Gene Summary

Gene:WARS; tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase
Aliases: IFI53, IFP53, GAMMA-2
Summary:Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases catalyze the aminoacylation of tRNA by their cognate amino acid. Because of their central role in linking amino acids with nucleotide triplets contained in tRNAs, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are thought to be among the first proteins that appeared in evolution. Two forms of tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase exist, a cytoplasmic form, named WARS, and a mitochondrial form, named WARS2. Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (WARS) catalyzes the aminoacylation of tRNA(trp) with tryptophan and is induced by interferon. Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase belongs to the class I tRNA synthetase family. Four transcript variants encoding two different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tryptophan--tRNA ligase, cytoplasmic
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 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 11 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.

  • Thorium Dioxide
  • Ukraine
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Karyotyping
  • RAS Genes
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Survival
  • Age Factors
  • Mutation
  • Adolescents
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced
  • Japan
  • Incidence
  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Infant
  • TP53
  • Chromosome 14
  • DNA Repair
  • Lung Cancer
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Assessment
  • Radioactive Fallout
  • Radiation-Induced Cancer
  • Survivors
  • Bone Marrow
  • Risk Factors
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl
  • Cohort Studies
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Transcription Factors
Tag cloud generated 11 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: WARS (cancer-related)

Kobayashi T, Masaki T, Nozaki E, et al.
Microarray Analysis of Gene Expression at the Tumor Front of Colon Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(12):6577-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Budding or the presence poorly differentiated clusters at the boundary of cancer tissue is a pathologically important finding and serves as a prognostic factor in colorectal cancer. However, few studies have examined the cancer tissue boundary in clinical samples. The purpose of the present study was to examine gene expression at the tumor front of colon cancer in surgically resected samples. Cancer tissues were obtained by laser microdissection of 20 surgically resected specimens. Genes with significantly different microarray signals between the tumor front and the tumor center were identified. Among genes showing significant up-regulation at the tumor front were six chemokines [chemokine c-c motif ligand (CCL)2 and -18, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand (CXCL)9-11, and interleukin 8 (IL8)], and two apoptosis-related molecules [ubiquitin D (UBD) and baculoviral iap repeat-containing 3 (BIRC3)]. Expression of laminin gamma 2 (LAMC2), matrix metallopeptidase 7 (MMP7) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related molecules were elevated in the tumor front, but their fold changes were smaller than those of the aforementioned genes. These results suggest that chemokines, in addition to EMT-related molecules, may play important roles in invasion of colon cancer.

White RF, Steele L, O'Callaghan JP, et al.
Recent research on Gulf War illness and other health problems in veterans of the 1991 Gulf War: Effects of toxicant exposures during deployment.
Cortex. 2016; 74:449-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Veterans of Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield - the 1991 Gulf War (GW) - are a unique population who returned from theater with multiple health complaints and disorders. Studies in the U.S. and elsewhere have consistently concluded that approximately 25-32% of this population suffers from a disorder characterized by symptoms that vary somewhat among individuals and include fatigue, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, musculoskeletal pain, and respiratory, gastrointestinal and dermatologic complaints. Gulf War illness (GWI) is the term used to describe this disorder. In addition, brain cancer occurs at increased rates in subgroups of GW veterans, as do neuropsychological and brain imaging abnormalities. Chemical exposures have become the focus of etiologic GWI research because nervous system symptoms are prominent and many neurotoxicants were present in theater, including organophosphates (OPs), carbamates, and other pesticides; sarin/cyclosarin nerve agents, and pyridostigmine bromide (PB) medications used as prophylaxis against chemical warfare attacks. Psychiatric etiologies have been ruled out. This paper reviews the recent literature on the health of 1991 GW veterans, focusing particularly on the central nervous system and on effects of toxicant exposures. In addition, it emphasizes research published since 2008, following on an exhaustive review that was published in that year that summarizes the prior literature (RACGWI, 2008). We conclude that exposure to pesticides and/or to PB are causally associated with GWI and the neurological dysfunction in GW veterans. Exposure to sarin and cyclosarin and to oil well fire emissions are also associated with neurologically based health effects, though their contribution to development of the disorder known as GWI is less clear. Gene-environment interactions are likely to have contributed to development of GWI in deployed veterans. The health consequences of chemical exposures in the GW and other conflicts have been called "toxic wounds" by veterans. This type of injury requires further study and concentrated treatment research efforts that may also benefit other occupational groups with similar exposure-related illnesses.

Sierant M, Piotrzkowska D, Nawrot B
RNAi mediated silencing of cyclin-dependent kinases of G1 phase slows down the cell-cycle progression and reduces apoptosis.
Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2015; 75(1):36-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
One of the hypotheses on the origin of Alzheimer's disease (AD) stems from a close relation between a re-activation of a cell-cycle in post-mitotic neurons and a neural cells death observed in pathologically affected parts of AD brains. In the normal, healthy brain almost all neural cells are terminally differentiated and "locked" in the G0 phase of the cell-cycle. For these cells, the consequence of the re-entry to the cell-cycle is targeting them towards cellular divisions and turning on the apoptotic pathway. We used an RNA interference (RNAi) methodology in neural cells to switch-off genes for two cyclindependent kinases 4 and 6 (cdk4, cdk6), which control the activation of the initial steps of the cell-cycle. As a result, some evidences are delivered that silencing these genes, which are expressed during cell proliferation but inhibited at mature neurons, prevents the stimulation of apoptotic pathways in the neural cells cultured in a oxidative stress conditions and may have a neuroprotective effect. We demonstrate that down-regulation of genes important in the G1 phase of the cell-cycle may play the protective function on the neuronal cells, and can be considered as the promising approach for the potential gene therapy of neurodegenerative diseases.

