Gene Summary

Gene:ATG5; autophagy related 5
Aliases: ASP, APG5, APG5L, hAPG5, APG5-LIKE
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:autophagy protein 5
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 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 11 August 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.

Tag cloud generated 11 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: ATG5 (cancer-related)

Jordan VC, Curpan R, Maximov PY
Estrogen receptor mutations found in breast cancer metastases integrated with the molecular pharmacology of selective ER modulators.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(6):djv075 [PubMed] Related Publications
The consistent reports of mutations at Asp538 and Tyr537 in helix 12 of the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of estrogen receptors (ERs) from antihormone-resistant breast cancer metastases constitute an important advance. The mutant amino acids interact with an anchor amino acid, Asp351, to close the LBD, thereby creating a ligand-free constitutively activated ER. Amino acids Asp 538, Tyr 537, and Asp 351 are known to play a role in either the turnover of ER, the antiestrogenic activity of the ER complex, or the estrogen-like actions of selective ER modulators. A unifying mechanism of action for these amino acids to enhance ER gene activation and growth response is presented. There is a range of mutations described in metastases vs low to zero in primary disease, so the new knowledge is of clinical relevance, thereby confirming an additional mechanism of acquired resistance to antihormone therapy through cell population selection pressure and enrichment during treatment. Circulating tumor cells containing ER mutations can be cultured ex vivo, and tumor tissues can be grown as patient-derived xenografts to add a new dimension for testing drug susceptibility for future drug discovery.

Richards MW, O'Regan L, Roth D, et al.
Microtubule association of EML proteins and the EML4-ALK variant 3 oncoprotein require an N-terminal trimerization domain.
Biochem J. 2015; 467(3):529-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Proteins of the echinoderm microtubule (MT)-associated protein (EMAP)-like (EML) family contribute to formation of the mitotic spindle and interphase MT network. EML1-4 consist of Trp-Asp 40 (WD40) repeats and an N-terminal region containing a putative coiled-coil. Recurrent gene rearrangements in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) fuse EML4 to anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) causing expression of several oncogenic fusion variants. The fusions have constitutive ALK activity due to self-association through the EML4 coiled-coil. We have determined crystal structures of the coiled-coils from EML2 and EML4, which describe the structural basis of both EML self-association and oncogenic EML4-ALK activation. The structures reveal a trimeric oligomerization state directed by a conserved pattern of hydrophobic residues and salt bridges. We show that the trimerization domain (TD) of EML1 is necessary and sufficient for self-association. The TD is also essential for MT binding; however, this property requires an adjacent basic region. These observations prompted us to investigate MT association of EML4-ALK and EML1-ABL1 (Abelson 1) fusions in which variable portions of the EML component are present. Uniquely, EML4-ALK variant 3, which includes the TD and basic region of EML4 but none of the WD40 repeats, was localized to MTs, both when expressed recombinantly and when expressed in a patient-derived NSCLC cell line (H2228). This raises the question of whether the mislocalization of ALK activity to MTs might influence downstream signalling and malignant properties of cells. Furthermore, the structure of EML4 TD may enable the development of protein-protein interaction inhibitors targeting the trimerization interface, providing a possible avenue towards therapeutic intervention in EML4-ALK NSCLC.

Zheng B, Zhu H, Gu D, et al.
MiRNA-30a-mediated autophagy inhibition sensitizes renal cell carcinoma cells to sorafenib.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 459(2):234-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemotherapy-induced autophagy activation often contributes to cancer resistance. MiRNA-30a (miR-30a) is a potent inhibitor of autophagy by downregulating Beclin-1. In this study, we characterized the role of miR-30a in sorafenib-induced activity in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) cells. We found that expression of miR-30a was significantly downregulated in several human RCC tissues and in RCC cell lines. Accordingly, its targeted gene Beclin-1 was upregulated. Sorafenib activated autophagy in RCC cells (786-0 and A489 lines), evidenced by p62 degradation, Beclin-1/autophagy protein 5 (ATG-5) upregulation and light chain (LC)3B-I/-II conversion. Exogenously expressing miR-30a in 786-0 or A489 cells inhibited Beclin-1 expression and enhanced sorafenib-induced cytotoxicity. In contrast, knockdown of miR-30a by introducing antagomiR-30a increased Beclin-1 expression, and inhibited sorafenib-induced cytotoxicity against RCC cells. Autophagy inhibitors, including chloroquine, 3-methyaldenine or Bafliomycin A1, enhanced sorafenib activity, causing substantial cell apoptosis. Meanwhile, knockdown of Beclin-1 or ATG-5 by targeted siRNAs also increased sorafenib-induced cytotoxicity in above RCC cells. These findings indicate that dysregulation of miR-30a in RCC may interfere with the effectiveness of sorafenib-mediated apoptosis by an autophagy-dependent pathway, thus representing a novel potential therapeutic target for RCC.

Tavallai M, Hamed HA, Roberts JL, et al.
Nexavar/Stivarga and viagra interact to kill tumor cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2015; 230(9):2281-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
We determined whether the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib or its derivative regorafenib interacted with phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors such as Viagra (sildenafil) to kill tumor cells. PDE5 and PDGFRα/β were over-expressed in liver tumors compared to normal liver tissue. In multiple cell types in vitro sorafenib/regorafenib and PDE5 inhibitors interacted in a greater than additive fashion to cause tumor cell death, regardless of whether cells were grown in 10 or 100% human serum. Knock down of PDE5 or of PDGFRα/β recapitulated the effects of the individual drugs. The drug combination increased ROS/RNS levels that were causal in cell killing. Inhibition of CD95/FADD/caspase 8 signaling suppressed drug combination toxicity. Knock down of ULK-1, Beclin1, or ATG5 suppressed drug combination lethality. The drug combination inactivated ERK, AKT, p70 S6K, and mTOR and activated JNK. The drug combination also reduced mTOR protein expression. Activation of ERK or AKT was modestly protective whereas re-expression of an activated mTOR protein or inhibition of JNK signaling almost abolished drug combination toxicity. Sildenafil and sorafenib/regorafenib interacted in vivo to suppress xenograft tumor growth using liver and colon cancer cells. From multiplex assays on tumor tissue and plasma, we discovered that increased FGF levels and ERBB1 and AKT phosphorylation were biomarkers that were directly associated with lower levels of cell killing by 'rafenib + sildenafil. Our data are now being translated into the clinic for further determination as to whether this drug combination is a useful anti-tumor therapy for solid tumor patients.

