Gene Summary

Gene:TSPO; translocator protein
Summary:Present mainly in the mitochondrial compartment of peripheral tissues, the protein encoded by this gene interacts with some benzodiazepines and has different affinities than its endogenous counterpart. The protein is a key factor in the flow of cholesterol into mitochondria to permit the initiation of steroid hormone synthesis. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been reported; one of the variants lacks an internal exon and is considered non-coding, and the other variants encode the same protein. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2012]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:translocator protein
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.

Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: TSPO (cancer-related)

Hao Y, Yang X, Zhang D, et al.
Long noncoding RNA LINC01186, regulated by TGF-β/SMAD3, inhibits migration and invasion through Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition in lung cancer.
Gene. 2017; 608:1-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence suggests that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are crucial regulators of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition (EMT). TGF-β signaling is a major inducer of EMT and can facilitate lung cancer metastasis. However, the role of lncRNAs in this process remains largely unknown. Here, we have identified 291 lncRNAs which were differentially expressed in lung cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Of these, the gene body or vicinity of 19 transcripts were also bound by SMAD3. The expression of LINC01186 was significantly decreased in A549 cells treated with TGF-β1. Furthermore, LINC01186 was stably down-regulated in lung cancer tissues compared with normal tissues in TCGA data sets and another published lung cancer data sets. The bioinformatics analysis suggested that LINC01186 was associated with TGF-β and might participate in EMT process. Moreover, knocking-down LINC01186 promoted cell migration and invasion, whereas, LINC01186 overexpression prevented cell metastasis. Importantly, LINC01186 expression was regulated by SMAD3. And LINC01186 affected several EMT markers expression. These findings suggest that LINC01186, a mediator of TGF-β signaling, can play a significant role in the regulation of EMT and lung cancer cell migration and invasion.

Middleton RJ, Kam WW, Liu GJ, Banati RB
Epigenetic Silencing of the Human 18 kDa Translocator Protein in a T Cell Leukemia Cell Line.
DNA Cell Biol. 2017; 36(2):103-108 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mitochondrial membrane 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO), previously known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, is constitutively expressed in most organs, most abundantly in hormonal tissue and cells of mononuclear phagocyte lineage, while in the brain, TSPO expression is induced in the wake of injury, inflammation, and neurodegeneration. Increased TSPO expression is also prominent in several cancerous tissues where it appears to correlate with the degree of malignancy. Currently, TSPO is thus actively investigated as a generic biomarker for disease activity and a therapeutic target for a wide range of diseases. In this study, we report a Jurkat human T cell leukemia cell line that has only trace expression of TSPO mRNA. Through the use of bisulphite genomic sequencing, we show that the Jurkat TSPO promoter is highly methylated except for CpG sites that are adjacent to the transcription start site. Control measurements in HEK-293, HeLa, and U87-MG cells with high TSPO mRNA expression showed low levels of TSPO promoter methylation. Demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) caused a dose-dependent increase in TSPO mRNA with a corresponding demethylation of the TSPO promoter in Jurkat cells. Treating HeLa and U87-MG cells with 5-aza-dC caused no change in the level of TSPO mRNA. These observations confirm the epigenetic regulation of TSPO and suggest it to be a more common mechanism by which the differential expression of TSPO in various cell types and in health and disease may be explained.

He Q, Yao CL, Li L, et al.
Targeted gene therapy and in vivo bioluminescent imaging for monitoring postsurgical recurrence and metastasis in mouse models of liver cancer.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated the effects of combined targeted gene therapy on recurrence and metastasis after liver cancer resection in nude mice. Twenty BALB/C mice were randomly divided into control and treatment groups with 10 mice in each group and a male/female ratio of 1:1. Luciferase gene-labeled human primary hepatic carcinoma cell line MHCC97-H was then used to prepare a carcinoma model. An optical in vivo imaging technique (OIIT) was used 10 days later to detect the distribution of tumor cells, followed by partial liver resection and gene therapy. In the treatment group, 100 mL phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) containing 1 x 1012 rAAV/AFP/IL-24 gene viral vectors was injected into liver sections and peritumoral posterior peritoneal tissues; in the control group, the same amount of PBS containing 1 x 1012 empty viral vectors was injected at the same sites. OIIT was then used to detect the in vivo tumor metastasis 21 days later. Luciferase gene-labeled human primary hepatic carcinoma cell line MHCC97-H successfully infected 20 nude mice, and OIIT showed that the two groups exhibited metastasis after local tumor resection, but there were more tumor cells in the control group (P < 0.05). rAAV/AFP/IL-24 gene therapy can inhibit recurrence after liver cancer resection.

Huang C, Wen B
Phenotype transformation of immortalized NCM460 colon epithelial cell line by TGF-β1 is associated with chromosome instability.
Mol Biol Rep. 2016; 43(10):1069-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) within tumor microenvironment has a pivotal function in cancer initiation and tumorigenesis, and hence this study was to observe the malignant transformation induced by TGF-β1 in an immortalized colon epithelial cell line NCM460 for better understanding the mechanisms of colon carcinogenesis. Immortalized colon epithelial cell line NCM460 was used as the model of this study, and was treated with different concentrations of TGF-β1 for different time. Then, immunofluorescence was performed to observe the change of phenotype hallmarks including adherent junction protein E-cadherin, cytoskeleton protein vimentin, and tight junction marker ZO-1, western blotting analysis was performed to detect the expression of the above three markers and two transcription factors (Snail and Slug) involved in the transformation by TGF-β1. In addition, chromosome instability (CHI) including analysis of DNA-ploid was detected by flow cytometry. Our results revealed significant loss or reduction of ZO-1 and E-cadherin, and robust emergence of vimentin in the cell line NCM460 after a 15-, 20-, and 25-day treatment with 10 ng/ml TGF-β1. Interestingly, 20 and 25 days after stimulation with 5 ng/ml TGF-β1, expression of E-cadherin and ZO-1 revealed a pattern roughly similar to that of 10 ng/ml TGF-β1, especially, both expressions was vanished and vimentin expression was dramatically increased at days 25 after TGF-β1 stimulation. After a stimulation with 10 ng/ml TGF-β1 for 15, 20, and 25 days, the levels of Snail and Slug expression in the cells were significantly up-regulated, compared with the cells treated with TGF-β1 inhibitor LY364947, PBS or balnk control (P < 0.01). Our results found that many abnormal mitotic patterns including lagging chromosomes and anaphase bridges in NCM460 cells were induced by TGF-β1 after its stimulation for 15, 20, and 25 days. Very few mitotic cells with treatment of PBS for 15, 20 and 25 days were non-diploid whose DNA content was greater or less than 4 N, but these cells were significantly increased after exposure to TGF-β1 for 15, 20, and 25 days, which was associated with the induction of hypo-diploid, hyper-diploid, and poly-diploid (P < 0.05).These data indicate that TGF-β1 induces a phenotypic transformation of normal colon epithelium similar to its pro-tumoral behaviors in TME, involving in alteration of chromosome stability.

