SPARC

Gene Summary

Gene:SPARC; secreted protein acidic and cysteine rich
Aliases: ON, OI17, BM-40
Location:5q33.1
Summary:This gene encodes a cysteine-rich acidic matrix-associated protein. The encoded protein is required for the collagen in bone to become calcified but is also involved in extracellular matrix synthesis and promotion of changes to cell shape. The gene product has been associated with tumor suppression but has also been correlated with metastasis based on changes to cell shape which can promote tumor cell invasion. Three transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jun 2015]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:SPARC
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (35)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 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.

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Promoter Regions
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Melanoma
  • Brain Tumours
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Osteonectin
  • Disease Progression
  • Skin Cancer
  • Survival Rate
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Smoke
  • Risk Factors
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Chromosome 5
  • Sri Lanka
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Down-Regulation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Taiwan
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • U937 Cells
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Untranslated Regions
  • Transfection
  • Messenger RNA
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • SPARC
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • DNA Methylation
  • Vestibular Nerve
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Movement
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (9)

Latest Publications: SPARC (cancer-related)

Wang Y
Identifying key stage-specific genes and transcription factors for gastric cancer based on RNA-sequencing data.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(4):e5691 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To identify gastric cancer (GC)-associated genes and transcription factors (TFs) using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data of Asians.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The RNA-seq data (GSE36968) were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including 6 noncancerous gastric tissue samples, 5 stage I GC samples, 5 stage II GC samples, 8 stage III GC samples, and 6 stage IV GC samples. The gene expression values in each sample were calculated using Cuffdiff. Following, stage-specific genes were identified by 1-way analysis of variance and hierarchical clustering analysis. Upstream TFs were identified using Seqpos. Besides, functional enrichment analysis of stage-specific genes was performed by DAVID. In addition, the underlying protein-protein interactions (PPIs) information among stage IV-specific genes were extracted from STRING database and PPI network was constructed using Cytoscape software.
RESULTS: A total of 3576 stage-specific genes were identified, including 813 specifically up-regulated genes in the normal gastric tissues, 2224 stage I and II-specific genes, and 539 stage IV-specific genes. Also, a total of 9 and 11 up-regulated TFs were identified for the stage I and II-specific genes and stage IV-specific genes, respectively. Functional enrichment showed SPARC, MMP17, and COL6A3 were related to extracellular matrix. Notably, 2 regulatory pathways HOXA4-GLI3-RUNX2-FGF2 and HMGA2-PRKCA were obtained from the PPI network for stage IV-specific genes. In the PPI network, TFs HOXA4 and HMGA2 might function via mediating other genes.
CONCLUSION: These stage-specific genes and TFs might act in the pathogenesis of GC in Asians.

Gagliardi F, Narayanan A, Mortini P
SPARCL1 a novel player in cancer biology.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2017; 109:63-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Matricellular proteins are secreted, nonstructural proteins, involved in the mediation of molecular interactions between cells and extracellular microenvironment. They include several, structurally unrelated, members and their homologs. Among these a particularly interesting one is SPARCL1 due to its potential interactions in tumor biology. SPARCL1 is a secreted glycoprotein, belonging to SPARC family of matricellular proteins. It is implicated in the regulation of cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. SPARCL1 is expressed in physiological context, both during embryogenesis and in adult life during tissue remodeling. Its diverse expression pattern in different forms of human cancers has suggested it may play different roles in tumor biology, as both oncogene and tumor suppressor, based on tumor type. Aim of this review is to critically revise current knowledges about the role, played by SPARCL1, in physiological and pathological contexts and highlight its role as a key-gene in the regulation of tumor biology.

Kim NI, Kim GE, Lee JS, Park MH
In phyllodes tumors of the breast expression of SPARC (osteonectin/BM40) mRNA by in situ hybridization correlates with protein expression by immunohistochemistry and is associated with tumor progression.
Virchows Arch. 2017; 470(1):91-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) plays an essential role in tumor invasion and metastasis. The present work was undertaken to detect expression of SPARC mRNA in phyllodes tumors (PTs) and its association with SPARC protein expression. This study also evaluated expression of SPARC mRNA and its correlation between grade and clinical behavior of PTs. In addition, we assessed in PTs the association of expression of SPARC with that of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and of MMP-9. SPARC mRNA expression was determined by RNAscope in situ hybridization (ISH) in 50 benign, 22 borderline, and 10 malignant PTs using a tissue microarray. Furthermore, we applied immunohistochemistry (IHC) to examine expression of SPARC, MMP-2, and MMP-9. SPARC mRNA appeared to be concentrated mainly in the stromal compartment of PTs. IHC staining patterns of SPARC protein showed concordance with SPARC mRNA ISH results. Stromal SPARC expression increased continuously as PTs progress from benign through borderline to malignant PTs, both at mRNA (using ISH) (P = 0.044) and protein level (using IHC) (P = 0.000). The recurrence percentage was higher in the stromal SPARC mRNA or protein-positive group than in the SPARC-negative group but this difference was not statistically significant. Stromal SPARC mRNA and protein expression was associated with PT grade and correlated with MMP-2 expression. These results indicate that SPARC-mediated degradation of the extracellular matrix, and its possible association with MMPs, might contribute to progression of PTs.

