Gene Summary

Gene:TANK; TRAF family member-associated NFKB activator
Summary:The TRAF (tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor) family of proteins associate with and transduce signals from members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. The protein encoded by this gene is found in the cytoplasm and can bind to TRAF1, TRAF2, or TRAF3, thereby inhibiting TRAF function by sequestering the TRAFs in a latent state in the cytoplasm. For example, the protein encoded by this gene can block TRAF2 binding to LMP1, the Epstein-Barr virus transforming protein, and inhibit LMP1-mediated NF-kappa-B activation. Three alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2010]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:TRAF family member-associated NF-kappa-B activator
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Messenger RNA
  • NF-kappa B
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 1
  • Western Blotting
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Apoptosis
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Survival
  • Enzyme Activation
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 6
  • Transfection
  • siRNA
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Protein Binding
  • Phosphorylation
  • Cell Line
  • Breast Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 2
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 3
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Viral Proteins
  • Chromosome 2
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • TNF
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Proteins
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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

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

Latest Publications: TANK (cancer-related)

Slattery ML, Lundgreen A, Torres-Mejia G, et al.
Diet and lifestyle factors modify immune/inflammation response genes to alter breast cancer risk and prognosis: the Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study.
Mutat Res. 2014; 770:19-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF) and toll-like receptors (TLR) are important mediators of inflammation. We examined 10 of these genes with respect to breast cancer risk and mortality in a genetically admixed population of Hispanic/Native American (NA) (2111 cases, 2597 controls) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) (1481 cases, 1585 controls) women. Additionally, we explored if diet and lifestyle factors modified associations with these genes. Overall, these genes (collectively) were associated with breast cancer risk among women with >70% NA ancestry (P(ARTP) = 0.0008), with TLR1 rs7696175 being the primary risk contributor (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.25, 2.51). Overall, TLR1 rs7696175 (HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.03, 1.91; P(adj) = 0.032), TLR4 rs5030728 (HR 1.96, 95% CI 1.30, 2.95; P(adj) = 0.014), and TNFRSF1A rs4149578 (HR 2.71, 95% CI 1.28, 5.76; P(adj) = 0.029) were associated with increased breast cancer mortality. We observed several statistically significant interactions after adjustment for multiple comparisons, including interactions between our dietary oxidative balance score and CD40LG and TNFSF1A; between cigarette smoking and TLR1, TLR4, and TNF; between body mass index (BMI) among pre-menopausal women and TRAF2; and between regular use of aspirin/non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and TLR3 and TRA2. In conclusion, our findings support a contributing role of certain TNF-α and TLR genes in both breast cancer risk and survival, particularly among women with higher NA ancestry. Diet and lifestyle factors appear to be important mediators of the breast cancer risk associated with these genes.

Chaves Neto AH, Pelizzaro-Rocha KJ, Fernandes MN, Ferreira-Halder CV
Antitumor activity of irradiated riboflavin on human renal carcinoma cell line 786-O.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(2):595-604 [PubMed] Related Publications
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is a precursor for coenzymes involved in energy production, biosynthesis, detoxification, and electron scavenging. Previously, we demonstrated that irradiated riboflavin (IR) has potential antitumoral effects against human leukemia cells (HL60), human prostate cancer cells (PC3), and mouse melanoma cells (B16F10) through a common mechanism that leads to apoptosis. Hence, we here investigated the effect of IR on 786-O cells, a known model cell line for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC), which is characterized by high-risk metastasis and chemotherapy resistance. IR also induced cell death in 786-O cells by apoptosis, which was not prevented by antioxidant agents. IR treatment was characterized by downregulation of Fas ligand (TNF superfamily, member 6)/Fas (TNF receptor superfamily member 6) (FasL/Fas) and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 1a (TNFR1)/TNFRSF1A-associated via death domain (TRADD)/TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF) signaling pathways (the extrinsic apoptosis pathway), while the intrinsic apoptotic pathway was upregulated, as observed by an elevated Bcl-2 associated x protein/B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (Bax/Bcl-2) ratio, reduced cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 1 (c-IAP1) expression, and increased expression of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). The observed cell death was caspase-dependent as proven by caspase 3 activation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP) cleavage. IR-induced cell death was also associated with downregulation of v-src sarcoma (Schmidt-Ruppin A-2) viral oncogene homologue (avian)/protein serine/threonine kinase B/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (Src/AKT/ERK1/2) pathway and activation of p38 MAP kinase (p38) and Jun-amino-terminal kinase (JNK). Interestingly, IR treatment leads to inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity and reduced expression of renal cancer aggressiveness markers caveolin-1, low molecular weight phosphotyrosine protein phosphatase (LMWPTP), and kinase insert domain receptor (a type III receptor tyrosine kinase) (VEGFR-2). Together, these results show the potential of IR for treating cancer.

