Gene Summary

Gene:SPINK1; serine peptidase inhibitor, Kazal type 1
Aliases: TCP, PCTT, PSTI, TATI, Spink3
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a trypsin inhibitor, which is secreted from pancreatic acinar cells into pancreatic juice. It is thought to function in the prevention of trypsin-catalyzed premature activation of zymogens within the pancreas and the pancreatic duct. Mutations in this gene are associated with hereditary pancreatitis and tropical calcific pancreatitis. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:serine protease inhibitor Kazal-type 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (5)

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.

  • Transcriptional Regulator ERG
  • FISH
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • PTEN
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Trypsin
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ets
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Trans-Activators
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Chromosome 5
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Trypsin Inhibitor, Kazal Pancreatic
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic
  • SPINK1
  • Spliceosomes
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Transfection
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Chronic Disease
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Urothelium
  • p53 Protein
  • Trypsinogen
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • Signal Transduction
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Cancer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Risk Factors
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SPINK1 (cancer-related)

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.

Kim H, Skowronski J, Den RB
Prognostic outlier genes for enhanced prostate cancer treatment.
Future Oncol. 2017; 13(3):249-261 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To review the current landscape of outlier genes in the field of prostate cancer.
METHODS: A comprehensive review was performed.
RESULTS: Prostate cancer continues to be a significant worldwide health issue. In the era of personalized medicine, more emphasis is being placed on the ability to determine the timing, intensity and type of treatment, according to each patient's unique disease. Several commercial tests are available to determine the risk of aggressive prostate cancer based on genomic biomarkers and gene expression. Outlier genes represent a form of cancer classification that focuses on bimodal expression of a gene in a specific subset of patients. Outlier genes identified in prostate cancer include TMPRSS2-ERG, SPINK1, ScHLAP1, NVL, SMC4 and SQLE.
CONCLUSION: Classifying patient prostate cancers by outlier genes may allow for individualized cancer therapies and improved cancer therapy outcomes.

Yaming P, Urs AB, Saxena A, Zuberi M
Roles of CYP1A1 and CYP2E1 Gene Polymorphisms in Oral Submucous Fibrosis.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016; 17(7):3335-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) is a precancerous condition with a 4 to13% malignant transformation rate. Related to the habit of areca nut chewing it is mainly prevalent in Southeast Asian countries where the habit of betel quid chewing is frequently practised. On chewing, alkaloids and polyphenols are released which undergo nitrosation and give rise to Nnitrosamines which are cytotoxic agents. CYP450 is a microsomal enzyme group which metabolizes various endogenous and exogenous chemicals including those released by areca nut chewing. CYP1A1 plays a central role in metabolic activation of these xenobiotics, whereas CYP2E1 metabolizes nitrosamines and tannins. Polymorphisms in genes that code for these enzymes may alter their expression or function and may therefore affect an individuals susceptibility regarding OSF and oral cancer. The present study was therefore undertaken to investigate the association of polymorphisms in CYP1A1 m2 and CYP2E1 (RsaI/PstI) sites with risk of OSF among areca nut chewers in the Northern India population. A total of 95 histopathologically confirmed cases of OSF with history of areca nut chewing not less than 1 year and 80, age and sex matched controls without any clinical signs and symptoms of OSF with areca nut chewing habit not less than 1 year were enrolled. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples and polymorphisms were analyzed by PCRRFLP method. Gene polymorphism of CYP1A1 at NcoI site was observed to be significantly higher (p = 0.016) in cases of OSF when compared to controls. Association of CYP1A1 gene polymorphism at NcoI site and the risk of OSF (Odd's Ratio = 2.275) was also observed to be significant. However, no such association was observed for the CYP2E1 gene polymorphism (Odd's Ratio = 0.815). Our results suggest that the CYP1A1 gene polymorphism at the NcoI site confers an increased risk for OSF.

Kaffenberger SD, Barbieri CE
Molecular subtyping of prostate cancer.
Curr Opin Urol. 2016; 26(3):213-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The recent publication of The Cancer Genome Atlas molecular taxonomy of primary prostate cancer highlights the increased understanding of the genomic basis of human prostate cancer, but also emphasizes the complexity and heterogeneity of prostate cancer.
RECENT FINDINGS: Seven molecular subclasses have been defined on the basis of early genomic alterations, which are largely mutually exclusive.
SUMMARY: We review the recent advances in the genomic understanding of human prostate cancer, with focus on molecular subclassification. Broadly, prostate cancer can be classified based upon whether specific genomic rearrangements, such as the Transmembrane Protease, Serine 2-ETS-related gene fusion occur or whether specific alterations such as Speckle-type POZ protein and forkhead box A1 mutations occur. The molecular drivers remain to be identified in a further quarter of human prostate cancers. Depending upon the molecular subclassification and the coincident genomic alterations, specific clinical insights can be gained from this information, including associations with pathologic factors, race, and prognosis, as well as the possibility for future precision therapies.

Zhang Y, Wang Y, Wei Y, et al.
Molecular chaperone CCT3 supports proper mitotic progression and cell proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 372(1):101-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
CCT3 was one of the subunits of molecular chaperone CCT/TRiC complex, which plays a central role in maintaining cellular proteostasis. We demonstrated that expressions of CCT3 mRNA and protein are highly up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, and high level of CCT3 is correlated with poor survival in cancer patients. In HCC cell lines, CCT3 depletion suppresses cell proliferation by inducing mitotic arrest at prometaphase and apoptosis eventually. We also identified CCT3 as a novel regulator of spindle integrity and as a requirement for proper kinetochore-microtubule attachment during mitosis. Moreover, we found that CCT3 depletion sensitizes HCC cells to microtubule destabilizing drug Vincristine. Collectively, our study suggests that CCT3 is indispensible for HCC cell proliferation, and provides a potential drug target for treatment of HCC.

