Androgen receptor (AR) signals have been implicated in bladder carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling has also been reported to correlate with bladder cancer progression and poor patients' outcomes. However, cross talk between AR and β-catenin pathways in bladder cancer remains uncharacterized. In radical cystectomy specimens, we immunohistochemically confirmed aberrant expression of β-catenin especially in aggressive tumors. There was a strong association between nuclear expressions of AR and β-catenin in bladder tumors (P=0.0215). Kaplan–Meier and log-rank tests further revealed that reduced membranous β-catenin expression (P=0.0276), nuclear β-catenin expression (P=0.0802), and co-expression of nuclear AR and β-catenin (P=0.0043) correlated with tumor progression after cystectomy. We then assessed the effects of androgen on β-catenin in AR-positive and AR-negative bladder cancer cell lines. A synthetic androgen R1881 increased the expression of an active form of β-catenin and its downstream target c-myc only in AR-positive lines. R1881 also enhanced the activity of β-catenin-mediated transcription, which was abolished by an AR antagonist hydroxyflutamide. Using western blotting and immunofluorescence, R1881 was found to induce nuclear translocation of β-catenin when co-localized with AR. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation revealed androgen-induced associations of AR with β-catenin or T-cell factor (TCF) in bladder cancer cells. Thus, it was likely that androgen was able to activate β-catenin signaling through the AR pathway in bladder cancer cells. Our results also suggest that activation of β-catenin signaling possibly via formation of AR/β-catenin/TCF complex contributes to the progression of bladder cancer, which may enhance the feasibility of androgen deprivation as a potential therapeutic approach.
Yi Li, Yichun Zheng, Koji Izumi, Hitoshi Ishiguro, Bo Ye, Faqian Li and Hiroshi Miyamoto
Peng Ning, Jia-guo Zhong, Fan Jiang, Yi Zhang, Jie Zhao, Feng Tian and Wei Li
Understanding how castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells survive the androgen-deprivation condition is crucial for treatment of this advanced prostate cancer (PCa). Here, we reported for the first time the up-regulation of protein S (PROS), an anticoagulant plasma glycoprotein with multiple biological functions, in androgen-insensitive PCa cells and in experimentally induced castration-resistant PCa cells. Overexpression of exogenous PROS in LNCaP cells reduced androgen deprivation-induced apoptosis and enhanced anchorage-dependent clonogenic ability under androgen deprivation condition. Reciprocally, PROS1 knockdown inhibited cell invasiveness and migration, caused the growth inhibition of castration-resistant tumor xenograft under androgen-depleted conditions, and potentiated Taxol (a widely prescribed anti-neoplastic agent)-mediated cell death in PC3 cells. Furthermore, PROS overexpression significantly stimulated AKT activation but failed to evoke oxidative stress in LNCaP cells under normal condition, suggesting that the malignance-promoting effects of the above-mentioned pathway may occur in the order of oxidative stress/PROS/AKT. The potential mechanism may be due to control of oxidative stress-elicited activation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway. Taken together, our gain-of-function, loss-of-function analyses suggest that PROS may facilitate cell proliferation and promote castration resistance in human castration-resistant PCa-like cells via its apoptosis-regulating property. Future study emphasizing on delineating how PROS regulate cellular processes controlling transformation during the development of castration resistance should open new doors for the development of novel therapeutic targets for CRPC.
Fei Han, Wen-bin Liu, Jian-jun Li, Ming-qian Zhang, Jun-tang Yang, Xi Zhang, Xiang-lin Hao, Li Yin, Cheng-yi Mao, Xiao Jiang, Jia Cao and Jin-yi Liu
New potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer should be identified. The amplification in chromosomal region 5q31–5q35.3 exhibits the strongest correlation with overall survival (OS) of ovarian cancer. SOX30 coincidentally located at this chromosomal region has been determined as a new important tumor suppressor. However, the prognostic value, role and mechanism of SOX30 in ovarian cancer are unexplored. Here, we reveal that SOX30 is frequently overexpressed in ovarian cancer tissues and is associated with clinical stage and metastasis of ovarian cancer patients. High SOX30 expression predicts better OS and acts as an independent prognostic factor in advanced-stage patients, but is not associated with OS in early-stage patients. Based on the survival analyses, the advanced-stage patients with high SOX30 expression can receive platin- and/or taxol-based chemotherapy, whereas they should not receive chemotherapy containing gemcitabine or topotecan. Functionally, SOX30 strongly inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion in intro and suppresses tumor metastasis in vivo. SOX30 regulates some markers (E-CADHERIN, FIBRONECTIN, N-CADHERIN and VIMENTIN) and prevents the characteristics of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). SOX30 transcriptionally regulates the expression of E-CADHERIN, FIBRONECTIN and N-CADHERIN by binding to their promoters. Restoration of E-CADHERIN and/or N-CADHERIN when overexpressing SOX30 significantly reduces the anti-metastatic role of SOX30. Indeed, chemotherapy treatment containing platin or gemcitabine combined with SOX30 expression influences tumor cell metastasis and the survival of nude mice differently, which is closely associated with EMT. In conclusion, SOX30 antagonizes tumor metastasis by preventing EMT process that can be used to predict survival and incorporated into chemotherapeutics of advanced-stage ovarian cancer patients.
