Gene Summary

Gene:ACTN4; actinin alpha 4
Summary: Alpha actinins belong to the spectrin gene superfamily which represents a diverse group of cytoskeletal proteins, including the alpha and beta spectrins and dystrophins. Alpha actinin is an actin-binding protein with multiple roles in different cell types. In nonmuscle cells, the cytoskeletal isoform is found along microfilament bundles and adherens-type junctions, where it is involved in binding actin to the membrane. In contrast, skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle isoforms are localized to the Z-disc and analogous dense bodies, where they help anchor the myofibrillar actin filaments. This gene encodes a nonmuscle, alpha actinin isoform which is concentrated in the cytoplasm, and thought to be involved in metastatic processes. Mutations in this gene have been associated with focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (29)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (5)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: ACTN4 (cancer-related)

Wang Q, Song R, Zhao C, et al.
HPV16 E6 promotes cervical cancer cell migration and invasion by downregulation of NHERF1.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(7):1619-1632 [PubMed] Related Publications
HPV16 is the predominant type of HPV causing invasive cervical cancer. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of the unparalleled carcinogenic power of HPV16 compared to other types of high-risk (HR)-HPV including HPV18 remains elusive. The PDZ binding motif (PBM) of high-risk HPV E6 plays an important role in neoplasia and progression of cervical cancer. HPV16 E6 rather than HPV18 E6, interacted with NHERF1 by its PBM region, and induced degradation of NHERF1. NHERF1 retarded the assembly of cytoskeleton by downregulation of ACTN4, thereby inhibited the migration and invasion of cervical cancer cells in both cell and mouse model. HPV16 E6 was confirmed to enhance actin polymerization with increased ACTN4 level by downregulation of NHERF1, and result in enhanced migration and invasion of cervical cancer cells. GSEA analysis of cervical cancer specimens also showed that HPV16 E6 rather than HPV18 E6, was significantly associated with actin cytoskeleton assembly. That downregulation of NHERF1 by HPV16 E6 promoted cytoskeleton assembly and cell invasion, was an important cause in cervical cancer carcinogenesis. These findings provided the differential mechanism between HPV16 E6 and HPV18 E6 in the development and progression of cervical cancer, which may partially explain the differences of carcinogenic power between these two types of HR-HPVs.

Capaia M, Granata I, Guarracino M, et al.
A hnRNP K⁻AR-Related Signature Reflects Progression toward Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(7) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The major challenge in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remains the ability to predict the clinical responses to improve patient selection for appropriate treatments. The finding that androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) induces alterations in the androgen receptor (AR) transcriptional program by AR coregulators activity in a context-dependent manner, offers the opportunity for identifying signatures discriminating different clinical states of prostate cancer (PCa) progression. Gel electrophoretic analyses combined with western blot showed that, in androgen-dependent PCa and CRPC in vitro models, the subcellular distribution of spliced and serine-phosphorylated heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) isoforms can be associated with different AR activities. Using mass spectrometry and bioinformatic analyses, we showed that the protein sets of androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and ADT-resistant cell lines (PDB and MDB) co-immunoprecipitated with hnRNP K varied depending on the cell type, unravelling a dynamic relationship between hnRNP K and AR during PCa progression to CRPC. By comparing the interactome of LNCaP, PDB, and MDB cell lines, we identified 51 proteins differentially interacting with hnRNP K, among which KLK3, SORD, SPON2, IMPDH2, ACTN4, ATP1B1, HSPB1, and KHDRBS1 were associated with AR and differentially expressed in normal and tumor human prostate tissues. This hnRNP K⁻AR-related signature, associated with androgen sensitivity and PCa progression, may help clinicians to better manage patients with CRPC.

Shoji H, Miura N, Ueno H, Honda K
Measurement of copy number of ACTN4 to optimize the therapeutic strategy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatology. 2018; 18(6):624-629 [PubMed] Related Publications
The standard therapeutic strategy recommended for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) is typically chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Although the clinical benefit of chemotherapy alone versus CRT for LAPC has been compared in a number of clinical trials, the optimal therapy for LAPC remains unclear. Moreover, the clinical benefit derived from treatment in each clinical trial is a matter of controversy, and the superiority of one treatment over another has yet to be definitively demonstrated. The poor outcomes seen among patients with LAPC owe largely to the emergence of metastatic disease; therefore, accurately evaluating occult distant metastasis before choosing a therapeutic strategy could be expected to help stratify patients with LAPC into the most appropriate treatment regimen, namely local control or systemic therapy. In 1998, we identified the actinin-4 gene (ACTN4) as an actin-binding protein and showed its molecular mechanisms had clinical implications for cancer metastasis. We also identified ACTN4 gene amplification in pancreatic, ovarian, and salivary gland cancer, and demonstrated its utility as a strong prognostic biomarker for stage I lung adenocarcinoma in patients who had never received chemotherapy. Moreover, we recently reported that ACTN4 gene amplification could be a useful biomarker for predicting the efficacy of CRT for LAPC. In the present review, we summarize current knowledge regarding therapeutic strategies for LAPC and discuss the potential development of personalized medicine using ACTN4 measurement for patients with LAPC.

