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Open access

G Azizi, J M Keller, M Lewis, K Piper, D Puett, K M Rivenbark, and C D Malchoff

This prospective study investigates the relationship between Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and thyroid cancer (TC) in patients with thyroid nodules (TNs). We prospectively examined 2100 patients with 2753 TNs between January 5, 2010 and August 15, 2013. A total of 2023 patients with 2669 TNs met the inclusion criteria of TN ≥5 mm and age ≥18 years. Each patient had blood drawn before fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) for the following measurements: TSH, free thyroxine, free tri-iodothyronine, thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), and antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb). Diagnosis of TC was based on pathology analysis of thyroidectomy tissue. The associations of TC with the independent variables were determined by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis and reported as adjusted odds ratio (OR) with 95% CI. A total of 248 malignant nodules were found in 233 patients. There was an association of TC with both increased serum TgAb concentration and age<45 years. An elevated serum TgAb concentration was found in 10.2% of patients (182 of 1790) with benign nodules as compared with 20.6% of patients (48 of 233) with malignant nodules (P≤0.0001). TgAb (OR=2.24: CI=1.57, 3.19) and TSH ≥1 μIU/ml (OR (95% CI)) OR: 1.49 (1.09, 2.03) were significant predictors of TC in multivariate analysis controlling for age and gender. TC was not associated with serum concentrations of TPOAb. In patients with TN, elevated serum concentration of TgAb and TSH ≥1 μIU/ml are independent predictors for TC. The association between HT and TC is antibody specific.

Open access

Varinder Jeet, Gregor Tevz, Melanie Lehman, Brett Hollier, and Colleen Nelson

Chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1 or YKL40) is a secreted glycoprotein highly expressed in tumours from patients with advanced stage cancers, including prostate cancer (PCa). The exact function of YKL40 is poorly understood, but it has been shown to play an important role in promoting tumour angiogenesis and metastasis. The therapeutic value and biological function of YKL40 are unknown in PCa. The objective of this study was to examine the expression and function of YKL40 in PCa. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that YKL40 was highly expressed in metastatic PCa cells when compared with less invasive and normal prostate epithelial cell lines. In addition, the expression was primarily limited to androgen receptor-positive cell lines. Evaluation of YKL40 tissue expression in PCa patients showed a progressive increase in patients with aggressive disease when compared with those with less aggressive cancers and normal controls. Treatment of LNCaP and C4-2B cells with androgens increased YKL40 expression, whereas treatment with an anti-androgen agent decreased the gene expression of YKL40 in androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells. Furthermore, knockdown of YKL40 significantly decreased invasion and migration of PCa cells, whereas overexpression rendered them more invasive and migratory, which was commensurate with an enhancement in the anchorage-independent growth of cells. To our knowledge, this study characterises the role of YKL40 for the first time in PCa. Together, these results suggest that YKL40 plays an important role in PCa progression and thus inhibition of YKL40 may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of PCa.

Open access

Tiantian Liu, Taylor C Brown, C Christofer Juhlin, Adam Andreasson, Na Wang, Martin Bäckdahl, James M Healy, Manju L Prasad, Reju Korah, Tobias Carling, Dawei Xu, and Catharina Larsson

The telomerase reverse transcriptase gene (TERT) encodes the reverse transcriptase component of the telomerase complex, which is essential for telomere stabilization and cell immortalization. Recent studies have demonstrated a transcriptional activation role for the TERT promoter mutations C228T and C250T in many human cancers, as well as a role in aggressive disease with potential clinical applications. Although telomerase activation is known in adrenal tumors, the underlying mechanisms are not established. We assessed C228T and C250T TERT mutations by direct Sanger sequencing in tumors of the adrenal gland, and further evaluated potential associations with clinical parameters and telomerase activation. A total of 199 tumors were evaluated, including 34 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC), 47 adrenocortical adenomas (ACA), 105 pheochromocytomas (PCC; ten malignant and 95 benign), and 13 abdominal paragangliomas (PGL; nine malignant and four benign). TERT expression levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. The C228T mutation was detected in 4/34 ACCs (12%), but not in any ACA (P=0.028). C228T was also observed in one benign PCC and in one metastatic PGL. The C250T mutation was not observed in any case. In the ACC and PGL groups, TERT mutation-positive cases exhibited TERT expression, indicating telomerase activation; however, since expression was also revealed in TERT WT cases, this could denote additional mechanisms of TERT activation. To conclude, the TERT promoter mutation C228T is a recurrent event associated with TERT expression in ACCs, but rarely occurs in PGL and PCC. The involvement of the TERT gene in ACC represents a novel mutated gene in this entity.

