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Cancers, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Despite being an extremely inefficient process, the high burden of lethality in metastatic prostate [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Multi-omics Signatures and Translational Potential to Improve Thyroid Cancer Patient Outcome
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1988; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121988 (registering DOI) - 10 Dec 2019
Abstract
Recent advances in high-throughput molecular and multi-omics technologies have improved our understanding of the molecular changes associated with thyroid cancer initiation and progression. The translation into clinical use based on molecular profiling of thyroid tumors has allowed a significant improvement in patient risk [...] Read more.
Recent advances in high-throughput molecular and multi-omics technologies have improved our understanding of the molecular changes associated with thyroid cancer initiation and progression. The translation into clinical use based on molecular profiling of thyroid tumors has allowed a significant improvement in patient risk stratification and in the identification of targeted therapies, and thereby better personalized disease management and outcome. This review compiles the following: (1) the major molecular alterations of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome found in all subtypes of thyroid cancer, thus demonstrating the complexity of these tumors and (2) the great translational potential of multi-omics studies to improve patient outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thyroid Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Phase 1 Dose Escalation Study of the Allosteric AKT Inhibitor BAY 1125976 in Advanced Solid Cancer—Lack of Association between Activating AKT Mutation and AKT Inhibition-Derived Efficacy
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1987; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121987 (registering DOI) - 10 Dec 2019
Abstract
This open-label, phase I first-in-human study (NCT01915576) of BAY 1125976, a highly specific and potent allosteric inhibitor of AKT1/2, aimed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and maximum tolerated dose of BAY 1125976 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Oral dose escalation was investigated [...] Read more.
This open-label, phase I first-in-human study (NCT01915576) of BAY 1125976, a highly specific and potent allosteric inhibitor of AKT1/2, aimed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and maximum tolerated dose of BAY 1125976 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Oral dose escalation was investigated with a continuous once daily (QD) treatment (21 days/cycle) and a twice daily (BID) schedule. A dose expansion in 28 patients with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer, including nine patients harboring the AKT1E17K mutation, was performed at the recommended phase 2 dose (R2D) of 60 mg BID. Dose-limiting toxicities (Grades 3–4) were increased in transaminases, γ-glutamyltransferase (γ-GT), and alkaline phosphatase in four patients in both schedules and stomach pain in one patient. Of the 78 patients enrolled, one patient had a partial response, 30 had stable disease, and 38 had progressive disease. The clinical benefit rate was 27.9% among 43 patients treated at the R2D. AKT1E17K mutation status was not associated with tumor response. Genetic analyses revealed additional mutations that could promote tumor cell growth despite the inhibition of AKT1/2. BAY 1125976 was well tolerated and inhibited AKT1/2 signaling but did not lead to radiologic or clinical tumor responses. Thus, the refinement of a selection of biomarkers for AKT inhibitors is needed to improve their monotherapy activity. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Uveal Melanoma
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1986; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121986 (registering DOI) - 10 Dec 2019
Abstract
Uveal melanoma (UM) is among the best characterized solid tumors [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uveal Melanoma)
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Open AccessArticle
Crosstalk between SHH and FGFR Signaling Pathways Controls Tissue Invasion in Medulloblastoma
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1985; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121985 (registering DOI) - 10 Dec 2019
Abstract
In the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroup of medulloblastoma (MB), tumor initiation and progression are in part driven by smoothened (SMO) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-receptor (FGFR) signaling, respectively. We investigated the impact of the SMO-FGFR crosstalk on tumor growth and invasiveness in MB. [...] Read more.
In the Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) subgroup of medulloblastoma (MB), tumor initiation and progression are in part driven by smoothened (SMO) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-receptor (FGFR) signaling, respectively. We investigated the impact of the SMO-FGFR crosstalk on tumor growth and invasiveness in MB. We found that FGFR signaling represses GLI1 expression downstream of activated SMO in the SHH MB line DAOY and induces MKI67, HES1, and BMI1 in DAOY and in the group 3 MB line HD-MBO3. FGFR repression of GLI1 does not affect proliferation or viability, whereas inhibition of FGFR is necessary to release SMO-driven invasiveness. Conversely, SMO activation represses FGFR-driven sustained activation of nuclear ERK. Parallel activation of FGFR and SMO in ex vivo tumor cell-cerebellum slice co-cultures reduced invasion of tumor cells without affecting proliferation. In contrast, treatment of the cells with the SMO antagonist Sonidegib (LDE225) blocked invasion and proliferation in cerebellar slices. Thus, sustained, low-level SMO activation is necessary for proliferation and tissue invasion, whereas acute, pronounced activation of SMO can repress FGFR-driven invasiveness. This suggests that the tumor cell response is dependent on the relative local abundance of the two factors and indicates a paradigm of microenvironmental control of invasion in SHH MB through mutual control of SHH and FGFR signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Brain Tumor)
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Open AccessArticle
Stabilization of Hypoxia-Inducible Factors and BNIP3 Promoter Methylation Contribute to Acquired Sorafenib Resistance in Human Hepatocarcinoma Cells
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1984; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121984 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Despite sorafenib effectiveness against advanced hepatocarcinoma (HCC), long-term exposure to antiangiogenic drugs leads to hypoxic microenvironment, a key contributor to chemoresistance acquisition. We aimed to study the role of hypoxia in the development of sorafenib resistance in a human HCC in vitro model [...] Read more.