Fennell DA, Myrand SP, Nguyen TS, et al.
Association between gene expression profiles and clinical outcome of pemetrexed-based treatment in patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer: exploratory results from a phase II study.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e107455 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: We report exploratory gene-expression profiling data from a single-arm Phase-II-study in patients with non-squamous (ns)NSCLC treated with pemetrexed and cisplatin. Previously disclosed results indicated a significant association of low thymidylate-synthase (TS)-expression with longer progression-free and overall survival (PFS/OS).
METHODS: Treatment-naïve nsNSCLC patients (IIIB/IV) received 4 cycles of pemetrexed/cisplatin; non-progressing patients continued on pemetrexed-maintenance. Diagnostic tissue-samples were used to assess TS-expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and mRNA-expression array-profiling (1,030 lung cancer-specific genes). Cox proportional-hazard models were applied to explore the association between each gene and PFS/OS. Genes significantly correlated with PFS/OS were further correlated with TS-protein expression (Spearman-rank). Unsupervised clustering was applied to all evaluable samples (n = 51) for all 1,030 genes and an overlapping 870-gene subset associated with adenocarcinoma (ADC, n = 47).
RESULTS: 51/70 tissue-samples (72.9%) were evaluable; 9 of 1,030 genes were significantly associated with PFS/OS (unadjusted p < 0.01, genes: Chromosome 16 open reading frame 89, napsin A, surfactant protein B, aquaporin 4, TRAF2- and Nck-interacting kinase, Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1, Interleukin 1 receptor type II, NK2 homeobox 1, ABO glycosyl-transferase); expression for all except IL1R2 correlated negatively with nuclear TS-expression (statistically significant for 5/8 genes, unadjusted p<0.01). Cluster-analysis based on 1,030 genes revealed no clear trend regarding PFS/OS; the ADC-based cluster analysis identified 3 groups (n = 21/11/15) with median (95%CI) PFS of 8.1(6.9,NE)/2.4(1.2,NE)/4.4(1.2,NE) months and OS of 20.3(17.5,NE)/4.3(1.4,NE)/8.3(3.9,NE) months, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: These exploratory gene-expression profiling results describe genes potentially linked to low TS-expression. Nine genes were significantly associated with PFS/OS but could not be differentiated as prognostic or predictive as this was a single-arm study. Although these hypotheses-generating results are interesting, they provide no evidence to change the current histology-based treatment approach with pemetrexed.

Mirzaei MR, Najafi A, Arababadi MK, et al.
Altered expression of apoptotic genes in response to OCT4B1 suppression in human tumor cell lines.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(10):9999-10009 [PubMed] Related Publications
OCT4B1 is a newly discovered spliced variant of OCT4 which is primarily expressed in pluripotent and tumor cells. Based on our previous studies, OCT4B1 is significantly overexpressed in tumors, where it endows an anti-apoptotic property to tumor cells. However, the mechanism by which OCT4B1 regulates the apoptotic pathway is not yet elucidated. Here, we investigated the effects of OCT4B1 suppression on the expression alteration of 84 genes involved in apoptotic pathway. The AGS (gastric adenocarcinoma), 5637 (bladder tumor), and U-87MG (brain tumor) cell lines were transfected with OCT4B1 or irrelevant siRNAs. The expression level of apoptotic genes was then quantified using a human apoptosis panel-PCR kit. Our data revealed an almost similar pattern of alteration in the expression profile of apoptotic genes in all three studied cell lines, following OCT4B1 suppression. In general, the expression of more than 54 apoptotic genes (64 % of arrayed genes) showed significant changes. Among these, some up-regulated (CIDEA, CIDEB, TNFRSF1A, TNFRSF21, TNFRSF11B, TNFRSF10B, and CASP7) and down-regulated (BCL2, BCL2L11, TP73, TP53, BAD, TRAF3, TRAF2, BRAF, BNIP3L, BFAR, and BAX) genes had on average more than tenfold gene expression alteration in all three examined cell lines. With some minor exceptions, suppression of OCT4B1 caused upregulation of pro-apoptotic and down-regulation of anti-apoptotic genes in transfected tumor cells. Uncovering OCT4B1 down-stream targets could further elucidate its part in tumorigenesis, and could lead to finding a new approach to combat cancer, based on targeting OCT4B1.

Dai X, North BJ, Inuzuka H
Negative regulation of DAB2IP by Akt and SCFFbw7 pathways.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(10):3307-15 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Deletion of ovarian carcinoma 2/disabled homolog 2 (DOC-2/DAB2) interacting protein (DAB2IP), is a tumor suppressor that serves as a scaffold protein involved in coordinately regulating cell proliferation, survival and apoptotic pathways. DAB2IP is epigenetically down-regulated in a variety of tumors through the action of the histone methyltransferase EZH2. Although DAB2IP is transcriptionally down-regulated in a variety of tumors, it remains unclear if other mechanisms contribute to functional inactivation of DAB2IP. Here we demonstrate that DAB2IP can be functionally down-regulated by two independent mechanisms. First, we identified that Akt1 can phosphorylate DAB2IP on S847, which regulates the interaction between DAB2IP and its effector molecules H-Ras and TRAF2. Second, we demonstrated that DAB2IP can be degraded in part through ubiquitin-proteasome pathway by SCF(Fbw7). DAB2IP harbors two Fbw7 phosho-degron motifs, which can be regulated by the kinase, CK1δ. Our data hence indicate that in addition to epigenetic down-regulation, two additional pathways can functional inactivate DAB2IP. Given that DAB2IP has previously been identified to possess direct causal role in tumorigenesis and metastasis, our data indicate that a variety of pathways may pass through DAB2IP to govern cancer development, and therefore highlight DAB2IP agonists as potential therapeutic approaches for future anti-cancer drug development.

Peng DF, Hu TL, Soutto M, et al.
Loss of glutathione peroxidase 7 promotes TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation in Barrett's carcinogenesis.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(7):1620-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a classic example of inflammation-associated cancer, which develops through GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)-Barrett's esophagus (BE)-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence. The incidence of EAC has been rising rapidly in the USA and Western countries during the last few decades. The functions of glutathione peroxidase 7 (GPX7), an antioxidant enzyme frequently silenced during Barrett's tumorigenesis, remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, we investigated the potential role of GPX7 in regulating nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) activity in esophageal cells. Western blot analysis, immunofluorescence and luciferase reporter assay data indicated that reconstitution of GPX7 expression in CP-A (non-dysplastic BE cells) and FLO-1 (EAC cells) abrogated tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced NF-κB transcriptional activity (P < 0.01) and nuclear translocation of NF-κB-p65 (P = 0.01). In addition, we detected a marked reduction in phosphorylation levels of components of NF-κB signaling pathway, p-p65 (S536), p-IκB-α (S32) and p-IKKα/β (S176/180), as well as significant suppression in induction of NF-κB target genes [TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-1β, CXCL-1 and CXCL-2] following treatment with TNF-α in GPX7-expressing FLO-1 cells as compared with control cells. We validated these effects by knockdown of GPX7 expression in HET1A (normal esophageal squamous cells). We found that GPX7-mediated suppression of NF-κB is independent of reactive oxygen species level and GPX7 antioxidant function. Further mechanistic investigations demonstrated that GPX7 promotes protein degradation of TNF-receptor 1 (TNFR1) and TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2), suggesting that GPX7 modulates critical upstream regulators of NF-κB. We concluded that the loss of GPX7 expression is a critical step in promoting the TNF-α-induced activation of proinflammatory NF-κB signaling, a major player in GERD-associated Barrett's carcinogenesis.

