Gene Summary

Gene:CDH2; cadherin 2, type 1, N-cadherin (neuronal)
Aliases: CDHN, NCAD, CD325, CDw325
Summary:This gene is a classical cadherin from the cadherin superfamily. The encoded protein is a calcium dependent cell-cell adhesion glycoprotein comprised of five extracellular cadherin repeats, a transmembrane region and a highly conserved cytoplasmic tail. The protein functions during gastrulation and is required for establishment of left-right asymmetry. At certain central nervous system synapses, presynaptic to postsynaptic adhesion is mediated at least in part by this gene product. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 18 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 18 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 18 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: CDH2 (cancer-related)

Jia W, Zhu J, Martin TA, et al.
Epithelial-mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Markers in Human Pituitary Adenomas Indicate a Clinical Course.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(5):2635-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Pituitary adenomas are brain tumors with invasive properties. Epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) is a cellular process linked to the transformation to an aggressive cancer phenotype. In the present study, we investigated the expression of a panel of EMT markers, namely E-cadherin, N-cadherin, SLUG, SNA1 and TWIST in a cohort of human pituitary adenomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fresh-frozen human pituitary tumors (n=95) were collected immediately after surgery for histology. Gene transcripts of the EMT markers were quantified using quantitative-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. Levels of expression were analyzed against clinical, pathological, invasion and endocrine functions.
RESULTS: Levels of E-cadherin and N-cadherin had a negative and positive correlation with the appearance of intratumoral cystic lesions of pituitary tumors. E-cadherin and TWIST were associated with tumor size and staging. There was a significant link between SLUG/TWIST and the destruction of the sella fosa bones (p<0.030). EMT markers also showed links with the endocrine functions of pituitary tumors. In pituitary tumors, SLUG and SNA1 had significant correlation with N-cadherin.
CONCLUSION: EMT markers are significant indicators of the appearance of cystic lesions, tumor progression, bone destruction and endocrine functions. These markers are valuable biomarkers in assessing the clinical course of pituitary adenomas.

Wang J, Yang X, Ruan B, et al.
Overexpression of miR-200a suppresses epithelial-mesenchymal transition of liver cancer stem cells.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):2447-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Due to high incidence of invasion and intrahepatic metastasis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive tumors in the world, which is also associated with the acquisition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Increasing evidence suggests that cancer cells with EMT traits share many biological characteristics with cancer stem cells. And miR-200a has been known as a powerful regulator of EMT. Here, we sought to investigate the role of miR-200a in regulation of EMT phenotype of liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs). We used side population (SP) sorting to obtain cancer stem-like cells from HCC cell lines and identified that the SP fraction could be enriched with LCSCs. Then, we detected the expression of miR-200a and EMT makers in SP and non-SP cells. Our results suggested that miR-200a was down-regulated in SP cells, along with relatively low epithelial marker and high mesenchymal marker. In order to find the role of miR-200a in the manipulation of EMT, we transfected miR-200a mimic into LCSCs and found that overexpression of miR-200a resulted in down-regulation of N-cadherin, ZEB2, and vimentin, but up-regulation of E-cadherin. Moreover, overexpression of miR-200a resulted in decreased migration and invasion ability in LCSCs. In conclusion, our study revealed that miR-200a played an important role in linking the characteristics of cancer stem cells with EMT phenotype in HCC, and targeting miR-200a might be an effective strategy to weaken the invasive behavior of LCSCs.

Ziegler E, Hansen MT, Haase M, et al.
Generation of MCF-7 cells with aggressive metastatic potential in vitro and in vivo.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 148(2):269-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a cellular development program characterized by loss of cell adhesion and increased cell mobility. It is essential for numerous processes including metastasis. In this study we have generated "aggressive" MCF-7 breast cancer cells (MCF-7-EMT), which show significantly increased invasion in contrast to wild type MCF-7 (MCF-7 WT) cells. In addition, we have analyzed, whether these cell lines differ in their metastatic behavior in vivo and in expression of invasion and/or EMT-relevant genes. Invasive behavior of different human breast cancer cell lines was tested. "Aggressive" MCF-7 cells (MCF-7-EMT) were generated using coculture and mammosphere culture techniques. To analyze whether or not MCF-7-EMT cells in contrast to MCF-7 WT cells form metastases in vivo, we assessed metastases in a nude mouse model. mRNA expression profiles of MCF-7 WT cells and MCF-7-EMT cells were compared using the Affymetrix micro array technique. Expression of selected genes was validated using real-time PCR. In addition, protein expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin (CDH1) and mesenchymal markers N-cadherin (CDH2), Vimentin (VIM), and TWIST was compared. The breast cancer cell lines showed different invasive behavior from hardly any invasion to a stronger cell movement. Coculture with osteoblast-like MG63 cells led to significantly increased cell invasion rates. The highest increase was shown using MCF-7 WT cells. Generated MCF-7-EMT cells showed significantly increased invasion as compared to MCF-7 WT cells. In 8 of 10 mice bearing orthotopically growing MCF-7-EMT tumors, we could detect metastases in liver and lung. In mice bearing MCF-7 WT tumors (n = 10), no metastases were found. MCF-7 WT cells and MCF-7-EMT cells were different in expression of 325 genes. Forty-four of the most regulated 50 invasion and/or EMT-related genes were upregulated and 6 genes were downregulated in MCF-7-EMT cells. Protein expression of mesenchymal markers CDH2, VIM, and TWIST was clearly increased in MCF-7-EMT cells. Protein expression of epithelial marker CDH1 was clearly decreased. With the breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7-EMT and MCF-7 WT cells, we have an excellent model of cells for further studies of EMT and invasion in vitro and in vivo.

