Gene Summary

Gene:TRAF1; TNF receptor associated factor 1
Aliases: EBI6, MGC:10353
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the TNF receptor (TNFR) associated factor (TRAF) protein family. TRAF proteins associate with, and mediate the signal transduction from various receptors of the TNFR superfamily. This protein and TRAF2 form a heterodimeric complex, which is required for TNF-alpha-mediated activation of MAPK8/JNK and NF-kappaB. The protein complex formed by this protein and TRAF2 also interacts with inhibitor-of-apoptosis proteins (IAPs), and thus mediates the anti-apoptotic signals from TNF receptors. The expression of this protein can be induced by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV infection membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is found to interact with this and other TRAF proteins; this interaction is thought to link LMP1-mediated B lymphocyte transformation to the signal transduction from TNFR family receptors. Three transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:TNF receptor-associated factor 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 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 15 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.

  • Drug Resistance
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Messenger RNA
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Ubiquitin
  • Chromosome 9
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Up-Regulation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transfection
  • TNF
  • Drug Synergism
  • p53 Protein
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • CD40
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Western Blotting
  • Tamoxifen
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 1
  • Down-Regulation
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • Cell Survival
  • Apoptosis
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Gene Expression
  • Virulence Factors
  • Ubiquitination
  • NF-kappa B
  • Toll-Like Receptors
Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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: TRAF1 (cancer-related)

Kempkes B, Robertson ES
Epstein-Barr virus latency: current and future perspectives.
Curr Opin Virol. 2015; 14:138-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
EBV drives resting B cells to continuous proliferating latently infected cells. A restricted program of viral transcription contributes to latency and cell proliferation important for growth transformation. Recent interest in latency and transformation has provided new data about the roles of the EBV encoded latent proteins and non-coding RNAs. We broadly describe the transcription, epigenetic, signaling and super-enhancer functions of the latent nuclear antigens in regulating cellular transcription; the role of LMP2 in utilization of the autophagosome to control cell death, and the association between LMP1, the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex and TRAF1 which are important for transformation. This review explores recent discoveries with new insights into therapeutic avenues for EBV related malignancies.

Meulendijks D, Lassen UN, Siu LL, et al.
Exposure and Tumor Fn14 Expression as Determinants of Pharmacodynamics of the Anti-TWEAK Monoclonal Antibody RG7212 in Patients with Fn14-Positive Solid Tumors.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(4):858-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The TWEAK-Fn14 pathway represents a novel anticancer target that is being actively investigated. Understanding the relationship between pharmacokinetics of anti-TWEAK therapeutics and tumor pharmacodynamics is critical. We investigated exposure-response relationships of RG7212, an anti-TWEAK mAb, in patients with Fn14-expressing tumors.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients with Fn14-positive tumors (IHC ≥ 1+) treated in a phase I first-in-human study with ascending doses of RG7212 were the basis for this analysis. Pharmacokinetics of RG7212 and dynamics of TWEAK were determined, as were changes in tumor TWEAK-Fn14 signaling in paired pre- and posttreatment tumor biopsies. The objectives of the analysis were to define exposure-response relationships and the relationship between pretreatment tumor Fn14 expression and pharmacodynamic effect. Associations between changes in TWEAK-Fn14 signaling and clinical outcome were explored.
RESULTS: Thirty-six patients were included in the analysis. RG7212 reduced plasma TWEAK to undetectable levels at all observed RG7212 exposures. In contrast, reductions in tumor Fn14 and TRAF1 protein expression were observed only at higher exposure (≥ 300 mg*h/mL). Significant reductions in tumor Ki-67 expression and early changes in serum concentrations of CCL-2 and MMP-9 were observed exclusively in patients with higher drug exposure who had high pretreatment tumor Fn14 expression. Pretreatment tumor Fn14 expression was not associated with outcome, but a trend toward longer time on study was observed with high versus low RG7212 exposure.
CONCLUSIONS: RG7212 reduced tumor TWEAK-Fn14 signaling in a systemic exposure-dependent manner. In addition to higher exposure, relatively high Fn14 expression might be required for pharmacodynamic effect of anti-TWEAK monoclonal antibodies.

Lawrence K, Berry B, Handshoe J, et al.
Detection of a TRAF1-ALK fusion in an anaplastic large cell lymphoma patient with chemotherapy and ALK inhibitor-resistant disease.
BMC Res Notes. 2015; 8:308 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, which was first identified as the fusion partner of the nucleophosmin (NPM1) gene in the recurrent t(2;5)(p23;q35) found in a subset of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Several distinct, non-NPM1, ALK fusions have subsequently been described in lymphomas and other tumor types. All of these fusions result in the constitutive expression and activation of ALK and ALK signaling pathways, ultimately leading to the malignant phenotype.
CASE REPORT: A non-NPM1 fusion partner of ALK was identified in a 32-year-old Caucasian male ALCL patient whose disease was refractory to standard chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation, and exhibited a poor response to a first-generation ALK inhibitor. Non-allele-specific ALK RT-qPCR revealed ALK overexpression and 5' RACE PCR revealed that the patient's lymphoma expressed a TRAF1-ALK fusion.
CONCLUSIONS: We report the case of an ALCL patient whose tumor harbored the newly recognized TRAF1-ALK fusion and describe the clinical outcome after treatment with an ALK inhibitor. The short survival of our patient may reflect a propensity toward aggressive behavior in lymphomas that express this ALK fusion.