He Y, Gong J, Wang Y, et al.
Potentially functional polymorphisms in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases genes are associated with breast cancer risk in a Chinese population.
Mol Carcinog. 2015; 54(7):577-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are responsible for cellular protein synthesis and cell viability involving in various process of tumorigenesis. We hypothesized that genetic variants in core ARSs genes may play an important role in the development of breast cancer. Thus, we conducted a case-control study including 1064 breast cancer cases and 1073 cancer-free controls to evaluate the associations of 28 potentially functional polymorphisms in 12 core ARSs genes (AARS, CARS, EPRS, HARS, KARS, LARS, MARS, QARS, RARS, VARS, WARS, and YARS) with breast cancer risk. We found significant associations with the risk of breast cancer for rs34087264 in AARS [odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-1.31], rs801186 in HARS (OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.08-1.54), rs193466 in RARS (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.02-1.35), and rs2273802 in WARS (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.01-1.30). We further observed significant interactions between rs2273802 and age at the first live birth (P = 0.041), and between rs801186 and age on breast cancer risk (P = 0.018). Combined analysis of these four SNPs showed a significant allele-dosage association between the number of risk alleles and breast cancer risk (Ptrend  = 2.00 × 10(-4) ). Compared with individuals with "0-2" risk alleles, those carrying "3," "4," or "5 or more" risk alleles had a 1.32 (95% CI = 1.07-1.64), 1.48 (95% CI = 1.45-1.91), or 1.60 folds (95% CI = 1.06-2.41) risk of breast cancer, respectively. These findings indicate that genetic variants in core ARSs genes may modify the individual susceptibility to breast cancer in Chinese population.

Garg M, Kanojia D, Okamoto R, et al.
Laminin-5γ-2 (LAMC2) is highly expressed in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and is associated with tumor progression, migration, and invasion by modulating signaling of EGFR.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(1):E62-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is an aggressive malignancy having no effective treatment. Laminin subunit-γ-2 (LAMC2) is an epithelial basement membrane protein involved in cell migration and tumor invasion and might represent an ideal target for the development of novel therapeutic approaches for ATC.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the investigation was to study the role of LAMC2 in ATC tumorigenesis.
DESIGN: LAMC2 expression was evaluated by RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry in tumor specimens, adjacent noncancerous tissues, and cell lines. The short hairpin RNA (shRNA) approach was used to investigate the effect of LAMC2 knockdown on the tumorigenesis of ATC.
RESULTS: LAMC2 was highly expressed in ATC samples and cell lines compared with normal thyroid tissues. Silencing LAMC2 by shRNA in ATC cells moderately inhibited cell growth in liquid culture and dramatically decreased growth in soft agar and in xenografts growing in immunodeficient mice. Silencing LAMC2 caused cell cycle arrest and significantly suppressed the migration, invasion, and wound healing of ATC cells. Rescue experiments by overexpressing LAMC2 in LAMC2 knockdown cells reversed the inhibitory effects as shown by increased cell proliferation and colony formation. Microarray data demonstrated that LAMC2 shRNA significantly altered the expression of genes associated with migration, invasion, proliferation, and survival. Immunoprecipitation studies showed that LAMC2 bound to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the ATC cells. Silencing LAMC2 partially blocked epidermal growth factor-mediated activation of EGFR and its downstream pathway. Interestingly, cetuximab (an EGFR blocking antibody) or EGFR small interfering RNA additively enhanced the antiproliferative activity of the LAMC2 knockdown ATC cells compared with the control cells.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report investigating the effect of LAMC2 on cell growth, cell cycle, migration, invasion, and EGFR signaling in ATC cells, suggesting that LAMC2 may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of ATC.

Lee ST, Ji H, Greening DW, et al.
Global protein profiling reveals anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody 806-modulated proteins in A431 tumor xenografts.
Growth Factors. 2013; 31(5):154-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
An important mediator of tumorigenesis, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is expressed in almost all non-transformed cell types, associated with tumor progression, angiogenesis and metastasis. The significance of the EGFR as a cancer therapeutic target is underscored by the clinical development of several different classes of EGFR antagonists, including monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Extensive preclinical studies have demonstrated the anti-tumor effects of mAb806 against tumor xenografts overexpressing EGFR. EGF stimulation of A431 cells induces rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of intracellular signalling proteins which regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis. Detailed understanding of the intracellular signalling pathways and components modulated by mAbs (such as mAb806) to EGFR, and other growth factor receptors, remain limited. The use of fluorescence 2D difference gel electrophoresis (2D DIGE), coupled with sensitive MS-based protein profiling in A431 tumor (epidermoid carcinoma) xenografts, in combination with mAb806, revealed proteins modulating endocytosis, cell architecture, apoptosis, cell signalling pathways and cell cycle regulation, including Dynamin-1-like protein, cofilin-1 protein, and 14-3-3 protein zeta/delta. Further, we report various proteins, including Interferon-induced protein 53 (IFI53), and Oncogene EMS1 (EMS1) which have roles in the tumor microenvironment, regulating cancer cell invasiveness, angiogenesis and formation of metastases. These findings contribute to understanding the underlying biological processes associated with mAb806 therapy of EGFR-positive tumors, and identifying further potential protein markers that may contribute in assessment of the treatment response.

Sulpice L, Rayar M, Desille M, et al.
Molecular profiling of stroma identifies osteopontin as an independent predictor of poor prognosis in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Hepatology. 2013; 58(6):1992-2000 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the second most common type of primary cancer in the liver. ICC is an aggressive cancer with poor prognosis and limited therapeutic strategies. The identification of new drug targets and prognostic biomarkers is an important clinical challenge for ICC. The presence of an abundant stroma is a histological hallmark of ICC. Given the well-established role of the stromal compartment in the progression of cancer diseases, we hypothesized that relevant biomarkers could be identified by analyzing the stroma of ICC. By combining laser capture microdissection and gene expression profiling, we demonstrate that ICC stromal cells exhibit dramatic genomic changes. We identified a signature of 1,073 nonredundant genes that significantly discriminate the tumor stroma from nontumor fibrous tissue. Functional analysis of differentially expressed genes demonstrated that up-regulated genes in the stroma of ICC were related to cell cycle, extracellular matrix, and transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) pathways. Tissue microarray analysis using an independent cohort of 40 ICC patients validated at a protein level the increased expression of collagen 4A1/COL4A1, laminin gamma 2/LAMC2, osteopontin/SPP1, KIAA0101, and TGFβ2 genes in the stroma of ICC. Statistical analysis of clinical and pathological features demonstrated that the expression of osteopontin, TGFβ2, and laminin in the stroma of ICC was significantly correlated with overall patient survival. More important, multivariate analysis demonstrated that the stromal expression of osteopontin was an independent prognostic marker for overall and disease-free survival.
CONCLUSION: The study identifies clinically relevant genomic alterations in the stroma of ICC, including candidate biomarkers for prognosis, supporting the idea that tumor stroma is an important factor for ICC onset and progression.

