Gene Summary

Gene:E2F3; E2F transcription factor 3
Aliases: E2F-3
Summary:This gene encodes a member of a small family of transcription factors that function through binding of DP interaction partner proteins. The encoded protein recognizes a specific sequence motif in DNA and interacts directly with the retinoblastoma protein (pRB) to regulate the expression of genes involved in the cell cycle. Altered copy number and activity of this gene have been observed in a number of human cancers. There are pseudogenes for this gene on chromosomes 2 and 17. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription factor E2F3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 27 February, 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: E2F3 (cancer-related)

Shibuya R, Matsuyama A, Nakamoto M, et al.
The combination of CD99 and NKX2.2, a transcriptional target of EWSR1-FLI1, is highly specific for the diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 465(5):599-605 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a high-grade malignant neoplasm primarily affecting children and young adults. The diagnosis of ES is often difficult because of its broad differential diagnosis comprising a diverse group of small round cell tumors (SRCTs). Although the identification of tumor type-specific fusion genes by molecular testing is the gold standard for the diagnosis of ES, such approaches are not always available in a routine pathology practice. Thus, a reliable immunohistochemical marker is required. A recent study using a limited number of tumor samples has shown that NKX2.2, a putative transcriptional target of EWSR1-FLI1, is a useful marker for the diagnosis of ES. In the present study, the immunohistochemical expression of NKX2.2 was evaluated on 46 genetically confirmed ES and 85 non-ES SRCTs, together with comparative assessment of CD99 and other molecular targets of EWSR1-FLI1, including NR0B1, E2F3, and EZH2. NKX2.2 was expressed in 37 (80 %) of the ES samples with a mostly diffuse and strong staining pattern, and 14 (16 %) of the non-ES SRCTs, including olfactory neuroblastomas, extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, small cell carcinomas, and Merkel cell carcinoma, also expressed this marker. The sensitivity and specificity of the NKX2.2 expression in this cohort were 80 and 84 %, respectively. The specificity when combined with CD99 was 98 %, with exceptional expression of both markers in only two non-ES SRCTs, including one case each of mesenchymal chondrosarcoma and small cell carcinoma. NR0B1, E2F3, and EZH2 were less sensitive for specific markers for ES when applied singly or in any combination. In conclusion, the study reinforces that NKX2.2 is a useful immunohistochemical marker for ES, and that the combination of CD99 and NKX2.2 is a powerful diagnostic tool that can differentiate ES from other SRCTs.

Tao T, Liu D, Liu C, et al.
Autoregulatory feedback loop of EZH2/miR-200c/E2F3 as a driving force for prostate cancer development.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1839(9):858-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) has recently attracted considerable attention because of its dysregulation in prostate cancer (PCa) and its important function in PCa development. To date, little is known about the underlying cellular function and regulatory networks of EZH2 in PCa. This study aims to determine whether or not the autoregulatory feedback loop of EZH2/miR-200c/E2F3 serves key functions in PCa development. Bioinformatics and integrative analytical approaches were employed to identify the relationships of EZH2 to specific cancer-related gene sets. Results indicated that the enrichment of gene sets about cell cycle progression was associated with EZH2 expression. The depletion of EZH2 in cell experiments inhibited PCa cell growth and blocked cell cycle accompanying the downregulation of E2F3 expression. Furthermore, miR-200c served as an important mediator between EZH2 and E2F3. Compared with scrambled control cells, sh-EZH2 cells showed lower H3K27me3 expression and higher miR-200c expression. Western blot and luciferase reporter assays showed that miR-200c inversely modulated E2F3 by directly targeting the binding site within 3'UTR. Moreover, decreased miR-200c expression largely abrogated the effect of sh-EZH2 on E2F3 expression and E2F3-induced cell cycle progression. EZH2 was positively regulated by E2F3 at the transcriptional level. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization revealed a significant correlation among EZH2, miR-200c, and E2F3 expression in human PCa tissues. In conclusion, the autoregulatory feedback loop of EZH2/miR-200c/E2F3 served an important function in PCa development. Targeting this aberrantly activated feedback loop may provide a new therapeutic strategy against PCa.

