Gene Summary

Gene:ALCAM; activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule
Aliases: MEMD, CD166
Summary:This gene encodes activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), also known as CD166 (cluster of differentiation 166), which is a member of a subfamily of immunoglobulin receptors with five immunoglobulin-like domains (VVC2C2C2) in the extracellular domain. This protein binds to T-cell differentiation antigene CD6, and is implicated in the processes of cell adhesion and migration. Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:CD166 antigen
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 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.

  • Activated-Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule
  • Apoptosis
  • Fetal Proteins
  • CD Antigens
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Up-Regulation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Survival Rate
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • ras Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Antigens, CD44
  • Eye Cancer
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • Glycoproteins
  • RT-PCR
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • TGFA
  • Uveal Neoplasms
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transcription
  • Peptides
  • Breast Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Staging
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • siRNA
  • Chromosome 3
  • Western Blotting
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ALCAM (cancer-related)

Fujiwara K, Ohuchida K, Sada M, et al.
CD166/ALCAM expression is characteristic of tumorigenicity and invasive and migratory activities of pancreatic cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e107247 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CD166, also known as activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), is expressed by various cells in several tissues including cancer. However, the role of CD166 in malignant tumors is controversial, especially in pancreatic cancer. This study aimed to clarify the role and significance of CD166 expression in pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: We performed immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry to analyze the expression of CD166 in surgical pancreatic tissues and pancreatic cancer cell lines. The differences between isolated CD166+ and CD166- pancreatic cancer cells were analyzed by invasion and migration assays, and in mouse xenograft models. We also performed quantitative RT-PCR and microarray analyses to evaluate the expression levels of CD166 and related genes in cultured cells.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry revealed high expression of CD166 in pancreatic cancer tissues (12.2%; 12/98) compared with that in normal pancreas controls (0%; 0/17) (p = 0.0435). Flow cytometry indicated that CD166 was expressed in 33.8-70.2% of cells in surgical pancreatic tissues and 0-99.5% of pancreatic cancer cell lines. Invasion and migration assays demonstrated that CD166- pancreatic cancer cells showed stronger invasive and migratory activities than those of CD166+ cancer cells (p<0.05). On the other hand, CD166+ Panc-1 cells showed a significantly stronger colony formation activity than that of CD166- Panc-1 cells (p<0.05). In vivo analysis revealed that CD166+ cells elicited significantly greater tumor growth than that of CD166- cells (p<0.05) in both subcutaneous and orthotopic mouse tumor models. mRNA expression of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition activator Zeb1 was over-expressed in CD166- cells (p<0.001). Microarray analysis showed that TSPAN8 and BST2 were over-expressed in CD166+ cells, while BMP7 and Col6A1 were over-expressed in CD166- cells.
CONCLUSIONS: CD166+ pancreatic cancer cells are strongly tumorigenic, while CD166- pancreatic cancer cells exhibit comparatively stronger invasive and migratory activities. These findings suggest that CD166 expression is related to different functions in pancreatic cancer cells.

Ma L, Pan Q, Sun F, et al.
Cluster of differentiation 166 (CD166) regulates cluster of differentiation (CD44) via NF-κB in liver cancer cell line Bel-7402.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 451(2):334-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cluster of differentiation 166 (CD166) is critical for liver cancer cell survival. Our previously study demonstrated that CD166 exerts its anti-apoptotic role through interaction with YAP in liver cancer. However, the interaction between CD166 and other cell surface molecules remains unclear in liver cancer cells. In the current study, we found that both mRNA and protein of CD44 expression was significantly inhibited by knocking-down CD166. Moreover, CD166 affected-CD44 expression is dependent of transcription via blocking NF-κB pathway. On the contrary, CD44 promoted up-regulation of CD166 mRNA and protein. And it may be through E3 ubiquitin ligases COP1 and UBC3 to regulate CD166 protein degradation. Collectively, these results suggest that CD166 and CD44 play important roles in liver cancer development. Therefore, CD166 may develop as a potential therapeutic molecule target for the treatment of liver cancer.

Yu W, Wang J, Ma L, et al.
CD166 plays a pro-carcinogenic role in liver cancer cells via inhibition of FOXO proteins through AKT.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(2):677-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cluster of differentiation 166 (CD166) is a cell surface membrane protein, which is regarded as a valuable prognostic marker in several types of epithelial tumors. We previously reported that CD166 exerts its pro-carcinogenic role by enhancing YAP function in liver cancer cells. However, YAP cannot completely rescue the increased anti‑carcinogenic effects by gene silencing of CD166, whose downstream effectors require further investigation. Here, we found that knockdown of CD166 inhibits phosphorylation of anti-carcinogenic FOXO proteins. Overexpression of CD166 led, not only to a faster protein degradation rate, but also a more accumulated ubiquitination of FOXO compared to the control. Moreover, overexpression of CD166 facilitated FOXO protein localization from the nuclear fraction to the cytosolic fraction, suggesting that CD166 modulates FOXO protein stability through alteration of their subcellular localization. In addition, simultaneous overexpression of CD166 partially reversed the evoked anti-carcinogenic effects by overexpression of FOXO both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, CD166 knockdown‑induced anti‑carcinogenic effects and dephosphorylation of FOXO proteins were rescued by overexpression of AKT. In liver cancer tissues, we also observed that higher expression levels of CD166, phospho-AKT, total AKT and phospho‑FOXO were correlated with lower expression levels of total FOXO, suggesting that the upregulation of CD166 leads to the activation of AKT, which in turn facilitates phosphorylation and degradation of FOXO. Taken together, our data demonstrate that AKT is an inter-mediator between the upstream regulator, CD166, and downstream effector, FOXO, in liver cancer cells. Disrupting the relationship between CD166 and the AKT/FOXO axis may serve as a novel therapeutic target for liver cancer patients.

Song Q, Xu Y, Yang C, et al.
miR-483-5p promotes invasion and metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma by targeting RhoGDI1 and ALCAM.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(11):3031-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The nodal regulatory properties of microRNAs (miRNA) in metastatic cancer may offer new targets for therapeutic control. Here, we report that upregulation of miR-483-5p is correlated with the progression of human lung adenocarcinoma. miR-483-5p promotes the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) accompanied by invasive and metastatic properties of lung adenocarcinoma. Mechanistically, miR-483-5p is activated by the WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway and exerts its prometastatic function by directly targeting the Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor alpha (RhoGDI1) and activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), two putative metastasis suppressors. Furthermore, we found that downregulation of RhoGDI1 enhances expression of Snail, thereby promoting EMT. Importantly, miR-483-5p levels are positively correlated with β-catenin expression, but are negatively correlated with the levels of RhoGDI1 and ALCAM in human lung adenocarcinoma. Our findings reveal that miR-483-5p is a critical β-catenin-activated prometastatic miRNA and a negative regulator of the metastasis suppressors RhoGDI1 and ALCAM.