Sun LL, Wang J, Zhao ZJ, et al.
Suppressive role of miR-502-5p in breast cancer via downregulation of TRAF2.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(5):2085-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
TRAF2 promotes cancer cell survival, proliferation and metastasis through the NF-κB pathway by directly interacting with various TNF recepors. However, the molecular mechanism of TRAF2 dysregulation in breast cancer remains to be elucidated. In the present study, miR-502-5p was predicted as a potential regulator of TRAF2. miR-502-5p was significantly downregulated in breast cancer tissues when compared to the level in paired normal breast tissues. The breast cancer cell lines including MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 expressed a lower level of miR-502-5p when compared to the level in the non-malignant breast epithelial cell line MCF-10A. In vitro, miR-502-5p enhanced early apoptosis and inhibited proliferation of breast cancer cells. Luciferase reporter assay results showed that miR-502-5p could bind to the 3'-untranslated region of the TRAF2 gene, thus, exerting an inhibitory effect on TRAF2. Furthermore, silencing of TRAF2 exhibited effects similar to those of exogenous miR‑502-5p, while overexpression of TRAF2 partially abrogated miR-502-5p-mediated suppression in breast cancer cells. In conclusion, miR-502-5p may act as a tumor-suppressor gene by targeting oncogenic TRAF2 in breast cancer and, therefore, may be a potential diagnostic and anticancer therapeutic marker for breast cancer.

Benetatos CA, Mitsuuchi Y, Burns JM, et al.
Birinapant (TL32711), a bivalent SMAC mimetic, targets TRAF2-associated cIAPs, abrogates TNF-induced NF-κB activation, and is active in patient-derived xenograft models.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(4):867-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
The acquisition of apoptosis resistance is a fundamental event in cancer development. Among the mechanisms used by cancer cells to evade apoptosis is the dysregulation of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins. The activity of the IAPs is regulated by endogenous IAP antagonists such as SMAC (also termed DIABLO). Antagonism of IAP proteins by SMAC occurs via binding of the N-terminal tetrapeptide (AVPI) of SMAC to selected BIR domains of the IAPs. Small molecule compounds that mimic the AVPI motif of SMAC have been designed to overcome IAP-mediated apoptosis resistance of cancer cells. Here, we report the preclinical characterization of birinapant (TL32711), a bivalent SMAC-mimetic compound currently in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer. Birinapant bound to the BIR3 domains of cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP, and the BIR domain of ML-IAP in vitro and induced the autoubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of cIAP1 and cIAP2 in intact cells, which resulted in formation of a RIPK1:caspase-8 complex, caspase-8 activation, and induction of tumor cell death. Birinapant preferentially targeted the TRAF2-associated cIAP1 and cIAP2 with subsequent inhibition of TNF-induced NF-κB activation. The activity of a variety of chemotherapeutic cancer drugs was potentiated by birinapant both in a TNF-dependent or TNF-independent manner. Tumor growth in multiple primary patient-derived xenotransplant models was inhibited by birinapant at well-tolerated doses. These results support the therapeutic combination of birinapant with multiple chemotherapies, in particular, those therapies that can induce TNF secretion.

Shen RR, Zhou AY, Kim E, et al.
TRAF2 is an NF-κB-activating oncogene in epithelial cancers.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(2):209-16 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
Aberrant nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation is frequently observed in human cancers. Genome characterization efforts have identified genetic alterations in multiple components of the NF-κB pathway, some of which have been shown to be essential for cancer initiation and tumor maintenance. Here, using patient tumors and cancer cell lines, we identify the NF-κB regulator, TRAF2 (tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor 2), as an oncogene that is recurrently amplified and rearranged in 15% of human epithelial cancers. Suppression of TRAF2 in cancer cells harboring TRAF2 copy number gain inhibits proliferation, NF-κB activation, anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenesis. Cancer cells that are dependent on TRAF2 also require NF-κB for survival. The phosphorylation of TRAF2 at serine 11 is essential for the survival of cancer cells harboring TRAF2 amplification. Together, these observations identify TRAF2 as a frequently amplified oncogene.

Choi JM, Devkota S, Sung YH, Lee HW
EI24 regulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and tumor progression by suppressing TRAF2-mediated NF-κB activity.
Oncotarget. 2013; 4(12):2383-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
Tumor metastasis is a multistep process that requires the concerted activity of discrete biological functions. The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is the most critical mechanism implicated in tumor progression that is controlled by the inflammatory microenvironment. Understanding how an inflammatory microenvironment is maintained and contributes to tumor progression will be crucial for the development of new effective therapies. Here, we report that etoposide induced 2.4 (EI24) has a multifaceted role against tumor progression that is regulated by both EMT and inflammation. Decreased expression levels of EI24 in epithelial tumor cells induced EMT in association with increased cell motility and invasiveness and resistance to anoikis. Overexpression of EI24 resulted in the opposite cell biological characteristics and suppressed in vivometastatic behavior. EI24 attenuated NF-κB activity by binding to the Complex I component TRAF2 and inducing its lysosome-dependent degradation, leading to transcriptional alterations of EMT- and inflammation-related genes. Analysis of clinical samples demonstrated that reduced EI24 expression and copy number was positively correlated with tumor malignancy and poor prognosis. Collectively, these findings establish EI24 as a critical suppressor of tumor progression and implicate EI24 expression level in malignant tumors as a useful therapeutic and diagnostic marker.

