Gene Summary

Gene:PTHLH; parathyroid hormone like hormone
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the parathyroid hormone family. This hormone, via its receptor, PTHR1, regulates endochondral bone development and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during the formation of the mammary glands and teeth. It is responsible for most cases of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy, and mutations in this gene are associated with brachydactyly type E2 (BDE2). Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene. There is also evidence for alternative translation initiation from non-AUG (CUG and GUG) start sites, downstream of the initiator AUG codon, resulting in nuclear forms of this hormone. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2013]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:parathyroid hormone-related protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (30)

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.

  • Lung Cancer
  • Base Sequence
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Cancer RNA
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Vitamin D
  • Bone Cancer
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Species Specificity
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Gene Expression
  • Messenger RNA
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Promoter Regions
  • Chromosome 12
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hypercalcemia
  • p53 Protein
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: PTHLH (cancer-related)

Goltzman D
Nonparathyroid Hypercalcemia.
Front Horm Res. 2019; 51:77-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary hyperparathyroidism is among the most common causes of hypercalcemia. However, ingestion of medication, including hydrochlorathiazide, lithium, and foscarnet, excessive vitamin A ingestion, endocrinopathies such as hyperthyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, and acromegaly, abnormal nutrient intake such as parenteral nutrition in preterm infants and milk-alkali syndrome, and prolonged immobilization have all been associated with hypercalcemia. The most common cause of nonparathyroid hypercalcemia is neoplasia. Hypercalcemia is generally due to the secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH)-related peptide (PTHrP) by a wide variety of nonmetastatic solid tumors, including squamous cell tumors but also hematologic tumors. PTHrP, although encoded by a distinct gene, shares amino acid sequence homology with PTH in the amino-terminal domain, which allows it to cross-react at a common G protein receptor, the type 1 PTH/PTHrP receptor (PTHR1), resulting in similar skeletal effects and effects on calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Increased PTHrP action with hypercalcemia may be seen in the benign disease Jansen's metaphyseal chondrodysplasia due to a gain-of-function mutation in PTHR1. Another humoral factor, 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] may be produced by lymphomas, but also by benign granulomatous disorders and may also cause hypercalcemia when its metabolism is genetically impaired. Vitamin D intoxication may cause hypercalcemia due to overproduction of the metabolite, 25 hydroxyvitamin D, apparently in the absence of conversion to 1,25(OH)2D. Malignancies metastatic to bone or arising in bone (such as multiple myeloma) may produce a variety of growth factors and cytokines, in addition to PTHrP, which can contribute to tumor growth as well as osteolysis and hypercalcemia.

Hsu YL, Chen YJ, Chang WA, et al.
Interaction between Tumor-Associated Dendritic Cells and Colon Cancer Cells Contributes to Tumor Progression via CXCL1.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(8) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Crosstalk of a tumor with its microenvironment is a critical factor contributing to cancer development. This study investigates the soluble factors released by tumor-associated dendritic cells (TADCs) responsible for increasing cancer stem cell (CSC) properties, cell mobility, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Dendritic cells (DCs) of colon cancer patients were collected for phenotype and CXCL1 expression by flow cytometry and Luminex assays. The transcriptome of CXCL1-treated cancer cells was established by next generation sequencing. Inflammatory chemokine CXCL1, present in large amounts in DCs isolated from colon cancer patients, and SW620-conditioned TADCs, enhance CSC characteristics in cancer, supported by enhanced anchorage-independent growth, CD133 expression and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity. Additionally, CXCL1 increases the metastatic ability of a cancer by enhancing cell migration, matrix metalloproteinase-7 expression and EMT. The enhanced CXCL1 expression in DCs is also noted in mice transplanted with colon cancer cells. Transcriptome analysis of CXCL1-treated SW620 cells indicates that CXCL1 increases potential oncogene expression in colon cancer, including

Takemori T, Kawamoto T, Ueha T, et al.
Transcutaneous carbon dioxide application suppresses bone destruction caused by breast cancer metastasis.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(4):2079-2087 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia plays a significant role in cancer progression, including metastatic bone tumors. We previously reported that transcutaneous carbon dioxide (CO2) application could decrease tumor progression through the improvement of intratumor hypoxia. Therefore, we hypothesized that decreased hypoxia using transcutaneous CO2 could suppress progressive bone destruction in cancer metastasis. In the present study, we examined the effects of transcutaneous CO2 application on metastatic bone destruction using an animal model. The human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 was cultured in vitro under three different oxygen conditions, and the effect of altered oxygen conditions on the expression of osteoclast-differentiation and osteolytic factors was assessed. An in vivo bone metastatic model of human breast cancer was created by intramedullary implantation of MDA-MB-231 cells into the tibia of nude mice, and treatment with 100% CO2 or a control was performed twice weekly for two weeks. Bone volume of the treated tibia was evaluated by micro-computed tomography (µCT), and following treatment, histological evaluation was performed by hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemical staining for hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, osteoclast-differentiation and osteolytic factors, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining for osteoclast activity. In vitro experiments revealed that the mRNA expression of RANKL, PTHrP and IL-8 was significantly increased under hypoxic conditions and was subsequently reduced by reoxygenation. In vivo results by µCT revealed that bone destruction was suppressed by transcutaneous CO2, and that the expression of osteoclast-differentiation and osteolytic factors, as well as HIF-1α, was decreased in CO2-treated tumor tissues. In addition, multinucleated TRAP-positive osteoclasts were significantly decreased in CO2-treated tumor tissues. Hypoxic conditions promoted bone destruction in breast cancer metastasis, and reversal of hypoxia by transcutaneous CO2 application significantly inhibited metastatic bone destruction along with decreased osteoclast activity. The findings in this study strongly indicated that transcutaneous CO2 application could be a novel therapeutic strategy for treating metastatic bone destruction.

