Melanoma is a highly metastatic and malignant skin cancer having poor rates of patient survival. Since the incidence of melanoma is steadily increasing in the population, finding prognostic and therapeutic targets are crucial tasks in cancer. The dioxin receptor (AhR) is required for xenobiotic-induced toxicity and carcinogenesis and for cell physiology and organ homeostasis. Yet, the mechanisms by which AhR affects tumor growth and dissemination are largely uncharacterized. We report here that AhR contributes to the tumor–stroma interaction, blocking melanoma growth and metastasis when expressed in the tumor cell but supporting melanoma when expressed in the stroma. B16F10 cells engineered to lack AhR (small hairpin RNA for AhR) exacerbated melanoma primary tumorigenesis and lung metastasis when injected in AhR+/+ recipient mice but not when injected in AhR–/– mice or when co-injected with AhR–/– fibroblasts in an AhR+/+ stroma. Contrary, B16F10 cells expressing a constitutively active AhR had reduced tumorigenicity and invasiveness in either AhR genetic background. The tumor suppressor role of AhR in melanoma cells correlated with reduced migration and invasion, with lower numbers of cancer stem-like cells and with altered levels of β1-integrin and caveolin1. Human melanoma cell lines with highest AHR expression also had lowest migration and invasion. Moreover, AHR expression was reduced in human melanomas with respect to nevi lesions. We conclude that AhR knockdown in melanoma cells requires stromal AhR for maximal tumor progression and metastasis. Thus, AhR can be a molecular marker in melanoma and its activity in both tumor and stromal compartments should be considered.
Insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) represents one of the major targets by which dietary or chemically induced energy restriction mediates chemopreventive effects in animal tumor models. However, the mechanism underlying this cellular response remains unclear. In the course of investigating the suppressive effect of the energy restriction-mimetic agent CG-5 on IGF-IR expression in prostate cancer cells, we identified a novel posttranscriptional mechanism by which the RNA-binding protein human antigen R (HuR) regulates IGF-IR expression through messenger RNA (mRNA) stabilization. Previously, we demonstrated that Sp1 and HuR proteins were concomitantly targeted for ubiquitin-dependent degradation by β-transducin repeat-containing protein in response to CG-5. Although this loss of Sp1 expression contributed to CG-5-mediated IGF-IR downregulation, enforced specific protein 1 (Sp1) expression could only partially protect cells from the drug effect. The small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of HuR suppressed IGF-IR expression by reducing mRNA stability, whereas ectopic HuR expression increased IGF-IR mRNA stability and protein expression and, when coexpressed with Sp1, blocked CG-5-mediated IGF-IR ablation. RNA pull-down and immunoprecipitation analyses indicated that HuR selectively bound to the distal region of the IGF-IR 3' untranslated region (UTR), whereas no interaction with the 5'UTR was noted. Evaluation of a series of truncated HuR mutants revealed that the RNA recognition motifs (RRM2 and RRM3) were involved in IGF-IR 3'UTR binding and the consequent increase in IGF-IR mRNA stability. Although these data contrast with a previous report that HuR acted as a translation repressor of IGF-IR mRNA through 5'UTR binding, our finding is consistent with the reported oncogenic role of HuR in conferring stability to target mRNAs encoding tumor-promoting proteins.
Oxygen concentration in prostate cancer tissue is significantly low, i.e. ~0.3% O2. This study showed that pathological hypoxia (<0.5% O2) increased the expression of androgen receptor (AR) target genes such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and kallikrein-related peptidase 2 in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells by modifying the quantity and activity of related Jumonji C domain-containing histone demethylases (JMJDs). Under pathological hypoxia, the catalytic activities of JMJD2A, JMJD2C and Jumonji/ARID domain-containing protein 1B (JARID1B) were blocked due to the lack of their substrate, i.e. oxygen. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses showed that hypoxia increased the appearance of H3K9me3 and H3K4me3, substrates of JMJD2s and JARID1B, respectively, in the PSA enhancer. In contrast, JMJD1A, which demethylates both H3K9me2 and H3K9me1, maintained its catalytic activity even under severe hypoxia. Furthermore, hypoxia increased the expression of JMJD1A. Hypoxia and androgen additively increased the recruitment of JMJD1A and p300 on the enhancer region of PSA through interaction with the hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and AR, both of which bind the PSA enhancer. Thus, hypoxia enhanced the demethylation of H3K9me2 and H3K9me1, leading to provide unmethylated H3K9 residues that are substrates for histone acetyltransferase, p300. Consequently, hypoxia increased the acetylation of histones of the PSA enhancer, which facilitates its transcription.
