Gene Summary

Gene:RRM2; ribonucleotide reductase M2
Aliases: R2, RR2, RR2M
Summary:This gene encodes one of two non-identical subunits for ribonucleotide reductase. This reductase catalyzes the formation of deoxyribonucleotides from ribonucleotides. Synthesis of the encoded protein (M2) is regulated in a cell-cycle dependent fashion. Transcription from this gene can initiate from alternative promoters, which results in two isoforms that differ in the lengths of their N-termini. Related pseudogenes have been identified on chromosomes 1 and X. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase subunit M2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


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 (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • ras Proteins
  • Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1
  • Transfection
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • siRNA
  • Drug Resistance
  • Lung Cancer
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Xenograft Models
  • Chromosome 2
  • Thiosemicarbazones
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases
  • Deoxycytidine Kinase
  • Gene Expression
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Staging
  • Adolescents
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Cytidine Deaminase
  • Western Blotting
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Urothelium
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Ribonucleoside Diphosphate Reductase
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • RNA Interference
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 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: RRM2 (cancer-related)

Bansal P, Ghalaut VS, Sharma TK, et al.
Status of leptin in MBCR-ABL p210 positive chronic myeloid leukemia patients before and after imatinib therapy: a conflicting scenario.
Clin Lab. 2014; 60(11):1845-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a myeoloproliferative disorder, is characterized by the presence of the fusion gene BCR-ABL in hematopoietic cells. Leptin, considered a link between cancer and obesity, has been reported to be actively involved in hemopoiesis and pathophysiology of CML. There are few and conflicting reports about the status of serum leptin levels and recently alteration in leptin has been reported due to imatinib mesylate.
METHODS: Leptin and CRP were estimated in 30 (male: 20; female: 10) newly diagnosed and confirmed MBCR- ABL p210 positive CML patients before and after 3 months of therapy by commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. Leptin levels were compared with 30 (male: 20; female: 10) age matched healthy controls accounting for the differences due BMI and gender.
RESULTS: Leptin/BMI ratio was significantly raised in both male and female chronic phase patients as compared to controls (p < 0.001, p = 0.048) and accelerated phase patients as compared to controls (males, p < 0.001; females, p < 0.001). The normal gender difference and dependence on BMI was lost in patients. In patients, who failed to achieve hematological baseline, leptin/BMI was higher only in male patients (p = 0.012). Leptin/BMI also correlat- ed with TLC and blast percentage (TLC, R2 = 0.412, p = 0.001; Blast %, R2 = 0.408, p < 0.001). There was no correlation between leptin and CRP levels. Levels decreased significantly after complete hematological remission in both males and females (p = 0.001, p = 0.028). Levels after 3 months of imatinib therapy were significantly higher than controls in all patients not in remission (males, p < 0.001; females, p = 0.018) but only in male patients in re- mission (p = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: Leptin levels were increased in CML patients. The findings suggest a possible role of leptin in patho- genesis of CML or disease progression independent of inflammatory state or reactionary rise. Imatinib itself may increase leptin levels, and, as leptin plays an active role in the pathophysiology of CML, this conflicting scenario needs further investigation. Alterations in leptin need to be investigated cautiously accounting for confounding and differences due to BMI and gender.

Chang YT, Huang CS, Yao CT, et al.
Gene expression profile of peripheral blood in colorectal cancer.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(39):14463-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: Optimal molecular markers for detecting colorectal cancer (CRC) in a blood-based assay were evaluated.
METHODS: A matched (by variables of age and sex) case-control design (111 CRC and 227 non-cancer samples) was applied. Total RNAs isolated from the 338 blood samples were reverse-transcribed, and the relative transcript levels of candidate genes were analyzed. The training set was made of 162 random samples of the total 338 samples. A logistic regression analysis was performed, and odds ratios for each gene were determined between CRC and non-cancer. The samples (n = 176) in the testing set were used to validate the logistic model, and an inferred performance (generality) was verified. By pooling 12 public microarray datasets(GSE 4107, 4183, 8671, 9348, 10961, 13067, 13294, 13471, 14333, 15960, 17538, and 18105), which included 519 cases of adenocarcinoma and 88 controls of normal mucosa, we were able to verify the selected genes from logistic models and estimate their external generality.
RESULTS: The logistic regression analysis resulted in the selection of five significant genes (P < 0.05; MDM2, DUSP6, CPEB4, MMD, and EIF2S3), with odds ratios of 2.978, 6.029, 3.776, 0.538 and 0.138, respectively. The five-gene model performed stably for the discrimination of CRC cases from controls in the training set, with accuracies ranging from 73.9% to 87.0%, a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 95%. In addition, a good performance in the test set was obtained using the discrimination model, providing 83.5% accuracy, 66.0% sensitivity, 92.0% specificity, a positive predictive value of 89.2% and a negative predictive value of 73.0%. Multivariate logistic regressions analyzed 12 pooled public microarray data sets as an external validation. Models that provided similar expected and observed event rates in subgroups were termed well calibrated. A model in which MDM2, DUSP6, CPEB4, MMD, and EIF2S3 were selected showed the result in logistic regression analysis (H-L P = 0.460, R2= 0.853, AUC = 0.978, accuracy = 0.949, specificity = 0.818 and sensitivity = 0.971).
CONCLUSION: A novel gene expression profile was associated with CRC and can potentially be applied to blood-based detection assays.

Zhao H, Zhang H, Du Y, Gu X
Prognostic significance of BRCA1, ERCC1, RRM1, and RRM2 in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12679-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to examine the prognostic value of breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1), excision repair cross-complementation 1 (ERCC1), ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1), and ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received platinum-based chemotherapy. A total of 214 patients with histologically or cytologically confirmed advanced NSCLC were enrolled in this study. The relative complementary DNA (cDNA) quantification for BRCA1, ERCC1, RRM1, and RRM2 was conducted using a fluorescence-based, real-time detection method, and β-actin was used as a reference gene. A strong correlation was observed between ERCC1 and RRM1 messenger RNA (mRNA) levels (P = 0.0385). There were inverse significant correlations between BRCA1 and ERCC1 (P < 0.0001) or RRM1 (P < 0.0001) mRNA levels. As BRCA1 levels increased, the probability of response increased (odds ratio [OR] = 0.49; P < 0.001) and the risk of progression (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.52; P = 0.034) and death (HR = 1.45; P = 0.024) decreased. As ERCC1, RRM1, and RRM2 levels increased, the probability of response decreased (ERCC1, OR = 0.42, P < 0.001; RRM1, OR = 0.85, P = 0.083; RRM2, OR = 0.42, P = 0.005) and the risk of progression (ERCC1, HR = 1.59, P = 0.002; RRM1, HR = 1.48, P = 0.039; RRM2, HR = 1.49, P = 0.041) and death (ERCC1, HR = 1.62, P = 0.008; RRM1, HR = 1.52, P = 0.023; RRM2, HR = 1.48, P = 0.017) increased. At multivariate analysis, low expression of ERCC1 was shown to be an independent predictive factor for response to chemotherapy (P = 0.018), time to progression (P = 0.025), and overall survival (P = 0.038). Furthermore, concomitant low expression levels of ERCC1, RRM1, and RRM2 and the high expression level of BRCA1 were predictive of a better outcome (P = 0.014). This study suggests that the efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapy can be improved when customized according to the mRNA expression of BRCA1, ERCC1, RRM1, and RRM2.