Wei PL, Huang CY, Tai CJ, et al.
Glucose-regulated protein 94 mediates metastasis by CCT8 and the JNK pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):8219-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Cancer metastasis is a major obstacle in clinical cancer therapy. The mechanisms underlying the metastasis of HCC remain unclear. Glucose-regulated protein 94 (GRP94) is a key protein involved in mediating cancer progression, and it is highly expressed in HCC specimens. However, the role of GRP94 in cancer metastasis is unclear. A specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was employed to knock down GRP94 gene expression in HCC cell lines. Wound-healing migration, transwell migration, and invasion assays were performed to determine the migration and invasive ability of HCC cells. We demonstrated that silencing GRP94 inhibited HCC cell wound healing, migration, and invasion. Furthermore, our findings indicated that GRP94 knockdown might attenuate HCC cell metastasis by inhibiting CCT8/c-Jun/EMT signaling. Our study indicated that silencing GRP94 significantly reduced the migration and invasion abilities of HCC cells. Moreover, depleting GRP94 inhibited cell migration and invasion by downregulating CCT8/c-Jun signaling. Thus, our data suggest that the GRP94/CCT8/c-Jun/EMT signaling cascade might be a new therapeutic target for HCC.

He X, Feng S
Role of Metabolic Enzymes P450 (CYP) on Activating Procarcinogen and their Polymorphisms on the Risk of Cancers.
Curr Drug Metab. 2015; 16(10):850-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes are the most important metabolizing enzyme family exists among all organs. Apart from their role in the deactivation of most endogenous compounds and xenobiotics, they also mediate most procarcinogens oxidation to ultimate carcinogens. There are several modes of CYP450s activation of procarcinogens. 1) Formation of epoxide and diol-epoxides intermediates, such as CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 mediates PAHs oxidation to epoxide intermediates; 2) Formation of diazonium ions, such as CYP2A6, CYP2A13 and CYP2E1 mediates activation of most nitrosamines to unstable metabolites, which can rearrange to give diazonium ions. 3) Formation of reactive semiquinones and quinines, such as CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 transformation of estradiol to catechol estrogens, subsequently formation semiquinones; 4) Formation of toxic O-esterification, such as CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 metabolizes PhIP to N(2)-acetoxy-PhIP and N(2)-sulfonyloxy-PhIP, which are carcinogenic metabolites. 5) Formation of free radical, such as CYP2E1 is involved in activation tetrachloromethane to free radicals. While for CYP2B6 and CYP2D6, only a minor role has been found in procarcinogens activation. In addition, as the gene polymorphisms reflected, the polymorphisms of CYP1A1 (-3801T/C and -4889A/G), CYP1A2 (- 163C/A and -2467T/delT), CYP1B1 (-48G/C, -119G/T and -432G/C), CYP2E1 (-1293G/C and -1053 C/T) have been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. The polymorphisms CYP1A1 (-3801T/C and -4889A/G), and CYP2E1 (PstI/Rsa and 9-bp insertion) have an association with higher risk colon cancers, whereas CYP1A2 (-163C/A and -3860G/A) polymorphism is found to be among the protective factors. The polymorphisms CYP1A1 (-3801T/C and -4889A/G), CYP1B1 -432G/C, CYP2B6 (-516G/T and -785A/G) may increase the risk of breast cancer. In conclusion, CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2A6, and CYP2E1 are responsible for most of the procarcinogens activation, and their gene polymorphisms are associated with the risk of cancers.

Zhang J, Wang D, Hu N, et al.
The construction and proliferative effects of a lentiviral vector capable of stably overexpressing SPINK1 gene in human pancreatic cancer AsPC-1 cell line.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):5847-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aims to design and generate recombinant lentiviral vector containing the complete coding sequence (CDS) region of human serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 gene (SPINK1) and establish a human pancreatic cancer cell line (AsPC-1) stably overexpressing SPINK1. Then, to assess the proliferative and oncogenic effects of upregulated SPINK1 gene on pancreatic cancer AsPC-1 cells using different methods. Initially, the target coding sequence (CDS) of SPINK1 was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the synthesized product was subsequently subcloned into the lentiviral vector. The construction of recombinant SPINK1 gene was verified by the restriction digestion and sequencing analysis. The lentiviral particles carrying SPINK1 gene were produced by co-transfection of the recombination lentiviral vector and the packaging mix plasmids into 293 T cells and filtered and concentrated before AsPC-1 cells were infected by the virus particles. The cells transduced were differentially selected with puromycin, and the clones that highly expressed SPINK1 were chosen by real-time PCR and confirmed by Western blot after 7 weeks. The stably transduced AsPC-1 cell line showed significantly increased metabolic and proliferative capability using CCK-8 and Trypan Blue assays (P < 0.001). Cell cycle and DNA content analysis by flow cytometry showed that upregulated SPINK1 elicited significant increase in the percentage of AsPC-1 cells in the S and G2/M phase (P < 0.001). Clone formation assay demonstrated that the number of the colonies formed in the experimental group was greater than that in the control parental cells (P < 0.001). It was concluded that a stable AsPC-1 cell line capable of overexpressing SPINK1 had been successfully created, and that the proliferative capacity of AsPC-1 pancreatic cancer cells was significantly raised by SPINK1 upregulation as well as the ability of a single AsPC-1 cell to grow into a colony.

Roh SH, Kasembeli M, Bakthavatsalam D, et al.
Contribution of the Type II Chaperonin, TRiC/CCT, to Oncogenesis.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015; 16(11):26706-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The folding of newly synthesized proteins and the maintenance of pre-existing proteins are essential in sustaining a living cell. A network of molecular chaperones tightly guides the folding, intracellular localization, and proteolytic turnover of proteins. Many of the key regulators of cell growth and differentiation have been identified as clients of molecular chaperones, which implies that chaperones are potential mediators of oncogenesis. In this review, we briefly provide an overview of the role of chaperones, including HSP70 and HSP90, in cancer. We further summarize and highlight the emerging the role of chaperonin TRiC (T-complex protein-1 ring complex, also known as CCT) in the development and progression of cancer mediated through its critical interactions with oncogenic clients that modulate growth deregulation, apoptosis, and genome instability in cancer cells. Elucidation of how TRiC modulates the folding and function of oncogenic clients will provide strategies for developing novel cancer therapies.