Wang L, Yao L, Zheng YZ, et al.
Expression of autophagy-related proteins ATG5 and FIP200 predicts favorable disease-free survival in patients with breast cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 458(4):816-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy is a self-digesting process that is primarily responsible for the removal and recycling of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles to maintain the homeostasis of the cell. Recent studies have indicated dual roles for autophagy in cancer: suppression of tumor progression and promotion of survival. In this study, we sought to investigate the prognostic value of two autophagy-related proteins, autophagy-related gene 5 (ATG5) and FAK family kinase-interacting protein of 200 kDa (FIP200), in patients with operable breast cancer. More specifically, the expression of ATG5 and FIP200 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in surgical specimens collected from 200 patients who were diagnosed with histologically proven invasive ductal breast cancer. A stepwise Cox multivariate analysis was then performed to construct a risk prediction model. In this retrospective cohort study, both ATG5 (HR = 0.465, 95% CI 0.247-0.872, P = 0.017) and FIP200 (HR = 0.521, 95% CI 0.278-0.979, P = 0.043) correlated with prolonged disease-free survival (DFS). In a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, the addition of ATG5 and FIP200 expression led to a significantly improved area under the time-dependent ROC curve (AUC) at 3 years (0.748 versus 0.680, P < 0.001) and 5 years (0.756 versus 0.699, P < 0.001). Collectively, our findings established the prognostic significance of ATG5 and FIP200 in patients with breast cancer.

Zidi S, Verdi H, Yilmaz-Yalcin Y, et al.
Involvement of Toll-like receptors in cervical cancer susceptibility among Tunisian women.
Bull Cancer. 2014; 101(10):E31-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies underscored the importance of genetic factors in the pathogenesis of certain cancers, including cervical cancer. Epidemiological evidence supports an association between specific polymorphisms of Toll-like receptors (TLR) with several human pathological states, including cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between specific gene variants in TLR2 (-196 to -174 del), TLR3 (c.1377 C>T), TLR4 (Asp299Gly), and TLR9 (2848 G>A) and susceptibility to cervical cancer in Tunisian women. Study subjects comprised 122 women with histopathologically-confirmed cervical cancer, and 260 unrelated age- and ethnically-matched healthy females, who served as controls. TLR genotyping was done using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The C/C genotype of TLR3 (c.1377 C>T) is associated with cervical cancer susceptibility (OR: 1.71, CI: 1.08-2.70). For TLR4 (Asp299Gly), the Asp/Asp genotype and the Asp allele were associated with higher risk of developing cervical cancer (OR: 4.95, CI: 1.97-13.22) and (OR: 5.17, CI: 2.11-13.50) respectively. We demonstrated no association between the TLR2 (-196 to -174 del) and the TLR 9 (2848 G>A) polymorphisms and the susceptibility of cervical cancer among Tunisian women. However, the C/C genotype for the TLR3 (c.1377 C>T) polymorphism and the Asp/Asp genotype and the Asp allele for (Asp299Gly) TLR4 polymorphism were found to be associated with a higher risk of cervical cancer.

Smoking and long-term risk of type 2 diabetes: the EPIC-InterAct study in European populations.
Diabetes Care. 2014; 37(12):3164-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to investigate the association between smoking and incident type 2 diabetes, accounting for a large number of potential confounding factors, and to explore potential effect modifiers and intermediate factors.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct is a prospective case-cohort study within eight European countries, including 12,403 cases of incident type 2 diabetes and a random subcohort of 16,835 individuals. After exclusion of individuals with missing data, the analyses included 10,327 cases and 13,863 subcohort individuals. Smoking status was used (never, former, current), with never smokers as the reference. Country-specific Prentice-weighted Cox regression models and random-effects meta-analysis were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for type 2 diabetes.
RESULTS: In men, the HRs (95% CI) of type 2 diabetes were 1.40 (1.26, 1.55) for former smokers and 1.43 (1.27, 1.61) for current smokers, independent of age, education, center, physical activity, and alcohol, coffee, and meat consumption. In women, associations were weaker, with HRs (95% CI) of 1.18 (1.07, 1.30) and 1.13 (1.03, 1.25) for former and current smokers, respectively. There was some evidence of effect modification by BMI. The association tended to be slightly stronger in normal weight men compared with those with overall adiposity.
CONCLUSIONS: Former and current smoking was associated with a higher risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with never smoking in men and women, independent of educational level, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and diet. Smoking may be regarded as a modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and smoking cessation should be encouraged for diabetes prevention.

Ge J, Chen Z, Huang J, et al.
Upregulation of autophagy-related gene-5 (ATG-5) is associated with chemoresistance in human gastric cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e110293 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Autophagy-related gene-5 (ATG-5) is one of the key regulators of autophagic cell death. It has been widely regarded as a protective molecular mechanism for tumor cells during the course of chemotherapy. In the present study, we investigated the expression pattern of ATG-5 and multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 (MRP-1) in 135 gastric cancers (GC) patients who were treated with epirubicin, cisplatin and 5-FU adjuvant chemotherapy (ECF) following surgical resection and explored their potential clinical significance. We found that both ATG-5 (77.78%) and MRP-1 (79.26%) were highly expressed in GC patients. ATG-5 expression was significantly associated with depth of wall invasion, TNM stages and distant metastasis of GC (P<0.05), whereas MRP-1 expression was significantly linked with tumor size, depth of wall invasion, lymph node metastasis, TNM stages and differentiation status (P<0.05). ATG-5 expression was positively correlated with MRP-1 (rp = 0.616, P<0.01). Increased expression of ATG-5 and MPR-1 was significantly correlated with poor overall survival (OS; P<0.01) and disease free survival (DFS; P<0.01) of our GC cohort. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ATG-5 was involved in drug resistant of GC cells, which was mainly through regulating autophagy. Our data suggest that upregulated expression of ATG-5, an important molecular feature of protective autophagy, is associated with chemoresistance in GC. Expression of ATG-5 and MRP-1 may be independent prognostic markers for GC treatment.

