Gene Summary

Gene:DENND2B; DENN domain containing 2B
Aliases: ST5, HTS1, p126
Summary:This gene was identified by its ability to suppress the tumorigenicity of Hela cells in nude mice. The protein encoded by this gene contains a C-terminal region that shares similarity with the Rab 3 family of small GTP binding proteins. This protein preferentially binds to the SH3 domain of c-Abl kinase, and acts as a regulator of MAPK1/ERK2 kinase, which may contribute to its ability to reduce the tumorigenic phenotype in cells. Three alternatively spliced transcript variants of this gene encoding distinct isoforms are identified. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:suppression of tumorigenicity 5 protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
DENND2B is implicated in:
- positive regulation of ERK1 and ERK2 cascade
- Rab guanyl-nucleotide exchange factor activity
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 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.

  • Gene Library
  • Base Sequence
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Apoptosis
  • p53 Protein
  • Lung Cancer
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Small Nucleolar
  • Chromosome 11
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA
  • ST5
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Breast Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Alleles
  • Temozolomide
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Long Noncoding RNA
  • Glioblastoma
  • siRNA
  • Cell Survival
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Hybrid Cells
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: ST5 (cancer-related)

Bountali A, Tonge DP, Mourtada-Maarabouni M
RNA sequencing reveals a key role for the long non-coding RNA MIAT in regulating neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell fate.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2019; 130:878-891 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myocardial Infarction Associated Transcript (MIAT) is a subnuclear lncRNA that interferes with alternative splicing and is associated with increased risk of various heart conditions and nervous system tumours. The current study aims to elucidate the role of MIAT in cell survival, apoptosis and migration in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma multiforme. To this end, MIAT was silenced by MIAT-specific siRNAs in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines, and RNA sequencing together with a series of functional assays were performed. The RNA sequencing has revealed that the expression of an outstanding number of genes is altered, including genes involved in cancer-related processes, such as cell growth and survival, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and migration. Furthermore, the functional studies have confirmed the RNA sequencing leads, with our key findings suggesting that MIAT knockdown eliminates long-term survival and migration and increases basal apoptosis in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines. Taken together with the recent demonstration of the involvement of MIAT in glioblastoma, our observations suggest that MIAT could possess tumour-promoting properties, thereby acting as an oncogene, and has the potential to be used as a reliable biomarker for neuroblastoma and glioblastoma and be employed for prognostic, predictive and, potentially, therapeutic purposes for these cancers.

Długosz A, Drogosz J, Deredas D, et al.
Involvement of a coumarin analog AD-013 in the DNA damage response pathways in MCF-7 cells.
Mol Biol Rep. 2018; 45(5):1187-1195 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Coumarin is a plant-derived compound but as such has no medical uses. Several synthetic coumarin analogs have been shown to possess anti-proliferative activity and to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Here, we explored DNA damage responses in MCF-7 cells treated with our novel synthetic hybrid compound AD-013, which integrates a coumarin moiety and an α-methylene-δ-lactone motif. The mRNA expression of several genes engaged in DNA-damage-induced responses was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. The protein levels of a few members of phosphoinositide-3-kinases family (ATM, ATR and DNA-PK) and BRCA1 were assessed by ELISA, while p53 was evaluated by western blot method. AD-013 down-regulated DNA-PK gene expression but increased the level of ATM/ATR and p53. The new analog completely inhibited BRCA1 and greatly decreased the activity of BRCA1 protein, engaged in DNA damage repair. Exposure of MCF-7 cells to a coumarin analog AD-013 led to DNA damage and decreased expression of several repair-associated genes.

Almnaseer ZA, Mourtada-Maarabouni M
Long noncoding RNA MIAT regulates apoptosis and the apoptotic response to chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer cell lines.
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The long noncoding RNA myocardial infarction associated transcript (MIAT) is involved in a number of diseases, including myocardial infarction and diabetic retinopathy. Emerging evidence suggests that MIAT expression levels are increased in different type of cancers, including breast cancer. In the present study, we further evaluated the role of MIAT in breast cancer and investigated the consequences of its silencing on breast cancer response to chemotherapeutic agents. Expression levels of MIAT mRNA in breast cancer were determined using TissueScan™ Breast Cancer cDNA Arrays. Breast cancer cell lines were transfected with MIAT specific siRNAs, with silencing confirmed using RT-qPCR and the effects on breast cancer cell survival and response to different apoptotic stimuli determined. MIAT transcript levels were significantly elevated in breast cancer samples. Such increase was specific to the early stages of the disease, ER, PR +ve, HER -ve, and triple negative breast cancer samples. Silencing of MIAT induced growth arrest and increased basal apoptosis. Reduced levels of MIAT augmented the apoptotic response of breast cancer cells to a wide range of apoptotic stimuli. Our results also showed that MIAT down-regulation was associated with a decrease in OCT4 mRNA, suggesting the existence of a MIAT/OCT4 regulatory loop, similar to that observed in malignant mature B cells. Taken together with the recent demonstration of oncogene characteristics, our observations suggest that MIAT plays an important role in breast tumorigenesis. Strategies to decrease MIAT expression levels may improve sensitivity to therapy in breast cancer by enhancing the apoptotic responses to conventional chemotherapies.