Schmid M, Hansen J, Chun FK
Urinary Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 as a Tumour Marker: Biochemical and Clinical Aspects.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015; 867:277-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Due to low specificity of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) we face a certain risk of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of Prostate Cancer (PCa). The benefits and harms of PSA-screening are controversially discussed. To overcome this weakness of PSA novel PCa biomarkers and detection tools are required.The urine-based biomarker Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) has been shown to be highly PCa-specific. Application of PCA3 was tested in the diagnostic setting and staging. Several studies pointed out the additional value of PCA3 for further stratification of men selected for biopsy (BX) based on an elevated PSA and/or an abnormal digital rectal examination (DRE). Its combined use with established clinical risk factors for positive prostate BX, particularly within nomograms or risk calculators, may represent a valid and helpful aid for clinicians in patient counselling and BX indication confirmation.When it comes to prediction of favourable or unfavourable histopathological features, respectively, such as tumour volume or PCa significance, PCA3's value remains controversial. Based on relatively small patient numbers, PCA3 has been identified to independently predict small-volume and insignificant PCa. However, in other studies PCA3 was not associated with advanced disease and its ability of predicting PCa aggressiveness in men undergoing radical prostatectomy is limited.PCA3's value may be best given for BX outcome prediction. Finally, the implementation of the PCA3 promoter in developing new highly PCa-specific gene therapies represents a promising perspective in the near future.

Qiu X, He X, Huang Q, et al.
Overexpression of CCT8 and its significance for tumor cell proliferation, migration and invasion in glioma.
Pathol Res Pract. 2015; 211(10):717-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of chaperonin containing t-complex polypeptide 1 (TCP1), or CCT, has been reported in various classes of malignancies. However, little is known about the expression of t-complex protein subunits TCP1theta (CCT8) in gliomas. In this study, the expression of CCT8 protein was detected using blotting analysis and immunohistochemistry. CCT8 was found to be overexpressed in gliomas and to correlate with the WHO grade of gliomas. To further investigate the biological function of CCT8 in gliomas, CCT8-silenced U87 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and U251MG cells were constructed using a small interference RNA (siRNA) sequence. The knockdown effect of CCT8 on proliferation and invasion in these cells was analyzed using the CCK8, flow cytometry cycle, scratch, transwell invasion and fluorescence assays. Compared with the controls, the glioma cells expressing CCT8-siRNA exhibited a significantly decreased proliferation and invasion capacity, as well as a dysregulated cell cytoskeleton. This study showed that high CCT8 protein expression might be related to poor outcome of glioma, and that CCT8 regulates the proliferation and invasion of glioblastomas.

Stenman UH
Biomarker development, from bench to bedside.
Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2016; 53(2):69-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
This review describes studies performed by our group and other laboratories in the field aimed at development of biomarkers not only for cancer but also for other diseases. The markers covered include tumor-associated trypsin inhibitor (TATI), tumor-associated trypsin (TAT), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and their various molecular forms, their biology and diagnostic use. The discovery of TATI was the result of a hypothesis-driven project aimed at finding new biomarkers for ovarian cancer among urinary peptides. TATI has since proved to be a useful prognostic marker for several cancers. Recently, it has been named Serine Peptidase Inhibitor Kazal Type 1 (SPINK1) after being rediscovered by several groups as a tumor-associated peptide by gene expression profiling and proteomic techniques and shown to promote tumor development by stimulating the EGF receptor. To explain why a trypsin inhibitor is strongly expressed in some cancers, research focused on the protease that it inhibited led to the finding of tumor-associated trypsin (TAT). Elevated serum concentrations of TAT-2 were found in some cancer types, but fairly high background levels of pancreatic trypsinogen-2 limited the use of TAT-2 for cancer diagnostics. However, trypsinogen-2 and its complex with α1-protease inhibitor proved to be very sensitive and specific markers for pancreatitis. Studies on hCG were initiated by the need to develop more rapid and sensitive pregnancy tests. These studies showed that serum from men and non-pregnant women contains measurable concentrations of hCG derived from the pituitary. Subsequent development of assays for the subunits of hCG showed that the β subunit of hCG (hCGβ) is expressed at low concentrations by most cancers and that it is a strong prognostic marker. These studies led to the formation of a working group for standardization of hCG determinations and the development of new reference reagents for several molecular forms of hCG. The preparation of intact hCG has been adopted as the fifth international standard by WHO. Availability of several well-defined forms of hCG made it possible to characterize the epitopes of nearly 100 monoclonal antibodies. This will facilitate design of immunoassays with pre-defined specificity. Finally, the discovery of different forms of immunoreactive PSA in serum from a prostate cancer patient led to identification of the complex between PSA and α1-antichymotrypsin, and the use of assays for free and total PSA in serum for improved diagnosis of prostate cancer. Epitope mapping of PSA antibodies and establishment of PSA standards has facilitated establishment well-standardized assays for the various forms of PSA.

Cui X, Hu ZP, Li Z, et al.
Overexpression of chaperonin containing TCP1, subunit 3 predicts poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2015; 21(28):8588-604 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the value of chaperonin containing TCP1, subunit 3 (CCT3) to predict the prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and determine its function in HCC progression.
METHODS: CCT3 expression levels were examined in human non-cancerous liver tissues and a variety of HCC cell lines by quantitative real-time PCR and immunoblotting. CCT3 expression was suppressed by small interfering RNA. The effects of reducing CCT3 expression in HCC cells were tested. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, cell counting experiment, cell cycle assay, apoptosis assay and invasion assay were employed to evaluate cell functions in vitro. Immunohistochemistry was performed on HCC specimens. In addition, CCT3 expression in HCC specimens was also assessed at the protein and mRNA level. Associations between clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis were analyzed, along with the possible mechanisms involved in CCT3's function in HCC progression.
RESULTS: The expression levels of CCT3 mRNA and protein were upregulated in HCC cell lines in contrast to adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Reducing CCT3 expression not only suppressed cell proliferation in cell counts, MTT assay, cell cycle assay and induced cell apoptosis (P < 0.05 vs negative control), but also inhibited the tumor cell invasion capacity in vitro (P < 0.01 vs negative control). Overexpression of CCT3 in the nuclei of cancer cells in HCC specimens (58 of 104 patients, 55.8%) was associated with poor prognosis in HCC patients (3-year survival rate, 55.5% vs 84.2%, P = 0.020) after hepatectomy. Mechanistic analyses showed that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation was decreased even when stimulated by interleukin-6 after knocking down CCT3 in the HepG2 cell line.
CONCLUSION: Overexpression of CCT3 in the nuclei of cancerous cells is associated with HCC progression. CCT3 may be a target that affects the activation of STAT3 in HCC.