Wang J, Gu S, Huang J, et al.
Inhibition of autophagy potentiates the efficacy of Gli inhibitor GANT-61 in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:768 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is often associated with neuroblastoma (NB), a childhood malignancy with varying clinical outcomes due to different molecular characteristics. Inhibition of Hh signaling with small molecule inhibitors, particularly with GANT-61, significantly suppresses NB growth. However, NB with MYCN amplification is less sensitive to GANT-61 than those without MYCN amplification.
METHODS: Autophagic process was examined in two MYCN amplified and two MYCN non-amplified NB cells treated with GANT-61. Subsequently, chemical and genetic approaches were applied with GANT-61 together to evaluate the role of autophagy in GANT-61 induced cell death.
RESULTS: Here we show that GANT-61 enhanced autophagy in MYCN amplified NB cells. Both an autophagic inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and genetic disruption of ATG5 or ATG7 expression suppressed GANT-61 induced autophagy and significantly increased apoptotic cell death, whereas pre-treatment with an apoptotic inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK, rescued GANT-61 induced cell death and had no effect on the autophagic process. In the other hand, GANT-61 barely induced autophagy in MYCN non-amplified NB cells, but overexpression of MYCN in MYCN non-amplified NB cells recapitulated GANT-61 induced autophagy seen in MYCN amplified NB cells, suggesting that the level of GANT-61 induced autophagy in NB cells is related to MYCN expression level in cells.
CONCLUSION: Aberrant Hh signaling activation as an oncogenic driver in NB renders inhibition of Hh signaling an effective measure to suppress NB growth. However, our data suggest that enhanced autophagy concomitant with Hh signaling inhibition acts as a pro-survival factor to maintain cell viability, which reduces GANT-61 efficacy. Besides, MYCN amplification is likely involved in the induction of the pro-survival autophagy. Overall, simultaneous inhibition of both Hh signaling and autophagy could be a better way to treat MYCN amplified NB.

Yuan TM, Liang RY, Hsiao NW, Chuang SM
The S100A4 D10V polymorphism is related to cell migration ability but not drug resistance in gastric cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(6):2307-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Upregulation of the metastasis-promoting S100A4 protein has been linked to tumor migration and invasion, and clinical studies have demonstrated that significant expression of S100A4 in primary tumors is indicative of poor prognosis. However, the involvement of S100A4 in the drug responsiveness of gastric cancer remains unclear. In the present study, we used gastric cancer cell lines as a model to investigate the involvement of S100A4 in drug responsiveness. We overexpressed S100A4 in AGS and SCM-1 cells, which are characterized by relatively low-level expression of endogenous S100A4, and found that this significantly enhanced cell migration but did not affect cell survival in the presence of six common anticancer drugs. Moreover, in vitro cell proliferation was unchanged. Using RNA interference, we suppressed S100A4 expression in MKN-45 and TMK-1 cells (which are characterized by high-level expression of endogenous S100A4), and found that knockdown of S100A4 markedly attenuated cell motility but did not affect cell survival in the presence of six common anticancer drugs. Further study revealed that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of S100A4 (rs1803245; c.29A>T), which substitutes an Asp residue with Val (D10V), is localized within the conserved binding surface for Annexin II. Cells overexpressing S100A4D10V showed a significant reduction in cell migration ability, but no change in cell survival, upon anticancer drug treatment. Taken together, our novel results indicate that the expression level of S100A4 does not significantly affect cell survival following anticancer drug treatment. Thus, depending on the cell context, the metastasis-promoting effects of S100A4 may not be positively correlated with anticancer drug resistance in the clinic.

Liu X, Wang W, Samarsky D, et al.
Tumor-targeted in vivo gene silencing via systemic delivery of cRGD-conjugated siRNA.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(18):11805-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNAi technology is taking strong position among the key therapeutic modalities, with dozens of siRNA-based programs entering and successfully progressing through clinical stages of drug development. To further explore potentials of RNAi technology as therapeutics, we engineered and tested VEGFR2 siRNA molecules specifically targeted to tumors through covalently conjugated cyclo(Arg-Gly-Asp-d-Phe-Lys[PEG-MAL]) (cRGD) peptide, known to bind αvβ3 integrin receptors. cRGD-siRNAs were demonstrated to specifically enter and silence targeted genes in cultured αvβ3 positive human cells (HUVEC). Microinjection of zebrafish blastocysts with VEGFR2 cRGD-siRNA resulted in specific inhibition of blood vessel growth. In tumor-bearing mice, intravenously injected cRGD-siRNA molecules generated no innate immune response and bio-distributed to tumor tissues. Continuous systemic delivery of two different VEGFR2 cRGD-siRNAs resulted in down-regulation of corresponding mRNA (55 and 45%) and protein (65 and 45%) in tumors, as well as in overall reduction of tumor volume (90 and 70%). These findings demonstrate strong potential of cRGD-siRNA molecules as anti-tumor therapy.

Yuan X, Du J, Hua S, et al.
Suppression of autophagy augments the radiosensitizing effects of STAT3 inhibition on human glioma cells.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 330(2):267-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiotherapy is an essential component of the standard therapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. To increase the radiosensitivity of glioma cells is a feasible solution to improve the therapeutic effects. It has been suggested that inhibition of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) can radiosensitize glioma cells, probably via the activation of mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. In this study, human malignant glioma cells, U251 and A172, were treated with an STAT3 inhibitor, WP1066, or a short hairpin RNA plasmid targeting STAT3 to suppress the activation of STAT3 signaling. The radiosensitizing effects of STAT3 inhibition were confirmed in glioma cells. Intriguingly, combination of ionizing radiation exposure and STAT3 inhibition triggered a pronounced increase of autophagy flux. To explore the role of autophagy, glioma cells were treated with 3-methyladenine or siRNA for autophagy-related gene 5, and it was demonstrated that inhibition of autophagy further strengthened the radiosensitizing effects of STAT3 inhibition. Accordingly, more apoptotic cells were induced by the dual inhibition of autophagy and STAT3 signaling. In conclusion, our data revealed a protective role of autophagy in the radiosensitizing effects of STAT3 inhibition, and inhibition of both autophagy and STAT3 might be a potential therapeutic strategy to increase the radiosensitivity of glioma cells.