Fan DM, Feng XS, Qi PW, Chen YW
Forkhead factor FOXQ1 promotes TGF-β1 expression and induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2014; 397(1-2):179-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) promotes tumor invasion and metastasis, but the coordination and integration mechanisms of these processes are still not fully understood. In this study, we used a cross-species expression profiling strategy of Hela cells to determine an important genetic program transfers. In particular, we have discovered a new transfer function, which is not previously known about transcription factor forkhead box Q1 (FOXQ1). The shRNA anti-FOXQ1 gene was synthesized and transfected into the Hela and EpRas cells. RT-PCR assay was performed to detect the mRNA levels in cells. Cell adhesion and separation assay were used to examine the cell-cell adhesion and separation among cells. Wound healing assay was utilized to examine cell migration and invasion ability. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was used to investigate the interaction between E-cadherin and N-cadherin and FOXQ1 promoter region. The results indicated that ectopic expression of FOXQ1 increased cell migration and invasion in vitro, enhanced mammary epithelial cells in vivo lung metastasis, and triggered significant EMT. In contrast, the opposite effects in vitro and in vivo of FOXQ1 knockdown phenotypes were caused by these mechanisms. Notably, FOXQ1 repressed core EMT regulation of the expression of TGF-β1. FOXQ1 protein directly interacts with E-cadherin and N-cadherin promoter region. And surveys show that FOXQ1 expression regulation by TGF-β1 and blockade induced EMT both morphological and molecular levels. Our findings emphasize the feasibility of cross-species expression profiles, as a strategy to identify metastasis-related genes. The induction of EMT by FOXQ1 defines a new transfer function in promoting cancer behind possible mechanisms.

Jiang L, Yang YD, Fu L, et al.
CLDN3 inhibits cancer aggressiveness via Wnt-EMT signaling and is a potential prognostic biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(17):7663-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common fatal malignancies but the molecular genetic basis of this disease remains unclear. By using genome-wide methylation profiling analysis, we identified CLDN3 as an epigenetically regulated gene in cancer. Here, we investigated its function and clinical relevance in human HCC. CLDN3 downregulation occurred in 87/114 (76.3%) of primary HCCs, where it was correlated significantly with shorter survival of HCC patients (P=0.021). Moreover, multivariate cyclooxygenase regression analysis showed that CLDN3 was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (P=0.014). Absent expression of CLDN3 was also detected in 67% of HCC cell lines, which was significantly associated with its promoter hypermethylation. Ectopic expression of CLDN3 in HCC cells could inhibit cell motility, cell invasiveness, and tumor formation in nude mice. Mechanistic investigations suggested through downregulation of GSK3B, CTNNB1, SNAI2, and CDH2, CLDN3 could significantly suppress metastasis by inactivating the Wnt/β-catenin-epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) axis in HCC cells. Collectively, our findings demonstrated that CLDN3 is an epigenetically silenced metastasis suppressor gene in HCC. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism of CLDN3 in inhibiting liver cancer cell metastasis may lead to a more effective management of HCC patients with the inactivation of CLDN3.

Song FN, Duan M, Liu LZ, et al.
RANKL promotes migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via NF-κB-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e108507 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metastasis accounts for the most deaths in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) is associated with cancer metastasis, while its role in HCC remains largely unknown.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was performed to determine the expression of RANK in HCC tissue (n = 398). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot were used to examine the expression of RANK, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, vimentin, Snail, Slug, Twist and MMPs in HCC cells. Wound healing and Transwell assays were used to evaluate cell migration and invasion ability.
RESULTS: We found that expression of RANK, the receptor of RANKL, was significantly higher in HCC tumor tissues than in peritumor liver tissues (p<0.001). Constitutive expression of RANK was detected in HCC cell lines, which can be up-regulated when HCC cells were stimulated with RANKL. Notably, in vitro experiments showed that activation of RANKL-RANK axis significantly promoted migration and invasion ability of HCC cells. In addition, RANKL stimulation increased the expression levels of N-cadherin, Snail, and Twist, while decreased the expression of E-cadherin, with concomitant activation of NF-κB signaling pathway. Moreover, administration of the NF-κB inhibitor attenuated RANKL-induced migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of HCC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: RANKL could potentiate migration and invasion ability of RANK-positive HCC cells through NF-κB pathway-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which means that RANKL-RANK axis could be a potential target for HCC therapy.

Zhang J, Shen C, Wang L, et al.
Metformin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition in prostate cancer cells: involvement of the tumor suppressor miR30a and its target gene SOX4.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 452(3):746-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor metastasis is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity of prostate cancer (PCa) patients. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a critical role in cancer progression and metastasis. Recent evidence suggested that diabetic patients treated with metformin have lower PCa risk and better prognosis. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of metformin on EMT in PCa cells and the possible microRNA (miRNA)-based mechanisms. MiRNAs have been shown to regulate various processes of cancer metastasis. We herein showed that metformin significantly inhibits proliferation of Vcap and PC-3 cells, induces G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and inhibits invasiveness and motility capacity of Vcap cells. Metformin could inhibit TGF-β-induced EMT in Vcap cells, as manifested by inhibition of the increase of N-cadherin (p=0.013), Vimentin (p=0.002) and the decrease of E-cadherin (p=0.0023) and β-catenin (p=0.034) at mRNA and protein levels. Notably, we demonstrated significant upregulation of miR30a levels by metformin (P<0.05) and further experiments indicated that miR30a significantly inhibits proliferation and EMT process of Vcap cells. Interestingly, we identified that SOX4, a previously reported oncogenic transcriptional factor and modulator of EMT, is a direct target gene of miR30a. Finally, we screened the expression of miR30a and SOX4 in 84 PCa cases with radical prostatectomy. Of note, SOX4 overexpression is significantly associated with decreased levels of miR30a in PCa cases. In all, our study suggested that inhibition of EMT by metformin in PCa cells may involve upregulation of miR30a and downregulation of SOX4.

