Gene Summary

Gene:PLAU; plasminogen activator, urokinase
Aliases: ATF, QPD, UPA, URK, u-PA, BDPLT5
Summary:This gene encodes a secreted serine protease that converts plasminogen to plasmin. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate A and B polypeptide chains. These chains associate via a single disulfide bond to form the catalytically inactive high molecular weight urokinase-type plasminogen activator (HMW-uPA). HMW-uPA can be further processed into the catalytically active low molecular weight urokinase-type plasminogen activator (LMW-uPA). This low molecular weight form does not bind to the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Quebec platelet disorder and late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants, at least one of which encodes an isoform that is proteolytically processed. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:urokinase-type plasminogen activator
Source:NCBIAccessed: 14 March, 2017


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 (1992-2017)
Graph generated 14 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 14 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: PLAU (cancer-related)

Zamani-Ahmadmahmudi M, Aghasharif S, Ilbeigi K
Prognostic efficacy of the human B-cell lymphoma prognostic genes in predicting disease-free survival (DFS) in the canine counterpart.
BMC Vet Res. 2017; 13(1):17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Canine B-cell lymphoma is deemed an ideal model of human non-Hodgkin's lymphoma where the lymphomas of both species share similar clinical features and biological behaviors. However there are some differences between tumor features in both species. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the prognostic efficacy of human B-cell lymphoma prognostic gene signatures in canine B-cell lymphoma.
METHODS: The corresponding probe sets of 36 human B-cell lymphoma prognostic genes were retrieved from 2 canine B-cell lymphoma microarray datasets (GSE43664 and GSE39365) (76 samples), and prognostic probe sets were thereafter detected using the univariate and multivariate Cox proportional-hazard model and the Kaplan-Meier analysis. The two datasets were employed both as training sets and as external validation sets for each other. Results were confirmed using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis.
RESULTS: In the univariate analysis, CCND1, CCND2, PAX5, CR2, LMO2, HLA-DQA1, P53, CD38, MYC-N, MYBL1, and BIRCS5 were associated with longer disease-free survival (DFS), while CD44, PLAU, and FN1 were allied to shorter DFS. However, the multivariate Cox proportional-hazard analysis confirmed CCND1 and BIRCS5 as prognostic genes for canine B-cell lymphoma. qRT-PCR used for verification of results indicated that expression level of CCND1 was significantly higher in B-cell lymphoma patients with the long DFS than ones with the short DFS, while expression level of BIRCS5 wasn't significantly different between two groups.
CONCLUSION: Our results confirmed CCND1 as important gene that can be used as a potential predictor in this tumor type.

Hsia TC, Yu CC, Hsiao YT, et al.
Cantharidin Impairs Cell Migration and Invasion of Human Lung Cancer NCI-H460 Cells via UPA and MAPK Signaling Pathways.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(11):5989-5997 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cantharidin (CTD), a component of natural mylabris (Mylabris phalerata Pallas), has been shown to have biological activities and induce cell death in many human cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated the effect of CTD on cell migration and invasion of NCI-H460 human lung cancer cells. Cell viability was examined and results indicated that CTD decreased the percentage of viable cells in dose-dependent manners. CTD inhibited cell migration and invasion in dose-dependent manners. Gelatin zymography analysis was used to measure the activities of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2/-9) and the results indicated that CTD inhibited the enzymatic activities of MMP-2/-9 of NCI-H460 cells. Western blotting was used to examine the protein expression of NCI-H460 cells after incubation with CTD and the results showed that CTD decreased the expression of MMP-2/-9, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), Ras homolog gene family, member A (Rho A), phospho-protein kinase B (AKT) (Thr308)(p-AKT(308)), phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (p-ERK1/2), phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (p-p38), phospho c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 (p-JNK1/2), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and urokinase plasminogen activator (UPA). Furthermore, confocal laser microscopy was used to confirm that CTD suppressed the expression of NF-κB p65, but did not significantly affect protein kinase C (PKC) translocation in NCI-H460 cells. Based on those observations, we suggest that CTD may be used as a novel anticancer metastasis agent for lung cancer in the future.

Lu KH, Chen PN, Hsieh YH, et al.
3-Hydroxyflavone inhibits human osteosarcoma U2OS and 143B cells metastasis by affecting EMT and repressing u-PA/MMP-2 via FAK-Src to MEK/ERK and RhoA/MLC2 pathways and reduces 143B tumor growth in vivo.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2016; 97:177-186 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many natural flavonoids have cytostatic and apoptotic properties; however, we little know whether the effect of synthetic 3-hydroxyflavone on metastasis and tumor growth of human osteosarcoma. Here, we tested the hypothesis that 3-hydroxyflavone suppresses human osteosarcoma cells metastasis and tumor growth. 3-hydroxyflavone, up to 50 μM without cytotoxicity, inhibited U2OS and 143B cells motility, invasiveness and migration by reducing matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) and also impaired cell adhesion to gelatin. 3-hydroxyflavone significantly reduced p-focal adhesion kinase (FAK) Tyr397, p-FAK Tyr925, p-steroid receptor coactivator (Src), p-mitogen/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK)1/2, p-myosin light chain (MLC)2 Ser19, epithelial cell adhesion molecule, Ras homolog gene family (Rho)A and fibronectin expressions. 3-hydroxyflavone also affected the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by down-regulating expressions of Vimentin and α-catenin with activation of the transcription factor Slug. In nude mice xenograft model and tail vein injection model showed that 3-hydroxyflavone reduced 143B tumor growth and lung metastasis. 3-hydroxyflavone possesses the anti-metastatic activity of U2OS and 143B cells by affecting EMT and repressing u-PA/MMP-2 via FAK-Src to MEK/ERK and RhoA/MLC2 pathways and suppresses 143B tumor growth in vivo. This may lead to clinical trials of osteosarcoma chemotherapy to confirm the promising result in the future.