Haque F, Varlet P, Puntonet J, et al.
Evaluation of a novel antibody to define histone 3.3 G34R mutant brain tumours.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2017; 5(1):45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Missense somatic mutations affecting histone H3.1 and H3.3 proteins are now accepted as the hallmark of paediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), non-brain stem paediatric high grade gliomas (pHGG) as well as a subset of adult glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Different mutations give rise to one of three amino acid substitutions at two critical positions within the histone tails, K27M, G34R/V. Several studies have highlighted gene expression and epigenetic changes associated with histone H3 mutations; however their precise roles in tumourigenesis remain incompletely understood. Determining how such amino acid substitutions in a protein affect its properties can be challenging because of difficulties in detecting and tracking mutant proteins within cells and tissues. Here we describe a strategy for the generation of antibodies to discriminate G34R and G34V mutant histone H3 proteins from their wild-type counterparts. Antibodies were validated by western blotting and immunocytochemistry, using recombinant H3.3 proteins and paediatric GBM cell lines. The H3-G34R antibody demonstrated a high degree of selectivity towards its target sequence. Accordingly, immunostaining on a cohort of 22 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tumours with a previously known H3.3 G34R mutation status, detected successfully the corresponding mutant protein in 11/11 G34R cases. Since there was a high concordance between genotype and immunohistochemical analysis of G34R mutant tumour samples, we analysed a series of tissue microarrays (TMAs) to assess the specificity of the antibody in a range of paediatric brain tumours, and noted immunoreactivity in 2/634 cases. Importantly, we describe the generation and validation of highly specific antibodies for G34 mutations. Overall our work adds to an extremely valuable portfolio of antibodies, not only for histopathologic detection of tumour-associated mutant histone sequences, but also facilitating the study of spatial/anatomical aspects of tumour formation and the identification of downstream targets and pathways in malignant glioma progression.

Mohammed HN, Pickard MR, Mourtada-Maarabouni M
The protein phosphatase 4 - PEA15 axis regulates the survival of breast cancer cells.
Cell Signal. 2016; 28(9):1389-400 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The control of breast cell survival is of critical importance for preventing breast cancer initiation and progression. The activity of many proteins which regulate cell survival is controlled by reversible phosphorylation, so that the relevant kinases and phosphatases play crucial roles in determining cell fate. Several protein kinases act as oncoproteins in breast cancer and changes in their activities contribute to the process of transformation. Through counteracting the activity of oncogenic kinases, the protein phosphatases are also likely to be important players in breast cancer development, but this class of molecules is relatively poorly understood. Here we have investigated the role of the serine/threonine protein phosphatase 4 in the control of cell survival of breast cancer cells.
METHODS: The breast cancer cell lines, MCF7 and MDA-MB-231, were transfected with expression vectors encoding the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 4 (PP4c) or with PP4c siRNAs. Culture viability, apoptosis, cell migration and cell cycle were assessed. The involvement of phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes 15kDa (PEA15) in PP4c action was investigated by immunoblotting approaches and by siRNA-mediated silencing of PEA15.
RESULTS: In this study we showed that PP4c over-expression inhibited cell proliferation, enhanced spontaneous apoptosis and decreased the migratory and colony forming abilities of breast cancer cells. Moreover, PP4c down-regulation produced complementary effects. PP4c is demonstrated to regulate the phosphorylation of PEA15, and PEA15 itself regulates the apoptosis of breast cancer cells. The inhibitory effects of PP4c on breast cancer cell survival and growth were lost in PEA15 knockdown cells, confirming that PP4c action is mediated, at least in part, through the de-phosphorylation of apoptosis regulator PEA15.
CONCLUSION: Our work shows that PP4 regulates breast cancer cell survival and identifies a novel PP4c-PEA15 signalling axis in the control of breast cancer cell survival. The dysfunction of this axis may be important in the development and progression of breast cancer.

