Gene Summary

Gene:SEMA3B; sema domain, immunoglobulin domain (Ig), short basic domain, secreted, (semaphorin) 3B
Aliases: SemA, SEMA5, SEMAA, semaV, LUCA-1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the class-3 semaphorin/collapsin family, whose members function in growth cone guidance during neuronal development. This family member inhibits axonal extension and has been shown to act as a tumor suppressor by inducing apoptosis. Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 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 06 August 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.

  • p53 Protein
  • Semaphorins
  • Retinoic Acid
  • RHOA
  • Epigenetics
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • DNA Methylation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • CpG Islands
  • Lung Cancer
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Oncogenes
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Genetic Markers
  • Transfection
  • Cancer DNA
  • Breast Cancer
  • Proteins
  • Azacitidine
  • Promoter Regions
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Carcinoma
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Tumor Markers
  • Gene Silencing
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromosome 3
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: SEMA3B (cancer-related)

Xu XD, Yang L, Zheng LY, et al.
Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, suppresses vasculogenic mimicry and proliferation of highly aggressive pancreatic cancer PaTu8988 cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:373 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human malignancies with a extremely low 5-year survival rate. Hence, the search for more effective anti-pancreatic cancer agents is urgent.
METHODS: PaTu8988 pancreatic cancer cells were treated with different concentrations of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), cell survival, proliferation, migration and vasculogenic mimicry (VM) were analyzed. Associated signaling changes were also analyzed by RT-PCR and Western blots.
RESULTS: Here, we reported that SAHA, a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), exerted significant inhibitory efficiency against pancreatic cancer cell survival, proliferation, migration and VM. SAHA dose-dependently inhibited PaTu8988 pancreatic cancer cell growth with the IC-50 of 3.4 ± 0. 7 μM. Meanwhile, SAHA suppressed PaTu8988 cell cycle progression through inducing G2/M arrest, which was associated with cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK-1)/cyclin-B1 degradation and p21/p27 upregulation. Further, SAHA induced both apoptotic and non-apoptotic death of PaTu8988 cells. Significantly, SAHA suppressed PaTu8988 cell in vitro migration and cell-dominant tube formation or VM, which was accompanied by semaphorin-4D (Sema-4D) and integrin-β5 down-regulation. Our evidences showed that Akt activation might be important for Sema-4D expression in PaTu8988 cells, and SAHA-induced Sema-4D down-regulation might be associated with Akt inhibition.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is among the first to report the VM formation in cultured human pancreatic cancer cells. And we provided strong evidence to suggest that SAHA executes significant anti-VM efficiency in the progressive pancreatic cancer cells. Thus, SAHA could be further investigated as a promising anti-pancreatic cancer agent.

Mishra R, Thorat D, Soundararajan G, et al.
Semaphorin 3A upregulates FOXO 3a-dependent MelCAM expression leading to attenuation of breast tumor growth and angiogenesis.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(12):1584-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Semaphorin 3A (Sema 3A), a member of semaphorin family, serves as a guidance clue during embryonic development and is known as a candidate tumor suppressor that attenuates breast tumor progression by binding with its co-receptor, neuropilin-1 (NRP-1). However, the underlying mechanism by which Sema 3A suppresses breast tumor growth is still unexplored. In this study, we report that Sema 3A regulates phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and FOXO 3a. Moreover, Sema 3A controls NRP-1-mediated PTEN-dependent FOXO 3a activation. Overexpression of PTEN and FOXO 3a enhances Sema 3A-induced attenuation of breast cancer cell migration. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and electrophoretic mobility shift assay data revealed that FOXO 3a regulates MelCAM at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, Sema 3A induces NRP-1-mediated MelCAM expression through PTEN and FOXO 3a. The data also showed that vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis is inhibited by Sema 3A. Loss of or gain in function study revealed that Sema 3A modulates phosphorylation of PTEN and FOXO 3a and expression of MelCAM, leading to suppression of tumor growth and angiogenesis using in vivo mice model. Clinical specimen analysis revealed that reduced expression of Sema 3A and p-PTEN are correlated with enhanced breast cancer progression, further strengthening our in vitro and in vivo findings. Correlation of relapse-free survival of breast cancer patients (n=2878) with expression levels of Sema 3A, NRP-1, FOXO 3a and MelCAM were studied by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Statistical analysis revealed a close association between reduced expression of Sema 3A and MelCAM with that of poor patient's survival. Our study demonstrated a novel mechanism of regulation of tumor suppression by Sema 3A in coordination with a chain of tumor-suppressor genes, which in turn inhibits breast cancer cell migration, tumor growth and angiogenesis.

Jian H, Liu B, Zhang J
Hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 repress SEMA4B expression to promote non-small cell lung cancer invasion.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(5):4949-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sema domain of semaphorin 4B (SEMA4B), which is an interacting protein of LNM35, plays an important role in lung cancer invasion. However, the regulation mechanism of this protein is completely unknown. Here, we report that hypoxia and hypoxia mimic reagent could downregulate the expression of SEMA4B in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lines. We provide evidences that SEMA4B is a direct target of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). Silencing the expression of HIF-1α in cancer cells by RNA interference abolished hypoxia-repressed SEMA4B expression. Using luciferase reporter assay, we showed that HIF-1α recognized a hypoxia-responsive element (HRE) of SEMA4B gene, which is required for HIF-1-repressed SEMA4B expression. Moreover, ectopic expression of SEMA4B abolished invasion of hypoxia-induced NSCLC cells. Taken together, these data would shed novel insights on the mechanisms for invasion of hypoxia-induced NSCLC cells.

