The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Gastric carcinogenesis is a multistep process orchestrated by aberrancies in the genetic and epigenetic regulation of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori is the strongest known risk factor for the development of gastric cancer. H. pylori expresses a spectrum of virulence factors that dysregulate host intracellular signaling pathways that lower the threshold for neoplastic transformation. In addition to bacterial determinants, numerous host and environmental factors increase the risk of gastric carcinogenesis. Recent discoveries have shed new light on the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in gastric carcinogenesis. miRNAs represent an abundant class of small, non-coding RNAs involved in global post-transcriptional regulation and, consequently, play an integral role at multiple steps in carcinogenesis, including cell cycle progression, proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis. Expression levels of miRNAs are frequently altered in malignancies, where they function as either oncogenic miRNAs or tumor suppressor miRNAs. This review focuses on miRNAs dysregulated by H. pylori and potential etiologic roles they play in H. pylori-mediated gastric carcinogenesis.
Asbestos and related fibers are associated with a number of adverse health effects, including malignant mesothelioma (MM), an aggressive cancer that generally develops in the surface serosal cells of the pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal cavities. Although approximately 80% of individuals with MM are exposed to asbestos, fewer than 5% of asbestos workers develop MM. In addition to asbestos, other mineralogical, environmental, genetic, and possibly viral factors might contribute to MM susceptibility. Given this complex etiology of MM, understanding susceptibility to MM needs to be a priority for investigators in order to reduce exposure of those most at risk to known environmental carcinogens. In this review, the current body of literature related to fiber-associated disease susceptibility including age, sex, nutrition, genetics, asbestos, and other mineral exposure is addressed with a focus on MM, and critical areas for further study are recommended.
LMO2 is a target of chromosomal translocations in T-cell tumors and was activated by retroviral vector insertions in T-cell tumors from X-SCID patients in gene therapy trials. To better understand the cooperating genetic events in LMO2-associated T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), we investigated the roles of Arf tumor suppressor loss and Notch activation in murine models of transplantation. Lmo2 overexpression enhanced the expansion of primitive DN2 thymocytes, eventually facilitating the stochastic induction of clonal CD4(+)/CD8(+) malignancies. Inactivation of the Arf tumor suppressor further increased the self-renewal capacity of the primitive, preleukemic thymocyte pool and accelerated the development of aggressive, Lmo2-induced T-cell lympholeukemias. Notch mutations were frequently detected in these Lmo2-induced tumors. The Arf promoter was not directly engaged by Lmo2 or mutant Notch, and use of a mouse model in which activation of a mutant Notch allele depends on previous engagement of the Arf promoter revealed that Notch activation could occur as a subsequent event in T-cell tumorigenesis. Therefore, Lmo2 cooperates with Arf loss to enhance self-renewal in primitive thymocytes. Notch mutation and Arf inactivation appear to independently cooperate in no requisite order with Lmo2 overexpression in inducing T-ALL, and all 3 events remained insufficient to guarantee immediate tumor development.
INTRODUCTION - It has been suggested that oxidative stress and mitochondrial DNA damage play important roles in breast cancer carcinogenesis. Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) is a major enzyme that is responsible for the detoxification of reactive oxygen species in the mitochondria. A T --> C substitution in the MnSOD gene results in a Val --> Ala change at the -9 position of the mitochondrial targeting sequence (Val-9Ala), which alters the protein secondary structure and thus affects transport of MnSOD into the mitochondria.
METHODS - We evaluated this genetic polymorphism in association with breast cancer risk using data from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study, a population-based case-control study conducted in urban Shanghai from 1996 to 1998. The MnSOD Val-9Ala polymorphism was examined in 1125 breast cancer cases and 1197 age-frequency-matched control individual.
RESULTS - Breast cancer risk was slightly elevated in women with Ala/Ala genotype (odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.7-2.3), particularly among premenopausal women (OR 1.8, 95% CI 0.9-3.7), as compared with those with Val/Val genotype. The increased risk with the Ala/Ala genotype was stronger among premenopausal women with a higher body mass index (OR 2.5, 95% CI 0.9-7.0) and more years of menstruation (OR 2.6, 95% CI 0.8-8.0). The risk among premenopausal women was further increased twofold to threefold among those with a low intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamin supplements, selenium, or antioxidant vitamins, including carotenes and vitamins A, C, and E. However, the frequency of the Ala allele was low (14%) in the study population, and most of the ORs provided above were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION - The present study provides some evidence that genetic polymorphism in the MnSOD gene may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese women with high levels of oxidative stress or low intake of antioxidants. Studies with a larger sample size are needed to confirm the findings.