Pickard MR, Williams GT
The hormone response element mimic sequence of GAS5 lncRNA is sufficient to induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(9):10104-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Growth arrest-specific 5 (GAS5) lncRNA promotes apoptosis, and its expression is down-regulated in breast cancer. GAS5 lncRNA is a decoy of glucocorticoid/related receptors; a stem-loop sequence constitutes the GAS5 hormone response element mimic (HREM), which is essential for the regulation of breast cancer cell apoptosis. This preclinical study aimed to determine if the GAS5 HREM sequence alone promotes the apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Nucleofection of hormone-sensitive and -insensitive breast cancer cell lines with a GAS5 HREM DNA oligonucleotide increased both basal and ultraviolet-C-induced apoptosis, and decreased culture viability and clonogenic growth, similar to GAS5 lncRNA. The HREM oligonucleotide demonstrated similar sequence specificity to the native HREM for its functional activity and had no effect on endogenous GAS5 lncRNA levels. Certain chemically modified HREM oligonucleotides, notably DNA and RNA phosphorothioates, retained pro-apoptotic. activity. Crucially the HREM oligonucleotide could overcome apoptosis resistance secondary to deficient endogenous GAS5 lncRNA levels. Thus, the GAS5 lncRNA HREM sequence alone is sufficient to induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells, including triple-negative breast cancer cells. These findings further suggest that emerging knowledge of structure/function relationships in the field of lncRNA biology can be exploited for the development of entirely novel, oligonucleotide mimic-based, cancer therapies.

Garnett DJ
Caveolae as a target to quench autoinduction of the metastatic phenotype in lung cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(3):611-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Mevalonate pathway inhibitors are potentially useful chemotherapeutic agents showing growth inhibition and pro-apoptotic effects in cancer cells. The effects of statins and bisphosphonates on cancer growth are attributed to a reduction in protein isoprenylation. Post-translational modification and activation of GTPase binding Ras superfamily permit the recruitment of these signal proteins to membranes where they mediate the cancer phenotype. Here, the effects of three inhibitors of the mevalonate pathway and one specific inhibitor of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins were studied in both an ER-negative, Ras-inactive breast (MDA-MB-231) and lung adenocarcinoma (CaLu-1) cells in vitro.
METHODS: Treated cells were subject to genome-wide gene expression profiling. A gene subset was established so that the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) could be observed and compared with signalling protein shifts.
RESULTS: Within the subset, some genes normally up-regulated during EMT were asymmetrically reduced by a Δ-24 DHCR inhibitor in the lung cells. Signalling proteins associated with caveolae were down-regulated by this oxidoreductase inhibitor, while those associated with membrane rafts were up-regulated.
CONCLUSIONS: This study decouples isoprenylation effects from cholesterol events per se. The data support a hypothesis that caveolae are abolished by Δ-24 DHCR intervention and it is revealed that these microdomains are vital EMT signalling structures for lung cells but not ER- and Ras-negative breast cells. When signalling by extracellular signals is quenched by removal of the hydrophilic conduit provided by caveolae, the transcriptome responds by moving the cellular identity towards quiescence.

Biswas NK, Chandra V, Sarkar-Roy N, et al.
Variant allele frequency enrichment analysis in vitro reveals sonic hedgehog pathway to impede sustained temozolomide response in GBM.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:7915 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neoplastic cells of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) may or may not show sustained response to temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy. We hypothesize that TMZ chemotherapy response in GBM is predetermined in its neoplastic clones via a specific set of mutations that alter relevant pathways. We describe exome-wide enrichment of variant allele frequencies (VAFs) in neurospheres displaying contrasting phenotypes of sustained versus reversible TMZ-responses in vitro. Enrichment of VAFs was found on genes ST5, RP6KA1 and PRKDC in cells showing sustained TMZ-effect whereas on genes FREM2, AASDH and STK36, in cells showing reversible TMZ-effect. Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) revealed that these genes alter cell-cycle, G2/M-checkpoint-regulation and NHEJ pathways in sustained TMZ-effect cells whereas the lysine-II&V/phenylalanine degradation and sonic hedgehog (Hh) pathways in reversible TMZ-effect cells. Next, we validated the likely involvement of the Hh-pathway in TMZ-response on additional GBM neurospheres as well as on GBM patients, by extracting RNA-sequencing-based gene expression data from the TCGA-GBM database. Finally, we demonstrated TMZ-sensitization of a TMZ non-responder neurosphere in vitro by treating them with the FDA-approved pharmacological Hh-pathway inhibitor vismodegib. Altogether, our results indicate that the Hh-pathway impedes sustained TMZ-response in GBM and could be a potential therapeutic target to enhance TMZ-response in this malignancy.