Zhang YY, Tabataba H, Liu XY, et al.
ACTN4 regulates the stability of RIPK1 in melanoma.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(29):4033-4045 [PubMed] Related Publications
The actin crosslinking protein α-actinin-4 (ACTN4) is emerging as an important contributor to the pathogenesis of cancer. This has largely been attributed to its role in regulating cytoskeleton organization and its involvement in transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Here we report a novel function of ACTN4 as a scaffold necessary for stabilization of receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) that we have recently found to be an oncogenic driver in melanoma. ACTN4 bound to RIPK1 and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (cIAP1) with its actin-binding domain at the N-terminus and the CaM-like domain at the C-terminus, respectively. This facilitated the physical association between RIPK1 and cIAP1 and was critical for stabilization of RIPK1 that in turn activated NF-κB. Functional investigations showed that silencing of ACTN4 suppressed melanoma cell proliferation and retarded melanoma xenograft growth. In contrast, overexpression of ACTN4 promoted melanocyte and melanoma cell proliferation and moreover, prompted melanocyte anchorage-independent growth. Of note, the expression of ACTN4 was transcriptionally activated by NF-κB. Taken together, our findings identify ACTN4 as an oncogenic regulator through driving a feedforward signaling axis of ACTN4-RIPK1-NF-κB, with potential implications for targeting ACTN4 in the treatment of melanoma.

Shao H, Wang A, Lauffenburger D, Wells A
Tyro3-mediated phosphorylation of ACTN4 at tyrosines is FAK-dependent and decreases susceptibility to cleavage by m-Calpain.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2018; 95:73-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tyro3, a member of TAM receptor tyrosine kinase family, has been implicated in the regulation of melanoma progression and survival. In this study, we sought the molecular mechanism of Tyro3 effects avoiding endogenous background by overexpression of Tyro3 in fibroblasts that have negligible levels of Tyro3. This introduction triggers the tyrosyl-phosphorylation of ACTN4, a member of actin binding protein family involved in motility, a behavior critical for invasive progression, as shown by siRNA to Tyro3 limiting melanoma cell migration and invasion. Tyro3-mediated phosphorylation of ACTN4 required FAK activation at tyrosine 397 and the EGF receptor cascade, but not EGFR ligand binding. Using PCR-based mutagenesis, the sites of Tyro3-mediated ACTN4 phosphorylation were mapped to ACTN4 tyrosine 11 and 13, and this occurs in conjunction with EGF-mediated phosphorylation on Y4 and Y31. Interestingly, Tyro3-mediated phosphorylation only slightly decreases the actin binding activity of ACTN4. However, this rendered the phosphorylated ACTN4 resistant to the m-calpain cleavage between Y13 and G14, a limited proteolysis that prevents growth factor regulation of ACTN4 interaction with F-actin. Overexpression of both WT ACTN4 and ACTN4Y11/13E, a mimic of ACTN4 phosphorylated at tyrosine 11 and 13, in melanoma WM983b cells resulted in a likely mesenchymal to amoeboidal transition. ACTN4Y11/13E-expressing cells were more amoeboidal, less migratory on collagen I gel coated surface but more invasive through collagen networks. In parallel, expression of ACTN4Y11/13E, in ACTN4 knockdown melanoma WM1158 cells resulted in an increase of invasion compared to WT ACTN4. These findings suggest that Tyro3-mediated phosphorylation of ACTN4 is involved in invasion of melanoma cells.

Yamaguchi H, Ito Y, Miura N, et al.
Actinin-1 and actinin-4 play essential but distinct roles in invadopodia formation by carcinoma cells.
Eur J Cell Biol. 2017; 96(7):685-694 [PubMed] Related Publications
Invadopodia are ventral membrane protrusions formed by cancer cells that degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) during tumor invasion and metastasis. Formation of invadopodia is initiated by the assembly of actin filaments (F-actin) that results from the coordinated activation of several actin regulatory proteins. Actinin-1 and actinin-4 are actin bundling proteins expressed in non-muscle cells and actinin-4 is preferentially associated with malignant phenotypes of carcinoma cells. In this study, we investigated the role of actinin-1 and -4 in invadopodia formation. Expression of both actinin-1 and -4 tended to be higher in invasive and metastatic breast carcinoma cell lines than in non-invasive ones. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that actinin-1 and -4 colocalized at core actin structures of invadopodia. Time-lapse imaging showed that appearance of both actinins at invadopodia is concomitant with the assembly of F-actin. Knockdown of either actinin-1 or actinin-4 suppressed the formation of invadopodia and degradation of the ECM by carcinoma cells. Interestingly, overexpression of actinin-4, but not actinin-1, significantly promoted the formation of invadopodia and this activity required the actin binding domains and the unique N-terminal motif that exists only in actinin-4. These results demonstrate that both actinin-1 and actinin-4 participate in the assembly of F-actin at invadopodia. Additionally, actinin-4 may have a selective advantage in accelerating invadopodia-mediated invasion of carcinoma cells.

Berania I, Cardin GB, Clément I, et al.
Four PTEN-targeting co-expressed miRNAs and ACTN4- targeting miR-548b are independent prognostic biomarkers in human squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue.
Int J Cancer. 2017; 141(11):2318-2328 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to determine the prognostic value and oncogenic pathways associated to miRNA expression in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue and to link these miRNA candidates with potential gene targets. We performed a miRNA screening within our institutional cohort (n = 58 patients) and reported five prognostic targets including a cluster of four co-expressed miRNAs (miR-18a, miR-92a, miR-103, and miR-205). Multivariate analysis showed that expression of miR-548b (p = 0.007) and miR-18a (p = 0.004, representative of co-expressed miRNAs) are independent prognostic markers for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue. These findings were validated in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort (n = 131) for both miRNAs (miR-548b: p = 0.027; miR-18a: p = 0.001). Bioinformatics analysis identified PTEN and ACTN4 as direct targets of the four co-expressed miRNAs and miR-548b, respectively. Correlations between the five identified miRNAs and their respective targeted genes were validated in the two merged cohorts and were concordantly significant (miR-18a/PTEN: p < 0.0001; miR-92a/PTEN: p = 0.0008; miR-103/PTEN: p = 0.008; miR-203/PTEN: p = 0.019; miR-548b/ACTN4: p = 0.009).