The retinoblastoma (Rb) gene product is a prototypic tumor suppressor. Mice lacking the Rb gene are not viable and die in utero at approximately 13 days of gestation. In this study, we have rescued Rb-/- prostates by grafting pelvic organ rudiments from Rb-/- mouse embryos under the renal capsule of adult male nude mouse hosts. Grafts of embryonic pelvic organs developed into functional prostatic tissue. Some of the prostatic tissue generated was further used to construct chimeric prostatic tissue recombinants by combining wild-type rat urogenital mesenchyme (rUGM) with Rb-/- and Rb+/+ prostatic epithelium (PRE). The tissue recombinants were grown as subcapsular renal grafts and treated from the time of grafting with Silastic capsules containing 25 mg of testosterone plus 2.5 mg of estradiol. During 5-8 weeks of hormone treatment, rUGM+Rb+/+PRE tissue recombinants developed prostatic hyperplasia, whereas PRE in rUGM+Rb-/-PRE tissue recombinants developed hyperplasia, atypical hyperplasia, and carcinoma. During carcinogenesis in rUGM+Rb-/-PRE tissue recombinants, prostatic epithelial cells of the basal lineage disappeared, whereas the luminal cells underwent carcinogenesis. Epithelial E-cadherin almost totally disappeared. In all cases, epithelial PCNA labeling was elevated in tissue recombinants containing Rb-/- versus Rb+/+ epithelium. These epithelial changes were associated with almost total loss of smooth muscle cells in the stroma. In contrast, in untreated hosts rUGM+Rb+/+PRE tissue recombinants developed normally, and rUGM+Rb-/-PRE tissue recombinants developed mild epithelial hyperplasia. The results of this study demonstrate that Rb-/- prostatic tissue can be rescued from embryonic lethal mice and used to test its susceptibility to hormonal carcinogenesis. Deletion of the Rb gene predisposes prostatic epithelium to hyperplasia and increases proliferative activity Susceptibility to hormonal carcinogenesis in response to exogenous testosterone + estradiol is manifested in the progression from atypica hyperplasia to carcinoma. Thus, these findings demonstrate that the absence of the Rb tumor suppressor gene may predispose prostatic epithelial cells to carcinogenesis. Rescue of organs from Rb-/- embryos not only provides an opportunity to analyze the Rb gene pathway in the development and progression of prostate cancer but also provides an opportunity for specifically evaluating the role of the Rb pathway in development and carcinogenesis in other organs, such as the mammary gland and colon. Because rUGM greatly stimulates prostatic epithelial proliferation, the tissue recombinant model is a particularly useful tool for assessing the functional role of other genes in prostatic carcinogenesis through use of the appropriate transgenic or gene knockout mice.
Transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF alpha), a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor ligand family, has been implicated in the regeneration and transformation of liver. Our recent development of mice that are homozygous for a disrupted TGF alpha gene allowed us to assess the requirement for this growth factor in these complex processes. We report here that although a 70% hepatectomy produced a significant increase in hepatic TGF alpha protein levels in wild-type mice, liver regeneration nevertheless proceeded normally in the absence of the growth factor. The hepatocyte labeling indices determined for homozygous targeted and wild-type mice at 36 and 48 h after hepatectomy were comparable, and the total liver DNA to body weight ratios 8 d after hepatectomy were essentially identical for the two genotypes. These results indicate that TGF alpha, is not necessary for liver regeneration. To test its requirement in liver carcinogenesis, young mice were administered single doses of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) with or without subsequent chronic treatment with the promoting agent phenobarbital (PB). Both wild-type and homozygous mutant male mice treated with DEN or DEN plus PB developed multiple preneoplastic foci or tumors by 9 mo of age with relatively high incidence. However, while five of 88 tumors in wild-type mice attained a diameter greater than 5 mm and were classified as hepatocellular carcinomas, none of 132 tumors in livers of targeted mice reached this size. Furthermore, three of these large wild-type tumors expressed significantly elevated levels of TGF alpha protein compared with normal liver. These results indicate that TGF alpha is not required for early events in chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis but suggest that it could be important in the progression from small preneoplastic foci to large tumors.