Chen R, Zhuge X, Huang Z, et al.
Analysis of SEMA3B methylation and expression patterns in gastric cancer tissue and cell lines.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(3):1211-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The family of semaphorins has been demonstrated to possess tumor suppressor activity, in which semaphorin 3B (SEMA3B) is differentially expressed in several types of tumors. The relationship between SEMA3B expression and its clinical significance in gastric cancer (GC) is currently unclear. In the present study, the expression and methylation status of the SEMA3B gene were detected by quantitative PCR and bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP). Data indicated that the levels of SEMA3B mRNA decreased in gastric tumor tissues and the methylation status of SEMA3B in the tumor group was higher than the paired normal tissues. By BSP, the SEMA3B gene showed high methylated status which was detected in all 4 cell lines (AGS, BGC-823, MGC-803 and SGC-7901). Treatment of the cells with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine revealed clearly elevated mRNA levels of SEMA3B. These results were further confirmed by western blot analysis of Sema3b protein expression. At the same time, increased expression of p53 mRNA in BGC-823, MGC-803 was detected and indicated that p53 may be involved in the regulation of SEMA3B expression in specific genetic background. Downregulation of SEMA3B was negatively correlated with tumor size and N staging in GC (p<0.05). In conclusion, CpG methylation of SEMA3B epigenetically regulates SEMA3B expression during development of GC. Furthermore, 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine could reverse the hypermethylation status of SEMA3B, which may benefit future studies exploring the application of demethylating agents in clinical usage of GC.

Gelsomino F, Facchinetti F, Haspinger ER, et al.
Targeting the MET gene for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2014; 89(2):284-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, a better understanding of the specific mechanisms of oncogene addiction has led to the development of antitumor strategies aimed at blocking these abnormalities in different malignancies, including lung cancer. These abnormalities trigger constitutive activation of tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs) involved in fundamental cell mechanisms such as proliferation, survival, differentiation and migration, and consequently the aberrant signaling of RTKs leads to cancer growth and survival. The inhibition of aberrant RTKs and downstream signaling pathways has opened the door to the targeted therapy era. In non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), molecular research has allowed the discrimination of different aberrant RTKs in lung cancer tumorigenesis and progression, and thus the identification of several targetable oncogenic drivers. Following the development of small molecules (gefitinib/erlotinib and crizotinib) able to reversibly inhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and signaling pathways mediated by anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), respectively, the MET signaling pathway has also been recognized as a potential target. Moreover, according to current knowledge, MET could be considered both as a secondary oncogenic mechanism and as a prognostic factor. Several therapeutic strategies for inhibiting activated hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR) and the subsequent downstream signaling transduction have been improved in order to block tumor growth. This review will focus on the MET pathway and its role in resistance to EGFR TK (tyrosine kinase) inhibitors, the different strategies of its inhibition, and the potential approaches to overcoming acquired resistance.

Klimov EA, Selivanova NL, Razumnova GI, et al.
RHOA, SEMA3B, and CKAP2 expression in leukaemia of different types: the results of a pilot experiment.
Folia Biol (Praha). 2013; 59(5):204-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcriptional activity of RHOA, SEMA3B, and CKAP2 genes was assessed in blood samples of leukaemia patients and healthy donors. In the blood of healthy donors, RHOA and CKAP2 gene expression was not detected, and low SEMA3B gene expression was observed. Significant elevation of expression of all the three genes was shown in the case of acute myelogenous leukaemia. In cases of remission of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, no expression of all three genes was detected. The long isoform of the CKAP2 gene was highly expressed in most analysed types of leukaemia.

Merchant M, Ma X, Maun HR, et al.
Monovalent antibody design and mechanism of action of onartuzumab, a MET antagonist with anti-tumor activity as a therapeutic agent.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(32):E2987-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Binding of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) to the receptor tyrosine kinase MET is implicated in the malignant process of multiple cancers, making disruption of this interaction a promising therapeutic strategy. However, targeting MET with bivalent antibodies can mimic HGF agonism via receptor dimerization. To address this limitation, we have developed onartuzumab, an Escherichia coli-derived, humanized, and affinity-matured monovalent monoclonal antibody against MET, generated using the knob-into-hole technology that enables the antibody to engage the receptor in a one-to-one fashion. Onartuzumab potently inhibits HGF binding and receptor phosphorylation and signaling and has antibody-like pharmacokinetics and antitumor activity. Biochemical data and a crystal structure of a ternary complex of onartuzumab antigen-binding fragment bound to a MET extracellular domain fragment, consisting of the MET Sema domain fused to the adjacent Plexins, Semaphorins, Integrins domain (MET Sema-PSI), and the HGF β-chain demonstrate that onartuzumab acts specifically by blocking HGF α-chain (but not β-chain) binding to MET. These data suggest a likely binding site of the HGF α-chain on MET, which when dimerized leads to MET signaling. Onartuzumab, therefore, represents the founding member of a class of therapeutic monovalent antibodies that overcomes limitations of antibody bivalency for targets impacted by antibody crosslinking.

Yu H, Yuan J, Xiao C, Qin Y
Integrative genomic analyses of recepteur d'origine nantais and its prognostic value in cancer.
Int J Mol Med. 2013; 31(5):1248-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recepteur d'origine nantais (RON) is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) normally expressed at low levels in epithelial cells. RON is a 180-kDa heterodimeric protein composed of a 40-kDa α-chain and a 150-kDa transmembrane β-chain with intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity. The extracellular sequences of RON contain several domains including an N-terminal semaphorin (sema) domain, followed by the plexin, semaphorin, integrin (PSI) domain, and four immunoglobulin, plexin, transcription factor (IPT) domains. Here, we identified RON genes from 14 vertebrate genomes and found that RON exists in all types of vertebrates including fish, amphibians, birds and mammals. We found that the human RON gene showed predominant expression in the liver, lymph node, thymus, intestine, lung, mammary gland, bone marrow, brain, heart, placenta, bladder, cortex, cervix, skin, kidney and prostate. When searched in the PrognoScan database, human RON was also found to be expressed in bladder, blood, breast, glioma, esophageal, colorectal, head and neck, ovarian, lung and skin cancer. The relationship between the expression of RON and prognosis was found to vary in different cancer types, even in the same cancer from different databases. This suggests that the function of RON in these tumors may be multidimensional, not just as a tumor suppressor or oncogene. Six available single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) disrupting existing exonic splicing enhancers were identified in RON. This may contribute to the generation of active RON variants by alternative splicing, which is frequently observed in primary tumors.

