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Juliang Zhang, Huimin Meng, Mingkun Zhang, Cun Zhang, Meiling Huang, Changjiao Yan, Zhe Wang, Lan Hou, Liu Yang, and Rui Ling

Docetaxel (DTX)-based chemotherapy significantly eliminates rest cancerous cells and decreases the risk of death, thus remaining the mainstay of treatment for operable breast cancer (BCa). However, resistance or incomplete response to DTX occurs frequently, resulting in disease recurrence and poor prognosis. There is an urgent need to identify and understand the key factors and corresponding molecular bases driving this complicated pathogenesis. Herein, both data mining and profiling analysis using clinical BCa biopsies showed that expression levels of the nuclear receptor subfamily 2, group F, member 6 (NR2F6), a recently characterized central transcription factor for cancer immune surveillance, were significantly downregulated in DTX-resistant BCa. This downregulation, possibly regulated by leptin signaling, predicted a poor postoperative chemotherapy survival in DTX-resistant BCa. In both genetically engineered cell models and patient-derived xenograft models, we provided evidence that BCa cells with insufficient NR2F6 expression were less responsive to DTX treatment. Mechanistically, NR2F6 functioned as a potent corepressor of platelet-derived growth factor B receptor gene (PDGFRB) transcription by recruiting HDAC2 onto the PDGFRB promoter. Stable PDGFRB inhibition ameliorated NR2F6 deficiency-impaired response to DTX in BCa cells, indicating that NR2F6’s effect on DTX response is mediated, at least in part, through transcriptional repression of PDGFRB. Collectively, our findings define NR2F6 as an negative regulator of cell survival and DTX resistance, probably by serving as a convergent point linking leptin signaling and PDGF-B/PDGFRβ axis, in BCa cells.

Free access

Yu-Ling Tai, Chun-Jung Lin, Tsai-Kun Li, Tang-Long Shen, Jer-Tsong Hsieh, and Benjamin P C Chen

In mammalian cells, extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from the endosomal system carry many different kinds of bioactive molecule to deliver to recipient cells in a paracrine or endocrine manner. EVs can mediate local and systemic intercellular communications, including reeducating stromal cells, remodeling the architecture of the tumor microenvironment, modulating cancer metabolism and metastases, or even conferring drug resistance. Because the molecular and functional characteristics of prostate cancer (PCa) evolve over time, the bioactive molecule profiles/signatures of tumor-derived EVs (TDEs) reflect the real-time status of cancer cells. TDEs appear to be valuable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as potential therapeutic vehicles, suggesting their essential role in precision medicine of disease management. We summarized critical aspects of TDEs in PCa and discussed their potential clinical applications.

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Isadora Pontes Cavalcante, Anna Vaczlavik, Ludivine Drougat, Claudimara Ferini Pacicco Lotfi, Karine Perlemoine, Christopher Ribes, Marthe Rizk-Rabin, Eric Clauser, Maria Candida Barisson Villares Fragoso, Jérôme Bertherat, and Bruno Ragazzon

ARMC5 (Armadillo repeat containing 5 gene) was identified as a new tumor suppressor gene responsible for hereditary adrenocortical tumors and meningiomas. ARMC5 is ubiquitously expressed and encodes a protein which contains a N-terminal Armadillo repeat domain and a C-terminal BTB (Bric-a-Brac, Tramtrack and Broad-complex) domain, both docking platforms for numerous proteins. At present, expression regulation and mechanisms of action of ARMC5 are almost unknown. In this study, we showed that ARMC5 interacts with CUL3 requiring its BTB domain. This interaction leads to ARMC5 ubiquitination and further degradation by the proteasome. ARMC5 alters cell cycle (G1/S phases and cyclin E accumulation) and this effect is blocked by CUL3. Moreover, missense mutants in the BTB domain of ARMC5, identified in patients with multiple adrenocortical tumors, are neither able to interact and be degraded by CUL3/proteasome nor alter cell cycle. These data show a new mechanism of regulation of the ARMC5 protein and open new perspectives in the understanding of its tumor suppressor activity.

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Hiroki Ide, Taichi Mizushima, Guiyang Jiang, Takuro Goto, Yujiro Nagata, Yuki Teramoto, Satoshi Inoue, Yi Li, Eiji Kashiwagi, Alexander S Baras, George J Netto, Takashi Kawahara, and Hiroshi Miyamoto

Androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor-β (ERβ) have been implicated in urothelial tumor outgrowth as promoters, while underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Our transcription factor profiling previously performed identified FOXO1 as a potential downstream target of AR in bladder cancer cells. We here investigated the functional role of FOXO1 in the development and progression of urothelial cancer in relation to AR and ERβ signals. In non-neoplastic urothelial SVHUC cells or bladder cancer lines, AR/ERβ expression or dihydrotestosterone/estradiol treatment reduced the expression levels of FOXO1 gene and induced those of a phosphorylated inactive form of FOXO1 (p-FOXO1). In chemical carcinogen-induced models, FOXO1 knockdown via shRNA or inhibitor treatment resulted in considerable induction of the neoplastic transformation of urothelial cells or bladder cancer development in mice. Similarly, FOXO1 inhibition considerably induced the viability, migration, and invasion of bladder cancer cells. Importantly, in FOXO1 knockdown sublines, an anti-androgen hydroxyflutamide or an anti-estrogen tamoxifen did not significantly inhibit the neoplastic transformation of urothelial cells, while dihydrotestosterone or estradiol did not significantly promote the proliferation or migration of urothelial cancer cells. In addition, immunohistochemistry in surgical specimens showed that FOXO1 and p-FOXO1 expression was down-regulated and up-regulated, respectively, in bladder tumor tissues, which was further associated with worse patient outcomes. AR or ERβ activation is thus found to correlate with inactivation of FOXO1 which appears to be their key downstream effector. Moreover, FOXO1, as a tumor suppressor, is likely inactivated in bladder cancer, which contributes in turn to inducing urothelial carcinogenesis and cancer growth.

Open access

Emanuel Christ, Kwadwo Antwi, Melpomeni Fani, and Damian Wild

Receptors for the incretin glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1R) have been found overexpressed in selected types of human tumors and may, therefore, play an increasingly important role in endocrine gastrointestinal tumor management. In particular, virtually all benign insulinomas express GLP-1R in high density. Targeting GLP-1R with indium-111, technetium-99m or gallium-68-labeled exendin-4 offers a new approach that permits the successful localization of small benign insulinomas. It is likely that this new non-invasive technique has the potential to replace the invasive localization of insulinomas by selective arterial stimulation and venous sampling. In contrast to benign insulinomas, malignant insulin-secreting neuroendocrine tumors express GLP-1R in only one-third of the cases, while they more often express the somatostatin subtype 2 receptors. Importantly, one of the two receptors appears to be always overexpressed. In special cases of endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (EHH), that is, in the context of MEN-1 or adult nesidioblastosis GLP-1R imaging is useful whereas in postprandial hypoglycemia in the context of bariatric surgery, GLP-1R imaging is probably not helpful. This review focuses on the potential use of GLP-1R imaging in the differential diagnosis of EHH.

Free access

Manisha Taya, Maria de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Briaunna Minor, Erin Gibbons, and Stephen R Hammes

Chronic inflammation promotes progression of many cancers, with circulating myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) levels correlating with poor prognosis. Here we examine effects of MDSCs on lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a rare disease occurring almost exclusively in women whereby estrogen-sensitive metastatic TSC2-null tumors grow throughout the lungs, markedly reducing pulmonary function. The LAM cell origin remains unknown; however, previous work demonstrated that Tsc2 inactivation in the mouse uterus induced estrogen-dependent myometrial tumors with nearly all features of LAM. Half of these animals developed metastatic myometrial tumors in the lungs, suggesting that LAM cells might originate from the myometrium, possibly explaining its overwhelming female prevalence and estrogen-sensitivity. Here we report that MDSC levels, and in particular granulocytic myeloid cell levels, are elevated in the periphery and in tumors of uterine-specific Tsc2-null mice. Importantly, MDSC depletion or inhibition of their recruitment impairs myometrial tumor growth. RNA and protein analysis of Tsc2-null myometrial tumors and xenografts demonstrate high expression and activity of the serine protease neutrophil elastase (NE), with selective qPCR studies indicating a stromal origin of the NE. Notably, treatment with sivelestat, a known NE inhibitor already approved for human use in some countries, reduces tumor growth similar to MDSC depletion. Furthermore, NE promotes Tsc2-null tumor cell growth, migration, and invasion in vitro. Finally, NE-expressing myeloid cells are present throughout the lungs of LAM patients but not controls. These data suggest that NE derived from granulocytic myeloid cells might directly promote LAM tumor cell progression and could be a novel therapeutic target for LAM.

Free access

Xinyue Wang, Xiwen Bi, Zhangzan Huang, Jiajia Huang, Wen Xia, Wei Shi, and Zhongyu Yuan

The significance of androgen receptor (AR) in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains unclear, and it is still largely unknown how AR expression level influences HER2-positive tumors. This study aimed to investigate the prognostic and predictive value of AR in HER2-enriched MBC. Primary and/or paired metastatic tumors of 304 patients with pathologically confirmed HER2-enriched MBC were collected and immunohistochemically assessed for AR expression. The associations of AR and other clinicopathological characteristics were compared using the Chi-square test. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test. Cox regression analysis was used to determine independent prognostic factors. AR-positivity with a cut-off value of 10% was observed in 237 (78.0%) cases and was associated with longer PFS, 13.2 months, as compared to that of 8.2 months (P = 0.004) in patients with AR-negativity. Moreover, a significant increase in the 5-year OS rate (65.3% vs 36.2%, P < 0.001) was also observed for patients with AR-positive tumors. Cox regression analysis identified AR-positivity as an independent prognostic factor of both PFS (hazard ratio = 0.71, P = 0.039) and OS (HR = 0.53, P = 0.013). Additionally, for those who received first-line Trastuzumab therapies, prolonged PFS (15.8 months vs 8.2 months, P = 0.005) and 5-year OS rate (66.2% vs 26.2%, P = 0.009) were observed in AR-positive tumors compared to AR-negative ones. In conclusion, AR was identified as an independent prognostic factor for favorable PFS and OS and could also predict the efficacy of first-line Trastuzumab treatment in patients with HER2-enriched MBC.