Yamoah K, Johnson MH, Choeurng V, et al.
Novel Biomarker Signature That May Predict Aggressive Disease in African American Men With Prostate Cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(25):2789-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: We studied the ethnicity-specific expression of prostate cancer (PC) -associated biomarkers to evaluate whether genetic/biologic factors affect ethnic disparities in PC pathogenesis and disease progression.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 154 African American (AA) and 243 European American (EA) patients from four medical centers were matched according to the Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment postsurgical score within each institution. The distribution of mRNA expression levels of 20 validated biomarkers reported to be associated with PC initiation and progression was compared with ethnicity using false discovery rate, adjusted Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney, and logistic regression models. A conditional logistic regression model was used to evaluate the interaction between ethnicity and biomarkers for predicting clinicopathologic outcomes.
RESULTS: Of the 20 biomarkers examined, six showed statistically significant differential expression in AA compared with EA men in one or more statistical models. These include ERG (P < .001), AMACR (P < .001), SPINK1 (P = .001), NKX3-1 (P = .03), GOLM1 (P = .03), and androgen receptor (P = .04). Dysregulation of AMACR (P = .036), ERG (P = .036), FOXP1 (P = .041), and GSTP1 (P = .049) as well as loss-of-function mutations for tumor suppressors NKX3-1 (P = .025) and RB1 (P = .037) predicted risk of pathologic T3 disease in an ethnicity-dependent manner. Dysregulation of GOLM1 (P = .037), SRD5A2 (P = .023), and MKi67 (P = .023) predicted clinical outcomes, including 3-year biochemical recurrence and metastasis at 5 years. A greater proportion of AA men than EA men had triple-negative (ERG-negative/ETS-negative/SPINK1-negative) disease (51% v 35%; P = .002).
CONCLUSION: We have identified a subset of PC biomarkers that predict the risk of clinicopathologic outcomes in an ethnicity-dependent manner. These biomarkers may explain in part the biologic contribution to ethnic disparity in PC outcomes between EA and AA men.

Brooks JD, Wei W, Hawley S, et al.
Evaluation of ERG and SPINK1 by Immunohistochemical Staining and Clinicopathological Outcomes in a Multi-Institutional Radical Prostatectomy Cohort of 1067 Patients.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132343 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Distinguishing between patients with early stage, screen detected prostate cancer who must be treated from those that can be safely watched has become a major issue in prostate cancer care. Identification of molecular subtypes of prostate cancer has opened the opportunity for testing whether biomarkers that characterize these subtypes can be used as biomarkers of prognosis. Two established molecular subtypes are identified by high expression of the ERG oncoprotein, due to structural DNA alterations that encode for fusion transcripts in approximately ½ of prostate cancers, and over-expression of SPINK1, which is purportedly found only in ERG-negative tumors. We used a multi-institutional prostate cancer tissue microarray constructed from radical prostatectomy samples with associated detailed clinical data and with rigorous selection of recurrent and non-recurrent cases to test the prognostic value of immunohistochemistry staining results for the ERG and SPINK1 proteins. In univariate analysis, ERG positive cases (419/1067; 39%) were associated with lower patient age, pre-operative serum PSA levels, lower Gleason scores (≤ 3+4=7) and improved recurrence free survival (RFS). On multivariate analysis, ERG status was not correlated with RFS, disease specific survival (DSS) or overall survival (OS). High-level SPINK1 protein expression (33/1067 cases; 3%) was associated with improved RFS on univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis. Over-expression of either protein was not associated with clinical outcome. While expression of ERG and SPINK1 proteins was inversely correlated, it was not mutually exclusive since 3 (0.28%) cases showed high expression of both. While ERG and SPINK1 appear to identify discrete molecular subtypes of prostate cancer, only high expression of SPINK1 was associated with improved clinical outcome. However, by themselves, neither ERG nor SPINK1 appear to be useful biomarkers for prognostication of early stage prostate cancer.

Winchester D, Ricks-Santi L, Mason T, et al.
SPINK1 Promoter Variants Are Associated with Prostate Cancer Predisposing Alterations in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(7):3811-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Several studies reported that patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) experienced a 10% increased incidence of prostate cancer (PCa) after the first 5 years of diagnosis. We investigated the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter of Serine Protease Inhibitor Kazal Type 1 (SPINK1) and the increased risk of BPH and PCa.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We genotyped three SNPs in a cases-control study, including BPH and PCa cases. Multiple logistic regression models were applied to analyze clinical and genotypic data.
RESULTS: We found an inverse association between SNP rs10035432 and BPH under the log-additive (p=0.007) model. No association was found between these SNPs and PCa risk. However, we observed a possible association between rs1432982 and lower-grade PCa (p=0.05) under the recessive model.
CONCLUSION: SPINK1 promoter variants are likely to be associated with the risk of BPH.

