Gene Summary

Gene:CLDN3; claudin 3
Aliases: RVP1, HRVP1, C7orf1, CPE-R2, CPETR2
Summary:Tight junctions represent one mode of cell-to-cell adhesion in epithelial or endothelial cell sheets, forming continuous seals around cells and serving as a physical barrier to prevent solutes and water from passing freely through the paracellular space. These junctions are comprised of sets of continuous networking strands in the outwardly facing cytoplasmic leaflet, with complementary grooves in the inwardly facing extracytoplasmic leaflet. The protein encoded by this intronless gene, a member of the claudin family, is an integral membrane protein and a component of tight junction strands. It is also a low-affinity receptor for Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin, and shares aa sequence similarity with a putative apoptosis-related protein found in rat. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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 (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

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: CLDN3 (cancer-related)

Li T, Chen Y, Zhang J, Liu S
LncRNA TUG1 promotes cells proliferation and inhibits cells apoptosis through regulating AURKA in epithelial ovarian cancer cells.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(36):e12131 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study aimed to assess the effect of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) taurine-upregulated gene 1 (TUG1) on cells proliferation and apoptosis as well as its targeting genes in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells.Blank mimic, lncRNA TUG1 mimic, blank inhibitor, and lncRNA TUG1 inhibitor plasmids were transfected into SK-OV-3 (SKOV3) cells. Rescue experiment was performed by the transfection of lncRNA TUG1 inhibitor and Aurora kinase A (AURKA) mimic plasmids into SKOV3 cells. Cell counting kit-8 (CKK-8), annexin V-FITC (AV)-propidium iodide (PI) (AV-PI), quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and western blot assays were performed to detect cells proliferation, apoptosis, RNA expression, and protein expression respectively.Cells proliferation was increased in lncRNA TUG1 mimic group and decreased in lncRNA TUG1 inhibitor group than normal control (NC) groups. Cells apoptosis rate was repressed after treatment with lncRNA TUG1 mimic and promoted after treatment with lncRNA TUG1 inhibitor. AURKA expression but not CLDN3, SERPINE1, or ETS1 expression was adversely regulated by lncRNA TUG1 mimic and inhibitor. After transferring lncRNA TUG1 (-) and AURKA (+) plasmids, cells proliferation was increased, while cells apoptosis rate was decreased in AURKA mimic (+)/lncRNA TUG1 inhibitor (-) group than NC (+)/lncRNA TUG1 (-) group, which suggested lncRNA TUG1 regulated cells proliferation and cells apoptosis through targeting AURKA.LncRNA TUG1 promotes cells proliferation and inhibits cells apoptosis through regulating AURKA in EOC cells.

Zhang Z, Yu W, Chen S, et al.
Methylation of the claudin‑3 promoter predicts the prognosis of advanced gastric adenocarcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(1):49-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Claudin‑3 expression is associated with gastric cancer progression, but the role of epigenetic modifications remains unclear. We investigated methylation of the claudin‑3 promoter and expression profiles in gastric adenocarcinoma and their associations with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of the patients. A total of 122 patients with advanced gastric cancer [stage IIB‑IV, with lymph node (LN) metastasis] were enrolled. Each patient provided 4 tissue samples: normal gastric epithelium, intestinal metaplasia, primary tumor and metastatic LN. Claudin‑3 protein expression was examined by immunohistochemistry. Claudin‑3 promoter methylation was determined by methylation‑specific PCR and verified by bisulfite sequencing PCR. Claudin‑3 mRNA expression was measured by real‑time PCR in a subset of cases, and its correlation with protein expression was analyzed using Spearman correlation. Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis was performed (log‑rank test). Factors associated with survival were identified by Cox regression. The strong expression rate of claudin‑3 in intestinal metaplasia, primary tumor, metastatic LN and normal gastric epithelium was 91.8, 58.2, 30.3 and 13.9%, respectively. The promoter hypermethylation rate in intestinal metaplasia, primary tumor, normal gastric epithelium and metastatic LN was 5.7, 27.9, 36.9 and 49.2%, respectively. Claudin‑3 mRNA and protein expression were positively correlated (P<0.001) with normal gastric epithelium (rs=0.745), intestinal metaplasia (rs=0.876), primary gastric adenocarcinoma (rs=0.915) and metastatic LN (rs=0.819). Claudin‑3 mRNA expression was negatively correlated with claudin‑3 promoter methylation. Median patient survival was 38, 22 and 11 months in the hypomethylated, partially methylated and hypermethylated groups, respectively (P<0.001). Claudin‑3 promoter methylation status (HR: 5.67; 95% CI: 2.27‑14.17) but not claudin‑3 expression was an independent predictor of survival. Claudin‑3 promoter hypermethylation reduces claudin‑3 expression and independently predicts poor prognosis.

Akizuki R, Maruhashi R, Eguchi H, et al.
Decrease in paracellular permeability and chemosensitivity to doxorubicin by claudin-1 in spheroid culture models of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2018; 1865(5):769-780 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemotherapy resistance is a major problem in the treatment of cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We found that the expression levels of claudin-1 (CLDN1) and 3, tight junctional proteins, are upregulated in cisplatin (CDDP)-resistant human lung adenocarcinoma A549 (A549R) cells. A549R cells showed cross-resistance to doxorubicin (DXR). Here, the expression mechanism and function of CLDN1 and 3 were examined. CLDN1 and 3 were mainly localized at tight junctions concomitant with zonula occludens (ZO)-1, a scaffolding protein, in A549 and A549R cells. The phosphorylation levels of Src, MEK, ERK, c-Fos, and Akt in A549R cells were higher than those in A549 cells. The expression levels of CLDN1 and 3 were decreased by LY-294002, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, and BAY 11-7082, an NF-κB inhibitor. The overexpression of CLDN1 and 3 decreased the paracellular permeability of DXR in A549 cells. Hypoxia levels in A549R and CLDN1-overexpressing cells (CLDN1/A549) were greater than those in A549, mock/A549, and CLDN3/A549 cells in a spheroid culture model. In contrast, accumulation in the region inside the spheroids and the toxicity of DXR in A549R and CLDN1/A549 cells were lower than those in other cells. Furthermore, the accumulation and toxicity of DXR were rescued by CLDN1 siRNA in A549R cells. We suggest that CLDN1 is upregulated by CDDP resistance through activation of a PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway, resulting in the inhibition of penetration of anticancer drugs into the inner area of spheroids.