Hirt C, Papadimitropoulos A, Muraro MG, et al.
Bioreactor-engineered cancer tissue-like structures mimic phenotypes, gene expression profiles and drug resistance patterns observed "in vivo".
Biomaterials. 2015; 62:138-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anticancer compound screening on 2D cell cultures poorly predicts "in vivo" performance, while conventional 3D culture systems are usually characterized by limited cell proliferation, failing to produce tissue-like-structures (TLS) suitable for drug testing. We addressed engineering of TLS by culturing cancer cells in porous scaffolds under perfusion flow. Colorectal cancer (CRC) HT-29 cells were cultured in 2D, on collagen sponges in static conditions or in perfused bioreactors, or injected subcutaneously in immunodeficient mice. Perfused 3D (p3D) cultures resulted in significantly higher (p < 0.0001) cell proliferation than static 3D (s3D) cultures and yielded more homogeneous TLS, with morphology and phenotypes similar to xenografts. Transcriptome analysis revealed a high correlation between xenografts and p3D cultures, particularly for gene clusters regulating apoptotic processes and response to hypoxia. Treatment with 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU), a frequently used but often clinically ineffective chemotherapy drug, induced apoptosis, down-regulation of anti-apoptotic genes (BCL-2, TRAF1, and c-FLIP) and decreased cell numbers in 2D, but only "nucleolar stress" in p3D and xenografts. Conversely, BCL-2 inhibitor ABT-199 induced cytotoxic effects in p3D but not in 2D cultures. Our findings advocate the importance of perfusion flow in 3D cultures of tumor cells to efficiently mimic functional features observed "in vivo" and to test anticancer compounds.

Lee HJ, Lee JJ, Song IH, et al.
Prognostic and predictive value of NanoString-based immune-related gene signatures in a neoadjuvant setting of triple-negative breast cancer: relationship to tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 151(3):619-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
The prognostic significance of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and immune signals has been described previously in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Furthermore, recent studies have shown that immunologic parameters are relevant for the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in breast cancer as well as for outcomes after adjuvant chemotherapy. However, immune signals are variable, and which signals are important is largely unknown. We, therefore, evaluated the expression of immune-related genes in TNBC treated with NAC. We retrospectively evaluated biopsy tissue from 55 patients with primary TNBC treated with NAC (anthracycline, cyclophosphamide, and docetaxel) against the NanoString nCounter GX Human Immunology Panel (579 immune-related genes). Higher expression of cytotoxic molecules, T cell receptor signaling pathway components, cytokines related to T helper cell type 1 (Th1), and B cell markers was associated with a pathologic complete response (pCR). Higher expression of NFKB1, MAPK1, TRAF1, CXCL13, GZMK, and IL7R was significantly associated with pCR, higher Miller-Payne grade, and lower residual cancer burden class. Expression of NFKB1, TRAF1, and CXCL13genes, in particular, was significantly correlated with a longer disease-free survival rate. Conversely, patients those who failed to achieve a pCR showed increased expression of genes related to neutrophils. Higher expression of cytotoxic molecules, T cell receptor signaling pathway components, Th1-related cytokines, and B cell markers is correlated with pCR and survival in TNBC patients treated with NAC. Our results suggest that the activation status of neutrophils may provide additional predictive information for TNBC patients treated with NAC.

Greenfeld H, Takasaki K, Walsh MJ, et al.
TRAF1 Coordinates Polyubiquitin Signaling to Enhance Epstein-Barr Virus LMP1-Mediated Growth and Survival Pathway Activation.
PLoS Pathog. 2015; 11(5):e1004890 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encoded oncoprotein Latent Membrane Protein 1 (LMP1) signals through two C-terminal tail domains to drive cell growth, survival and transformation. The LMP1 membrane-proximal TES1/CTAR1 domain recruits TRAFs to activate MAP kinase, non-canonical and canonical NF-kB pathways, and is critical for EBV-mediated B-cell transformation. TRAF1 is amongst the most highly TES1-induced target genes and is abundantly expressed in EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders. We found that TRAF1 expression enhanced LMP1 TES1 domain-mediated activation of the p38, JNK, ERK and canonical NF-kB pathways, but not non-canonical NF-kB pathway activity. To gain insights into how TRAF1 amplifies LMP1 TES1 MAP kinase and canonical NF-kB pathways, we performed proteomic analysis of TRAF1 complexes immuno-purified from cells uninduced or induced for LMP1 TES1 signaling. Unexpectedly, we found that LMP1 TES1 domain signaling induced an association between TRAF1 and the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC), and stimulated linear (M1)-linked polyubiquitin chain attachment to TRAF1 complexes. LMP1 or TRAF1 complexes isolated from EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid B cell lines (LCLs) were highly modified by M1-linked polyubiqutin chains. The M1-ubiquitin binding proteins IKK-gamma/NEMO, A20 and ABIN1 each associate with TRAF1 in cells that express LMP1. TRAF2, but not the cIAP1 or cIAP2 ubiquitin ligases, plays a key role in LUBAC recruitment and M1-chain attachment to TRAF1 complexes, implicating the TRAF1:TRAF2 heterotrimer in LMP1 TES1-dependent LUBAC activation. Depletion of either TRAF1, or the LUBAC ubiquitin E3 ligase subunit HOIP, markedly impaired LCL growth. Likewise, LMP1 or TRAF1 complexes purified from LCLs were decorated by lysine 63 (K63)-linked polyubiqutin chains. LMP1 TES1 signaling induced K63-polyubiquitin chain attachment to TRAF1 complexes, and TRAF2 was identified as K63-Ub chain target. Co-localization of M1- and K63-linked polyubiquitin chains on LMP1 complexes may facilitate downstream canonical NF-kB pathway activation. Our results highlight LUBAC as a novel potential therapeutic target in EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders.

Abate F, Todaro M, van der Krogt JA, et al.
A novel patient-derived tumorgraft model with TRAF1-ALK anaplastic large-cell lymphoma translocation.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(6):1390-401 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although anaplastic large-cell lymphomas (ALCL) carrying anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) have a relatively good prognosis, aggressive forms exist. We have identified a novel translocation, causing the fusion of the TRAF1 and ALK genes, in one patient who presented with a leukemic ALK+ ALCL (ALCL-11). To uncover the mechanisms leading to high-grade ALCL, we developed a human patient-derived tumorgraft (hPDT) line. Molecular characterization of primary and PDT cells demonstrated the activation of ALK and nuclear factor kB (NFkB) pathways. Genomic studies of ALCL-11 showed the TP53 loss and the in vivo subclonal expansion of lymphoma cells, lacking PRDM1/Blimp1 and carrying c-MYC gene amplification. The treatment with proteasome inhibitors of TRAF1-ALK cells led to the downregulation of p50/p52 and lymphoma growth inhibition. Moreover, a NFkB gene set classifier stratified ALCL in distinct subsets with different clinical outcome. Although a selective ALK inhibitor (CEP28122) resulted in a significant clinical response of hPDT mice, nevertheless the disease could not be eradicated. These data indicate that the activation of NFkB signaling contributes to the neoplastic phenotype of TRAF1-ALK ALCL. ALCL hPDTs are invaluable tools to validate the role of druggable molecules, predict therapeutic responses and implement patient specific therapies.