Sako N, Dessirier V, Bagot M, et al.
HACE1, a potential tumor suppressor gene on 6q21, is not involved in extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma pathophysiology.
Am J Pathol. 2014; 184(11):2899-907 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extranodal natural killer-T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) of nasal type is a malignant disorder of cytotoxic lymphocytes of natural killer or more rarely T cells, associated with clonal Epstein-Barr virus infection. NKTCL is an aggressive neoplasm with very poor prognosis. Although the pathogenesis of NKTCL is little understood, some insight has been gained in the recent years, especially from genome-wide studies, which revealed a deletion on chromosome 6q21 in more than 50% of patients. Of interest, this deleted region contains four candidate tumor suppressor genes whose decreased expression has been confirmed at the mRNA level: PRDM1, ATG5, AIM1, and HACE1. Mutations and methylation in PRDM1, ATG5, and AIM1 have been reported in NKTCL cell lines. We investigated the involvement of HACE1 in NKTCL pathophysiology. Even though the hypermethylation of CpG-177 island located directly upstream of HACE1 locus led to down-regulation of HACE1 mRNA, the protein product was expressed at nearly normal levels and was functional in the NKTCL cell lines regardless of 6q21 deletion (and indeed no double deletion of 6q21 and no nonfunctional mutations have been reported). Furthermore, contrary to previous report, overexpression of HACE1 by transduction of recombinant protein did not affect proliferation or survival of NKTCL cell lines. We therefore conclude that HACE1 is not directly involved in NKTCL pathophysiology.

Huang YH, Al-Aidaroos AQ, Yuen HF, et al.
A role of autophagy in PTP4A3-driven cancer progression.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(10):1787-800 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Autophagy, a "self-eating" cellular process, has dual roles in promoting and suppressing tumor growth, depending on cellular context. PTP4A3/PRL-3, a plasma membrane and endosomal phosphatase, promotes multiple oncogenic processes including cell proliferation, invasion, and cancer metastasis. In this study, we demonstrate that PTP4A3 accumulates in autophagosomes upon inhibition of autophagic degradation. Expression of PTP4A3 enhances PIK3C3-BECN1-dependent autophagosome formation and accelerates LC3-I to LC3-II conversion in an ATG5-dependent manner. PTP4A3 overexpression also enhances the degradation of SQSTM1, a key autophagy substrate. These functions of PTP4A3 are dependent on its catalytic activity and prenylation-dependent membrane association. These results suggest that PTP4A3 functions to promote canonical autophagy flux. Unexpectedly, following autophagy activation, PTP4A3 serves as a novel autophagic substrate, thereby establishing a negative feedback-loop that may be required to fine-tune autophagy activity. Functionally, PTP4A3 utilizes the autophagy pathway to promote cell growth, concomitant with the activation of AKT. Clinically, from the largest ovarian cancer data set (GSE 9899, n = 285) available in GEO, high levels of expression of both PTP4A3 and autophagy genes significantly predict poor prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. These studies reveal a critical role of autophagy in PTP4A3-driven cancer progression, suggesting that autophagy could be a potential Achilles heel to block PTP4A3-mediated tumor progression in stratified patients with high expression of both PTP4A3 and autophagy genes.

Xu LZ, Long ZJ, Peng F, et al.
Aurora kinase a suppresses metabolic stress-induced autophagic cell death by activating mTOR signaling in breast cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(17):7498-511 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Aberrant Aur-A signaling is associated with tumor malignant behaviors. However, its involvement in tumor metabolic stress is not fully elucidated. In the present study, prolonged nutrient deprivation was conducted into breast cancer cells to mimic metabolic stress in tumors. In these cells, autophagy was induced, leading to caspase-independent cell death, which was blocked by either targeted knockdown of autophagic gene ATG5 or autophagy inhibitor 3-Methyladenine (3-MA). Aur-A overexpression mediated resistance to autophagic cell death and promoted breast cancer cells survival when exposed to metabolic stress. Moreover, we provided evidence that Aur-A suppressed autophagy in a kinase-dependent manner. Furthermore, we revealed that Aur-A overexpression enhanced the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity under metabolic stress by inhibiting glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). Inhibition of mTOR activity by rapamycin sensitized Aur-A-overexpressed breast cancer cells to metabolic stress-induced cell death. Consistently, we presented an inverse correlation between Aur-A expression (high) and autophagic levels (low) in clinical breast cancer samples. In conclusion, our data provided a novel insight into the cyto-protective role of Aur-A against metabolic stress by suppressing autophagic cell death, which might help to develop alternative cell death avenues for breast cancer therapy.

Weng J, Wang C, Wang Y, et al.
Beclin1 inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion in tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.
Oral Oncol. 2014; 50(10):983-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The role of autophagy is still a controversy in cancer development. In our previous study, we confirmed that decrease of autophagy activity promotes malignant progression of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC). However, the role of autophagy-related protein, Beclin1, has not well been documented in TSCC. In this study, we aim to elucidate the role of beclin1 in TSCC progression and investigate its potential mechanisms.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: TSCC cell lines, SCC9 and SCC15 were used to generate the stable cells with transfection lentivirus BECN1 and sh-BECN1. Then, Beclin1 expression was detected with qPCR and western blot. Moreover, the expressions of autophagy-related proteins and tumor metastasis associated proteins were examined by western blot and ELISA. For functional analysis, MTT assay were performed to evaluate the proliferation activity and transwell assay was used to assess the migration and invasion ability. Finally, TSCC xenograft models were established to confirm the effect of Beclin1 on TSCC in vivo.
RESULTS: The results showed that BECN1 and sh-BECN1 virus transfection significantly increased or decreased the mRNA and protein expression of Beclin1 in the transfected TSCC cells. Meanwhile, we also observed that Beclin1 could enhance the expression levels of LC3-II, ATG4 and ATG5. Then, we revealed that overexpression of Beclin1 inhibited proliferation, migration and invasion while knockdown of Beclin1 promoted proliferation, migration and invasion in TSCC cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 were involved in Beclin1-mediated inhibition of migration and invasion. More importantly, our data also confirmed that Beclin1 inhibited TSCC xenograft growth in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, the results indicate that autophagy regulating gene, Beclin1, may contribute to the malignant phenotypes of TSCC cells and can be a potential target for oral cancer gene therapy.