Walker A, Frei R, Lawson KR
The cytoplasmic domain of N-cadherin modulates MMP‑9 induction in oral squamous carcinoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1699-706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oral squamous carcinoma is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, and one of the most common cancers in developing countries. Regional and distant metastases comprise the majority of cases at initial diagnosis and correlate with poor patient outcomes. Oral epithelia is one of many tissue types to exhibit a cadherin switch during tumor progression, in which endogenous cell adhesion proteins, such as E-cadherin, give way to those of mesenchymal origin. The mesenchymal cell adhesion protein N-cadherin is found at the invading front of oral squamous carcinomas and has been strongly correlated with poor patient prognosis. The goal of the present study was to elucidate the mechanism by which N-cadherin may increase extracellular matrix-associated proteolytic activity to facilitate invasiveness in oral tumor development. The overexpression of N-cadherin in two oral squamous carcinoma cell lines increased motility, invasive capacity and synthesis of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in a manner that was independent of E-cadherin downregulation. The use of EN and NE chimeric cadherin molecules with reciprocally substituted cytoplasmic domains revealed that optimal induction of MMP-9 synthesis required the cytoplasmic region, but not the extracellular region, of N-cadherin. Utilizing an N-cadherin mutant with impaired p120 binding ability, we found that such mutation resulted in a 4-fold decrease in motility compared to wild-type N-cadherin, but did not affect either MMP-9 expression or motility-normalized invasion. Overexpression of wild-type N-cadherin produced a 27-fold increase in the transcriptional activity of β-catenin, concomitant with increases in MMP-9 transcription. These results suggest that N-cadherin may promote motility and invasiveness through distinct mechanisms, and that β-catenin may be an integral mediator of N-cadherin-dependent invasive signaling in oral epithelia.

Han K, Zhao T, Chen X, et al.
microRNA-194 suppresses osteosarcoma cell proliferation and metastasis in vitro and in vivo by targeting CDH2 and IGF1R.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1437-49 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Studies have shown that miR-194 functions as a tumor suppressor and is associated with tumor growth and metastasis. We studied the effects of miR-194 in osteosarcoma and the possible mechanism by which miR-194 affected the survival, apoptosis and metastasis of osteosarcoma. Both human osteosarcoma cell lines SOSP-9607 and U2-OS were transfected with recombinant lentiviruses to regulate miR-194 expression. Overexpression of miR-194 partially inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasion of osteosarcoma cells in vitro, as well as tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis of osteosarcoma cells in vivo. Potential miR-194 target genes were predicted using bioinformatics. Luciferase reporter assay, real-time quantitative PCR and western blotting confirmed that CDH2 (N-cadherin) and IGF1R were targets of miR-194. Using real-time quantitative PCR, we evaluated the expression of miR-194 and two miR-194 target genes, CDH2 and IGF1R in osteosarcoma samples from 107 patients and 99 formalin- or paraformalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. The expressions of the target genes were also examined in osteosarcoma samples using immunohistochemistry. Overexpression of miR-194 inhibited tumor growth and metastasis of osteosarcoma probably by downregulating CDH2 and IGF1R. miR-194 may prove to be a promising therapeutic agent for osteosarcoma.

Marino N, Collins JW, Shen C, et al.
Identification and validation of genes with expression patterns inverse to multiple metastasis suppressor genes in breast cancer cell lines.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2014; 31(7):771-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastasis suppressor genes (MSGs) have contributed to an understanding of regulatory pathways unique to the lethal metastatic process. When re-expressed in experimental models, MSGs block cancer spread to, and colonization of distant sites without affecting primary tumor formation. Genes have been identified with expression patterns inverse to a single MSG, and found to encode functional, druggable signaling pathways. We now hypothesize that common signaling pathways mediate the effects of multiple MSGs. By gene expression profiling of human MCF7 breast carcinoma cells expressing a scrambled siRNA, or siRNAs to each of 19 validated MSGs (NME1, BRMS1, CD82, CDH1, CDH2, CDH11, CASP8, MAP2K4, MAP2K6, MAP2K7, MAPK14, GSN, ARHGDIB, AKAP12, DRG1, CD44, PEBP1, RRM1, KISS1), we identified genes whose expression was significantly opposite to at least five MSGs. Five genes were selected for further analysis: PDE5A, UGT1A, IL11RA, DNM3 and OAS1. After stable downregulation of each candidate gene in the aggressive human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231T, in vitro motility was significantly inhibited. Two stable clones downregulating PDE5A (phosphodiesterase 5A), an enzyme involved in the regulation of cGMP-specific signaling, exhibited no difference in cell proliferation, but reduced motility by 47 and 66 % compared to the empty vector-expressing cells (p = 0.01 and p = 0.005). In an experimental metastasis assay, two shPDE5A-MDA-MB-231T clones produced 47-62 % fewer lung metastases than shRNA-scramble expressing cells (p = 0.045 and p = 0.009 respectively). This study demonstrates that previously unrecognized genes are inversely related to the expression of multiple MSGs, contribute to aspects of metastasis, and may stand as novel therapeutic targets.

Przybyl J, Kozak K, Kosela H, et al.
Gene expression profiling of peripheral blood cells: new insights into Ewing sarcoma biology and clinical applications.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(8):109 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a group of highly aggressive small round cell tumors of bone or soft tissue with high metastatic potential and low cure rate. ES tumors are associated with a rapid osteolysis and necrosis. The currently accepted clinical prognostic parameters do not accurately predict survival of high-risk patients. Moreover, neither the subtype of EWS-FLI1/ERG in the tumor, nor the detection of fusion transcripts in the peripheral blood (PB) samples, has prognostic value in ES patients. We evaluated the prevalence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 34 adult ES patients. Since CTCs were confirmed in only small subset of patients, we further explored the expression profiles of PB leukocytes using a panel of genes associated with immune system status and increased tumor invasiveness. Moreover, we analyzed the alterations of the routine blood tests in the examined cohort of patients and correlated our findings with the clinical outcome. A uniform decrease in ZAP70 expression in PB cells among all ES patients, as compared to healthy individuals, was observed. Monocytosis and the abnormal expression of CDH2 and CDT2 genes in the PB cells significantly correlated with poor prognosis in ES patients. Our study supports the previously proposed hypothesis of systemic nature of ES. Based on the PB cell expression profiles, we propose a mechanism by which immune system may be involved in intensification of osteoclastogenesis and disease progression in ES patients. Moreover, we demonstrate the prognostic value of molecular PB testing at the time of routine histopathological diagnosis.