Takeoka K, Okumura A, Honjo G, Ohno H
Variant translocation partners of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene in two cases of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, identified by inverse cDNA polymerase chain reaction.
J Clin Exp Hematop. 2014; 54(3):225-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
In anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene is rearranged with diverse partners due to variant translocations/inversions. Case 1 was a 39-year-old man who developed multiple tumors in the mediastinum, psoas muscle, lung, and lymph nodes. A biopsy specimen of the inguinal node was effaced by large tumor cells expressing CD30, epithelial membrane antigen, and cytoplasmic ALK, which led to a diagnosis of ALK(+) ALCL. Case 2 was a 51-year-old man who was initially diagnosed with undifferentiated carcinoma. He developed multiple skin tumors eight years after his initial presentation, and was finally diagnosed with ALK(+) ALCL. He died of therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia. G-banding and fluorescence in situ hybridization using an ALK break-apart probe revealed the rearrangement of ALK and suggested variant translocation in both cases. We applied an inverse cDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) strategy to identify the partner of ALK. Nucleotide sequencing of the PCR products and a database search revealed that the sequences of ATIC in case 1 and TRAF1 in case 2 appeared to follow those of ALK. We subsequently confirmed ATIC-ALK and TRAF1-ALK fusions by reverse transcriptase PCR and nucleotide sequencing. We successfully determined the partner gene of ALK in two cases of ALK(+) ALCL. ATIC is the second most common partner of variant ALK rearrangements, while the TRAF1-ALK fusion gene was first reported in 2013, and this is the second reported case of ALK(+) ALCL carrying TRAF1-ALK.

Kang KW, Lee MJ, Song JA, et al.
Overexpression of goosecoid homeobox is associated with chemoresistance and poor prognosis in ovarian carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(1):189-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian carcinoma is the most lethal cancer among all gynecological malignancies due to recurrence through chemoresistance. The aim of the present study was to identify new biomarkers to predict chemoresistance and prognosis in ovarian carcinomas. The mRNA expression by qRT-PCR was examined in 60 ovarian serous carcinomas for selected genes from the screening by PCR array focusing on apoptosis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and cancer pathways. The clinical impact was assessed by analyzing the correlation between gene expression and clinicopathological variables. Further validation with immunohistochemistry was performed with 75 cases of serous carcinomas. The chemoresistance was significantly associated with high expression of FOS, GSC, SNAI1, TERT and TNFRSF10D, and low expression of CDKN1A, TNFRSF10A, TNFRSF10C and TRAF1 (p<0.05, t-test). Low expression of TRAF1 and high expression of E2F1, FOS, TERT and GSC were significantly associated with advanced clinical stage (p<0.05, χ2-test). Lymph node metastasis was significantly associated with high expression of GSC. The upregulation group of TERT, GSC, NOTCH1 and SNAI1, and downregulation group of TRAF1 were significantly associated with poor overall survival (p<0.05, log-rank test). On further validation with immunohistochemistry, overexpression of goosecoid homeobox (GSC) was associated with poor overall survival. The results suggest that GSC is the most potential biomarker of drug response and poor prognosis in ovarian serous carcinomas.

Wang F, Bu G, Feng Q, et al.
The expression level of TRAF1 in human gastric mucosa is related to virulence genotypes of Helicobacter pylori.
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2014; 49(8):925-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression level of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1) in gastric mucosa tissue in patients infected with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and to analyze the relationship between TRAF1 expression and H. pylori virulence.
METHODS: Gastric tissue samples were collected from patients with gastritis, atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia with atypical hyperplasia, and gastric cancer. The expression level of TRAF1 in each group was analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blot analysis. Virulence genotypes of H. pylori were determined by PCR.
RESULTS: Significant differences in TRAF1 mRNA levels were observed between the gastritis and gastric cancer groups, and the atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer groups (p < 0.05). Moreover, significant differences in TRAF1 protein levels were observed between the gastritis and intestinal metaplasia with atypical hyperplasia groups, between the gastritis and gastric cancer groups, and between the atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer groups (all p < 0.05). The virulence genotypes of cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA), vacAs1, and vacAm1 were more frequent in the TRAF1 high-level group than in the TRAF1 low-level group (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Higher TARF1 expression level is associated with infection by CagA(+)/vacAs1(+)/m1(+) virulent H. pylori strains and may promote the proliferation of gastric mucosal cells and induce gastric cancer.

Weng L, Ziliak D, Lacroix B, et al.
Integrative "omic" analysis for tamoxifen sensitivity through cell based models.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e93420 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It has long been observed that tamoxifen sensitivity varies among breast cancer patients. Further, ethnic differences of tamoxifen therapy between Caucasian and African American have also been reported. Since most studies have been focused on Caucasian people, we sought to comprehensively evaluate genetic variants related to tamoxifen therapy in African-derived samples. An integrative "omic" approach developed by our group was used to investigate relationships among endoxifen (an active metabolite of tamoxifen) sensitivity, SNP genotype, mRNA and microRNA expressions in 58 HapMap YRI lymphoblastoid cell lines. We identified 50 SNPs that associate with cellular sensitivity to endoxifen through their effects on 34 genes and 30 microRNA expression. Some of these findings are shared in both Caucasian and African samples, while others are unique in the African samples. Among gene/microRNA that were identified in both ethnic groups, the expression of TRAF1 is also correlated with tamoxifen sensitivity in a collection of 44 breast cancer cell lines. Further, knock-down TRAF1 and over-expression of hsa-let-7i confirmed the roles of hsa-let-7i and TRAF1 in increasing tamoxifen sensitivity in the ZR-75-1 breast cancer cell line. Our integrative omic analysis facilitated the discovery of pharmacogenomic biomarkers that potentially affect tamoxifen sensitivity.

