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Metastasis is the most lethal aspect of cancer, yet current therapeutic strategies do not target its key rate-limiting steps. We have previously shown that the entry of cancer cells into the blood stream, or intravasation, is highly dependent upon in vivo cancer cell motility, making it an attractive therapeutic target. To systemically identify genes required for tumor cell motility in an in vivo tumor microenvironment, we established a novel quantitative in vivo screening platform based on intravital imaging of human cancer metastasis in ex ovo avian embryos. Utilizing this platform to screen a genome-wide shRNA library, we identified a panel of novel genes whose function is required for productive cancer cell motility in vivo, and whose expression is closely associated with metastatic risk in human cancers. The RNAi-mediated inhibition of these gene targets resulted in a nearly total (>99.5%) block of spontaneous cancer metastasis in vivo.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are major components of the carcinoma microenvironment that promote tumor progression. However, the mechanisms by which CAFs regulate cancer cell migration are poorly understood. In this study, we show that fibronectin (Fn) assembled by CAFs mediates CAF-cancer cell association and directional migration. Compared with normal fibroblasts, CAFs produce an Fn-rich extracellular matrix with anisotropic fiber orientation, which guides the cancer cells to migrate directionally. CAFs align the Fn matrix by increasing nonmuscle myosin II- and platelet-derived growth factor receptor α-mediated contractility and traction forces, which are transduced to Fn through α5β1 integrin. We further show that prostate cancer cells use αv integrin to migrate efficiently and directionally on CAF-derived matrices. We demonstrate that aligned Fn is a prominent feature of invasion sites in human prostatic and pancreatic carcinoma samples. Collectively, we present a new mechanism by which CAFs organize the Fn matrix and promote directional cancer cell migration.
© 2017 Erdogan et al.
PURPOSE - The identification and targeting of biomarkers specific to prostate cancer (PCa) could improve its detection. Given the high expression of translocator protein (TSPO) in PCa, we investigated the use of [F]VUIIS1008 (a novel TSPO-targeting radioligand) coupled with positron emission tomography (PET) to identify PCa in mice and to characterize their TSPO uptake.
PROCEDURES - Pten, Trp53 prostate cancer-bearing mice (n = 9, 4-6 months old) were imaged in a 7T MRI scanner for lesion localization. Within 24 h, the mice were imaged using a microPET scanner for 60 min in dynamic mode following a retro-orbital injection of ~ 18 MBq [F]VUIIS1008. Following imaging, tumors were harvested and stained with a TSPO antibody. Regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn around the tumor and muscle (hind limb) in the PET images. Time-activity curves (TACs) were recorded over the duration of the scan for each ROI. The mean activity concentrations between 40 and 60 min post radiotracer administration between tumor and muscle were compared.
RESULTS - Tumor presence was confirmed by visual inspection of the MR images. The uptake of [F]VUIIS1008 in the tumors was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that in the muscle, where the percent injected dose per unit volume for tumor was 7.1 ± 1.6 % ID/ml and that of muscle was < 1 % ID/ml. In addition, positive TSPO expression was observed in tumor tissue analysis.
CONCLUSIONS - The foregoing preliminary data suggest that TSPO may be a useful biomarker of PCa. Therefore, using TSPO-targeting PET ligands, such as [F]VUIIS1008, may improve PCa detectability and characterization.
BACKGROUND - Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous class of lipid bound particles shed by any cell in the body in physiological and pathological conditions. EVs play critical functions in intercellular communication. EVs can actively travel in intercellular matrices and eventually reach the circulation. They can also be released directly in biological fluids where they appear to be stable. Because the molecular content of EVs reflects the composition of the cell of origin, they have recently emerged as a promising source of biomarkers in a number of diseases. EV analysis is particularly attractive in cancer patients that frequently present with increased numbers of circulating EVs.
METHODS - We sought to review the current literature on the molecular profile of prostate cancer-derived EVs in model systems and patient biological fluids in an attempt to draw some practical and universal conclusions on the use of EVs as a tool for liquid biopsy in clinical specimens.
RESULTS - We discuss advantages and limitations of EV-based liquid biopsy approaches summarizing salient studies on protein, DNA and RNA. Several candidate biomarkers have been identified so far but these results are difficult to apply to the clinic. However, the field is rapidly moving toward the implementation of novel tools to isolate cancer-specific EVs that are free of benign EVs and extra-vesicular contaminants. This can be achieved by identifying markers that are exquisitely present in tumor cell-derived EVs. An important contribution might also derive from a better understanding of EV types that may play specific functions in tumor progression and that may be a source of cancer-specific markers.