Torres-Martin M, Lassaletta L, San-Roman-Montero J, et al.
Microarray analysis of gene expression in vestibular schwannomas reveals SPP1/MET signaling pathway and androgen receptor deregulation.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(3):848-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vestibular schwannomas are benign neoplasms that arise from the vestibular nerve. The hallmark of these tumors is the biallelic inactivation of neurofibromin 2 (NF2). Transcriptomic alterations, such as the neuregulin 1 (Nrg1)/ErbB2 pathway, have been described in schwannomas. In this study, we performed a whole transcriptome analysis in 31 vestibular schwannomas and 9 control nerves in the Affymetrix Gene 1.0 ST platform, validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) using TaqMan low density arrays. We performed a mutational analysis of NF2 by PCR/denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (dHPLC) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), as well as a microsatellite marker analysis of the loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of chromosome 22q. The microarray analysis demonstrated that 1,516 genes were deregulated and 48 of the genes were validated by qRT-PCR. At least 2 genetic hits (allelic loss and/or gene mutation) in NF2 were found in 16 tumors, seven cases showed 1 hit and 8 tumors showed no NF2 alteration. MET and associated genes, such as integrin, alpha 4 (ITGA4)/B6, PLEXNB3/SEMA5 and caveolin-1 (CAV1) showed a clear deregulation in vestibular schwannomas. In addition, androgen receptor (AR) downregulation may denote a hormonal effect or cause in this tumor. Furthermore, the osteopontin gene (SPP1), which is involved in merlin protein degradation, was upregulated, which suggests that this mechanism may also exert a pivotal role in schwannoma merlin depletion. Finally, no major differences were observed among tumors of different size, histological type or NF2 status, which suggests that, at the mRNA level, all schwannomas, regardless of their molecular and clinical characteristics, may share common features that can be used in their treatment.

Wang K, Ling T, Wu H, Zhang J
Screening of candidate tumor-suppressor genes in 3p21.3 and investigation of the methylation of gene promoters in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 29(3):1175-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common type of head and neck malignant tumor. however, its pathological mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. In the present study, we screened for candidate tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs) related to OSCC among 10 candidate genes located in 3p21.3, a region abundant with TSGs based on previous studies, using semi-quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). Three genes, GNAT1, SEMA3B and AXUD1, with low or no expression in OSCC tissues and the cell line TCA8113 were selected, and the promoter methylation status was further analyzed by methylation-specific PCR (MS-PCR). Hypermethylation in the promoter regions of SEMA3B was found in OSCC tissues, and a significant difference in the frequency of methylation of SEMA3B was observed between OSCC and non-cancerous tissues. Furthermore, TCA8113 cells treated with 5-Aza-Cdc started to re-express SEMA3B at a concentration of 5 µM or higher. Our study confirmed that three candidate TSGs with low expression may be involved in OSCC and that hypermethylation in promoter regions may contribute to the low expression of SEMA3B. These findings offer novel insights for clarifying the molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis of OSCC as well as for aiding in its clinical diagnosis and therapeutic strategy.

Lin ZF, Shen XY, Lu FZ, et al.
Reveals new lung adenocarcinoma cancer genes based on gene expression.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012; 16(9):1249-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung adenocarcinoma (LAC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 30-35% of all cases.
AIM: In this study we aim to predict potential genes and confirm pathways which are associated with LAC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: By using the meta-analysis method, GSE10072 and GSE 2514 datasets were merged to find potential genes and pathways which are associated with LAC.
RESULTS: Our analysis indicated identified differentially expressed genes enriched in multicellular organismal metabolic process, gland development, and urogenital system development. Further, we predicted genes including EGF-like domain might be the potential target genes for further study, such as NGX6, MUC17, and Nel. In addition, a number of genes that associated with axon guidance, focal adhesion, and complement and coagulation cascades pathway might be also involved in LAC in a direct or indirectly manner.
CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis indicated identified differentially expressed genes enriched in multicellular organismal metabolic process, gland development, and urogenital system development We anticipate numerous advances in LAC research in the coming years based on our meta-analysis.

Zhou X, Ma L, Li J, et al.
Effects of SEMA3G on migration and invasion of glioma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 28(1):269-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive type of brain tumor with a strong ability to invade and migrate into surrounding normal brain tissues, leading to high tumor recurrence and mortality. Most of class-3 semaphorins, especially SEMA3A, SEMA3B and SEMA3F, have been reported to have strong tumor inhibition ability, but the role of SEMA3G in tumor biology is largely unknown. We report here that SEMA3G possesses anti-migration and anti-invasion ability. To determine the potential effects of SEMA3G on migratory and invasive ability, we generated stable SEMA3G expression U251MG cells. We found that stably overexpressed SEMA3G inhibited the migratory and invasive behavior of U251MG cells. In addition, treatment with SEMA3G conditioned media also decreased the migratory and invasive ability of parental U251MG cells. Furthermore, SEMA3G also inhibited the activity of MMP2, an index of tumor invasion ability. Thus, our results suggest that SEMA3G inhibited tumor cell migration and invasion, which may be obtained through cell autonomous or paracrine mechanisms, and SEMA3G is a potential target for antitumor migration and invasion.

