Gene Summary

Gene:ROBO1; roundabout guidance receptor 1
Aliases: SAX3, DUTT1
Summary:Bilateral symmetric nervous systems have special midline structures that establish a partition between the two mirror image halves. Some axons project toward and across the midline in response to long-range chemoattractants emanating from the midline. The product of this gene is a member of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily and encodes an integral membrane protein that functions in axon guidance and neuronal precursor cell migration. This receptor is activated by SLIT-family proteins, resulting in a repulsive effect on glioma cell guidance in the developing brain. A related gene is located at an adjacent region on chromosome 3. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2009]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:roundabout homolog 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

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

Latest Publications: ROBO1 (cancer-related)

Xia Y, Wang L, Xu Z, et al.
Reduced USP33 expression in gastric cancer decreases inhibitory effects of Slit2-Robo1 signalling on cell migration and EMT.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12606 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers in the world, causing a large number of deaths every year. The Slit-Robo signalling pathway, initially discovered for its critical role in neuronal guidance, has recently been shown to modulate tumour invasion and metastasis in several human cancers. However, the role of Slit-Robo signalling and the molecular mechanisms underlying its role in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer remains to be elucidated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Slit2, Robo1 and USP33 expressions were analysed in datasets obtained from the Oncomine database and measured in human gastric cancer specimens. The function of Slit2-Robo1-USP33 signalling on gastric cancer cells migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was studied both in vitro and in vivo. The mechanism of the interaction between Robo1 and USP33 was explored by co-IP and ubiquitination protein analysis.
RESULTS: The mRNA and protein levels of Slit2 and Robo1 are lower in GC tissues relative to those in adjacent healthy tissues. Importantly, Slit2 inhibits GC cell migration and suppresses EMT process in a Robo-dependent manner. The inhibitory function of Slit2-Robo1 is mediated by ubiquitin-specific protease 33 (USP33) via deubiquitinating and stabilizing Robo1. USP33 expression is decreased in GC tissues, and reduced USP33 level is correlated with poor patient survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals the inhibitory function of Slit-Robo signalling in GC and uncovers a role of USP33 in suppressing cancer cell migration and EMT by enhancing Slit2-Robo1 signalling. USP33 represents a feasible choice as a prognostic biomarker for GC.

Gołos A, Jesionek-Kupnicka D, Gil L, et al.
The Expression of the SLIT-ROBO Family in Adult Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2019; 67(2):109-123 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: SLIT-ROBO is a ligand-receptor family of neuronal guidance cues that has been involved in pathological and physiological angiogenesis. SLIT-ROBO expression is altered in many tumours. However, no data exist about the role of the whole family in acute myelogenous myeloid leukemia (AML).
PURPOSE: Herein, we assessed the expression of all SLIT-ROBO family in bone marrow (BM) biopsy of AML patients and control group on both protein and RNA levels.
METHODS: The paraffin-embedded tissue blocks were subjected to immunohistochemistry for SLIT1, SLIT2, SLIT3, ROBO1, ROBO2, ROBO3, and ROBO4. Microvessel density (MVD) was evaluated by CD34 immunohistochemistry. An in silico analysis using The Cancer Genome Atlas data repository was conducted for assessment of RNA level.
RESULTS: Acute myeloid leukemia patients were generally high expressers of ROBO1 and ROBO2 compared to the controls (p < 0.0001, p < 0.001, respectively). In contrast, low expression of SLIT1, SLIT2, and SLIT3 ligands has been noted more commonly in AML than in control BM samples (p < 0.0001, p = 0.003, and p = 0.001, respectively). ROBO4 expression correlated with MVD. The in silico analysis showed a poor prognostic value of high ROBO3 and low SLIT2 RNA levels (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0008, respectively), as well as high ROBO3 and ROBO4 RNA levels in cytogenetic poor risk groups of patients (p = 0.0029 and p = 0.0003, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that SLIT-ROBO family members play a role in the biology of AML. Low expression of SLIT in BM of AML patients may suggest its expression alterations in AML. Increased expression of ROBO1 and ROBO2 in AML patients suggests their participation in AML pathogenesis.

Pande M, Joon A, Brewster AM, et al.
Genetic susceptibility markers for a breast-colorectal cancer phenotype: Exploratory results from genome-wide association studies.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(4):e0196245 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Clustering of breast and colorectal cancer has been observed within some families and cannot be explained by chance or known high-risk mutations in major susceptibility genes. Potential shared genetic susceptibility between breast and colorectal cancer, not explained by high-penetrance genes, has been postulated. We hypothesized that yet undiscovered genetic variants predispose to a breast-colorectal cancer phenotype.
METHODS: To identify variants associated with a breast-colorectal cancer phenotype, we analyzed genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from cases and controls that met the following criteria: cases (n = 985) were women with breast cancer who had one or more first- or second-degree relatives with colorectal cancer, men/women with colorectal cancer who had one or more first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer, and women diagnosed with both breast and colorectal cancer. Controls (n = 1769), were unrelated, breast and colorectal cancer-free, and age- and sex- frequency-matched to cases. After imputation, 6,220,060 variants were analyzed using the discovery set and variants associated with the breast-colorectal cancer phenotype at P<5.0E-04 (n = 549, at 60 loci) were analyzed for replication (n = 293 cases and 2,103 controls).
RESULTS: Multiple correlated SNPs in intron 1 of the ROBO1 gene were suggestively associated with the breast-colorectal cancer phenotype in the discovery and replication data (most significant; rs7430339, Pdiscovery = 1.2E-04; rs7429100, Preplication = 2.8E-03). In meta-analysis of the discovery and replication data, the most significant association remained at rs7429100 (P = 1.84E-06).
CONCLUSION: The results of this exploratory analysis did not find clear evidence for a susceptibility locus with a pleiotropic effect on hereditary breast and colorectal cancer risk, although the suggestive association of genetic variation in the region of ROBO1, a potential tumor suppressor gene, merits further investigation.