Zhang H, Liu X, Warden CD, et al.
Prognostic and therapeutic significance of ribonucleotide reductase small subunit M2 in estrogen-negative breast cancers.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:664 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ribonucleotide reductase (RR) is an essential enzyme involved in DNA synthesis. We hypothesized that RR subunit M2 (RRM2) might be a novel prognostic and predictive biomarker for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancers.
METHODS: Individual and pooled survival analyses were conducted on six independent large-scale breast cancer microarray data sets; and findings were validated on a human breast tissue set (ZJU set).
RESULTS: Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that RRM2-high breast cancers were significantly enriched for expression of gene sets that increased in proliferation, invasiveness, undifferentiation, embryonic stem/progenitor-like phenotypes, and poor patient survival (p < 0.01). Independent and pooled analyses verified that increased RRM2 mRNA levels were associated with poor patient outcome in a dose-dependent manner. The prognostic power of RRM2 mRNA was comparable to multiple gene signatures, and it was superior to TNM stage. In ER-negative breast cancers, RRM2 showed more prognostic power than that in ER-positive breast cancers. Further analysis indicated that RRM2 was a more accurate prognostic biomarker for ER-negative breast cancers than the pathoclinical indicators and uPA. A new RR inhibitor, COH29, could significantly enhance the chemosensitivity to doxorubicin in ER-negative MDA-MB-231 cells, but not in ER-positive MCF-7 cells.
CONCLUSION: RRM2 appears to be a promising prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for ER-negative breast cancer patients.

Longville BA, Anderson D, Welch MD, et al.
Aberrant expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A (ALDH1A) subfamily genes in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a common feature of T-lineage tumours.
Br J Haematol. 2015; 168(2):246-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
The class 1A aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH1A) subfamily of genes encode enzymes that function at the apex of the retinoic acid (RA) signalling pathway. We detected aberrant expression of ALDH1A genes, particularly ALDH1A2, in a majority (72%) of primary paediatric T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) specimens. ALDH1A expression was almost exclusive to T-lineage, but not B-lineage, ALL. To determine whether ALDH1A expression may have relevance to T-ALL cell growth and survival, the effect of inhibiting ALDH1A function was measured on a panel of human ALL cell lines. This revealed that T-ALL proliferation had a higher sensitivity to modulation of ALDH1A activity and RA signalling as compared to ALL cell lines of B-lineage. Consistent with these findings, the genes most highly correlated with ALDH1A2 expression were involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Evidence that such genes may be targets of regulation via RA signalling initiated by ALDH1A activity was provided by the TNFRSF10B gene, encoding the apoptotic death receptor TNFRSF10B (also termed TRAIL-R2), which negatively correlated with ALDH1A2 and showed elevated transcription following treatment of T-ALL cell lines with the ALDH1A inhibitor citral (3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienal). These data indicate that ALDH1A expression is a common event in T-ALL and supports a role for these enzymes in the pathobiology of this disease.

Cho IK, Moran SP, Paudyal R, et al.
Longitudinal monitoring of stem cell grafts in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging with inducible maga as a genetic reporter.
Theranostics. 2014; 4(10):972-89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The ability to longitudinally monitor cell grafts and assess their condition is critical for the clinical translation of stem cell therapy in regenerative medicine. Developing an inducible genetic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reporter will enable non-invasive and longitudinal monitoring of stem cell grafts in vivo.
METHODS: MagA, a bacterial gene involved in the formation of iron oxide nanocrystals, was genetically modified for in vivo monitoring of cell grafts by MRI. Inducible expression of MagA was regulated by a Tet-On (Tet) switch. A mouse embryonic stem cell-line carrying Tet-MagA (mESC-MagA) was established by lentivirus transduction. The impact of expressing MagA in mESCs was evaluated via proliferation assay, cytotoxicity assay, teratoma formation, MRI, and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Mice were grafted with mESCs with and without MagA (mESC-MagA and mESC-WT). The condition of cell grafts with induced "ON" and non-induced "OFF" expression of MagA was longitudinally monitored in vivo using a 7T MRI scanner. After imaging, whole brain samples were harvested for histological assessment.
RESULTS: Expression of MagA in mESCs resulted in significant changes in the transverse relaxation rate (R2 or 1/T2) and susceptibility weighted MRI contrast. The pluripotency of mESCs carrying MagA was not affected in vitro or in vivo. Intracranial mESC-MagA grafts generated sufficient T2 and susceptibility weighted contrast at 7T. The mESC-MagA grafts can be monitored by MRI longitudinally upon induced expression of MagA by administering doxycycline (Dox) via diet.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate MagA could be used to monitor cell grafts noninvasively, longitudinally, and repetitively, enabling the assessment of cell graft conditions in vivo.

Putluri N, Maity S, Kommagani R, et al.
Pathway-centric integrative analysis identifies RRM2 as a prognostic marker in breast cancer associated with poor survival and tamoxifen resistance.
Neoplasia. 2014; 16(5):390-402 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer (BCa) molecular subtypes include luminal A, luminal B, normal-like, HER-2-enriched, and basal-like tumors, among which luminal B and basal-like cancers are highly aggressive. Biochemical pathways associated with patient survival or treatment response in these more aggressive subtypes are not well understood. With the limited availability of pathologically verified clinical specimens, cell line models are routinely used for pathway-centric studies. We measured the metabolome of luminal and basal-like BCa cell lines using mass spectrometry, linked metabolites to biochemical pathways using Gene Set Analysis, and developed a novel rank-based method to select pathways on the basis of their enrichment in patient-derived omics data sets and prognostic relevance. Key mediators of the pathway were then characterized for their role in disease progression. Pyrimidine metabolism was altered in luminal versus basal BCa, whereas the combined expression of its associated genes or expression of one key gene, ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2 (RRM2) alone, associated significantly with decreased survival across all BCa subtypes, as well as in luminal patients resistant to tamoxifen. Increased RRM2 expression in tamoxifen-resistant patients was verified using tissue microarrays, whereas the metabolic products of RRM2 were higher in tamoxifen-resistant cells and in xenograft tumors. Both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of this key enzyme in tamoxifen-resistant cells significantly decreased proliferation, reduced expression of cell cycle genes, and sensitized the cells to tamoxifen treatment. Our study suggests for evaluating RRM2-associated metabolites as noninvasive markers for tamoxifen resistance and its pharmacological inhibition as a novel approach to overcome tamoxifen resistance in BCa.

