Gene Summary

Gene:PRF1; perforin 1
Aliases: P1, PFP, HPLH2
Summary:This gene encodes a protein with structural similarities to complement component C9 that is important in immunity. This protein forms membrane pores that allow the release of granzymes and subsequent cytolysis of target cells. Whether pore formation occurs in the plasma membrane of target cells or in an endosomal membrane inside target cells is subject to debate. Mutations in this gene are associated with a variety of human disease including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lymphomas, autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS), aplastic anemia, and familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis type 2 (FHL2), a rare and lethal autosomal recessive disorder of early childhood. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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

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

Specific Cancers (6)

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: PRF1 (cancer-related)

Wang Z, Shi Z, Zhang L, et al.
Profilin 1, negatively regulated by microRNA-19a-3p, serves as a tumor suppressor in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Pathol Res Pract. 2019; 215(3):499-505 [PubMed] Related Publications
Profilin 1 (PFN1) is a critical actin-regulatory protein; however, its functional role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression remains to be further elucidated. In the present study, we observed that the expression levels of PFN1 were significantly decreased in HCC tissues and cell lines. Low PFN1 expression was significantly correlated with aggressive clinicopathological characteristics and poor prognosis of HCC patients. Further in vitro experiments demonstrated that overexpression of PFN1 remarkably inhibited the proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT of HCC cells. Moreover, we also found that PFN1 was a direct target gene of miR-19a-3p, and in HCC tissues, and there was a significantly inverse correlation between PFN1 mRNA and miR-19a-3p expression. Collectively, our results showed that PFN1 functions as a tumor suppressor in HCC, and might serve as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for HCC patients.

Kakurina GV, Kondakova IV, Spirina LV, et al.
Expression of Genes Encoding Cell Motility Proteins during Progression of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Bull Exp Biol Med. 2018; 166(2):250-252 [PubMed] Related Publications
The model of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) was used to study the expression of genes encoding actin-binding proteins depending on the type of cell motility. The expression of SNAIL1 and CAPN2 mRNA in HNSCC tissue was higher than in specimens of dysplastic epithelium of the larynx and hypopharynx, which can be explained by activation of mesenchymal and amoeboid types of cell motility. In biopsy material of HNSCC patients with T1-2N0M0, expression of genes responsible for actin-binding proteins differed from that of patients with pretumor pathology of the larynx and hypopharynx: expression of FSCN was lower, while expressions of EZR and CAP1 were higher. The data attest that progression of HNSCC is associated with activation of both types of cell motility and with the changes in the expression of mRNA encoding cell motility proteins.

Gao J, Yu B, Li C, et al.
Ultrasound triggered phase-change nanodroplets for doxorubicin prodrug delivery and ultrasound diagnosis: An in vitro study.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2019; 174:416-425 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ultrasound-triggered delivery system is among the various multifunctional and stimuli-responsive strategies that hold great potential as a robust solution to the challenges of localized drug delivery and gene therapy. In this work, we developed an ultrasound-triggered delivery system PFP/C

Bagley SJ, Hwang WT, Brem S, et al.
RNA-seq for identification of therapeutically targetable determinants of immune activation in human glioblastoma.
J Neurooncol. 2019; 141(1):95-102 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2020 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: We sought to determine which therapeutically targetable immune checkpoints, costimulatory signals, and other tumor microenvironment (TME) factors are independently associated with immune cytolytic activity (CYT), a gene expression signature of activated effector T cells, in human glioblastoma (GBM).
METHODS: GlioVis was accessed for RNA-seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). For subjects with treatment-naïve, primary GBM, we quantified mRNA expression of 28 therapeutically targetable TME factors. CYT (geometric mean of GZMA and PRF1 expression) was calculated for each tumor. Multiple linear regression was performed to determine the relationship between the dependent variable (CYT) and mRNA expression of each of the 28 factors. Variables associated with CYT in multivariate analysis were subsequently evaluated for this association in an independent cohort of newly diagnosed GBMs from the Chinese Glioma Cooperative Group (CGCG).
RESULTS: 109 TCGA tumors were analyzed. The final multiple linear regression model included the following variables, each positively associated with CYT except VEGF-A (negative association): CSF-1 (p = 0.003), CD137 (p = 0.042), VEGF-A (p < 0.001), CTLA4 (p = 0.028), CD40 (p = 0.023), GITR (p = 0.020), IL6 (p = 0.02), and OX40 (p < 0.001). In CGCG (n = 52), each of these variables remained significantly associated with CYT in univariate analysis except for VEGF-A. In multivariate analysis, only CTLA4 and CD40 remained statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Using multivariate modeling of RNA-seq gene expression data, we identified therapeutically targetable TME factors that are independently associated with intratumoral cytolytic T-cell activity in human GBM. As a myriad of systemic immunotherapies are now available for investigation, our results could inform rational combinations for evaluation in GBM.