Wang S, Jia M
Antibody Therapies in Cancer.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016; 909:1-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Antibody-based immunotherapy has become a standard treatment for a variety of cancers. Many well-developed antibodies disrupt signaling of various growth factor receptors for the treatment of a number of cancers by targeting surface antigens expressed on tumor cells. In recent years, a new family of antibodies is currently emerging in the clinic, which target immune cells rather than cancer cells. These immune-targeted therapies strive to augment antitumor immune responses by antagonizing immunosuppressive pathways or providing exogenous immune-activating stimuli, which have achieved dramatic results in several cancers. The future of cancer therapies is likely to combine these approaches with other treatments, including conventional therapies, to generate more effective treatments.

Arif T, Krelin Y, Shoshan-Barmatz V
Reducing VDAC1 expression induces a non-apoptotic role for pro-apoptotic proteins in cancer cell differentiation.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1857(8):1228-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Proteins initially identified as essential for apoptosis also mediate a wide range of non-apoptotic functions that include cell cycle progression, differentiation and metabolism. As this phenomenon was mostly reported with non-cancer cells, we considered non-conventional roles for the apoptotic machinery in the cancer setting. We found that treating glioblastoma (GBM) tumors with siRNA against VDAC1, a mitochondrial protein found at the crossroads of metabolic and survival pathways and involved in apoptosis, inhibited tumor growth while leading to differentiation of tumor cells into neuronal-like cells, as reflected in the expression of specific markers. Although VDAC1 depletion did not induce apoptosis, the expression levels of several pro-apoptotic regulatory proteins were changed. Specifically, VDAC1 deletion led to up-regulation of caspases, p53, cytochrome c, and down-regulation of SMAC/Diablo, AIF and TSPO. The down-regulated group was highly expressed in U-87MG xenografts, as well as in GBMs from human patients. We also showed that the rewired cancer-cell metabolism resulting from VDAC1 depletion reinforced cell growth arrest and differentiation via alterations in the transcription factors p53, c-Myc, HIF-1α and NF-κB. The decrease in c-Myc, HIF-1α and NF-κB levels was in accord with reduced cell proliferation, whereas increased p53 expression promoted differentiation. Thus, upon metabolic re-programing induced by VDAC1 depletion, the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins associated with cell growth decreased, while those connected to cell differentiation increased, converting GBM cells into astrocyte- and neuron-like cells. The results reveal that in tumors, pro-apoptotic proteins can perform non-apoptotic functions, acting as regulators of cell growth and differentiation, making these molecules potential new targets for cancer therapy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2-6, 2016', edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.

Issop L, Ostuni MA, Lee S, et al.
Translocator Protein-Mediated Stabilization of Mitochondrial Architecture during Inflammation Stress in Colonic Cells.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0152919 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract increasing the risk of cancer has been described to be linked to the high expression of the mitochondrial translocator protein (18 kDa; TSPO). Accordingly, TSPO drug ligands have been shown to regulate cytokine production and to improve tissue reconstruction. We used HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells to evaluate the role of TSPO and its drug ligands in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced inflammation. TNF-induced interleukin (IL)-8 expression, coupled to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, was followed by TSPO overexpression. TNF also destabilized mitochondrial ultrastructure, inducing cell death by apoptosis. Treatment with the TSPO drug ligand PK 11195 maintained the mitochondrial ultrastructure, reducing IL-8 and ROS production and cell death. TSPO silencing and overexpression studies demonstrated that the presence of TSPO is essential to control IL-8 and ROS production, so as to maintain mitochondrial ultrastructure and to prevent cell death. Taken together, our data indicate that inflammation results in the disruption of mitochondrial complexes containing TSPO, leading to cell death and epithelia disruption.
SIGNIFICANCE: This work implicates TSPO in the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane integrity and in the control of mitochondrial ROS production, ultimately favoring tissue regeneration.

Zhang F, Dong W, Zeng W, et al.
Naringenin prevents TGF-β1 secretion from breast cancer and suppresses pulmonary metastasis by inhibiting PKC activation.
Breast Cancer Res. 2016; 18(1):38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Targeting the TGF-β1 pathway for breast cancer metastasis therapy has become an attractive strategy. We have previously demonstrated that naringenin significantly reduced TGF-β1 levels in bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis and effectively prevented pulmonary metastases of tumors. This raised the question of whether naringenin can block TGF-β1 secretion from breast cancer cells and inhibit their pulmonary metastasis.
METHODS: We transduced a lentiviral vector encoding the mouse Tgf-β1 gene into mouse breast carcinoma (4T1-Luc2) cells and inoculated the transformant cells (4T1/TGF-β1) into the fourth primary fat pat of Balb/c mice. Pulmonary metastases derived from the primary tumors were monitored using bioluminescent imaging. Spleens, lungs and serum (n = 18-20 per treatment group) were analyzed for immune cell activity and TGF-β1 level. The mechanism whereby naringenin decreases TGF-β1 secretion from breast cancer cells was investigated at different levels, including Tgf-β1 transcription, mRNA stability, translation, and extracellular release.
RESULTS: In contrast to the null-vector control (4T1/RFP) tumors, extensive pulmonary metastases derived from 4T1/TGF-β1 tumors were observed. Administration of the TGF-β1 blocking antibody 1D11 or naringenin showed an inhibition of pulmonary metastasis for both 4T1/TGF-β1 tumors and 4T1/RFP tumors, resulting in increased survival of the mice. Compared with 4T1/RFP bearing mice, systemic immunosuppression in 4T1/TGF-β1 bearing mice was observed, represented by a higher proportion of regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells and a lower proportion of activated T cells and INFγ expression in CD8(+) T cells. These metrics were improved by administration of 1D11 or naringenin. However, compared with 1D11, which neutralized secreted TGF-β1 but did not affect intracellular TGF-β1 levels, naringenin reduced the secretion of TGF-β1 from the cells, leading to an accumulation of intracellular TGF-β1. Further experiments revealed that naringenin had no effect on Tgf-β1 transcription, mRNA decay or protein translation, but prevented TGF-β1 transport from the trans-Golgi network by inhibiting PKC activity.
CONCLUSIONS: Naringenin blocks TGF-β1 trafficking from the trans-Golgi network by suppressing PKC activity, resulting in a reduction of TGF-β1 secretion from breast cancer cells. This finding suggests that naringenin may be an attractive therapeutic candidate for TGF-β1 related diseases.