Matassa DS, Amoroso MR, Agliarulo I, et al.
Translational control in the stress adaptive response of cancer cells: a novel role for the heat shock protein TRAP1.
Cell Death Dis. 2013; 4:e851 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TNF receptor-associated protein 1 (TRAP1), the main mitochondrial member of the heat shock protein (HSP) 90 family, is induced in most tumor types and is involved in the regulation of proteostasis in the mitochondria of tumor cells through the control of folding and stability of selective proteins, such as Cyclophilin D and Sorcin. Notably, we have recently demonstrated that TRAP1 also interacts with the regulatory protein particle TBP7 in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it is involved in a further extra-mitochondrial quality control of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins through the regulation of their ubiquitination/degradation. Here we show that TRAP1 is involved in the translational control of cancer cells through an attenuation of global protein synthesis, as evidenced by an inverse correlation between TRAP1 expression and ubiquitination/degradation of nascent stress-protective client proteins. This study demonstrates for the first time that TRAP1 is associated with ribosomes and with several translation factors in colon carcinoma cells and, remarkably, is found co-upregulated with some components of the translational apparatus (eIF4A, eIF4E, eEF1A and eEF1G) in human colorectal cancers, with potential new opportunities for therapeutic intervention in humans. Moreover, TRAP1 regulates the rate of protein synthesis through the eIF2α pathway either under basal conditions or under stress, favoring the activation of GCN2 and PERK kinases, with consequent phosphorylation of eIF2α and attenuation of cap-dependent translation. This enhances the synthesis of selective stress-responsive proteins, such as the transcription factor ATF4 and its downstream effectors BiP/Grp78, and the cystine antiporter system xCT, thereby providing protection against ER stress, oxidative damage and nutrient deprivation. Accordingly, TRAP1 silencing sensitizes cells to apoptosis induced by novel antitumoral drugs that inhibit cap-dependent translation, such as ribavirin or 4EGI-1, and reduces the ability of cells to migrate through the pores of transwell filters. These new findings target the TRAP1 network in the development of novel anti-cancer strategies.

Feldman AL, Vasmatzis G, Asmann YW, et al.
Novel TRAF1-ALK fusion identified by deep RNA sequencing of anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(11):1097-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromosomal translocations leading to expression of abnormal fusion proteins play a major role in the pathogenesis of various hematologic malignancies. The recent development of high-throughput, "deep" sequencing has allowed discovery of novel translocations leading to a rapid increase in understanding these diseases. Translocations involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene leading to ALK fusion proteins originally were discovered in anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs). Among ALCLs, NPM1-ALK fusions are most common and lead to nuclear localization of the fusion protein. Here, we present a 50-year-old male with ALCL demonstrating cytoplasmic ALK immunoreactivity only, suggesting the presence of a non-NPM1 fusion partner. We performed deep RNA sequencing of tumor tissue from this patient and identified a novel transcript fusing Exon 6 of TRAF1 to Exon 20 of ALK. The TRAF1-ALK fusion transcript was confirmed at the mRNA level by Sanger sequencing and the fusion protein was visualized by Western blot. The discovery of this TRAF1-ALK fusion expands the diversity of known ALK fusion partners and highlights the power of deep sequencing for fusion transcript discovery. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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] Free Access to Full Article 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.

Goc A, Kochuparambil ST, Al-Husein B, et al.
Simultaneous modulation of the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways by simvastatin in mediating prostate cancer cell apoptosis.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:409 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest the potential benefits of statins as anti-cancer agents. Mechanisms by which statins induce apoptosis in cancer cells are not clear. We previously showed that simvastatin inhibit prostate cancer cell functions and tumor growth. Molecular mechanisms by which simvastatin induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cells is not completely understood.
METHODS: Effect of simvastatin on PC3 cell apoptosis was compared with docetaxel using apoptosis, TUNEL and trypan blue viability assays. Protein expression of major candidates of the intrinsic pathway downstream of simvastatin-mediated Akt inactivation was analyzed. Gene arrays and western analysis of PC3 cells and tumor lysates were performed to identify the candidate genes mediating extrinsic apoptosis pathway by simvastatin.
RESULTS: Data indicated that simvastatin inhibited intrinsic cell survival pathway in PC3 cells by enhancing phosphorylation of Bad, reducing the protein expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and cleaved caspases 9/3. Over-expression of PC3 cells with Bcl-2 or DN-caspase 9 did not rescue the simvastatin-induced apoptosis. Simvastatin treatment resulted in increased mRNA and protein expression of molecules such as TNF, Fas-L, Traf1 and cleaved caspase 8, major mediators of intrinsic apoptosis pathway and reduced protein levels of pro-survival genes Lhx4 and Nme5.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides the first report that simvastatin simultaneously modulates intrinsic and extrinsic pathways in the regulation of prostate cancer cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo, and render reasonable optimism that statins could become an attractive anti-cancer agent.