Kim S, Yao J, Suyama K, et al.
Slug promotes survival during metastasis through suppression of Puma-mediated apoptosis.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(14):3695-706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor cells must overcome apoptosis to survive throughout metastatic dissemination and distal organ colonization. Here, we show in the Polyoma Middle T mammary tumor model that N-cadherin (Cdh2) expression causes Slug (Snai2) upregulation, which in turn promotes carcinoma cell survival. Slug was dramatically upregulated in metastases relative to primary tumors. Consistent with a role in metastasis, Slug knockdown in carcinoma cells suppressed lung colonization by decreasing cell survival at metastatic sites, but had no effect on tumor cell invasion or extravasation. In support of this idea, Slug inhibition by shRNA sensitized tumor cells to apoptosis by DNA damage, resulting in caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. The prosurvival effect of Slug was found to be caused by direct repression of the proapoptotic gene, Puma (Bbc3), by Slug. Consistent with a pivotal role for a Slug-Puma axis in metastasis, inhibition of Puma by RNA interference in Slug-knockdown cells rescued lung colonization, whereas Puma overexpression in control tumor cells suppressed lung metastasis. The survival function of the Slug-Puma axis was confirmed in human breast cancer cells, where Slug knockdown increased Puma expression and inhibited lung colonization. This study demonstrates a pivotal role for Slug in carcinoma cell survival, implying that disruption of the Slug-Puma axis may impinge on the survival of metastatic cells.

Sahlberg SH, Spiegelberg D, Glimelius B, et al.
Evaluation of cancer stem cell markers CD133, CD44, CD24: association with AKT isoforms and radiation resistance in colon cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94621 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The cell surface proteins CD133, CD24 and CD44 are putative markers for cancer stem cell populations in colon cancer, associated with aggressive cancer types and poor prognosis. It is important to understand how these markers may predict treatment outcomes, determined by factors such as radioresistance. The scope of this study was to assess the connection between EGFR, CD133, CD24, and CD44 (including isoforms) expression levels and radiation sensitivity, and furthermore analyze the influence of AKT isoforms on the expression patterns of these markers, to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms in the cell. Three colon cancer cell-lines were used, HT-29, DLD-1, and HCT116, together with DLD-1 isogenic AKT knock-out cell-lines. All three cell-lines (HT-29, HCT116 and DLD-1) expressed varying amounts of CD133, CD24 and CD44 and the top ten percent of CD133 and CD44 expressing cells (CD133high/CD44high) were more resistant to gamma radiation than the ten percent with lowest expression (CD133low/CD44low). The AKT expression was lower in the fraction of cells with low CD133/CD44. Depletion of AKT1 or AKT2 using knock out cells showed for the first time that CD133 expression was associated with AKT1 but not AKT2, whereas the CD44 expression was influenced by the presence of either AKT1 or AKT2. There were several genes in the cell adhesion pathway which had significantly higher expression in the AKT2 KO cell-line compared to the AKT1 KO cell-line; however important genes in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition pathway (CDH1, VIM, TWIST1, SNAI1, SNAI2, ZEB1, ZEB2, FN1, FOXC2 and CDH2) did not differ. Our results demonstrate that CD133high/CD44high expressing colon cancer cells are associated with AKT and increased radiation resistance, and that different AKT isoforms have varying effects on the expression of cancer stem cell markers, which is an important consideration when targeting AKT in a clinical setting.

Tanabe S, Aoyagi K, Yokozaki H, Sasaki H
Gene expression signatures for identifying diffuse-type gastric cancer associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(6):1955-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is associated with tumor malignancy. The hedgehog-EMT pathway is preferentially activated in diffuse-type gastric cancer (GC) compared with intestinal-type GC; however, histological typing is currently the only method for distinguishing these two major types of GC. We compared the gene expression profiles of 12 bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell cultures and 5 diffuse-type GC tissue samples. Numerous upregulated or downregulated genes were identified in diffuse-type GC, including CDH1, CDH2, VIM, WNT4 and WNT5. Among these genes, the mRNA ratio of CDH2 to CDH1 could distinguish the 15 diffuse-type GC samples from the 17 intestinal-type GC samples. Our results suggested that the mesenchymal features were more prominent in diffuse-type GC than in intestinal-type GC, but were weaker in diffuse-type GC than in mesenchymal stem cells. Diffuse-type GC that has undergone extensive EMT, which has a poor prognosis, can be identified by quantitative PCR analysis of only two genes.

Sher YP, Wang LJ, Chuang LL, et al.
ADAM9 up-regulates N-cadherin via miR-218 suppression in lung adenocarcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94065 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, and brain metastasis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in lung cancer. CDH2 (N-cadherin, a mesenchymal marker of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition) and ADAM9 (a type I transmembrane protein) are related to lung cancer brain metastasis; however, it is unclear how they interact to mediate this metastasis. Because microRNAs regulate many biological functions and disease processes (e.g., cancer) by down-regulating their target genes, microRNA microarrays were used to identify ADAM9-regulated miRNAs that target CDH2 in aggressive lung cancer cells. Luciferase assays and western blot analysis showed that CDH2 is a target gene of miR-218. MiR-218 was generated from pri-mir-218-1, which is located in SLIT2, in non-invasive lung adenocarcinoma cells, whereas its expression was inhibited in aggressive lung adenocarcinoma. The down-regulation of ADAM9 up-regulated SLIT2 and miR-218, thus down-regulating CDH2 expression. This study revealed that ADAM9 activates CDH2 through the release of miR-218 inhibition on CDH2 in lung adenocarcinoma.