Neufeld G, Sabag AD, Rabinovicz N, Kessler O
Semaphorins in angiogenesis and tumor progression.
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2012; 2(1):a006718 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The semaphorins were initially described as axon guidance factors, but have recently been implicated in a variety of physiological and developmental functions, including regulation of immune response, angiogenesis, and migration of neural crest cells. The semaphorin family contains more than 30 genes divided into seven subfamilies, all of which are characterized by the presence of a sema domain. The semaphorins transduce their signals by binding to one of the nine receptors belonging to the plexin family, or, in the case of the class 3 semaphorins, by binding to one of the two neuropilin receptors. Additional receptors, which form complexes with these primary semaphorin receptors, are also frequently involved in semaphorin signaling. Recent evidence suggests that some semaphorins can act as antiangiogenic and/or antitumorigenic agents whereas other semaphorins promote tumor progression and/or angiogenesis. Furthermore, loss of endogenous inhibitory semaphorin expression or function on one hand, and overexpression of protumorigenic semaphorins on the other hand, is associated with the progression of some tumor types.

da Costa Prando E, Cavalli LR, Rainho CA
Evidence of epigenetic regulation of the tumor suppressor gene cluster flanking RASSF1 in breast cancer cell lines.
Epigenetics. 2011; 6(12):1413-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic mechanisms are frequently deregulated in cancer cells and can lead to the silencing of genes with tumor suppressor activities. The isoform A of the Ras-association domain family member 1 (RASSF1A) gene is one of the most frequently silenced transcripts in human tumors, however, few studies have simultaneously investigated epigenetic abnormalities associated with the 3p21.3 tumor suppressor gene cluster flanking RASSF1 (i.e., SEMA3B, HYAL3, HYAL2, HYAL1, TUSC2, RASSF1, ZMYND10, NPRL2, TMEM115, and CACNA2D2). This study aimed to investigate the role of epigenetic changes to these genes in seventeen breast cancer cell lines and in three non-tumorigenic epithelial breast cell lines (184A1, 184B5, and MCF 10A) and to evaluate the effect on gene expression of treatment with the demethylating agent 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or Trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We report that, although the RASSF1A isoform was determined to be epigenetically silenced in 15 of the 17 breast cancer cell lines, all the cell lines expressed the RASSF1C isoform. Five breast cancer cell lines overexpressed RASSF1C, when compared to the normal epithelial cell line 184A1. Furthermore, the genes HYAL1 and CACNA2D2 were significantly overexpressed after the treatments. After the combinated treatment, RASSF1A re-expression was accompanied by an increase in expression levels of the flanking genes. The Spearman's correlation coefficient indicated a positive co-regulation of the following gene pairs: RASSF1 and TUSC2 (r=0.64, p=0.002), RASSF1 and ZMYND10 (r=0.58, p=0.07), RASSF1 and NPRL2 (r=0.48, p=0.03), ZMYND10 and NPRL2 (r=0.71; p=0,0004), and NPRL2 and TMEM115 (r=0.66, p=0.001). Interestingly, the genes TUSC2, NPRL2 and TMEM115 were found to be unmethylated in each of the untreated cell lines. Chromatin immunoprecipitation using antibodies against the acetylated and trimethylated lysine 9 of histone H3 demonstrated low levels of histone methylation in these genes, which are located closest to RASSF1. These results provide evidence that epigenetic repression is involved in the down-regulation of multiple genes at 3p21.3 in breast cancer cells.

Nguyen H, Ivanova VS, Kavandi L, et al.
Progesterone and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃ inhibit endometrial cancer cell growth by upregulating semaphorin 3B and semaphorin 3F.
Mol Cancer Res. 2011; 9(11):1479-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Class 3 semaphorins (SEMA), SEMA3B and SEMA3F, are secreted proteins that regulate angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis by binding to their transmembrane receptor complex consisting of plexins and neuropilins (NP). Expression of SEMAs and their receptors was assessed in tissue microarrays by immunohistochemistry. SEMA3B, SEMA3F, and plexin A3 were expressed strongly in normal endometrial tissues, whereas grade-dependent decreases were found in endometrial carcinomas. No change was observed in the expression of plexin A1, NP1, and NP2 in normal versus endometrial cancer tissues. Endometrial cancer cells showed decreased expression of SEMA3B, SEMA3F, and plexin A3 compared with their normal counterparts. Treatment of cancer cells with progesterone (P4) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] for a period of 72 hours induced a significant upregulation of SEMA3B and SEMA3F as well as inhibited growth of cancer cells by increasing caspase-3 activity. Cotreatment of cell lines with P4 or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and their respective antagonists confirmed the specificity of their actions. Transfection of siRNA-targeting SEMA3B and SEMA3F in endometrial cancer cells attenuated P4 or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-induced growth inhibition. Restoration of SEMA3B or SEMA3F expression in cancer cells caused growth inhibition, reduced soft agar colony formation, and cell invasiveness by inhibiting expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, integrin αvβ3, and proangiogenic genes and by upregulating antiangiogenic genes. Thus, we have identified two new P4 and 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-regulated antitumor genes for endometrial cancer. These results suggest that the loss of SEMAs contribute to the malignant phenotype of endometrial cancer cells and that reexpression of SEMAs by ectopic expression or with anticancer agents P4 or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) can be a promising therapeutic treatment against endometrial cancer.

Yoshikawa Y, Sato A, Tsujimura T, et al.
Frequent deletion of 3p21.1 region carrying semaphorin 3G and aberrant expression of the genes participating in semaphorin signaling in the epithelioid type of malignant mesothelioma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2011; 39(6):1365-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Array-based comparative genomic hybridization analysis was performed on 21 malignant mesothelioma (MM) samples (16 primary cell cultures and 5 cell lines) and two reactive mesothelial hyperplasia (RM) primary cell cultures. The RM samples did not have any genomic losses or gains. In MM samples, deletions in 1p, 3p21, 4q, 9p21, 16p13 and 22q were detected frequently. We focused on 3p21 because this deletion was specific to the epithelioid type. Especially, a deletion in 3p21.1 region carrying seven genes including SEMA3G was found in 52% of MM samples (11 of 14 epithelioid samples). The allele loss of 3p21.1 might be a good marker for the epithelioid MM. A homozygous deletion in this region was detected in two MM primary cell cultures. A heterozygous deletion detected in nine samples contained the 3p21.1 region and 3p21.31 one carrying the candidate tumor suppressor genes such as semaphorin 3F (SEMA3F), SEMA3B and Ras association (RalGDS/AF-6) domain family member 1 (RASSF1A). SEMA3B, 3F and 3G are class 3 semaphorins and inhibit growth by competing with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) through binding to neuropilin. All MM samples downregulated the expression of more than one gene for SEMA3B, 3F and 3G when compared with Met5a, a normal pleura-derived cell line. Moreover, in 12 of 14 epithelioid MM samples the expression level of SEMA3A was lower than that in Met5a and the two RM samples. An augmented expression of VEGFA was detected in half of the MM samples. The expression ratio of VEGFA/SEMA3A was significantly higher in the epithelioid MMs than in Met5a, RMs and the non-epithelioid MMs. Our data suggest that the downregulated expression of SEMA3A and several SEMA3s results in a loss of inhibitory activities in tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth of VEGFA; therefore, it may play an important role on the pathogenesis of the epithelioid type of MM.