CONCLUSIONS - EV analysis holds strong promises for the development of non-invasive biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer. Implementation of modern methods for EV isolation and characterization will enable to interrogate circulating EVs in vivo.
The diagnosis of minimal prostatic adenocarcinoma can be challenging on prostate needle biopsy, and immunohistochemistry may be used to support the diagnosis of cancer. The International Society of Urologic Pathology currently recommends the use of the basal cell markers high-molecular-weight cytokeraratin and p63, and α-methylacyl-coenzyme-A racemase. However, there are caveats associated with the interpretation of these markers, particularly with benign mimickers. Another issue is that of early detection of presence and progression of disease and prediction of recurrence after clinical intervention. There remains a lack of reliable biomarkers to accurately predict low-risk cancer and avoid over treatment. As such, aggressive forms of prostate cancer may be missed and indolent disease may be subjected to unnecessary radical therapy. New biomarker discovery promises to improve early detection and prognosis and to provide targets for therapeutic interventions. In this review, we present the emerging immunohistochemical biomarkers of prostate cancer PTEN, ERG, FASN, MAGI-2, and SPINK1, and address their diagnostic and prognostic advantages and limitations.
EZH2 is crucial for the progression of prostate cancer (PCa) and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) through upregulation and activation of progenitor genes, as well as androgen receptor (AR)-target genes. However, the mechanisms by which EZH2 is regulated in PCa and CRPC remain elusive. Here we report that EZH2 is post-transcriptionally regulated by SKP2 in vitro in cultured cells and in vivo in mouse models. We observed aberrant upregulation of Skp2, Ezh2 and histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in both Pten null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and Pten null mouse prostate tissues. Loss of Skp2 resulted in a striking decrease of Ezh2 levels in Pten/Trp53 double-null MEFs and in prostate tumors of Pten/Trp53 double-null mutant mice. SKP2 knockdown decreased EZH2 levels in human PCa cells through upregulation of TRAF6-mediated and lysine(K) 63-linked ubiquitination of EZH2 for degradation. Ectopic expression of TRAF6 promoted the K63-linked ubiquitination of EZH2 to decrease EZH2 and H3K27me3 levels in PCa cells. In contrast, TRAF6 knockdown resulted in a reduced EZH2 ubiquitination with an increase of EZH2 and H3K27me3 levels in PCa cells. Furthermore, the catalytically dead mutant TRAF6 C70A abolished the TRAF6-mediated polyubiquitination of recombinant human EZH2 in vitro. Most importantly, a concurrent elevation of Skp2 and Ezh2 was found in CRPC tumors of Pten/Trp53 mutant mice, and expression levels of SKP2 and EZH2 were positively correlated in human PCa specimens. Taken together, our findings revealed a novel mechanism on EZH2 ubiquitination and an important signaling network of SKP2-TRAF6-EZH2/H3K27me3, and targeting SKP2-EZH2 pathway may be a promising therapeutic strategy for CRPC treatment.
BACKGROUND - Observational studies examining associations between adult height and risk of colorectal, prostate, and lung cancers have generated mixed results. We conducted meta-analyses using data from prospective cohort studies and further carried out Mendelian randomization analyses, using height-associated genetic variants identified in a genome-wide association study (GWAS), to evaluate the association of adult height with these cancers.
METHODS AND FINDINGS - A systematic review of prospective studies was conducted using the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases. Using meta-analyses, results obtained from 62 studies were summarized for the association of a 10-cm increase in height with cancer risk. Mendelian randomization analyses were conducted using summary statistics obtained for 423 genetic variants identified from a recent GWAS of adult height and from a cancer genetics consortium study of multiple cancers that included 47,800 cases and 81,353 controls. For a 10-cm increase in height, the summary relative risks derived from the meta-analyses of prospective studies were 1.12 (95% CI 1.10, 1.15), 1.07 (95% CI 1.05, 1.10), and 1.06 (95% CI 1.02, 1.11) for colorectal, prostate, and lung cancers, respectively. Mendelian randomization analyses showed increased risks of colorectal (odds ratio [OR] = 1.58, 95% CI 1.14, 2.18) and lung cancer (OR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.00, 1.22) associated with each 10-cm increase in genetically predicted height. No association was observed for prostate cancer (OR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.92, 1.15). Our meta-analysis was limited to published studies. The sample size for the Mendelian randomization analysis of colorectal cancer was relatively small, thus affecting the precision of the point estimate.