Hass HG, Vogel U, Scheurlen M, Jobst J
Gene-expression Analysis Identifies Specific Patterns of Dysregulated Molecular Pathways and Genetic Subgroups of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(10):5087-5095 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma comprises of a group of heterogeneous tumors of different etiologies. The multistep process of liver carcinogenesis involves various genetic and phenotypic alterations. The molecular pathways and driver mutations involved are still under investigation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA micorarray technology was used to identify differentially expressed genes between human hepatocarcinoma and non-tumorous liver tissues to establish a unique specific gene-expression profile independent of the underlying liver disease. The validity of this global gene-expression profile was tested for its robustness against biopsies from other liver entities (cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic liver) by diagnosing HCC in blinded samples.
RESULTS: Most of the consistently and strongly overexpressed genes were related to cell-cycle regulation and DNA replication [27 genes, e.g. cyclin B1, karyopherin alpha 2 (KPNA2), cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDC2)], G-protein depending signaling [e.g. Rac GTPase activating protein 1 (RACGAP1), Rab GTPase YPT1 homolog (RAB1), and ADP-ribosylation factor-like 2 (ARL2)] and extracellular matrix re-modelling or cytoskeleton structure [22 genes, e.g. serine proteinase inhibitor 1 kazal-type (SPINK1), osteopontin (OPN), secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), collagen type 1 alpha2 (COL1A2), integrin alpha6 (ITGA6), and metalloproteinase 12 (MMP12)]. Furthermore, significantly differentially expressed genes (e.g. calcium-binding proteins, G-proteins, oncofetal proteins) in relation to tumor differentiation were detected using gene-expression analysis.
CONCLUSION: It is suggested that these significantly dysregulated genes are highly specific and potentially utilizable as prognostic markers and may lead to a better understanding of human hepatocarcinogenesis.

Yin H, Wang Y, Chen W, et al.
Drug-resistant CXCR4-positive cells have the molecular characteristics of EMT in NSCLC.
Gene. 2016; 594(1):23-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
High expression of Chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is important in tumor invasion, metastasis, drug-resistance and maintenance of stemness in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We therefore studied the molecular characteristics of drug-resistant CXCR4-positive cells on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) for the future identification of the tumor cells with the properties of both EMT and stemness. EMT RT(2) Profier PCR Array was performed to determine the expression levels of mRNA genes in A549 with TGF-β1 induced EMT (A549/TGF-β1) and gefitinib-resistant CXCR4-positive cells (A549/GR). TCGA database on the cBio Cancer Genomics Portal website and Gene Network Central (GNC) Pro Tutorial were used to analyze their clinical relevance and pathway interactions. CXCR4 was up-regulated both in TGF-β induced EMT cells and in gefitinib-resistant cells. In 84 mRNA genes related to EMT, 17 mRNA genes were up-regulated in CXCR4-positive population of A549/GR when compared to those in CXCR4 negative fraction, while 66 mRNA genes were up-regulated during TGF-β induced EMT. ITGA5, BMP7, MMP3, VIM, RGS2, ZEB2, TCF3, SNAI2, VCAN, PLEK2, WNT5A, COL3A1, SPARC and FOXC2 were doubly up-regulated during the two biological processes. Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that the doubly up-regulated ITGA5, RGS2, SNAI2 and PLEK2 mRNA genes were related to poor overall survival in lung adenocarcinoma patients (P=9.291e-6, 0.0090, 3.81e-7 and 0.0013, respectively). In GNC analysis, SNAI2 mRNA gene but not ITGA5, RGS2 and PLEK2 was dependent on the signaling pathway of CXCR4. The molecular characteristics of drug-resistant CXCR4-positive cells have a crosstalk with EMT, which has the potential to find the marker with prognostic value on multiple signaling pathways in NSCLC.

Viloria K, Hill NJ
Embracing the complexity of matricellular proteins: the functional and clinical significance of splice variation.
Biomol Concepts. 2016; 7(2):117-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Matricellular proteins influence wide-ranging fundamental cellular processes including cell adhesion, migration, growth and differentiation. They achieve this both through interactions with cell surface receptors and regulation of the matrix environment. Many matricellular proteins are also associated with diverse clinical disorders including cancer and diabetes. Alternative splicing is a precisely regulated process that can produce multiple isoforms with variable functions from a single gene. To date, the expression of alternate transcripts for the matricellular family has been reported for only a handful of genes. Here we analyse the evidence for alternative splicing across the matricellular family including the secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), thrombospondin, tenascin and CCN families. We find that matricellular proteins have double the average number of splice variants per gene, and discuss the types of domain affected by splicing in matricellular proteins. We also review the clinical significance of alternative splicing for three specific matricellular proteins that have been relatively well characterised: osteopontin (OPN), tenascin-C (TNC) and periostin. Embracing the complexity of matricellular splice variants will be important for understanding the sometimes contradictory function of these powerful regulatory proteins, and for their effective clinical application as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

Yang J, Yang Q, Yu J, et al.
SPOCK1 promotes the proliferation, migration and invasion of glioma cells through PI3K/AKT and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3566-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sparc/osteonectin, cwcv and kazal-like domains proteoglycan (testican) 1 (SPOCK1) has been reported to promote the growth and progression of various tumors. In this study, we focus on assessing the effect of SPOCK1 on proliferation, migration and invasion in glioma cells and elucidating its related mechanisms. The results of our present study demonstrated that overexpression of SPOCK1 promoted the proliferation and inhibited apoptosis in glioma cells. Additionally, overexpression of SPOCK1 promoted the migration and invasion potential of glioma cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that PI3K/AKT and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways were activated by SPOCK1 over-expression. SPOCK1 silencing has precisely the opposite effect. In conclusion, our study suggests that SPOCK1 promotes proliferation, migration and invasion in glioma cells by activating PI3K/AKT and Wnt/β-catenin pathways, which provides a potential theoretical basis for clinical treatment of glioma.

Sung SY, Chang JL, Chen KC, et al.
Co-Targeting Prostate Cancer Epithelium and Bone Stroma by Human Osteonectin-Promoter-Mediated Suicide Gene Therapy Effectively Inhibits Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Growth.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153350 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Stromal-epithelial interaction has been shown to promote local tumor growth and distant metastasis. We sought to create a promising gene therapy approach that co-targets cancer and its supporting stromal cells for combating castration-resistant prostate tumors. Herein, we demonstrated that human osteonectin is overexpressed in the prostate cancer epithelium and tumor stroma in comparison with their normal counterpart. We designed a novel human osteonectin promoter (hON-522E) containing positive transcriptional regulatory elements identified in both the promoter and exon 1 region of the human osteonectin gene. In vitro reporter assays revealed that the hON-522E promoter is highly active in androgen receptor negative and metastatic prostate cancer and bone stromal cells compared to androgen receptor-positive prostate cancer cells. Moreover, in vivo prostate-tumor-promoting activity of the hON-522E promoter was confirmed by intravenous administration of an adenoviral vector containing the hON-522E promoter-driven luciferase gene (Ad-522E-Luc) into mice bearing orthotopic human prostate tumor xenografts. In addition, an adenoviral vector with the hON-522E-promoter-driven herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene (Ad-522E-TK) was highly effective against the growth of androgen-independent human prostate cancer PC3M and bone stromal cell line in vitro and in pre-established PC3M tumors in vivo upon addition of the prodrug ganciclovir. Because of the heterogeneity of human prostate tumors, hON-522E promoter-mediated gene therapy has the potential for the treatment of hormone refractory and bone metastatic prostate cancers.