Despite sorafenib effectiveness against advanced hepatocarcinoma (HCC), long-term exposure to antiangiogenic drugs leads to hypoxic microenvironment, a key contributor to chemoresistance acquisition. We aimed to study the role of hypoxia in the development of sorafenib resistance in a human HCC in vitro model employing the HCC line HepG2 and two variants with acquired sorafenib resistance, HepG2S1 and HepG2S3, and CoCl2 as hypoximimetic. Resistant cells exhibited a faster proliferative rate and hypoxia adaptive mechanisms, linked to the increased protein levels and nuclear translocation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). HIF-1α and HIF-2α overexpression was detected even under normoxia through a deregulation of its degradation mechanisms. Proapoptotic markers expression and subG1 population decreased significantly in HepG2S1 and HepG2S3, suggesting evasion of sorafenib-mediated cell death. HIF-1α and HIF-2α knockdown diminished resistant cells viability, relating HIFs overexpression with its prosurvival ability. Additionally, epigenetic silencing of Bcl-2 interacting protein 3 (BNIP3) was observed in sorafenib resistant cells under hypoxia. Demethylation of BNIP3 promoter, but not histone acetylation, restored BNIP3 expression, driving resistant cells’ death. Altogether, our results highlight the involvement of HIFs overexpression and BNIP3 methylation-dependent knockdown in the development of sorafenib resistance in HCC. Targeting both prosurvival mechanisms could overcome chemoresistance and improve future therapeutic approaches. Full article
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Open AccessReview
p53-Mediated Tumor Suppression: DNA-Damage Response and Alternative Mechanisms
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121983 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
The tumor suppressor p53 regulates different cellular pathways involved in cell survival, DNA repair, apoptosis, and senescence. However, according to an increasing number of studies, the p53-mediated canonical DNA damage response is dispensable for tumor suppression. p53 is involved in mechanisms regulating many [...] Read more.
The tumor suppressor p53 regulates different cellular pathways involved in cell survival, DNA repair, apoptosis, and senescence. However, according to an increasing number of studies, the p53-mediated canonical DNA damage response is dispensable for tumor suppression. p53 is involved in mechanisms regulating many other cellular processes, including metabolism, autophagy, and cell migration and invasion, and these pathways might crucially contribute to its tumor suppressor function. In this review we summarize the canonical and non-canonical functions of p53 in an attempt to provide an overview of the potentially crucial aspects related to its tumor suppressor activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Death in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
A Triple Co-Delivery Liposomal Carrier That Enhances Apoptosis via an Intrinsic Pathway in Melanoma Cells
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1982; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121982 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
The effectiveness of existing anti-cancer therapies is based mainly on the stimulation of apoptosis of cancer cells. Most of the existing therapies are somewhat toxic to normal cells. Therefore, the quest for nontoxic, cancer-specific therapies remains. We have demonstrated the ability of liposomes [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of existing anti-cancer therapies is based mainly on the stimulation of apoptosis of cancer cells. Most of the existing therapies are somewhat toxic to normal cells. Therefore, the quest for nontoxic, cancer-specific therapies remains. We have demonstrated the ability of liposomes containing anacardic acid, mitoxantrone and ammonium ascorbate to induce the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis via reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by the killing of cancer cells in monolayer culture and shown its specificity towards melanoma cells. Liposomes were prepared by a lipid hydration, freeze-and-thaw (FAT) procedure and extrusion through polycarbonate filters, a remote loading method was used for dug encapsulation. Following characterization, hemolytic activity, cytotoxicity and apoptosis inducing effects of loaded nanoparticles were investigated. To identify the anticancer activity mechanism of these liposomes, ROS level and caspase 9 activity were measured by fluorescence and by chemiluminescence respectively. We have demonstrated that the developed liposomal formulations produced a high ROS level, enhanced apoptosis and cell death in melanoma cells, but not in normal cells. The proposed mechanism of the cytotoxic action of these liposomes involved specific generation of free radicals by the iron ions mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Nanomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
The Hidden Story of Heterogeneous B-raf V600E Mutation Quantitative Protein Expression in Metastatic Melanoma—Association with Clinical Outcome and Tumor Phenotypes
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1981; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121981 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
In comparison to other human cancer types, malignant melanoma exhibits the greatest amount of heterogeneity. After DNA-based detection of the BRAF V600E mutation in melanoma patients, targeted inhibitor treatment is the current recommendation. This approach, however, does not take the abundance of the [...] Read more.
In comparison to other human cancer types, malignant melanoma exhibits the greatest amount of heterogeneity. After DNA-based detection of the BRAF V600E mutation in melanoma patients, targeted inhibitor treatment is the current recommendation. This approach, however, does not take the abundance of the therapeutic target, i.e., the B-raf V600E protein, into consideration. As shown by immunohistochemistry, the protein expression profiles of metastatic melanomas clearly reveal the existence of inter- and intra-tumor variability. Nevertheless, the technique is only semi-quantitative. To quantitate the mutant protein there is a fundamental need for more precise techniques that are aimed at defining the currently non-existent link between the levels of the target protein and subsequent drug efficacy. Using cutting-edge mass spectrometry combined with DNA and mRNA sequencing, the mutated B-raf protein within metastatic tumors was quantitated for the first time. B-raf V600E protein analysis revealed a subjacent layer of heterogeneity for mutation-positive metastatic melanomas. These were characterized into two distinct groups with different tumor morphologies, protein profiles and patient clinical outcomes. This study provides evidence that a higher level of expression in the mutated protein is associated with a more aggressive tumor progression. Our study design, comprised of surgical isolation of tumors, histopathological characterization, tissue biobanking, and protein analysis, may enable the eventual delineation of patient responders/non-responders and subsequent therapy for malignant melanoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Melanoma)
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Open AccessReview
Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors in Pancreatic Cancer: A New Treatment Paradigms and Future Implications
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1980; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121980 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive malignancy. Most of the patients of PDAC present at later stages of disease and have a five-year survival rate of less than 10%. About 5–10% PDAC cases are hereditary in nature and have DNA damage repair [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive malignancy. Most of the patients of PDAC present at later stages of disease and have a five-year survival rate of less than 10%. About 5–10% PDAC cases are hereditary in nature and have DNA damage repair (DDR) mutations such as BRCA 1 and 2. Besides having implications on screening and prevention strategies, these mutations can confer sensitivity to platinum-based therapies and determine eligibility for poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPi). In the presence of DDR mutations and PARPi, the cells are unable to utilize the error-free process of homologous recombination repair, leading to accumulation of double stranded DNA breaks and cell death eventually. Various PARPi are in clinical development in PDAC in different subgroup of patients as monotherapies and in combination with other therapeutics. This review would focus on the mechanism of action of PARPi, history of development in PDAC, resistance mechanisms and future directions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Engineered Extracellular Vesicles as a Reliable Tool in Cancer Nanomedicine
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1979; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121979 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Fast diagnosis and more efficient therapies for cancer surely represent one of the huge tasks for the worldwide researchers’ and clinicians’ community. In the last two decades, our understanding of the biology and molecular pathology of cancer mechanisms, coupled with the continuous development [...] Read more.