Xu Y, Jin X, Huang Y, et al.
Inhibition of peritoneal metastasis of human gastric cancer cells by dextran sulphate through the reduction in HIF-1α and ITGβ1 expression.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(5):2624-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of dextran sulphate (DS) on HIF-1α and integrin β1 (ITGβ1) expression in human gastric cancer cells, the correlation between HIF-1α and ITGβ1 expression and the influence of DS on the peritoneal metastasis of human gastric cancer cells. In in vitro experiments, BGC-823 cells in the experimental and control groups were administered DS and PBS, respectively, and exposed to hypoxic conditions for different periods. Immunocytochemistry, western blot and RT-PCR analyses were used to evaluate HIF-1α and ITGβ1 expression levels. In in vivo experiments, an animal model was established by injecting BGC-823 cells into nude mice. The experimental and control groups received DS and PBS injections, respectively. The mice were euthanized at different times, and the number of tumor nodules in the celiac implantation was recorded. Immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and western blot analyses were used to detect HIF-1α and ITGβ1 expression in the tumor nodules of the greater omentum. The in vitro and in vivo results revealed that HIF-1α and ITGβ1 expression levels in the experimental group were significantly lower than those in the control group (P<0.05), and the expression levels of these factors were positively correlated with each other. The number of tumor nodules in the in vivo experiments was notably less in the experimental group than that noted in the control group (P<0.01). In conclusion, DS may act through inhibition of HIF-1α expression, which decreased ITGβ1 expression, consequently reducing tumor metastasis.

Li LL, Wang HR, Zhou ZY, et al.
C3-Luc Cells Are an Excellent Model for Evaluation of Cellular Immunity following HPV16L1 Vaccination.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0149748 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
C3 and TC-1 are the two model cell lines most commonly used in studies of vaccines and drugs against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Because C3 cells contain both the HPV16 E and L genes, but TC-1 cells contain only the HPV16 E genes, C3 cells are usually used as the model cell line in studies targeting the HPV16 L protein. However, expression of the L1 protein is difficult to detect in C3 cells using common methods. In our study, Short tandem repeat analysis (STR) was used to demonstrate that C3 cells are indeed derived from mice, PCR results show that HPV16 L1, E6 and E7 genes were detected in C3 genomic DNA, and RT-PCR results demonstrated that L1 transcription had occurred in C3 cells. However, the expression of C3 protein was not found in the results of western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Growth and proliferation of C3 were inhibited by mice spleen lymphocytes that had been immunized with a vaccine against HPV16L1. The luciferase gene was integrated into C3 cells, and it was confirmed that addition of the exogenous gene had no effect on C3 cells by comparing cell growth and tumor formation with untransformed cells. Cells stably expressing luciferase (C3-luc) were screened and subcutaneously injected into the mice. Tumors became established and were observed using a Spectrum Pre-clinical in Vivo Imaging System. Tumor size of mice in the different groups at various time points was calculated by counting photons. The sensitivity of the animals to the vaccine was quantified by statistical comparison. Ten or 30 days following injection of the C3-luc cells, tumor size differed significantly between the PBS and vaccine groups, indicating that C3 cells were susceptible to vaccination even after tumors were formed in vivo.

Fu L, Xu X, Ren R, et al.
Modeling xeroderma pigmentosum associated neurological pathologies with patients-derived iPSCs.
Protein Cell. 2016; 7(3):210-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a group of genetic disorders caused by mutations of XP-associated genes, resulting in impairment of DNA repair. XP patients frequently exhibit neurological degeneration, but the underlying mechanism is unknown, in part due to lack of proper disease models. Here, we generated patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) harboring mutations in five different XP genes including XPA, XPB, XPC, XPG, and XPV. These iPSCs were further differentiated to neural cells, and their susceptibility to DNA damage stress was investigated. Mutation of XPA in either neural stem cells (NSCs) or neurons resulted in severe DNA damage repair defects, and these neural cells with mutant XPA were hyper-sensitive to DNA damage-induced apoptosis. Thus, XP-mutant neural cells represent valuable tools to clarify the molecular mechanisms of neurological abnormalities in the XP patients.