Rossi MK, Gnanamony M, Gondi CS
The 'SPARC' of life: Analysis of the role of osteonectin/SPARC in pancreatic cancer (Review).
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(5):1765-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most clinically challenging cancers to manage. An estimated 48,960 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, of that population, 94% are projected to perish within 5 years. These dismal survival rates can be attributed, in part, to an advanced diagnosis occurring in 80% of cases. The heterogeneous and dynamic microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, and the lack of both specific risk factors and efficacious screening tools contribute to the challenge of diagnosing pancreatic cancer in its early stages. These clinical challenges have directed research into the unique characteristics that define PDAC. Recently, there has been an increased focus on the interaction of tumor cells with their microenvironment in the hope of identifying new therapeutic targets. One of the most promising avenues in this new vein of research is targeting protein communication between the cancer cells and the extracellular matrix. The secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is one such extracellular matrix protein that has shown potential as a therapeutic target due to its influence on PDAC invasion and metastasis. In this review, we discuss the complex interaction of SPARC with PDAC cells and its potential to guide treatment and eventually improve the survival of patients diagnosed with this devastating disease.

Płuciennik E, Nowakowska M, Gałdyszyńska M, et al.
The influence of the WWOX gene on the regulation of biological processes during endometrial carcinogenesis.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 37(3):807-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of WW domain containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) downregulation in biological cancer-related processes in normal (non-malignant) and cancer endometrial cell lines. We created an in vitro model using the normal endometrial cell line, THESC, and 2 endometrial cancer cell lines with varying degrees of differentiation, the Ishikawa (well-differentiated) and the MFE296 (moderately differentiated) cells, in which the WWOX tumor suppressor gene was silenced using Gipz lentiviral shRNA. In this model, we examined the changes in invasiveness via biological assays, such as zymography, migration through a basement membrane, the adhesion of cells to extracellular matrix proteins, anchorage-independent growth and colony formation assay. We also evaluated the correlation between the mRNA expression of the WWOX gene and genes involved in the processes of carcinogenesis, namely catenin beta-1 (CTNNB1) and zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) (gene transcription), cadherin 1 (CDH1) and ezrin (EZR) (cell adhesion), vimentin (VIM) (structural proteins), as well as phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) (tumor suppression) and secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (osteonectin) (SPARC) (SPARC) (cell growth regulation) by RT-qPCR. Downregulation of the WWOX gene in the moderately differentiated MFE296 cell line caused decreased migratory capacity, and a reduction of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity. However, these cells grew in semisolid medium and exhibited higher expression of CDH1 and EZR (cell adhesion) and secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (osteonectin) (SPARC) (cell growth regulation). Moreover, in the well-differentiated endometrial cancer (Ishikawa) cell line, WWOX gene silencing resulted in an increased ability of the cells to proliferate indefinitely. Additionally, WWOX regulated changes in adhesion potential in both the normal and cancer cell lines. Our results suggest that the WWOX tumor suppressor gene modulated the processes of cell motility, cell adhesion, gene expression and remodeling in endometrial cell lines.

Slusser-Nore A, Larson-Casey JL, Zhang R, et al.
SPARC Expression Is Selectively Suppressed in Tumor Initiating Urospheres Isolated from As+3- and Cd+2-Transformed Human Urothelial Cells (UROtsa) Stably Transfected with SPARC.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(1):e0147362 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This laboratory previously analyzed the expression of SPARC in the parental UROtsa cells, their arsenite (As(+3)) and cadmium (Cd(+2))-transformed cell lines, and tumor transplants generated from the transformed cells. It was demonstrated that SPARC expression was down-regulated to background levels in Cd(+2)-and As(+3)-transformed UROtsa cells and tumor transplants compared to parental cells. In the present study, the transformed cell lines were stably transfected with a SPARC expression vector to determine the effect of SPARC expression on the ability of the cells to form tumors in immune-compromised mice.
METHODS: Real time PCR, western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence were used to define the expression of SPARC in the As(+3)-and Cd(+2)-transformed cell lines, and urospheres isolated from these cell lines, following their stable transfection with an expression vector containing the SPARC open reading frame (ORF). Transplantation of the cultured cells into immune-compromised mice by subcutaneous injection was used to assess the effect of SPARC expression on tumors generated from the above cell lines and urospheres.
RESULTS: It was shown that the As(+3)-and Cd(+2)-transformed UROtsa cells could undergo stable transfection with a SPARC expression vector and that the transfected cells expressed both SPARC mRNA and secreted protein. Tumors formed from these SPARC-transfected cells were shown to have no expression of SPARC. Urospheres isolated from cultures of the SPARC-transfected As(+3)-and Cd(+2)-transformed cell lines were shown to have only background expression of SPARC. Urospheres from both the non-transfected and SPARC-transfected cell lines were tumorigenic and thus fit the definition for a population of tumor initiating cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Tumor initiating cells isolated from SPARC-transfected As(+3)-and Cd(+2)-transformed cell lines have an inherent mechanism to suppress the expression of SPARC mRNA.