Wang L, Huang J, Jiang M, Zheng X
AFP computational secreted network construction and analysis between human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and no-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic liver tissues.
Tumour Biol. 2010; 31(5):417-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) computational secreted network construction and analysis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is very useful to identify novel markers and potential targets for prognosis and therapy. By integration of gene regulatory network infer and the database for annotation, visualization, and integrated discovery, we identified and constructed significant molecule AFP secreted network from 25 no-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic liver tissues and 25 HCC patients in the same GEO Dataset GSE10140-10141. Our result verified AFP secreted module in the upstream of no-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic liver tissues (AMELY, LCN2, and REG3A activation; DKK1, SFRP4, and SPINK1 inhibition) and its downstream (PRSS1, REG3A, and TSHB activation; AMELY and DKK1 inhibition), and also in the upstream of HCC (LCN2, REG3A, and SFRP4 activation; AMELY and DKK1 inhibition) and its downstream (AMELY activation; DKK1, LCN2, PRSS1, SEMA3B, and SPINK1 inhibition). Importantly, we data-mined that AFP secreted cluster of HCC is involved in disease mutation (only in HCC terms) without cell surface receptor linked signal transduction, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, cell-cell signaling, and pancreas (only in no-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic liver tissues terms), the condition which is vital to invasion of HCC. Our result demonstrated that common terms in both no-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic liver tissues and HCC include secreted extracellular region, extracellular region part, extracellular space, signal peptide, signal, disulfide bond, glycosylation site N-linked (GlcNAc...), and glycoprotein, and these terms are less relative to invasion; therefore, we deduced the weaker AFP secreted network in HCC consistent with our number computation. We predicted AFP high expression localization within cells of HCC and without secretion to extracellular matrix. It would be necessary of AFP secreted function to decrease invasion of HCC.

Liu Z, Li W, Lei Z, et al.
CpG island methylator phenotype involving chromosome 3p confers an increased risk of non-small cell lung cancer.
J Thorac Oncol. 2010; 5(6):790-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study aims to explore the association of CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) involving tumor suppressor genes on short arm of chromosome 3 (3p) with increased risk of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS AND MATERIALS: In this study, four NSCLC cell lines were cultured, and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) specimens from 80 patients with NSCLC and 80 matched controls were collected for 3p-involved CIMP (3pCIMP) analysis. 3pCIMP was referred to as having at least three synchronously methylated genes of 3p per sample. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction was performed to examine the methylation status of each gene. DNA demethylation of NSCLC cell lines was achieved through the treatment with 5-aza-deoxycytidine. Logistic regression was used to assess odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals, which were adjusted for gender, age, and smoking status.
RESULTS: Demethylation experiment showed that 3pCIMP status could play an important role in NSCLC cell proliferation. A total of 97.5% of PBMC specimens from NSCLC patients presented promoter methylation of any one of six genes (hOGG1, RAR-B, SEMA3B, RASSF1A, BLU, or FHIT) on 3p. Interestingly, 3pCIMP+ was found in 43.8% of NSCLC PBMC specimens and only in 6.3% of normal PBMC samples. The data suggest that 3pCIMP status is significantly associated with NSCLC and normal PBMC samples (p 0.001). More importantly, the results show that 3pCIMP positive carriers have a 12.8-fold increased risk of NSCLC (adjusted odds ratio, 12.8; 95% confidence interval, 4.38 -37.4, p 0.001) in Chinese population.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first evidence of an association between PBMC 3pCIMP and risk for NSCLC.

Jung SH, Yim SH, Hu HJ, et al.
Copy number alterations and expression profiles of candidate genes in a pulmonary inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor.
Lung Cancer. 2010; 70(2):152-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is a soft tissue neoplasm composed of myofibroblastic spindle cells accompanied by the inflammatory infiltrate. In addition to its phenotypic ambiguity, pathogenic mechanisms of the IMT also remain elusive. Although several chromosomal aberrations have been identified by karyotyping, detailed characteristics and extent of copy number alterations in IMT are unknown. Copy number alterations of an IMT case were examined using 30K whole-genome oligoarray-comparative genomic hybridization. RNA expression of putative cancer-related genes located in the chromosomal altered regions was assessed by qRT-PCR. We identified seven copy number gained regions, seven lost regions, nine amplifications and six homozygous deletions, which covers 2.5% of total genome. In homozygously deleted regions, RNA levels of putative tumor suppressors, SEMA3B, SEMA3F and SULT2A1, were significantly repressed being consistent with copy number status. In high-level amplification regions, RNA expression of four potential cancer-related genes was examined; GSTT1, ESR1, EVI1 and MITF. Among them, GSTT1 and ESR1 were significantly up-regulated, but EVI1 and MITF showed insignificant elevation of RNA expression. To our knowledge, this is the first genome-wide analysis of copy number alterations in IMT. Most of the putative cancer-related genes identified in this study are supposedly novel in IMT. Taken together, our results will help to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of IMT.