The long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs)—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and its metabolite docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—inhibit cancer formation in vivo, but their mechanism of action is unclear. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation and inhibition have both been associated with the induction of tumour cell apoptosis by n-3 PUFAs. We show here that low doses of EPA, in particular, inhibited the growth of premalignant and malignant keratinocytes more than the growth of normal counterparts by a combination of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The growth inhibition of the oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lines, but not normal keratinocytes, by both n-3 PUFAs was associated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) autophosphorylation, a sustained phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and its downstream target p90RSK but not with phosphorylation of the PI3 kinase target Akt. Inhibition of EGFR with either the EGFR kinase inhibitor AG1478 or an EGFR-blocking antibody inhibited ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and the blocking antibody partially antagonized growth inhibition by EPA but not by DHA. DHA generated more reactive oxygen species and activated more c-jun N-terminal kinase than EPA, potentially explaining its increased toxicity to normal keratinocytes. Our results show that, in part, EPA specifically inhibits SCC growth and development by creating a sustained signalling imbalance to amplify the EGFR/ERK/p90RSK pathway in neoplastic keratinocytes to a supraoptimal level, supporting the chemopreventive potential of EPA, whose toxicity to normal cells might be reduced further by blocking its metabolism to DHA. Furthermore, ERK1/2 phosphorylation may have potential as a biomarker of n-3 PUFA function in vivo.
Pulmonary carcinoids comprise a well-differentiated subset of neuroendocrine tumors usually associated with a favorable prognosis, but mechanisms underlying disease progression are poorly understood. In an explorative approach to identify pathways associated with progression, we compared gene expression profiles of tumors from five patients with a favorable and five with a poor disease outcome. Differentially expressed genes were validated using quantitative real-time PCR on 65 carcinoid tumors, in combination with survival analysis. One of the identified pathways was further examined using immunohistochemistry. As compared with other chromosomal locations, a significantly higher number of genes downregulated in carcinoids with a poor prognosis were located at chromosome 11q (P = 0.00017), a region known to be frequently lost in carcinoids. In addition, a number of upregulated genes were found involved in the mitotic spindle checkpoint, the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), mitotic kinase CDC2 activity and the BRCA-Fanconi anemia pathway. At the individual gene level, BIRC5 (survivin), BUB1, CD44, IL20RA, KLK12 and OTP were independent predictors of patient outcome. For survivin, the number of positive nuclei was also related to poor prognosis within the group of carcinoids. Aurora B kinase and survivin, major components of the CPC, were particularly upregulated in high-grade carcinomas and may therefore comprise therapeutic targets for these tumors. To our knowledge, this is the first expression profiling study focusing specifically on pulmonary carcinoids and progression. We have identified novel pathways underlying malignant progression and validated several genes as being strong prognostic indicators, some of which could serve as putative therapeutic targets.
We previously delineated genes whose promoters are hypomethylated and induced in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. The purpose of this study was to establish the players that regulate these genes in liver cancer cells. We performed chromatin immunoprecipitation with methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 (MBD2), RNA polymerase II (RNA pol II), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (CEBPA) antibodies and methylated DNA immunoprecipitation in HepG2 liver cancer cells treated with scrambled small interfering RNA (siRNA) and siRNA to MBD2 or CEBPA. We then hybridized DNA to microarrays spanning the entire coding sequences, introns and regulatory regions of several hundred HCC-hypomethylated genes. These analyses reveal that MBD2 binds a significant fraction of the hypomethylated genes, determines RNA pol II binding and DNA methylation state. MBD2 binding can result in promoter activation and hypomethylation or in repression. In activated target genes, MBD2 colocalizes with the transcription factor CEBPA, and MBD2 binding at these positions is reduced upon CEBPA depletion. Significant fraction of MBD2 effects on DNA methylation and transcription appears to be indirect since changes occur upon MBD2 depletion in genes where no MBD2 binding was detected. Our study delineates the rules governing the interaction of MBD2 with its targets and the consequences to RNA pol II binding and DNA methylation states. This has important implications for understanding the role of DNA methylation in cancer and targeting DNA methylation proteins in cancer therapy.
