATP consumption, and resulted in significant antitumor efficacy and prolonged survival in two xenograft murine HNC models, demonstrating β-lap radiosensitization of HNCs through a NQO1-dependent mechanism. This translational study offers a potential biomarker-driven strategy using NQO1 expression to select tumors susceptible to β-lap-induced radiosensitization. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(7); 1757-67. ©2016 AACR.

Ciarloni L, Ehrensberger SH, Imaizumi N, et al.
Development and Clinical Validation of a Blood Test Based on 29-Gene Expression for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(18):4604-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: A blood test for early detection of colorectal cancer is a valuable tool for testing asymptomatic individuals and reducing colorectal cancer-related mortality. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a novel blood test able to differentiate patients with colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps (AP) from individuals with a negative colonoscopy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A case-control, multicenter clinical study was designed to collect blood samples from patients referred for colonoscopy or surgery. Predictive algorithms were developed on 75 controls, 61 large AP (LAP) ≥1 cm, and 45 colorectal cancer cases and independently validated on 74 controls, 42 LAP, and 52 colorectal cancer cases (23 stages I-II) as well as on 245 cases including other colorectal findings and diseases other than colorectal cancer. The test is based on a 29-gene panel expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells alone or in combination with established plasma tumor markers.
RESULTS: The 29-gene algorithm detected colorectal cancer and LAP with a sensitivity of 79.5% and 55.4%, respectively, with 90.0% specificity. Combination with the protein tumor markers carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CYFRA21-2 resulted in a specificity increase (92.2%) with a sensitivity for colorectal cancer and LAP detection of 78.1% and 52.3%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: We report the validation of a novel blood test, Colox®, for the detection of colorectal cancer and LAP based on a 29-gene panel and the CEA and CYFRA21-1 plasma biomarkers. The performance and convenience of this routine blood test provide physicians a useful tool to test average-risk individuals unwilling to undergo upfront colonoscopy. Clin Cancer Res; 22(18); 4604-11. ©2016 AACR.

Bang W, Jeon YJ, Cho JH, et al.
β-lapachone suppresses the proliferation of human malignant melanoma cells by targeting specificity protein 1.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):1109-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
β-lapachone (β-lap), a novel natural quinone derived from the bark of the Pink trumpet tree (Tabebuia avellanedae) has been demonstrated to have anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated whether β-lap exhibits anti-proliferative effects on two human malignant melanoma (HMM) cell lines, G361 and SK-MEL-28. The effects of β-lap on the HMM cell lines were investigated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)‑5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)‑2-(4-sulfophenyl-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay, 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, Annexin V and Dead cell assay, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) assay and western blot analysis. We demonstrated that β-lap significantly induced apoptosis and suppressed cell viability in the HMM cells. Intriguingly, the transcription factor specificity protein 1 (Sp1) was significantly downregulated by β-lap in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, β-lap modulated the protein expression level of the Sp1 regulatory genes including cell cycle regulatory proteins and apoptosis-associated proteins. Taken together, our findings indicated that β-lap modulates Sp1 transactivation and induces apoptotic cell death through the regulation of cell cycle- and apoptosis-associated proteins. Thus, β-lap may be used as a promising anticancer drug for cancer prevention and may improve the clinical outcome of patients with cancer.

Jeon YJ, Bang W, Choi YH, et al.
Beta-Lapachone Suppresses Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Proliferation through the Regulation of Specificity Protein 1.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2015; 38(9):1302-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common pathological type with a reported frequency of about 85% of all cases. Despite recent advances in therapeutic agents and targeted therapies, the prognosis for NSCLC remains poor, and therefore it is important to identify the biological targets of this complex disease since a blockade of such targets would affect multiple downstream signaling cascades. β-Lapachone (β-Lap) is an antiproliferative agent that selectively induces apoptosis-related cell death in a variety of human cancer cells. However, the mechanisms of its action require further investigation. In this study, we show that treatment with β-lap triggers apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest in two NSCLC cell lines: H1299 and NCI-H358. The transcription factor specificity protein 1 (Sp1) was markedly inhibited by β-lap in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, β-lap modulated the protein expression levels of the Sp1 regulatory genes, including cell-cycle regulatory proteins and antiapoptotic proteins, resulting in apoptosis. Taken together, our results indicate that β-lap may be a potential antiproliferative agent candidate by inducing apoptotic cell death in NSCLC tissue through downregulation of Sp1.

