SNCG

Gene Summary

Gene:SNCG; synuclein gamma
Aliases: SR, BCSG1
Location:10q23.2
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the synuclein family of proteins which are believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Mutations in this gene have also been associated with breast tumor development. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:gamma-synuclein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 14 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (10)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 14 March 2017 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.

  • RTPCR
  • DNA Methylation
  • Disease Progression
  • Messenger RNA
  • Promoter Regions
  • CpG Islands
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Staging
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transfection
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Gene Silencing
  • siRNA
  • Cell Movement
  • Synucleins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Chromosome 10
  • tau Proteins
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Apoptosis
  • Receptor, erbB-2
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression
  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Exons
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Azacitidine
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Cell Division
Tag cloud generated 14 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).

Latest Publications: SNCG (cancer-related)

Badar T, Srour S, Bashir Q, et al.
Predictors of inferior clinical outcome in patients with standard-risk multiple myeloma.
Eur J Haematol. 2017; 98(3):263-268 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Outcome of patients with standard-risk (SR) multiple myeloma (MM) has improved; however, subsets of patients do worse than expected. We sought to identify the factors associated with inferior outcome.
METHODS: We evaluated 51 patients with SR MM that received upfront autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HCT) after induction and had a progression-free survival (PFS) of ≤18 months.
RESULTS: The median age of patients was 61 yr. Forty-one (80%) patients received induction with immunomodulatory drugs, proteosome inhibitors, or combination of both. The overall response rate (ORR) after auto-HCT was 96% (stringent complete response 23%, complete response 10%, very good partial response 22%, and partial response 39%). The median PFS was 7.8, and median overall survival (OS) was 56.3 months. On univariate analysis, concurrent light-chain amyloidosis (AL) was associated with inferior PFS [hematological response (HR); 2.51, 95% CI; 0.64-10.58, P = 0.03] and occurrence of soft tissue plasmacytoma was associated with a significantly shorter OS (HR: 3.05, 95% CI: 0.57-16.29, P = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: Our analysis suggests that concurrent AL and soft tissue plasmacytoma were associated with shorter PFS and OS, respectively. Heterogeneity in clinical outcome of SR MM merits better tools for prognostication, such as gene expression profiling and minimal residual disease assessment to identify high-risk patients.

Boguslawska J, Sokol E, Rybicka B, et al.
microRNAs target SRSF7 splicing factor to modulate the expression of osteopontin splice variants in renal cancer cells.
Gene. 2016; 595(2):142-149 [PubMed] Related Publications
SRSF7 is a SR splicing factor involved in the regulation of splicing and mRNA export of cancer-related genes. The mechanisms regulating the expression of SRSF7 are unknown. This study shows that SRSF7 expression in cancer cells is regulated by microRNAs: short, non-coding RNAs that bind to 3'UTR of target genes and downregulate their expression. We show that microRNAs miR-30a-5p and miR-181a-5p together with SRSF7 form regulatory feedback loop in which the expression of microRNAs is recurrently regulated by its target. Finally, we demonstrate that silencing of SRSF7 affects the expression of osteopontin splice variants and decreases proliferation rate of renal cancer cells.

Oh TG, Wang SC, Acharya BR, et al.
The Nuclear Receptor, RORγ, Regulates Pathways Necessary for Breast Cancer Metastasis.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 6:59-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We have previously reported that RORγ expression was decreased in ER-ve breast cancer, and increased expression improves clinical outcomes. However, the underlying RORγ dependent mechanisms that repress breast carcinogenesis have not been elucidated. Here we report that RORγ negatively regulates the oncogenic TGF-β/EMT and mammary stem cell (MaSC) pathways, whereas RORγ positively regulates DNA-repair. We demonstrate that RORγ expression is: (i) decreased in basal-like subtype cancers, and (ii) inversely correlated with histological grade and drivers of carcinogenesis in breast cancer cohorts. Furthermore, integration of RNA-seq and ChIP-chip data reveals that RORγ regulates the expression of many genes involved in TGF-β/EMT-signaling, DNA-repair and MaSC pathways (including the non-coding RNA, LINC00511). In accordance, pharmacological studies demonstrate that an RORγ agonist suppresses breast cancer cell viability, migration, the EMT transition (microsphere outgrowth) and mammosphere-growth. In contrast, RNA-seq demonstrates an RORγ inverse agonist induces TGF-β/EMT-signaling. These findings suggest pharmacological modulation of RORγ activity may have utility in breast cancer.

Chen Z, Ji Z, Wang Q, et al.
Expression of γ-Synuclein in Bladder Carcinoma: A Possible Marker for Prognosis.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(3):951-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate if γ-synuclein (SNCG) could be used as a bladder cancer (BC) marker to predict prognosis of BC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Medical records of 140 patients with BC (January, 2006 to December, 2009) were retrospectively reviewed. SNCG expression level was examined by immunohistological staining. The patients' survival rate was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional regression model was used to identify independent predictors for BC.
RESULTS: Overexpression of SNCG was detected in BC tissues and the expression level of SNCG strongly positively correlated with BC recurrence. However, no correlation was found between SNCG level and tumor stage or survival rate.
CONCLUSION: SNCG is a good marker to predict recurrence of BC, but not a reliable marker for staging or prediction of survival rate.