Li Y, Xiao X, Ji X, et al.
RNA-seq analysis of lung adenocarcinomas reveals different gene expression profiles between smoking and nonsmoking patients.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(11):8993-9003 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Lung adenocarcinoma is caused by the combination of genetic and environmental effects, and smoking plays an important role in the disease development. Exploring the gene expression profile and identifying genes that are shared or vary between smokers and nonsmokers with lung adenocarcinoma will provide insights into the etiology of this complex cancer. We obtained RNA-seq data from paired normal and tumor tissues from 34 nonsmoking and 34 smoking patients with lung adenocarcinoma (GEO: GSE40419). R Bioconductor, edgeR, was adopted to conduct differential gene expression analysis between paired normal and tumor tissues. A generalized linear model was applied to identify genes that were differentially expressed in nonsmoker and smoker patients as well as genes that varied between these two groups. We identified 2273 genes that showed differential expression with FDR < 0.05 and |logFC| >1 in nonsmoker tumor versus normal tissues; 3030 genes in the smoking group; and 1967 genes were common to both groups. Sixty-eight and 70% of the identified genes were downregulated in nonsmoking and smoking groups, respectively. The 20 genes such as SPP1, SPINK1, and FAM83A with largest fold changes in smokers also showed similar large and highly significant fold changes in nonsmokers and vice versa, showing commonalities in expression changes for adenocarcinomas in both smokers and nonsmokers for these genes. We also identified 175 genes that were significantly differently expressed between tumor samples from nonsmoker and smoker patients. Gene expression profile varied substantially between smoker and nonsmoker patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Smoking patients overall showed far more complicated disease mechanism and have more dysregulation in their gene expression profiles. Our study reveals pathogenetic differences in smoking and nonsmoking patients with lung adenocarcinoma from transcriptome analysis. We provided a list of candidate genes for further study for disease detection and treatment in both smoking and nonsmoking patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

Attard G, Parker C, Eeles RA, et al.
Prostate cancer.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10013):70-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Much progress has been made in research for prostate cancer in the past decade. There is now greater understanding for the genetic basis of familial prostate cancer with identification of rare but high-risk mutations (eg, BRCA2, HOXB13) and low-risk but common alleles (77 identified so far by genome-wide association studies) that could lead to targeted screening of patients at risk. This is especially important because screening for prostate cancer based on prostate-specific antigen remains controversial due to the high rate of overdiagnosis and unnecessary prostate biopsies, despite evidence that it reduces mortality. Classification of prostate cancer into distinct molecular subtypes, including mutually exclusive ETS-gene-fusion-positive and SPINK1-overexpressing, CHD1-loss cancers, could allow stratification of patients for different management strategies. Presently, men with localised disease can have very different prognoses and treatment options, ranging from observation alone through to radical surgery, with few good-quality randomised trials to inform on the best approach for an individual patient. The survival of patients with metastatic prostate cancer progressing on androgen-deprivation therapy (castration-resistant prostate cancer) has improved substantially. In addition to docetaxel, which has been used for more than a decade, in the past 4 years five new drugs have shown efficacy with improvements in overall survival leading to licensing for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Because of this rapid change in the therapeutic landscape, no robust data exist to inform on the selection of patients for a specific treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer or the best sequence of administration. Moreover, the high cost of the newer drugs limits their widespread use in several countries. Data from continuing clinical and translational research are urgently needed to improve, and, crucially, to personalise management.

Li F, Liu T, Xiao CY, et al.
FOXP1 and SPINK1 reflect the risk of cirrhosis progression to HCC with HBV infection.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2015; 72:103-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) deriving from cirrhosis with HBV infection harbors higher morbidity and poor prognosis. The diagnosis of HCC at its early stage is essential for improving the effect of treatment and survival rate of patients.
METHOD: Affymetrix GeneChip was practiced to establish gene expression profile and significance analysis of microarray (SAM) as well as prediction analysis of microarray (PAM) was utilized to screen candidate marker genes in tissue of carcinoma and para-cancerous with cirrhosis from 15 hepatitis B virus (HBV) related HCC patients.
RESULT: Total 497 differential genes were selected by microarray (fold change >2; P value<0.01). Then 162 significant genes were determined by SAM (fold change -1.46 to 1.28). A number of 8-genes showing "poor risk signature" was validated with threshold of 6.2, which was associated with cirrhosis progressing to HCC. Only 3 down-regulated and 2 up-regulated predictor genes had statistical difference in HCC and cirrhosis groups by RT-PCR (P value<0.01). Forkhead box protein 1 (FOXP1) and serine protease inhibitor Kazal-type 1 (SPINK1) proteins were found significantly increased in carcinoma tissues than para-cancerous cirrhotic tissues by IH and WB.
CONCLUSION: Over-expression of FOXP1 and SPINK1 may participate in the carcinogenesis of HBV related cirrhosis. They could use as potential biomarkers for diagnosing early HCC.

Chen X, Yamamoto M, Fujii K, et al.
Differential reactivation of fetal/neonatal genes in mouse liver tumors induced in cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic conditions.
Cancer Sci. 2015; 106(8):972-81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma develops in either chronically injured or seemingly intact livers. To explore the tumorigenic mechanisms underlying these different conditions, we compared the mRNA expression profiles of mouse hepatocellular tumors induced by the repeated injection of CCl4 or a single diethylnitrosamine (DEN) injection using a cDNA microarray. We identified tumor-associated genes that were expressed differentially in the cirrhotic CCl4 model (H19, Igf2, Cbr3, and Krt20) and the non-cirrhotic DEN model (Tff3, Akr1c18, Gpc3, Afp, and Abcd2) as well as genes that were expressed comparably in both models (Ly6d, Slpi, Spink3, Scd2, and Cpe). The levels and patterns of mRNA expression of these genes were validated by quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Most of these genes were highly expressed in mouse livers during the fetal/neonatal periods. We also examined the mRNA expression of these genes in mouse tumors induced by thioacetamide, another cirrhotic inducer, and those that developed spontaneously in non-cirrhotic livers and found that they shared a similar expression profile as that observed in CCl4 -induced and DEN-induced tumors, respectively. There was a close relationship between the expression levels of Igf2 and H19 mRNA, which were activated in the cirrhotic models. Our results show that mouse liver tumors reactivate fetal/neonatal genes, some of which are specific to cirrhotic or non-cirrhotic modes of pathogenesis.