Sim SH, Kang MH, Kim YJ, et al.
P21 and CD166 as predictive markers of poor response and outcome after fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy for the patients with rectal cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:241 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pre-operative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is the standard treatment in clinical stage T3/4 or node positive rectal cancer. However, there are no established biomarkers that can predict the pathological response and clinical outcome to CRT.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining was performed in tissue arrays constructed from core tissue specimens taken before treatment and from operative specimens from 112 patients who received 5-FU based pre-operative CRT and surgery. Expression of Ki67, TS, BAX, EpCAM, p53, p21, EGFR, CD44, CD133, CD166, HIF1α and ALDH1 were assessed and correlated with tumor regression grades and disease free survival.
RESULTS: Of the 112 patients (M/F 74/38, median age: 62), 20 (17.9%) patients achieved pathologic complete remission (pCR). In analyzing the associations between marker expressions and tumor regression grades, high p21 expression at the pretreatment biopsy was significantly associated with non-pCR (p = 0.022) and poor disease free survival (median DFS - low vs high p21: 75.8 vs 58.1 months, p = 0.002). In the multivariate analysis, high p21 expression level at the pre-treatment biopsy was significantly associated with poor DFS (p = 0.001, HR 6.14; 95% CI 2.03, 18.55). High CD166 expression level at the pretreatment biopsy was also associated with poor DFS (p = 0.003; HR 5.61; 95% CI 1.81, 17.35).
CONCLUSION: These show high p21 and CD166 expression at the pretreatment biopsy were associated with tumor regression and poor prognosis in patients treated with 5-FU based CRT. Larger, prospective and functional studies are warranted to determine the role of p21 and CD166 as predictive biomarker of response to CRT.

Chan JK, Kiet TK, Blansit K, et al.
MiR-378 as a biomarker for response to anti-angiogenic treatment in ovarian cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 133(3):568-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of miR-378 as a biomarker for anti-angiogenic therapy response in ovarian cancer.
METHODS: Expression of miR-378 was analyzed in ovarian cancer cell lines and human tumors vs. normal ovarian epithelial cells by qRT-PCR. After miR-378 transfection in SKOV3 cells, dysregulated genes were identified using microarray. Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) was utilized to correlate miR-378 expression with progression-free survival (PFS) among patients treated with anti-angiogenic therapy by using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards.
RESULTS: MiR-378 was overexpressed in ovarian cancer cells and tumors vs. normal ovarian epithelial cells. Overexpressing miR-378 in ovarian cancer cells altered expression of genes associated with angiogenesis (ALCAM, EHD1, ELK3, TLN1), apoptosis (RPN2, HIPK3), and cell cycle regulation (SWAP-70, LSM14A, RDX). In the TCGA dataset, low vs. high miR-378 expression was associated with longer PFS in a subset of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer treated with bevacizumab (9.2 vs. 4.2months; p=0.04). On multivariate analysis, miR-378 expression was an independent predictor for PFS after anti-angiogenic treatment (HR=2.04, 95% CI: 1.12-3.72; p=0.02). Furthermore, expression levels of two miR-378 targets (ALCAM and EHD1) were associated with PFS in this subgroup of patients who received anti-angiogenic therapy (9.4 vs. 4.2months, p=0.04 for high vs. low ALCAM; 7.9 vs. 2.3months, p<0.01 for low vs. high EHD1).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that miR-378 is overexpressed in ovarian cancer cells and tumors vs. normal ovarian epithelial cells. MiR-378 and its downstream targets may serve as markers for response to anti-angiogenic therapy.

Shimamura M, Nagayama Y, Matsuse M, et al.
Analysis of multiple markers for cancer stem-like cells in human thyroid carcinoma cell lines.
Endocr J. 2014; 61(5):481-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) play important roles in cancer initiation and progression. CSCs have been isolated using several markers, but those for thyroid CSCs remain to be confirmed. We therefore conducted a comprehensive search for thyroid CSC markers. Expression of nine cell surface markers (CD13, CD15, CD24, CD44, CD90, CD117, CD133, CD166, and CD326) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity, which are CSC markers in various solid cancers, and the ability to form spheres in vitro and tumors in vivo were investigated using eight thyroid cancer cell lines (FRO, KTC1/2/3, TPC1, WRO, ACT1, and 8505C). Among these, four cell lines (FRO, KTC3, ACT1, and 8505C) possessed the both abilities; however, common markers indicative of CSCs were not observed. The pattern of ability to form spheres was completely matched to that of tumor formation, suggesting that our sphere assay is valuable for assessment of tumor-forming ability. Next, the cells were sorted using these markers and subjected to the sphere assay. In three cell lines (FRO, KTC3, and ACT1), ALDH(pos) cells showed higher sphere forming ability than ALDH(neg) cells but not in other cells. CD326(hi) also appeared to be a candidate marker only in FRO cells. However, these subpopulations did not follow a classical hierarchical model because ALDH(neg) and CD326(low) fractions also generated ALDH(pos) and CD326(hi) cells, respectively. These data suggest that ALDH activity is probably a major candidate marker to enrich thyroid CSCs but not universal; other markers such as CD326 that regulate different CSC properties may exist.