Jeon YJ, Bang W, Shin JC, et al.
Downregulation of Sp1 is involved in β-lapachone-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(6):2606-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
β-lapachone (β-lap) is a naturally occurring quinone obtained from the bark of lapacho tree (Tabebuia avellanedae) with anti-proliferative properties against various cancers. The present study investigated the cell proliferation and apoptosis effect of β-lap on two oral squamous cell carcinoma lines (OSCCs). We carried out a series of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assays, 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, cell cycle analysis, and western blot analysis to characterize β-lap and its underlying signaling pathway. We demonstrated that β-lap-treated cells significantly reduced cell proliferation but increased DNA condensation and increased sub-G1 population in OSCCs. Particularly, β-lap suppresses activation of transcription factor specificity protein 1 (Sp1) followed by apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in OSCCs. Furthermore, β-lap modulated protein expression levels of cell cycle regulatory proteins and apoptosis-related proteins that are known as Sp1 target genes, resulting in apoptosis. Our results collectively indicated that β-lap was able to modulate Sp1 transactivation and induce apoptosis through the regulation of cell cycle and apoptosis-related proteins. Therefore, β-lap may be used in cancer prevention and therapies to improve clinical outcome as an anticancer drug candidate.

Lorenzen S, Riera Knorrenschild J, Haag GM, et al.
Lapatinib versus lapatinib plus capecitabine as second-line treatment in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-amplified metastatic gastro-oesophageal cancer: a randomised phase II trial of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Internistische Onkologie.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(5):569-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) amplification is present in a subgroup of gastroo-esophageal cancers (GCs). HER2 inhibition with trastuzumab has shown to improve outcomes in advanced disease. Lapatinib ditosylate (LAP), a dual anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anti-HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor with preclinical activity against GC, has been approved in HER2-positive breast cancer. We aimed to study the activity of LAP in HER2-amplified GC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients (pts) with HER2-positive (gene amplification or increased copy numbers based on predefined criteria) advanced GC were randomly allocated 1:1 to receive LAP 1250mg per day 1-21 plus capecitabine (CAP) 2000mg/m(2) on days 1-14 of a 21-day cycle or LAP 1500mg monotherapy day 1-21 after having failed on a platinum-based first-line therapy. HER2 status was assessed centrally. The primary end-point was the objective response rate (ORR) as assessed by the investigator using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST, version 1.1). We aimed to include 38 pts per arm to show an interesting response rate of ⩾20% in either of the two arms.
RESULTS: 37 pts were enrolled (18 to LAP+CAP, 19 to LAP). Pts had received a median of three prior treatment lines. 12 pts in the LAP+CAP group (67%) and 12 pts in the LAP group (63%) had received prior trastuzumab. Only two pts (11.1%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.37-34.7), both in the LAP+CAP arm, achieved an objective response. The study was closed prematurely for futility. Median time to progression was 42 (95% CI: 38-61) days in the LAP group and 83 (95% CI: 42-86) days in the LAP+CAP group. Other secondary efficacy end-points (progression-free and overall survival) were comparable in the two treatment groups. Rates of diarrhoea were higher with LAP+CAP (61%; 95% CI: 35-83) compared to 26% (95% CI 9-51) with LAP mono, whereas other adverse events were mostly similar between the groups (18 [100%] versus 17 [90%]).
DISCUSSION: Lapatinib showed insufficient activity in HER2-amplified pretreated advanced GC. The safety profile of LAP or LAP+CAP was as expected with some more toxicity in the combination arm. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, NCT01145404).