Li C, Ma H, Wang Y, et al.
Excess PLAC8 promotes an unconventional ERK2-dependent EMT in colon cancer.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(5):2172-87 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) transcriptional program is characterized by repression of E-cadherin (CDH1) and induction of N-cadherin (CDH2), and mesenchymal genes like vimentin (VIM). Placenta-specific 8 (PLAC8) has been implicated in colon cancer; however, how PLAC8 contributes to disease is unknown, and endogenous PLAC8 protein has not been studied. We analyzed zebrafish and human tissues and found that endogenous PLAC8 localizes to the apical domain of differentiated intestinal epithelium. Colon cancer cells with elevated PLAC8 levels exhibited EMT features, including increased expression of VIM and zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), aberrant cell motility, and increased invasiveness. In contrast to classical EMT, PLAC8 overexpression reduced cell surface CDH1 and upregulated P-cadherin (CDH3) without affecting CDH2 expression. PLAC8-induced EMT was linked to increased phosphorylated ERK2 (p-ERK2), and ERK2 knockdown restored cell surface CDH1 and suppressed CDH3, VIM, and ZEB1 upregulation. In vitro, PLAC8 directly bound and inactivated the ERK2 phosphatase DUSP6, thereby increasing p-ERK2. In a murine xenograft model, knockdown of endogenous PLAC8 in colon cancer cells resulted in smaller tumors, reduced local invasion, and decreased p-ERK2. Using MultiOmyx, a multiplex immunofluorescence-based methodology, we observed coexpression of cytosolic PLAC8, CDH3, and VIM at the leading edge of a human colorectal tumor, supporting a role for PLAC8 in cancer invasion in vivo.

Zhang J, Wang P, Zhu J, et al.
SPARC expression is negatively correlated with clinicopathological factors of gastric cancer and inhibits malignancy of gastric cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(5):2312-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is a glycoprotein which plays multiple roles in different types of cancer. Our previous study showed that SPARC overexpression inhibited the growth and angiogenesis of tumors, and reduced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, the relationship between SPARC expression and clinicopathological factors of gastric cancer (GC) is controversial, and the role of SPARC in GC remains unclear. We evaluated expression of SPARC in 65 human GC tissues using immunohistochemistry (IHC). The results indicated that SPARC expression was negatively correlated with clinicopathological factors of GC. In vitro assay showed that SPARC overexpression decreased proliferation and clonogenicity by suppressing CD44 expression. In addition, SPARC overexpression inhibited VEGF induced proliferation and arrested cell cycle of GC cells by reducing the activation of VEGFR2, ERK1/2 and AKT signaling pathways. SPARC suppressed the invasion and migration of GC by reducing MMP-7, MMP-9, N-cadherin, Sp1 and p-ERK1/2 expression. In the in vivo assay, cancer metastasis mouse models were established by tail vein injection. The results revealed that the lung metastases of SPARC-overexpressing GC cells in the mice were much fewer than those of control cells.

Fan M, Liu Y, Xia F, et al.
Increased expression of EphA2 and E-N cadherin switch in primary hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumori. 2013 Nov-Dec; 99(6):689-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the expression and clinical significance of ephrin type-A receptor 2 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related proteins in primary hepatocellular carcinoma.
METHODS: Tissues from 52 primary hepatocellular carcinomas and 12 human normal liver tissues were detected for expression of ephrin type-A receptor 2, E-cadherin, and N-cadherin by immunochemistry. Cinicopathological features of hepatocellular carcinoma and tumor recurrence after operation were studied for the association with these molecular expressions and E-N cadherin switch.
RESULTS: Increased expressions of ephrin type-A receptor 2 and N-cadherin and reduced expression of E-cadherin were significantly detected in hepatocellular carcinoma compared with normal liver tissues. Univariate analysis showed that there were close associations between unfavorable clinicopathological features and expressions of ephrin type-A receptor 2, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and E-N cadherin switch. Ephrin type-A receptor 2 and E-cadherin expressions were confirmed as independent prognostic factors when corrected with age, gender, AFP, HBsAg, liver cirrhosis, tumor size, nodules, capsule, portal vein invasion, cell differentiation, and TNM stage.
CONCLUSIONS: The overexpression of ephrin type-A receptor 2 protein is correlated with the number of tumors, capsular integrity, portal vein cancer thrombus and clinical stages. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulated by ephrin type-A receptor 2 is involved in the aggressive clinicopathological features and prognosis, suggesting that the receptor may play an important role in the progression and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Biswas S, Sengupta S, Roy Chowdhury S, et al.
CXCL13-CXCR5 co-expression regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition of breast cancer cells during lymph node metastasis.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 143(2):265-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated the expression of -CXC chemokine ligand 13 (CXCL13) and its receptor -CXC chemokine receptor 5 (CXCR5) in 98 breast cancer (BC) patients with infiltrating duct carcinoma, out of which 56 were found lymph node metastasis (LNM) positive. Interestingly, co-expression of CXCL13 and CXCR5 showed a significant correlation with LNM. Since, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is highly associated with metastasis we investigated EMT-inducing potential of CXCL13 in BC cell lines. In CXCL13-stimulated BC cells, expression of various mesenchymal markers (Vimentin, N-cadherin), EMT regulators (Snail, Slug), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) was increased, whereas the expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin was found to be decreased. In addition, expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), which is known to regulate MMP9 expression via Src activation, was also significantly increased after CXCL13 stimulation. Using specific protein kinase inhibitors, we confirmed that CXCL13 stimulated EMT and MMP9 expression via RANKL-Src axis in BC cell lines. To further validate this observation, we examined gene expression patterns in primary breast tumors and detected significantly higher expression of various mesenchymal markers and regulators in CXCL13-CXCR5 co-expressing patients. Therefore, this study showed the EMT-inducing potential of CXCL13 as well as demonstrated the prognostic value of CXCL13-CXCR5 co-expression in primary BC. Moreover, CXCL13-CXCR5-RANKL-Src axis may present a therapeutic target in LNM positive BC patients.