Tricoli JV, Boardman LA, Patidar R, et al.
A mutational comparison of adult and adolescent and young adult (AYA) colon cancer.
Cancer. 2018; 124(5):1070-1082 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It is possible that the relative lack of progress in treatment outcomes among adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer is caused by a difference in disease biology compared with the corresponding diseases in younger and older individuals. There is evidence that colon cancer is more aggressive and has a poorer prognosis in AYA patients than in older adult patients.
METHODS: To further understand the molecular basis for this difference, whole-exome sequencing was conducted on a cohort of 30 adult, 30 AYA, and 2 pediatric colon cancers.
RESULTS: A statistically significant difference in mutational frequency was observed between AYA and adult samples in 43 genes, including ROBO1, MYC binding protein 2 (MYCBP2), breast cancer 2 (early onset) (BRCA2), MAP3K3, MCPH1, RASGRP3, PTCH1, RAD9B, CTNND1, ATM, NF1; KIT, PTEN, and FBXW7. Many of these mutations were nonsynonymous, missense, stop-gain, or frameshift mutations that were damaging. Next, RNA sequencing was performed on a subset of the samples to confirm the mutations identified by exome sequencing. This confirmation study verified the presence of a significantly greater frequency of damaging mutations in AYA compared with adult colon cancers for 5 of the 43 genes (MYCBP2, BRCA2, PHLPP1, TOPORS, and ATR).
CONCLUSIONS: The current results provide the rationale for a more comprehensive study with a larger sample set and experimental validation of the functional impact of the identified variants along with their contribution to the biologic and clinical characteristics of AYA colon cancer. Cancer 2018;124:1070-82. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Li YJ, Zhang W, Xia H, et al.
miR-218 suppresses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by targeting Robo1 and Ecop in lung adenocarcinoma cells.
Future Oncol. 2017; 13(28):2571-2582 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Although, miR-218 has been implicated in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition process, the detailed mechanisms of miR-218 involvement in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human lung adenocarcinoma cell are still unclear.
MATERIALS & METHODS: miR-218 function assays and its target gene analysis were performed.
RESULTS: miR-218 suppresses human lung adenocarcinoma cell migration and invasion and inhibits its target gene, Ecop and Robo1 expression, which subsequently suppresses NF-κB activity and its downstream targets.
CONCLUSION: miR-218 inhibits human lung adenocarcinoma cell migration and invasion via the suppression of Ecop and Robo1 expression, thus suggesting that miR-218 could serve as a potential therapeutic target.

Chen W, Ye L, Wen D, Chen F
MiR-490-5p Inhibits Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Proliferation, Migration and Invasion by Directly Regulating ROBO1.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2019; 25(1):1-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies have investigated the effect of ROBO1. All the same, the relationship between miR-490-5p and ROBO1, and the underlying mechanism are still unclear. We aimed to study the effect of microRNA-490-5p (miR-490-5p) on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell proliferation, migration and invasion by directly regulating ROBO1. The expression of miR-490-5p and ROBO1 in HCC tissues and cells were tested by RT-qPCR, and the Hep3B cells were selected for subsequent experiments. We confirmed the relationship between miR-490-5p and ROBO1 by luciferase reporter system. The effects of miR-490-5p on cell proliferation, migration and invasion of Hep3B cells were assessed by MTT assay, colony formation assay, wound healing assay and transwell assay, respectively. Flow cytometry was employed to detect the influence of miR-490-5p on cell cycle and apoptosis of Hep3B cells. The expression of miR-490-5p was down-regulated, while ROBO1 was up-regulated in HCC tissues and cells than the controls. MiR-490-5p can target ROBO1. MiR-490-5p inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion, but promoted cell apoptosis of Hep3B cells by inhibiting ROBO1. We confirmed that miR-490-5p could directly suppress ROBO1, which might be a potential mechanism in inhibiting HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion.

Justice ED, Barnum SJ, Kidd T
The WAGR syndrome gene PRRG4 is a functional homologue of the commissureless axon guidance gene.
PLoS Genet. 2017; 13(8):e1006865 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WAGR syndrome is characterized by Wilm's tumor, aniridia, genitourinary abnormalities and intellectual disabilities. WAGR is caused by a chromosomal deletion that includes the PAX6, WT1 and PRRG4 genes. PRRG4 is proposed to contribute to the autistic symptoms of WAGR syndrome, but the molecular function of PRRG4 genes remains unknown. The Drosophila commissureless (comm) gene encodes a short transmembrane protein characterized by PY motifs, features that are shared by the PRRG4 protein. Comm intercepts the Robo axon guidance receptor in the ER/Golgi and targets Robo for degradation, allowing commissural axons to cross the CNS midline. Expression of human Robo1 in the fly CNS increases midline crossing and this was enhanced by co-expression of PRRG4, but not CYYR, Shisa or the yeast Rcr genes. In cell culture experiments, PRRG4 could re-localize hRobo1 from the cell surface, suggesting that PRRG4 is a functional homologue of Comm. Comm is required for axon guidance and synapse formation in the fly, so PRRG4 could contribute to the autistic symptoms of WAGR by disturbing either of these processes in the developing human brain.