Anand S, Ebner J, Warren CB, et al.
C/EBP transcription factors in human squamous cell carcinoma: selective changes in expression of isoforms correlate with the neoplastic state.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e112073 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Proteins (C/EBPs) are a family of leucine-zipper transcription factors that regulate physiological processes such as energy metabolism, inflammation, cell cycle, and the development and differentiation of several tissues including skin. Recently, a role for C/EBPs in tumor cell proliferation and differentiation has been proposed, but the incomplete characterization in the literature of multiple translational isoforms of these proteins has made interpretation of these roles difficult. Therefore, we have carefully reexamined C/EBP isoform expression in human non-melanoma skin cancers. C/EBPα, C/EBPβ, and C/EBPδ were analyzed histologically in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). The individual isoforms of C/EBPα and C/EBPβ were examined by immunofluorescent digital imaging, western blotting and DNA binding activity (electrophoretic mobility shift analysis). Expression of all C/EBP family proteins was decreased in SCC tumors. Suppression was greatest for C/EBPα, less for C/EBPβ, and least for C/EBPδ. Western analyses confirmed that C/EBPα p42 and p30 isoforms were decreased. For C/EBPβ, only the abundant full-length isoform (C/EBPβ-1, LAP*, 55 kD) was reduced, whereas the smaller isoforms, C/EBPβ-2 (LAP, 48 kD) and C/EBPβ-3 (LIP, 20 kD), which are predominantly nuclear, were significantly increased in well- and moderately-differentiated SCC (up to 14-fold for C/EBPβ-3). These elevations correlated with increases in PCNA, a marker of proliferation. Although C/EBPβ displayed increased post-translational modifications in SCC, phosphorylation of C/EBPβ-1 (Thr 235) was not altered. C/EBP-specific DNA binding activity in nuclear and whole-cell extracts of cultured cells and tumors was predominantly attributable to C/EBPβ. In summary, two short C/EBPβ isoforms, C/EBPβ-2 and C/EBPβ-3, represent strong candidate markers for epithelial skin malignancy, due to their preferential expression in carcinoma versus normal skin, and their strong correlation with tumor proliferation.

Veena MS, Wilken R, Zheng JY, et al.
p16 Protein and gigaxonin are associated with the ubiquitination of NFκB in cisplatin-induced senescence of cancer cells.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(50):34921-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The molecular mechanism of p16-mediated senescence in cisplatin-treated cancer cells is not fully understood. Here we show that cisplatin treatment of head and neck cancer cells results in nuclear transport of p16 leading to a molecular modification of NFκB. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that this modification is associated with the inhibition of NFκB interacting with its DNA binding sequences, leading to decreased expression of NFκB-transcribed proteins. LCMS proteomic analysis of LAP-TAP-purified proteins from HeLa cells containing a tetracycline-inducible GFP-S peptide-NFκB expression system identified gigaxonin, an ubiquitin E3 ligase adaptor, as an NFκB-interacting protein. Immunoblotting and siRNA studies confirmed the NFκB-gigaxonin interaction and the dependence of this binding on p16-NFκB binding. Using gel shift assays, we have confirmed p16-NFκB and gigaxonin-NFκB interactions. Furthermore, we have observed increased NFκB ubiquitination with cisplatin treatment that is abolished in the absence of p16 and gigaxonin expression. Analysis of 103 primary tumors has shown that increased nuclear p16 expression correlates with enhanced survival of head and neck cancer patients (p < 0.0000542), indicating the importance of nuclear p16 expression in prognosis. Finally, p16 expression is associated with reduced cytokine expression and the presence of human papilloma virus in chemoradiation-sensitive basaloid tumors. However, the absence of p16 expression is associated with enhanced cytokine expression and the absence of human papilloma virus in aggressive tumors. These results clearly demonstrate that nuclear p16 and gigaxonin play an important role in chemosensitivity of head and neck cancers through ubiquitination of NFκB.