Liao Q, Li R, Zhou R, et al.
LIM kinase 1 interacts with myosin-9 and alpha-actinin-4 and promotes colorectal cancer progression.
Br J Cancer. 2017; 117(4):563-571 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) is a key regulator of the cytoskeletal organisation involved in cell proliferation and migration. Even though LIMK1 is frequently dysregulated in epithelial cancers, the role and mechanisms of LIMK1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine the expression and clinical significance of LIMK1 in CRC samples. Loss- and gain-of-function assay was performed to investigate the effects of aberrant expression on cellular biological behaviour of CRC cells in vitro and in vivo. Immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation was used to screen LIMK1-related signalling pathways and downstream factors.
RESULTS: In this study, our results showed that LIMK1 was upregulated in CRC tissues and localised in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of CRC cells. Overexpression of LIMK1 in cytoplasmic and nuclear subcellular compartments was closely related to tumour metastasis and poor prognosis of CRC patients. Enhanced expression of cytoplasmic and nuclear LIMK1 significantly increased cell proliferation and migration by driving epithelial-mesenchymal transition and activating the PI3K/Akt signal pathway in vitro as well as promoting growth and metastasis of CRC xenografts, whereas opposite effects were achieved in LIMK1-silenced cells. Furthermore, we identified two tumour metastasis-associated proteins, MYH9 and ACTN4, as direct targets of LIMK1, which were required for a LIMK1-mediated aggressive phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that LIMK1 plays a critical role in promoting CRC progression at subcellular level. Our findings provide new insights into the metastasis of CRC and advocate for the development of clinical intervention strategies against advanced CRC.

Liu X, Chu KM
α-Actinin-4 promotes metastasis in gastric cancer.
Lab Invest. 2017; 97(9):1084-1094 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastasis increases the mortality rate of gastric cancer, which is the third leading cause of cancer-associated deaths worldwide. This study aims to identify the genes promoting metastasis of gastric cancer (GC). A human cell motility PCR array was used to analyze a pair of tumor and non-tumor tissue samples from a patient with stage IV GC (T3N3M1). Expression of the dysregulated genes was then evaluated in GC tissue samples (n=10) and cell lines (n=6) via qPCR. Expression of α-actinin-4 (ACTN4) was validated in a larger sample size (n=47) by qPCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry. Knockdown of ACTN4 with specific siRNAs was performed in GC cells, and adhesion assays, transwell invasion assays and migration assays were used to evaluate the function of these cells. Expression of potential targets of ACTN4 were then evaluated by qPCR. Thirty upregulated genes (greater than twofold) were revealed by the PCR array. We focused on ACTN4 because it was upregulated in 6 out of 10 pairs of tissue samples and 5 out of 6 GC cell lines. Further study indicated that ACTN4 was upregulated in 22/32 pairs of tissue samples at stage III &IV (P=0.0069). Knockdown of ACTN4 in GC cells showed no significant effect on cell proliferation, but significantly increased cell-matrix adhesion, as well as reduced migration and invasion of AGS, MKN7 and NCI-N87 cells. We found that NF-κB was downregulated in GC with the knockdown of ACTN4. In conclusion, this is the first study to indicate that ACTN4 is significantly upregulated in patients with metastatic GC. ACTN4 reduces cell adhesion and enhances migration and invasion of GC cells and may therefore be a novel therapeutic target for GC.

Fu L, Qin YR, Ming XY, et al.
RNA editing of
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(23):E4631-E4640 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Like many complex human diseases, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is known to cluster in families. Familial ESCC cases often show early onset and worse prognosis than the sporadic cases. However, the molecular genetic basis underlying the development of familial ESCC is mostly unknown. We reported that

Li C, Kuang L, Zhu B, et al.
Identification of prognostic risk factors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia based on mRNA expression profiling.
Neoplasma. 2017; 64(4):494-501 [PubMed] Related Publications
We aim to identify prognosis risk factors in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). mRNA microarray data of adult ALL patients were downloaded from TCGA database, whose mRNAs were isolated from bone marrow aspirate fluid mononuclear cells. Then the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between good and poor prognosis samples were screened. Following that, the sample dependency network was constructed based on the Pearson connection coefficients of DEGs in the samples. The prognosis-related genes were collected using logistic regression analysis. A classifier for predict the prognosis of ALL patients was established, which was validated in another independent dataset GSE13280 including 173 ALL samples. A total of 578 down-regulated and 637 up-regulated DEGs for worse prognosis were identified. A sample dependency network was established, comprising 100 samples combined by 246 lines. 13 prognosis-related genes were selected to constructed the prognosis classification model, which had an overall precision of 82.7% on distinguishing prognosis status of ALL patients. Total 4 genes were found as the prognosis risk factors in predicting the prognosis of ALL samples, including ALPK1, ACTN4, CALR, and ZNF695. ALPK1, ACTN4, CALR, and ZNF695 were identified as the potential prognosis risk factors in adult ALL.