Hudson WH, Pickard MR, de Vera IM, et al.
Conserved sequence-specific lincRNA-steroid receptor interactions drive transcriptional repression and direct cell fate.
Nat Commun. 2014; 5:5395 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The majority of the eukaryotic genome is transcribed, generating a significant number of long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs). Although lincRNAs represent the most poorly understood product of transcription, recent work has shown lincRNAs fulfill important cellular functions. In addition to low sequence conservation, poor understanding of structural mechanisms driving lincRNA biology hinders systematic prediction of their function. Here we report the molecular requirements for the recognition of steroid receptors (SRs) by the lincRNA growth arrest-specific 5 (Gas5), which regulates steroid-mediated transcriptional regulation, growth arrest and apoptosis. We identify the functional Gas5-SR interface and generate point mutations that ablate the SR-Gas5 lincRNA interaction, altering Gas5-driven apoptosis in cancer cell lines. Further, we find that the Gas5 SR-recognition sequence is conserved among haplorhines, with its evolutionary origin as a splice acceptor site. This study demonstrates that lincRNAs can recognize protein targets in a conserved, sequence-specific manner in order to affect critical cell functions.

Pickard MR, Williams GT
Regulation of apoptosis by long non-coding RNA GAS5 in breast cancer cells: implications for chemotherapy.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 145(2):359-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
The putative tumour suppressor and apoptosis-promoting gene, growth arrest-specific 5 (GAS5), encodes long ncRNA (lncRNA) and snoRNAs. Its expression is down-regulated in breast cancer, which adversely impacts patient prognosis. In this preclinical study, the consequences of decreased GAS5 expression for breast cancer cell survival following treatment with chemotherapeutic agents are addressed. In addition, functional responses of triple-negative breast cancer cells to GAS5 lncRNA are examined, and mTOR inhibition as a strategy to enhance cellular GAS5 levels is investigated. Breast cancer cell lines were transfected with either siRNA to GAS5 or with a plasmid encoding GAS5 lncRNA and the effects on breast cancer cell survival were determined. Cellular responses to mTOR inhibitors were evaluated by assaying culture growth and GAS5 transcript levels. GAS5 silencing attenuated cell responses to apoptotic stimuli, including classical chemotherapeutic agents; the extent of cell death was directly proportional to cellular GAS5 levels. Imatinib action in contrast, was independent of GAS5. GAS5 lncRNA promoted the apoptosis of triple-negative and oestrogen receptor-positive cells but only dual PI3K/mTOR inhibition was able to enhance GAS5 levels in all cell types. Reduced GAS5 expression attenuates apoptosis induction by classical chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer cells, providing an explanation for the relationship between GAS5 expression and breast cancer patient prognosis. Clinically, this relationship may be circumvented by the use of GAS5-independent drugs such as imatinib, or by restoration of GAS5 expression. The latter may be achieved by the use of a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, to improve apoptotic responses to conventional chemotherapies.

Wollmann G, Davis JN, Bosenberg MW, van den Pol AN
Vesicular stomatitis virus variants selectively infect and kill human melanomas but not normal melanocytes.
J Virol. 2013; 87(12):6644-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic malignant melanoma remains one of the most therapeutically challenging forms of cancer. Here we test replication-competent vesicular stomatitis viruses (VSV) on 19 primary human melanoma samples and compare these infections with those of normal human melanocyte control cells. Even at a low viral concentration, we found a strong susceptibility to viral oncolysis in over 70% of melanomas. In contrast, melanocytes displayed strong resistance to virus infection and showed complete protection by interferon. Several recombinant VSVs were compared, and all infected and killed most melanomas with differences in the time course with increasing rates of melanoma infection, as follows: VSV-CT9-M51 < VSV-M51 < VSV-G/GFP < VSV-rp30. VSV-rp30 sequencing revealed 2 nonsynonymous mutations at codon positions P126 and L223, both of which appear to be required for the enhanced phenotype. VSV-rp30 showed effective targeting and infection of multiple subcutaneous and intracranial melanoma xenografts in SCID mice after tail vein virus application. Sequence analysis of mutations in the melanomas used revealed that BRAF but not NRAS gene mutation status was predictive for enhanced susceptibility to infection. In mouse melanoma models with specific induced gene mutations including mutations of the Braf, Pten, and Cdkn2a genes, viral infection correlated with the extent of malignant transformation. Similar to human melanocytes, mouse melanocytes resisted VSV-rp30 infection. This study confirms the general susceptibility of the majority of human melanoma types for VSV-mediated oncolysis.

Williams GT, Farzaneh F
Are snoRNAs and snoRNA host genes new players in cancer?
Nat Rev Cancer. 2012; 12(2):84-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) have long been considered important but unglamorous elements in the production of the protein synthesis machinery of the cell. Recently, however, several independent lines of evidence have indicated that these non-coding RNAs might have crucial roles in controlling cell behaviour, and snoRNA dysfunction could consequently contribute to oncogenesis in previously unsuspected ways.