Campos-Verdes LM, Costa-Silva DR, da Silva-Sampaio JP, et al.
Review of Polymorphism of the Calcium-Sensing Receptor Gene and Breast Cancer Risk.
Cancer Invest. 2018; 36(2):1-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polymorphism of the calcium-sensing receptor gene (CaSR or CaR) has been associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. This receptor plays an important role in calcium homeostasis, and has also been detected in several tissues that are unrelated to calcium metabolism, such as the skin, brain, and breast. The calcium-sensing receptor on cellular level, it regulates cell differentiation, proliferation, cell death, and gene expression. In breast cancer cells, CaSR seems to stimulate secretion of the parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which stimulates cellular proliferation. Likewise, some studies have supported not only an association between calcium receptor gene polymorphism and breast cancer risk, but also a higher aggressiveness and unfavorable outcomes in breast cancer, which led us to make a survey in Pubmed on the subject in the last 10 years. Thus, in the literature there is a paucity of studies on the subject and the aim of this review was to show the role of calcium-sensing receptor and its association with breast cancer risk.

de la Escosura-Muñiz A, Espinoza-Castañeda M, Chamorro-García A, et al.
In situ monitoring of PTHLH secretion in neuroblastoma cells cultured onto nanoporous membranes.
Biosens Bioelectron. 2018; 107:62-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this work, we propose for the first time the use of anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanoporous membranes for in situ monitoring of parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH) secretion in cultured human cells. The biosensing system is based on the nanochannels blockage upon immunocomplex formation, which is electrically monitored through the voltammetric oxidation of Prussian blue nanoparticles (PBNPs). Models evaluated include a neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-AS) and immortalized keratinocytes (HaCaT) as a control of high PTHLH production. The effect of total number of seeded cells and incubation time on the secreted PTHLH levels is assessed, finding that secreted PTHLH levels range from approximately 60 to 400 ng/mL. Moreover, our methodology is also applied to analyse PTHLH production following PTHLH gene knockdown upon transient cell transfection with a specific silencing RNA (siRNA). Given that inhibition of PTHLH secretion reduces cell proliferation, survival and invasiveness in a number of tumors, our system provides a powerful tool for the preclinical evaluation of therapies that regulate PTHLH production. This nanoporous membrane - based sensing technology might be useful to monitor the active secretion of other proteins as well, thus contributing to characterize their regulation and function.

Wang HJ, Wang L, Song SS, et al.
Decreased expression of PTH1R is a poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Biomark. 2018; 21(3):723-730 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Hypercalcemia is a potentially fatal and not rare complication of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and its underlying mechanism remains unclear. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the most important regulator of the concentrations of calcium and phosphate in blood; parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) was the most frequent cause of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy; parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (PTH1R) is the common receptor for PTH and PTHrP. The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of PTH, PTHrP, and PTH1R in HCC tissues, and their relationship with clinical pathological characters in HCC.
METHODS: First, a meta-analysis based on online Oncomine Expression Array database was conducted to compare the different mRNA expression of PTH1R, PTH and PTHrP between hepatocellular carcinoma and normal tissues. Then, the protein expression level of differentially expressed gene was examined by immunohistochemistry staining in 223 HCC tissues and 102 non-tumorous liver tissues controls. The relationship between the protein expression and clinicopathological parameters was analyzed by χ2 test, and overall survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
RESULTS: PTH1R mRNA expression was significantly lower in HCC tissues compared with normal tissues, while the expression of PTH and PTHrP showed no significant difference between HCC tissues and normal tissues. High PTH1R protein expression was found in 90/102 cases of adjacent non-tumorous liver tissues, and in 91 of 223 cases of HCC tissues. PTH1R expression was significantly related to tumor size, Edmondson Grade, AFP, and overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: PTH1R may be the major cause of hypercalcemia in HCC, and the decreased PTH1R expression was a poor prognosis in HCC.

Tang J, Liao Y, He S, et al.
Autocrine parathyroid hormone-like hormone promotes intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cell proliferation via increased ERK/JNK-ATF2-cyclinD1 signaling.
J Transl Med. 2017; 15(1):238 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive tumor with a high fatality rate. It was recently found that parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH) was frequently overexpressed in ICC compared with non-tumor tissue. This study aimed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of PTHLH in ICC development.
METHODS: The CCK-8 assay, colony formation assays, flow cytometry and a xenograft model were used to examine the role of PTHLH in ICC cells proliferation. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and western blot assays were used to detect target proteins. Luciferase reporter, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and DNA pull-down assays were used to verify the transcription regulation of activating transcription factor-2 (ATF2).
RESULTS: PTHLH was significantly upregulated in ICC compared with adjacent and normal tissues. Upregulation of PTHLH indicated a poor pathological differentiation and intrahepatic metastasis. Functional study demonstrated that PTHLH silencing markedly suppressed ICC cells growth, while specific overexpression of PTHLH has the opposite effect. Mechanistically, secreted PTHLH could promote ICC cell growth by activating extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathways, and subsequently upregulated ATF2 and cyclinD1 expression. Further study found that the promoter activity of PTHLH were negatively regulated by ATF2, indicating that a negative feedback loop exists.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that the ICC-secreted PTHLH plays a characteristic growth-promoting role through activating the canonical ERK/JNK-ATF2-cyclinD1 signaling pathways in ICC development. We identified a negative feedback loop formed by ATF2 and PTHLH. In this study, we explored the therapeutic implication for ICC patients.