Hänze J, Henrici M, Hegele A, et al.
Epithelial mesenchymal transition status is associated with anti-cancer responses towards receptor tyrosine-kinase inhibition by dovitinib in human bladder cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:589 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dovitinib (TKI-258) is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor targeting fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) and further related RTKs. TKI-258 is under investigation as anticancer drug for the treatment of various cancers including bladder cancer with aberrant RTK signaling. Here, we analyzed the responses of ten human bladder cancer cell lines towards TKI-258 treatment in relation to the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) status of the cells.
METHODS: Expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin as well as mesenchymal markers N-cadherin and vimentin was determined by quantitative RT-PCR and Western-blot in RNA and protein extracts from the cultured cell lines. The cell responses were analyzed upon addition of TKI-258 by viability/proliferation (XTT assay) and colony formation assay for measurement of cell contact independent growth.
RESULTS: The investigated bladder cancer cell lines turned out to display quite different EMT patterns as indicated by the abundance of E-cadherin or N-cadherin and vimentin. Protein and mRNA levels of the respective components strongly correlated. Based on E-cadherin and N-cadherin mRNA levels that were expressed approximately mutual exclusively, an EMT-score was calculated for each cell line. A high EMT-score indicated mesenchymal-like cells and a low EMT-score epithelial-like cells. Then, we determined the IC₅₀ values for TKI-258 by dose response curves (0-12 μM TKI-258) in XTT assays for each cell line. Also, we measured the clonogenic survival fraction after adding TKI-258 (1 μM) by colony formation assay. We observed significant correlations between EMT-score and IC₅₀ values (r = 0.637, p = 0.0474) and between EMT-score and clonogenic survival fraction (r = 0.635, p = 0.0483) as analyzed by linear regression analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: In sum, we demonstrated that the EMT status based on E-cadherin and N-cadherin mRNA levels may be useful to predict responses towards TKI-258 treatment in bladder cancer.

Rosenberg EE, Prudnikova TY, Zabarovsky ER, et al.
D-glucuronyl C5-epimerase cell type specifically affects angiogenesis pathway in different prostate cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(4):3237-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
D-glucuronyl C5-epimerase (GLCE) is involved in breast and lung carcinogenesis as a potential tumor suppressor gene, acting through inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and invasion/metastasis pathways. However, in prostate tumors, increased GLCE expression is associated with advanced disease, suggesting versatile effects of GLCE in different cancers. To investigate further the potential cancer-promoting effect of GLCE in prostate cancer, GLCE was ectopically re-expressed in morphologically different LNCaP and PC3 prostate cancer cells. Transcriptional profiles of normal PNT2 prostate cells, LNCaP, PC3 and DU145 prostate cancer cells, and GLCE-expressing LNCaP and PC3 cells were determined. Comparative analysis revealed the genes whose expression was changed in prostate cancer cells compared with normal PNT2 cells, and those differently expressed between the cancer cell lines (ACTA2, IL6, SERPINE1, TAGLN, SEMA3A, and CDH2). GLCE re-expression influenced mainly angiogenesis-involved genes (ANGPT1, SERPINE1, IGF1, PDGFB, TNF, IL8, TEK, IFNA1, and IFNB1) but in a cell type-specific manner (from basic deregulation of angiogenesis in LNCaP cells to significant activation in PC3 cells). Invasion/metastasis pathway was also affected (MMP1, MMP2, MMP9, S100A4, ITGA1, ITGB3, ERBB2, and FAS). The obtained results suggest activation of angiogenesis as a main molecular mechanism of pro-oncogenic effect of GLCE in prostate cancer. GLCE up-regulation plus expression pattern of a panel of six genes, discriminating morphologically different prostate cancer cell sub-types, is suggested as a potential marker of aggressive prostate cancer.

Zhu Y, Yang P, Wang Q, et al.
The effect of CXCR4 silencing on epithelial-mesenchymal transition related genes in glioma U87 cells.
Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2013; 296(12):1850-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tumor cells is deemed to be closely associated with tumor metastasis. CXCR4 has been proved to play an important role in the process of tumor metastasis. This study illustrates the function and expression of CXCR4 silencing and the EMT related genes in the human glioma cell line U87. The results showed that CXCR4 silencing could inhibit the cell invasive and adhesion potentials, expression of N-cadherin, vimentin, β-catenin, TGF-β1, p-Smad2, and p-Akt, and the activity of transcription factors NF-κB, AP-1, Snail, and twist. Meanwhile, CXCR4 silencing could also up-regulate the expression of E-cadherin, indicating that silencing of CXCR4 expression can inhibit the expression of EMT related genes in U87 cells. The study would provide a potential theoretical basis for the further exploration of the role of CXCR4 in human glioma.

Beadling C, Patterson J, Justusson E, et al.
Gene expression of the IGF pathway family distinguishes subsets of gastrointestinal stromal tumors wild type for KIT and PDGFRA.
Cancer Med. 2013; 2(1):21-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) arise from the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) and are the most common mesenchymal neoplasm of the gastrointestinal tract. While the majority of GISTs harbor activating mutations in either the v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT) or platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) tyrosine kinases, approximately 10-15% of adult GISTs and 85% of pediatric GISTs lack such mutations. These "wild-type" GISTs have been reported to express high levels of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), and IGF1R-targeted therapy of wild-type GISTs is being evaluated in clinical trials. However, it is not clear that all wild-type GISTs express IGF1R, because studies to date have predominantly focused on a particular subtype of gastric wild-type GIST that is deficient in the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex. This study of a series of 136 GISTs, including 72 wild-type specimens, was therefore undertaken to further characterize wild-type GIST subtypes based on the relative expression of transcripts encoding IGF1R. Additional transcripts relevant to GIST biology were also evaluated, including members of the IGF-signaling pathway (IGF1, IGF2, and insulin receptor [INSR]), neural markers (CDH2[CDH: Cadherin], neurofilament, light polypeptide, LHX2 [LHX: LIM homeobox], and KIRREL3 [KIRREL: kin of IRRE like]), KIT, PDGFRA, CD34, and HIF1A. Succinate dehydrogenase complex, subunit B protein expression was also assessed as a measure of SDH complex integrity. In addition to the previously described SDH-deficient, IGF1R(high) wild-type GISTs, other SDH-intact wild-type subpopulations were defined by high relative expression of IGF1R, neural markers, IGF1 and INSR, or low IGF1R coupled with high IGF2. These results underscore the complexity and heterogeneity of wild-type GISTs that will need to be factored into molecularly-targeted therapeutic strategies.