Pannem RR, Dorn C, Ahlqvist K, et al.
CYLD controls c-MYC expression through the JNK-dependent signaling pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(2):461-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Posttranslational modification of different proteins via direct ubiquitin attachment is vital for mediating various cellular processes. Cylindromatosis (CYLD), a deubiquitination enzyme, is able to cleave the polyubiquitin chains from the substrate and to regulate different signaling pathways. Loss, or reduced expression, of CYLD is observed in different types of human cancer, such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the molecular mechanism by which CYLD affects cancerogenesis has to date not been unveiled. The aim of the present study was to examine how CYLD regulates cellular functions and signaling pathways during hepatocancerogenesis. We found that mice lacking CYLD were highly susceptible to chemically induced liver cancer. The mechanism behind proved to be an elevated proliferation rate of hepatocytes, owing to sustained c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1)-mediated signaling via ubiquitination of TNF receptor-associated factor 2 and expression of c-MYC. Overexpression of wild-type CYLD in HCC cell lines prevented cell proliferation, without affecting apoptosis, adhesion and migration. A combined immunohistochemical and tissue microarray analysis of 81 human HCC tissues revealed that CYLD expression is negatively correlated with expression of proliferation markers Ki-67 and c-MYC. To conclude, we found that downregulation of CYLD induces tumor cell proliferation, consequently contributing to the aggressive growth of HCC. Our findings suggest that CYLD holds potential to serve as a marker for HCC progression, and its link to c-MYC via JNK1 may provide the foundation for new therapeutic strategies for HCC patients.

Chung GT, Lou WP, Chow C, et al.
Constitutive activation of distinct NF-κB signals in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2013; 231(3):311-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a distinct type of head and neck cancer, non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is closely associated with EBV infection and massive lymphoid infiltration. The unique histological features suggest that local inflammation plays an important role in NPC tumourigenesis. We comprehensively characterized NF-κB signalling, a key inflammatory pathway which might contribute to the tumourigenesis of this EBV-associated cancer. By EMSA, western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining, constitutive activation of distinct NF-κB complexes, either p50/p50/Bcl3 or p50/RelB, was found in almost all EBV-positive NPC tumours. siRNA or chemical inhibition of NF-κB signalling significantly inhibited the growth of EBV-positive NPC cells C666-1. Gene expression profiling identified a number of NF-κB target genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, immune response, and transcription. We further confirmed that p50 signals modulate the expression of multiple oncogenes (MYB, BCL2), chemokines, and chemokine receptors (CXCL9, CXCL10, CX3CL1, and CCL20). The findings support a crucial role of these constitutively activated NF-κB signals in NPC tumourigenesis and local inflammation. In addition to expression of the viral oncoprotein LMP1, genetic alteration of several NF-κB regulators (eg TRAF3, TRAF2, NFKBIA, A20) also contributes to the aberrant NF-κB activation in EBV-associated NPC. Except for LMP1-expressing C15 cells, all NPC tumour lines harbour at least one of these genetic alterations. Importantly, missense mutations of TRAF3, TRAF2, and A20 were also detected in 3/33 (9.1%) primary tumours. Taken together with the reported LTBR amplification in 7.3% of primary NPCs, genetic alterations in NF-κB pathways occurred in at least 16% of cases of this cancer. The findings indicate that distinct NF-κB signals are constitutively activated in EBV-positive NPC cells by either multiple genetic changes or EBV latent genes.

Orlikova B, Schumacher M, Juncker T, et al.
Styryl-lactone goniothalamin inhibits TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2013; 59:572-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
(R)-(+)-Goniothalamin (GTN), a styryl-lactone isolated from the medicinal plant Goniothalamus macrophyllus, exhibits pharmacological activities including cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, GTN modulated TNF-α induced NF-κB activation. GTN concentrations up to 20 μM showed low cytotoxic effects in K562 chronic myelogenous leukemia and in Jurkat T cells. Importantly, at these concentrations, no cytotoxicity was observed in healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Our results confirmed that GTN inhibited tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced NF-κB activation in Jurkat and K562 leukemia cells at concentrations as low as 5 μM as shown by reporter gene assays and western blots. Moreover, GTN down-regulated translocation of the p50/p65 heterodimer to the nucleus, prevented binding of NF-κB to its DNA response element and reduced TNF-α-activated interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression. In conclusion, GTN inhibits TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation at non-apoptogenic concentrations in different leukemia cell models without presenting toxicity towards healthy blood cells underlining the anti-leukemic potential of this natural compound.

He M, Fan J, Jiang R, et al.
Expression of DNMTs and genomic DNA methylation in gastric signet ring cell carcinoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2013; 8(3):942-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the protein expression of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and genomic DNA methylation status of genomes in gastric signet ring cell carcinoma (SRC). Immunohistochemistry was performed to analyze DNMT expression and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation microarray (MeDIP‑chip) and MeDIP quantitative real‑time PCR (MeDIP‑qPCR) were performed to analyze the genomic DNA methylation status in gastric SRC tissue. An increase in DNMT1 and decrease in DNMT3A expression in SRC tissue was observed compared with matched non‑cancerous tissue. However, expression of other DNMTs, DNMT2, DNMT3B and DNMT3L, was not found to differ significantly between carcinoma and control. The MeDIP‑chip assay revealed that methylation of gene promoters and CpG islands in SRC was higher than those in matched control tissue. However, MeDIP‑qPCR analysis demonstrated that specific tumor‑related genes, including ABL2, FGF18, TRAF2, EGFL7 and RAB33A were aberrantly hypomethylated in SRC tissue. Results of the current study indicate that gastric SRC may produce complex patterns of aberrant DNA methylation and DNMT expression.