Fast diagnosis and more efficient therapies for cancer surely represent one of the huge tasks for the worldwide researchers’ and clinicians’ community. In the last two decades, our understanding of the biology and molecular pathology of cancer mechanisms, coupled with the continuous development of the material science and technological compounds, have successfully improved nanomedicine applications in oncology. This review argues on nanomedicine application of engineered extracellular vesicles (EVs) in oncology. All the most innovative processes of EVs engineering are discussed together with the related degree of applicability for each one of them in cancer nanomedicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Nanomedicine)
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Open AccessEditorial
Do We Really Need Another Special Issue on NF-κB in Cancer and Inflammation?
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121978 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
This series of 10 articles (four original articles, six reviews) is presented by international leaders in the field of NF-κB signaling in cancer and inflammation [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NF-kappaB signalling pathway)
Open AccessReview
The Role of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Pituitary Adenomas Tumorigenesis
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1977; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121977 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Pituitary adenomas (PAs) are among the most common intracranial neoplasms, but despite their histologically benign nature, these tumors sometimes grow large enough to cause symptoms of mass effect such as vision loss, headaches, or hypopituitarism. When they get this large, surgery will unfortunately [...] Read more.
Pituitary adenomas (PAs) are among the most common intracranial neoplasms, but despite their histologically benign nature, these tumors sometimes grow large enough to cause symptoms of mass effect such as vision loss, headaches, or hypopituitarism. When they get this large, surgery will unfortunately not be curative and, other than prolactinomas, medical options are limited, and radiation has variable efficacy in controlling growth. Understanding the genetic perturbations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), that promote the formation or growth of functional and nonfunctional PAs is important because such genetic insights could improve the diagnosis and subsequent classification of PAs as well as unlock potential therapeutic targets outside contemporary standard of care. While there have been great strides in the research of SNPs as drivers of PA formation and maintenance, a comprehensive discussion of these genetic mutations has not been undertaken. In the present article, and with the goal of providing scientists and clinicians a central review, we sought to summarize the current literature on SNPs and their relationship to PA formation. Across multiple tumor types, such as nonfunctioning PAs, prolactinomas, corticotroph adenomas, somatotroph adenomas, thyrotropic adenomas, and gonadotroph adenomas, SNPs in cell surface receptors implicated in proliferation can be appreciated. Polymorphisms found in tumor suppressors and cell cycle regulators have also been identified, such as p53 SNPs in nonfunctioning PAs or cyclin D1 in prolactinomas. While the translational relevance of SNPs in the formation of PAs is still in the early stages, the use of wide-scale genomic analysis to identify patients at risk for developing PAs could yield therapeutic benefit in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RASSF10 Is a TGFβ-Target That Regulates ASPP2 and E-Cadherin Expression and Acts as Tumor Suppressor That Is Epigenetically Downregulated in Advanced Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121976 - 08 Dec 2019
Abstract
The Ras Association Domain Family (RASSF) encodes members of tumor suppressor genes which are frequently inactivated in human cancers. Here, the function and the regulation of RASSF10, that contains a RA (Ras-association) and two coiled domains, was investigated. We utilized mass spectrometry and [...] Read more.
The Ras Association Domain Family (RASSF) encodes members of tumor suppressor genes which are frequently inactivated in human cancers. Here, the function and the regulation of RASSF10, that contains a RA (Ras-association) and two coiled domains, was investigated. We utilized mass spectrometry and immuno-precipitation to identify interaction partners of RASSF10. Additionally, we analyzed the up- and downstream pathways of RASSF10 that are involved in its tumor suppressive function. We report that RASSF10 binds ASPP1 (Apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53) and ASPP2 through its coiled-coils. Induction of RASSF10 leads to increased protein levels of ASPP2 and acts negatively on cell cycle progression. Interestingly, we found that RASSF10 is a target of the EMT (epithelial mesenchymal transition) driver TGFβ (Transforming growth factor beta) and that negatively associated genes of RASSF10 are significantly over-represented in an EMT gene set collection. We observed a positive correlation of RASSF10 expression and E-cadherin that prevents EMT. Depletion of RASSF10 by CRISPR/Cas9 technology induces the ability of lung cancer cells to proliferate and to invade an extracellular matrix after TGFβ treatment. Additionally, knockdown of RASSF10 or ASPP2 induced constitutive phosphorylation of SMAD2 (Smad family member 2). Moreover, we found that epigenetic reduction of RASSF10 levels correlates with tumor progression and poor survival in human cancers. Our study indicates that RASSF10 acts a TGFβ target gene and negatively regulates cell growth and invasion through ASPP2. This data suggests that epigenetic loss of RASSF10 contributes to tumorigenesis by promoting EMT induced by TGFβ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Ras/RASSF in Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
Cancer Treatment Goes Viral: Using Viral Proteins to Induce Tumour-Specific Cell Death
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121975 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Cell death is a tightly regulated process which can be exploited in cancer treatment to drive the killing of the tumour. Several conventional cancer therapies including chemotherapeutic agents target pathways involved in cell death, yet they often fail due to the lack of [...] Read more.
