Gene Summary

Gene:BAG3; BCL2-associated athanogene 3
Aliases: BIS, MFM6, BAG-3, CAIR-1
Summary:BAG proteins compete with Hip for binding to the Hsc70/Hsp70 ATPase domain and promote substrate release. All the BAG proteins have an approximately 45-amino acid BAG domain near the C terminus but differ markedly in their N-terminal regions. The protein encoded by this gene contains a WW domain in the N-terminal region and a BAG domain in the C-terminal region. The BAG domains of BAG1, BAG2, and BAG3 interact specifically with the Hsc70 ATPase domain in vitro and in mammalian cells. All 3 proteins bind with high affinity to the ATPase domain of Hsc70 and inhibit its chaperone activity in a Hip-repressible manner. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:BAG family molecular chaperone regulator 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (10)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 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.

  • Cell Movement
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Chromosome 10
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Cell Survival
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Proteolysis
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Transcription
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Myeloid Cell Leukemia Sequence 1 Protein
  • Apoptosis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Phosphorylation
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BCL2 protein
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Western Blotting
  • Drug Resistance
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Lung Cancer
  • TNF
Tag cloud generated 06 August, 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: BAG3 (cancer-related)

Andruska ND, Zheng X, Yang X, et al.
Estrogen receptor α inhibitor activates the unfolded protein response, blocks protein synthesis, and induces tumor regression.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(15):4737-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/10/2015 Related Publications
Recurrent estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive breast and ovarian cancers are often therapy resistant. Using screening and functional validation, we identified BHPI, a potent noncompetitive small molecule ERα biomodulator that selectively blocks proliferation of drug-resistant ERα-positive breast and ovarian cancer cells. In a mouse xenograft model of breast cancer, BHPI induced rapid and substantial tumor regression. Whereas BHPI potently inhibits nuclear estrogen-ERα-regulated gene expression, BHPI is effective because it elicits sustained ERα-dependent activation of the endoplasmic reticulum (EnR) stress sensor, the unfolded protein response (UPR), and persistent inhibition of protein synthesis. BHPI distorts a newly described action of estrogen-ERα: mild and transient UPR activation. In contrast, BHPI elicits massive and sustained UPR activation, converting the UPR from protective to toxic. In ERα(+) cancer cells, BHPI rapidly hyperactivates plasma membrane PLCγ, generating inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3), which opens EnR IP3R calcium channels, rapidly depleting EnR Ca(2+) stores. This leads to activation of all three arms of the UPR. Activation of the PERK arm stimulates phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), resulting in rapid inhibition of protein synthesis. The cell attempts to restore EnR Ca(2+) levels, but the open EnR IP3R calcium channel leads to an ATP-depleting futile cycle, resulting in activation of the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase and phosphorylation of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2). eEF2 phosphorylation inhibits protein synthesis at a second site. BHPI's novel mode of action, high potency, and effectiveness in therapy-resistant tumor cells make it an exceptional candidate for further mechanistic and therapeutic exploration.

Didiasova M, Zakrzewicz D, Magdolen V, et al.
STIM1/ORAI1-mediated Ca2+ Influx Regulates Enolase-1 Exteriorization.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(19):11983-99 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/05/2016 Related Publications
Tumor cells use broad spectrum proteolytic activity of plasmin to invade tissue and form metastatic foci. Cell surface-associated enolase-1 (ENO-1) enhances plasmin formation and thus participates in the regulation of pericellular proteolysis. Although increased levels of cell surface bound ENO-1 have been described in different types of cancer, the molecular mechanism responsible for ENO-1 exteriorization remains elusive. In the present study, increased ENO-1 protein levels were found in ductal breast carcinoma and on the cell surface of highly metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. Elevated cell surface-associated ENO-1 expression correlated with augmented MDA-MB-231 cell migratory and invasive properties. Exposure of MDA-MB-231 cells to LPS potentiated translocation of ENO-1 to the cell surface and its release into the extracellular space in the form of exosomes. These effects were independent of de novo protein synthesis and did not require the classical endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi pathway. LPS-triggered ENO-1 exteriorization was suppressed by pretreatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA or an inhibitor of endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase pump, cyclopiazonic acid. In line with these observations, the stromal interaction molecule (STIM) 1 and the calcium release-activated calcium modulator (ORAI) 1-mediated store-operated Ca(2+) entry were found to regulate LPS-induced ENO-1 exteriorization. Pharmacological blockage or knockdown of STIM1 or ORAI1 reduced ENO-1-dependent migration of MDA-MB-231 cells. Collectively, our results demonstrate the pivotal role of store-operated Ca(2+) channel-mediated Ca(2+) influx in the regulation of ENO-1 exteriorization and thus in the modulation of cancer cell migratory and invasive properties.

Faber AC, Farago AF, Costa C, et al.
Assessment of ABT-263 activity across a cancer cell line collection leads to a potent combination therapy for small-cell lung cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(11):E1288-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/09/2015 Related Publications
BH3 mimetics such as ABT-263 induce apoptosis in a subset of cancer models. However, these drugs have shown limited clinical efficacy as single agents in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and other solid tumor malignancies, and rational combination strategies remain underexplored. To develop a novel therapeutic approach, we examined the efficacy of ABT-263 across >500 cancer cell lines, including 311 for which we had matched expression data for select genes. We found that high expression of the proapoptotic gene Bcl2-interacting mediator of cell death (BIM) predicts sensitivity to ABT-263. In particular, SCLC cell lines possessed greater BIM transcript levels than most other solid tumors and are among the most sensitive to ABT-263. However, a subset of relatively resistant SCLC cell lines has concomitant high expression of the antiapoptotic myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL-1). Whereas ABT-263 released BIM from complexes with BCL-2 and BCL-XL, high expression of MCL-1 sequestered BIM released from BCL-2 and BCL-XL, thereby abrogating apoptosis. We found that SCLCs were sensitized to ABT-263 via TORC1/2 inhibition, which led to reduced MCL-1 protein levels, thereby facilitating BIM-mediated apoptosis. AZD8055 and ABT-263 together induced marked apoptosis in vitro, as well as tumor regressions in multiple SCLC xenograft models. In a Tp53; Rb1 deletion genetically engineered mouse model of SCLC, the combination of ABT-263 and AZD8055 significantly repressed tumor growth and induced tumor regressions compared with either drug alone. Furthermore, in a SCLC patient-derived xenograft model that was resistant to ABT-263 alone, the addition of AZD8055 induced potent tumor regression. Therefore, addition of a TORC1/2 inhibitor offers a therapeutic strategy to markedly improve ABT-263 activity in SCLC.