Zhang X, Dong J, He Y, et al.
miR-218 inhibited tumor angiogenesis by targeting ROBO1 in gastric cancer.
Gene. 2017; 615:42-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant expression of miRNAs is involved in several carcinogenic processes, including tumor growth, metastasis and angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to determine the role of miR-218 in gastric cancer angiogenesis. In situ hybridization was performed on a set of tissue microarray samples to assess the difference in miR-218 expression in vessels between tumor tissues and normal gastric mucosa. In vitro, ectopic expression of miR-218 disturbed the tubular structure and inhibited the migration of endothelial cells. Motility and tube formation were rescued when miR-218 was downregulated. Moreover, miR-218 suppressed endothelial cell sprouting in a fibrin bead sprouting assay. Subsequently, we identified ROBO1 as a target of miR-218 in endothelial cells and determined it was responsible for the effect of miR-218 on tumor angiogenesis. In vivo, local injection of mature miR-218 in xenografted tumors disrupted the vessel plexus and thus inhibited tumor growth. Taken together, our study demonstrated an anti-angiogenic role of miR-218 in gastric cancer and indicated that delivery of miR-218 may be a potential therapeutic strategy to inhibit tumor angiogenesis.

Sin MLY, Mach KE, Sinha R, et al.
Deep Sequencing of Urinary RNAs for Bladder Cancer Molecular Diagnostics.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(14):3700-3710 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Feng Y, Feng L, Yu D, et al.
srGAP1 mediates the migration inhibition effect of Slit2-Robo1 in colorectal cancer.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35(1):191 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The neuronal guidance molecule Slit2 plays suppressive role in tumorigenesis and progression. We previously showed that Slit2-Robo1 inhibit cell migration in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, little is known about its downstream effectors in CRC. This study tries to identify whether the Slit-Robo Rho GTPase activating protein 1 (srGAP1) could mediate the inhibitory effect of Slit2-Robo1 on CRC cell migration.
METHODS: The protein expression of srGAP1 in clinical CRC tissues was tested by immunohistochemistry staining. Conditioned medium was prepared from HEK293 cells stably expressing Slit2-myc, Robo1-HA or RoboN (a soluble extracellular domain of Robo1). Immunoprecipitation (IP) was applied to check the interaction between Robo1 and srGAP1, and immunofluorescence (IF) was used to observe the subcellular localization of Robo1 and srGAP1. Small GTPase pull-down assay was used to determine the activity of Cdc42. A modified wound healing assay was performed to detect cell migration.
RESULTS: The protein expression of srGAP1 was remarkably decreased in 47.5% of CRC tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous tissues, and the decreased srGAP1 expression was associated with lymphatic invasion, poor tumor differentiation, high TNM stage, and poor survival (P < 0.05). IP and IF assays revealed that srGAP1 was a Robo1-interacting protein and exhibited similar dynamic subcellular distribution after Slit2 treatment in CRC cells. Small GTPase pull-down assay and migration assay indicated that Slit2-Robo1 signaling inhibited Cdc42 activity and CRC cell motility through srGAP1.
CONCLUSION: Downregulation of srGAP1 in CRC was associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis. srGAP1 is an important downstream molecule of Slit2 signalling in CRC, and mediates the anti-migration function of Slit2 by inhibiting Cdc42.

Bhattacharya R, Mukherjee N, Dasgupta H, et al.
Frequent alterations of SLIT2-ROBO1-CDC42 signalling pathway in breast cancer: clinicopathological correlation.
J Genet. 2016; 95(3):551-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was to understand the role of SLIT2-ROBO1/2-CDC42 signalling pathways in development of breast cancer (BC). Primary BC samples (n = 150), comprising of almost equal proportion of four subtypes were tested for molecular alterations of SLIT2, ROBO1, ROBO2 and CDC42, the key regulator genes of this pathway. Deletion and methylation frequencies of the candidate genes were seen in the following order: deletion, SLIT2 (38.6%) > ROBO1 (30%) > ROBO2 (7.3%); methylation, SLIT2 (63.3%) > ROBO1 (26.6%) >ROBO2 (9.3%). Majority (80%, 120/150) of the tumours showed alterations (deletion/methylation) in at least one of the candidate genes. Overall, alterations of the candidate genes were as follows: SLIT2, 75.3% (101/150); ROBO1, 45.3% (68/150); ROBO2, 15.3% (23/150). Significantly, higher alteration of SLIT2 locus was observed in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) over HER2 subtype (P = 0.0014). Similar trend is also seen in overall alterations of SLIT2 and/or ROBO1, in TNBC than HER2 subtype (P = 0.0012); of SLIT2 and/or ROBO2 in TNBC than luminal A (P = 0.014) and HER2 subtype (P = 0.048). Immunohistochemical analysis of SLIT2, ROBO1/2 showed reduced expression, concordant with their molecular alterations. Also, high expression of total CDC42 (49/52; 94.2%) and reduced expression of phospho Serine-71 CDC42 (41/52; 78.8%) was observed. Coalterations of SLIT2 and/or ROBO1, SLIT2 and/or ROBO2 had significant association with reduced expression of phospho Serine-71 CDC42 (P = 0.0012-0.0038). Alterations of SLIT2 and/or ROBO1, reduced expression of phospho Serine-71 CDC42 predicted poor survival of BC patients. Results indicate the importance of SLIT2-ROBO1-CDC42 signalling pathway in predicting tumour progression.

