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Solute carrier family 7 member 2 (SLC7A2, also known as CAT2) is an inducible transporter of the semi-essential amino acid L-arginine (L-Arg), which has been implicated in wound repair. We have reported that both SLC7A2 expression and L-Arg availability are decreased in colonic tissues from inflammatory bowel disease patients and that mice lacking Slc7a2 exhibit a more severe disease course when exposed to dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Here, we present evidence that SLC7A2 plays a role in modulating colon tumorigenesis in the azoxymethane (AOM)-DSS model of colitis-associated carcinogenesis (CAC). SLC7A2 was localized predominantly to colonic epithelial cells in WT mice. Utilizing the AOM-DSS model, Slc7a2 mice had significantly increased tumor number, burden, and risk of high-grade dysplasia vs. WT mice. Tumors from Slc7a2 mice exhibited significantly increased levels of the proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines IL-1β, CXCL1, CXCL5, IL-3, CXCL2, CCL3, and CCL4, but decreased levels of IL-4, CXCL9, and CXCL10 compared to tumors from WT mice. This was accompanied by a shift toward pro-tumorigenic M2 macrophage activation in Slc7a2-deficient mice, as marked by increased colonic CD11bF4/80ARG1 cells with no alteration in CD11bF4/80NOS2 cells by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. The shift toward M2 macrophage activation was confirmed in bone marrow-derived macrophages from Slc7a2 mice. In bone marrow chimeras between Slc7a2 and WT mice, the recipient genotype drove the CAC phenotype, suggesting the importance of epithelial SLC7A2 in abrogating neoplastic risk. These data reveal that SLC7A2 has a significant role in the protection from CAC in the setting of chronic colitis, and suggest that the decreased SLC7A2 in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may contribute to CAC risk. Strategies to enhance L-Arg availability by supplementing L-Arg and/or increasing L-Arg uptake could represent a therapeutic approach in IBD to reduce the substantial long-term risk of colorectal carcinoma.
Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is the rate-limiting enzyme for polyamine biosynthesis and restricts M1 macrophage activation in gastrointestinal (GI) infections. However, the role of macrophage ODC in colonic epithelial-driven inflammation is unknown. Here, we investigate cell-specific effects of ODC in colitis and colitis-associated carcinogenesis (CAC). Human colonic macrophages expressed increased ODC levels in active ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, colitis-associated dysplasia, and CAC. Mice lacking in myeloid cells ( mice) that were treated with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) exhibited improved survival, body weight, and colon length and reduced histologic injury versus control mice. In contrast, GI epithelial-specific knockout had no effect on clinical parameters. Despite reduced histologic damage, colitis tissues of mice had increased levels of multiple proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and enhanced expression of M1, but not M2 markers. In the azoxymethane-DSS model of CAC, mice had reduced tumor number, burden, and high-grade dysplasia. Tumors from mice had increased M1, but not M2 macrophages. Increased levels of histone 3, lysine 9 acetylation, a marker of open chromatin, were manifest in tumor macrophages of mice, consistent with our findings that macrophage ODC affects histone modifications that upregulate M1 gene transcription during GI infections. These findings support the concept that macrophage ODC augments epithelial injury-associated colitis and CAC by impairing the M1 responses that stimulate epithelial repair, antimicrobial defense, and antitumoral immunity. They also suggest that macrophage ODC is an important target for colon cancer chemoprevention. Ornithine decarboxylase contributes to the pathogenesis of colitis and associated carcinogenesis by impairing M1 macrophage responses needed for antitumoral immunity; targeting ODC in macrophages may represent a new strategy for chemoprevention. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Individuals with sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) frequently harbor abnormalities in the composition of the gut microbiome; however, the microbiota associated with precancerous lesions in hereditary CRC remains largely unknown. We studied colonic mucosa of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), who develop benign precursor lesions (polyps) early in life. We identified patchy bacterial biofilms composed predominately of and Genes for colibactin () and toxin (), encoding secreted oncotoxins, were highly enriched in FAP patients' colonic mucosa compared to healthy individuals. Tumor-prone mice cocolonized with (expressing colibactin), and enterotoxigenic showed increased interleukin-17 in the colon and DNA damage in colonic epithelium with faster tumor onset and greater mortality, compared to mice with either bacterial strain alone. These data suggest an unexpected link between early neoplasia of the colon and tumorigenic bacteria.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Objectives - To determine whether histologic features could help identify gastric carcinomas with lymphoid stroma associated with microsatellite instability (MSI) (ie, "medullary carcinomas"), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (termed lymphoepithelioma-like carcinomas in other organ systems), or neither.
Methods - We identified 17 solid-type gastric carcinomas with lymphoid stroma, assessed EBV and MSI status, and compared features across groups. We also compared them with 51 solid-type colorectal adenocarcinomas.
