Gene Summary

Gene:TFF3; trefoil factor 3
Aliases: ITF, P1B, TFI
Summary:Members of the trefoil family are characterized by having at least one copy of the trefoil motif, a 40-amino acid domain that contains three conserved disulfides. They are stable secretory proteins expressed in gastrointestinal mucosa. Their functions are not defined, but they may protect the mucosa from insults, stabilize the mucus layer and affect healing of the epithelium. This gene is expressed in goblet cells of the intestines and colon. This gene and two other related trefoil family member genes are found in a cluster on chromosome 21. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:trefoil factor 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017


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 (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Growth Substances
  • Follicular Adenocarcinoma
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Upstream Stimulatory Factors
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • Proteins
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • TFF3
  • Trefoil Factor-2
  • alpha 1-Antichymotrypsin
  • Mucins
  • Transcription
  • Promoter Regions
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • DNA Methylation
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Trefoil Factor-1
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Neuropeptides
  • Western Blotting
  • Breast Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Messenger RNA
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cancer RNA
  • Drug Resistance
  • Chromosome 21
  • Peptides
Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: TFF3 (cancer-related)

Gao F, Pan S, Liu B, Zhang H
TFF3 knockout in human pituitary adenoma cell HP75 facilitates cell apoptosis via mitochondrial pathway.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(11):14568-73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3), a regulatory protein composed of 59 amino acids, has been suggested to be involved in pathogenesis, proliferation, differentiation, invasion, migration and apoptosis in multiple malignant tumors. This study thus investigated the effect of TFF3 knockout in human pituitary adenoma cell line HP75 on cell apoptosis and related pathways. RNA interference approach was used to knock down the expression of TFF3 protein. The gene silencing was validated by RNA denaturing gel electrophoresis and Western blotting. The effect of TFF3 knockout on cell apoptosis was analyzed by Western blotting and flow cytometry. TFF3 protein level in pituitary adenoma was about 3.61 ± 0.48 folds of that in normal tissues (P < 0.01). After transfecting with small interference RNA (siRNA) against TFF3, the apoptotic ration was significantly elevated (P < 0.01). Apoptosis related protein Bcl-2 and caspase-3 levels were remarkably depressed after siRNA transfection, while Bax and cleaved caspase-3 levels were elevated. TFF3 protein knockout can facilitate apoptosis of human pituitary adenoma HP75 cells via mitochondrial pathway.

Hope ER, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Pejovic T, et al.
Nestin: A biomarker of aggressive uterine cancers.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(3):503-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Evidence of potential prognostic and predictive value for nestin was investigated in well-annotated uterine cancers (UCs).
METHODS: Nestin expression and previously-published biomarkers were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in UC tissue microarrays. Biomarkers were categorized as low vs. high, and nestin was cut at 10% positive staining. Relationship between nestin and clinicopathologic factors, biomarkers and outcome were evaluated using exact/log-rank testing or logistic/Cox modeling.
RESULTS: There were 323 eligible cases, 34% had advanced stage disease, 37% had type II disease, and 5% were carcinosarcomas. High nestin, observed in 19% of cases, was more common in advanced vs. early stage disease, type II cancers or uterine carcinosarcoma vs. type I cancers, grade 3 disease, positive lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) and tumors >6cm (p<0.05). Nestin was inversely correlated with ER, PR and TFF3, and correlated with p53 and IMP3. Women with high vs. low nestin had worse progression-free survival (PFS) and cancer-specific survival overall, and worse PFS in the subset who received no adjuvant therapy or radiation, or had early stage, type I disease or tumors with both low and high ER, PR, TFF3, PTEN, p53 or IMP3. The relationship between nestin and PFS was independent of stage, LVSI and risk categorization but not type of UC.
CONCLUSIONS: High nestin was more common in UCs with aggressive features and poor outcome. Nestin may represent a predictive biomarker for treatment selection for patients previously considered to be lower risk and a candidate for no or radiation-based adjuvant therapy, and compliment ER/PR testing.

Thomsen KG, Lyng MB, Elias D, et al.
Gene expression alterations associated with outcome in aromatase inhibitor-treated ER+ early-stage breast cancer patients.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 154(3):483-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aromatase inhibitors (AI), either alone or together with chemotherapy, have become the standard adjuvant treatment for postmenopausal, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer. Although AIs improve overall survival, resistance is still a major clinical problem, thus additional biomarkers predictive of outcome of ER+ breast cancer patients treated with AIs are needed. Global gene expression analysis was performed on ER+ primary breast cancers from patients treated with adjuvant AI monotherapy; half experienced recurrence (median follow-up 6.7 years). Gene expression alterations were validated by qRT-PCR, and functional studies evaluating the effect of siRNA-mediated gene knockdown on cell growth were performed. Twenty-six genes, including TFF3, DACH1, RGS5, and GHR, were shown to exhibit altered expression in tumors from patients with recurrence versus non-recurrent (fold change ≥1.5, p < 0.05), and the gene expression alterations were confirmed using qRT-PCR. Ten of these 26 genes could be linked in a network associated with cellular proliferation, growth, and development. TFF3, which encodes for trefoil factor 3 and is an estrogen-responsive oncogene shown to play a functional role in tamoxifen resistance and metastasis of ER+ breast cancer, was also shown to be upregulated in an AI-resistant cell line model, and reduction of TFF3 levels using TFF3-specific siRNAs decreased the growth of both the AI-resistant and -sensitive parental cell lines. Moreover, overexpression of TFF3 in parental AI-sensitive MCF-7/S0.5 cells resulted in reduced sensitivity to the AI exemestane, whereas TFF3 overexpression had no effect on growth in the absence of exemestane, indicating that TFF3 mediates growth and survival signals that abrogate the growth inhibitory effect of exemestane. We identified a panel of 26 genes exhibiting altered expression associated with disease recurrence in patients treated with adjuvant AI monotherapy, including TFF3, which was shown to exhibit a growth- and survival-promoting effect in the context of AI treatment.