Pemov A, Sung H, Hyland PL, et al.
Genetic modifiers of neurofibromatosis type 1-associated café-au-lait macule count identified using multi-platform analysis.
PLoS Genet. 2014; 10(10):e1004575 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant, monogenic disorder of dysregulated neurocutaneous tissue growth. Pleiotropy, variable expressivity and few NF1 genotype-phenotype correlates limit clinical prognostication in NF1. Phenotype complexity in NF1 is hypothesized to derive in part from genetic modifiers unlinked to the NF1 locus. In this study, we hypothesized that normal variation in germline gene expression confers risk for certain phenotypes in NF1. In a set of 79 individuals with NF1, we examined the association between gene expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines with NF1-associated phenotypes and sequenced select genes with significant phenotype/expression correlations. In a discovery cohort of 89 self-reported European-Americans with NF1 we examined the association between germline sequence variants of these genes with café-au-lait macule (CALM) count, a tractable, tumor-like phenotype in NF1. Two correlated, common SNPs (rs4660761 and rs7161) between DPH2 and ATP6V0B were significantly associated with the CALM count. Analysis with tiled regression also identified SNP rs4660761 as significantly associated with CALM count. SNP rs1800934 and 12 rare variants in the mismatch repair gene MSH6 were also associated with CALM count. Both SNPs rs7161 and rs4660761 (DPH2 and ATP6V0B) were highly significant in a mega-analysis in a combined cohort of 180 self-reported European-Americans; SNP rs1800934 (MSH6) was near-significant in a meta-analysis assuming dominant effect of the minor allele. SNP rs4660761 is predicted to regulate ATP6V0B, a gene associated with melanosome biology. Individuals with homozygous mutations in MSH6 can develop an NF1-like phenotype, including multiple CALMs. Through a multi-platform approach, we identified variants that influence NF1 CALM count.

Mahalingam J, Lin CY, Chiang JM, et al.
CD4⁺ T cells expressing latency-associated peptide and Foxp3 are an activated subgroup of regulatory T cells enriched in patients with colorectal cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e108554 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Latency-associated peptide (LAP) - expressing regulatory T cells (Tregs) are important for immunological self-tolerance and immune homeostasis. In order to investigate the role of LAP in human CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Tregs, we designed a cross-sectional study that involved 42 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. The phenotypes, cytokine-release patterns, and suppressive ability of Tregs isolated from peripheral blood and tumor tissues were analyzed. We found that the population of LAP-positive CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Tregs significantly increased in peripheral blood and cancer tissues of CRC patients as compared to that in the peripheral blood and tissues of healthy subjects. Both LAP⁺ and LAP⁻ Tregs had a similar effector/memory phenotype. However, LAP⁺ Tregs expressed more effector molecules, including tumor necrosis factor receptor II, granzyme B, perforin, Ki67, and CCR5, than their LAP⁻ negative counterparts. The in vitro immunosuppressive activity of LAP⁺ Tregs, exerted via a transforming growth factor-β-mediated mechanism, was more potent than that of LAP⁻ Tregs. Furthermore, the enrichment of LAP⁺ Treg population in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of CRC patients correlated with cancer metastases. In conclusion, we found that LAP⁺ Foxp3⁺ CD4⁺ Treg cells represented an activated subgroup of Tregs having more potent regulatory activity in CRC patients. The increased frequency of LAP⁺ Tregs in PBMCs of CRC patients suggests their potential role in controlling immune response to cancer and presents LAP as a marker of tumor-specific Tregs in CRC patients.

Heath JL, Weiss JM, Lavau CP, Wechsler DS
Effects of iron depletion on CALM-AF10 leukemias.
Exp Hematol. 2014; 42(12):1022-1030.e1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Iron, an essential nutrient for cellular growth and proliferation, enters cells via clathrin-mediated endocytosis. The clathrin assembly lymphoid myeloid (CALM) protein plays an essential role in the cellular import of iron by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. CALM-AF10 leukemias harbor a single copy of the normal CALM gene and therefore may be more sensitive to the growth-inhibitory effect of iron restriction compared with normal hematopoietic cells. We found that CALM heterozygous (CALM(HET)) murine fibroblasts exhibit signs of iron deficiency, with increased surface transferrin receptor levels and reduced growth rates. CALM(HET) hematopoietic cells are more sensitive in vitro to iron chelators than their wild type counterparts. Iron chelation also displayed toxicity toward cultured CALM(HET)CALM-AF10 leukemia cells, and this effect was additive to that of chemotherapy. In mice transplanted with CALM(HET)CALM-AF10 leukemia, we found that dietary iron restriction reduced tumor burden in the spleen. However, dietary iron restriction, used alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy, did not increase survival of mice with CALM(HET)CALM-AF10 leukemia. In summary, although CALM heterozygosity results in iron deficiency and increased sensitivity to iron chelation in vitro, our data in mice do not suggest that iron depletion strategies would be beneficial for the therapy of CALM-AF10 leukemia patients.

