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: Metastasis and drug resistance contribute substantially to the poor prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. However, the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms by which CRC develops metastatic and drug-resistant characteristics remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of miR-302a in the metastasis and molecular-targeted drug resistance of CRC and elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. : miR-302a expression in CRC cell lines and patient tissue microarrays was analyzed by qPCR and fluorescence hybridization. The roles of miR-302a in metastasis and cetuximab (CTX) resistance were evaluated both and . Bioinformatic prediction algorithms and luciferase reporter assays were performed to identify the miR-302a binding regions in the NFIB and CD44 3'-UTRs. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed to examine NFIB occupancy in the ITGA6 promoter region. Immunoblotting was performed to identify the EGFR-mediated pathways altered by miR-302a. : miR-302a expression was frequently reduced in CRC cells and tissues, especially in CTX-resistant cells and patient-derived xenografts. The decreased miR-302a levels correlated with poor overall CRC patient survival. miR-302a overexpression inhibited metastasis and restored CTX responsiveness in CRC cells, whereas miR-302a silencing exerted the opposite effects. NFIB and CD44 were identified as novel targets of miR-302a. miR-302a inhibited the metastasis-promoting effect of NFIB that physiologically activates ITGA6 transcription. miR-302a restored CTX responsiveness by suppressing CD44-induced cancer stem cell-like properties and EGFR-mediated MAPK and AKT signaling. These results are consistent with clinical observations indicating that miR-302a expression is inversely correlated with the expression of its targets in CRC specimens. : Our findings show that miR-302a acts as a multifaceted regulator of CRC metastasis and CTX resistance by targeting NFIB and CD44, respectively. Our study implicates miR-302a as a candidate prognostic predictor and a therapeutic agent in CRC.
© The author(s).
The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) is a potentially novel and promising anticancer target due to its critical roles in proliferation, apoptosis, and metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells. However, the activity and function of mTORC2 in distinct cells within malignant tissue in vivo is insufficiently explored. Surprisingly, in primary human and mouse colorectal cancer (CRC) samples, mTORC2 signaling could not be detected in tumor cells. In contrast, only macrophages in tumor-adjacent areas showed mTORC2 activity, which was downregulated in stromal macrophages residing within human and mouse tumor tissues. Functionally, inhibition of mTORC2 by specific deletion of Rictor in macrophages stimulated tumorigenesis in a colitis-associated CRC mouse model. This phenotype was driven by a proinflammatory reprogramming of mTORC2-deficient macrophages that promoted colitis via the cytokine SPP1/osteopontin to stimulate tumor growth. In human CRC patients, high SPP1 levels and low mTORC2 activity in tumor-associated macrophages correlated with a worsened clinical prognosis. Treatment of mice with a second-generation mTOR inhibitor that inhibits mTORC2 and mTORC1 exacerbated experimental colorectal tumorigenesis in vivo. In conclusion, mTORC2 activity is confined to macrophages in CRC and limits tumorigenesis. These results suggest activation but not inhibition of mTORC2 as a therapeutic strategy for colitis-associated CRC.
AIMS - Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NNs) range from well to poorly differentiated and indolent to highly aggressive. The site of origin in metastatic NNs has therapeutic and prognostic implications. SATB2 is a transcriptional regulator involved in osteoblastic and neuronal differentiation and is a sensitive and specific marker of colorectal epithelium. This study aimed to evaluate the expression of SATB2 in NNs from various primary sites and its utility as a marker in determining the site of origin of these neoplasms.