Zhou JX, Zhou L, Li QJ, et al.
Association between high levels of Notch3 expression and high invasion and poor overall survival rates in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2893-2901 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a commonly fatal tumour. It is characterized by early metastasis and high mortality. Many patients die as a result of PDAC tumour progression. However, the underlying mechanism of invasion and metastasis in PDAC is still not fully understood. Previous studies showed that the Notch signalling pathway may play an important role in the progression of tumour invasion and metastasis. However, it is not yet known whether the Notch signalling pathway participates in the progression of invasion in PDAC. In the present study, immunohistochemistry showed that a high expression of Notch3 was correlated with tumour grade, metastasis, venous invasion and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Kaplan-Meier curves suggested that a high expression of Notch3 was a significant risk factor for shortened survival time. We also showed that inhibition of Notch3 had an anti‑invasion role in PDAC cells. In vitro, the inhibition of Notch3 reduced the migration and invasion capabilities of PDAC cells by regulating the expressions of E-cadherin, CD44v6, MMP-2, MMP-9, VEGF and uPA via regulating the COX-2 and ERK1/2 pathways. These results indicated that downregulation of the Notch signalling pathway may be a novel and useful approach for preventing and treating PDAC invasion.

Assawasuparerk K, Rawangchue T, Phonarknguen R
Scabraside D Derived from Sea Cucumber Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Metastasis via iNOS and STAT-3 Expression in Human Cholangiocarcinoma Xenografts.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(4):2151-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Scabraside D, a sulfated triterpene glycoside, was extracted from the sea cucumber Holothuria scabra. It shows anti-proliferation in many of cancer cell lines, but the function and mechanisms of action of scabraside D in human cholangiocarcinoma (HuCCA) have not previously determined. In this study, we investigated the activity of scabraside D on HuCCA cell apoptosis, lymphangiogenesis and metastasis in a nude mouse model. Scabraside D induced signs of apoptosis, such as cell shrinkage, nuclear condensation, nuclear fragmentation and DNA fragmentation on TUNEL assays, while effectively decreasing expression of BCl-2 but increasing caspase-3 gene level expression. Immunohistochemistry revealed that scabraside D significantly reduced lymphatic vessel density (LVD). Moreover, scabraside D treatment significantly decreased VEGF-C, MMP-9 and uPA gene expression, which play important roles in the lymphangiogenesis and invasion of cancer cells in metastasis processes. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that scabraside D significantly decreased iNOS and STAT-3 gene expression. This study demonstrated that scabraside D plays a role in activation of HuCCA tumor apoptosis and inhibition of lymphangiogenesis, invasion and metastasis through decreasing BCl-2, MMP-9, uPA and VEGF-C and increasing caspase-3 expression by suppression of iNOS and STAT-3 expression. Therefore, scabraside D could be a promising candidate for cholangiocarcinoma treatment.

Kim JK, Kang KA, Ryu YS, et al.
Induction of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress via Reactive Oxygen Species Mediated by Luteolin in Melanoma Cells.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(5):2281-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate whether luteolin, a flavonoid, induces apoptosis in human melanoma cells via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To investigate the effects of luteolin in human melanoma cells, the anti-proliferation, apoptosis, ER stress induction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation were evaluated using MTT, Hoechst 33342, ER-tracker Blue White DPX and DCF-DA staining assays, respectively.
RESULTS: Luteolin inhibited cell proliferation and increased apoptotic body formation. Luteolin induced ER stress, as shown by ER staining and mitochondrial Ca(2+) overloading. Luteolin increased expression of the ER stress-related proteins; protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase, phospho eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α, activating transcription factor (ATF) 6, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP), and cleaved caspase 12. Furthermore, luteolin increased the level of intracellular ROS, leading to ROS-mediated apoptosis and ER stress. However, N-acetyl cysteine, a ROS scavenger, decreased ROS levels, apoptosis, and ER stress induced by luteolin treatment. In addition, knockdown of CHOP and ATF6 by small-interfering RNA inhibited luteolin-induced cell death.
CONCLUSION: Luteolin induces apoptosis by ER stress via increasing ROS levels.

Gravina GL, Festuccia C, Popov VM, et al.
c-Myc Sustains Transformed Phenotype and Promotes Radioresistance of Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma Cell Lines.
Radiat Res. 2016; 185(4):411-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously reported that the MEK/ERK pathway sustains in vitro and in vivo transformed phenotype and radioresistance of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) cell lines. Furthermore, we found that aberrant MEK/ERK signaling activation promotes c-Myc oncoprotein accumulation. In this study, the role of c-Myc in sustaining the ERMS transformed and radioresistant phenotype is characterized. RD and TE671 cell lines conditionally expressing MadMyc chimera protein, c-Myc-dominant negative and shRNA directed to c-Myc were used. Targeting c-Myc counteracted in vitro ERMS adherence and in suspension, growth motility and the expression of pro-angiogenic factors. c-Myc depletion decreased MMP-9, MMP-2, u-PA gelatinolytic activity, neural cell adhesion molecule sialylation status, HIF-1α, VEGF and increased TSP-1 protein expression levels. Rapid but not sustained targeting c-Myc radiosensitized ERMS cells by radiation-induced apoptosis, DNA damage and impairing the expression of DNA repair proteins RAD51 and DNA-PKcs, thereby silencing affected ERMS radioresistance. c-Myc sustains ERMS transformed phenotype and radioresistance by protecting cancer cells from radiation-induced apoptosis and DNA damage, while promoting radiation-induced DNA repair. This data suggest that c-Myc targeting can be tested as a promising treatment in cancer therapy.

