Gene Summary

Gene:PYCARD; PYD and CARD domain containing
Aliases: ASC, TMS, TMS1, CARD5, TMS-1
Summary:This gene encodes an adaptor protein that is composed of two protein-protein interaction domains: a N-terminal PYRIN-PAAD-DAPIN domain (PYD) and a C-terminal caspase-recruitment domain (CARD). The PYD and CARD domains are members of the six-helix bundle death domain-fold superfamily that mediates assembly of large signaling complexes in the inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathways via the activation of caspase. In normal cells, this protein is localized to the cytoplasm; however, in cells undergoing apoptosis, it forms ball-like aggregates near the nuclear periphery. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 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: PYCARD (cancer-related)

Mžik M, Chmelařová M, John S, et al.
Aberrant methylation of tumour suppressor genes WT1, GATA5 and PAX5 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Chem Lab Med. 2016; 54(12):1971-1980 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant hypermethylation of tumour suppressor genes (TSGs) occurring in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) could provide a mean of molecular characterisation of this cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate promoter methylation and gene expression of selected TSGs in HCC to identify candidate genes for further validation as potential biomarkers.
METHODS: Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification method was used to measure the methylation status of 25 TSGs in 49 HCC samples and 36 corresponding non-cancerous liver tissue samples. Relative expression of the differentially methylated genes was assessed at the mRNA level using quantitative PCR.
RESULTS: We observed a significantly higher methylation in genes WT1, PAX5, PAX6, PYCARD and GATA5 in HCC compared with control samples. The expression of PAX5 was significantly decreased by methylation; conversely methylation of WT1 was associated with higher mRNA levels. Methylation of GATA5 was significantly associated with overall survival and methylation of WT1 and PAX5 significantly varied between patients with ALBI score 1 vs. 2+3. Moreover, PAX5 was significantly more methylated in patients with tumour grade 2+3 vs. grade 1, and methylation of the PAX5 correlated with the patient's age at the time of diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS: HCC evince aberrant promoter methylation of WT1, PAX5, PAX6, PYCARD and GATA5 genes. Correlation between GATA5, WT1 and PAX5 methylation and clinical/histological parameters is suggestive of applicability of these markers in non-invasive (epi)genetic testing in HCC.

Blokzijl F, de Ligt J, Jager M, et al.
Tissue-specific mutation accumulation in human adult stem cells during life.
Nature. 2016; 538(7624):260-264 [PubMed] Related Publications
The gradual accumulation of genetic mutations in human adult stem cells (ASCs) during life is associated with various age-related diseases, including cancer. Extreme variation in cancer risk across tissues was recently proposed to depend on the lifetime number of ASC divisions, owing to unavoidable random mutations that arise during DNA replication. However, the rates and patterns of mutations in normal ASCs remain unknown. Here we determine genome-wide mutation patterns in ASCs of the small intestine, colon and liver of human donors with ages ranging from 3 to 87 years by sequencing clonal organoid cultures derived from primary multipotent cells. Our results show that mutations accumulate steadily over time in all of the assessed tissue types, at a rate of approximately 40 novel mutations per year, despite the large variation in cancer incidence among these tissues. Liver ASCs, however, have different mutation spectra compared to those of the colon and small intestine. Mutational signature analysis reveals that this difference can be attributed to spontaneous deamination of methylated cytosine residues in the colon and small intestine, probably reflecting their high ASC division rate. In liver, a signature with an as-yet-unknown underlying mechanism is predominant. Mutation spectra of driver genes in cancer show high similarity to the tissue-specific ASC mutation spectra, suggesting that intrinsic mutational processes in ASCs can initiate tumorigenesis. Notably, the inter-individual variation in mutation rate and spectra are low, suggesting tissue-specific activity of common mutational processes throughout life.

Wang H, Wang Y, Du Q, et al.
Inflammasome-independent NLRP3 is required for epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colon cancer cells.
Exp Cell Res. 2016; 342(2):184-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammasome NLRP3 plays a crucial role in the process of colitis and colitis--associated colon cancer. Even though much is known regarding the NLRP3 inflammasome that regulates pro-inflammatory cytokine release in innate immune cells, the role of NLRP3 in non-immune cells is still unclear. In this study, we showed that NLRP3 was highly expressed in mesenchymal-like colon cancer cells (SW620), and was upregulated by tumor necrosis factors-α (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) respectively, during EMT in colon cancer epithelial cells HCT116 and HT29. Knockdown of NLRP3 retained epithelial spindle-like morphology of HCT116 and HT29 cells and reversed the mesenchymal characteristic of SW620 cells, indicated by the decreased expression of vimentin and MMP9 and increased expression of E-cadherin. In addition, knockdown of NLRP3 in colorectal carcinoma cells displayed diminished cell migration and invasion. Interestingly, during the EMT process induced by TNF-α or TGF-β1, the cleaved caspase-1 and ASC speck were not detected, indicating that NLRP3 functions in an inflammasome-independent way. Further studies demonstrated that NLRP3 protein expression was regulated by NF-κB signaling in TNF-α or TGF-β1-induced EMT, as verified by the NF-κB inhibitor Bay 11-7082. Moreover, NLRP3 knockdown reduced the expression of Snail1, indicating that NLRP3 may promote EMT through regulating Snail1. In summary, our results showed that the NLRP3 expression, not the inflammasome activation, was required for EMT in colorectal cancer cells.