Chakraborty S, Jiang C, Gau D, et al.
Profilin-1 deficiency leads to SMAD3 upregulation and impaired 3D outgrowth of breast cancer cells.
Br J Cancer. 2018; 119(9):1106-1117 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Adhesion-mediated activation of FAK/ERK signalling pathway, enabled by the formation of filopodial protrusions (FLP), has been shown to be an important event for triggering of dormancy-to-proliferation switch and metastatic outgrowth of breast cancer cells (BCC). We studied the role of actin-binding protein profilin1 (Pfn1) in these processes.
METHODS: Quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC) of BC tissue microarray (TMA) and survival analyses of curated transcriptome datasets of BC patients were performed to examine Pfn1's association with certain clinicopathological features. FLP formation and single cell outgrowth of BCC were assessed using a 3D matrigel culture that accurately predicts dormant vs metastatic outgrowth phenotypes of BCC in certain microenvironment. Gene expression studies were performed to identify potential biological pathways that are perturbed under Pfn1-depleted condition.
RESULTS: Lower Pfn1 expression is correlated with lower nuclear grade of breast tumours and longer relapse-free survival of BC patients. Pfn1 depletion leads to defects in FLP and outgrowth of BCC but without impairing either FAK or ERK activation. Guided by transcriptome analyses, we further showed that Pfn1 depletion is associated with prominent SMAD3 upregulation. Although knockdown and overexpression experiments revealed that SMAD3 has an inhibitory effect on the outgrowth of breast cancer cells, SMAD3 knockdown alone was not sufficient to enhance the outgrowth potential of Pfn1-depleted BCC suggesting that other proliferation-regulatory pathways in conjunction with SMAD3 upregulation may underlie the outgrowth-deficient phenotype of BCC cells upon depletion of Pfn1.
CONCLUSION: Overall, these data suggest that Pfn1 may be a novel biomarker for BC recurrence and a possible target to reduce metastatic outgrowth of BCC.

Chavez M, Silvestrini MT, Ingham ES, et al.
Distinct immune signatures in directly treated and distant tumors result from TLR adjuvants and focal ablation.
Theranostics. 2018; 8(13):3611-3628 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Both adjuvants and focal ablation can alter the local innate immune system and trigger a highly effective systemic response. Our goal is to determine the impact of these treatments on directly treated and distant disease and the mechanisms for the enhanced response obtained by combinatorial treatments.

Hartana CA, Ahlén Bergman E, Broomé A, et al.
Tissue-resident memory T cells are epigenetically cytotoxic with signs of exhaustion in human urinary bladder cancer.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2018; 194(1):39-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Tissue-resident memory T (T

Hartana CA, Ahlén Bergman E, Zirakzadeh AA, et al.
Urothelial bladder cancer may suppress perforin expression in CD8+ T cells by an ICAM-1/TGFβ2 mediated pathway.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(7):e0200079 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
The immune system plays a significant role in urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) progression, with CD8+ T cells being capable to directly kill tumor cells using perforin and granzymes. However, tumors avoid immune recognition by escape mechanisms. In this study, we aim to demonstrate tumor immune escape mechanisms that suppress CD8+ T cells cytotoxicity. 42 patients diagnosed with UBC were recruited. CD8+ T cells from peripheral blood (PB), sentinel nodes (SN), and tumor were analyzed in steady state and in vitro-stimulated conditions by flow cytometry, RT-qPCR, and ELISA. Mass spectrometry (MS) was used for identification of proteins from UBC cell line culture supernatants. Perforin was surprisingly found to be low in CD8+ T cells from SN, marked by 1.8-fold decrease of PRF1 expression, with maintained expression of granzyme B. The majority of perforin-deficient CD8+ T cells are effector memory T (TEM) cells with exhausted Tc2 cell phenotype, judged by the presence of PD-1 and GATA-3. Consequently, perforin-deficient CD8+ T cells from SN are low in T-bet expression. Supernatant from muscle invasive UBC induces perforin deficiency, a mechanism identified by MS where ICAM-1 and TGFβ2 signaling were causatively validated to decrease perforin expression in vitro. Thus, we demonstrate a novel tumor escape suppressing perforin expression in CD8+ T cells mediated by ICAM-1 and TGFβ2, which can be targeted in combination for cancer immunotherapy.

