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Pro-carcinogenic bacteria have the potential to initiate and/or promote colon cancer, in part via immune mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Using Apc mice colonized with the human pathobiont enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) as a model of microbe-induced colon tumorigenesis, we show that the Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) triggers a pro-carcinogenic, multi-step inflammatory cascade requiring IL-17R, NF-κB, and Stat3 signaling in colonic epithelial cells (CECs). Although necessary, Stat3 activation in CECs is not sufficient to trigger ETBF colon tumorigenesis. Notably, IL-17-dependent NF-κB activation in CECs induces a proximal to distal mucosal gradient of C-X-C chemokines, including CXCL1, that mediates the recruitment of CXCR2-expressing polymorphonuclear immature myeloid cells with parallel onset of ETBF-mediated distal colon tumorigenesis. Thus, BFT induces a pro-carcinogenic signaling relay from the CEC to a mucosal Th17 response that results in selective NF-κB activation in distal colon CECs, which collectively triggers myeloid-cell-dependent distal colon tumorigenesis.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Paneth cells (PCs), a secretory population located at the base of the intestinal crypt, support the intestinal stem cells (ISC) with growth factors and participate in innate immunity by releasing antimicrobial peptides, including lysozyme and defensins. PC dysfunction is associated with disorders such as Crohn's disease and necrotizing enterocolitis, but the specific pathways regulating PC development and function are not fully understood. Here we tested the role of the neuregulin receptor ErbB3 in control of PC differentiation and the ISC niche. Intestinal epithelial ErbB3 knockout caused precocious appearance of PCs as early as postnatal day 7, and substantially increased the number of mature PCs in adult mouse ileum. ErbB3 loss had no effect on other secretory lineages, but increased expression of the ISC marker Lgr5. ErbB3-null intestines had elevated levels of the Atoh1 transcription factor, which is required for secretory fate determination, while Atoh1 cells had reduced ErbB3, suggesting reciprocal negative regulation. ErbB3-null intestinal progenitor cells showed reduced activation of the PI3K-Akt and ERK MAPK pathways. Inhibiting these pathways in HT29 cells increased levels of ATOH1 and the PC marker LYZ. Conversely, ErbB3 activation suppressed LYZ and ATOH1 in a PI3K-dependent manner. Expansion of the PC compartment in ErbB3-null intestines was accompanied with elevated ER stress and inflammation markers, raising the possibility that negative regulation of PCs by ErbB3 is necessary to maintain homeostasis. Taken together, our data suggest that ErbB3 restricts PC numbers through PI3K-mediated suppression of Atoh1 levels leading to inhibition of PC differentiation, with important implications for regulation of the ISC niche.
The goal of this investigation was to clarify the question of whether targeting Enox1 in tumor stroma would synergistically enhance the survival of tumor-bearing mice treated with fractionated radiotherapy. Enox1, a NADH oxidase, is expressed in tumor vasculature and stroma. However, it is not expressed in many tumor types, including HT-29 colorectal carcinoma cells. Pharmacological inhibition of Enox1 in endothelial cells inhibited repair of DNA double strand breaks, as measured by γH2AX and 53BP1 foci formation, as well as neutral comet assays. For 4 consecutive days athymic mice bearing HT-29 hindlimb xenografts were injected with a small molecule inhibitor of Enox1 or solvent control. Tumors were then administered 2 Gy of x-rays. On day 5 tumors were administered a single 'top-up' fraction of 30 Gy, the purpose of which was to amplify intrinsic differences in the radiation fractionation regimen produced by Enox1 targeting. Pharmacological targeting of Enox1 resulted in 80% of the tumor-bearing mice surviving at 90 days compared to only 40% of tumor-bearing mice treated with solvent control. The increase in survival was not a consequence of reoxygenation, as measured by pimonidazole immunostaining. These results are interpreted to indicate that targeting of Enox1 in tumor stroma significantly enhances the effectiveness of 2 Gy fractionated radiotherapy and identifies Enox1 as a potential therapeutic target.
Caspase-3 is the best known executioner caspase in apoptosis. We generated caspase-3 knockout (C3KO) and knockdown human colorectal cancer cells, and found that they are unexpectedly sensitized to DNA-damaging agents including 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), etoposide, and camptothecin. C3KO xenograft tumors also displayed enhanced therapeutic response and cell death to 5-FU. C3KO cells showed intact apoptosis and activation of caspase-7 and -9, impaired processing of caspase-8, and induction of necrosis in response to DNA-damaging agents. This form of necrosis is associated with HMGB1 release and ROS production, and suppressed by genetic or pharmacological inhibition of RIP1, MLKL1, or caspase-8, but not inhibitors of pan-caspases or RIP3. 5-FU treatment led to the formation of a z-VAD-resistant pro-caspase-8/RIP1/FADD complex, which was strongly stabilized by caspase-3 KO. These data demonstrate a key role of caspase-3 in caspase-8 processing and suppression of DNA damage-induced necrosis, and provide a potentially novel way to chemosensitize cancer cells.