Moon BS, Jeong WJ, Park J, et al.
Role of oncogenic K-Ras in cancer stem cell activation by aberrant Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(2):djt373 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) loss-of-function mutations and K-Ras gain-of-function mutations are common abnormalities that occur during the initiation and intermediate adenoma stages of colorectal tumorigenesis, respectively. However, little is known about the role these mutations play in cancer stem cells (CSCs) associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) tumorigenesis.
METHODS: We analyzed tissue from CRC patients (n = 49) to determine whether K-Ras mutations contributed to CSC activation during colorectal tumorigenesis. DLD-1-K-Ras-WT and DLD-1-K-Ras-MT cells were cultured and evaluated for their ability to differentiate, form spheroids in vitro, and form tumors in vivo. Interaction between APC and K-Ras mutations in colorectal tumorigenesis was evaluated using APC (Min/+)/K-Ras (LA2) mice and DLD-1-K-Ras-WT and DLD-1-K-Ras-MT cell xenografts. (n = 4) Group differences were determined by Student t test. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The sphere-forming capability of DLD-1-K-Ras-MT cells was statistically significantly higher than that of DLD-1-K-Ras-WT cells (DLD-1-K-Ras-MT mean = 86.661 pixel, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 81.701 to 91.621 pixel; DLD-1-K-Ras-WT mean = 42.367 pixel, 95% CI = 36.467 to 48.267 pixel; P = .003). Moreover, both the size and weight of tumors from DLD-1-K-Ras-MT xenografts were markedly increased compared with tumors from DLD-1-K-Ras-WT cells. Expression of the CSC markers CD44, CD133, and CD166 was induced in intestinal tumors from APC (Min/+)/K-Ras (LA2)mice, but not K-Ras (LA2) mice, indicating that APC mutation is required for CSC activation by oncogenic K-Ras mutation.
CONCLUSIONS: K-Ras mutation activates CSCs, contributing to colorectal tumorigenesis and metastasis in CRC cells harboring APC mutations. Initial activation of β-catenin by APC loss and further enhancement through K-Ras mutation induces CD44, CD133, and CD166 expression.

Mirkina I, Hadzijusufovic E, Krepler C, et al.
Phenotyping of human melanoma cells reveals a unique composition of receptor targets and a subpopulation co-expressing ErbB4, EPO-R and NGF-R.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e84417 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer increasingly diagnosed in the western world. In advanced disease the prognosis is grave. Growth and metastasis formation in melanomas are regulated by a network of cytokines, cytokine-receptors, and adhesion molecules. However, little is known about surface antigens and target expression profiles in human melanomas. We examined the cell surface antigen profile of human skin melanoma cells by multicolor flow cytometry, and compared their phenotype with 4 melanoma cell lines (A375, 607B, Mel-Juso, SK-Mel28). Melanoma cells were defined as CD45-/CD31- cells co-expressing one or more melanoma-related antigens (CD63, CD146, CD166). In most patients, melanoma cells exhibited ErbB3/Her3, CD44/Pgp-1, ICAM-1/CD54 and IGF-1-R/CD221, but did not express CD20, ErbB2/Her2, KIT/CD117, AC133/CD133 or MDR-1/CD243. Melanoma cell lines were found to display a similar phenotype. In most patients, a distinct subpopulation of melanoma cells (4-40%) expressed the erythropoietin receptor (EPO-R) and ErbB4 together with PD-1 and NGF-R/CD271. Both the EPO-R+ and EPO-R- subpopulations produced melanoma lesions in NOD/SCID IL-2Rgamma(null) (NSG) mice in first and secondary recipients. Normal skin melanocytes did not express ErbB4 or EPO-R, but expressed a functional KIT receptor (CD117) as well as NGF-R, ErbB3/Her3, IGF-1-R and CD44. In conclusion, melanoma cells display a unique composition of surface target antigens and cytokine receptors. Malignant transformation of melanomas is accompanied by loss of KIT and acquisition of EPO-R and ErbB4, both of which are co-expressed with NGF-R and PD-1 in distinct subfractions of melanoma cells. However, expression of EPO-R/ErbB4/PD-1 is not indicative of a selective melanoma-initiating potential.

Ma L, Wang J, Lin J, et al.
Cluster of differentiation 166 (CD166) regulated by phosphatidylinositide 3-Kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling to exert its anti-apoptotic role via yes-associated protein (YAP) in liver cancer.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(10):6921-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cluster of differentiation 166 (CD166 or Alcam) is a cell surface molecule that can be greatly induced in liver cancer cells after serum deprivation, suggesting its role in influencing cell survival. However, whether and how CD166 acts as an anti-apoptotic regulator needs to be further investigated. Here, we report that gene silencing of CD166 promoted apoptosis via down-regulation of Bcl-2 in liver cancer cells. PI3K/AKT signaling was found to up-regulate CD166 expression independently of transcription. We also revealed that CD166 promoted both AKT expression and activity, thus providing a novel positive regulatory feedback between PI3K/AKT signaling and CD166. Moreover, Yes-associated protein (YAP) was identified as a CD166 downstream effecter, which can partly rescue CD166 knockdown-induced apoptosis and reduced in vivo cancer cell growth. Mechanically, CD166 modulated YAP expression and activity through at least two different ways, transcriptional regulation of YAP through cAMP-response element-binding protein and post-transcriptional control of YAP stability through inhibition to AMOT130. We also showed that CD9 enhanced CD166-mediated regulation of YAP via a mechanism involving facilitating CD166-CD166 homophilic interaction. Tissue microarray analysis revealed that CD166 and YAP were up-regulated and closely correlated in liver cancer samples, demonstrating the importance of their relationship. Taken together, this work summarizes a novel link between CD166 and YAP, explores the interplay among related important signaling pathways, and may lead to more effective therapeutic strategies for liver cancer.

Hansen AG, Arnold SA, Jiang M, et al.
ALCAM/CD166 is a TGF-β-responsive marker and functional regulator of prostate cancer metastasis to bone.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(5):1404-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The dissemination of prostate cancer to bone is a common, incurable aspect of advanced disease. Prevention and treatment of this terminal phase of prostate cancer requires improved molecular understanding of the process as well as markers indicative of molecular progression. Through biochemical analyses and loss-of-function in vivo studies, we demonstrate that the cell adhesion molecule, activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), is actively shed from metastatic prostate cancer cells by the sheddase ADAM17 in response to TGF-β. Not only is this posttranslational modification of ALCAM a marker of prostate cancer progression, the molecule is also required for effective metastasis to bone. Biochemical analysis of prostate cancer cell lines reveals that ALCAM expression and shedding is elevated in response to TGF-β signaling. Both in vitro and in vivo shedding is mediated by ADAM17. Longitudinal analysis of circulating ALCAM in tumor-bearing mice revealed that shedding of tumor, but not host-derived ALCAM is elevated during growth of the cancer. Gene-specific knockdown of ALCAM in bone-metastatic PC3 cells greatly diminished both skeletal dissemination and tumor growth in bone. The reduced growth of ALCAM knockdown cells corresponded to an increase in apoptosis (caspase-3) and decreased proliferation (Ki67). Together, these data demonstrate that the ALCAM is both a functional regulator as well as marker of prostate cancer progression.