Chitta K, Paulus A, Akhtar S, et al.
Targeted inhibition of the deubiquitinating enzymes, USP14 and UCHL5, induces proteotoxic stress and apoptosis in Waldenström macroglobulinaemia tumour cells.
Br J Haematol. 2015; 169(3):377-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deubiquitinase enzymes (DUBs) of the proteasomal 19S regulatory particle are emerging as important therapeutic targets in several malignancies. Here we demonstrate that inhibition of two proteasome-associated DUBs (USP14 and UCHL5) with the small molecule DUB inhibitor b-AP15, results in apoptosis of human Waldenström macroglobulinaemia (WM) cell lines and primary patient-derived WM tumour cells. Importantly, b-AP15 produced proteotoxic stress and apoptosis in WM cells that have acquired resistance to the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. In silico modelling identified protein residues that were critical for the binding of b-AP15 with USP14 or UCHL5 and proteasome enzyme activity assays confirmed that b-AP15 does not affect the proteolytic capabilities of the 20S proteasome β-subunits. In vitro toxicity from b-AP15 appeared to result from a build-up of ubiquitinated proteins and activation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response in WM cells, an effect that also disrupted the mitochondria. Focused transcriptome profiling of b-AP15-treated WM cells revealed modulation of several genes regulating cell stress and NF-κB signalling, the latter whose protein translocation and downstream target activation was reduced by b-AP15 in vitro. This is the first report to define the effects and underlying mechanisms associated with inhibition of USP14 and UCHL5 DUB activity in WM tumour cells.

Illendula A, Pulikkan JA, Zong H, et al.
Chemical biology. A small-molecule inhibitor of the aberrant transcription factor CBFβ-SMMHC delays leukemia in mice.
Science. 2015; 347(6223):779-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 13/08/2015 Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of adult leukemia. The transcription factor fusion CBFβ-SMMHC (core binding factor β and the smooth-muscle myosin heavy chain), expressed in AML with the chromosome inversion inv(16)(p13q22), outcompetes wild-type CBFβ for binding to the transcription factor RUNX1, deregulates RUNX1 activity in hematopoiesis, and induces AML. Current inv(16) AML treatment with nonselective cytotoxic chemotherapy results in a good initial response but limited long-term survival. Here, we report the development of a protein-protein interaction inhibitor, AI-10-49, that selectively binds to CBFβ-SMMHC and disrupts its binding to RUNX1. AI-10-49 restores RUNX1 transcriptional activity, displays favorable pharmacokinetics, and delays leukemia progression in mice. Treatment of primary inv(16) AML patient blasts with AI-10-49 triggers selective cell death. These data suggest that direct inhibition of the oncogenic CBFβ-SMMHC fusion protein may be an effective therapeutic approach for inv(16) AML, and they provide support for transcription factor targeted therapy in other cancers.

Dong J, Feng F, Xu G, et al.
Elevated SP/NK-1R in esophageal carcinoma promotes esophageal carcinoma cell proliferation and migration.
Gene. 2015; 560(2):205-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains one of the most lethal malignant tumors, and currently there is no effective ways to manage the late stage disease. Therefore clarifying the mechanisms underlying the development of ESCC is of great importance to develop novel therapeutic agents. The present study focuses on the interaction between neurotransmitter substance P (SP) together with its receptor NK-1R and ESCC progression.
METHODS: The distribution of SP positive nerve fibers and expression of NK-1R were detected in ESCC tissue using immunohistochemistry. The effects of SP stimulation and blocking on the growth and migration of ESCC cells were measured by in vitro and in vivo assay.
RESULTS: A higher density of SP positive nerve fibers and elevated NK-1R expression on ESCC cells were observed. More importantly, the SP positive fiber density was correlated with tumor size and lymph node metastasis. SP promoted ESCC cell proliferation and migration by modulation of intracellular calcium levels.
CONCLUSION: NK-1R activation by SP stimulation promotes growth and migration of ESCC cells.

Nagaraju GP, Zhu S, Ko JE, et al.
Antiangiogenic effects of a novel synthetic curcumin analogue in pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 357(2):557-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) and NF-κB play essential roles in cancer cell growth and metastasis by promoting angiogenesis. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) serves as a regulator of HIF-1α and NF-κB protein. We hypothesized that curcumin and its analogues EF31 and UBS109 would disrupt angiogenesis in pancreatic cancer (PC) through modulation of HIF-1α and NF-κB. Conditioned medium from MIA PaCa-2 or PANC-1 cells exposed to curcumin and its analogues in vitro significantly impaired angiogenesis in an egg CAM assay and blocked HUVEC tube assembly in comparison to untreated cell medium. In vivo, EF31 and UBS109 blocked the vascularization of subcutaneous matrigel plugs developed by MIA PaCa-2 in mice. Significant inhibition of VEGF, angiopoietin 1, angiopoietin 2, platelet derived growth factor, COX-2, and TGFβ secretion was observed in PC cell lines treated with UBS109, EF31 or curcumin. Treatment with UBS109, EF31 or curcumin inhibited HSP90, NF-κB, and HIF-1α transcription in PC cell lines. UBS109 and EF31 inhibited HSP90 and HIF-1α expression even when elevated due to NF-κB (p65) overexpression. Finally, we demonstrate for the first time that curcumin analogues EF31 and UBS109 induce the downregulation of HIF-1α, Hsp90, COX-2 and VEGF in tumor samples from xenograft models compared to untreated xenografts. Altogether, these results suggest that UBS109 and EF31 are potent curcumin analogues with antiangiogenic activities.