Zhao Y, Zhou FL, Li WP, et al.
Slit2‑Robo1 signaling promotes the adhesion, invasion and migration of tongue carcinoma cells via upregulating matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9, and downregulating E‑cadherin.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(3):1901-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Whether Slit homologue 2 (Slit2) inhibits or promotes tumor cell migration remains controversial, and the role of Slit2‑Roundabout 1 (Robo1) signaling in oral cancer remains to be fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of Slit2‑Robo1 signaling in the adhesion, invasion and migration of tongue carcinoma cells, and the mechanism by which Slit2‑Robo1 signaling inhibits or promotes tumor cell migration. Tca8113 tongue carcinoma cells were treated with the monoclonal anti‑human Robo1 antibody, R5, to inhibit the Slit2‑Robo1 signaling pathway, with immunoglobulin (Ig)G2b treatment as a negative control. The expression levels of Slit2 and Robo1 were determined using flow cytometry. The effects of R5 on the adhesion, invasion and migration of Tca8113 tongue carcinoma cells were investigated. Gelatin zymography was used to investigate the activity of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and MMP9. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate the expression levels of E‑cadherin in Tca8113 cells treated with 10 µg/ml of either R5 or IgG2b. Slit2 and Robo1 proteins were found to be expressed in the Tca8113 cells. R5 significantly inhibited the adhesion, invasion and migration of Tca8113 cells in vitro. R5 also inhibited the activities of MMP2 and MMP9, and increased the expression of E‑cadherin in the Tca8113 cells. These results suggested that Slit2‑Robo1 signaling promoted the adhesion, invasion and migration of tongue carcinoma cells by upregulating the expression levels of MMP2 and MMP9 and, downregulating the expression of E‑cadherin.

Yuan M, Guo H, Li J, et al.
Slit2 and Robo1 induce opposing effects on metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma Sk-hep-1 cells.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 49(1):305-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
The neural guidance molecular, Slit2, and its cognate receptor, Robo1, play critical roles in the development of the nervous system, nevertheless, their functions are not limited to this system. Numerous studies have shown decreased Slit2 expression in a wide variety of cancers, highlighting its potential as a tumor suppressor. However, the Slit2/Robo1 signaling axis was reported to induce either suppressive or stimulatory effects on tumor growth and metastasis, depending on cellular context. There is a paucity of information on the effects of the Slit2/Robo1 signaling axis on the growth and metastasis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Large-scale data mining of the Oncomine database has revealed heterogeneous expression of Slit2 in HCC. We screened the Sk-hep-1, a cell line showing a relatively high level of Slit2, and low level of Robo1 expression. After Slit2 knockdown and Robo1 overexpression in these cells, we found Slit2 and Robo1 exerted opposing effects on tumor growth and metastasis both in in vitro and in vivo models. Slit2 knockdown and Robo1 overexpression in Sk-hep-1 cells promoted tumor growth and metastasis, suggesting a negative and positive role for Slit2 and Robo1, respectively, in tumor progression. Robo1 overexpression upregulated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)2, -9 and membrane-type1 MMP (MT1-MMP) expression, stimulated MMP2, but not MMP9 activation, and downregulated expression of TIMP1 and 2. The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway is of importance in regulating MMP2 expression in Sk-hep-1 cells, since Robo1 overexpression stimulated phosphorylation of Akt while the PI3K inhibitor LY294002, significantly inhibited the upregulation of MMP2 and also the enhanced cell invasion induced by Robo1 overexpression. We postulate that Robo1 promotes tumor invasion partly by the upregulation of MMP2 after activation of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Notably, Slit2 knockdown caused the upregulation of Robo1 expression both at the mRNA and protein levels. Thus, the stimulatory effects of Slit2 knockdown on tumor progression can be ascribed, at least in part, to the upregulation of Robo1 and its positive role in tumor progression.

Kim YH, Hong EK, Kong SY, et al.
Two classes of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma defined by relative abundance of mutations and copy number alterations.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(17):23825-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a biliary tree-origin epithelial malignancy in liver with unfavorable clinical outcomes. Systematic genome analyses may advance our understanding of ICC pathogenesis also improving current diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. In this study, we analyzed 17 ICC tumor-vs-matched normal pairs using either whole-exome (n = 7), transcriptome sequencing (n = 7) or both platforms (n = 3). For somatic mutations, we identified recurrent mutations of previously reported genes such as KRAS, TP53, APC as well as epigenetic regulators and those of TGFβ signaling pathway. According to the abundance of somatic mutations and DNA copy number alterations (CNA), ten ICC exome cases were distinguished into two classes as those primarily driven by either somatic mutations (M class) or CNAs (C class). Compared to M class ICCs (92-147 somatic mutations; n = 5) with a relative deficit of CNAs, C class ICCs (54-84 mutations; n = 5) harbor recurrent focal CNAs including deletions involving CDKN2A, ROBO1, ROBO2, RUNX3, and SMAD4. We also show that transcriptome sequencing can be used for expression-based ICC categorization but the somatic mutation calling from the transcriptome can be heavily influenced by the gene expression level and potentially, by posttranscriptional modification such as nonsense mediated decay. Along with a substantial level of mutational heterogeneity of ICC genomes, our study reveals previously unrecognized two ICC classes defined by relative abundance of somatic mutations over CNAs or vice versa, which should be considered in the selection of genotyping platforms and sensitive screening of targets for ICC therapeutics.