Sterlacci W, Savic S, Fiegl M, et al.
Putative stem cell markers in non-small-cell lung cancer: a clinicopathologic characterization.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(1):41-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The cancer stem cell (CSC) theory postulates the existence of a distinct population of undifferentiated cells responsible for tumor initiation and maintenance. CSCs may be naturally resistant to the cytotoxic effect of radio-chemotherapy because of slow cell cycling, lower proliferation, and increased expression of DNA repair and antiapoptosis genes. To date, a universal marker for CSCs has not been identified. Proposed CSC markers are expressed both by cancer cells as well as by benign stem cells. Although many putative CSC markers exist, a precise characterization for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is lacking.
METHODS: We explored the expression of multiple alleged stemness associated markers in 371 surgically resected NSCLCs. Extensive clinical data and a postoperative follow-up period of up to 15 years enabled detailed clinicopathological correlations. ABCG5, ALDH1, CD24, CD44, CD133, CD166, epithelial cell adhesion molecule epitopes (ESA, MOC-31, Ber-EP4), nestin, OCT4, and sex-determining region Y-box 2 were analyzed immunohistochemically by using a standardized tissue microarray platform.
RESULTS: Sex-determining region Y-box 2, CD44, ABCG5, ALDH1, and nestin were associated with poorer tumor differentiation and/or an increased proliferation index. ALDH1, CD44, and SOX2 were frequently found in squamous cell carcinoma, whereas CD24, CD166, and epithelial cell adhesion molecule markers were encountered in adenocarcinomas. CD44 expression was an independent marker associated with better overall survival in squamous cell carcinoma and Ber-EP4 was associated with tumor recurrences.
CONCLUSION: The expression and prognostic significance of CSC markers obviously varies depending on histologic NSCLC subtype. Importantly, our findings suggest that CD44 and Ber-EP4 may be promising for ongoing targeted therapies in specific NSCLC subgroups.

Teicher BA
Targets in small cell lung cancer.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2014; 87(2):211-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recurrent small cell lung cancer is a recalcitrant malgnancy. The application of genomic technologies has begun to elucidate the large number of genetic abnormalities in SCLC. Several cell surface receptors are known to be overexpressed by SCLC in clinic specimens and cell in culture including GPCRs such as the bradykinin receptor, the chemokine receptor CXCR4, the vasopression receeptor and the three bomebsin receptors. The glucose transporter GLUT1, the tetraspanin family member PETA/CD151 and the immunoglobulin superfamily member ALCAM/CD166 are also overexpressed by SCLC. NCAM/CD56 is overexpressed by nearly all SCLC and is currently the target for an antibody drug conjugate in Phase II trial. Although SCLC is not considered a RTK driven disease, IGF1R and FGFRs are often overexpressed by SCLC. SCLC abberantly expresses several developmental transcription factors including ASCL1, SOX2, 4, and 11, OCT4, NANOG, PAX5; however, overexpression of MYC may be a driver in SCLC. Like other cancers, SCLC expresses survival factors and uses aerobic glycolysis as a major source of ATP. The drawback of many potential targets overexpressed by SCLC is expression of the same proteins by normal tissues. We are slowly learning more about the molecular abnormalities that occur in SCLC; however, therapeutic impact from new findings remains a goal to work toward.

Giampieri R, Scartozzi M, Loretelli C, et al.
Cancer stem cell gene profile as predictor of relapse in high risk stage II and stage III, radically resected colon cancer patients.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e72843 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clinical data indicate that prognostic stratification of radically resected colorectal cancer based on disease stage only may not be always be adequate. Preclinical findings suggest that cancer stem cells may influence the biological behaviour of colorectal cancer independently from stage: objective of the study was to assess whether a panel of stemness markers were correlated with clinical outcome in resected stage II and III colon cancer patients. A panel of 66 markers of stemness were analysed and thus patients were divided into two groups (A and B) with most patients clustering in a manner consistent with different time to relapse by using a statistical algorithm. A total of 62 patients were analysed. Thirty-six (58%) relapsed during the follow-up period (range 1.63-86.5 months). Twelve (19%) and 50 (81%) patients were allocated into group A and B, respectively. A significantly different median relapse-free survival was observed between the 2 groups (22.18 vs 42.85 months, p=0.0296). Among of all genes tested, those with the higher "weight" in determining different prognosis were CD44, ALCAM, DTX2, HSPA9, CCNA2, PDX1, MYST1, COL1A1 and ABCG2. This analysis supports the idea that, other than stage, biological variables, such as expression levels of colon cancer stem cell genes, may be relevant in determining an increased risk of relapse in resected colorectal cancer patients.

Bhatlekar S, Addya S, Salunek M, et al.
Identification of a developmental gene expression signature, including HOX genes, for the normal human colonic crypt stem cell niche: overexpression of the signature parallels stem cell overpopulation during colon tumorigenesis.
Stem Cells Dev. 2014; 23(2):167-79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Our goal was to identify a unique gene expression signature for human colonic stem cells (SCs). Accordingly, we determined the gene expression pattern for a known SC-enriched region--the crypt bottom. Colonic crypts and isolated crypt subsections (top, middle, and bottom) were purified from fresh, normal, human, surgical specimens. We then used an innovative strategy that used two-color microarrays (∼18,500 genes) to compare gene expression in the crypt bottom with expression in the other crypt subsections (middle or top). Array results were validated by PCR and immunostaining. About 25% of genes analyzed were expressed in crypts: 88 preferentially in the bottom, 68 in the middle, and 131 in the top. Among genes upregulated in the bottom, ∼30% were classified as growth and/or developmental genes including several in the PI3 kinase pathway, a six-transmembrane protein STAMP1, and two homeobox (HOXA4, HOXD10) genes. qPCR and immunostaining validated that HOXA4 and HOXD10 are selectively expressed in the normal crypt bottom and are overexpressed in colon carcinomas (CRCs). Immunostaining showed that HOXA4 and HOXD10 are co-expressed with the SC markers CD166 and ALDH1 in cells at the normal crypt bottom, and the number of these co-expressing cells is increased in CRCs. Thus, our findings show that these two HOX genes are selectively expressed in colonic SCs and that HOX overexpression in CRCs parallels the SC overpopulation that occurs during CRC development. Our study suggests that developmental genes play key roles in the maintenance of normal SCs and crypt renewal, and contribute to the SC overpopulation that drives colon tumorigenesis.