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). To identify novel tumor suppressors involved in esophageal carcinogenesis and potential biomarkers for the malignant progression of BE, we performed a genome-wide methylation profiling of BE and EAC tissues. Using Illumina’s Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip microarray, we examined the methylation status of 27 578 CpG sites in 94 normal esophageal (NE), 77 BE and 117 EAC tissue samples. The overall methylation of CpG sites within the CpG islands was higher, but outside of the CpG islands was lower in BE and EAC tissues than in NE tissues. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed an excellent separation of NE tissues from BE and EAC tissues; however, the clustering of BE and EAC tissues was less clear, suggesting that methylation occurs early during the progression of EAC. We confirmed many previously reported hypermethylated genes and identified a large number of novel hypermethylated genes in BE and EAC tissues, particularly genes encoding ADAM (A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase) peptidase proteins, cadherins and protocadherins, and potassium voltage-gated channels. Pathway analysis showed that a number of channel and transporter activities were enriched for hypermethylated genes. We used pyrosequencing to validate selected candidate genes and found high correlations between the array and pyrosequencing data (rho > 0.8 for each validated gene). The differentially methylated genes and pathways may provide biological insights into the development and progression of BE and become potential biomarkers for the prediction and early detection of EAC.
Red meat intake has been linked to increased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. Although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, experimental studies suggest a role for dietary heme iron. Because heme iron was shown to promote specific mutations, it would be insightful to link heme iron data to CRC with mutations in key genes in an observational, population-based study. We investigated the association between dietary heme iron intake and risk of CRC with mutations in APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) and KRAS (Kirsten ras) and P53 overexpression in the Netherlands Cohort Study. After 7.3 years of follow-up, excluding the first 2.3 years due to incomplete coverage of the pathology registry and to avoid preclinical disease, adjusted hazard ratios (including adjustment for total meat) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated, using 4026 subcohort members (aged 55–69 years at baseline), 435 colon and 140 rectal cancer patients. When comparing the highest with the lowest tertile of intake, heme iron intake was associated with an increased risk of CRC harboring activating mutations in KRAS (hazard ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval: 1.15–2.57; P for trend = 0.03) and CRC without truncating mutations in APC (hazard ratio = 1.79, 95% confidence interval: 1.23–2.60; P for trend = 0.003). We observed a positive association between heme iron intake and the risk of CRC with activating G>A mutations in KRAS (P for trend = 0.01) and overall G>A mutations in APC (P for trend = 0.005). No associations were found with CRC harboring G>T mutations in KRAS/APC. Heme iron intake was positively associated with the risk of P53 overexpressed tumors but not with tumors without P53 overexpression (Pheterogeneity = 0.12). Heme iron intake was associated with an increased risk of colorectal tumors harboring G>A transitions in KRAS and APC and overexpression of P53. These novel findings suggest that alkylating rather than oxidative DNA-damaging mechanisms are involved in heme-induced colorectal carcinogenesis.
Lung adenocarcinoma patients of similar clinical stage and undergoing the same treatments often have marked interindividual variations in prognosis. These clinical discrepancies may be due to the genetic background modulating an individual’s predisposition to fighting cancer. Herein, we hypothesized that the lung microenvironment, as reflected by its expression profile, may affect lung adenocarcinoma patients’ survival. The transcriptome of non-involved lung tissue, excised from a discovery series of 204 lung adenocarcinoma patients, was evaluated using whole-genome expression microarrays (with probes corresponding to 28 688 well-annotated coding sequences). Genes associated with survival status at 60 months were identified by Cox regression analysis (adjusted for gender, age and clinical stage) and retested in a validation series of 78 additional cases. RNA-Seq analysis from non-involved lung tissue of 12 patients was performed to characterize the different isoforms of candidate genes. Ten genes for which the loge-transformed hazard ratios expressed the same direction of effect in the discovery (P < 1.0 x 10–3) and validation series comprised the gene expression signature associated with survival: CNTNAP1, PKNOX1, FAM156A, FRMD8, GALNTL1, TXNDC12, SNTB1, PPP3R1, SNX10 and SERPINH1. RNA sequencing highlighted the complex expression pattern of these genes in non-involved lung tissue from different patients and permitted the detection of a read-through gene fusion between PPP3R1 and the flanking gene (CNRIP1) as well as a novel isoform of CNTNAP1. Our findings support the hypothesis that individual genetic characteristics, evidenced by the expression pattern of non-involved tissue, influence the outcome of lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Retinoblastoma (RB) is a malignant neoplasia that occurs mostly in children under 5 years. Recently, CDKN1A gene has been shown to be up-regulated in a context of loss of function of pRb. This gene encodes the p21 protein, which is the bona fide effector of p53. We hypothesized whether two putatively functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of CDKN1A (rs1801270 C>A and rs1059234 C>T) may influence the risk and/or survival of RB patients. We genotyped both SNPs in 141 RB patients and 120 unrelated healthy individuals. Statistical analyses consisted of chi-square (2), odds ratio (OR) and survival curves by Kaplan–Meier method. We found that patients who carry the genotype CA for rs1801270 and CT for rs1059234 were associated to an increased risk of RB [OR = 2.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.38–4.53], whereas patients with CC for both polymorphisms were associated to a lower risk of developing RB (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.25–0.74). On the other hand, Kaplan–Meier curves did not show statistically significant differences in survival among the studied polymorphisms. We conclude that the minor alleles of rs1801270 and rs1059234 polymorphisms may act as risk factors for the development of RB in our sample.