Kakuya T, Mori T, Yoshimoto S, et al.
Prognostic significance of gene amplification of ACTN4 in stage I and II oral tongue cancer.
Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017; 46(8):968-976 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite complete resection of the early stage of oral tongue cancer by partial glossectomy, late cervical lymph node metastasis is frequently observed. Gene amplification of ACTN4 (protein name: actinin-4) is closely associated with the metastatic potential of various cancers. This retrospective study was performed to demonstrate the potential usefulness of ACTN4 gene amplification as a prognostic biomarker in patients with stage I/II oral tongue cancer. Fifty-four patients with stage I/II oral tongue cancer were enrolled retrospectively, in accordance with the reporting recommendations for tumour marker prognostic studies (REMARK) guidelines. The copy number of ACTN4 and the protein expression of actinin-4 were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. The overall survival time of patients with gene amplification of ACTN4 was significantly shorter than that of patients without gene amplification (P=0.0010, log-rank test). Gene amplification of ACTN4 was a significant independent risk factor for death in patients with stage I/II oral tongue cancer (hazard ratio 6.08, 95% confidence interval 1.66-22.27). Gene amplification of ACTN4 is a potential prognostic biomarker for overall survival in oral tongue cancer.

Procházková I, Lenčo J, Fučíková A, et al.
Targeted proteomics driven verification of biomarker candidates associated with breast cancer aggressiveness.
Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom. 2017; 1865(5):488-498 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common and molecularly relatively well characterized malignant disease in women, however, its progression to metastatic cancer remains lethal for 78% of patients 5years after diagnosis. Novel markers could identify the high risk patients and their verification using quantitative methods is essential to overcome genetic, inter-tumor and intra-tumor variability and translate novel findings into cancer diagnosis and treatment. We recently identified 13 proteins associated with estrogen receptor, tumor grade and lymph node status, the key factors of breast cancer aggressiveness, using untargeted proteomics. Here we verified these findings in the same set of 96 tumors using targeted proteomics based on selected reaction monitoring with mTRAQ labeling (mTRAQ-SRM), transcriptomics and immunohistochemistry and validated in 5 independent sets of 715 patients using transcriptomics. We confirmed: (i) positive association of anterior gradient protein 2 homolog (AGR2) and periostin (POSTN) and negative association of annexin A1 (ANXA1) with estrogen receptor status; (ii) positive association of stathmin (STMN1), cofilin-1 (COF1), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 RNA-binding protein (PAIRBP1) and negative associations of thrombospondin-2 (TSP2) and POSTN levels with tumor grade; and (iii) positive association of POSTN, alpha-actinin-4 (ACTN4) and STMN1 with lymph node status. This study highlights a panel of gene products that can contribute to breast cancer aggressiveness and metastasis, the understanding of which is important for development of more precise breast cancer treatment.

Noro R, Ishigame T, Walsh N, et al.
A Two-Gene Prognostic Classifier for Early-Stage Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Multiple Large-Scale and Geographically Diverse Cohorts.
J Thorac Oncol. 2017; 12(1):65-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: There are no validated molecular methods that prospectively identify patients with surgically resected lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) at high risk for recurrence. By focusing on the expression of genes with known functions in development of lung SCC and prognosis, we sought to develop a robust prognostic classifier of early-stage lung SCC.
METHODS: The expression of 253 genes selected by literature search was evaluated in microarrays from 107 stage I/II tumors. Associations with survival were evaluated by Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses in two independent cohorts of 121 and 91 patients with SCC, respectively. A classifier score based on multivariable Cox regression was derived and examined in six additional publicly available data sets of stage I/II lung SCC expression profiles (n = 358). The prognostic value of this classifier was evaluated in meta-analysis of patients with stage I/II (n = 479) and stage I (n = 326) lung SCC.
RESULTS: Dual specificity phosphatase 6 gene (DUSP6) and actinin alpha 4 gene (ACTN4) were associated with prognostic outcome in two independent patient cohorts. Their expression values were utilized to develop a classifier that identified patients with stage I/II lung SCC at high risk for recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.7, p = 0.018) or cancer-specific mortality (HR = 3.5, p = 0.016). This classifier also identified patients at high risk for recurrence (HR = 2.7, p = 0.008) or death (HR = 2.2, p = 0.001) in publicly available data sets of stage I/II and in meta-analysis of stage I patients.
CONCLUSIONS: We have established and validated a prognostic classifier to inform clinical management of patients with lung SCC after surgical resection.

Kondo D, Noguchi A, Tamura H, et al.
Elevated Urinary Levels of 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine in a Japanese Child of Xeroderma Pigmentosum/Cockayne Syndrome Complex with Infantile Onset of Nephrotic Syndrome.
Tohoku J Exp Med. 2016; 239(3):231-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is an essential biological pathway protecting against ultraviolet light-induced DNA damage. Deficient NER causes a group of rare genetic disorders including two autosomal recessive diseases, xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) and Cockayne syndrome (CS). In addition to the cutaneous photosensitivity shared in XP and CS, CS is featured by growth failure, neurological deterioration, microcephaly, and deep sunken eyes. XP/CS complex is an extremely rare type of NER disorder with a distinct phenotype that is characterized by the skin and eye pathology of XP and the somatic and neurological abnormalities of CS. Some of CS cases have been reported to be complicated with renal failure, but the genetic background or the etiology of the renal failure has not been reported. We herein report a 1-year-old Japanese boy with XP/CS complex, complicated by nephrotic syndrome. Diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of compound heterozygous mutations, G47R (c.139G>A) and R616G (c.1846C>G), in the excision repair cross-complementation group 2 (ERCC2) gene. The kidney biopsies, performed at the age of 1 year and 2 months, revealed diffuse expansion of the mesangial matrix and segmental glomerulosclerosis under light microscopy, and diffused thin capillary walls with partially lamellated regions under electron microscopy. Notably, high levels of urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosin, known as an oxidative stress marker, were observed during the clinical course. The patient died at the age of 1 year and 11 months because of renal failure. We suggest the involvement of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome in NER disorders.