Nguyen MH, Ueda K, Nakamura Y, Daigo Y
Identification of a novel oncogene, MMS22L, involved in lung and esophageal carcinogenesis.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(4):1285-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genome-wide gene expression profile analyses using a cDNA microarray containing 27,648 genes or expressed sequence tags identified MMS22L (methyl methanesulfonate-sensitivity protein 22-like) to be overexpressed in the majority of clinical lung and esophageal cancers, but not expressed in normal organs except testis. Transfection of siRNAs against MMS22L into cancer cells suppressed its expression and inhibited cell growth, while exogenous expression of MMS22L enhanced the growth of mammalian cells. MMS22L protein was translocated to the nucleus and stabilized by binding to C-terminal portion of NFKBIL2 [nuclear factor of kappa (NFKB) light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor-like 2]. Expression of a C-terminal portion of NFKBIL2 protein including the MMS22L-interacting site in cancer cells could reduce the levels of MMS22L in nucleus and suppressed cancer cell growth. Interestingly, reduction of MMS22L by siRNAs in cancer cells inhibited the TNF-α-dependent activation of RelA/p65 in the NFKB pathway and expression of its downstream anti-apoptotic molecules such as Bcl-XL and TRAF1. In addition, knockdown of MMS22L expression also enhanced the apoptosis of cancer cells that were exposed to DNA-damaging agents including 5-FU and CDDP. Our data strongly suggest that targeting MMS22L as well as its interaction with NFKBIL2 could be a promising strategy for novel cancer treatments, and also improve the efficacy of DNA damaging anticancer drugs.

Rajandram R, Bennett NC, Wang Z, et al.
Patient samples of renal cell carcinoma show reduced expression of TRAF1 compared with normal kidney and functional studies in vitro indicate TRAF1 promotes apoptosis: potential for targeted therapy.
Pathology. 2012; 44(5):453-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor (TRAF) family of proteins links the TNF receptor superfamily to cell signalling cascades. TRAF1 is involved in regulation of apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation and stress responses. It has a role in development of several malignancies, but no information for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is available.
METHODS: Expression profiles for TRAF1 were investigated in 121 samples of human RCC of various subtypes plus paired normal kidney prepared in tissue microarrays, in comparison with apoptosis (morphology, ApopTag) and mitosis (morphology, proliferating cell nuclear antigen/PCNA). TRAF1 function was tested in vitro in RCC ACHN cells. TRAF1 short interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to inhibit expression of TRAF1 in ACHN cells untreated or treated with cancer therapies known to induce apoptosis (20 Gy X-irradiation and/or 500 IU/mL interferon-alpha).
RESULTS: In patient samples, TRAF1 localised to proximal tubular epithelium in normal kidney and was significantly decreased in clear cell RCC as one group (p < 0.01) and all other RCC subclassifications grouped together (p < 0.05). There was little apoptosis identified in any RCC samples. In vitro, TRAF1 siRNA caused significant reduction in TRAF1 expression and a concurrent decrease in apoptosis and increase in proliferative activity (both p < 0.05) in the ACHN RCC cells treated with radiation and interferon-alpha.
CONCLUSION: TRAF1 may have a pro-apoptotic, anti-mitotic role in RCC. The low TRAF1 expression in untreated RCC patient samples compared with normal kidney, and the localisation of TRAF1 to the proximal tubular epithelium from which many RCC originate, may indicate a potential for targeted therapy in RCC.

Muehleisen B, Jiang SB, Gladsjo JA, et al.
Distinct innate immune gene expression profiles in non-melanoma skin cancer of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e40754 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are the most frequent skin cancers in humans. An intact immune system is critical for protection against SCC since organ transplant recipients (OTR) have a 60- to 100-fold higher risk for developing these tumors. The role of the innate immune system in tumor immunosurveillance is unclear. Our aim was to determine the expression of selected innate immune genes in BCC and SCC arising in immunocompetent and OTR patients. Lesional and peri-lesional skin from 28 SCC and 19 BCC were evaluated for mRNA expression of toll-like receptors (TLR) 1-9, downstream TLR signaling molecules, and antimicrobial peptides. 11 SCC occurring in OTR patients were included in the analysis. We found that SCC but not BCC showed significantly elevated expression of TLRs 1-3, 5-8, TRIF and TRAF1. TNF was increased in SCC compared to normal skin. BCC showed increased IFNγ. hBD1, hBD2 and psoriasin mRNA and protein expression were significantly higher in SCC than in normal skin and higher than in BCC. SCC from OTR showed only an increase in hBD2 but no increase in hBD1 or psoriasin. We conclude that innate immune gene expression in SCC is distinct from normal skin and BCC. BCC shows lesser induction of innate immune genes. SCC from OTR patients have depressed expression of hBD1 and psoriasin compared to SCC from immunocompetent patients.

Kiaii S, Kokhaei P, Mozaffari F, et al.
T cells from indolent CLL patients prevent apoptosis of leukemic B cells in vitro and have altered gene expression profile.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013; 62(1):51-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
T cells may have a role in sustaining the leukemic clone in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In this study, we have examined the ability of T cells from CLL patients to support the survival of the leukemic B cells in vitro. Additionally, we compared global gene expression of T cells from indolent CLL patients with healthy individuals and multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Apoptosis of purified leukemic B cells was inhibited in vitro when co-cultured with increasing numbers of autologous T cells (p < 0.01) but not autologous B and T cells of normal donors. The anti-apoptotic effect exceeded that of the anti-apoptotic cytokine IL-4 (p = 0.002) and was greater with CD8+ cells (p = 0.02) than with CD4+ cells (p = 0.05). The effect was depended mainly on cell-cell contact although a significant effect was also observed in transwell experiments (p = 0.05). About 356 genes involved in different cellular pathways were deregulated in T cells of CLL patients compared to healthy individuals and MM patients. The results of gene expression profiling were verified for 6 genes (CCL4, CCL5 (RANTES), XCL1, XCL2, KLF6, and TRAF1) using qRT-PCR and immunoblotting. Our results demonstrate that CLL-derived T cells can prevent apoptosis of leukemic B cells and have altered expression of genes that may facilitate the survival of the leukemic clone.