Gibbs DC, Orlow I, Bramson JI, et al.
Association of Interferon Regulatory Factor-4 Polymorphism rs12203592 With Divergent Melanoma Pathways.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016; 108(7) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solar elastosis and neval remnants are histologic markers characteristic of divergent melanoma pathways linked to differences in age at onset, host phenotype, and sun exposure. However, the association between these pathway markers and newly identified low-penetrance melanoma susceptibility loci remains unknown.
METHODS: In the Genes, Environment and Melanoma (GEM) Study, 2103 Caucasian participants had first primary melanomas that underwent centralized pathology review. For 47 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously identified as low-penetrant melanoma risk variants, we used multinomial logistic regression to compare melanoma with solar elastosis and melanoma with neval remnants simultaneously to melanoma with neither of these markers, excluding melanomas with both markers. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: IRF4 rs12203592 was the only SNP to pass the false discovery threshold in baseline models adjusted for age, sex, and study center. rs12203592*T was associated positively with melanoma with solar elastosis (odds ratio [OR] = 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18 to 1.82) and inversely with melanoma with neval remnants (OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.87) compared with melanoma with neither marker (P global = 3.78 x 10(-08)). Adjusting for phenotypic characteristics and total sun exposure hours did not materially affect rs12203592's associations. Distinct early- and late-onset age distributions were observed in patients with IRF4 rs12203592 [CC] and [TT] genotypes, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a role of IRF4 rs12203592 in pathway-specific risk for melanoma development. We hypothesize that IRF4 rs12203592 could underlie in part the bimodal age distribution reported for melanoma and linked to the divergent pathways.

Schirmer MA, Lüske CM, Roppel S, et al.
Relevance of Sp Binding Site Polymorphism in WWOX for Treatment Outcome in Pancreatic Cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016; 108(5) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) suggested inherited genetic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting overall survival (OS) in advanced pancreatic cancer. To identify robust clinical biomarkers, we tested the strongest reported candidate loci in an independent patient cohort, assessed cellular drug sensitivity, and evaluated molecular effects.
METHODS: This study comprised 381 patients with histologically verified pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. The primary outcome was the relationship between germline polymorphisms and OS. Functional assays addressed pharmacological dose-response effects in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and pancreatic cancer cell lines (including upon RNAi), gene expression analyses, and allele-specific transcription factor binding. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The A allele (26% in Caucasians) at SNP rs11644322 in the putative tumor suppressor gene WWOX conferred worse prognosis. Median OS was 14 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 12 to 15 months), 13 months (95% CI = 11 to 15 months), and nine months (95% CI = 7 to 12 months) for the GG, GA, and AA genotypes, respectively (P trend < .001 for trend in univariate log-rank assuming a codominant mode of inheritance; advanced disease subgroup P trend < .001). Mean OS was 25 months (95% CI = 21 to 29 months), 19 months (95% CI = 15 to 22 months), and 13 months (95% CI = 10 to 16 months), respectively. This effect held true after adjustment for age, performance status according to Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group classification, TNM, grading, and resection status and was comparable with the strongest established prognostic factors in multivariable analysis. Consistently, reduced responsiveness to gemcitabine, but not 5-fluorouracil, along with lower WWOX expression was demonstrated in LCLs harboring the AA genotype. Likewise, RNAi-mediated WWOX knockdown in pancreatic cancer cells confirmed differential cytostatic drug sensitivity. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, the A allele exhibited weaker binding of Sp family members Sp1/Sp3.
CONCLUSIONS: WWOX rs11644322 represents a major predictive factor in gemcitabine-treated pancreatic cancer. Decreased WWOX expression may interfere with gemcitabine sensitivity, and allele-specific binding at rs11644332 might be a causative molecular mechanism behind the observed clinical associations.

Radhakrishnan A, Nanjappa V, Raja R, et al.
Dysregulation of splicing proteins in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2016; 17(2):219-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Signaling plays an important role in regulating all cellular pathways. Altered signaling is one of the hallmarks of cancers. Phosphoproteomics enables interrogation of kinase mediated signaling pathways in biological systems. In cancers, this approach can be utilized to identify aberrantly activated pathways that potentially drive proliferation and tumorigenesis. To identify signaling alterations in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), we carried out proteomic and phosphoproteomic analysis of HNSCC cell lines using a combination of tandem mass tag (TMT) labeling approach and titanium dioxide-based enrichment. We identified 4,920 phosphosites corresponding to 2,212 proteins in six HNSCC cell lines compared to a normal oral cell line. Our data indicated significant enrichment of proteins associated with splicing. We observed hyperphosphorylation of SRSF protein kinase 2 (SRPK2) and its downstream substrates in HNSCC cell lines. SRPK2 is a splicing kinase, known to phosphorylate serine/arginine (SR) rich domain proteins and regulate splicing process in eukaryotes. Although genome-wide studies have reported the contribution of alternative splicing events of several genes in the progression of cancer, the involvement of splicing kinases in HNSCC is not known. In this study, we studied the role of SRPK2 in HNSCC. Inhibition of SRPK2 resulted in significant decrease in colony forming and invasive ability in a panel of HNSCC cell lines. Our results indicate that phosphorylation of SRPK2 plays a crucial role in the regulation of splicing process in HNSCC and that splicing kinases can be developed as a new class of therapeutic target in HNSCC.

