Gene Summary

Gene:WWOX; WW domain containing oxidoreductase
Aliases: FOR, WOX1, EIEE28, FRA16D, SCAR12, HHCMA56, PRO0128, SDR41C1, D16S432E
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases (SDR) protein family. This gene spans the FRA16D common chromosomal fragile site and appears to function as a tumor suppressor gene. Expression of the encoded protein is able to induce apoptosis, while defects in this gene are associated with multiple types of cancer. Disruption of this gene is also associated with autosomal recessive spinocerebellar ataxia 12. Disruption of a similar gene in mouse results in impaired steroidogenesis, additionally suggesting a metabolic function for the protein. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, May 2014]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:WW domain-containing oxidoreductase
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (25)

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.

  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Breast Cancer
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Acid Anhydride Hydrolases
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Apoptosis
  • U937 Cells
  • Up-Regulation
  • Transfection
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Mutation
  • Neural Crest
  • Down-Regulation
  • Chromosome 16
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromosome Fragile Sites
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Promoter Regions
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Gene Deletion
  • Signal Transduction
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Western Blotting
  • Messenger RNA
  • Staging
  • Oxidoreductases
  • WWOX
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • S Phase
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
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: WWOX (cancer-related)

Li G, Sun L, Mu Z, et al.
Ectopic WWOX Expression Inhibits Growth of 5637 Bladder Cancer Cell In Vitro and In Vivo.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015; 73(2):417-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) gene located in the common fragile site FRA16D region exhibits loss or reduction of expression in multiple types of carcinomas including bladder cancer. However, the role of WWOX in the tumorigenesis and development of bladder cancer remains elusive. In this study, WWOX overexpression construct was transfected into 5637 bladder cancer cell line in which WWOX expression was compromised. Constitutive expression of ectopic WWOX in 5637 cells suppressed cell proliferation and cell cycle progression, which was associated with downregulation of Cyclin B, D1, and E. Moreover, WWOX overexpression promoted apoptosis in 5637 cells and resulted in upregulation of Bax, downregulation of Bcl-2, and elevated levels of cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP, indicating activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Furthermore, WWOX overexpression suppressed tumorigenicity of 5637 cells and promoted apoptosis in the xenograft tumors as demonstrated in a xenograft mouse model. In summary, our data indicate that WWOX plays a critical role in the regulation of proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, and tumorigenesis of bladder cancer cells, suggesting that WWOX may have potential clinical implications in bladder cancer therapy.

Schirmer MA, Lüske CM, Roppel S, et al.
Relevance of Sp Binding Site Polymorphism in WWOX for Treatment Outcome in Pancreatic Cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016; 108(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) suggested inherited genetic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affecting overall survival (OS) in advanced pancreatic cancer. To identify robust clinical biomarkers, we tested the strongest reported candidate loci in an independent patient cohort, assessed cellular drug sensitivity, and evaluated molecular effects.
METHODS: This study comprised 381 patients with histologically verified pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. The primary outcome was the relationship between germline polymorphisms and OS. Functional assays addressed pharmacological dose-response effects in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and pancreatic cancer cell lines (including upon RNAi), gene expression analyses, and allele-specific transcription factor binding. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The A allele (26% in Caucasians) at SNP rs11644322 in the putative tumor suppressor gene WWOX conferred worse prognosis. Median OS was 14 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 12 to 15 months), 13 months (95% CI = 11 to 15 months), and nine months (95% CI = 7 to 12 months) for the GG, GA, and AA genotypes, respectively (P trend < .001 for trend in univariate log-rank assuming a codominant mode of inheritance; advanced disease subgroup P trend < .001). Mean OS was 25 months (95% CI = 21 to 29 months), 19 months (95% CI = 15 to 22 months), and 13 months (95% CI = 10 to 16 months), respectively. This effect held true after adjustment for age, performance status according to Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group classification, TNM, grading, and resection status and was comparable with the strongest established prognostic factors in multivariable analysis. Consistently, reduced responsiveness to gemcitabine, but not 5-fluorouracil, along with lower WWOX expression was demonstrated in LCLs harboring the AA genotype. Likewise, RNAi-mediated WWOX knockdown in pancreatic cancer cells confirmed differential cytostatic drug sensitivity. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, the A allele exhibited weaker binding of Sp family members Sp1/Sp3.
CONCLUSIONS: WWOX rs11644322 represents a major predictive factor in gemcitabine-treated pancreatic cancer. Decreased WWOX expression may interfere with gemcitabine sensitivity, and allele-specific binding at rs11644332 might be a causative molecular mechanism behind the observed clinical associations.

Płuciennik E, Nowakowska M, Gałdyszyńska M, et al.
The influence of the WWOX gene on the regulation of biological processes during endometrial carcinogenesis.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 37(3):807-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of WW domain containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) downregulation in biological cancer-related processes in normal (non-malignant) and cancer endometrial cell lines. We created an in vitro model using the normal endometrial cell line, THESC, and 2 endometrial cancer cell lines with varying degrees of differentiation, the Ishikawa (well-differentiated) and the MFE296 (moderately differentiated) cells, in which the WWOX tumor suppressor gene was silenced using Gipz lentiviral shRNA. In this model, we examined the changes in invasiveness via biological assays, such as zymography, migration through a basement membrane, the adhesion of cells to extracellular matrix proteins, anchorage-independent growth and colony formation assay. We also evaluated the correlation between the mRNA expression of the WWOX gene and genes involved in the processes of carcinogenesis, namely catenin beta-1 (CTNNB1) and zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) (gene transcription), cadherin 1 (CDH1) and ezrin (EZR) (cell adhesion), vimentin (VIM) (structural proteins), as well as phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) (tumor suppression) and secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (osteonectin) (SPARC) (SPARC) (cell growth regulation) by RT-qPCR. Downregulation of the WWOX gene in the moderately differentiated MFE296 cell line caused decreased migratory capacity, and a reduction of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity. However, these cells grew in semisolid medium and exhibited higher expression of CDH1 and EZR (cell adhesion) and secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (osteonectin) (SPARC) (cell growth regulation). Moreover, in the well-differentiated endometrial cancer (Ishikawa) cell line, WWOX gene silencing resulted in an increased ability of the cells to proliferate indefinitely. Additionally, WWOX regulated changes in adhesion potential in both the normal and cancer cell lines. Our results suggest that the WWOX tumor suppressor gene modulated the processes of cell motility, cell adhesion, gene expression and remodeling in endometrial cell lines.