Xiao P, Ling H, Lan G, et al.
Trefoil factors: Gastrointestinal-specific proteins associated with gastric cancer.
Clin Chim Acta. 2015; 450:127-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Trefoil factor family (TFF), composed of TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3, is a cluster of secreted peptides characterized by trefoil domain (s) and C-terminal dimerization domain. TFF1, a gastric tumor suppressor, is a single trefoil peptide originally detected in breast cancer cell lines but expressed mainly in the stomach; TFF2, a candidate of gastric cancer suppressor with two trefoil domains, is abundant in the stomach and duodenal Brunner's glands; and TFF3 is another single trefoil peptide expressed throughout the intestine which can promote the development of gastric carcinoma. According to multiple studies, TFFs play a regulatory function in the mammals' digestive system, namely in mucosal protection and epithelial cell reconstruction, tumor suppression or promotion, signal transduction and the regulation of proliferation and apoptosis. Action mechanisms of TFFs remain unresolved, but the recent demonstration of a GKN (gastrokine) 2-TFF1 heterodimer implicates structural and functional interplay with gastrokines. This review aims to encapsulate the structural and biological characteristics of TFF.

Jin EH, Lee SI, Kim J, et al.
Association between Promoter Polymorphisms of TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 and the Risk of Gastric and Diffuse Gastric Cancers in a Korean Population.
J Korean Med Sci. 2015; 30(8):1035-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. The aims of this study were to evaluate the association between polymorphisms in TFF gene family, TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 and the risk of gastric cancer (GC) and GC subgroups in a Korean population via a case-control study. The eight polymorphisms in TFF gene family were identified by sequencing and genotyped with 377 GC patients and 396 controls by using TaqMan genotyping assay. The rs184432 TT genotype of TFF1 was significantly associated with a reduced risk of GC (odds ratio, [OR) = 0.45; 95% confidence interval, [CI] = 0.25-0.82; P = 0.009), more protective against diffuse-type GC (OR = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.05-0.89; P = 0.035) than GC (OR = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.14-0.82; P = 0.017) in subjects aged < 60 yr, and correlated with lymph node metastasis negative GC and diffuse-type GC (OR = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.23-0.86; P = 0.016 and OR = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.05-0.87; P = 0.031, respectively). In addition, a decreased risk of lymph node metastasis negative GC and diffuse-type GC was observed for rs225359 TT genotype of TFF1 (OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.24-0.88; P = 0.020 and OR = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.05-0.88; P = 0.033, respectively). These findings suggest that the rs184432 and rs225359 polymorphisms in TFF1 have protective effects for GC and contribute to the development of GC in Korean individuals.

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

De Souza C, Chatterji BP
HDAC Inhibitors as Novel Anti-Cancer Therapeutics.
Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov. 2015; 10(2):145-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant growth of cells is a condition characterized by unchecked cellular proliferation, genetic instability and epigenetic dysregulation. Up-regulated HDAC (Histone Deacetylase) enzyme activity is associated with a closed chromatin assembly and subsequent gene repression, forming a characteristic feature of malignantly transformed cells. Novel therapeutics are now targeting the zinc containing HDAC enzymes for treating various types of cancers. Recently, a spate of drugs acting via HDAC inhibition have been undergoing clinical trials and several patents present exciting molecules like PCI-24781 (Abexinostat), ITF- 2357 (Givinostat); MS-275 (Entinostat), MGCD 0103 (Mocetinostat), LBH-589 (Panobinostat), FK228 (Romidepsin), PXD-101 (Belinostat) and Valproic Acid to be used as alternatives or adjuvants to traditional chemotherapeutics. However, only three HDAC inhibitors have acquired FDA approval till date. Recently, PXD-101 obtained FDA approval for the treatment of Refractory or Relapsed Peripheral T cell lymphoma. The current article reviews patents that have introduced novel molecules that are HDAC isoform specific, superior to first generation HDAC inhibitors like SAHA (Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid) and TSA (Trichostatin A) and can be modified structurally to reduce toxic side effects and increase specificity. These molecules can combine the best characteristics of an ideal HDAC inhibiting drug either as monotherapy or in combinatorial therapy for cancer treatment thus, indicating promise to be included in the next generation of target specific HDAC inhibiting drugs.

Perera O, Evans A, Pertziger M, et al.
Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) enhances the oncogenic characteristics of prostate carcinoma cells and reduces sensitivity to ionising radiation.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 361(1):104-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) is a secreted protein which functions in mucosal repair of the gastrointestinal tract. This is achieved through the combined stimulation of cell migration and prevention of apoptosis and anoikis, thus facilitating repair. Deregulated TFF3 expression at the gene and protein level is implicated in numerous cancers. In prostate cancer TFF3 has previously been reported as a potential biomarker, overexpressed in a subset of primary and metastatic cases. Here we investigated the effect of increased TFF3 expression on prostate cancer cell behaviour. Oncomine analysis demonstrated that TFF3 mRNA expression was upregulated in prostate cancer compared to normal tissue. Forced-expression models were established in the prostate cancer cell lines, DU145 and PC3, by stable transfection of an expression vector containing the TFF3 cDNA. Forced expression of TFF3 significantly increased total cell number and cell viability, cell proliferation and cell survival. In addition, TFF3 enhanced anchorage independent growth, 3-dimensional colony formation, wound healing and cell migration compared to control transfected cell lines. We also observed reduced sensitivity to ionising radiation in stably transfected cell lines. In dose response experiments, forced expression of TFF3 significantly enhanced the regrowth of PC3 cells following ionising radiation compared with control transfected cells. In addition, TFF3 enhanced clonogenic survival of DU145 and PC3 cells. These studies indicate that targeting TFF3 for the treatment of prostate cancer warrants further investigation.