Zhou J, Li P, Xue X, et al.
Salinomycin induces apoptosis in cisplatin-resistant colorectal cancer cells by accumulation of reactive oxygen species.
Toxicol Lett. 2013; 222(2):139-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Postoperative chemotherapy for Colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is not all effective and the main reason might lie in cancer stem cells (CSCs). Emerging studies showed that CSCs overexpress some drug-resistance related proteins, which efficiently transport the chemotherapeutics out of cancer cells. Salinomycin, which considered as a novel and an effective anticancer drug, is found to have the ability to kill both CSCs and therapy-resistant cancer cells. To explore the potential mechanisms that salinomycin could specifically target on therapy-resistant cancer cells in colorectal cancers, we firstly obtained cisplatin-resistant (Cisp-resistant) SW620 cells by repeated exposure to 5 μmol/l of cisplatin from an original colorectal cancer cell line. These Cisp-resistant SW620 cells, which maintained a relative quiescent state (G0/G1 arrest) and displayed stem-like signatures (up-regulations of Sox2, Oct4, Nanog, Klf4, Hes1, CD24, CD26, CD44, CD133, CD166, Lgr5, ALDH1A1 and ALDH1A3 mRNA expressions) (p < 0.05), were sensitive to salinomycin (p < 0.05). Salinomycin did not show the influence on the cell cycle of Cisp-resistant SW620 cells (p > 0.05), but could induce cell death process (p < 0.05), with increased levels of LDH release and MDA contents as well as down-regulations of SOD and GSH-PX activities (p < 0.05). Our data also showed that the pro-apoptotic genes (Caspase-3, Caspase-8, Caspase-9 and Bax) were up-regulated and the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2 were down-regulated in Cisp-resistant SW620 cells (p < 0.05). Accumulated reactive oxygen species and dysregulation of some apoptosis-related genes might ultimately lead to apoptosis in Cisp-resistant SW620 cells. These findings will provide new clues for novel and selective chemotherapy on cisplatin-resistant colorectal cancer cells.

Zhao Y, Zhang W, Guo Z, et al.
Inhibition of the transcription factor Sp1 suppresses colon cancer stem cell growth and induces apoptosis in vitro and in nude mouse xenografts.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(4):1782-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
The transcription factor specificity protein 1 (Sp1) plays a role in the development and progression of various types of human cancers, while cancer stem cells (CSCs) are important in cancer cell self-renewal, resistance to chemotherapy and metastatic potential. This study investigated the role of Sp1 in colon CSC growth and apoptosis. Colon CSCs were successfully enriched using special culture medium and identified by typical CSC gene expression. In a quiescent state, these CSCs formed spheres with slow proliferation; overexpressed Sp1, CD44, CD166 and CD133 proteins; upregulated mesenchymal markers; and a downregulated epithelial marker were noted. In ex vivo experiments, the Sp1 protein was expressed in 74.8% of colon cancer tissues, whereas it was expressed only in 42.2% of the distant normal colon mucosae. Furthermore, inhibition of SP1 expression using Sp1 siRNA or mithramycin A (MIT) led to marked suppression of CSC growth and induced apoptosis. In addition, the percentage of CD44+/CD166+ cells was significantly downregulated both in vivo and in vitro following Sp1 inhibition. In conclusion, Sp1 suppression attenuated the characteristics of colon CSCs. Thus, Sp1 inhibition may be potentially useful for the future development of a novel therapeutic strategy to control colon cancer.

Kaur J, Sawhney M, DattaGupta S, et al.
Clinical significance of altered expression of β-catenin and E-cadherin in oral dysplasia and cancer: potential link with ALCAM expression.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e67361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Perturbations in cell adhesion molecules are linked to alterations in cadherin-catenin complexes and likely play major roles in invasion and metastasis; their impact on early precancerous stages remains yet unknown. We showed ALCAM overexpression in early oral lesions and its cytoplasmic accumulation in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) to be a predictor of disease progression and poor prognosis. This study tested the hypothesis that alterations in E-cadherin and β -catenin expressions are early events in oral tumorigenesis, associated with disease prognosis, and correlate with perturbations in ALCAM expression.
METHODS: Expressions of E-cadherin and β-catenin were analyzed in the same cohort of 105 OSCCs, 76 oral lesions and 30 normal oral tissues by immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinicopathological parameters and prognosis. The effect of siRNA mediated ALCAM knockdown on E-cadherin and β -catenin was determined using western blot, confocal microscopy and RT-PCR analysis in oral cancer cells.
RESULTS: Significant loss of membranous E-cadherin and β-catenin expression was observed from normal, hyperplasia, dysplasia to OSCCs (p(trend) <0.001); and correlated with cytoplasmic ALCAM accumulation in OSCCs (p  = 0.006). Multivariate analysis revealed β-catenin membrane loss and ALCAM/β-catenin(nuclear/cytoplasmic) accumulation to be significant predictors for late clinical stage (p<0.001, OR = 8.7; p = 0.006, OR = 9.9, respectively) and nodal metastasis (p = 0.003, OR = 3.8; p = 0.025, OR = 3.4 respectively). Cox's regression showed E-cadherin membrane loss/ALCAM cytoplasmic expression [p<0.001; HR = 4.8] to be independent adverse prognosticators in OSCCs. siRNA mediated silencing of ALCAM resulted in concurrent increase in E-cadherin and β-catenin both at the transcript and protein levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Losses of E-cadherin and β-catenin expressions are early events in oral tumorigenesis; their associations with aggressive tumor behavior and disease recurrence underscore their potential as prognostic markers. Correlation of loss of E-cadherin and β-catenin with cytoplasmic ALCAM accumulation both in vitro and in in vivo suggests that these dynamic changes in cell adhesion system may play pivotal role in oral cancer.