Jin X, Wu XX, Jin C, et al.
Delineation of apoptotic genes for synergistic apoptosis of lexatumumab and anthracyclines in human renal cell carcinoma cells by polymerase chain reaction array.
Anticancer Drugs. 2012; 23(4):445-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lexatumumab, a human agonistic monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand receptor-2 (TRAIL-R2), is a promising molecular-targeted therapeutic agent. Our past study indicated that low concentrations of doxorubicin sensitized renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells to lexatumumab-mediated apoptosis. The present study was designed to examine the cellular and molecular effects of lexatumumab and anthracyclines in RCC cells. The treatment of human RCC cells with lexatumumab in combination with anthracyclines, epirubicin, and pirarubicin had a synergistic cytotoxicity. A marked synergistic apoptosis was induced by lexatumumab in combination with epirubicin or pirarubicin. Epirubicin and pirarubicin significantly increased the TRAIL-R2 expression at both the mRNA and the protein levels. The combination-induced cytotoxicity was significantly suppressed by the human recombinant DR5:Fc chimeric protein. To further explore the molecular mechanisms in this synergistic cytotoxicity with lexatumumab and anthracyclines, the changes in 84 apoptosis-related genes were evaluated by a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array. Among these genes, 18 (CD40LG, FASLG, LTA, TNSF7, FAS, BAG3, BAK1, BAX, BID, BIK, BCL10, caspase-1, caspase-5, caspase-6, caspase-10, TNF receptor-associated factor 1, PYCARD, and CIDEA) were significantly upregulated and eight (TNF receptor-associated factor 4, TNFRSF11B, TNF, BCL2, BCL2L1, BNIP3L, caspase-9, and DAPK1) were downregulated at mRNA levels in RCC cells cotreated with lexatumumab and epirubicin. Furthermore, the upregulation of mRNA levels of PYCARD and CIDEA was confirmed using real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis. The present study demonstrates that anthracylines sensitize RCC cells to lexatumumab-mediated apoptosis by inducing TRAIL-R2 expression, and the utility of PCR array to elucidate the mechanism of synergistic apoptosis.

Snell LM, Lin GH, McPherson AJ, et al.
T-cell intrinsic effects of GITR and 4-1BB during viral infection and cancer immunotherapy.
Immunol Rev. 2011; 244(1):197-217 [PubMed] Related Publications
GITR [glucocorticoid inducible tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)-related protein] and 4-1BB are costimulatory TNFR family members that are expressed on regulatory and effector T cells as well as on other cells of the immune system. Here we discuss the role of GITR and 4-1BB on T cells during viral infections and in cancer immunotherapy. Systemic treatment with agonistic anti-4-1BB antibody leads to a number of immune system abnormalities, and clinical trials of anti-4-1BB have been terminated. However, other modes of 4-1BB ligation may be less toxic. To date, similar toxicities have not been reported for anti-GITR treatment of mice, although anti-GITR antibodies can exacerbate mouse autoimmune models. Intrinsic effects of GITR and 4-1BB on effector T cells appear to predominate over their effects on other cell types in some models. Despite their similarities in enhancing T-cell survival, 4-1BB and GITR are clearly not redundant, and both pathways are required for maximal CD8(+) T-cell responses and mouse survival following severe respiratory influenza infection. GITR uses TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) 2 and TRAF5, whereas 4-1BB recruits TRAF1 and TRAF2 to mediate survival signaling in T cells. The differential use of signaling adapters combined with their differential expression may explain the non-redundant roles of GITR and 4-1BB in the immune system.

Shukla A, Hillegass JM, MacPherson MB, et al.
ERK2 is essential for the growth of human epithelioid malignant mesotheliomas.
Int J Cancer. 2011; 129(5):1075-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Members of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) family may have distinct roles in the development of cell injury and repair, differentiation and carcinogenesis. Here, we show, using a synthetic small-molecule MEK1/2 inhibitor (U0126) and RNA silencing of ERK1 and 2, comparatively, that ERK2 is critical to transformation and homeostasis of human epithelioid malignant mesotheliomas (MMs), asbestos-induced tumors with a poor prognosis. Although MM cell (HMESO) lines stably transfected with shERK1 or shERK2 both exhibited significant decreases in cell proliferation in vitro, injection of shERK2 cells, and not shERK1 cells, into immunocompromised severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice showed significant attenuated tumor growth in comparison to shControl (shCon) cells. Inhibition of migration, invasion and colony formation occurred in shERK2 MM cells in vitro, suggesting multiple roles of ERK2 in neoplasia. Microarray and quantitative real-time PCR analyses revealed gene expression that was significantly increased (CASP1, TRAF1 and FAS) or decreased (SEMA3E, RPS6KA2, EGF and BCL2L1) in shERK2-transfected MM cells in contrast to shCon-transfected MM cells. Most striking decreases were observed in mRNA levels of Semaphorin 3 (SEMA3E), a candidate tumor suppressor gene linked to inhibition of angiogenesis. These studies demonstrate a key role of ERK2 in novel gene expression critical to the development of epithelioid MMs. After injection of sarcomatoid human MM (PPMMill) cells into SCID mice, both shERK1 and shERK2 lines showed significant decreased tumor growth, suggesting heterogeneous effects of ERKs in individual MMs.

Song L, Xiong H, Li J, et al.
Sphingosine kinase-1 enhances resistance to apoptosis through activation of PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway in human non-small cell lung cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(7):1839-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The present study was to examine the effect of sphingosine kinase-1 (SPHK1) on chemotherapeutics-induced apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells, which is relatively insensitive to chemotherapy, and its clinical significance in NSCLC progression.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The correlation of SPHK1 expression and clinical features of NSCLC was analyzed in 218 paraffin-embedded archived NSCLC specimens by immunohistochemical analysis. The effect of SPHK1 on apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutics was examined both in vitro and in vivo, using Annexin V staining and TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling) assays. Western blotting and luciferase analysis were performed to examine the impact of SPHK1 on the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB signaling.
RESULTS: The expression of SPHK1 was markedly increased in NSCLC and correlated with tumor progression and poor survival of patients with NSCLC. Upregulation of SPHK1 significantly inhibited doxorubicin- or docetaxel-induced apoptosis, associated with induction of antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-xl, c-IAP1, c-IAP2, and TRAF1. In contrast, silencing SPHK1 expression or inhibiting SPHK1 activity with specific inhibitor, SK1-I, significantly enhanced the sensitivity of NSCLC cells to apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutics both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we demonstrated that upregulation of SPHK1 activated the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway, and that inhibition of the PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway abrogated the antiapoptotic effect of SPHK1 on NSCLC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that SPHK1 is a potential pharmacologic target for the treatment of NSCLC and inhibition of SPHK1 expression or its kinase activity might represent a novel strategy to sensitize NSCLC to chemotherapy.