Lu Y, Wang Y, Xu H, et al.
Profilin 1 induces drug resistance through Beclin1 complex-mediated autophagy in multiple myeloma.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(9):2706-2716 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Autophagy plays an important role in multiple myeloma (MM) for homeostasis, survival and drug resistance, but which genes participate in this process is unclear. We identified several cytoskeleton genes upregulated in MM patients by gene expression profiling (GEP) datasets; in particular, patients with high profilin 1 (PFN1) expression had poor prognosis in MM. In vitro, overexpressed PFN1 promotes proliferation and bortezomib (BTZ) resistance in MM cells. Further study indicated overexpression of PFN1 significantly promoted the process of autophagy and induced BTZ resistance in MM. Otherwise, knockdown of PFN1 blocked autophagy and sensitized MM to BTZ. Co-immunoprecipitation in MM cells indicated that PFN1 could bind Beclin1 complex and promote the initiation of autophagy. Inhibition of autophagy by blocking the formation of Beclin1 complex could reverse the phenotype of BTZ resistance in MM. Our findings suggested that PFN1 could promote autophagy through taking part in Beclin1 complex and contribute to BTZ resistance, which may become a novel molecular target in the therapy of MM.

Sundar R, Qamra A, Tan ALK, et al.
Transcriptional analysis of immune genes in Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric cancer and association with clinical outcomes.
Gastric Cancer. 2018; 21(6):1064-1070 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric cancer (EBVaGC) has traditionally been associated with high expression of PD-L1 and immune infiltration. Correlations between PD-L1 and other immune-related gene (IRG) expressions in EBVaGC have not been previously described.
METHODS: We performed NanoString
RESULTS: We identified 71 cases of EBVaGC and 193 EBV-negative ACRG samples as controls. EBVaGC showed higher expression of all queried immune genes compared to EBVnegACRG samples (p < 0.01). PD-L1 immunohistochemistry expression correlated with PD-L1 transcript expression (r = 0.63, p < 0.001). Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte patterns were also found to be different between PD-L1
CONCLUSIONS: A substantial proportion of EBVaGC does not express high levels of PD-L1 and other immune genes. EBVaGCs which have lower transcriptomic expression of PD-L1 tend to have a similarly low expression of other immune genes, IHC scores and a poorer prognosis.

Narayanan S, Kawaguchi T, Yan L, et al.
Cytolytic Activity Score to Assess Anticancer Immunity in Colorectal Cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2018; 25(8):2323-2331 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Elevated tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) within the tumor microenvironment is a known positive prognostic factor in colorectal cancer (CRC). We hypothesized that since cytotoxic T cells release cytolytic proteins such as perforin (PRF1) and pro-apoptotic granzymes (GZMA) to attack cancer cells, a cytolytic activity score (CYT) would be a useful tool to assess anticancer immunity.
METHODS: Genomic expression data were obtained from 456 patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). CYT was defined by GZMA and PRF1 expression, and CIBERSORT was used to evaluate intratumoral immune cell composition.
RESULTS: High CYT was associated with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H), as well as high levels of activated memory CD4+T cells, gamma-delta T cells, and M1 macrophages. CYT-high CRC patients had improved overall survival (p = 0.019) and disease-free survival (p = 0.016) compared with CYT-low CRC patients, especially in TIL-positive tumors. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that CYT- high associates with improved survival independently after controlling for age, lymphovascular invasion, colonic location, microsatellite instability, and TIL positivity. The levels of immune checkpoint molecules (ICMs)-programmed death-1 (PD-1), programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA4), lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3), T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM3), and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1)-correlated significantly with CYT (p < 0.0001); with improved survival in CYT-high and ICM-low patients, and poorer survival in ICM-high patients.
CONCLUSIONS: High CYT within CRC is associated with improved survival, likely due to increased immunity and cytolytic activity of T cells and M1 macrophages. High CYT is also associated with high expression of ICMs; thus, further studies to elucidate the role of CYT as a predictive biomarker of the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade are warranted.

Jiang Y, Cao D, Xu CG
[Expressions and clinical significance of GAS1, IL-1RAP and PRF1 in patients with ALK positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma].
Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2018; 39(2):116-121 [PubMed] Related Publications

E J, Yan F, Kang Z, et al.
Hum Immunol. 2018; 79(6):446-452 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) are the primary sites of tumor antigen presentation, as well as the origin of metastasis in most cases. Hence, the type and function of immune cells in TDLNs are critical to the microenvironment and potentially affect the clinical outcome of the malignancy. CD8