An HT, Yoo S, Ko J
α-Actinin-4 induces the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and tumorigenesis via regulation of Snail expression and β-catenin stabilization in cervical cancer.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(45):5893-5904 [PubMed] Related Publications
α-Actinin-4 (ACTN4) is frequently amplified and overexpressed in various cancers. Although ACTN4 functions in cancer cell migration and invasion, the roles of ACTN4 during the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cervical cancer tumorigenesis are unknown. In this study, we investigated the function of ACTN4 in the progression of cervical cancer and the mechanisms of EMT and tumorigenesis induced by ACTN4. We found that ACTN4 induced EMT by upregulating Snail, which was dependent on the Akt signaling pathway in cervical cancer. ACTN4 induced cell migration and invasion through Snail-mediated matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression. ACTN4 expression level was correlated with stabilization of β-catenin. Accumulatioin of β-catenin owing to ACTN4 induced tumorigenesis via upregulation of genes involved in cell proliferation, including cyclin D1 and c-myc. ACTN4 knockdown reduced cervical cancer cell proliferation and tumor formation in vivo. The expression level of ACTN4 is highly elevated in human cervical tumors, compared with that in normal cervical tissues. ACTN4-overexpressing MDCK cells induced tumor formation and metastatic nodules in nude mice. Our findings indicate that ACTN4 promotes EMT and tumorigenesis by regulating Snail expression and the Akt pathway in cervical cancer. We propose a novel mechanism for EMT and tumorigenesis in cervical cancer.

Roversi G, Picinelli C, Bestetti I, et al.
Constitutional de novo deletion of the FBXW7 gene in a patient with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and multiple primitive tumors.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:15454 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Multiple primary malignant neoplasms are rare entities in the clinical setting, but represent an important issue in the clinical management of patients since they could be expression of a genetic predisposition to malignancy. A high resolution genome wide array CGH led us to identify the first case of a de novo constitutional deletion confined to the FBXW7 gene, a well known tumor suppressor, in a patient with a syndromic phenotype characterized by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and multiple primary early/atypical onset tumors, including Hodgkin's lymphoma, Wilms tumor and breast cancer. Other genetic defects may be associated with patient's phenotype. In this light, constitutional mutations at BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, PALB2 and WT1 genes were excluded by performing sequencing and MLPA analysis; similarly, we ruled out constitutional abnormalities at the imprinted 11p15 region by methylation specific -MLPA assay. Our observations sustain the role of FBXW7 as cancer predisposition gene and expand the spectrum of its possible associated diseases.

Gao Y, Li G, Sun L, et al.
ACTN4 and the pathways associated with cell motility and adhesion contribute to the process of lung cancer metastasis to the brain.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:277 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to identify critical gene pathways that are associated with lung cancer metastasis to the brain.
METHODS: The RNA-Seq approach was used to establish the expression profiles of a primary lung cancer, adjacent benign tissue, and metastatic brain tumor from a single patient. The expression profiles of these three types of tissues were compared to define differentially expressed genes, followed by serial-cluster analysis, gene ontology analysis, pathway analysis, and knowledge-driven network analysis. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to validate the expression of essential candidate genes in tissues from ten additional patients.
RESULTS: Differential gene expression among these three types of tissues was classified into multiple clusters according to the patterns of their alterations. Further bioinformatic analysis of these expression profile data showed that the network of the signal transduction pathways related to actin cytoskeleton reorganization, cell migration, and adhesion was associated with lung cancer metastasis to the brain. The expression of ACTN4 (actinin, alpha 4), a cytoskeleton protein gene essential for cytoskeleton organization and cell motility, was significantly elevated in the metastatic brain tumor but not in the primary lung cancer tissue.
CONCLUSIONS: The signaling pathways involved in the regulation of cytoskeleton reorganization, cell motility, and focal adhesion play a role in the process of lung cancer metastasis to the brain. The contribution of ACTN4 to the process of lung cancer metastasis to the brain could be mainly through regulation of actin cytoskeleton reorganization, cell motility, and focal adhesion.

Bi Q, Ranjan A, Fan R, et al.
MTBP inhibits migration and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2015; 32(4):301-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide with increasing incidence. Despite curative surgical resection and advanced chemotherapy, its survival rate remains low. The presence of microvascular invasion and occult metastasis is one of the major causes for this poor outcome. MDM2 Binding Protein (MTBP) has been implicated in the suppression of cell migration and cancer metastasis. However, clinical significance of MTBP, particularly in human cancer, is poorly understood. Specifically, clinical relevance of MTBP in human HCC has never been investigated. Here we demonstrated that expression of MTBP was significantly reduced in human HCC tissues compared to adjacent non-tumor tissues. MTBP expression was negatively correlated with capsular/vascular invasion and lymph node metastasis. Overexpression of MTBP resulted in the suppression of the migratory and metastatic potential of HCC cells, while its downregulation increased the migration. Consistent with the previous report, MTBP endogenously bound to alpha-actinin 4 (ACTN4) and suppressed ACTN4-mediated cell migration in multiple HCC cell lines. However, MTBP also inhibited migratory potential of PLC/PRF/5 HCC cells whose migration was not altered by manipulation of ACTN4 expression. These results suggest that mechanisms behind MTBP-mediated migration suppression may not be limited to the pathway involving ACTN4 in certain cellular contexts. Additionally, as a potential mechanism for reduced MTBP expression in tumors, we found that MTBP expression was increased following the treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs). Our study, for the first time, provides clinical relevance of MTBP in the suppression of HCC metastasis.