White C, Bakhiet S, Bates M, et al.
Triage of LSIL/ASC-US with p16/Ki-67 dual staining and human papillomavirus testing: a 2-year prospective study.
Cytopathology. 2016; 27(4):269-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing and p16/Ki-67 staining for detecting cervical intraepithelial grade 2 or worse (CIN2+) and CIN3 in women referred to colposcopy with minor abnormal cervical cytology low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) and atypical squamous cells of undermined significance (ASC-US). The clinical performance of both tests was evaluated as stand-alone tests and combined, for detection CIN2+ and CIN3 over 2 years.
METHODS: ThinPrep(®) liquid-based cytology (LBC) specimens were collected from 1349 women with repeat LSIL or ASC-US. HPV DNA was performed using Hybrid Capture. Where adequate material remained (n = 471), p16/Ki-67 overexpression was assessed. Clinical performance for detection of histologically diagnosed CIN2+ and CIN3 was calculated.
RESULTS: Approximately 62.2% of the population were positive for HPV DNA, and 30.4% were positive for p16/Ki-67. p16/Ki-67 showed no significant difference in positivity between LSIL and ASC-US referrals (34.3% versus 28.6%; P = 0.189). Women under 30 years had a higher rate of p16/Ki-67 compared to those over 30 years (36.0% versus 26.6%; P = 0.029). Overall HPV DNA testing produced a high sensitivity for detection of CIN3 of 95.8% compared to 79.2% for p16/Ki-67. In contrast, p16/Ki-67 expression offered a higher specificity, 75.2% versus 40.4% for detection of CIN3. Combining p16/Ki-67 with HPV DNA improved the accuracy in distinguishing between CIN3 and CONCLUSION: The addition of p16/Ki-67 to HPV DNA testing leads to a more accurate stratification of CIN in women presenting with minor cytological abnormalities.

Ramena G, Yin Y, Yu Y, et al.
CLCA2 Interactor EVA1 Is Required for Mammary Epithelial Cell Differentiation.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(3):e0147489 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CLCA2 is a p53-, p63-inducible transmembrane protein that is frequently downregulated in breast cancer. It is induced during differentiation of human mammary epithelial cells, and its knockdown causes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). To determine how CLCA2 promotes epithelial differentiation, we searched for interactors using membrane dihybrid screening. We discovered a strong interaction with the cell junctional protein EVA1 (Epithelial V-like Antigen 1) and confirmed it by co-immunoprecipitation. Like CLCA2, EVA1 is a type I transmembrane protein that is regulated by p53 and p63. It is thought to mediate homophilic cell-cell adhesion in diverse epithelial tissues. We found that EVA1 is frequently downregulated in breast tumors and breast cancer cell lines, especially those of mesenchymal phenotype. Moreover, knockdown of EVA1 in immortalized human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) caused EMT, implying that EVA1 is essential for epithelial differentiation. Both EVA1 and CLCA2 co-localized with E-cadherin at cell-cell junctions. The interacting domains were delimited by deletion analysis, revealing the site of interaction to be the transmembrane segment (TMS). The primary sequence of the CLCA2 TMS was found to be conserved in CLCA2 orthologs throughout mammals, suggesting that its interaction with EVA1 co-evolved with the mammary gland. A screen for other junctional interactors revealed that CLCA2 was involved in two different complexes, one with EVA1 and ZO-1, the other with beta catenin. Overexpression of CLCA2 caused downregulation of beta catenin and beta catenin-activated genes. Thus, CLCA2 links a junctional adhesion molecule to cytosolic signaling proteins that modulate proliferation and differentiation. These results may explain how attenuation of CLCA2 causes EMT and why CLCA2 and EVA1 are frequently downregulated in metastatic breast cancer cell lines.

Shi X, Wu H, Lu J, et al.
Screening for major driver oncogene alterations in adenosquamous lung carcinoma using PCR coupled with next-generation and Sanger sequencing methods.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:22297 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We investigated the frequency of major driver oncogenes in lung adenosquamous cell carcinoma (ASC) cases. Frequency of EGFR, K-Ras, B-Raf, PIK3CA, DDR2, ALK, and PDGFRA gene mutations was examined in 56 patients using next-generation sequencing, polymerase chain reaction, and Sanger sequencing. Macrodissection or microdissection was performed in 37 cases to separate the adenomatous and squamous components of ASC. The overall mutation rate was 64.29%, including 55.36%, 7.14%, and 1.79% for EGFR, K-Ras, and B-Raf mutations, respectively. PIK3CA mutation was detected in three cases; all involved coexisting EGFR mutations. Of the 37 cases, 34 were convergent in two components, while three showed EGFR mutations in the glandular components and three showed PIK3CA mutations in the squamous components. With respect to EGFR mutations, the number of young female patients, nonsmokers, and those with positive pleural invasion was higher in the mutation-positive group than that in the mutation-negative. K-Ras mutation was significantly associated with smoking. Overall survival in the different EGFR mutation groups differed significantly. The frequency and clinicopathological characteristics of EGFR- and K-Ras-mutated adenosquamous lung carcinoma were similar to that noted in Asian adenocarcinomas patients. The high convergence mutation rate in both adenomatous and squamous components suggests monoclonality in ASC.

Dmello C, Sawant S, Alam H, et al.
Vimentin-mediated regulation of cell motility through modulation of beta4 integrin protein levels in oral tumor derived cells.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016; 70:161-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vimentin expression correlates well with migratory and invasive potential of the carcinoma cells. The molecular mechanism by which vimentin regulates cell motility is not yet clear. Here, we addressed this issue by depleting vimentin in oral squamous cell carcinoma derived cell line. Vimentin knockdown cells showed enhanced adhesion and spreading to laminin-5. However, we found that they were less invasive as compared to the vector control cells. In addition, signaling associated with adhesion behavior of the cell was increased in vimentin knockdown clones. These findings suggest that the normal function of β4 integrin as mechanical adhesive device is enhanced upon vimentin downregulation. As a proof of principle, the compromised invasive potential of vimentin depleted cells could be rescued upon blocking with β4 integrin adhesion-blocking (ASC-8) antibody or downregulation of β4 integrin in vimentin knockdown background. Interestingly, plectin which associates with α6β4 integrin in the hemidesmosomes, was also found to be upregulated in vimentin knockdown clones. Furthermore, experiments on lysosome and proteasome inhibition revealed that perhaps vimentin regulates the turnover of β4 integrin and plectin. Moreover, an inverse association was observed between vimentin expression and β4 integrin in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Collectively, our results show a novel role of vimentin in modulating cell motility by destabilizing β4 integrin-mediated adhesive interactions. Further, vimentin-β4 integrin together may prove to be useful markers for prognostication of human oral cancer.