Tomlins SA, Alshalalfa M, Davicioni E, et al.
Characterization of 1577 primary prostate cancers reveals novel biological and clinicopathologic insights into molecular subtypes.
Eur Urol. 2015; 68(4):555-67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer (PCa) molecular subtypes have been defined by essentially mutually exclusive events, including ETS gene fusions (most commonly involving ERG) and SPINK1 overexpression. Clinical assessment may aid in disease stratification, complementing available prognostic tests.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the analytical validity and clinicopatholgic associations of microarray-based molecular subtyping.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We analyzed Affymetrix GeneChip expression profiles for 1577 patients from eight radical prostatectomy cohorts, including 1351 cases assessed using the Decipher prognostic assay (GenomeDx Biosciences, San Diego, CA, USA) performed in a laboratory with Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendment certification. A microarray-based (m-) random forest ERG classification model was trained and validated. Outlier expression analysis was used to predict other mutually exclusive non-ERG ETS gene rearrangements (ETS(+)) or SPINK1 overexpression (SPINK1(+)).
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Associations with clinical features and outcomes by multivariate logistic regression analysis and receiver operating curves.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: The m-ERG classifier showed 95% accuracy in an independent validation subset (155 samples). Across cohorts, 45% of PCas were classified as m-ERG(+), 9% as m-ETS(+), 8% as m-SPINK1(+), and 38% as triple negative (m-ERG(-)/m-ETS(-)/m-SPINK1(-)). Gene expression profiling supports three underlying molecularly defined groups: m-ERG(+), m-ETS(+), and m-SPINK1(+)/triple negative. On multivariate analysis, m-ERG(+) tumors were associated with lower preoperative serum prostate-specific antigen and Gleason scores, but greater extraprostatic extension (p<0.001). m-ETS(+) tumors were associated with seminal vesicle invasion (p=0.01), while m-SPINK1(+)/triple negative tumors had higher Gleason scores and were more frequent in Black/African American patients (p<0.001). Clinical outcomes were not significantly different among subtypes.
CONCLUSIONS: A clinically available prognostic test (Decipher) can also assess PCa molecular subtypes, obviating the need for additional testing. Clinicopathologic differences were found among subtypes based on global expression patterns.
PATIENT SUMMARY: Molecular subtyping of prostate cancer can be achieved using extra data generated from a clinical-grade, genome-wide expression-profiling prognostic assay (Decipher). Transcriptomic and clinical analysis support three distinct molecular subtypes: (1) m-ERG(+), (2) m-ETS(+), and (3) m-SPINK1(+)/triple negative (m-ERG(-)/m-ETS(-)/m-SPINK1(-)). Incorporation of subtyping into a clinically available assay may facilitate additional applications beyond routine prognosis.

Hass HG, Hass H, Jobst J, et al.
Gene expression analysis for evaluation of potential biomarkers in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(4):2021-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the lack of specific screening markers underline the need for new biomarkers for human hepatocarcinogenesis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated 10 postulated biomarkers for HCC (AFP, GPC3, OPN, IGF1, HGF, SPINK1, KPNA, FUCA1, CgA, HSP90) with microarray gene expression analysis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in HCC tissues of different etiologies.
RESULTS: Four candidate genes (FUCA1, HGF, IGF1, CgA) showed low median fold changes (fc) of expression compared to corresponding non-malignant liver tissues (fc range=0.2-0.8; maximum 15% of samples). The classic biomarker, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), was significantly over-expressed (fc=2.4) in 30% of tumors. High tumor AFP expression was associated with significantly elevated serum AFP concentrations (>90% of cases). Five genes (OPN, SPINK1, GPC3, HSP90, KNPA2) showed significantly higher expression than AFP in 64% to 82% of samples (median fc range=2.9-8.3). RT-PCR analyses gave similar results.
CONCLUSION: Unlike previous studies, our results did not confirm FUCA1, HGF, IGF1 or CgA as potential markers for HCC. In contrast, OPN, SPINK1, GPC3 and KNPA2 were significantly over-expressed in HCC tissues. These genes may be useful in developing future biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for HCC.

Sequeiros T, Bastarós JM, Sánchez M, et al.
Urinary biomarkers for the detection of prostate cancer in patients with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia.
Prostate. 2015; 75(10):1102-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) is a recognized precursor stage of PCa. Men who present HGPIN in a first prostate biopsy face years of active surveillance including repeat biopsies. This study aimed to identify non-invasive prognostic biomarkers that differentiate early on between indolent HGPIN cases and those that will transform into actual PCa.
METHODS: We measured the expression of 21 candidate mRNA biomarkers using quantitative PCR in urine sediment samples from a cohort of 90 patients with initial diagnosis of HGPIN and a posterior follow up of at least two years. Uni- and multivariate statistical analyses were applied to analyze the candidate biomarkers and multiplex models using combinations of these biomarkers.
RESULTS: PSMA, PCA3, PSGR, GOLM, KLK3, CDH1, and SPINK1 behaved as predictors for PCa presence in repeat biopsies. Multiplex models outperformed (AUC = 0.81-0.86) the predictive power of single genes, including the FDA-approved PCA3 (AUC = 0.70). With a fixed sensitivity of 95%, the specificity of our multiplex models was of 41-58%, compared to the 30% of PCA3. The PPV of our models (30-38%) was also higher than the PPV of PCA3 (27%), suggesting that benign cases could be more accurately identified. Applying statistical models, we estimated that 33% to 47% of repeat biopsies could be prevented with a multiplex PCR model, representing an easy applicable and significant advantage over the current gold standard in urine sediment.
DISCUSSION: Using multiplex RTqPCR-based models in urine sediment it is possible to improve the current diagnostic method of choice (PCA3) to differentiate between benign HGPIN and PCa cases.