Zhou Y, Shou F, Zhang H, You Q
Adenovirus-delivered wwox inhibited lung cancer growth in vivo in a mouse model.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016; 23(1):1-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the most prevalent and deadly malignancy worldwide. This study investigated the possibility of inhibiting lung cancer in vivo with adenovirus-delivered WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (wwox). The lung cancer model was established by inoculating A549 lung cancer cells into the pleural space of nude mice. The control or wwox adenovirus was injected into the pleural space 7 days after cell inoculation and 14 days after first injection. The tumor number and burdens were measured 2 weeks after second virus injection. The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and alpha-feto protein (AFP) levels in pleural effusion were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Apoptosis, proliferation and angiogenesis of tumor cells were assessed by terminal deoxinucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-fluorescein nick end labeling assay, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and CD31 staining, respectively. Ectopic wwox significantly reduced both the number and size of lung tumors accompanied by substantially lower CEA and AFP levels in pleural effusion. The expression levels of Bcl2, Bcl-xL, vascular endothelial growth factor, PCNA-positive and CD31-positive cells in the tumors were significantly decreased, whereas levels of p21 and p73 and apoptotic cells markedly increased in mice receiving the wwox virus. These data demonstrated that wwox delivered by adenovirus was able to inhibit the growth of lung cancer in vivo, indicating the potential of using wwox as a gene therapy agent for lung cancer.

Abu-Remaileh M, Joy-Dodson E, Schueler-Furman O, Aqeilan RI
Pleiotropic Functions of Tumor Suppressor WWOX in Normal and Cancer Cells.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(52):30728-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX), originally marked as a likely tumor suppressor gene, has over the years become recognized for its role in a much wider range of cellular activities. Phenotypic effects displayed in animal studies, along with resolution of WWOX's architecture, fold, and binding partners, point to the protein's multifaceted biological functions. Results from a series of complementary experiments seem to indicate WWOX's involvement in metabolic regulation. More recently, clinical studies involving cases of severe encephalopathy suggest that WWOX also plays a part in controlling CNS development, further expanding our understanding of the breadth and complexity of WWOX behavior. Here we present a short overview of the various approaches taken to study this dynamic gene, emphasizing the most recent findings regarding WWOX's metabolic- and CNS-associated functions and their underlying molecular basis.

O'Keefe LV, Lee CS, Choo A, Richards RI
Tumor Suppressor WWOX Contributes to the Elimination of Tumorigenic Cells in Drosophila melanogaster.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0136356 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WWOX is a >1 Mb gene spanning FRA16D Common Chromosomal Fragile Site, a region of DNA instability in cancer. Consequently, altered WWOX levels have been observed in a wide variety of cancers. In vitro studies have identified a large number and variety of potential roles for WWOX. Although its normal role in vivo and functional contribution to cancer have not been fully defined, WWOX does have an integral role in metabolism and can suppress tumor growth. Using Drosophila melanogaster as an in vivo model system, we find that WWOX is a modulator of TNFα/Egr-mediated cell death. We found that altered levels of WWOX can modify phenotypes generated by low level ectopic expression of TNFα/Egr and this corresponds to altered levels of Caspase 3 activity. These results demonstrate an in vivo role for WWOX in promoting cell death. This form of cell death is accompanied by an increase in levels of reactive oxygen species, the regulation of which we have previously shown can also be modified by altered WWOX activity. We now hypothesise that, through regulation of reactive oxygen species, WWOX constitutes a link between alterations in cellular metabolism observed in cancer cells and their ability to evade normal cell death pathways. We have further shown that WWOX activity is required for the efficient removal of tumorigenic cells from a developing epithelial tissue. Together these results provide a molecular basis for the tumor suppressor functions of WWOX and the better prognosis observed in cancer patients with higher levels of WWOX activity. Understanding the conserved cellular pathways to which WWOX contributes provides novel possibilities for the development of therapeutic approaches to restore WWOX function in cancer.

Chen T, Gao F, Feng S, et al.
MicroRNA-134 regulates lung cancer cell H69 growth and apoptosis by targeting WWOX gene and suppressing the ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 464(3):748-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs have been shown to act as crucial modulators during carcinogenesis. Recent studies have implied that miR-134 expression associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotype and invasive potential of NSCLC cells. Our study investigated the pathogenic implications of miR-134 in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Overexpression or inhibition MiR-134 expression by miR-134 mimics or miR-134 inhibitors (anti-miR-134) in SCLC cell lines was detected using qRT-PCR. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, MTT assays and flow cytometry were performed in order to clarify the growth and apoptosis of SCLC cells which had been transfected with miR-134 mimics or anti-miR-134. WWOX expression in H69 cells was detected by qRT-PCR and western blot, respectively. The results showed that overexpression miR-134 was significantly promoting SCLC cells growth and inhibit its apoptosis. In addition, reduced miR-134 expression was significantly correlated with cell growth inhibition and apoptosis promotion. Furthermore, transfection of miR-134 mimics into the SCLC cells markedly down-regulated the level of WWOX, whereas, anti-miR-134 up-regulated WWOX expression. We also found that overexpression WWOX attenuate miR-134 induced H69 cells growth, and promote cell apoptosis. Moreover, miR-134 promoted cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis via the activation of ERK1/2 pathway. These findings suggest that miR-134 may be an ideal diagnostic and prognostic marker, and may be attributed to the molecular therapy of SCLC.