Penna E, Orso F, Cimino D, et al.
miR-214 coordinates melanoma progression by upregulating ALCAM through TFAP2 and miR-148b downmodulation.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(13):4098-111 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant melanoma is one of the most aggressive human cancers, but the mechanisms governing its metastatic dissemination are not fully understood. Upregulation of miR-214 and ALCAM and the loss of TFAP2 expression have been implicated in this process, with TFAP2 a direct target of miR-214. Here, we link miR-214 and ALCAM as well as identify a core role for miR-214 in organizing melanoma metastasis. miR-214 upregulated ALCAM, acting transcriptionally through TFAP2 and also posttranscriptionally through miR-148b (itself controlled by TFAP2), both negative regulators of ALCAM. We also identified several miR-214-mediated prometastatic functions directly promoted by ALCAM. Silencing ALCAM in miR-214-overexpressing melanoma cells reduced cell migration and invasion without affecting growth or anoikis in vitro, and it also impaired extravasation and metastasis formation in vivo. Conversely, cell migration and extravasation was reduced in miR-214-overexpressing cells by upregulation of either miR-148b or TFAP2. These findings were consistent with patterns of expression of miR-214, ALCAM, and miR-148b in human melanoma specimens. Overall, our results define a pathway involving miR-214, miR-148b, TFAP2, and ALCAM that is critical for establishing distant metastases in melanoma.

Chitteti BR, Bethel M, Kacena MA, Srour EF
CD166 and regulation of hematopoiesis.
Curr Opin Hematol. 2013; 20(4):273-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Many surface antigens have been previously used to identify hematopoietic stem cells or cellular elements of the hematopoietic niche. However, to date, not a single surface marker has been identified as a common marker expressed on murine and human hematopoietic stem cells and on cells of the hematopoietic niche. Recently, a few laboratories, including ours, recognized the importance of CD166 as a functional marker on both stem cells and osteoblasts and have begun to characterize the role of CD166 in hematopoiesis.
RECENT FINDINGS: Expression of CD166 on hematopoietic cells and cells in the marrow microenvironment was first reported more than a decade ago. Lately, however, a more prominent role for CD166 in normal hematopoiesis and in cancer biology including metastasis began to emerge. This review will cover the significance of CD166 in identifying normal hematopoietic stem cells and cells of the hematopoietic niche and highlight how CD166-mediated homophilic interactions between both cell types may be critical for stem cell function.
SUMMARY: The conserved homology between murine and human CD166 and its involvement in metastasis provides an excellent bridge for translational investigations aimed at enhancing stem cell engraftment and clinical utility of stem cells and at using CD166 as a therapeutic target in cancer.

Suzuki Y, Haraguchi N, Takahashi H, et al.
SSEA-3 as a novel amplifying cancer cell surface marker in colorectal cancers.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(1):161-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Findings from studies on stem cells have been applied to cancer stem cell (CSC) research, but little is known about the relationship between ES cell-related cell surface markers and CSCs. In this study, we focused on stage-specific embryonic antigen 3 (SSEA-3), a marker of mesenchymal stem cells and Muse cells in colorectal cancer (CRC). Expression of SSEA-3 in human CRC cell lines and clinical specimens, specifically the relationship of SSEA-3 expression and the representative CSC markers (CD44, CD166, ALDH, CD24 and CD26) as well as with mesenchymal stem cell/Muse cell marker (CD105) were assessed. To characterize SSEA-3-expressing cells, tumorigenicity, sphere formation ability, expression of iPS genes (Oct4, NANOG, SOX2 and c-Myc), cell proliferation and cell cycle status were assessed. SSEA-3 expression was identified in Caco-2, DLD-1, HT-29, SW480 and HCT116, but not in CaR-1 cells. No significant relationship between SSEA-3 and other stem cell markers was detected. SSEA-3+ cells showed increased tumorigenicity in vivo, but lower sphere formation ability in vitro than SSEA-3-. iPS gene expression was not correlated with SSEA-3 expression status. SSEA-3+ cells showed higher proliferative ability than SSEA-3- through enhanced cell cycles by decreased expression of p21Cip1/Waf1 and p27Kip1. Immunofluorescence analysis in clinical specimens indicated that expression of SSEA-3 is limited to stromal cells in normal mucosa but broad in poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. These observations indicated that SSEA-3+ cells in CRC have immature phenotype but decreased self-renewal ability and may function as tumor transient amplifying cells or delayed contributing tumor-initiating cells.

Oikawa F, Kojima-Aikawa K, Inoue F, et al.
HMMC-1, a human monoclonal antibody to fucosylated core 1 O-glycan, suppresses growth of uterine endometrial cancer cells.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(1):62-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
HMMC-1 is a human monoclonal antibody that reacts with a fucosylated and extended core 1 O-glycan, Fucα1-2Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-3GalNAc-Ser/Thr, as an epitope. In the present study, we examined the effects of HMMC-1 on cell proliferation of two human uterine endometrial cancer cell lines, HEC8 and HEC9, to investigate the role of glycoproteins bearing the HMMC-1 epitope in cancer progression. HEC9 cells expressed high levels of the HMMC-1 epitope, but HMMC-1 reactivity was hardly detected in HEC8 cells. In a mouse model of lymph node metastasis using orthotopic implantation, HEC8 and HEC9 showed low (10%) and high (80%) metastatic potency, respectively. Growth of HEC9, but not HEC8, was remarkably inhibited by addition of HMMC-1 to the culture medium. Cell cycle analysis and expression analysis showed that HMMC-1 treatment increased the G(1) phase population of HEC9 cells and induced cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p16 and p21. Two glycoproteins, 97 and 137 kDa, with a strong reactivity to HMMC-1 were purified, and the 97-kDa glycoprotein was identified as CD166, an immunoglobulin superfamily cell adhesion molecule assumed to be involved in cancer metastasis. CD166 gene-silencing dramatically reduced HMMC-1 epitope expression and growth in HEC9 cells, indicating that CD166 is the primary glycoprotein presenting the HMMC-1 epitope in HEC9 cells. Collectively, HMMC-1 might arrest the cell cycle in the G(1) phase by binding to O-glycans on the CD166 expressed in HEC9 cells, raising the possibility that HMMC-1 extensively inhibits invasive growth of HMMC-1 epitope-positive uterine endometrial cancer cells by targeting the cancer-associated form of CD166.