Li K, Wei L, Huang Y, et al.
Leptin promotes breast cancer cell migration and invasion via IL-18 expression and secretion.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2479-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
In recent years, crosstalk between tumor microenvironment and cancer cells have received increasing attention. Accumulating research data suggests that leptin, a key adipokine secreted from adipocytes, plays important roles in breast cancer development. In our study, the effects of leptin on polarization of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and promotion of the invasiveness of tumor cells were investigated. THP1 cells were used to differentiate M2 polarization macrophages. After stimulated by leptin, we established a co-culture system of tumor cells and macrophages to evaluate the function of leptin-induced macrophages in the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. The gene and protein expressions were analyzed and the underlying mechanisms were evaluated. Moreover, pathological human specimens, and xenografts in nude mice, were detected to strengthen the in vitro results. Leptin elevated the expression of an array of cytokines in TAMs, IL-18 was the most increased, with an activation of the NF-κB/NF-κB1 signalling pathway. Additionally, after treated with leptin, TAMs significantly promoted the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. However, these effects of leptin were abolished by the co-incubation of Bay11‑7082, a pharmacological NF-κB inhibitor. Leptin also directly stimulated IL-18 expression in breast cancer cells, which, differently, was via the PI3K/AKT-ATF-2 signaling pathway. In vivo studies showed that malignant breast carcinoma exhibited strong higher expression of Leptin, IL-8, and TAMs markers. Xenograft tumor-bearing mouse models showed that leptin significantly increased tumor volume, enhanced lung metastases, and increased expression of IL-8 and TAM markers, which were abolished by depletion of macrophages by clophosome-clodronate liposomes (CCL). Leptin could induce IL-18 expression both in TAMs and breast cancer cells. Leptin-induced IL-18 expression was regulated via NF-κB/NF-κB1 signaling in TAMs, while via PI3K-AKT/ATF-2 signaling in breast cancer cells, which, eventually, lead to invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells.

Blonska M
ATF3, a new player in DLBCL cell survival.
Blood. 2016; 127(14):1736-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this issue of Blood, Juilland and colleagues reveal the expression pattern and the role of different members of the activating transcription factor (ATF) family in survival of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells.

Esber N, Cherbonnier C, Resche-Rigon M, et al.
Anti-Tumoral Effects of Anti-Progestins in a Patient-Derived Breast Cancer Xenograft Model.
Horm Cancer. 2016; 7(2):137-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a hormone-dependent disease in which estrogen signaling targeting drugs fail in about 10 % due to resistance. Strong evidences highlighted the mitogen role of progesterone, its ligands, and the corresponding progesterone receptor (PR) isoforms in mammary carcinoma. Several PR antagonists have been synthesized; however, some of them are non-selective and led to side or toxic effects. Herein, we evaluated the anti-tumor activity of a commercially available PR modulator, ulipristal acetate (UPA), and a new selective and passive PR antagonist "APR19" in a novel preclinical approach based on patient-derived breast tumor (HBCx-34) xenografted in nude mice. As opposed to P4 that slightly reduces tumor volume, UPA and APR19 treatment for 42 days led to a significant 30 % reduction in tumor weight, accompanied by a significant 40 % retardation in tumor growth upon UPA exposure while a 1.5-fold increase in necrotic areas was observed in APR19-treated tumors. Interestingly, PR expression was upregulated by a 2.5-fold factor in UPA-treated tumors while APR19 significantly reduced expression of both PR and estrogen receptor α, indicating a potential distinct molecular mechanism among PR antagonists. Cell proliferation was clearly reduced in UPA group compared to vehicle conditions, as revealed by the significant reduction in Ki-67, Cyclin D1, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression. Likewise, an increase in activated, cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) expression was also demonstrated upon UPA exposure. Collectively, our findings provide direct in vivo evidence for anti-progestin-mediated control of human breast cancer growth, given their anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities, supporting a potential role in breast cancer therapy.

Hsieh MJ, Yeh CB, Chiou HL, et al.
Dioscorea nipponica Attenuates Migration and Invasion by Inhibition of Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator through Involving PI3K/Akt and Transcriptional Inhibition of NF-[Formula: see text]B and SP-1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Am J Chin Med. 2016; 44(1):177-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
High mortality and morbidity rates for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Taiwan primarily result from uncontrolled tumor metastasis. In our previous studies, we have reported that Dioscorea nipponica Makino extract (DNE) has anti-metastasis effects on human oral cancer cells. However, the effect of DNE on hepatoma metastasis have not been thoroughly investigated and remains poorly understood. To determine the effects of DNE on the migration and invasion in HCC cells we used a wound healing model, Boyden chamber assays, gelatin/casein zymography and Western blotting. Transcriptional levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) were detected by real-time PCR and promoter assays. In this study, DNE treatment significantly inhibited the migration/invasion capacities of Huh7 cell lines. The results of gelatin/casein zymography and Western blotting revealed that the activities and protein levels of the MMP-9 and u-PA were inhibited by DNE. Tests of the mRNA levels, real-time PCR, and promoter assays evaluated the inhibitory effects of DNE on u-PA expression in human hepatoma cells. A chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay showed not only that DNE inhibits u-PA expression, but also the inhibitory effects were associated with the down-regulation of the transcription factors of NF-[Formula: see text]B and SP-1 signaling pathways. Western blot analysis also showed that DNE inhibits PI3K and phosphorylation of Akt. In conclusion, these results show that u-PA expression may be a potent therapeutic target in the DNE-mediated suppression of HCC invasion/migration. DNE may have potential use as a chemo-preventive agent against liver cancer metastasis.