Liu K, Qin YH, Yu JY, et al.
3-β-Εrythrodiol isolated from Conyza canadensis inhibits MKN‑45 human gastric cancer cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, DNA fragmentation, ROS generation and reduces tumor weight and volume in mouse xenograft model.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2328-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of the present study was to investigate the in vitro and in vivo anticancer and apoptotic effects of 3-β-erythrodiol, a plant-derived triterpene against MKN-45 human gastric cancer cells. In addition, effects on cellular morphology, cell cycle phase distribution, DNA fragmentation, and ROS generation were also elucidated in the current research work. Cytotoxic activity of 3-β-erythrodiol was demonstrated by MTT cell viability and LDH assay. Cellular morphological study was carried out using phase contrast, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy. Cell cycle analysis was evaluated by flow cytometry and gel electrophoresis was used to evaluate DNA fragmentation pattern. The results of the present study revealed that 3-β-erythrodiol induced dose-dependent as well as time-dependent anticancer effects in MKN-45 gastric cancer cells. Cellular morphological changes in MKN-45 cells as indicated by fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy were induced by 3-β-erythrodiol. This triterpene induced both early and late apoptotic features in these cancer cells. 3-β-Erythrodiol treatment led to sub-G1 cell cycle arrest with a corresponding decrease in S-phase cells and an increase in G2/M phase cells. DNA fragments were evident in gel electrophoresis experiment following 3-β-erythrodiol treatment. It was observed that 0.50 and 1.0 µg/g 3-β-erythrodiol injection reduced the tumor weight from 1.4 g in PBS-treated group (control) to 0.61 and 0.22 g, respectively. Similarly, 0.50 and 1.0 µg/g 3-β-erythrodiol injection reduced the tumor volume from 1.5 cm3 in PBS-treated group (control) to 0.91 and 0.31 cm3, respectively. The present investigation indicates that 3-β-erythrodiol exerts anti-proliferative effects in human gastric cancer by inducing early and late apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and ROS generation. It also decreased the tumor volume and tumor weight in male Balb/c nude mice.

Sakai M, Martinez-Arguelles DB, Aprikian AG, et al.
De novo steroid biosynthesis in human prostate cell lines and biopsies.
Prostate. 2016; 76(6):575-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intratumoral androgen formation may be a factor in the development of prostate cancer (PCa), particularly castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). To evaluate the ability of the human prostate to synthesize de novo steroids, we examined the expression of key enzymes and proteins involved in steroid biosynthesis and metabolism.
METHODS: Using TissueScan™ Cancer qPCR Arrays and quantitative RT-PCR, we performed comparative gene expression analyses between various prostate cell lines and biopsies, including normal, hyperplastic, cancerous, and androgen-deprived prostate cells lines, as well as normal, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), PCa, and CRPC human specimens. These studies were complemented with steroid biosynthesis studies in normal and BPH cells.
RESULTS: Normal human prostate WPMY-1 and WPE1-NA22, benign prostate hyperplasia BPH-1, and cancer PC-3, LNCaP, and VCaP cell lines, as well as normal, BPH, PCa, and CRPC specimens, were used. Although all cell lines express mRNA encoding for hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the mitochondrial translocator protein TSPO and cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme CYP11A1 were only observed in WPMY-1, BPH-1, and LNCaP cells. HSD3B1, HSD3B2, and CYP17A1 are involved in androgen formation and were not found in most cell lines. WPE1-NA22 and BPH-1 cells were unable to synthesize de novo steroids from mevalonate. Moreover, androgen-deprived cells did not have alterations in the expression of enzymes that could lead to de novo steroid formation. All prostate specimens expressed TSPO and CYP11A1. HSD3B1/2, CYP17A1, HSD17B5, and CYP19A1 mRNA expression was distinct to the profile observed in cells lines. The majority of BPH (90.9%) and PCa (83.1%) specimens contained CYP17A1, compared to control (normal) specimens (46.7%). BPH (82%), PCa (59%), normal (40%), and CRPC (34%) specimens expressed the four key enzymes that metabolize cholesterol to androgens.
CONCLUSION: These studies question the use of prostate cell lines to study steroid biosynthesis and demonstrate that human prostate samples contain transcripts encoding for key steroidogenic enzymes and proteins indicating that they have the potential to synthesize de novo steroids. We propose CYP17A1 as a candidate enzyme that can be used for patient stratification and treatment in BPH and PCa.

Xiong C, Wen Z, Li G
Histone Variant H3.3: A versatile H3 variant in health and in disease.
Sci China Life Sci. 2016; 59(3):245-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Histones are the main protein components of eukaryotic chromatin. Histone variants and histone modifications modulate chromatin structure, ensuring the precise operation of cellular processes associated with genomic DNA. H3.3, an ancient and conserved H3 variant, differs from its canonical H3 counterpart by only five amino acids, yet it plays essential and specific roles in gene transcription, DNA repair and in maintaining genome integrity. Here, we review the most recent insights into the functions of histone H3.3, and the involvement of its mutant forms in human diseases.

Aversa R, Sorrentino A, Esposito R, et al.
Alternative Splicing in Adhesion- and Motility-Related Genes in Breast Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common tumor and the second leading cause of cancer death among woman, mainly caused by the metastatic spread. Tumor invasiveness is due to an altered expression of adhesion molecules. Among them, semaphorins are of peculiar interest. Cancer cells can manipulate alternative splicing patterns to modulate the expression of adhesion- and motility-related molecules, also at the isoform level. In this study, combining RNA-Sequencing on MCF-7 to targeted experimental validations-in human breast cell lines and breast tumor biopsies-we identified 12 new alternative splicing transcripts in genes encoding adhesion- and motility-related molecules, including semaphorins, their receptors and co-receptors. Among them, a new SEMA3F transcript is expressed in all breast cell lines and breast cancer biopsies, and is translated into a new semaphorin 3F isoform. In silico analysis predicted that most of the new putative proteins lack functional domains, potentially missing some functions and acquiring new ones. Our findings better describe the extent of alternative splicing in breast cancer and highlight the need to further investigate adhesion- and motility-related molecules to gain insights into breast cancer progression.