Ishiguro F, Murakami H, Mizuno T, et al.
Membranous expression of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule contributes to poor prognosis and malignant phenotypes of non-small-cell lung cancer.
J Surg Res. 2013; 179(1):24-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) has been shown to correlate with the prognosis of patients with various types of human malignancies. However, the relationship between ALCAM expression and progression of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been investigated. This study was designed to clarify the prognostic impact of ALCAM expression of NSCLC cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study population consisted of 147 NSCLC patients who underwent complete resection. We performed immunohistochemical staining for ALCAM expression and correlated this to the clinicopathologic parameters and patient survival. The ALCAM expression in NSCLC cell lines was analyzed using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses. ALCAM knockdown in NSCLC cell lines was performed with lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA transduction.
RESULTS: Positive membranous and cytoplasmic ALCAM expressions were detected in 66 (44.9%) and 57 (38.8%) patients, respectively. A significant association of high membranous ALCAM expression with shortened overall survival (OS) was found (P = 0.009). However, patients with cytoplasmic staining of ALCAM showed no significantly shortened OS (P = 0.723). Multivariate analyses showed that membranous expression was adverse prognostic factors for OS (hazard ratio, 2.11; P = 0.046). ALCAM knockdown with short hairpin RNA suppressed cell migration and invasion of NSCLC cell lines in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: Strong membranous ALCAM expression is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with resected NSCLC, and overexpression of ALCAM causes malignant phenotypes of NSCLC.

Dippel V, Milde-Langosch K, Wicklein D, et al.
Influence of L1-CAM expression of breast cancer cells on adhesion to endothelial cells.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2013; 139(1):107-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Expression of the adhesion molecule L1-CAM (L1) has been shown to correlate with early recurrence in breast cancer. Here, we investigated whether L1-CAM expression of breast cancer cells might influence adherence to human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) and thus promote metastasis.
METHODS: MDA-MB231-Fra2 breast cancer cells that express high levels of L1-CAM (L1(high) cells) were stably transfected to generate clones with strong L1-CAM downregulation. Adhesion to activated HPMEC was studied in dynamic cell flow and static assays. Potential binding partners on endothelial cells were identified by blocking experiments and adhesion assays after coating of the flow channels with recombinant proteins.
RESULTS: Adhesion of L1(high) cells to activated HPMEC was significantly higher compared to L1l(ow) clones under flow conditions. Blocking experiments and adhesion assays with recombinant proteins identified activated leucocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) or L1 itself, but not ICAM-1, as potential binding partners on endothelial cells. E-selectin blocking antibodies strongly diminished the adherence of breast cancer cells irrespective of their L1-CAM expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Our experiments indicate that L1-CAM expression on breast cancer cells can promote adherence to activated endothelial cells by binding to endothelial L1-CAM or ALCAM. This mechanism might lead to increased metastasis and a poor prognosis in L1-CAM-positive carcinomas in vivo. Therefore, L1-CAM might be a suitable therapeutic target in breast cancers with a high L1-CAM expression.

Jiao J, Hindoyan A, Wang S, et al.
Identification of CD166 as a surface marker for enriching prostate stem/progenitor and cancer initiating cells.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e42564 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
New therapies for late stage and castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) depend on defining unique properties and pathways of cell sub-populations capable of sustaining the net growth of the cancer. One of the best enrichment schemes for isolating the putative stem/progenitor cell from the murine prostate gland is Lin(-);Sca1(+);CD49f(hi) (LSC(hi)), which results in a more than 10-fold enrichment for in vitro sphere-forming activity. We have shown previously that the LSC(hi) subpopulation is both necessary and sufficient for cancer initiation in the Pten-null prostate cancer model. To further improve this enrichment scheme, we searched for cell surface molecules upregulated upon castration of murine prostate and identified CD166 as a candidate gene. CD166 encodes a cell surface molecule that can further enrich sphere-forming activity of WT LSC(hi) and Pten null LSC(hi). Importantly, CD166 could enrich sphere-forming ability of benign primary human prostate cells in vitro and induce the formation of tubule-like structures in vivo. CD166 expression is upregulated in human prostate cancers, especially CRPC samples. Although genetic deletion of murine CD166 in the Pten null prostate cancer model does not interfere with sphere formation or block prostate cancer progression and CRPC development, the presence of CD166 on prostate stem/progenitors and castration resistant sub-populations suggest that it is a cell surface molecule with the potential for targeted delivery of human prostate cancer therapeutics.

Sudhir PR, Chen CH, Pavana Kumari M, et al.
Label-free quantitative proteomics and N-glycoproteomics analysis of KRAS-activated human bronchial epithelial cells.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012; 11(10):901-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutational activation of KRAS promotes various malignancies, including lung adenocarcinoma. Knowledge of the molecular targets mediating the downstream effects of activated KRAS is limited. Here, we provide the KRAS target proteins and N-glycoproteins using human bronchial epithelial cells with and without the expression of activated KRAS (KRAS(V12)). Using an OFFGEL peptide fractionation and hydrazide method combined with subsequent LTQ-Orbitrap analysis, we identified 5713 proteins and 608 N-glycosites on 317 proteins in human bronchial epithelial cells. Label-free quantitation of 3058 proteins (≥2 peptides; coefficient of variation (CV) ≤ 20%) and 297 N-glycoproteins (CV ≤ 20%) revealed the differential regulation of 23 proteins and 14 N-glycoproteins caused by activated KRAS, including 84% novel ones. An informatics-assisted IPA-Biomarker® filter analysis prioritized some of the differentially regulated proteins (ALDH3A1, CA2, CTSD, DST, EPHA2, and VIM) and N-glycoproteins (ALCAM, ITGA3, and TIMP-1) as cancer biomarkers. Further, integrated in silico analysis of microarray repository data of lung adenocarcinoma clinical samples and cell lines containing KRAS mutations showed positive mRNA fold changes (p < 0.05) for 61% of the KRAS-regulated proteins, including biomarker proteins, CA2 and CTSD. The most significant discovery of the integrated validation is the down-regulation of FABP5 and PDCD4. A few validated proteins, including tumor suppressor PDCD4, were further confirmed as KRAS targets by shRNA-based knockdown experiments. Finally, the studies on KRAS-regulated N-glycoproteins revealed structural alterations in the core N-glycans of SEMA4B in KRAS-activated human bronchial epithelial cells and functional role of N-glycosylation of TIMP-1 in the regulation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cell invasion. Together, our study represents the largest proteome and N-glycoproteome data sets for HBECs, which we used to identify several novel potential targets of activated KRAS that may provide insights into KRAS-induced adenocarcinoma and have implications for both lung cancer therapy and diagnosis.