Wu M, Xiong H, Zou H, et al.
A laser-activated multifunctional targeted nanoagent for imaging and gene therapy in a mouse xenograft model with retinoblastoma Y79 cells.
Acta Biomater. 2018; 70:211-226 [PubMed] Related Publications
Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common intraocular malignancy of childhood that urgently needs early detection and effective therapy methods. The use of nanosized gene delivery systems is appealing because of their highly adjustable structure to carry both therapeutic and imaging agents. Herein, we report a folic acid (FA)-modified phase-changeable cationic nanoparticle encapsulating liquid perfluoropentane (PFP) and indocyanine green (ICG) (FA-CN-PFP-ICG, FCNPI) with good plasmid DNA (pDNA) carrying capacity, favorable biocompatibility, excellent photoacoustic (PA) and ultrasound (US) contrast, enhanced gene transfection efficiency and therapeutic effect. The liquid-gas phase transition of the FCNPI upon laser irradiation has provided splendid contrasts for US/PA dual-modality imaging in vitro as well as in vivo. More importantly, laser-mediated gene transfection with targeted cationic FCNPI nanoparticles demonstrated the best therapeutic effect compared with untargeted cationic nanoparticle (CN-PFP-ICG, CNPI) and neutral nanoparticle (NN-PFP-ICG, NNPI), both in vitro and in vivo. Such a multifunctional nanoagent is expected to combine dual-mode guided imaging with fewer side effects and proper therapeutic efficacy. These results establish an experimental foundation for the clinical detection of and therapy for RB.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: We successfully constructed a multifunctional targeted cationic nanoparticle (FCNPI) and meticulously compared the variations in the plasmid loading capacity and binding to Y79 cells with NNPI, CNPI, and FCNPI. FCNPI exhibited favorable plasmid loading capability, splendid ability for targeting and only it could provide optimal US and PA contrast to background during a considerable long time. The FCNPI/pDNA + Laser system also exhibited the best therapeutic effect in vivo; this finding proposes a potential strategy for the evaluation of an efficient gene delivery nanocarrier for gene targeting therapy of RB tumor. Our study showed that there are great advantages of targeting FCNPI to provide PA/US imaging and to enlighten laser-mediated gene transfection. FCNPI is a very helpful multifunctional agent with potential.

Xie H, Xue YQ, Liu P, et al.
Multi-parameter gene expression profiling of peripheral blood for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(3):371-378 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
AIM: In our previous study, we have built a nine-gene (
METHODS: Logistic regression analysis, discriminant analysis, classification tree analysis, and artificial neural network were used for the multi-parameter gene expression analysis method. One hundred and three patients with early HCC and 54 age-matched healthy normal controls were used to build a diagnostic model. Fifty-two patients with early HCC and 34 healthy people were used for validation. The area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity were used as diagnostic indicators.
RESULTS: Artificial neural network of the total nine genes had the best diagnostic value, and the AUC, sensitivity, and specificity were 0.943, 98%, and 85%, respectively. At last, 52 HCC patients and 34 healthy normal controls were used for validation. The sensitivity and specificity were 96% and 86%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Multi-parameter analysis methods may increase the diagnostic value compared to single factor analysis and they may be a trend of the clinical diagnosis in the future.

Privat M, Rudewicz J, Sonnier N, et al.
Antioxydation And Cell Migration Genes Are Identified as Potential Therapeutic Targets in Basal-Like and BRCA1 Mutated Breast Cancer Cell Lines.
Int J Med Sci. 2018; 15(1):46-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Basal-like breast cancers are among the most aggressive cancers and effective targeted therapies are still missing. In order to identify new therapeutic targets, we performed Methyl-Seq and RNA-Seq of 10 breast cancer cell lines with different phenotypes. We confirmed that breast cancer subtypes cluster the RNA-Seq data but not the Methyl-Seq data. Basal-like tumor hypermethylated phenotype was not confirmed in our study but RNA-Seq analysis allowed to identify 77 genes significantly overexpressed in basal-like breast cancer cell lines. Among them, 48 were overexpressed in triple negative breast cancers of TCGA data. Some molecular functions were overrepresented in this candidate gene list. Genes involved in antioxydation, such as SOD1, MGST3 and PRDX or cadherin-binding genes, such as PFN1, ITGB1 and ANXA1, could thus be considered as basal like breast cancer biomarkers. We then sought if these genes were linked to BRCA1, since this gene is often inactivated in basal-like breast cancers. Nine genes were identified overexpressed in both basal-like breast cancer cells and BRCA1 mutated cells. Amongst them, at least 3 genes code for proteins implicated in epithelial cell migration and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (VIM, ITGB1 and RhoA). Our study provided several potential therapeutic targets for triple negative and BRCA1 mutated breast cancers. It seems that migration and mesenchymal properties acquisition of basal-like breast cancer cells is a key functional pathway in these tumors with a high metastatic potential.

Jaworowska A, Pastorczak A, Trelinska J, et al.
Perforin gene variation influences survival in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Res. 2018; 65:29-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although a growing body of data links mutations in the perforin gene with increased susceptibility to hematologic malignancies, no studies discuss their influence on the clinical course of such diseases. The present study examines the impact of perforin gene variation on the clinical outcome in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. The study enrolled 312 children aged 1-18 years, treated for ALL. PRF1 gene variants were analyzed through direct DNA sequencing. Variation in rs885822 was found to be associated with overall survival: patients carrying the GG genotype demonstrated a significantly increased risk of death compared to those carrying the A allele, independently of ALL risk groups (HR 3.13, 95%CI 1.16-7.8, p = 0.014). The effect was even more pronounced in high-risk ALL patients (p = 0.006). On the other hand, the presence of the rs35947132 minor A allele was slightly protective with regard to overall prognosis (p = 0.047). No differences in relapse-free survival were observed with regard to genotypes. The results of the study may imply that perforin gene variation has a role in modifying mortality in childhood ALL.