Lu M, Kjellin H, Fotouhi O, et al.
Molecular profiles of oxyphilic and chief cell parathyroid adenoma.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018; 470:84-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Parathyroid adenomas may be composed of chief cells (conventional or water-clear), oxyphilic cells or a mixture of both cells. The molecular background is rarely studied.
OBJECTIVE: To molecularly characterize parathyroid adenomas of different cell type composition.
DESIGN: Chief and oxyphilic cell adenomas were compared in a cohort of 664 sporadic cases. Extensive analyses of parathyroid tissues were performed in subgroup. Gene expressions of known parathyroid-related genes were quantified by qRT-PCR. Protein expression profiles determined by liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were compared between each type of parathyroid adenomas. Selected proteins were analysed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Patients with oxyphilic cell adenoma were found to be older at the time of operation than chief cell adenoma cases but did not differ in gender, serum calcium or tumor weight. The gene expression of CASR, VDR, FGFR1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, PTHLH, GCM2, NDUFA13, CDKN1B, MEN1 and CNND1 did not differ between the groups. VDR protein levels were weaker in oxyphilic adenomas. The proteomic studies identified a set of novel dysregulated proteins of interest such as nuclear receptor subfamily 2 group C member 2 (TR4), LIM domain only protein 3 (LMO3) and calcium-binding protein B (S100B). LMO3 and S100B showed higher expression in oxyphilic adenoma and may be involve in parathyroid tumorgenesis through the p53 pathway. TR4 showed different subcellular localisation between adenoma and normal rim.
CONCLUSION: Chief and oxyphilic cell parathyroid adenomas have partly overlapping but also distinct molecular profiles. The calmodulin-eEF2K, TR4 and p53 pathways may be involved in the tumor development.

Al Menhali A, Keeley TM, Demitrack ES, Samuelson LC
Gastrin induces parathyroid hormone-like hormone expression in gastric parietal cells.
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2017; 312(6):G649-G657 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Parietal cells play a fundamental role in stomach maintenance, not only by creating a pathogen-free environment through the production of gastric acid, but also by secreting growth factors important for homeostasis of the gastric epithelium. The gastrointestinal hormone gastrin is known to be a central regulator of both parietal cell function and gastric epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation. Our previous gene expression profiling studies of mouse stomach identified parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH) as a potential gastrin-regulated gastric growth factor. Although PTHLH is commonly overexpressed in gastric tumors, its normal expression, function, and regulation in the stomach are poorly understood. In this study we used pharmacologic and genetic mouse models as well as human gastric cancer cell lines to determine the cellular localization and regulation of this growth factor by the hormone gastrin. Analysis of

Calvo N, Carriere P, Martin MJ, Gentili C
RSK activation via ERK modulates human colon cancer cells response to PTHrP.
J Mol Endocrinol. 2017; 59(1):13-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) is associated with several human cancers such as colon carcinoma. This disease is a complex multistep process that involves enhanced cell cycle progression and migration. Recently we obtained evidence that in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco2 cells, exogenous PTHrP increases the proliferation and positively modulates cell cycle progression via ERK1/2, p38 MAPK and PI3K. The purpose of this study was to explore if the serine/threonine kinase RSK, which is involved in the progress of many cancers and it is emerging as a potential therapeutic target, mediates PTHrP effects on cancer colon cells. Western blot analysis revealed that PTHrP increases RSK phosphorylation via ERK1/2 signaling pathway but not through p38 MAPK. By performing subcellular fractionation, we found that the peptide also induces the nuclear localization of activated RSK, where many of its substrates are located. RSK participates in cell proliferation, in the upregulation of cyclin D1 and CDK6 and in the downregulation of p53 induced by PTHrP. Wound healing and transwell filter assays revealed that cell migration increased after PTHrP treatment. In addition, the hormone increases the protein expression of the focal adhesion kinase FAK, a regulator of cell motility. We observed that PTHrP induces cell migration and modulates FAK protein expression through ERK/RSK signaling pathway but not via p38 MAPK pathway. Finally,

Hastings RH, Montgrain PR, Quintana RA, et al.
Lung carcinoma progression and survival versus amino- and carboxyl-parathyroid hormone-related protein expression.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(8):1395-1407 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Expression of the carboxyl PTHrP region of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is a positive prognostic indicator in women with lung cancer, but amino PTHrP is a negative indicator in other lung cancer patients. This project investigated whether PTHrP could be expressed as predominantly amino PTHrP or carboxyl PTHrP in individual lung carcinomas. It also assessed domain-specific effects on cancer progression and patient survival.
METHODS: PTHrP immunoreactivities were analyzed versus survival in a human lung cancer tissue microarray (TMA). Growth was compared in athymic mice for isogenic lung carcinoma xenografts differing in expression of amino and carboxyl PTHrP domains.
RESULTS: In the TMA, 33 of 99 patient tumors expressed only one PTHrP domain, while 54 expressed both. By Cox regression, the hazard ratio for cancer-specific mortality (95% confidence interval) was 2.6 (1.28-5.44) for amino PTHrP (P = 0.008) and 0.6 (0-2.58) for carboxyl PTHrP (P = 0.092). Xenografts of H358 lung adenocarcinoma cells that overexpressed amino PTHrP grew twice as fast as isogenic low PTHrP tumors in athymic mice, but growth of tumors expressing amino plus carboxyl PTHrP was not significantly different than growth of the control tumors. In summary, the presence of amino PTHrP signifies worse prognosis in lung cancer patients. In mouse xenografts, this effect was abrogated if carboxyl PTHrP was also present.
CONCLUSION: Amino PTHrP and carboxyl PTHrP can vary independently in different lung carcinomas. Carboxyl PTHrP may temper the stimulatory effect of amino PTHrP on cancer progression.

