Research IndicatorsGraph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (4)
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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: SBDS (cancer-related)
Yi S, Niu D, Bai F, et al.Soluble Expression of a Human MnSOD and Hirudin Fusion Protein in Escherichia coli, and Its Effects on Metastasis and Invasion of 95-D Cells.
J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016; 26(11):1881-1890 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) is a vital enzyme that protects cells from free radicals through eliminating superoxide radicals (O²⁻). Hirudin, a kind of small active peptide molecule, is one of the strongest anticoagulants that can effectively cure thrombus diseases. In this study, we fused Hirudin to the C terminus of human MnSOD with the GGGGS linker to generate a novel dual-feature fusion protein, denoted as hMnSOD-Hirudin. The hMnSOD-Hirudin gene fragment was cloned into the pET15b (SmaI, CIAP) vector, forming a recombinant pET15b-hMnSOD-Hirudin plasmid, and then was transferred into Escherichia coli strain Rosetta-gami for expression. SDS-PAGE was used to detect the fusion protein, which was expected to be about 30 kDa upon IPTG induction. Furthermore, the hMnSOD-Hirudin protein was heavily detected as a soluble form in the supernatant. The purification rate observed after Ni NTA affinity chromatography was above 95%. The hMnSOD-Hirudin protein yield reached 67.25 mg per liter of bacterial culture. The identity of the purified protein was confirmed by western blotting. The hMnSOD-Hirudin protein activity assay evinced that the antioxidation activity of the hMnSOD-Hirudin protein obtained was 2,444.0 ± 96.0 U/mg, and the anticoagulant activity of the hMnSOD-Hirudin protein was 599.0 ± 35.0 ATU/mg. In addition, in vitro bioactivity assay showed that the hMnSODHirudin protein had no or little cytotoxicity in H9c2, HK-2, and H9 (human CD₄⁺, T cell) cell lines. Transwell migration assay and invasion assay showed that the hMnSOD-Hirudin protein could suppress human lung cancer 95-D cell metastasis and invasion in vitro.
Arab-Mazar Z, Fallahi S, Koochaki A, et al.Immunodiagnosis and molecular validation of Toxoplasma gondii-recombinant dense granular (GRA) 7 protein for the detection of toxoplasmosis in patients with cancer.
Microbiol Res. 2016; 183:53-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Serological assays for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis mostly rely on the tachyzoite specific antigens of Toxoplasma gondii, which are difficult to produce by conventional methods. The aim of this study was to clone and express of GRA7 protein of T. gondii and evaluate its potential for immunodiagnosis of toxoplasmosis in cancer patients. As well as validate the results using a new molecular assay, LAMP technique. The GRA7 gene was successfully cloned, expressed and purified by affinity chromatography and the production was evaluated by SDS PAGE, dot blot and western blot analyses. The rGRA7 was used for developing an ELISA based on the rGRA7 using sera from patients with toxoplasmosis and healthy controls. Furthermore, 50 serum samples from leukemic children infected with toxoplasmosis and 50 seronegative controls were included to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of rGRA7 based ELISA. Finally, the LAMP technique was used to assess the accuracy and validity of the results obtained by rGRA7 based ELISA. The consistency of the results of two tests was determined by using the Kappa coefficient of agreement. The rGRA7 showed higher and optimum immunoreactivity with 1:100 dilution of serum from Toxoplasma infected patients. The sensitivity and specificity of test were calculated as 92 and 94%, respectively. According to the Kappa coefficient of agreement, there was a significant conformance between the results obtained by ELISA based on the rGRA7 and the results of LAMP technique (≈96%, P<0.001). Findings of the present study showed that rGRA7 can be used as a potential immunogenic antigen for developing immunodiagnostic tools for immunodiagnosis of toxoplasmosis in patients including patients with cancer.
Su M, Chang W, Zhang K, et al.Expression and purification of recombinant ATF-mellitin, a new type fusion protein targeting ovarian cancer cells, in P. pastoris.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):1179-85 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Melittin is well known to possess cytolytic activity with wide-spectrum lytic properties and its potential use as an agent to treat several types of cancer has been tested. Due to the non-specific toxicity, melittin can impair not only cancer cells but also normal tissue. Thus, tumor-targeted toxins may be helpful for developing novel anticancer therapeutics. The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) plays a central role in tissue remodelling events occurring in normal physiology and in pathophysiology, including cancer invasion and metastasis. Heartening findings showed that uPA receptor is predominantly expressed on many types of cancer. Therefore, the amino-terminal fragment (ATF) of uPA which was able to identify and bond with cancer cells was used as the cell-targeting domain to make up tumor-targeted toxin in this study. In the present study, pPICZαC-ATF-melittin eukaryotic expression vector was successfully constructed. After transformed into P. pastoris and induced by methanol, rATF-mellitin was detected by SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis. After induction with methanol, the expression level of rATF-mellitin was 312 mg/l in 80-l fermentor. rATF‑mellitin was purified to >95% purity using SP Sepharose ion exchange chromatography and source™ 30 RPC with 67.2% recovery. Cell proliferation assay showed that rATF-melittin inhibited growth of SKOV3 cells and had no cytotoxicity effect on normal cells. For the first time, we established a stable and effective rATF-mellitin P. pastoris expression system to obtain a high level of expression of secreted rATF-mellitin which was purified by a highly efficient purification procedure.