Open access

Lindsay G Carter, John A D'Orazio, and Kevin J Pearson

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenol that provides a number of anti-aging health benefits including improved metabolism, cardioprotection, and cancer prevention. Much of the work on resveratrol and cancer comes from in vitro studies looking at resveratrol actions on cancer cells and pathways. There are, however, comparatively fewer studies that have investigated resveratrol treatment and cancer outcomes in vivo, perhaps limited by its poor bioavailability when taken orally. Although research in cell culture has shown promising and positive effects of resveratrol, evidence from rodents and humans is inconsistent. This review highlights the in vivo effects of resveratrol treatment on breast, colorectal, liver, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. Resveratrol supplementation in animal models of cancer has shown positive, neutral as well as negative outcomes depending on resveratrol route of administration, dose, tumor model, species, and other factors. Within a specific cancer type, there is variability between studies with respect to strain, age, and sex of animal used, timing and method of resveratrol supplementation, and dose of resveratrol used to study cancer endpoints. Together, the data suggest that many factors need to be considered before resveratrol can be used for human cancer prevention or therapy.

Open access

Haojun Luo, Guanglun Yang, Tenghua Yu, Shujuan Luo, Chengyi Wu, Yan Sun, Manran Liu, and Gang Tu

Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are crucial co-mediators of breast cancer progression. Estrogen is the predominant driving force in the cyclic regulation of the mammary extracellular matrix, thus potentially affecting the tumor-associated stroma. Recently, a third estrogen receptor, estrogen (G-protein-coupled) receptor (GPER), has been reported to be expressed in breast CAFs. In this study, GPER was detected by immunohistochemical analysis in stromal fibroblasts of 41.8% (59/141) of the primary breast cancer samples. GPER expression in CAFs isolated from primary breast cancer tissues was confirmed by immunostaining and RT-PCR analyses. Tamoxifen (TAM) in addition to 17β-estradiol (E2) and the GPER agonist G1 activated GPER, resulting in transient increases in cell index, intracellular calcium, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, TAM, E2, and G1 promoted CAF proliferation and cell-cycle progression, both of which were blocked by GPER interference, the selective GPER antagonist G15, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor AG1478, and the ERK1/2 inhibitor U0126. Importantly, TAM as well as G1 increased E2 production in breast CAFs via GPER/EGFR/ERK signaling when the substrate of E2, testosterone, was added to the medium. GPER-induced aromatase upregulation was probably responsible for this phenomenon, as TAM- and G1-induced CYP19A1 gene expression was reduced by GPER knockdown and G15, AG1478, and U0126 administration. Accordingly, GPER-mediated CAF-dependent estrogenic effects on the tumor-associated stroma are conceivable, and CAF is likely to contribute to breast cancer progression, especially TAM resistance, via a positive feedback loop involving GPER/EGFR/ERK signaling and E2 production.

Open access

Zongjing Zhang, Dingxie Liu, Avaniyapuram Kannan Murugan, Zhimin Liu, and Mingzhao Xing