Notaro A, Sabella S, Pellerito O, et al.
The secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine is a critical mediator of cell death program induced by WIN/TRAIL combined treatment in osteosarcoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(3):1039-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is a multi-functional protein which modulates cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. In cancer cells, SPARC behaves as a tumor promoter in a number of tumors, but it can also act as a tumor suppressor factor. Our previous results showed that the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 (WIN), a potent cannabinoid receptor agonist, is able to sensitize osteosarcoma MG63 cells to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis which is accompanied with endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress induction and the increase in autophagic markers. In the present investigation, we studied the role of SPARC in WIN/TRAIL-induced apoptosis demonstrating that WIN increased the level of SPARC protein and mRNA in a time-dependent manner. This event was functional to WIN/TRAIL-dependent apoptosis as demonstrated by RNA interfering analysis which indicated that SPARC-silenced cells were less sensitive to cytotoxic effects induced by the combined treatment. Our experiments also demonstrate that SPARC interacts with caspase-8 thus probably favoring its translocation to plasma membrane and the activation of extrinsic apoptotic pathway. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge, our results are the first to show that WIN-dependent increase in the level of SPARC plays a critical role in sensitizing osteosarcoma cells to TRAIL action.

Linhares MM, Affonso RJ, Viana Lde S, et al.
Genetic and Immunohistochemical Expression of Integrins ITGAV, ITGA6, and ITGA3 As Prognostic Factor for Colorectal Cancer: Models for Global and Disease-Free Survival.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0144333 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between the expression profiles of 84 extracellular matrix (ECM) genes and the prognosis of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: This retrospective study included 114 patients with stage I-IV CRC who underwent primary tumour resection. Quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry assays were conducted using primary tumour samples. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were also generated to identify differences in global survival (GS) and disease-free survival (DFS) for the hypo- or hyperexpression status of each marker. The log-rank test was used to verify whether the differences were significant. Stepwise Cox regression models were also used to identify the risk factors associated with GS and DFS in a multivariate mode, and then were used to score the risk of death associated with each marker, either independently or in association.
RESULTS: In the univariate analyses, significant differences in GS in relation to the expression profiles of ITGAV (p = 0.001), ITGA3 (p = 0.002), ITGA6 (p = 0.001), SPARC (p = 0.036), MMP9 (p = 0.034), and MMP16 (p = 0.038) were observed. For DFS, significant differences were observed in associated with ITGAV (p = 0.004) and ITGA3 (p = 0.001). However, only the ITGAV and ITGA6 gene markers for GS (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.209, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.412-7.293, p = 0.005 and HR = 3.105, 95% CI = 1.367-7.055, p = 0.007, respectively), and ITGA3 for DFS (HR = 3.806, 95% CI = 1.573-9.209, p = 0.003), remained in the final Cox regression models. A scoring system was developed to evaluate the risk of patient death based on the number of markers for the components of the final GS model. Scores of 0, 1, or 2 were associated with the following mean survival rates [CI]: 47.162 [44.613-49.711], 39.717 [35.471-43.964], 30.197 [24.030-36.327], respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Multivariate mathematical models demonstrated an association between hyperexpression of the ITGAV and ITGA6 integrins and GS, and also between the ITGA3 integrin and DFS, in patients with colorectal tumours. A risk scoring system based on detected hyperexpression of 0, 1, or 2 markers (e.g., ITGAV and/or ITGA6) was also found to accurately correlate with the GS curves generated for the present cohort.

Ang C, Miura JT, Gamblin TC, et al.
Comprehensive multiplatform biomarker analysis of 350 hepatocellular carcinomas identifies potential novel therapeutic options.
J Surg Oncol. 2016; 113(1):55-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Effective therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are limited. Molecular profiling of HCC was performed to identify novel therapeutic targets.
METHODS: 350 HCC samples were evaluated using a multiplatform profiling service (Caris Life Sciences, Phoenix, AZ), including gene sequencing, amplification, and protein expression.
RESULTS: EGFR, TOPO1, PD-1, TOP2A, SPARC, and c-Met were overexpressed in 25-83% of samples. Decreased expression of RRM1,TS, PTEN, and MGMT occurred in 31-82% of samples. TP53 was mutated in 30%, CTNNB1 in 20%, and BRCA2 in 18%; other gene mutation rates were <5%. TP53-mutated tumors showed significantly higher TOPO2A (90% vs. 38%, P < 0.0001) and TS (56% vs. 29%, P = 0.0139) expression. CTNNB1-mutated tumors had significantly higher AR (56% vs. 21%, P = 0.0017), SPARC (61% vs. 29%, P = 0.0135), PDL1 (29% vs. 0%, P = 0.0256) expression, and BRCA2 mutations (50% vs. 6%, P = 0.0458). Metastases exhibited significantly higher infiltration by PD-1+ lymphocytes (79% vs. 50%, P = 0.047) and TS (31% vs. 14%, P < 0.0003) than primary HCC.
CONCLUSIONS: Multiplatform profiling reveals molecular heterogeneity in HCC and identifies potential therapies including tyrosine kinase, PI3 kinase, or PARP inhibitors for molecular subtypes. Chemotherapy may benefit some tumors. CTNNB1-mutated tumors may respond to multi-target inhibition. These limited and preliminary data require clinical validation.

Yoshida S, Wakisaka N, Kondo S, et al.
Expression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine is an independent prognostic indicator of a poor clinical outcome in oropharyngeal carcinoma patients.
Acta Otolaryngol. 2016; 136(2):189-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONCLUSION: SPARC-expression is an indicator of the prognosis in terms of OS, independent of HPV-infection. HPV-negative patients with SPARC-Low show survival as favorable as HPV-positive patients, probably because of their higher salvage rate after relapse than SPARC-High patients.
OBJECTIVE: The objectives of the study were to clarify the correlation between the expression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) and HPV-status, and to determine the prognostic value of SPARC-expression in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) patients.
METHODS: Fifty-three formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues were obtained from patients with OPSCC who underwent curative treatment. The SPARC protein was detected by immunohistochemistry. SPARC-expression level was divided into two categories, SPARC-High and SPARC-Low, according to the staining index.
RESULTS: Twenty-two out of the 53 OPSCC patients were HPV-positive. There was no significant correlation between the HPV-status and SPARC-expression level. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed that the HPV-status and SPARC-expression are independent prognostic indicators of favorable and unfavorable overall survival (OS) (p = 0.021 and p = 0.012), respectively. For disease-free survival, the HPV-status was the only predictive factor (p = 0.022). After stratification by the HPV-status, high SPARC-expression was a significant predictor of poor OS in HPV-negative OPSCC patients using Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test (p = 0.014). Ten out of 28 SPARC-Low patients relapsed, among which six patients (60%) were salvaged. However, 14 out of 25 SPARC-High patients relapsed, and only three patients (21.4%) were salvaged.