Wu Guojun, Guo Wei, Ouyan Kedong, He Yi, Xie Yanfei, Chen Qingmei, Zhang Yankai, Wu Jie, Fan Hao, Li Taiming, Liu Jingjing and Cao Rongyue
Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), a bombesin-like peptide, is an autocrine growth factor that can stimulate the growth of various cancer cells. We developed a novel protein vaccine HSP65-(GRP-10)6 (HG6) that consists of six copies of a 10-amino acid residue epitope of GRP C-terminal fragment carried by mycobacterial 65 kDa HSP65 and then immunized mice via subcutaneous injection. Strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses were induced. High titer of anti-GRP antibodies was detected in immunized mice sera by ELISA and verified by Western blot analysis. Activity of CD4+T lymphocytes, especially high levels of interferon (INF)-γ, were developed in mice immunized with HG6 when compared with HSP65 or PBS. We found that immunogene tumor therapy with a vaccine based on GRP was effective at both protective and therapeutic antitumor immunity in breast tumor models in mice. The purified GRP monoclonal antibody (McAb) was proved to be potential in inhibiting EMT-6 tumor cell proliferation in vitro. The attenuation induced by active immune responses on tumor-induced angiogenesis was observed with an intradermal tumor model in mice. Taken together, we demonstrate for the first time that immune responses that are elicited by a novel chimeric protein vaccine targeting GRP can suppress the proliferation of breast tumor cell EMT-6 in mice, and it may be of importance in the further exploration of the applications of other autocrine growth factor identified in human and other animal in cancer therapy.
Xi Wei, Shang Cai, Rebecca J Boohaker, Joshua Fried, Ying Li, Linfei Hu, Yi Pan, Ruifen Cheng, Sheng Zhang, Ye Tian, Ming Gao and Bo Xu
Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is an aggressive cancer with poor clinical prognosis. However, mechanisms driving ATC aggressiveness is not well known. Components of the DNA damage response (DDR) are frequently found mutated or aberrantly expressed in ATC. The goal of this study is to establish the functional link between histone acetyltransferase lysine (K) acetyltransferase 5 (KAT5, a critical DDR protein) and ATC invasiveness using clinical, in vitro and in vivo models. We analyzed the expression of KAT5 by immunohistochemistry and assessed its relationship with metastasis and overall survival in 82 ATC patients. Using cellular models, we established functional connection of KAT5 expression and C-MYC stabilization. We then studied the impact of genetically modified KAT5 expression on ATC metastasis in nude mice. In clinical samples, there is a strong correlation of KAT5 expression with ATC metastasis (P = 0.0009) and overall survival (P = 0.0017). At the cellular level, upregulation of KAT5 significantly promotes thyroid cancer cell proliferation and invasion. We also find that KAT5 enhances the C-MYC protein level by inhibiting ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Further evidence reveals that KAT5 acetylates and stabilizes C-MYC. Finally, we prove that altered KAT5 expression influences ATC lung metastases in vivo. KAT5 promotes ATC invasion and metastases through stabilization of C-MYC, demonstrating it as a new biomarker and therapeutic target for ATC.