Summary: The minor alleles of polymorphisms rs1801270 C>A and rs1059234 C>T in CDKN1A (p21) gene may act as risk factors for the development of RB; however, they do not seem to influence overall survival.
Melanoma is the deadliest cutaneous malignancy because of its high incidence of metastasis. Melanoma growth and metastasis relies on sustained angiogenesis; therefore, inhibiting angiogenesis is a promising approach to treat metastatic melanoma. JWA is a novel microtubule-associated protein and our previous work revealed that JWA inhibited melanoma cell invasion and metastasis. However, the role of JWA in melanoma angiogenesis and the prognostic value are still unknown. Here, we report that JWA in melanoma cells significantly inhibited the tube formation of endothelial cells. In addition, JWA regulated integrin-linked kinase (ILK) through integrin αVβ3 and such regulation was achieved through the transcription factor Sp1. Notably, both in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis assays revealed that JWA dramatically suppressed melanoma angiogenesis by inhibiting ILK signaling. Furthermore, we examined the expression of JWA protein in a large set of melanocytic lesions (n = 505) at different stages by tissue microarray and found an inverse correlation between JWA expression and melanoma progression (P = 5 x 10–6). Importantly, reduced JWA expression was correlated with a poorer overall, and disease-specific 5 year survival of patients (P = 0.001 and 0.007, respectively). Multivariate Cox regression analyses indicated that JWA was an independent prognostic marker for melanoma patients. Moreover, we found a significant negative correlation between JWA and ILK in melanoma biopsies, and their concomitant expression was closely correlated with melanoma patient survival (P = 0.004), further indicating the regulation of ILK expression by JWA is critical in melanoma. Taken together, our data highlight the function of JWA in melanoma angiogenesis and reveal the clinical prognostic value of JWA.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the USA, with an estimated two million cases diagnosed annually. Tumor progression locus 2 (Tpl2), also known as MAP3K8, is a serine/threonine protein kinase in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction cascade. Tpl2 was identified by our laboratory as having a tumor suppressor function in skin carcinogenesis, with the absence of this gene contributing to heightened inflammation and increased skin carcinogenesis. In this study, we used gene expression profiling to compare expression levels between Tpl2+/+ and Tpl2–/– keratinocytes. We identified over 2000 genes as being differentially expressed between genotypes. Functional annotation analysis identified cancer, cell growth/proliferation, cell death, cell development, cell movement and cell signaling as the top biological processes to be differentially regulated between genotypes. Further microarray analysis identified several candidate genes, including Mmp1b, Mmp2, Mmp9 and Mmp13, involved in migration and invasion to be upregulated in Tpl2–/– keratinocytes. Moreover, Tpl2–/– keratinocytes had a significant downregulation in the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor Timp3. Real-time PCR validated the upregulation of the MMPs in Tpl2–/– keratinocytes and zymography confirmed that MMP2 and MMP9 activity was higher in conditioned media from Tpl2–/– keratinocytes. Immunohistochemistry confirmed higher MMP9 staining in 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-treated skin from Tpl2–/– mice and grafted tumors formed from v-rasHa retrovirus-infected Tpl2–/– keratinocytes. Additionally, Tpl2–/– keratinocytes had significantly higher invasion, malignant conversion rates and increased endothelial cell tube formation when compared with Tpl2+/+ keratinocytes. In summary, our studies reveal that keratinocytes from Tpl2–/– mice demonstrate a higher potential to be invasive and metastatic.
Chronic inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of prediagnostic circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of systemic inflammation, with subsequent development of colorectal cancer. Prediagnostic plasma CRP levels were examined among 288 colorectal cancer cases and 576 individually-matched controls nested within the Shanghai Men’s Health Study (2002–06), a population-based cohort study of 61 482 Chinese men. The association between CRP levels and colorectal cancer risk was investigated. Baseline plasma CRP levels were 53% higher among men who subsequently developed colorectal cancer than among those who remained free of the disease (1.15 versus 0.75 μg/ml; P < 0.001). Multivariate analyses showed a dose-dependent relationship between CRP and colorectal cancer risk (P trend = 0.003); men in the highest tertile (CRP > 1.19 μg/ml) had 1.88-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.24–2.86) increased odds of developing colorectal cancer compared with men in the lowest tertile (CRP < 0.45 μg/ml). The association was only significant for colon cancer, when cancer site was considered, and was predominantly seen for cases diagnosed within 4 years of blood collection; adjusted odds ratios for the highest versus the lowest tertiles were 3.28 (95% CI: 1.28–8.37), 3.68 (95% CI: 1.62–8.38) and 1.05 (95% CI: 0.56–1.97), respectively, for cases diagnosed <2, 2–4 and >4 years after blood collection. The findings from our study suggest that circulating CRP level is positively associated with colorectal cancer risk in Chinese men, and this association, at least in part, is explained by inflammation-related cancerous or precancerous processes.