Bendinelli P, Maroni P, Matteucci E, Desiderio MA
HGF and TGFβ1 differently influenced Wwox regulatory function on Twist program for mesenchymal-epithelial transition in bone metastatic versus parental breast carcinoma cells.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:112 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Much effort has been devoted to determining how metastatic cells and microenvironment reciprocally interact. However, the role of biological stimuli of microenvironment in controlling molecular events in bone metastasis from breast carcinoma for mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) is largely unknown. The purpose of the present paper was to clarify (1) the influence of hepatocyte-growth factor (HGF) and transforming growth factorβ1 (TGFβ1) on the phenotype of bone-metastatic 1833 and parental MDA-MB231 cells; (2) the hierarchic response of Twist and Snail controlled by Wwox co-factor, that might be critical for the control of 1833-adhesive properties via E-cadherin.
METHODS: We studied under HGF and TGFβ1 the gene profiles-responsible for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), versus the revertant MET phenotype-making the correspondence with 1833 morphology and the relation to HGF-dependent control of TGFβ1 signalling. In particular, the activation of Twist program and the underlying molecular mechanisms were investigated, considering the role of endogenous and exogenous Wwox with siRNAWWOX and the expression vector transfection, to clarify whether Twist affected E-cadherin transactivation through a network of transcription factors and regulators.
RESULTS: HGF and TGFβ1 oppositely affected the expression of Wwox in 1833 cells. Under HGF, endogenous Wwox decreased concomitant with Twist access to nuclei and its phosphorylation via PI3K/Akt pathway. Twist activated by HGF did not influence the gene profile through an E-box mechanism, but participated in the interplay of PPARγ/Ets1/NF-kB-transcription factors, triggering E-cadherin transactivation. Altogether, HGF conferred MET phenotype to 1833 cells, even if this was transient since followed by TGFβ1-signalling activation. TGFβ1 induced Snail in both the cell lines, with E-cadherin down-regulation only in 1833 cells because in MDA-MB231 cells E-cadherin was practically absent. Exogenous Wwox activated metastatic HIF-1, with Twist as co-factor.
CONCLUSIONS: HGF and TGFβ1 of bone-metastasis microenvironment acted co-ordinately, influencing non redundant pathways regulated by Twist program or Snail-transcription factor, with reversible MET switch. This process implicated different roles for Wwox in the various steps of the metastatic process including colonization, with microenvironmental/exogenous Wwox that activated HIF-1, important for E-cadherin expression. Interfering with the Twist program by targeting the pre-metastatic niche stimuli could be an effective anti-bone metastasis therapy.

Iessi E, Zischler L, Etringer A, et al.
Death Receptor-Induced Apoptosis Signalling Regulation by Ezrin Is Cell Type Dependent and Occurs in a DISC-Independent Manner in Colon Cancer Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0126526 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ezrin belongs to the ERM (ezrin-radixin-moesin) protein family and has been demonstrated to regulate early steps of Fas receptor signalling in lymphoid cells, but its contribution to TRAIL-induced cell death regulation in adherent cancer cells remains unknown. In this study we report that regulation of FasL and TRAIL-induced cell death by ezrin is cell type dependant. Ezrin is a positive regulator of apoptosis in T-lymphoma cell line Jurkat, but a negative regulator in colon cancer cells. Using ezrin phosphorylation or actin-binding mutants, we provide evidence that negative regulation of death receptor-induced apoptosis by ezrin occurs in a cytoskeleton- and DISC-independent manner, in colon cancer cells. Remarkably, inhibition of apoptosis induced by these ligands was found to be tightly associated with regulation of ezrin phosphorylation on serine 66, the tumor suppressor gene WWOX and activation of PKA. Deficiency in WWOX expression in the liver cancer SK-HEP1 or the pancreatic Mia PaCa-2 cell lines as well as WWOX silencing or modulation of PKA activation by pharmacological regulators, in the colon cancer cell line SW480, abrogated regulation of TRAIL signalling by ezrin. Altogether our results show that death receptor pro-apoptotic signalling regulation by ezrin can occur downstream of the DISC in colon cancer cells.

Smith KS, Yadav VK, Pedersen BS, et al.
Signatures of accelerated somatic evolution in gene promoters in multiple cancer types.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(11):5307-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer-associated somatic mutations outside protein-coding regions remain largely unexplored. Analyses of the TERT locus have indicated that non-coding regulatory mutations can be more frequent than previously suspected and play important roles in oncogenesis. Using a computational method called SASE-hunter, developed here, we identified a novel signature of accelerated somatic evolution (SASE) marked by a significant excess of somatic mutations localized in a genomic locus, and prioritized those loci that carried the signature in multiple cancer patients. Interestingly, even when an affected locus carried the signature in multiple individuals, the mutations contributing to SASE themselves were rarely recurrent at the base-pair resolution. In a pan-cancer analysis of 906 samples from 12 tumor types, we detected SASE in the promoters of several genes, including known cancer genes such as MYC, BCL2, RBM5 and WWOX. Nucleotide substitution patterns consistent with oxidative DNA damage and local somatic hypermutation appeared to contribute to this signature in selected gene promoters (e.g. MYC). SASEs in selected cancer gene promoters were associated with over-expression, and also correlated with the age of onset of cancer, aggressiveness of the disease and survival. Taken together, our work detects a hitherto under-appreciated and clinically important class of regulatory changes in cancer genomes.