CONCLUSIONS - Our study provides evidence for a potential causal association of adult height with the risk of colorectal and lung cancers and suggests that certain genetic factors and biological pathways affecting adult height may also affect the risk of these cancers.
OBJECTIVES - We compared the utility of membrane-associated guanylate kinase, WW and PDZ domain-containing protein 2 (MAGI-2) and α-methylacyl CoA (AMACR) by immunohistochemistry in diagnosing prostatic adenocarcinoma.
METHODS - Seventy-eight radical prostatectomies were used to construct three tissue microarrays with 512 cores, including benign prostatic tissue, benign prostatic hyperplasia, high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), and adenocarcinoma. AMACR and MAGI-2 immunohistochemistry were evaluated by visual and image analysis.
RESULTS - MAGI-2 and AMACR were significantly higher in adenocarcinoma and HGPIN compared with benign tissue. At H-score cutoffs of 300 and 200, MAGI-2 was more accurate in distinguishing benign from malignant glands than AMACR. Areas under the curve by image and visual analysis were 0.846 and 0.818 for MAGI-2 and 0.937 and 0.924 for AMACR, respectively. The accuracy of MAGI-2 in distinguishing benign from malignant glands on the same core was higher (95% vs 88%).
CONCLUSIONS - MAGI-2 could represent a useful adjunct for diagnosis of prostatic adenocarcinoma, especially when AMACR is not discriminatory.
© American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerous studies indicate that androgen receptor splice variants (ARVs) play a critical role in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), including the resistance to the new generation of inhibitors of androgen receptor (AR) action. Previously, we demonstrated that activation of NF-κB signaling increases ARVs expression in prostate cancer (PC) cells, thereby promoting progression to CRPC. However, it is unclear how NF-κB signaling is activated in CRPC. In this study, we report that long-term treatment with anti-androgens increases a neuroendocrine (NE) hormone - gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) and its receptor (GRP-R) expression in PC cells. In addition, activation of GRP/GRP-R signaling increases ARVs expression through activating NF-κB signaling. This results in an androgen-dependent tumor progressing to a castrate resistant tumor. The knock-down of AR-V7 restores sensitivity to antiandrogens of PC cells over-expressing the GRP/GRP-R signaling pathway. These findings strongly indicate that the axis of Androgen-Deprivation Therapy (ADT) induces GRP/GRP-R activity, activation NF-κB and increased levels of AR-V7 expression resulting in progression to CRPC. Both prostate adenocarcinoma and small cell NE prostate cancer express GRP-R. Since the GRP-R is clinically targetable by analogue-based approach, this provides a novel therapeutic approach to treat advanced CRPC.
UNLABELLED - Breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers are hormone-related and may have a shared genetic basis, but this has not been investigated systematically by genome-wide association (GWA) studies. Meta-analyses combining the largest GWA meta-analysis data sets for these cancers totaling 112,349 cases and 116,421 controls of European ancestry, all together and in pairs, identified at P < 10(-8) seven new cross-cancer loci: three associated with susceptibility to all three cancers (rs17041869/2q13/BCL2L11; rs7937840/11q12/INCENP; rs1469713/19p13/GATAD2A), two breast and ovarian cancer risk loci (rs200182588/9q31/SMC2; rs8037137/15q26/RCCD1), and two breast and prostate cancer risk loci (rs5013329/1p34/NSUN4; rs9375701/6q23/L3MBTL3). Index variants in five additional regions previously associated with only one cancer also showed clear association with a second cancer type. Cell-type-specific expression quantitative trait locus and enhancer-gene interaction annotations suggested target genes with potential cross-cancer roles at the new loci. Pathway analysis revealed significant enrichment of death receptor signaling genes near loci with P < 10(-5) in the three-cancer meta-analysis.
SIGNIFICANCE - We demonstrate that combining large-scale GWA meta-analysis findings across cancer types can identify completely new risk loci common to breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. We show that the identification of such cross-cancer risk loci has the potential to shed new light on the shared biology underlying these hormone-related cancers. Cancer Discov; 6(9); 1052-67. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 932.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.