Moirangthem A, Bondhopadhyay B, Mukherjee M, et al.
Simultaneous knockdown of uPA and MMP9 can reduce breast cancer progression by increasing cell-cell adhesion and modulating EMT genes.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:21903 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In cancer progression, proteolytic enzymes like serine proteases and metalloproteinases degrade the basement membrane enabling the tumor cells to invade the adjacent tissues. Thus, invasion and metastasis are augmented by these enzymes. Simultaneous silencing of uPA and MMP9 in breast cancer cells decreased the wound healing, migratory, invasive and adhesive capacity of the cells. After simultaneous down regulation, cells were seen to be arrested in the cell cycle. There was a remarkable increase in the expression of cell to cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, and decrease in Vimentin and Snail expression. In addition, there was a significant decrease in the expression of the stem cell marker Oct-4. In the breast tumor samples it has been observed that, tumors, expressing higher level of uPA and MMP9, express less amount of E-cadherin. It has also been observed that few tumors also show, Vimentin positive in the ductal epithelial area. Thus, our model can help for checking the aggressive tumor invasion by blocking of uPA and MMP9. Our present observations also give the concept of the presence of aggressive epithelial cells with mesenchymal nature in the tumor micro-environment, altering the expression of EMT genes.

Jiang X, Kim KJ, Ha T, Lee SH
Potential Dual Role of Activating Transcription Factor 3 in Colorectal Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(2):509-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is a member of the ATF/CREB transcription factor family and has been proposed as a molecular target for cancer therapy. The present study was undertaken in order to investigate whether ATF3 influences cancer-related phenotypes in colorectal cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: ATF3 was overexpressed in human colorectal cancer cells and the effects of ATF3 on apoptosis, cell cycle, cell migration and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) were investigated. B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) promoter was cloned and used for luciferase assay in cells transfected with control or ATF3 expression vector.
RESULTS: ATF3 down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 and promoter activity of the Bcl-2 gene. ATF3 increased collective cell migration and expression of cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44) and decreased retinoblastoma (Rb) expression. In addition, ATF3 down-regulated EMT-inducing transcription factors and β-catenin.
CONCLUSION: ATF3 may play a dichotomous role in apoptosis and metastasis in human colorectal cancer cells.

Shen Z, Chen B, Gan X, et al.
Methylation of neurofilament light polypeptide promoter is associated with cell invasion and metastasis in NSCLC.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016; 470(3):627-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of NEFL in NSCLC remains largely unknown. Immunohistochemistry was performed to investigate the expression of NEFL in 108 lung cancer specimens. NEFL expression was associated with decreased lymph node metastases and favorable prognosis. Furthermore, real-time PCR and Western blot were used to investigate the expression of the NEFL gene in NSCLC cell lines. Subsequently, lentivirus-mediated RNA interference and overexpression were used to demonstrate that knocked-down of NEFL enhanced the invasion and migration of A549 and H460 NSCLC cells, whereas NEFL overexpression resulted in a suppression of the invasion and migration of GLC-82 and L78 cells in vitro. In addition, bisulfite sequence PCR assay demonstrated that NEFL downregulation was associated with promoter methylation, and NEFL expression was restored after treatment with 5-Aza-dC. Finally, we demonstrated that NEFL inhibited the NF-κB pathway, thereby suppressing the expression of uPA and decreasing NSCLC invasiveness and migration. Our studies suggest that NEFL methylation is a novel mechanism for NSCLC invasion and metastasis and that NEFL may represent a candidate biomarker for recurrence and survival in patients with NSCLC.

Huang Z, Liu Y, Huang Z, et al.
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 alleviates salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma progression by suppressing GPX1 expression through the NF-κB pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(3):1271-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) is the active form of vitamin D with antineoplastic effects. The glutathione peroxidase-1 (GPX1) gene is associated with tumour progression. The present study aimed to explore the role of GPX1 in 1,25D3-mediated progression of salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (SACC). Downregulating GPX1 expression inhibited SACC cell proliferation, chemoresistance, motility, and uPA secretion, but promoted apoptosis via the NF-κB pathway. Pre-processing 1,25D3 inhibited expression of NF-κB/GPX1/uPA, which subsequently suppressed cell motility and cisplatin-resistance in ACC-2 cells. In conclusion, 1,25D3 works as a modifier of NF-κB/GPX1/uPA expression, inhibiting cisplatin-resistance and cell invasive ability of SACC cells. The present study comprehensively elucidated the potential mechanism underlying the effects of vitamin D on chemoresistance and invasive potential in SACC.

Juilland M, Gonzalez M, Erdmann T, et al.
CARMA1- and MyD88-dependent activation of Jun/ATF-type AP-1 complexes is a hallmark of ABC diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.
Blood. 2016; 127(14):1780-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A hallmark of the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the activated B-cell (ABC) type, a molecular subtype characterized by adverse outcome, is constitutive activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which controls expression of genes promoting cellular survival and proliferation. Much less, however, is known about the role of the transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1) in ABC DLBCL. Here, we show that AP-1, like NF-κB, was controlled by constitutive activation of the B-cell receptor signaling component caspase recruitment domain-containing membrane-associated guanylate kinase 1 (CARMA1) and/or the Toll-like receptor signaling component myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) in ABC DLBCL cell lines. In contrast to germinal center (GC) B-cell (GCB) DLBCL, ABC DLBCL cell lines expressed high levels of the AP-1 family members c-Jun, JunB, and JunD, which formed heterodimeric complexes with the AP-1 family members activating transcription factor (ATF) 2, ATF3, and ATF7. Inhibition of these complexes by a dominant-negative approach led to impaired growth of a majority of ABC DLBCL cell lines. Individual silencing of c-Jun, ATF2, or ATF3 decreased cellular survival and revealed c-Jun/ATF2-dependent control of ATF3 expression. As a consequence, ATF3 expression was much higher in ABC vs GCB DLBCL cell lines. Samples derived from DLBCL patients showed a clear trend toward high and nuclear ATF3 expression in nodal DLBCL of the non-GC or ABC subtype. These findings identify the activation of AP-1 complexes of the Jun/ATF-type as an important element controlling the growth of ABC DLBCL.