Kara M, Yumrutas O, Ozcan O, et al.
Differential expressions of cancer-associated genes and their regulatory miRNAs in colorectal carcinoma.
Gene. 2015; 567(1):81-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is one of the frequently seen malignancies in the world. To date, several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have been identified and linked to colorectal cancer pathogenesis. Although recent advances in the diagnosis and therapy of colorectal cancer are promising, identifying novel genetic contributors is still high priority. In the present study, expression profile of some cancer-related genes and their regulatory miRNA molecules were evaluated by using a high-throughput real-time PCR method. For the study, a total of 54 patients diagnosed with CRC and normal colon tissue samples of 42 healthy controls were included. For the expression analysis, total RNA was extracted from FFPE tissue samples and converted to cDNA. All expression analyses were assessed by using Fluidigm Microfluidic Dynamic Array chips for 96 samples and the reactions were held in Fluidigm BioMark™ HD System Real-Time PCR. As a result of the study, expression of the ADAMTS1, FHIT, RUNX1, RUNX3 and WWOX genes was shown to be significantly altered in CRC tissues in contrast to normal tissue samples. Moreover, miR-378a-3p, miR-155-5p, miR-193b-3p, miR-96-5p, miR-17-5p, miR-27a-3p, miR-133b, miR-203a, miR-205-5p, miR-34c-5p, miR-130a-3p, miR-301a-3p, miR-132-3p, miR-222-3p, miR-34a-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-29a-3p and miR-29b-3p were found to be significantly deregulated in CRC. Consequently, results of the current study strongly suggest the involvement of novel cancer-related genes and their regulatory miRNAs in CRC physiopathology.

Płuciennik E, Nowakowska M, Pospiech K, et al.
The role of WWOX tumor suppressor gene in the regulation of EMT process via regulation of CDH1-ZEB1-VIM expression in endometrial cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(6):2639-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study defines the role of WWOX in the regulation of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. A group of 164 endometrial adenocarcinoma patients was studied as well as an ECC1 well-differentiated steroid-responsive endometrial cell line, which was transducted with WWOX cDNA by a retroviral system. The relationship between WWOX gene and EMT marker (CDH1, VIM, ZEB1, SNAI1) expression on mRNA (RT-qPCR) and protein levels (western blotting) was evaluated. The EMT processes were also analysed in vitro by adhesion of cells to extracellular matrix proteins, migration through a basement membrane, anchorage-independent growth and MMP activity assay. DNA microarrays (HumanOneArray™) were used to determine WWOX-dependent pathways in an ECC1 cell line. A positive correlation was observed between WWOX and ZEB1, and a negative correlation between CDH1 and VIM. WWOX expression was found to inversely correlate with the risk of recurrence of tumors in patients. However, in the WWOX-expressing ECC1 cell line, WWOX expression was found to be inversely related with VIM and positively with CDH1. The ECC1/WWOX cell line variant demonstrated increased migratory capacity, with increased expression of metalloproteinases MMP2/MMP9. However, these cells were not able to form colonies in suspension and revealed decreased adhesion to fibronectin and fibrinogen. Microarray analysis demonstrated that WWOX has an impact on the variety of cellular pathways including the cadherin and integrin signalling pathways. Our results suggest that the WWOX gene plays a role in the regulation of EMT processes in endometrial cancer by controlling the expression of proteins associated with cell motility, thus influencing tissue remodeling, with the suppression of mesenchymal markers.

Yan H, Tong J, Lin X, et al.
Effect of the WWOX gene on the regulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis in human ovarian cancer stem cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(2):1783-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In order to examine new ideas for gene therapy in ovarian cancer, the specific mechanism underlying the effects of the WW domain containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) gene on cell cycle regulation and apoptosis in human ovarian cancer stem cells was investigated. Ovarian cancer stem cells were transfected with a eukaryotic expression vector carrying the WWOX gene in vitro (recombinant plasmid) and cells transfected with the empty plasmid (empty plasmid) or untransfected cells were used as controls. Stably transfected cells were screened and amplified in culture and the WWOX protein was detected by western blot analysis in the three groups of cells. Western blot analysis was performed to detect the expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins cyclin E, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 2, cyclin D1, CDK4 and apoptosis-related protein Wnt-5α and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), while polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect alterations in the mRNA expression levels of caspase-3. The results demonstrated that the WWOX protein was stably expressed in cells of the recombinant plasmid group, but was not detected in cells of the empty plasmid group and the control group. Cell proliferation at each time point decreased significantly in the recombinant plasmid group compared with the empty plasmid group and the control group. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that the proportion of cells in the G0/G1 phase in the recombinant plasmid group was significantly higher than that of cells in the empty plasmid group and the control group. The rate of apoptosis in the recombinant plasmid group was significantly higher than that of cells in the empty plasmid group and the control group. Western blot analysis demonstrated that the expression levels of cyclin E, CDK2, cyclin D1 and CDK4 in the recombinant plasmid group were significantly lower than those in the empty plasmid group and the control group; however, the expression levels of Wnt-5α and JNK were significantly higher than those in the empty plasmid group and the control group. PCR results demonstrated that the mRNA expression level of caspase-3 in the recombinant plasmid group was significantly higher than that in the empty plasmid group and the control group. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the WWOX gene can be stably expressed in ovarian cancer stem cells and that it inhibits the proliferation of ovarian cancer stem cells. The WWOX gene can downregulate the expression levels of cell cycle proteins cyclin E-CDK2 and cyclin D1-CDK4, which affects the cell cycle of ovarian cancer stem cells. Furthermore, the WWOX gene can upregulate the mRNA expression levels of Wnt-5α, JNK and caspase-3, thus contributing to apoptosis of ovarian cancer stem cells. The present study demonstrated that the WWOX gene may be an important molecular target for the treatment of ovarian cancer in the future.

Chang NS
Introduction to a thematic issue for WWOX.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):281-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Since its discovery in 2000, WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX, FOR or WOX1) has been considered as a tumor suppressor protein. Global research focus has been aimed mainly toward this direction. In this thematic issue, updated information has been collected regarding the structure, function and signaling of WWOX, along with its critical role as a tumor suppressor and participation in metabolism, neurodegeneration, ataxia, epilepsy, neural disorders, neuronal damages, and interactions with oncogenic viruses. WWOX is not a driver of cancer initiation. Chromosomal alterations in the WWOX gene enhance cancer progression. Importantly, a homozygous nonsense mutation of WWOX gene in humans leads to neural pathologies and early death, rather than spontaneous cancer development. These findings suggest new physiological functions of WWOX in metabolism and neural diseases, and these areas require further investigation.