Jia D, Yang H, Tao Z, et al.Preparation and characterization of a novel variant of human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand from the rhesus monkey, Macaca mulatta.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016; 100(7):3035-47 [PubMed
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Human tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (hTRAIL) and its variants are attractive antitumor drug candidates. The predicted amino acid sequence of the functional extracellular domain of Macaca mulatta TRAIL (mmTRAIL) was found to differ from that of hTRAIL at four positions. In this study, the gene encoding mmTRAIL was cloned and recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli at a yield of approximately 20-30 mg/L, which was two times higher than that of hTRAIL. SDS-PAGE showed that denatured mmTRAIL and hTRAIL had similar molecular weights. However, size-exclusion chromatography and dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis demonstrated that the molecular size of native mmTRAIL was smaller than that of native hTRAIL. Cooling solutions of these proteins from room temperature to 0 °C induced considerable precipitation of hTRAIL but not of mmTRAIL, indicating that mmTRAIL was more soluble than hTRAIL at low temperatures. Additionally, mmTRAIL was more resistant than hTRAIL to N-bromosuccinimide (NBS)-induced precipitation. Although mmTRAIL and hTRAIL showed comparable nanomolar affinities for human death receptors, the dissociation rate of the mmTRAIL-receptor complex was slower than that of the hTRAIL-receptor complex, suggesting that the mmTRAIL-receptor complex was more stable. Moreover, mmTRAIL induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in human tumor cells with an IC50 that was two to three times lower than that of hTRAIL. However, in vivo evaluation demonstrated that mmTRAIL or hTRAIL led to a similar level of tumor suppression in mice bearing COLO205 xenografts. Nevertheless, the advantage of its better solubility should promote the production and further use of mmTRAIL in cancer biotherapy.
Zhu H, Zhang S, Ling Y, et al.pH-responsive hybrid quantum dots for targeting hypoxic tumor siRNA delivery.
J Control Release. 2015; 220(Pt A):529-44 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Hypoxia is a characteristic of cancer and plays a key role in tumorigenesis, angiogenesis and resistance to cancer therapies. SiRNA treatment is effective against hypoxic tumors by gene silencing. However, siRNA delivery to the hypoxic regions of solid tumors still presents a challenge due to the distance from blood vessels and the increased presence of efflux transporters. Therefore, tumor therapies would be improved through the immediate development of an effective siRNA delivery system to hypoxic regions. To this end, we synthesized a system to deliver HIF-1α siRNA into hypoxic tumor cells. The system consists of a functional shell composed of 2-deoxyglucose (DG)-polyethylene glycol (PEG) connected with the compound of lipoic acid, lysine and 9-poly-d-arginine (LA-Lys-9R) by a hydrazone bond and a core of CdTe quantum dots (QDs). The molecular structure of DG-PEG-LA-Lys-9R was confirmed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The multifunctional CdTe QDs measured approximately 200 nm and showed excellent biocompatibility, perfect siRNA binding capability and enhanced hypoxic tumor targeting. Importantly, the system described here is pH-responsive with a hydrazone bond; therefore, it avoids GLUT1 receptor-mediated endocytic recycling, resulting in irreversible delivery of the siRNA. We used Western blots to confirm the superior gene silencing efficiency induced by the DG-PEG-LA-Lys-9R with hydrazone modified CdTe QDs. Here, we demonstrate high efficacy of the siRNA tumor delivery system using in vitro and in vivo experiments. In addition, these studies demonstrate that pH-responsive hybrid quantum dots show improved antitumor efficacy with decreased organ toxicity, indicating a promising siRNA delivery system for hypoxic cancer therapy.
The genomic mechanism responsible for malignant transformation remains an open question for glioma researchers, where differing conclusions have been drawn based on diverse study conditions. Therefore, it is essential to secure direct evidence using longitudinal samples from the same patient. Moreover, malignant transformation of IDH1-mutated gliomas is of potential interest, as its genomic mechanism under influence of oncometabolite remains unclear, and even higher rate of malignant transformation was reported in IDH1-mutated low grade gliomas than in wild-type IDH1 tumors. We have analyzed genomic data using next-generation sequencing technology for longitudinal samples from 3 patients with IDH1-mutated gliomas whose disease had progressed from a low grade to a high grade phenotype. Comprehensive analysis included chromosomal aberrations as well as whole exome and transcriptome sequencing, and the candidate driver genes for malignant transformation were validated with public database. Integrated analysis of genomic dynamics in clonal evolution during the malignant transformation revealed alterations in the machinery regulating gene expression, including the spliceosome complex (U2AF2), transcription factors (TCF12), and chromatin remodelers (ARID1A). Moreover, consequential expression changes implied the activation of genes associated with the restoration of the stemness of cancer cells. The alterations in genetic regulatory mechanisms may be the key factor for the major phenotypic changes in IDH1 mutated gliomas. Despite being limited to a small number of cases, this analysis provides a direct example of the genomic changes responsible for malignant transformation in gliomas.
Su M, Chang W, Wang D, et al.Expression and activity analysis of a new fusion protein targeting ovarian cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(3):1337-44 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to develop a new therapeutic drug to improve the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. Human urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)17-34-kunitz-type protease inhibitor (KPI) eukaryotic expression vector was constructed and recombinant human uPA17-34-KPI (rhuPA17-34-KPI) in P. pastoris was expressed. In the present study, the DNA sequences that encode uPA 17-34 amino acids were created according to the native amino acids sequence and inserted into the KPI-pPICZαC vector, which was constructed. Then, uPA17‑34-KPI-pPICZαC was transformed into P. pastoris X-33, and rhuPA17-34-KPI was expressed by induction of methanol. The bioactivities of a recombinant fusion protein were detected with trypsin inhibition analysis, and the inhibitory effects on the growth of ovarian cancer cells were identified using the TUNEL assay, in vitro wound‑healing assay and Matrigel model analysis. The results of the DNA sequence analysis of the recombinant vector uPA17-34-KPI‑pPICZα demonstrated that the DNA‑encoding human uPA 17-34 amino acids, 285-288 amino acids of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and 1-57 amino acids of KPI were correctly inserted into the pPICZαC vector. Following induction by methonal, the fusion protein with a molecular weight of 8.8 kDa was observed using SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis. RhuPA17-34-KPI was expressed in P. pastoris with a yield of 50 mg/l in a 50-ml tube. The recombinant fusion protein was able to inhibit the activity of trypsin, inhibit growth and induce apoptosis of SKOV3 cells, and inhibit the invasion and metastasis of ovarian cancer cells. By considering uPA17-34 amino acid specific binding uPAR as the targeted part of fusion protein and utilizing the serine protease inhibitor activity of KPI, it was found that the recombinant fusion protein uPA17-34-KPI inhibited the invasion and metastasis of ovarian tumors, and may therefore be regarded as effective in targeted treatment.