von der Heyde S, Wagner S, Czerny A, et al.
mRNA profiling reveals determinants of trastuzumab efficiency in HER2-positive breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0117818 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intrinsic and acquired resistance to the monoclonal antibody drug trastuzumab is a major problem in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. A deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms could help to develop new agents. Our intention was to detect genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting trastuzumab efficiency in cell culture. Three HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines with different resistance phenotypes were analyzed. We chose BT474 as model of trastuzumab sensitivity, HCC1954 as model of intrinsic resistance, and BTR50, derived from BT474, as model of acquired resistance. Based on RNA-Seq data, we performed differential expression analyses on these cell lines with and without trastuzumab treatment. Differentially expressed genes between the resistant cell lines and BT474 are expected to contribute to resistance. Differentially expressed genes between untreated and trastuzumab treated BT474 are expected to contribute to drug efficacy. To exclude false positives from the candidate gene set, we removed genes that were also differentially expressed between untreated and trastuzumab treated BTR50. We further searched for SNPs in the untreated cell lines which could contribute to trastuzumab resistance. The analysis resulted in 54 differentially expressed candidate genes that might be connected to trastuzumab efficiency. 90% of 40 selected candidates were validated by RT-qPCR. ALPP, CALCOCO1, CAV1, CYP1A2 and IGFBP3 were significantly higher expressed in the trastuzumab treated than in the untreated BT474 cell line. GDF15, IL8, LCN2, PTGS2 and 20 other genes were significantly higher expressed in HCC1954 than in BT474, while NCAM2, COLEC12, AFF3, TFF3, NRCAM, GREB1 and TFF1 were significantly lower expressed. Additionally, we inferred SNPs in HCC1954 for CAV1, PTGS2, IL8 and IGFBP3. The latter also had a variation in BTR50. 20% of the validated subset have already been mentioned in literature. For half of them we called and analyzed SNPs. These results contribute to a better understanding of trastuzumab action and resistance mechanisms.

Mensah AA, Kwee I, Gaudio E, et al.
Novel HDAC inhibitors exhibit pre-clinical efficacy in lymphoma models and point to the importance of CDKN1A expression levels in mediating their anti-tumor response.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(7):5059-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We investigated the pre-clinical activities of two novel histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), ITF-A and ITF-B, in a large panel of pre-clinical lymphoma models. The two compounds showed a dose-dependent anti-proliferative activity in the majority of cell lines. Gene expression profiling (GEP) of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells treated with the compounds showed a modulation of genes involved in chromatin structure, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, B-cell signaling, and genes encoding metallothioneins. Cell lines showed differences between the concentrations of ITF-A and ITF-B needed to cause anti-proliferative or cytotoxic activity, and cell cycle and apoptosis genes appeared implicated in determining the type of response. In particular, CDKN1A expression was higher in DLBCL cells that, to undergo apoptosis, required a much higher amount of drug than that necessary to induce only an anti-proliferative effect.In conclusion, the two novel HDACi ITF-A and ITF-B demonstrated anti-proliferative activity across different mature B-cell lymphoma cell lines. Basal CDKN1A levels appeared to be important in determining the gap between HDACi concentrations causing cell cycle arrest and those that lead to cell death.

Kanwar N, Hu P, Bedard P, et al.
Identification of genomic signatures in circulating tumor cells from breast cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(2):332-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Levels of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood have prognostic value in early and metastatic breast cancer. CTCs also show varying degrees of concordance with molecular markers of primary tumors they originate from. It is expected that individual cells reflect the heterogeneity and evolution of tumor cells as they acquire new functions and differential responses to chemotherapy. However, a degree of commonality is also plausible, highlighting alterations that allow tumor cells to perform CTC-defining activities such as invasion and intravasation. Using a matched tumor-normal approach, we performed high-resolution copy number profiling of CTCs from breast cancer to identify occult changes occurring during progression to metastasis. We identified a signature of recurrent gain in CTCs, consisting of 90 minimal common regions (MCRs) of copy number gain. These were predominantly found across chromosome 19 and were identified at low frequencies (3-4%) in 787 primary breast carcinomas examined. CTC genomic signatures clustered into two groups independent of subtype: a dormancy-related signature with 16 MCRs (AKT2, PTEN, CADM2); and a tumor-aggressiveness related signature with 358 MCRs (ANGPTL4, BSG, MIR-373). There were two MCRs in common between the groups on 19q13 and 21q21, containing genes involved in resistance to anoikis, TGFβ-signaling and metastasis (TFF3, LTBP4, NUMBL). Furthermore, a region harboring the ERBB2 gene was gained in a majority of patients. Regions 20q13 and 15q24 were associated with distant metastasis. The distinctiveness of CTC signatures highlights cell populations with different functional or metastatic potential. Such novel targets could help to specifically identify and block dissemination.

Gu J, Zheng L, Zhang L, et al.
TFF3 and HER2 expression and their correlation with survival in gastric cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):3001-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular biomarkers human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) and trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) are reported to play important roles in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer (GC). In this study, we investigated the clinicopathological and prognostic significance of TFF3 and HER2 expression in GC and explored the correlation between these two biomarkers. Ninety-two patients who were diagnosed with GC were enrolled. TFF3 and HER2 expression was determined on tumor tissues. The results showed that TFF3 and HER2 were positively expressed in 42.7 and 10.9% of the cases, respectively. There were significantly higher rates of TFF3 positivity in patients with deep invasive tumors and advanced stage ones. Patients with negative TFF3 staining survived longer than those with the presence of TFF3, with 5-year overall survival (OS) rates of 57.1 ± 7.1 and 39.5 ± 7.5%, respectively (P = 0.033). However, HER2 positivity was not significantly associated with OS (P = 0.262). Multivariate analysis demonstrated TFF3 expression to be an independent indicator for short-term survival, with a hazard ratio of 2.327 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.202-4.507, P = 0.012). There was a trend that the expression of TFF3 was more frequent in HER2 negative tumors than in HER2 positive ones (positive rates: 16.3 vs. 4.7%, P = 0.098). Patients with HER2-negative/TFF3-negative GC presented higher OS than those with other phenotypes (P = 0.009). This study suggests that TFF3 is an independent indicator for survival in GC, while HER2 is not associated with the outcome. Patients with HER2-negative/TFF3-negative GC have the best outcome.