Nishi H, Sasaki T, Nagamitsu Y, et al.
Hypoxia inducible factor-1 mediates upregulation of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor gene transcription during hypoxia in cervical cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):992-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia occurs during development of cervical cancer and is considered to correlate with its invasion. Hypoxia mediates tumor cells to have more invasive property in a variety of cancers. Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) which mediates invasion is considered to be induced by hypoxia. We sought to determine the regulators of uPAR expression during hypoxia in cervical cancer. We showed that cervical cancer cell lines, CaSki and CA, were more invasive under hypoxic condition (1% O2) than under normoxic condition (20% O2) by invasion assays. Using western blot analysis, hypoxia enhanced the endogenous hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and uPAR protein expression. uPAR mRNA level was also upregulated by hypoxia using real-time RT-PCR. Overexpression of HIF-1α which is induced by hypoxia activated the transcriptional activity of the uPAR promoter by luciferase assays. HIF-1 protein bound the putative HIF-1 response element on the uPAR promoter using electrophoretic mobility shift analysis, and additional luciferase assays show that this is essential for uPAR transactivation by HIF-1. HIF-1 overexpression enhanced the endogenous uPAR expression and introduction of siRNA for HIF-1α diminishes uPAR expression during hypoxia. These results indicate the upregulation of uPAR by hypoxia in cervical cancer cells is mediated through HIF-1. In cervical cancer tissues, we also demonstrated that uPAR protein expression was detected in cervical cancer but not in normal cervix or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) by immunohistopathological staining. Our results provide evidence that regulation of uPAR expression by HIF-1 represents a mechanism for cervical cancer invasion during hypoxia.

Su M, Chang W, Zhang K, et al.
Expression and purification of recombinant ATF-mellitin, a new type fusion protein targeting ovarian cancer cells, in P. pastoris.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):1179-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melittin is well known to possess cytolytic activity with wide-spectrum lytic properties and its potential use as an agent to treat several types of cancer has been tested. Due to the non-specific toxicity, melittin can impair not only cancer cells but also normal tissue. Thus, tumor-targeted toxins may be helpful for developing novel anticancer therapeutics. The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) plays a central role in tissue remodelling events occurring in normal physiology and in pathophysiology, including cancer invasion and metastasis. Heartening findings showed that uPA receptor is predominantly expressed on many types of cancer. Therefore, the amino-terminal fragment (ATF) of uPA which was able to identify and bond with cancer cells was used as the cell-targeting domain to make up tumor-targeted toxin in this study. In the present study, pPICZαC-ATF-melittin eukaryotic expression vector was successfully constructed. After transformed into P. pastoris and induced by methanol, rATF-mellitin was detected by SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis. After induction with methanol, the expression level of rATF-mellitin was 312 mg/l in 80-l fermentor. rATF‑mellitin was purified to >95% purity using SP Sepharose ion exchange chromatography and source™ 30 RPC with 67.2% recovery. Cell proliferation assay showed that rATF-melittin inhibited growth of SKOV3 cells and had no cytotoxicity effect on normal cells. For the first time, we established a stable and effective rATF-mellitin P. pastoris expression system to obtain a high level of expression of secreted rATF-mellitin which was purified by a highly efficient purification procedure.

Qiu J, Zhang W, Xia Q, et al.
RNA sequencing identifies crucial genes in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) progression.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2016; 100(1):151-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The study aims to uncover molecular mechanisms of PTC (papillary thyroid carcinoma) progression and provide therapeutic biomarkers.
METHODS: The paired tumor and control tissues were obtained from 5 PTC patients. RNA was extracted and cDNA libraries were constructed. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed on the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform using paired-end method. After preprocessing of the RNA-seq data, gene expression value was calculated by RPKM. Then the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified with edgeR. Functional enrichment and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analyses were conducted for the DEGs. Module analysis of the PPI network was also performed. Transcription factors (TFs) of DEGs were predicted.
RESULTS: A cohort of 496 up-regulated DEGs mainly correlating with the ECM degradation pathways, and 440 down-regulated DEGs predominantly enriching in transmembrane transport process were identified. Hub nodes in the PPI network were RRM2 and a set of collagens (COL1A1, COL3A1 and COL5A1), which were also remarkable in module 3 and module 5, respectively. Genes in module 3 were associated with cell cycle pathways, while in module 5 were related to ECM degradation pathways. PLAU, PSG1 and EGR2 were the crucial TFs with higher transcriptional activity in PTC than in control.
CONCLUSION: Several genes including COL1A1, COL3A1, RRM2, PLAU, and EGR2 might be used as biomarkers of PTC therapy. Among them, COL1A1 and COL3A1 might exert their functions via involving in ECM degradation pathway, while RRM2 through cell cycle pathway. PLAU might be an active TF, whereas EGR2 might be a tumor suppressor.