Mustafa MZ, Nguyen VH, Le Naour F, et al.
Autoantibody signatures defined by serological proteome analysis in sera from patients with cholangiocarcinoma.
J Transl Med. 2016; 14:17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The challenging diagnosis and poor prognosis of cholangiocarcinoma require the determination of biomarkers. Autoantibodies could be used in the clinic as diagnostic markers for the early detection of tumours. By proteomic approaches, several autoantibodies were proposed as potential markers. We tried in this study, to perform a serological proteome analysis, using various antigenic substrates, including tumours and human liver.
METHODS: Sera from patients (n = 13) and healthy donors (n = 10) were probed on immunoblots performed using 2-dimensionally separated proteins from cholangiocarcinoma cell lines (CCLP1 and CCSW1), from the liver of healthy subject and interestingly, from tumour and adjacent non-tumour liver tissues from five patients with cholangiocarcinoma and tested with their corresponding serum. Spots of interest were identified using mass spectrometry and classified according gene ontology analysis.
RESULTS: A comparison of the whole immunoblotting patterns given by cholangiocarcinoma sera against those obtained with normal control sera enabled the definition of 862 spots. Forty-five different proteins were further analysed, corresponding to (1) spots stained with more than four of 13 (30 %) sera tested with the CCLP1 or the CCSW1 cell line and with the normal liver, and (2) to spots immunoreactive with at least two of the five sera probed with their tumour and non-tumour counter-part of cholangiocarcinoma. Immunoreactive proteins with catalytic activity as molecular function were detected at rates of 93 and 64 % in liver from healthy subjects or cholangiocarcinoma non-tumour tissues respectively, compared to 43, 33, 33 % in tumour tissues, or CCSW1 and CCLP1 cell lines. A second pattern was represented by structural proteins with rates of 7 and 7 % in normal liver or non-tumour tissues compared to 14, 33 and 67 % in tumour tissue, CCSW1 or CCLP1 cell lines. Proteins with a binding function were detected at rates of 7 % in non-tumour tissue and 14 % in tumour tissue. Using the extracted tumour tissue, serotransferrin was targeted by all cholangiocarcinoma-related sera.
CONCLUSIONS: Immunological patterns depended on the type of antigen substrate used; i.e. tumour versus non tumour specimens. Nevertheless, a combination of multiple autoantibodies tested with the most appropriate substrate might be more sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.

Li C, Du Y, Yang Z, et al.
GALNT1-Mediated Glycosylation and Activation of Sonic Hedgehog Signaling Maintains the Self-Renewal and Tumor-Initiating Capacity of Bladder Cancer Stem Cells.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(5):1273-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
The existence of bladder cancer stem cells (BCSC) has been suggested to underlie bladder tumor initiation and recurrence. Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling has been implicated in promoting cancer stem cell (CSC) self-renewal and is activated in bladder cancer, but its impact on BCSC maintenance is unclear. In this study, we generated a mAb (BCMab1) against CD44(+) human bladder cancer cells that recognizes aberrantly glycosylated integrin α3β1. The combination of BCMab1 with an anti-CD44 antibody identified a BCMab1(+)CD44(+) cell subpopulation as BCSCs with stem cell-like properties. Gene expression analysis revealed that the hedgehog pathway was activated in the BCMab1(+)CD44(+) subpopulation and was required for BCSC self-renewal. Furthermore, the glycotransferase GALNT1 was highly expressed in BCMab1(+)CD44(+) cells and correlated with clinicopathologic features of bladder cancers. Mechanistically, GALNT1 mediated O-linked glycosylation of SHH to promote its activation, which was essential for the self-renewal maintenance of BCSCs and bladder tumorigenesis. Finally, intravesical instillation of GALNT1 siRNA and the SHH inhibitor cyclopamine exerted potent antitumor activity against bladder tumor growth. Taken together, our findings identify a BCSC subpopulation in human bladder tumors that appears to be responsive to the inhibition of GALNT1 and SHH signaling, and thus highlight a potential strategy for preventing the rapid recurrence typical in patients with bladder cancer.

Hanihara M, Kawataki T, Oh-Oka K, et al.
Synergistic antitumor effect with indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase inhibition and temozolomide in a murine glioma model.
J Neurosurg. 2016; 124(6):1594-601 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), a key enzyme of tryptophan (Trp) metabolism, is involved in tumor-derived immune suppression through depletion of Trp and accumulation of the metabolite kynurenine, resulting in inactivation of natural killer cells and generation of regulatory T cells (Tregs). It has been reported that high expression of IDO in cancer cells is associated with suppression of the antitumor immune response and is consistent with a poor prognosis. Thus, IDO may be a therapeutic target for malignant cancer. The authors have recently shown that IDO expression is markedly increased in human glioblastoma and secondary glioblastoma with malignant change, suggesting that IDO targeting may also have therapeutic potential for patients with glioma. The aim of this study was to investigate the antitumor effect of IDO inhibition and to examine the synergistic function of IDO inhibitor and temozolomide (TMZ) in a murine glioma model. METHODS Murine glioma GL261 cells and human glioma U87 cells were included in this study. The authors used 3 mouse models to study glioma cell growth: 1) a subcutaneous ectopic model, 2) a syngeneic intracranial orthotopic model, and 3) an allogenic intracranial orthotopic model. IDO inhibition was achieved via knockdown of IDO in GL261 cells using short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and through oral administration of the IDO inhibitor, 1-methyl-l-tryptophan (1-MT). Tumor volume in the subcutaneous model and survival time in the intracranial model were evaluated. RESULTS In the subcutaneous model, oral administration of 1-MT significantly suppressed tumor growth, and synergistic antitumor effects of 1-MT and TMZ were observed (p < 0.01). Mice containing intracranially inoculated IDO knockdown cells had a significantly longer survival period as compared with control mice (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that IDO expression is implicated in immunosuppression and tumor progression in glioma cells. Therefore, combining IDO inhibition with standard TMZ treatment could be an encouraging therapeutic strategy for patients with malignant glioma.

Werry EL, Barron ML, Kassiou M
TSPO as a target for glioblastoma therapeutics.
Biochem Soc Trans. 2015; 43(4):531-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The translocator protein (TSPO) is an 18-kDa five-transmembrane protein, which is primarily found in the outer mitochondrial membrane. Levels of this protein are up-regulated in the most aggressive and common glioma, glioblastoma multiforme (GM). Levels of TSPO also correlate with GM clinical outcome, suggesting that TSPO may be a novel GM diagnostic imaging agent. Therapeutically, targeting the TSPO may provide a mechanism to abrogate the apoptotic-resistant, invasive and aggressive nature of GM and may also provide a way of targeting other anti-cancer treatments to GM sites. This review highlights recent progress in research on TSPO-based diagnostic imaging and therapeutics for GM.

