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IL4, a cytokine produced mainly by immune cells, may promote the growth of epithelial tumors by mediating increased proliferation and survival. Here, we show that the type II IL4 receptor (IL4R) is expressed and activated in human breast cancer and mouse models of breast cancer. In metastatic mouse breast cancer cells, RNAi-mediated silencing of IL4Rα, a component of the IL4R, was sufficient to attenuate growth at metastatic sites. Similar results were obtained with control tumor cells in IL4-deficient mice. Decreased metastatic capacity of IL4Rα "knockdown" cells was attributed, in part, to reductions in proliferation and survival of breast cancer cells. In addition, we observed an overall increase in immune infiltrates within IL4Rα knockdown tumors, indicating that enhanced clearance of knockdown tumor cells could also contribute to the reduction in knockdown tumor size. Pharmacologic investigations suggested that IL4-induced cancer cell colonization was mediated, in part, by activation of Erk1/2, Akt, and mTOR. Reduced levels of pAkt and pErk1/2 in IL4Rα knockdown tumor metastases were associated with limited outgrowth, supporting roles for Akt and Erk activation in mediating the tumor-promoting effects of IL4Rα. Collectively, our results offer a preclinical proof-of-concept for targeting IL4/IL4Rα signaling as a therapeutic strategy to limit breast cancer metastasis.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.
Normal pancreatic epithelium progresses through various stages of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms (PanINs) in the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Transcriptional regulation of this progression is poorly understood. In mouse, the hepatic nuclear factor 6 (Hnf6) transcription factor is expressed in ductal cells and at lower levels in acinar cells of the adult pancreas, but not in mature endocrine cells. Hnf6 is critical for terminal differentiation of the ductal epithelium during embryonic development and for pancreatic endocrine cell specification. We previously showed that, in mice, loss of Hnf6 from the pancreatic epithelium during organogenesis results in increased duct proliferation and altered duct architecture, increased periductal fibrosis and acinar-to-ductal metaplasia. Here we show that decreased expression of HNF6 is strongly correlated with increased severity of PanIN lesions in samples of human pancreata and is absent from >90% of PDAC. Mouse models in which cancer progression can be analyzed from the earliest stages that are seldom accessible in humans support a role for Hnf6 loss in progression from early- to late-stage PanIN and PDAC. In addition, gene expression analyses of human pancreatic cancer reveal decreased expression of HNF6 and its direct and indirect target genes compared with normal tissue and upregulation of genes that act in opposition to HNF6 and its targets. The negative correlation between HNF6 expression and pancreatic cancer progression suggests that HNF6 maintains pancreatic epithelial homeostasis in humans, and that its loss contributes to the progression from PanIN to ductal adenocarcinoma. Insight on the role of HNF6 in pancreatic cancer development could lead to its use as a biomarker for early detection and prognosis.
OBJECTIVES - After inducing McA tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats (McA-SD), the following hypotheses were tested: first, that hypervascular McA tumors grown in Sprague-Dawley rats provide a suitable platform to investigate drug delivery; and second, that high-field MRI can be used to measure intratumoral uptake of DOX-SPIOs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - McA cells were implanted into the livers of 18 Sprague-Dawley rats. In successfully inoculated animals, 220-μL DOX-SPIOs were delivered to tumors via the intravenous or intra-arterial route. Pretreatment and posttreatment T2*-weighted images were obtained using 7-T MRI, and change in R2* value (ΔR2*) was obtained from mean signal intensities of tumors in these images. Tumor iron concentration ([Fe]), an indicator of DOX-SPIO uptake, was measured using mass spectroscopy. The primary outcome variable was the Pearson correlation between ΔR2* and [Fe].
RESULTS - Tumors grew successfully in 13 of the 18 animals (72%). Mean (SD) maximum tumor diameter was 0.83 (0.25) cm. The results of phantom studies revealed a strong positive correlation between ΔR2* and [Fe], with r = 0.98 (P < 0.01). The results of in vivo drug uptake studies demonstrated a positive correlation between ΔR2* and [Fe], with r = 0.72 (P = 0.0004).