Valenzuela M, Glorieux C, Stockis J, et al.
Retinoic acid synergizes ATO-mediated cytotoxicity by precluding Nrf2 activity in AML cells.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 111(5):874-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Standard therapy for acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) includes retinoic acid (all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)), which promotes differentiation of promyelocytic blasts. Although co-administration of arsenic trioxide (ATO) with ATRA has emerged as an effective option to treat APL, the molecular basis of this effect remains unclear.
METHODS: Four leukaemia cancer human models (HL60, THP-1, NBR4 and NBR4-R2 cells) were treated either with ATO alone or ATO plus ATRA. Cancer cell survival was monitored by trypan blue exclusion and DEVDase activity assays. Gene and protein expression changes were assessed by RT-PCR and western blot.
RESULTS: ATO induced an antioxidant response characterised by Nrf2 nuclear translocation and enhanced transcription of downstream target genes (that is, HO-1, NQO1, GCLM, ferritin). In cells exposed to ATO plus ATRA, the Nrf2 nuclear translocation was prevented and cytotoxicity was enhanced. HO-1 overexpression reversed partially the cytotoxicity by ATRA-ATO in HL60 cells. The inhibitory effects of ATRA on ATO-mediated responses were not observed in either the ATRA-resistant NB4-R2 cells or in NB4 cells pre-incubated with the RARα antagonist Ro-41-52-53.
CONCLUSIONS: The augmented cytotoxicity observed in leukaemia cells following combined ATO-ATRA treatment is likely due to inhibition of Nrf2 activity, thus explaining the efficacy of combined ATO-ATRA treatment in the APL therapy.

Ayyildiz T, Dolar E, Ugras N, et al.
Lack of any prognostic relationship between adiponectin receptor (Adipo R1/R2) expression for early/advanced stage gastric cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(11):4711-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Adiponectin (ApN) is a complement C1q-related protein, mainly secreted from adipose tissue, that signals through ApN receptor 1 (Adipo-R1) and ApN receptor 2 (Adipo-R2). Low serum ApN concentrations are associated with obesity-related malignancies. However, there are very few studies on any prognostic role of ApN receptors in gastric cancer.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between AdipoR1/R2 expression and early/advanced stage gastric cancer in terms of clinicopathologic characteristics and survival.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighteen patients with early and 39 with advanced stage gastric cancer who underwent surgical gastric resection were included in this study.
RESULTS: Adipo-R1 expression was low in 2 of the 18 patients with early stage gastric cancer (11.1%), while 4 had low Adipo-R2 expression (22.2%). In those with advanced stage gastric cancer, 7 of 39 had low Adipo-R1 expression (17.9%) and 16 had low Adipo-R2 expression (41%). Adipo-R2 expression was significantly higher (p=0.011) in moderately differentiated tumors when compared to well-differentiated tumors. While there was nearly a statistically significant relationship between TNM stage (T, tumor size; N, regional lymph node; M, whether distant metastases exist) and Adipo-R2 expression (p=0.054), there was no relationship between Adipo-R1/-R2 expression with tumor stage and survival.
CONCLUSION: Adipo-R1/-R2 expression has no prognostic significance of in early/advanced stage gastric cancer.

Chen W, Zhang L, Zhang K, et al.
Reciprocal regulation of autophagy and dNTP pools in human cancer cells.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(7):1272-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) plays a critical role in catalyzing the biosynthesis and maintaining the intracellular concentration of 4 deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs). Unbalanced or deficient dNTP pools cause serious genotoxic consequences. Autophagy is the process by which cytoplasmic constituents are degraded in lysosomes to maintain cellular homeostasis and bioenergetics. However, the role of autophagy in regulating dNTP pools is not well understood. Herein, we reported that starvation- or rapamycin-induced autophagy was accompanied by a decrease in RNR activity and dNTP pools in human cancer cells. Furthermore, downregulation of the small subunit of RNR (RRM2) by siRNA or treatment with the RNR inhibitor hydroxyurea substantially induced autophagy. Conversely, cancer cells with abundant endogenous intracellular dNTPs or treated with dNTP precursors were less responsive to autophagy induction by rapamycin, suggesting that autophagy and dNTP pool levels are regulated through a negative feedback loop. Lastly, treatment with si-RRM2 caused an increase in MAP1LC3B, ATG5, BECN1, and ATG12 transcript abundance in xenografted Tu212 tumors in vivo. Together, our results revealed a previously unrecognized reciprocal regulation between dNTP pools and autophagy in cancer cells.

Arima C, Kajino T, Tamada Y, et al.
Lung adenocarcinoma subtypes definable by lung development-related miRNA expression profiles in association with clinicopathologic features.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(10):2224-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes alters regulation of a web of interconnected genes including microRNAs (miRNAs), which confer hallmark capabilities and characteristic cancer features. In this study, the miRNA and messenger RNA expression profiles of 126 non-small cell lung cancer specimens were analyzed, with special attention given to the diversity of lung adenocarcinomas. Of those, 76 adenocarcinomas were classified into two major subtypes, developing lung-like and adult lung-like, based on their distinctive miRNA expression profiles resembling those of either developing or adult lungs, respectively. A systems biology-based approach using a Bayesian network and non-parametric regression was employed to estimate the gene regulatory circuitry functioning in patient tumors in order to identify subnetworks enriched for genes with differential expression between the two major subtypes. miR-30d and miR-195, identified as hub genes in such subnetworks, had lower levels of expression in the developing lung-like subtype, whereas introduction of miR-30d or miR-195 into the lung cancer cell lines evoked shifts of messenger RNA expression profiles toward the adult lung-like subtype. Conversely, the influence of miR-30d and miR-195 was significantly different between the developing lung-like and adult lung-like subtypes in our analysis of the patient data set. In addition, RRM2, a child gene of the miR-30d-centered subnetwork, was found to be a direct target of miR-30d. Together, our findings reveal the existence of two miRNA expression profile-defined lung adenocarcinoma subtypes with distinctive clinicopathologic features and also suggest the usefulness of a systems biology-based approach to gain insight into the altered regulatory circuitry involved in cancer development.