Morito K, Nakamura J, Kitajima Y, et al.
The value of trefoil factor 3 expression in predicting the long‑term outcome and early recurrence of colorectal cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(2):563-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The trefoil factor (TFF) family comprises three thermo-stable and protease-resistant proteins (TFF1, TFF2 and TFF3) and plays an essential role in gastrointestinal mucosa protection and regeneration, and TFFs have recently been found to be involved in the development and progression of various types of cancer. However, the clinical significance of TFFs in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients remains unclear. The present study determined the relationship between TFF expression and clinicopathological findings, as well as long-term outcome in CRC patients. The mRNA expression levels of TFFs were examined in the excised CRC specimens obtained from 154 consecutive CRC patients who underwent surgical resection between 2005 and 2007 at our institution. TFF3 expression was significantly associated with the presence of distant metastasis (p=0.017), although neither TFF1 nor TFF2 expression was associated with the clinicopathological features. Survival rate of the patients with positive TFF3 was significantly worse compared to those with negative TFF3 (p=0.011). A multivariate analysis revealed that the expression of TFF3, lymph node metastasis, and vascular invasion were independent prognostic factors for disease-specific survival. Furthermore, among 134 patients with no clinical findings of metastasis at surgery, the patients with positive TFF3 experienced recurrence within one year more frequently than those with negative TFF3 (p=0.039). In conclusion, TFF3 is not only a useful biomarker for a long-term surgical result in CRC patient, but also may be a risk factor of early recurrence.

Kito Y, Saigo C, Atsushi K, et al.
Transgenic mouse model of cutaneous adnexal tumors.
Dis Model Mech. 2014; 7(12):1379-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TMEM207 was first characterized as being an important molecule for the invasion activity of gastric signet-ring cell carcinoma cells. In order to unravel the pathological properties of TMEM207, we generated several transgenic mouse lines, designated C57BL/6-Tg (ITF-TMEM207), in which murine TMEM207 was ectopically expressed under a truncated (by ~200 bp) proximal promoter of the murine intestinal trefoil factor (ITF) gene (also known as Tff3). Unexpectedly, a C57BL/6-Tg (ITF-TMEM207) mouse line exhibited a high incidence of spontaneous intradermal tumors with histopathological features that resembled those of various human cutaneous adnexal tumors. These tumors were found in ~14% female and 13% of male 6- to 12-month-old mice. TMEM207 immunoreactivity was found in hair follicle bulge cells in non-tumorous skin, as well as in cutaneous adnexal tumors of the transgenic mouse. The ITF-TMEM207 construct in this line appeared to be inserted to a major satellite repeat sequence at chromosome 2, in which no definite coding molecule was found. In addition, we also observed cutaneous adnexal tumors in three other C57BL/6-Tg (ITF-TMEM207) transgenic mouse lines. We believe that the C57BL/6-Tg (ITF-TMEM207) mouse might be a useful model to understand human cutaneous adnexal tumors.

Pandey V, Wu ZS, Zhang M, et al.
Trefoil factor 3 promotes metastatic seeding and predicts poor survival outcome of patients with mammary carcinoma.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(5):429 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Recurrence or early metastasis remains the predominant cause of mortality in patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) mammary carcinoma (MC). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the initial progression of ER+ MC to metastasis remains poorly understood. Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) is an estrogen-responsive oncogene in MC. Herein, we provide evidence for a functional role of TFF3 in metastatic progression of ER+ MC.
METHODS: The association of TFF3 expression with clinicopathological parameters and survival outcome in a cohort of MC patients was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The expression of TFF3 in MCF7 and T47D cells was modulated by forced expression or siRNA-mediated depletion of TFF3. mRNA and protein levels were determined using qPCR and western blot. The functional effect of modulation of TFF3 expression in MC cells was determined in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic analyses were performed using reporter constructs, modulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) expression, and pharmacological inhibitors against c-SRC and STAT3 activity.
RESULTS: TFF3 protein expression was positively associated with larger tumour size, lymph node metastasis, higher stage, and poor survival outcome. Forced expression of TFF3 in ER+ MC cells stimulated colony scattering, cell adhesion to a Collagen I-coated matrix, colony formation on a Collagen I- or Matrigel-coated matrix, endothelial cell adhesion, and transmigration through an endothelial cell barrier. In vivo, forced expression of TFF3 in MCF7 cells stimulated the formation of metastatic nodules in animal lungs. TFF3 regulation of the mRNA levels of epithelial, mesenchymal, and metastatic-related genes in ER+ MC cells were consistent with the altered cell behaviour. Forced expression of TFF3 in ER+ MC cells stimulated phosphorylation of c-SRC that subsequently increased STAT3 activity, which lead to the downregulation of E-cadherin. siRNA-mediated depletion of TFF3 reduced the invasiveness of ER+ MC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: TFF3 expression predicts metastasis and poor survival outcome of patients with MC and functionally stimulates cellular invasion and metastasis of ER+ MC cells. Adjuvant functional inhibition of TFF3 may therefore be considered to ameliorate outcome of ER+ MC patients.

Philippeit C, Busch M, Dünker N
Epigenetic control of trefoil factor family (TFF) peptide expression in human retinoblastoma cell lines.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2014; 34(3):1001-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the regulation of trefoil factor family (TFF) peptide expression in cancer. In human tissues with endogenous TFF1, TFF2 or TFF3 gene expression, the corresponding promoter is unmethylated and in organs without TFF expression, the promoter of the three genes is highly methylated.
METHODS: Retinoblastoma (Rb) cell lines were treated with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-Aza-2`deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC), the histone deacetylase inhibitor 4-Phenylbutyric acid (PBA) or both and analyzed for changes (i) in TFF mRNA expression by Real-time PCR and (ii) in the methylation status of the TFF promoters by genomic bisulfite sequencing.
RESULTS: The degree of promoter methylation correlates with endogenous TFF expression in the retinoblastoma cell lines analyzed. Nearly all Rb cell lines exhibiting high endogenous TFF1 expression displayed low methylation of the CpGs in the corresponding promoter region. Low expression of TFF3 in Rb cell lines is linked with high density methylation of the TFF3 promoter. 5-Aza-dC treatment induced TFF1 and TFF3 expression in nearly all cell lines investigated and combined treatment with PBA further increased this effect. The number of methylated CpG dinucleotides of the TFF promoter is clearly reduced upon treatment with 5-Aza-dC and combined treatment with PBA further extended the degree of demethylation.
CONCLUSION: Our data clearly show that the expression of TFF3 in retinoblastoma cell lines is epigenetically regulated, whereas the level of TFF1 and TFF2 seems to be regulated by other or additional mechanisms.