Andres D, Keyser BM, Petrali J, et al.
Morphological and functional differentiation in BE(2)-M17 human neuroblastoma cells by treatment with Trans-retinoic acid.
BMC Neurosci. 2013; 14:49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Immortalized neuronal cell lines can be induced to differentiate into more mature neurons by adding specific compounds or growth factors to the culture medium. This property makes neuronal cell lines attractive as in vitro cell models to study neuronal functions and neurotoxicity. The clonal human neuroblastoma BE(2)-M17 cell line is known to differentiate into a more prominent neuronal cell type by treatment with trans-retinoic acid. However, there is a lack of information on the morphological and functional aspects of these differentiated cells.
RESULTS: We studied the effects of trans-retinoic acid treatment on (a) some differentiation marker proteins, (b) types of voltage-gated calcium (Ca2+) channels and (c) Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter ([3H] glycine) release in cultured BE(2)-M17 cells. Cells treated with 10 μM trans-retinoic acid (RA) for 72 hrs exhibited marked changes in morphology to include neurite extensions; presence of P/Q, N and T-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels; and expression of neuron specific enolase (NSE), synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25), nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 (nAChR-α7) and other neuronal markers. Moreover, retinoic acid treated cells had a significant increase in evoked Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter release capacity. In toxicity studies of the toxic gas, phosgene (CG), that differentiation of M17 cells with RA was required to see the changes in intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations following exposure to CG.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, retinoic acid treated cells had improved morphological features as well as neuronal characteristics and functions; thus, these retinoic acid differentiated BE(2)-M17 cells may serve as a better neuronal model to study neurobiology and/or neurotoxicity.

Sakabe T, Tsuchiya H, Kanki K, et al.
Identification of the genes chemosensitizing hepatocellular carcinoma cells to interferon-α/5-fluorouracil and their clinical significance.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e56197 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The incidence of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing worldwide, and its prognosis is extremely poor. Interferon-alpha (IFN-α)/5-fluorouracil (5-FU) therapy is reportedly effective in some HCC patients. In the present study, to improve HCC prognosis, we identified the genes that are sensitizing to these agents. The screening strategy was dependent on the concentration of ribozymes that rendered HepG2 cells resistant to 5-FU by the repeated transfection of ribozymes into the cells. After 10 cycles of transfection, which was initiated by 5,902,875 sequences of a ribozyme library, three genes including protein kinase, adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated, gamma 2 non-catalytic subunit (PRKAG2); transforming growth factor-beta receptor II (TGFBR2); and exostosin 1 (EXT1) were identified as 5-FU-sensitizing genes. Adenovirus-mediated transfer of TGFBR2 and EXT1 enhanced IFN-α/5-FU-induced cytotoxicity as well as 5-FU, although the overexpression of these genes in the absence of IFN-α/5-FU did not induce cell death. This effect was also observed in a tumor xenograft model. The mechanisms of TGFBR2 and EXT1 include activation of the TGF-β signal and induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress, resulting in apoptosis. In HCC patients treated with IFN-α/5-FU therapy, the PRKAG2 mRNA level in HCC tissues was positively correlated with survival period, suggesting that PRKAG2 enhances the effect of IFN-α/5-FU and serves as a prognostic marker for IFN-α/5-FU therapy. In conclusion, we identified three genes that chemosensitize the effects of 5-FU and IFN-α/5-FU on HCC cells and demonstrated that PRKAG2 mRNA can serve as a prognostic marker for IFN-α/5-FU therapy.

Li T, Zhao H, Hung GC, et al.
Differentially expressed genes and pathways induced by organophosphates in human neuroblastoma cells.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2012; 237(12):1413-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Organophosphates (OPs) are toxic chemicals commonly used as pesticides and herbicides. Some OPs are highly toxic to humans and have been used in warfare and terrorist attacks. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of injury caused by OPs, the differentially expressed genes were analyzed in human SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells induced by three OPs. The SK-N-SH cells were treated with one of the three OPs, chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos or methamidophos at LC20 (high-dose), the concentration causing 20% cell death, as well as 1/20 of LC20 (low-dose), a sub-lethal concentration with no detectable cell death, for 24 h. The genome-wide gene changes were identified by Agilent Microarray System, and analyzed by microarray analysis tools. The analysis revealed neuroblastoma cells treated with the high doses of all three OPs markedly activated cell apoptosis and inhibited cell growth and proliferation genes, which would most likely lead to the process of cell death. Interestingly, the analysis also revealed significant decrease in expressions of many genes in a specific spliceosome pathway in cells treated with the low doses of all three different OPs. The change of spliceosome pathway may represent an important mechanism of injury in neuronal cells exposed to low doses of various OPs. In addition to unraveling a potentially different form of OP pathogenesis, this finding could provide a new diagnostic marker in assessing OP-associated injury in cells or tissues. In addition, these results could also contribute to the development of new prevention and/or therapeutic regimens against OP toxicity.

Vivarelli S, Wagstaff L, Piddini E
Cell wars: regulation of cell survival and proliferation by cell competition.
Essays Biochem. 2012; 53:69-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
During cell competition fitter cells take over the tissue at the expense of viable, but less fit, cells, which are eliminated by induction of apoptosis or senescence. This probably acts as a quality-control mechanism to eliminate suboptimal cells and safeguard organ function. Several experimental conditions have been shown to trigger cell competition, including differential levels in ribosomal activity or in signalling pathway activation between cells, although it is unclear how those differences are sensed and translated into fitness levels. Many of the pathways implicated in cell competition have been previously linked with cancer, and this has led to the hypothesis that cell competition could play a role in tumour formation. Cell competition could be co-opted by cancer cells to kill surrounding normal cells and boost their own tissue colonization. However, in some cases, cell competition could have a tumour suppressor role, as cells harbouring mutations in a subset of tumour suppressor genes are killed by wild-type cells. Originally described in developing epithelia, competitive interactions have also been observed in some stem cell niches, where they play a role in regulating stem cell selection, maintenance and tissue repopulation. Thus competitive interactions could be relevant to the maintenance of tissue fitness and have a protective role against aging.