Xu L, Verdoodt F, Wentzensen N, et al.
Triage of ASC-H: A meta-analysis of the accuracy of high-risk HPV testing and other markers to detect cervical precancer.
Cancer Cytopathol. 2016; 124(4):261-72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Women with a cytological diagnosis of atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (ASC-H) are usually immediately referred for colposcopy. However, triage may reduce the burden of the diagnostic workup and prevent overtreatment.
METHODS: A meta-analysis was conducted to assess the accuracy of high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing and testing for other molecular markers for the detection of grade 2 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or worse (CIN2+) or grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or worse (CIN3+) in women with ASC-H. An additional question that was assessed was whether triage would be useful in light of the relatively high pretriage probability of underlying precancer.
RESULTS: The pooled absolute sensitivity and specificity of the Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) assay for CIN2 + (derived from 19 studies) were 93% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89%-95%) and 45% (95% CI, 41%-50%), respectively. p16(INK4a) staining (only 3 studies) had similar sensitivity (93%; 95% CI, 75%-100%) but superior specificity (specificity ratio, 1.69) to HC2 for CIN2+. Testing for paired box 1 gene methylation (only 1 study) showed a superior specificity of 95% (specificity ratio, 2.08). The average pretest risk was 34% for CIN2 + and 20% for CIN3+. A negative HC2 result decreased this to 8% and 5%, respectively, whereas a positive result upgraded the risk to 47% and 28%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Because of the high probability of precancer with a diagnosis of ASC-H, the utility of triage is limited. The usual recommendation for referring women with ASC-H for colposcopy is not altered by a positive triage test, whatever test is used. A negative hrHPV DNA or p16(INK4a) test may allow repeat testing, but this recommendation will depend on local decision thresholds for referral.

Liu Y, Yang L, An H, et al.
High expression of Solute Carrier Family 1, member 5 (SLC1A5) is associated with poor prognosis in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:16954 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Solute Carrier Family 1, member 5 (SLC1A5), also named as ASCT2, a major glutamine transporter, is highly expressed in various malignancies and plays a critical role in the transformation, growth and survival of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical significance of SLC1A5 in patients with clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). SLC1A5 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays. Kaplan-Meier method was conducted to compare survival curves. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression models were applied to assess the impact of prognostic factors on overall survival (OS). A nomogram was then constructed on the basis of the independent prognosticators identified on multivariate analysis. The predictive ability of the models was compared using Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Our data indicated that high expression of SLC1A5 was significantly associated with advanced TNM stage, higher Fuhrman grade and shorter OS in ccRCC patients. Multivariate analysis confirmed that SLC1A5 was an independent prognosticator for OS. A nomogram integrating SLC1A5 and other independent prognosticators was constructed, which showed a better prognostic value for OS than TNM staging system. In conclusion, high SLC1A5 expression is an independent predictor of adverse clinical outcome in ccRCC patients after surgery.

Campregher PV, Pereira WO, Lisboa B, et al.
Identification of ANLN as ETV6 partner gene in recurrent t(7;12)(p15;p13): a possible role of deregulated ANLN expression in leukemogenesis.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:197 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The ETV6 gene encodes an ETS family transcription factor that is involved in a myriad of chromosomal rearrangements found in hematological malignancies and other neoplasms. A recurrent ETV6 translocation, previously described in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) (Genes Chromosomes Cancer 51:328-337,2012, Leuk Res 35:e212-214, 2011), whose partner has not been identified is t(7;12)(p15;p13). We herein report that the t(7;12)(p15;p13) fuses ETV6 to ANLN, a gene not previously implicated in the pathogenesis of hematological malignancies, and we demonstrate that this translocation leads to high expression of the fusion transcript in the myeloid and lymphoid lineages.

Li F, Li N, Zhu Q, et al.
Association of PTPN22 gene polymorphisms with chronic hepatitis B virus infection in Chinese Han population.
Hum Immunol. 2015; 76(10):736-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lymphoid protein tyrosine phosphatase encoded by protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor 22 (PTPN22) gene plays an important regulatory role in T- and B-cell activation. This study investigated PTPN22 -1123G/C and intron 16 T/C polymorphisms in 372 patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, 72 HBV infection resolvers and 273 healthy controls. Genotypic association tests between groups assuming codominant, dominant or log-additive genetic models were performed. In recessive model, PTPN22 -1123G/C genotype GG in healthy controls was more frequent than infection resolvers (P=0.037, OR=3.606, 95%CI=1.079-12.053) and this genotype in HBV patients was more frequent than resolvers although the difference was not significant (P=0.059). The PTPN22 intron 16 T/C genotype TC in cirrhosis patients was significantly higher than asymptomatic carriers (ASC) in codominant (P=0.028, OR=9.792, 95%CI=1.281-74.832) and overdominant (P=0.025, OR=10.142, 95%CI=1.332-77.214) models. This genotype in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients was significantly higher than ASC in codominant (P=0.034, OR=9.200, 95%CI=1.176-71.990) and overdominant (P=0.030, OR=9.677, 95%CI=1.241-75.442) models. These findings suggest that PTPN22 polymorphisms may predispose the chronicity or the development of cirrhosis and HCC in HBV infection.

Wu JC, Wang FZ, Tsai ML, et al.
Se-Allylselenocysteine induces autophagy by modulating the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway and epigenetic regulation of PCDH17 in human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015; 59(12):2511-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
SCOPE: Selenium (Se)-conjugated compounds have been established as anti-carcinogenic compounds. The use of chemicals as cancer chemotherapeutic agents to induce programmed cell death (PCD) involves genetic and epigenetic modifications. In this study, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of Se-allylselenocysteine (ASC)-induced PCD and protocadherin 17 (PCDH17) expression in HT-29 cells.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Cell viability analysis indicated that the ability of ASC to induce cancer cell death was greater than that of Se-methylselenocysteine in colorectal cancer cells. ASC also decreased global DNA methylation levels via downregulation of DNA methyltransferase 1 expression. The autophagic cell death is the cause in ASC-induced cytotoxicity that was inhibited by pretreatment with autophagy inhibitor. At the molecular level, ASC induced PCDH17 expression through decreased PCDH17 promoter hypermethylation. PCDH17 is also an important role in ASC-induced autophagy by HT-29 transfected with PCDH17 shRNA or expression plasmid. Our western blot analysis showed that ASC significantly induced autophagy via the AMPK/mTOR pathway that was also regulated PCDH17 expression. Additionally, we used the HT-29 tumor xenograft models to confirm the ability of ASC inhibited tumor growth.
CONCLUSION: These results reveal that ASC is an effective inducer of autophagy through regulating the AMPK/mTOR and PCDH17 expression via epigenetic modification.