He D, Zhang YW, Zhang NN, et al.
Aberrant gene promoter methylation of p16, FHIT, CRBP1, WWOX, and DLC-1 in Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric carcinomas.
Med Oncol. 2015; 32(4):92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Alterations in global DNA methylation and specific regulatory gene methylation are frequently found in cancer, but the significance of these epigenetic changes in EBV-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC) remains unclear. We evaluated global DNA methylation status in 49 EBVaGC and 45 EBV-negative gastric carcinoma (EBVnGC) tissue samples and cell lines by 5-methylcytosine immunohistochemical staining and methylation quantification. We determined promoter methylation status and protein expression for the p16, FHIT, CRBP1, WWOX, and DLC-1 genes in tissues and studied the correlation between CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) class and clinicopathological characteristics. Changes in gene methylation and mRNA expression in EBVaGC cell line SNU-719 and in EBVnGC cell lines SGC-7901, BGC-823, and AGS were assessed after treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC), trichostatin A (TSA), or a combination of both, by methylation-specific PCR and quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Global genomic DNA hypomethylation was more pronounced in EBVnGC than in EBVaGC. Promoter methylation of all five genes was more frequent in EBVaGC than in EBVnGC (p < 0.05). p16 and FHIT methylation was reversely correlated with protein expression in EBVaGC. Most (41/49) EBVaGC exhibited CIMP-high (CIMP-H), and the prognosis of CIMP-H patients was significantly worse than that of CIMP-low (p = 0.027) and CIMP-none (p = 0.003) patients. Treatment with 5-aza-dC and/or TSA induced upregulation of RNA expression of all five genes in SNU-719; meanwhile, individual gene expression increased in EBVnGC cell lines. In summary, EBV-induced hypermethylation of p16, FHIT, CRBP1, WWOX, and DLC-1 may contribute to EBVaGC development. Demethylation therapy may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for EBVaGC.

Baryła I, Styczeń-Binkowska E, Bednarek AK
Alteration of WWOX in human cancer: a clinical view.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):305-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WWOX gene is located in FRA16D, the highly affected chromosomal fragile site. Its tumor suppressor activity has been proposed on a basis of numerous genomic alterations reported in chromosome 16q23.3-24.1 locus. WWOX is affected in many cancers, showing as high as 80% loss of heterozygosity in breast tumors. Unlike most tumor suppressors impairing of both alleles of WWOX is very rare. Despite cellular and animal models information on a WWOX role in cancer tissue is limited and sometimes confusing. This review summarizes information on WWOX in human tumors.

Song P, Wang W, Tao G, et al.
A miR-29c binding site genetic variant in the 3'-untranslated region of LAMTOR3 gene is associated with gastric cancer risk.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2015; 69:70-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) targeted by putative mircoRNAs (miRNAs) could influence the susceptibility of cancer. Recently, miR-29c has been reported to be down-regulated in gastric cancer (GC) and serve as a tumor suppressor that regulated tumor progression. The present study was aimed at investigating whether the miR-29c binding site SNPs within the 3'-UTRs of target genes affected the gastric cancer risk. Using bioinformatics tools, we chose three SNPs (IGHMBP2 rs3750980, LAMTOR3 rs11944405 and WWOX rs2288035) located in miR-29c binding sites. We genotyped these three SNPs to assess their associations with GC risk in a case-control study comprising 753 GC cases and 950 controls. Among these three SNPs, we found a significantly decreased risk of GC associated with the LAMTOR3 rs11944405 T>C polymorphism [TC vs. TT, adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.63-0.99; TC/CC vs. TT, adjusted OR=0.81, 95% CI=0.65-1.00]. The significant association was also presented in the subgroup analysis by age (≤65), sex (female), depth of invasion (T3/T4), lymph node metastasis (N1-3), distant metastasis (M0) and TNM stage (III/IV). However, no significant association was detected for IGHMBP2 rs3750980 and WWOX rs2288035. Our results suggested that the LAMTOR3 rs11944405 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for genetic susceptibility to GC.

Lin JT, Li HY, Chang NS, et al.
WWOX suppresses prostate cancer cell progression through cyclin D1-mediated cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase.
Cell Cycle. 2015; 14(3):408-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) has been reported to be a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers, including prostate cancer. WWOX can induce apoptotic responses to inhibit tumor progression, and the other mechanisms of WWOX in tumor suppression have also been reported recently. In this study, we found significant down-regulation of WWOX in prostate cancer specimens and prostate cancer cell lines compared with the normal controls. In addition, an ectopically increased WWOX expression repressed tumor progression both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, overexpression of WWOX in 22Rv1 cells led to cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase but did not affect sub-G1 in flow cytometry. GFP-WWOX overexpressed 22Rv1 cells were shown to inhibit cell cycle progression into mitosis under nocodazole treatment in flow cytometry, immunoblotting and GFP fluorescence. Further, cyclin D1 but not apoptosis correlated genes were down-regulated by WWOX both in vitro and in vivo. Restoration of cyclin D1 in the WWOX-overexpressed 22Rv1 cells could abolish the WWOX-mediated tumor repression. In addition, WWOX impair c-Jun-mediated cyclin D1 promoter activity. These results suggest that WWOX inhibits prostate cancer progression through negatively regulating cyclin D1 in cell cycle lead to G1 arrest. In summary, our data reveal a novel mechanism of WWOX in tumor suppression.