Yang M, Liu R, Li X, et al.
Epigenetic Repression of miR-218 Promotes Esophageal Carcinogenesis by Targeting ROBO1.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015; 16(11):27781-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
miR-218, consisting of miR-218-1 at 4p15.31 and miR-218-2 at 5q35.1, was significantly decreased in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in our previous study. The aim of this study was to determine whether aberrant methylation is associated with miR-218 repression. Bisulfite sequencing analysis (BSP), methylation specific PCR (MSP), and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment assay were applied to determine the methyaltion status of miR-218 in cells and clinical samples. In vitro assays were performed to explore the role of miR-218. Results showed that miR-218-1 was significantly CpG hypermethylated in tumor tissues (81%, 34/42) compared with paired non-tumor tissues (33%, 14/42) (p < 0.05). However, no statistical difference was found in miR-218-2. Accordingly, expression of miR-218 was negatively correlated with miR-218-1 methylation status (p < 0.05). After demethylation treatment by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, there was a 2.53- and 2.40-fold increase of miR-218 expression in EC109 and EC9706, respectively. miR-218 suppressed cell proliferation and arrested cells at G1 phase by targeting 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of roundabout guidance receptor 1 (ROBO1). A negative correlation was found between miR-218 and ROBO1 mRNA expression in clinical samples. In conclusion, our results support that aberrant CpG hypermethylation at least partly accounts for miR-218 silencing in ESCC, which impairs its tumor-suppressive function.

Villacis RA, Abreu FB, Miranda PM, et al.
ROBO1 deletion as a novel germline alteration in breast and colorectal cancer patients.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(3):3145-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite one third of breast (BC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) cases having a hereditary component, only a small proportion can be explained by germline mutations. The aim of this study was to identify potential genomic alterations related to cancer predisposition. Copy number variations (CNVs) were interrogated in 113 unrelated cases fulfilling the criteria for hereditary BC/CRC and presenting non-pathogenic mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, MLH1, MSH2, TP53, and CHEK2 genes. An identical germline deep intronic deletion of ROBO1 was identified in three index patients using two microarray platforms (Agilent 4x180K and Affymetrix CytoScan HD). The ROBO1 deletion was confirmed by quantitative PCR (qPCR). Six relatives were also evaluated by CytoScan HD Array. Genomic analysis confirmed a co-segregation of the ROBO1 deletion with the occurrence of cancer in two families. Direct sequencing revealed no pathogenic ROBO1 point mutations. Transcriptomic analysis (HTA 2.0, Affymetrix) in two breast carcinomas from a single patient revealed ROBO1 down-expression with no splicing events near the intronic deletion. Deeper in silico analysis showed several enhancer regions and a histone methylation mark in the deleted region. The ROBO1 deletion in a putative transcriptional regulatory region, its down-expression in tumor samples, and the results of the co-segregation analysis revealing the presence of the alteration in affected individuals suggest a pathogenic effect of the ROBO1 in cancer predisposition.

Qin F, Zhang H, Ma L, et al.
Low Expression of Slit2 and Robo1 is Associated with Poor Prognosis and Brain-specific Metastasis of Breast Cancer Patients.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:14430 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Brain metastasis is a significant unmet clinical problem in breast cancer treatment. It is always associated with poor prognosis and high morbidity. Recently, Slit2/Robo1 pathway has been demonstrated to be involved in the progression of breast carcinoma. However, until present, there are no convincing reports that suggest whether the Slit2/Robo1 axis has any role in brain metastasis of breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the correlation between Slit2/Robo1 signaling and breast cancer brain metastasis for the first time. Our results demonstrated that (1) Invasive ductal carcinoma patients with low expression of Slit2 or Robo1 exhibited worse prognosis and brain-specific metastasis, but not liver, bone or lung. (2) Lower expression of Slit2 and Robo1 were observed in patients with brain metastasis, especially in their brain metastasis tumors, compared with patients without brain metastasis. (3) The interval from diagnosis of breast cancer to brain metastasis and brain metastasis to death were both much shorter in patients with low expression of Slit2 or Robo1 compared with the high expression group. Overall, our findings indicated that Slit2/Robo1 axis possibly be regarded as a significant clinical parameter for predicting brain metastasis in breast cancer patients.

Jiang Y, Yin L, Jing H, Zhang H
MicroRNA-219-5p exerts tumor suppressor function by targeting ROBO1 in glioblastoma.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(11):8943-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have shown that miR-219-5p is dysregulated and exerts tumor-suppressive effects in cancer development and progression. However, the molecular function and mechanism of miR-219-5p in glioblastoma growth and invasion are still unclear. In the present study, we show that miR-219-5p was downregulated in a panel of glioma tissues with different grades and in all the human glioma cell lines examined. Ectopic expression of miR-219-5p inhibited proliferation and invasion and induced apoptosis in vitro, and xenograft formation in vivo. ROBO1 was found to be a direct target of miR-219-5p, and when overexpressed in miR-219-5p-expressing glioma cells, was able to restore proliferative and invasive ability. Finally, in vivo investigation confirmed that miR-219-5p was a tumor suppressor that regulated ROBO1 expression. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that miR-219-5p inhibited cancer cell growth and invasion by direct targeting ROBO1, implicating miR-219-5p as an attractive candidate for cancer therapy.