Davis AL, Qiao S, Lesson JL, et al.
The quinone methide aurin is a heat shock response inducer that causes proteotoxic stress and Noxa-dependent apoptosis in malignant melanoma cells.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(3):1623-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/01/2016 Related Publications
Pharmacological induction of proteotoxic stress is rapidly emerging as a promising strategy for cancer cell-directed chemotherapeutic intervention. Here, we describe the identification of a novel drug-like heat shock response inducer for the therapeutic induction of proteotoxic stress targeting malignant human melanoma cells. Screening a focused library of compounds containing redox-directed electrophilic pharmacophores employing the Stress & Toxicity PathwayFinder(TM) PCR Array technology as a discovery tool, a drug-like triphenylmethane-derivative (aurin; 4-[bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)methylene]-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one) was identified as an experimental cell stress modulator that causes (i) heat shock factor transcriptional activation, (ii) up-regulation of heat shock response gene expression (HSPA6, HSPA1A, DNAJB4, HMOX1), (iii) early unfolded protein response signaling (phospho-PERK, phospho-eIF2α, CHOP (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein)), (iv) proteasome impairment with increased protein-ubiquitination, and (v) oxidative stress with glutathione depletion. Fluorescence polarization-based experiments revealed that aurin displays activity as a geldanamycin-competitive Hsp90α-antagonist, a finding further substantiated by molecular docking and ATPase inhibition analysis. Aurin exposure caused caspase-dependent cell death in a panel of human malignant melanoma cells (A375, G361, LOX-IMVI) but not in non-malignant human skin cells (Hs27 fibroblasts, HaCaT keratinocytes, primary melanocytes) undergoing the aurin-induced heat shock response without impairment of viability. Aurin-induced melanoma cell apoptosis depends on Noxa up-regulation as confirmed by siRNA rescue experiments demonstrating that siPMAIP1-based target down-regulation suppresses aurin-induced cell death. Taken together, our data suggest feasibility of apoptotic elimination of malignant melanoma cells using the quinone methide-derived heat shock response inducer aurin.

Duffy MJ, Synnott NC, McGowan PM, et al.
p53 as a target for the treatment of cancer.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2014; 40(10):1153-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
TP53 (p53) is the most frequently mutated gene in cancer, being altered in approximately 50% of human malignancies. In most, if not all, cancers lacking mutation, wild-type (WT) p53 is inactivated by interaction with cellular (MDM2/MDM4) or viral proteins, leading to its degradation. Because of its near universal alteration in cancer, p53 is an attractive target for the development of new targeted therapies for this disease. However, until recently, p53 was widely regarded as ‘‘undruggable’’. This situation has now changed, as several compounds have become available that can restore wild-type properties to mutant p53 (e.g., PRIMA-1 and PRIMA-1MET). Other compounds are available that prevent the binding of MDM2/MDM4 to WT p53, thereby blocking its degradation (e.g., nutlins). Anti-mutant p53 compounds are potentially most useful in cancers with a high prevalence of p53 mutations. These include difficult-totreat tumors such as high grade serous ovarian cancer, triple-negative breast cancer and squamous lung cancer. MDM2/4 antagonists, on the other hand, are likely to be efficacious in malignancies in which MDM2 or MDM4 is overexpressed such as sarcomas, neuroblastomas and specific childhood leukemias. Presently, early clinical trials are ongoing evaluating the anti-mutant p53 agent, PRIMA-1MET, and specific MDM2–p53 nutlin antagonists.

Hsieh MH, Tsai CH, Lin CC, et al.
Topoisomerase II inhibition suppresses the proliferation of telomerase-negative cancers.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015; 72(9):1825-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Telomere maintenance is required for chromosome stability, and telomeres are typically elongated by telomerase following DNA replication. In both tumor and yeast cells that lack telomerase, telomeres are maintained via an alternative recombination mechanism. Previous studies have indicated that yeast Sgs1 and Top3 may work together to remove highly negative supercoils that are generated from recombination. However, the mechanism by which cells eradicate highly positive supercoils during recombination remains unclear. In the present study, we demonstrate that TOP2 is involved in telomere-telomere recombination. Disturbance of telomeric structure by RIF1 or RIF2 deletion alleviates the requirement for TOP2 in telomere-telomere recombination. In human telomerase-negative alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) cells, TOP2α or TOP2β knockdown decreases ALT-associated PML bodies, increases telomere dysfunction-induced foci and triggers telomere shortening. Similar results were observed when ALT cells were treated with ICRF-193, a TOP2 inhibitor. Importantly, ICRF-193 treatment blocks ALT-associated phenotypes in vitro, causes telomere shortening, and inhibits ALT cell proliferation in mice. Taken together, these findings imply that TOP2 is involved in the ALT pathway, perhaps by resolving the highly positive supercoil structure at the front of the helicase. Inhibition of topoisomerase II may be a promising therapeutic approach that can be used to prevent cell proliferation in ALT-type cancer cells.

Deng G, Shen J, Yin M, et al.
Selective inhibition of mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) via disruption of a metal binding network by an allosteric small molecule.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(2):762-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/01/2016 Related Publications
Cancer-associated point mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1 and IDH2) confer a neomorphic enzymatic activity: the reduction of α-ketoglutarate to d-2-hydroxyglutaric acid, which is proposed to act as an oncogenic metabolite by inducing hypermethylation of histones and DNA. Although selective inhibitors of mutant IDH1 and IDH2 have been identified and are currently under investigation as potential cancer therapeutics, the mechanistic basis for their selectivity is not yet well understood. A high throughput screen for selective inhibitors of IDH1 bearing the oncogenic mutation R132H identified compound 1, a bis-imidazole phenol that inhibits d-2-hydroxyglutaric acid production in cells. We investigated the mode of inhibition of compound 1 and a previously published IDH1 mutant inhibitor with a different chemical scaffold. Steady-state kinetics and biophysical studies show that both of these compounds selectively inhibit mutant IDH1 by binding to an allosteric site and that inhibition is competitive with respect to Mg(2+). A crystal structure of compound 1 complexed with R132H IDH1 indicates that the inhibitor binds at the dimer interface and makes direct contact with a residue involved in binding of the catalytically essential divalent cation. These results show that targeting a divalent cation binding residue can enable selective inhibition of mutant IDH1 and suggest that differences in magnesium binding between wild-type and mutant enzymes may contribute to the inhibitors' selectivity for the mutant enzyme.