Cologne J, Preston DL, Imai K, et al.
Conventional case-cohort design and analysis for studies of interaction.
Int J Epidemiol. 2012; 41(4):1174-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The case-cohort study design has received significant methodological attention in the statistical and epidemiological literature but has not been used as widely as other cohort-based sampling designs, such as the nested case-control design. Despite its efficiency and practicality for a wide range of epidemiological study purposes, researchers may not yet be aware of the fact that the design can be analysed using standard software with only minor adjustments. Furthermore, although the large number of options for design and analysis of case-cohort studies may be daunting, they can be reduced to a few simple recommendations.
METHODS: We review conventional methods for the design and analysis of case-cohort studies and describe empirical comparisons based on a study of radiation, gene polymorphisms and cancer in the Japanese atomic bomb survivor cohort.
RESULTS: Stratified, as opposed to simple, random subcohort selection is recommended, especially for studies of gene-environment interaction, which are notorious for lacking statistical power. Methods based on the score-unbiased exact pseudo-likelihood (or its analogue with stratified case-cohort data) are recommended for use in conjunction with the asymptotic variance estimator.
CONCLUSIONS: We present an example of how to implement case-cohort analysis methods using SPSS, a popular statistical package that lacks some of the features necessary to directly adapt and implement published methods based on other software platforms. We also illustrate case-control analysis using Epicure, which provides greater risk-modelling flexibility than other software. Our conclusions and recommendations should help investigators to better understand and apply the case-cohort design in epidemiological research.

Ibrahim SA, Yip GW, Stock C, et al.
Targeting of syndecan-1 by microRNA miR-10b promotes breast cancer cell motility and invasiveness via a Rho-GTPase- and E-cadherin-dependent mechanism.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 131(6):E884-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
microRNAs are small endogenous noncoding RNAs, which post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. In breast cancer, overexpression of the transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-1, a predicted target of the oncomiR miR-10b, correlates with poor clinical outcome. To investigate the potential functional relationship of miR-10b and syndecan-1, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells were transiently transfected with pre-miR-10b, syndecan-1 siRNA or control reagents, respectively. Altered cell behavior was monitored by proliferation, migration and invasion chamber assays, and time-lapse video microscopy. miR-10b overexpression induced post-transcriptional downregulation of syndecan-1, as demonstrated by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), flow cytometry, and 3'UTR luciferase assays, resulting in increased cancer cell migration and matrigel invasiveness. Syndecan-1 silencing generated a copy of this phenotype. Adhesion to fibronectin and laminin and basal cell proliferation was increased. Syndecan-1 coimmunoprecipitated with focal adhesion kinase, which showed increased activation upon syndecan-1 depletion. Affymetrix screening and confirmatory qPCR and Western blotting analysis of syndecan-1-deficient cells revealed upregulation of ATF-2, COX-2, cadherin-11, vinculin, actin γ 2, MYL9, transgelin-1, RhoA/C, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and heparanase, and downregulation of AML1/RUNX1, E-cadherin, CLDN1, p21WAF/CIP, cyclin-dependent kinase 6, TLR-4, PAI1/2, Collagen1alpha1, JHDM1D, Mpp4, MMP9, matrilin-2 and ANXA3/A10. Video microscopy demonstrated massively increased Rho kinase-dependent motility of syndecan-1-depleted cells, which displayed increased filopodia formation. We conclude that syndecan-1 is a novel target of the oncomiR miR-10b. Rho-GTPase-dependent modulation of cytoskeletal function and downregulation of E-cadherin expression are identified as relevant effectors of the miR-10b-syndecan-1 axis, which emerges as a promising target for the development of new therapeutic approaches for breast cancer.

Ding J, Xiao C, He C, et al.
Facile preparation of a cationic poly(amino acid) vesicle for potential drug and gene co-delivery.
Nanotechnology. 2011; 22(49):494012 [PubMed] Related Publications
A novel pH-responsive poly(amino acid) grafted with oligocation was prepared through the combination of ring-opening polymerization (ROP) and subsequent atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). Firstly, poly(γ-2-chloroethyl-L-glutamate) (PCELG) with a pendent 2-chloroethyl group was synthesized through ROP of γ-2-chloroethyl-L-glutamate N-carboxyanhydride (CELG NCA) using n-hexylamine as the initiator. Then, PCELG was used to initiate the ARTP of 2-aminoethyl methacrylate hydrochloride (AMA), yielding poly(L-glutamate)-graft-oligo(2-aminoethyl methacrylate hydrochloride) (PLG-g-OAMA). The pK(a) of PLG-g-OAMA was 7.3 established by the acid-base titration method. The amphiphilic poly(amino acid) could directly self-assemble into a vesicle in PBS. The vesicle was characterized by TEM and DLS. Hydrophilic DOX·HCl was loaded into the hollow core of the vesicle. The in vitro release behavior of DOX·HCl from the vesicle in PBS could be adjusted by the solution pH. In vitro cell experiments revealed that the vesicle could reduce the toxicity of the DOX·HCl. In addition, the preliminary gel retardation assay displayed that PLG-g-OAMA could efficiently bind DNA at a PLG-g-OAMA/DNA weight ratio of 0.3 or above, indicating its potential use as a gene carrier. More in-depth studies of the PLG-g-OAMA vesicle for drug and gene co-delivery in vitro and in vivo are in progress.