The profiling of cancer cell secretomes is considered to be a good strategy for identifying cancer-related biomarkers, but few studies have focused on identifying low-molecular-mass (LMr) proteins (<15 kDa) in cancer cell secretomes. Here, we used tricine-SDS-gel-assisted fractionation and LC-MS/MS to systemically identify LMr proteins in the secretomes of five oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines. Cross-matching of these results with nine OSCC tissue transcriptome datasets allowed us to identify 33 LMr genes/proteins that were highly upregulated in OSCC tissues and secreted/released from OSCC cells. Immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time PCR were used to verify the overexpression of two candidates, HMGA2 and MIF, in OSCC tissues. The overexpressions of both proteins were associated with cervical metastasis, perineural invasion, deeper tumor invasion, higher overall stage, and a poorer prognosis for post-treatment survival. Functional assays further revealed that both proteins promoted the migration and invasion of OSCC cell lines in vitro. Collectively, our data indicate that the tricine-SDS-gel/LC-MS/MS approach can be used to efficiently identify LMr proteins from OSCC cell secretomes, and suggest that HMGA2 and MIF could be potential tissue biomarkers for OSCC.
Uen YH, Liao CC, Lin JC, et al.Analysis of differentially expressed novel post-translational modifications of plasma apolipoprotein E in Taiwanese females with breast cancer.
J Proteomics. 2015; 126:252-62 [PubMed
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APOE ε2 or ε4 alleles being used as indicators of breast cancer risk are controversial in Taiwanese females. We provide a concept for relative comparisons of post-translational modifications (PTMs) of plasma apolipoprotein E (ApoE) between normal controls and breast cancer patients to investigate the association of ApoE with breast cancer risk. APOE polymorphisms (ApoE isoforms) were not assessed in this study. The relative modification ratio (%) of 15 targeted and 21 modified peptides were evaluated by 1D SDS-PAGE, in-gel digestion, and label-free nano-LC/MS to compare normal controls with breast cancer patients. Plasma levels of the ApoE protein did not significantly differ between normal controls and breast cancer patients. Eleven sites with novel PTMs were identified from 7 pairs of differentially expressed targeted and modified peptides according to the relative modification ratio including methylation at the E3 (↑1.45-fold), E7 (↑1.45-fold), E11 (↑1.19-fold), E77 (↑2.02-fold), E87 (↑2.02-fold), and Q98 (↑1.62-fold) residues; dimethylation at the Q187 (↑1.44-fold) residue; dihydroxylation at the R92 (↑1.25-fold), K95 (↑1.25-fold), and R103 (↑1.25-fold) residues; and glycosylation at the S129 (↑1.14-fold) residue. The clustered methylation and dihydroxylation of plasma ApoE proteins may play a role in breast cancer.
Braakman RB, Sieuwerts AM, Umar AShotgun proteomics on tissue specimens extracted with Acid guanidinium-thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform.
Methods Mol Biol. 2015; 1293:115-22 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Protein-containing organic fractions of acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform-extracted tissues are an interesting source of proteins as this method is widely used for RNA extraction for gene expression analysis. However, due to difficulties in redissolving pelleted proteins from the organic phase, protein analysis has only been limitedly reported. Current shotgun mass spectrometry-based methods, however, require minute amounts of sample, and methods have been developed that allow SDS to be removed from an extraction buffer prior to protein digestion. The limited volume of starting material needed for shotgun proteomics facilitates redissolving proteins in SDS-containing buffers, allowing proteins to be readily extracted. Here we describe a protocol for an SDS-DTT-based extraction of proteins from the organic fraction of acid guanidinium-thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform-extracted tissues that remain after RNA isolation for shotgun MS analysis.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. We sequenced nine exomes and transcriptomes, and two genomes of GISTs for integrated analyses. We detected 306 somatic variants in nine GISTs and recurrent protein-altering mutations in 29 genes. Transcriptome sequencing revealed 328 gene fusions, and the most frequently involved fusion events were associated with IGF2 fused to several partner genes including CCND1, FUS, and LASP1. We additionally identified three recurrent read-through fusion transcripts: POLA2-CDC42EP2, C8orf42-FBXO25, and STX16-NPEPL1. Notably, we found intragenic deletions in one of three exons of the VHL gene and increased mRNAs of VEGF, PDGF-β, and IGF-1/2 in 56% of GISTs, suggesting a mechanistic link between VHL inactivation and overexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor target genes in the absence of hypoxia. We also identified copy number gain and increased mRNA expression of AMACR, CRIM1, SKP2, and CACNA1E. Mapping of copy number and gene expression results to the KEGG pathways revealed activation of the JAK-STAT pathway in small intestinal GISTs and the MAPK pathway in wild-type GISTs. These observations will allow us to determine the genetic basis of GISTs and will facilitate further investigation to develop new therapeutic options.