We have recently demonstrated that the anthocyanidin delphinidin (DEL), one of the most abundant dietary flavonoids, inhibits activation of ErbB and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor family members. These receptors play crucial roles in the context of tumor progression and the outgrowth of blood and lymphatic vessels. Here, we have developed an improved chemical synthesis for DEL in order to study the effects of the aglycon and its degradation product gallic acid (GA) on endothelial and tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. We found that DEL blocked the proliferation in vitro of primary human blood and lymphatic endothelial cells as well as human HT29 colon and rat MT-450 mammary carcinoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, its degradation product GA had little effect. At higher concentrations, DEL induced apoptosis of endothelial and tumor cells. Furthermore, DEL potently blocked the outgrowth of lymphatic capillaries in ex vivo lymphangiogenesis assays. In the MT-450 rat syngeneic breast tumor model, it also significantly reduced angiogenesis and tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis when administered in vivo. These data reveal DEL to be a novel antilymphangiogenesis reagent. Surprisingly, however, the application of DEL unexpectedly promoted tumor growth and metastasis in the MT-450 tumor model, suggesting that the antiproliferative effect of DEL on cultured cells does not necessarily reflect the response of tumors to this anthocyanidin in vivo. Furthermore, while DEL may have utility as a cancer chemopreventative agent, its ability to promote tumor growth once a neoplasm develops also needs to be taken into consideration.
The antitumorigenic activities of polyphenols such as ellagitannins and anthocyanins in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) have been previously studied where cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects were evident in various cancer models. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of miR-126/vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and miR-126/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in pomegranate-mediated anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects in vivo and in vitro. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 per group) received pomegranate juice (2504.74 mg gallic acid equivalents/l) or a polyphenol-free control beverage ad libitum for 10 weeks and were injected with azoxymethane (AOM) subcutaneously (15mg/kg) at weeks 2 and 3. Consumption of pomegranate juice suppressed the number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and dysplastic ACF by 29 and 53.5% (P = 0.05 and 0.04), respectively, and significantly lowered proliferation of mucosa cells. Pomegranate juice significantly downregulated proinflammatory enzymes nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression. In addition, it suppressed nuclear factor-B and VCAM-1 mRNA and protein expression in AOM-treated rats. Pomegranate also inhibited phosphorylation of PI3K/AKT and mTOR expression and increased the expression of miR-126. The specific target and functions of miR-126 were investigated in HT-29 colon cancer cell lines. In vitro, the involvement of miR-126 was confirmed using the antagomiR for miR-126, where pomegranate reversed the effects of the antagomiR on the expression of miR-126, VCAM-1 and PI3K p85β. In summary, therapeutic potentials of pomegranate in colon tumorigenesis were due in part to targeting miR-126-regulated pathways, which contributes in the underlying anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men and many PCa patients develop skeletal metastasis. Current treatment modalities for metastatic PCa are mostly palliative with poor prognosis. Epidemiological studies indicated that patients receiving the diabetic drug metformin have lower PCa risk and better prognosis, suggesting that metformin may have antineoplastic effects. The mechanism by which metformin acts as chemopreventive agent to impede PCa initiation and progression is unknown. The amplification of c-MYC oncogene plays a key role in early prostate epithelia cell transformation and PCa growth. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of metformin on c-myc expression and PCa progression. Our results demonstrated that (i) in Hi-Myc mice that display murine prostate neoplasia and highly resemble the progression of human prostate tumors, metformin attenuated the development of prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN, the precancerous lesion of prostate) and PCa lesions. (ii) Metformin reduced c-myc protein levels in vivo and in vitro. In Myc-CaP mouse PCa cells, metformin decreased c-myc protein levels by at least 50%. (iii) Metformin selectively inhibited the growth of PCa cells by stimulating cell cycle arrest and apoptosis without affecting the growth of normal prostatic epithelial cells (RWPE-1). (iv) Reduced PIN formation by metformin was associated with reduced levels of androgen receptor and proliferation marker Ki-67 in Hi-Myc mouse prostate glands. Our novel findings suggest that by downregulating c-myc, metformin can act as a chemopreventive agent to restrict prostatic neoplasia initiation and transformation.