Wang J, Ni Z, Duan Z, et al.
Altered expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and its regulatory genes in gastric cancer tissues.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e99835 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tissue hypoxia induces reprogramming of cell metabolism and may result in normal cell transformation and cancer progression. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α), the key transcription factor, plays an important role in gastric cancer development and progression. This study aimed to investigate the underlying regulatory signaling pathway in gastric cancer using gastric cancer tissue specimens. The integration of gene expression profile and transcriptional regulatory element database (TRED) was pursued to identify HIF-1α ↔ NFκB1 → BRCA1 → STAT3 ← STAT1 gene pathways and their regulated genes. The data showed that there were 82 differentially expressed genes that could be regulated by these five transcription factors in gastric cancer tissues and these genes formed 95 regulation modes, among which seven genes (MMP1, TIMP1, TLR2, FCGR3A, IRF1, FAS, and TFF3) were hub molecules that are regulated at least by two of these five transcription factors simultaneously and were associated with hypoxia, inflammation, and immune disorder. Real-Time PCR and western blot showed increasing of HIF-1α in mRNA and protein levels as well as TIMP1, TFF3 in mRNA levels in gastric cancer tissues. The data are the first study to demonstrate HIF-1α-regulated transcription factors and their corresponding network genes in gastric cancer. Further study with a larger sample size and more functional experiments is needed to confirm these data and then translate into clinical biomarker discovery and treatment strategy for gastric cancer.

Boudot A, Kerdivel G, Lecomte S, et al.
COUP-TFI modifies CXCL12 and CXCR4 expression by activating EGF signaling and stimulates breast cancer cell migration.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:407 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The orphan receptors COUP-TF (chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor) I and II are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily that play distinct and critical roles in vertebrate organogenesis. The involvement of COUP-TFs in cancer development has recently been suggested by several studies but remains poorly understood.
METHODS: MCF-7 breast cancer cells overexpressing COUP-TFI and human breast tumors were used to investigate the role of COUP-TFI in the regulation of CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling axis in relation to cell growth and migration. We used Immunofluorescence, western-blot, RT-PCR, Formaldehyde-assisted Isolation of Regulatory Elements (FAIRE) assays, as well as cell proliferation and migration assays.
RESULTS: Previously, we showed that COUP-TFI expression is enhanced in breast cancer compared to normal tissue. Here, we report that the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling pathway, a crucial pathway in cell growth and migration, is an endogenous target of COUP-TFI in breast cancer cells. The overexpression of COUP-TFI in MCF-7 cells inhibits the expression of the chemokine CXCL12 and markedly enhances the expression of its receptor, CXCR4. Our results demonstrate that the modification of CXCL12/CXCR4 expression by COUP-TFI is mediated by the activation of epithelial growth factor (EGF) and the EGF receptor. Furthermore, we provide evidence that these effects of COUP-TFI increase the growth and motility of MCF-7 cells in response to CXCL12. Cell migration toward a CXCL12 gradient was inhibited by AMD3100, a specific antagonist of CXCR4, or in the presence of excess CXCL12 in the cell culture medium. The expression profiles of CXCR4, CXCR7, CXCL12, and COUP-TFI mRNA in 82 breast tumors and control non-tumor samples were measured using real-time PCR. CXCR4 expression was found to be significantly increased in the tumors and correlated with the tumor grade, whereas the expression of CXCL12 was significantly decreased in the tumors compared with the healthy samples. Significantly higher COUP-TFI mRNA expression was also detected in grade 1 tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: Together, our mechanistic in vitro assays and in vivo results suggest that a reduction in chemokine CXCL12 expression, with an enhancement of CXCR4 expression, provoked by COUP-TFI, could be associated with an increase in the invasive potential of breast cancer cells.

Davidov T, Nagar M, Kierson M, et al.
Carbonic anhydrase 4 and crystallin α-B immunoreactivity may distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules in patients with indeterminate thyroid cytology.
J Surg Res. 2014; 190(2):565-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Thyroid nodules are present in 19%-67% of the population and carry a 5%-10% risk of malignancy. Unfortunately, fine-needle aspiration biopsies are indeterminate in 20%-30% of patients, often necessitating thyroid surgery for diagnosis. Numerous DNA microarray studies including a recently commercialized molecular classifier have helped to better distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules. Unfortunately, these assays often require probes for >100 genes, are expensive, and only available at a few laboratories. We sought to validate these DNA microarray assays at the protein level and determine whether simple and widely available immunohistochemical biomarkers alone could distinguish benign from malignant thyroid nodules.
METHODS: A tissue microarray (TMA) composed of 26 follicular thyroid carcinomas (FTCs) and 53 follicular adenomas (FAs) from patients with indeterminate thyroid nodules was stained with 17 immunohistochemical biomarkers selected based on prior DNA microarray studies. Antibodies used included galectin 3, growth and differentiation factor 15, protein convertase 2, cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase 1 (GOT1), trefoil factor 3 (TFF3), Friedreich Ataxia gene (X123), fibroblast growth factor 13 (FGF13), carbonic anhydrase 4 (CA4), crystallin alpha-B (CRYAB), peptidylprolyl isomerase F (PPIF), asparagine synthase (ASNS), sodium channel, non-voltage gated, 1 alpha subunit (SCNN1A), frizzled homolog 1 (FZD1), tyrosine related protein 1 (TYRP1), E cadherin, type 1 (ECAD), and thyroid hormone receptor associated protein 220 (TRAP220). Of note, two of these biomarkers (GOT1 and CD44) are now used in the Afirma classifier assay. We chose to compare specifically FTC versus FA rather than include all histologic categories to create a more uniform immunohistochemical comparison. In addition, we have found that most papillary thyroid carcinoma could often be reasonably distinguished from benign disease by morphological cytology findings alone.
RESULTS: Increased immunoreactivity of CRYAB was associated with thyroid malignancy (c-statistic, 0.644; negative predictive value [NPV], 0.90) and loss of immunoreactivity of CA4 was also associated with malignancy (c-statistic, 0.715; NPV, 0.90) in indeterminate thyroid specimens. The combination of CA4 and CRYAB for discriminating FTC from FA resulted in a better c-statistic of 0.75, sensitivity of 0.76, specificity of 0.59, positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.32, and NPV of 0.91. When comparing widely angioinvasive FTC from FA, the resultant c-statistic improved to 0.84, sensitivity of 0.75, specificity of 0.76, PPV of 0.11, and NPV of 0.99.
CONCLUSIONS: Loss of CA4 and increase in CRYAB immunoreactivity distinguish FTC from FA in indeterminate thyroid nodules on a thyroid TMA with an NPV of 91%. Further studies in preoperative patient fine needle aspiration (FNAs) are needed to validate these results.