A wide variety of signaling transduction pathways contribute to tumorigenesis. Forkhead box Q1 (FOXQ1) is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family and its upregulation is closely correlated with tumor progression and prognosis of multiple cancer types, including colorectal cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms by which FOXQ1 promotes tumorigenesis, especially cancer cell invasion and metastasis in colorectal cancer, have not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we demonstrate that FOXQ1 is overexpressed in colorectal tumor tissues and its expression level is closely correlated with the stage and lymph node metastasis of colorectal cancer. In in vitro cultured SW480 colorectal cancer cells, knockdown of FOXQ1 expression by small interfering RNA greatly diminished the aggressive tumor behaviors of SW480 cells, including angiogenesis, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and resistance to chemotherapy drug-induced apoptosis. Further mechanistic investigation showed that FOXQ1 silencing prevents the nuclear translocation of β-catenin, thus reducing the activity of Wnt signaling. Moreover, TGF-β1 induced the expression of FOXQ1 as well as the migration and invasion of SW480 cells, which was partially prevented following knockdown of FOXQ1. Our results demonstrate that FOXQ1 plays a critical role during the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer and is a mediator of the crosstalk between Wnt and TGF-β signaling pathways. Our findings provide further insight into the cancer biology of colorectal cancer and suggest that FOXQ1 is a potential therapeutic target for the development of therapies for colorectal cancer.
Yuan Y, Zhang X, Zeng X, et al.Glutathione-mediated release of functional miR-122 from gold nanoparticles for targeted induction of apoptosis in cancer treatment.
J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2014; 14(8):5620-7 [PubMed
] Related Publications
MiRs was efficiently bound to water-soluble positively charged gold nanoparticles through complementary electrostatic interaction. MiR-122 has been considered to be specifically expressed in liver and involved in inducing hepatocyte apoptosis through bcl-w pathway, which could be efficiently bound to water dispersible positively charged gold nanoparticles and conjugated with folic acid (FA) to target specific cancer cells, through complementary electrostatic interaction. These gold nanoparticles-miR-122-FA nanocomplexes (GMN) were disrupted and miR-122 was released by glutathione (GSH) at intracellular concentrations. In contrast, there was almost no detectable miR-122 released from GMN by extracellular concentration of GSH. The formation of GMN and GSH-mediated miR-122 release from the complexes were corroborated by dye displacement assay, electrophoresis experiment and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). With FA funcition, the GMN can target to the HepG2 cell membrane efficiently revealed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The released miR-122 retained apoptosis-inducing activity after being transfected into HepG2 cells. The transfection efficiency measured by MTT assay and flow cytometry was comparable with the positive control. We determined the effects of GMN on HepG2 cells viability and apoptosis by using fluorescence light microscopy and SDS-PAGE/immunoblots. The obvious concentration gradient of GSH in nature between the intra- and extracellular environments as well as the GSH concentration-dependent release suggest that these positively charged gold nanoparticles can be used as a novel visible vehicle for gene delivery and open up promising opportunities for target applications in the future.
Cheng P, Zhu S, Jun L, et al.Production of DUSP1 protein using the baculovirus insect cell expression system and its in vitro effects on cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2015; 35(6):1715-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to produce the human dual specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1) protein with biological activity and to investigate its in vitro effects on cancer cells. DUSP1 protein was expressed in the baculovirus expression system and purified by Ni-affinity chromatography followed by dialysis in PBS. The purified protein was verified by SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis. Six cancer cell lines were then cultured in the presence of DUSP1 for various periods of time, and the phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (p-ERK) content in each cell line was subsequently determined by western blot analysis. Compared to the β-actin level, the amount of p-ERK markedly decreased after 1 h, indicating that DUSP1 suppressed the expression of p-ERK in 6 cancer cell lines examined. Human cervical cancer cells were also collected and counted following co-culture with DUSP1 to examine its effect on the growth rate of cancer cells. A baculovirus expression system for the production of DUSP1 protein was successfully constructed. The p-ERK content was found to be significantly decreased when the cancer cell lines were exposed to DUSP1. The capability of binary fission was reduced when the cells were examined under a microscope. The proliferation of human cervical cancer cells was also inhibited by DUSP1.
Forero-Torres A, Varley KE, Abramson VG, et al.TBCRC 019: A Phase II Trial of Nanoparticle Albumin-Bound Paclitaxel with or without the Anti-Death Receptor 5 Monoclonal Antibody Tigatuzumab in Patients with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(12):2722-9 [PubMed
] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Tigatuzumab (TIG), an agonistic anti-DR5 antibody, triggers apoptosis in DR5(+) human tumor cells without crosslinking. TIG has strong in vitro/in vivo activity against basal-like breast cancer cells enhanced by chemotherapy agents. This study evaluates activity of TIG and chemotherapy in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Randomized 2:1 phase II trial of albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-PAC) ± TIG in patients with TNBC stratified by prior chemotherapy. Patients received nab-PAC weekly × 3 ± TIG every other week, every 28 days. Primary objective was within-arm objective response rate (ORR). Secondary objectives were safety, progression-free survival (PFS), clinical benefit, and TIG immunogenicity. Metastatic research biopsies were required.
RESULTS: Among 64 patients (60 treated; TIG/nab-PAC n = 39 and nab-PAC n = 21), there were 3 complete remissions (CR), 8 partial remissions (PR; 1 almost CR), 11 stable diseases (SD), and 17 progressive diseases (PD) in the TIG/nab-PAC arm (ORR, 28%), and no CRs, 8 PRs, 4 SDs, and 9 PDs in the nab-PAC arm (ORR, 38%). There was a numerical increase in CRs and several patients had prolonged PFS (1,025+, 781, 672, 460, 334) in the TIG/nab-PAC arm. Grade 3 toxicities were 28% and 29%, respectively, with no grade 4-5. Exploratory analysis suggests an association of ROCK1 gene pathway activation with efficacy in the TIG/nab-PAC arm.
CONCLUSIONS: ORR and PFS were similar in both. Preclinical activity of TIG in basal-like breast cancer and prolonged PFS in few patients in the combination arm support further investigation of anti-DR5 agents. ROCK pathway activation merits further evaluation.