Lee H, Lee EJ
HPV infection and p16 promoter methylation as predictors of ASC-US/LSIL progression.
Cancer Cytopathol. 2016; 124(1):58-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although patients found to have atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs) on Papanicolaou (Pap) testing are treated conservatively, 5.2% to 18.8% of them progress to high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs). The objective of the current study was to identify predictors of progression to HSIL and determine what percentage of ASC-US/LSIL cases harbor cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of grade 2 or higher.
METHODS: The current study included 381 consecutive cases with ASC-US/LSIL. After the exclusion of 87 cases because of a history of dysplasia or loss to follow-up, 165 cases with follow-up cytology were used to analyze predictive factors of progression to HSIL, and 129 cases that underwent immediate tissue biopsy were subjected to correlation analysis between cytology and histology. Disease regression was defined as a reversion to normal or benign cellular changes, disease persistence as maintenance at ASC-US/LSIL, and disease progression as progression to HSIL. Data regarding clinical parameters were obtained from medical records. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction was performed using cytology samples to evaluate methylation of the p16 promoter.
RESULTS: Of 165 cases, 131 (79.4%) regressed, 23 (13.9%) were persistent, and 11 cases (6.7%) progressed. Human papillomavirus infection was more common in women with disease progression than in those with disease regression or persistence (P = .033). Promoter methylation of p16 in the cytology sample was more common in cases that progressed (5 of 6 cases) than in cases that regressed (0 of 8 cases). Twenty-three of 129 cases (17.8%) were found to harbor cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of grade 2 or higher on immediate tissue biopsy.
CONCLUSIONS: Human papillomavirus infection and p16 promoter methylation might be valuable surrogate markers of disease progression from ASC-US/LSIL to HSIL.

Xu X, Li J, Sun X, et al.
Tumor suppressor NDRG2 inhibits glycolysis and glutaminolysis in colorectal cancer cells by repressing c-Myc expression.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(28):26161-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Cancer cells use glucose and glutamine as the major sources of energy and precursor intermediates, and enhanced glycolysis and glutamimolysis are the major hallmarks of metabolic reprogramming in cancer. Oncogene activation and tumor suppressor gene inactivation alter multiple intracellular signaling pathways that affect glycolysis and glutaminolysis. N-Myc downstream regulated gene 2 (NDRG2) is a tumor suppressor gene inhibiting cancer growth, metastasis and invasion. However, the role and molecular mechanism of NDRG2 in cancer metabolism remains unclear. In this study, we discovered the role of the tumor suppressor gene NDRG2 in aerobic glycolysis and glutaminolysis of cancer cells. NDRG2 inhibited glucose consumption and lactate production, glutamine consumption and glutamate production in colorectal cancer cells. Analysis of glucose transporters and the catalytic enzymes involved in glycolysis revealed that glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), hexokinase 2 (HK2), pyruvate kinase M2 isoform (PKM2) and lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) was significantly suppressed by NDRG2. Analysis of glutamine transporter and the catalytic enzymes involved in glutaminolysis revealed that glutamine transporter ASC amino-acid transporter 2 (ASCT2) and glutaminase 1 (GLS1) was also significantly suppressed by NDRG2. Transcription factor c-Myc mediated inhibition of glycolysis and glutaminolysis by NDRG2. More importantly, NDRG2 inhibited the expression of c-Myc by suppressing the expression of β-catenin, which can transcriptionally activate C-MYC gene in nucleus. In addition, the growth and proliferation of colorectal cancer cells were suppressed significantly by NDRG2 through inhibition of glycolysis and glutaminolysis. Taken together, these findings indicate that NDRG2 functions as an essential regulator in glycolysis and glutaminolysis via repression of c-Myc, and acts as a suppressor of carcinogenesis through coordinately targeting glucose and glutamine transporter, multiple catalytic enzymes involved in glycolysis and glutaminolysis, which fuels the bioenergy and biomaterials needed for cancer proliferation and progress.

Gimenes F, Souza RP, de Abreu AL, et al.
Simultaneous detection of human papillomavirus integration and c-MYC gene amplification in cervical lesions: an emerging marker for the risk to progression.
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2016; 293(4):857-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The persistence of high-risk oncogenic human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection and its integration into the host genome are key steps in the induction of malignant alterations. c-MYC chromosome region is a frequent localization for HPV insertion that has been observed in chromosome band 8q24 by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). We report the HPV viral integration and amplification patterns of the c-MYC gene in cytological smears with FISH as a potential biomarker for the progression of squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL).
METHODS: HPV detection and genotyping by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and FISH analysis by "Vysis Cervical FISH Probe" kit (ABBOTT Molecular Inc.) were performed in 37 cervical samples including 8 NILM, 7 ASC-US, 7 LSIL, 3 ASC-H, 7 HSIL and 5 SCC.
RESULTS: The results show concordance between FISH and PCR techniques for HPV detection. The majority of the samples contained HR-HPV, the majority being -16 and -18 genotypes. HPV integration as determined by FISH was most frequent in high-risk lesions. The c-MYC gene amplification was found only in HPV-positive samples and was detected primarily in high-risk lesions and in cells with an integrated form of HPV.
CONCLUSIONS: HPV integration and c-MYC gene amplification detected by FISH could be an important biomarker for use in clinical practice to determine SIL with a risk of progression.