Results - In the stomach, EBV-associated carcinomas (n = 8) contained intratumoral germinal centers (P = .024) and eosinophils (P = .030) and lacked necrosis (P = .019) compared with MSI-associated carcinomas (n = 5) and non-EBV, non-MSI carcinomas (n = 4). In the colon, MSI-driven carcinomas (n = 40) more frequently contained intratumoral lymphocytes (P = .017) and neutrophils (P = .0050) and less often metastasized to distant sites (P = .0040) than poorly differentiated carcinomas lacking MSI (n = 11).
Conclusions - Morphology may help classify gastric carcinomas with lymphoid stroma, although ancillary testing appears more reliable. Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma and medullary carcinoma should not be used interchangeably.
© American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - The World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 has classified GI neuroendocrine neoplasms into neuroendocrine tumor (NET) and high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC). The genetic underpinnings of NEC are poorly understood. The aim of the study was to perform genomic profiling of NEC to better characterize this aggressive disease.
METHODS - We identified nine patients with colonic NEC between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2013. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed on tumor DNA from two patients with ≥80% tumor cellularity and matched normal tissue available. Focused BRAF mutational analysis was performed on an additional seven patients via sanger sequencing of BRAF exons 11 and 15.
RESULTS - We identified BRAF exon 15 mutations (c.A1781G: p.D594G and c.T1799A: p.V600E) by WES in two patients. Upon additional screening of seven colonic NECs for BRAF exon 11 and 15 mutations, we identified BRAF V600E mutations in two of seven specimens (29%). Overall, BRAF exon 15 mutations were present in four of nine colonic NECs.
CONCLUSION - Colonic NEC is a rare but aggressive tumor with high frequency (44%) of BRAF mutations. Further investigation is warranted to ascertain the incidence of BRAF mutations in a larger population as BRAF inhibition may be a potential avenue of targeted treatment for these patients.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Level one evidence has shown that minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for colon cancer improves short-term outcomes with equivalent long-term oncologic results when compared to open surgery. However, the adoption of MIS for patients with colon cancer has not been universal. The goal of this study is to identify barriers to the use of MIS surgery in colon cancer resection across the United States.
METHODS - The National Cancer Database was queried for all cases of colonic adenocarcinoma resection from 2010 to 2012. Patients undergoing an MIS approach were compared with those undergoing open surgery (OS). MIS was defined as either robotic or laparoscopic surgery. Patients with metastatic disease, surgery for palliation, or tumors >8 cm were excluded. Multivariable modeling was used to identify variables associated with the use of open surgery.
RESULTS - After applying exclusion criteria, 124,205 cases were identified. An MIS approach was used in only 54,621 (44%) patients. In a multivariable model adjusting for stage and tumor size, a number of important factors were associated with decreased odds of a MIS approach including black race (OR .91; p < .0001), lack of insurance (OR .51; p < .0001), lower education (OR .88; p < .0001), lower income (OR .83; p < .0001), treatment at a community program (OR .86; p < .0001), and treatment at a low-volume center (OR .79; p < .0001). Utilization of MIS increased over the study period (2010: 38.7%, 2011: 44.0%, 2012: 49.1%; p < .0001).
CONCLUSIONS - MIS approach is utilized in less than half of all colon resections in this national database, which accounts for over 70% of all diagnosed cancers in the US. Significant variability exists among age, race, insurance status, socioeconomic status, region, and facility type. In light of the recognized benefits of the MIS approach, local and national policy should focus on narrowing these disparities and continuing the upward trend of MIS utilization.
The hyperactivated Wnt/β-catenin signaling acts as a switch to induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition and promote colorectal cancer. However, due to its essential role in gut homeostasis, therapeutic targeting of this pathway has proven challenging. Additionally, IL-6/Stat-3 signaling, activated by microbial translocation through the dysregulated mucosal barrier in colon adenomas, facilitates the adenoma to adenocarcinomas transition. However, inter-dependence between these signaling pathways and key mucosal barrier components in regulating colon tumorigenesis and cancer progression remains unclear. In current study, we have discovered, using a comprehensive investigative regimen, a novel and tissue-specific role of claudin-3, a tight junction integral protein, in inhibiting colon cancer progression by serving as the common rheostat of Stat-3 and Wnt-signaling activation. Loss of claudin-3 also predicted poor patient survival. These findings however contrasted an upregulated claudin-3 expression in other cancer types and implicated role of the epigenetic regulation. Claudin-3-/- mice revealed dedifferentiated and leaky colonic epithelium, and developed invasive adenocarcinoma when subjected to colon cancer. Wnt-signaling hyperactivation, albeit in GSK-3β independent manner, differentiated colon cancer in claudin-3-/- mice versus WT-mice. Claudin-3 loss also upregulated the gp130/IL6/Stat3 signaling in colonic epithelium potentially assisted by infiltrating immune components. Genetic and pharmacological studies confirmed that claudin-3 loss induces Wnt/β-catenin activation, which is further exacerbated by Stat-3-activation and help promote colon cancer. Overall, these novel findings identify claudin-3 as a therapeutic target for inhibiting overactivation of Wnt-signaling to prevent CRC malignancy.