Andrieu T, Fustier P, Alikhani-Koupaei R, et al.
Insulin, CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins and lactate regulate the human 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 gene expression in colon cancer cell lines.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(8):e105354 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11beta-HSD) modulate mineralocorticoid receptor transactivation by glucocorticoids and regulate access to the glucocorticoid receptor. The isozyme 11beta-HSD2 is selectively expressed in mineralocorticoid target tissues and its activity is reduced in various disease states with abnormal sodium retention and hypertension, including the apparent mineralocorticoid excess. As 50% of patients with essential hypertension are insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic, we hypothesized that insulin downregulates the 11beta-HSD2 activity. In the present study we show that insulin reduced the 11beta-HSD2 activity in cancer colon cell lines (HCT116, SW620 and HT-29) at the transcriptional level, in a time and dose dependent manner. The downregulation was reversible and required new protein synthesis. Pathway analysis using mRNA profiling revealed that insulin treatment modified the expression of the transcription factor family C/EBPs (CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins) but also of glycolysis related enzymes. Western blot and real time PCR confirmed an upregulation of C/EBP beta isoforms (LAP and LIP) with a more pronounced increase in the inhibitory isoform LIP. EMSA and reporter gene assays demonstrated the role of C/EBP beta isoforms in HSD11B2 gene expression regulation. In addition, secretion of lactate, a byproduct of glycolysis, was shown to mediate insulin-dependent HSD11B2 downregulation. In summary, we demonstrate that insulin downregulates HSD11B2 through increased LIP expression and augmented lactate secretion. Such mechanisms are of interest and potential significance for sodium reabsorption in the colon.

Conway AE, Haldeman JM, Wechsler DS, Lavau CP
A critical role for CRM1 in regulating HOXA gene transcription in CALM-AF10 leukemias.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(2):423-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The leukemogenic CALM-AF10 fusion protein is found in patients with immature acute myeloid and T-lymphoid malignancies. CALM-AF10 leukemias display abnormal H3K79 methylation and increased HOXA cluster gene transcription. Elevated expression of HOXA genes is critical for leukemia maintenance and progression; however, the precise mechanism by which CALM-AF10 alters HOXA gene expression is unclear. We previously determined that CALM contains a CRM1-dependent nuclear export signal (NES), which is both necessary and sufficient for CALM-AF10-mediated leukemogenesis. Here, we find that interaction of CALM-AF10 with the nuclear export receptor CRM1 is necessary for activating HOXA gene expression. We show that CRM1 localizes to HOXA loci where it recruits CALM-AF10, leading to transcriptional and epigenetic activation of HOXA genes. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of the CALM-CRM1 interaction prevents CALM-AF10 enrichment at HOXA chromatin, resulting in immediate loss of transcription. These results provide a comprehensive mechanism by which the CALM-AF10 translocation activates the critical HOXA cluster genes. Furthermore, this report identifies a novel function of CRM1: the ability to bind chromatin and recruit the NES-containing CALM-AF10 transcription factor.

Brachner A, Foisner R
Lamina-associated polypeptide (LAP)2α and other LEM proteins in cancer biology.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 773:143-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The LEM proteins comprise a heterogeneous family of chromatin-associated proteins that share the LEM domain, a structural motif mediating interaction with the DNA associated protein, Barrier-to-Autointegration Factor (BAF). Most of the LEM proteins are integral proteins of the inner nuclear membrane and associate with the nuclear lamina, a structural scaffold of lamin intermediate filament proteins at the nuclear periphery, which is involved in nuclear mechanical functions and (hetero-)chromatin organization. A few LEM proteins, such as Lamina-associated polypeptide (LAP)2α and Ankyrin and LEM domain-containing protein (Ankle)1 lack transmembrane domains and localize throughout the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm, respectively. LAP2α has been reported to regulate cell proliferation by affecting the activity of retinoblastoma protein in tissue progenitor cells and numerous studies showed upregulation of LAP2α in cancer. Ankle1 is a nuclease likely involved in DNA damage repair pathways and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Ankle1 gene have been linked to increased breast and ovarian cancer risk. In this review we describe potential mechanisms of the involvement of LEM proteins, particularly of LAP2α and Ankle1 in tumorigenesis and we provide evidence that LAP2α expression may be a valuable diagnostic and prognostic marker for tumor analyses.