X-linked acrogigantism (X-LAG) is a new syndrome of pituitary gigantism, caused by microduplications on chromosome Xq26.3, encompassing the gene GPR101, which is highly upregulated in pituitary tumors. We conducted this study to explore the clinical, radiological, and hormonal phenotype and responses to therapy in patients with X-LAG syndrome. The study included 18 patients (13 sporadic) with X-LAG and microduplication of chromosome Xq26.3. All sporadic cases had unique duplications and the inheritance pattern in two families was dominant, with all Xq26.3 duplication carriers being affected. Patients began to grow rapidly as early as 2-3 months of age (median 12 months). At diagnosis (median delay 27 months), patients had a median height and weight standard deviation scores (SDS) of >+3.9 SDS. Apart from the increased overall body size, the children had acromegalic symptoms including acral enlargement and facial coarsening. More than a third of cases had increased appetite. Patients had marked hypersecretion of GH/IGF1 and usually prolactin, due to a pituitary macroadenoma or hyperplasia. Primary neurosurgical control was achieved with extensive anterior pituitary resection, but postoperative hypopituitarism was frequent. Control with somatostatin analogs was not readily achieved despite moderate to high levels of expression of somatostatin receptor subtype-2 in tumor tissue. Postoperative use of adjuvant pegvisomant resulted in control of IGF1 in all five cases where it was employed. X-LAG is a new infant-onset gigantism syndrome that has a severe clinical phenotype leading to challenging disease management.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to investigate differentially expressed genes using DNA microarray between advanced gastric cancer (AGC) with aggressive lymph node (LN) metastasis and that with a more advanced tumor stage but without LN metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five sample pairs of gastric cancer tissue and normal gastric mucosa were taken from three patients with T3N3 stage (highN) and two with T4N0 stage (lowN). Data from triplicate DNA microarray experiments were analyzed, and candidate genes were identified using a volcano plot that showed ≥ 2-fold differential expression and were significant by Welch's t test (p < 0.05) between highN and lowN. Those selected genes were validated independently by reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using five AGC patients, and tissue-microarray (TMA) comprising 47 AGC patients.
RESULTS: CFTR, LAMC2, SERPINE2, F2R, MMP7, FN1, TIMP1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), ITGB8, SDS, and TMPRSS4 were commonly up-regulated over 2-fold in highN. REG3A, CD24, ITLN1, and WBP5 were commonly down-regulated over 2-fold in lowN. Among these genes, overexpression of PAI-1 was validated by RT-PCR, and TMA showed 16.7% (7/42) PAI-1 expression in T3N3, but none (0/5) in T4N0 (p=0.393).
CONCLUSION: DNA microarray analysis and validation by RT-PCR and TMA showed that overexpression of PAI-1 is related to aggressive LN metastasis in AGC.
Pol JG, Lekbaby B, Redelsperger F, et al.Alternative splicing-regulated protein of hepatitis B virus hacks the TNF-α-stimulated signaling pathways and limits the extent of liver inflammation.
FASEB J. 2015; 29(5):1879-89 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Hepatitis B splicing-regulated protein (HBSP) of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) was uncovered a few years ago but its function remains unknown. HBSP expression occurs from a spliced viral transcript that increases during the course of liver disease. This study aimed at characterizing the impact of HBSP on cellular signaling pathways in vitro and on liver pathogenesis in transgenic (Tg) mice. By RT-qPCR array, NF-κB-inducible genes appeared modulated in HepG2 cells transduced with a HBSP-encoding lentivirus. Using luciferase and Western blot assays, we observed a decreased activation of the NF-κB pathway in HBSP-expressing cells following TNF-α treatment, as illustrated by lower levels of phosphorylated IκB-α. Meanwhile, the level of phosphorylated JNK increased together with the sensitivity to apoptosis. The contrasting effects on JNK and IκB-α activation upon TNF-α stimulation matched with a modulated maturation of TGF-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) kinase, assessed by 2-dimensional SDS-PAGE. Inhibition of the NF-κB pathway by HBSP was confirmed in the liver of HBSP Tg mice and associated with a significant decrease of chemically induced chronic liver inflammation, as assessed by immunohistochemistry. In conclusion, HBSP contributes to limit hepatic inflammation during chronic liver disease and may favor HBV persistence by evading immune response.
The protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), a non-transmembrane protein tyrosine phosphatase, has been implicated in gastric pathogenesis. Several lines of recent evidences have shown that PTP1B is highly amplified in breast and prostate cancers. The aim of this study was to investigate PTP1B amplification in gastric cancer and its association with poor prognosis of gastric cancer patients, and further determine the role of PTP1B in gastric tumorigenesis. Our data demonstrated that PTP1B was significantly up-regulated in gastric cancer tissues as compared with matched normal gastric tissues by using quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay. In addition, copy number analysis showed that PTP1B was amplified in 68/131 (51.9%) gastric cancer cases, whereas no amplification was found in the control subjects. Notably, PTP1B amplification was positively associated with its protein expression, and was significantly related to poor survival of gastric cancer patients. Knocking down PTP1B expression in gastric cancer cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, migration and invasion, and induced cell cycle arrested and apoptosis. Mechanically, PTP1B promotes gastric cancer cell proliferation, survival and invasiveness through modulating Src-related signaling pathways, such as Src/Ras/MAPK and Src/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathways. Collectively, our data demonstrated frequent overexpression and amplification PTP1B in gastric cancer, and further determined the oncogenic role of PTP1B in gastric carcinogenesis. Importantly, PTP1B amplification predicts poor survival of gastric cancer patients.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is one of the most common head and neck malignancies and exhibits regional differences in incidence. Because many fusion genes have been discovered in different types of tumors over the past few years, we aimed to investigate the existence of a fusion gene in primary NPC patients using RNA-seq. In this study, for the first time, we found that fibroblast growth factor receptor 3-transforming acidic coiled-coil-containing protein 3 (FGFR3-TACC3) fusion transcripts are recurrently detected in NPC. The presence of this fusion gene was also detected in head and neck cancer, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and lung cancer. Furthermore, we found certain new isoforms of the FGFR3-TACC3 fusion transcripts, such as a gene fusion between exon 18 of FGFR3 and exon 6 or exon 14 of TACC3 and agene fusion between exon 19 of FGFR3 and exon 11 of TACC3. In addition, we showed that the FGFR3-TACC3 fusion gene promotes cell proliferation, colony formation, and transforming ability in vitro, whereas the FGFR3-TACC3 K508M mutant or treatment with the FGFR inhibitor PD173074 abrogates these effects, suggesting that FGFR3-TACC3 most likely exerts its effects through activation of FGFR kinase activity. This activation likely leads to the development of NPC. Additionally, FGFR3-TACC3 could trigger activation of the ERK and Akt signaling pathways, whereas FGFR3-TACC3 K508M mutant could not, suggesting that these 2 signaling pathways might be involved in the function of FGFR3-TACC3. Taken together, our data demonstrated the oncogenic role of FGFR3-TACC3 in vitro, indicating that FGFR3-TACC3 may be useful as a diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in cancers.