Yang XN, Lu YP, Liu JJ, et al.
Piezo1 is as a novel trefoil factor family 1 binding protein that promotes gastric cancer cell mobility in vitro.
Dig Dis Sci. 2014; 59(7):1428-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Trefoil factor family 1 (TFF1) is a member of the TFF-domain peptide family involved in epithelial restitution and cell motility. Recently, we screened Piezo1 as a candidate TFF1-binding protein.
AIM: We aimed to confirm Piezo1 as a novel TFF1 binding protein and to assess the role of this interaction in mediating gastric cancer cell mobility.
METHODS: This interaction was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation and co-localisation of TFF1 and Piezo1 in GES-1 cells. We used stable RNA interference to knockdown Piezo1 protein expression and restored the expression of TFF1 in the gastric cancer cell lines SGC-7901 and BGC-823. Cell motility was evaluated using invasion assay and migration assay in vitro. The expression levels of the integrin subunits β1, β5, α1 as well as the expression of β-catenin and E-cadherin were detected by Western blot.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that TFF1, but not TFF2 or TFF3, bind to and co-localize with Piezo1 in the cytoplasm in vitro. TFF1 interacts with the C-terminal portion of the Piezo1 protein. Wound healing and trans-well assays demonstrated that the restored expression of TFF1 promoted cell mobility in gastric cancer cells, and this effect was attenuated by the knockdown of Piezo1. Western blots demonstrated the decreased expression of integrin β1 in Piezo1-knockdown cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that Piezo1 is a novel TFF1 binding protein that is important for TFF1-mediated cell migration and suggest that this interaction may be a therapeutic target in the invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer.

Oh JH, Rhyu MG, Jung SH, et al.
Slow overmethylation of housekeeping genes in the body mucosa is associated with the risk for gastric cancer.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014; 7(6):585-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori infection increases age-related diverse overmethylation in gene-control regions, which increases the risk of gastric cancer. The H. pylori-associated overmethylation changes subsequently disappear when gastric atrophy and cancer develop. To identify cancer-risk epigenotypes, we traced dynamic methylation changes in the background mucosa of the stomach depending on the extent of gastric atrophy. Paired biopsy specimens were obtained from the noncancerous antrum and body mucosa of 102 patients with cancer and 114 H. pylori-positive and 112 H. pylori-negative controls. The grade of gastric atrophy was evaluated using the endoscopic atrophic border score. The methylation-variable sites at the CpG-island margins and near the transcriptional start sites lacking CpG islands were semiquantitatively analyzed by radioisotope-labeling methylation-specific PCR. We selected eight housekeeping genes adjacent to Alu (CDH1, ARRDC4, PPARG, and TRAPPC2L) or LTR retroelements (MMP2, CDKN2A, RUNX2, and RUNX3) and eight stomach-specific genes (TFF2, PGC, ATP4B, TFF1, TFF3, GHRL, PGA, and ATP4A). Analysis of age-related methylation in the H. pylori-positive controls revealed slow overmethylation in the body and in the LTR-adjacent genes. A high-frequency overmethylation defined based on the slowly overmethylated genes was frequently observed in the body of patients with gastric cancer with open-type atrophy (OR, 12.7; 95% confidence interval, 3.2-49.8). The rapidly changing methylation of Alu-adjacent genes was barely increased in the antrum of patients with gastric cancer. Among diverse methylation changes associated with H. pylori infection, an increase in slowly changing methylation could serve as a cancer-risk marker.

Herbst A, Jurinovic V, Krebs S, et al.
Comprehensive analysis of β-catenin target genes in colorectal carcinoma cell lines with deregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Deregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a hallmark of the majority of sporadic forms of colorectal cancer and results in increased stability of the protein β-catenin. β-catenin is then shuttled into the nucleus where it activates the transcription of its target genes, including the proto-oncogenes MYC and CCND1 as well as the genes encoding the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins ASCL2 and ITF-2B. To identify genes commonly regulated by β-catenin in colorectal cancer cell lines, we analyzed β-catenin target gene expression in two non-isogenic cell lines, DLD1 and SW480, using DNA microarrays and compared these genes to β-catenin target genes published in the PubMed database and DNA microarray data presented in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database.
RESULTS: Treatment of DLD1 and SW480 cells with β-catenin siRNA resulted in differential expression of 1501 and 2389 genes, respectively. 335 of these genes were regulated in the same direction in both cell lines. Comparison of these data with published β-catenin target genes for the colon carcinoma cell line LS174T revealed 193 genes that are regulated similarly in all three cell lines. The overlapping gene set includes confirmed β-catenin target genes like AXIN2, MYC, and ASCL2. We also identified 11 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways that are regulated similarly in DLD1 and SW480 cells and one pathway - the steroid biosynthesis pathway - was regulated in all three cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the large number of potential β-catenin target genes found to be similarly regulated in DLD1, SW480 and LS174T cells as well as the large overlap with confirmed β-catenin target genes, we conclude that DLD1 and SW480 colon carcinoma cell lines are suitable model systems to study Wnt/β-catenin signaling and associated colorectal carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the confirmed and the newly identified potential β-catenin target genes are useful starting points for further studies.