Fortin Ensign SP, Mathews IT, Eschbacher JM, et al.
The Src homology 3 domain-containing guanine nucleotide exchange factor is overexpressed in high-grade gliomas and promotes tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis-fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14-induced cell migration and invasion via tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 2.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(30):21887-97 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GB) is the highest grade of primary adult brain tumors, characterized by a poorly defined and highly invasive cell population. Importantly, these invading cells are attributed with having a decreased sensitivity to radiation and chemotherapy. TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK)-Fn14 ligand-receptor signaling is one mechanism in GB that promotes cell invasiveness and survival and is dependent upon the activity of multiple Rho GTPases, including Rac1. Here we report that Src homology 3 domain-containing guanine nucleotide exchange factor (SGEF), a RhoG-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor, is overexpressed in GB tumors and promotes TWEAK-Fn14-mediated glioma invasion. Importantly, levels of SGEF expression in GB tumors inversely correlate with patient survival. SGEF mRNA expression is increased in GB cells at the invasive rim relative to those in the tumor core, and knockdown of SGEF expression by shRNA decreases glioma cell migration in vitro and invasion ex vivo. Furthermore, we showed that, upon TWEAK stimulation, SGEF is recruited to the Fn14 cytoplasmic tail via TRAF2. Mutation of the Fn14-TRAF domain site or depletion of TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) expression by siRNA oligonucleotides blocked SGEF recruitment to Fn14 and inhibited SGEF activity and subsequent GB cell migration. We also showed that knockdown of either SGEF or RhoG diminished TWEAK activation of Rac1 and subsequent lamellipodia formation. Together, these results indicate that SGEF-RhoG is an important downstream regulator of TWEAK-Fn14-driven GB cell migration and invasion.

Rosebeck S, Rehman AO, Apel IJ, et al.
The API2-MALT1 fusion exploits TNFR pathway-associated RIP1 ubiquitination to promote oncogenic NF-κB signaling.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(19):2520-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
The API2-MALT1 fusion oncoprotein is created by the recurrent t(11;18)(q21;q21) chromosomal translocation in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. We identified receptor interacting protein-1 (RIP1) as a novel API2-MALT1-associated protein, and demonstrate that RIP1 is required for API2-MALT1 to stimulate canonical nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). API2-MALT1 promotes ubiquitination of RIP1 at lysine (K) 377, which is necessary for full NF-κB activation. Furthermore, we found that TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) recruitment is required for API2-MALT1 to induce RIP1 ubiquitination, NF-κB activation and cellular transformation. Although both TRAF2 and RIP1 interact with the API2 moiety of API2-MALT1, this moiety alone is insufficient to induce RIP1 ubiquitination or activate NF-κB, indicating that API2-MALT1-dependent RIP1 ubiquitination represents a gain of function requiring the concerted actions of both the API2 and MALT1 moieties of the fusion. Intriguingly, constitutive RIP1 ubiquitination was recently demonstrated in several solid tumors, and now our study implicates RIP1 ubiquitination as a critical component of API2-MALT1-dependent lymphomagenesis.

Chen MB, Zhang Y, Wei MX, et al.
Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mediates plumbagin-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition in cultured human colon cancer cells.
Cell Signal. 2013; 25(10):1993-2002 [PubMed] Related Publications
Here we report that activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mediates plumbagin-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition in both primary cultured human colon cancer cells and cell lines. Knocking-down of AMPKα by the target shRNA significantly inhibits plumbagin-induced cytotoxicity in cultured colon cancer cells, while forced activation of AMPK by introducing a constitutively active AMPK (CA-AMPK), or by the AMPK activator, inhibits HT-29 colon cancer cell growth. Our Western-blots and immunoprecipitation (IP) results demonstrate that plumbagin induces AMPK/Apoptosis signal regulating kinase 1 (ASK1)/TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) association to activate pro-apoptotic c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK)-p53 signal axis. Further, after plumbagin treatment, activated AMPK directly phosphorylates Raptor to inhibit mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activation and Bcl-2 expression in colon cancer cells. Finally, we found that exogenously-added short-chain ceramide (C6) enhances plumbagin-induced AMPK activation and facilitates cell apoptosis and growth inhibition. Our results suggest that AMPK might be the key mediator of plumbagin's anti-tumor activity.

Baldoni S, Sportoletti P, Del Papa B, et al.
NOTCH and NF-κB interplay in chronic lymphocytic leukemia is independent of genetic lesion.
Int J Hematol. 2013; 98(2):153-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The NOTCH and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathways are both constitutively activated in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). We first described the NOTCH1 PEST domain mutation in a CLL subgroup, but the activation of the NOTCH pathway in NOTCH1-unmutated cases remains unexplained. Here, we investigated whether genetic lesions in the NF-κB/NOTCH loop might support the NOTCH activation status by sequencing negative (TNFAIP3/A20) and positive (TRAF2, TRAF5, TNFRSF11A/RANK, MAP3K7/TAK1, and CARD11) regulators of NF-κB together with NF-κB targets on the NOTCH pathway, the NOTCH ligands Jagged1 and Jagged2, in CLL patients. The sequence analysis revealed four missense mutations for A20, TRAF2, TRAF5 and RANK1 genes, all causing a change in amino acid group from polar to non-polar, but functional domains were not involved. Specific predictive software analyses confirmed that the amino acid changes have a low-functional impact on the protein. Our results show that in CLL, NF-κB regulators and Jagged are both unmutated, suggesting that the Jagged-mediated interplay between NF-κB and NOTCH is independent of genetic lesions.