Chiang KC, Chen SC, Yeh CN, et al.
MART-10, a less calcemic vitamin D analog, is more potent than 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in inhibiting the metastatic potential of MCF-7 breast cancer cells in vitro.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014; 139:54-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
With the recent advance in breast cancer therapy, the survival rate of breast cancer patients has improved greatly. In spite of the progress, 25-50% of breast cancer patients eventually will develop metastasis. Due to limited early detection methods, metastasis is usually diagnosed at the late stages beyond recovery likely due to resistance to currently available breast cancer therapies. Thus, a new strategy to prevent cancer cell growth and repress tumor metastasis is desirable. The active form of vitamin D3, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3], has anti-invasion and anti-migration properties in pre-clinical studies, yet its clinical application has been hampered by its hypercalcemic side effect. Previously, we have demonstrated that a new class of less-calcemic vitamin D analog, 19-nor-2α-(3-hydroxypropyl)-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (MART-10), is 1000-fold more active than 1α,25(OH)2D3 in suppressing MCF-7 cells growth through cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction. In the current study, we show for the first time that MART-10 is more active than 1α,25(OH)2D3 in preventing MCF-7 cell invasion and migration likely mediated through the upregulation of E-cadherin, and the downregulation of Snail, Slug, and Twist, the transcription factors implicated in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), as well as MMP-13. Based on the current in vitro and the highly anti-tumor characteristics of MART-10 in a pancreatic xenograft model, MART-10 is deemed as a promising candidate for breast cancer treatment. Further in vivo animal study comparing MART-10 with 1α,25(OH)2D3 and other potent and less calcemic analogs of vitamin D is warranted.

Windus LC, Glover TT, Avery VM
Bone-stromal cells up-regulate tumourigenic markers in a tumour-stromal 3D model of prostate cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2013; 12(1):112 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate interactions between tumour cells and the surrounding bone stroma are to date largely undetermined in prostate cancer (PCa) progression. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of alpha 6 and beta 1 integrin subunits in mediating tumour-stromal interactions.
METHODS: Utilising 3D in vitro assays we evaluated and compared 1. Monocultures of prostate metastatic PC3, bone stromal derived HS5 and prostate epithelial RWPE-1 cells and 2. Tumour-stromal co-cultures (PC3 + HS5) to ascertain changes in cellular phenotype, function and expression of metastatic markers.
RESULTS: In comparison to 3D monocultures of PC3 or HS5 cells, when cultured together, these cells displayed up-regulated invasive and proliferative qualities, along with altered expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal and chemokine protein constituents implicated in metastatic dissemination. When co-cultured, HS5 cells were found to re-express N-Cadherin and chemokine receptor CXCR7. Alterations in N-Cadherin expression were found to be mediated by soluble factors secreted by PC3 tumour cells, while chemokine receptor re-expression was dependent on direct cell-cell interactions. We have also shown that integrins beta 1 and alpha 6 play an integral role in maintaining cell homeostasis and mediating expression of E-Cadherin, N-Cadherin and vimentin, in addition to chemokine receptor CXCR7.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively our results suggest that both PC3 and HS5 cells provide a "protective" and reciprocal milieu that promotes tumour growth. As such 3D co-cultures may serve as a more complex and valid biological model in the drug discovery pipeline.

Na YR, Lee JS, Lee SJ, Seok SH
Interleukin-6-induced Twist and N-cadherin enhance melanoma cell metastasis.
Melanoma Res. 2013; 23(6):434-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma patients frequently have elevated serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is correlated with a poor prognosis. IL-6 activates STAT3 phosphorylation, inducing the transcription of genes that regulate tumor cell proliferation and antiapoptosis. In addition, recent evidence suggests that IL-6 induces the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and enhances the invasiveness of tumor cells of epithelial origin. However, it is unknown whether IL-6 affects mesenchymal tumor cells. In this study, we examined the effects of IL-6 on melanoma cells and found that IL-6 can enhance their metastatic potential by regulating the expression of Twist and N-cadherin. First, we confirmed that human melanoma tissues express IL-6 (especially at the lesion site), the IL-6 receptor, N-cadherin, and nuclear Twist. Next, we found that IL-6 induces STAT3 phosphorylation in WM-266-4 human melanoma cells, resulting in transient upregulation of Twist, which is a key regulator of metastasis. Importantly, the expression of N-cadherin, a protein downstream of Twist, was also increased on the cell surface after treatment with IL-6. These cells showed enhanced invasiveness, assessed using an invasion assay, and formed more metastatic nodules in the lungs of NOD-SCID mice after an intravenous injection. Importantly, melanoma cells with knocked-down N-cadherin formed less lung nodules compared with control in the NOD-SCID mouse model. Our data suggest that increased serum IL-6 in cancer patients could increase the invasiveness of melanoma cells and accelerate metastasis. Blocking IL-6 in the melanoma microenvironment may therefore inhibit disease progression.

Zhang HH, Zhang ZY, Che CL, et al.
Array analysis for potential biomarker of gemcitabine identification in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(9):1734-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gemcitabine is one of the most widely used drugs for the treatment of advanced Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but modest objective response rate of patients to gemcitabine makes it necessary to identify novel biomarkers for patients who can benefit from gemcitabine-based therapy and to improve the effect of clinical therapy. In this work, 3 NSCLC cell lines displaying different sensitivities to gemcitabine were applied for mRNA and microRNA (miR) expression chips to figure out the biomarkers for gemcitabine sensitivity. Genes whose expression increased dramatically in sensitive cell lines were mainly enriched in cell adhesion (NRP2, CXCR3, CDK5R1, IL32 and CDH2) and secretory granule (SLC11A1, GP5, CD36 and IGF1), while genes with significantly upregulated expression in resistant cell line were mainly clustered in methylation modification (HIST1H2BF, RAB23 and TP53) and oxidoreductase (TP53I3, CYP27B1 and SOD3). The most intriguing is the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in gemcitabine resistant NSCLC cell lines. The miR-155, miR-10a, miR-30a, miR-24-2* and miR-30c-2* were upregulated in sensitive cell lines, while expression of miR-200c, miR-203, miR-885-5p, miR-195 and miR-25* was increased in resistant cell line. Genes with significantly altered expression and putatively mediated by the expression-changed miRs were mainly enriched in chromatin assembly (MAF, HLF, BCL2, and IGSF3), anti-apoptosis (BCL2, IGF1 and IKBKB), protein kinase (NRP2, PAK7 and CDK5R1) (all the above genes were upregulated in sensitive cells) and small GTPase mediated signal transduction (GNA13, RAP2A, ARHGAP5 and RAB23, down-regulated in sensitive cells). Our results might provide potential biomarkers for gemcitabine sensitivity prediction and putative targets to overcome gemcitabine resistance in NSCLC patients.