Che J, Yue D, Zhang B, et al.
Claudin-3 Inhibits Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Epithelial-mesenchymal Transition and Invasion via Suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin Signaling Pathway.
Int J Med Sci. 2018; 15(4):339-351 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Altered expression of claudin-3 (CLDN3), a key cytoskeletal structural protein of the tight junctions in the epithelium, is associated with the development and metastasis of various human cancers. CLDN3 expression has been shown to be significantly associated with the prognosis of lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC). This study investigated the role of CLDN3 in inhibiting lung SqCC cell migration and invasion as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms. The CLDN3 levels were assessed between 20 paired lung SqCC tissues and adjacent normal tissues using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot. The ectopic CLDN3 overexpression or knockdown was generated by using a plasmid carrying CLDN3 cDNA or shRNA, respectively. CLDN3 expression was significantly reduced in lung SqCC tissues vs. the adjacent normal tissues. The ectopic CLDN3 overexpression markedly inhibited the migration, invasion, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of lung cancer H520 cells, whereas CLDN3 knockdown had an inverse effect on SK-MES-1 cells. However, cell viability and plate colony formation assays showed that both CLDN3 knockdown and overexpression did not affect SqCC cell proliferation. Both tissue and cell data revealed that CLDN3 expression was significantly associated with the expression of the EMT biomarkers E-cadherin and Vimentin. Furthermore, CLDN3-modulated EMT and expression of the EMT markers were through regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In conclusion, this study identified reduced CLDN3 expression in lung SqCC tissues, which was associated with the progression and metastasis of lung SqCC and was attributed to EMT by activation of the Wnt pathway. Thus, CLDN3 could be further evaluated as a novel biomarker for predicting the prognosis of lung SqCC and as a target for the treatment of lung SqCC in the future.

Jääskeläinen A, Soini Y, Jukkola-Vuorinen A, et al.
High-level cytoplasmic claudin 3 expression is an independent predictor of poor survival in triple-negative breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):223 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The subtype of claudin-low breast cancer can be reliably determined only by gene-expression profiling. Attempts have been made to develop immunohistochemical surrogates, which nearly always focus on membranous claudin expression.
METHODS: We assessed the immunohistochemical expression of both membranous and cytoplasmic claudins 3, 4 and 7 in a series of 197 non-metastatic breast cancers, enriched with triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs; 60%). The expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition-regulating transcription factors Sip1, Zeb1 and vimentin had previously been determined in the same material.
RESULTS: In multivariate analysis, strong cytoplasmic claudin 3 expression was associated with poor relapse-free survival (RFS), disease-free survival, distant disease-free survival, breast cancer-specific survival and overall survival among TNBC patients (for RFS, RR 5.202, 95% CI 1.210-22.369, p = 0.027, vs. T-class, RR 0.663, 95% CI 0.168-2.623, p = 0.558, and N-class, RR 3.940, 95% CI 0.933-16.631, p = 0.062). Cytoplasmic claudin 3 expression was also associated with strong nuclear Sip1 expression (p = 0.000053), TNBC phenotype (p = 0.012) and within them, non-basal-like phenotype (p = 0.026). Cytoplasmic claudin 7 was associated with dismal RFS (RR 6.328, 95% CI 1.401-28.593, p = 0.016, vs. T-class, RR 0.692, 95% CI 0.242-1.982, p = 0.493, and N-class, RR 2.981, 95% CI 1.1016-8.749, p = 0.047). Low cytoplasmic expression of claudins 3, 4 and 7 together also predicted poor RFS (RR 6.070, 95% CI 1.347-27.363, p = 0.019, vs. T-class, RR 0.677, 95% CI 0.237-1.934, p = 0.467, and N-class, RR 3.167, 95% CI 1.079-9.290, p = 0.036).
CONCLUSIONS: Immunohistochemical expression levels of cytoplasmic claudins 3 and 7 appear to be novel prognostic factors in TNBC.

Ahmad R, Kumar B, Chen Z, et al.
Loss of claudin-3 expression induces IL6/gp130/Stat3 signaling to promote colon cancer malignancy by hyperactivating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(47):6592-6604 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The hyperactivated Wnt/β-catenin signaling acts as a switch to induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition and promote colorectal cancer. However, due to its essential role in gut homeostasis, therapeutic targeting of this pathway has proven challenging. Additionally, IL-6/Stat-3 signaling, activated by microbial translocation through the dysregulated mucosal barrier in colon adenomas, facilitates the adenoma to adenocarcinomas transition. However, inter-dependence between these signaling pathways and key mucosal barrier components in regulating colon tumorigenesis and cancer progression remains unclear. In current study, we have discovered, using a comprehensive investigative regimen, a novel and tissue-specific role of claudin-3, a tight junction integral protein, in inhibiting colon cancer progression by serving as the common rheostat of Stat-3 and Wnt-signaling activation. Loss of claudin-3 also predicted poor patient survival. These findings however contrasted an upregulated claudin-3 expression in other cancer types and implicated role of the epigenetic regulation. Claudin-3-/- mice revealed dedifferentiated and leaky colonic epithelium, and developed invasive adenocarcinoma when subjected to colon cancer. Wnt-signaling hyperactivation, albeit in GSK-3β independent manner, differentiated colon cancer in claudin-3-/- mice versus WT-mice. Claudin-3 loss also upregulated the gp130/IL6/Stat3 signaling in colonic epithelium potentially assisted by infiltrating immune components. Genetic and pharmacological studies confirmed that claudin-3 loss induces Wnt/β-catenin activation, which is further exacerbated by Stat-3-activation and help promote colon cancer. Overall, these novel findings identify claudin-3 as a therapeutic target for inhibiting overactivation of Wnt-signaling to prevent CRC malignancy.

Zhao L, Lei H, Shen L, et al.
Prognosis genes in gastric adenocarcinoma identified by cross talk genes in disease‑related pathways.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(2):1232-1240 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the prognostic value of genes that participate in the development of gastric adenocarcinoma, via exploring gene cross talk in disease‑related pathways. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the gastric samples were identified by analyzing the expression data downloaded from the GEO database. The DEGs were subjected to the human protein‑protein interaction (PPI) network to construct the PPI network of DEGs, which was then used for the identification of key genes in cancer samples via the expression deviation score and degree in the network. A total of 635 DEGs, including 432 downregulated and 203 upregulated ones were screened in the gastric adenocarcinomas samples. The PPI network of DEGs comprised 590 DEGs and 4,299 interaction pairs. A total of 200 key genes were obtained, which were significantly enriched in six downregulated and six upregulated pathways. Cross talk genes in the connected pathways were analyzed, and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways hsa00980 (Metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450) and hsa00982 (Drug metabolism) were reported to share 8 cross talk genes: ADH7, ALDH3A1, GSTA1, GSTA2, UGT2B17, UGT2B10, ADH1B and CYP2C18. Among all cross talk genes, ADH7, ALDH3A1 and CLDN3 were the most specific genes. The high‑ and low‑risk samples identified by the prognosis model presented a remarkable difference in total survival time, indicating its robustness and sensitivity as the prognosis genes for gastric adenocarcinoma. ADH7, ALDH3A1, GSTA1, GSTA2, UGT2B17, UGT2B10, ADH1B, CYP2C18ADH7, ALDH3A1 and CLDN3 may be used as the prognosis markers and target biomarkers for chemotherapies in gastric adenocarcinoma.