Veldore VH, Patil S, Prabhudesai S, et al.
Targeted Therapy Management in NSCLC Patients Using Cytology: Experience from a Tertiary Care Cancer Center.
Mol Diagn Ther. 2016; 20(2):119-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosis, cytological material has often been used to assist in making a pathologic diagnosis as well as for molecular testing in certain cancers such as in the lung, cervix, and head/neck.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective is to share experience from our institution in the use of cytological material in screening for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in a subset of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
METHODS: Fine needle aspirates, pleural effusion, cell blocks of 223 NSCLC patients, where cytology suggested malignancy were screened for EGFR mutation in exons 18-21 using Scorpion(®) ARMS real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology.
RESULTS: Overall, EGFR mutation was seen in 43.5 % of study samples. Deletions were highest in exon 19 (27.2 %), followed by exon 21 (15.5 %), exon 18 (5.3 %), and exon 20 (1.9 %). Chi-squared analysis revealed a significant correlation for mutation status in women compared with men (χ (2) = 5.88, p = 0.02), with exon 19 mutation predominating (χ (2) = 5.66, p = 0.02).
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the successful use of cytology material for molecular testing in a subset of NSCLC patients to direct their treatment.

Rosenberg LH, Lafitte M, Quereda V, et al.
Therapeutic targeting of casein kinase 1δ in breast cancer.
Sci Transl Med. 2015; 7(318):318ra202 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Identification of specific drivers of human cancer is required to instruct the development of targeted therapeutics. We demonstrate that CSNK1D is amplified and/or overexpressed in human breast tumors and that casein kinase 1δ (CK1δ) is a vulnerability of human breast cancer subtypes overexpressing this kinase. Specifically, selective knockdown of CK1δ, or treatment with a highly selective and potent CK1δ inhibitor, triggers apoptosis of CK1δ-expressing breast tumor cells ex vivo, tumor regression in orthotopic models of triple-negative breast cancer, including patient-derived xenografts, and tumor growth inhibition in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2(+)) breast cancer models. We also show that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a hallmark of human tumors overexpressing CK1δ, that disabling CK1δ blocks nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and T cell factor transcriptional activity, and that constitutively active β-catenin overrides the effects of inhibition or silencing of CK1δ. Thus, CK1δ inhibition represents a promising strategy for targeted treatment in human breast cancer with Wnt/β-catenin involvement.

Cheng JC, Chiang MT, Lee CH, et al.
γ-Synuclein Expression Is a Malignant Index in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
J Dent Res. 2016; 95(4):439-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dysregulation of γ-synuclein (SNCG) has been reported in many cancers; however, its role in cancer development is still controversial. Here, we examined the potential involvement of DNA methylation in regulating SNCG and its role in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We used 8 OSCC cell lines to investigate SNCG methylation and expression. SNCG methylation was examination by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and bisulfate sequencing. Cells showing a high degree of SNCG methylation were treated with 5-aza (methylation inhibitor), and changes in their methylation and expression profiles were analyzed. Functional effects of SNCG in OSCC were examined by its overexpression and knockdown. Additionally, methylation and expression of SNCG in OSCC tissues were investigated and correlated with clinicopathologic features. All OSCC cells showed detectable SNCG expression at the mRNA and protein levels. Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction and bisulfate sequencing revealed high SNCG expression in SCC25 cells with the unmethylated allele, and their 15 CpG islands were unmethylated. The methylated allele was detected only in OEC-M1 cells exhibiting low SNCG expression, and their CpG islands were partially methylated. 5-aza treatment in OEC-M1 cells attenuated methylation and restored SNCG expression. SNCG overexpression increased colony forming, migration, and invasion abilities in OEC-M1 cells. Silencing SNCG in SCC25 cells suppressed these behaviors. All 25 tumor-adjacent normal tissues were negative for SNCG immunostaining. SNCG upregulation was frequently observed in dysplastic and OSCC tissues. Positive SNCG expression was found in 45% (37 of 82) OSCC tissues. Positive SNCG expression in OSCC significantly correlated with cancer staging and lymph node metastasis. However, SNCG methylation did not correlate with its expression and clinicopathologic variables in OSCC tissues. DNA methylation may participate in regulating SNCG expression in some OSCC cells. SNCG upregulation could be involved in OSCC progression.

Shen ZT, Wu XH, Wang L, et al.
Effects of gemcitabine on radiosensitization, apoptosis, and Bcl-2 and Bax protein expression in human pancreatic cancer xenografts in nude mice.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(4):15587-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to evaluate the radiosensitizing effects of gemcitabine towards human pancreatic cancer xenografts. A human pancreatic cancer xenograft model was established in nude mice, 36 of which were randomly divided into 6 treatment groups. Tumors were measured every 2 days, and the tumor volumes, growth delays, and inhibition rates were compared to evaluate the gemcitabine enhancement factor. The apoptotic index was determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling assay, and apoptosis inhibitory protein Bcl-2 and apoptosis-related protein Bax expression were detected by immunohistochemistry. Compared with the control group, xenograft growth was significantly inhibited in the 25 (G25) and 50 mg/kg gemcitabine (G50) groups (P < 0.05). In the 25 (G25R) and 50 (G50R) mg/kg gemcitabine + radiotherapy groups, local tumor growth was significantly inhibited, with inhibition rates of 88.22 and 91.23%, respectively, significantly higher than those of the simple radiotherapy (SR), G25, and G50 groups (44.11, 72.88, and 77.53%, respectively; P < 0.05). The tumor growth delay in the G25R and G50R groups were 9 and 15 days, respectively, higher than the SR, G25, and G50 groups (each 4 days, P < 0.05). The apoptosis of tumor cells in the intervention groups significantly increased, and the apoptotic index among the intervention groups exhibited significant differences (P < 0.05). The immunohistochemical results indicated that Bcl-2 was downregulated to different degrees in the intervention groups, whereas Bax was upregulated (P < 0.05). Therefore, gemcitabine appears to enhance the radiotherapeutic sensitivity of human pancreatic cancer xenografts significantly.