Ono M, Oka S, Okudaira H, et al.
[(14)C]Fluciclovine (alias anti-[(14)C]FACBC) uptake and ASCT2 expression in castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.
Nucl Med Biol. 2015; 42(11):887-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: trans-1-Amino-3-[(18)F]fluorocyclobutanecarboxylic acid ([(18)F]fluciclovine, also known as anti-[(18)F]FACBC), is a tracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging for detection of tumors such as prostate cancer (PCa). Our previous study showed that ASCT2 (Na(+)-dependent amino acid transporter (AAT)) mediates fluciclovine uptake in androgen-dependent PCa cells; its expression is influenced by androgen, a key hormone in the progression of primary PCa and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In this study, we investigated the uptake mechanisms and feasibility of [(18)F]fluciclovine for CRPC in the androgen-dependent PCa cell line LNCaP and LNCaP-derivatives LNCaP-SF and LN-REC4.
METHODS: LNCaP-SF was established after long-term cultivation of LNCaP in steroid-free conditions, and LN-Pre and LN-REC4 were established from LNCaP inoculated in intact and castrated severe combined immunodeficient mice, respectively. Uptake and competitive inhibition experiments were performed with trans-1-amino-3-fluoro[1-(14)C]cyclobutanecarboxylic acid ([(14)C]fluciclovine) to characterize the involvement of AATs in androgen-dependent PCa (LNCaP and LN-Pre) and CRPC-like (LNCaP-SF and LN-REC4) cell lines. AAT expression was analyzed by Western blotting, and [(14)C]fluciclovine uptake in androgen-dependent PCa and CRPC-like cell lines were investigated in the presence or absence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
RESULTS: The contribution of Na(+)-dependent AATs to [(14)C]fluciclovine uptake in all cell lines was 88-98%, and [(14)C]fluciclovine uptake was strongly inhibited by L-glutamine and L-serine, the substrates for Na(+)-dependent alanine-serine-cysteine (system ASC) AATs, in the presence of Na(+). DHT enhanced ASCT2 expression in LNCaP, LN-Pre, and LN-REC4, but not in LNCaP-SF, and the responses of ASCT2 expression to DHT correlated with [(14)C]fluciclovine uptake.
CONCLUSIONS: System ASC, especially ASCT2, could play a major role in [(14)C]fluciclovine uptake into CRPC-like and androgen-dependent PCa cells, suggesting [(18)F]fluciclovine-PET is applicable to the detection of CRPC as well as androgen-dependent PCa.
ADVANCE IN KNOWLEDGE: [(18)F]fluciclovine-PET may be applied for the detection of CRPC.
IMPLICATION FOR PATIENT CARE: [(18)F]fluciclovine-PET may permit early intervention for CRPC treatment.

Shang Z, Li Y, Zhang M, et al.
Antiandrogen Therapy with Hydroxyflutamide or Androgen Receptor Degradation Enhancer ASC-J9 Enhances BCG Efficacy to Better Suppress Bladder Cancer Progression.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2015; 14(11):2586-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Recent studies suggest that the androgen receptor (AR) might play important roles in influencing bladder cancer progression, yet its clinical application remains unclear. Here, we developed a new combined therapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and the AR degradation enhancer ASC-J9 or antiandrogen hydroxyflutamide (HF) to better suppress bladder cancer progression. Mechanism dissection revealed that ASC-J9 treatment enhanced BCG efficacy to suppress bladder cancer cell proliferation via increasing the recruitment of monocytes/macrophages that involved the promotion of BCG attachment/internalization to the bladder cancer cells through increased integrin-α5β1 expression and IL6 release. Such consequences might then enhance BCG-induced bladder cancer cell death via increased TNFα release. Interestingly, we also found that ASC-J9 treatment could directly promote BCG-induced HMGB1 release to enhance the BCG cytotoxic effects for suppression of bladder cancer cell growth. In vivo approaches also concluded that ASC-J9 could enhance the efficacy of BCG to better suppress bladder cancer progression in BBN-induced bladder cancer mouse models. Together, these results suggest that the newly developed therapy combining BCG plus ASC-J9 may become a novel therapy to better suppress bladder cancer progress.

Wu L, Zhang C, Wang X, et al.
Methylation of ASC/TMS1 promoter is associated with poor prognosis of patients with gastric cancer.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2016; 18(3):296-303 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to explore the prognostic value of the methylation status of the ASC/TMS1 (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD/the target of methylation-induced silencing-1) promoter in gastric cancer (GC).
METHODS: ASC/TMS1 expression was detected in GC tissues and normal gastric mucosal tissues by real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) analysis was performed to detect the methylated degrees of the DNA of the ASC/TMS1 promoter of 200 GC patients. Associations between molecular, clinicopathological characteristics and survival data were analyzed.
RESULTS: The mRNA and protein expression levels of ASC/TMS1 in GC tissues were lower than those in normal gastric mucosal tissues. With the MSP detection, ASC/TMS1 promoter methylation was found in 68 (34 %) in 200 GC tissues, while none of 40 normal gastric mucosal tissues were found to be methylated. The size of primary tumor and lymph node metastasis were identified as independent relative factors of methylation status of the ASC/TMS1 promoter in GC tissues. Multivariate analysis results demonstrated that the degree of differentiation, serosal invasion, lymph node metastasis and methylated status of ASC/TMS1 promoter were independent prognostic indicators of GC. Lymph node metastasis and methylated status of ASC/TMS1 promoter were optimal prognostic predictors of GC patients, as identified by Cox regression with Akaike information criterion value calculation.
CONCLUSIONS: The methylated status of ASC/TMS1 promoter had the potential applicability for clinical evaluation the prognosis of GC.

Spaans VM, Trietsch MD, Peters AA, et al.
Precise Classification of Cervical Carcinomas Combined with Somatic Mutation Profiling Contributes to Predicting Disease Outcome.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0133670 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), adenocarcinoma (AC), and adenosquamous carcinoma (ASC) are the most common histological subtypes of cervical cancer. Differences in the somatic mutation profiles of these subtypes have been suggested. We investigated the prevalence of somatic hot-spot mutations in three well-defined cohorts of SCC, AC, and ASC and determined the additional value of mutation profiling in predicting disease outcome relative to well-established prognostic parameters.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Clinicopathological data were collected for 301 cervical tumors classified as SCC (n=166), AC (n=55), or ASC (n=80). Mass spectrometry was used to analyze 171 somatic hot-spot mutations in 13 relevant genes.
RESULTS: In 103 (34%) tumors, 123 mutations were detected (36% in SCC, 38% in AC, and 28% in ASC), mostly in PIK3CA (20%) and KRAS (7%). PIK3CA mutations occurred more frequently in SCC than AC (25% vs. 11%, P=0.025), whereas KRAS mutations occurred more frequently in AC than SCC (24% vs. 3%, P<0.001) and ASC (24% vs. 3%, P<0.001). A positive mutation status correlated with worse disease-free survival (HR 1.57, P=0.043). In multivariate analysis, tumor diameter, parametrial infiltration, and lymph node metastasis, but not the presence of a somatic mutation, were independent predictors of survival.
CONCLUSION: Potentially targetable somatic mutations occurred in 34% of cervical tumors with different distributions among histological subtypes. Precise classification of cervical carcinomas in combination with mutation profiling is valuable for predicting disease outcome and may guide the development and selection of tumor-specific treatment approaches.