Yen TY, Bowen S, Yen R, et al.
Glycoproteins in Claudin-Low Breast Cancer Cell Lines Have a Unique Expression Profile.
J Proteome Res. 2017; 16(4):1391-1400 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Claudin proteins are components of epithelial tight junctions; a subtype of breast cancer has been defined by the reduced expression of mRNA for claudins and other genes. Here, we characterize the expression of glycoproteins in breast cell lines for the claudin-low subtype using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Unsupervised clustering techniques reveal a group of claudin-low cell lines that is distinct from nonmalignant, basal, and luminal lines. The claudin-low cell lines express F11R, EPCAM, and other proteins at very low levels, whereas CD44 is expressed at a high level. Comparison of mRNA expression to glycoprotein expression shows modest correlation; the best agreement occurs when the mRNA expression level is lowest and little or no protein is detected. These findings from cell lines are compared to those for tumor samples by the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC). The CPTAC samples contain a group low in CLDN3. The samples low in CLDN3 proteins share many differentially expressed glycoproteins with the claudin-low cell lines. In contrast to the situation for cell lines or patient samples classified as claudin-low by RNA expression, however, most of the tumor samples low in CLDN3 protein express the estrogen receptor or HER2. These tumor samples express CD44 protein at low rather than high levels. There is no correlation between CLDN3 gene expression and protein expression in these CPTAC samples; hence, the claudin-low subtype defined by gene expression is not the same group of tumors as that defined by low expression of CLDN3 protein.

Pahle J, Menzel L, Niesler N, et al.
Rapid eradication of colon carcinoma by Clostridium perfringens Enterotoxin suicidal gene therapy.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):129 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bacterial toxins have evolved to an effective therapeutic option for cancer therapy. The Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) is a pore-forming toxin with selective cytotoxicity. The transmembrane tight junction proteins claudin-3 and -4 are known high affinity CPE receptors. Their expression is highly upregulated in human cancers, including breast, ovarian and colon carcinoma. CPE binding to claudins triggers membrane pore complex formation, which leads to rapid cell death. Previous studies demonstrated the anti-tumoral effect of treatment with recombinant CPE-protein. Our approach aimed at evaluation of a selective and targeted cancer gene therapy of claudin-3- and/or claudin-4- expressing colon carcinoma in vitro and in vivo by using translation optimized CPE expressing vector.
METHODS: In this study the recombinant CPE and a translation optimized CPE expressing vector (optCPE) was used for targeted gene therapy of claudin-3 and/or -4 overexpressing colon cancer cell lines. All experiments were performed in the human SW480, SW620, HCT116, CaCo-2 and HT-29 colon cancer and the isogenic Sk-Mel5 and Sk-Mel5 Cldn-3-YFP melanoma cell lines. Claudin expression analysis was done at protein and mRNA level, which was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. The CPE induced cytotoxicity was analyzed by the MTT cytotoxicity assay. In addition patient derived colon carcinoma xenografts (PDX) were characterized and used for the intratumoral in vivo gene transfer of the optCPE expressing vector in PDX bearing nude mice.
RESULTS: Claudin-3 and -4 overexpressing colon carcinoma lines showed high sensitivity towards both recCPE application and optCPE gene transfer. The positive correlation between CPE cytotoxicity and level of claudin expression was demonstrated. Transfection of optCPE led to targeted, rapid cytotoxic effects such as membrane disruption and necrosis in claudin overexpressing cells. The intratumoral optCPE in vivo gene transfer led to tumor growth inhibition in colon carcinoma PDX bearing mice in association with massive necrosis due to the intratumoral optCPE expression.
CONCLUSIONS: This novel approach demonstrates that optCPE gene transfer represents a promising and efficient therapeutic option for a targeted suicide gene therapy of claudin-3 and/or claudin-4 overexpressing colon carcinomas, leading to rapid and effective tumor cell killing in vitro and in vivo.

Martin EE, Huang W, Anwar T, et al.
MMTV-cre;Ccn6 knockout mice develop tumors recapitulating human metaplastic breast carcinomas.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(16):2275-2285 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metaplastic breast carcinoma is an aggressive form of invasive breast cancer with histological evidence of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the defining molecular events are unknown. Here we show that CCN6 (WISP3), a secreted matricellular protein of the CCN (CYR61/CTGF/NOV) family, is significantly downregulated in clinical samples of human spindle cell metaplastic breast carcinoma. We generated a mouse model of mammary epithelial-specific Ccn6 deletion by developing a floxed Ccn6 mouse which was bred with an MMTV-Cre mouse. Ccn6

Moldvay J, Fábián K, Jäckel M, et al.
Claudin-1 Protein Expression Is a Good Prognostic Factor in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, but only in Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cases.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2017; 23(1):151-156 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was to investigate the correlation between claudin (CLDN) protein expression and clinicopathological parameters as well as survival in histological subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer. Archived surgical resection specimens of 137 pathologic stage I primary bronchial cancers including 49 adenocarcinomas of non-lepidic variants (ADC), 46 adenocarcinomas of lepidic variants (L-ADC), and 42 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) were examined. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) using antibodies against CLDN1,-2,-3,-4,-7 proteins as well as semiquantitative estimation (IHC scores 0-5) were performed. Claudin IHC scores of L-ADC differed significantly from ADC (CLDN1: p = 0.009, CLDN2: p = 0.005, CLDN3: p = 0.004, CLDN4: p = 0.001, CLDN7: p < 0.001, respectively) and SCC (CLDN1: p < 0.001, CLDN3: p < 0.001, CLDN7: p < 0.001, respectively). Highly significant CLDN3-CLDN4 parallel expression could be demonstrated in ADC and L-ADC (p < 0.001 in both), which was not observed in SCC (p = 0.131). ADC and SCC showed no correlation with smoking, whereas in case of L-ADC heavier smoking correlated with higher CLDN3 expression (p = 0.020). Regarding claudin expression and survival, in SCC significant correlation could be demonstrated between CLDN1 IHC positivity and better survival (p = 0.038). In NSCLC as a whole, high CLDN2 expression proved to be a better prognostic factor when compared with cases where CLDN2 IHC score was 0-1 vs. 2-5 (p = 0.009), however, when analyzed separately, none of the histological subgroups showed correlation between CLDN2 expression and overall survival. The claudin expression pattern was significantly different not only between the SCC-ADC and SCC-L-ADC but also between the L-ADC and ADC histological subgroups, which strongly underlines that L-ADC represents a distinct entity within the ADC group. CLDN1 overexpression is a good prognostic factor in NSCLC, but only in the SCC subgroup.