Ekizoglu S, Bulut P, Karaman E, et al.
Epigenetic and genetic alterations affect the WWOX gene in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(1):e0115353 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Different types of genetic and epigenetic changes are associated with HNSCC. The molecular mechanisms of HNSCC carcinogenesis are still undergoing intensive investigation. WWOX gene expression is altered in many cancers and in a recent work reduced WWOX expression has been associated with miR-134 expression in HNSCC. In this study we investigated the WWOX messenger RNA expression levels in association with the promoter methylation of the WWOX gene and miR-134 expression levels in 80 HNSCC tumor and non-cancerous tissue samples. Our results show that WWOX expression is down-regulated especially in advanced-stage tumor samples or in tumors with SCC. This down-regulation was associated with methylation of the WWOX promoter region but not with miR-134 expression. There was an inverse correlation between the expression level and promoter methylation. We also analyzed whole exons and exon/intron boundries of the WWOX gene by direct sequencing. In our study group we observed 10 different alterations in the coding sequences and 18 different alterations in the non-coding sequences of the WWOX gene in HNSCC tumor samples. These results indicate that the WWOX gene can be functionally inactivated by promoter methylation, epigenetically or by mutations affecting the sequences coding for the enzymatic domain of the gene, functionally. We conclude that inactivation of WWOX gene contributes to the progression of HNSCC.

Lo JY, Chou YT, Lai FJ, Hsu LJ
Regulation of cell signaling and apoptosis by tumor suppressor WWOX.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):383-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human fragile WWOX gene encodes a tumor suppressor WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (named WWOX, FOR, or WOX1). Functional suppression of WWOX prevents apoptotic cell death induced by a variety of stress stimuli, such as tumor necrosis factor, UV radiation, and chemotherapeutic drug treatment. Loss of WWOX gene expression due to gene deletions, loss of heterozygosity, chromosomal translocations, or epigenetic silencing is frequently observed in human malignant cancer cells. Acquisition of chemoresistance in squamous cell carcinoma, osteosarcoma, and breast cancer cells is associated with WWOX deficiency. WWOX protein physically interacts with many signaling molecules and exerts its regulatory effects on gene transcription and protein stability and subcellular localization to control cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, autophagy, and metabolism. In this review, we provide an overview of the recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which WWOX regulates cellular functions and stress responses. A potential scenario is that activation of WWOX by anticancer drugs is needed to overcome chemoresistance and trigger cancer cell death, suggesting that WWOX can be regarded as a prognostic marker and a candidate molecule for targeted cancer therapies.

Richards RI, Choo A, Lee CS, et al.
WWOX, the chromosomal fragile site FRA16D spanning gene: its role in metabolism and contribution to cancer.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):338-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The WWOX gene spans the common chromosomal fragile site FRA16D that is located within a massive (780 kb) intron. The WWOX gene is very long, at 1.1 Mb, which may contribute to the very low abundance of the full-length 1.4 kb mRNA. Alternative splicing also accounts for a variety of aberrant transcripts, most of which are devoid of C-terminal sequences required for WWOX to act as an oxidoreductase. The mouse WWOX gene also spans a chromosomal fragile site implying some sort of functional relationship that confers a selective advantage. The encoded protein domains of WWOX are conserved through evolution (between humans and Drosophila melanogaster) and include WW domains, an NAD -binding site, short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase enzyme and nuclear compartmentalization signals. This homology has enabled functional analyses in D. melanogaster that demonstrate roles for WWOX in reactive oxygen species regulation and metabolism. Indeed the human WWOX gene is also responsive to altered metabolism. Cancer cells typically exhibit altered metabolism (Warburg effect). Many cancers exhibit FRA16D DNA instability that results in aberrant WWOX expression and is associated with poor prognosis for these cancers. It is therefore thought that aberrant WWOX expression contributes to the altered metabolism in cancer. In addition, others have found that a specific (low-expression) allele of WWOX genotype contributes to cancer predisposition.

Gao G, Smith DI
WWOX, large common fragile site genes, and cancer.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):285-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WWOX is a gene that spans an extremely large chromosomal region. It is derived from within chromosomal band 16q23.2 which is a region with frequent deletions and other alterations in a variety of different cancers. This chromosomal band also contains the FRA16D common fragile site (CFS). CFSs are chromosomal regions found in all individuals which are highly unstable. WWOX has also been demonstrated to function as a tumor suppressor that is involved in the development of many cancers. Two other highly unstable CFSs, FRA3B (3p14.2) and FRA6E (6q26), also span extremely large genes, FHIT and PARK2, respectively, and these two genes are also found to be important tumor suppressors. There are a number of interesting similarities between these three large CFS genes. In spite of the fact that they are derived from some of the most unstable chromosomal regions in the genome, they are found to be highly evolutionarily conserved and the chromosomal region spanning the mouse homologs of both WWOX and FHIT are also CFSs in mice. Many of the other CFSs also span extremely large genes and many of these are very attractive tumor suppressor candidates. WWOX is therefore a member of a very interesting family of very large CFS genes.

Papanikolaou V, Stefanou N, Dubos S, et al.
Synergy of leptin/STAT3 with HER2 receptor induces tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells through regulation of apoptosis-related genes.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2015; 38(2):155-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Tamoxifen is a major treatment modality for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, but the occurrence of resistance remains a problem. Recently, obesity-related leptin has been found to interfere with tamoxifen in breast cancer MCF-7 cells. In the present study we investigated the effect of leptin on three tamoxifen-treated breast cancer cell types (i.e., MDA-MB-231, MCF-7 and MCF-7/HER2).
METHODS: The effect of tamoxifen/leptin treatment was evaluated using a MTT cell viability assay. mRNA expression was assessed by real time PCR and protein expression by Western blotting. WWOX, Survivin and BCL2 gene promoter activities were evaluated by chromatin immunoprecipitation.
RESULTS: Cell viability assays revealed that estrogen receptor negative MDA-MB-231 cells were resistant, that estrogen receptor positive MCF-7 cells were sensitive and that MCF-7/HER2 cells were relatively resistant to tamoxifen, while leptin co-administration 'rescued' MCF-7 and, especially, MCF-7/HER2 cells from the anti-proliferative effect of tamoxifen. The cell lines also exhibited a different phosphorylation status of STAT3, a transcription factor that is activated by the obesity related leptin receptor b (Ob-Rb). Most importantly, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed differential STAT3 binding to the anti-apoptotic BCL2 and pro-apoptotic WWOX gene promoters in MCF-7 and MCF-7/HER2 cells, leading to concomitant modifications of its mRNA/protein expression levels, thus providing a selective advantage to HER2 over-expressing MCF-7/HER2 cells after treatment with tamoxifen and tamoxifen plus leptin.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides novel evidence indicating that synergy between the leptin/Ob-Rb/STAT3 signalling pathway and the HER2 receptor protects tamoxifen-treated HER2 over-expressing cells from the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen through differential regulation of apoptosis-related genes.