Brooks AN, Choi PS, de Waal L, et al.
A pan-cancer analysis of transcriptome changes associated with somatic mutations in U2AF1 reveals commonly altered splicing events.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e87361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although recurrent somatic mutations in the splicing factor U2AF1 (also known as U2AF35) have been identified in multiple cancer types, the effects of these mutations on the cancer transcriptome have yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we identified splicing alterations associated with U2AF1 mutations across distinct cancers using DNA and RNA sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Using RNA-Seq data from 182 lung adenocarcinomas and 167 acute myeloid leukemias (AML), in which U2AF1 is somatically mutated in 3-4% of cases, we identified 131 and 369 splicing alterations, respectively, that were significantly associated with U2AF1 mutation. Of these, 30 splicing alterations were statistically significant in both lung adenocarcinoma and AML, including three genes in the Cancer Gene Census, CTNNB1, CHCHD7, and PICALM. Cell line experiments expressing U2AF1 S34F in HeLa cells and in 293T cells provide further support that these altered splicing events are caused by U2AF1 mutation. Consistent with the function of U2AF1 in 3' splice site recognition, we found that S34F/Y mutations cause preferences for CAG over UAG 3' splice site sequences. This report demonstrates consistent effects of U2AF1 mutation on splicing in distinct cancer cell types.

De Luca A, D'Alessio A, Gallo M, et al.
Src and CXCR4 are involved in the invasiveness of breast cancer cells with acquired resistance to lapatinib.
Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(1):148-56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lapatinib is a dual EGFR and ErbB-2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has significantly improved the clinical outcome of ErbB-2-overexpressing breast cancer patients. However, patients inexorably develop mechanisms of resistance that limit the efficacy of the drug. In order to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention in lapatinib-resistant patients, we isolated, from ErbB-2-overexpressing SK-Br-3 breast cancer cells, the SK-Br-3 Lap-R-resistant subclone, which is able to routinely grow in 1 µM lapatinib. Resistant cells have a more aggressive phenotype compared with parental cells, as they show a higher ability to invade through a matrigel-coated membrane. Lapatinib-resistant cells have an increased Src kinase activity and persistent levels of activation of ERK1/2 and AKT compared with parental cells. Treatment with the Src inhibitor saracatinib in combination with lapatinib reduces AKT and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and restores the sensitivity of resistant cells to lapatinib. SK-Br-3 Lap-R cells also show levels of expression of CXCR4 that are higher compared with parental cells and are not affected by Src inhibition. Treatment with saracatinib or a specific CXCR4 antibody reduces the invasive ability of SK-Br-3 Lap-R cells, with the two drugs showing cooperative effects. Finally, blockade of Src signaling significantly increases TRAIL-induced cell death in SK-Br-3 Lap-R cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that breast cancer cells with acquired resistance to lapatinib have a more aggressive phenotype compared with their parental counterpart, and that Src signaling and CXCR4 play an important role in this phenomenon, thus representing potential targets for therapeutic intervention in lapatinib-resistant breast cancer patients.

Scurr M, Ladell K, Besneux M, et al.
Highly prevalent colorectal cancer-infiltrating LAP⁺ Foxp3⁻ T cells exhibit more potent immunosuppressive activity than Foxp3⁺ regulatory T cells.
Mucosal Immunol. 2014; 7(2):428-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although elevated CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ regulatory T cell (Treg) frequencies within tumors are well documented, the functional and phenotypic characteristics of CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ and CD4⁺Foxp3⁻ T cell subsets from matched blood, healthy colon, and colorectal cancer require in-depth investigation. Flow cytometry revealed that the majority of intratumoral CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ T cells (Tregs) were Helios⁺ and expressed higher levels of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and CD39 than Tregs from colon and blood. Moreover, ∼30% of intratumoral CD4⁺Foxp3⁻ T cells expressed markers associated with regulatory functions, including latency-associated peptide (LAP), lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3), and CD25. This unique population of cells produced interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and was ∼50-fold more suppressive than Foxp3⁺ Tregs. Thus, intratumoral Tregs are diverse, posing multiple obstacles to immunotherapeutic intervention in colorectal malignancies.