Franke WW, Rickelt S, Zimbelmann R, et al.Striatins as plaque molecules of zonulae adhaerentes in simple epithelia, of tessellate junctions in stratified epithelia, of cardiac composite junctions and of various size classes of lateral adherens junctions in cultures of epithelia- and carcinoma-derived cells.
Cell Tissue Res. 2015; 359(3):779-97 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Proteins of the striatin family (striatins 1-4; sizes ranging from 90 to 110 kDa on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) are highly homologous in their amino acid sequences but can differ in their cell-type-specific gene expression patterns and biological functions. In various cell types, we have found one, two or three polypeptides of this evolutionarily old and nearly ubiquitous family of proteins known to serve as scaffold proteins for diverse protein complexes. Light and electron microscopic immunolocalization methods have revealed striatins in mammalian cell-cell adherens junctions (AJs). In simple epithelia, we have localized striatins as constitutive components of the plaques of the subapical zonulae adhaerentes of cells, including intestinal, glandular, ductal and urothelial cells and hepatocytes. Striatins colocalize with E-cadherin or E-N-cadherin heterodimers and with the plaque proteins α- and β-catenin, p120 and p0071. In some epithelia and carcinomas and in cultured cells derived therefrom, striatins are also seen in lateral AJs. In stratified epithelia and in corresponding squamous cell carcinomas, striatins can be found in plaques of some forms of tessellate junctions. Moreover, striatins are major plaque proteins of composite junctions (CJs; areae compositae) in the intercalated disks connecting cardiomyocytes, colocalizing with other CJ molecules, including plectin and ankyrin-G. We discuss the "multimodulator" scaffold roles of striatins in the initiation and regulation of the formation of various complex particles and structures. We propose that striatins are included in the diagnostic candidate list of proteins that, in the CJs of human hearts, can occur in mutated forms in the pathogeneses of hereditary cardiomyopathies, as seen in some types of genetically determined heart damage in boxer dogs.
Pan Y, Li X, Duan J, et al.Enoxaparin sensitizes human non-small-cell lung carcinomas to gefitinib by inhibiting DOCK1 expression, vimentin phosphorylation, and Akt activation.
Mol Pharmacol. 2015; 87(3):378-90 [PubMed
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Gefitinib is widely used for the treatment of lung cancer in patients with sensitizing epidermal growth factor receptor mutations, but patients tend to develop resistance after an average of 10 months. Low molecular weight heparins, such as enoxaparin, potently inhibit experimental metastasis. This study aimed to determine the potential of combined enoxaparin and gefitinib (enoxaparin + gefitinib) treatment to inhibit tumor resistance to gefitinib both in vitro and in vivo. A549 and H1975 cell migration was analyzed in wound closure and Transwell assays. Akt and extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 signaling pathways were identified, and a proteomics analysis was conducted using SDS-PAGE/liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Molecular interaction networks were visualized using the Cytoscape bioinformatics platform. Protein expression of dedicator of cytokinesis 1 (DOCK1) and cytoskeleton intermediate filament vimentin were identified using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blot, and small interfering RNA transfection of A549 cells. In xenograft A549-luc-C8 tumors in nude mice, enoxaparin + gefitinib inhibited tumor growth and reduced lung colony formation compared with gefitinib alone. Furthermore, the combination had stronger inhibitory effects on cell migration than either agent used individually. Additional enoxaparin administration resulted in better effective inhibition of Akt activity compared with gefitinib alone. Proteomics and network analysis implicated DOCK1 as the key node molecule. Western blot verified the effective inhibition of the expression of DOCK1 and vimentin phosphorylation by enoxaparin + gefitinib compared with gefitinib alone. DOCK1 knockdown confirmed its role in cell migration, Akt expression, and vimentin phosphorylation. Our data indicate that enoxaparin sensitizes gefitinib antitumor and antimigration activity in lung cancer by suppressing DOCK1 expression, Akt activity, and vimentin phosphorylation.
Lv H, Liu R, Fu J, et al.Epithelial cell-derived periostin functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer through stabilizing p53 and E-cadherin proteins via the Rb/E2F1/p14ARF/Mdm2 signaling pathway.
Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(18):2962-74 [PubMed
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Periostin is usually considered as an oncogene in diverse human cancers, including breast, prostate, colon, esophagus, and pancreas cancers, whereas it acts as a tumor suppressor in bladder cancer. In gastric cancer, it has been demonstrated that periglandular periostin expression is decreased whereas stromal periostin expression is significantly increased as compared with normal gastric tissues. Moreover, periostin produced by stromal myofibroblasts markedly promotes gastric cancer cell growth. These observations suggest that periostin derived from different types of cells may play distinct biological roles in gastric tumorigenesis. The aim of this study was to explore the biological functions and related molecular mechanisms of epithelial cell-derived periostin in gastric cancer. Our data showed that periglandular periostin was significantly down-regulated in gastric cancer tissues as compared with matched normal gastric mucosa. In addition, its expression in metastatic lymph nodes was significantly lower than that in their primary cancer tissues. Our data also demonstrated that periglandular periostin expression was negatively associated with tumor stage. More importantly, restoration of periostin expression in gastric cancer cells dramatically suppressed cell growth and invasiveness. Elucidation of the mechanisms involved revealed that periostin restoration enhanced Rb phosphorylation and sequentially activated the transcription of E2F1 target gene p14(ARF), leading to Mdm2 inactivation and the stabilization of p53 and E-cadherin proteins. Strikingly, these effects of periostin were abolished upon Rb deletion. Collectively, we have for the first time demonstrated that epithelial cell-derived periostin exerts tumor-suppressor activities in gastric cancer through stabilizing p53 and E-cadherin proteins via the Rb/E2F1/p14(ARF)/Mdm2 signaling pathway.
Current treatment modalities for pancreatic carcinoma afford only modest survival benefits. TRAIL, as a potent and specific inducer of apoptosis in cancer cells, would be a promising new treatment option. However, since not all pancreatic cancer cells respond to TRAIL, further improvements and optimizations are still needed. One strategy to improve the effectiveness of TRAIL-based therapies is to specifically target one of the 2 cell death inducing TRAIL-receptors, TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 to overcome resistance. To this end, we designed constructs expressing soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) variants that were rendered specific for either TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 by amino acid changes in the TRAIL ectodomain. When we expressed these constructs, including wild-type sTRAIL (sTRAIL(wt)), TRAIL-R1 (sTRAIL(DR4)) and TRAIL-R2 (sTRAIL(DR5)) specific variants, in 293 producer cells we found all to be readily expressed and secreted into the supernatant. These supernatants were subsequently transferred onto target cancer cells and apoptosis measured. We found that the TRAIL-R1 specific variant had higher apoptosis-inducing activity in human pancreatic carcinoma Colo357 cells as well as PancTu1 cells that were additionally sensitized by targeting of XIAP. Finally, we tested TRAIL-R1 specific recombinant TRAIL protein (rTRAIL(DR4)) on Colo357 xenografts in nude mice and found them to be more efficacious than rTRAIL(wt). Our results demonstrate the benefits of synthetic biological approaches and show that TRAIL-R1 specific variants can potentially enhance the therapeutic efficacy of TRAIL-based therapies in pancreatic cancer, suggesting that they can possibly become part of individualized and tumor specific combination treatments in the future.
Su M, Chang W, Cui M, et al.Expression and anticancer activity analysis of recombinant human uPA1‑43-melittin.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(2):619-26 [PubMed
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The present study is focused on expression of a target fusion protein which can be used in ovarian cancer target therapy. It aimed to construct human urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)(1-43)-melittin eukaryotic expression vector to express recombinant human uPA(1-43)-melittin (rhuPA(1-43)-melittin) in P. pastoris and to detect its anticancer effects on ovarian cancer cells. The DNA sequences that encode uPA1-43 amino acids and melittin were synthesized according to its native amino acid sequences and consequently inserted into pPICZαC vector. Then uPA1-43-melittin -pPICZαC was transformed into P. pastoris X-33, and rhuPA(1-43)-melittin was expressed by methonal inducing. The bioactivities of recombinant fusion protein were detected with inhibition effects on growth of ovarian cancer cells, cell cycle detection and TUNEL assay. The results of DNA sequence analysis of the recombinant vector uPA(1-43)-melittin -pPICZαC demonstrated that the DNA encoding human uPA 1-43 amino acids and 1-26 amino acids of melittin was correctly inserted into the pPICZαC vector. After being induced by methonal, fusion protein with molecular weight 7.6 kDa was observed on the basis of SDS-PAGE and western blot analysis. The recombinant protein was able to suppress growth of SKOV3, induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of SKOV3 cells. The fusion protein does not have any obvious toxicity on normal tissues. RhuPA(1-43)-melittin was successfully expressed in P. pastoris. Taking uPA(1-43) amino acids specifically binding to uPAR as targeted part of fusion protein, and making use of antitumor activity of melittin, the recombinant fusion protein it was able to inhibit growth of ovarian tumors and to be applied for effective targeted treatment.
Zhang YH, Yu LG, Zhu WZ, et al.Preliminary research on the expression, purification and function of the apoptotic fusion protein, Sival.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(20):8685-8 [PubMed
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The objective of the present study was to investigate cloning, expression, and functions of the recombinant protein, Siva1. Siva1 gene was synthesized by RT-PCR from HCT116 cells. Plasmids were cleaved with the restriction endonuclease, BamH1/Sal1 and products were connected to pQE30, which underwent cleavage by BamH1/Sal1. The recombinant plasmid, pQE30-Siva1, was identified after digestion with restriction endonucleases followed by transformation into E. coli M15. Expression of Siva1 was induced by IPTG and identified by SDS- PAGE following purification with affinity chromatography. The results showed that size of Siva1 was 12 kDa, consistent with the molecular weight of the His-Siva1 fusion protein. Functional test demonstrated that Siva1 significantly inhibited the invasion and migration of HCT116 cells. It may thus find clinical application for control of cancers.
Sala E, Filopanti M, Ferrante E, et al.Role of IGF1-(CA)19 promoter microsatellite in the clinical presentation of acromegaly.
Eur J Clin Invest. 2014; 44(12):1222-9 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: A highly polymorphic Cytosine-Adenosine (CA) repeat sequence microsatellite has been identified in the promoter region of IGF1 gene. Several studies investigated the relationship between IGF1-(CA)n polymorphism and IGF1 levels, with conflicting results. Aim of this study was to investigate the influence of this polymorphism on clinical and biochemical characteristics of acromegalic patients.
