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Human colorectal cancers are known to possess multiple mutations, though how these mutations interact in tumor development and progression has not been fully investigated. We have previously described the FCPIK3ca* murine colon cancer model, which expresses a constitutively activated phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) in the intestinal epithelium. The expression of this dominantly active form of PI3K results in hyperplasia and invasive mucinous adenocarcinomas. These cancers form via a non-canonical mechanism of tumor initiation that is mediated through activation of PI3K and not through aberrations in WNT signaling. Since the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene is mutated in the majority of human colon cancers and often occurs simultaneously with PIK3CA mutations, we sought to better understand the interaction between APC and PIK3CA mutations in the mammalian intestine. In this study, we have generated mice in which the expression of a constitutively active PI3K and the loss of APC occur simultaneously in the distal small intestine and colon. Here, we demonstrate that expression of a dominant active PI3K synergizes with loss of APC activity resulting in a dramatic change in tumor multiplicity, size, morphology and invasiveness. Activation of the PI3K pathway is not able to directly activate WNT signaling through the nuclear localization of CTNNB1 (β-catenin) in the absence of aberrant WNT signaling. Alterations at the transcriptional level, including increased CCND1, may be the etiology of synergy between these activated pathways.
Analysis of 4,405 variants in 89,050 European subjects from 41 case-control studies identified three independent association signals for estrogen-receptor-positive tumors at 11q13. The strongest signal maps to a transcriptional enhancer element in which the G allele of the best candidate causative variant rs554219 increases risk of breast cancer, reduces both binding of ELK4 transcription factor and luciferase activity in reporter assays, and may be associated with low cyclin D1 protein levels in tumors. Another candidate variant, rs78540526, lies in the same enhancer element. Risk association signal 2, rs75915166, creates a GATA3 binding site within a silencer element. Chromatin conformation studies demonstrate that these enhancer and silencer elements interact with each other and with their likely target gene, CCND1.
Copyright © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Heritable factors contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. Identifying the genetic loci associated with colorectal tumor formation could elucidate the mechanisms of pathogenesis.
METHODS - We conducted a genome-wide association study that included 14 studies, 12,696 cases of colorectal tumors (11,870 cancer, 826 adenoma), and 15,113 controls of European descent. The 10 most statistically significant, previously unreported findings were followed up in 6 studies; these included 3056 colorectal tumor cases (2098 cancer, 958 adenoma) and 6658 controls of European and Asian descent.
RESULTS - Based on the combined analysis, we identified a locus that reached the conventional genome-wide significance level at less than 5.0 × 10(-8): an intergenic region on chromosome 2q32.3, close to nucleic acid binding protein 1 (most significant single nucleotide polymorphism: rs11903757; odds ratio [OR], 1.15 per risk allele; P = 3.7 × 10(-8)). We also found evidence for 3 additional loci with P values less than 5.0 × 10(-7): a locus within the laminin gamma 1 gene on chromosome 1q25.3 (rs10911251; OR, 1.10 per risk allele; P = 9.5 × 10(-8)), a locus within the cyclin D2 gene on chromosome 12p13.32 (rs3217810 per risk allele; OR, 0.84; P = 5.9 × 10(-8)), and a locus in the T-box 3 gene on chromosome 12q24.21 (rs59336; OR, 0.91 per risk allele; P = 3.7 × 10(-7)).
CONCLUSIONS - In a large genome-wide association study, we associated polymorphisms close to nucleic acid binding protein 1 (which encodes a DNA-binding protein involved in DNA repair) with colorectal tumor risk. We also provided evidence for an association between colorectal tumor risk and polymorphisms in laminin gamma 1 (this is the second gene in the laminin family to be associated with colorectal cancers), cyclin D2 (which encodes for cyclin D2), and T-box 3 (which encodes a T-box transcription factor and is a target of Wnt signaling to β-catenin). The roles of these genes and their products in cancer pathogenesis warrant further investigation.