Pickard MR, Green AR, Ellis IO, et al.
Dysregulated expression of Fau and MELK is associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2009; 11(4):R60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Programmed cell death through apoptosis plays an essential role in the hormone-regulated physiological turnover of mammary tissue. Failure of this active gene-dependent process is central both to the development of breast cancer and to the appearance of the therapy-resistant cancer cells that produce clinical relapse. Functional expression cloning in two independent laboratories has identified Finkel-Biskis-Reilly murine sarcoma virus-associated ubiquitously expressed gene (Fau) as a novel apoptosis regulator and candidate tumour suppressor. Fau modifies apoptosis-controller Bcl-G, which is also a key target for candidate oncoprotein maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK).
METHODS: We have used RNA interference to downregulate Fau and Bcl-G expression, both simultaneously and independently, in breast cancer cells in vitro to determine the importance of their roles in apoptosis. Expression of Fau, Bcl-G and MELK was measured by quantitative RT-PCR in breast cancer tissue and in matched breast epithelial tissue from the same patients. Expression data of these genes obtained using microarrays from a separate group of patients were related to patient survival in Kaplan-Meier analyses.
RESULTS: siRNA-mediated downregulation of either Fau or Bcl-G expression inhibited apoptosis, and the inhibition produced by combining the two siRNAs was consistent with control of Bcl-G by Fau. Fau expression is significantly reduced in breast cancer tissue and this reduction is associated with poor patient survival, as predicted for a candidate breast cancer tumour suppressor. In addition, MELK expression is increased in breast cancer tissue and this increase is also associated with poor patient survival, as predicted for a candidate oncogene. Bcl-G expression is reduced in breast cancer tissue but decreased Bcl-G expression showed no correlation with survival, indicating that the most important factors controlling Bcl-G activity are post-translational modification (by Fau and MELK) rather than the rate of transcription of Bcl-G itself.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of in vitro functional studies with the analysis of gene expression in clinical breast cancer samples indicates that three functionally interconnected genes, Fau, Bcl-G and MELK, are crucially important in breast cancer and identifies them as attractive targets for improvements in breast cancer risk prediction, prognosis and therapy.

Mourtada-Maarabouni M, Williams GT
Protein phosphatase 4 regulates apoptosis in leukemic and primary human T-cells.
Leuk Res. 2009; 33(11):1539-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The control of T-cell survival is of overwhelming importance for preventing leukemia and lymphoma. The present report demonstrates that the serine/threonine protein phosphatase PP4 regulates the survival of both leukemic T-cells and untransformed human peripheral blood T-cells, particularly after treatment with anti-leukemic drugs and other cytotoxic stimuli. PP4-induced apoptosis is mediated, at least in part, through de-phosphorylation of apoptosis regulator PEA-15, previously implicated in the control of leukemic cell survival. PP4 activity significantly affects the mutation rate in leukemic T-cells, indicating that PP4 dysfunction may be important in the development and progression of leukemia.

Maarabouni MM, Williams GT
The antiapoptotic RBM5/LUCA-15/H37 gene and its role in apoptosis and human cancer: research update.
ScientificWorldJournal. 2006; 6:1705-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The candidate tumour-suppressor gene, LUCA-15/RBM5/H37, maps to the lung cancer tumour-suppressor locus 3p21.3. The LUCA-15 gene locus encodes at least four alternatively spliced transcripts that have been shown to function as regulators of apoptosis, a fact which may have major significance in tumour regulation. This review highlights recent evidence that further implicates the LUCA-15 locus in the control of apoptosis and cell proliferation, and focuses on the observations that confirm the tumour-suppressor activity of this gene.

Guimarães GS, Latini FR, Camacho CP, et al.
Identification of candidates for tumor-specific alternative splicing in the thyroid.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2006; 45(6):540-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alternative splicing is the differential processing of exon junctions to produce a new transcript variant from one gene. Some aberrant splicing, however, has been shown to be cancer specific. Identification of these specific splice variations will provide important insight into the molecular mechanism of normal cellular physiology as well as the disease processes. To gain knowledge about whether alternative splicing is linked to thyroid tumorigenesis, we used our prediction database to select targets for analysis. Fifteen putatively new alternative splicing isoforms were selected on the basis of their expression in thyroid libraries and/or their origin in genes previously associated with carcinogenesis. Using a set of 66 normal, benign, and malignant thyroid tissue samples, new splicing events were confirmed by RT-PCR for 13 of 15 genes (a validation rate of 87%). In addition, new alternative splicing isoforms not predicted by the system and not previously described in public databases were identified. Five genes (PTPN18, ABI3BP, PFDN5, SULF2, and ST5) presented new and/or additional unpredicted isoforms differentially expressed between malignant and benign or normal thyroid tissues, confirmed by sequencing. PTPN18, ABI3BP, and PFDN5 revealed a statistically significant differential splicing profile. In addition, real-time PCR analysis revealed that expression of an alternative PFDN5 variant was higher in malignant lesions than in benign lesions or normal tissues.