Jiang C, Ding Z, Joy M, et al.
A balanced level of profilin-1 promotes stemness and tumor-initiating potential of breast cancer cells.
Cell Cycle. 2017; 16(24):2366-2373 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Profilin-1 (Pfn1) is an important actin-regulatory protein that is downregulated in human breast cancer and when forcibly elevated, it suppresses the tumor-initiating ability of triple-negative breast cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrate that Pfn1 overexpression reduces the stem-like phenotype (a key biologic feature associated with higher tumor-initiating potential) of MDA-MB-231 (MDA-231) triple-negative breast cancer cells. Interestingly, the stem-like trait of MDA-231 cells is also attenuated upon depletion of Pfn1. A comparison of cancer stem cell gene (CSC) gene expression signatures between depleted and elevated conditions of Pfn1 further suggest that Pfn1 may be somehow involved in regulating the expression of a few CSC-related genes including MUC1, STAT3, FZD7, and ITGB1. Consistent with the reduced stem-like phenotype associated with loss-of-function of Pfn1, xenograft studies showed lower tumor-initiating frequency of Pfn1-depleted MDA-231 cells compared to their control counterparts. In MMTV:PyMT mouse model, homozygous but not heterozygous deletion of Pfn1 gene leads to severe genetic mosaicism and positive selection of Pfn1-proficient tumor cells further supporting the contention that a complete lack of Pfn1 is likely not conducive for efficient tumor initiation capability of breast cancer cells. In summary, these findings suggest that the maintenance of optimal stemness and tumor-initiating ability of breast cancer cells requires a balanced expression of Pfn1.

Schoppmeyer R, Zhao R, Cheng H, et al.
Human profilin 1 is a negative regulator of CTL mediated cell-killing and migration.
Eur J Immunol. 2017; 47(9):1562-1572 [PubMed] Related Publications
The actin-binding protein profilin1 (PFN1) plays a central role in actin dynamics, which is essential for cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) functions. The functional role of PFN1 in CTLs, however still remains elusive. Here, we identify PFN1 as the only member of the profilin family expressed in primary human CD8

Gao D, Gao J, Xu M, et al.
Targeted Ultrasound-Triggered Phase Transition Nanodroplets for Her2-Overexpressing Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Gene Transfection.
Mol Pharm. 2017; 14(4):984-998 [PubMed] Related Publications
For successful gene therapy, it is imperative to accumulate therapeutic gene in tumor tissues followed by efficiently delivering gene into targeted cells. Ultrasound irradiation, as a noninvasive and cost-effective external stimulus, has been proved to be one of the most potential external-stimulating gene delivery strategies recently in further improving gene transfection. In this study, we developed tumor-targeting ultrasound-triggered phase-transition nanodroplets AHNP-PFP-TNDs comprising a perfluorinated poly(amino acid) C

Alonso S, Mayol X, Nonell L, et al.
Peripheral blood leucocytes show differential expression of tumour progression-related genes in colorectal cancer patients who have a postoperative intra-abdominal infection: a prospective matched cohort study.
Colorectal Dis. 2017; 19(5):O115-O125 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Anastomotic leak is associated with higher rates of recurrence after surgery for colorectal cancer. However, the mechanisms responsible are unknown. We hypothesized that the infection-induced inflammatory response may induce overexpression of tumour progression-related genes in immune cells. The aim was to investigate the effect of postoperative intra-abdominal infection on the gene expression patterns of peripheral blood leucocytes (PBL) after surgery for colorectal cancer.
METHOD: Prospective matched cohort study. Patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer were included. Patients who had anastomotic leak or intra-abdominal abscess were included in the infection group (n = 23) and matched with patients without complications for the control group (n = 23). PBL were isolated from postoperative blood samples. Total RNA was extracted and hybridized to the Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST microarray.
RESULTS: Patients in the infection group displayed 162 upregulated genes and 146 downregulated genes with respect to the control group. Upregulated genes included examples coding for secreted cytokines involved in tumour growth and invasion (S100P, HGF, MMP8, MMP9, PDGFC, IL1R2). Infection also upregulated some proangiogenic genes (CEP55, TRPS1) and downregulated some inhibitors of angiogenesis (MME, ALOX15, CXCL10). Finally, some inhibitors (HP, ORM1, OLFM4, IRAK3) and activators (GNLY, PRF1, FGFBP2) of antitumour immunity were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, suggesting that the inflammatory environment caused by a postoperative infection favours immune evasion mechanisms of the tumour.
CONCLUSION: Analysis of PBL shows differential expression of certain tumour progression-related genes in colorectal cancer patients who have a postoperative intra-abdominal infection, which in turn may promote the growth of residual cancer cells to become recurrent tumours.