Ateeq B, Kunju LP, Carskadon SL, et al.
Molecular profiling of ETS and non-ETS aberrations in prostate cancer patients from northern India.
Prostate. 2015; 75(10):1051-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Molecular stratification of prostate cancer (PCa) based on genetic aberrations including ETS or RAF gene-rearrangements, PTEN deletion, and SPINK1 over-expression show clear prognostic and diagnostic utility. Gene rearrangements involving ETS transcription factors are frequent pathogenetic somatic events observed in PCa. Incidence of ETS rearrangements in Caucasian PCa patients has been reported, however, occurrence in Indian population is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the ETS and RAF kinase gene rearrangements, SPINK1 over-expression, and PTEN deletion in this cohort.
METHODS: In this multi-center study, formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) PCa specimens (n = 121) were procured from four major medical institutions in India. The tissues were sectioned and molecular profiling was done using immunohistochemistry (IHC), RNA in situ hybridization (RNA-ISH) and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).
RESULTS: ERG over-expression was detected in 48.9% (46/94) PCa specimens by IHC, which was confirmed in a subset of cases by FISH. Among other ETS family members, while ETV1 transcript was detected in one case by RNA-ISH, no alteration in ETV4 was observed. SPINK1 over-expression was observed in 12.5% (12/96) and PTEN deletion in 21.52% (17/79) of the total PCa cases. Interestingly, PTEN deletion was found in 30% of the ERG-positive cases (P = 0.017) but in only one case with SPINK1 over-expression (P = 0.67). BRAF and RAF1 gene rearrangements were detected in ∼1% and ∼4.5% of the PCa cases, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report on comprehensive molecular profiling of the major spectrum of the causal aberrations in Indian men with PCa. Our findings suggest that ETS gene rearrangement and SPINK1 over-expression patterns in North Indian population largely resembled those observed in Caucasian population but differed from Japanese and Chinese PCa patients. The molecular profiling data presented in this study could help in clinical decision-making for the pursuit of surgery, diagnosis, and in selection of therapeutic intervention.

Annala M, Kivinummi K, Tuominen J, et al.
Recurrent SKIL-activating rearrangements in ETS-negative prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(8):6235-50 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of male cancer death in developed countries, and one of the most comprehensively characterized human cancers. Roughly 60% of prostate cancers harbor gene fusions that juxtapose ETS-family transcription factors with androgen regulated promoters. A second subtype, characterized by SPINK1 overexpression, accounts for 15% of prostate cancers. Here we report the discovery of a new prostate cancer subtype characterized by rearrangements juxtaposing the SMAD inhibitor SKIL with androgen regulated promoters, leading to increased SKIL expression. SKIL fusions were found in 6 of 540 (1.1%) prostate cancers and 1 of 27 (3.7%) cell lines and xenografts. 6 of 7 SKIL-positive cancers were negative for ETS overexpression, suggesting mutual exclusivity with ETS fusions. SKIL knockdown led to growth arrest in PC-3 and LNCaP cell line models of prostate cancer, and its overexpression led to increased invasiveness in RWPE-1 cells. The role of SKIL as a prostate cancer oncogene lends support to recent studies on the role of TGF-β signaling as a rate-limiting step in prostate cancer progression. Our findings highlight SKIL as an oncogene and potential therapeutic target in 1-2% of prostate cancers, amounting to an estimated 10,000 cancer diagnoses per year worldwide.

Grasso CS, Cani AK, Hovelson DH, et al.
Integrative molecular profiling of routine clinical prostate cancer specimens.
Ann Oncol. 2015; 26(6):1110-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Comprehensive molecular profiling led to the recognition of multiple prostate cancer (PCa) molecular subtypes and driving alterations, but translating these findings to clinical practice is challenging.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We developed a formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue compatible integrative assay for PCa molecular subtyping and interrogation of relevant genetic/transcriptomic alterations (MiPC). We applied MiPC, which combines capture-based next generation sequencing and quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR), to 53 FFPE PCa specimens representing cases not well represented in frozen tissue cohorts, including 8 paired primary tumor and lymph node metastases. Results were validated using multiplexed PCR based NGS and Sanger sequencing.
RESULTS: We identified known and novel potential driving, somatic mutations and copy number alterations, including a novel BRAF T599_V600insHT mutation and CYP11B2 amplification in a patient treated with ketoconazole (a potent CYP11B2 inhibitor). qRT-PCR integration enabled comprehensive molecular subtyping and provided complementary information, such as androgen receptor (AR) target gene module assessment in advanced cases and SPINK1 over-expression. MiPC identified highly concordant profiles for all 8 tumor/lymph node metastasis pairs, consistent with limited heterogeneity amongst driving events. MiPC and exome sequencing were performed on separately isolated conventional acinar PCa and prostatic small cell carcinoma (SCC) components from the same FFPE resection specimen to enable direct comparison of histologically distinct components. While both components showed TMPRSS2:ERG fusions, the SCC component exclusively harbored complete TP53 inactivation (frameshift variant and copy loss) and two CREBBP mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate the feasibility of integrative profiling of routine PCa specimens, which may have utility for understanding disease biology and enabling personalized medicine applications.

Xu W, Huang H, Yu L, Cao L
Meta-analysis of gene expression profiles indicates genes in spliceosome pathway are up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Med Oncol. 2015; 32(4):96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the commonest kind of malignant tumors, which accounts for more than 500,000 cases of newly diagnosed cancer annually. Many microarray studies for identifying differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in HCC have been conducted, but results have varied across different studies. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of publicly available microarray Gene Expression Omnibus datasets, which covers five independent studies, containing 753 HCC samples and 638 non-tumor liver samples. We identified 192 DEGs that were consistently up-regulated in HCC vs. normal liver tissue. For the 192 up-regulated genes, we performed Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis. To our surprise, besides several cell growth-related pathways, spliceosome pathway was also up-regulated in HCC. For further exploring the relationship between spliceosome pathway and HCC, we investigated the expression data of spliceosome pathway genes in 15 independent studies in Nextbio database ( https://www.nextbio.com/b/nextbioCorp.nb ). It was found that many genes of spliceosome pathway such as HSPA1A, SNRPE, SF3B2, SF3B4 and TRA2A genes which we identified to be up-regulated in our meta-analysis were generally overexpressed in HCC. At last, using real-time PCR, we also found that BUD31, SF3B2, SF3B4, SNRPE, SPINK1, TPA2A and HSPA1A genes are significantly up-regulated in clinical HCC samples when compared to the corresponding non-tumorous liver tissues. Our study for the first time indicates that many genes of spliceosome pathway are up-regulated in HCC. This finding might put new insights for people's understanding about the relationship of spliceosome pathway and HCC.