Liu Q, Jin J, Ying J, et al.
Epigenetic inactivation of the candidate tumor suppressor gene ASC/TMS1 in human renal cell carcinoma and its role as a potential therapeutic target.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(26):22706-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
This study investigated the epigenetic alteration and biological function of the pro-apoptotic gene ASC/TMS1 in renal cell carcinoma. ASC/TMS1 was downregulated in five out of six RCC cell lines. A significant downregulation was also detected in sixty-seven paired renal tumors compared with adjacent non-cancerous tissues. The downregulation of ASC/TMS1 was correlated with promoter hypermethylation and could be restored with demethylation treatment. Re-expression of ASC/TMS1 in silenced RCC cell lines inhibited cell viability, colony formation, arrested cell cycle, induced apoptosis, suppressed cell invasion and repressed tumorigenicity in SCID mice. The antitumorigenic function of ASC/TMS1 in renal cancer was partially regulated by activation of p53 and p21 signaling. In addition, restoration of ASC/TMS1 sensitizes RCC cells to DNA damaging agents. Knockdown of ASC/TMS1 reduced DNA damaging agents-induced p53 activation and cell apoptosis. Moreover, ASC/TMS1 hypermethylation was further detected in 41.1% (83/202) of RCC tumors, but only 12% in adjacent non-cancerous tissues. ASC/TMS1 methylation was significantly correlated with higher tumor nuclear grade. In conclusion, ASC/TMS1 is a novel functional tumor suppressor in renal carcinogenesis. ASC/TMS1 tumor specific methylation may be a useful biomarker for designing improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for RCC.

Nigim F, Cavanaugh J, Patel AP, et al.
Targeting Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α in a New Orthotopic Model of Glioblastoma Recapitulating the Hypoxic Tumor Microenvironment.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015; 74(7):710-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Tissue hypoxia and necrosis represent pathophysiologic and histologic hallmarks of glioblastoma (GBM). Although hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) plays crucial roles in the malignant phenotypes of GBM, developing HIF-1α-targeted agents has been hampered by the lack of a suitable preclinical model that recapitulates the complex biology of clinical GBM. We present a new GBM model, MGG123, which was established from a recurrent human GBM. Orthotopic xenografting of stem-like MGG123 cells reproducibly generated lethal tumors that were characterized by foci of palisading necrosis, hypervascularity, and robust stem cell marker expression. Perinecrotic neoplastic cells distinctively express HIF-1α and are proliferative in both xenografts and the patient tissue. The xenografts contain scattered hypoxic foci that were consistently greater than 50 μm distant from blood vessels, indicating intratumoral heterogeneity of oxygenation. Hypoxia enhanced HIF-1α expression in cultured MGG123 cells, which was abrogated by the HIF-1α inhibitors digoxin or ouabain. In vivo, treatment of orthotopic MGG123 xenografts with digoxin decreased HIF-1α expression, vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA levels, and CD34-positive vasculature within the tumors, and extended survival of mice bearing the aggressive MGG123 GBM. This preclinical tumor model faithfully recapitulates the GBM-relevant hypoxic microenvironment and stemness and is a suitable platform for studying disease biology and developing hypoxia-targeted agents.

Scherzberg MC, Kiehl A, Zivkovic A, et al.
Structural modification of resveratrol leads to increased anti-tumor activity, but causes profound changes in the mode of action.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 287(1):67-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
(Z)-3,5,4'-Trimethoxystilbene (Z-TMS) is a resveratrol analog with increased antiproliferative activity towards a number of cancer cell lines compared to resveratrol, which has been shown to inhibit tubulin polymerization in vitro. The purpose of this study was to investigate if Z-TMS still shows potential for the prevention of metabolic diseases as known for resveratrol. Cell growth inhibition was determined with IC50 values for Z-TMS between 0.115μM and 0.473μM (resveratrol: 110.7μM to 190.2μM). Flow cytometric analysis revealed a G2/M arrest after Z-TMS treatment, whereas resveratrol caused S phase arrest. Furthermore, Z-TMS was shown to impair microtubule polymerization. Beneficial effects on lipid accumulation were observed for resveratrol, but not for Z-TMS in an in vitro steatosis model. (E)-Resveratrol was confirmed to elevate cAMP levels, and knockdown of AMPK attenuated the antiproliferative activity, while Z-TMS did not show significant effects in these experiments. SIRT1 and AMPK activities were further measured indirectly via induction of the target gene small heterodimer partner (SHP). Thereby, (E)-resveratrol, but not Z-TMS, showed potent induction of SHP mRNA levels in an AMPK- and SIRT1-dependent manner, as confirmed by knockdown experiments. We provide evidence that Z-TMS does not show beneficial metabolic effects, probably due to loss of activity towards resveratrol target genes. Moreover, our data support previous findings that Z-TMS acts as an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization. These findings confirm that the methylation of resveratrol leads to profound changes in the mode of action, which should be taken into consideration when conducting lead structure optimization approaches.