Subbiah V, Wagner MJ, McGuire MF, et al.
Personalized comprehensive molecular profiling of high risk osteosarcoma: Implications and limitations for precision medicine.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(38):40642-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite advances in molecular medicine over recent decades, there has been little advancement in the treatment of osteosarcoma. We performed comprehensive molecular profiling in two cases of metastatic and chemotherapy-refractory osteosarcoma to guide molecularly targeted therapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Hybridization capture of >300 cancer-related genes plus introns from 28 genes often rearranged or altered in cancer was applied to >50 ng of DNA extracted from tumor samples from two patients with recurrent, metastatic osteosarcoma. The DNA from each sample was sequenced to high, uniform coverage. Immunohistochemical probes and morphoproteomics analysis were performed, in addition to fluorescence in situ hybridization. All analyses were performed in CLIA-certified laboratories. Molecularly targeted therapy based on the resulting profiles was offered to the patients. Biomedical analytics were performed using QIAGEN's Ingenuity® Pathway Analysis.
RESULTS: In Patient #1, comprehensive next-generation exome sequencing showed MET amplification, PIK3CA mutation, CCNE1 amplification, and PTPRD mutation. Immunohistochemistry-based morphoproteomic analysis revealed c-Met expression [(p)-c-Met (Tyr1234/1235)] and activation of mTOR/AKT pathway [IGF-1R (Tyr1165/1166), p-mTOR [Ser2448], p-Akt (Ser473)] and expression of SPARC and COX2. Targeted therapy was administered to match the P1K3CA, c-MET, and SPARC and COX2 aberrations with sirolimus+ crizotinib and abraxane+ celecoxib. In Patient #2, aberrations included NF2 loss in exons 2-16, PDGFRα amplification, and TP53 mutation. This patient was enrolled on a clinical trial combining targeted agents temsirolimus, sorafenib and bevacizumab, to match NF2, PDGFRα and TP53 aberrations. Both the patients did not benefit from matched therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Relapsed osteosarcoma is characterized by complex signaling and drug resistance pathways. Comprehensive molecular profiling holds great promise for tailoring personalized therapies for cancer. Methods for such profiling are evolving and need to be refined to better assist clinicians in making treatment decisions based on the large amount of data that results from this type of testing. Further research in this area is warranted.

McCart Reed AE, Kutasovic JR, Vargas AC, et al.
An epithelial to mesenchymal transition programme does not usually drive the phenotype of invasive lobular carcinomas.
J Pathol. 2016; 238(4):489-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a cellular phenotype switching phenomenon which occurs during normal development and is proposed to promote tumour cell invasive capabilities during tumour progression. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is a histological special type of breast cancer with a peculiar aetiology - the tumour cells display an invasive growth pattern, with detached, single cells or single files of cells, and a canonical feature is the loss of E-cadherin expression. These characteristics are indicative of an EMT or at the very least that they represent some plasticity between phenotypes. While some gene expression profiling data support this view, the tumour cells remain epithelial and limited immunohistochemistry data suggest that EMT markers may not feature prominently in ILC. We assessed the expression of a panel of EMT markers (fibronectin, vimentin, N-cadherin, smooth muscle actin, osteonectin, Snail, Twist) in 148 ILCs and performed a meta-analysis of publically available molecular data from 154 ILCs. Three out of 148 (2%) ILCs demonstrated an early and coordinated alteration of multiple EMT markers (down-regulation of E-cadherin, nuclear TWIST, and up-regulation of vimentin, osteonectin, and smooth muscle actin). However, the data overall do not support a role for EMT in defining the phenotypic peculiarities of the majority of ILCs. Copyright © 2015 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Wan J, Wen D, Dong L, et al.
Establishment of monoclonal HCC cell lines with organ site-specific tropisms.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:678 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Organ site-specific metastasis is an ominous feature for most poor-prognostic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. Cancer cell lines and animal models are indispensable for investigating the molecular mechanisms of organ specific tropism. However, till now, little is known about the drivers in HCC metastatic tropism, and also no effective way has been developed to block the process of tropistic metastasis.
METHODS: In this study, we established several monoclonal HCC cell lines from HCCLM3-RFP together with their xenograft models, and then analyzed their metastatic potentials and tropisms using in-vitro and in-vivo assays, and finally elucidated the driving forces of HCC tropistic metastases.
RESULTS: Six monoclonal cell lines with different organ site-specific tropism were established successfully. SPARC, VCAM1 and ANGPTL4 were found positively correlated with the potentials of lung metastasis, while ITGA1 had a positive relation to lymph node metastasis of enterocoelia.
CONCLUSIONS: By our powerful platforms, HCC metastatic tropisms in clinic could be easily mimicked and recapitulated for exploring the bilateral interactions between tumor and its microenvironment, elucidating the drivers of HCC metastatic tropisms, and testing anti-cancer effects of newly developed agent in pre-clinical stage.