Watanabe T, Ueno H, Watabe Y, et al.
ACTN4 copy number increase as a predictive biomarker for chemoradiotherapy of locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(4):704-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Several clinical trials have compared chemotherapy alone and chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) treatment. However, predictive biomarkers for optimal therapy of LAPC remain to be identified.We retrospectively estimated amplification of the ACTN4 gene to determine its usefulness as a predictive biomarker for LAPC.
METHODS: The copy number of ACTN4 in 91 biopsy specimens of LAPC before treatment was evaluated using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).
RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in overall survival (OS) or progression-free survival (PFS) of LAPC between patients treated with chemotherapy alone or with CRT. In a subgroup analysis of patients treated with CRT, patients with a copy number increase (CNI) of ACTN4 had a worse prognosis of OS than those with a normal copy number (NCN) of ACTN4 (P=0.0005, log-rank test). However, OS in the subgroup treated with chemotherapy alone was not significantly different between patients with a CNI and a NCN of ACTN4. In the patients with a NCN of ACTN4, the median survival time of PFS in CRT-treated patients was longer than that of patients treated with chemotherapy alone (P=0.049).
CONCLUSIONS: The copy number of ACTN4 is a predictive biomarker for CRT of LAPC.

Wang MC, Chang YH, Wu CC, et al.
Alpha-actinin 4 is associated with cancer cell motility and is a potential biomarker in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(2):286-301 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Differential expression and secretion of alpha-actinin 4 (ACTN4) in the lung cancer cell lines CL1-0 and CL1-5 have been reported in previous proteomic studies. The aim of this study is to investigate the functional properties of the ACTN4 protein in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells and evaluate its clinical importance.
METHODS: We used RNA interference to knock down and overexpress ACTN4 protein to evaluate the effects of this intervention on cancer cell invasion and migration, as well as on microscopic cellular morphology. Furthermore, we examined by immunohistochemistry the expression of ACTN4 protein in tissue samples at different stages of lung cancer and compared the protein levels of ACTN4 in blood plasma samples from patients with histologically confirmed lung cancer and healthy controls.
RESULTS: CL1-5 cell motility was significantly suppressed by the knockdown of ACTN4 protein. The morphology of CL1-5 cells changed from a predominantly mesenchymal-like shape into a globular shape in response to ACTN4 protein knockdown. A quantitative immunohistochemical assessment of lung cancer tissues revealed that ACTN4 protein level was considerably higher in cancerous tissues than in the adjacent normal ones, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.736 (p < 0.001). According to an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the plasma levels of ACTN4 protein were significantly different between cancer patients and healthy controls, and the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were 0.828 and 0.909, respectively, for two independent cohorts (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that the knockdown of ACTN4 protein inhibited cell invasion and migration. These results suggest that ACTN4 is associated with lung cancer cell motility. Thus, the level of ACTN4 in cancerous tissue and plasma is related to the presence of lung cancer.

Wegdam W, Argmann CA, Kramer G, et al.
Label-free LC-MSe in tissue and serum reveals protein networks underlying differences between benign and malignant serous ovarian tumors.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e108046 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To identify proteins and (molecular/biological) pathways associated with differences between benign and malignant epithelial ovarian tumors.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES: Serum of six patients with a serous adenocarcinoma of the ovary was collected before treatment, with a control group consisting of six matched patients with a serous cystadenoma. In addition to the serum, homogeneous regions of cells exhibiting uniform histology were isolated from benign and cancerous tissue by laser microdissection. We subsequently employed label-free liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSe) to identify proteins in these serum and tissues samples. Analyses of differential expression between samples were performed using Bioconductor packages and in-house scripts in the statistical software package R. Hierarchical clustering and pathway enrichment analyses were performed, as well as network enrichment and interactome analysis using MetaCore.
RESULTS: In total, we identified 20 and 71 proteins that were significantly differentially expressed between benign and malignant serum and tissue samples, respectively. The differentially expressed protein sets in serum and tissue largely differed with only 2 proteins in common. MetaCore network analysis, however inferred GCR-alpha and Sp1 as common transcriptional regulators. Interactome analysis highlighted 14-3-3 zeta/delta, 14-3-3 beta/alpha, Alpha-actinin 4, HSP60, and PCBP1 as critical proteins in the tumor proteome signature based on their relative overconnectivity. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001084.
DISCUSSION: Our analysis identified proteins with both novel and previously known associations to ovarian cancer biology. Despite the small overlap between differentially expressed protein sets in serum and tissue, APOA1 and Serotransferrin were significantly lower expressed in both serum and cancer tissue samples, suggesting a tissue-derived effect in serum. Pathway and subsequent interactome analysis also highlighted common regulators in serum and tissue samples, suggesting a yet unknown role for PCBP1 in ovarian cancer pathophysiology.