Schrock MS, Huebner K
WWOX: a fragile tumor suppressor.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):296-304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
WWOX, the WW domain-containing oxidoreductase gene at chromosome region 16q23.3-q24.1, spanning chromosomal fragile site FRA16D, encodes the 46 kDa Wwox protein, a tumor suppressor that is lost or reduced in expression in a wide variety of cancers, including breast, prostate, ovarian, and lung. The function of Wwox as a tumor suppressor implies that it serves a function in the prevention of carcinogenesis. Indeed, in vitro studies show that Wwox protein interacts with many binding partners to regulate cellular apoptosis, proliferation, and/or maturation. It has been reported that newborn Wwox knockout mice exhibit nascent osteosarcomas while Wwox(+/-) mice exhibit increased incidence of spontaneous and induced tumors. Furthermore, absence or reduction of Wwox expression in mouse xenograft models results in increased tumorigenesis, which can be rescued by Wwox re-expression, though there is not universal agreement among investigators regarding the role of Wwox loss in these experimental models. Despite this proposed tumor suppressor function, the overlap of the human WWOX locus with FRA16D sensitizes the gene to protein-inactivating deletions caused by replication stress. The high frequency of deletions within the WWOX locus in cancers of various types, without the hallmark protein inactivation-associated mutations of "classical" tumor suppressors, has led to the proposal that WWOX deletions in cancers are passenger events that occur in early cancer progenitor cells due to fragility of the genetic locus, rather than driver events which provide the cancer cell a selective advantage. Recently, a proposed epigenetic cause of chromosomal fragility has suggested a novel mechanism for early fragile site instability and has implications regarding the involvement of tumor suppressor genes at chromosomal fragile sites in cancer. In this review, we provide an overview of the evidence for WWOX as a tumor suppressor gene and put this into the context of fragility associated with the FRA16D locus.

Wang M, Li Y, Wu M, et al.
WWOX suppresses cell growth and induces cell apoptosis via inhibition of P38 nuclear translocation in cholangiocarcinoma.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2014; 34(5):1711-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (EHCC) is the second most common primary hepatic malignancy, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. We previously reported the decreased expression of WWOX in EHCC samples, but the underlying mechanism remained unclear.
METHODS: Immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence were performed to examine the interaction of WWOX and P38 MAPK. Western blot was carried out to detect the expression of ATF2 and eIF-4E. MTT, colony formation, and Annexin V-FITC assays were performed to detect the cell proliferation and apoptosis. IHC was performed to detect the protein expression in clinical samples.
RESULTS: WWOX interacted with P38 and modulated its sub-cellular localization, leading to the cytoplasmic retention of P38. WWOX over-expression inhibited the phosphorylation of ATF2 and eIF-4E, while exogenous P38 reversed this reduction in phosphorylation. Ectopic expression of WWOX in EHCC cells led to inhibited proliferation and stimulated apoptosis in a P38 MAPK-dependent manner. In addition, we found a negative association of WWOX with nuclear localization of P38 and expression of phosphorylated ATF2 in EHCC samples.
CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrated the role of WWOX in EHCC progression, revealing the potential of WWOX/p-ATF2 as a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker, and therapeutic target for EHCC.

Maroni P, Matteucci E, Drago L, et al.
Hypoxia induced E-cadherin involving regulators of Hippo pathway due to HIF-1α stabilization/nuclear translocation in bone metastasis from breast carcinoma.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 330(2):287-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study deals with the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of E-cadherin expression under hypoxia, because the adjustment of the amount of E-cadherin due to physical stimuli of the microenvironment might influence the colonization of metastasis to skeleton. We analyzed the effect of 1% oxygen tension, that is similar to that encountered in the bone marrow by metastatic cells spreading from breast carcinoma. The purpose was to evaluate the hypoxia-orchestrated control of E-cadherin transactivation via hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), and the involvement of Hippo pathway members, as regulators of transcription factors. To give a translational significance to the study, we took into consideration human pair-matched ductal breast carcinoma and bone metastasis: E-cadherin and Wwox were expressed in bone metastasis but not in breast carcinoma, while HIF-1α and TAZ seemed localized principally in nuclei of metastasis and were found in all cell compartments of breast carcinoma. A close examination of the regulatory mechanisms underlying E-cadherin expression in bone metastasis was done in 1833 clone derived from MDA-MB231 cells. Hypoxia induced E-cadherin only in 1833 clone, but not in parental cells, through HIF-1 and PPARγ activities, while Wwox decreased. Since Wwox was highly expressed in bone metastasis, the effect of ectopic Wwox was evaluated, and we showed E-cadherin transactivation and enhanced invasiveness in WWOX transfected 1833 cells. Also, hypoxia was additive with ectopic Wwox remarkably enhancing HIF-1α nuclear shuttle and accumulation due to the lengthening of the half-life of HIF-1α protein; under this experimental condition HIF-1α appeared as a slower migrated band compared with control, in agreement with the phosphorylation state. The in vitro data strongly supported the almost exclusive presence of HIF-1α in nuclei of human-bone metastasis. Thus, we identified Wwox as a novel molecule in the HIF-1α-HDM2 regulatory loop, necessary for the dynamic regulation of the HIF-1α amount, and we suggested that the reduction of endogenous Wwox free pool under hypoxia might also be due to the interaction with HDM2, sequestering the E3 ubiquitin ligase. We highlighted the importance of nuclear HIF-1α in the biology of metastasis for the mesenchymal-epithelial transition: this phenotype was regulated by Wwox plus hypoxia through E-cadherin target gene, playing a pivotal role in bone metastasis colonization.