Wang Y, Billon C, Walker JK, Burris TP
Therapeutic Effect of a Synthetic RORα/γ Agonist in an Animal Model of Autism.
ACS Chem Neurosci. 2016; 7(2):143-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Autism is a developmental disorder of the nervous system associated with impaired social communication and interactions as well excessive repetitive behaviors. There are no drug therapies that directly target the pathology of this disease. The retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor α (RORα) is a nuclear receptor that has been demonstrated to have reduced expression in many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Several genes that have been shown to be downregulated in individuals with ASD have also been identified as putative RORα target genes. Utilizing a synthetic RORα/γ agonist, SR1078, that we identified previously, we demonstrate that treatment of BTBR mice (a model of autism) with SR1078 results in reduced repetitive behavior. Furthermore, these mice display increased expression of ASD-associated RORα target genes in both the brains of the BTBR mice and in a human neuroblastoma cell line treated with SR1078. These data suggest that pharmacological activation of RORα may be a method for treatment of autism.

Arbitrio M, Di Martino MT, Barbieri V, et al.
Identification of polymorphic variants associated with erlotinib-related skin toxicity in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients by DMET microarray analysis.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2016; 77(1):205-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Erlotinib is a targeted agent commonly used in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC). However, drug-related skin toxicity often may affect the quality of life of cancer patients and lead to treatment discontinuation. Genetic polymorphisms in drug transporters and metabolizing enzymes play a major role in the interindividual variability in terms of efficacy and toxicity of erlotinib treatment. The aim of our study was to identify genetic determinants in adsorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion genes influencing skin rash (SR) by the novel drug-metabolizing enzyme and transporter (DMET) microarray Affymetrix platform in aNSCLC patients.
METHODS: In a retrospective study, 34 erlotinib-treated aNSCLC patients were genotyped by DMET Plus chip: 23 patients experienced SR (cases), while 11 patients did not (controls). Peripheral blood DNA was genotyped. Genotype association was analyzed by Fisher's exact test, and the toxicity-associated gene sets underwent Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA).
RESULTS: Seven SNPs in six genes (CYP27B1, MAT1A1, CHST1, CYP4B1, ADH6, and SLC22A1) were associated with the occurrence of SR or with a protective effect. Specifically, the rs8176345 in CYP27B1 gene was significantly correlated with SR (p = 0.0003, OR 55.55, 95% CI 2.7036-1141.1707). The IPA on SR-related genes highlighted the role of a variety of canonical pathways including 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 biosynthesis, S-adenosyl-L-methionine biosynthesis, and methionine degradation I (to homocysteine) in SR development.
CONCLUSION: Although exploratory, this study indicates rs8176345 in CYP27B1 gene as significantly correlated with erlotinib-induced SR in aNSCLC patients probably through a mechanism mediated by vitamin D3 and inflammation at skin level.

Mardin BR, Drainas AP, Waszak SM, et al.
A cell-based model system links chromothripsis with hyperploidy.
Mol Syst Biol. 2015; 11(9):828 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
A remarkable observation emerging from recent cancer genome analyses is the identification of chromothripsis as a one-off genomic catastrophe, resulting in massive somatic DNA structural rearrangements (SRs). Largely due to lack of suitable model systems, the mechanistic basis of chromothripsis has remained elusive. We developed an integrative method termed "complex alterations after selection and transformation (CAST)," enabling efficient in vitro generation of complex DNA rearrangements including chromothripsis, using cell perturbations coupled with a strong selection barrier followed by massively parallel sequencing. We employed this methodology to characterize catastrophic SR formation processes, their temporal sequence, and their impact on gene expression and cell division. Our in vitro system uncovered a propensity of chromothripsis to occur in cells with damaged telomeres, and in particular in hyperploid cells. Analysis of primary medulloblastoma cancer genomes verified the link between hyperploidy and chromothripsis in vivo. CAST provides the foundation for mechanistic dissection of complex DNA rearrangement processes.

Jakubauskienė E, Peciuliene I, Vilys L, et al.
Gastrointestinal tract tumors and cell lines possess differential splicing factor expression and tumor associated mRNA isoform formation profiles.
Cancer Biomark. 2015; 15(5):575-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cell lines derived from human tumors have been extensively used as experimental models of neoplastic disease. Although such cell lines differ from both normal and cancerous tissue.
OBJECTIVE: The data obtained used DNA and RNA microarray systems does not give full information about protein expression levels in cells and tissues. We present experimental evidence that splicing factor SRSF1, SRSF2, U2AF35, U2AF65 and KHSRP expression levels in gastrointestinal tract (colon, gastric and pancreatic) tumors differ compare to healthy tissues and in cell lines, derived from corresponding organs.
METHODS: Protein expression was analyzed using Western blots. RT-PCR method was used for Fas and Rac splicing analysis.
RESULTS: Obtained results provided a novel molecular characterization of this important group of human cell lines and their relationships to tumors in vivo. Expression levels of individual splicing factors in tumors might serve as tumor markers. Not all experimental results obtained from cell lines reflect changes that occur in tumors. Also Fas and Rac, cancer associated genes, tumor associated sFas and Rac1b mRNA isoform profiles in cell lines do not correspond to profiles that are observed in tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: Not all experimental results obtained in cell lines reflect changes that occur in real tumors.