Hollern DP, Honeysett J, Cardiff RD, Andrechek ER
The E2F transcription factors regulate tumor development and metastasis in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer.
Mol Cell Biol. 2014; 34(17):3229-43 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
While the E2F transcription factors (E2Fs) have a clearly defined role in cell cycle control, recent work has uncovered new functions. Using genomic signature methods, we predicted a role for the activator E2F transcription factors in the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-polyomavirus middle T oncoprotein (PyMT) mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. To genetically test the hypothesis that the E2Fs function to regulate tumor development and metastasis, we interbred MMTV-PyMT mice with E2F1, E2F2, or E2F3 knockout mice. With the ablation of individual E2Fs, we noted alterations of tumor latency, histology, and vasculature. Interestingly, we noted striking reductions in metastatic capacity and in the number of circulating tumor cells in both the E2F1 and E2F2 knockout backgrounds. Investigating E2F target genes that mediate metastasis, we found that E2F loss led to decreased levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegfa), Bmp4, Cyr61, Nupr1, Plod 2, P4ha1, Adamts1, Lgals3, and Angpt2. These gene expression changes indicate that the E2Fs control the expression of genes critical to angiogenesis, the remodeling of the extracellular matrix, tumor cell survival, and tumor cell interactions with vascular endothelial cells that facilitate metastasis to the lungs. Taken together, these results reveal that the E2F transcription factors play key roles in mediating tumor development and metastasis in addition to their well-characterized roles in cell cycle control.

Chen DQ, Pan BZ, Huang JY, et al.
HDAC 1/4-mediated silencing of microRNA-200b promotes chemoresistance in human lung adenocarcinoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(10):3333-49 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Chemoresistance is one of the most significant obstacles in lung adenocarcinoma (LAD) treatment, and this process involves genetic and epigenetic dysregulation of chemoresistance-related genes. Previously, we have shown that restoration of microRNA (miR)-200b significantly reverses chemoresistance of human LAD cells by targeting E2F3. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the silencing of miR-200b are still unclear. Here we showed that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors could restore the expression of miR-200b and reverse chemoresistant phenotypes of docetaxel-resistant LAD cells. HDAC1/4 repression significantly increased miR-200b expression by upregulating histone-H3 acetylation level at the two miR-200b promoters partially via a Sp1-dependent pathway. Furthermore, silencing of HDAC1/4 suppressed cell proliferation, promoted cell apoptosis, induced G2/M cell cycle arrest and ultimately reversed in vitro and in vivo chemoresistance of docetaxel-resistant LAD cells, at least partially in a miR-200b-dependent manner. HDAC1/4 suppression-induced rescue of miR-200b contributed to downregulation of E2F3, survivin and Aurora-A, and upregulation of cleaved-caspase-3. HDAC1/4 levels in docetaxel-insensitive human LAD tissues, inversely correlated with miR-200b, were upregulated compared with docetaxel-sensitive tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that the HDAC1/4/Sp1/miR-200b/E2F3 pathway is responsible for chemoresistance of docetaxel-resistant LAD cells.

Lee MY, Moreno CS, Saavedra HI
E2F activators signal and maintain centrosome amplification in breast cancer cells.
Mol Cell Biol. 2014; 34(14):2581-99 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Centrosomes ensure accurate chromosome segregation by directing spindle bipolarity. Loss of centrosome regulation results in centrosome amplification, multipolar mitosis and aneuploidy. Since centrosome amplification is common in premalignant lesions and breast tumors, it is proposed to play a central role in breast tumorigenesis, a hypothesis that remains to be tested. The coordination between the cell and centrosome cycles is of paramount importance to maintain normal centrosome numbers, and the E2Fs may be responsible for regulating these cycles. However, the role of E2F activators in centrosome amplification is unclear. Because E2Fs are deregulated in Her2(+) cells displaying centrosome amplification, we addressed whether they signal this abnormal process. Knockdown of E2F1 or E2F3 in Her2(+) cells decreased centrosome amplification without significantly affecting cell cycle progression, whereas the overexpression of E2F1, E2F2, or E2F3 increased centrosome amplification in MCF10A mammary epithelial cells. Our results revealed that E2Fs affect the expression of proteins, including Nek2 and Plk4, known to influence the cell/centrosome cycles and mitosis. Downregulation of E2F3 resulted in cell death and delays/blocks in cytokinesis, which was reversed by Nek2 overexpression. Nek2 overexpression enhanced centrosome amplification in Her2(+) breast cancer cells silenced for E2F3, revealing a role for the E2F activators in maintaining centrosome amplification in part through Nek2.