McCann MJ, Rowland IR, Roy NC
The anti-proliferative effects of enterolactone in prostate cancer cells: evidence for the role of DNA licencing genes, mi-R106b cluster expression, and PTEN dosage.
Nutrients. 2014; 6(11):4839-55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/01/2016 Related Publications
The mammalian lignan, enterolactone, has been shown to reduce the proliferation of the earlier stages of prostate cancer at physiological concentrations in vitro. However, efficacy in the later stages of the disease occurs at concentrations difficult to achieve through dietary modification. We have therefore investigated what concentration(s) of enterolactone can restrict proliferation in multiple stages of prostate cancer using an in vitro model system of prostate disease. We determined that enterolactone at 20 μM significantly restricted the proliferation of mid and late stage models of prostate disease. These effects were strongly associated with changes in the expression of the DNA licencing genes (GMNN, CDT1, MCM2 and 7), in reduced expression of the miR-106b cluster (miR-106b, miR-93, and miR-25), and in increased expression of the PTEN tumour suppressor gene. We have shown anti-proliferative effects of enterolactone in earlier stages of prostate disease than previously reported and that these effects are mediated, in part, by microRNA-mediated regulation.

Lin LT, Chang CH, Yu HL, et al.
Evaluation of the therapeutic and diagnostic effects of PEGylated liposome-embedded 188Re on human non-small cell lung cancer using an orthotopic small-animal model.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(11):1864-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a highly morbid and mortal cancer type that is difficult to eradicate using conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Little is known about whether radionuclide-based pharmaceuticals can be used for treating NSCLC. Here we embedded the therapeutic radionuclide (188)Re in PEGylated (PEG is polyethylene glycol) liposomes and investigated the biodistribution, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutic efficacy of this nanoradiopharmaceutical on NSCLC using a xenograft lung tumor model and the reporter gene imaging techniques.
METHODS: Human NSCLC NCI-H292 cells expressing multiple reporter genes were used in this study. (188)Re was conjugated to N,N-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)-N',N'-diethylethylenediamine (BMEDA) and loaded into the PEGylated liposome to form a (188)Re-liposome. The tumor growth rates and localizations were confirmed using bioluminescent imaging and SPECT/CT after the (188)Re-BMEDA or (188)Re-liposome was intravenously injected. The accumulation of the nanodrug in various organs was determined by the biodistribution analysis and the nano-SPECT/CT system. The pharmacokinetic and dosimetric analyses were further determined using WinNonlin and OLINDA/EXM, respectively.
RESULTS: The biodistribution and nano-SPECT/CT imaging showed that PEGylated (188)Re-liposome could efficiently accumulate in xenograft tumors formed by NCI-H292 cells that were subcutaneously implanted in nude mice. Pharmacokinetic analysis also showed that the retention of (188)Re-liposome was longer than that of (188)Re-BMEDA. In an orthotopic tumor model, ex vivo γ counting revealed that the uptake of (188)Re-liposome was detected in tumor lesions but not in surrounding normal lung tissues. Moreover, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy using bioluminescent imaging and showed that the lung tumor growth was suppressed but not eradicated by (188)Re-liposome. The life span of (188)Re-liposome-treated mice was 2-fold longer than that of untreated control mice.
CONCLUSION: The results of biodistribution, pharmacokinetics, estimated dosimetry, nano-SPECT/CT, and bioluminescent imaging suggest that the PEGylated liposome-embedded (188)Re could be used for the treatment of human lung cancers.

Vallabhajosula S, Nikolopoulou A, Babich JW, et al.
99mTc-labeled small-molecule inhibitors of prostate-specific membrane antigen: pharmacokinetics and biodistribution studies in healthy subjects and patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(11):1791-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a well-established target for developing radiopharmaceuticals for imaging and therapy of prostate cancer (PCa). We have recently reported that novel (99m)Tc-labeled small-molecule PSMA inhibitors bind with high affinity to PSMA-positive tumor cells in vitro and localize in PCa xenografts. This study reports the first, to our knowledge, human data in men with metastatic PCa and in healthy male subjects.
METHODS: Under an exploratory investigational new drug, using a cross-over design, we compared the pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and tumor uptake of (99m)Tc-MIP-1404 and (99m)Tc-MIP-1405 in 6 healthy men and 6 men with radiographic evidence of metastatic PCa. Whole-body images were obtained at 10 min and 1, 2, 4, and 24 h. SPECT was performed between 3 and 4 h after injection.
RESULTS: Both agents cleared the blood rapidly, with MIP-1404 demonstrating significantly lower urinary activity (7%) than MIP-1405 (26%). Both agents showed persistent uptake in the salivary, lacrimal, and parotid glands. Uptake in the liver and kidney was acceptable for imaging at 1-2 h. In men with PCa, both agents rapidly localized in bone and lymph node lesions as early as 1 h. SPECT demonstrated excellent lesion contrast. Good correlation was seen with bone scanning; however, more lesions were demonstrated with (99m)Tc-MIP-1404 and (99m)Tc-MIP-1405. The high-contrast images exhibited tumor-to-background ratios from 3:1 to 9:1 at 4 and 20 h.
CONCLUSION: Compared with the standard-of-care bone scanning, (99m)Tc-MIP-1404 and (99m)Tc-MIP-1405 identified most bone metastatic lesions and rapidly detected soft-tissue PCa lesions including subcentimeter lymph nodes. Because (99m)Tc-MIP-1404 has minimal activity in the bladder, further work is planned to correlate imaging findings with histopathology in patients with high-risk metastatic PCa.