OBJECTIVE - Blood vessel epicardial substance (BVES) is a tight junction-associated protein that regulates epithelial-mesenchymal states and is underexpressed in epithelial malignancy. However, the functional impact of BVES loss on tumourigenesis is unknown. Here we define the in vivo role of BVES in colitis-associated cancer (CAC), its cellular function and its relevance to patients with IBD.
DESIGN - We determined promoter methylation status using an Infinium HumanMethylation450 array screen of patients with UC with and without CAC. We also measured mRNA levels in a tissue microarray consisting of normal colons and CAC samples. and wild-type mice (controls) were administered azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) to induce tumour formation. Last, we used a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify BVES interactors and performed mechanistic studies in multiple cell lines to define how BVES reduces c-Myc levels.
RESULTS - mRNA was reduced in tumours from patients with CAC via promoter hypermethylation. Importantly, promoter hypermethylation was concurrently present in distant non-malignant-appearing mucosa. As seen in human patients, was underexpressed in experimental inflammatory carcinogenesis, and mice had increased tumour multiplicity and degree of dysplasia after AOM/DSS administration. Molecular analysis of tumours revealed Wnt activation and increased c-Myc levels. Mechanistically, we identified a new signalling pathway whereby BVES interacts with PR61α, a protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit, to mediate c-Myc destruction.
CONCLUSION - Loss of BVES promotes inflammatory tumourigenesis through dysregulation of Wnt signalling and the oncogene c-Myc. promoter methylation status may serve as a CAC biomarker.
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Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is a known mediator of colorectal carcinogenesis. Studies have focused on the role of EGFR signaling in epithelial cells, although the exact nature of the role of EGFR in colorectal carcinogenesis remains a topic of debate. Here, we present evidence that EGFR signaling in myeloid cells, specifically macrophages, is critical for colon tumorigenesis in the azoxymethane-dextran sodium sulfate (AOM-DSS) model of colitis-associated carcinogenesis (CAC). In a human tissue microarray, colonic macrophages demonstrated robust EGFR activation in the pre-cancerous stages of colitis and dysplasia. Utilizing the AOM-DSS model, mice with a myeloid-specific deletion of Egfr had significantly decreased tumor multiplicity and burden, protection from high-grade dysplasia and significantly reduced colitis. Intriguingly, mice with gastrointestinal epithelial cell-specific Egfr deletion demonstrated no differences in tumorigenesis in the AOM-DSS model. The alterations in tumorigenesis in myeloid-specific Egfr knockout mice were accompanied by decreased macrophage, neutrophil and T-cell infiltration. Pro-tumorigenic M2 macrophage activation was diminished in myeloid-specific Egfr-deficient mice, as marked by decreased Arg1 and Il10 mRNA expression and decreased interleukin (IL)-4, IL10 and IL-13 protein levels. Surprisingly, diminished M1 macrophage activation was also detectable, as marked by significantly reduced Nos2 and Il1b mRNA levels and decreased interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β protein levels. The alterations in M1 and M2 macrophage activation were confirmed in bone marrow-derived macrophages from mice with the myeloid-specific Egfr knockout. The combined effect of restrained M1 and M2 macrophage activation resulted in decreased production of pro-angiogenic factors, CXCL1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and reduced CD31 blood vessels, which likely contributed to protection from tumorigenesis. These data reveal that EGFR signaling in macrophages, but not in colonic epithelial cells, has a significant role in CAC. EGFR signaling in macrophages may prove to be an effective biomarker of CAC or target for chemoprevention in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
The risk of colon cancer is increased in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation-induced DNA damage could be an important link between inflammation and cancer, although the pathways that link inflammation and DNA damage are incompletely defined. RAG2-deficient mice infected with Helicobacter hepaticus (Hh) develop colitis that progresses to lower bowel cancer. This process depends on nitric oxide (NO), a molecule with known mutagenic potential. We have previously hypothesized that production of NO by macrophages could be essential for Hh-driven carcinogenesis, however, whether Hh infection induces DNA damage in this model and whether this depends on NO has not been determined. Here we demonstrate that Hh infection of RAG2-deficient mice rapidly induces expression of iNOS and the development of DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) specifically in proliferating crypt epithelial cells. Generation of DSBs depended on iNOS activity, and further, induction of iNOS, the generation of DSBs, and the subsequent development of dysplasia were inhibited by depletion of the Hh-induced cytokine IL-22. These results demonstrate a strong association between Hh-induced DNA damage and the development of dysplasia, and further suggest that IL-22-dependent induction of iNOS within crypt epithelial cells rather than macrophages is a driving force in this process.