Ferrer-Torres D, Nancarrow DJ, Kuick R, et al.
Genomic similarity between gastroesophageal junction and esophageal Barrett's adenocarcinomas.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(34):54867-54882 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The current high mortality rate of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) reflects frequent presentation at an advanced stage. Recent efforts utilizing fluorescent peptides have identified overexpressed cell surface targets for endoscopic detection of early stage Barrett's-derived EAC. Unfortunately, 30% of EAC patients present with gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas (GEJAC) and lack premalignant Barrett's metaplasia, limiting this early detection strategy. We compared mRNA profiles from 52 EACs (tubular EAC; tEAC) collected above the gastroesophageal junction with 70 GEJACs, 8 normal esophageal and 5 normal gastric mucosa samples. We also analyzed our previously published whole-exome sequencing data in a large cohort of these tumors. Principal component analysis, hierarchical clustering and survival-based analyses demonstrated that GEJAC and tEAC were highly similar, with only modest differences in expression and mutation profiles. The combined expression cohort allowed identification of 49 genes coding cell surface targets overexpressed in both GEJAC and tEAC. We confirmed that three of these candidates (CDH11, ICAM1 and CLDN3) were overexpressed in tumors when compared to normal esophagus, normal gastric and non-dysplastic Barrett's, and localized to the surface of tumor cells. Molecular profiling of tEAC and GEJAC tumors indicated extensive similarity and related molecular processes. Identified genes that encode cell surface proteins overexpressed in both Barrett's-derived EAC and those that arise without Barrett's metaplasia will allow simultaneous detection strategies.

Kudinov AE, Deneka A, Nikonova AS, et al.
Musashi-2 (MSI2) supports TGF-β signaling and inhibits claudins to promote non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) metastasis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113(25):6955-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has a 5-y survival rate of ∼16%, with most deaths associated with uncontrolled metastasis. We screened for stem cell identity-related genes preferentially expressed in a panel of cell lines with high versus low metastatic potential, derived from NSCLC tumors of Kras(LA1/+);P53(R172HΔG/+) (KP) mice. The Musashi-2 (MSI2) protein, a regulator of mRNA translation, was consistently elevated in metastasis-competent cell lines. MSI2 was overexpressed in 123 human NSCLC tumor specimens versus normal lung, whereas higher expression was associated with disease progression in an independent set of matched normal/primary tumor/lymph node specimens. Depletion of MSI2 in multiple independent metastatic murine and human NSCLC cell lines reduced invasion and metastatic potential, independent of an effect on proliferation. MSI2 depletion significantly induced expression of proteins associated with epithelial identity, including tight junction proteins [claudin 3 (CLDN3), claudin 5 (CLDN5), and claudin 7 (CLDN7)] and down-regulated direct translational targets associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition, including the TGF-β receptor 1 (TGFβR1), the small mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3 (SMAD3), and the zinc finger proteins SNAI1 (SNAIL) and SNAI2 (SLUG). Overexpression of TGFβRI reversed the loss of invasion associated with MSI2 depletion, whereas overexpression of CLDN7 inhibited MSI2-dependent invasion. Unexpectedly, MSI2 depletion reduced E-cadherin expression, reflecting a mixed epithelial-mesenchymal phenotype. Based on this work, we propose that MSI2 provides essential support for TGFβR1/SMAD3 signaling and contributes to invasive adenocarcinoma of the lung and may serve as a predictive biomarker of NSCLC aggressiveness.

Wahdan-Alaswad R, Harrell JC, Fan Z, et al.
Metformin attenuates transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) mediated oncogenesis in mesenchymal stem-like/claudin-low triple negative breast cancer.
Cell Cycle. 2016; 15(8):1046-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mesenchymal stem-like/claudin-low (MSL/CL) breast cancers are highly aggressive, express low cell-cell adhesion cluster containing claudins (CLDN3/CLDN4/CLDN7) with enrichment of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), immunomodulatory, and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) genes. We examined the biological, molecular and prognostic impact of TGF-β upregulation and/or inhibition using in vivo and in vitro methods. Using publically available breast cancer gene expression databases, we show that upregulation and enrichment of a TGF-β gene signature is most frequent in MSL/CL breast cancers and is associated with a worse outcome. Using several MSL/CL breast cancer cell lines, we show that TGF-β elicits significant increases in cellular proliferation, migration, invasion, and motility, whereas these effects can be abrogated by a specific inhibitor against TGF-β receptor I and the anti-diabetic agent metformin, alone or in combination. Prior reports from our lab show that TNBC is exquisitely sensitive to metformin treatment. Mechanistically, metformin blocks endogenous activation of Smad2 and Smad3 and dampens TGF-β-mediated activation of Smad2, Smad3, and ID1 both at the transcriptional and translational level. We report the use of ID1 and ID3 as clinical surrogate markers, where high expression of these TGF-β target genes was correlated to poor prognosis in claudin-low patients. Given TGF-β's role in tumorigenesis and immunomodulation, blockade of this pathway using direct kinase inhibitors or more broadly acting inhibitors may dampen or abolish pro-carcinogenic and metastatic signaling in patients with MCL/CL TNBC. Metformin therapy (with or without other agents) may be a heretofore unrecognized approach to reduce the oncogenic activities associated with TGF-β mediated oncogenesis.