Guest ST, Kratche ZR, Bollig-Fischer A, et al.
Two members of the TRiC chaperonin complex, CCT2 and TCP1 are essential for survival of breast cancer cells and are linked to driving oncogenes.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 332(2):223-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene amplification is a common mechanism of oncogene activation in cancer. Several large-scale efforts aimed at identifying the comprehensive set of genomic regions that are recurrently amplified in cancer have been completed. In breast cancer, these studies have identified recurrently amplified regions containing known drivers such as HER2 and CCND1 as well as regions where the driver oncogene is unknown. In this study, we integrated RNAi-based functional genetic data with copy number and expression data to identify genes that are recurrently amplified, overexpressed and also necessary for the growth/survival of breast cancer cells. Further analysis using clinical data from The Cancer Genome Atlas specifically identified candidate genes that play a role in determining patient outcomes. Using this approach, we identified two genes, TCP1 and CCT2, as being recurrently altered in breast cancer, necessary for growth/survival of breast cancer cells in vitro, and determinants of overall survival in breast cancer patients. We also show that expression of TCP1 is regulated by driver oncogene activation of PI3K signaling in breast cancer. Interestingly, the TCP1 and CCT2 genes both encode for components of a multi-protein chaperone complex in the cell known as the TCP1 Containing Ring Complex (TRiC). Our results demonstrate a role for the TRiC subunits TCP1 and CCT2, and potentially the entire TRiC complex, in breast cancer and provide rationale for TRiC as a novel therapeutic target in breast cancer.

Seebach C, Henrich D, Schaible A, et al.
Cell-based therapy by implanted human bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells improved bone healing of large bone defects in rats.
Tissue Eng Part A. 2015; 21(9-10):1565-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: QUESTION/AIM: Cell-based therapy by cultivated stem cells (mesenchymal stem cells [MSC] and endothelial progenitor cells [EPC]) in a large-sized bone defect has already shown improved vascularization and new bone formation. However, these methods are clinically afflicted with disadvantages. Another heterogeneous bone marrow cell population, the so-called human bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BMC), has nevertheless been used clinically and showed improved vascularization in ischemic limbs or in the myocardium. For clinical use, a certified process has been established; thus, BMC were isolated from bone marrow aspirate by density gradient centrifugation, washed, cleaned, and given back to patients within several hours. This investigation tested the ability of human BMC seeded on beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) and placed into a large bone defect in rats to improve the bone healing process in vivo.
METHODS: Human EPC were isolated from buffy coat, and MSC or BMC, respectively, were isolated from bone marrow aspirate by density gradient centrifugation. 1.0×10(6) cells were loaded onto 750 μL β-TCP (0.7-1.4 mm). Large femoral defects (6 mm) in athymic rats were created surgically and stabilized with an internal fixateur. The remaining defects were filled with β-TCP granules alone (group 1), β-TCP+EPC/MSC (group 2), or β-TCP+BMC (group 3). After 8 weeks, histomorphometric analysis (new bone formation), radiological microcomputer tomography analysis (bony bridging), and biomechanical testing (three-point bending) were achieved. Moreover, a tumorigenicity study was performed to evaluate the safety of BMC implantation after 26 weeks. For statistical analysis, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used.
RESULTS: Eight weeks after implantation of EPC/MSC or BMC, respectively, we detected a more significant new bone formation compared to control. In group 2 and 3, bony bridging of the defect was seen. In the control group, more chondrocytes and osteoid were detected. In the BMC and EPC/MSC group, respectively, less chondrocytes and a significantly more advanced bone formation were observed. The biomechanical stability of the bone regenerate was significantly enhanced if BMC and EPC/MSC, respectively, were implanted compared to control. Moreover, no tumor formation was detected either macroscopically or histologically after 26 weeks of BMC implantation.
DISCUSSION: Implanted BMC suggest that a heterogeneous cell population may provide a powerful cellular therapeutic strategy for bone healing in a large bone defect in humans.

Fisher KW, Montironi R, Lopez Beltran A, et al.
Molecular foundations for personalized therapy in prostate cancer.
Curr Drug Targets. 2015; 16(2):103-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer is the most common and second most lethal cancer in men. The majority of prostate cancers are histologically similar to acinar adenocarcinomas and rely on androgen-dependent signaling for their development and progression. Androgen deprivation therapy is a mainstay of treatment regimens and we discuss the recent advancements in androgen-deprivation therapy. Recent advances in defining the genetic landscape of prostate cancer have shown that the depth of genetic heterogeneity surpasses what can be seen histologically and has the ability to redefine treatments. TMPRSS2-ETS family fusion proteins are unique to prostate cancer and we discuss their role in carcinogenesis, prognosis, and the development of TMPRSS2-ETS family gene fusion targeted therapy. Inactivation of the tumor suppressor PTEN leads to activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and we discuss the prognostic and treatment implications. Molecular genetic analysis has recently demonstrated that clinically aggressive high grade neuroendocrine prostate carcinomas contain a high prevalence of overexpression of Aurora A kinase and N-myc. We discuss the role of Aurora A kinase and N-myc in the development of the aggressive neuroendocrine phenotype and the development of targeted inhibitors of this specific genetic subtype. Lastly, we briefly discuss emerging genetic subtypes defined by either SPINK1 overexpression, CHD1 inactivation, or SPOP mutations. By reviewing the associations between the morphologic features and the molecular genetics of prostate cancer we hope to provide insight and guidance to the emerging options for targeted therapy.

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