Joseph D, Ho SM, Syed V
Hormonal regulation and distinct functions of semaphorin-3B and semaphorin-3F in ovarian cancer.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2010; 9(2):499-509 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Semaphorins comprise a family of molecules that influence neuronal growth and guidance. Class-3 semaphorins, semaphorin-3B (SEMA3B) and semaphorin-3F (SEMA3F), illustrate their effects by forming a complex with neuropilins (NP-1 or NP-2) and plexins. We examined the status and regulation of semaphorins and their receptors in human ovarian cancer cells. A significantly reduced expression of SEMA3B (83 kDa), SEMA3F (90 kDa), and plexin-A3 was observed in ovarian cancer cell lines when compared with normal human ovarian surface epithelial cells. The expression of NP-1, NP-2, and plexin-A1 was not altered in human ovarian surface epithelial and ovarian cancer cells. The decreased expression of SEMA3B, SEMA3F, and plexin-A3 was confirmed in stage 3 ovarian tumors. The treatment of ovarian cancer cells with luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and estrogen induced a significant upregulation of SEMA3B, whereas SEMA3F was upregulated only by estrogen. Cotreatment of cell lines with a hormone and its specific antagonist blocked the effect of the hormone. Ectopic expression of SEMA3B or SEMA3F reduced soft-agar colony formation, adhesion, and cell invasion of ovarian cancer cell cultures. Forced expression of SEMA3B, but not SEMA3F, inhibited viability of ovarian cancer cells. Overexpression of SEMA3B and SEMA3F reduced focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation and matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in ovarian cancer cells. Forced expression of SEMA3F, but not SEMA3B in ovarian cancer cells, significantly inhibited endothelial cell tube formation. Collectively, our results suggest that the loss of SEMA3 expression could be a hallmark of cancer progression. Furthermore, gonadotropin- and/or estrogen-mediated maintenance of SEMA3 expression could control ovarian cancer angiogenesis and metastasis.

Gaur P, Bielenberg DR, Samuel S, et al.
Role of class 3 semaphorins and their receptors in tumor growth and angiogenesis.
Clin Cancer Res. 2009; 15(22):6763-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Class 3 semaphorins (SEMA3) were first identified as glycoproteins that negatively mediate neuronal guidance by binding to neuropilin and repelling neurons away from the source of SEMA3. However, studies have shown that SEMA3s are also secreted by other cell types, including tumor cells, where they play an inhibitory role in tumor growth and angiogenesis (specifically SEMA3B and SEMA3F). SEMA3s primarily inhibit the cell motility and migration of tumor and endothelial cells by inducing collapse of the actin cytoskeleton via neuropilins and plexins. Besides binding to SEMA3s, neuropilin also binds the protumorigenic and proangiogenic ligand vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Although some studies attribute the antitumorigenic and antiangiogenic properties of SEMA3s to competition between SEMA3s and VEGF for binding to neuropilin receptors, several others have shown that SEMA3s display growth-inhibitory activity independent of competition with VEGF. A better understanding of these molecular interactions and the role and signaling of SEMA3s in tumor biology will help determine whether SEMA3s represent potential therapeutic agents. Herein, we briefly review (a) the role of SEMA3s in mediating tumor growth, (b) the SEMA3 receptors neuropilins and plexins, and (c) the potential competition between SEMA3s and VEGF family members for neuropilin binding.

Beuten J, Garcia D, Brand TC, et al.
Semaphorin 3B and 3F single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with prostate cancer risk and poor prognosis.
J Urol. 2009; 182(4):1614-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: SEMA3B and SEMA3F are 2 closely related genes lying 80 kb apart on chromosome 3 that have been shown to suppress tumor formation in vivo and in vitro. Each gene has a single nucleotide polymorphism that results in a nonsynonymous coding change, rs2071203 (SEMA3B) and rs1046956 (SEMA3F), as well as noncoding single nucleotide polymorphisms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a case-control study of 789 prostate cancer cases and 907 controls from 3 races/ethnicities to determine possible associations of 10 variants with prostate cancer risk or prognosis.
RESULTS: The risk of prostate cancer increased more than 2-fold in Hispanic men with TT alleles at rs2071203 in SEMA3B and with CC alleles for rs2072054 at the 5' end of SEMA3F (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.12-4.04, p = 0.02 and OR 2.55, 95% CI 1.34-4.84, p = 0.0045, respectively). These 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms were also associated with a poor prognosis in Hispanic men (2.71 and 3.48-fold increased risk). A frequent G-C-G-G-A-T-C-C-T-G haplotype encompassing 10 SNPs was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and poor prognosis in Hispanic samples (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.20-6.12, p = 0.016 and OR 3.32, 95% CI 1.21-9.10, p = 0.02). In nonHispanic white men the T-C-G-A-A-T-C-C haplotype was associated with a high Gleason score (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.06-1.96, p = 0.021).
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that polymorphisms in SEMA3B and SEMA3F are associated with prostate cancer risk and poor prognosis in Hispanic and nonHispanic white men.

Bernal C, Aguayo F, Villarroel C, et al.
Reprimo as a potential biomarker for early detection in gastric cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2008; 14(19):6264-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Gastric cancer is a curable disease if diagnosed at early stage. However, most cases are diagnosed at advanced stage because of the lack of screening programs. Therefore, the identification of plasma biomarkers for early detection is necessary.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To search for these biomarkers, we evaluated the DNA methylation patterns of 24 genes by Methylation-specific PCR in primary tissues from 32 retrospectively collected gastric cancer cases (testing group). Correlation between methylation and gene expression was evaluated in the MKN-45 cell line after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. The most frequently hypermethylated genes were next evaluated in primary tissues and plasma samples from 43 prospectively collected gastric cancer cases as well as plasma samples from 31 asymptomatic age- and gender-matched controls (validation group).
RESULTS: In the testing group, 11 genes were hypermethylated in at least 50% of cases (APC, SHP1, E-cadherin, ER, Reprimo, SEMA3B, 3OST2, p14, p15, DAPK, and p16). Eight genes (BRCA1, p73, RARbeta, hMLH1, RIZI, RUNX3, MGMT, and TIMP3) were statistically associated with a particular variant of gastric cancer, the signet-ring cell type (P = 0.03). Seven genes (APC, SHP1, E-cadherin, ER, Reprimo, SEMA3B, and 3OST2) were next evaluated in the validation group. We confirm the high frequency of methylation in primary tumors for all seven genes. However, only APC and Reprimo were frequently methylated in pair plasma samples. In asymptomatic controls, only Reprimo was infrequently methylated in comparison with plasma from gastric cancer cases (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our results identified specific methylation profile associated to signet-ring cell-type histology and aberrant hypermethylation of Reprimo as a potential biomarker for early detection of gastric cancer.