Li W, Cao L, Chen X, et al.
Resveratrol inhibits hypoxia-driven ROS-induced invasive and migratory ability of pancreatic cancer cells via suppression of the Hedgehog signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(3):1718-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
A hypoxic microenvironment is commonly found in the central region of solid tumors, including pancreatic cancer. Our previous study revealed that resveratrol plays an important role in suppressing the proliferation and EMT of pancreatic cancer cells. However, whether resveratrol could suppress hypoxia-induced cancer progression and the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether resveratrol affects hypoxia-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the activation of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway as well as the invasion of pancreatic cancer. The human pancreatic cancer cell lines, BxPC-3 and Panc-1, were subjected to a hypoxic condition and three different concentrations of resveratrol. The intracellular ROS were determined using 2,7-dichlorodihydrofluorecein diacetate. Wound healing and Transwell invasion assays were used to detect the migratory and invasive potential of the cancer cells. Metastatic-related and Hh signaling-related factors were detected by qRT-PCR and western blot analysis. Immunofluorescence staining was used to test the nuclear translocation of GLI1. The results showed that the hypoxia-induced production of ROS was decreased by resveratrol in a concentration-dependent manner. Resveratrol significantly inhibited the hypoxia-stimulated invasion and migration of pancreatic cancer cells. Resveratrol inhibited hypoxia-induced HIF-1α protein expression. Resveratrol also suppressed hypoxia‑induced expression of metastatic-related factors, uPA and MMP2. In addition, resveratrol markedly inhibited hypoxia-mediated activation of the Hh signaling pathway. Furthermore, the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) significantly suppressed the invasive and migratory ability of pancreatic cancer cells during hypoxia. Taken together, these data indicate that resveratrol plays an important role in suppressing hypoxia-driven ROS-induced pancreatic cancer progression by inhibiting the Hh signaling pathway, providing evidence that resveratrol may be a potential candidate for the chemoprevention of cancer.

Huggins CJ, Mayekar MK, Martin N, et al.
C/EBPγ Is a Critical Regulator of Cellular Stress Response Networks through Heterodimerization with ATF4.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 36(5):693-713 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The integrated stress response (ISR) controls cellular adaptations to nutrient deprivation, redox imbalances, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. ISR genes are upregulated in stressed cells, primarily by the bZIP transcription factor ATF4 through its recruitment to cis-regulatory C/EBP:ATF response elements (CAREs) together with a dimeric partner of uncertain identity. Here, we show that C/EBPγ:ATF4 heterodimers, but not C/EBPβ:ATF4 dimers, are the predominant CARE-binding species in stressed cells. C/EBPγ and ATF4 associate with genomic CAREs in a mutually dependent manner and coregulate many ISR genes. In contrast, the C/EBP family members C/EBPβ and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) were largely dispensable for induction of stress genes. Cebpg(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) proliferate poorly and exhibit oxidative stress due to reduced glutathione levels and impaired expression of several glutathione biosynthesis pathway genes. Cebpg(-/-) mice (C57BL/6 background) display reduced body size and microphthalmia, similar to ATF4-null animals. In addition, C/EBPγ-deficient newborns die from atelectasis and respiratory failure, which can be mitigated by in utero exposure to the antioxidant, N-acetyl-cysteine. Cebpg(-/-) mice on a mixed strain background showed improved viability but, upon aging, developed significantly fewer malignant solid tumors than WT animals. Our findings identify C/EBPγ as a novel antioxidant regulator and an obligatory ATF4 partner that controls redox homeostasis in normal and cancerous cells.

Douglas DN, Pu CH, Lewis JT, et al.
Oxidative Stress Attenuates Lipid Synthesis and Increases Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Oxidation in Hepatoma Cells Infected with Hepatitis C Virus.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(4):1974-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cytopathic effects are currently believed to contribute to hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced liver injury and are readily observed in Huh7.5 cells infected with the JFH-1 HCV strain, manifesting as apoptosis highly correlated with growth arrest. Reactive oxygen species, which are induced by HCV infection, have recently emerged as activators of AMP-activated protein kinase. The net effect is ATP conservation via on/off switching of metabolic pathways that produce/consume ATP. Depending on the scenario, this can have either pro-survival or pro-apoptotic effects. We demonstrate reactive oxygen species-mediated activation of AMP-activated kinase in Huh7.5 cells during HCV (JFH-1)-induced growth arrest. Metabolic labeling experiments provided direct evidence that lipid synthesis is attenuated, and β-oxidation is enhanced in these cells. A striking increase in nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α, which plays a dominant role in the expression of β-oxidation genes after ligand-induced activation, was also observed, and we provide evidence that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α is constitutively activated in these cells. The combination of attenuated lipid synthesis and enhanced β-oxidation is not conducive to lipid accumulation, yet cellular lipids still accumulated during this stage of infection. Notably, the serum in the culture media was the only available source for polyunsaturated fatty acids, which were elevated (2-fold) in the infected cells, implicating altered lipid import/export pathways in these cells. This study also provided the first in vivo evidence for enhanced β-oxidation during HCV infection because HCV-infected SCID/Alb-uPA mice accumulated higher plasma ketones while fasting than did control mice. Overall, this study highlights the reprogramming of hepatocellular lipid metabolism and bioenergetics during HCV infection, which are predicted to impact both the HCV life cycle and pathogenesis.