Jalkh N, Chouery E, Haidar Z, et al.
Next-generation sequencing in familial breast cancer patients from Lebanon.
BMC Med Genomics. 2017; 10(1):8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Familial breast cancer (BC) represents 5 to 10% of all BC cases. Mutations in two high susceptibility BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes explain 16-40% of familial BC, while other high, moderate and low susceptibility genes explain up to 20% more of BC families. The Lebanese reported prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 deleterious mutations (5.6% and 12.5%) were lower than those reported in the literature.
METHODS: In the presented study, 45 Lebanese patients with a reported family history of BC were tested using Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) technique followed by Sanger sequencing validation.
RESULTS: Nineteen pathogenic mutations were identified in this study. These 19 mutations were found in 13 different genes such as: ABCC12, APC, ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, ERCC6, MSH2, POLH, PRF1, SLX4, STK11 and TP53.
CONCLUSIONS: In this first application of WES on BC in Lebanon, we detected six BRCA1 and BRCA2 deleterious mutations in seven patients, with a total prevalence of 15.5%, a figure that is lower than those reported in the Western literature. The p.C44F mutation in the BRCA1 gene appeared twice in this study, suggesting a founder effect. Importantly, the overall mutation prevalence was equal to 40%, justifying the urgent need to deploy WES for the identification of genetic variants responsible for familial BC in the Lebanese population.

Chow YP, Alias H, Jamal R
Meta-analysis of gene expression in relapsed childhood B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):120 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Relapsed pediatric B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) remains as the leading cause of cancer death among children. Other than stem cell transplantation and intensified chemotherapy, no other improved treatment strategies have been approved clinically. Gene expression profiling represents a powerful approach to identify potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets for various diseases including leukemias. However, inadequate sample size in many individual experiments has failed to provide adequate study power to yield translatable findings. With the hope of getting new insights into the biological mechanisms underpinning relapsed ALL and identifying more promising biomarkers or therapeutic targets, we conducted a meta-analysis of gene expression studies involving ALL from 3 separate studies.
METHOD: By using the keywords "acute lymphoblastic leukemia", and "microarray", a total of 280 and 275 microarray datasets were found listed in Gene Expression Omnibus database GEO and ArrayExpress database respectively. Further manual inspection found that only three studies (GSE18497, GSE28460, GSE3910) were focused on gene expression profiling of paired diagnosis-relapsed pediatric B-ALL. These three datasets which comprised of a total of 108 matched diagnosis-relapsed pediatric B-ALL samples were then included for this meta-analysis using RankProd approach.
RESULTS: Our analysis identified a total of 1795 upregulated probes which corresponded to 1527 genes (pfp < 0.01; FC > 1), and 1493 downregulated probes which corresponded to 1214 genes (pfp < 0.01; FC < 1) respectively. S100A8 appeared as the top most overexpressed gene (pfp < 0.01, FC = 1.8) and is a potential target for further validation. Based on gene ontology biological process annotation, the upregulated genes were most enriched in cell cycle processes (enrichment score = 15.3), whilst the downregulated genes were clustered in transcription regulation (enrichment score = 12.6). Elevated expression of cell cycle regulators (e.g kinesins, AURKA, CDKs) was the key genetic defect implicated in relapsed ALL, and serve as attractive targets for therapeutic intervention.
CONCLUSION: We identified S100A8 as the most overexpressed gene, and the cell cycle pathway as the most promising biomarker and therapeutic target for relapsed childhood B-ALL. The validity of the results warrants further investigation.

Liu Y, Wu C, Zhu T, Sun W
LMO2 Enhances Lamellipodia/Filopodia Formation in Basal-Type Breast Cancer Cells by Mediating ARP3-Profilin1 Interaction.
Med Sci Monit. 2017; 23:695-703 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND The human LMO2 gene was first cloned from an acute T lymphocytic leukemia patient; it is primarily expressed in hematopoietic and vascular endothelial systems, and functions as a pivotal transcriptional regulator during embryonic hematopoiesis and angiogenesis. However, some recent reports indicated that LMO2 is widely expressed in many tissues and tumors, predominantly in cytoplasm, and revealed complicated functions on tumor behaviors in a variety of cancer types. As an adaptor molecule, binding partners and function details of LMO2 in these solid tumors need to be further investigated. MATERIAL AND METHODS In this study, we used yeast two-hybrid method to screen potential LMO2 interacting partners, MBP-pulldown, and co-immunoprecipitation assay to confirm protein-protein interactions, and confocal microscopy to reveal the subcellular localization of relevant proteins and actin cytoskeleton changes in relevant cells. RESULTS We found that ARP3 and profilin1 were 2 binding partners of LMO2, primarily in cytoplasm. LMO2. Functionally, LMO2 mediated the assembly of a complex including ARP3, profilin1, and actin monomer, increased actin monomer binding to profilin1, and promoted lamellipodia/filopodia formation in basal-type breast cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS Our data indicate a novel functional mechanism of LMO2 in facilitating the delivery of actin monomers to the branched microfilament and increasing lamellipodia/filopodia formation in basal-type breast cancer cells, suggesting a cancer-promoting role of LMO2 in a subtype-dependent manner and its potential as a subtype-specific biomarker for clinical treatment of breast cancers.

