Cancers2014, 6(3), 1579-1596; doi:10.3390/cancers6031579 (doi registration under processing) - published online 31 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: STAT3 mediates cytokine and growth factor receptor signalling, becoming transcriptionally active upon tyrosine 705 phosphorylation (Y-P). Constitutively Y-P STAT3 is observed in many tumors that become addicted to its activity, and STAT3 transcriptional activation is required for tumor transformation downstream of several oncogenes. We have recently demonstrated that constitutively active STAT3 drives a metabolic switch towards aerobic glycolysis through the transcriptional induction of Hif-1α and the down-regulation of mitochondrial activity, in both MEF cells expressing constitutively active STAT3 (Stat3C/C) and STAT3-addicted tumor cells. This novel metabolic function is likely involved in mediating pre-oncogenic features in the primary Stat3C/C MEFs such as resistance to apoptosis and senescence and rapid proliferation. Moreover, it strongly contributes to the ability of primary Stat3C/C MEFs to undergo malignant transformation upon spontaneous immortalization, a feature that may explain the well known causative link between STAT3 constitutive activity and tumor transformation under chronic inflammatory conditions. Taken together with the recently uncovered role of STAT3 in regulating energy metabolism from within the mitochondrion when phosphorylated on Ser 727, these data place STAT3 at the center of a hub regulating energy metabolism under different conditions, in most cases promoting cell survival, proliferation and malignant transformation even though with distinct mechanisms.
Cancers2014, 6(3), 1570-1578; doi:10.3390/cancers6031570 (doi registration under processing) - published online 31 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The importance of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in cancer biology has been recently highlighted owing to their critical roles in cancer growth, progression, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance. We have previously established a primary culture of breast cancer cells, which showed epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell-like properties. In this study, we found that the primary culture also showed CAF-like properties. For example, hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1A) and its downstream genes, nuclear factor-kappa B2 (NF-κB2) and BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kd-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), and many enzymes involved in glycolysis, such as GAPDH, LDH, PGAM1, and PKM2, were highly overexpressed in the primary culture. Moreover, media conditioned with the primary culture cells enhanced the growth of breast cancer cells. Similar to previous CAF studies, this enhancement suggested to be occurred through fibroblast growth factor signaling. This MCKH primary culture cell, which showed simultaneous expression of tumorigenic and CAF properties, offers a unique experimental system for studying the biology of CAFs.
Abstract: Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) is a high-risk DNA tumour virus which is the primary causative agent of cervical cancer. Cell transformation arises from deregulated expression of the E6 and E7 oncogenes. E6 has been shown to bind a number of cellular proteins, including p53 and proteins containing a PDZ domain. This study reports the first RNA aptamers to E6. These have been employed as molecular tools to further investigate E6-p53 and E6-PDZ interactions. This study is focussed on two aptamers (termed F2 and F4) which induced apoptosis in cells derived from an HPV16-transformed cervical carcinoma. The molecules were able to inhibit the interaction between E6 and PDZ1 from Magi1, with F2 being the most effective inhibitor. Neither of the aptamers inhibited E6-p53 interaction or p53 degradation. This study shows the specificity of this approach and highlights the potential benefits of the E6 aptamers as potential therapeutic or diagnostic agents in the future.
Abstract: Certain genetically defined cancers are dependent on a single overactive oncogene for their proliferation and survival, a phenomenon known as “oncogene addiction”. A new generation of drugs that selectively target such “driver oncogenes” manifests a clinical efficacy greater than that of conventional chemotherapy in appropriate genetically defined patients. MET is aproto-oncogene that encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, and aberrant activation of MET signaling occurs in a subset of advanced cancers as result of various genetic alterations including gene amplification, polysomy, and gene mutation. Our preclinical studies have shown that inhibition of MET signaling either with the small-molecule MET inhibitor crizotinib or by RNA interference targeted to MET mRNA resulted in marked antitumor effects in cancer cell lines with MET amplification both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, patients with non-small cell lung cancer or gastric cancer positive for MET amplification have shown a pronounced clinical response to crizotinib. Accumulating preclinical and clinical evidence thus suggests that MET amplification is an “oncogenic driver” and therefore a valid target for treatment. However, the prevalence of MET amplification has not been fully determined, possibly in part because of the difficulty in evaluating gene amplification. In this review, we provide a rationale for targeting this genetic alteration in cancer therapy.
Abstract: Despite widening interest in the possible association between infection/ inflammation and cancer development, knowledge of this issue in relation to oral cancer remains inadequate. This study aimed to determine the susceptibility of Apc-mutant Kyoto Apc Delta (KAD) rats, which are vulnerable to developing inflammation-associated colorectal carcinogenesis, to 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO)-induced tongue carcinogenesis in order to clarify the role of inflammation in oral cancer. KAD (20 males and 22 females) and F344/NS1c (22 males and 23 females) rats received drinking water with or without 4-NQO (20 ppm) for eight weeks. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses of the tongue were performed at week 20. Additionally, the mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines in the tongue mucosa was determined at week 8. Tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) developed in the KAD and F344/NS1c rats that received 4-NQO. Regardless of gender, the incidence and multiplicity of tongue SCC were greater in the KAD rats than in the F344/NS1c rats. In addition, the multiplicity of tongue SCC in the female KAD rats was significantly greater than that observed in the male KAD (p < 0.01) and female F344/NS1c rats (p < 0.05). The levels of inflammation and the mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines in the tongue in the 4-NQO-treated female KAD rats were the highest among the rats given 4-NQO. These results show that KAD rats, particularly females, are susceptible to 4-NQO-induced tongue carcinogenesis, suggesting the utility of models employing KAD rats for investigating the pathobiology of oral (tongue) carcinogenesis associated with inflammation.
Abstract: Cancer and inflammation are intimately linked due to specific oxidative processes in the tumor microenvironment. Lipoxygenases are a versatile class of oxidative enzymes involved in arachidonic acid metabolism. An increasing number of arachidonic acid metabolites is being discovered and apart from their classically recognized pro-inflammatory effects, anti-inflammatory effects are also being described in recent years. Interestingly, these lipid mediators are involved in activation of pro-inflammatory signal transduction pathways such as the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway, which illustrates the intimate link between lipid signaling and transcription factor activation. The identification of the role of arachidonic acid metabolites in several inflammatory diseases led to a significant drug discovery effort around arachidonic acid metabolizing enzymes. However, to date success in this area has been limited. This might be attributed to the lack of selectivity of the developed inhibitors and to a lack of detailed understanding of the functional roles of arachidonic acid metabolites in inflammatory responses and cancer. This calls for a more detailed investigation of the activity of arachidonic acid metabolizing enzymes and development of more selective inhibitors.