Pinto-Leite R, Carreira I, Melo J, et al.
Genomic characterization of three urinary bladder cancer cell lines: understanding genomic types of urinary bladder cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(5):4599-617 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several genomic regions are frequently altered and associated with the type, stage and progression of urinary bladder cancer (UBC). We present the characterization of 5637, T24 and HT1376 UBC cell lines by karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis. Some cytogenetic anomalies present in UBC were found in the three cell lines, such as chromosome 20 aneuploidy and the loss of 9p21. Some gene loci losses (e.g. CDKN2A) and gains (e.g. HRAS, BCL2L1 and PTPN1) were coincident across all cell lines. Although some significant heterogeneity and complexity were detected between them, their genomic profiles exhibited a similar pattern to UBC. We suggest that 5637 and HT1376 represent the E2F3/RB1 pathway due to amplification of 6p22.3, concomitant with loss of one copy of RB1 and mutation of the remaining copy. The HT1376 presented a 10q deletion involving PTEN region and no alteration of PIK3CA region which, in combination with the inactivation of TP53, bears more invasive and metastatic properties than 5637. The T24 belongs to the alternative pathway of FGFR3/CCND1 by presenting mutated HRAS and over-represented CCND1. These cell lines cover the more frequent subtypes of UBC and are reliable models that can be used, as a group, in preclinical studies.

Zeng X, Yin F, Liu X, et al.
Upregulation of E2F transcription factor 3 is associated with poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(3):1139-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
E2F transcription factor 3 (E2F3), a member of the E2F transcription factor family and a member of the genes involved in the regulation of cell cycle, is an oncogene with strong proliferative potential. E2F3 is involved in many processes and plays important roles in the development of several types of cancer, while its relationship with prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has yet to be reported. In the present study, based on 4 independent microarray data sets which covered 385 cases of HCC and 327 cases of normal livers retrieved from the Oncomine database, we demonstrated that E2F3 was upregulated at least 1.5-fold and on average 2.3-fold in HCC when compared with normal controls. Comprehensive bioinformatics analysis consisting of protein-protein interaction, gene co-occurrence, microRNA-mRNA interaction and biological process annotation indicated that E2F3 interacted with a large number of genes, proteins and microRNAs which were all associated with poor prognosis in patients with HCC and other types of cancer, suggesting that E2F3 may also serve as a biomarker for poor prognosis. Taken together, for the first time, we show that the overexpression of E2F3 may be associated with unfavorable prognosis in HCC.

Shen H, Morrison CD, Zhang J, et al.
6p22.3 amplification as a biomarker and potential therapeutic target of advanced stage bladder cancer.
Oncotarget. 2013; 4(11):2124-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Genetic and epigenetic alterations have been identified as to contribute directly or indirectly to the generation of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (TCC-UB). In a comparative fashion much less is known about copy number alterations in TCC-UB, but it appears that amplification of chromosome 6p22 is one of the most frequent changes. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses, we evaluated chromosomal 6p22 amplification in a large cohort of bladder cancer patients with complete surgical staging and outcome data. We have also used shRNA knockdown candidate oncogenes in the cell based study. We found that amplification of chromosome 6p22.3 is significantly associated with the muscle-invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (TCC-UB) (22%) in contrast to superficial TCC-UB (9%) (p=7.2-04). The rate of 6p22.3 amplification in pN>1 patients (32%) is more than twice that in pN0 (16%) patients (p=0.05). Interestingly, we found that 6p22.3 amplification is as twice as high (p=0.0201) in African American (AA) than European American (EA) TCC-UB patients. Moreover, we showed that the expression of some candidate genes (E2F3, CDKAL1 and Sox4) in the 6p22.3 region is highly correlated with the chromosomal amplification. In particular, knockdown of E2F3 inhibits cell proliferation in a 6p22.3-dependent manner, whereas knockdown of CDKAL1 and Sox4 has no effect on cell proliferation. Using gene expression profiling, we further identified some common as well as distinctive subset targets of the E2F3 family members. In summary, our data indicate that E2F3 is a key regulator of cell proliferation in a subset of bladder cancer and the 6p22.3 amplicon is a biomarker of aggressive phenotype in this tumor type.

Ren XS, Yin MH, Zhang X, et al.
Tumor-suppressive microRNA-449a induces growth arrest and senescence by targeting E2F3 in human lung cancer cells.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 344(2):195-203 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-449a (miR-449a) was significantly downregulated in 156 lung cancer tissues (p<0.001). We found that the low expression of miR-449a was highly correlated with cancer recurrence and survival of lung cancer patients. The transient introduction of miR-449a caused cell cycle arrest and cell senescence in A549 and 95D cells. Further studies revealed that E2F3 was a direct target of miR-449a in lung cancer cells. miR-449a also suppressed tumor formation in vivo in nude mice. These results suggest that miR-449a plays an important role in lung cancer tumorigenesis and that miR-449a might predict cancer recurrence and survival of lung cancer patients.