Fukuhara S, Chang I, Mitsui Y, et al.
Functional role of DNA mismatch repair gene PMS2 in prostate cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(18):16341-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
DNA mismatch repair (MMR) enzymes act as proofreading complexes that maintains genomic integrity and MMR-deficient cells show an increased mutation rate. MMR has also been shown to influence cell signaling and the regulation of tumor development. MMR consists of various genes and includes post-meiotic segregation (PMS) 2 which is a vital component of mutL-alpha. In prostate, the functional role of this gene has never been reported and in this study, our aim was to investigate the effect of PMS2 on growth properties of prostate cancer (PCa) cells. Previous studies have shown PMS2 to be deficient in DU145 cells and this lack of expression was confirmed by Western blotting whereas normal prostatic PWR-1E and RWPE-1 cells expressed this gene. PMS2 effects on various growth properties of DU145 were then determined by creating stable gene transfectants. Interestingly, PMS2 caused decreased cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and in vivo growth; and increased apoptosis as compared to vector control. We further analyzed genes affected by PMS2 expression and observe the apoptosis-related TMS1 gene to be significantly upregulated whereas anti-apoptotic BCL2A1 was downregulated. These results demonstrate a functional role for PMS2 to protect against PCa progression by enhancing apoptosis of PCa cells.

Ge NJ, Shi ZY, Yu XH, et al.
Genetic Variants in ASCT2 Gene are Associated with the Prognosis of Transarterial Chemoembolisation-Treated Early- Stage Hepatocelluar Carcinoma.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(9):4103-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent malignancies worldwide. Transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE) is the standardized therapy for intermediate stage HCC. However, the prognosis for HCC patients treated by TACE greatly varies. Thus, there is a critical need for finding biomarkers to predict the prognosis of HCC patients. The amino acid transporter-2 (ASCT2) is involved in tumorigenesis and progression of many malignancies. This study aimed to evaluate the predictive role of two single nuclear polymorphisms (SNPs, rs3826793 and rs2070246) in the ASCT2 gene in HCC patients treated by TACE.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two functional SNPs (rs3826793 and rs2070246) in the ASCT2 gene were selected and genotyped using the Sequenom iPLEX genotyping system in a cohort of 448 unresectable Chinese HCC patients treated by TACE. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models and Kaplan-Meier curves were used for the prognosis analyses.
RESULTS: There was no significant association between two SNPs (rs3826793 and rs2070246) in the ASCT2 gene and overall survival of TACE treated HCC patients. However, we demonstrated that patients with early stage HCC carrying T genotype in rs2070246 showed better OS than those carrying CC genotype (P=0.023).
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that patients with early stage HCC carrying T genotype in rs2070246 showed better OS than those carrying CC genotype.

Won EJ, Kim HR, Park RY, et al.
Direct confirmation of quiescence of CD34+CD38- leukemia stem cell populations using single cell culture, their molecular signature and clinicopathological implications.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:217 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The proliferating activity of a single leukemia stem cell and the molecular mechanisms for their quiescent property remain unknown, and also their prognostic value remains a matter of debate. Therefore, this study aimed to demonstrate the quiescence property and molecular signature of leukemia stem cell and their clinicopathological implications.
METHODS: Single cell sorting and culture were performed in the various sets of hematopoietic stem cells including CD34+CD38- acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell population (ASCs) from a total of 60 patients with AML, and 11 healthy controls. Their quiescence related-molecular signatures and clinicopathological parameters were evaluated in AML patients.
RESULTS: Single cell plating efficiency of ASCs was significantly lower (8.6%) than those of normal hematopoietic stem cells i.e.: cord blood, 79.0%; peripheral blood, 45.3%; and bone marrow stem cell, 31.1%. Members of the TGFβ super-family signaling pathway were most significantly decreased; as well as members of the Wnt, Notch, pluripotency maintenance and hedgehog pathways, compared with non ASC populations. mtDNA copy number of ASCs was significantly lower than that of corresponding other cell populations. However, our data couldn't support the prognostic value of the ASCs in AML.
CONCLUSIONS: ASCs showed remarkable lower plating efficiency and slower dividing properties at the single cell level. This quiescence is represented as a marked decrease in the mtDNA copy number and also linked with down-regulation of genes in various molecular pathways.

Duvlis S, Popovska-Jankovic K, Arsova ZS, et al.
HPV E6/E7 mRNA versus HPV DNA biomarker in cervical cancer screening of a group of Macedonian women.
J Med Virol. 2015; 87(9):1578-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
High risk types of human papillomaviruses E6/E7 oncogenes and their association with tumor suppressor genes products are the key factors of cervical carcinogenesis. This study proposed them as specific markers for cervical dysplasia screening. The aim of the study is to compare the clinical and prognostic significance of HPV E6/E7 mRNA as an early biomarker versus HPV DNA detection and cytology in triage of woman for cervical cancer. The study group consists of 413 women: 258 NILM, 26 ASC-US, 81 LSIL, 41 HSIL, and 7 unsatisfactory cytology. HPV4AACE screening, real-time multiplex PCR and MY09/11 consensus PCR primers methods were used for the HPV DNA detection. The real-time multiplex nucleic acid sequence-based assay (NucliSENS EasyQ HPV assay) was used for HPV E6/E7 mRNA detection of the five most common high risk HPV types in cervical cancer (16, 18, 31, 33, and 45). The results show that HPV E6/E7 mRNA testing had a higher specificity 50% (95% CI 32-67) and positive predictive value (PPV) 62% (95% CI 46-76) for CIN2+ compared to HPV DNA testing that had specificity of 18% (95% CI 7-37) and PPV 52% (95% CI 39-76) respectively. The higher specificity and PPV of HPV E6/E7 mRNA testing are valuable in predicting insignificant HPV DNA infection among cases with borderline cytological finding. It can help in avoiding aggressive procedures (biopsies and over-referral of transient HPV infections) as well as lowering patient's anxiety and follow up period.