Lu B, Hu M, Liu K, Peng J
Cytotoxicity of berberine on human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells through mitochondria, death receptor and MAPK pathways, and in-silico drug-target prediction.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2010; 24(6):1482-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Berberine, a natural product, has been widely used to treat hyperlipoidemia and intestinal diseases. In the present paper, berberine showed a significant anti-proliferative effect to human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells confirmed by 3-(4,5)-dimethyl-thiahiazo(-z-y1)-3,5-di-phenytetrazoliumromide (MTT), flow cytometry analysis (FCM) and so on. The methods including western blotting, radioimmunity assay (RIA), reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to investigate protein and mRNA expressions. We found that Bcl-2/Bax ratio was significantly decreased and cytochrome c was released from mitochondrion to cytosol, which indicated that the mitochondrial pathway was activated by berberine. The up-regulation of Fas, FasL, TNF-alpha and TRAF-1 indicated the involvement of the death receptor pathway in the process of berberine-induced apoptosis. Furthermore caspase-3 and caspase-8 were activated as a central event of apoptosis, and the levels of phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) were also investigated. In addition, the increased expression of p53 was also observed in berberine-treated HeLa cells, and as a node point of these different pathways in a protein-protein interaction network constructed by GeneGo software, p53 might be the possible drug-target of berberine's anti-cancer on HeLa cells, which was predicted by a flexible ligand-protein inverse docking program, INVDOCK. This study is benefit for clarifying the mechanism of berberine's anti-tumor effect and might be helpful to find therapy-target for treatment of human cervical carcinoma.

O'Neil BH, Funkhouser WK, Calvo BF, et al.
Nuclear factor κ-light chain-enhancer of activated B cells is activated by radiotherapy and is prognostic for overall survival in patients with rectal cancer treated with preoperative fluorouracil-based chemoradiotheraphy.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011; 80(3):705-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Rectal cancer is often clinically resistant to radiotherapy (RT) and identifying molecular markers to define the biologic basis for this phenomenon would be valuable. The nuclear factor κ-light chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) is a potential anti-apoptotic transcription factor that has been associated with resistance to RT in model systems. The present study was designed to evaluate NF-κB activation in patients with rectal cancer undergoing chemoradiotherapy to determine whether NF-κB activity correlates with the outcome in rectal cancer patients.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: A total of 22 patients underwent biopsy at multiple points in a prospective study and the data from another 50 were analyzed retrospectively. The pretreatment tumor tissue was analyzed for multiple NF-κB subunits by immunohistochemistry. Serial tumor biopsy cores were analyzed for NF-κB-regulated gene expression using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and for NF-κB subunit nuclear localization using immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Several NF-κB target genes (Bcl-2, cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein [cIAP]2, interleukin-8, and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated-1) were significantly upregulated by a single fraction of RT at 24 h, demonstrating for the first time that NF-κB is activated by RT in human rectal tumors. The baseline NF-κB p50 nuclear expression did not correlate with the pathologic response to RT. However, an increasing baseline p50 level was prognostic for overall survival (hazard ratio, 2.15; p = .040).
CONCLUSION: NF-κB nuclear expression at baseline in rectal cancer was prognostic for overall survival but not predictive of the response to RT. Larger patient numbers are needed to assess the effect of NF-κB target gene upregulation on the response to RT. Our results suggest that NF-κB might play an important role in tumor metastasis but not to the resistance to chemoradiotherapy.

Prasad S, Yadav VR, Sundaram C, et al.
Crotepoxide chemosensitizes tumor cells through inhibition of expression of proliferation, invasion, and angiogenic proteins linked to proinflammatory pathway.
J Biol Chem. 2010; 285(35):26987-97 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Crotepoxide (a substituted cyclohexane diepoxide), isolated from Kaempferia pulchra (peacock ginger), although linked to antitumor and anti-inflammatory activities, the mechanism by which it exhibits these activities, is not yet understood. Because nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) plays a critical role in these signaling pathways, we investigated the effects of crotepoxide on NF-kappaB-mediated cellular responses in human cancer cells. We found that crotepoxide potentiated tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and chemotherapeutic agents induced apoptosis and inhibited the expression of NF-kappaB-regulated gene products involved in anti-apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, IAP1,(2) MCl-1, survivin, and TRAF1), apoptosis (Bax, Bid), inflammation (COX-2), proliferation (cyclin D1 and c-myc), invasion (ICAM-1 and MMP-9), and angiogenesis (VEGF). We also found that crotepoxide inhibited both inducible and constitutive NF-kappaB activation. Crotepoxide inhibition of NF-kappaB was not inducer-specific; it inhibited NF-kappaB activation induced by TNF, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, lipopolysaccharide, and cigarette smoke. Crotepoxide suppression of NF-kappaB was not cell type-specific because NF-kappaB activation was inhibited in myeloid, leukemia, and epithelial cells. Furthermore, we found that crotepoxide inhibited TAK1 activation, which led to suppression of IkappaBalpha kinase, abrogation of IkappaBalpha phosphorylation and degradation, nuclear translocation of p65, and suppression of NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene expression. Overall, our results indicate that crotepoxide sensitizes tumor cells to cytokines and chemotherapeutic agents through inhibition of NF-kappaB and NF-kappaB-regulated gene products, and this may provide the molecular basis for crotepoxide ability to suppress inflammation and carcinogenesis.