Jelínková I, Šafaříková B, Vondálová Blanářová O, et al.
Platinum(IV) complex LA-12 exerts higher ability than cisplatin to enhance TRAIL-induced cancer cell apoptosis via stimulation of mitochondrial pathway.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2014; 92(3):415-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
In search for novel strategies in colon cancer treatment, we investigated the unique ability of platinum(IV) complex LA-12 to efficiently enhance the killing effects of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL), and compared it with the sensitizing action of cisplatin. We provide the first evidence that LA-12 primes human colon cancer cells for TRAIL-induced cytotoxicity by p53-independent activation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. The cooperative action of LA-12 and TRAIL was associated with stimulation of Bax/Bak activation, drop of mitochondrial membrane potential, caspase-9 activation, and a shift of the balance among Bcl-2 family proteins in favor of the pro-apoptotic members. In contrast to cisplatin, LA-12 was a potent inducer of ERK-mediated Noxa and BimL protein upregulation, and more effectively enhanced TRAIL-induced apoptosis in the absence of Bax. The cooperative action of LA-12 and TRAIL was augmented following the siRNA-mediated silencing of Mcl-1 in both Bax proficient/deficient cells. We newly demonstrated that LA-12 induced ERK-mediated c-Myc upregulation, and proved that c-Myc silencing inhibited the mitochondrial activation and apoptosis in colon cancer cells treated with LA-12 and TRAIL. The LA-12-mediated sensitization to TRAIL-induced apoptosis was demonstrated in several colon cancer cell lines, further underscoring the general relevance of our findings. The selective action of LA-12 was documented by preferential priming of cancer but not normal colon cancer cells to TRAIL killing effects. Our work highlights the promising potential of LA-12 over cisplatin to enhance the colon cancer cell sensitivity to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, and provides new mechanistic insights into their cooperative action.

Sharma B, Singh S, Kanwar SS
L-methionase: a therapeutic enzyme to treat malignancies.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:506287 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/01/2016 Related Publications
Cancer is an increasing cause of mortality and morbidity throughout the world. L-methionase has potential application against many types of cancers. L-Methionase is an intracellular enzyme in bacterial species, an extracellular enzyme in fungi, and absent in mammals. L-Methionase producing bacterial strain(s) can be isolated by 5,5'-dithio-bis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) as a screening dye. L-Methionine plays an important role in tumour cells. These cells become methionine dependent and eventually follow apoptosis due to methionine limitation in cancer cells. L-Methionine also plays an indispensable role in gene activation and inactivation due to hypermethylation and/or hypomethylation. Membrane transporters such as GLUT1 and ion channels like Na(2+), Ca(2+), K(+), and Cl(-) become overexpressed. Further, the α-subunit of ATP synthase plays a role in cancer cells growth and development by providing them enhanced nutritional requirements. Currently, selenomethionine is also used as a prodrug in cancer therapy along with enzyme methionase that converts prodrug into active toxic chemical(s) that causes death of cancerous cells/tissue. More recently, fusion protein (FP) consisting of L-methionase linked to annexin-V has been used in cancer therapy. The fusion proteins have advantage that they have specificity only for cancer cells and do not harm the normal cells.

Chen S, Zhang Y, Zhou L, et al.
A Bim-targeting strategy overcomes adaptive bortezomib resistance in myeloma through a novel link between autophagy and apoptosis.
Blood. 2014; 124(17):2687-97 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 23/10/2015 Related Publications
Bim contributes to resistance to various standard and novel agents. Here we demonstrate that Bim plays a functional role in bortezomib resistance in multiple myeloma (MM) cells and that targeting Bim by combining histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) with BH3 mimetics (eg, ABT-737) overcomes bortezomib resistance. BH3-only protein profiling revealed high Bim levels (Bim(hi)) in most MM cell lines and primary CD138(+) MM samples. Whereas short hairpin RNA Bim knockdown conferred bortezomib resistance in Bim(hi) cells, adaptive bortezomib-resistant cells displayed marked Bim downregulation. HDACI upregulated Bim and, when combined with ABT-737, which released Bim from Bcl-2/Bcl-xL, potently killed bortezomib-resistant cells. These events were correlated with Bim-associated autophagy attenuation, whereas Bim knockdown sharply increased autophagy in Bim(hi) cells. In Bim(low) cells, autophagy disruption by chloroquine (CQ) was required for HDACI/ABT-737 to induce Bim expression and lethality. CQ also further enhanced HDACI/ABT-737 lethality in bortezomib-resistant cells. Finally, HDACI failed to diminish autophagy or potentiate ABT-737-induced apoptosis in bim(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Thus, Bim deficiency represents a novel mechanism of adaptive bortezomib resistance in MM cells, and Bim-targeting strategies combining HDACIs (which upregulate Bim) and BH3 mimetics (which unleash Bim from antiapoptotic proteins) overcomes such resistance, in part by disabling cytoprotective autophagy.

Muñoz M, González-Ortega A, Salinas-Martín MV, et al.
The neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist aprepitant is a promising candidate for the treatment of breast cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1658-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
The substance P (SP)/neurokinin (NK)-1 receptor system plays an important role in the development of cancer. No in-depth studies of the involvement of this system in breast cancer (BC) have been carried out, and the action exerted by the drug aprepitant on BC cells is currently unknown. We show the involvement of this system in human BC cell lines: i) these cells express mRNA for the NK-1 receptor; ii) they overexpress NK-1 receptors; iii) the NK-1 receptor is involved in their viability; iv) SP induces their proliferation; v) NK-1 receptor antagonists block SP-induced mitogen stimulation of these cells; vi) the specific antitumor action of such antagonists on these cells occurs through the NK-1 receptor; and vii) BC cell death is due to apoptosis. We also found NK-1 receptors and SP in all human BC samples studied. The NK-1 receptor may be a promising target in the treatment of BC and NK-1 receptor antagonists could be candidates as a new antitumor drug in the treatment of BC.