Zafar S, Behrens C, Dihazi H, et al.
Cellular prion protein mediates early apoptotic proteome alternation and phospho-modification in human neuroblastoma cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(1):e2557 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Anti-apoptotic properties of physiological and elevated levels of the cellular prion protein (PrP

Adami GR, O'Callaghan TN, Kolokythas A, et al.
A loss of profilin-1 in late-stage oral squamous cell carcinoma.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2017; 46(7):489-495 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The genes for PFN1 and TMSB4 are both highly expressed in oral tissue and both encode actin monomer binding proteins thought to play a role in cell motility and possibly other crucial parts of tumor progression.
METHODS: Oral brush cytology of epithelium from oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was used to measure PFN1 and TMSB4 mRNA in OSCC, while immunohistochemical analysis of tissue was used to check protein levels.
RESULTS: High but variable expression of mRNAs encoding these two proteins was observed suggesting they may contribute to tumor characteristics in a subset of OSCCs. Both proteins were highly expressed in normal appearing basal epithelium, in the cytoplasm, and perinuclear area, while expression was minimal in upper epithelial layers. In OSCCs, expression of these proteins varied. In tumors classified as later stage, based on size and/or lymph node involvement, PFN1 levels were lower in tumor epithelium. A control gene, KRT13, showed expression in normal differentiated basal and suprabasal oral mucosa epithelial cells and as reported was lost in OSCC cells.
CONCLUSION: Loss of PFN1 in tumor cells has been associated with lymph node invasion and metastasis in other tumor types, strengthening the argument that the protein has the potential to be a tumor suppressor in late-stage OSCC.

Connor AA, Denroche RE, Jang GH, et al.
Association of Distinct Mutational Signatures With Correlates of Increased Immune Activity in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.
JAMA Oncol. 2017; 3(6):774-783 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Importance: Outcomes for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remain poor. Advances in next-generation sequencing provide a route to therapeutic approaches, and integrating DNA and RNA analysis with clinicopathologic data may be a crucial step toward personalized treatment strategies for this disease.
Objective: To classify PDAC according to distinct mutational processes, and explore their clinical significance.
Design, Setting, and Participants: We performed a retrospective cohort study of resected PDAC, using cases collected between 2008 and 2015 as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. The discovery cohort comprised 160 PDAC cases from 154 patients (148 primary; 12 metastases) that underwent tumor enrichment prior to whole-genome and RNA sequencing. The replication cohort comprised 95 primary PDAC cases that underwent whole-genome sequencing and expression microarray on bulk biospecimens.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Somatic mutations accumulate from sequence-specific processes creating signatures detectable by DNA sequencing. Using nonnegative matrix factorization, we measured the contribution of each signature to carcinogenesis, and used hierarchical clustering to subtype each cohort. We examined expression of antitumor immunity genes across subtypes to uncover biomarkers predictive of response to systemic therapies.
Results: The discovery cohort was 53% male (n = 79) and had a median age of 67 (interquartile range, 58-74) years. The replication cohort was 50% male (n = 48) and had a median age of 68 (interquartile range, 60-75) years. Five predominant mutational subtypes were identified that clustered PDAC into 4 major subtypes: age related, double-strand break repair, mismatch repair, and 1 with unknown etiology (signature 8). These were replicated and validated. Signatures were faithfully propagated from primaries to matched metastases, implying their stability during carcinogenesis. Twelve of 27 (45%) double-strand break repair cases lacked germline or somatic events in canonical homologous recombination genes-BRCA1, BRCA2, or PALB2. Double-strand break repair and mismatch repair subtypes were associated with increased expression of antitumor immunity, including activation of CD8-positive T lymphocytes (GZMA and PRF1) and overexpression of regulatory molecules (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4, programmed cell death 1, and indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1), corresponding to higher frequency of somatic mutations and tumor-specific neoantigens.
Conclusions and Relevance: Signature-based subtyping may guide personalized therapy of PDAC in the context of biomarker-driven prospective trials.