Buck JR, McKinley ET, Fu A, et al.
Preclinical TSPO Ligand PET to Visualize Human Glioma Xenotransplants: A Preliminary Study.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0141659 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Current positron emission tomography (PET) imaging biomarkers for detection of infiltrating gliomas are limited. Translocator protein (TSPO) is a novel and promising biomarker for glioma PET imaging. To validate TSPO as a potential target for molecular imaging of glioma, TSPO expression was assayed in a tumor microarray containing 37 high-grade (III, IV) gliomas. TSPO staining was detected in all tumor specimens. Subsequently, PET imaging was performed with an aryloxyanilide-based TSPO ligand, [18F]PBR06, in primary orthotopic xenograft models of WHO grade III and IV gliomas. Selective uptake of [18F]PBR06 in engrafted tumor was measured. Furthermore, PET imaging with [18F]PBR06 demonstrated infiltrative glioma growth that was undetectable by traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Preliminary PET with [18F]PBR06 demonstrated a preferential tumor-to-normal background ratio in comparison to 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG). These results suggest that TSPO PET imaging with such high-affinity radiotracers may represent a novel strategy to characterize distinct molecular features of glioma growth, as well as better define the extent of glioma infiltration for therapeutic purposes.

Ventura R, Mordec K, Waszczuk J, et al.
Inhibition of de novo Palmitate Synthesis by Fatty Acid Synthase Induces Apoptosis in Tumor Cells by Remodeling Cell Membranes, Inhibiting Signaling Pathways, and Reprogramming Gene Expression.
EBioMedicine. 2015; 2(8):808-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Inhibition of de novo palmitate synthesis via fatty acid synthase (FASN) inhibition provides an unproven approach to cancer therapy with a strong biological rationale. FASN expression increases with tumor progression and associates with chemoresistance, tumor metastasis, and diminished patient survival in numerous tumor types. TVB-3166, an orally-available, reversible, potent, and selective FASN inhibitor induces apoptosis, inhibits anchorage-independent cell growth under lipid-rich conditions, and inhibits in-vivo xenograft tumor growth. Dose-dependent effects are observed between 20-200 nM TVB-3166, which agrees with the IC50 in biochemical FASN and cellular palmitate synthesis assays. Mechanistic studies show that FASN inhibition disrupts lipid raft architecture, inhibits biological pathways such as lipid biosynthesis, PI3K-AKT-mTOR and β-catenin signal transduction, and inhibits expression of oncogenic effectors such as c-Myc; effects that are tumor-cell specific. Our results demonstrate that FASN inhibition has anti-tumor activities in biologically diverse preclinical tumor models and provide mechanistic and pharmacologic evidence that FASN inhibition presents a promising therapeutic strategy for treating a variety of cancers, including those expressing mutant K-Ras, ErbB2, c-Met, and PTEN. The reported findings inform ongoing studies to link mechanisms of action with defined tumor types and advance the discovery of biomarkers supporting development of FASN inhibitors as cancer therapeutics.
RESEARCH IN CONTEXT: Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is a vital enzyme in tumor cell biology; the over-expression of FASN is associated with diminished patient prognosis and resistance to many cancer therapies. Our data demonstrate that selective and potent FASN inhibition with TVB-3166 leads to selective death of tumor cells, without significant effect on normal cells, and inhibits in vivo xenograft tumor growth at well-tolerated doses. Candidate biomarkers for selecting tumors highly sensitive to FASN inhibition are identified. These preclinical data provide mechanistic and pharmacologic evidence that FASN inhibition presents a promising therapeutic strategy for treating a variety of cancers.

Huiqi G, Jing Z, Peng F, et al.
In vivo study of the effect of combining endostatin gene therapy with 32P-colloid on hepatocarcinoma and its functioning mechanism.
J BUON. 2015 Jul-Aug; 20(4):1042-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate the therapeutic effect of combining 32P colloid radiotherapy with endostatin anti-angiogenesis therapy on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells.
METHODS: HCC mouse models were prepared using H22 cells and randomly divided into four groups. The mice were administered phosphate buffered saline (PBS), (32)Pcolloid, secretory endostatin encoding plasmid and combination of 32P and endostatin, respectively. Seven, 14 and 21 days after treatment the mice were sacrificed. Expression of endostatin was confirmed using western blot. Tumor growth rate, microvessel density (MVD) in the solid tumor and apoptotic index (AI) of tumor cells was analyzed using immunohistochemistry and TUNEL methods.
RESULTS: (1): From the western blot results, 1400 bp endostatin specific protein bands were observed in the samples from groups 3 and 4, but not in the other two groups; (2): The tumor growth rate of groups 2, 3 and 4 was significantly decreased compared to group 1 and that of group 4 was significantly lower than group 2 and 3 (3): The MVD of group 1 was greatly higher than in the other groups (4): The AI of group 4 was dramatically higher than in the other groups.
CONCLUSIONS: (32)Pcolloid radiotherapy or endostatin anti-angiogenesis therapy were able to inhibit the growth of HCC cells in vivo, while the combination of (32)P and endostatin showed much better therapeutic effect in HCC treatment.

Lecaros RL, Huang L, Lee TC, Hsu YC
Nanoparticle Delivered VEGF-A siRNA Enhances Photodynamic Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment.
Mol Ther. 2016; 24(1):106-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is believed to promote hypoxic conditions to tumor cells leading to overexpression of angiogenic markers such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In this study, PDT was combined with lipid-calcium-phosphate nanoparticles (LCP NPs) to deliver VEGF-A small interfering RNA (siVEGF-A) to human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) xenograft models. VEGF-A were significantly decreased for groups treated with siVEGF-A in human oral squamous cancer cell (HOSCC), SCC4 and SAS models. Cleaved caspase-3 and in situ TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay showed more apoptotic cells and reduced Ki-67 expression for treated groups compared to phosphate buffered saline (PBS) group. Indeed, the combined therapy showed significant tumor volume decrease to ~70 and ~120% in SCC4 and SAS models as compared with untreated PBS group, respectively. In vivo toxicity study suggests no toxicity of such LCP NP delivered siVEGF-A. In summary, results suggest that PDT combined with targeted VEGF-A gene therapy could be a potential therapeutic modality to achieve enhanced therapeutic outcome for HNSCC.