Paley EL, Paley DE, Merkulova-Rainon T, Subbarayan PR
Hypoxia signature of splice forms of tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase marks pancreatic cancer cells with distinct metastatic abilities.
Pancreas. 2011; 40(7):1043-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Pancreatic cancer is one of most deadly because of its aggressive growth and high metastatic ability that correlates with intratumoral hypoxia. Earlier diagnosis and prognosis marker of pancreatic cancer is not yet available. In colorectal cancer, protein biosynthesis enzyme, tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (TrpRS), is up-regulated in good-prognosis tumors and down-regulated in metastatic poor-prognosis tumors. Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase status in pancreatic cancer is unknown. To correlate metastatic ability with hypoxia and TrpRS as a possible prognostic marker, we examined mRNA and protein expression in 2 human pancreatic cancer cell lines with different metastatic abilities and TrpRS levels using our site-specific monoclonal antibodies directed to conformation-dependent epitopes on pancreatic TrpRS.
METHODS: Pancreatic MIAPaCa-2, Panc-1, cervical HeLa, and prostate cancer PC-3 cells were cultivated under normoxia or in hypoxic chamber. Expression of full-length TrpRS, antiangiogenic TrpRS, cyclin B1, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, and Glut-1 was determined with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, immunoblotting, and immunocytochemistry.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that hypoxia regulates differentially TrpRS splice forms. Pronounced down-regulation of full-length TrpRS by hypoxia is concomitant with higher metastatic ability.
CONCLUSIONS: Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase down-regulation by hypoxia may be a factor responsible for low TrpRS in tumors with high metastatic ability. Tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase recognizability is important for pancreatic cancer prognosis and as a new target for metastasis treatment.

Okuyama S, Marusawa H, Matsumoto T, et al.
Excessive activity of apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide 2 (APOBEC2) contributes to liver and lung tumorigenesis.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 130(6):1294-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
Apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide 2 (APOBEC2) was originally identified as a member of the cytidine deaminase family with putative nucleotide editing activity. To clarify the physiologic and pathologic roles, and the target nucleotide of APOBEC2, we established an APOBEC2 transgenic mouse model and investigated whether APOBEC2 expression causes nucleotide alterations in host DNA or RNA sequences. Sequence analyses revealed that constitutive expression of APOBEC2 in the liver resulted in significantly high frequencies of nucleotide alterations in the transcripts of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 2 (Eif4g2) and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) genes. Hepatocellular carcinoma developed in 2 of 20 APOBEC2 transgenic mice at 72 weeks of age. In addition, constitutive APOBEC2 expression caused lung tumors in 7 of 20 transgenic mice analyzed. Together with the fact that the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α induces ectopic expression of APOBEC2 in hepatocytes, our findings indicate that aberrant APOBEC2 expression causes nucleotide alterations in the transcripts of the specific target gene and could be involved in the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma through hepatic inflammation.

Yoshida K, Nakachi K, Imai K, et al.
Lung cancer susceptibility among atomic bomb survivors in relation to CA repeat number polymorphism of epidermal growth factor receptor gene and radiation dose.
Carcinogenesis. 2009; 30(12):2037-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Prevention could be improved by identifying susceptible individuals as well as improving understanding of interactions between genes and etiological environmental agents, including radiation exposure. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-signaling pathway, regulating cellular radiation sensitivity, is an oncogenic cascade involved in lung cancer, especially adenocarcinoma. The cytosine adenine (CA) repeat number polymorphism in the first intron of EGFR has been shown to be inversely correlated with EGFR production. It is hypothesized that CA repeat number may modulate individual susceptibility to lung cancer. Thus, we carried out a case-cohort study within the Japanese atomic bomb (A-bomb) survivor cohort to evaluate a possible association of CA repeat polymorphism with lung cancer risk in radiation-exposed or negligibly exposed (<5 mGy) A-bomb survivors. First, by dividing study subjects into Short and Long genotypes, defined as the summed CA repeat number of two alleles < or = 37 and > or = 38, respectively, we found that the Short genotype was significantly associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, specifically adenocarcinoma, among negligibly exposed subjects. Next, we found that prior radiation exposure significantly enhanced lung cancer risk of survivors with the Long genotype, whereas the risk for the Short genotype did not show any significant increase with radiation dose, resulting in indistinguishable risks between these genotypes at a high radiation dose. Our findings imply that the EGFR pathway plays a crucial role in assessing individual susceptibility to lung adenocarcinoma in relation to radiation exposure.

Hosseini-khalili A, Haines DD, Modirian E, et al.
Mustard gas exposure and carcinogenesis of lung.
Mutat Res. 2009; 678(1):1-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Sulfur mustard (SM), also known as mustard gas, is an alkylating compound used as a chemical weapon in World War I and by Iraqi forces against Iranians and indigenous Iraqi Kurds during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. Although SM is a proven carcinogen there are conflicting views regarding the carcinogenicity of a single exposure. The present study characterizes lung cancers formed in mustard gas victims from the Iran-Iraq War.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Demographic information and tumor specimens were collected from 20 Iranian male lung cancer patients with single high-dose SM exposures during the Iran-Iraq War. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lung cancers were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for p53 protein. In addition, DNA was extracted from the tissues, PCR amplified and sequenced to identify mutations in the p53 and KRAS genes associated with SM exposure.
RESULTS: A relatively early age of lung cancer onset (ranging from 28 to 73 with a mean of 48) in mustard gas victims, particularly those in the non-smoking population (mean age of 40.7), may be an indication of a unique etiology for these cancers. Seven of the 20 patients developed lung cancer before the age of 40. Five of 16 cancers from which DNA sequence data was obtainable provided information on eight p53 mutations (within exons 5-8). These mutations were predominately G to A transitions; a mutation consistent with the DNA lesion caused by SM. Two of the lung cancers had multiple p53 point mutations, similar to results obtained from factory workers chronically exposed to mustard agent. No mutations were detected in the KRAS gene.
DISCUSSION: The distinguishing characteristics of lung carcinogenesis in these mustard gas victims suggest that a single exposure may increase the risk of lung cancer development in some individuals.