Summary: Metformin, an old antidiabetes drug, may inhibit prostate intraepithelial neoplasia transforming to cancer lesion via reducing c-MYC, an ‘old’ overexpressed oncogene. This study explores chemopreventive efficacy of metformin in prostate cancer and its link to cMYC in vitro and in vivo.
Oxidative stress is associated with various pathological processes including inflammatory bowel disease, which is a major cause of colon cancer. Here, we examined the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of 4-vinyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenol (canolol), a potent antioxidant compound obtained from crude canola oil. Oral administration of 2% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) resulted in the progression of colitis with shortening of the large bowel length. Administering a diet containing canolol significantly suppressed pathogenesis; diarrhea markedly improved and the length of large bowel returned to almost normal. Pathological examination clearly revealed improvement of colonic ulcers. Production of inflammatory cytokines, i.e. interleukin-12 and tumor necrosis factor-α, was significantly increased during this pathological process; their production was markedly inhibited by canolol. In the azoxymethane/DSS-induced colon cancer model, mice receiving canolol had a reduced occurrence of cancer, to 60%, compared with control mice, 100% of which had colon cancer. The numbers of tumors in each mouse were also significantly reduced in mice receiving the canolol-containing diet (5.6±2.0) compared with azoxymethane/DSS control mice (10.8±4.2). No apparent toxicity of canolol was observed. Moreover, inflammatory cytokines (i.e. cyclooxygenase-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase and tumor necrosis factor-α) and oxidative responding molecules, i.e. heme oxygenase-1, in colon were suppressed during this treatment. In a mouse colon 26 solid tumor model, canolol significantly suppressed cyclooxygenase-2 expression; however, no significant tumor growth inhibition was observed, suggesting that canolol preferably shows chemopreventive effects during the stages of initiation/promotion. Canolol may, thus, be considered a potential cancer preventive agent or supplement.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the colon. During inflammation, NF-B is increased in colonic epithelial cells and in immune cells, leading to increases in proinflammatory cytokines. These events then increase DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), which silence a subset of tumor suppressor genes by promoter methylation. Negative regulators of the Wnt pathway are frequently methylated in UC, leading to dysregulation of the pathway and, potentially, to colorectal cancer. We determined if black raspberries (BRBs) influence promoter methylation of suppressors in the Wnt pathway in dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced UC. C57BL/6J mice received 1% DSS and were fed either control or 5% BRB diets. Mice were euthanized on days 7, 14 and 28, and their colons, spleen and bone marrow were collected. Berries reduced ulceration at day 28. This was accompanied by decreased staining of macrophages and neutrophils and decreased NF-B p65 nuclear localization in the colon at all time points. At day 7, BRBs demethylated the promoter of dkk3, leading to its increased messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in colon, spleen and bone marrow. β-Catenin nuclear localization, c-Myc staining as well as protein expression of DNMT3B, histone deacetylases 1 and 2 (HDAC1 and HDAC2) and methyl-binding domain 2 (MBD2) were all decreased in colon; mRNA expression of these four proteins was decreased in bone marrow cells by BRBs. These results suggest that BRBs suppress colonic ulceration by correcting promoter hypermethylation of suppressor genes in the colon, as well as in the spleen and bone marrow that systematically regulate inflammation.
Summary: Our results suggest that dietary BRBs suppress colonic ulceration by correcting promoter hypermethylation of suppressor genes in the colon, as well as in the spleen and bone marrow that systematically regulate inflammation in DSS-induced UC.
MPS-1 (metallopanstimulin-1), also known as ribosomal protein S27, was overexpressed in gastric cancer cells. However, how MPS-1 contributes to gastric carcinogenesis has not been well characterized. Here, we show that high expression of MPS-1 was observed in gastric cancer tissues and associated with gastric cancer cell metastasis. Alteration of MPS-1 expression regulates invasion and migration of gastric cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, by using Signal-Net and cluster analyses of microarray data we identified integrin β4 (ITGB4) as a downstream target of MPS-1 that mediates its effects on cell metastasis. Knockdown of MPS-1 expression in gastric cancer cells led to significant reduction of ITGB4 expression at both the RNA and protein levels. Mechanically, we found that overexpression of ITGB4 in MPS-1 knockdown cells largely recovers the ability of invasion and migration. Conversely, knockdown of ITGB4 partially reduced cell invading/migrating ability induced by MPS-1 overexpression. Moreover, MPS-1 and ITGB4 expressions are positively correlated in gastric cancer cell lines and tissues. Finally, the survival analyses show that the expression of MPS-1 and ITGB4 is associated with poor outcomes in gastric cancer patients. Collectively, our findings suggest that MPS-1 regulates cell invasiveness and migration partially through ITGB4 and that MPS-1/ITGB4 signaling axis may serve as therapeutic targets in the treatment of gastric cancer.