Chang WM, Lin YF, Su CY, et al.
Parathyroid Hormone-Like Hormone is a Poor Prognosis Marker of Head and Neck Cancer and Promotes Cell Growth via RUNX2 Regulation.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:41131 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Parathyroid Hormone-Like Hormone (PTHLH) is an autocrine/paracrine ligand that is up-regulated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the cellular function and regulatory mechanism in HNSCC remains obscure. We investigated the clinical significance of PTHLH in HNSCC patients, and verified the role of RUNX2/PTHLH axis, which is stimulated HNSCC cell growth. In patients, PTHLH is a poor prognosis marker. PTHLH expression lead to increasing the cell proliferation potential through an autocrine/paracrine role and elevating blood calcium level in Nod-SCID mice. In public HNSCC microarray cohorts, PTHLH is found to be co-expressed with RUNX2. Physiologically, PTHLH is regulated by RUNX2 and also acting as key calcium regulator. However, elevations of calcium concentration also increased the RUNX2 expression. PTHLH, calcium, and RUNX2 form a positive feedback loop in HNSCC. Furthermore, ectopic RUNX2 expression also increased PTHLH expression and promoted proliferation potential through PTHLH expression. Using cDNA microarray analysis, we found PTHLH also stimulated expression of cell cycle regulators, namely CCNA2, CCNE2, and CDC25A in HNSCC cells, and these genes are also up-regulated in HNSCC patients. In summary, our results reveal that PTHLH expression is a poor prognosis marker in HNSCC patients, and RUNX2-PTHLH axis contributes to HNSCC tumor growth.

Park J, Kim HJ, Kim KR, et al.
Loss of RUNX3 expression inhibits bone invasion of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(6):9079-9092 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
High recurrence and lower survival rates in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) are associated with its bone invasion. We identified the oncogenic role of RUNX3 during bone invasion by OSCC. Tumor growth and the generation of osteolytic lesions were significantly inhibited in mice that were subcutaneously inoculated with RUNX3-knockdown human OSCC cells. RUNX3 knockdown enhanced TGF-β-induced growth arrest and inhibited OSCC cell migration and invasion in the absence or presence of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), a major growth factor abundant in the bone microenvironment. RUNX3 knockdown induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 and G2 phases and promoted G2 arrest by TGF-β in Ca9.22 OSCC cells. RUNX3 knockdown also inhibited both the basal and TGF-β-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by increasing E-cadherin expression and suppressing the nuclear translocation of β-catenin. In addition, the expression and TGF-β-mediated induction of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), one of key osteolytic factors, was blocked in RUNX3-knockdown OSCC cells. Furthermore, treating human osteoblastic cells with conditioned medium derived from RUNX3-knockdown OSCC cells reduced the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin ratio compared with treatment with conditioned medium from RUNX3-expressing cells. These findings indicate that RUNX3 expression in OSCC cells contributes to their bone invasion and the resulting osteolysis by inducing their malignant behaviors and production of osteolytic factors. RUNX3 alone or in combination with TGF-β and PTHrP may be a useful predictive biomarker and therapeutic target for bone invasion by oral cancer.

González Á, García de Durango C, Alonso V, et al.
Distinct Osteomimetic Response of Androgen-Dependent and Independent Human Prostate Cancer Cells to Mechanical Action of Fluid Flow: Prometastatic Implications.
Prostate. 2017; 77(3):321-333 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Prostate cancer frequently expresses an osteomimetic phenotype, but it is unclear how it is regulated and what biological and clinical implications it confers. Because mechanical forces physiologically regulate bone-remodeling activity in osteocytes, we hypothesized that mechanical action of fluid flow (MAFF) at the cancer microenvironment may similarly foster prostate cancer cell osteomimicry.
RESULTS: We showed that in vitro MAFF on androgen-dependent (LNCap) and androgen-independent (PC3) prostate cancer cells remarkably increased OPG, VEGF, RunX2, PTH1R, and PTHrP gene expression in both cell lines irrespective of their androgen dependency. MAFF also altered the cytokine secretion pattern of prostate cancer cells, including Ang2, SCF, and TNFα increase with TRAIL decrease in the supernatant of both cell lines; preferential increase of Leptin and PDGF-BB in LnCap and of VEGF, IL-8, and G-CSF in PC3; and exclusive increase of FGFβ, MIF, and PECAM-1 with HGF decrease in LnCap, and of TGBβ1, HGF, M-CSF, CXCL1, and CCL7 with NGF decrease in PC3. Murine MLO-Y4 osteocyte-conditioned medium (CM) abrogated M-CSF, G-CSG, IL-8, TNFα, and FGFβ secretion-stimulating activity of mechanical stimulation on PC3 cells, and did the opposite effect on LnCap cells. However, MAFF fostered osteomimetic gene expression response of PC3 cells, but not of LnCap cells, to mechanically stimulated osteocyte-CM. Moreover, it abrogated TNFα and IL-8 secretion inhibitory effect of osteocyte-CM on mechanically stimulated PC3 cells and G-CSF, TNFα, and FGFβ-stimulating effect on mechanically stimulated LnCap cells.
CONCLUSIONS: MAFF activated osteoblast-like phenotype of prostate cancer cells and altered their responses to osteocyte soluble factors. It also induced osteocyte production of osteomimetic gene expression- and cytokine secretion-stimulating factors for prostate cancer cells, particularly, when they were mechanically stimulated. Importantly, MAFF induced a prometastatic response in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells, suggesting the interest of mechanical stimulation-dependent transcription and secretion patterns as diagnostic biomarkers, and as therapeutic targets for the screening of bone-metastasizing phenotype inhibitors upregulated during prostate cancer cell response to MAFF at the cancer microenvironment. Prostate 77:321-333, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Taipaleenmäki H, Farina NH, van Wijnen AJ, et al.
Antagonizing miR-218-5p attenuates Wnt signaling and reduces metastatic bone disease of triple negative breast cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(48):79032-79046 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Wnt signaling is implicated in bone formation and activated in breast cancer cells promoting primary and metastatic tumor growth. A compelling question is whether osteogenic miRNAs that increase Wnt activity for bone formation are aberrantly expressed in breast tumor cells to support metastatic bone disease. Here we report that miR-218-5p is highly expressed in bone metastases from breast cancer patients, but is not detected in normal mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, inhibition of miR-218-5p impaired the growth of bone metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells in the bone microenvironment in vivo. These findings indicate a positive role for miR-218-5p in bone metastasis. Bioinformatic and biochemical analyses revealed a positive correlation between aberrant miR-218-5p expression and activation of Wnt signaling in breast cancer cells. Mechanistically, miR-218-5p targets the Wnt inhibitors Sclerostin (SOST) and sFRP-2, which highly enhances Wnt signaling. In contrast, delivery of antimiR-218-5p decreased Wnt activity and the expression of metastasis-related genes, including bone sialoprotein (BSP/IBSP), osteopontin (OPN/SPP1) and CXCR-4, implicating a Wnt/miR-218-5p regulatory network in bone metastatic breast cancer. Furthermore, miR-218-5p also mediates the Wnt-dependent up-regulation of PTHrP, a key cytokine promoting cancer-induced osteolysis. Antagonizing miR-218-5p reduced the expression of PTHrP and Rankl, inhibited osteoclast differentiation in vitro and in vivo, and prevented the development of osteolytic lesions in a preclinical metastasis model. We conclude that pathological elevation of miR-218-5p in breast cancer cells activates Wnt signaling to enhance metastatic properties of breast cancer cells and cancer-induced osteolytic disease, suggesting that miR-218-5p could be an attractive therapeutic target for preventing disease progression.