Madaras L, Balint N, Gyorffy B, et al.
BRCA Mutation-Related and Claudin-Low Breast Cancer: Blood Relatives or Stepsisters.
Pathobiology. 2016; 83(1):1-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: BRCA mutation-associated (BRCAmut) breast cancer represents a heterogeneous group displaying certain molecular features. Claudin-low breast cancers (CLBC) overlap with characteristics of BRCAmut tumors; therefore, we have investigated whether these are identical subtypes.
METHODS: Using public gene expression data, CLDN, CDH1, 9-cell line claudin-low predictor (9CLCLP) and PAM50 expression was evaluated in BRCAmut and BRCA wild-type (BRCAwt) breast cancer cases focusing on their possible overlap with the CLBC subtype. A separate formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cohort of 22 BRCAmut and 19 BRCAwt tumor tissues was used for immunohistochemical examination of AR, CD24, CD44, CK5/6, claudin-1, -3, -4 and -7, E-cadherin, EGFR, estrogen receptor (ER), EZH2, HER2, Ki67, p53, progesterone receptor (PgR) and vimentin expression.
RESULTS: In the data sets, CLDN1 (ROC = 0.785, p < 0.001), CDH1 (ROC = 0.785, p < 0.001), CLDN7 (ROC = 0.723, p < 0.001), CLDN3 (ROC = 0.696, p = 0.020) and CLDN4 (ROC = 0.685, p = 0.027) were expressed at higher level in BRCAmut than BRCAwt tumor tissue. The PAM50 subtype differed from the assigned immunohistochemistry (IHC)-based subtype in 30%. Based on accessible 9CLCLP predictor genes, BRCAmut breast cancer does not display the claudin-low phenotype. Utilizing FFPE samples, claudins were evidently expressed in both BRCAmut and BRCAwt cases. However, at the protein level, only claudin-3 expression was higher in BRCAmut tumors, while claudin-1, -4 and -7 and E-cadherin expression was lower compared to BRCAwt cases. A CD24low/CD44high phenotype was found in BRCAmut tumors upon comparison with BRCAwt cases (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: There is a prominent correlation between the genes under focus herein and BRCA mutation status. BRCAmut tumors bear stem cell characteristics displaying a distinct cell adhesion molecule profile characterized by high expression of CDH1 and CLDN4 according to public gene expression data set analysis, and higher claudin-3 expression as detected by IHC; thus, BRCAmut breast carcinomas are not identical with the previously identified claudin-low subtype of breast cancer.

Nepomuceno AI, Shao H, Jing K, et al.
In-depth LC-MS/MS analysis of the chicken ovarian cancer proteome reveals conserved and novel differentially regulated proteins in humans.
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015; 407(22):6851-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian cancer (OVC) remains the most lethal gynecological malignancy in the world due to the combined lack of early-stage diagnostics and effective therapeutic strategies. The development and application of advanced proteomics technology and new experimental models has created unique opportunities for translational studies. In this study, we investigated the ovarian cancer proteome of the chicken, an emerging experimental model of OVC that develops ovarian tumors spontaneously. Matched plasma, ovary, and oviduct tissue biospecimens derived from healthy, early-stage OVC, and late-stage OVC birds were quantitatively characterized by label-free proteomics. Over 2600 proteins were identified in this study, 348 of which were differentially expressed by more than twofold (p ≤ 0.05) in early- and late-stage ovarian tumor tissue specimens relative to healthy ovarian tissues. Several of the 348 proteins are known to be differentially regulated in human cancers including B2M, CLDN3, EPCAM, PIGR, S100A6, S100A9, S100A11, and TPD52. Of particular interest was ovostatin 2 (OVOS2), a novel 165-kDa protease inhibitor found to be strongly upregulated in chicken ovarian tumors (p = 0.0005) and matched plasma (p = 0.003). Indeed, RT-quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis demonstrated that OVOS2 mRNA and protein were also upregulated in multiple human OVC cell lines compared to normal ovarian epithelia (NOE) cells and immunohistochemical staining confirmed overexpression of OVOS2 in primary human ovarian cancers relative to non-cancerous tissues. Collectively, these data provide the first evidence for involvement of OVOS2 in the pathogenesis of both chicken and human ovarian cancer.

Yang Y, Cheon S, Jung MK, et al.
Interleukin-18 enhances breast cancer cell migration via down-regulation of claudin-12 and induction of the p38 MAPK pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 459(3):379-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-18 (IL-18) was recently reported to have a pro-tumor effect in various cancers. Increased IL-18 levels in the serum of cancer patients correlated with malignancy, and IL-18 acts a crucial factor for cell migration in gastric cancer and melanoma. Claudins, which are the most important tight junction proteins, are also linked with cancer progression and metastasis. However, the relationship between claudins and IL-18 is not well-understood. Here, we show that the migratory ability of MCF-7 cells was reduced when endogenous IL-18 expression was inhibited with IL-18 siRNA. Moreover, exogenous IL-18 enhanced breast cancer cell migration and suppressed the expression of the tight junction proteins claudin-1, claudin-3, claudin-4, and claudin-12 in MCF-7 cells. Knockdown of claudin-3, claudin-4, and claudin-12, but not claudin-1, increased breast cancer migration with maximal effects observed in claudin-12 siRNA-transfected cells. To investigate whether the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway is involved in IL-18-induced cell migration and claudin-12 expression, cells were pretreated with SB203580 (an inhibitor of p38 MAPK) or PD98059 (an inhibitor of ERK1/2) prior to the addition of IL-18. Although pretreatment of MCF-7 cells with SB203580 blocked both the enhanced cell migration and the decreased claudin-12 expression, PD98059 only blocked cell migration and did not affect claudin-12 expression. In addition, exogenous IL-18 induced rapid phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. These results suggest that IL-18 is an important factor inducing breast cancer cell migration through down-regulation of claudin-12 and activation of the p38 MAPK pathway.

Vidal M, Peg V, Galván P, et al.
Gene expression-based classifications of fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumours of the breast.
Mol Oncol. 2015; 9(6):1081-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fibroepithelial tumors (FTs) of the breast are a heterogeneous group of lesions ranging from fibroadenomas (FAD) to phyllodes tumors (PT) (benign, borderline, malignant). Further understanding of their molecular features and classification might be of clinical value. In this study, we analysed the expression of 105 breast cancer-related genes, including the 50 genes of the PAM50 intrinsic subtype predictor and 12 genes of the Claudin-low subtype predictor, in a panel of 75 FTs (34 FADs, 5 juvenile FADs, 20 benign PTs, 5 borderline PTs and 11 malignant PTs) with clinical follow-up. In addition, we compared the expression profiles of FTs with those of 14 normal breast tissues and 49 primary invasive ductal carcinomas (IDCs). Our results revealed that the levels of expression of all breast cancer-related genes can discriminate the various groups of FTs, together with normal breast tissues and IDCs (False Discovery Rate < 5%). Among FTs, the levels expression of proliferation-related genes (e.g. CCNB1 and MKI67) and mesenchymal/epithelial-related (e.g. CLDN3 and EPCAM) genes were found to be most discriminative. As expected, FADs showed the highest and lowest expression of epithelial- and proliferation-related genes, respectively, whereas malignant PTs showed the opposite expression pattern. Interestingly, the overall profile of benign PTs was found more similar to FADs and normal breast tissues than the rest of tumours, including juvenile FADs. Within the dataset of IDCs and normal breast tissues, the vast majority of FADs, juvenile FADs, benign PTs and borderline PTs were identified as Normal-like by intrinsic breast cancer subtyping, whereas 7 (63.6%) and 3 (27.3%) malignant PTs were identified as Claudin-low and Basal-like, respectively. Finally, we observed that the previously described PAM50 risk of relapse prognostic score better predicted outcome in FTs than the morphological classification, even within PTs-only. Our results suggest that classification of FTs using gene expression-based data is feasible and might provide clinically useful biological and prognostic information.