Watabe Y, Mori T, Yoshimoto S, et al.
Copy number increase of ACTN4 is a prognostic indicator in salivary gland carcinoma.
Cancer Med. 2014; 3(3):613-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Copy number increase (CNI) of ACTN4 has been associated with poor prognosis and metastatic phenotypes in various human carcinomas. To identify a novel prognostic factor for salivary gland carcinoma, we investigated the copy number of ACTN4. We evaluated DNA copy number of ACTN4 in 58 patients with salivary gland carcinoma by using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). CNI of ACTN4 was recognized in 14 of 58 patients (24.1%) with salivary gland carcinoma. The cases with CNI of ACTN4 were closely associated with histological grade (P = 0.047) and vascular invasion (P = 0.033). The patients with CNI of ACTN4 had a significantly worse prognosis than the patients with normal copy number of ACTN4 (P = 0.0005 log-rank test). Univariate analysis by the Cox proportional hazards model showed that histological grade, vascular invasion, and CNI of ACTN4 were independent risk factors for cancer death. Vascular invasion (hazard ratio [HR]: 7.46; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.98-28.06) and CNI of ACTN4 (HR: 3.23; 95% CI: 1.08-9.68) remained as risk factors for cancer death in multivariate analysis. Thus, CNI of ACTN4 is a novel indicator for an unfavorable outcome in patients with salivary gland carcinoma.

Kang K, Song DG, Lee EH, et al.
Secretome profiling reveals the signaling molecules of apoptotic HCT116 cells induced by the dietary polyacetylene gymnasterkoreayne B.
J Agric Food Chem. 2014; 62(11):2353-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dietary polyacetylenes from various foods have been receiving attention as promising cancer chemopreventive agents. However, until now, the detailed molecular mechanism and the regulatory proteins underlying these effects have not been elucidated. We investigated the effects of gymnasterkoreayne B (GKB), a model dietary polyacetylene from wild vegetables, on the programmed cell death of HCT116 human colorectal cancer cells. GKB inhibited HCT116 cell proliferation by inducing apoptotic cell death. GKB treatment resulted in ROS accumulation, leading to the activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathway. We also found that FN1, TGFB1, APP, SERPINE1, HSPD1, SOD1, TXN, and ACTN4 may act as secretory signaling molecules during GKB-induced apoptotic cell death using LC-MS/MS identification followed by spectrum counting, statistical calculation, and gene ontology analysis. The secretory proteins suggested in this study may be promising candidates involved in apoptotic cell death of cancer cells induced by GKB that warrant further functional study.

Noro R, Honda K, Tsuta K, et al.
Distinct outcome of stage I lung adenocarcinoma with ACTN4 cell motility gene amplification.
Ann Oncol. 2013; 24(10):2594-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Even if detected at an early stage, a substantial number of lung cancers relapse after curative surgery. However, no method for distinguishing such tumors has yet been established.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The copy number of the actinin-4 (ACTN4) gene was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization on tissue microarrays comprising 543 surgically resected adenocarcinomas of the lung.
RESULTS: Amplification (an increase in the copy number by ≥ 2.0 fold) of the ACTN4 gene was detected in two of seven lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and 79 (15%) of 543 cases of pathological stage I-IV lung adenocarcinoma. Multivariate analysis revealed that ACTN4 gene amplification was the most significant independent factor associated with an extremely high risk of death (hazard ratio, 6.78; P = 9.48 × 10(-5), Cox regression analysis) among 290 patients with stage I lung adenocarcinoma. The prognostic significance of ACTN gene amplification was further validated in three independent cohorts totaling 1033 patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Amplification of the ACTN4 gene defines a small but substantial subset of patients with stage I lung adenocarcinoma showing a distinct outcome. Such patients require intensive medical attention and might benefit from postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy.

Han C, Zhao R, Kroger J, et al.
Caspase-2 short isoform interacts with membrane-associated cytoskeleton proteins to inhibit apoptosis.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e67033 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Caspase-2 (casp-2) is the most conserved caspase across species, and is one of the initiator caspases activated by various stimuli. The casp-2 gene produces several alternative splicing isoforms. It is believed that the long isoform, casp-2L, promotes apoptosis, whereas the short isoform, casp-2S, inhibits apoptosis. The actual effect of casp-2S on apoptosis is still controversial, however, and the underlying mechanism for casp-2S-mediated apoptosis inhibition is unclear. Here, we analyzed the effects of casp-2S on DNA damage induced apoptosis through "gain-of-function" and "loss-of-function" strategies in ovarian cancer cell lines. We clearly demonstrated that the over-expression of casp-2S inhibited, and the knockdown of casp-2S promoted, the cisplatin-induced apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells. To explore the mechanism by which casp-2S mediates apoptosis inhibition, we analyzed the proteins which interact with casp-2S in cells by using immunoprecipitation (IP) and mass spectrometry. We have identified two cytoskeleton proteins, Fodrin and α-Actinin 4, which interact with FLAG-tagged casp-2S in HeLa cells and confirmed this interaction through reciprocal IP. We further demonstrated that casp-2S (i) is responsible for inhibiting DNA damage-induced cytoplasmic Fodrin cleavage independent of cellular p53 status, and (ii) prevents cisplatin-induced membrane blebbing. Taken together, our data suggests that casp-2S affects cellular apoptosis through its interaction with membrane-associated cytoskeletal Fodrin protein.

Hsu KS, Kao HY
Alpha-actinin 4 and tumorigenesis of breast cancer.
Vitam Horm. 2013; 93:323-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alpha-actinins (ACTNs) were originally identified as cytoskeletal proteins which cross-link filamentous actin to establish cytoskeletal architect that protects cells from mechanical stress and controls cell movement. Notably, unlike other ACTNs, alpha-actinin 4 (ACTN4) displays unique characteristics in signaling transduction, nuclear translocation, and gene expression regulation. Initial reports indicated that ACTN4 is part of the breast cancer cell motile apparatus and is highly expressed in the nucleus. These results imply that ACTN4 plays a role in breast cancer tumorigenesis. While several observations in breast cancer and other cancers support this hypothesis, little direct evidence links the tumorigenic phenotype with ACTN4-mediated pathological mechanisms. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that in addition to its role in coordinating cytoskeleton, ACTN4 interacts with signaling mediators, chromatin remodeling factors, and transcription factors including nuclear receptors. Thus, ACTN4 functions as a versatile promoter for breast cancer tumorigenesis and appears to be an ideal drug target for future therapeutic development.