Cannonier SA, Gonzales CB, Ely K, et al.
Hedgehog and TGFβ signaling converge on Gli2 to control bony invasion and bone destruction in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(46):76062-76075 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. OSCC invasion into the lymph nodes and mandible correlates with increased rates of recurrence and lower overall survival. Tumors that infiltrate mandibular bone proliferate rapidly and induce bone destruction. While survival rates have increased 12% over the last 20 years, this improvement is attributed to general advances in prevention, earlier detection, and updated treatments. Additionally, despite decades of research, the molecular mechanisms of OSCC invasion into the mandible are not well understood. Parathyroid Hormone-related Protein (PTHrP), has been shown to be essential for mandibular invasion in OSCC animal models, and our previous studies demonstrate that the transcription factor Gli2 increases PTHrP expression in tumor metastasis to bone. In OSCC, we investigated regulators of Gli2, including Hedgehog, TGFβ, and Wnt signaling to elucidate how PTHrP expression is controlled. Here we show that canonical Hedgehog and TGFβ signaling cooperate to increase PTHrP expression and mandibular invasion in a Gli2-dependent manner. Additionally, in an orthotopic model of mandibular invasion, inhibition of Gli2 using shRNA resulted in a significant decrease of both PTHrP expression and bony invasion. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that multiple signaling pathways converge on Gli2 to mediate PTHrP expression and bony invasion, highlighting Gli2 as a therapeutic target to prevent bony invasion in OSCC.

Zeng C, Guo X, Long J, et al.
Identification of independent association signals and putative functional variants for breast cancer risk through fine-scale mapping of the 12p11 locus.
Breast Cancer Res. 2016; 18(1):64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Multiple recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs10771399, at 12p11 that is associated with breast cancer risk.
METHOD: We performed a fine-scale mapping study of a 700 kb region including 441 genotyped and more than 1300 imputed genetic variants in 48,155 cases and 43,612 controls of European descent, 6269 cases and 6624 controls of East Asian descent and 1116 cases and 932 controls of African descent in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC; ), and in 15,252 BRCA1 mutation carriers in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Stepwise regression analyses were performed to identify independent association signals. Data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project (ENCODE) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used for functional annotation.
RESULTS: Analysis of data from European descendants found evidence for four independent association signals at 12p11, represented by rs7297051 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.09, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.06-1.12; P = 3 × 10(-9)), rs805510 (OR = 1.08, 95 % CI = 1.04-1.12, P = 2 × 10(-5)), and rs1871152 (OR = 1.04, 95 % CI = 1.02-1.06; P = 2 × 10(-4)) identified in the general populations, and rs113824616 (P = 7 × 10(-5)) identified in the meta-analysis of BCAC ER-negative cases and BRCA1 mutation carriers. SNPs rs7297051, rs805510 and rs113824616 were also associated with breast cancer risk at P < 0.05 in East Asians, but none of the associations were statistically significant in African descendants. Multiple candidate functional variants are located in putative enhancer sequences. Chromatin interaction data suggested that PTHLH was the likely target gene of these enhancers. Of the six variants with the strongest evidence of potential functionality, rs11049453 was statistically significantly associated with the expression of PTHLH and its nearby gene CCDC91 at P < 0.05.
CONCLUSION: This study identified four independent association signals at 12p11 and revealed potentially functional variants, providing additional insights into the underlying biological mechanism(s) for the association observed between variants at 12p11 and breast cancer risk.

Kim W, Takyar FM, Swan K, et al.
Calcium-Sensing Receptor Promotes Breast Cancer by Stimulating Intracrine Actions of Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(18):5348-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) contributes to the development and metastatic progression of breast cancer by promoting hypercalcemia, tumor growth, and osteolytic bone metastases, but it is not known how PTHrP is upregulated in breast tumors. Here we report a central role in this process for the calcium-sensing receptor, CaSR, which enables cellular responses to changes in extracellular calcium, through studies of CaSR-PTHrP interactions in the MMTV-PymT transgenic mouse model of breast cancer and in human breast cancer cells. CaSR activation stimulated PTHrP production by breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo Tissue-specific disruption of the casr gene in mammary epithelial cells in MMTV-PymT mice reduced tumor PTHrP expression and inhibited tumor cell proliferation and tumor outgrowth. CaSR signaling promoted the proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines and tumor cells cultured from MMTV-PyMT mice. Further, CaSR activation inhibited cell death triggered by high extracellular concentrations of calcium. The actions of the CaSR appeared to be mediated by nuclear actions of PTHrP that decreased p27(kip1) levels and prevented nuclear accumulation of the proapoptotic factor apoptosis inducing factor. Taken together, our findings suggest that CaSR-PTHrP interactions might be a promising target for the development of therapeutic agents to limit tumor cell growth in bone metastases and in other microenvironments in which elevated calcium and/or PTHrP levels contribute to breast cancer progression. Cancer Res; 76(18); 5348-60. ©2016 AACR.