The BRAF V600E mutation causes impaired expression of sodium iodide symporter (NIS) and radioiodine refractoriness of thyroid cancer, but the underlying mechanism remains undefined. In this study, we hypothesized that histone deacetylation at the NIS (SLC5A5) promoter was the mechanism. Using the chromatin immunoprecipitation approach, we examined histone acetylation status on the lysine residues H3K9/14, H3K18, total H4, and H4K16 at the NIS promoter under the influence of BRAF V600E. We found that expression of stably or transiently transfected BRAF V600E inhibited NIS expression while the deacetylase inhibitor SAHA stimulated NIS expression in PCCL3 rat thyroid cells. Although BRAF V600E enhanced global histone acetylation, it caused histone deacetylation at the NIS promoter while SAHA caused acetylation in the cells. In human thyroid cancer BCPAP cells harboring homozygous BRAF V600E mutation, BRAF V600E inhibitor, PLX4032, and MEK inhibitor, AZD6244, increased histone acetylation of the NIS promoter, suggesting that BRAF V600E normally maintained histone in a deacetylated state at the NIS promoter. The regions most commonly affected with deacetylation by BRAF V600E were the transcriptionally active areas upstream of the translation start that contained important transcription factor binding sites, including nucleotides −297/−107 in the rat NIS promoter and −692/−370 in the human NIS promoter. Our findings not only reveal an epigenetic mechanism for BRAF V600E-promoted NIS silencing involving histone deacetylation at critical regulatory regions of the NIS promoter but also provide further support for our previously proposed combination therapy targeting major signaling pathways and histone deacetylase to restore thyroid gene expression for radioiodine treatment of thyroid cancer.

Open access

Gina Chia-Yi Chu, Haiyen E Zhau, Ruoxiang Wang, André Rogatko, Xu Feng, Majd Zayzafoon, Youhua Liu, Mary C Farach-Carson, Sungyong You, Jayoung Kim, Michael R Freeman, and Leland W K Chung

Prostate cancer (PCa) metastasis to bone is lethal and there is no adequate animal model for studying the mechanisms underlying the metastatic process. Here, we report that receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) expressed by PCa cells consistently induced colonization or metastasis to bone in animal models. RANK-mediated signaling established a premetastatic niche through a feed-forward loop, involving the induction of RANKL and c-Met, but repression of androgen receptor (AR) expression and AR signaling pathways. Site-directed mutagenesis and transcription factor (TF) deletion/interference assays identified common TF complexes, c-Myc/Max, and AP4 as critical regulatory nodes. RANKL–RANK signaling activated a number of master regulator TFs that control the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (Twist1, Slug, Zeb1, and Zeb2), stem cell properties (Sox2, Myc, Oct3/4, and Nanog), neuroendocrine differentiation (Sox9, HIF1α, and FoxA2), and osteomimicry (c-Myc/Max, Sox2, Sox9, HIF1α, and Runx2). Abrogating RANK or its downstream c-Myc/Max or c-Met signaling network minimized or abolished skeletal metastasis in mice. RANKL-expressing LNCaP cells recruited and induced neighboring non metastatic LNCaP cells to express RANKL, c-Met/activated c-Met, while downregulating AR expression. These initially non-metastatic cells, once retrieved from the tumors, acquired the potential to colonize and grow in bone. These findings identify a novel mechanism of tumor growth in bone that involves tumor cell reprogramming via RANK–RANKL signaling, as well as a form of signal amplification that mediates recruitment and stable transformation of non-metastatic bystander dormant cells.

Open access

Julia Hoefer, Johann Kern, Philipp Ofer, Iris E Eder, Georg Schäfer, Dimo Dietrich, Glen Kristiansen, Stephan Geley, Johannes Rainer, Eberhard Gunsilius, Helmut Klocker, Zoran Culig, and Martin Puhr

Deregulation of cytokine and growth factor signaling due to an altered expression of endogenous regulators is well recognized in prostate cancer (PCa) and other cancers. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2) is a key regulator of the GH, IGF, and prolactin signaling pathways that have been implicated in carcinogenesis. In this study, we evaluated the expression patterns and functional significance of SOCS2 in PCa. Protein expression analysis employing tissue microarrays from two independent patient cohorts revealed a significantly enhanced expression in tumor tissue compared with benign tissue as well as association with Gleason score and disease progression. In vitro and in vivo assays uncovered the involvement of SOCS2 in the regulation of cell growth and apoptosis. Functionally, SOCS2 knockdown inhibited PCa cell proliferation and xenograft growth in a CAM assay. Decreased cell growth after SOCS2 downregulation was associated with cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. In addition, we proved that SOCS2 expression is significantly elevated upon androgenic stimulation in androgen receptor (AR)-positive cell lines, providing a possible mechanistic explanation for high SOCS2 levels in PCa tissue. Consequently, SOCS2 expression correlated with AR expression in the malignant tissue of patients. On the whole, our study linked increased SOCS2 expression in PCa with a pro-proliferative role in vitro and in vivo.