Medina-Martinez I, Barrón V, Roman-Bassaure E, et al.
Impact of gene dosage on gene expression, biological processes and survival in cervical cancer: a genome-wide follow-up study.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e97842 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
We investigated the role of tumor copy number (CN)-altered genome (CN-AG) in the carcinogenesis of cervical cancer (CC), especially its effect on gene expression, biological processes, and patient survival. Fifty-nine human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16)-positive CCs were investigated with microarrays-31 for mapping CN-AG and 55 for global gene expression, with 27 CCs in common. Five-year survival was investigated in 55 patients. Deletions and amplifications >2.5 Mb were defined as CN alterations. The %CN-AG varied from 0 to 32.2% (mean = 8.1±8.9). Tumors were classified as low (mean = 0.5±0.6, n = 11), medium (mean = 5.4±2.4, n = 10), or high (mean = 19.2±6.6, n = 10) CN. The highest %CN-AG was found in 3q, which contributed an average of 55% of all CN alterations. Genome-wide, only 5.3% of CN-altered genes were deregulated directly by gene dosage. In contrast, the rate in fully duplicated 3q was twice as high. Amplification of 3q explained 23.2% of deregulated genes in whole tumors (r2 = 0.232, p = 0.006; analysis of variance), including genes located in 3q and other chromosomes. A total of 862 genes were deregulated exclusively in high-CN tumors, but only 22.9% were CN altered. This suggests that the remaining genes are not deregulated directly by gene dosage, but by mechanisms induced in trans by CN-altered genes. Anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C)-dependent proteasome proteolysis, glycolysis, and apoptosis were upregulated, whereas cell adhesion and angiogenesis were downregulated exclusively in high-CN tumors. The high %CN-AG and upregulated gene expression profile of APC/C-dependent proteasome proteolysis were associated with poor patient survival (p<0.05, log-rank test). Along with glycolysis, they were linearly associated with FIGO stage (r>0.38, p<0.01, Spearman test). Therefore, inhibition of APC/C-dependent proteasome proteolysis and glycolysis could be useful for CC treatment. However, whether they are indispensable for tumor growth remains to be demonstrated.

Kang W, Tong JH, Chan AW, et al.
Targeting ribonucleotide reductase M2 subunit by small interfering RNA exerts anti-oncogenic effects in gastric adenocarcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(6):2579-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ribonucleotide reductase M2 subunit (RRM2) is one of the two subunits of human ribonucleotide reductase which plays a critical role in tumor progression. The aim of the present study was to analyze its expression, clinical significance and biological functions in gastric adenocarcinoma. We observed the upregulation of RRM2 mRNA and protein in all nine gastric cancer cell lines examined. In paired primary gastric cancers, both mRNA and protein levels of RRM2 were significantly upregulated in tumors compared with the corresponding non-tumorous gastric tissues. RRM2 protein expression correlated with higher tumor grade, advanced T stage and poor disease-specific survival. RRM2 knockdown in gastric cancer cell lines AGS, MKN1 and MKN28 significantly suppressed cell proliferation, inhibited monolayer colony formation, reduced cell invasion and induced apoptosis. Downregulation of RRM2 suppressed xenograft formation in vivo. Collectively, these findings suggest that RRM2 plays a crucial role in gastric tumorigenesis and may serve as a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target in gastric cancer.

Garimella SV, Gehlhaus K, Dine JL, et al.
Identification of novel molecular regulators of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells by RNAi screening.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(2):R41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) binds to its receptors, TRAIL-receptor 1 (TRAIL-R1) and TRAIL-receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2), leading to apoptosis by activation of caspase-8 and the downstream executioner caspases, caspase-3 and caspase-7 (caspase-3/7). Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines with a mesenchymal phenotype are sensitive to TRAIL, whereas other breast cancer cell lines are resistant. The underlying mechanisms that control TRAIL sensitivity in breast cancer cells are not well understood. Here, we performed small interfering RNA (siRNA) screens to identify molecular regulators of the TRAIL pathway in breast cancer cells.
METHODS: We conducted siRNA screens of the human kinome (691 genes), phosphatome (320 genes), and about 300 additional genes in the mesenchymal TNBC cell line MB231. Forty-eight hours after transfection of siRNA, parallel screens measuring caspase-8 activity, caspase-3/7 activity, or cell viability were conducted in the absence or presence of TRAIL for each siRNA, relative to a negative control siRNA (siNeg). A subset of genes was screened in cell lines representing epithelial TNBC (MB468), HER2-amplified breast cancer (SKBR3), and estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (T47D). Selected putative negative regulators of the TRAIL pathway were studied by using small-molecule inhibitors.
RESULTS: The primary screens in MB231 identified 150 genes, including 83 kinases, 4 phosphatases, and 63 nonkinases, as potential negative regulators of TRAIL. The identified genes are involved in many critical cell processes, including apoptosis, growth factor-receptor signaling, cell-cycle regulation, transcriptional regulation, and DNA repair. Gene-network analysis identified four genes (PDPK1, IKBKB, SRC, and BCL2L1) that formed key nodes within the interaction network of negative regulators. A secondary screen of a subset of the genes identified in additional cell lines representing different breast cancer subtypes and sensitivities to TRAIL validated and extended these findings. Further, we confirmed that small-molecule inhibition of SRC or BCL2L1, in combination with TRAIL, sensitizes breast cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, including cell lines resistant to TRAIL-induced cytotoxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: These data identify novel molecular regulators of TRAIL-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells and suggest strategies for the enhanced application of TRAIL as a therapy for breast cancer.

Chiorean EG, Schneider BP, Akisik FM, et al.
Phase 1 pharmacogenetic and pharmacodynamic study of sorafenib with concurrent radiation therapy and gemcitabine in locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014; 89(2):284-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To define the safety, efficacy, and pharmacogenetic and pharmacodynamic effects of sorafenib with gemcitabine-based chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients received gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) intravenously weekly × 3 every 4 weeks per cycle for 1 cycle before CRT and continued for up to 4 cycles after CRT. Weekly gemcitabine 600 mg/m(2) intravenously was given during concurrent intensity modulated radiation therapy of 50 Gy to gross tumor volume in 25 fractions. Sorafenib was dosed orally 400 mg twice daily until progression, except during CRT when it was escalated from 200 mg to 400 mg daily, and 400 mg twice daily. The maximum tolerated dose cohort was expanded to 15 patients. Correlative studies included dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and angiogenesis genes polymorphisms (VEGF-A and VEGF-R2 single nucleotide polymorphisms).
RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients were enrolled. No dose-limiting toxicity occurred during induction gemcitabine/sorafenib followed by concurrent CRT. The most common grade 3/4 toxicities were fatigue, hematologic, and gastrointestinal. The maximum tolerated dose was sorafenib 400 mg twice daily. The median progression-free survival and overall survival for 25 evaluable patients were 10.6 and 12.6 months, respectively. The median overall survival for patients with VEGF-A -2578 AA, -1498 CC, and -1154 AA versus alternate genotypes was 21.6 versus 14.7 months. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI demonstrated higher baseline K(trans) in responding patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Concurrent sorafenib with CRT had modest clinical activity with increased gastrointestinal toxicity in localized unresectable pancreatic cancer. Select VEGF-A/VEGF-R2 genotypes were associated with favorable survival.