Resler AJ, Malone KE, Johnson LG, et al.
Genetic variation in TLR or NFkappaB pathways and the risk of breast cancer: a case-control study.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:219 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and the transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) are important in inflammation and cancer.
METHODS: We examined the association between breast cancer risk and 233 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms within 31 candidate genes involved in TLR or NFκB pathways. This population-based study in the Seattle area included 845 invasive breast cancer cases, diagnosed between 1997 and 1999, and 807 controls aged 65-79.
RESULTS: Variant alleles in four genes were associated with breast cancer risk based on gene-level tests: MAP3K1, MMP9, TANK, and TLR9. These results were similar when the risk of breast cancer was examined within ductal and luminal subtypes. Subsequent exploratory pathway analyses using the GRASS algorithm found no associations for genes in TLR or NFκB pathways. Using publicly available CGEMS GWAS data to validate significant findings (N = 1,145 cases, N = 1,142 controls), rs889312 near MAP3K1 was confirmed to be associated with breast cancer risk (P = 0.04, OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.01-1.30). Further, two SNPs in TANK that were significant in our data, rs17705608 (P = 0.05) and rs7309 (P = 0.04), had similar risk estimates in the CGEMS data (rs17705608 OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.72-0.96; CGEMS OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.80-1.01 and rs7309 OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.73-0.95; CGEMS OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.81-1.02).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest plausible associations between breast cancer risk and genes in TLR or NFκB pathways. Given the few suggestive associations in our data and the compelling biologic rationale for an association between genetic variation in these pathways and breast cancer risk, further studies are warranted that examine these effects.

Capalbo G, Mueller-Kuller T, Koschmieder S, et al.
Characterization of ZC3H15 as a potential TRAF-2-interacting protein implicated in the NFκB pathway and overexpressed in AML.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(1):246-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
The gene product of the zinc finger CCCH-type containing 15 (ZC3H15) gene, an immediate early erythropoietin response gene (synonymous: LEREPO4), was further characterized. ZC3H15 was expressed ubiquitously in all human tissues tested by northern blotting and showed mainly a diffuse cytoplasmic distribution by immune fluorescence microscopy and western blotting of subcellular protein fractions. The expression of ZC3H15 was downregulated effectively in HeLa cells to ≤13% of the control by transfection of specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). Subsequent Affymetrix microarray analysis revealed 202 differentially expressed genes including 114 induced (≥3-fold) genes and 88 suppressed (≤0.3-fold) genes. The gene ontology (GO) categories containing an over-representation of differentially expressed genes comprised cell growth, transcription, cell adhesion, regulation of NF-κB, regulation of MAPK, cell cycle arrest and immune response. ZC3H15 interacted with the signaling adapter protein tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor 2 (TRAF-2) as shown by co-immunoprecipitation. ZC3H15 expression was found to be significantly increased in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples compared to MDS, CML, ALL and normal bone marrow samples using the Leukemia Gene Atlas (LGA) database. Based on these data, it is hypothesized that ZC3H15 may interact with TRAF-2 functionally within the NF-κB pathway, and may be explored as a potential target in AML.

Li X, Yang X, Liu Y, et al.
Japonicone A suppresses growth of Burkitt lymphoma cells through its effect on NF-κB.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(11):2917-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: NF-κB, a transcriptional regulator of diverse genes involved in cell survival, proliferation, adhesion, and apoptosis, has been implicated in various malignancies. We discovered a potent natural NF-κB inhibitor, Japonicone A, from the traditional herb Inula japonica Thunb, evaluated its preclinical pharmacology and therapeutic activity, and investigated the underlying mechanisms of action for its antitumor activity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Various types of cancer and normal cells were exposed to Japonicone A for cytotoxicity screening, followed by determination of cell apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest. Western blotting, immunostaining, and gene reporter assay were used to analyze NF-κB activity. Two xenograft models were used for therapeutic efficacy evaluation.
RESULTS: Japonicone A killed cancer cells but had low cytotoxicity to normal cells. Burkitt lymphoma cells were particularly sensitive. Japonicone A inhibited the growth and proliferation of Raji, BJAB, and NAMALWA lymphoma cells and resulted in G2-M phase arrest and apoptosis. Furthermore, exposure of cells to Japonicone A caused inactivation of the TNF-α-TAK1-IKK-NF-κB axis and inhibition of TNF-α-stimulated NF-κB activity and nuclear translocation, followed by downregulation of NF-κB target genes involved in cell apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, XIAP, TRAF2) and in the cell cycle and growth (cyclin D, c-Myc). Moreover, Japonicone A inhibited local growth and dissemination of cancer cells to multiple organs in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Japonicone A exerts significant anticancer effects on Burkitt lymphoma cells in vitro and in vivo through targeting of the NF-κB signaling cascade. These results highlight the potential of Japonicone A as a chemotherapeutic agent and warrant its development as a therapy for lymphomas.

Choudhary S, Kalita M, Fang L, et al.
Inducible tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor-1 expression couples the canonical to the non-canonical NF-κB pathway in TNF stimulation.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(20):14612-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
The NF-κB transcription factor mediates the inflammatory response through distinct (canonical and non-canonical) signaling pathways. The mechanisms controlling utilization of either of these pathways are largely unknown. Here we observe that TNF stimulation induces delayed NF-κB2/p100 processing and investigate the coupling mechanism. TNF stimulation induces TNF-associated factor-1 (TRAF-1) that directly binds NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) and stabilizes it from degradation by disrupting its interaction with TRAF2·cIAP2 ubiquitin ligase complex. We show that TRAF1 depletion prevents TNF-induced NIK stabilization and reduces p52 production. To further examine the interactions of TRAF1 and NIK with NF-κB2/p100 processing, we mathematically modeled TRAF1·NIK as a coupling signaling complex and validated computational inference by siRNA knockdown to show non-canonical pathway activation is dependent not only on TRAF1 induction but also NIK stabilization by forming TRAF1·NIK complex. Thus, these integrated computational-experimental studies of TNF-induced TRAF1 expression identified TRAF1·NIK as a central complex linking canonical and non-canonical pathways by disrupting the TRAF2-cIAP2 ubiquitin ligase complex. This feed-forward kinase pathway is essential for the activation of non-canonical pathway.