Mahadevan D, Spier C, Della Croce K, et al.
Transcript profiling in peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma identifies distinct tumor profile signatures.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2005; 4(12):1867-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
To glean biological differences and similarities of peripheral T-cell lymphoma-not otherwise specified [PTCL-NOS] to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a transcriptosome analysis was done on five PTCL-NOS and four DLBCL patients and validated by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR on 10 selected genes. Normal peripheral blood T cells, peripheral blood B cells, and lymph node were used as controls. The resultant gene expression profile delineated distinct "tumor profile signatures" for PTCL-NOS and DLBCL. Several highly overexpressed genes in both PTCL-NOS and DLBCL involve the immune network, stroma, angiogenesis, and cell survival cascades that make important contributions to lymphomagenesis. Inflammatory chemokines and their receptors likely play a central role in these complex interrelated pathways: CCL2 and CXCR4 in PTCL-NOS and CCL5 and CCR1 in DLBCL. Highly overexpressed oncogenes unique to PTCL-NOS are SPI1, STK6, alpha-PDGFR, and SH2D1A, whereas in DLBCL they are PIM1, PIM2, LYN, BCL2A1, and RAB13. Oncogenes common to both lymphomas are MAFB, MET, NF-kappaB2, LCK, and LYN. Several tumor suppressors are also down-regulated (TPTE, MGC154, PTCH, ST5, and SUI1). This study illustrates the relevance of tumor-stroma immune trafficking and identified potential novel prognostic markers and targets for therapeutic intervention.

Lipinski KS, Djeha HA, Gawn J, et al.
Optimization of a synthetic beta-catenin-dependent promoter for tumor-specific cancer gene therapy.
Mol Ther. 2004; 10(1):150-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recently published the construction and evaluation of a beta-catenin-dependent, highly active promoter, CTP1, and its possible application for the treatment of colorectal cancer using gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy with adenoviral (Ad) vectors. Alternative Ad-based approaches such as tumor-specific, replication-competent vectors and/or exploiting therapeutic gene products with intrinsic toxic activity, such as gibbon ape leukemia virus fusogenic membrane glycoprotein, diphtheria toxin A (DTA), and ricin, would demand a very tightly regulated promoter to avoid breakthrough replication and toxicity in nontumor tissue and Ad producer cell lines. In this study we optimized the activity/specificity profile of the synthetic beta-catenin-dependent promoter by varying its basal promoter, the number of Tcf binding sites, and the distance between these and the basal promoter. The optimal promoter, CTP4, showed virtually undetectable expression in cells with normal beta-catenin regulation but high level expression in cells deregulated for beta-catenin. Using CTP4 we were able to generate, for the first time to our knowledge, an Ad vector expressing fully active wild-type DTA without the need for time-consuming and cumbersome production systems. CTP4 should be the promoter of choice for Ad-based gene therapies of tumors deregulated for beta-catenin. We provide preliminary evidence that these may include prostate and ovarian as well as colorectal cancer.

Rimon E, Sasson R, Dantes A, et al.
Gonadotropin-induced gene regulation in human granulosa cells obtained from IVF patients: modulation of genes coding for growth factors and their receptors and genes involved in cancer and other diseases.
Int J Oncol. 2004; 24(5):1325-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gonadotropins play a crucial role in ovarian homeostasis and fertilization. However, hypergonadotropin stimulation has been thought to increase the risk for ovarian cancer. Moreover, some correlation between high levels of gonadotropins in the circulation and Alzheimer's disease has been implicated, with no clear evidence on the molecular mechanism involved. Using DNA microarray technology and RNA from gonadotropin-stimulated human granulosa cells, which comprise the main bulk of the ovarian follicular somatic cells, we discovered that stimulation of cells with saturating doses of gonadotropins gives rise to the expression of genes coding for presenilin 1 and 2, along with the up-regulation of genes involved in steroidogenesis such as StAR, cytochrome P450scc enzyme system and aromatase. Moreover, gonadotropin stimulation in these cells dramatically elevates activity of genes coding for epiregulin and amphiregulin, which can bind and activate the EGF receptor and ERB4. These gene products may elevate the risk for ovarian, breast, endometrial and other non-gynecological cancers. Gene transcripts for oncogenes and tumor markers such as pleiomorphic adenoma gene-like 1 (Plagl1) tumor antigen (L6) and claudin 3 were markedly elevated following LH and FSH stimulation. In parallel, downregulation in ovarian cancer 1 (DOC1) and suppression of tumorigenicity (ST5) genes was observed, suggesting a potential increase for cancer development. In contrast, increase in tumor rejection antigen (gp96) 1 and decrease in connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), transforming growth factor-beta 1 induced transcript 1 (TGFB1Il), pim-1 oncogene (PIM1), v-maf musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homologue (MAF) and CD24 antigen may be associated with a decreased risk for specific cancers. In conclusion, gonadotropin stimulation may modulate specific sets of gene transcripts that may either elevate or reduce the risk for specific diseases.