Harn HJ, Chuang HM, Chang LF, et al.
Taiwanin A targets non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 in human lung carcinoma.
Fitoterapia. 2014; 99:227-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Taiwanin A (α,β-bis(piperonylidene)-γ-butyrolactone) is extracted from Taiwania cryptomerioides. Taiwanin A is extracted from tree bark and exhibits antitumor activity in breast, liver, and lung cancer cell lines. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the cytotoxicity of Taiwanin A against tumor cells by increasing the expression of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1). NAG-1 has been reported to exhibit antitumor and proapoptotic activities, suggesting potential use in cancer therapy. Inhibiting NAG-1 mRNA expression in A549 reduced the cytotoxicity caused by Taiwanin A. Furthermore, the c-Jun-N-terminal kinase/Ste20-related protein proline/alanine-rich kinase (JNK/SPAK) pathway played a key role in the influence of NAG-1 on cell viability, whereas the addition of the JNK pathway inhibitor SP600125 resulted in an inhibitory effect on NAG-1 and recovery of Taiwanin-A-treated cells. A xenograft tumor model demonstrated that Taiwanin A dose-dependently significantly decreases tumor-mediated growth in nude mice by increasing the NAG-1 expression accompanying tumor apoptosis. These data supported the hypothesis that Taiwanin A inhibits lung carcinoma growth by increasing NAG-1 expression through the JNK pathway both in vivo and in vitro. This result can contribute to a compound design for increasing cytotoxicity activity in the future.

Lee SO, Li X, Hedrick E, et al.
Diindolylmethane analogs bind NR4A1 and are NR4A1 antagonists in colon cancer cells.
Mol Endocrinol. 2014; 28(10):1729-39 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
1,1-Bis(3'-indolyl)-1-(p-substituted phenyl)methane (C-DIM) compounds exhibit antineoplastic activity in multiple cancer cell lines and the p-hydroxyphenyl analog (DIM-C-pPhOH) inactivates nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1) in lung and pancreatic cancer cell lines. Using a series of 14 different p-substituted phenyl C-DIMs, we show that several compounds including DIM-C-pPhOH directly interacted with the ligand binding domain of NR4A1. Computational-based molecular modeling studies showed high-affinity interactions of DIM-C-pPhOH and related compounds within the ligand binding pocket of NR4A1, and these same compounds decreased NR4A1-dependent transactivation in colon cancer cells transfected with a construct containing 3 tandem Nur77 binding response elements linked to a luciferase reporter gene. Moreover, we also show that knockdown of NR4A1 by RNA interference (small interfering NR4A1) or treatment with DIM-C-pPhOH and related compounds decreased colon cancer cell growth, induced apoptosis, decreased expression of survivin and other Sp-regulated genes, and inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin signaling. Thus, C-DIMs such as DIM-C-pPhOH directly bind NR4A1 and are NR4A1 antagonists in colon cancer cells, and their antineoplastic activity is due, in part, to their interactions with nuclear NR4A1.

Malaguarnera R, Chen KY, Kim TY, et al.
Switch in signaling control of mTORC1 activity after oncoprotein expression in thyroid cancer cell lines.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(10):E1976-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
CONTEXT: Thyroid growth is regulated by TSH and requires mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Thyroid cancers frequently exhibit mutations in MAPK and/or phosphoinositol-3-kinase-related kinase effectors.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to explore the contribution of RET/PTC, RAS, and BRAF to mTOR regulation and response to mTOR inhibitors.
METHODS: PCCL3 cells conditionally expressing RET/PTC3, HRAS(G12V), or BRAF(V600E) and human thyroid cancer cells harboring mutations of these genes were used to test pathways controlling mTOR and its requirement for growth.
RESULTS: TSH/cAMP-induced growth of PCCL3 cells requires mTOR, which is stimulated via protein kinase A in a MAPK kinase (MEK)- and AKT-independent manner. Expression of RET/PTC3, HRAS(G12V), or BRAF(V600E) in PCCL3 cells induces mTOR but does not entirely abrogate the cAMP-mediated control of its activity. Acute oncoprotein-induced mTOR activity is regulated by MEK and AKT, albeit to differing degrees. By contrast, mTOR was not activated by TSH/cAMP in human thyroid cancer cells. Tumor genotype did not predict the effects of rapamycin or the mTOR kinase inhibitor AZD8055 on growth, with the exception of a PTEN-null cell line. Selective blockade of MEK did not influence mTOR activity of BRAF or RAS mutant cells. Combined MEK and mTOR kinase inhibition was synergistic on growth of BRAF- and RAS-mutant thyroid cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Thyroid cancer cells lose TSH/cAMP dependency of mTOR signaling and cell growth. mTOR activity is not decreased by the MEK or AKT inhibitors in the RAS or BRAF human thyroid cancer cell lines. This may account for the augmented effects of combining the mTOR inhibitors with selective antagonists of these oncogenic drivers.

Soans E, Evans SC, Cipolla C, Fernandes E
Characterizing the sphingomyelinase pathway triggered by PRIMA-1 derivatives in lung cancer cells with differing p53 status.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(7):3271-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Derivatives of PRIMA-1 compound, 8a and 8b have been shown to increase cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells through sphingomyelinase pathways in IR and 8a or 8b co-treated lung cancer cells. The goal of the present study was to further elaborate the molecular mechanism of 8a- or 8b-treated lung cancer cells in order to understand their potential as anti-cancer drugs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Biochemical assays, western blot, flow cytometry and gene array analyses were employed to distinguish these mechanisms.
RESULTS: Herein we demonstrated that 8a and 8b cause apoptosis with S-phase arrest in lung cancer cells by activating neutral sphingomyelinase with ceramide production. 8a induces expression of TNF family genes while 8b induces p53-mediated apoptosis genes. Protein analysis shows an increased expression in caspase 8, bcl-2, bax, caspase 9 and cytochrome c.
CONCLUSION: PRIMA-1 derivatives provoke cytotoxicity in lung cancer cells mainly through the neutral sphingomyelinase-dependent apoptosis pathway.