Kogelberg H, Miranda E, Burnet J, et al.
Generation and characterization of a diabody targeting the αvβ6 integrin.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e73260 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The αvβ6 integrin is up-regulated in cancer and wound healing but it is not generally expressed in healthy adult tissue. There is increasing evidence that it has a role in cancer progression and will be a useful target for antibody-directed cancer therapies. We report a novel recombinant diabody antibody fragment that targets specifically αvβ6 and blocks its function. The diabody was engineered with a C-terminal hexahistidine tag (His tag), expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified by IMAC. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis of the purified diabody showed affinity in the nanomolar range. Pre-treatment of αvβ6-expressing cells with the diabody resulted in a reduction of cell migration and adhesion to LAP, demonstrating biological function-blocking activity. After radio-labeling, using the His-tag for site-specific attachment of (99m)Tc, the diabody retained affinity and targeted specifically to αvβ6-expressing tumors in mice bearing isogenic αvβ6 +/- xenografts. Furthermore, the diabody was specifically internalized into αvβ6-expressing cells, indicating warhead targeting potential. Our results indicate that the new αvβ6 diabody has a range of potential applications in imaging, function blocking or targeted delivery/internalization of therapeutic agents.

Sales MF, Sóter MO, Candido AL, et al.
Correlation between plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) promoter 4G/5G polymorphism and metabolic/proinflammatory factors in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Gynecol Endocrinol. 2013; 29(10):936-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of subfertility associated to metabolic disorders. The aim of this study was to correlate metabolic and proinflammatory factors in women with PCOS. The frequency of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) promoter 4 G/5 G polymorphism was also compared to healthy controls. We evaluated 79 PCOS and 79 healthy women. PAI-1 levels are positively correlated with proinflammatory factors in PCOS group. 4 G allele in PAI-1 gene was more frequent in PCOS and the 4G/4 G genotype was associated with increased PAI-1 levels. A correlation between insulin resistance and proinflammatory and overweight was also observed. C-reactive protein, serum levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), Lipid Accumulation Product (LAP) and vitamin D are good tools to evaluated factors associated to cardiovascular risk in women with PCOS.

Kapanadze T, Gamrekelashvili J, Ma C, et al.
Regulation of accumulation and function of myeloid derived suppressor cells in different murine models of hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Hepatol. 2013; 59(5):1007-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are immature myeloid cells with immunosuppressive activity. They accumulate in tumor-bearing mice and humans with different types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to examine the biology of MDSC in murine HCC models and to identify a model, which mimics the human disease.
METHODS: The comparative analysis of MDSC was performed in mice, bearing transplantable, diethylnitrosoamine (DEN)-induced and MYC-expressing HCC at different ages.
RESULTS: An accumulation of MDSC was found in mice with HCC irrespective of the model tested. Transplantable tumors rapidly induced systemic recruitment of MDSC, in contrast to slow-growing DEN-induced or MYC-expressing HCC, where MDSC numbers only increased intra-hepatically in mice with advanced tumors. MDSC derived from mice with subcutaneous tumors were more suppressive than those from mice with DEN-induced HCC. Enhanced expression of genes associated with MDSC generation (GM-CSF, VEGF, IL6, IL1β) and migration (MCP-1, KC, S100A8, S100A9) was observed in mice with subcutaneous tumors. In contrast, only KC levels increased in mice with DEN-induced HCC. Both KC and GM-CSF overexpression or anti-KC and anti-GM-CSF treatment controlled MDSC frequency in mice with HCC. Finally, the frequency of MDSC decreased upon successful anti-tumor treatment with sorafenib.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that MDSC accumulation is a late event during hepatocarcinogenesis and differs significantly depending on the tumor model studied.

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