Hedge VL, Williams GT
Commitment to apoptosis induced by tumour necrosis factor-alpha is dependent on caspase activity.
Apoptosis. 2002; 7(2):123-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha binding at the cell surface induces a complex series of signaling events culminating in the caspase cascade, which is central to apoptosis. However, recent work from several laboratories has questioned caspase involvement in commitment to cell death. We have therefore investigated the involvement of caspases in the crucial commitment stage of tumour necrosis factor-induced apoptosis in human T-leukaemic CEM-C7 cells and breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells, using both peptide-based and viral caspase inhibitors. Our observations converge on the conclusion that commitment to death in these systems is dependent on caspase activity, e.g. baculovirus p35 produces over 50-fold protection of colony-forming ability, the most stringent criterion of cell survival. These observations strongly support the view that the caspase family is of great biological and medical significance, since caspase dysfunction resulting in failure to commit to cell death after treatment with tumour necrosis factor or other stimuli may contribute to cancer development.

Lipinski KS, Djeha AH, Ismail T, et al.
High-level, beta-catenin/TCF-dependent transgene expression in secondary colorectal cancer tissue.
Mol Ther. 2001; 4(4):365-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is an urgent need for improved therapies for inoperable metastatic colon cancer. Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) using adenovirus vectors works well in preclinical models of this disease, but successful clinical application is hampered by an inability to construct vectors that express at high levels in infected tumor cells but not in infected normal cells. Constitutive activation of beta-catenin-dependent gene expression is almost certainly a key causative event in the genesis of colon and some other cancers. Here we have exploited this oncogenic defect to design a synthetic promoter, CTP1, that, in contrast to currently available tumor-selective promoters, is both highly active in cancer cells and highly cancer-cell-specific. CTP1 directs high-level beta-galactosidase expression in freshly isolated biopsies of secondary colon cancer, but is not detectably active in associated normal liver tissue. We also demonstrate that CTP1 can direct high-level, tumor-specific therapeutic gene expression in vivo. Intratumoral injection of an adenovirus vector encoding Escherichia coli nitroreductase driven by CTP1 efficiently sensitized SW480 xenografts to the prodrug CB1954, whereas systemic vector and prodrug administration produced no apparent signs of toxicity. CTP1 may form the basis for effective, targeted gene therapy of metastatic colon cancer and other tumors with deregulated beta-catenin/T cell factor.

Djeha AH, Thomson TA, Leung H, et al.
Combined adenovirus-mediated nitroreductase gene delivery and CB1954 treatment: a well-tolerated therapy for established solid tumors.
Mol Ther. 2001; 3(2):233-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) is a refinement of cancer chemotherapy that generates a potent cell-killing drug specifically in tumor cells by enzymatic activation of an inert prodrug. We describe in vivo studies that evaluate the efficacy and safety of intratumoral (i.t.) injection of an adenovirus vector (CTL102) expressing Escherichia coli nitroreductase (NTR) combined with systemic prodrug (CB1954) treatment. A single i.t. injection of CTL102 (7.5 x 10(9) to -2 x 10(10) particles) followed by CB1954 treatment produced clear anti-tumor effects in subcutaneous (s.c.) xenograft models of four cancers that are likely candidates for GDEPT (i.e., primary liver, head and neck, colorectal and prostate). Virus dose-response studies (s.c. liver model) revealed a steep increase and subsequent rapid plateauing of both NTR gene delivery and anti-tumor efficacy. Evidence of minor virus spread (toxicity) was observed in a s.c. head and neck xenograft model. This was eliminated by passive immunization with neutralizing anti-Ad5 antibodies prior to virus injection without reducing the magnitude of the anti-tumor effect. Preexisting anti-Ad5 neutralizing antibodies may therefore be an advantage rather than an issue in the clinical use of this new therapy.

Irvine AS, Trinder PK, Laughton DL, et al.
Efficient nonviral transfection of dendritic cells and their use for in vivo immunization.
Nat Biotechnol. 2000; 18(12):1273-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Immunization with dendritic cells (DCs) transfected with genes encoding tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) is a highly promising approach to cancer immunotherapy. We have developed a system, using complexes of plasmid DNA expression constructs with the cationic peptide CL22, that transfects human monocyte-derived DCs much more efficiently than alternative nonviral agents. After CL22 transfection, DCs expressing antigens stimulated autologous T cells in vitro and elicited primary immune responses in syngeneic mice, in an antigen-specific manner. Injection of CL22-transfected DCs expressing a TAA, but not DCs pulsed with a TAA-derived peptide, protected mice from lethal challenge with tumor cells in an aggressive model of melanoma. The CL22 system is a fast and efficient alternative to viral vectors for engineering DCs for use in immunotherapy and research.