METHODS: Eighty-eight acromegalic patients and 104 normal subjects were included in the study. Blood DNA was extracted and analysed by microsatellite technique using capillary electrophoresis. Patients and controls were subdivided in 19/19 [homozygous for the (CA)19 allele], 19/X [heterozygous for the (CA)19 allele] and X/X (any other genotype).
RESULTS: The genotype frequency was significantly different between patients and controls, the proportion of 19/19 being lower (28·4% vs. 50·0%) and 19/X and X/X higher in acromegalic patients than in controls (P = 0·004). There were no significant differences in age, gender, basal and nadir GH, IGF1-SDS, tumour size, metabolic parameters, outcome and treatment among the three groups. The different frequency of genotypes in acromegalic patients vs. controls, as well as the lack of relationship between IGF1-(CA)n polymorphism and clinical and biochemical data in acromegalic patients, was confirmed using an additional alternative genotyping considering (CA)19 and (CA)20 homozygotes and heterozygotes vs. alleles with more than 19 of 20 repeats or less.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not support the hypothesis that IGF-(CA)n alleles may have a significant role in determining clinical, biochemical and outcome of patients with acromegaly. The possible role of IGF1 polymorphism on susceptibility to acromegaly remains to be investigated.
Derosa L, Galli L, Orlandi P, et al.Docetaxel plus oral metronomic cyclophosphamide: a phase II study with pharmacodynamic and pharmacogenetic analyses in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients.
Cancer. 2014; 120(24):3923-31 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: Docetaxel plus prednisone is currently the standard first-line treatment in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The aim of this study was to assess the clinical activity and pharmacodynamic/pharmacogenetic profile of docetaxel plus prednisone in combination with metronomic cyclophosphamide in mCRPC patients.
METHODS: Forty-one chemotherapy-naive patients received docetaxel (60 mg/m(2) intravenously every 3 weeks up to 12 cycles) and, from day 2, prednisone 10 mg/day, celecoxib 400 mg/day, and metronomic cyclophosphamide 50 mg/day, continuously. Plasma VEGF and bFGF were detected by ELISA. Real-time PCR-SNP analysis of VEGF gene was performed using an ABI PRISM 7900HT SDS and TaqMan SNP genotyping.
RESULTS: Eighty-seven percent of patients were free of progression at 6 months. A decrease in prostate-specific antigen ≥50% was observed in 82% of 39 evaluable patients, with a median time to progression of 12.3 months. Grade 3 adverse events were neutropenia (5%), thrombocytopenia, diarrhea, and stomatitis (2.5%). Median PFS and OS were 14.9 months (95% CI, 9.2-15.3 months) and 33.3 months (95% CI, 23-35.6 months), respectively. Of 11 patients (28%) with evaluable disease, 5 (44%) achieved a complete response, 2 (11%) a partial response, and 2 (11%) stable disease, whereas 2 showed disease progression. The -1154A/G VEGF polymorphism, plasma VEGF, and bFGF after the first cycle of chemotherapy may represent useful pharmacodynamic markers to predict better outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of docetaxel and oral metronomic chemotherapy is effective and well tolerated in mCRPC patients and may deserve further evaluation.
Mahgoub EO, Bolad AKConstruction, expression and characterisation of a single chain variable fragment in the Escherichia coli periplasmic that recognise MCF-7 breast cancer cell line.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2014 Apr-Jun; 10(2):265-73 [PubMed
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BACKGROUND: A functional single-chain fragment variable (scFv) recognizing the MCF-7 breast cancer carcinoma cell line was constructed from the C3A8 hybridoma using phage display technology.
AIM OF STUDY: This study was conducted to evaluate the binding activity of scFv antibody recognise MCF-7 breast cancer cells carcinoma, the scfv antibody constructed and expressed in Escherichia coli periplasmic.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The scFv coding sequence was cloned in frame with the pIII phage coat protein. The signal sequence included in the C terminus directed the expression of the scFv in the Escherichia coli periplasm. Following several rounds of biopanning, colonies that expressed a scFv that recognized MCF-7 cells in Western blots, ELISAs, and flow cytometry test were isolated.
RESULTS: A 750-bp scFv gene was successfully isolated. Cloning and two rounds of biopanning isolated the candidate with the highest activity (clone B7), as screened by ELISA. Following poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of the purified product, a 32-kDa band was observed. A similar-sized band was observed following Western blot analysis with an E tag-specific antibody. Binding reactivity of scFv antibody with MCF cells was determined using indirect ELISA and compared with monoclonal antibodies' reactivity. Also, flow cytometry was useful in further characterization to the binding reactivity of scFv antibody with MCF-7 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The recombinant antibody technology used in this study is a rapid and effective approach that will aid in the development of the next generation of immunodiagnostic reagents.
Chromosome segregation and spindle microtubule dynamics are strictly coordinated during cell division in order to preserve genomic integrity. Alterations in the genome that affect microtubule stability and spindle assembly during mitosis may contribute to genomic instability and cancer predisposition, but directly testing this potential link poses a significant challenge. Germ-line mutations in tumor suppressor genes that predispose patients to cancer and alter spindle microtubule dynamics offer unique opportunities to investigate the relationship between spindle dysfunction and carcinogenesis. Mutations in two such tumor suppressors, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome (SBDS), affect multifunctional proteins that have been well characterized for their roles in Wnt signaling and interphase ribosome assembly, respectively. Less understood, however, is how their shared involvement in stabilizing the microtubules that comprise the mitotic spindle contributes to cancer predisposition. Here, we briefly discuss the potential for mutations in APC and SBDS as informative tools for studying the impact of mitotic spindle dysfunction on cellular transformation.