Kigel B, Varshavsky A, Kessler O, Neufeld G
Successful inhibition of tumor development by specific class-3 semaphorins is associated with expression of appropriate semaphorin receptors by tumor cells.
PLoS One. 2008; 3(9):e3287 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The class-3 semaphorins (sema3s) include seven family members. Six of them bind to neuropilin-1 (np1) or neuropilin-2 (np2) receptors or to both, while the seventh, sema3E, binds to the plexin-D1 receptor. Sema3B and sema3F were previously characterized as tumor suppressors and as inhibitors of tumor angiogenesis. To determine if additional class-3 semaphorins such as sema3A, sema3D, sema3E and sema3G possess anti-angiogenic and anti-tumorigenic properties, we expressed the recombinant full length semaphorins in four different tumorigenic cell lines expressing different combinations of class-3 semaphorin receptors. We show for the first time that sema3A, sema3D, sema3E and sema3G can function as potent anti-tumorigenic agents. All the semaphorins we examined were also able to reduce the concentration of tumor associated blood vessels although the potencies of the anti-angiogenic effects varied depending on the tumor cell type. Surprisingly, there was little correlation between the ability to inhibit tumor angiogenesis and their anti-tumorigenic activity. None of the semaphorins inhibited the adhesion of the tumor cells to plastic or fibronectin nor did they modulate the proliferation of tumor cells cultured in cell culture dishes. However, various semaphorins were able to inhibit the formation of soft agar colonies from tumor cells expressing appropriate semaphorin receptors, although in this case too the inhibitory effect was not always correlated with the anti-tumorigenic effect. In contrast, the anti-tumorigenic effect of each of the semaphorins correlated very well with tumor cell expression of specific signal transducing receptors for particular semaphorins. This correlation was not broken even in cases in which the tumor cells expressed significant concentrations of endogenous semaphorins. Our results suggest that combinations of different class-3 semaphorins may be more effective than single semaphorins in cases in which tumor cells express more than one type of semaphorin receptors.

Wang F, Grigorieva EV, Li J, et al.
HYAL1 and HYAL2 inhibit tumour growth in vivo but not in vitro.
PLoS One. 2008; 3(8):e3031 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We identified two 3p21.3 regions (LUCA and AP20) as most frequently affected in lung, breast and other carcinomas and reported their fine physical and gene maps. It is becoming increasingly clear that each of these two regions contains several TSGs. Until now TSGs which were isolated from AP20 and LUCA regions (e.g.G21/NPRL2, RASSF1A, RASSF1C, SEMA3B, SEMA3F, RBSP3) were shown to inhibit tumour cell growth both in vitro and in vivo.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The effect of expression HYAL1 and HYAL2 was studied by colony formation inhibition, growth curve and cell proliferation tests in vitro and tumour growth assay in vivo. Very modest growth inhibition was detected in vitro in U2020 lung and KRC/Y renal carcinoma cell lines. In the in vivo experiment stably transfected KRC/Y cells expressing HYAL1 or HYAL2 were inoculated into SCID mice (10 and 12 mice respectively). Tumours grew in eight mice inoculated with HYAL1. Ectopic HYAL1 was deleted in all of them. HYAL2 was inoculated into 12 mice and only four tumours were obtained. In 3 of them the gene was deleted. In one tumour it was present but not expressed. As expected for tumour suppressor genes HYAL1 and HYAL2 were down-expressed in 15 fresh lung squamous cell carcinomas (100%) and clear cell RCC tumours (60-67%).
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest that the expression of either gene has led to inhibition of tumour growth in vivo without noticeable effect on growth in vitro. HYAL1 and HYAL2 thus differ in this aspect from other tumour suppressors like P53 or RASSF1A that inhibit growth both in vitro and in vivo. Targeting the microenvironment of cancer cells is one of the most promising venues of cancer therapeutics. As major hyaluronidases in human cells, HYAL1 and HYAL2 may control intercellular interactions and microenvironment of tumour cells providing excellent targets for cancer treatment.

Rolny C, Capparuccia L, Casazza A, et al.
The tumor suppressor semaphorin 3B triggers a prometastatic program mediated by interleukin 8 and the tumor microenvironment.
J Exp Med. 2008; 205(5):1155-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Semaphorins are a large family of evolutionarily conserved morphogenetic molecules originally identified for their repelling role in axonal guidance. Intriguingly, semaphorins have recently been implicated in cancer progression (Neufeld, G., T. Lange, A. Varshavsky, and O. Kessler. 2007. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 600:118-131). In particular, semaphorin 3B (SEMA3B) is considered a putative tumor suppressor, and yet we found that it is expressed at high levels in many invasive and metastatic human cancers. By investigating experimental tumor models, we confirmed that SEMA3B expression inhibited tumor growth, whereas metastatic dissemination was surprisingly increased. We found that SEMA3B induced the production of interleukin (IL) 8 by tumor cells by activating the p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in a neuropilin 1-dependent manner. Silencing the expression of endogenous SEMA3B in tumor cells impaired IL-8 transcription. The release of IL-8, in turn, induced the recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages and metastatic dissemination to the lung, which could be rescued by blocking IL-8 with neutralizing antibodies. In conclusion, we report that SEMA3B exerts unexpected functions in cancer progression by fostering a prometastatic environment through elevated IL-8 secretion and recruitment of macrophages coupled to the suppression of tumor growth.