Ishiguro F, Murakami H, Mizuno T, et al.
Activated leukocyte cell-adhesion molecule (ALCAM) promotes malignant phenotypes of malignant mesothelioma.
J Thorac Oncol. 2012; 7(5):890-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Cell-adhesion molecules play important roles involving the malignant phenotypes of human cancer cells. However, detailed characteristics of aberrant expression status of cell-adhesion molecules in malignant mesothelioma (MM) cells and their possible biological roles for MM malignancy remain poorly understood.
METHODS: DNA microarray analysis was employed to identify aberrantly expressing genes using 20 MM cell lines. Activated leukocyte cell-adhesion molecule (ALCAM) expression in MM cell lines was analyzed with quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses in 47 primary MM specimens with immunohistochemistry. ALCAM knockdown in MM cell lines was performed with lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) transduction. Purified soluble ALCAM (sALCAM) protein was used for in vitro experiments, whereas MM cell lines infected with the sALCAM-expressing lentivirus were tested for tumorigenicity in vivo.
RESULTS: ALCAM, a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, was detected as one of the most highly upregulated genes among 103 cell-adhesion molecules with microarray analysis. Elevated expression levels of ALCAM messenger RNA and protein were detected in all 20 cell lines. Positive staining of ALCAM was detected in 26 of 47 MM specimens (55%) with immunohistochemistry. ALCAM knockdown with shRNA suppressed cell migration and invasion of MM cell lines. Purified sALCAM protein impaired the migration and invasion of MM cells in vitro, and the infection of sALCAM-expressing virus into MM cells significantly prolonged survival periods of MM-transplanted nude mice in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that overexpression of ALCAM contributes to tumor progression in MM and that ALCAM might be a potential therapeutic target of MM.

Leavell BJ, Van Buren E, Antaki F, et al.
Associations between markers of colorectal cancer stem cells and adenomas among ethnic groups.
Dig Dis Sci. 2012; 57(9):2334-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSES: Most colorectal tumors develop from adenomatous polyps, which are detected by colonoscopy. African Americans (AAs) have higher incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and greater mortality from this disease than Caucasian Americans (CAs). We investigated whether differences in predisposition to CRC and its surrogate (colonic adenomas) between these ethnic groups were related to numbers of cancer stem or stem-like cells (CSCs) in colonocytes.
METHODS: We analyzed colonic effluent from 11 AA and 14 CA patients who underwent scheduled colonoscopy examinations at the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center. We determined proportions of cells that expressed the CSC markers CD44 and CD166 by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The proportion of colonocytes that were CD44(+)CD166(-) in effluent from patients with adenomas was significantly greater than from patients without adenomas (P = 0.01); the proportion of CD44(+)CD166(+) colonocytes was also greater (P = 0.07). Effluent from AAs with adenomas had 60 % more CD44(+)166(-) colonocytes than from CAs with adenomas. Using cutoff values of 8 % for AAs and 3 % for CAs, the proportion of CD44(+)166(-) colonocytes that had positive predictive value for detection of adenomas was 100 % for AAs and CAs, determined by receiver operator characteristic curve analysis.
CONCLUSION: The proportion of CD44(+)166(-) colonocytes in colonic effluent can be used to identify patients with adenoma. AAs with adenomas have a higher proportion of CD44(+)166(-) colonocytes than CA. The increased proportion of CSCs in colonic tissue from AA might be associated with the increased incidence of CRC in this population.

van Kilsdonk JW, Takahashi N, Weidle U, et al.
Modulation of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule-mediated invasion triggers an innate immune gene response in melanoma.
J Invest Dermatol. 2012; 132(5):1462-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/CD166) is a progression marker of a variety of cancers, including melanoma, and is a marker for mesenchymal stem cells. ALCAM expression triggers matrix metalloproteinase activity and correlates with the transition between superficial melanoma growth and deep dermal invasion in vivo. We previously showed that manipulating ALCAM functionality could both decrease and increase melanoma invasion, depending on the manner by which ALCAM function was altered. How ALCAM exerts these opposing invasive phenotypes remained elusive. In the present study, we analyzed differences in melanoma cell gene expression in two- and three-dimensional cultures as function of ALCAM-mediated adhesion. We identified a cluster of genes highly responsive to ALCAM functionality and relevant for melanoma invasion. This cluster is characterized by known invasion-related genes similar to L1 neuronal cell adhesion molecule and showed a remarkable induction of several innate immune genes. Unexpectedly, we identified major variations in the expression of genes related to an immunological response when modulating ALCAM function, including complement factors C1r and C1s. The expression and function of these proteinases were confirmed in protein assays and in vivo. Together, our results demonstrate a link between ALCAM functionality and the immune transcriptome, and support the assumption that ALCAM-ALCAM interactions could function as a cell signaling complex to promote melanoma tumor invasion.

Esser R, Glienke W, Bochennek K, et al.
Detection of neuroblastoma cells during clinical follow up: advanced flow cytometry and rt-PCR for tyrosine hydroxylase using both conventional and real-time PCR.
Klin Padiatr. 2011; 223(6):326-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-qPCR) or conventional RT-PCR (RT-cPCR) detection of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is increasingly used to detect neuroblastoma (NB) cells in clinical samples. However, TH expression in normal tissues can limit its usefulness and make additional diagnostic strategies necessary.
METHODS: We analysed TH in 857 tumour, bone marrow aspirate and peripheral blood stem cell samples from 65 NB patients using RT-cPCR, and compared results from 666 samples analysed by RT-qPCR. TH was investigated in 84 samples from patients with other diagnoses and 354 samples from healthy donors as controls, and 132 samples from the entire collection were evaluated for NB cells using 5-colour flow cytometry (FC).
RESULTS: Cohen's kappa coefficient demonstrated a substantial agreement between RT-cPCR and RT-qPCR as well as RT-cPCR and FC and a moderate agreement between RT-qPCR and FC. TH expression was also detected in samples from individual patients with Ewing sarcoma, nephroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, but not from healthy donors. FC panels were an effective complementary strategy, detecting as few as 0.002% NB cells, characterised as CD45negCD9+CD81+CD56+ch14:18+GD2+ cells with occasional CD57+CD138+CD166+ expression.
CONCLUSION: TH RT-qPCR alone is limited for detection of NB cells because of "false positives" in samples from patients with other diseases. Advanced FC may serve as a complementary method to detect residual NB, but needs further confirmation in larger patient cohorts.

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