Yang L, He Z, Huang XY, et al.
Prevalence of human papillomavirus and the correlation of HPV infection with cervical disease in Weihai, China.
Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2015; 36(1):73-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection rate in female genital tracts, as well as the HPV genotype distribution and HPV correlation with cervical disease in Weihai, Shandong Province, China.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample of 9,460 volunteers was simultaneously screened using gene chips and examined by ThinPrep liquid-based cytology test (TCT). Cervical biopsy samples were collected from women with positive HPV-DNA and abnormal TCT for pathological diagnosis.
RESULTS: The overall HPV prevalence was 6.93% (656 of 9,460). A total of 753 subjects were infected with HPV subtypes (including multiple HPV infections). Of those with infections, 688 were infected with high-risk (HR) types (91.37%), and 65 were infected with low-risk subtypes (8.63%). The single-infection rate was 63.1%.The prevalence rates of HPV in women aged 20 to 39 years and 40 to 59 years were 7.29% and 6.71%, respectively. The most common genotype was HPV16. The HR genotypes were associated with cervical diseases such as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) (37.9%), atypical squamous cells high grade (ASC-H) (42.5%), low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) (50%), and high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion HSIL (66.7%). Cervical biopsy results show that the HPV detection rate increased in the following biopsy samples: cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) I (74.11%), CIN II (84.31%), CIN III (90.32%), and squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC) (100%).
CONCLUSIONS: The HPV infection rate with associated cervical disease in Weihai is equal to those in foreign countries but is lower than the average rate in China. The prevalence of HPV was higher in young people. The most common HPV genotype was 16, followed by 52 and 58. HR HPV is the most probable infection factor for cervical diseases.

Guo M, Alumkal J, Drachova T, et al.
CHFR methylation strongly correlates with methylation of DNA damage repair and apoptotic pathway genes in non-small cell lung cancer.
Discov Med. 2015; 19(104):151-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation occurs commonly in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We sought to determine the frequency and relationship of methylation of key genes involved in the pathways of mitotic checkpoint control, DNA damage repair, apoptosis, and growth factor signaling in these patients. We analyzed the DNA methylation status of eight genes (CHFR, FANCF, MGMT, p16, DAPK, ASC or TMS-1, RAR-B, and CRBP1) using nested methylation-specific PCR (MSP) on over 314 paraffin-embedded, human non-small cell lung cancer samples. We determined the methylation frequency of each gene in addition to the association of the methylation of each gene with other members of the panel. Methylation was a common event in these samples. Our methylation analysis showed frequencies of methylation of 10% for CHFR, 14% for FANCF, 30% for MGMT, 29% for p16, 17% for DAPK, 33% for ASC, 38% for RAR-B, and 7% for CRBP1. There was a strong correlation between methylation of the mitotic G2-M checkpoint gene, CHFR, and methylation of other genes in our panel involved in DNA damage repair (FANCF and MGMT) and apoptosis (DAPK and ASC) but not with other genes in our panel, including p16 (the G1-S checkpoint gene), CRBP1, or RAR-B. In addition, MGMT methylation strongly correlated with the pro-apoptotic gene, ASC. There are distinct associations of methylated genes in non-small cell lung cancer involving DNA damage repair, apoptosis, and the G2-M mitotic checkpoint control. Further studies are warranted to determine whether these methylation patterns have implications for prognosis in addition to prediction of response to chemotherapeutic agents commonly used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, such as radiotherapy and platinum- or taxane-based chemotherapy.

Hassanein M, Qian J, Hoeksema MD, et al.
Targeting SLC1a5-mediated glutamine dependence in non-small cell lung cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(7):1587-97 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
We previously elucidated the pleotropic role of solute carrier family A1 member 5 (SLC1A5) as the primary transporter of glutamine (Gln), a modulator of cell growth and oxidative stress in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of our study was to evaluate SLC1A5 as a potential new therapeutic target and candidate biomarker predictive of survival and response to therapy. SLC1A5 targeting was examined in a panel of NSCLC and human bronchial cell lines by RNA interference and by a small molecular inhibitor, gamma-l-glutamyl-p-nitroanilide (GPNA). The effects of targeting SLC1A5 on cell growth, Gln uptake, ATP level, autophagy and cell death were examined. Inactivation of SLC1A5 genetically or pharmacologically decreased Gln consumption, inhibited cell growth, induced autophagy and apoptosis in a subgroup of NSCLC cell lines that overexpress SLC1A5. Targeting SLC1A5 function decreased tumor growth in NSCLC xenografts. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis indicates that patients with increased SLC1A5 mRNA expression have significantly shorter overall survival (p = 0.01, HR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.05-1.46), adjusted for age, gender, smoking history and disease stage. In an immunohistochemistry study on 207 NSCLC patients, SLC1A5 protein expression remained highly significant prognostic value in both univariate (p < 0.0001, HR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.15-1.50) and multivariate analyses (p = 0.04, HR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.01-1.31). These results position SLC1A5 as a new candidate prognostic biomarker for selective targeting of Gln-dependent NSCLC.

Koo JS, Yoon JS
Expression of metabolism-related proteins in lacrimal gland adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2015; 143(4):584-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the expression and the clinical implications of metabolism-related proteins in lacrimal gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) in comparison with salivary gland ACC.
METHODS: Human tissue samples of lacrimal gland ACC (n = 11) and salivary gland ACC (n = 64) were analyzed. Immunochemistry was used to measure expression of proteins related to glycolysis (glucose transporter 1, hexokinase II, carbonic anhydrase IX, and monocarboxylate transporter 4 [MCT4]), glutaminolysis (glutaminase 1 [GLS1], glutamate dehydrogenase [GDH], and amino acid transporter 2 [ASCT2]), mitochondria (adenosine triphosphate [ATP] synthase, succinate dehydrogenase A [SDHA], and succinate dehydrogenase B), and glycolytic intermediate metabolism (phosphoserine phosphatase [PSPH], serine hydroxymethyl transferase 1 [SHMT1]).
RESULTS: GLS1 and ASCT2 were more highly expressed, and GDH, ATP synthase, and SDHA were expressed to a lesser degree in lacrimal gland ACC than in salivary gland ACC (P < .05). Lacrimal gland ACC showed less of a mitochondrial phenotype than did salivary gland ACC (P = .001). Positivity of MCT4 and PSPH was related to shorter disease-free survival, and SHMT1 was related to shorter overall survival (P < .05).
CONCLUSIONS: Lacrimal gland ACC exhibited higher expression of GLS1 and ASCT2, compared with salivary gland ACC. Overexpression of MCT4, PSPH, and SHMT1 was associated with poorer prognosis.

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