Cell death is a tightly regulated process which can be exploited in cancer treatment to drive the killing of the tumour. Several conventional cancer therapies including chemotherapeutic agents target pathways involved in cell death, yet they often fail due to the lack of selectivity they have for tumour cells over healthy cells. Over the past decade, research has demonstrated the existence of numerous proteins which have an intrinsic tumour-specific toxicity, several of which originate from viruses. These tumour-selective viral proteins, although from distinct backgrounds, have several similar and interesting properties. Though the mechanism(s) of action of these proteins are not fully understood, it is possible that they can manipulate several cell death modes in cancer exemplifying the intricate interplay between these pathways. This review will discuss our current knowledge on the topic and outstanding questions, as well as deliberate the potential for viral proteins to progress into the clinic as successful cancer therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Death in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
The Syk Kinase Promotes Mammary Epithelial Integrity and Inhibits Breast Cancer Invasion by Stabilizing the E-Cadherin/Catenin Complex
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1974; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121974 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
While first discovered in immunoreceptor signaling, the Syk protein kinase behaves as a tumor and metastasis suppressor in epithelial cells. Its reduced expression in breast and other carcinomas is correlated with decreased survival and increased metastasis risk, but its action mechanism remains largely [...] Read more.
While first discovered in immunoreceptor signaling, the Syk protein kinase behaves as a tumor and metastasis suppressor in epithelial cells. Its reduced expression in breast and other carcinomas is correlated with decreased survival and increased metastasis risk, but its action mechanism remains largely unknown. Using phosphoproteomics we found that Syk phosphorylated E-cadherin and α-, β-, and p120-catenins on multiple tyrosine residues that concentrate at intercellular junctions. Increased Syk expression and activation enhanced E-cadherin/catenin phosphorylation, promoting their association and complex stability. In human breast cancer cells, Syk stimulated intercellular aggregation, E-cadherin recruitment and retention at adherens junctions, and promoted epithelial integrity, whereas it inhibited cell migration and invasion. Opposite effects were obtained with Syk knockdown or non-phosphorylatable mutant E-cadherin expression. Mechanistically, Syk stimulated the interaction of the E-cadherin/catenin complex with zonula occludens proteins and the actin cytoskeleton. Conditional Syk knockout in the lactating mouse mammary gland perturbed alveologenesis and disrupted E-cadherin localization at adherens junctions, corroborating the observations in cells. Hence, Syk is involved in the maintenance of the epithelial integrity of the mammary gland via the phosphorylation and stabilization of the E-cadherin/catenin adherens junction complex, thereby inhibiting cell migration and malignant tumor invasion. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Core Binding Factor Leukemia: Chromatin Remodeling Moves Towards Oncogenic Transcription
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1973; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121973 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common acute leukemia in adults, is a heterogeneous malignant clonal disorder arising from multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cells characterized by genetic and concerted epigenetic aberrations. Core binding factor-Leukemia (CBFL) is characterized by the recurrent reciprocal translocations t(8;21)(q22;q22) or [...] Read more.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common acute leukemia in adults, is a heterogeneous malignant clonal disorder arising from multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cells characterized by genetic and concerted epigenetic aberrations. Core binding factor-Leukemia (CBFL) is characterized by the recurrent reciprocal translocations t(8;21)(q22;q22) or inv(16)(p13;q22) that, expressing the distinctive RUNX1-RUNX1T1 (also known as Acute myeloid leukemia1-eight twenty-one, AML1-ETO or RUNX1/ETO) or CBFB-MYH11 (also known as CBFβ-SMMHC) translocation product respectively, disrupt the essential hematopoietic function of the CBF. In the past decade, remarkable progress has been achieved in understanding the structure, three-dimensional (3D) chromosomal topology, and disease-inducing genetic and epigenetic abnormalities of the fusion proteins that arise from disruption of the CBF subunit alpha and beta genes. Although CBFLs have a relatively good prognosis compared to other leukemia subtypes, 40–50% of patients still relapse, requiring intensive chemotherapy and allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). To provide a rationale for the CBFL-associated altered hematopoietic development, in this review, we summarize the current understanding on the various molecular mechanisms, including dysregulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling as an early event that triggers the translocations, playing a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of CBFL. Translation of these findings into the clinical setting is just beginning by improvement in risk stratification, MRD assessment, and development of targeted therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acute Myeloid Leukemia)
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Open AccessReview
Combing the Cancer Genome for Novel Kinase Drivers and New Therapeutic Targets
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1972; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121972 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Protein kinases are critical regulators of signaling cascades that control cellular proliferation, growth, survival, metabolism, migration, and invasion. Deregulation of kinase activity can lead to aberrant regulation of biological processes and to the onset of diseases, including cancer. In this review, we focus [...] Read more.
Protein kinases are critical regulators of signaling cascades that control cellular proliferation, growth, survival, metabolism, migration, and invasion. Deregulation of kinase activity can lead to aberrant regulation of biological processes and to the onset of diseases, including cancer. In this review, we focus on oncogenic kinases and the signaling pathways they regulate that underpin tumor development. We highlight genomic biomarker-based precision medicine intervention strategies that match kinase inhibitors alone or in combination to mutationally activated kinase drivers, as well as progress towards implementation of these treatment strategies in the clinic. We also discuss the challenges for identification of novel protein kinase cancer drivers in the genomic era. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ACLY (ATP Citrate Lyase) Mediates Radioresistance in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas and is a Novel Predictive Radiotherapy Biomarker
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1971; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121971 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Radiotherapy is an important treatment modality of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Multiple links have been described between the metabolic activity of tumors and their clinical outcome. Here we test the hypothesis that metabolic features determine radiosensitivity, explaining the relationship between [...] Read more.