von Heyking K, Roth L, Ertl M, et al.
The posterior HOXD locus: Its contribution to phenotype and malignancy of Ewing sarcoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(27):41767-41780 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Microarray analysis revealed genes of the posterior HOXD locus normally involved in bone formation to be over-expressed in primary Ewing sarcoma (ES). The expression of posterior HOXD genes was not influenced via ES pathognomonic EWS/ETS translocations. However, knock down of the dickkopf WNT signaling pathway inhibitor 2 (DKK2) resulted in a significant suppression of HOXD10, HOXD11 and HOXD13 while over-expression of DKK2 and stimulation with factors of the WNT signaling pathway such as WNT3a, WNT5a or WNT11 increased their expression. RNA interference demonstrated that individual HOXD genes promoted chondrogenic differentiation potential, and enhanced expression of the bone-associated gene RUNX2. Furthermore, HOXD genes increased the level of the osteoblast- and osteoclast-specific genes, osteocalcin (BGLAP) and platelet-derived growth factor beta polypeptide (PDGFB), and may further regulate endochondral bone development via induction of parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH). Additionally, HOXD11 and HOXD13 promoted contact independent growth of ES, while in vitro invasiveness of ES lines was enhanced by all 3 HOXD genes investigated and seemed mediated via matrix metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1). Consequently, knock down of HOXD11 or HOXD13 significantly suppressed lung metastasis in a xeno-transplant model in immune deficient mice, providing overall evidence that posterior HOXD genes promote clonogenicity and metastatic potential of ES.

Walia MK, Ho PM, Taylor S, et al.
Activation of PTHrP-cAMP-CREB1 signaling following p53 loss is essential for osteosarcoma initiation and maintenance.
Elife. 2016; 5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations in the P53 pathway are a hallmark of human cancer. The identification of pathways upon which p53-deficient cells depend could reveal therapeutic targets that may spare normal cells with intact p53. In contrast to P53 point mutations in other cancer, complete loss of P53 is a frequent event in osteosarcoma (OS), the most common cancer of bone. The consequences of p53 loss for osteoblastic cells and OS development are poorly understood. Here we use murine OS models to demonstrate that elevated Pthlh (Pthrp), cAMP levels and signalling via CREB1 are characteristic of both p53-deficient osteoblasts and OS. Normal osteoblasts survive depletion of both PTHrP and CREB1. In contrast, p53-deficient osteoblasts and OS depend upon continuous activation of this pathway and undergo proliferation arrest and apoptosis in the absence of PTHrP or CREB1. Our results identify the PTHrP-cAMP-CREB1 axis as an attractive pathway for therapeutic inhibition in OS.

Zhu W, Hu X, Xu J, et al.
Effect of PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway on the Process of Prostate Cancer Metastasis to Bone.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015; 72(1):171-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We sought to study the effects of PI3K/Akt pathway and its downstream substrate NF-κB on prostate cancer bone metastatic process. Expression level of active p-Akt in PC3 cells was upregulated by transient expression with constitutively active plasmid CA-Akt or, alternatively, suppressed by dominant negative construct DN-Akt. NF-κB activity was determined by luciferase reporter assays. mRNA and protein expressions of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) were evaluated using RT-PCR and Western blotting. The effect of cross-talk between PC3 and SaOS2 cells on cell proliferation was analyzed using a co-culture system. Stimulation of p-Akt promoted NF-κB activity, and led to an increase in mRNA and protein expressions of RANKL, PTHrP, and BMP-2 in PC3 PCa cells through NF-κB. Co-culturing PC3 and SaOS2 cells significantly increased the expression of p-Akt and the activity of NF-κB, and promoted proliferation of both PC3 and SaOS2 cells. Increasing expression levels of p-Akt by transfection with CA-Akt led to further increase in cells proliferation, whereas NF-κB inhibitor PDTC partially blocked this effect. PI3K/Akt pathway stimulates the expressions of RANKL, PTHrP, and BMP-2 partly through NF-κB, suggesting its importance for bone metastasis of prostate carcinoma. Interaction of prostate cancer cells with bone cells has a stimulatory effect on cell proliferation.

Kir S, Komaba H, Garcia AP, et al.
PTH/PTHrP Receptor Mediates Cachexia in Models of Kidney Failure and Cancer.
Cell Metab. 2016; 23(2):315-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cachexia is a wasting syndrome associated with elevated basal energy expenditure and loss of adipose and muscle tissues. It accompanies many chronic diseases including renal failure and cancer and is an important risk factor for mortality. Our recent work demonstrated that tumor-derived PTHrP drives adipose tissue browning and cachexia. Here, we show that PTH is involved in stimulating a thermogenic gene program in 5/6 nephrectomized mice that suffer from cachexia. Fat-specific knockout of PTHR blocked adipose browning and wasting. Surprisingly, loss of PTHR in fat tissue also preserved muscle mass and improved muscle strength. Similarly, PTHR knockout mice were resistant to cachexia driven by tumors. Our results demonstrate that PTHrP and PTH mediate wasting through a common mechanism involving PTHR, and there exists an unexpected crosstalk mechanism between wasting of fat tissue and skeletal muscle. Targeting the PTH/PTHrP pathway may have therapeutic uses in humans with cachexia.

Kinomura M, Shimada N, Nishikawa M, et al.
Parathyroid Hormone-related Peptide-producing Multiple Myeloma and Renal Impairment.
Intern Med. 2015; 54(23):3029-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 68-year-old man was hospitalized and examined for renal impairment. A laboratory analysis showed hypercalcemia. Although the serum parathyroid hormone and serum 1-25(OH)2 vitamin D3 levels were not elevated, the serum parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) level was increased. Immunoelectrophoresis of the urine and bone marrow aspiration indicated multiple myeloma (MM). He was diagnosed with the coexistence of cast nephropathy and light chain deposition disease by a renal biopsy. Notably, PTHrP expression was detected in the myeloma cells based on immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. It is therefore important to examine the PTHrP concentration in MM patients with hypercalcemia.