Sandhu R, Rivenbark AG, Mackler RM, et al.
Dysregulation of microRNA expression drives aberrant DNA hypermethylation in basal-like breast cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(2):563-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Basal-like breast cancers frequently express aberrant DNA hypermethylation associated with concurrent silencing of specific genes secondary to DNMT3b overexpression and DNMT hyperactivity. DNMT3b is known to be post-transcriptionally regulated by microRNAs. The objective of the current study was to determine the role of microRNA dysregulation in the molecular mechanism governing DNMT3b overexpression in primary breast cancers that express aberrant DNA hypermethylation. The expression of microRNAs (miRs) that regulate (miR-29a, miR-29b, miR-29c, miR-148a and miR-148b) or are predicted to regulate DNMT3b (miR‑26a, miR-26b, miR-203 and miR-222) were evaluated among 70 primary breast cancers (36 luminal A-like, 13 luminal B-like, 5 HER2‑enriched, 16 basal-like) and 18 normal mammoplasty tissues. Significantly reduced expression of miR-29c distinguished basal-like breast cancers from other breast cancer molecular subtypes. The expression of aberrant DNA hypermethylation was determined in a subset of 33 breast cancers (6 luminal A-like, 6 luminal B-like, 5 HER2-enriched and 16 basal-like) through examination of methylation‑sensitive biomarker gene expression (CEACAM6, CDH1, CST6, ESR1, GNA11, MUC1, MYB, TFF3 and SCNN1A), 11/33 (33%) cancers exhibited aberrant DNA hypermethylation including 9/16 (56%) basal-like cancers, but only 2/17 (12%) non-basal-like cancers (luminal A-like, n=1; HER2-enriched, n=1). Breast cancers with aberrant DNA hypermethylation express diminished levels of miR-29a, miR-29b, miR-26a, miR-26b, miR-148a and miR-148b compared to cancers lacking aberrant DNA hypermethylation. A total of 7/9 (78%) basal-like breast cancers with aberrant DNA hypermethylation exhibit diminished levels of ≥6 regulatory miRs. The results show that i) reduced expression of miR-29c is characteristic of basal-like breast cancers, ii) miR and methylation-sensitive gene expression patterns identify two subsets of basal-like breast cancers, and iii) the subset of basal-like breast cancers with reduced expression of multiple regulatory miRs express aberrant DNA hypermethylation. Together, these findings strongly suggest that the molecular mechanism governing the DNMT3b-mediated aberrant DNA hypermethylation in primary breast cancer involves the loss of post-transcriptional regulation of DNMT3b by regulatory miRs.

Safe S, Jin UH, Hedrick E, et al.
Minireview: role of orphan nuclear receptors in cancer and potential as drug targets.
Mol Endocrinol. 2014; 28(2):157-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The nuclear orphan receptors for which endogenous ligands have not been identified include nuclear receptor (NR)0B1 (adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on chromosome X gene), NR0B2 (small heterodimer partner), NR1D1/2 (Rev-Erbα/β), NR2C1 (testicular receptor 2), NR2C2 (testicular receptor 4), NR2E1 (tailless), NR2E3 (photoreceptor-specific NR [PNR]), NR2F1 chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor 1 (COUP-TFI), NR2F2 (COUP-TFII), NR2F6 (v-erbA-related protein), NR4A1 (Nur77), NR4A2 (Nurr1), NR4A3 (Nor1), and NR6A1 (GCNF). These receptors play essential roles in development, cellular homeostasis, and disease including cancer where over- or underexpression of some receptors has prognostic significance for patient survival. Results of receptor knockdown or overexpression in vivo and in cancer cell lines demonstrate that orphan receptors exhibit tumor-specific pro-oncogenic or tumor suppressor-like activity. For example, COUP-TFII expression is both a positive (ovarian) and negative (prostate and breast) prognostic factor for cancer patients; in contrast, the prognostic activity of adrenal hypoplasia congenita critical region on chromosome X gene for the same tumors is the inverse of COUP-TFII. Functional studies show that Nur77 is tumor suppressor like in acute leukemia, whereas silencing Nur77 in pancreatic, colon, lung, lymphoma, melanoma, cervical, ovarian, gastric, and some breast cancer cell lines induces one or more of several responses including growth inhibition and decreased survival, migration, and invasion. Although endogenous ligands for the orphan receptors have not been identified, there is increasing evidence that different structural classes of compounds activate, inactivate, and directly bind several orphan receptors. Thus, the screening and development of selective orphan receptor modulators will have important clinical applications as novel mechanism-based agents for treating cancer patients overexpressing one or more orphan receptors and also for combined drug therapies.

Yue L, Xiang J, Shen Z, et al.
Inhibition of ErbB-2 induces TFF3 downregulation in breast cancer cell lines.
APMIS. 2014; 122(7):628-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
ErbB-2 gene plays an important role in carcinoma formation whose overexpression was observed in many types of tumors, including breast cancer. Dysregulation of Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3), which is thought to function in the development and progression of breast cancer, was found to be upregulated in ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancers and cells. However, a putative interaction between ErbB-2 and TFF3 in breast cancer remains unknown. To determine whether TFF3 has an important role in breast tumor, its levels were measured by immunohistochemistry in 130 cases of breast infiltrating duct carcinoma and 30 cases of normal breast tissue with a specific monoclonal antibody raised against human TFF3. Patients who were positive for ErbB-2 also had high expression levels of TFF3 (p < 0.05). Also, after infecting the SK-BR-3 cells with lentivirus-mediated ErbB2-specific shRNA (Lenti-ShERBB2), we detected the expressions of ErbB-2 and TFF3 by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting, respectively. Compared with the control groups, ErbB-2 mRNA expression was decreased in the Lenti-ShERBB2 infection group, and Western blotting indicated a concordant ErbB-2 protein reduction. On the other hand, TFF3 expression at both mRNA and protein levels was significantly downregulated by ErbB-2 silencing in SK-BR-3. These findings are a proof of the foundation for a certain relationships of ErbB-2 and TFF3, which may serve as novel therapeutic markers of ErbB2-overexpressing breast cancers in the future.