Hung RJ, Ulrich CM, Goode EL, et al.
Cross Cancer Genomic Investigation of Inflammation Pathway for Five Common Cancers: Lung, Ovary, Prostate, Breast, and Colorectal Cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(11) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inflammation has been hypothesized to increase the risk of cancer development as an initiator or promoter, yet no large-scale study of inherited variation across cancer sites has been conducted.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-cancer genomic analysis for the inflammation pathway based on 48 genome-wide association studies within the National Cancer Institute GAME-ON Network across five common cancer sites, with a total of 64 591 cancer patients and 74 467 control patients. Subset-based meta-analysis was used to account for possible disease heterogeneity, and hierarchical modeling was employed to estimate the effect of the subcomponents within the inflammation pathway. The network was visualized by enrichment map. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: We identified three pleiotropic loci within the inflammation pathway, including one novel locus in Ch12q24 encoding SH2B3 (rs3184504), which reached GWAS significance with a P value of 1.78 x 10(-8), and it showed an association with lung cancer (P = 2.01 x 10(-6)), colorectal cancer (GECCO P = 6.72x10(-6); CORECT P = 3.32x10(-5)), and breast cancer (P = .009). We also identified five key subpathway components with genetic variants that are relevant for the risk of these five cancer sites: inflammatory response for colorectal cancer (P = .006), inflammation related cell cycle gene for lung cancer (P = 1.35x10(-6)), and activation of immune response for ovarian cancer (P = .009). In addition, sequence variations in immune system development played a role in breast cancer etiology (P = .001) and innate immune response was involved in the risk of both colorectal (P = .022) and ovarian cancer (P = .003).
CONCLUSIONS: Genetic variations in inflammation and its related subpathway components are keys to the development of lung, colorectal, ovary, and breast cancer, including SH2B3, which is associated with lung, colorectal, and breast cancer.

Zhou L, Shang Y, Jin Z, et al.
UHRF1 promotes proliferation of gastric cancer via mediating tumor suppressor gene hypermethylation.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2015; 16(8):1241-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic changes play significant roles in cancer development. UHRF1, an epigenetic regulator, has been shown to be overexpressed and to coordinate tumor suppressor gene (TSG) silencing in several cancers. In a previous study, we found that UHRF1 promoted gastric cancer (GC) invasion and metastasis. However, the role and underlying mechanism of UHRF1 in GC carcinogenesis remain largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated UHRF1 expression and function in GC proliferation and explored its downstream regulatory mechanism. The results demonstrated that UHRF1 overexpression was an independent and significant predictor of GC prognosis. Downregulation of UHRF1 suppressed GC proliferation and growth in vitro and in vivo, and UHRF1 upregulation showed opposite effects. Furthermore, downregulation of UHRF1 reactivated 7 TSGs, including CDX2, CDKN2A, RUNX3, FOXO4, PPARG, BRCA1 and PML, via promoter demethylation. These results provide insight into the GC proliferation process, and suggest that targeting UHRF1 represents a new therapeutic approach to block GC development.

Milan E, Perini T, Resnati M, et al.
A plastic SQSTM1/p62-dependent autophagic reserve maintains proteostasis and determines proteasome inhibitor susceptibility in multiple myeloma cells.
Autophagy. 2015; 11(7):1161-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the paradigmatic proteasome inhibitor (PI) responsive cancer, but many patients fail to respond. An attractive target to enhance sensitivity is (macro)autophagy, recently found essential to bone marrow plasma cells, the normal counterpart of MM. Here, integrating proteomics with hypothesis-driven strategies, we identified the autophagic cargo receptor and adapter protein, SQSTM1/p62 as an essential component of an autophagic reserve that not only synergizes with the proteasome to maintain proteostasis, but also mediates a plastic adaptive response to PIs, and faithfully reports on inherent PI sensitivity. Lentiviral engineering revealed that SQSTM1 is essential for MM cell survival and affords specific PI protection. Under basal conditions, SQSTM1-dependent autophagy alleviates the degradative burden on the proteasome by constitutively disposing of substantial amounts of ubiquitinated proteins. Indeed, its inhibition or stimulation greatly sensitized to, or protected from, PI-induced protein aggregation and cell death. Moreover, under proteasome stress, myeloma cells selectively enhanced SQSTM1 de novo expression and reset its vast endogenous interactome, diverting SQSTM1 from signaling partners to maximize its association with ubiquitinated proteins. Saturation of such autophagic reserve, as indicated by intracellular accumulation of undigested SQSTM1-positive aggregates, specifically discriminated patient-derived myelomas inherently susceptible to PIs from primarily resistant ones. These aggregates correlated with accumulation of the endoplasmic reticulum, which comparative proteomics identified as the main cell compartment targeted by autophagy in MM. Altogether, the data integrate autophagy into our previously established proteasome load-versus-capacity model, and reveal SQSTM1 aggregation as a faithful marker of defective proteostasis, defining a novel prognostic and therapeutic framework for MM.

El-Awady RA, Hersi F, Al-Tunaiji H, et al.
Epigenetics and miRNA as predictive markers and targets for lung cancer chemotherapy.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2015; 16(7):1056-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer cells show inherent and acquired resistance to chemotherapy. The lack of good predictive markers/novel targets and the incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of resistance limit the success of lung cancer response to chemotherapy. In the present study, we used an isogenic pair of lung adenocarcinoma cell lines; A549 (wild-type) and A549DOX11 (doxorubicin resistant) to study the role of epigenetics and miRNA in resistance/response of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells to doxorubicin. Our results demonstrate differential expression of epigenetic markers whereby the level of HDACs 1, 2, 3 and4, DNA methyltransferase, acetylated H2B and acetylated H3 were lower in A549DOX11 compared to A549 cells. Fourteen miRNAs were dys-regulated in A549DOX11 cells compared to A549 cells, of these 14 miRNAs, 4 (has-mir-1973, 494, 4286 and 29b-3p) have shown 2.99 - 4.44 fold increase in their expression. This was associated with reduced apoptosis and higher resistance of A549DOX11cells to doxorubicin and etoposide. Sequential treatment with the epigenetic modifiers trichostatin A or 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine followed by doxorubicin resulted in: (i) enhanced sensitivity of both cell lines to doxorubicin especially at low concentrations, (ii) enhanced doxorubicin-induced DNA damage in both cell lines, (iii) dysregulation of some miRNAs in A549 cells. In conclusion, A549DOX11 cells resistant to DNA damaging drugs have epigenetic profile and miRNA expression different from the sensitive cells. Moreover, epigenetic modifiers may reverse the resistance of certain NSCLC cells to DNA damaging agents by enhancing induction of DNA damage. This may open the door for using epigenetic profile/miRNA expression of some cancer cells as resistance markers/targets to improve response of resistant cells to doxorubicin and for the use of combination doxorubicin/epigenetic modifiers to reduce doxorubicin toxicity.