Free access

Woo Kyung Lee, Won Gu Kim, Laura Fozzatti, Sunmi Park, Li Zhao, Mark C Willingham, David Lonard, Bert W O’Malley, and Sheue-yann Cheng

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is an aggressive malignancy without effective therapeutic options to improve survival. Steroid receptor coactivator-3 (SRC-3) is a transcriptional coactivator whose amplification and/or overexpression has been identified in many cancers. In this study, we explored the expression of SRC-3 in ATCs and the effects of a new class of SRC-3 inhibitor-2 (SI-2) in human ATC cells (THJ-11T and THJ-16T cells) and mouse xenograft models to assess therapeutic potential of SI-2 for the treatment of ATC. SRC-3 protein abundance was significantly higher in human ATC tissue samples and ATC cells than in differentiated thyroid carcinomas or normal controls. SI-2 treatment effectively reduced the SRC-3 expression in both ATC cells and ATC xenograft tumors induced by these cells. Cancer cell survival in ATC cells and tumor growth in xenograft tumors were significantly reduced by SI-2 treatment through induction of cancer cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. SI-2 also reduced cancer stem-like cells as shown by an inhibition of tumorsphere formation, ALDH activity, and expression of stem cell markers in ATC. These findings indicate that SRC-3 is a potential therapeutic target for treatment of ATC patients and that SI-2 is a potent and promising candidate for a new therapeutic agent.

Free access

Thi-Van-Trinh Tran, Cari M Kitahara, Florent de Vathaire, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, and Neige Journy

In this study, we aimed to evaluate site-specific cancer risks associated with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. We performed a systematic review of observational studies reporting associations between hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism and subsequent site-specific cancer incidence, in MEDLINE and the COCHRANE library (inception-28/01/2019) (PROSPERO: CRD42019125094). We excluded studies with thyroid dysfunction evaluated as a cancer biomarker or after prior cancer diagnosis and those considering transient thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy or severe illnesses. Risk of bias was assessed using a modified Newcastle–Ottawa scale. Risk estimates were pooled using random-effects models when ≥5 studies reported data for a specific cancer site. Twenty studies were included, of which 15 contributed to the meta-analysis. Compared to euthyroidism, hyperthyroidism was associated with higher risks of thyroid (pooled risk ratio: 4.49, 95%CI: 2.84–7.12), breast (pooled risk ratio: 1.20, 95%CI: 1.04–1.38), and prostate (pooled risk ratio: 1.35, 95%CI: 1.05–1.74), but not respiratory tract (pooled risk ratio: 1.06, 95%CI: 0.80–1.42) cancers. Hypothyroidism was associated with a higher risk of thyroid cancer within the first 10 years of follow-up only (pooled risk ratio: 3.31, 95%CI: 1.20–9.13). There was no or limited evidence of thyroid dysfunction-related risks of other cancer sites. In conclusion, thyroid dysfunction was associated with increased risks of thyroid, breast, and prostate cancers. However, it remains unclear whether these findings represent causal relationships because information on treatments and potential confounders was frequently lacking.

Open access

K E Lines, P Filippakopoulos, M Stevenson, S Müller, H E Lockstone, B Wright, S Knapp, D Buck, C Bountra, and R V Thakker

Medical treatments for corticotrophinomas are limited, and we therefore investigated the effects of epigenetic modulators, a new class of anti-tumour drugs, on the murine adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting corticotrophinoma cell line AtT20. We found that AtT20 cells express members of the bromo and extra-terminal (BET) protein family, which bind acetylated histones, and therefore, studied the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of two BET inhibitors, referred to as (+)-JQ1 (JQ1) and PFI-1, using CellTiter Blue and Caspase Glo assays, respectively. JQ1 and PFI-1 significantly decreased proliferation by 95% (P < 0.0005) and 43% (P < 0.0005), respectively, but only JQ1 significantly increased apoptosis by >50-fold (P < 0.0005), when compared to untreated control cells. The anti-proliferative effects of JQ1 and PFI-1 remained for 96 h after removal of the respective compound. JQ1, but not PFI-1, affected the cell cycle, as assessed by propidium iodide staining and flow cytometry, and resulted in a higher number of AtT20 cells in the sub G1 phase. RNA-sequence analysis, which was confirmed by qRT-PCR and Western blot analyses, revealed that JQ1 treatment significantly altered expression of genes involved in apoptosis, such as NFκB, and the somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) anti-proliferative signalling pathway, including SSTR2. JQ1 treatment also significantly reduced transcription and protein expression of the ACTH precursor pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and ACTH secretion by AtT20 cells. Thus, JQ1 treatment has anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on AtT20 cells and reduces ACTH secretion, thereby indicating that BET inhibition may provide a novel approach for treatment of corticotrophinomas.