Ao JY, Chai ZT, Zhang YY, et al.
Robo1 promotes angiogenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma through the Rho family of guanosine triphosphatases' signaling pathway.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(11):8413-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Robo1 is a member of the Robo immunoglobulin superfamily of proteins, and it plays an important role in angiogenesis and cancer. In this study, we investigate the role of roundabout 1 (Robo1) in tumor angiogenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Firstly, the relationship between Robo1 expression on tumors and patient's survival and endothelial cells in tumor blood vessels and patient's survival was studied. Secondly, Robo1 was overexpressed or knocked down in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Cell proliferation, motility, and tube formation were compared in HUVEC with different Robo1 expression. Also, HUVECs with different Robo1 expression were mixed with HCCLM3 and HepG2 hepatoma cells and then implanted in a nude mouse model to examine the effects of Robo1 in endothelial cells on tumor growth and angiogenesis. Cell motility-related molecules were studied to investigate the potential mechanism how Robo1 promoted tumor angiogenesis in HCC. The disease-free survival of the patients with high Robo1 expression in tumoral endothelial cells was significantly shorter than that of those with low expression (P = 0.021). Overexpression of Robo1 in HUVECs resulted in increased proliferation, motility, and tube formation in vitro. In the implanted mixture of tumor cells and HUVECs with an increased Robo1 expression, tumor growth and microvessel density were enhanced compared with controls. Robo1 promoted cell division cycle 42 (Cdc42) expression in HUVECs, and a distorted actin cytoskeleton in HUVECs was observed when Robo1 expression was suppressed. In conclusion, Robo1 promoted angiogenesis in HCC mediated by Cdc42.

Wang SM, Tie J, Wang WL, et al.
POU2F2-oriented network promotes human gastric cancer metastasis.
Gut. 2016; 65(9):1427-38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Aberrant upregulation of POU2F2 expression has been discovered in metastatic gastric cancer (GC). However, the mechanisms underlying the aberrant upregulation and the potential functions of POU2F2 remain uncertain.
DESIGN: The role and mechanism of POU2F2 in GC metastasis were investigated in gastric epithelial cells, GC cell lines and an experimental metastasis animal model by gain of function and loss of function. Upstream and downstream targets of POU2F2 were selected by bioinformatics and identified by luciferase reporter assay, electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation PCR. The influence of miR-218 on its putative target genes (POU2F2, ROBO1 and IKK-β) and GC metastasis was further explored via in vitro and in vivo approaches.
RESULTS: Increased POU2F2 expression was detected in metastatic GC cell lines and patient samples. POU2F2 was induced by the activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and, in turn, regulated ROBO1 transcription, thus functionally contributing to GC metastasis. Finally, miR-218 was found to suppress GC metastasis by simultaneously mediating multiple molecules in the POU2F2-oriented network.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that NF-κB and the SLIT2/ROBO1 interaction network with POU2F2 as the central part may exert critical effects on tumour metastasis. Blocking the activation of the POU2F2-oriented metastasis network using miR-218 precursors exemplified a promising approach that sheds light on new strategies for GC treatment.

Liu X, Cai J, Sun Y, et al.
MicroRNA-29a inhibits cell migration and invasion via targeting Roundabout homolog 1 in gastric cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(3):3944-3950 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulation of Roundabout homolog 1 (Robo1) has been demonstrated to be associated with several types of human cancer, including gastric cancer. However, the detailed role of Robo1 and its regulatory mechanism in gastric cancer remain largely unclear. In the current study, it was demonstrated that the expression of microRNA (miR)‑29a was frequently reduced in gastric cancer tissues, compared with their matched normal adjacent tissues. Similar results were additionally observed in AGS and SGC‑7901 human gastric cancer cells. Overexpression of miR‑29a led to reduced migration and invasion of AGS cells. To explore the targets of miR‑29a in gastric cancer, bioinformatics analysis was conducted and Robo1 was identified as a putative target of miR‑29a. Further western blotting and luciferase activity assay data confirmed that miR‑29a was able to negatively regulate the protein expression of Robo1, through directly binding to the 3'‑untranslated region of Robo1 mRNA in gastric cancer cells. In addition, it was demonstrated that Robo1 was frequently upregulated in gastric cancer tissues compared with their matched adjacent normal tissues, and a significant inverse correlation was identified between miR‑29a and Robo1 expression. In addition, knockdown of Robo1 by small interfering RNA markedly inhibited the migratory and invasive capabilities of AGS cells, which the results obtained with overexpression of miR‑29a. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge the current study suggested for the first time, that miR‑29a inhibits migration and invasion in part via direct inhibition of Robo1 in gastric cancer cells. Therefore, Robo1 and miR‑29a may serve as diagnostic or therapeutic targets for gastric cancer.

Jiang L, Wang Y, Rong Y, et al.
miR-1179 promotes cell invasion through SLIT2/ROBO1 axis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(1):319-27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MiR-1179, a new identified miRNA highly associated with metastasis of colorectal cancer which was never reported in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Here we measured the expression levels of miR-1179 and the candidate target gene in tissues from 40 patients with ESCC. Transwell, Dual-luciferase reporter assay and immunocytochemistry assay were employed to detect the function role of miR-1179 in vitro. We found that miR-1179 was up-regulated in human ESCC tumor tissues. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that SLIT2 acting as a new potential target of miR-1179 which was confirmed by luciferase reporter assay. Down-regulation of miR-1179 suppressed cell invasion in vitro with an increasing level of SLIT2 and ROBO1, besides, the up-regulation of SLIT2 decreased cell invasion through ROBO1. Taken together, these findings will shed light the role to mechanism of miR-1179 in regulating cell invasion via SLIT2/ROBO1 axis.