Radiotherapy is an important treatment modality of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Multiple links have been described between the metabolic activity of tumors and their clinical outcome. Here we test the hypothesis that metabolic features determine radiosensitivity, explaining the relationship between metabolism and clinical outcome. Radiosensitivity of 14 human HNSCC cell lines was determined using colony forming assays and the expression profile of approximately 200 metabolic and cancer-related genes was generated using targeted RNA sequencing by single molecule molecular inversion probes. Results: Correlation between radiosensitivity data and expression profiles yielded 18 genes associated with radiosensitivity or radioresistance, of which adenosine triphosphate (ATP) citrate lyase (ACLY) was of particular interest. Pharmacological inhibition of ACLY caused an impairment of DNA damage repair, specifically homologous recombination, and lead to radiosensitization in HNSCC cell lines. Examination of a The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort of HNSCC patients revealed that high expression of ACLY was predictive for radiotherapy failure, as it was only associated with poor overall survival in patients who received radiotherapy (hazard ratio of 2.00, 95% CI: 1.12–3.55; p = 0.0184). These data were further validated in an independent cohort of HNSCC patients treated with chemoradiation. Furthermore, patients with poor locoregional control after radiotherapy have significantly higher nuclear ACLY protein levels. Together, we here show that ACLY affects DNA damage repair, and is a predictive factor for radiotherapy outcome in HNSCC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
NGF-Enhanced Vasculogenic Properties of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Cells Is Reduced by Inhibition of the COX-2/PGE2 Signaling Axis
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1970; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121970 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a lethal gynecological neoplasia characterized by extensive angiogenesis and overexpression of nerve growth factor (NGF). Here, we investigated the mechanism by which NGF increases vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and the vasculogenic potential of EOC cells, as [...] Read more.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a lethal gynecological neoplasia characterized by extensive angiogenesis and overexpression of nerve growth factor (NGF). Here, we investigated the mechanism by which NGF increases vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and the vasculogenic potential of EOC cells, as well as the contribution of the cyclooxygenase 2/prostaglandin E2 (COX-2/PGE2) signaling axis to these events. EOC biopsies and ovarian cell lines were used to determine COX-2 and PGE2 levels, as well as those of the potentially pro-angiogenic proteins c-MYC (a member of the Myc transcription factors family), survivin, and β-catenin. We observed that COX-2 and survivin protein levels increased during EOC progression. In the EOC cell lines, NGF increased the COX-2 and PGE2 levels. In addition, NGF increased survivin, c-MYC, and VEGF protein levels, as well as the transcriptional activity of c-MYC and β-catenin/T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer-binding factor (TCF-Lef) in a Tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TRKA)-dependent manner. Also, COX-2 inhibition prevented the NGF-induced increases in these proteins and reduced the angiogenic score of endothelial cells stimulated with conditioned media from EOC cells. In summary, we show here that the pro-angiogenic effect of NGF in EOC depends on the COX-2/PGE2 signaling axis. Thus, inhibition COX-2/PGE2 signaling will likely be beneficial in the treatment of EOC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Imaging and Tissue Biomarkers of Choline Metabolism in Diffuse Adult Glioma: 18F-Fluoromethylcholine PET/CT, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, and Choline Kinase α
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121969 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
The cellular and molecular basis of choline uptake on PET imaging and MRS-visible choline-containing compounds is not well understood. Choline kinase alpha (ChoKα) is an enzyme that phosphorylates choline, an essential step in membrane synthesis. We investigate choline metabolism through 18F-fluoromethylcholine (18F-FMC) PET, [...] Read more.
The cellular and molecular basis of choline uptake on PET imaging and MRS-visible choline-containing compounds is not well understood. Choline kinase alpha (ChoKα) is an enzyme that phosphorylates choline, an essential step in membrane synthesis. We investigate choline metabolism through 18F-fluoromethylcholine (18F-FMC) PET, MRS, and tissue ChoKα in human glioma. Fourteen patients with a suspected diffuse glioma underwent multimodal 3T MRI and dynamic 18F-FMC PET/CT prior to surgery. Co-registered PET and MRI data were used to target biopsies to regions of high and low choline signal, and immunohistochemistry for ChoKα expression was performed. The 18F-FMC/PET differentiated WHO (World Health Organization) grade IV from grade II and III tumours, whereas MRS differentiated grade III/IV from grade II tumours. Tumoural 18F-FMC/PET uptake was higher than in normal-appearing white matter across all grades and markedly elevated within regions of contrast enhancement. The 18F-FMC/PET correlated weakly with MRS Cho ratios. ChoKα expression on IHC was negative or weak in all but one glioblastoma sample, and did not correlate with tumour grade or imaging choline markers. MRS and 18F-FMC/PET provide complimentary information on glioma choline metabolism. Tracer uptake is, however, potentially confounded by blood–brain barrier permeability. ChoKα overexpression does not appear to be a common feature in diffuse glioma. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Chalcone Lonchocarpin Inhibits Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling and Suppresses Colorectal Cancer Proliferation
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1968; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121968 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
The deregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is a central event in colorectal cancer progression, thus a promising target for drug development. Many natural compounds, such as flavonoids, have been described as Wnt/β-catenin inhibitors and consequently modulate important biological processes like inflammation, redox [...] Read more.
The deregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is a central event in colorectal cancer progression, thus a promising target for drug development. Many natural compounds, such as flavonoids, have been described as Wnt/β-catenin inhibitors and consequently modulate important biological processes like inflammation, redox balance, cancer promotion and progress, as well as cancer cell death. In this context, we identified the chalcone lonchocarpin isolated from Lonchocarpus sericeus as a Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor, both in vitro and in vivo. Lonchocarpin impairs β-catenin nuclear localization and also inhibits the constitutively active form of TCF4, dnTCF4-VP16. Xenopus laevis embryology assays suggest that lonchocarpin acts at the transcriptional level. Additionally, we described lonchocarpin inhibitory effects on cell migration and cell proliferation on HCT116, SW480, and DLD-1 colorectal cancer cell lines, without any detectable effects on the non-tumoral intestinal cell line IEC-6. Moreover, lonchocarpin reduces tumor proliferation on the colorectal cancer AOM/DSS mice model. Taken together, our results support lonchocarpin as a novel Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor compound that impairs colorectal cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Natural Bioactive Compounds in the Rise and Fall of Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
Pannexin1 Is Associated with Enhanced Epithelial-To-Mesenchymal Transition in Human Patient Breast Cancer Tissues and in Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1967; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121967 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Loss of connexin-mediated cell-cell communication is a hallmark of breast cancer progression. Pannexin1 (PANX1), a glycoprotein that shares structural and functional features with connexins and engages in cell communication with its environment, is highly expressed in breast cancer metastatic foci; however, PANX1 contribution [...] Read more.
Loss of connexin-mediated cell-cell communication is a hallmark of breast cancer progression. Pannexin1 (PANX1), a glycoprotein that shares structural and functional features with connexins and engages in cell communication with its environment, is highly expressed in breast cancer metastatic foci; however, PANX1 contribution to metastatic progression is still obscure. Here we report elevated expression of PANX1 in different breast cancer (BRCA) subtypes using RNA-seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The elevated PANX1 expression correlated with poorer outcomes in TCGA BRCA patients. In addition, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathway genes correlated positively with PANX1 expression. Pharmacological inhibition of PANX1, in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells, or genetic ablation of PANX1, in MDA-MB-231 cells, reverted the EMT phenotype, as evidenced by decreased expression of EMT markers. In addition, PANX1 inhibition or genetic ablation decreased the invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 cells. Our results suggest PANX1 overexpression in breast cancer is associated with a shift towards an EMT phenotype, in silico and in vitro, attributing to it a tumor-promoting effect, with poorer clinical outcomes in breast cancer patients. This association offers a novel target for breast cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Invasion and Metastasis)
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Open AccessArticle
Induction of NK Cell Reactivity against B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia by an Fc-Optimized FLT3 Antibody
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1966; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121966 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is a major mechanism by which antitumor antibodies mediate therapeutic efficacy. At present, we evaluate an Fc-optimized (amino acid substitutions S239D/I332E) FLT3 antibody termed 4G8-SDIEM (FLYSYN) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (NCT02789254). Here we studied the possibility to [...] Read more.
Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) is a major mechanism by which antitumor antibodies mediate therapeutic efficacy. At present, we evaluate an Fc-optimized (amino acid substitutions S239D/I332E) FLT3 antibody termed 4G8-SDIEM (FLYSYN) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (NCT02789254). Here we studied the possibility to induce NK cell ADCC against B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) by Fc-optimized FLT3 antibody treatment. Flow cytometric analysis confirmed that FLT3 is widely expressed on B-ALL cell lines and leukemic cells of B-ALL patients. FLT3 expression did not correlate with that of CD20, which is targeted by Rituximab, a therapeutic monoclonal antibody (mAb) employed in B-ALL treatment regimens. Our FLT3 mAb with enhanced affinity to the Fc receptor CD16a termed 4G8-SDIE potently induced NK cell reactivity against FLT3-transfectants, the B-ALL cell line SEM and primary leukemic cells of adult B-ALL patients in a target-antigen dependent manner as revealed by analyses of NK cell activation and degranulation. This was mirrored by potent 4G8-SDIE mediated NK cell ADCC in experiments with FLT3-transfectants, the cell line SEM and primary cells as target cells. Taken together, the findings presented in this study provide evidence that 4G8-SDIE may be a promising agent for the treatment of B-ALL, particularly in CD20-negative cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Innate Immunity Cells in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Mangiferin-Loaded Polymeric Nanoparticles: Optical Characterization, Effect of Anti-topoisomerase I, and Cytotoxicity
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121965 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Mangiferin is an important xanthone compound presenting various biological activities. The objective of this study was to develop, characterize physicochemical properties, and evaluate the anti-topoisomerase activity of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles containing mangiferin. The nanoparticles were developed by the emulsion solvent evaporation method [...] Read more.
Mangiferin is an important xanthone compound presenting various biological activities. The objective of this study was to develop, characterize physicochemical properties, and evaluate the anti-topoisomerase activity of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles containing mangiferin. The nanoparticles were developed by the emulsion solvent evaporation method and the optimal formulation was obtained with a response surface methodology (RSM); this formulation showed a mean size of 176.7 ± 1.021 nm with a 0.153 polydispersibility index (PDI) value, and mangiferin encapsulation efficiency was about 55%. The optimal conditions (6000 rpm, 10 min, and 300 μg of mangiferin) obtained 77% and the highest entrapment efficiency (97%). The in vitro release profile demonstrated a gradual release of mangiferin from 15 to 180 min in acidic conditions (pH 1.5). The fingerprint showed a modification in the maximum absorption wavelength of both the polymer and the mangiferin. Results of anti-toposiomerase assay showed that the optimal formulation (MG4, 25 µg/mL) had antiproliferative activity. High concentrations (2500 µg/mL) of MG4 showed non-in vitro cytotoxic effect on BEAS 2B and HEPG2. Finally, this study showed an encapsulation process with in vitro gastric digestion resistance (1.5 h) and without interfering with the metabolism of healthy cells and their biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Nanomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
(S)-10-Hydroxycamptothecin Inhibits Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Growth In Vitro and In Vivo Via Decreasing Topoisomerase I Enzyme Activity
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1964; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121964 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
: Topoisomerase (TOP) I plays a major role in the process of supercoiled DNA relaxation, thereby facilitating DNA replication and cell cycle progression. The expression and enzymatic activity of TOP I is positively correlated with tumor progression. Although the anticancer activity of (S)-10-Hydroxycamptothecin [...] Read more.