Ryu J, Yoon NA, Seong H, et al.
Resveratrol Induces Glioma Cell Apoptosis through Activation of Tristetraprolin.
Mol Cells. 2015; 38(11):991-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tristetraprolin (TTP) is an AU-rich elements (AREs)-binding protein, which regulates the decay of AREs-containing mRNAs such as proto-oncogenes, anti-apoptotic genes and immune regulatory genes. Despite the low expression of TTP in various human cancers, the mechanism involving suppressed expression of TTP is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene, Res), a naturally occurring compound, induces glioma cell apoptosis through activation of tristetraprolin (TTP). Res increased TTP expression in U87MG human glioma cells. Res-induced TTP destabilized the urokinase plasminogen activator and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor mRNAs by binding to the ARE regions containing the 3' untranslated regions of their mRNAs. Furthermore, TTP induced by Res suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis in the human glioma cells. Because of its regulation of TTP expression, these findings suggest that the bioactive dietary compound Res can be used as a novel anti-cancer agent for the treatment of human malignant gliomas.

Esber N, Le Billan F, Resche-Rigon M, et al.
Ulipristal Acetate Inhibits Progesterone Receptor Isoform A-Mediated Human Breast Cancer Proliferation and BCl2-L1 Expression.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0140795 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The progesterone receptor (PR) with its isoforms and ligands are involved in breast tumorigenesis and prognosis. We aimed at analyzing the respective contribution of PR isoforms, PRA and PRB, in breast cancer cell proliferation in a new estrogen-independent cell based-model, allowing independent PR isoforms analysis. We used the bi-inducible human breast cancer cell system MDA-iPRAB. We studied the effects and molecular mechanisms of action of progesterone (P4) and ulipristal acetate (UPA), a new selective progesterone receptor modulator, alone or in combination. P4 significantly stimulated MDA-iPRA expressing cells proliferation. This was associated with P4-stimulated expression of the anti-apoptotic factor BCL2-L1 and enhanced recruitment of PRA, SRC-1 and RNA Pol II onto the +58 kb PR binding motif of the BCL2-L1 gene. UPA decreased cell proliferation and repressed BCL2-L1 expression in the presence of PRA, correlating with PRA and SRC1 but not RNA Pol II recruitment. These results bring new information on the mechanism of action of PR ligands in controlling breast cancer cell proliferation through PRA in an estrogen independent model. Evaluation of PR isoforms ratio, as well as molecular signature studies based on PRA target genes could be proposed to facilitate personalized breast cancer therapy. In this context, UPA could be of interest in endocrine therapy. Further confirmation in the clinical setting is required.

Hsieh YH, Hsieh SC, Lee CH, et al.
Targeting EMP3 suppresses proliferation and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells through inactivation of PI3K/Akt pathway.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(33):34859-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epithelial membrane protein-3 (EMP3), a typical member of the epithelial membrane protein (EMP) family, is epigenetically silenced in some cancer types, and has been proposed to be a tumor suppressor gene. However, its effects on tumor suppression are controversial and its roles in development and malignancy of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear. In the present study, we found that EMP3 was highly expressed in the tumorous tissues comparing to the matched normal tissues, and negatively correlated with differentiated degree of HCC patients. Knockdown of EMP3 significantly reduced cell proliferation, arrested cell cycle at G1 phase, and inhibited the motility and invasiveness in accordance with the decreased expression and activity of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in HCC cells. The in vivo tumor growth of HCC was effectively suppressed by knockdown of EMP3 in a xenograft mouse model. The EMP3 knockdown-reduced cell proliferation and invasion were attenuated by inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) or knockdown of Akt, and rescued by overexpression of Akt in HCC cells. Clinical positive correlations of EMP3 with p85 regulatory subunit of PI3K, p-Akt, uPA, as well as MMP-9 were observed in the tissue sections from HCC patients. Here, we elucidated the tumor progressive effects of EMP3 through PI3K/Akt pathway and uPA/MMP-9 cascade in HCC cells. The findings provided a new insight into EMP3, which might be a potential molecular target for diagnosis and treatment of HCC.

Duffy MJ, Walsh S, McDermott EW, Crown J
Biomarkers in Breast Cancer: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?
Adv Clin Chem. 2015; 71:1-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Biomarkers play an important role in the detection and management of patients with breast cancer. Thus, BRCA1/2 mutation testing is used for risk assessment in families with a high prevalence of breast and ovarian cancer. Following a diagnosis of breast cancer, measurement of multi-analyte profiles such as uPA/PAI-1 or Oncotype DX may be used for determining prognosis and identifying lymph node-negative patients who may be spared from having to receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Other -gene tests such as the PAM50 ROR, Breast Cancer Index, and EndoPredict have been reported to predict the development of late recurrences and thus may be of value in selecting patients for extended hormone therapy. Mandatory assays include estrogen receptors for identification of endocrine-sensitive cancers and HER2 in selecting patients for treatment with anti-HER2 therapy (e.g., trastuzumab, lapatinib, pertuzumab, and ado-trastuzumab emtansine). Finally, serum biomarkers such as CA 15-3 or CEA may be used in monitoring therapy in patients with advanced disease receiving systemic therapy. Promising new biomarkers undergoing evaluation include circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor-derived DNA.

Sánchez-Tilló E, de Barrios O, Valls E, et al.
ZEB1 and TCF4 reciprocally modulate their transcriptional activities to regulate Wnt target gene expression.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(46):5760-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
The canonical Wnt pathway (TCF4/β-catenin) has important roles during normal differentiation and in disease. Some Wnt functions depend on signaling gradients requiring the pathway to be tightly regulated. A key Wnt target is the transcription factor ZEB1 whose expression by cancer cells promotes tumor invasiveness by repressing the expression of epithelial specification markers and activating mesenchymal genes, including a number of Wnt targets such as LAMC2 and uPA. The ability of ZEB1 to activate/repress its target genes depends on its recruitment of corepressors (CtBP, BRG1) or coactivators (p300) although conditions under which ZEB1 binds these cofactors are not elucidated. Here, we show that TCF4 and ZEB1 reciprocally modulate each other's transcriptional activity: ZEB1 enhances TCF4/β-catenin-mediated transcription and, in turn, Wnt signaling switches ZEB1 from a repressor into an activator. In colorectal cancer (CRC) cells with active Wnt signaling, ZEB1 enhances transcriptional activation of LAMC2 and uPA by TCF4/β-catenin. However, in CRC cells with inactive Wnt, ZEB1 represses both genes. Reciprocal modulation of ZEB1 and TCF4 activities involves their binding to DNA and mutual interaction. Wnt signaling turns ZEB1 into an activator by replacing binding of CtBP/BRG1 in favor of p300. Using a mouse model of Wnt-induced intestinal tumorigenesis, we found that downregulation of ZEB1 reduces the expression of LAMC2 in vivo. These results identify a mechanism through which Wnt and ZEB1 transcriptional activities are modulated, offering new approaches in cancer therapy.