Zhang QQ, Zhou DL, Lei Y, et al.
Slit2/Robo1 signaling promotes intestinal tumorigenesis through Src-mediated activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):3123-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Slit2 is often overexpressed in cancers. Slit2 is a secreted protein that binds to Roundabout (Robo) receptors to regulate cell growth and migration. Here, we employed several complementary mouse models of intestinal cancers, including the Slit2 transgenic mice, the ApcMin/+ spontaneous intestinal adenoma mouse model, and the DMH/DSS-induced colorectal carcinoma model to clarify function of Slit2/Robo1 signaling in intestinal tumorigenesis. We showed that Slit2 and Robo1 are overexpressed in intestinal tumors and may contribute to tumor generation. The Slit2/Robo1 signaling can induce precancerous lesions of the intestine and tumor progression. Ectopic expression of Slit2 activated Slit2/Robo1 signaling and promoted tumorigenesis and tumor growth. This was mediated in part through activation of the Src signaling, which then down-regulated E-cadherin, thereby activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Thus, Slit2/Robo1 signaling is oncogenic in intestinal tumorigenesis.

Wang X, Li M, Wang Z, et al.
Silencing of long noncoding RNA MALAT1 by miR-101 and miR-217 inhibits proliferation, migration, and invasion of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(7):3925-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MALAT1, a highly conserved long noncoding RNA, is deregulated in several types of cancers. However, its role in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and its posttranscriptional regulation remain poorly understood. In this study we provide first evidences that a posttranscriptional regulation mechanism of MALAT1 by miR-101 and miR-217 exists in ESCC cells. This posttranscriptional silencing of MALAT1 could significantly suppress the proliferation of ESCC cells through the arrest of G2/M cell cycle, which may be due to MALAT1-mediated up-regulation of p21 and p27 expression and the inhibition of B-MYB expression. Moreover, we also found the abilities of migration and invasion of ESCC cells were inhibited after overexpression of miR-101, miR-217, or MALAT1 siRNA. This might be attributed to the deregulation of downstream genes of MALAT1, such as MIA2, HNF4G, ROBO1, CCT4, and CTHRC1. A significant negative correlation exists between miR-101 or miR-217 and MALAT1 in 42 pairs of ESCC tissue samples and adjacent normal tissues. Mice xenograft data also support the tumor suppressor role of both miRNAs in ESCCs.

Maiti GP, Ghosh A, Mondal P, et al.
Frequent inactivation of SLIT2 and ROBO1 signaling in head and neck lesions: clinical and prognostic implications.
Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2015; 119(2):202-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The protein SLIT2 and its receptor ROBO1 regulate different cellular processes, such as proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. In this study our aim is to understand the alterations of these genes during development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: First, molecular alterations of the genes were analyzed in 30 dysplastic lesions, 128 primary HNSCC samples, and 1 HNSCC cell line. Then alterations were correlated with mRNA expression (n = 22) and protein expression (n = 29). Finally, the alterations were correlated with different clinicopathologic parameters and clinical outcomes of the patients.
RESULTS: ROBO1 had a comparatively high frequency of deletion (28.5%-54.2%) from dysplastic lesions and subsequent clinical stages than did SLIT2 (16.6-27%). On the contrary, SLIT2 had a high frequency (56.6%-81.2%) of promoter methylation from dysplastic lesions onward compared with ROBO1 (20%-32.8%). Interestingly, alterations of SLIT2 and ROBO1 were high in dysplastic lesions (80%), followed by comparable frequencies (92.5%-95.3%) in subsequent stages of tumor. Alterations of these genes showed concordance with their mRNA/protein expression and significant association with poor patient outcome.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that inactivation of SLIT2 and/or ROBO1 is one of the early events in development of dysplastic lesions of head and neck and has prognostic importance.

Huang Z, Wen P, Kong R, et al.
USP33 mediates Slit-Robo signaling in inhibiting colorectal cancer cell migration.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(8):1792-802 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Originally discovered in neuronal guidance, the Slit-Robo pathway is emerging as an important player in human cancers. However, its involvement and mechanism in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains to be elucidated. Here, we report that Slit2 expression is reduced in CRC tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous tissues. Extensive promoter hypermethylation of the Slit2 gene has been observed in CRC cells, which provides a mechanistic explanation for the Slit2 downregulation in CRC. Functional studies showed that Slit2 inhibits CRC cell migration in a Robo-dependent manner. Robo-interacting ubiquitin-specific protease 33 (USP33) is required for the inhibitory function of Slit2 on CRC cell migration by deubiquitinating and stabilizing Robo1. USP33 expression is downregulated in CRC samples, and reduced USP33 mRNA levels are correlated with increased tumor grade, lymph node metastasis and poor patient survival. Taken together, our data reveal USP33 as a previously unknown tumor-suppressing gene for CRC by mediating the inhibitory function of Slit-Robo signaling on CRC cell migration. Our work suggests the potential value of USP33 as an independent prognostic marker of CRC.