Chu CH, Wang LY, Hsu KC, et al.
KDM4B as a target for prostate cancer: structural analysis and selective inhibition by a novel inhibitor.
J Med Chem. 2014; 57(14):5975-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The KDM4/JMJD2 Jumonji C-containing histone lysine demethylases (KDM4A-KDM4D), which selectively remove the methyl group(s) from tri/dimethylated lysine 9/36 of H3, modulate transcriptional activation and genome stability. The overexpression of KDM4A/KDM4B in prostate cancer and their association with androgen receptor suggest that KDM4A/KDM4B are potential progression factors for prostate cancer. Here, we report the crystal structure of the KDM4B·pyridine 2,4-dicarboxylic acid·H3K9me3 ternary complex, revealing the core active-site region and a selective K9/K36 site. A selective KDM4A/KDM4B inhibitor, 4, that occupies three subsites in the binding pocket is identified by virtual screening. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of KDM4A/KDM4B significantly blocks the viability of cultured prostate cancer cells, which is accompanied by increased H3K9me3 staining and transcriptional silencing of growth-related genes. Significantly, a substantial portion of differentially expressed genes are AR-responsive, consistent with the roles of KDM4s as critical AR activators. Our results point to KDM4 as a useful therapeutic target and identify a new inhibitor scaffold.

Huang W, Ye M, Zhang LR, et al.
FW-04-806 inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells by binding to N-terminus of Hsp90 and disrupting Hsp90-Cdc37 complex formation.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:150 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a promising therapeutic target and inhibition of Hsp90 will presumably result in suppression of multiple signaling pathways. FW-04-806, a bis-oxazolyl macrolide compound extracted from China-native Streptomyces FIM-04-806, was reported to be identical in structure to the polyketide Conglobatin.
METHODS: We adopted the methods of chemproteomics, computational docking, immunoprecipitation, siRNA gene knock down, Quantitative Real-time PCR and xenograft models on the research of FW-04-806 antitumor mechanism, through the HER2-overexpressing breast cancer SKBR3 and HER2-underexpressing breast cancer MCF-7 cell line.
RESULTS: We have verified the direct binding of FW-04-806 to the N-terminal domain of Hsp90 and found that FW-04-806 inhibits Hsp90/cell division cycle protein 37 (Cdc37) chaperone/co-chaperone interactions, but does not affect ATP-binding capability of Hsp90, thereby leading to the degradation of multiple Hsp90 client proteins via the proteasome pathway. In breast cancer cell lines, FW-04-806 inhibits cell proliferation, caused G2/M cell cycle arrest, induced apoptosis, and downregulated Hsp90 client proteins HER2, Akt, Raf-1 and their phosphorylated forms (p-HER2, p-Akt) in a dose and time-dependent manner. Importantly, FW-04-806 displays a better anti-tumor effect in HER2-overexpressed SKBR3 tumor xenograft model than in HER2-underexpressed MCF-7 model. The result is consistent with cell proliferation assay and in vitro apoptosis assay applied for SKBR-3 and MCF-7. Furthermore, FW-04-806 has a favorable toxicity profile.
CONCLUSIONS: As a novel Hsp90 inhibitor, FW-04-806 binds to the N-terminal of Hsp90 and inhibits Hsp90/Cdc37 interaction, resulting in the disassociation of Hsp90/Cdc37/client complexes and the degradation of Hsp90 client proteins. FW-04-806 displays promising antitumor activity against breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo, especially for HER2-overexpressed breast cancer cells.

Zhong W, Zhu H, Sheng F, et al.
Activation of the MAPK11/12/13/14 (p38 MAPK) pathway regulates the transcription of autophagy genes in response to oxidative stress induced by a novel copper complex in HeLa cells.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(7):1285-300 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Transition metal copper (Cu) can exist in oxidized or reduced states in cells, leading to cytotoxicity in cancer cells through oxidative stress. Recently, copper complexes are emerging as a new class of anticancer compounds. Here, we report that a novel anticancer copper complex (HYF127c/Cu) induces oxidative stress-dependent cell death in cancer cells. Further, transcriptional analysis revealed that oxidative stress elicits broad transcriptional changes of genes, in which autophagy-related genes are significantly changed in HYF127c/Cu-treated cells. Consistently, autophagy was induced in HYF127c/Cu-treated cells and inhibitors of autophagy promoted cell death induced by HYF127c/Cu. Further analysis identified that the MAPK11/12/13/14 (formerly known as p38 MAPK) pathway was also activated in HYF127c/Cu-treated cells. Meanwhile, the MAPK11/12/13/14 inhibitor SB203580 downregulated autophagy by inhibiting the transcription of the autophagy genes MAP1LC3B, BAG3, and HSPA1A, and promoted HYF127c/Cu-induced cell death. These data suggest that copper-induced oxidative stress will induce protective autophagy through transcriptional regulation of autophagy genes by activation of the MAPK11/12/13/14 pathway in HeLa cells.

Xiao H, Tong R, Cheng S, et al.
BAG3 and HIF-1 α coexpression detected by immunohistochemistry correlated with prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:516518 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The objective is to determine the effects of BAG3 and HIF-1 α expression on the prognosis of HCC patients after liver transplantation.
METHODS: Samples from 31 patients with HCC receiving liver transplantation were collected for this study. The immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of BAG3 and HIF-1 α of HCC samples.
RESULTS: According to the immunohistochemistry results, BAG3 and HIF-1 α staining were significantly associated with tumor TNM stage (P = 0.004, P = 0.012). A significant association between high BAG3/HIF-1 α levels and a shorter overall survival was detected, so as the combined BAG3 and HIF-1 α analysis.
CONCLUSION: The results suggested that the expression level of BAG3 and HIF-1 α is efficient prognostic parameters in patients with HCC after liver transplantation.