Frantzi M, Klimou Z, Makridakis M, et al.
Silencing of Profilin-1 suppresses cell adhesion and tumor growth via predicted alterations in integrin and Ca2+ signaling in T24M-based bladder cancer models.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(43):70750-70768 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
Bladder cancer (BC) is the second most common malignancy of the genitourinary system, characterized by the highest recurrence rate of all cancers. Treatment options are limited; thus a thorough understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is needed to guide the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. Profilins are actin binding proteins with attributed pleiotropic functions to cytoskeletal remodeling, cell adhesion, motility, even transcriptional regulation, not fully characterized yet. Earlier studies from our laboratory revealed that decreased tissue levels of Profilin-1 (PFN1) are correlated with BC progression to muscle invasive disease. Herein, we describe a comprehensive analysis of PFN1 silencing via shRNA, in vitro (by employing T24M cells) and in vivo [(with T24M xenografts in non-obese diabetic severe combined immunodeficient mice (NOD/SCID) mice]. A combination of phenotypic and molecular assays, including migration, proliferation, adhesion assays, flow cytometry and total mRNA sequencing, as well as immunohistochemistry for investigation of selected findings in human specimens were applied. A decrease in BC cell adhesion and tumor growth in vivo following PFN downregulation are observed, likely associated with the concomitant downregulation of Fibronectin receptor, Endothelin-1, and Actin polymerization. A decrease in the levels of multiple key members of the non-canonical Wnt/Ca2+ signaling pathway is also detected following PFN1 suppression, providing the groundwork for future studies, addressing the specific role of PFN1 in Ca2+ signaling, particularly in the muscle invasive disease.

Leonard B, Starrett GJ, Maurer MJ, et al.
APOBEC3G Expression Correlates with T-Cell Infiltration and Improved Clinical Outcomes in High-grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(18):4746-55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/10/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: APOBEC3 DNA cytosine deaminase family members normally defend against viruses and transposons. However, deregulated APOBEC3 activity causes mutations in cancer. Because of broad expression profiles and varying mixtures of normal and cancer cells in tumors, including immune cell infiltration, it is difficult to determine where different APOBEC3s are expressed. Here, we ask whether correlations exist between APOBEC3 expression and T-cell infiltration in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), and assess whether these correlations have prognostic value.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Transcripts for APOBEC3G, APOBEC3B, and the T-cell markers, CD3D, CD4, CD8A, GZMB, PRF1, and RNF128 were quantified by RT-qPCR for a cohort of 354 HGSOC patients. Expression values were correlated with each other and clinical parameters. Two additional cohorts were used to extend HGSOC clinical results. Immunoimaging was used to colocalize APOBEC3G and the T-cell marker CD3. TCGA data extended expression analyses to additional cancer types.
RESULTS: A surprising positive correlation was found for expression of APOBEC3G and several T cell genes in HGSOC. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescent imaging showed protein colocalization in tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes. High APOBEC3G expression correlated with improved outcomes in multiple HGSOC cohorts. TCGA data analyses revealed that expression of APOBEC3D and APOBEC3H also correlates with CD3D across multiple cancer types.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results identify APOBEC3G as a new candidate biomarker for tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes and favorable prognoses for HGSOC. Our data also highlight the complexity of the tumor environment with respect to differential APOBEC family gene expression in both tumor and surrounding normal cell types. Clin Cancer Res; 22(18); 4746-55. ©2016 AACR.

Matsushita H, Sato Y, Karasaki T, et al.
Neoantigen Load, Antigen Presentation Machinery, and Immune Signatures Determine Prognosis in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2016; 4(5):463-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumors commonly harbor multiple genetic alterations, some of which initiate tumorigenesis. Among these, some tumor-specific somatic mutations resulting in mutated protein have the potential to induce antitumor immune responses. To examine the relevance of the latter to immune responses in the tumor and to patient outcomes, we used datasets of whole-exome and RNA sequencing from 97 clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients to identify neoepitopes predicted to be presented by each patient's autologous HLA molecules. We found that the number of nonsilent or missense mutations did not correlate with patient prognosis. However, combining the number of HLA-restricted neoepitopes with the cell surface expression of HLA or β2-microglobulin(β2M) revealed that an A-neo(hi)/HLA-A(hi) or ABC-neo(hi)/β2M(hi) phenotype correlated with better clinical outcomes. Higher expression of immune-related genes from CD8 T cells and their effector molecules [CD8A, perforin (PRF1) and granzyme A (GZMA)], however, did not correlate with prognosis. This may have been due to the observed correlation of these genes with the expression of other genes that were associated with immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment (CTLA-4, PD-1, LAG-3, PD-L1, PD-L2, IDO1, and IL10). This suggested that abundant neoepitopes associated with greater antitumor effector immune responses were counterbalanced by a strongly immunosuppressive microenvironment. Therefore, immunosuppressive molecules should be considered high-priority targets for modulating immune responses in patients with ccRCC. Blockade of these molecular pathways could be combined with immunotherapies targeting neoantigens to achieve synergistic antitumor activity. Cancer Immunol Res; 4(5); 463-71. ©2016 AACR.

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