Zhu GC, Gao L, He J, et al.
CD90 is upregulated in gastric cancer tissues and inhibits gastric cancer cell apoptosis by modulating the expression level of SPARC protein.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(5):2497-506 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cluster of differentiation 90 (CD90) (Thy-1) plays important roles in the oncogenesis in various types of malignancies. In the present study, we investigated the expression of CD90 in gastric cancer (GC) tissues by q-PCR, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and western blot technologies. The results showed that CD90 was overexpressed in gastric cancer tissues compared with the level in the adjacent non‑cancerous tissues. To explore the possible mechanism of CD90 in GC, we elucidated the effect of CD90 on the apoptosis of AGS gastric cancer cells, and found that a considerable decrease in apoptotic cells was observed for AGS cells with CD90 overexpression. Meanwhile, the rate of apoptotic cells was increased in the AGS cells with CD90 interference (siCD90) compared with that in the AGS cells. Cell apoptosis is closely related to a reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and calcium ion (Ca2+) concentrations. Our results showed that overexpression of CD90 in the AGS gastric cancer cells led to an increase in ΔΨm and a decrease in intracellular ROS and Ca2+ concentrations. At the same time, siCD90 reduced ΔΨm and the increase in intracellular ROS and Ca2+ concentrations. Furthermore, we identified and confirmed that CD90 functions by modulating the expression level of secreted protein, acidic, cysteine‑rich (osteonectin) (SPARC) in vitro through LC‑MS/MS analyses and western blot technology. In summary, our results suggest that CD90 is upregulated in gastric cancer and inhibits gastric cancer cell apoptosis by modulating the expression level of SPARC protein.

Nagathihalli NS, Castellanos JA, Shi C, et al.
Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3, Mediated Remodeling of the Tumor Microenvironment Results in Enhanced Tumor Drug Delivery in a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2015; 149(7):1932-1943.e9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: A hallmark of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the presence of a dense desmoplastic reaction (stroma) that impedes drug delivery to the tumor. Attempts to deplete the tumor stroma have resulted in formation of more aggressive tumors. We have identified signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 as a biomarker of resistance to cytotoxic and molecularly targeted therapy in PDAC. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of targeting STAT3 on the PDAC stroma and on therapeutic resistance.
METHODS: Activated STAT3 protein expression was determined in human pancreatic tissues and tumor cell lines. In vivo effects of AZD1480, a JAK/STAT3 inhibitor, gemcitabine or the combination were determined in Ptf1a(cre/+);LSL-Kras(G12D/+);Tgfbr2(flox/flox) (PKT) mice and in orthotopic tumor xenografts. Drug delivery was analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry. Collagen second harmonic generation imaging quantified tumor collagen alignment and density.
RESULTS: STAT3 activation correlates with decreased survival and advanced tumor stage in patients with PDAC. STAT3 inhibition combined with gemcitabine significantly inhibits tumor growth in both an orthotopic and the PKT mouse model of PDAC. This combined therapy attenuates in vivo expression of SPARC, increases microvessel density, and enhances drug delivery to the tumor without depletion of stromal collagen or hyaluronan. Instead, the PDAC tumors demonstrate vascular normalization, remodeling of the tumor stroma, and down-regulation of cytidine deaminase.
CONCLUSIONS: Targeted inhibition of STAT3 combined with gemcitabine enhances in vivo drug delivery and therapeutic response in PDAC. These effects occur through tumor stromal remodeling and down-regulation of cytidine deaminase without depletion of tumor stromal content.

Hidalgo M, Plaza C, Musteanu M, et al.
SPARC Expression Did Not Predict Efficacy of nab-Paclitaxel plus Gemcitabine or Gemcitabine Alone for Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer in an Exploratory Analysis of the Phase III MPACT Trial.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(21):4811-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: nab-Paclitaxel plus gemcitabine was superior to gemcitabine alone for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (MPC) in the phase III MPACT trial. This study evaluated the association of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) levels with efficacy as an exploratory endpoint.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients with previously untreated MPC (N = 861) received nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine or gemcitabine alone. Baseline SPARC level was measured in the tumor stroma and epithelia (archival biopsies) and plasma. Experiments were performed in pancreatic cancer mouse models in which SPARC was intact or deleted.
RESULTS: SPARC was measured in the tumor stroma of 256 patients (30%), the tumor epithelia of 301 patients (35%), and plasma of 343 patients (40%). Stroma-evaluable samples were from metastases (71%), from the pancreas (11%), or of unidentifiable origin (insufficient tissue to determine; 17%). For all patients, stromal SPARC level [high (n = 71) vs. low (n = 185)] was not associated with overall survival (OS; HR, 1.019; P = 0.903); multivariate analysis confirmed this lack of association. There was no association between stromal SPARC level and OS in either treatment arm. Neither tumor epithelial SPARC nor plasma SPARC was associated with OS. Results from a SPARC knockout mouse model treated with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine revealed no correlation between SPARC expression and tumor progression or treatment efficacy.
CONCLUSIONS: SPARC levels were not associated with efficacy in patients with MPC. This exploratory analysis does not support making treatment decisions regarding nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine or gemcitabine alone in MPC based on SPARC expression.

Nian Q, Chi J, Xiao Q, et al.
SPARC ectopic overexpression inhibits growth and promotes programmed cell death in acute myeloid leukemia transformed from myelodysplastic syndrome cells, alone and in combination with Ara-C treatment.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(3):1406-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) has a complex and pleiotropic biological role in cell life during disease. The role of SPARC in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is not yet fully understood. In the present study, we investigated the role of SPARC protein overproduction in the proliferation and apoptosis of SKM-1 cells, an acute myeloid leukemia cell line transformed from MDS. SKM-1 cells were infected with the pGC-GV-SPARC vector. The cells were then assessed for proliferation and cell death following treatment with low-dose cytosine arabinoside (Ara‑C). The microarray analysis results revealed that samples from SPARC‑overexpressed cells compared to SPARC protein, in SKM-1 cells led to proliferation inhibition and promoted programmed cell death and these effects were greater when treated with Ara-C. The mRNA and protein expression levels of SPARC were detected by SPARC overexpression in cells treated with Ara-C resulting in a significant upregulation of the mixed lineage kinase domain-like (MLKL) gene expression and five other genes. The results showed that the necrotic signaling pathway may play a role when the two conditions were combined via the upregulation of the MLKL protein. MLKL upregulation in SPARC overexpressed cells treated with Ara-C, indicates necrosis as a possible cell death process for the SKM-1 cells under these stringent conditions.