Aronchik I, Bjeldanes LF, Firestone GL
Direct inhibition of elastase activity by indole-3-carbinol triggers a CD40-TRAF regulatory cascade that disrupts NF-kappaB transcriptional activity in human breast cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2010; 70(12):4961-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment of highly tumorigenic MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells with indole-3-carbinol (I3C) directly inhibited the extracellular elastase-dependent cleavage of membrane-associated CD40, a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily. CD40 signaling has been implicated in regulating cell survival, apoptosis, and proliferation, as well as in sensitizing breast cancer cells to chemotherapy, and is therefore an important potential target of novel breast cancer treatments. The I3C-dependent accumulation of full-length unprocessed CD40 protein caused a shift in CD40 signaling through TNF receptor-associated factors (TRAF), including the TRAF1/TRAF2 positive regulators and TRAF3 negative regulator of NF-kappaB transcription factor activity. Because TRAF1 is a transcriptional target gene of NF-kappaB, I3C disrupted a positive feedback loop involving these critical cell survival components. siRNA ablation of elastase expression mimicked the I3C inhibition of CD40 protein processing and G(1) cell cycle arrest, whereas siRNA knockdown of TRAF3 and the NF-kappaB inhibitor IkappaB prevented the I3C-induced cell cycle arrest. In contrast, siRNA knockdown of PTEN had no effect on the I3C control of NF-kappaB activity, showing the importance of CD40 signaling in regulating this transcription factor. Our study provides the first direct in vitro evidence that I3C directly inhibits the elastase-mediated proteolytic processing of CD40, which alters downstream signaling to disrupt NF-kappaB-induced cell survival and proliferative responses. Furthermore, we have established a new I3C-mediated antiproliferative cascade that has significant therapeutic potential for treatment of human cancers associated with high levels of elastase and its CD40 membrane substrate.

Lavorgna A, De Filippi R, Formisano S, Leonardi A
TNF receptor-associated factor 1 is a positive regulator of the NF-kappaB alternative pathway.
Mol Immunol. 2009; 46(16):3278-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1) is unique among the members of the TRAF family, as it lacks the N-terminal RING/zinc-finger domain. Also the function of TRAF1 is not clearly established, with many papers reporting contradictory results. Here we show that TRAF1 interacts with BAFF receptor, a member of the TNF receptor family, and positively regulates activation of the alternative NF-kappaB pathway. Ectopic expression of TRAF1 causes degradation of TRAF3, stabilization of NIK, and processing of p100 to produce the mature form p52. In addition, we show that knocking-down expression of TRAF1 in the Hodgkin's disease derived cell line L1236, interfere with p100 processing and with p52 mediate gene transcription. Collectively these results support a role for TRAF1 as a positive regulator of the NF-kappaB alternative pathway.

Guo F, Sun A, Wang W, et al.
TRAF1 is involved in the classical NF-kappaB activation and CD30-induced alternative activity in Hodgkin's lymphoma cells.
Mol Immunol. 2009; 46(13):2441-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
TNFR-associated factors (TRAFs) participate in diverse biological processes, such as adaptive and innate immunity, stress response, and bone metabolism. We report that all TRAFs except TRAF3 are expressed at mRNA and protein levels in B cell-derived Hodgkin's lymphoma cell lines (L428 and KM-H2). Both the classical (p50-RelA) and the alternative NF-kappaB activity (p52-RelB) are sustained in L428 and KM-H2 cells. A successful depletion of TRAF1 protein expression by means of RNA interference abrogates the anti-apoptosis activity in L428 cells. The TRAF1-deficiency reduces the classical NF-kappaB activity but not the alternative activity. The expression of the NF-kappaB targeting genes, such as ICAM-1, c-Flip, and Cyclin D1, is suppressed in the TRAF1-depleted cells. On the other hand, CD30 signaling upregulates the TRAF1 expression while reducing the expression of TRAF2 and TRAF5. Importantly, the CD30-induced alternative NF-kappaB activation is inhibited by the depletion of the TRAF1 expression. We also demonstrate that the phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) upon CD30 stimulation in Hodgkin's lymphoma cells is independent of TRAF1 expression. Our data shed new light on the function of TRAF1 in B cell-derived lymphoma cells. We conclude that TRAF1 is an important molecule mediating both the CD30 signaling-dependent and independent NF-kappaB activation, which prevents the lymphoma cells from spontaneous and induced apoptosis.

Du Q, Zhang X, Cardinal J, et al.
Wnt/beta-catenin signaling regulates cytokine-induced human inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by inhibiting nuclear factor-kappaB activation in cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(9):3764-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human inducible nitric oxide synthase (hiNOS) gene is regulated by nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) and has recently been shown to be a target of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling might regulate cytokine- or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha)-induced hiNOS expression through interaction with NF-kappaB. A cytokine mixture of TNFalpha + interleukin (IL)-1beta + IFNgamma induced a 2- to 3-fold increase in hiNOS promoter activity in HCT116 and DLD1 colon cells, but produced a 2-fold decrease in SW480 colon cancer cells. A similar differential activity was seen in liver cancer cells (HepG2, Huh7, and Hep3B). Overexpression of beta-catenin produced a dose-dependent decrease in NF-kappaB reporter activity and decreased cytokine mixture-induced hiNOS promoter activity. Gel shift for TNFalpha-induced hiNOS NF-kappaB activation showed decreased p50 binding and decreased NF-kappaB reporter activity in the beta-catenin-mutant HAbeta18 cells. Conversely, enhanced p50 binding and increased NF-kappaB reporter activity were seen in HAbeta85 cells, which lack beta-catenin signaling. Coimmunoprecipitation confirmed that beta-catenin complexed with both p65 and p50 NF-kappaB proteins. NF-kappaB-dependent Traf1 protein expression also inversely correlated with the level of beta-catenin. Furthermore, SW480 cells stably transformed with wild-type adenomatous polyposis coli showed decreased beta-catenin protein and increased TNFalpha-induced p65 NF-kappaB binding as well as iNOS and Traf1 expression. Finally, beta-catenin inversely correlated with iNOS and Fas expression in vivo in hepatocellular carcinoma tumor samples. Our in vitro and in vivo data show that beta-catenin signaling inversely correlates with cytokine-induced hiNOS and other NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression. These findings underscore the complex role of Wnt/beta-catenin, NF-kappaB, and iNOS signaling in the pathophysiology of inflammation-associated carcinogenesis.

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