Liu SY, Chiang MF, Chen YJ
Role of WW domain proteins WWOX in development, prognosis, and treatment response of glioma.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240(3):315-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive and malignant brain tumor. Delicate microenvironment and lineage heterogeneity of GBM cells including infiltration, hypoxia, angiogenesis, and stemness make them highly resistant to current conventional therapies, with an average life expectancy for GBM patients of less than 15 months. Poor response to cytotoxic agents of GBM cells remains the major challenge of GBM treatment. Resistance of GBM to clinical treatment is a result of genomic alternation and deregulated signaling pathways, such as p53 mutation and apoptosis signaling blockage, providing cancer cells more opportunities for survival rather than cell death. WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) is a tumor suppressor gene, commonly downregulated in various types of tumors, including GBM. It has been found that the reintroduction of WWOX induced p53-mutant GBM cells to undergo apoptosis, but not in p53 wild-type GBM cells, indicating WWOX is likely to reopen apoptosis pathways in a p53-independent manner in GBM. Identifying the crucial target modulated by WWOX deficiency provides a potential therapeutic target for GBM treatment. Here, we have reviewed the literatures about the role of WWOX in development, signaling pathway, prognosis, and treatment response in malignant glioma.

Yang JL
Investigation of osteosarcoma genomics and its impact on targeted therapy: an international collaboration to conquer human osteosarcoma.
Chin J Cancer. 2014; 33(12):575-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is a genetically unstable malignancy that most frequently occurs in children and young adults. The lack of progress in managing this devastating disease in the clinic has prompted international researchers to collaborate to profile key genomic alterations that define osteosarcoma. A team of researchers and clinicians from China, Finland, and the United States investigated human osteosarcoma by integrating transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq), high-density genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Sanger sequencing, cell culture, and molecular biological approaches. Systematic analysis of genetic/genomic alterations and further functional studies have led to several important findings, including novel rearrangement hotspots, osteosarcoma-specific LRP1-SNRNP25 and KCNMB4-CCND3 fusion genes, VEGF and Wnt signaling pathway alterations, deletion of the WWOX gene, and amplification of the APEX1 and RUNX2 genes. Importantly, these genetic events associate significantly with pathogenesis, prognosis, progression, and therapeutic activity in osteosarcoma, suggesting their potential impact on improved managements of human osteosarcoma. This international initiative provides opportunities for developing new treatment modalities to conquer osteosarcoma.

Nourashrafeddin S, Aarabi M, Modarressi MH, et al.
The Evaluation of WBP2NL-Related Genes Expression in Breast Cancer.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2015; 21(2):293-300 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most frequent cause of mortality in women all around the world; therefore, study on molecular aspects of breast cancer is necessary for finding new biomarkers. Recent studies have shown that WW Binding Protein 2 (WBP2) is an important protein for the oncogenic property of cancer. We have previously evaluated the WW Binding Protein 2 N-Terminal Like (WBP2NL) gene expression in cancerous cell line and breast tumor tissues, and reported changes in expression, which could increase tumorigenic cell growth. However, the molecular mechanisms of WBP2NL and its clinical relevance have not been investigated. In this study, the expression of WBP2NL-related genes in the invasive breast carcinoma and normal breast tissues was evaluated for the first time. Analysis of WBP2NL-related genes expression was performed with reverse transcription-PCR and real time-PCR detection method. The target genes studied were as follow: WW domain containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1(WWP1), membrane associated guanylatekinase containing WW and PDZ domain-1 (MAGI1), neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated 4 (NEDD4), formin binding protein-4 (FNBP4), BCL2-associated athanogene-3 (BAG3), WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX), yes-associated protein-1 (YAP1), WW domain containing transcription regulator (WWTR1), member RAS oncogene family (RAB2A), and small G protein signaling modulator 3 (SGSM3). The expression of WWP1, BAG3, and WWTR1 was significantly increased in breast cancer. In contrast, the expression of WWOX, YAP1, RAB2A, and SGSM3 was significantly decreased. The MAGI1 and NEDD4 expression was increased, while the expression of FNBP4 was unchanged. These findings lead us to suggest that WBP2NL might play roles as an anti-apoptotic factor or co-activator to promote breast cancer cell survival and proliferation.

Waters CE, Saldivar JC, Amin ZA, et al.
FHIT loss-induced DNA damage creates optimal APOBEC substrates: Insights into APOBEC-mediated mutagenesis.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):3409-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
APOBEC cytidine deaminase activity is a major source of hypermutation in cancer. But previous studies have shown that the TC context signature of these enzymes is not observed in sizable fractions of cancers with overexpression of APOBEC, suggesting that cooperating factors that contribute to this mutagenesis should be identified. The fragile histidine triad protein (Fhit) is a tumor suppressor and DNA caretaker that is deleted or silenced in >50% of cancers. Loss of Fhit protein activity causes replication stress through reduced Thymidine Kinase 1 expression, increased DNA breaks, and global genome instability in normal and cancer cells. Using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we show that FHIT-low/APOBEC3B-high expressing lung adenocarcinomas display significantly increased numbers of APOBEC signature mutations. Tumor samples in this cohort with normal FHIT expression do not exhibit APOBEC hypermutation, despite having high APOBEC3B expression. In vitro, silencing Fhit expression elevates APOBEC3B-directed C > T mutations in the TP53 gene. Furthermore, inhibition of Fhit loss-induced DNA damage via thymidine supplementation decreases the TP53 mutation burden in FHIT-low/APOBEC3B-high cells. We conclude that APOBEC3B overexpression and Fhit-loss induced DNA damage are independent events that, when occurring together, result in a significantly increased frequency of APOBEC-induced mutations that drive cancer progression.

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