Yang C, Fischer-Kešo R, Schlechter T, et al.
Plakophilin 1-deficient cells upregulate SPOCK1: implications for prostate cancer progression.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(12):9567-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Plakophilin (PKP) 1 is frequently downregulated in prostate cancer and therefore may play a tumor-suppressive role. In the present study, we stably knocked down PKP1 in the non-neoplastic, prostatic BPH-1 cell line. In the PKP1-deficient cells, the expression of keratin 14 was lost, and the apoptosis rate was significantly reduced indicating that the cells acquired new biological capabilities. Moreover, we analyzed the gene expression profile of the PKP1-deficient BPH-1 cells. Among the genes that were significantly altered upon PKP1 knockdown, we noticed several extracellular matrix (ECM)-related genes and identified sparc/osteonectin, cwcv, and kazal-like domains proteoglycan 1 (SPOCK1/testican-1) as a gene of interest. SPOCK1 is a component of the ECM and belongs to a matricellular protein family named secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (SPARC). The role of SPOCK1 in prostate cancer has not been clearly elucidated. We analyzed SPOCK1 mRNA expression levels in different cancer databases and characterized its expression in 136 prostatic adenocarcinomas by immunohistochemistry and western blot. SPOCK1 revealed a cytoplasmic localization in the glandular epithelium of the prostate and showed a significant upregulation of mRNA and protein in prostate tumor samples. Our findings support the hypothesis that PKP1 may have a tumor-suppressive function and suggest an important role of SPOCK1 in prostate tumor progression. Collectively, altered expression of PKP1 and SPOCK1 appears to be a frequent and critical event in prostate cancer.

Song X, Han P, Liu J, et al.
Up-regulation of SPOCK1 induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes migration and invasion in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
J Mol Histol. 2015; 46(4-5):347-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Invasion and metastasis are the major causes of death in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Recent studies have confirmed that SPARC/osteonectin, cwcv and kazal-like domains proteoglycan 1 (SPOCK1) plays multiple roles in cancer progression. This study aims to explore the clinical characteristics of SPOCK1 in ESCC and its roles in the migration and invasion of ESCC cell lines. In this study, the up-regulation of SPOCK1 expression was frequently detected in primary ESCC tumor tissues compared with those in non-tumor tissues, which was significantly associated with tumor invasion (p = 0.004) and distant metastasis (p = 0.010). SPOCK1 was expressed at higher level in TE13 cells as compared to the low malignant Eca109 and TE1 cells. Overexpression of SPOCK1 in Eca109 cells decreased the expressions of epithelial marker E-cadherin and ZO-1, while increased mesenchymal marker Vimentin and N-cadherin levels. After ectopic expression of SPOCK1, Eca109 cells exhibited a morphological change from an epithelial cobblestone phenotype to an elongated fibroblastic phenotype, concomitant with cytoskeletal rearrangements and increased migration and invasion, suggesting that EMT occurs. While silencing SPOCK1 in TE13 cells had the opposite effects. These results suggest that up-regulation of SPOCK1 in ESCC induces EMT, thus promotes migration and invasion in ESCC cells.

Liu QZ, Gao XH, Chang WJ, et al.
Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine expression in human colorectal cancer predicts postoperative prognosis.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015; 19(10):1803-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein involved in cell proliferation, migration and angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess its expression in colorectal cancer, see whether and how it correlates with clinicopathological features, and evaluate its potential prognostic significance.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: SPARC expression was detected by microarrays containing 847 immunohistochemically stained specimens, and further correlated with the clinicopathological and prognostic data. The prognostic significance of its expression was assessed using Kaplan-Meier survival with log-rank tests. Multivariate regression utilizing Cox's proportional hazard model was used to evaluate prognostic factors.
RESULTS: SPARC expression in the normal colorectal mucosa and colorectal cancer tissue was significantly different (p < 0.001). Low SPARC expression was found to be associated with poor prognosis, and it was unfavorably correlated with overall survival and disease-free survival in colorectal cancer patients. In addition, SPARC expression in surrounding mesenchymal and stromal cells, bowel wall invasion, lymph node metastasis, and distant metastasis were independent prognostic factors for overall survival and disease-free survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Reduced expression of SPARC in colorectal cancer tissue is associated with poor prognosis and aggressive clinicopathological features. Therefore, SPARC expression could potentially be used as a prognostic predictor for colorectal cancer patients.

Movva S, Wen W, Chen W, et al.
Multi-platform profiling of over 2000 sarcomas: identification of biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(14):12234-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Drug development in sarcoma has been hampered by the rarity and heterogeneity of the disease and lack of predictive biomarkers to therapies. We assessed protein expression and gene alterations in a large number of bone and soft tissue sarcomas in order to categorize the molecular alterations, identify predictive biomarkers and discover new therapeutic targets.
METHODS: Data from sarcoma specimens profiled for protein expression, gene amplification/translocation and DNA sequencing was reviewed.
RESULTS: 2539 sarcoma specimens of 22 subtypes were included. TOPO2A was the most overexpressed protein at 52.8%. There was overexpression or loss of other sarcoma relevant proteins such as SPARC, PTEN and MGMT. Approximately 50% of the sarcomas expressed PD-L1 by IHC and presented with PD-1+ TILs, notably the LMS, chondrosarcomas, liposarcomas and UPS. Gene amplification/rearrangement of ALK, cMYC, HER2, PIK3CA, TOPO2A and cMET was relatively uncommon. EGFR gene amplification occurred at a rate of 16.9%. DNA sequencing of 47 genes identified mutations in 47% of the samples. The most commonly mutated genes were TP53 (26.3%) and BRCA2 (17.6%). Overexpression of TOPO2A was associated with TP53 mutation (P = 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: This data provides the landscape of alterations in sarcoma. Future clinical trials are needed to validate these targets.