: Topoisomerase (TOP) I plays a major role in the process of supercoiled DNA relaxation, thereby facilitating DNA replication and cell cycle progression. The expression and enzymatic activity of TOP I is positively correlated with tumor progression. Although the anticancer activity of (S)-10-Hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT), a TOP I specific inhibitor, has been reported in various cancers, the effect of HCPT on esophageal cancer is yet to be examined. In this study, we investigate the potential of HCPT to inhibit the growth of ESCC cells in vitro and verify its anti-tumor activity in vivo by using a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumor model in mice. Our study revealed the overexpression of TOP I in ESCC cells and treatment with HCPT inhibited TOP I enzymatic activity at 24 h and decreased expression at 48 h and 72 h. HCPT also induced DNA damage by increasing the expression of H2A.XS139. HCPT significantly decreased the proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of ESCC cells (KYSE410, KYSE510, KYSE30, and KYSE450). Mechanistically, HCPT inhibited the G2/M phase cell cycle transition, decreased the expression of cyclin B1, and elevated p21 expression. In addition, HCPT stimulated ESCC cells apoptosis, which was associated with elevated expression of cleaved PARP, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-7, Bax, Bim, and inhibition of Bcl-2 expression. HCPT dramatically suppressed PDX tumor growth and decreased the expression of Ki-67 and TOP I and increased the level of cleaved caspase-3 and H2A.XS139 expression. Taken together, our data suggested that HCPT inhibited ESCC growth, arrested cell cycle progression, and induced apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo via decreasing the expression and activity of TOP I enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma)
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Open AccessArticle
ALDH3A1 Overexpression in Melanoma and Lung Tumors Drives Cancer Stem Cell Expansion, Impairing Immune Surveillance through Enhanced PD-L1 Output
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1963; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121963 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Melanoma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines are characterized by an intrinsic population of cancer stem-like cells (CSC), and high expression of detoxifying isozymes, the aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs), regulating the redox state. In this study, using melanoma and NSCLC cells, we demonstrate [...] Read more.
Melanoma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines are characterized by an intrinsic population of cancer stem-like cells (CSC), and high expression of detoxifying isozymes, the aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs), regulating the redox state. In this study, using melanoma and NSCLC cells, we demonstrate that ALDH3A1 isozyme overexpression and activity is closely associated with a highly aggressive mesenchymal and immunosuppressive profile. The contribution of ALDH3A1 to the stemness and immunogenic status of melanoma and NSCLC cells was evaluated by their ability to grow in 3D forming tumorspheres, and by the expression of markers for stemness, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and inflammation. Furthermore, in specimens from melanoma and NSCLC patients, we investigated the expression of ALDH3A1, PD-L1, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) by immunohistochemistry. We show that cells engineered to overexpress the ALDH3A1 enzyme enriched the CSCs population in melanoma and NSCLC cultures, changing their transcriptome. In fact, we found increased expression of EMT markers, such as vimentin, fibronectin, and Zeb1, and of pro-inflammatory and immunosuppressive mediators, such as NFkB, prostaglandin E2, and interleukin-6 and -13. ALDH3A1 overexpression enhanced PD-L1 output in tumor cells and resulted in reduced proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells when co-cultured with tumor cells. Furthermore, in tumor specimens from melanoma and NSCLC patients, ALDH3A1 expression was invariably correlated with PD-L1 and the pro-inflammatory marker COX-2. These findings link ALDH3A1 expression to tumor stemness, EMT and PD-L1 expression, and suggest that aldehyde detoxification is a redox metabolic pathway that tunes the immunological output of tumors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Titanate Nanotubes Engineered with Gold Nanoparticles and Docetaxel to Enhance Radiotherapy on Xenografted Prostate Tumors
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121962 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Nanohybrids based on titanate nanotubes (TiONts) were developed to fight prostate cancer by intratumoral (IT) injection, and particular attention was paid to their step-by-step synthesis. TiONts were synthesized by a hydrothermal process. To develop the customengineered nanohybrids, the surface of TiONts was coated [...] Read more.
Nanohybrids based on titanate nanotubes (TiONts) were developed to fight prostate cancer by intratumoral (IT) injection, and particular attention was paid to their step-by-step synthesis. TiONts were synthesized by a hydrothermal process. To develop the customengineered nanohybrids, the surface of TiONts was coated beforehand with a siloxane (APTES), and coupled with both dithiolated diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acidmodified gold nanoparticles ([email protected] NPs) and a heterobifunctional polymer (PEG3000) to significantly improve suspension stability and biocompatibility of TiONts for targeted biomedical applications. The prefunctionalized surface of this scaffold had reactive sites to graft therapeutic agents, such as docetaxel (DTX). This novel combination, aimed at retaining the AuNPs inside the tumor via TiONts, was able to enhance the radiation effect. Nanohybrids have been extensively characterized and were detectable by SPECT/CT imaging through grafted [email protected] NPs, radiolabeled with 111In. In vitro results showed that TiONtsAuNPsPEG3000DTX had a substantial cytotoxic activity on human PC3 prostate adenocarcinoma cells, unlike initial nanohybrids without DTX ([email protected] NPs and TiONtsAuNPsPEG3000). Biodistribution studies demonstrated that these novel nanocarriers, consisting of AuNP- and DTXgrafted TiONts, were retained within the tumor for at least 20 days on mice PC3 xenografted tumors after IT injection, delaying tumor growth upon irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Nanomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
NF-kappa B Signaling-Related Signatures Are Connected with the Mesenchymal Phenotype of Circulating Tumor Cells in Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1961; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121961 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
The role of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), tumor microenvironment (TME), and the immune system in the formation of metastasis is evident, yet the details of their interactions remain unknown. This study aimed at exploring the immunotranscriptome of primary tumors associated with the status [...] Read more.