METHODS AND RESULTS - SATB2 immunohistochemistry was performed on 266 NNs, including lung small cell carcinomas (n = 39) and carcinoids (n = 30), bladder (n = 21) and prostate (n = 31) small cell carcinomas, and gastrointestinal (GI)/pancreatic NNs of various primary sites (n = 145) consisting of well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours (WDNET)s (n = 124) and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (PDNEC)s (n = 21). SATB2 was expressed in prostatic (10 of 31, 32%) and bladder (eight of 21, 38%) small cell carcinomas, lung carcinoid tumours (one of 30, 3%), and lung small cell carcinomas (eight of 39, 21%). Among primary GI NNs, SATB2 was expressed in 37 of 124 (30%) WDNETs and four of 21 (19%) PDNECs. Of the former, 15 of 15 (100%) rectal/rectosigmoid and 22 of 22 (100%) appendiceal neoplasms expressed SATB2. Using receiver operator characteristic analysis, SATB2 was a sensitive and specific marker for rectal (100.0%, 80.0%) and appendiceal (100.0%, 84.5%) WDNETs, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - In summary, SATB2 is a sensitive and specific marker for rectal/rectosigmoid and appendiceal WDNETs, and may represent a useful diagnostic tool when these sites of origin are considered in the differential diagnosis.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Intestinal inflammation is a risk factor for colorectal cancer formation, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether colitis alters the colonic microbiota to enhance its cancer-inducing activity. Colitis increased epithelial oxygenation in the colon of mice and drove an expansion of within the gut-associated microbial community through aerobic respiration. An aerobic expansion of colibactin-producing was required for the cancer-inducing activity of this pathobiont in a mouse model of colitis-associated colorectal cancer formation. We conclude that increased epithelial oxygenation in the colon is associated with an expansion of a prooncogenic driver species, thereby increasing the cancer-inducing activity of the microbiota. One of the environmental factors important for colorectal cancer formation is the gut microbiota, but the habitat filters that control its cancer-inducing activity remain unknown. Here, we show that chemically induced colitis elevates epithelial oxygenation in the colon, thereby driving an expansion of colibactin-producing , a prooncogenic driver species. These data suggest that elevated epithelial oxygenation is a potential risk factor for colorectal cancer formation because the consequent changes in the gut habitat escalate the cancer-inducing activity of the microbiota.
Copyright © 2019 Cevallos et al.
Chronic inflammation and gut microbiota dysbiosis, in particular the bloom of genotoxin-producing strains, are risk factors for the development of colorectal cancer. Here, we sought to determine whether precision editing of gut microbiota metabolism and composition could decrease the risk for tumor development in mouse models of colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). Expansion of experimentally introduced strains in the azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium colitis model was driven by molybdoenzyme-dependent metabolic pathways. Oral administration of sodium tungstate inhibited molybdoenzymes and selectively decreased gut colonization with genotoxin-producing and other Enterobacteriaceae. Restricting the bloom of Enterobacteriaceae decreased intestinal inflammation and reduced the incidence of colonic tumors in two models of CAC, the azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium colitis model and azoxymethane-treated, -deficient mice. We conclude that metabolic targeting of protumoral Enterobacteriaceae during chronic inflammation is a suitable strategy to prevent the development of malignancies arising from gut microbiota dysbiosis.
© 2019 Zhu et al.
This article begins with a brief overview of risk factors for colorectal neoplasia in inflammatory bowel disease to concretize the approach to risk stratification. It then provides an up-to-date review of diagnosis and management of dysplasia in inflammatory bowel disease, which integrates new and emerging data in the field. This is particularly relevant in an era of increased attention to cost- and resource-containment from the health systems vantage point, coupled with a heightened prioritization of patient quality of life and shared decision-making. Also provided is a brief discussion of the status of newer therapeutic techniques, such as endoscopic submucosal dissection.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Colorectal liver metastases that demonstrate a complete radiographic response during chemotherapy are increasingly common with advances in chemotherapy regimens and are described as disappearing liver metastases (DLMs). However, these DLMs often continue to harbor residual viable tumor. If these tumors are found in the operating room with ultrasound (US), they should be treated. The intraoperative sonographic visualization of these lesions, however, can be hindered by chemotherapy-associated liver parenchyma changes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of an intraoperative image guidance system, Explorer (Analogic Corporation, Peabody, MA), to aid surgeons in the identification of DLMs initially undetected by US alone.
STUDY DESIGN - In a single-arm prospective trial, patients with colorectal liver metastases undergoing liver resection and/or ablation with one or more DLMs during neoadjuvant chemotherapy were enrolled. Intraoperatively, DLMs were localized with conventional US. Any DLM not found by conventional US was re-evaluated with the image guidance system. The primary outcome was the proportion of sonographically occult DLMs subsequently located by image-guided US.
RESULTS - Between April 2016 and November 2017, 25 patients with 61 DLMs were enrolled. Thirty-eight DLMs (62%) in 14 patients (56%) were not identified with US alone. Six (16%) DLMs in five patients (36%) were subsequently located with assistance of the image guidance system. The image guidance changed the intraoperative surgical plan in four of these patients.
CONCLUSIONS - Image guidance can aid surgeons in the identification of initially sonographically occult DLMs and facilitate the complete surgical clearance of all sites of liver disease.