G-protein-coupled receptor 48 (GPR48) is an orphan receptor belonging to the G-protein-coupled receptors family, which plays an important role in the development of various organs and cancer development and progression such as gastric cancer and colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the prognostic value of GPR48 expression in patients with CRC has not been reported. In this study, we observed that GPR48 was overexpressed in primary CRC and metastatic lymph nodes and closely correlated with tumor invasion and metastasis. Multivariate analysis indicated that high GPR48 expression was a poor prognostic factor for overall survival in CRC patients. In vitro and in vivo assays demonstrated that enforced expression of GPR48 contributed to enhance migration and invasion of cancer cells and tumor metastasis. In addition, we found that GPR48 increased nuclear β-catenin accumulation, T-cell factor 4 (TCF4) transcription activity, and expression of its target genes including Cyclin D1 and c-Myc in CRC cells. Correlation analysis showed that GPR48 expression in CRC tissues was positively associated with β-catenin expression. Upregulation of GPR48 resulted in increased phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β, Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in CRC cells, while inhibition of PI3K/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase /ERK1/2 pathways was sufficient to abolish the effect of GPR48 on β-catenin/TCF signaling. Taken together, GPR48 could serve as both a prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for resectable CRC patients.
Metformin is a widely used antidiabetic drug, and epidemiology studies for pancreatic and other cancers indicate that metformin exhibits both chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities. Several metformin-induced responses and genes are similar to those observed after knockdown of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 by RNA interference, and we hypothesized that the mechanism of action of metformin in pancreatic cancer cells was due, in part, to downregulation of Sp transcription factors. Treatment of Panc1, L3.6pL and Panc28 pancreatic cancer cells with metformin downregulated Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 proteins and several pro-oncogenic Sp-regulated genes including bcl-2, survivin, cyclin D1, vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor, and fatty acid synthase. Metformin induced proteasome-dependent degradation of Sps in L3.6pL and Panc28 cells, whereas in Panc1 cells metformin decreased microRNA-27a and induced the Sp repressor, ZBTB10, and disruption of miR-27a:ZBTB10 by metformin was phosphatase dependent. Metformin also inhibited pancreatic tumor growth and downregulated Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4 in tumors in an orthotopic model where L3.6pL cells were injected directly into the pancreas. The results demonstrate for the first time that the anticancer activities of metformin are also due, in part, to downregulation of Sp transcription factors and Sp-regulated genes.
Elevated expression of p130Cas (Crk-associated substrate)/BCAR1 (breast cancer antiestrogen resistance 1) in human breast tumors is a marker of poor prognosis and poor overall survival. p130Cas is a downstream target of the tyrosine kinase c-Src. Signaling mediated by p130Cas through its phosphorylated substrate domain (SD) and interaction with effector molecules directly promotes tumor progression. We previously developed a constitutively phosphorylated p130Cas SD molecule, Src*/SD (formerly referred to as Src*/CasSD), which acts as decoy molecule and attenuates the transformed phenotype in v-crk-transformed murine fibroblasts and human breast cancer cells. To test the function of this molecule in vivo, we established mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-long terminal repeat-Src*/SD transgenic mice in which mammary gland development and tumor formation were analyzed. Transgenic expression of the Src*/SD molecule under the MMTV-long terminal repeat promoter did not interfere with normal mammary gland development or induce tumors in mice observed for up to 11 months. To evaluate the effects of the Src*/SD molecule on tumor development in vivo, we utilized the MMTV-polyoma middle T-antigen (PyMT) murine breast cancer model that depends on c-Src. PyMT mice crossed with Src*/SD mice displayed accelerated tumor formation. The earlier onset of tumors can be explained by the interaction of the Src* domain with PyMT and targeting the fused phosphorylated SD to the membrane. At membrane compartments, it might integrate membrane-associated active signaling complexes leading to increased proliferation measured by phospho-Histone H3 staining. Although these results were unexpected, they emphasize the importance of preventing the membrane association of Src*/SD when employed as decoy molecule.