CONCLUSIONS - The McA tumors grown in the Sprague-Dawley rats demonstrated uptake of nanoparticle-based therapeutic agents. Magnetic resonance imaging quantification of intratumoral uptake strongly correlated with iron concentrations in pathological specimens, suggesting that MRI may be used to quantify uptake of iron-oxide nanotherapeutics.
Successful siRNA therapeutics requires the optimal integration of multiple components, including an efficient delivery system, a disease indication that is appropriate for siRNA-based therapy, and a potent and nontoxic siRNA against a robust therapeutic target. Although all currently available delivery systems have limitations, it is important to recognize that a careful selection of the disease indication, therapeutic target, and siRNA molecule could partially compensate for deficiencies associated with the delivery system and makes it possible to advance a therapeutic siRNA regimen. In this study, we present the development of siRNA therapeutics for hepatocellular carcinoma using an integrated approach, including the development of an efficient lipid nanoparticle delivery system, the identification of a robust therapeutic target that does not trigger liver toxicity upon target knockdown, and the selection of potent and nonimmunogenic siRNA molecules against the target. The resulting siRNA-containing lipid nanoparticles produced significant antitumor efficacy in orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma models, and, thus, represent a promising starting point for the development of siRNA therapeutics for hepatocellular carcinoma.
BACKGROUND - microRNA (miRNA) functions broadly as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, and disproportionate miRNAs can result in dysregulation of oncogenes in cancer cells. We have previously shown that gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRP-R) signaling regulates tumorigenicity of neuroblastoma cells. Herein, we sought to characterize miRNA profile in GRP-R silenced neuroblastoma cells, and to determine the role of miRNAs on tumorigenicity and metastatic potential.
METHODS - Human neuroblastoma cell lines, BE(2)-C and SK-N-SH, were used for our study. Stably transfected GRP-R silenced cells were assessed for miRNA profiles. Cells were transfected with miR-335, miR-363, or miR-CON, a nontargeting control, and in vitro assays were performed. In vivo functions of miR-335 and miR-363 were also assessed in a spleen-liver metastasis murine model.
RESULTS - GRP-R silencing significantly increased expression of miR-335 and miR-363 in BE(2)-C cells. Overexpression of miR-335 and miR-363 decreased tumorigenicity as measured by clonogenicity, anchorage-independent growth, and metastasis determined by cell invasion assay and liver metastasis in vivo.
CONCLUSION - We report, for the first time, that GRP-R-mediated tumorigenicity and increased metastatic potential in neuroblastoma are regulated, in part, by miR-335 and miR-363. A better understanding of the anti-tumor functions of miRNAs could provide valuable insights to discerning molecular mechanisms responsible for neuroblastoma metastasis.
Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hdac3 is essential for efficient DNA replication and DNA damage control. Deletion of Hdac3 impaired DNA repair and greatly reduced chromatin compaction and heterochromatin content. These defects corresponded to increases in histone H3K9,K14ac; H4K5ac; and H4K12ac in late S phase of the cell cycle, and histone deposition marks were retained in quiescent Hdac3-null cells. Liver-specific deletion of Hdac3 culminated in hepatocellular carcinoma. Whereas HDAC3 expression was downregulated in only a small number of human liver cancers, the mRNA levels of the HDAC3 cofactor NCOR1 were reduced in one-third of these cases. siRNA targeting of NCOR1 and SMRT (NCOR2) increased H4K5ac and caused DNA damage, indicating that the HDAC3/NCOR/SMRT axis is critical for maintaining chromatin structure and genomic stability.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
To examine the interplay between tumor cells and the microenvironment during early breast cancer metastasis, we developed a technique for ex vivo imaging of murine tissue explants using two-photon microscopy. Cancer cells in the liver and the lung were compared by imaging both organs at specific time points after the injection of the same polyomavirus middle T-initiated murine mammary tumor cell line. Extravasation was greatly reduced in the lung compared with the liver, with 56% of tumor cells in the liver having extravasated by 24 hours, compared with only 22% of tumor cells in the lung that have extravasated. In the liver, imaged cells continually transitioned from an intravascular location to an extravascular site, whereas in the lung, extravasation rates slowed after 6 hours. Within the liver microenvironment, the average size of the imaged micrometastatic lesions increased 4-fold between days 5 and 12. Histologic analysis of these lesions determined that by day 12, the micrometastases were heterogeneous, consisting of both tumor cells and von Willebrand factor-positive endothelial cells. Further analysis with intravenously administered lectin indicated that vessels within the micrometastatic tumor foci were patent by day 12. These data present the use of two-photon microscopy to directly compare extravasation times in metastatic sites using the same tumor cell line and highlight the differences in early events and metastatic patterns between two important secondary sites of breast cancer progression with implications for future therapy.
BACKGROUND - Hydrodynamic injection is an effective method for DNA delivery in mouse liver and is being translated to larger animals for possible clinical use. Similarly, phiC31 integrase has proven effective in mediating long-term gene therapy in mice when delivered by hydrodynamic injection and is being considered for clinical gene therapy applications. However, chromosomal aberrations have been associated with phiC31 integrase expression in tissue culture, leading to questions about safety.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS - To study whether hydrodynamic delivery alone, or in conjunction with delivery of phiC31 integrase for long-term transgene expression, could facilitate tumor formation, we used a transgenic mouse model in which sustained induction of the human C-MYC oncogene in the liver was followed by hydrodynamic injection. Without injection, mice had a median tumor latency of 154 days. With hydrodynamic injection of saline alone, the median tumor latency was significantly reduced, to 105 days. The median tumor latency was similar, 106 days, when a luciferase donor plasmid and backbone plasmid without integrase were administered. In contrast, when active or inactive phiC31 integrase and donor plasmid were supplied to the mouse liver, the median tumor latency was 153 days, similar to mice receiving no injection.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE - Our data suggest that phiC31 integrase does not facilitate tumor formation in this C-MYC transgenic mouse model. However, in groups lacking phiC31 integrase, hydrodynamic injection appeared to contribute to C-MYC-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in adult mice. Although it remains to be seen to what extent these findings may be extrapolated to catheter-mediated hydrodynamic delivery in larger species, they suggest that caution should be used during translation of hydrodynamic injection to clinical applications.
Chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of colorectal cancer generally include oxaliplatin, although inherent and acquired resistance is common. One potential mediator of oxaliplatin sensitivity is the nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase, Src, the activity of which correlates with disease stage and patient survival. Therefore, we investigated the effects of Src inhibition using the tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib on oxaliplatin sensitivity. We show that oxaliplatin acutely activates Src and that combination treatment with dasatinib is synergistic in a cell-line dependent manner, with the level of Src activation correlating with extent of synergy in a panel of six cell lines. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated after oxaliplatin treatment, and ROS potently activates Src. Pretreatment with antioxidants inhibits oxaliplatin-induced Src activation. In oxaliplatin-resistant cell lines, Src activity is constitutively increased. In a mouse model of colorectal liver metastases, treatment with oxaliplatin also results in chronic Src activation. The combination of dasatinib and oxaliplatin results in significantly smaller tumors compared with single-agent treatment, corresponding with reduced proliferation and angiogenesis. Therefore, we conclude that oxaliplatin activates Src through a ROS-dependent mechanism. Src inhibition increases oxaliplatin activity both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that Src inhibitors combined with oxaliplatin may have efficacy in metastatic colon cancer and may provide the first indication of a molecular phenotype that might be susceptible to such combinations.