Matte I, Lane D, Boivin M, et al.
MUC16 mucin (CA125) attenuates TRAIL-induced apoptosis by decreasing TRAIL receptor R2 expression and increasing c-FLIP expression.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:234 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MUC16 (CA125) is a large transmembrane mucin protein (> 200 kDa) aberrantly expressed in approximately 80% of human epithelial ovarian cancers (EOC). MUC16 expression in EOC cells is associated with increased tumorigenesis and inhibiton of genotoxic drug-induced apoptosis. However, the mechanism by which MUC16 mediates these effects is unknown. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms by which MUC16 attenuates TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
METHODS: MUC16 expression was down-regulated by stably expressing an anti-MUC16 single-chain antibody (scFv) targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which prevents cell surface localization of MUC16 in OVCAR3 cells. We also generated a MUC16 C-terminal domain (MUC16CTD) construct that was stably expressed in MUC16 negative SKOV3 cells.
RESULTS: We show that MUC16 attenuates apoptosis, activation of caspase-8 and mitochondria activation in EOC cells in response to TRAIL. MUC16 decreases TRAIL receptor R2 (DR5) expression and inhibits pro-caspase-8 activation at the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC). MUC16CTD expression is sufficient to attenuate the TRAIL signaling cascade. MUC16 knockdown decreases caspase-8 inhibitor cFLIP mRNA levels, increases cFLIP degradation, and consequently increases TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Down-regulation of cFLIP following treatment of MUC16-expressing OVCAR3 cells with cFLIP siRNA also increases TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that MUC16 protects EOC cells against TRAIL-induced apoptosis through multiple mechanisms including the blockade of TRAIL R2 expression and the regulation of cFLIP expression at both the transcriptional and the protein level.

Koch KR, Refaian N, Hos D, et al.
Autocrine impact of VEGF-A on uveal melanoma cells.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014; 55(4):2697-704 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Tumor-derived VEGF-A, apart from expediting sufficient vascularization, subsequent tumor growth, and metastatic spread, can act on malignant cells themselves provided that VEGF receptors 1 or 2 (VEGF-R1, -R2) are co-expressed. The study goal was to investigate whether such autocrine VEGF-A signaling exists in uveal melanoma (UM).
METHODS: Primary (MEL-270, OM-431) and metastatic (OMM-2.3, OMM-2.5) UM cell lines were analyzed for VEGF-A, VEGF-R1, and VEGF-R2 expression by RT-PCR, ELISA (VEGF-A protein), and immunocytochemistry (VEGF receptors). Proliferation of UM cells incubated with neutralizing anti-VEGF-A antibody bevacizumab (≤ 2.5 mg/mL), or VEGF-A (≤ 100 ng/mL) was assessed by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) ELISA. It was measured by real-time PCR, whether VEGF-A (100 ng/mL) modulated the expression ratio of VEGF-A itself and its antiangiogenic antagonist pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF).
RESULTS: All UM cells expressed VEGF-A, VEGF-R1, VEGF-R2 mRNA, and protein. In each cell line, the proliferation was stimulated by VEGF-A or inhibited by blocking VEGF-A, or both: bevacizumab significantly decreased the proliferation in MEL-270 (P = 0.005), OMM-2.3 (P = 0.001), and OMM-2.5 (P = 0.011). Increased VEGF-A signaling significantly raised the proliferation in MEL-270, OM-431 (P < 0.001, respectively), and OMM-2.3 (P = 0.043) in a dose-dependent manner but did not significantly change the VEGF-A/PEDF mRNA expression ratio.
CONCLUSIONS: Autocrine VEGF-A signaling seems to be present in UM, sustaining the proliferation of both primary and metastatic UM cells. Apparently, VEGF-A signaling in UM cells neither acts retroactively on VEGF-A expression, in the sense of a feedback loop, nor contributes to a pro-angiogenic shift of the VEGF-A/PEDF ratio.

Pei N, Jie F, Luo J, et al.
Gene expression profiling associated with angiotensin II type 2 receptor-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e92253 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Increased expression of angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) induces apoptosis in numerous tumor cell lines, with either Angiotensin II-dependent or Angiotensin II-independent regulation, but its molecular mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we used PCR Array analysis to determine the gene and microRNA expression profiles in human prostate cancer cell lines transduced with AT2R recombinant adenovirus. Our results demonstrated that AT2R over expression leads to up-regulation of 6 apoptosis-related genes (TRAIL-R2, BAG3, BNIPI, HRK, Gadd45a, TP53BP2), 2 cytokine genes (IL6 and IL8) and 1 microRNA, and down-regulation of 1 apoptosis-related gene TNFSF10 and 2 cytokine genes (BMP6, BMP7) in transduced DU145 cells. HRK was identified as an up-regulated gene in AT2R-transduced PC-3 cells by real-time RT-PCR. Next, we utilized siRNAs to silence the up-regulated genes to further determine their roles on AT2R overexpression mediated apoptosis. The results showed downregulation of Gadd45a reduced the apoptotic effect by ∼30% in DU145 cells, downregulation of HRK reduced AT2R-mediated apoptosis by more than 50% in PC-3 cells, while downregulation of TRAIL-R2 enhanced AT2R-mediated apoptosis more than 4 times in DU145 cells. We also found that the effects on AT2R-mediated apoptosis caused by downregulation of Gadd45a, TRAIL-R2 and HRK were independent in activation of p38 MAPK, p44/42 MAPK and p53. Taken together, our results demonstrated that TRAIL-R2, Gadd45a and HRK may be novel target genes for further study of the mechanism of AT2R-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