Buglyó G, Méhes G, Vargha G, et al.
WT1 microdeletion and slowly progressing focal glomerulosclerosis in a patient with male pseudohermaphroditism, childhood leukemia, Wilms tumor and cerebellar angioblastoma.
Clin Nephrol. 2013; 79(5):414-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) gene is currently in focus by pediatric nephrologists as its mutations are associated with nephrotic syndrome, especially as part of complex clinical entities like Denys-Drash or Frasier syndrome. Renal failure may also develop in young WAGR patients, whose condition is attributed to a deletion at chromosomal region 11p13. However, only limited data exist on WT1 microdeletions. A 30-year-old male patient, with a history of genital malformations, a Wilms tumor manifested during the treatment of acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) at the age of 4, and a cerebellar angioblastoma, was referred with proteinuria and a reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Kidney biopsy revealed FSGS. Although all WT1 exons were amplified with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced, none of them showed a mutation. However, an formalin-fixed, paraffin- embedded (FFPE) tissue sample of the patient's childhood Wilms tumor showed WT1- positivity restricted to the renal tumor cells, so the WT1 gene was investigated further. Using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR), the gene was found to be present in only one copy in the patient's genomic DNA sample, while both copies were detected in both parents. In the patient's sister, the proximal region of WT1 was shown to have an extra copy. Evidence suggests that a heterozygous microdeletion of the gene WT1 is responsible for the patient's disease. It seems reasonable to assume a possible abnormality affecting meiotic crossing over at the WT1 locus in one of the parents.

Fukushima S, Yoshida A, Honda K, et al.
Immunohistochemical actinin-4 expression in infiltrating gliomas: association with WHO grade and differentiation.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2014; 31(1):11-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Actinin-4 is an isoform of nonmuscular α-actinin and actin-bundling protein that plays an important role in cancer invasion and metastasis by enhancing cellular motility. Recent studies have revealed an association between several clinicopathological profiles and actinin-4 overexpression in human cancers. In this study, we investigated the immunohistochemical actinin-4 expression in 39 infiltrating gliomas. The specimens included three diffuse astrocytomas, three oligodendrogliomas, one oligoastrocytoma, two anaplastic astrocytomas, four anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, three anaplastic oligoastrocytomas, 17 glioblastomas, four gliosarcomas, and two glioblastomas with oligodendroglial component. All seven World Health Organization (WHO) grade II tumors were negative for actinin-4, whereas 20 of 22 tumors with strong actinin-4 expression were WHO grade IV. Actinin-4 expression was significantly associated with histological grade (P < 0.0001) and proliferative activity measured by Ki-67 staining (P = 0.0045). Notably, actinin-4 expression was more pronounced in high-grade astrocytic tumors than oligodendroglial tumors (P < 0.0001). Additionally, pseudopalisading cells in glioblastoma exhibited stronger actinin-4 expression than the rest, likely reflecting enhanced cellular motility in pseudopalisades. This study is the first to demonstrate significant correlation between actinin-4 expression and tumor grade using clinical glioma samples. Although diagnostic utility of this marker awaits future exploration, actinin-4 may help distinguish between astrocytic and oligodendroglial lines of differentiation.

Guaragna MS, Lutaif AC, Bittencourt VB, et al.
Frasier syndrome: four new cases with unusual presentations.
Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2012; 56(8):525-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Frasier syndrome (FS) is characterized by gonadal dysgenesis and nephropathy. It is caused by specific mutations in the Wilms' tumor suppressor gene (WT1) located in 11p23. Patients with the 46,XY karyotype present normal female genitalia with streak gonads, and have higher risk of gonadal tumor, mainly, gonadoblastoma. Therefore, elective bilateral gonadectomy is indicated. Nephropathy in FS consists in nephrotic syndrome (NS) with proteinuria that begins early in childhood and progressively increases with age, mainly due to nonspecific focal and segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS). Patients are generally unresponsive to steroid and immunosuppressive therapies, and will develop end-stage renal failure (ESRF) during the second or third decade of life. We report here four cases of FS diagnosis after identification of WT1 mutations. Case 1 was part of a large cohort of patients diagnosed with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome, in whom the screening for mutations within WT1 8-9 hotspot fragment identified the IVS9+5G>A mutation. Beside FS, this patient showed unusual characteristics, such as urinary malformation (horseshoe kidney), and bilateral dysgerminoma. Cases 2 and 3, also bearing the IVS9+5G>A mutation, and case 4, with IVS9+1G>A mutation, were studied due to FSGS and/or delayed puberty; additionally, patients 2 and 4 developed bilateral gonadal tumors. Since the great majority of FS patients have normal female external genitalia, sex reversal is not suspected before they present delayed puberty and/or primary amenorrhea. Therefore, molecular screening of WT1 gene is very important to confirm the FS diagnosis.

Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes only; it can not be used in diagnosis or treatment.

Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. ACTN4, Cancer Genetics Web: Accessed:

Creative Commons License
This page in Cancer Genetics Web by Simon Cotterill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Note: content of abstracts copyright of respective publishers - seek permission where appropriate.

 [Home]    Page last revised: 30 August, 2019     Cancer Genetics Web, Established 1999