Meissner B, Kridel R, Lim RS, et al.
The E3 ubiquitin ligase UBR5 is recurrently mutated in mantle cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2013; 121(16):3161-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have recently reported the application of RNAseq to mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) transcriptomes revealing recurrent mutations in NOTCH1. Here we describe the targeted resequencing of 18 genes mutated in this discovery cohort using a larger cohort of MCL tumors. In addition to frequent mutations in ATM, CCND1, TP53, and NOTCH1, mutations were also observed recurrently in MEF2B, TRAF2, and TET2. Interestingly, the third most frequently mutated gene was UBR5, a gene encoding a 2799aa protein, with multiple functions, including E3 ligase activity based on a conserved cysteine residue at the C-terminus. Nonsynonymous mutations were detected in 18% (18/102) of tumors, with 61% of the mutations resulting in frameshifts in, or around, exon 58, predicted to result in the loss of this conserved cysteine residue. The recurrence and clustering of deleterious mutations implicate UBR5 mutations as a critical pathogenic event in a subgroup of MCL.

Hu Y, Liu HX, He Y, et al.
Transcriptome profiling and genome-wide DNA binding define the differential role of fenretinide and all-trans RA in regulating the death and survival of human hepatocellular carcinoma Huh7 cells.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2013; 85(7):1007-17 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
Fenretinide is significantly more effective in inducing apoptosis in cancer cells than all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). The current study uses a genome-wide approach to understand the differential role fenretinide and ATRA have in inducing apoptosis in Huh7 cells. Fenretinide and ATRA-induced gene expressions and DNA bindings were profiled using microarray and chromatin immunoprecipitation with anti-RXRα antibody. The data showed that fenretinide was not a strong transcription regulator. Fenretinide only changed the expressions of 1 093 genes, approximately three times less than the number of genes regulated by ATRA (2 811). Biological function annotation demonstrated that both fenretinide and ATRA participated in pathways that determine cell fate and metabolic processes. However, fenretinide specifically induced Fas/TNFα-mediated apoptosis by increasing the expression of pro-apoptotic genes i.e., DEDD2, CASP8, CASP4, and HSPA1A/B; whereas, ATRA induced the expression of BIRC3 and TNFAIP3, which inhibit apoptosis by interacting with TRAF2. In addition, fenretinide inhibited the expression of the genes involved in RAS/RAF/ERK-mediated survival pathway. In contrast, ATRA increased the expression of SOSC2, BRAF, MEK, and ERK genes. Most genes regulated by fenretinide and ATRA were bound by RXRα, suggesting a direct effect. This study revealed that by regulating fewer genes, the effects of fenretinide become more specific and thus has fewer side effects than ATRA. The data also suggested that fenretinide induces apoptosis via death receptor effector and by inhibiting the RAS/RAF/ERK pathway. It provides insight on how retinoid efficacy can be improved and how side effects in cancer therapy can be reduced.

Zhou DH, Yang LN, Roder C, et al.
TRAIL-induced expression of uPA and IL-8 strongly enhanced by overexpression of TRAF2 and Bcl-xL in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells.
Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2013; 12(1):94-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The death ligand, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), induces apoptosis and non-apoptotic signaling in some tumor cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of the pro-apoptotic TRAIL receptors, TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2, as well as Bcl-xL and TRAF2 in TRAIL-induced expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-8 and the invasion-promoting protein urokinase (uPA) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells.
METHODS: Colo357wt, Colo357/TRAF2, Colo357/Bcl-xL, Panc89 and PancTuI cells were stimulated with TRAIL and uPA and IL-8 expression was detected using real-time PCR. Antagonistic, receptor-specific antibodies were used to investigate the effects of TRAIL-R1 or TRAIL-R2 inhibition.
RESULTS: Dose-dependent increases in uPA and IL-8 expression were detected following TRAIL stimulation in PDAC cells. These effects were inhibited when TRAIL-R1 but not TRAIL-R2 was blocked. Overexpression of TRAF2 or Bcl-xL strongly increased TRAIL-mediated upregulation of uPA and IL-8.
CONCLUSIONS: In PDAC cells, TRAIL strongly induced uPA and IL-8 via TRAIL-R1. This response was further enhanced in cells overexpressing TRAF2 and Bcl-xL. Therefore, inhibition of the non-apoptotic "side-effects" of TRAIL treatments by inactivation of TRAF2 and Bcl-xL might represent additional relevant strategies for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Gong H, Song L, Lin C, et al.
Downregulation of miR-138 sustains NF-κB activation and promotes lipid raft formation in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(5):1083-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Constitutive activation of NF-κB signaling plays vital roles in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) progression. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of miR-138 on NF-κB activation and ESCC progression.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Expression of miR-138 in ESCC cell lines, ESCC tissues, and 205 archived ESSC specimens was determined using real-time PCR analysis. Anchorage-independent growth, chicken chorioallantoic membrane, Transwell matrix invasion and Annexin V-binding assays, and a xenograft tumor model were used to determine the role of miR-138 in ESCC progression. The effect of miR-138 on NF-κB activation was investigated using IKK in vitro kinase, electrophoretic mobility shift, lipid raft isolation, and luciferase reporter assays.
RESULTS: miR-138 was downregulated and inversely correlated with tumor progression and patient survival in ESCCs. Downregulation of miR-138 enhanced, whereas upregulation of miR-138 reduced, the aggressive phenotype of ESCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Silencing miR-138 promoted K63-linked polyubiquitination of the NF-κB signaling intermediaries TRAF2 and RIP1 and sustained NF-κB activation. Furthermore, downregulation of miR-138 induced lipid raft formation via upregulating multiple components of lipid rafts, including FLOT1, FLOT2, and caveolin-1. Importantly, the in vitro analysis was consistent with a significant inverse correlation between miR-138 expression and NF-κB hyperactivation in a cohort of human ESCC specimens.
CONCLUSION: Our results show that miR-138 functions as a tumor-suppressive miRNA and that downregulation of miR-138 contributes to constitutive NF-κB activation and ESCC progression.