Su YF, Wu TF, Ko JL, et al.
The expression of ribonucleotide reductase M2 in the carcinogenesis of uterine cervix and its relationship with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of cancer patients.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e91644 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To investigate the implication of ribonucleotide reductase M2 (RRM2) in the carcinogenesis of uterine cervix and its relationship with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of cancer patients.
METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The impact of RRM2 on cell viability was investigated in SiHa cervical cancer cells after RRM2 knockdown and the addition of cisplatin, which induces inter- and intra-strand DNA crosslinks. RRM2 immunoreactivity was evaluated by semi-quantitative H score among 29 normal, 30 low-grade dysplasia, 30 high-grade dysplasia and 103 invasive cancer tissue specimens of the uterine cervix, using tissue microarrays. RRM2 was then correlated with the clinicopathological variables of cervical cancer and patient survival. A greater toxic effect on cell viability using cisplatin was reflected by the greater reduction in RRM2 protein expression in SiHa cells. The RRM2 expression in cancer tissues was higher than that in high-grade dysplasia, low-grade dysplasia or normal cervical tissues. RRM2 upregulation was correlated with deep stromal invasion, large tumors and parametrial invasion and predicted poor survival.
CONCLUSIONS: RRM2 is a new molecular marker for the diagnosis and clinical outcomes of cervical cancer. It is involved in cervical carcinogenesis and predicts poor survival, and may be a potential therapeutic target including in cisplatin treatment.

Gunda V, Bucur O, Varnau J, et al.
Blocks to thyroid cancer cell apoptosis can be overcome by inhibition of the MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1104 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Current treatment for recurrent and aggressive/anaplastic thyroid cancers is ineffective. Novel targeted therapies aimed at the inhibition of the mutated oncoprotein BRAF(V600E) have shown promise in vivo and in vitro but do not result in cellular apoptosis. TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis in a tumor-selective manner by activating the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. Here, we show that a TRAIL-R2 agonist antibody, lexatumumab, induces apoptosis effectively in some thyroid cancer cell lines (HTh-7, TPC-1 and BCPAP), while more aggressive anaplastic cell lines (8505c and SW1736) show resistance. Treatment of the most resistant cell line, 8505c, using lexatumumab in combination with the BRAF(V600E) inhibitor, PLX4720, and the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002, (triple-drug combination) sensitizes the cells by triggering both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways in vitro as well as 8505c orthotopic thyroid tumors in vivo. A decrease in anti-apoptotic proteins, pAkt, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1 and c-FLIP, coupled with an increase in the activator proteins, Bax and Bim, results in an increase in the Bax to Bcl-xL ratio that appears to be critical for sensitization and subsequent apoptosis of these resistant cells. Our results suggest that targeting the death receptor pathway in thyroid cancer can be a promising strategy for inducing apoptosis in thyroid cancer cells, although combination with other kinase inhibitors may be needed in some of the more aggressive tumors initially resistant to apoptosis.

Happold C, Roth P, Silginer M, et al.
Interferon-β induces loss of spherogenicity and overcomes therapy resistance of glioblastoma stem cells.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(4):948-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults and characterized by a poor prognosis. Glioma cells expressing O(6)-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) exhibit a higher level of resistance toward alkylating agents, including the standard of care chemotherapeutic agent temozolomide. Here, we demonstrate that long-term glioma cell lines (LTL) as well as glioma-initiating cell lines (GIC) express receptors for the immune modulatory cytokine IFN-β and respond to IFN-β with induction of STAT-3 phosphorylation. Exposure to IFN-β induces a minor loss of viability, but strongly interferes with sphere formation in GIC cultures. Furthermore, IFN-β sensitizes LTL and GIC to temozolomide and irradiation. RNA interference confirmed that both IFN-β receptors, R1 and R2, are required for IFN-β-mediated sensitization, but that sensitization is independent of MGMT or TP53. Most GIC lines are highly temozolomide-resistant, mediated by MGMT expression, but nevertheless susceptible to IFN-β sensitization. Gene expression profiling following IFN-β treatment revealed strong upregulation of IFN-β-associated genes, including a proapoptotic gene cluster, but did not alter stemness-associated expression signatures. Caspase activity and inhibition studies revealed the proapoptotic genes to mediate glioma cell sensitization to exogenous death ligands by IFN-β, but not to temozolomide or irradiation, indicating distinct pathways of death sensitization mediated by IFN-β. Thus, IFN-β is a potential adjunct to glioblastoma treatment that may target the GIC population. IFN-β operates independently of MGMT-mediated resistance, classical apoptosis-regulatory networks, and stemness-associated gene clusters.

Tanaka T, Torigoe T, Hirohashi Y, et al.
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-independent expression mechanism and novel function of HIF prolyl hydroxylase-3 in renal cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(3):503-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We previously found that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase-3 (PHD3) was frequently overexpressed in renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), unlike in normal tissues, and therefore, we studied the mechanism and role of PHD3 expression in RCC.
METHODS: The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-gene-mutant RCC cell lines SMKT-R2 and SMKT-R3 and wild-type VHL cell lines Caki-1 and ACHN were used. Associations of the expression of PHD3 with HIF-α proteins and signal transduction pathways were evaluated under normoxic conditions. The effect of PHD3 on cell proliferation was also examined by small interference RNA and cDNA transfection. Moreover, the prognostic impact of PHD3 expression in clear cell RCC (CCRCC) was evaluated using primary cancer tissues.
RESULTS: In SMKT-R2 and SMKT-R3, HIF-α proteins were expressed and PHD3 was highly expressed. On the other hand, ACHN had low expression of HIF-α proteins and PHD3. However, Caki-1 had high expression of PHD3 even though there was no distinct expression of HIF-α proteins. PHD3 expression was inhibited by blockade of Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), but not by HIF-1α and HIF-2α double knockdown. In addition, PHD3 knockdown resulted in the promotion of cell proliferation in SMKT-R2, SMKT-R3 and Caki-1. On the other hand, forced expression of PHD3 reduced cell proliferation in ACHN. In immunohistochemistry, PHD3 expression was a significant factor for better recurrence-free survival in patients with CCRCC.
CONCLUSIONS: PHD3 expression can be induced by the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt/mTOR pathway in RCC independently of HIF proteins. Furthermore, PHD3 has an antiproliferative function independent of HIF protein status in RCC, indicating a novel expression mechanism and function of PHD3.