Le Bras GF, Taylor C, Koumangoye RB, et al.
TGFβ loss activates ADAMTS-1-mediated EGF-dependent invasion in a model of esophageal cell invasion.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 330(1):29-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The TGFβ signaling pathway is essential to epithelial homeostasis and is often inhibited during progression of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Recently, an important role for TGFβ signaling has been described in the crosstalk between epithelial and stromal cells regulating squamous tumor cell invasion in mouse models of head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Loss of TGFβ signaling, in either compartment, leads to HNSCC however, the mechanisms involved are not well understood. Using organotypic reconstruct cultures (OTC) to model the interaction between epithelial and stromal cells that occur in dysplastic lesions, we show that loss of TGFβ signaling promotes an invasive phenotype in both fibroblast and epithelial compartments. Employing immortalized esophageal keratinocytes established to reproduce common mutations of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, we show that treatment of OTC with inhibitors of TGFβ signaling (A83-01 or SB431542) enhances invasion of epithelial cells into a fibroblast-embedded Matrigel/collagen I matrix. Invasion induced by A83-01 is independent of proliferation but relies on protease activity and expression of ADAMTS-1 and can be altered by matrix density. This invasion was associated with increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL1 and EGFR ligands HB-EGF and TGFα. Altering EGF signaling prevented or induced epithelial cell invasion in this model. Loss of expression of the TGFβ target gene ROBO1 suggested that chemorepulsion may regulate keratinocyte invasion. Taken together, our data show increased invasion through inhibition of TGFβ signaling altered epithelial-fibroblasts interactions, repressing markers of activated fibroblasts, and altering integrin-fibronectin interactions. These results suggest that inhibition of TGFβ signaling modulates an array of pathways that combined promote multiple aspects of tumor invasion.

He H, Hao SJ, Yao L, et al.
MicroRNA-218 inhibits cell invasion and migration of pancreatic cancer via regulating ROBO1.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2014; 15(10):1333-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
miRNA-218 is a highlighted tumor suppressor and its underlying role in tumor progression is still unknown. Here, we restored the expression of miRNA-218 in pancreatic cancer to clarify the function and potent downstream pathway of miRNA-218. The expressions of both miRNA-218 and its potent target gene ROBO1 were revealed by RT-PCR and western blotting analysis. Transfection of miRNA-218 precursor mimics and luciferase assay were performed to elucidate the regulation mechanism between miRNA-218 and ROBO1. Cells, stably expressing miRNA-218 followed by forced expression of mutant ROBO1, were established through co-transfections of both lentivirus vector and plasmid vector. The cell migration and invasion abilities were evaluated by migration assay and invasion assay respectively. An increased expression of ROBO1 was revealed in cell BxPC-3-LN compared with cell BxPC-3. Elevated expression of miRNA-218 would suppress the expression of ROBO1 via complementary binding to a specific region within 3'UTR of ROBO1 mRNA (sites 971-978) in pancreatic cancer cells. Stably restoring the expression of miRNA-218 in pancreatic cancer significantly downregulated the expression of ROBO1 and effectively inhibited cell migration and invasion. Forced expression of mutant ROBO1 could reverse the repression effects of miRNA-218 on cell migration and invasion. Consequently, miRNA-218 acted as a tumor suppressor in pancreatic cancer by inhibiting cell invasion and migration. ROBO1 was a functional target of miRNA-218's downstream pathway involving in cell invasion and migration of pancreatic cancer.

Wen P, Kong R, Liu J, et al.
USP33, a new player in lung cancer, mediates Slit-Robo signaling.
Protein Cell. 2014; 5(9):704-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ubiquitin specific protease 33 (USP33) is a multifunctional protein regulating diverse cellular processes. The expression and role of USP33 in lung cancer remain unexplored. In this study, we show that USP33 is down-regulated in multiple cohorts of lung cancer patients and that low expression of USP33 is associated with poor prognosis. USP33 mediates Slit-Robo signaling in lung cancer cell migration. Downregulation of USP33 reduces the protein stability of Robo1 in lung cancer cells, providing a previously unknown mechanism for USP33 function in mediating Slit activity in lung cancer cells. Taken together, USP33 is a new player in lung cancer that regulates Slit-Robo signaling. Our data suggest that USP33 may be a candidate tumor suppressor for lung cancer with potential as a prognostic marker.

Jain K, Mohapatra T, Das P, et al.
Sequential occurrence of preneoplastic lesions and accumulation of loss of heterozygosity in patients with gallbladder stones suggest causal association with gallbladder cancer.
Ann Surg. 2014; 260(6):1073-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Causal association of gallbladder stones with gallbladder cancer (GBC) is not yet well established.
OBJECTIVE: To study the frequency of occurrence of preneoplastic histological lesions and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of tumor suppressor genes in patients with gallstones.
METHODS: All consecutive patients with gallstones undergoing cholecystectomy from 2007-2011 were included prospectively. Histological examination of the gallbladder specimens was done for preneoplastic lesions. LOH at 8 loci, that is 3p12, 3p14.2, 5q21, 9p21, 9q, 13q, 17p13, and 18q for tumor suppressor genes (DUTT1, FHIT, APC, p16, FCMD, RB1, p53, and DCC genes) that are associated with GBC was tested from microdissected preneoplastic lesions using microsatellite markers. These LOH were also tested in 30 GBC specimens.
RESULTS: Of the 350 gallbladder specimens from gallstone patients, hyperplasia was found in 32%, metaplasia in 47.8%, dysplasia in 15.7%, and carcinoma in situ in 0.6%. Hyperplasia, metaplasia, and dysplasia alone were found in 11.7%, 24.6%, and 1.4% of patients, respectively. A combination of hyperplasia and dysplasia, metaplasia and dysplasia, and hyperplasia, metaplasia, and dysplasia was found in 3.4%, 6.3%, and 4.3% of patients, respectively. LOH was present in 2.1% to 47.8% of all the preneoplastic lesions at different loci. Fractional allelic loss was significantly higher in those with dysplasia compared with other preneoplastic lesions (0.31 vs 0.22; P = 0.042). No preneoplastic lesion or LOH was found in normal gallbladders.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with gallstones had a high frequency of preneoplastic lesions and accumulation of LOH at various tumor suppressor genes, suggesting a possible causal association of gallstones with GBC.

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