An Q, Wang Y, An R, et al.
Association of E2F3 expression with clinicopathological features of Wilms' tumors.
J Pediatr Surg. 2013; 48(11):2187-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The transcription factor E2F3 plays an important role in controlling cell cycle progression and proliferation, and is overexpressed in various human cancers. The present study was undertaken to examine the expression of E2F3 and investigate its relevance in clinical and pathological features of pediatric Wilms' tumors.
METHODS: Twenty-six Wilms' tumor samples collected at the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University underwent immunohistochemical staining for E2F3 protein expression by measuring the percentage of E2F3-positive cells and integrated optical density (IOD), and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) for E2F3 mRNA expression.
RESULTS: The expression of E2F3 protein and mRNA was detectable in all the Wilms' tumor samples with big variations (The average percentage of positive cells was 30.2%±23.5%, range 0.3%-75.6%; average IOD was 6.61×10(4)±3.92×10(4), range 2.32×10(4)-13.84×10(4); average relative mRNA unit was 0.54±0.38, range 0.03-1.31), but not in fetal kidney tissues. Wilms' tumors with aggressive features, such as higher stage, unfavorable histology and higher risk level, expressed higher levels of E2F3 protein and mRNA.
CONCLUSIONS: The preliminary data indicate that E2F3 is frequently expressed in pediatric Wilms' tumors examined in the present study. E2F3 expression may be associated with Wilms' tumors, particularly those that have more aggressive features. However, further studies are needed to validate these pilot observations and to clarify the functional and mechanistic significance of this association.

Xiao F, Zhang W, Chen L, et al.
MicroRNA-503 inhibits the G1/S transition by downregulating cyclin D3 and E2F3 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Transl Med. 2013; 11:195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence indicates that deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is involved in tumorigenesis. Downregulation of microRNA-503 has been observed in various types of diseases, including cancer. However, the biological function of miR-503 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still largely unknown. In this study we aimed to elucidate the prognostic implications of miR-503 in HCC and its pathophysiologic role.
METHODS: Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluate miR-503 expression in HCC tissues and cell lines. Western blotting was performed to evaluate the expression of the miR-503 target genes. In vivo and in vitro assays were performed to evaluate the function of miR-503 in HCC. Luciferase reporter assay was employed to validate the miR-503 target genes.
RESULTS: miR-503 was frequently downregulated in HCC cell lines and tissues. Low expression levels of miR-503 were associated with enhanced malignant potential such as portal vein tumor thrombi, histologic grade, TNM stage, AFP level and poor prognosis. Multivariate analysis indicated that miR-503 downregulation was significantly associated with worse overall survival of HCC patients. Functional studies showed miR-503 suppressed the proliferation of HCC cells by induction of G1 phase arrest through Rb-E2F signaling pathways, and thus may function as a tumor suppressor. Further investigation characterized two cell cycle-related molecules, cyclin D3 and E2F3, as the direct miR-503 targets.
CONCLUSION: Our data highlight an important role for miR-503 in cell cycle regulation and in the molecular etiology of HCC, and implicate the potential application of miR-503 in prognosis prediction and miRNA-based HCC therapy.

Kumazaki M, Noguchi S, Yasui Y, et al.
Anti-cancer effects of naturally occurring compounds through modulation of signal transduction and miRNA expression in human colon cancer cells.
J Nutr Biochem. 2013; 24(11):1849-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Much evidence indicates that various naturally occurring compounds have an anti-cancer effect, but the detailed mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we selected anti-cancer phytochemicals such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), resveratrol (RES) and α-mangostin (α-M), all of which are well-characterized chemopreventive agents. We sought to elucidate the mechanism of their anti-cancer effects and the synergistic effects obtained by combined treatment with the anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in three human colon cancer cell lines. The numbers of viable cells were consistently decreased by the treatment with EGCG, RES or α-M at more than 10 μM in all three cell lines tested. All compounds mainly induced apoptosis and suppressed the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Additionally, α-M, which had the greatest PI3K/Akt-suppressing activity, also suppressed MAP kinase (MAPK)/Erk1/2 signaling. Importantly, the combination treatment with RES and 5-FU induced a remarkably synergistic enhancement of growth inhibition and apoptosis through the additional suppression of the MAPK/Erk1/2 signaling pathway in colon cancer DLD-1 cells. Interestingly, RES increased the intracellular expression level of miR-34a, which down-regulated the target gene E2F3 and its downstream Sirt1, resulting in growth inhibition. These findings indicate that these compounds functioned as chemosensitizers when combined with anti-cancer drugs through the modulation of apoptotic and growth-related signaling pathways. Also, RES exerted its anti-cancer activity in part through a newly defined mechanism, i.e., the miR-34a/E2F3/Sirt1 cascade.