Chen D, Gassenmaier M, Maruschke M, et al.
Expression and prognostic significance of a comprehensive epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene set in renal cell carcinoma.
J Urol. 2014; 191(2):479-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition enhances tumor cell motility and has a critical role in invasion and metastasis in a number of carcinomas. A set of transcription factors acts as a master regulator of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process. To our knowledge it is unknown whether epithelial-mesenchymal transition is important for clear cell renal cell carcinoma progression. Therefore, we comprehensively assessed mRNA levels of epithelial-mesenchymal transition associated genes in renal cell carcinoma as well as their prognostic relevance.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We determined the expression of a set of 46 epithelial-mesenchymal transition related genes by oligonucleotide microarray and gene set enrichment analyses using RNA from 14 samples each of normal kidneys, and G1 and G3 primary renal cell carcinomas. Expression of select epithelial-mesenchymal transition genes was validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction in normal kidneys, primary renal cell carcinomas and metastases in an independent cohort of 112 patients. Results were combined with followup data for survival analysis.
RESULTS: The epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene set was preferentially expressed in primary renal cell carcinoma compared to normal tissue (false discovery rate 0.01). No difference was found between G1 and G3 tumors. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction revealed down-regulation of critical epithelial-mesenchymal transition genes such as CDH2 and ZEB1 in metastases, suggesting epithelial-mesenchymal transition reversal during metastasis. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated a better outcome in patients with low CXCR4, vimentin, fibronectin and TWIST1 mRNA levels. Multivariate analyses revealed that CXCR4 and VIM up-regulation represents an independent prognostic marker for poor cancer specific survival in patients with renal cell carcinoma.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data provide strong evidence that epithelial-mesenchymal transition occurs in renal cell carcinoma. Thus, interference with epithelial-mesenchymal transition in renal cell carcinoma might represent a future therapeutic option.

Watanabe A, Suzuki H, Yokobori T, et al.
Forkhead box protein C2 contributes to invasion and metastasis of extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, resulting in a poor prognosis.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(11):1427-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (EHCC) is a cancer with a poor prognosis, and the postoperative survival of patients depends on the existence of invasion and metastasis. The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important step in EHCC invasion and metastasis. Forkhead box protein C2 (FOXC2) is a transcription factor that has been reported to induce the EMT. Therefore we examined the correlation between FOXC2 expression and clinical pathological factors, and analysed the function of FOXC2. The expression of FOXC2 in 77 EHCC cases was investigated by immunohistochemical staining, and the relationship between FOXC2 expression and clinicopathological factor was assessed. Knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA) was performed to determine the roles of FOXC2 in EHCC cell line. FOXC2 expression correlated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0205). Patients in the high FOXC2 expression group had a poorer prognosis than the patients in the low FOXC2 expression group. Moreover, FOXC2 knockdown inhibited cell motility and invasion, and decreased the expression of EMT markers (N-cadherin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) -2) and Angiopietin-2 (Ang-2). The EMT inducer FOXC2 contributes to a poor prognosis and cancer progression. FOXC2 may be a promising molecular target for regulating EHCC metastasis.

Tamm-Rosenstein K, Simm J, Suhorutshenko M, et al.
Changes in the transcriptome of the human endometrial Ishikawa cancer cell line induced by estrogen, progesterone, tamoxifen, and mifepristone (RU486) as detected by RNA-sequencing.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68907 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Estrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4) are key players in the maturation of the human endometrium. The corresponding steroid hormone modulators, tamoxifen (TAM) and mifepristone (RU486) are widely used in breast cancer therapy and for contraception purposes, respectively.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Gene expression profiling of the human endometrial Ishikawa cancer cell line treated with E2 and P4 for 3 h and 12 h, and TAM and RU486 for 12 h, was performed using RNA-sequencing. High levels of mRNA were detected for genes, including PSAP, ATP5G2, ATP5H, and GNB2L1 following E2 or P4 treatment. A total of 82 biomarkers for endometrial biology were identified among E2 induced genes, and 93 among P4 responsive genes. Identified biomarkers included: EZH2, MDK, MUC1, SLIT2, and IL6ST, which are genes previously associated with endometrial receptivity. Moreover, 98.8% and 98.6% of E2 and P4 responsive genes in Ishikawa cells, respectively, were also detected in two human mid-secretory endometrial biopsy samples. TAM treatment exhibited both antagonistic and agonistic effects of E2, and also regulated a subset of genes independently. The cell cycle regulator cyclin D1 (CCND1) showed significant up-regulation following treatment with TAM. RU486 did not appear to act as a pure antagonist of P4 and a functional analysis of RU486 response identified genes related to adhesion and apoptosis, including down-regulated genes associated with cell-cell contacts and adhesion as CTNND1, JUP, CDH2, IQGAP1, and COL2A1.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant changes in gene expression by the Ishikawa cell line were detected after treatments with E2, P4, TAM, and RU486. These transcriptome data provide valuable insight into potential biomarkers related to endometrial receptivity, and also facilitate an understanding of the molecular changes that take place in the endometrium in the early stages of breast cancer treatment and contraception usage.

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