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.

Molina-Pinelo S, Gutiérrez G, Pastor MD, et al.
MicroRNA-dependent regulation of transcription in non-small cell lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90524 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Squamous cell lung cancer (SCC) and adenocarcinoma are the most common histological subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and have been traditionally managed in the clinic as a single entity. Increasing evidence, however, illustrates the biological diversity of these two histological subgroups of lung cancer, and supports the need to improve our understanding of the molecular basis beyond the different phenotypes if we aim to develop more specific and individualized targeted therapy. The purpose of this study was to identify microRNA (miRNA)-dependent transcriptional regulation differences between SCC and adenocarcinoma histological lung cancer subtypes. In this work, paired miRNA (667 miRNAs by TaqMan Low Density Arrays (TLDA)) and mRNA profiling (Whole Genome 44 K array G112A, Agilent) was performed in tumor samples of 44 NSCLC patients. Nine miRNAs and 56 mRNAs were found to be differentially expressed in SCC versus adenocarcinoma samples. Eleven of these 56 mRNA were predicted as targets of the miRNAs identified to be differently expressed in these two histological conditions. Of them, 6 miRNAs (miR-149, miR-205, miR-375, miR-378, miR-422a and miR-708) and 9 target genes (CEACAM6, CGN, CLDN3, ABCC3, MLPH, ACSL5, TMEM45B, MUC1) were validated by quantitative PCR in an independent cohort of 41 lung cancer patients. Furthermore, the inverse correlation between mRNAs and microRNAs expression was also validated. These results suggest miRNA-dependent transcriptional regulation differences play an important role in determining key hallmarks of NSCLC, and may provide new biomarkers for personalized treatment strategies.

Liu L, Gou M, Yi T, et al.
Antitumor effects of heparin-polyethyleneimine nanogels delivering claudin-3-targeted short hairpin RNA combined with low-dose cisplatin on ovarian cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(4):1623-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cisplatin is normally administered in chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, but is accompanied by severe dose-dependent toxicity. The combination of cisplatin with other antitumor agents may be a useful alternative for achieving higher antitumor efficiency and lower toxicity. Claudin-3 (CLDN3), a commonly upregulated gene in 90% of ovarian cancers, has been identified as a novel therapeutic target of ovarian cancer. Therefore, in the present study, we constructed a recombinant plasmid carrying an shRNA targeting CLDN3 (pshCLDN3), and investigated the antitumor effects of the combination therapy of pshCLDN3 and a low-dose of cisplatin for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Heparin-polyethyleneimine (HPEI) nanogel, a novel gene carrier with superior biodegradability, excellent blood compatibility and low-toxicity, was used to deliver pshCLDN3 into ovarian cancer cells. The knockdown efficiency was determined by western blot analysis and CLDN3 immunostaining. Nude mice bearing intraperitoneal ovarian carcinomas were treated with pshCLDN3/HPEI complexes, low-dose cisplatin, pshCLDN3/HPEI plus low-dose cisplatin or control agents, respectively. The results showed that pshCLDN3/HPEI effectively suppressed the expression of CLDN3 in ovarian cancer. The combination therapy of pshCLDN3/HPEI and low-dose cisplatin exhibited enhanced antitumor activity, when compared with either agent alone, as evidenced by mean tumor weight analysis, Ki-67 immunostaining analysis and TUNEL assay, without obvious systemic toxicity. These results indicate that pshCLDN3/HPEI combined with low-dose cisplatin demonstrates apparent synergistic antitumor activity without marked toxicity. Our study offers a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Amaro A, Esposito AI, Gallina A, et al.
Validation of proposed prostate cancer biomarkers with gene expression data: a long road to travel.
Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2014; 33(2-3):657-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Biomarkers are important for early detection of cancer, prognosis, response prediction, and detection of residual or relapsing disease. Special attention has been given to diagnostic markers for prostate cancer since it is thought that early detection and surgery might reduce prostate cancer-specific mortality. The use of prostate-specific antigen, PSA (KLK3), has been debated on the base of cohort studies that show that its use in preventive screenings only marginally influences mortality from prostate cancer. Many groups have identified alternative or additional markers, among which PCA3, in order to detect early prostate cancer through screening, to distinguish potentially lethal from indolent prostate cancers, and to guide the treatment decision. The large number of markers proposed has led us to the present study in which we analyze these indicators for their diagnostic and prognostic potential using publicly available genomic data. We identified 380 markers from literature analysis on 20,000 articles on prostate cancer markers. The most interesting ones appeared to be claudin 3 (CLDN3) and alpha-methysacyl-CoA racemase highly expressed in prostate cancer and filamin C (FLNC) and keratin 5 with highest expression in normal prostate tissue. None of the markers proposed can compete with PSA for tissue specificity. The indicators proposed generally show a great variability of expression in normal and tumor tissue or are expressed at similar levels in other tissues. Those proposed as prognostic markers distinguish cases with marginally different risk of progression and appear to have a clinically limited use. We used data sets sampling 152 prostate tissues, data sets with 281 prostate cancers analyzed by microarray analysis and a study of integrated genomics on 218 cases to develop a multigene score. A multivariate model that combines several indicators increases the discrimination power but does not add impressively to the information obtained from Gleason scoring. This analysis of 10 years of marker research suggests that diagnostic and prognostic testing is more difficult in prostate cancer than in other neoplasms and that we must continue to search for better candidates.