In normal colon, claudin-7 is one of the highly expressed claudin proteins and its knockdown in mice results in altered epithelial cell homeostasis and neonatal death. Notably, dysregulation of the epithelial homeostasis potentiates oncogenic transformation and growth. However, the role of claudin-7 in the regulation of colon tumorigenesis remains poorly understood. Using a large colorectal cancer (CRC) patient database and mouse models of colon cancer, we found claudin-7 expression to be significantly downregulated in cancer samples. Most notably, forced claudin-7 expression in poorly differentiated and highly metastatic SW620 colon cancer cells induced epithelial characteristics and inhibited their growth in soft agar and tumor growth in vivo. By contrast, knockdown of claudin-7 in HT-29 or DLD-1 cells induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), colony formation, xenograft-tumor growth in athymic mice and invasion. Importantly, a claudin-7 signature gene profile generated by overlapping the DEGs (differentially expressed genes in a high-throughput transcriptome analysis using claudin-7-manipulated cells) with human claudin-7 signature genes identified high-risk CRC patients. Furthermore, Rab25, a colon cancer suppressor and regulator of the polarized cell trafficking constituted one of the highly upregulated DEGs in claudin-7 overexpressing cells. Notably, silencing of Rab25 expression counteracted the effects of claudin-7 expression and not only increased proliferation and cell invasion but also increased the expression of p-Src and mitogen-activated protein kinase-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 that were suppressed upon claudin-7 overexpression. Of interest, CRC cell lines, which exhibited decreased claudin-7 expression, also exhibited promoter DNA hypermethylation, a modification associated with transcriptional silencing. Taken together, our data demonstrate a previously undescribed role of claudin-7 as a colon cancer suppressor and suggest that loss of claudin-7 potentiates EMT to promote colon cancer, in a manner dependent on Rab25.
Metastatic recurrence is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in patients with colorectal carcinoma. To capture the molecular underpinnings for metastasis and tumor progression, we performed integrative network analysis on 11 independent human colorectal cancer gene expression datasets and applied expression data from an immunocompetent mouse model of metastasis as an additional filter for this biologic process. In silico analysis of one metastasis-related coexpression module predicted nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) transcription factors as potential regulators for the module. Cells selected for invasiveness and metastatic capability expressed higher levels of NFATc1 as compared with poorly metastatic and less invasive parental cells. We found that inhibition of NFATc1 in human and mouse colon cancer cells resulted in decreased invasiveness in culture and downregulation of metastasis-related network genes. Overexpression of NFATc1 significantly increased the metastatic potential of colon cancer cells, whereas inhibition of NFATc1 reduced metastasis growth in an immunocompetent mouse model. Finally, we found that an 8-gene signature comprising genes upregulated by NFATc1 significantly correlated with worse clinical outcomes in stage II and III colorectal cancer patients. Thus, NFATc1 regulates colon cancer cell behavior and its transcriptional targets constitute a novel, biologically anchored gene expression signature for the identification of colon cancers with high risk of metastatic recurrence.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.
Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid, is an active component of Ranunculaceae and Papaveraceae plant families. Berberine has been found to suppress growth of several tumor cell lines in vitro through the cell-type-dependent mechanism. Expression and activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is increased in colonic precancerous lesions and tumours, thus EGFR is considered a tumour promoter. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects and mechanisms of berberine on regulation of EGFR activity and proliferation in colonic tumor cell lines and in vivo. We reported that berberine significantly inhibited basal level and EGF-stimulated EGFR activation and proliferation in the immorto Min mouse colonic epithelial (IMCE) cells carrying the APC(min) mutation and human colonic carcinoma cell line, HT-29 cells. Berberine acted to inhibit proliferation through inducing G1/S and G2/M cell cycle arrest, which correlated with regulation of the checkpoint protein expression. In this study, we also showed that berberine stimulated ubiquitin ligase Cbl activation and Cbl's interaction with EGFR, and EGFR ubiquitinylation and down-regulation in these two cell lines in the presence or absence of EGF treatment. Knock-down Cbl expression blocked the effects of berberine on down-regulation of EGFR and inhibition of proliferation. Furthermore, berberine suppressed tumor growth in the HT-29 cell xenograft model. Cell proliferation and EGFR expression level was decreased by berberine treatment in this xenograft model and in colon epithelial cells of APC(min/+) mice. Taken together, these data indicate that berberine enhances Cbl activity, resulting in down-regulation of EGFR expression and inhibition of proliferation in colon tumor cells.