Chou YC, Chang MY, Wang MJ, et al.
PEITC inhibits human brain glioblastoma GBM 8401 cell migration and invasion through the inhibition of uPA, Rho A, and Ras with inhibition of MMP-2, -7 and -9 gene expression.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(5):2489-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive primary brain malignancy, and the efficacy of multimodality treatments remains unsatisfactory. Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), one member of the isothiocyanate family, was found to inhibit the migration and invasion of many types of human cancer cells. In our previous study, PEITC induced the apoptosis of human brain glioblastoma GBM 8401 cells through the extrinsic and intrinsic signaling pathways. In the present study, we first investigated the effects of PEITC on the migration and invasion of GBM 8401 cells. PEITC decreased the migration of GBM 8401 cells in a dose-dependent manner as determined from scratch wound healing and Transwell migration assays. The percentage of inhibition ranged from 46.89 to 15.75%, and from 27.80 to 7.31% after a 48-h treatment of PEITC as determined from the Transwell migration assay and invasion assay, respectively. The western blot analysis indicated that PEITC decreased the levels of proteins associated with migration and invasion, Ras, uPA, RhoA, GRB2, p-p38, p-JNK, p-ERK, p65, SOS1, MMP-2, MMP-9 and MMP-13, in a dose-dependent manner. Real-time PCR analyses revealed that PEITC reduced the mRNA levels of MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9 and RhoA in a dose- and time-dependent manner. PEITC exhibited potent anticancer activities through the inhibition of migration and invasion in the GBM 8401 cells. Our findings elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways of the anti-metastatic effects of PEITC on human brain glioblastoma cells, and PEITC may be considered as a therapeutic agent.

Cantor DI, Cheruku HR, Nice EC, Baker MS
Integrin αvβ6 sets the stage for colorectal cancer metastasis.
Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2015; 34(4):715-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
The β6 subunit of the αvβ6 integrin heterodimer has long been an enigma in cancer biology though recent research has provided many new insights into its biology. Collectively, these findings include discovery of the transcriptional, translational and cell biological mechanisms by which β6 acts, the identification of the cellular influences β6 exerts upon the cell proteome, the characterisation of multiple β6-centric pro-metastatic signalling systems and the search for pharmacological therapies (industry and academia) targeted against β6. Once expressional restriction is overcome in early colorectal cancer (CRC), epithelial cell surface restricted αvβ6 can physically interact with, and activate, known oncoproteins, and has the potential to enable the cross-talk through non-canonical signal transduction pathways, resulting in the adoption of an invasive/metastatic phenotype. This recent research has identified numerous interconnections and potential feedback loops, highlighting the fact that the expression of the β6 subunit may initiate a cascade of downstream effects on the CRC cell rather than acting through a single mechanism. We here review these recent studies and postulate that the existence of a cell surface uPAR/αvβ6/TGFβ "metastasome" interactome in/on a proportion of colorectal cancer cells, where β6 expression sequesters and activates multiple systems at the invasive front of tumour lesions, promoting cancer metastasis and hence explaining why β6 has been correlated with reduced patient survival in CRC.

Hui L, Yang N, Yang H, et al.
Identification of biomarkers with a tumor stage-dependent expression and exploration of the mechanism involved in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(5):2627-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to identify biomarkers with a tumor stage-dependent expression manner and explore the regulatory mechanisms of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) progression. Microarray data GSE59102 was used for differential analysis using a limma package. Enrichment analyses were performed for the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between tumor tissues and normal tissues at different stages. A co-expressed network involving the overlapped DEGs in two stages was established based on Pearson's correlation coefficients. Furthermore, for the tumor stage‑dependent expressed DEGs, a protein‑protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed by mapping the genes using the STRING database. Transcription factors (TFs), oncogenes and tumor‑associated genes (TSGs) among the DEGs were predicted, following a search of the TRANSFAC, tumor-associated gene (TAG) and TSG databases. The CDT database was used to identify LSCC‑associated genes. In total, 696 DEGs from early stage and control samples and 622 DEGs from advanced sttage and control samples were selected, which were mainly enriched in the cell cycle pathway. In the co-expressed network, BUB1, TTK, E2F1 and CEP55 were prominent, with E2F1 being predicted as a TSG and CEP55 as an oncogene. The HOX family members were predicted as TFs. MMP1, MMP9, MMP3 and PLAU were the most evident nodes in the PPI network, where MMP3 was connected with MMP1. The ADH family was correlated with LSCC. Several biomarkers with tumor stage-dependent expression were identified including MMP1, MMP3, MMP9, PLAU and ADHs. Additionally, the dysregulated cell cycle pathway involving BUB1, TTK, E2F1 and CEP55, and the mediation of MMP1 by MMP3 as well as the predicted TF HOX, may all play significant roles in LSCC progression.

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