Xu C, Wang Z, Cui R, et al.
Co-expression of parathyroid hormone related protein and TGF-beta in breast cancer predicts poor survival outcome.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:925 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Better methods to predict prognosis can play a supplementary role in administering individualized treatment for breast cancer patients. Altered expressions of PTHrP and TGF-β have been observed in various types of human cancers. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the association of PTHrP and TGF-β level with the clinicopathological features of the breast cancer patients.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to examine PTHrP and TGF-β protein expression in 497 cases of early breast cancer, and Kaplan-Meier method and COX's Proportional Hazard Model were applied to the prognostic value of PTHrP and TGF-β expression.
RESULTS: Both over-expressed TGF-β and PTHrP were correlated with the tumor in larger size, higher proportion of axillary lymph node metastasis and later clinical stage. Additionally, the tumors with a high TGF-β level developed poor differentiation, and only TGF-β expression was associated with disease-free survival (DFS) of the breast cancer patients. Followed up for a median of 48 months, it was found that only the patients with negative TGF-β expression had longer DFS (P < 0.05, log-rank test). Nevertheless, those with higher PTHrP expression tended to show a higher rate of bone metastasis (67.6 % vs. 45.8 %, P = 0.019). In ER negative subgroup, those who developed PTHrP positive expression presented poor prognosis (P < 0.05, log-rank test). The patients with both positive TGF-β and PTHrP expression were significantly associated with the high risk of metastases. As indicated by Cox's regression analysis, TGF-β expression and the high proportion of axillary lymph node metastasis served as significant independent predictors for breast cancer recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: TGF-β and PTHrP were confirmed to be involved in regulating the malignant progression in breast cancer, and PTHrP expression, to be associated with bone metastasis as a potential prognostic marker in ER negative breast cancer.

Zong JC, Wang X, Zhou X, et al.
Gut-derived serotonin induced by depression promotes breast cancer bone metastasis through the RUNX2/PTHrP/RANKL pathway in mice.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):739-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasizes to the bone in a majority of patients with advanced disease resulting in bone destruction. The underlying mechanisms are complex, and both processes are controlled by an interaction between locally and systemically derived signals. Clinically, breast cancer patients with depression have a higher risk of bone metastasis, yet the etiology and mechanisms are yet to be elucidated. MDA‑MB‑231 breast cancer cells were used to establish a bone metastasis model by using intracardiac injection in nude mice. Chronic mild stress (CMS) was chosen as a model of depression in mice before and after inoculation of the cells. Knockdown of the RUNX‑2 gene was performed by transfection of the cells with shRNA silencing vectors against human RUNX‑2. A co‑culture system was used to test the effect of the MDA‑MB‑231 cells on osteoclasts and osteoblasts. RT‑PCR and western blotting were used to test gene and protein expression, respectively. We confirmed that depression induced bone metastasis by promoting osteoclast activity while inhibiting osteoblast differentiation. Free serotonin led to an increase in the expression of RUNX2 in breast cancer cells (MDA‑MB‑231), which directly inhibited osteoblast differentiation and stimulated osteoclast differentiation by the PTHrP/RANKL pathway, which caused bone destruction and formed osteolytic bone lesions. Additionally, the interaction between depression and breast cancer cells was interrupted by LP533401 or RUNX2 knockdown. In conclusion, depression promotes breast cancer bone metastasis partly through increasing levels of gut‑derived serotonin. Activation of RUNX2 in breast cancer cells by circulating serotonin appears to dissociate coupling between osteoblasts and osteoclasts, suggesting that the suppression of gut‑derived serotonin decreases the rate of breast cancer bone metastasis induced by depression.

Pavlovic M, Arnal-Estapé A, Rojo F, et al.
Enhanced MAF Oncogene Expression and Breast Cancer Bone Metastasis.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(12):djv256 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There are currently no biomarkers for early breast cancer patient populations at risk of bone metastasis. Identification of mediators of bone metastasis could be of clinical interest.
METHODS: A de novo unbiased screening approach based on selection of highly bone metastatic breast cancer cells in vivo was used to determine copy number aberrations (CNAs) associated with bone metastasis. The CNAs associated with bone metastasis were examined in independent primary breast cancer datasets with annotated clinical follow-up. The MAF gene encoded within the CNA associated with bone metastasis was subjected to gain and loss of function validation in breast cancer cells (MCF7, T47D, ZR-75, and 4T1), its downstream mechanism validated, and tested in clinical samples. A multivariable Cox cause-specific hazard model with competing events (death) was used to test the association between 16q23 or MAF and bone metastasis. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: 16q23 gain CNA encoding the transcription factor MAF mediates breast cancer bone metastasis through the control of PTHrP. 16q23 gain (hazard ratio (HR) for bone metastasis = 14.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 6.4 to 32.9, P < .001) as well as MAF overexpression (HR for bone metastasis = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.7 to 3.8, P < .001) in primary breast tumors were specifically associated with risk of metastasis to bone but not to other organs.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that MAF is a mediator of breast cancer bone metastasis. 16q23 gain or MAF protein overexpression in tumors may help to select patients at risk of bone relapse.