Bilke S, Schwentner R, Yang F, et al.
Oncogenic ETS fusions deregulate E2F3 target genes in Ewing sarcoma and prostate cancer.
Genome Res. 2013; 23(11):1797-809 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Deregulated E2F transcription factor activity occurs in the vast majority of human tumors and has been solidly implicated in disturbances of cell cycle control, proliferation, and apoptosis. Aberrant E2F regulatory activity is often caused by impairment of control through pRB function, but little is known about the interplay of other oncoproteins with E2F. Here we show that ETS transcription factor fusions resulting from disease driving rearrangements in Ewing sarcoma (ES) and prostate cancer (PC) are one such class of oncoproteins. We performed an integrative study of genome-wide DNA-binding and transcription data in EWSR1/FLI1 expressing ES and TMPRSS2/ERG containing PC cells. Supported by promoter activity and mutation analyses, we demonstrate that a large fraction of E2F3 target genes are synergistically coregulated by these aberrant ETS proteins. We propose that the oncogenic effect of ETS fusion oncoproteins is in part mediated by the disruptive effect of the E2F-ETS interaction on cell cycle control. Additionally, a detailed analysis of the regulatory targets of the characteristic EWSR1/FLI1 fusion in ES identifies two functionally distinct gene sets. While synergistic regulation in concert with E2F in the promoter of target genes has a generally activating effect, EWSR1/FLI1 binding independent of E2F3 is predominantly associated with repressed differentiation genes. Thus, EWSR1/FLI1 appears to promote oncogenesis by simultaneously promoting cell proliferation and perturbing differentiation.

Iyer G, Al-Ahmadie H, Schultz N, et al.
Prevalence and co-occurrence of actionable genomic alterations in high-grade bladder cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(25):3133-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: We sought to define the prevalence and co-occurrence of actionable genomic alterations in patients with high-grade bladder cancer to serve as a platform for therapeutic drug discovery.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: An integrative analysis of 97 high-grade bladder tumors was conducted to identify actionable drug targets, which are defined as genomic alterations that have been clinically validated in another cancer type (eg, BRAF mutation) or alterations for which a selective inhibitor of the target or pathway is under clinical investigation. DNA copy number alterations (CNAs) were defined by using array comparative genomic hybridization. Mutation profiling was performed by using both mass spectroscopy-based genotyping and Sanger sequencing.
RESULTS: Sixty-one percent of tumors harbored potentially actionable genomic alterations. A core pathway analysis of the integrated data set revealed a nonoverlapping pattern of mutations in the RTK-RAS-RAF and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin pathways and regulators of G1-S cell cycle progression. Unsupervised clustering of CNAs defined two distinct classes of bladder tumors that differed in the degree of their CNA burden. Integration of mutation and copy number analyses revealed that mutations in TP53 and RB1 were significantly more common in tumors with a high CNA burden (P < .001 and P < .003, respectively).
CONCLUSION: High-grade bladder cancer possesses substantial genomic heterogeneity. The majority of tumors harbor potentially tractable genomic alterations that may predict for response to target-selective agents. Given the genomic diversity of bladder cancers, optimal development of target-specific agents will require pretreatment genomic characterization.