Peng X, Luo Z, Kang Q, et al.
FOXQ1 mediates the crosstalk between TGF-β and Wnt signaling pathways in the progression of colorectal cancer.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2015; 16(7):1099-109 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A wide variety of signaling transduction pathways contribute to tumorigenesis. Forkhead box Q1 (FOXQ1) is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family and its upregulation is closely correlated with tumor progression and prognosis of multiple cancer types, including colorectal cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms by which FOXQ1 promotes tumorigenesis, especially cancer cell invasion and metastasis in colorectal cancer, have not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we demonstrate that FOXQ1 is overexpressed in colorectal tumor tissues and its expression level is closely correlated with the stage and lymph node metastasis of colorectal cancer. In in vitro cultured SW480 colorectal cancer cells, knockdown of FOXQ1 expression by small interfering RNA greatly diminished the aggressive tumor behaviors of SW480 cells, including angiogenesis, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and resistance to chemotherapy drug-induced apoptosis. Further mechanistic investigation showed that FOXQ1 silencing prevents the nuclear translocation of β-catenin, thus reducing the activity of Wnt signaling. Moreover, TGF-β1 induced the expression of FOXQ1 as well as the migration and invasion of SW480 cells, which was partially prevented following knockdown of FOXQ1. Our results demonstrate that FOXQ1 plays a critical role during the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer and is a mediator of the crosstalk between Wnt and TGF-β signaling pathways. Our findings provide further insight into the cancer biology of colorectal cancer and suggest that FOXQ1 is a potential therapeutic target for the development of therapies for colorectal cancer.

Liu X, Cao K, Xu C, et al.
GATA-3 augmentation down-regulates Connexin43 in Helicobacter pylori associated gastric carcinogenesis.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2015; 16(6):987-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a risk factor of gastric carcinoma, and inflammation with H.pylori infection has widely been suggested to trigger gastric carcinogenesis through "inflammation-carcinoma chain" (non-atrophic gastritis (NAG) → chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) → intestinal metaplasia (IM) → dysplasia (DYS) and gastric carcinoma (GC)). Connexin43 (Cx43) is a major constituent of gap junction in normal gastric mucosa (NGM) and it is continuously down-regulated from normal gastric mucosa to precancerous lesions or ultimate gastric carcinoma, which shows novel target against gastric carcinoma by preventing the Cx43 decline. Our previous studies demonstrated that H. pylori infection in gastric mucosa down-regulates Cx43 expression, but its mechanism remains unknown. The transcriptional factor, GATA binding protein 3 (GATA-3) is the key to regulate adaptive immune response, which possibly relates to inflammation toward malignant transformation. Here the substantial rising of GATA-3 was screened by transcriptional factor microarray along the developmental stages of H. pylori associated gastric carcinoma. Moreover, the increased GATA-3 and inhibited Cx43 were confirmed in clinical specimens, Mongolian gerbils and normal gastric epithelial cell line GES-1 with H. pylori infection. GATA-3 silencing generated the Cx43 restoration both in intermediate differentiation gastric cancer cells BGC-803 and in H. pylori infected GES-1 cells. Dual-luciferase reporter assay further revealed the GATA-3 as one of Cx43 down-regulators by directly binding to its promoters. Together, the incremental GATA-3 is found in H. pylori associated gastric carcinogenesis, which is responsible for Cx43 inhibition as well.

Dalmasso C, Carpentier W, Guettier C, et al.
Patterns of chromosomal copy-number alterations in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:126 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICC) are relatively rare malignant tumors associated with a poor prognosis. Recent studies using genome-wide sequencing technologies have mainly focused on identifying new driver mutations. There is nevertheless a need to investigate the spectrum of copy number aberrations in order to identify potential target genes in the altered chromosomal regions. The aim of this study was to characterize the patterns of chromosomal copy-number alterations (CNAs) in ICC.
METHODS: 53 patients having ICC with frozen material were selected. In 47 cases, DNA hybridization has been performed on a genomewide SNP array. A procedure with a segmentation step and a calling step classified genomic regions into copy-number aberration states. We identified the exclusively amplified and deleted recurrent genomic areas. These areas are those showing the highest estimated propensity level for copy loss (resp. copy gain) together with the lowest level for copy gain (resp. copy loss). We investigated ICC clustering. We analyzed the relationships between CNAs and clinico-pathological characteristics.
RESULTS: The overall genomic profile of ICC showed many alterations with higher rates for the deletions. Exclusively deleted genomic areas were 1p, 3p and 14q. The main exclusively amplified genomic areas were 1q, 7p, 7q and 8q. Based on the exclusively deleted/amplified genomic areas, a clustering analysis identified three tumors groups: the first group characterized by copy loss of 1p and copy gain of 7p, the second group characterized by 1p and 3p copy losses without 7p copy gain, the last group characterized mainly by very few CNAs. From univariate analyses, the number of tumors, the size of the largest tumor and the stage were significantly associated with shorter time recurrence. We found no relationship between the number of altered cytobands or tumor groups and time to recurrence.
CONCLUSION: This study describes the spectrum of chromosomal aberrations across the whole genome. Some of the recurrent exclusive CNAs harbor candidate target genes. Despite the absence of correlation between CNAs and clinico-pathological characteristics, the co-occurence of 7p gain and 1p loss in a subgroup of patients may suggest a differential activation of EGFR and its downstream pathways, which may have a potential effect on targeted therapies.

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