Macrophage migratory inhibitory factor (MIF) is a proinflammatory cytokine shown to promote tumorigenesis. Using the N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)-nitrosamine (BBN) model of bladder cancer, we previously showed that MIF knockout mice display decreased angiogenesis and invasion compared with wild-type. This study examines the role of MIF in bladder cancer via use of oral inhibitors of MIF. In vitro, high-grade bladder cancer cells were treated with recombinant human MIF +/– (rhMIF+/–) inhibitor. Measurements included cell counts, proliferation by 3H-thymidine incorporation (TdR), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation by western blot analysis, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression by quantitative PCR and protein secretion by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Treatment with rhMIF increased ERK phosphorylation, cell counts, TdR and mRNA expression and protein secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor, which were blocked by specific inhibitors of ERK and MIF. In vivo, 3-month-old male C57Bl/6 mice were given BBN for 22 and 16 weeks in study 1 and study 2, respectively. Mice (n = 8–10 per group) were gavaged with vehicle or doses of MIF inhibitors daily from weeks 16–22 in both studies. Average bladder weights, reflecting tumor mass, tumor stage/burden, mitotic rate and proliferation indices, and microvessel densities were reduced in inhibitor groups versus controls. In summary, MIF promotes bladder cancer via increasing cell proliferation and angiogenesis and oral inhibitors of MIF may prove useful in treatment of this disease.
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) modulates diverse cell physiological processes and plays a complicated role in tumor development. It has been well established that TGF-β inhibits cell proliferation in normal and early stage carcinoma and facilitates tumor metastasis in late-stage carcinoma. Therefore, blocking TGF-β signaling in advanced stage carcinogenesis provides a potentially interesting chemotherapeutic strategy. We aimed to determine the effect of tolfenamic acid (TA) on TGF-β-induced protumorigenic activity. Here, we demonstrate that TA attenuates tumor-promoting effects of TGF-β in cancer cells. Further observation indicates TA blocks the TGF-β/Smad pathway, and this blockage is mainly attributed to the interference of TGF-β1-driven phosphorylation of Smad2/3. We also show that TA could exert this effect on cancer cell lines from several different origins and that TA is much better than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with respect to inhibition of TGF-β1-induced Smad2 phosphorylation. Finally, extracellular signal-regulated kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase plays a role in TA-induced suppression of Smad2/3 phosphorylation and subsequent nuclear accumulation of Smad2/3 in response to TGF-β1. Our study provides a possible mechanism by which TA affects anticancer activity by inhibiting the TGF-β pathway and sheds light on the application of TA for cancer patients.
The development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a multifactorial process, and associations between genetic variants and ESCC have been identified in genome-wide association studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) on ESCC susceptibility in Chinese populations. We scoured exons of lincRNAs located in ESCC susceptibility loci for all probable functional SNPs. These 52 SNPs were opted for and genotyped in 1493 ESCC patients and 1553 cancer-free controls from eastern and southern Chinese populations, and their associations with the risk for ESCC were estimated using logistic regression. Functional relevance was further examined by biochemical assays. Significant differences were found between patients and controls in the genotype frequencies for the rs11752942A>G site in the lincRNA-uc003opf.1 exon. Compared with the rs11752942AA genotype, AG and GG genotypes had a significantly reduced risk of ESCC (adjusted odds ratio = 0.73; 95% confidence interval = 0.63–0.84). Biochemical analysis demonstrated that, when compared with the A allele, the rs11752942G allele could markedly attenuate the level of lincRNA-uc003opf.1 both in vivo and in vitro by binding micro-RNA-149*, thereby affecting cell proliferation and tumor growth. These findings indicated that functional polymorphism rs11752942A>G in lincRNA-uc003opf.1 exon might be a genetic modifier for the development of ESCC.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and current therapies fail to treat this disease in majority of cases. Antrodia camphorata is a medicinal mushroom being widely used as food dietary supplement for cancer prevention. The sesquiterpene lactone antrocin is the most potent among >100 secondary metabolites isolated from A. camphorata. However, the molecular mechanisms of antrocin-mediated anticancer effects remain unclear. In this study, we found that antrocin inhibited cell proliferation in two non-small-cell lung cancer cells, namely H441 (wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor, IC50 = 0.75 μM) and H1975 (gefitnib-resistant mutant T790M, IC50 = 0.83 μM). Antrocin dose dependently suppressed colony formation and induced apoptosis as evidenced by activated caspase-3 and increased Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Gene profiling studies indicated that antrocin downregulated Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway. We further demonstrated that antrocin suppressed both constitutively activated and interleukin 6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and its subsequent nuclear translocation. Such inhibition is found to be achieved through the suppression of JAK2 and interaction between STAT3 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Additionally, antrocin increased microRNA let-7c expression and suppressed STAT signaling. The combination of antrocin and JAK2/STAT3 gene silencing significantly increased apoptosis in H441 cells. Such dual interruption of JAK2 and STAT3 pathways also induced downregulation of antiapoptotic protein mcl-1 and increased caspase-3 expression. In vivo intraperitoneal administration of antrocin significantly suppressed the growth of lung cancer tumor xenografts. Our results indicate that antrocin may be a potential therapeutic agent for human lung cancer cells through constitutive inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 pathway.