Bepler G, Koehler A
Multiple chromosomal aberrations and 11p allelotyping in lung cancer cell lines.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1995; 84(1):39-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cytogenetic and molecular genetic studies have implicated many chromosomal aberrations in the pathogenesis of lung cancer. Deletions on 3p and 9p are presently the primary target for positional cloning of putative tumor suppressor genes. We have recently reported frequent loss of heterozygosity in three separate regions (HRAS, D11S12, D11S16) on 11p in freshly resected lung cancer specimens. Here we report cytogenetic and molecular genetic analyses of 26 permanently growing human lung cancer cell lines. Deletions indicating regions which may harbor potential tumor suppressor genes were found in 5/9 cell lines on 2p, 5/9 on 2q, 6/9 on 3p, 7/9 on 3q, 5/9 on 6q, 3/9 on 9p, 5/9 on 11p, and 6/9 on 13q. Reduction to hemizygosity or a statistically significant increase in the frequency of homozygosity on 11p was found for all markers investigated except for ST5 (D11S832E). Eight of twenty-six (31%) cell lines were hemizygous for D11S12 and 9/26 (35%) for D11S16. Seventeen of eighteen (94%) cell lines were homozygous for PTH (expected homozygosity, 53%), 15/15 (100%) for WT1 (expected homozygosity, 55%), and 16/18 (89%) for CAT (expected homozygosity, 50%). These results confirm the notion that 11p harbors several putative tumor suppressor genes which may become inactivated at different stages of tumor development and progression. They also provide a basis for selecting cell lines for genetic complementation specifically targeted at the regions described.

Richard CW, Boehnke M, Berg DJ, et al.
A radiation hybrid map of the distal short arm of human chromosome 11, containing the Beckwith-Wiedemann and associated embryonal tumor disease loci.
Am J Hum Genet. 1993; 52(5):915-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We describe a high-resolution radiation hybrid (RH) map of the distal short arm of human chromosome 11 containing the Beckwith-Wiedemann gene and the associated embryonal tumor disease loci. Thirteen human 11p15 genes and 17 new anonymous probes were mapped by a statistical analysis of the cosegregation of markers in 102 rodent-human radiation hybrids retaining fragments of human chromosome 11. The 17 anonymous probes were generated from lambda phage containing human 11p15.5 inserts, by using ALU-PCR. A comprehensive map of all 30 loci and a framework map of nine clusters of loci ordered at odds of 1,000:1 were constructed by a multipoint maximum-likelihood approach by using the computer program RHMAP. This RH map localizes one new gene to chromosome 11p15 (WEE1), provides more precise order information for several 11p15 genes (CTSD, H19, HPX, ST5, RNH, and SMPD1), confirms previous map orders for other 11p15 genes (CALCA, PTH, HBBC, TH, HRAS, and DRD4), and maps 17 new anonymous probes within the 11p15.5 region. This RH map should prove useful in better defining the positions of the Beckwith-Wiedemann and associated embryonal tumor disease-gene loci.

Lichy JH, Modi WS, Seuanez HN, Howley PM
Identification of a human chromosome 11 gene which is differentially regulated in tumorigenic and nontumorigenic somatic cell hybrids of HeLa cells.
Cell Growth Differ. 1992; 3(8):541-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumorigenicity of HeLa cells in nude mice can be suppressed by the addition of a normal human chromosome 11 in somatic cell hybrids. We have attempted to identify specific genes involved in this phenomenon by transfecting a complementary DNA expression library into a tumorigenic HeLa-fibroblast hybrid. A cell line designated F2 was isolated which displayed morphological features of the nontumorigenic hybrids, demonstrated reduced tumorigenicity in nude mice, and showed an 85% reduction in alkaline phosphatase, a consistent marker of the tumorigenic phenotype in these cells. F2 contained a single exogenous complementary DNA, which was recovered by polymerase chain reaction and designated HTS1 because of its potential association with "HeLa tumor suppression." Northern blot studies suggested differential regulation of the HTS1 gene dependent on the tumorigenicity of the cell. In nontumorigenic hybrids, RNA species of 2.8, 3.1, and 4.6 kilobases were identified. In two tumorigenic hybrid lines, the 2.8-kilobase species was markedly reduced or absent. Similarly, three nontumorigenic human keratinocyte lines expressed all three RNA species, whereas several tumorigenic cervical carcinoma cell lines lacked the 2.8-kilobase species. Chromosome localization studies mapped the HTS1 gene to chromosome 11p15, a region of chromosome 11 that is believed to contain a tumor suppressor gene. These findings indicate that HTS1 represents a novel chromosome 11 gene which may be a target of the tumor suppressor gene active in this system.

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