Hong E, Best A, Gautrey H, et al.
Unravelling the RNA-Binding Properties of SAFB Proteins in Breast Cancer Cells.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:395816 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Scaffold attachment factor B1 (SAFB1) and SAFB2 proteins are oestrogen (ER) corepressors that bind to and modulate ER activity through chromatin remodelling or interaction with the basal transcription machinery. SAFB proteins also have an internal RNA-recognition motif but little is known about the RNA-binding properties of SAFB1 or SAFB2. We utilised crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) coupled with high-throughput sequencing to enable a transcriptome-wide mapping of SAFB1 protein-RNA interactions in breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Analysis of crosslinking frequency mapped to transcript regions revealed that SAFB1 binds to coding and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). The highest proportion of SAFB1 crosslink sites mapped to ncRNAs, followed by intergenic regions, open reading frames (ORFs), introns, and 3' or 5' untranslated regions (UTR). Furthermore, we reveal that SAFB1 binds directly to RNA and its binding is particularly enriched at purine-rich sequences not dissimilar to the RNA-binding motifs for SR proteins. Using RNAi, we also show, for the first time, that single depletion of either SAFB1 or SAFB2 leads to an increase in expression of the other SAFB protein in both MCF-7 and MDA-MD231 breast cancer cells.

da Silva MR, Moreira GA, Gonçalves da Silva RA, et al.
Splicing Regulators and Their Roles in Cancer Biology and Therapy.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:150514 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Alternative splicing allows cells to expand the encoding potential of their genomes. In this elegant mechanism, a single gene can yield protein isoforms with even antagonistic functions depending on the cellular physiological context. Alterations in splicing regulatory factors activity in cancer cells, however, can generate an abnormal protein expression pattern that promotes growth, survival, and other processes, which are relevant to tumor biology. In this review, we discuss dysregulated alternative splicing events and regulatory factors that impact pathways related to cancer. The SR proteins and their regulatory kinases SRPKs and CLKs have been frequently found altered in tumors and are examined in more detail. Finally, perspectives that support splicing machinery as target for the development of novel anticancer therapies are discussed.

Siqueira RP, Barbosa Éde A, Polêto MD, et al.
Potential Antileukemia Effect and Structural Analyses of SRPK Inhibition by N-(2-(Piperidin-1-yl)-5-(Trifluoromethyl)Phenyl)Isonicotinamide (SRPIN340).
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0134882 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Dysregulation of pre-mRNA splicing machinery activity has been related to the biogenesis of several diseases. The serine/arginine-rich protein kinase family (SRPKs) plays a critical role in regulating pre-mRNA splicing events through the extensive phosphorylation of splicing factors from the family of serine/arginine-rich proteins (SR proteins). Previous investigations have described the overexpression of SRPK1 and SRPK2 in leukemia and other cancer types, suggesting that they would be useful targets for developing novel antitumor strategies. Herein, we evaluated the effect of selective pharmacological SRPK inhibition by N-(2-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)isonicotinamide (SRPIN340) on the viability of lymphoid and myeloid leukemia cell lines. Along with significant cytotoxic activity, the effect of treatments in regulating the phosphorylation of the SR protein family and in altering the expression of MAP2K1, MAP2K2, VEGF and FAS genes were also assessed. Furthermore, we found that pharmacological inhibition of SRPKs can trigger early and late events of apoptosis. Finally, intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence emission, molecular docking and molecular dynamics were analyzed to gain structural information on the SRPK/SRPIN340 complex. These data suggest that SRPK pharmacological inhibition should be considered as an alternative therapeutic strategy for fighting leukemias. Moreover, the obtained SRPK-ligand interaction data provide useful structural information to guide further medicinal chemistry efforts towards the development of novel drug candidates.

Wang Q, Li J, An S, et al.
Magnetic resonance-guided regional gene delivery strategy using a tumor stroma-permeable nanocarrier for pancreatic cancer.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2015; 10:4479-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene therapy is a very promising technology for treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, its application has been limited by the abundant stromal response in the tumor microenvironment. The aim of this study was to prepare a dendrimer-based gene-free loading vector with high permeability in the tumor stroma and explore an imaging-guided local gene delivery strategy for PDAC to promote the efficiency of targeted gene delivery.
METHODS: The experimental protocol was approved by the animal ethics committee of Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University. Third-generation dendrigraft poly-L-lysines was selected as the nanocarrier scaffold, which was modified by cell-penetrating peptides and gadolinium (Gd) chelates. DNA plasmids were loaded with these nanocarriers via electrostatic interaction. The cellular uptake and loaded gene expression were examined in MIA PaCa-2 cell lines in vitro. Permeability of the nanoparticles in the tumor stroma and transfected gene distribution in vivo were studied using a magnetic resonance imaging-guided delivery strategy in an orthotopic nude mouse model of PDAC.
RESULTS: The nanocarriers were synthesized with a dendrigraft poly-L-lysine to polyethylene glycol to DTPA ratio of 1:3.4:8.3 and a mean diameter of 110.9±7.7 nm. The luciferases were strictly expressed in the tumor, and the luminescence intensity in mice treated by Gd-DPT/plasmid luciferase (1.04×10(4)±9.75×10(2) p/s/cm(2)/sr) was significantly (P<0.05) higher than in those treated with Gd-DTPA (9.56×10(2)±6.15×10 p/s/cm(2)/sr) and Gd-DP (5.75×10(3)± 7.45×10(2) p/s/cm(2)/sr). Permeability of the nanoparticles modified by cell-penetrating peptides was superior to that of the unmodified counterpart, demonstrating the improved capability of nanoparticles for diffusion in tumor stroma on magnetic resonance imaging.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that an image-guided gene delivery system with a stroma-permeable gene vector could be a potential clinically translatable gene therapy strategy for PDAC.