Badea L, Herlea V, Dima SO, et al.
Combined gene expression analysis of whole-tissue and microdissected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma identifies genes specifically overexpressed in tumor epithelia.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2008 Nov-Dec; 55(88):2016-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: The precise details of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) pathogenesis are still insufficiently known, requiring the use of high-throughput methods. However, PDAC is especially difficult to study using microarrays due to its strong desmoplastic reaction, which involves a hyperproliferating stroma that effectively "masks" the contribution of the minoritary neoplastic epithelial cells. Thus it is not clear which of the genes that have been found differentially expressed between normal and whole tumor tissues are due to the tumor epithelia and which simply reflect the differences in cellular composition. To address this problem, laser microdissection studies have been performed, but these have to deal with much smaller tissue sample quantities and therefore have significantly higher experimental noise.
METHODOLOGY: In this paper we combine our own large sample whole-tissue study with a previously published smaller sample microdissection study by Grützmann et al. to identify the genes that are specifically overexpressed in PDAC tumor epithelia.
RESULTS: The overlap of this list of genes with other microarray studies of pancreatic cancer as well as with the published literature is impressive. Moreover, we find a number of genes whose over-expression appears to be inversely correlated with patient survival: keratin 7, laminin gamma 2, stratifin, platelet phosphofructokinase, annexin A2, MAP4K4 and OACT2 (MBOAT2), which are all specifically upregulated in the neoplastic epithelia, rather than the tumor stroma.
CONCLUSIONS: We improve on other microarray studies of PDAC by putting together the higher statistical power due to a larger number of samples with information about cell-type specific expression and patient survival.

Smith SC, Nicholson B, Nitz M, et al.
Profiling bladder cancer organ site-specific metastasis identifies LAMC2 as a novel biomarker of hematogenous dissemination.
Am J Pathol. 2009; 174(2):371-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Little is known about which genes mediate metastasis in bladder cancer, which accounts for much of the mortality of this disease. We used human bladder cancer cell lines to develop models of two clinically common metastatic sites, lung and liver, and evaluated their gene expression with respect to human tumor tissues. Parental cells were injected into either the murine spleen to generate liver metastases or tail vein to generate lung metastases with sequential progeny derived by re-injection and comparisons made of their organ-specific nature by crossed-site injections. Both genomic and transcriptomic analyses of organ-selected cell lines found salient differences and shared core metastatic profiles, which were then screened against gene expression data from human tumors. The expression levels of laminin V gamma 2 (LAMC2) contained in the core metastatic signature were increased as a function of human tumor stage, and its genomic location was in an area of gain as measured by comparative genomic hybridization. Using immunohistochemistry in a human bladder cancer tissue microarray, LAMC2 expression levels were associated with tumor grade, but inversely with nodal status. In contrast, in node-negative patients, LAMC2 expression was associated with visceral metastatic recurrence. In summary, LAMC2 is a novel biomarker of bladder cancer metastasis that reflects the propensity of cells to metastasize via either lymphatic or hematogenous routes.

Jakubowicz-Gil J, Rzeski W, Zdzisińska B, et al.
Different sensitivity of neurons and neuroblastoma cells to quercetin treatment.
Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2008; 68(4):463-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Quercetin is a natural flavonoid with pro-apoptotic and antiproliferative properties. In this study, we determined the sensitivity of neurons and neuroblastoma cells on apoptosis and necrosis induction upon quercetin treatment. No expression of Hsp72 was observed in neurons, which were more sensitive to cell death upon quercetin treatment than neuroblastoma cells, where Hsp72 expression was observed. Reduction of Hsp72 gene expression in neuroblastoma cells by antisense oligonucleotides made them more sensitive to pro-apoptotic action of quercetin. Moreover, the flavonoid decreased Hsp27, procaspase-3, MRP and PKB expression in neuroblastoma cells and in neurons. Nuclear localization of mainly cytoplasmic Hsp27 was observed in neuroblastoma cells after treatment with high quercetin concentrations, while in neurons, the protein was present in nuclei both in control and quercetin treated cells. Our results suggest that quercetin induce apoptosis more effectively in cells with low level of Hsp 72 expression. Higher sensitivity of neurons for cell death after treatment with high quercetin concentrations in comparison to neuroblastoma cell line should also be taken into consideration in further studies on using studied flavonoid as therapeutic agent.

Zboralski D, Böckmann M, Zapatka M, et al.
Divergent mechanisms underlie Smad4-mediated positive regulation of the three genes encoding the basement membrane component laminin-332 (laminin-5).
BMC Cancer. 2008; 8:215 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Functional inactivation of the tumor suppressor Smad4 in colorectal and pancreatic carcinogenesis occurs coincident with the transition to invasive growth. Breaking the basement membrane (BM) barrier, a prerequisite for invasive growth, can be due to tumor induced proteolytic tissue remodeling or to reduced synthesis of BM molecules by incipient tumor cells. Laminin-332 (laminin-5), a heterotrimeric BM component composed of alpha 3-, beta 3- and gamma 2-chains, has recently been identified as a target structure of Smad4 and represents the first example for expression control of an essential BM component by a tumor and invasion suppressor. Biochemically Smad4 is a transmitter of signals of the TGFbeta superfamily of cytokines. We have reported previously, that Smad4 functions as a positive transcriptional regulator of constitutive and of TGFbeta-induced transcription of all three genes encoding Laminin-332, LAMA3, LAMB3 and LAMC2.
METHODS: Promoter-reporter constructs harboring 4 kb upstream regions, each of the three genes encoding Laminin-322 as well as deletion and mutations constructs were established. Promoter activities and TGFbeta induction were assayed through transient transfections in Smad4-negative human cancer cells and their stable Smad4-positive derivatives. Functionally relevant binding sites were subsequently confirmed through chromatin immunoprecipitation.
RESULTS: Herein, we report that Smad4 mediates transcriptional regulation through three different mechanisms, namely through Smad4 binding to a functional SBE site exclusively in the LAMA3 promoter, Smad4 binding to AP1 (and Sp1) sites presumably via interaction with AP1 family components and lastly a Smad4 impact on transcription of AP1 factors. Whereas Smad4 is essential for positive regulation of all three genes, the molecular mechanisms are significantly divergent between the LAMA3 promoter as compared to the LAMB3 and LAMC2 promoters.
CONCLUSION: We hypothesize that this divergence in modular regulation of the three promoters may lay the ground for uncoupled regulation of Laminin-332 in Smad4-deficient tumor cells in response to stromally expressed cytokines acting on budding tumor cells.