Open access

Catherine T Choy, Haseong Kim, Ji-Young Lee, David M Williams, David Palethorpe, Greg Fellows, Alan J Wright, Ken Laing, Leslie R Bridges, Franklyn A Howe, and Soo-Hyun Kim

Anosmin-1, encoded by the KAL1 gene, is an extracellular matrix (ECM)-associated protein which plays essential roles in the establishment of olfactory and GNRH neurons during early brain development. Loss-of-function mutations of KAL1 results in Kallmann syndrome with delayed puberty and anosmia. There is, however, little comprehension of its role in the developed brain. As reactivation of developmental signal pathways often takes part in tumorigenesis, we investigated if anosmin-1-mediated cellular mechanisms associated with brain tumors. Our meta-analysis of gene expression profiles of patients' samples and public microarray datasets indicated that KAL1 mRNA was significantly upregulated in high-grade primary brain tumors compared with the normal brain and low-grade tumors. The tumor-promoting capacity of anosmin-1 was demonstrated in the glioblastoma cell lines, where anosmin-1 enhanced cell motility and proliferation. Notably, anosmin-1 formed a part of active β1 integrin complex, inducing downstream signaling pathways. ShRNA-mediated knockdown of anosmin-1 attenuated motility and growth of tumor cells and induced apoptosis. Anosmin-1 may also enhance the invasion of tumor cells within the ECM by modulating cell adhesion and activating extracellular proteases. In a mouse xenograft model, anosmin-1-expressing tumors grew faster, indicating the role of anosmin-1 in tumor microenvironment in vivo. Combined, these data suggest that anosmin-1 can facilitate tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and survival. Therefore, although the normal function of anosmin-1 is required in the proper development of GNRH neurons, overexpression of anosmin-1 in the developed brain may be an underlying mechanism for some brain tumors.

Open access

Toyoshi Endo and Tetsuro Kobayashi

A variant located on 14q13.3 nearest to thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF1) predisposes individuals to thyroid cancer, but whether this variant is related to the RET/PTC rearrangement associated with human papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs) is unknown. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of RET/PTC1 on the expression of thyroid-specific genes in thyrocytes and their relationship with malignant transformation of the thyrocytes. In the absence or presence of TSH, an extracellular signal-regulated kinase was phosphorylated in FRTL5 cells that stably expressed RET/PTC1, and these cells grew independently of TSH. FRTL (RET/PTC1) cells produced 566% more thyroglobulin mRNA and 474% more Na+/I− symporter mRNA than did the control FRTL (pcDNA) cells. FRTL (RET/PTC1) cells expressed 468% more Ttf1 mRNA than did FRTL (pcDNA) cells, but these two cell types did not differ significantly with respect to Pax8 or Ttf2 mRNA levels. When FRTL (RET/PTC1) cells and FRTL (pcDNA), cells were injected into each of nine nude mice, each mouse developed a single tumor at the site of FRTL (RET/PTC1) cell injection; in contrast, tumor formation never occurred at sites of FRTL (cDNA) cells injection. Tumors resulting from FRTL (RET/PTC1) cells retained 125I-uptake activity; moreover, the cells invaded into surrounding skeletal muscle. When overexpression of Ttf1 in FRTL (RET/PTC1) cells was silenced, the cells completely lost their tumorigenic potential. Exogenous TTF1 cDNA enhanced the tumorigenicity of BHP18-21v cells, human PTC cells that express RET/PTC1, in nude mice. These results indicated that concurrent overexpression of RET/PTC1 and TTF1 confers tumorigenicity to FRTL5 and BHP18-21v cells in nude mice.