Yi-Lin Chang, Yu-Kan Hsu, Tsung-Fan Wu, Chieh-Ming Huang, Li-Yin Liou, Ya-Wen Chiu, Yu-Hsuan Hsiao, Fuh-Jinn Luo and Ta-Chun Yuan
Estrogen receptor α (ERA) is a DNA-binding transcription factor that plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth. Previous studies indicated that the expression of ERα in cell lines and tumors derived from oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The aim of this study was to examine the activity and function of ERα in OSCC cells and the mechanism underlying ERα activation. Immunochemical analyses in benign (n=11) and malignant (n=21) lesions of the oral cavity showed that ERα immunoreactivity was observed in 43% (9/21) of malignant lesions, whereas none of benign lesions showed ERα immunoreactivity. The ERα expression was also found in three OSCC cell lines and its transcriptional activity was correlated with cell growth. Addition of estradiol stimulated cell growth, whereas treatment of tamoxifen or knockdown of ERα expression caused reduced cell growth. Interestingly, the expression and activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were associated with the phosphorylation of ERα at serine 118 in OSCC cells. Elevated expression of FAK in the slow-growing SCC25 cells caused increases in ERα phosphorylation, transcriptional activity, and cell growth rate, whereas knockdown of FAK expression in the rapid-growing OECM-1 cells led to reduced ERα phosphorylation and activity and retarded cell growth. Inhibition of the activity of protein kinase B (AKT), but not ERK, abolished FAK-promoted ERα phosphorylation. These results suggest that OSCC cells expressed functional ERα, whose activity can be enhanced by FAK/AKT signaling, and this was critical for promoting cell growth. Thus, FAK and ERα can serve as the therapeutic targets for the treatment of OSCC.
Han-Wei Lin, Ying-Cheng Chiang, Nai-Yun Sun, Yu-Li Chen, Chi-Fang Chang, Yi-Jou Tai, Chi-An Chen and Wen-Fang Cheng
The role of chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1) in ovarian cancer and the possible mechanisms were elucidated. CHI3L1 is a secreted glycoprotein and associated with inflammation, fibrosis, asthma, extracellular tissue remodeling and solid tumors. Our previous study showed CHI3L1 could be a potential prognostic biomarker for epithelial ovarian cancer and could protect cancer cells from apoptosis. Therefore, clinical data and quantitation of CHI3L1 of ovarian cancer patients, tumor spheroid formation, side-population assays, Aldefluor and apoptotic assays, ELISA, RT-PCR, immunoblotting and animal experiments were performed in two ovarian cancer cells lines, OVCAR3 and CA5171, and their CHI3L1-overexpressing and -knockdown transfectants. High expression of CHI3L1 was associated with poor outcome and chemoresistance in ovarian cancer patients. The mRNA expression of CHI3L1 in CA5171 ovarian cancer stem-like cells was 3-fold higher than in CA5171 parental cells. CHI3L1 promoted the properties of ovarian cancer stem-like cells including generating more and larger tumor spheroids and a higher percentage of ALDH+ in tumor cells and promoting resistance to cytotoxic drug-induced apoptosis. CHI3L1 could induce both the Akt (essential) and Erk signaling pathways, and then enhance expression of β-catenin followed by SOX2, and finally promote tumor spheroid formation and other properties of ovarian cancer stem-like cells. OVCAR3 CHI3L1-overexpressing transfectants were more tumorigenic in vivo, whereas CA5171 CHI3L1-knockdown transfectants were not tumorigenic in vivo. CHI3L1 critically enhances the properties of ovarian cancer stem-like cells. CHI3L1 or CHI3L1-regulated signaling pathways and molecules could be potential therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer.
Fei Han, Wen-bin Liu, Jian-jun Li, Ming-qian Zhang, Jun-tang Yang, Xi Zhang, Xiang-lin Hao, Li Yin, Cheng-yi Mao, Xiao Jiang, Jia Cao and Jin-yi Liu
Yu-Tang Chin, Po-Li Wei, Yih Ho, André Wendindondé Nana, Chun A Changou, Yi-Ru Chen, Yu-Chen SH Yang, Meng-Ti Hsieh, Aleck Hercbergs, Paul J Davis, Ya-Jung Shih and Hung-Yun Lin
Thyroid hormone, l-thyroxine (T4), has been shown to promote ovarian cancer cell proliferation via a receptor on plasma membrane integrin αvβ3 and to induce the activation of ERK1/2 and expression of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) in cancer cells. In contrast, resveratrol binds to integrin αvβ3 at a discrete site and induces p53-dependent antiproliferation in malignant neoplastic cells. The mechanism of resveratrol action requires nuclear accumulation of inducible cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and its complexation with phosphorylated ERK1/2. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which T4 impairs resveratrol-induced antiproliferation in human ovarian cancer cells and found that T4 inhibited resveratrol-induced nuclear accumulation of COX-2. Furthermore, T4 increased expression and cytoplasmic accumulation of PD-L1, which in turn acted to retain inducible COX-2 in the cytoplasm. Knockdown of PD-L1 by small hairpin RNA (shRNA) relieved the inhibitory effect of T4 on resveratrol-induced nuclear accumulation of COX-2- and COX-2/p53-dependent gene expression. Thus, T4 inhibits COX-2-dependent apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells by retaining inducible COX-2 with PD-L1 in the cytoplasm. These findings provide new insights into the antagonizing effect of T4 on resveratrol’s anticancer properties.
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.