Ramaniuk VP, Nikitchenko NV, Savina NV, et al.
Polymorphism of DNA repair genes OGG1, XRCC1, XPD and ERCC6 in bladder cancer in Belarus.
Biomarkers. 2014; 19(6):509-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: The study of DNA base and nucleotide excision repair gene polymorphisms in bladder cancer seems to have a predictive value because of the evident relationship between the DNA damage response induced by environmental mutagens and cancer predisposition.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine OGG1 Ser326Cys, XRCC1 Arg399Gln, XPD Asp312Asn, and ERCC6 Met1097Val polymorphisms in bladder cancer patients as compared to controls.
METHODS: Both groups were predominantly represented by Belarusians and Eastern Slavs. DNA samples from 336 patients and 370 controls were genotyped using a PCR-RFLP method.
RESULTS: The genotype distributions were in agreement with the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The minor allele frequencies in the control population were in the range of those in Caucasians in contrast to Asians. The OGG1 326 Ser/Cys and XPD 312 Asp/Asn heterozygous genotypes were inversely associated with cancer risk (OR [95% CI] = 0.69 [0.50-0.95] and 1.35 [1.0-1.82], respectively). The contrasting effects of these genotypes were potentiated due to their interactions with smoking habit or age.
CONCLUSIONS: Among four DNA repair gene polymorphisms, the OGG1 326 Ser/Cys and XPD 312 Asp/Asn heterozygous genotypes might be recognized as potential genetic markers modifying susceptibility to bladder cancer in Belarus.

Hosseinpour B, Bakhtiarizadeh MR, Mirabbassi SM, Ebrahimie E
Comparison of hematopoietic cancer stem cells with normal stem cells leads to discovery of novel differentially expressed SSRs.
Gene. 2014; 550(1):10-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tandem repeat expansion in the transcriptomics level has been considered as one of the underlying causes of different cancers. Cancer stem cells are a small portion of cancer cells within the main neoplasm and can remain alive during chemotherapy and re-induce tumor growth. The EST-SSR background of cancer stem cells and possible roles of expressed SSRs in altering normal stem cells to cancer ones have not been investigated yet. Here, SSR distributions in hematopoietic normal and cancer stem cells were compared based on the expressed EST-SSR. One hundred eighty nine and 223 EST-SSRs were identified in cancer and normal stem cells, respectively. The EST-SSR expression pattern was significantly different between normal and cancer stem cells. The frequencies of AC/GT and TA/TA EST-SSRs were about 10% higher in cancer than normal stem cells. Remarkably, the number of triplets in cancer stem cells was 1.5 times higher than that in normal stem cells. GAT EST-SSR was frequent in cancer stem cells, but, conversely, normal stem cells did not express GAT EST-SSR. We suggest this EST-SSR as a novel triplet in cancer stem cell induction. Translating EST-SSRs to amino acids demonstrated that Asp and Ile were more abundant in cancer stem cells compared to normal stem cells. Finally, Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis was carried out on genes containing triplet SSRs and showed that SSRs intentionally visit some specific GO classes. Interestingly, a NF-kappa (nuclear factor-kB) binding transcription factor was significantly hit by SSR instability which is a hallmark for leukemia stem cells. NF-kappa is an over represented transcription factor during cancer progression. It seems that there is a crosstalk between the NF-kB transcription factor and expressed GAT tandem repeat which negatively regulate apoptosis. In addition to better understanding of tumorigenesis, the findings of this study offer new DNA markers for diagnostic purposes and identifying at risk populations. In addition, a new approach for gene discovery in cancer by target analysis of differentially expressed EST-SSRs between cancer and normal stem cells is presented here.

Jiang K, Li Y, Zhu Q, et al.
Pharmacological modulation of autophagy enhances Newcastle disease virus-mediated oncolysis in drug-resistant lung cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:551 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oncolytic viruses represent a promising therapy against cancers with acquired drug resistance. However, low efficacy limits its clinical application. The objective of this study is to investigate whether pharmacologically modulating autophagy could enhance oncolytic Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain NDV/FMW virotherapy of drug-resistant lung cancer cells.
METHODS: The effect of NDV/FMW infection on autophagy machinery in A549 lung cancer cell lines resistant to cisplatin (A549/DDP) or paclitaxel (A549/PTX) was investigated by detection of GFP-microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (GFP-LC3) puncta, formation of double-membrane vesicles and conversion of the nonlipidated form of LC3 (LC3-I) to the phosphatidylethanolamine-conjugated form (LC3-II). The effects of autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) and autophagy inducer rapamycin on NDV/FMW-mediated antitumor activity were evaluated both in culture cells and in mice bearing drug-resistant lung cancer cells.
RESULTS: We show that NDV/FMW triggers autophagy in A549/PTX cells via dampening the class I PI3K/Akt/mTOR/p70S6K pathway, which inhibits autophagy. On the contrary, NDV/FMW infection attenuates the autophagic process in A549/DDP cells through the activation of the negative regulatory pathway. Furthermore, combination with CQ or knockdown of ATG5 significantly enhances NDV/FMW-mediated antitumor effects on A549/DDP cells, while the oncolytic efficacy of NDV/FMW in A549/PTX cells is significantly improved by rapamycin. Interestingly, autophagy modulation does not increase virus progeny in these drug resistant cells. Importantly, CQ or rapamycin significantly potentiates NDV/FMW oncolytic activity in mice bearing A549/DDP or A549/PTX cells respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that combination treatment with autophagy modulators is an effective strategy to augment the therapeutic activity of NDV/FMW against drug-resistant lung cancers.