Döppler H, Liou GY, Storz P
Downregulation of TRAF2 mediates NIK-induced pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenicity.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e53676 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Increased levels of NF-κB are hallmarks of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and both classical and alternative NF-κB activation pathways have been implicated.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that activation of the alternative pathway is a source for the high basal NF-κB activity in PDAC cell lines. Increased activity of the p52/RelB NF-κB complex is mediated through stabilization and activation of NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK). We identify proteasomal downregulation of TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) as a mechanism by which levels of active NIK are increased in PDAC cell lines. Such upregulation of NIK expression and activity levels relays to increased proliferation and anchorage-independent growth, but not migration or survival of PDAC cells.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Rapid growth is one characteristic of pancreatic cancer. Our data indicates that the TRAF2/NIK/NF-κB2 pathway regulates PDAC cell tumorigenicity and could be a valuable target for therapy of this cancer.

Yang HJ, Youn H, Seong KM, et al.
Phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S3 and antiapoptotic TRAF2 protein mediates radioresistance in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(5):2965-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
Radioresistance is considered as a main factor restricting efficacy of radiotherapy. However, the exact molecular mechanism of radioresistance has not been explained yet. In this study, to elucidate radioresistance mechanism in lung cancer, we compared radiation responses in two types of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells with different radiosensitivity and identified key molecules conferring radioresistance. In radioresistant NSCLC cells, ionizing radiation (IR) led to casein kinase 2α (CK2α)- and PKC-mediated phosphorylation of rpS3 and TRAF2, respectively, which induced dissociation of rpS3-TRAF2 complex and NF-κB activation, resulting in significant up-regulation of prosurvival genes (cIAP1, cIAP2, and survivin). Also, dissociated phospho-rpS3 translocated into nucleus and bound with NF-κB complex (p65 and p50), contributing to p65 DNA binding property and specificity. However, in radiosensitive NSCLC cells, IR-mediated rpS3 phosphorylation was not detected due to the absence of CK2α overexpression. Consequently, IR-induced rpS3-TRAF2 complex dissociation, NF-κB activation, and prosurvival gene expression were not presented. Taken together, our findings revealed a novel radioresistance mechanism through functional orchestration of rpS3, TRAF2, and NF-κB in NSCLC cells. Moreover, we provided the first evidence for the function of rpS3 as a new TRAF2-binding protein and demonstrated that phosphorylation of both rpS3 and TRAF2 is a key control point of radioresistance in NSCLC cells. These results suggest that regulation of rpS3 and TRAF2 in combination with radiotherapy could have high pharmacological therapeutic potency for radioresistance of NSCLC.

Kim YW, Kwon C, Liu JL, et al.
Cancer association study of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase signaling network in glioblastoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e40960 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) and ARS-interacting multifunctional proteins (AIMPs) exhibit remarkable functional versatility beyond their catalytic activities in protein synthesis. Their non-canonical functions have been pathologically linked to cancers. Here we described our integrative genome-wide analysis of ARSs to show cancer-associated activities in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. We first selected 23 ARS/AIMPs (together referred to as ARSN), 124 cancer-associated druggable target genes (DTGs) and 404 protein-protein interactors (PPIs) of ARSs using NCI's cancer gene index. 254 GBM affymetrix microarray data in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used to identify the probe sets whose expression were most strongly correlated with survival (Kaplan-Meier plots versus survival times, log-rank t-test <0.05). The analysis identified 122 probe sets as survival signatures, including 5 of ARSN (VARS, QARS, CARS, NARS, FARS), and 115 of DTGs and PPIs (PARD3, RXRB, ATP5C1, HSP90AA1, CD44, THRA, TRAF2, KRT10, MED12, etc). Of note, 61 survival-related probes were differentially expressed in three different prognosis subgroups in GBM patients and showed correlation with established prognosis markers such as age and phenotypic molecular signatures. CARS and FARS also showed significantly higher association with different molecular networks in GBM patients. Taken together, our findings demonstrate evidence for an ARSN biology-dominant contribution in the biology of GBM.

Shkoda A, Town JA, Griese J, et al.
The germinal center kinase TNIK is required for canonical NF-κB and JNK signaling in B-cells by the EBV oncoprotein LMP1 and the CD40 receptor.
PLoS Biol. 2012; 10(8):e1001376 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/07/2015 Related Publications
The tumor necrosis factor-receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2)- and Nck-interacting kinase (TNIK) is a ubiquitously expressed member of the germinal center kinase family. The TNIK functions in hematopoietic cells and the role of TNIK-TRAF interaction remain largely unknown. By functional proteomics we identified TNIK as interaction partner of the latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) signalosome in primary human B-cells infected with the Epstein-Barr tumor virus (EBV). RNAi-mediated knockdown proved a critical role for TNIK in canonical NF-κB and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation by the major EBV oncoprotein LMP1 and its cellular counterpart, the B-cell co-stimulatory receptor CD40. Accordingly, TNIK is mandatory for proliferation and survival of EBV-transformed B-cells. TNIK forms an activation-induced complex with the critical signaling mediators TRAF6, TAK1/TAB2, and IKKβ, and mediates signalosome formation at LMP1. TNIK directly binds TRAF6, which bridges TNIK's interaction with the C-terminus of LMP1. Separate TNIK domains are involved in NF-κB and JNK signaling, the N-terminal TNIK kinase domain being essential for IKKβ/NF-κB and the C-terminus for JNK activation. We therefore suggest that TNIK orchestrates the bifurcation of both pathways at the level of the TRAF6-TAK1/TAB2-IKK complex. Our data establish TNIK as a novel key player in TRAF6-dependent JNK and NF-κB signaling and a transducer of activating and transforming signals in human B-cells.

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