J. Clin. Med.2016, 5(2), 24; doi:10.3390/jcm5020024 - published 4 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tumor hypoxia is a pathophysiologic outcome of disrupted microcirculation with inadequate supply of oxygen, leading to enhanced proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis, and chemo-resistance. Epigenetic changes induced by hypoxia are well documented, and they lead to tumor progression. Recent advances show that DNA demethylation mediated by the Ten-eleven translocation (TET) proteins induces major epigenetic changes and controls key steps of cancer development. TET enzymes serve as 5mC (5-methylcytosine)-specific dioxygenases and cause DNA demethylation. Hypoxia activates the expression of TET1, which also serves as a co-activator of HIF-1α transcriptional regulation to modulate HIF-1α downstream target genes and promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition. As HIF is a negative prognostic factor for tumor progression, hypoxia-activated prodrugs (HAPs) may provide a favorable therapeutic approach to lessen hypoxia-induced malignancy.
J. Clin. Med.2016, 5(2), 23; doi:10.3390/jcm5020023 - published 4 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Considerable circumstantial evidence has accrued from both experimental animal and human clinical studies that support a role for omega-3 fatty acids (FA) in the prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Direct evidence from animal studies has shown that omega-3 FA inhibit ultraviolet radiation (UVR) induced carcinogenic expression. In contrast, increasing levels of dietary omega-6 FA increase UVR carcinogenic expression, with respect to a shorter tumor latent period and increased tumor multiplicity. Both omega-6 and omega-3 FA are essential FA, necessary for normal growth and maintenance of health and although these two classes of FA exhibit only minor structural differences, these differences cause them to act significantly differently in the body. Omega-6 and omega-3 FA, metabolized through the lipoxygenase (LOX) and cyclooxygenase (COX) pathways, lead to differential metabolites that are influential in inflammatory and immune responses involved in carcinogenesis. Clinical studies have shown that omega-3 FA ingestion protects against UVR-induced genotoxicity, raises the UVR-mediated erythema threshold, reduces the level of pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in UVR-irradiated human skin, and appears to protect human skin from UVR-induced immune-suppression. Thus, there is considerable evidence that omega-3 FA supplementation might be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of NMSC, especially in those individuals who are at highest risk.
J. Clin. Med.2016, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/jcm5020022 - published 4 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: One of the recent outstanding developments in cancer biology is the emergence of extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs, which are small membrane vesicles that contain proteins, mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and microRNAs (miRNAs), are secreted by a variety of cells and have been revealed to play an important role in intercellular communications. These molecules function in the recipient cells; this has brought new insight into cell-cell communication. Recent reports have shown that EVs contribute to cancer cell development, including tumor initiation, angiogenesis, immune surveillance, drug resistance, invasion, metastasis, maintenance of cancer stem cells, and EMT phenotype. In this review, I will summarize recent studies on EV-mediated miRNA transfer in cancer biology. Furthermore, I will also highlight the possibility of novel diagnostics and therapy using miRNAs in EVs against cancer.
J. Clin. Med.2016, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcm5020020 - published 3 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Protein Kinase D (PKD) isoforms PKD1, PKD2, and PKD3 are effectors of the novel Protein Kinase Cs (nPKCs) and diacylglycerol (DAG). PKDs impact diverse biological processes like protein transport, cell migration, proliferation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and apoptosis. PKDs however, have distinct effects on these functions. While PKD1 blocks EMT and cell migration, PKD2 and PKD3 tend to drive both processes. Given the importance of EMT and cell migration to the initiation and progression of various malignancies, abnormal expression of PKDs has been reported in multiple types of cancers, including breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer. In this review, we discuss how EMT and cell migration are regulated by PKD isoforms and the significance of this regulation in the context of cancer development.
J. Clin. Med.2016, 5(2), 21; doi:10.3390/jcm5020021 - published 3 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Slug transcription factor plays an important role in ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced skin carcinogenesis, particularly in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurring during tumor progression. In the present studies, we investigated the role of Slug in two-stage chemical skin carcinogenesis. Slug and the related transcription factor Snail were expressed at high levels in skin tumors induced by 7,12-dimethylbenz[α]anthracene application followed by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) treatment. TPA-induced transient elevation of Slug and Snail proteins in normal mouse epidermis and studies in Slug transgenic mice indicated that Slug modulates TPA-induced epidermal hyperplasia and cutaneous inflammation. Although Snail family factors have been linked to inflammation via interactions with the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathway, a pathway that also plays an important role in skin carcinogenesis, transient TPA induction of Slug and Snail appeared unrelated to COX-2 expression. In cultured human keratinocytes, TPA induced Snail mRNA expression while suppressing Slug expression, and this differential regulation was due specifically to activation of the TPA receptor. These studies show that Slug and Snail exhibit similar patterns of expression during both UVR and chemical skin carcinogenesis, that Slug and Snail can be differentially regulated under some conditions and that in vitro findings may not recapitulate in vivo results.
J. Clin. Med.2016, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcm5020019 - published 2 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction and in neurons, however, specific roles for either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids are beginning to emerge. Recent findings with importance to human health include the identification of a conserved Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis pathway, critical functions for cytochrome P450 derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the requirements for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in sensory neurons, and the importance of fatty acid desaturation for long lifespan. Furthermore, the ability of C. elegans to interconvert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids using the FAT-1 omega-3 desaturase has been exploited in mammalian studies and biotechnology approaches to generate mammals capable of exogenous generation of omega-3 fatty acids.