Miura S, Nakashima M, Ito M, et al.
Significance of HER2 and C-MYC oncogene amplifications in breast cancer in atomic bomb survivors: associations with radiation exposure and histologic grade.
Cancer. 2008; 112(10):2143-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It has been postulated that radiation induces breast cancers in atomic bomb (A-bomb) survivors. Oncogene amplification is an important mechanism during breast carcinogenesis and also serves as an indicator of genomic instability (GIN). The objective of this study was to clarify the association of oncogene amplification in breast cancer in A-bomb survivors with radiation exposure.
METHODS: In total, 593 breast cancers were identified in A-bomb survivors from 1968 to 1999, and the association between breast cancer incidence and A-bomb radiation exposure was evaluated. Invasive ductal cancers from 67 survivors and 30 nonsurvivors were analyzed for amplification of the HER2 and C-MYC genes by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and expression levels of hormone receptors were analyzed by immunostaining.
RESULTS: The incidence rate increased significantly as exposure distance decreased from the hypocenter (hazard ratio per 1-km decrement, 1.47; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.30-1.66). The incidence of HER2 and C-MYC amplification was increased significantly in the order of the control group, the distal group (P = .0238), and the proximal group (P = .0128). Multivariate analyses revealed that distance was a risk factor for the coamplification of C-MYC and HER2 in breast cancer in survivors (odds ratio per 1-km increment, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.01-0.63). The histologic grade of breast cancers became significantly higher in the order of the control group, the distal group, and the proximal group and was associated with oncogene amplifications.
CONCLUSIONS: The current results suggested that A-bomb radiation may affect the development of oncogene amplification by inducing GIN and may be associated with a higher histologic grade in breast cancer among A-bomb survivors.

Hansen LV, Laerum OD, Illemann M, et al.
Altered expression of the urokinase receptor homologue, C4.4A, in invasive areas of human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2008; 122(4):734-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
C4.4A is a glycolipid-anchored membrane protein with structural homology to the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). Although C4.4A was identified as a metastasis-associated protein little is known about its actual expression and possible function in malignant disease. In the present study, we have therefore analyzed the expression of C4.4A in 14 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC). Normal squamous esophageal epithelium shows a strong cell surface associated C4.4A expression in the suprabasal layers, whereas basal cells are negative. Upon transition to dysplasia and carcinoma in situ the expression of C4.4A is abruptly and coordinately weakened. Double immunofluorescence staining of normal and dysplastic tissue showed that C4.4A colocalizes with the epithelial cell surface marker E-cadherin in the suprabasal cells and has a complementary expression pattern compared to the proliferation marker Ki-67. A prominent, but frequently intracellular, C4.4A expression reappeared in tumor cells located at the invasive front and local lymph node metastases. Because C4.4A was reported previously to be a putative laminin-5 (LN5) ligand, and both proteins are expressed by invasive tumor cells, we analyzed the possible coexpression of C4.4A and the gamma 2-chain of LN5 (LN5-gamma 2). Although these proteins are indeed expressed by either neighboring cancer cells or in a few cases even coexpressed by the same cells in the tumor front and metastases, we found no evidence for a general colocalization in the extracellular compartment by confocal microscopy. In conclusion, C4.4A is expressed during invasion and metastasis of human ESCC and may thus provide a new histological marker in this disease.

Mankaï A, Eveillard JR, Buhé V, et al.
Is the c-Cbl proto-oncogene involved in chronic lymphocytic leukemia?
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007; 1107:193-205 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by survival advantage and accumulation of CD5+ mature B lymphocytes. Expression of zeta-chain-associated protein-70 (ZAP-70), normally present in T lymphocytes or immature B cells, is associated with disease aggressiveness, as IgVH mutational status, and some proteins implicated in survival signal pathways are found to be constitutively activated in CLL cells. ZAP-70 signaling is regulated through molecular adaptors, such as the proto-oncogene product c-Casitas B lineage lymphoma (c-Cbl). The aim of this study was to determine the implication of this proto-oncogene product in CLL in survival signals. It appeared that expression of c-Cbl was increased in CLL and not correlated to that of B cell linker protein or ZAP-70. Furthermore, c-Cbl was significantly hypophosphorylated in progressive disease, so that hypophosphorylated form of c-Cbl (c-Cbl.P) along with ZAP-70, set a cutoff ratio distributing patients with stable situation below 1, and those with progressive disease equal or above 1. Given that phospholipase gamma 2 (PLC gamma 2) function is also influenced by c-Cbl hypophosphorylation, the ratio of PLC gamma 2 to c-Cbl.P was measured in CLL B cells and consistently found to be >or= 1 in Binet stage B CLL patients, as opposed to stage A CLL patients. These findings invite analysis of the role of c-Cbl in CLL.

Suzuki G, Cullings H, Fujiwara S, et al.
Low-positive antibody titer against Helicobacter pylori cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) may predict future gastric cancer better than simple seropositivity against H. pylori CagA or against H. pylori.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007; 16(6):1224-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To investigate the IgG antibody titer against Helicobacter pylori CagA as a risk factor for future noncardia gastric cancer.
METHODS: A nested case-control study was done in the longitudinal cohort of atomic bomb survivors using stored sera before diagnosis (mean, 2.3 years). Enrolled were 299 cancer cases and 3 controls per case selected from cohort members matched on age, gender, city, and time and type of serum storage and countermatched on radiation dose.
RESULTS: H. pylori IgG seropositive with CagA IgG low titer was the strongest risk factor for noncardia gastric cancer [relative risk (RR), 3.9; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 2.1-7.0; P < 0.001], especially for intestinal-type tumor (RR, 9.9, 95% CI, 3.5-27.4; P < 0.001), compared with other risk factors, H. pylori IgG seropositive with CagA IgG negative (RR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3-3.9; P = 0.0052), H. pylori IgG seropositive with CagA IgG high titer (RR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.2; P = 0.0022), chronic atrophic gastritis (RR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.8-3.3; P < 0.001), current smoking (RR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4-3.5; P < 0.001), or radiation dose (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.1; P = 0.00193). Current smoking showed significantly higher risk for diffuse-type than intestinal-type tumors (P = 0.0372). Radiation risk was significant only for nonsmokers, all noncardia, and diffuse-type gastric cancers.
CONCLUSIONS: A low CagA IgG titer is a useful biomarker to identify a high-risk group and it also provides a clue to understanding host-pathogen interaction.