Corkery DP, Holly AC, Lahsaee S, Dellaire G
Connecting the speckles: Splicing kinases and their role in tumorigenesis and treatment response.
Nucleus. 2015; 6(4):279-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Alternative pre-mRNA splicing in higher eukaryotes enhances transcriptome complexity and proteome diversity. Its regulation is mediated by a complex RNA-protein network that is essential for the maintenance of cellular and tissue homeostasis. Disruptions to this regulatory network underlie a host of human diseases and contribute to cancer development and progression. The splicing kinases are an important family of pre-mRNA splicing regulators, , which includes the CDC-like kinases (CLKs), the SRSF protein kinases (SRPKs) and pre-mRNA splicing 4 kinase (PRP4K/PRPF4B). These splicing kinases regulate pre-mRNA splicing via phosphorylation of spliceosomal components and serine-arginine (SR) proteins, affecting both their nuclear localization within nuclear speckle domains as well as their nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling. Here we summarize the emerging evidence that splicing kinases are dysregulated in cancer and play important roles in both tumorigenesis as well as therapeutic response to radiation and chemotherapy.

Anghel CV, Quon G, Haider S, et al.
ISOpureR: an R implementation of a computational purification algorithm of mixed tumour profiles.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2015; 16:156 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumour samples containing distinct sub-populations of cancer and normal cells present challenges in the development of reproducible biomarkers, as these biomarkers are based on bulk signals from mixed tumour profiles. ISOpure is the only mRNA computational purification method to date that does not require a paired tumour-normal sample, provides a personalized cancer profile for each patient, and has been tested on clinical data. Replacing mixed tumour profiles with ISOpure-preprocessed cancer profiles led to better prognostic gene signatures for lung and prostate cancer.
RESULTS: To simplify the integration of ISOpure into standard R-based bioinformatics analysis pipelines, the algorithm has been implemented as an R package. The ISOpureR package performs analogously to the original code in estimating the fraction of cancer cells and the patient cancer mRNA abundance profile from tumour samples in four cancer datasets.
CONCLUSIONS: The ISOpureR package estimates the fraction of cancer cells and personalized patient cancer mRNA abundance profile from a mixed tumour profile. This open-source R implementation enables integration into existing computational pipelines, as well as easy testing, modification and extension of the model.

Zhu YP, Wan FN, Shen YJ, et al.
Reactive stroma component COL6A1 is upregulated in castration-resistant prostate cancer and promotes tumor growth.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(16):14488-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains the most critical challenge in the clinical management of prostate cancer (PCa). Reactive stromal changes in PCa are likely involved in the emergence of CRPC. In the present study, we identified a novel oncogene termed COL6A1 which was upregulated in the reactive stroma of CRPC. We established an androgen-independent LNCaP (LNCaP-AI) cell line in steroid-reduced (SR) medium within 2 months. We examined COL6A1 expression with western blot during the LNCaP-AI induction, and studied the function of COL6A1 in vitro and in vivo. Immunohistochemical staining of COL6A1 was performed in ten pairs of androgen-sensitive PCa and CRPC samples. We demonstrated that COL6A1 expression was markedly increased in LNCaP-AI cells and CRPC tissues compared with LNCaP cells and paired androgen-sensitive PCa specimens. In vitro, COL6A1 knockdown resulted in G1-S cell cycle arrest and descended vitality. Overexpression of COL6A1 was associated with accelerated S phase entry and elevated vitality in prostate cancer cells. COL6A1 also promoted tumorigenesis of LNCaP cells in vivo. Taken together, these data suggest an important role of COL6A1 in the molecular etiology of castration-resistant prostate cancer, and support the potential use of COL6A1 in CRPC therapy.

Pan Z, Pan H, Zhang J, et al.
Lentivirus mediated silencing of ubiquitin specific peptidase 39 inhibits cell proliferation of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro.
Biol Res. 2015; 48:18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ubiquitin Specific Peptidase 39 (USP39) is a 65 kDa SR-related protein involved in RNA splicing. Previous studies showed that USP39 is related with tumorigenesis of human breast cancer cells.
RESULTS: In the present study, we investigated the functions of USP39 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line SMMC-7721. We knocked down the expression of USP39 through lentivirus mediated RNA interference. The results of qRT-PCR and western blotting assay showed that both the mRNA and protein levels were suppressed efficiently after USP39 specific shRNA was delivered into SMMC-7721 cells. Cell growth was significantly inhibited as determined by MTT assay. Crystal violet staining indicated that colony numbers and sizes were both reduced after knock-down of USP39. Furthermore, suppression of USP39 arrested cell cycle progression at G2/M phase in SMMC-7721cells. In addition, Annexin V showed that downregulation of USP39 significantly increased the population of apoptotic cells.
CONCLUSIONS: All our results suggest that USP39 is important for HCC cell proliferation and is a potential target for molecular therapy of HCC.