Ji X, Huang Q, Yu L, et al.
Bioinformatics study of cancer-related mutations within p53 phosphorylation site motifs.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(8):13275-98 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
p53 protein has about thirty phosphorylation sites located at the N- and C-termini and in the core domain. The phosphorylation sites are relatively less mutated than other residues in p53. To understand why and how p53 phosphorylation sites are rarely mutated in human cancer, using a bioinformatics approaches, we examined the phosphorylation site and its nearby flanking residues, focusing on the consensus phosphorylation motif pattern, amino-acid correlations within the phosphorylation motifs, the propensity of structural disorder of the phosphorylation motifs, and cancer mutations observed within the phosphorylation motifs. Many p53 phosphorylation sites are targets for several kinases. The phosphorylation sites match 17 consensus sequence motifs out of the 29 classified. In addition to proline, which is common in kinase specificity-determining sites, we found high propensity of acidic residues to be adjacent to phosphorylation sites. Analysis of human cancer mutations in the phosphorylation motifs revealed that motifs with adjacent acidic residues generally have fewer mutations, in contrast to phosphorylation sites near proline residues. p53 phosphorylation motifs are mostly disordered. However, human cancer mutations within phosphorylation motifs tend to decrease the disorder propensity. Our results suggest that combination of acidic residues Asp and Glu with phosphorylation sites provide charge redundancy which may safe guard against loss-of-function mutations, and that the natively disordered nature of p53 phosphorylation motifs may help reduce mutational damage. Our results further suggest that engineering acidic amino acids adjacent to potential phosphorylation sites could be a p53 gene therapy strategy.

Yang A, Kimmelman AC
Inhibition of autophagy attenuates pancreatic cancer growth independent of TP53/TRP53 status.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(9):1683-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Basal levels of autophagy are elevated in most pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC). Suppressing autophagy pharmacologically using chloroquine (CQ) or genetically with RNAi to essential autophagy genes inhibits human pancreatic cancer growth in vitro and in vivo, which presents possible treatment opportunities for PDAC patients using the CQ-derivative hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Indeed, such clinical trials are ongoing. However, autophagy is a complex cellular mechanism to maintain cell homeostasis under stress. Based on its biological role, a dual role of autophagy in tumorigenesis has been proposed: at tumor initiation, autophagy helps maintain genomic stability and prevent tumor initiation; while in advanced disease, autophagy degrades and recycles cellular components to meet the metabolic needs for rapid growth. This model was proven to be the case in mouse lung tumor models. However, in contrast to prior work in various PDAC model systems, loss of autophagy in PDAC mouse models with embryonic homozygous Trp53 deletion does not inhibit tumor growth and paradoxically increases progression. This raised concerns whether there may be a genotype-dependent reliance of PDAC on autophagy. In a recent study, our group used a Trp53 heterozygous mouse PDAC model and human PDX xenografts to address the question. Our results demonstrate that autophagy inhibition was effective against PDAC tumors irrespective of TP53/TRP53 status.

Chang I, Fukuhara S, Wong DK, et al.
Cytochrome P450 1B1 polymorphisms and risk of renal cell carcinoma in men.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(10):10223-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) enzyme activates xenobiotics to reactive forms as well as convert estradiol to 4-hydroxy-estradiol that has been shown to play a role in the carcinogenesis process of the kidney in male but not female animals. Prior reports show polymorphic variants of CYP1B1 to alter catalytic activity, and thus, we hypothesize that polymorphisms of the CYP1B1 gene are involved in the malignant transformation of the renal cell in men. The genetic distributions of five CYP1B1 polymorphisms were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism in 480 normal healthy subjects and 403 sporadic renal cell carcinoma cases. All subjects were Caucasian men. The sites evaluated were codons 48 (C → G, Arg → Gly, rs10012), 119 (G → T, Ala → Ser, rs1056827), 432 (C → G, Leu → Val, rs1056836), 449 (C → T, Asp, rs1056837), and 453 (A → G, Asn → Ser, rs1800440). A trend was demonstrated for the 432 Val/Val (χ2, P = 0.06) and 449 T/T (χ2, P = 0.1) genotypes to play a protective role against renal cancer. Odds ratio (95 % confidence interval) for Val/Val compared to Leu/Leu at codon 432 was 0.65 (0.44-0.95) and T/T compared to C/C at codon 449 was 0.67 (0.45-0.99). Codons 432 and 449 were observed to be linked (D = 0.24), and haplotype involving 432 Val and 449 T was significantly reduced in cancer cases (P = 0.04). No association was found, however, when analyzing polymorphic sites with clinical stage of cancer. These results demonstrate polymorphisms of CYP1B1 to be associated with renal carcinogenesis and are of importance in understanding their role in the pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma.

Wang Z, Zhu B, Zhang M, et al.
Imputation and subset-based association analysis across different cancer types identifies multiple independent risk loci in the TERT-CLPTM1L region on chromosome 5p15.33.
Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(24):6616-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have mapped risk alleles for at least 10 distinct cancers to a small region of 63 000 bp on chromosome 5p15.33. This region harbors the TERT and CLPTM1L genes; the former encodes the catalytic subunit of telomerase reverse transcriptase and the latter may play a role in apoptosis. To investigate further the genetic architecture of common susceptibility alleles in this region, we conducted an agnostic subset-based meta-analysis (association analysis based on subsets) across six distinct cancers in 34 248 cases and 45 036 controls. Based on sequential conditional analysis, we identified as many as six independent risk loci marked by common single-nucleotide polymorphisms: five in the TERT gene (Region 1: rs7726159, P = 2.10 × 10(-39); Region 3: rs2853677, P = 3.30 × 10(-36) and PConditional = 2.36 × 10(-8); Region 4: rs2736098, P = 3.87 × 10(-12) and PConditional = 5.19 × 10(-6), Region 5: rs13172201, P = 0.041 and PConditional = 2.04 × 10(-6); and Region 6: rs10069690, P = 7.49 × 10(-15) and PConditional = 5.35 × 10(-7)) and one in the neighboring CLPTM1L gene (Region 2: rs451360; P = 1.90 × 10(-18) and PConditional = 7.06 × 10(-16)). Between three and five cancers mapped to each independent locus with both risk-enhancing and protective effects. Allele-specific effects on DNA methylation were seen for a subset of risk loci, indicating that methylation and subsequent effects on gene expression may contribute to the biology of risk variants on 5p15.33. Our results provide strong support for extensive pleiotropy across this region of 5p15.33, to an extent not previously observed in other cancer susceptibility loci.