Bach AS, Derocq D, Laurent-Matha V, et al.
Nuclear cathepsin D enhances TRPS1 transcriptional repressor function to regulate cell cycle progression and transformation in human breast cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(29):28084-103 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The lysosomal protease cathepsin D (Cath-D) is overproduced in breast cancer cells (BCC) and supports tumor growth and metastasis formation. Here, we describe the mechanism whereby Cath-D is accumulated in the nucleus of ERα-positive (ER+) BCC. We identified TRPS1 (tricho-rhino-phalangeal-syndrome 1), a repressor of GATA-mediated transcription, and BAT3 (Scythe/BAG6), a nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling chaperone protein, as new Cath-D-interacting nuclear proteins. Cath-D binds to BAT3 in ER+ BCC and they partially co-localize at the surface of lysosomes and in the nucleus. BAT3 silencing inhibits Cath-D accumulation in the nucleus, indicating that Cath-D nuclear targeting is controlled by BAT3. Fully mature Cath-D also binds to full-length TRPS1 and they co-localize in the nucleus of ER+ BCC where they are associated with chromatin. Using the LexA-VP16 fusion co-activator reporter assay, we then show that Cath-D acts as a transcriptional repressor, independently of its catalytic activity. Moreover, microarray analysis of BCC in which Cath-D and/or TRPS1 expression were silenced indicated that Cath-D enhances TRPS1-mediated repression of several TRPS1-regulated genes implicated in carcinogenesis, including PTHrP, a canonical TRPS1 gene target. In addition, co-silencing of TRPS1 and Cath-D in BCC affects the transcription of cell cycle, proliferation and transformation genes, and impairs cell cycle progression and soft agar colony formation. These findings indicate that Cath-D acts as a nuclear transcriptional cofactor of TRPS1 to regulate ER+ BCC proliferation and transformation in a non-proteolytic manner.

Page JM, Merkel AR, Ruppender NS, et al.
Matrix rigidity regulates the transition of tumor cells to a bone-destructive phenotype through integrin β3 and TGF-β receptor type II.
Biomaterials. 2015; 64:33-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer patients frequently develop skeletal metastases that significantly impact quality of life. Since bone metastases remain incurable, a clearer understanding of molecular mechanisms regulating skeletal metastases is required to develop new therapeutics that block establishment of tumors in bone. While many studies have suggested that the microenvironment contributes to bone metastases, the factors mediating tumors to progress from a quiescent to a bone-destructive state remain unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that the "soil" of the bone microenvironment, specifically the rigid mineralized extracellular matrix, stimulates the transition of the tumor cells to a bone-destructive phenotype. To test this hypothesis, we synthesized 2D polyurethane (PUR) films with elastic moduli ranging from the basement membrane (70 MPa) to cortical bone (3800 MPa) and measured expression of genes associated with mechanotransduction and bone metastases. We found that expression of Integrin β3 (Iβ3), as well as tumor-produced factors associated with bone destruction (Gli2 and parathyroid hormone related protein (PTHrP)), significantly increased with matrix rigidity, and that blocking Iβ3 reduced Gli2 and PTHrP expression. To identify the mechanism by which Iβ3 regulates Gli2 and PTHrP (both are also known to be regulated by TGF-β), we performed Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and immunoprecipitation, which indicated that Iβ3 co-localized with TGF-β Receptor Type II (TGF-β RII) on rigid but not compliant films. Finally, transplantation of tumor cells expressing Iβ3 shRNA into the tibiae of athymic nude mice significantly reduced PTHrP and Gli2 expression, as well as bone destruction, suggesting a crucial role for tumor-produced Iβ3 in disease progression. This study demonstrates that the rigid mineralized bone matrix can alter gene expression and bone destruction in an Iβ3/TGF-β-dependent manner, and suggests that Iβ3 inhibitors are a potential therapeutic approach for blocking tumor transition to a bone destructive phenotype.

Hou R, Wang YW, Liang HF, et al.
Animal and cellular models of hepatocellular carcinoma bone metastasis: establishment and characterisation.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2015; 141(11):1931-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An increasingly high occurrence of bone metastases in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients highlights the importance of fundamental research on HCC bone metastasis, which has been limited in its success due to the lack of a model system.
PURPOSE: Establishment of animal and cellular models of HCC bone metastasis and discovery of HCC bone metastasis-related genes.
METHODS: Luciferase-transfected HCC cell lines HCCLM3, MHCC97H, and SMMC-7721 were used to inoculate nude mice intracardially. Formation of bone metastases was examined by bioluminescence imaging, SPECT, and pathology study. Metastatic cells in bone were isolated and subcultured. Differences between bone metastatic cells and their parental cells were studied by in vitro/in vivo assays.
RESULTS: Mouse model of HCC bone metastasis was successfully established. Injected tumour cells formed metastases in the skull, the spine, the hind limbs, and the sternum, causing osteolytic lesions via act of MMP-1 and recruitment of osteoclasts. Four bone metastatic cell lines were extracted from HCCLM3-inoculated mice and were demonstrated to exhibit a much stronger ability to form bone metastases as well as other phenotypes, including enhanced in vitro migration/invasion and colony formation. Moreover, the expression of PTHrP, MMP-1, and CTGF was significantly elevated in bone metastatic cells compared to parental HCC cells.
CONCLUSION: The nude mouse model and bone metastatic cell lines together provide an effective simulation of HCC bone metastasis. This model system will become powerful tool with which to explore the mechanisms and therapies of HCC bone metastasis. Additionally, PTHrP, MMP-1, and CTGF are candidate genes related to HCC bone metastasis.

Xu J, Acharya S, Sahin O, et al.
14-3-3ζ turns TGF-β's function from tumor suppressor to metastasis promoter in breast cancer by contextual changes of Smad partners from p53 to Gli2.
Cancer Cell. 2015; 27(2):177-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) functions as a tumor suppressor in premalignant cells but as a metastasis promoter in cancer cells. The dichotomous functions of TGF-β are proposed to be dictated by different partners of its downstream effector Smads. However, the mechanism for the contextual changes of Smad partners remained undefined. Here, we demonstrate that 14-3-3ζ destabilizes p53, a Smad partner in premalignant mammary epithelial cells, by downregulating 14-3-3σ, thus turning off TGF-β's tumor suppression function. Conversely, 14-3-3ζ stabilizes Gli2 in breast cancer cells, and Gli2 partners with Smads to activate PTHrP and promote TGF-β-induced bone metastasis. The 14-3-3ζ-driven contextual changes of Smad partners from p53 to Gli2 may serve as biomarkers and therapeutic targets of TGF-β-mediated cancer progression.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. PTHLH, Cancer Genetics Web: Accessed:

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