Copyright © 2013 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
To identify new genetic factors for colorectal cancer (CRC), we conducted a genome-wide association study in east Asians. By analyzing genome-wide data in 2,098 cases and 5,749 controls, we selected 64 promising SNPs for replication in an independent set of samples, including up to 5,358 cases and 5,922 controls. We identified four SNPs with association P values of 8.58 × 10(-7) to 3.77 × 10(-10) in the combined analysis of all east Asian samples. Three of the four were replicated in a study conducted in 26,060 individuals of European descent, with combined P values of 1.22 × 10(-10) for rs647161 (5q31.1), 6.64 × 10(-9) for rs2423279 (20p12.3) and 3.06 × 10(-8) for rs10774214 (12p13.32 near the CCND2 gene), derived from meta-analysis of data from both east Asian and European-ancestry populations. This study identified three new CRC susceptibility loci and provides additional insight into the genetics and biology of CRC.
The endogenous phospholipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) regulates fundamental cellular processes such as proliferation, survival, motility, and invasion implicated in homeostatic and pathological conditions. Hence, delineation of the full range of molecular mechanisms by which LPA exerts its broad effects is essential. We report avid binding of LPA to the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, and mapping of the LPA binding site on this receptor. In vitro, RAGE was required for LPA-mediated signal transduction in vascular smooth muscle cells and C6 glioma cells, as well as proliferation and migration. In vivo, the administration of soluble RAGE or genetic deletion of RAGE mitigated LPA-stimulated vascular Akt signaling, autotaxin/LPA-driven phosphorylation of Akt and cyclin D1 in the mammary tissue of transgenic mice vulnerable to carcinogenesis, and ovarian tumor implantation and development. These findings identify novel roles for RAGE as a conduit for LPA signaling and suggest targeting LPA-RAGE interaction as a therapeutic strategy to modify the pathological actions of LPA.
Constitutive activation of Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling is frequently detected in breast and pancreatic cancer. Inhibiting constitutive STAT3 signaling represents a promising molecular target for therapeutic approach. Using structure-based design, we developed a non-peptide cell-permeable, small molecule, termed as XZH-5, which targeted STAT3 phosphorylation. XZH-5 was found to inhibit STAT3 phosphorylation (Tyr705) and induce apoptosis in human breast and pancreatic cancer cell lines expressing elevated levels of phosphorylated STAT3. XZH-5 could also inhibit interleukin-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation in cancer cell lines expressing low phosphorylated STAT3. Inhibition of STAT3 signaling by XZH-5 was confirmed by the down-regulation of downstream targets of STAT3, such as Cyclin D1, Bcl-2, and Survivin at mRNA level. In addition, XZH-5 inhibited colony formation, cell migration, and enhanced the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs when combined with Doxorubicin or Gemcitabine. Our results indicate that XZH-5 may be a potential therapeutic agent for breast and pancreatic cancers with constitutive STAT3 signaling.
BACKGROUND - The cell-cycle regulator Cyclin D1 is expressed in embryonic retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) and regulates their cell-cycle rate and neurogenic output. We report here that Cyclin D1 also has important functions in postnatal retinal histogenesis.
RESULTS - The initial production of Müller glia and bipolar cells was enhanced in Cyclin D1 knockout (Ccnd1(-/-) ) retinas. Despite a steeper than normal rate of depletion of the RPC population at embryonic ages, postnatal Ccnd1(-/-) retinas exhibited an extended window of proliferation, neurogenesis, and gliogenesis. Cyclin D3, normally confined to Müller glia, was prematurely expressed in Ccnd1(-/-) RPCs. However, Cyclin D3 did not compensate for Cyclin D1 in regulating cell-cycle kinetics or neurogenic output.
CONCLUSIONS - The data presented in this study along with our previous finding that Cyclin D2 was unable to completely compensate for the absence of Cyclin D1 indicate that Cyclin D1 regulates retinal histogenesis in ways not shared by the other D-cyclins.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
PURPOSE - The purpose of this preclinical study was to determine the effectiveness of RAF265, a multikinase inhibitor, for treatment of human metastatic melanoma and to characterize traits associated with drug response.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Advanced metastatic melanoma tumors from 34 patients were orthotopically implanted to nude mice. Tumors that grew in mice (17 of 34) were evaluated for response to RAF265 (40 mg/kg, every day) over 30 days. The relation between patient characteristics, gene mutation profile, global gene expression profile, and RAF265 effects on tumor growth, mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, proliferation, and apoptosis markers was evaluated.