Christgen M, Geffers R, Kreipe H, Lehmann U
IPH-926 lobular breast cancer cells are triple-negative but their microarray profile uncovers a luminal subtype.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(12):1726-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human primary breast cancers and breast cancer cell lines are classified by microarray-defined molecular subtypes, which reflect differentiation characteristics. Estrogen receptor (ER) expression is indicative of the luminal molecular subtype. We have previously established IPH-926, the first well-characterized cell line from infiltrating lobular breast cancer. IPH-926 displays an ER/PR/ErbB2 triple-negative immunophenotype, which is due to a loss of ER expression in its in vivo clonal ancestry. Loss of ER might indicate a fundamental change of cellular differentiation and it is unclear whether a luminal subtype is preserved beyond ER conversion. Using Affymetrix microarray analysis, seven different classifier gene lists (PAM305, DISC256, TN1288, PAM50, UNC1300, LAB704, INT500) and a background population of 50 common mammary carcinoma cell lines, we have now determined the molecular subtype of IPH-926. Strikingly, the IPH-926 expression profile is highly consistent with a luminal subtype. It is nearest to luminal/ER-positive breast cancer cell lines and far apart from basal breast cancer cell lines. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR confirmed enhanced expression of luminal marker genes (AGR2, CLU, CA12, EMP2, CLDN3) and low or absent expression of basal marker genes (KRT5, CD44, CAV1, VIM). Moreover, IPH-926 lacked androgen receptor (AR) expression, a transcription factor previously associated with luminal-like gene expression in a subset of triple-negative or molecular apocrine breast cancers. In conclusion, IPH-926 is triple-negative but belongs to the luminal subtype. Luminal differentiation characteristics can be preserved beyond ER conversion and might not require a compensatory expression of AR.

He ZY, Wei XW, Luo M, et al.
Folate-linked lipoplexes for short hairpin RNA targeting claudin-3 delivery in ovarian cancer xenografts.
J Control Release. 2013; 172(3):679-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancers highly overexpress folate receptor α (FRα) and claudin3 (CLDN3), both of which are associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis of patients. Downregulation of FRα and CLDN3 in ovarian cancer may suppress tumor growth and promote benign differentiation of tumor. In this study, F-P-LP/CLDN3, a FRα targeted liposome loading with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting CLDN3 was prepared and the pharmaceutical properties were characterized. Then, the antitumor effect of F-P-LP/CLDN3 was studied in an in vivo model of advanced ovarian cancer. Compared with Control, F-P-LP/CLDN3 promoted benign differentiation of tumor and achieved about 90% tumor growth inhibition. In the meantime, malignant ascites production was completely inhibited, and tumor nodule number and tumor weight were significantly reduced (p<0.001). FRα and CLDN3 were downregulated together in tumor tissues treated by F-P-LP/CLDN3. The antitumor mechanisms were achieved by promoting tumor cell apoptosis, inhibiting tumor cell proliferation and reducing microvessel density. Finally, safety evaluation indicated that F-P-LP/CLDN3 was a safe formulation in intraperitoneally administered cancer therapy. We come to a conclusion that F-P-LP/CLDN3 is a potential targeting formulation for ovarian cancer gene therapy.

Siar CH, Abbas SA
Claudin expression and tight junction protein localization in the lining epithelium of the keratocystic odontogenic tumors, dentigerous cysts, and radicular cysts.
Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2013; 115(5):652-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression and localization of tight junction proteins (TJPs) or claudins in the keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT) and to correlate with its biological behavior.
STUDY DESIGN: Five claudins (-1, -3, -4, -5, and 7) were examined immunohistochemically in 25 KCOTs and compared with 10 dentigerous cysts (DCs) and 10 radicular cysts (RCs).
RESULTS: Marked claudin-3 loss of expression in KCOT basal layer (n=24/25; 96%) compared with DCs (n=1/10; 10%) and RCs (n=5/10; 50%) (P<.05) suggests that claudin-3 downregulation may indicate altered or loss of basal cell polarity and impaired barrier function of KCOT lining epithelium and this might contribute indirectly to its biological behavior. In contrast, claudins-1, -4, -5, and -7 distribution patterns were less distinctive in all three entities, suggesting that these TJP molecules probably play limited roles in influencing their different growth potentials.
CONCLUSION: Present findings suggest that differential claudin expressions in the lining epithelium of KCOTs, DCs, and RCs probably reflect their neoplastic or nonneoplastic nature.

Nordfors K, Haapasalo J, Sallinen PK, et al.
Expression of claudins relates to tumour aggressivity, location and recurrence in ependymomas.
Histol Histopathol. 2013; 28(9):1137-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of our study was to assess the nature and importance of claudin expression in grade I-III ependymomas. The expression of claudins 2-5, 7, 10, TWIST, and ZEB1 were investigated in a series of 61 ependymomas using immunohistochemistry. All the claudins were expressed in ependymomas, except for CLDN4. CLDN5 positive tumours were associated with higher grade (p=0.049), whereas CLDN10 was lower in higher grade tumours (p=0.039). CLDN5 and CLDN3 were overexpressed in ependymomas of cerebral location (p=0.036, p=0.007, respectively). CLDN5 positive tumours showed more nuclear atypia, endothelial proliferation, mitosis, and hypercellularity (p=0.007, p=0.018, p=0.041, p=0.010, respectively). CLDN5 positivity correlated to higher proliferation (p=0.015). CLDN7 was more often positive in primary tumours (p=0.041). Positive ZEB1 expression was associated with CLDN2 negativity (p=0.031). TWIST-negative tumours were more often also CLDN5 and 10 negative (p=0.013, p=0.017, respectively). CLDN5 was related to more aggressive tumours compared to CLDN2 and 10, which tended to display a better degree of differentiation and a better prognosis. CLDN2 and CLDN5 were expressed commonly in ependymomas, while the parental ependymal cells in the central nervous system were usually negative. Evidently, claudins influence growth and differentiation in ependymomas.

Shang X, Lin X, Alvarez E, et al.
Tight junction proteins claudin-3 and claudin-4 control tumor growth and metastases.
Neoplasia. 2012; 14(10):974-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The extent of tight junction (TJ) formation is one of many factors that regulate motility, invasion, and metastasis. Claudins are required for the formation and maintenance of TJs. Claudin-3 (CLDN3) and claudin-4 (CLDN4) are highly expressed in the majority of ovarian cancers. We report here that CLDN3 and CLDN4 each serve to constrain the growth of human 2008 cancer xenografts and limit metastatic potential. Knockdown of CLDN3 increased in vivo growth rate by 2.3-fold and knockdown of CLDN4 by 3.7-fold in the absence of significant change in in vitro growth rate. Both types of tumors exhibited increase in birth rate as measured by Ki67 staining and decrease in death rate as reflected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Knockdown of either claudin did not alter expression of other TJ protein but did reduce TJ formation as measured by transepithelial resistance and paracellular flux of dextran, enhance migration and invasion in in vitro assays, and increase lung colonization following intravenous injection. Knockdown of CLDN3 and CLDN4 increased total lung metastatic burden by 1.7-fold and 2.4-fold, respectively. Loss of either CLDN3 or CLDN4 resulted in down-regulation of E-cadherin mRNA and protein, increased inhibitory phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), and activation of β-catenin pathway signaling as evidenced by increases in nuclear β-catenin, the dephosphorylated form of the protein, and transcriptional activity of β-catenin/T-cell factor (TCF). We conclude that both CLDN3 and CLDN4 mediate interactions with other cells in vivo that restrain growth and metastatic potential by sustaining expression of E-cadherin and limiting β-catenin signaling.