Shin DY, Jang KS, Kim BY, et al.
Comparison of adenoid cystic carcinomas arising from the parotid gland vs. the submandibular gland: focus on systemic metastasis and tumor-associated blood vessels.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2014; 43(6):441-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although several studies reported that distant metastasis occurs more frequently in the tumors of submandibular gland (SMG) than parotid gland (PG), why SMG tumors preferentially metastasize to distant organs is not fully understood. We aimed to identify the differential tumor microenvironment for distant metastasis and possible underlying mechanisms.
METHODS: We retrieved 27 cases of 1-4-cm-sized adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACCs) arising from the PG (n = 12) and SMG (n = 15). c-KIT, VEGF-R2, and CD31 staining were quantified by image-based analysis to define the positive expression or tumor-associated vessel areas in two representative sections per case. In addition, angiogenesis-related genomic expression profiling was carried out to explore the underlying mechanism, which was confirmed by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Earlier systemic dissemination within 2 years was detected exclusively in SMG ACCs (5/15). The area of tumor-associated blood vessels was larger in SMG ACCs than PG ACCs, and ACCs showing distant metastasis had greater blood vessel area than those without metastasis. Interestingly, normal SMG had more blood vessels per area than PG. Among angiogenesis-related signals, the level of IL-6 was significantly lower in SMG ACCs than PG ACCs. Moreover, IL-6 expression decreased significantly in SMG ACCs compared with that in normal SMG, whereas it was up-regulated in PG ACCs.
CONCLUSION: ACCs in the SMG microenvironment have more abundant tumor-associated blood vessels than PG ACCs, which may explain the higher risk of distant metastasis from SMG tumors.

Wang N, Zhan T, Ke T, et al.
Increased expression of RRM2 by human papillomavirus E7 oncoprotein promotes angiogenesis in cervical cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(4):1034-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to confirm that RRM2 as a novel target of HPVE7 involved in cervical cancer angiogenesis.
METHODS: Gene expression was analysed by RT-qPCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry in cervical cancer tissue and cell lines. Luciferase reporter assay was used to determine the activities of various RRM2 promoters. Secreted VEGF was measured by ELISA. RRM2-mediated capillary tube formation induced by HPVE7 in cervical cancer cells were evaluated using human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro. ROS induced by RRM2 in cercal cancer cells was confirmed by flow cytometry. The growth of cervical cancer cell overexpression RRM2 was examined by nude mouse xenograft.
RESULTS: RRM2 as a novel downstream target for HPVE7 was upregulated by it at the transcriptional level through the E7-pRb interaction and binding of E2F to the RRM2 promoter region. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the level of RRM2 positively correlated with the HPVE7 level in human cervical cancer. Functionally, overexpression of RRM2 enhanced the expression of HIF-1α and VEGF via activation of the ERK1/2 signalling pathway in cervical cancer cells, and significantly associated with increased microvessel densities in cervical cancer tissues. In vitro, HPVE7 stimulated RRM2-dependent capillary tube formation by HUVECs, and RRM2-enhanced angiogenesis was VEGF dependent. RRM2-activated ERK1/2 pathway was mediated through production of ROS. In the xenograft mouse model, overexpression of RRM2 in cervical cancer cells enhanced tumour growth as well as microvessel densities.
CONCLUSION: HPVE7 induces upregulation of RRM2, which then promotes cervical carcinogenesis via ROS-ERK1/2-HIF-1α-VEGF-induced angiogenesis. Thus, the inhibition of RRM2 activity may be a novel therapeutic strategy for human cervical cancer.

McCready J, Arendt LM, Glover E, et al.
Pregnancy-associated breast cancers are driven by differences in adipose stromal cells present during lactation.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(1):R2 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The prognosis of breast cancer is strongly influenced by the developmental stage of the breast when the tumor is diagnosed. Pregnancy-associated breast cancers (PABCs), cancers diagnosed during pregnancy, lactation, or in the first postpartum year, are typically found at an advanced stage, are more aggressive and have a poorer prognosis. Although the systemic and microenvironmental changes that occur during post-partum involution have been best recognized for their role in the pathogenesis of PABCs, epidemiological data indicate that PABCs diagnosed during lactation have an overall poorer prognosis than those diagnosed during involution. Thus, the physiologic and/or biological events during lactation may have a significant and unrecognized role in the pathobiology of PABCs.
METHODS: Syngeneic in vivo mouse models of PABC were used to examine the effects of system and stromal factors during pregnancy, lactation and involution on mammary tumorigenesis. Mammary adipose stromal cell (ASC) populations were isolated from mammary glands and examined by using a combination of in vitro and in vivo functional assays, gene expression analysis, and molecular and cellular assays. Specific findings were further investigated by immunohistochemistry in mammary glands of mice as well as in functional studies using ASCs from lactating mammary glands. Additional findings were further investigated using human clinical samples, human stromal cells and using in vivo xenograft assays.
RESULTS: ASCs present during lactation (ASC-Ls), but not during other mammary developmental stages, promote the growth of carcinoma cells and angiogenesis. ASCs-Ls are distinguished by their elevated expression of cellular retinoic acid binding protein-1 (crabp1), which regulates their ability to retain lipid. Human breast carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) exhibit traits of ASC-Ls and express crabp1. Inhibition of crabp1in CAFs or in ASC-Ls abolished their tumor-promoting activity and also restored their ability to accumulate lipid.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings imply that (1) PABC is a complex disease, which likely has different etiologies when diagnosed during different stages of pregnancy; (2) both systemic and local factors are important for the pathobiology of PABCs; and (3) the stromal changes during lactation play a distinct and important role in the etiology and pathogenesis of PABCs that differ from those during post-lactational involution.

Joung YH, Na YM, Yoo YB, et al.
Combination of AG490, a Jak2 inhibitor, and methylsulfonylmethane synergistically suppresses bladder tumor growth via the Jak2/STAT3 pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(3):883-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human urinary bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer, with a worldwide estimate of about two million patients. Recurrence after complete transurethral prostatic resection is the most important problem in therapy. Combination therapy is a new approach in the treatment of cancers that do not respond to current therapies. These therapies have many advantages over conventional therapies, such as fewer side-effects and greater efficiency. Research efforts using natural compounds for the elimination or growth suppression of the cancer arise from studies on methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM is a natural sulfur compound with no side-effects. AG490 is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has been extensively used for inhibiting Jak2 in vitro and in vivo. In our study, the combinatorial effect of these two agents on human bladder cancer cell lines and xenografts was analyzed. We observed that the combination of AG490 and MSM inhibited cancer cell viability and cell migration in vitro. This combination inhibited VEGF mRNA expression in bladder cancer cell lines. In vivo experiments showed that oral administration of AG490 and MSM combination significantly inhibited the growth of tumor xenografts in mice. Our study clearly demonstrates that the predominant effect of this combination is the reduction of signaling molecules including STAT3, STAT5b, IGF-1R, VEGF and VEGF-R2 which are involved in the growth, progression and metastasis of human bladder cancer. The anti-metastatic ability of this drug combination is confirmed using metastatic animal models. Therefore, this combination could have the effect of genesistasis and powerful anticancer effects against bladder cancer.