RESULTS - Nine of the 17 tumors that successfully implanted (53%) were mutant BRAF (BRAF(V600E/K)), whereas eight of 17 (47%) tumors were BRAF wild type (BRAF(WT)). Tumor implants from 7 of 17 patients (41%) responded to RAF265 treatment with more than 50% reduction in tumor growth. Five of the 7 (71%) responders were BRAF(WT), of which 1 carried c-KIT(L576P) and another N-RAS(Q61R) mutation, while only 2 (29%) of the responding tumors were BRAF(V600E/K). Gene expression microarray data from nonimplanted tumors revealed that responders exhibited enriched expression of genes involved in cell growth, proliferation, development, cell signaling, gene expression, and cancer pathways. Although response to RAF265 did not correlate with pERK1/2 reduction, RAF265 responders did exhibit reduced pMEK1, reduced proliferation based upon reduced Ki-67, cyclin D1 and polo-like kinase1 levels, and induction of the apoptosis mediator BCL2-like 11.
CONCLUSIONS - Orthotopic implants of patient tumors in mice may predict prognosis and treatment response for melanoma patients. A subpopulation of human melanoma tumors responds to RAF265 and can be characterized by gene mutation and gene expression profiles.
Cholesterol metabolism is tightly regulated at the cellular level and is essential for cellular growth. microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of noncoding RNAs, have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression, acting predominantly at posttranscriptional level. Recent work from our group and others has shown that hsa-miR-33a and hsa-miR-33b, miRNAs located within intronic sequences of the Srebp genes, regulate cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism in concert with their host genes. Here, we show that hsa-miR-33 family members modulate the expression of genes involved in cell cycle regulation and cell proliferation. MiR-33 inhibits the expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) and cyclin D1 (CCND1), thereby reducing cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Overexpression of miR-33 induces a significant G 1 cell cycle arrest in Huh7 and A549 cell lines. Most importantly, inhibition of miR-33 expression using 2'fluoro/methoxyethyl-modified (2'F/MOE-modified) phosphorothioate backbone antisense oligonucleotides improves liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) in mice, suggesting an important role for miR-33 in regulating hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration. Altogether, these results suggest that Srebp/miR-33 locus may cooperate to regulate cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and may also be relevant to human liver regeneration.
Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) inducing kinase (NIK) is a MAP3K that regulates the activation of NF-κB. NIK is often highly expressed in tumor cells, including melanoma, but the significance of this in melanoma progression has been unclear. Tissue microarray analysis of NIK expression reveals that dysplastic nevi (n=22), primary (n=15) and metastatic melanoma (n=13) lesions showed a statistically significant elevation in NIK expression when compared with benign nevi (n=30). Moreover, when short hairpin RNA techniques were used to knock-down NIK, the resultant NIK-depleted melanoma cell lines exhibited decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, delayed cell cycle progression and reduced tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model. As expected, when NIK was depleted there was decreased activation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway, whereas canonical NF-κB activation remained intact. NIK depletion also resulted in reduced expression of genes that contribute to tumor growth, including CXCR4, c-MYC and c-MET, and pro-survival factors such as BCL2 and survivin. These changes in gene expression are not fully explained by the attenuation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway. Shown here for the first time is the demonstration that NIK modulates β-catenin-mediated transcription to promote expression of survivin. NIK-depleted melanoma cells exhibited downregulation of survivin as well as other β-catenin regulated genes including c-MYC, c-MET and CCND2. These data indicate that NIK mediates both β-catenin and NF-κB regulated transcription to modulate melanoma survival and growth. Thus, NIK may be a promising therapeutic target for melanoma.