Although several tumour types express both AT1 and AT2 angiotensin II receptors, and angiotensin II stimulates cell proliferation, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are not effective anti-cancer agents. Development of a biologically active monoclonal antibody (6313/G2) against the AT1 receptor prompted the testing of a recombinant short-chain variable fragment form (R6313/G2) against breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Cell lines MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 and T47D all expressed both receptor subtypes. In vitro, R6313/G2 suppressed cell proliferation in the presence of 100 nM angiotensin II, with IC50s of 30 nM, 153 nM and 2.8 μM for the three cell types respectively; in contrast, the AT1 receptor blocker losartan was effective only in T47D cells, at 25 μM. Studies on MCF-7 and T47D cells showed R6313/G2 also opposed the angiotensin II-induced inhibition of caspase-3/7 activity. In vivo, hollow fibres containing the cell lines were implanted in nu/nu balb-c mice at two sites, s.c. and i.p. Treatments of R6313/G2 at 2.5 nmol/kg and 25 nmol/kg twice per day for 7 days dose dependently reduced cell numbers for all three cell lines, but here MCF-7 cells responded most sensitively and MDA-MB-231 cells least. Although T47D cells were refractory at the s.c. site, growth was inhibited at the i.p. location, and otherwise results were similar at the two sites. In xenografts, MCF-7 cell tumours were dose dependently reduced by R6313/G2, and 13 and 27 nmol/kg R6313/G2 twice/day gave means of 74 and 76% tumour regression after 7 days. The data suggest that the anti-cancer action of R6313/G2 is considerably more effective than AT1 antagonists.
M A Redondo-Müller, M Stevanovic-Walker, S Barker, J R Puddefoot and G P Vinson
S Fritzsche, M Kenzelmann, M J Hoffmann, M Müller, R Engers, H-J Gröne and W A Schulz
Sprouty proteins encoded by the SPRY genes act as modulators and feedback inhibitors of signalling by epidermal growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). Overactivity of EGF and FGF signalling common in prostate cancer might therefore be exacerbated by Sprouty down-regulation. Indeed, down-regulation of SPRY1 and SPRY2 expression has been independently reported. We found both genes modestly down-regulated by microarray expression analysis of microdissected prostate cancers and by quantitative RT-PCR in macrodissected specimens compared with benign tissues. Importantly, the decreases paralleled each other and expression levels of both genes were significantly lower in cancers that recurred within the average follow-up period of 32 months. In contrast to a previous report, no hypermethylation was found to accompany down-regulation of SPRY2 in cancer tissues and cell lines. We additionally investigated the expression of an SPRY1 alternative transcript presumed to be specific for fetal tissues and found its expression moderately well correlated with expression of the standard transcript through diverse tissues and cell lines. The present study confirms and extends previous reports by demonstrating concomitant down-regulation and a significant association with recurrence of SPRY genes.
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.