Zhang SH, Wang LA, Li Z, et al.
APE1 polymorphisms are associated with colorectal cancer susceptibility in Chinese Hans.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(26):8700-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
AIM: To study the association between four base excision repair gene polymorphisms and colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population.
METHODS: Two hundred forty-seven colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and three hundred cancer-free controls were enrolled in this study. Four polymorphisms (OGG1 Ser326Cys, APE1 Asp148Glu, -141T/G in the promoter region, and XRCC1 Arg399Gln) in components of the base excision repair pathway were determined in patient blood samples using polymerase chain reaction with confronting two-pair primers. The baseline information included age, gender, family history of cancer, and three behavioral factors [smoking status, alcohol consumption, and body mass index (BMI)]. χ(2) tests were used to assess the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, the distributions of baseline characteristics, and the four gene polymorphisms between the cases and controls. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to analyze the correlations between the four polymorphisms and CRC risk, adjusted by the baseline characteristics. Likelihood ratio tests were performed to analyze the gene-behavior interactions of smoking status, alcohol consumption, and BMI on polymorphisms and CRC susceptibility.
RESULTS: The APE1 148 Glu/Glu genotype was significantly associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (OR = 2.411, 95%CI: 1.497-3.886, P < 0.001 relative to Asp/Asp genotype). There were no associations between OGG1, XRCC1, or APE1 promoter polymorphisms and CRC risk. A multivariate analysis including three behavioral factors showed that the APE1 148 Glu/Glu genotype was associated with an increased risk for CRC among both smokers and non-smokers, non-drinkers and individuals with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2) (ORs = 2.356, 3.299, 2.654, and 2.581, respectively). The XRCC1 399 Arg/Gln genotype was associated with a decreased risk of CRC among smokers and drinkers (OR = 0.289, 95%CI: 0.152-0.548, P < 0.001, and OR = 0.327, 95%CI: 0.158-0.673, P < 0.05, respectively). The APE1 promoter polymorphism -141 T/G genotype was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer among subjects with a BMI < 25 kg/m(2) (OR = 0.214, 95%CI: 0.069-0.660, P < 0.05 relative to T/T genotype). There were significant gene-behavior interactions between smoking status and XRCC1 Arg399Gln, as well as BMI and APE1 -141T/G polymorphism (all P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: APE1 Asp148Glu is associated with increased CRC risk and smoking alters the association between XRCC1 Arg399Gln and CRC risk in the Chinese Han population.

Jonckheere N, Vincent A, Van Seuningen I
Of autophagy and in vivo pancreatic carcinogenesis: the p53 status matters!
Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2014; 38(4):423-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy is a lysosomal recycling process essential for tissue or cell homeostasis. The role of autophagy in cancer is complex with either tumor suppressive or pro-carcinogenetic activities. This question has been addressed by Kevin Ryan's laboratory by using Kras-driven genetic engineering mouse models in order to decipher the involvement of essential Atg5/7 autophagy genes and p53 status in pancreatic homeostasis and carcinogenetic progression. The authors show that combined loss of autophagy and p53 dramatically promotes progression from early Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PanIN) lesions towards adenocarcinoma and alters the cellular metabolism with an enrichment of anabolic pathway that can fuel the tumor growth.

Shukla S, Patric IR, Patil V, et al.
Methylation silencing of ULK2, an autophagy gene, is essential for astrocyte transformation and tumor growth.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(32):22306-18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive type of brain tumor and shows very poor prognosis. Here, using genome-wide methylation analysis, we show that G-CIMP+ and G-CIMP-subtypes enrich distinct classes of biological processes. One of the hypermethylated genes in GBM, ULK2, an upstream autophagy inducer, was found to be down-regulated in GBM. Promoter hypermethylation of ULK2 was confirmed by bisulfite sequencing. GBM and glioma cell lines had low levels of ULK2 transcripts, which could be reversed upon methylation inhibitor treatment. ULK2 promoter methylation and transcript levels showed significant negative correlation. Ectopic overexpression of ULK2-induced autophagy, which further enhanced upon nutrient starvation or temozolomide chemotherapy. ULK2 also inhibited the growth of glioma cells, which required autophagy induction as kinase mutant of ULK2 failed to induce autophagy and inhibit growth. Furthermore, ULK2 induced autophagy and inhibited growth in Ras-transformed immortalized Baby Mouse Kidney (iBMK) ATG5(+/+) but not in autophagy-deficient ATG5(-/-) cells. Growth inhibition due to ULK2 induced high levels of autophagy under starvation or chemotherapy utilized apoptotic cell death but not at low levels of autophagy. Growth inhibition by ULK2 also appears to involve catalase degradation and reactive oxygen species generation. ULK2 overexpression inhibited anchorage independent growth, inhibited astrocyte transformation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Of all autophagy genes, we found ULK2 and its homologue ULK1 were only down-regulated in all grades of glioma. Thus these results altogether suggest that inhibition of autophagy by ULK1/2 down-regulation is essential for glioma development.

He JH, Liao XL, Wang W, et al.
Apogossypolone, a small-molecule inhibitor of Bcl-2, induces radiosensitization of nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells by stimulating autophagy.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1099-108 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a major cause of cancer deaths. Concurrent administration of radiation and chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for advanced NPC. Previously, we showed that apogossypolone (ApoG2) induced apoptosis by blocking the binding of Bcl-2 to Bax, arresting the cell cycle in the S phase, in turn inhibiting proliferation of NPC cells both in vitro and in vivo. In the present study, we showed that ApoG2 inhibited the proliferation of NPC cells in a dose-dependent manner. We treated CNE1, CNE2 and SUNE1 cells with ApoG2 for 72 h, and calculated the IC50 values as 2.84, 5.64 and 2.18 µM, respectively. Normal NP69 cell proliferation was not significantly inhibited. ApoG2 treatment induced significant autophagy, demonstrated by an increase in LC3-II protein expression, reduced protein p62 expression, and accumulation of punctuate GFP-LC3 in the cytoplasm of CNE1 or CNE2 cells. Sh-Atg5 attenuated the autophagy induced by ApoG2, indicating that Atg5 was required for ApoG2-induced autophagy. In addition, ApoG2 treatment blocked the binding of Bcl-2 to Beclin 1 protein, releasing pro-autophagic Beclin 1, which in turn triggered the autophagic cascade. Colony formation assays indicated that ApoG2 enhanced radiosensitization of CNE2 cells. In the ApoG2-plus-radiation combination group, more ring-shaped structures were evident in CNE1 and CNE2 cultures. LC3-II expression was enhanced and that of p62 reduced, compared to the ApoG2-only, radiation-only and control groups. ApoG2 enhanced the radiosensitivity of CNE2 xenografts in nude mice as measured by (C-T)/C ratios (as percentages); the values for the ApoG2 and radiation groups were 46.89% and 19.34%, respectively. The ApoG2-plus-radiation group exhibited greater antitumor activity (the inhibitory rate was 61.64%). Immunohistological staining showed that LC3-II expression became gradually upregulated in the ApoG2-plus-radiation group. Together, the results suggest that ApoG2 inhibits the binding of Bcl-2 to Beclin 1, inducing autophagy and radio-sensitizing NPC cells both in vitro and in vivo.