Shang X, Lin X, Manorek G, Howell SB
Claudin-3 and claudin-4 regulate sensitivity to cisplatin by controlling expression of the copper and cisplatin influx transporter CTR1.
Mol Pharmacol. 2013; 83(1):85-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Claudin-3 (CLDN3) and claudin-4 (CLDN4) are the major structural molecules that form tight junctions (TJs) between epithelial cells. We found that knockdown of the expression of either CLDN3 or CLDN4 produced marked changes in the phenotype of ovarian cancer cells, including an increase in resistance to cisplatin (cDDP). The effect of CLND3 and CLDN4 on cDDP cytotoxicity, cDDP cellular accumulation, and DNA adduct formation was compared in the CLDN3- and CLDN4-expressing parental human ovarian carcinoma 2008 cells and CLDN3 and CLDN4 knockdown sublines (CLDN3KD and CLDN4KD, respectively). Knockdown of CLDN3 or CLDN4 rendered human ovarian carcinoma 2008 cells resistant to cDDP in both in vitro culture and in vivo xenograft model. The net accumulation of platinum (Pt) and the Pt-DNA adduct levels were reduced in CLDN3KD and CLDN4KD cells. The endogenous mRNA levels of copper influx transporter CTR1 were found to be significantly reduced in the knockdown cells, and exogenous expression of CTR1 restored their sensitivity to cDDP. Reexpression of an shRNAi-resistant CLDN3 or CLDN4 up-regulated CTR1 levels, reversed the cDDP resistance, and enhanced TJ formation in the knockdown cells. Baseline copper (Cu) level, Cu uptake, and Cu cytotoxicity were also reduced in CLDN3KD and CLDN4KD cells. Cu-dependent tyrosinase activity was also markedly reduced in both types of CLDN knockdown cells when incubated with the substrate l-DOPA. These results indicate that CLDN3 and CLDN4 affect sensitivity of the ovarian cancer cells to the cytotoxic effect of cDDP by regulating expression of the Cu transporter CTR1.

Hung SW, Chiu CF, Chen TA, et al.
Recombinant viral protein VP1 suppresses HER-2 expression and migration/metastasis of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012; 136(1):89-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide and metastasis is the major cause of breast cancer death. Development of new therapeutic agents for inhibiting breast cancer metastasis is therefore an urgent need. We previously demonstrated that recombinant DNA-derived viral capsid protein VP1 (rVP1) of foot-and-mouth disease virus-induced apoptosis of MCF-7 breast cancer cells in vitro. Here, we investigated whether rVP1 exhibits any inhibitory effects on migration/metastasis and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), a well-known biomarker for poor prognosis of breast cancer. The effects of rVP1 on cancer cell migration/invasion and metastasis were evaluated using Transwell migration assay and animal cancer models of metastasis. Western blotting, RT-PCR, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence staining techniques were used to investigate the effects of rVP1 on HER-2 and signal transduction mediators. Non-cytotoxic concentrations of rVP1-induced mesenchymal-epithelial transition and significantly suppressed AP-2α and HER-2 expression as well as the migration and invasion of a variety of breast cancer cell lines in a β1-integrin-dependent manner in vitro. Gross and histopathologic examinations showed that rVP1 also suppressed metastasis of several breast cancer cell lines, including HER-2-overexpressing SK-BR-3 and BT-474 cells to lung, liver, or peripheral lymph node in orthotopic allograft/xenograft murine models. In addition, rVP1 significantly prolonged survival in breast cancer-bearing mice. Notably, no apparent side effects of rVP1 were detected, as shown by normal complete blood count levels and serum biochemistry profiles, including AST, ALT, BUN, and creatine. This study demonstrates that rVP1 suppresses the migration, invasion, and metastasis of breast cancer cells via binding to β1 integrin receptor and down-regulation of AP-2α and HER-2 expression. The effectiveness of rVP1 on inhibiting migration/metastasis of breast cancer and HER-2 expression suggests that it may be suitable for serving as potential therapeutics for metastatic breast cancer particularly HER-2-overexpressing cancer.

Ricardo S, Gerhard R, Cameselle-Teijeiro JF, et al.
Claudin expression in breast cancer: high or low, what to expect?
Histol Histopathol. 2012; 27(10):1283-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The evaluation of claudins (CLDNs) expression pattern in tumours can be important to understand breast carcinogenesis. The study of CLDNs became more appealing since it was found that CLDN3 and CLDN4 are putative therapeutic targets for Clostridium perfrigens enterotoxin (CPE), as well as for monoclonal antibody-based therapy. Moreover, the recently characterized CLDN-low molecular subgroup of breast tumours increased the interest in these molecules. Based on these facts, our aim was to explore the pattern of expression of CLDNs among a large series of invasive breast carcinomas. We also analysed the correlation between the combinatorial expression of CLDN3/CLDN4 and classical prognostic factors and biological markers. In addition, we also compared the characteristics of tumours with low expression of CLDN3, CLDN4 and CLDN7, assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), and the ones from CLDN-low subgroup of tumours previously defined by genomic assays. The combinatorial analysis of the expression of CLDN3/CLDN4 showed a significant association between high CLDN3/CLDN4 levels and triple-negative tumours, as well as with worse patient outcome. This combined analysis may provide useful information for breast carcinomas, since these two CLDN members are putative therapeutic targets. Comparing tumours with low expression of CLDN3, CLDN4 and CLDN7 with tumours previously referred to as CLDN-low by genomic assays, we demonstrated that the single IHC evaluation of these three specific CLDNs is insufficient to identify the CLDN-low molecular subtype of breast tumours. The analysis of several other molecular markers, such as EMT (epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition) and CSC (cancer stem cell) markers should probably be added to improve the identification of this subgroup of tumours by IHC, which probably are enriched in carcinomas with metaplastic differentiation.

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