Rotavirus (RV) being the major diarrhoegenic virus causes around 527000 children death (<5 years age) worldwide. In cellular environment, viruses constantly adapt and modulate to survive and replicate while the host cell also responds to combat the situation and this results in the differential regulation of cellular proteins. To identify the virus induced differential expression of proteins, 2D-DIGE (Two-dimensional Difference Gel Electrophoresis) based proteomics was used. For this, HT-29 cells were infected with RV strain SA11 for 0 hours, 3 hours and 9 hours post infection (hpi), differentially expressed spots were excised from the gel and identified using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. 2D-DIGE based proteomics study identified 32 differentially modulated proteins, of which 22 were unique. Some of these were validated in HT-29 cell line and in BALB/c mice model. One of the modulated cellular proteins, calmodulin (CaM) was found to directly interact with RV protein VP6 in the presence of Ca(2+). Ca(2+)-CaM/VP6 interaction positively regulates RV propagation since both CaM inhibitor (W-7) and Ca(2+) chelator (BAPTA-AM) resulted in decreased viral titers. This study not only identifies differentially modulated cellular proteins upon infection with rotavirus in 2D-DIGE but also confirmed positive engagement of cellular Ca(2+)/CaM during viral pathogenesis.
Myeloid translocation genes (MTGs) are transcriptional corepressors originally identified in acute myelogenous leukemia that have recently been linked to epithelial malignancy with non-synonymous mutations identified in both MTG8 and MTG16 in colon, breast, and lung carcinoma in addition to functioning as negative regulators of WNT and Notch signaling. A yeast two-hybrid approach was used to discover novel MTG binding partners. This screen identified the Zinc fingers, C2H2 and BTB domain containing (ZBTB) family members ZBTB4 and ZBTB38 as MTG16 interacting proteins. ZBTB4 is downregulated in breast cancer and modulates p53 responses. Because ZBTB33 (Kaiso), like MTG16, modulates Wnt signaling at the level of TCF4, and its deletion suppresses intestinal tumorigenesis in the Apc(Min) mouse, we determined that Kaiso also interacted with MTG16 to modulate transcription. The zinc finger domains of Kaiso as well as ZBTB4 and ZBTB38 bound MTG16 and the association with Kaiso was confirmed using co-immunoprecipitation. MTG family members were required to efficiently repress both a heterologous reporter construct containing Kaiso binding sites (4×KBS) and the known Kaiso target, Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7/Matrilysin). Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation studies placed MTG16 in a complex occupying the Kaiso binding site on the MMP-7 promoter. The presence of MTG16 in this complex, and its contributions to transcriptional repression both required Kaiso binding to its binding site on DNA, establishing MTG16-Kaiso binding as functionally relevant in Kaiso-dependent transcriptional repression. Examination of a large multi-stage CRC expression array dataset revealed patterns of Kaiso, MTG16, and MMP-7 expression supporting the hypothesis that loss of either Kaiso or MTG16 can de-regulate a target promoter such as that of MMP-7. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms of transcriptional control by ZBTB family members and broaden the scope of co-repressor functions for the MTG family, suggesting coordinate regulation of transcription by Kaiso/MTG complexes in cancer.
BACKGROUND - Recent studies suggest that cancer stem cells (CSCs) mediate chemoresistance, but interestingly, only a small percentage of cells in a resistant tumour are CSCs; this suggests that non-CSCs survive by other means. We hypothesised that chemoresistant colorectal cancer (CRC) cells generate soluble factors that enhance survival of chemonaive tumour cells.
METHODS - Chemoresistant CRC cells were generated by serial passage in oxaliplatin (Ox cells). Conditioned media (CM) was collected from parental and oxaliplatin-resistant (OxR) cells. CRC cells were treated with CM and growth and survival were assessed. Tumour growth rates were determined in nude mice after cells were treated with CM. Mass spectrometry (MS) identified proteins in CM. Reverse phase protein microarray assays determined signalling effects of CM in parental cells.
RESULTS - Oxaliplatin-resistant CM increased survival of chemo-naive cells. CSC CM also increased growth of parental cells. Parental and OxR mixed tumours grew larger than tumours composed of parental or OxR cells alone. Mass spectrometry detected unique survival-promoting factors in OxR CM compared with parental CM. Cells treated with OxR CM demonstrated early phosphorylation of EGFR and MEK1, with later upregulation of total Akt .We identified progranulin as a potential mediator of chemoresistance.
CONCLUSION - Chemoresistant tumour cells and CSCs may promote resistance through soluble factors that mediate survival in otherwise chemosensitive tumour cells.