Fehring V, Schaeper U, Ahrens K, et al.
Delivery of therapeutic siRNA to the lung endothelium via novel Lipoplex formulation DACC.
Mol Ther. 2014; 22(4):811-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Posttranscriptional gene silencing by RNA interference can be therapeutically exploited to inhibit pathophysiological gene expression. However, in contrast to the established effectiveness of RNAi in vitro, safe and effective delivery of siRNAs to specific organs and cell types in vivo remains the major hurdle. Here, we report the development and in vivo characterization of a novel siRNA delivery system (DACC lipoplex) suitable for modulating target gene expression specifically in the lung vasculature. Systemic administration of DACC in mice delivered siRNA cargo functionally to the lung pulmonary endothelium. A single dose of DACC lipoplexes administered by bolus injection or by infusion was sufficient to specifically silence genes expressed in pulmonary endothelial cells such as CD31, Tie-2, VE-cadherin, or BMP-R2. When tested in a mouse model for lung cancer, repeated treatment with DACC/siRNA(CD31) reduced formation of lung metastases and increased life span in a mouse model of experimental lung metastasis.

Shah KN, Mehta KR, Peterson D, et al.
AKT-induced tamoxifen resistance is overturned by RRM2 inhibition.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(3):394-407 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Acquired tamoxifen resistance develops in the majority of hormone-responsive breast cancers and frequently involves overexpression of the PI3K/AKT axis. Here, breast cancer cells with elevated endogenous AKT or overexpression of activated AKT exhibited tamoxifen-stimulated cell proliferation and enhanced cell motility. To gain mechanistic insight on AKT-induced endocrine resistance, gene expression profiling was performed to determine the transcripts that are differentially expressed post-tamoxifen therapy under conditions of AKT overexpression. Consistent with the biologic outcome, many of these transcripts function in cell proliferation and cell motility networks and were quantitatively validated in a larger panel of breast cancer cells. Moreover, ribonucleotide reductase M2 (RRM2) was revealed as a key contributor to AKT-induced tamoxifen resistance. Inhibition of RRM2 by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated approaches significantly reversed the tamoxifen-resistant cell growth, inhibited cell motility, and activated DNA damage and proapoptotic pathways. In addition, treatment of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells with the small molecule RRM inhibitor didox significantly reduced in vitro and in vivo growth. Thus, AKT-expressing breast cancer cells upregulate RRM2 expression, leading to increased DNA repair and protection from tamoxifen-induced apoptosis.
IMPLICATIONS: These findings identify RRM2 as an AKT-regulated gene, which plays a role in tamoxifen resistance and may prove to be a novel target for effective diagnostic and preventative strategies.

Chen S, Wang J, Gou WF, et al.
The involvement of RhoA and Wnt-5a in the tumorigenesis and progression of ovarian epithelial carcinoma.
Int J Mol Sci. 2013; 14(12):24187-99 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ras homolog gene family member A (RhoA) is involved in Wnt-5a-induced migration of gastric and breast cancer cells. We investigated the roles of RhoA and Wnt-5a in ovarian carcinoma.
METHODS: RhoA and Wnt-5a mRNA and protein expression in normal fallopian tube epithelium, benign tumors, primary ovarian carcinomas, and metastatic omentum were quantified. RhoA or Wnt-5a was knocked down in OVCAR3 ovarian carcinoma cells using siRNAs and cell phenotype and expression of relevant molecules were assayed.
RESULTS: RhoA and Wnt-5a mRNA and protein expression were found to be significantly higher in metastatic omentum than in ovarian carcinomas, benign tumors, and normal fallopian tube epithelium (p < 0.05), and positively associated with differentiation and FIGO staging (stage I/II vs. stage III/IV) in ovarian carcinoma (p < 0.05). RhoA and Wnt-5a expression were positively correlated in ovarian carcinoma (p = 0.001, R2 = 0.1669). RhoA or Wnt-5a knockdown downregulated RhoA and Wnt-5a expression; reduced cell proliferation; promoted G1 arrest and apoptosis; suppressed lamellipodia formation, cell migration, and invasion; and reduced PI3K, Akt, p70S6k, Bcl-xL, survivin, and VEGF mRNA or protein expression.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first demonstration that RhoA and Wnt-5a are associated with ovarian carcinogenesis and apoptosis inhibition; there might be positive correlation between RhoA and Wnt-5a expression. RhoA is a potential tumorigenesis, differentiation, and progression biomarker in ovarian carcinoma.

Lin HP, Lin CY, Hsiao PH, et al.
Difference in protein expression profile and chemotherapy drugs response of different progression stages of LNCaP sublines and other human prostate cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e82625 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Androgen ablation therapy is the primary treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. However, 80-90% of the patients who receive androgen ablation therapy ultimately develop recurrent tumors in 12-33 months after treatment with a median overall survival time of 1-2 years after relapse. LNCaP is a commonly used cell line established from a human lymph node metastatic lesion of prostatic adenocarcinoma. We previously established two relapsed androgen receptor (AR)-rich androgen-independent LNCaP sublines 104-R1 (androgen depleted for 12 months) and 104-R2 cells (androgen depleted for 24 months) from AR-positive androgen-dependent LNCaP 104-S cells. LNCaP 104-R1 and 104-R2 mimics the AR-positive hormone-refractory relapsed tumors in patients receiving androgen ablation therapy. Androgen treatment stimulates proliferation of 104-S cells, but causes growth inhibition and G1 cell cycle arrest in 104-R1 and 104-R2 cells. We investigated the protein expression profile difference between LNCaP 104-S vs. LNCaP 104-R1, 104-R2, PC-3, and DU-145 cells as well as examined the sensitivity of these prostate cancer cells to different chemotherapy drugs and small molecule inhibitors. Compared to 104-S cells, 104-R1 and 104-R2 cells express higher protein levels of AR, PSA, c-Myc, Skp2, BCL-2, P53, p-MDM2 S166, Rb, and p-Rb S807/811. The 104-R1 and 104-R2 cells express higher ratio of p-Akt S473/Akt, p-EGFR/EGFR, and p-Src/Src, but lower ratio of p-ERK/ERK than 104-S cells. PC-3 and DU-145 cells express higher c-Myc, Skp2, Akt, Akt1, and phospho-EGFR but less phospho-Akt and phospho-ERK. Overexpression of Skp2 increased resistance of LNCaP cells to chemotherapy drugs. Paclitaxel, androgen, and inhibitors for PI3K/Akt, EGFR, Src, or Bcl-2 seem to be potential choices for treatment of advanced prostate cancers. Our study provides rationale for targeting Akt, EGFR, Src, Bcl-2, and AR signaling as a treatment for AR-positive relapsed prostate tumors after hormone therapy.

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