Huang YG, Li YF, Wang LP, Zhang Y
Aberrant expression of trefoil factor 3 is associated with colorectal carcinoma metastasis.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2013 Jul-Sep; 9(3):376-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent evidence has indicated that the trefoil factor family possesses pivotal roles in the progression of human cancer. Aberrant expression of trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) has been reported to correlate with an aggressive tumor phenotype. However, the clinical importance of TFF3 expression in colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) has rarely been addressed.
PURPOSE: To investigate the putative role of TFF3 in colorectal carcinogenesis and progress, and to clarify whether TFF3 could be a serum marker for CRCs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-six CRCs were sequenced for TFF3 mutations; subsets of the primary tumors were subjected to real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry analyses and serum TFF3 was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for patients with CRCs.
RESULTS: No variants were detected in the code area of TFF3; TFF3 mRNA is increased in CRCs but not up to statistic significance when compared with paired normal colonic mucosa; TFF3 staining by immunohistochemistry in primary CRCs showed that increased expression of TFF3 is associated with lymph node metastases(LNM), and no significant differences were found with respect to patient's sex, cancer cell differentiation and stage. Serum TFF3 is significantly elevated in patients with CRCs, especially CRCs with LNM.
CONCLUSION: The results indicate that TFF3 point mutations seem to be a rare event in colorectal carcinogenesis; TFF3 expression may play a role in promoting lymph node metastases of CRCs and serum TFF3 may be a potential useful marker for patients with CRCs and their metastases.

Guske K, Schmitz B, Schelleckes M, et al.
Tissue-specific differences in the regulation of KIBRA gene expression involve transcription factor TCF7L2 and a complex alternative promoter system.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2014; 92(2):185-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: KIBRA has been described as a key regulator of the Hippo signaling pathway, regulating organ size control, cell contact inhibition, cell growth, as well as tumorigenesis and cystogenesis. Since there is scarce information on KIBRA gene expression regulation, we analyzed the molecular basis of tissue-specific KIBRA expression in human kidney epithelial (IHKE, HPCT) and neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y, SK-SN-SH) cells. We detected four novel and differentially used transcription start sites, two of which positioned in the first intron, generating two novel alternative exons. We identified one constitutively active core promoter (P1a) and three alternative promoters (P1b, P2, and P3), which were exclusively active in kidney cells. Transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) selectively activated KIBRA at P1a, P2, and P3 in kidney cells. The two genetic variants -580C>T (p < 0.05) and -1691C>T (p < 0.01) significantly affected the transcriptional activity of the KIBRA core promoter. We propose a novel functional structure of the KIBRA gene and provide detailed insight into molecular cell type-specific KIBRA transcriptional regulation by TCF7L2, the Yes-associated protein 1 and TEA domain family member. Our findings provide a potential basis for future studies on malfunctioning KIBRA regulation in pathophysiological conditions such as cancer development.
KEY MESSAGE: KIBRA expression is regulated by three independent, cell type-specific promoters Two novel TSS were located within intron one resulting in two alternative exons TSS utilization is cell type-specific TCF7L2, YAP1, and TEAD are involved in the differential KIBRA expression regulation.

Lasa A, Garcia A, Alonso C, et al.
Molecular detection of peripheral blood breast cancer mRNA transcripts as a surrogate biomarker for circulating tumor cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e74079 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are becoming a scientifically recognized indicator of primary tumors and/or metastasis. These cells can now be accurately detected and characterized as the result of technological advances. We analyzed the presence of CTCs in the peripheral blood of patients with metastatic breast cancer by real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) using a panel of selected genes. The analysis of a single marker, without an EpCAM based enrichment approach, allowed the positive identification of 35% of the metastatic breast cancer patients. The analysis of five genes (SCGB2, TFF1, TFF3, Muc1, KRT20) performed in all the samples increased the detection to 61%. We describe a sensitive, reproducible and easy to implement approach to characterize CTC in patients with metastasic breast cancer.

Roll JD, Rivenbark AG, Sandhu R, et al.
Dysregulation of the epigenome in triple-negative breast cancers: basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers express aberrant DNA hypermethylation.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2013; 95(3):276-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
A subset of human breast cancer cell lines exhibits aberrant DNA hypermethylation that is characterized by hyperactivity of the DNA methyltransferase enzymes, overexpression of DNMT3b, and concurrent methylation-dependent silencing of numerous epigenetic biomarker genes. The objective of this study was to determine if this aberrant DNA hypermethylation (i) is found in primary breast cancers, (ii) is associated with specific breast cancer molecular subtypes, and (iii) influences patient outcomes. Analysis of epigenetic biomarker genes (CDH1, CEACAM6, CST6, ESR1, GNA11, MUC1, MYB, SCNN1A, and TFF3) identified a gene expression signature characterized by reduced expression levels or loss of expression among a cohort of primary breast cancers. The breast cancers that express this gene expression signature are enriched for triple-negative subtypes - basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers. Methylation analysis of primary breast cancers showed extensive promoter hypermethylation of epigenetic biomarker genes among triple-negative breast cancers, compared to other breast cancer subclasses where promoter hypermethylation events were less frequent. Furthermore, triple-negative breast cancers either did not express or expressed significantly reduced levels of protein corresponding to methylation-sensitive biomarker gene products. Together, these findings suggest strongly that loss of epigenetic biomarker gene expression is frequently associated with gene promoter hypermethylation events. We propose that aberrant DNA hypermethylation is a common characteristic of triple-negative breast cancers and may represent a fundamental biological property of basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers. Kaplan-Meier analysis of relapse-free survival revealed a survival disadvantage for patients with breast cancers that exhibit aberrant DNA hypermethylation. Identification of this distinguishing trait among triple-negative breast cancers forms the basis for development of new rational therapies that target the epigenome in patients with basal-like and claudin-low breast cancers.

Zhang XM, Ma ZW, Wang Q, et al.
A new RNA-seq method to detect the transcription and non-coding RNA in prostate cancer.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2014; 20(1):43-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer is a big killer in many regions especially American men, and this year, the diagnosed rate rises rapidly. We aimed to find the biomarker or any changing in prostate cancer patients. With the development of next generation sequencing, much genomic alteration has been found. Here, basing on the RNA-seq result of human prostate cancer tissue, we tried to find the transcription or non-coding RNA expressed differentially between normal tissue and prostate cancer tissue. 10 T sample data is the RNA-seq data for prostate cancer tissue in this study, we found the differential gene is TFF3-Trefoil factor 3, which was more than seven fold change from prostate cancer tissue to normal tissue, and the most outstanding transcript is C15orf21. Additionally, 9 lncRNAs were found according our method. Finally, we found the many important non-coding RNA related to prostate cancer, some of them were long non-coding RNA (lncRNA).

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