The role of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), tumor microenvironment (TME), and the immune system in the formation of metastasis is evident, yet the details of their interactions remain unknown. This study aimed at exploring the immunotranscriptome of primary tumors associated with the status of CTCs in breast cancer (BCa) patients. The expression of 730 immune-related genes in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples was analyzed using the multigenomic NanoString technology and correlated with the presence and the phenotype of CTCs. Upregulation of 37 genes and downregulation of 1 gene were observed in patients characterized by a mesenchymal phenotype of CTCs when compared to patients with epithelial CTCs. The upregulated genes were involved in NF-kappa B signaling and in the production of type I interferons. The clinical significance of the differentially expressed genes was evaluated using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data of a breast invasive carcinoma (BRCA) cohort. Five of the upregulated genes—PSMD7, C2, IFNAR1, CD84, and CYLD—were independent prognostic factors in terms of overall and disease-free survival. To conclude, our data identify a group of genes that are upregulated in BCa patients with mesenchymal CTCs and reveal their prognostic potential, thus indicating that they merit further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Breast and Endometrial Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Hispidulin Enhances TRAIL-Mediated Apoptosis via CaMKK/AMPK/USP51 Axis-Mediated Bim Stabilization
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1960; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121960 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
: Hispidulin, a natural compound present in herbs, has anti-cancer effects. Here, we investigated whether hispidulin sensitizes human carcinoma cells to apoptosis induced by TRAIL. Sub-lethal dosages of TRAIL alone and hispidulin alone does not increase apoptosis, but hispidulin increases sensitivity to TRAIL, [...] Read more.
: Hispidulin, a natural compound present in herbs, has anti-cancer effects. Here, we investigated whether hispidulin sensitizes human carcinoma cells to apoptosis induced by TRAIL. Sub-lethal dosages of TRAIL alone and hispidulin alone does not increase apoptosis, but hispidulin increases sensitivity to TRAIL, resulting in induction of apoptosis in hispidulin plus TRAIL-treated cancer cells. In addition, combined treatment with hispidulin and TRAIL also reduced tumor growth and increased apoptosis in xenograft models. However, hispidulin did not alter cell viability in human renal normal mesangial cells and human skin fibroblast. Hispidulin markedly increased the BH3-only proteins Bim at the post-translational levels. Depletion of Bim with siRNA significantly blocked hispidulin plus TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that activation of AMPK by hispidulin has a crucial role in Bim proteins stability through up-regulation of USP51 expression. Our findings suggest that USP51-dependent stabilization of Bim by AMPK activation plays a critical role in hispidulin-mediated sensitization of cancer cells to apoptosis induced by TRAIL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Death in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Negative Control of Cell Migration by Rac1b in Highly Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Cells Is Mediated by Sequential Induction of Nonactivated Smad3 and Biglycan
Cancers 2019, 11(12), 1959; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121959 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Expression of the small GTPase, Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1B (RAC1B), a RAC1-related member of the Rho GTPase family, in tumor tissues of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has been shown previously to correlate positively with patient survival, but the underlying mechanism(s) and [...] Read more.
Expression of the small GTPase, Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1B (RAC1B), a RAC1-related member of the Rho GTPase family, in tumor tissues of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has been shown previously to correlate positively with patient survival, but the underlying mechanism(s) and the target genes involved have remained elusive. Screening of a panel of established PDAC-derived cell lines by immunoblotting indicated that both RAC1B and Mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3 (SMAD3) were more abundantly expressed in poorly metastatic and well-differentiated lines as opposed to highly metastatic, poorly differentiated ones. Both siRNA-mediated RAC1B knockdown in the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β-sensitive PDAC-derived cell lines, Panc1 and PaCa3, or CRISPR/Cas-mediated knockout of exon 3b of RAC1 in Panc1 cells resulted in a dramatic decrease in the expression of SMAD3. Unexpectedly, the knockdown of SMAD3 reproduced the promigratory activity of a RAC1B knockdown in Panc1 and PaCa3, but not in TGF-β-resistant BxPC3 and Capan1 cells, while forced expression of SMAD3 alone was able to mimic the antimigratory effect of ectopic RAC1B overexpression in Panc1 cells. Moreover, overexpression of SMAD3 was able to rescue Panc1 cells from the RAC1B knockdown-induced increase in cell migration, while knockdown of SMAD3 prevented the RAC1B overexpression-induced decrease in cell migration. Using pharmacological and dominant-negative inhibition of SMAD3 C-terminal phosphorylation, we further show that the migration-inhibiting effect of SMAD3 is independent of its activation by TGF-β. Finally, we provide evidence that the antimigratory program of RAC1B-SMAD3 in Panc1 cells is executed through upregulation of the migration and TGF-β inhibitor, biglycan (BGN). Together, our data suggest that a RAC1B-SMAD3-BGN axis negatively controls cell migration and that SMAD3 can induce antimigratory genes, i.e., BGN independent of its role as a signal transducer for TGF-β. Therefore, targeting this novel pathway for activation is a potential therapeutic strategy in highly metastatic PDAC to interfere with invasion and metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Research)
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