Lin TY, Ki CS, Lin CC
Manipulating hepatocellular carcinoma cell fate in orthogonally cross-linked hydrogels.
Biomaterials. 2014; 35(25):6898-906 [PubMed] Related Publications
De-differentiation and loss of function in hepatocytes during two-dimensional (2D) tissue culture significantly hinders the progress of liver research. An ideal three-dimensional (3D) in vitro liver parenchymal cell culture platform should restore cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, as well as normal hepatocyte polarity. Here, we report an orthogonal thiol-ene hydrogel system for culturing liver cell lines (e.g. Huh7 and HepG2). The hydrogels were prepared by a radical-mediated orthogonal thiol-norbornene photo-click chemistry using poly(ethylene glycol)-tetra-norbornene (PEG4NB) macromer and di-thiol containing linker (e.g., dithiothreitol (DTT) or bis-cysteine matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-sensitive peptide). This system also allows facile incorporation of bioactive peptides (e.g., fibronectin-derived RGDS) to improve cell-matrix interactions. Encapsulated Huh7 and HepG2 cells showed elevated urea secretion and CYP3A4 enzymatic activities, as well as up-regulated mRNA levels of multiple hepatocyte genes (e.g., CYP3A4, BESP, and NTCP). Importantly, this is the first 3D hydrogel system that up-regulates the expression of NCTP in encapsulated Huh7 and HepG2 cell lines without any genetic modification or the addition of growth factors and chemical additives. Furthermore, the encapsulated cells displayed hepatocyte-like polarity distinctively different from the polarity displayed in 2D culture. These characteristics not only allow the study of hepatology in 3D using inexpensive cell lines, but also permit large-scale small-molecule screening. The up-regulation of NTCP expression and restoration of hepatocyte-like polarity in our hydrogels also shed light on future study of hepatitis B virus infection in vitro.

Yeh IJ, Song K, Wittmann BM, et al.
HEXIM1 plays a critical role in the inhibition of the androgen receptor by anti-androgens.
Biochem J. 2014; 462(2):315-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
We show that HEXIM1 (hexamethylene bis-acetamide inducible 1) functions as an AR (androgen receptor) co-repressor as it physically interacts with the AR and is required for the ability of anti-androgens to inhibit androgen-induced target gene expression and cell proliferation. Oncomine™ database and IHC (immunohistochemistry) analyses of human prostate tissues revealed that expression of HEXIM1 mRNA and protein are down-regulated during the development and progression of prostate cancer. Enforced down-regulation of HEXIM1 in parental hormone-dependent LNCaP cells results in resistance to the inhibitory action of anti-androgens. Conversely, ectopic expression of HEXIM1 in the CRPC (castration-resistant prostate cancer) cell line, C4-2, enhances their sensitivity to the repressive effects of the anti-androgen bicalutamide. Novel insight into the mechanistic basis for HEXIM1 inhibition of AR activity is provided by the present studies showing that HEXIM1 induces expression of the histone demethylase KDM5B (lysine-specific demethylase 5B) and inhibits histone methylation, resulting in the inhibition of FOXA1 (forkhead box A1) licensing activity. This is a new mechanism of action attributed to HEXIM1, and distinct from what has been reported so far to be involved in HEXIM1 regulation of other nuclear hormone receptors, including the oestrogen receptor.

Park Y, Figueroa ME, Rozek LS, Sartor MA
MethylSig: a whole genome DNA methylation analysis pipeline.
Bioinformatics. 2014; 30(17):2414-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
MOTIVATION: DNA methylation plays critical roles in gene regulation and cellular specification without altering DNA sequences. The wide application of reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) and whole genome bisulfite sequencing (bis-seq) opens the door to study DNA methylation at single CpG site resolution. One challenging question is how best to test for significant methylation differences between groups of biological samples in order to minimize false positive findings.
RESULTS: We present a statistical analysis package, methylSig, to analyse genome-wide methylation differences between samples from different treatments or disease groups. MethylSig takes into account both read coverage and biological variation by utilizing a beta-binomial approach across biological samples for a CpG site or region, and identifies relevant differences in CpG methylation. It can also incorporate local information to improve group methylation level and/or variance estimation for experiments with small sample size. A permutation study based on data from enhanced RRBS samples shows that methylSig maintains a well-calibrated type-I error when the number of samples is three or more per group. Our simulations show that methylSig has higher sensitivity compared with several alternative methods. The use of methylSig is illustrated with a comparison of different subtypes of acute leukemia and normal bone marrow samples.
AVAILABILITY: methylSig is available as an R package at
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Kim JY, Yi BR, Go RE, et al.
Methoxychlor and triclosan stimulates ovarian cancer growth by regulating cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes via an estrogen receptor-dependent pathway.
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014; 37(3):1264-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Methoxychlor and triclosan are emergent or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Methoxychlor [MXC; 1,1,1-trichlor-2,2-bis (4-methoxyphenyl) ethane] is an organochlorine pesticide that has been primarily used since dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was banned. In addition, triclosan (TCS) is used as a common component of soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, and other hygiene products at concentrations up to 0.3%. In the present study, the potential impact of MXC and TCS on ovarian cancer cell growth and underlying mechanism(s) was examined following their treatments in BG-1 ovarian cancer cells. As results, MXC and TCS induced BG-1 cell growth via regulating cyclin D1, p21 and Bax genes related with cell cycle and apoptosis. A methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay confirmed that the proliferation of BG-1 ovarian cancer cells was stimulated by MXC (10(-6), 10(-7), 10(-8), and 10(-9)M) or TCS (10(-6), 10(-7), 10(-8), and 10(-9)M). Treatment of BG-1 cells with MXC or TCS resulted in the upregulation of cyclin D1 and downregulation of p21 and Bax transcriptions. In addition, the protein level of cyclin D1 was increased by MXC or TCS while p21 and Bax protein levels appeared to be reduced in these cells. Furthermore, MXC- or TCS-induced alterations of these genes were reversed in the presence of ICI 182,780 (10(-7)M), suggesting that the changes in these gene expressions may be regulated by an ER-dependent signaling pathway. In conclusion, the results of our investigation indicate that two potential EDCs, MXC and TCS, may stimulate ovarian cancer growth by regulating cell cycle- and apoptosis-related genes via an ER-dependent pathway.

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