Bellenghi M, Puglisi R, Pedini F, et al.
SCD5-induced oleic acid production reduces melanoma malignancy by intracellular retention of SPARC and cathepsin B.
J Pathol. 2015; 236(3):315-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
A proper balance between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (FAs) is required for maintaining cell homeostasis. The increased demand of FAs to assemble the plasma membranes of continuously dividing cancer cells might unbalance this ratio and critically affect tumour outgrowth. We unveiled the role of the stearoyl-CoA desaturase SCD5 in converting saturated FAs into mono-unsaturated FAs during melanoma progression. SCD5 is down-regulated in advanced melanoma and its restored expression significantly reduced melanoma malignancy, both in vitro and in vivo, through a mechanism governing the secretion of extracellular matrix proteins, such as secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) and collagen IV and of their proteases, such as cathepsin B. Enforced expression of SCD5 or supplementation of its enzymatic product, oleic acid, reduced the intracellular pH (pHe > pHi) and, in turn, vesicular trafficking across plasma membranes as well as melanoma dissemination. This intracellular acidification appears also to depend on SCD5-induced reduction of the C2 subunit of the vacuolar H(+) -ATPase, a proton pump whose inhibition changes the secretion profile of cancer cells. Our data support a role for SCD5 and its enzymatic product, oleic acid, in protection against malignancy, offering an explanation for the beneficial Mediterranean diet. Furthermore, SCD5 appears to functionally connect tumour cells and the surrounding stroma toward modification of the tumour microenvironment, with consequences on tumour spread and resistance to treatment.

Qiu F, Sun R, Deng N, et al.
miR-29a/b enhances cell migration and invasion in nasopharyngeal carcinoma progression by regulating SPARC and COL3A1 gene expression.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0120969 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignant tumor associated with a genetic predisposition, Epstein-Barr virus infection and chromosomal abnormalities. Recently, several miRNAs have been shown to target specific mRNAs to regulate NPC development and progression. However, the involvement of miRNAs in processes leading to NPC migration and invasion remains to be elucidated. We predicted that miR-29a/b are associated with dysregulated genes controlling NPC through an integrated interaction network of miRNAs and genes. miR-29a/b over-expression in NPC cell lines had no significant effect on proliferation, whereas miR-29b mildly increased the percentage of cells in the G1 phase with a concomitant decrease in the percentage of cells in S phase. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-29a/b might be responsible for increasing S18 cell migration and invasion, and only COL3A1 was identified as a direct target of miR-29b despite the fact that both SPARC and COL3A1 were inhibited by miR-29a/b over-expression. Meanwhile, SPARC proteins were increased in metastatic NPC tissue and are involved in NPC progression. Unexpectedly, we identified that miRNA-29b expression was elevated in the serum of NPC patients with a high risk of metastasis. The 5-year actuarial overall survival rates in NPC patients with high serum miR-29b expression was significantly shorter than those with low serum miR-29b expression; therefore, serum miR-29b expression could be a promising prognostic marker.

Miura JT, Xiu J, Thomas J, et al.
Tumor profiling of gastric and esophageal carcinoma reveal different treatment options.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2015; 16(5):764-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: NCCN states that chemotherapies for advanced esophageal and gastric cancers may be used interchangeably. Biomarkers from gastroesophageal cancer patients were interrogated to identify actionable alterations with therapeutic implications.
METHODS: 666 gastric and 640 esophageal cancer cases referred to Caris Life Sciences between 2009 thru 2013 were evaluated. Specific testing was performed, which included a combination of sequencing (Sanger, NGS) and protein expression (IHC).
RESULTS: In the complete cohort (n = 1306), 30 of 45 genes tested harbored mutations; highest rates were seen in TP53 (54%), APC (10%), SMAD4 (5.9%), KRAS (5.9%), and PIK3CA (5.1%). IHC of TOP2A was high in 76% of cases, TOPO1 in 51% and SPARC in 25%; low IHC of ERCC1 was seen in 65%, RRM1 in 62%, TS in 61% and MGMT in 45%, indicating potential benefit from epirubicin, irinotecan, nab-paclitaxel, platinum-based agents, gemcitabine, 5FU/capecitabine and temozolomide, respectively. In the HER2+ cohort (n = 88), 50% of patients demonstrated possible benefit from a combination of trastuzumab with 5FU/capecitabine based on concurrent low TS, 53% with irinotecan (high TOPO1), 63% with cisplatin (low ERCC1) and 55% with gemcitabine (low RRM1). Subgroup analysis by tumor origin demonstrated significant differences in actionable biomarker profiles with HER2 (13% vs. 4.6%), SPARC (34% vs. 15%), TOP2A (86% vs. 67%), and TOPO1 (55% vs. 46%) in esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma cases respectively (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: A comprehensive multiplatform biomarker analysis suggested significant biomarker differences between gastric and esophageal cancers. These results can assist in the development of future clinical trials.

Lang J, Zhu W, Nokes B, et al.
Characterization of a novel radiation-induced sarcoma cell line.
J Surg Oncol. 2015; 111(6):669-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radiation-induced sarcoma (RIS) is a potential complication of cancer treatment. No widely available cell line models exist to facilitate studies of RIS.
METHODS: We derived a spontaneously immortalized primary human cell line, UACC-SARC1, from a RIS.
RESULTS: Short tandem repeat (STR) profiling of UACC-SARC1 was virtually identical to its parental tumor. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis of the tumor and immunocytochemistry (ICC) analysis of UACC-SARC1 revealed shared expression of vimentin, osteonectin, CD68, Ki67 and PTEN but tumor-restricted expression of the histiocyte markers α1-antitrypsin and α1-antichymotrypsin. Karyotyping of the tumor demonstrated aneuploidy. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) provided direct genetic comparison between the tumor and UACC-SARC1. Sequencing of 740 mutation hotspots revealed no mutations in UACC-SARC1 nor in the tumor. NOD/SCID gamma mouse xenografts demonstrated tumor formation and metastasis. Clonogenicity assays demonstrated that 90% of single cells produced viable colonies. NOD/SCID gamma mice produced useful patient-derived xenografts for orthotopic or metastatic models.
CONCLUSION: Our novel RIS strain constitutes a useful tool for pre-clinical studies of this rare, aggressive disease. UACC-SARC1 is an aneuploid cell line with complex genomics lacking common oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes as drivers of its biology. The UACC-SARC1 cell line will enable further studies of the drivers of RIS.

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