Li Y, Zhang X, Hu T, et al.
Asparagine synthetase expression and its potential prognostic value in patients with NK/T cell lymphoma.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(2):853-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Natural killer (NK)/T cell lymphoma usually shows a highly aggressive clinical course and the overall prognosis is poor. At present, there are no standard therapeutic regimens for this disease. Although chemotherapeutic protocols containing L-asparaginase (L-Asp) or pegaspargase (PEG‑Asp) have improved the efficacy of treatment, some patients are resistant to L-Asp or PEG-Asp. Previous studies demonstrated that the elevated expression of asparagine synthetase (ASNS) is correlated with the resistance to L-Asp or PEG-Asp and may also affect the prognosis in some types of tumors, but the expression level and clinical significance of ASNS in NK/T cell lymphoma remain unknown. Therefore, we investigated the expression and clinical significance of ASNS in lymphoma cell lines and patients with NK/T cell lymphoma. Firstly, we detected PEG-Asp and L-Asp activity using MTT assay and expression of ASNS using real-time PCR in the 7 lymphoma cell lines. Secondly, we used branched DNA-liquidchip technology (bDNA-LCT) for detecting ASNS mRNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections in 50 cases of NK/T cell lymphoma and in 12 cases of nasal polyps and chronic rhinitis. Moreover, we analyzed the correlations between the expression of ASNS and the sensitivity to L-Asp and PEG-Asp in 7 lymphoma cell lines and with clinicopathological features and prognosis of NK/T cell lymphoma patients who used chemotherapy containing L-Asp and PEG-Asp. There was a marked difference in the sensitivity to L-Asp and PEG-Asp of the 7 lymphoma cell lines. YTS and SNK-6 cells were highly sensitive to PEG-Asp and had relatively low levels of ASNS mRNA expression. Hut-78, Jurkat and Karpas 299 cells were naturally resistant to PEG-Asp, and the ASNS expression levels were extremely high. The expression level of ASNS was relatively low in the NK/T cell lymphoma tissue compared to levels in the nasal polyps and chronic rhinitis (0.480±0.307 vs. 0.739±0.267; P=0.009). ASNS expression level was associated with III-IV tumor stage (P=0.041) and a high International Prognostic Index (P=0.018) in patients with NK/T cell lymphoma. The NK/T cell lymphoma patients with higher ASNS expression had a reduced median survival time when compared with the survival of patients with low ASNS expression (P=0.033). Cox regression test showed that the ASNS expression level is an independent prognostic factor for NK/T cell lymphoma patients. In conclusion, the expression of ASNS was closely related with the sensitivity of lymphoma cell lines to L-Asp and PEG-Asp in vitro and also had a certain effect on the survival of NK/T cell lymphoma patients. In conclusion, high ASNS expression in NK/T cell lymphoma is correlated with worse clinicopathological features.

Secco DA, Balassiano IT, Boente RF, et al.
Clostridium difficile infection among immunocompromised patients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and detection of moxifloxacin resistance in a ribotype 014 strain.
Anaerobe. 2014; 28:85-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive spore forming anaerobic bacterium, often associated with nosocomial diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis. The acquisition of this organism occurs primarily in hospitals through accidental ingestion of spores, and its establishment and proliferation in the colon results from the removal of members of the normal intestinal flora during or after antibiotic therapy. In this study, stool samples from patients admitted to the University Hospital Clementino Fraga Filho (HUCCF/UFRJ) were screened for C. difficile toxins with an ELISA test and cultured with standard techniques for C. difficile isolation. A total of 74 stool samples were collected from patients undergoing antibiotic therapy between August 2009 and November 2010, only two (2.7%) were positive in the ELISA test and culture. A third isolate was obtained from a negative ELISA test sample. All cases of CDI were identified in patients with acute lymphoid or myeloid leukemia. Genotypic and phenotypic characterization showed that all strains carried toxins A and B genes, and belonged to PCR-ribotypes 014, 043 and 046. The isolated strains were sensitive to metronidazole and vancomycin, and resistant to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. Resistance to moxifloxacin, was present in the strain from PCR-ribotype 014, that showed an amino acid substitution in gyrB gene (Asp 426 → Asn). This is the first time that this mutation in a PCR-ribotype 014 strain has been described in Brazil.

Chen W, Zhang L, Zhang K, et al.
Reciprocal regulation of autophagy and dNTP pools in human cancer cells.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(7):1272-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) plays a critical role in catalyzing the biosynthesis and maintaining the intracellular concentration of 4 deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs). Unbalanced or deficient dNTP pools cause serious genotoxic consequences. Autophagy is the process by which cytoplasmic constituents are degraded in lysosomes to maintain cellular homeostasis and bioenergetics. However, the role of autophagy in regulating dNTP pools is not well understood. Herein, we reported that starvation- or rapamycin-induced autophagy was accompanied by a decrease in RNR activity and dNTP pools in human cancer cells. Furthermore, downregulation of the small subunit of RNR (RRM2) by siRNA or treatment with the RNR inhibitor hydroxyurea substantially induced autophagy. Conversely, cancer cells with abundant endogenous intracellular dNTPs or treated with dNTP precursors were less responsive to autophagy induction by rapamycin, suggesting that autophagy and dNTP pool levels are regulated through a negative feedback loop. Lastly, treatment with si-RRM2 caused an increase in MAP1LC3B, ATG5, BECN1, and ATG12 transcript abundance in xenografted Tu212 tumors in vivo. Together, our results revealed a previously unrecognized reciprocal regulation between dNTP pools and autophagy in cancer cells.

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