Chang Y, Wu Q, Tian T, et al.
The influence of SRPK1 on glioma apoptosis, metastasis, and angiogenesis through the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway under normoxia.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(8):6083-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gliomas, the most common primary brain tumors, have low survival rates and poorly defined molecular mechanisms to target for treatment. Serine/arginine SR protein kinases 1 (SRPK1) can highly and specifically phosphorylate the SR protein found in many tumors, which can influence cell proliferation and angiogenesis. However, the roles and regulatory mechanisms of SRPK1 in gliomas are not understood. The aim of this study was to determine the functions and regulation of SRPK1 in gliomas. We found that SRPK1 inhibition induces early apoptosis and significantly inhibits xenograft tumor growth. Our results indicate that SRPK1 affects Akt and eIF4E phosphorylation, Bax and Bcl-2 activation, and HIF-1 and VEGF production in glioma cells. Moreover, transfection of SRPK1 siRNA strongly reduced cell invasion and migration by regulating the expression of MMP2 and MMP9 and significantly decreased the volume of tumors and angiogenesis. We show here that a strong link exists among SRPK1, Akt, eIF4E, HIF-1, and VEGF activity that is functionally involved in apoptosis, metastasis, and angiogenesis of gliomas under normoxic conditions. Thus, SRPK1 may be a potential anticancer target to inhibit glioma progression.

Carnesecchi S, Rougemont AL, Doroshow JH, et al.
The NADPH oxidase NOX5 protects against apoptosis in ALK-positive anaplastic large-cell lymphoma cell lines.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2015; 84:22-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are key modulators of apoptosis and carcinogenesis. One of the important sources of ROS is NADPH oxidases (NOXs). The isoform NOX5 is highly expressed in lymphoid tissues, but it has not been detected in any common Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines. In diverse, nonlymphoid malignant cells NOX5 exerts an antiapoptotic effect. Apoptosis suppression is the hallmark feature of a rare type of lymphoma, termed anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK(+)) anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL), and a major factor in the therapy resistance and relapse of ALK(+) ALCL tumors. We applied RT-PCR and Western blot analysis to detect NOX5 expression in three ALK(+) ALCL cell lines (Karpas-299, SR-786, SUP-M2). We investigated the role of NOX5 in apoptosis by small-interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated gene silencing and chemical inhibition of NOX5 using FACS analysis and examining caspase 3 cleavage in Karpas-299 cells. We used immunohistochemistry to detect NOX5 in ALK(+) ALCL pediatric tumors. NOX5 mRNA was uniquely detected in ALK(+) ALCL cells, whereas cell lines of other lymphoma classes were devoid of NOX5. Transfection of NOX5-specific siRNA and chemical inhibition of NOX5 abrogated calcium-induced superoxide production and increased caspase 3-mediated apoptosis in Karpas-299 cells. Immunohistochemistry revealed focal NOX5 reactivity in pediatric ALK(+) ALCL tumor cells. These results indicate that NOX5-derived ROS contribute to apoptosis blockage in ALK(+) ALCL cell lines and suggest NOX5 as a potential pharmaceutical target to enhance apoptosis and thus to suppress tumor progression and prevent relapse in pediatric ALK(+) ALCL patients that resist classical therapeutic approaches.

Cascón A, Comino-Méndez I, Currás-Freixes M, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing identifies MDH2 as a new familial paraganglioma gene.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(5) [PubMed] Related Publications
Disruption of the Krebs cycle is a hallmark of cancer. IDH1 and IDH2 mutations are found in many neoplasms, and germline alterations in SDH genes and FH predispose to pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma and other cancers. We describe a paraganglioma family carrying a germline mutation in MDH2, which encodes a Krebs cycle enzyme. Whole-exome sequencing was applied to tumor DNA obtained from a man age 55 years diagnosed with multiple malignant paragangliomas. Data were analyzed with the two-sided Student's t and Mann-Whitney U tests with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Between six- and 14-fold lower levels of MDH2 expression were observed in MDH2-mutated tumors compared with control patients. Knockdown (KD) of MDH2 in HeLa cells by shRNA triggered the accumulation of both malate (mean ± SD: wild-type [WT] = 1±0.18; KD = 2.24±0.17, P = .043) and fumarate (WT = 1±0.06; KD = 2.6±0.25, P = .033), which was reversed by transient introduction of WT MDH2 cDNA. Segregation of the mutation with disease and absence of MDH2 in mutated tumors revealed MDH2 as a novel pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma susceptibility gene.

Rapino F, Abhari BA, Jung M, Fulda S
NIK is required for NF-κB-mediated induction of BAG3 upon inhibition of constitutive protein degradation pathways.
Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6:e1692 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Recently, we reported that induction of the co-chaperone Bcl-2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is critical for recovery of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cells after proteotoxic stress upon inhibition of the two constitutive protein degradation pathways, that is, the ubiquitin-proteasome system by Bortezomib and the aggresome-autophagy system by histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) inhibitor ST80. In the present study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms mediating BAG3 induction under these conditions. Here, we identify nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-inducing kinase (NIK) as a key mediator of ST80/Bortezomib-stimulated NF-κB activation and transcriptional upregulation of BAG3. ST80/Bortezomib cotreatment upregulates mRNA and protein expression of NIK, which is accompanied by an initial increase in histone H3 acetylation. Importantly, NIK silencing by siRNA abolishes NF-κB activation and BAG3 induction by ST80/Bortezomib. Furthermore, ST80/Bortezomib cotreatment stimulates NF-κB transcriptional activity and upregulates NF-κB target genes. Genetic inhibition of NF-κB by overexpression of dominant-negative IκBα superrepressor (IκBα-SR) or by knockdown of p65 blocks the ST80/Bortezomib-stimulated upregulation of BAG3 mRNA and protein expression. Interestingly, inhibition of lysosomal activity by Bafilomycin A1 inhibits ST80/Bortezomib-stimulated IκBα degradation, NF-κB activation and BAG3 upregulation, indicating that IκBα is degraded via the lysosome in the presence of Bortezomib. Thus, by demonstrating a critical role of NIK in mediating NF-κB activation and BAG3 induction upon ST80/Bortezomib cotreatment, our study provides novel insights into mechanisms of resistance to proteotoxic stress in RMS.