Jounaidi Y, Doloff JC, Waxman DJ
Conditionally replicating adenoviruses for cancer treatment.
Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2007; 7(3):285-301 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Replication-conditional, oncolytic adenoviruses are emerging as powerful tools in the warfare on cancer. The ability to modify cell-specific infectivity or tissue-specific replication machinery, as well as the possibility of modifying viral-cellular protein interactions with cellular checkpoint regulators are emerging as new trends in the design of safer and more effective adenoviruses. The integration of oncolytic adenoviruses with mainstream cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, continues to yield significant therapeutic benefits. Adenoviruses can be armed with prodrug-activating enzymes as well as tumor suppressor genes or anti-angiogenic factors, thus providing for enhanced anti-tumor therapy and reduced host toxicity. Thus far, encouraging results have been obtained from extensive preclinical and human clinical studies. However, there is a need to improve adenoviral vectors to overcome unresolved problems facing this promising anti-cancer agent, chief among these issues is the adenovirus-triggered immune response threatening its efficacy. The continued expansion of the knowledge base of adenovirus biology will likely lead to further improvements in the design of the ideal oncolytic adenoviruses for cancer treatment.

Petty AP, Garman KL, Winn VD, et al.
Overexpression of carcinoma and embryonic cytotrophoblast cell-specific Mig-7 induces invasion and vessel-like structure formation.
Am J Pathol. 2007; 170(5):1763-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molecular requirements for carcinoma cell interactions with the microenvironment are critical for disease progression but are poorly understood. Integrin alpha v beta 5, which senses the extracellular matrix, is important for carcinoma cell dissemination in vivo. alpha v beta 5 signaling induces Mig-7, a novel human gene product that is apparently carcinoma-specific. We hypothesized that Mig-7 expression facilitates tumor cell dissemination by increasing invasion and vasculogenic mimicry. Results show that embryonic cytotrophoblasts up-regulated Mig-7 expression before they acquired an invasive phenotype capable of pseudovasculogenesis. Mig-7 protein primarily co-localized with vasculogenic mimicry markers factor VIII-associated antigen, vascular endothelial-cadherin, and laminin 5 gamma 2 chain domain III fragment in lymph node metastases. Overexpression of Mig-7 increased gamma 2 chain domain III fragments known to contain epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats that can activate EGF receptor. Interestingly, EGF also induced Mig-7 expression. Carcinoma cell adhesion to laminins was significantly reduced by Mig-7 expression. Remarkably, in two-dimensional and three-dimensional Matrigel cultures, Mig-7 expression caused invasion and vessel-like structures. Melanoma cells, which were previously characterized to invade aggressively and to undergo vasculogenic mimicry, expressed Mig-7. Taken together, these data suggest that Mig-7 expression allows cells to sense their environment, to invade, and to form vessel-like structures through a novel relationship with laminin 5 gamma 2 chain domain III fragments.

Svensson Månsson S, Reis-Filho J, Landberg G
Transcriptional upregulation and unmethylation of the promoter region of p16 in invasive basal cell carcinoma cells and partial co-localization with the gamma 2 chain of laminin-332.
J Pathol. 2007; 212(1):102-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Basal cell carcinoma cells show low proliferation rates at the invasive front and a concordant upregulation of the cdk-inhibitor p16, limiting proliferative capacity. Little is known about the mechanisms of p16 regulation in normal and malignant cells apart from that many transcription factors such as Ets1, Ets2, SP1, SP3, JunB and the polycomb protein Bmi1 have the potential to induce or repress p16 expression. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine how p16 is regulated in basal cell carcinoma with special focus on its upregulation in invasive cells. By analysing various microdissected areas of basal cell carcinoma using real-time quantitative PCR we observed upregulation of p16 mRNA in invasive tumour cells compared to centrally localized tumour cells. The methylation status of the p16 promoter, analysed by methylation-specific PCR, also showed diminished methylation in tumour cells at the invasive front, supporting the hypothesis that promoter methylation can affect the transcriptional activation of p16 in vivo. There was only sporadic co-localization of Ets, or ERK1/2 phosphorylation with p16 upregulation at the invasive front, suggesting that these factors were not directly involved in the regulation of p16. Furthermore, the gamma 2 chain of laminin-332 has been reported to be increased at the invasive front compared to the central areas of many tumours. Interestingly, in basal cell carcinoma we observed partial co-localization between p16 and the gamma 2 chain of laminin-332 in tumour cells towards areas of ulceration and in the majority of clearly infiltrative tumour cells but not in p16 positive tumour cells with a more pushing invasive growth pattern. These data suggest that concurrent p16 upregulation and decreased proliferation are more general phenomena in different types of invasive growth patterns in basal cell carcinomas and that these only partially overlap with the gamma 2 chain of laminin-332 associated invasion patterns.

Takahashi K, Eguchi H, Arihiro K, et al.
The presence of BRAF point mutation in adult papillary thyroid carcinomas from atomic bomb survivors correlates with radiation dose.
Mol Carcinog. 2007; 46(3):242-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
In papillary thyroid carcinogenesis, the constitutively activated mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling pathway caused by a genetic alteration such as RET/PTC rearrangement or mutation of RAS and BRAF genes, is thought to be a major early event. Among these, the recently identified BRAF(V600E) mutation has been found at high frequency in adult patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). However, the association between this mutation and radiation exposure in adult PTC is still unknown. In this study, we examined the BRAF(V600E) mutation in 64 PTCs among adult atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima, Japan, comprising 17 nonexposed (0 mGy) and 47 exposed patients who developed the carcinoma after the bombing, and assessed the association of BRAF(V600E) mutation with clinico-pathological and epidemiological variables. The median radiation dose in PTCs with the BRAF(V600E) mutation was significantly lower than that without the mutation (18.5 vs.156.9 mGy, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, P=0.022). A significant difference was found in the median latency period (years elapsed from atomic bombing to diagnosis) between exposed patients with and without BRAF(V600E) mutation (29 vs. 21 yr, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, P=0.014). These findings were further confirmed by logistic regression analysis with BRAF(V600E) mutation status as a dependent variable and taking into account possible interactions between the variables. We found that the log-transformed radiation dose and latency period were independently associated with the BRAF(V600E) mutation (P=0.039 and P=0.010, respectively). These results suggest that involvement of BRAF mutation in thyroid carcinogenesis in exposed people may differ from that in the nonexposed people.

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