Serine threonine kinase 17A (STK17A) is a ubiquitously expressed kinase originally identified as a regulator of apoptosis; however, whether it functionally contributes to colorectal cancer has not been established. Here, we have analyzed STK17A in colorectal cancer and demonstrated decreased expression of STK17A in primary tumors, which is further reduced in metastatic lesions, indicating a potential role in regulating the metastatic cascade. Interestingly, changes in STK17A expression did not modify proliferation, apoptosis, or sensitivity of colorectal cancer cell lines to treatment with the chemotherapeutic 5-fluorouracil. Instead, knockdown induced a robust mesenchymal phenotype consistent with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, including spindle-like cell morphology, decreased expression of adherens junction proteins, and increased migration and invasion. Additionally, overexpression of decreased cell size and induced widespread membrane blebbing, a phenotype often associated with activation of cell contractility. Indeed, STK17A-overexpressing cells displayed heightened phosphorylation of myosin light chain in a manner dependent on STK17A catalytic activity. Finally, patient-derived tumor organoid cultures were used to more accurately determine STK17A's effect in primary human tumor cells. Loss of STK17A induced morphologic changes, decreased E-cadherin, increased invasion, and augmented organoid attachment on 2D substrates, all together suggesting a more metastatic phenotype. Collectively, these data indicate a novel role for STK17A in the regulation of epithelial phenotypes and indicate its functional contribution to colorectal cancer invasion and metastasis. IMPLICATIONS: Loss of serine threonine kinase 17A occurs in colorectal cancer metastasis, induces mesenchymal morphologies, and contributes to tumor cell invasion and migration in colorectal cancer.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Growth factor-independent 1 (GFI1) is a zinc finger transcriptional repressor responsible for controlling secretory cell differentiation in the small intestine and colon. GFI1 plays a significant role in the development of human malignancies, including leukemia, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. However, the role of GFI1 in colorectal cancer progression is largely unknown. Our results demonstrate that RNA and protein expression of GFI1 are reduced in advanced-stage nonmucinous colorectal cancer. Subcutaneous tumor xenograft models demonstrated that the reexpression of GFI1 in 4 different human colorectal cancer cell lines inhibits tumor growth. To further investigate the role of Gfi1 in colorectal tumorigenesis, we developed transgenic mice harboring a deletion of Gfi1 in the colon driven by CDX2-cre (Gfi1; CDX2-cre) and crossed them with Apc mice (Apc; Gfi1; CDX2-cre). Loss of Gfi1 significantly increased the total number of colorectal adenomas compared with littermate controls with an APC mutation alone. Furthermore, we found that compound (Apc; Gfi1; CDX2-cre) mice develop larger adenomas, invasive carcinoma, as well as hyperplastic lesions expressing the neuroendocrine marker chromogranin A, a feature that has not been previously described in APC-mutant tumors in mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate that acts as a tumor suppressor gene in colorectal cancer, where deficiency of Gfi1 promotes malignancy in the colon. IMPLICATIONS: These findings reveal that GFI1 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in colorectal tumorigenesis.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases who have postinflammatory polyps (PIPs) have an increased risk of colorectal neoplasia (CRN). European guidelines propose that patients with PIPs receive more frequent surveillance colonoscopies, despite limited evidence of this increased risk. We aimed to define the risk of CRN and colectomy in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and PIPs.
METHODS - We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases who underwent colonoscopic surveillance for CRN, from January 1997 through January 2017, at 5 academic hospitals and 2 large nonacademic hospitals in New York or the Netherlands. Eligible patients had confirmed colonic disease with duration of at least 8 years (or any duration, if they also had primary sclerosing cholangitis) and no history of advanced CRN (high-grade dysplasia or colorectal cancer) or colectomy. The primary outcome was occurrence of advanced CRN according to PIP status; secondary outcomes were occurrence of CRN (inclusive of low-grade dysplasia) and colectomy.
RESULTS - Of 1582 eligible patients, 462 (29.2%) had PIPs. PIPs were associated with more severe inflammation (adjusted odds ratio 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-1.55), greater disease extent (adjusted odds ratio 1.92; 95% CI 1.34-2.74), and lower likelihood of primary sclerosing cholangitis (adjusted odds ratio 0.38; 95% CI 0.26-0.55). During a median follow-up period of 4.8 years, the time until development of advanced CRN did not differ significantly between patients with and those without PIPs. PIPs did not independently increase the risk of advanced CRN (adjusted hazard ratio 1.17; 95% CI 0.59-2.31). The colectomy rate was significantly higher in patients with PIPs (P = .01).
CONCLUSIONS - In a retrospective analysis of data from 2 large independent surveillance cohorts, PIPs were associated with greater severity and extent of colon inflammation and higher rates of colectomy, but were not associated with development of any degree of CRN. Therefore, intervals for surveillance should not be shortened based solely on the presence of PIPs.
Copyright © 2019 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.