Akter H, Park M, Kwon OS, et al.
Activation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) by neurotensin promotes cell invasion and migration through ERK pathway in gastric cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(8):6053-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neurotensin (NT) is distributed throughout the brain and gastrointestinal tract. Although the relationship between NT and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity in gastric cancer has not been reported, the elevation of MMP-9 and NT is reported in the breast, lung, prostate, and gastric cancer. The aim of our study is to investigate the relationship between NT and MMP-9 activity and the underlying signaling mechanism in gastric cancer cell lines. Commercial ELISA kits were used for estimation of NT and MMP-9 expression, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay was used for measurement of MMP-9 activity. Cell migration and invasion were determined by wound healing and transwell assay. The expression of signaling proteins was measured by Western blotting. Our study reveals a positive correlation between increased plasma NT and MMP-9 activity in both of patient's serum and gastric cancer cell lines. A dose-dependent elevation of MMP-9 activity was observed by NT treatment in gastric cancer cells (MKN-1 and MKN-45) compared to untreated gastric cancer and normal epithelial cell (HFE-145). Moreover, NT-mediated migration and invasion were observed in gastric cancer cells unlike in normal cell. The signaling mechanism of NT in gastric cancer cells was confirmed in protein kinase C (PKC), extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK), and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. In addition, pretreatment of gastric cancer cells with NTR1 inhibitor SR48692 was shown to significantly inhibit the NT-mediated MMP-9 activity, cell invasion, and migration. Our finding illustrated NTR1 could be a possible therapeutic target for gastric cancer.

McFarlane M, MacDonald AI, Stevenson A, Graham SV
Human Papillomavirus 16 Oncoprotein Expression Is Controlled by the Cellular Splicing Factor SRSF2 (SC35).
J Virol. 2015; 89(10):5276-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: High-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPV) cause anogenital cancers, including cervical cancer, and head and neck cancers. Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) is the most prevalent HR-HPV. HPV oncogenesis is driven by two viral oncoproteins, E6 and E7, which are expressed through alternative splicing of a polycistronic RNA to yield four major splice isoforms (E6 full length, E6*I, E6*II, E6*X). The production of multiple mRNA isoforms from a single gene is controlled by serine/arginine-rich splicing factors (SRSFs), and HPV16 infection induces overexpression of a subset of these, SRSFs 1, 2, and 3. In this study, we examined whether these proteins could control HPV16 oncoprotein expression. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) depletion experiments revealed that SRSF1 did not affect oncoprotein RNA levels. While SRSF3 knockdown caused some reduction in E6E7 expression, depletion of SRSF2 resulted in a significant loss of E6E7 RNAs, resulting in reduced levels of the E6-regulated p53 proteins and E7 oncoprotein itself. SRSF2 contributed to the tumor phenotype of HPV16-positive cervical cancer cells, as its depletion resulted in decreased cell proliferation, reduced colony formation, and increased apoptosis. SRSF2 did not affect transcription from the P97 promoter that controls viral oncoprotein expression. Rather, RNA decay experiments showed that SRSF2 is required to maintain stability of E6E7 mRNAs. These data show that SRSF2 is a key regulator of HPV16 oncoprotein expression and cervical tumor maintenance.
IMPORTANCE: Expression of the HPV16 oncoproteins E7 and E6 drives HPV-associated tumor formation. Although increased transcription may yield increased levels of E6E7 mRNAs, it is known that the RNAs can have increased stability upon integration into the host genome. SR splicing factors (SRSFs) control splicing but can also control other events in the RNA life cycle, including RNA stability. Previously, we demonstrated increased levels of SRSFs 1, 2, and 3 during cervical tumor progression. Now we show that SRSF2 is required for expression of E6E7 mRNAs in cervical tumor but not nontumor cells and may act by inhibiting their decay. SRSF2 depletion in W12 tumor cells resulted in increased apoptosis, decreased proliferation, and decreased colony formation, suggesting that SRSF2 has oncogenic functions in cervical tumor progression. SRSF function can be targeted by known drugs that inhibit SRSF phosphorylation, suggesting a possible new avenue in abrogating HPV oncoprotein activity.

Yoshida T, Kim JH, Carver K, et al.
CLK2 Is an Oncogenic Kinase and Splicing Regulator in Breast Cancer.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(7):1516-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetically activated kinases have been attractive therapeutic targets in cancer due to the relative ease of developing tumor-specific treatment strategies for them. To discover novel putative oncogenic kinases, we identified 26 genes commonly amplified and overexpressed in breast cancer and subjected them to a lentiviral shRNA cell viability screen in a panel of breast cancer cell lines. Here, we report that CLK2, a kinase that phosphorylates SR proteins involved in splicing, acts as an oncogene in breast cancer. Deregulated alternative splicing patterns are commonly observed in human cancers but the underlying mechanisms and functional relevance are still largely unknown. CLK2 is amplified and overexpressed in a significant fraction of breast tumors. Downregulation of CLK2 inhibits breast cancer growth in cell culture and in xenograft models and it enhances cell migration and invasion. Loss of CLK2 in luminal breast cancer cells leads to the upregulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes and a switch to mesenchymal splice variants of several genes, including ENAH (MENA). These results imply that therapeutic targeting of CLK2 may be used to modulate EMT splicing patterns and to inhibit breast tumor growth.

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