Bernal C, Vargas M, Ossandón F, et al.
DNA methylation profile in diffuse type gastric cancer: evidence for hypermethylation of the BRCA1 promoter region in early-onset gastric carcinogenesis.
Biol Res. 2008; 41(3):303-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse type gastric carcinoma is the most aggressive type of gastric cancer. This type of tumor is not preceded by precancerous changes and is associated with early-onset and hereditary syndromes. To test the hypothesis that DNA methylation profile would be useful for molecular classification of the diffuse type gastric carcinoma, DNA methylation patterns of the CpG Island of 17 genes were studied in 104 cases and 47 normal adjacent gastric mucosa by Methylation-specific PCR, Immunohistochemistry and Hierarchical clustering analysis. The most frequent methylated genes were FHIT, E-cadherin, BRCA1 and APC (>50%), followed by p14, p16, p15, p73, MGMT and SEMA3B (20-49%). Hierarchical clustering analysis reveals four groups with different clinical features. The first was characterized by hypermethylation of BRCA1 and younger age (<45 years old), and the second by hypermethylation of p14 and p16 genes, male predominance and Epstein-Barr virus infection. The third group was characterized by hypermethylation of FHIT and antrum located tumors and the fourth was not associated with any clinical variables. In normal adjacent mucosa only the p73 gene was significantly less methylated in comparison to tumor mucosa. DNA methylation identified subgroups of diffuse type gastric cancer. Hypermethylation of BRCA1 associated with young age suggests a role in early-onset gastric carcinoma.

Nakamura Y, Matsubara D, Goto A, et al.
Constitutive activation of c-Met is correlated with c-Met overexpression and dependent on cell-matrix adhesion in lung adenocarcinoma cell lines.
Cancer Sci. 2008; 99(1):14-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study we explored the mechanisms of constitutive activation of c-Met in lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. First, we examined levels of c-Met and phospho-c-Met (Y1234/Y1235) in a panel of lung adenocarcinoma cell lines by Western blot analysis. c-Met expression was found in 12 of 14 cell lines and an overall correlation between the expressions of c-Met and phospho-c-Met was noted. c-Met was constitutively activated particularly at high levels in five cell lines (PC3, LC-2/ad, L27, H1648, and H2009). c-Met amplification was identified in L27 and H1648 by single nucleotide polymorphism array analysis, but no mutations were identified in the Sema domain or in any part of the cytoplasmic domain of c-Met. Experiments with neutralizing anti-hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) antibody, scatter assay using Madin-Darby canine kidney cells, and Western blotting on conditioned media of the cell lines revealed that the constitutive phosphorylation of c-Met was largely ligand-independent. The inhibition of cell-matrix adhesion induced the dephosphorylation of c-Met in the five cell lines tested. This was accompanied by downregulation of c-Met in three of the five cell lines. In contrast, the inhibition of cell-cell adhesion by neutralizing E-cadherin antibody had a minimal effect on the expression and phosphorylation of c-Met. These results reveal three features of the constitutive activation of c-Met in our panel of lung adenocarcinoma cell lines: (i) it correlates with c-Met overexpression, either with or without gene amplification; (ii) it is largely ligand-independent; and (iii) it depends on cell-matrix adhesion.

Nair PN, McArdle L, Cornell J, et al.
High-resolution analysis of 3p deletion in neuroblastoma and differential methylation of the SEMA3B tumor suppressor gene.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2007; 174(2):100-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Large-scale hemizygous loss of chromosome 3p is a common event in neuroblastoma, occurring preferentially in tumors that exhibit loss of chromosome 11q and lack MYCN amplification. Although numerous tumor suppressor genes (TSG) have been mapped to the 3p region, the gene or genes contributing to neuroblastoma pathogenesis have remained elusive. High-resolution oligonucleotide array CGH mapping of chromosome 3p breakpoints relative to the positions of known TSGs indicates that more than one gene may contribute to neuroblastoma pathogenesis. We evaluated the methylation status of semaphorin 3B (SEMA3B), one of the chromosome 3p TSGs, in neuroblastoma tumors with (n = 12) and without (n = 32) 3p deletions. A significantly higher percentage of methylated CpG sites in the SEMA3B promoter was detected in tumors exhibiting 3p loss (95%), relative to tumors without loss (52%), suggestive of a two-hit mechanism of allele inactivation. The involvement of methylation in the control of SEMA3B expression was confirmed by treatment of neuroblastoma cell lines with the demethylating agent 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine. Transcriptional regulation of this locus is complex, however; low levels of SEMA3B expression were also seen in tumors with unmethylated SEMA3B promoters (n = 4). SEMA3B is known to play an important role in the development of normal sympathetic neurons, and interestingly, we found higher levels of SEMA3B expression in differentiated tumors with favorable histopathology (n = 19) than in tumors with unfavorable histology (n = 22). Furthermore, SEMA3B was upregulated in the SK-N-BE neuroblastoma cell line following induction of differentiation with retinoic acid. The association of SEMA3B expression with neuroblastoma differentiation suggests that this TSG may play a role in neuroblastoma pathobiology.

Geretti E, Klagsbrun M
Neuropilins: novel targets for anti-angiogenesis therapies.
Cell Adh Migr. 2007 Apr-Jun; 1(2):56-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is now well established that neuropilins (NRP1 and NRP2), first described as mediators of neuronal guidance, are also mediators of angiogenesis and tumor progression. NRPs are receptors for the class-3 semaphorin (SEMA) family of axon guidance molecules and also for the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of angiogenic factors. VEGF-NRP interactions promote developmental angiogenesis as shown in mouse knockout and zebrafish knockdown studies. There is also evidence that NRPs mediate tumor progression. For example, overexpression of NRP1 enhances tumor growth whereas NRP1 antagonists, such as soluble NRP1 and anti-NRP1 antibodies, inhibit tumor growth. Furthermore, some class-3 SEMAs acting via NRPs inhibit tumor angiogenesis, progression and metastasis. Clinical data suggest that high NRP levels correlate with poor prognosis and survival in a variety of cancer types. Taken together, these results suggest that NRPs are potentially valuable targets for new anti-cancer therapies. We analyze here the current knowledge on NRPs and their role in angiogenesis and tumor progression and enumerate strategies for targeting these receptors.

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