Calura E, Fruscio R, Paracchini L, et al.
MiRNA landscape in stage I epithelial ovarian cancer defines the histotype specificities.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(15):4114-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most lethal gynecologic diseases, with survival rate virtually unchanged for the past 30 years. EOC comprises different histotypes with molecular and clinical heterogeneity, but up till now the present gold standard platinum-based treatment has been conducted without any patient stratification. The aim of the present study is to generate microRNA (miRNA) profiles characteristic of each stage I EOC histotype, to identify subtype-specific biomarkers to improve our understanding underlying the tumor mechanisms.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A collection of 257 snap-frozen stage I EOC tumor biopsies was gathered together from three tumor tissue collections and stratified into independent training (n = 183) and validation sets (n = 74). Microarray and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) were used to generate and validate the histotype-specific markers. A novel dedicated resampling inferential strategy was developed and applied to identify the highest reproducible results. mRNA and miRNA profiles were integrated to identify novel regulatory circuits.
RESULTS: Robust miRNA markers for clear cell and mucinous histotypes were found. Specifically, the clear cell histotype is characterized by a five-fold (log scale) higher expression of miR-30a and miR-30a*, whereas mucinous histotype has five-fold (log scale) higher levels of miR-192/194. Furthermore, a mucinous-specific regulatory loop involving miR-192/194 cluster and a differential regulation of E2F3 in clear cell histotype were identified.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed that stage I EOC histotypes have their own characteristic miRNA expression and specific regulatory circuits.

Karaayvaz M, Zhai H, Ju J
miR-129 promotes apoptosis and enhances chemosensitivity to 5-fluorouracil in colorectal cancer.
Cell Death Dis. 2013; 4:e659 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Resistance to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy is the major reason for the failure of advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment. The lack of ability of tumor cells to undergo apoptosis after genotoxic stress is the key contributor to this intrinsic mechanism. Mounting evidence has demonstrated that non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulators of gene expression, in particular, under acute genotoxic stress. However, there is still limited knowledge about the role of miRNAs in apoptosis. In this study, we discovered a novel mechanism mediated by microRNA-129 (miR-129) to trigger apoptosis by suppressing a key anti-apoptotic protein, B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2). Ectopic expression of miR-129 promoted apoptosis, inhibited cell proliferation and caused cell-cycle arrest in CRC cells. The intrinsic apoptotic pathway triggered by miR-129 was activated by cleavage of caspase-9 and caspase-3. The expression of miR-129 was significantly downregulated in CRC tissue specimens compared with the paired normal control samples. More importantly, we demonstrated that miR-129 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of 5-fluorouracil both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that miR-129 has a unique potential as a tumor suppressor and a novel candidate for developing miR-129-based therapeutic strategies in CRC.

Ciafrè SA, Galardi S
microRNAs and RNA-binding proteins: a complex network of interactions and reciprocal regulations in cancer.
RNA Biol. 2013; 10(6):935-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
In the last decade, an ever-growing number of connections between microRNAs (miRNAs) and RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have uncovered a new level of complexity of gene expression regulation in cancer. In this review, we examine several aspects of the functional interactions between miRNAs and RBPs in cancer models. We will provide examples of reciprocal regulation: miRNAs regulating the expression of RBPs, or the converse, where an RNA-binding protein specifically regulates the expression of a specific miRNA, or when an RBP can exert a widespread effect on miRNAs via the modulation of a key protein for miRNA production or function. Moreover, we will focus on the ever-growing number of functional interactions that have been discovered in the last few years: RBPs that were shown to cooperate with microRNAs in the downregulation of shared target mRNAs or, on the contrary, that inhibit microRNA action, thus resulting in a protection of the specific target mRNAs. We surely need to obtain a deeper comprehension of such intricate networks to have a chance of understanding and, thus, fighting cancer.

Fang Y, Gu X, Li Z, et al.
miR-449b inhibits the proliferation of SW1116 colon cancer stem cells through downregulation of CCND1 and E2F3 expression.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(1):399-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Cancer stem cells are cell populations with stem cell nature presenting in tumor tissues and are the root of tumor formation and metastasis. CCND1 and E2F3 play important roles in cell cycle regulation. The 3'UTRs of CCND1 and E2F3 contain miR-449 binding sites. By transfecting pre-miR-449b and inhibiting miR-449b, we found that cell cycle, cell proliferation ability and cell cycle regulatory protein expression levels of colon cancer stem cells were altered. The correlation between CCND1, E2F3 and miR-449b showed that miR-449b could downregulate CCND1 and E2F3 expression. This, in turn, reduced the proliferative ability of colon cancer stem cells. These data suggest that miR-449b plays a tumor-suppressive role in colon cancer stem cells.

Giangreco AA, Vaishnav A, Wagner D, et al.
Tumor suppressor microRNAs, miR-100 and -125b, are regulated by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in primary prostate cells and in patient tissue.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013; 6(5):483-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
MiR-100 and miR-125b are lost in many cancers and have potential function as tumor suppressors. Using both primary prostatic epithelial cultures and laser capture-microdissected prostate epithelium from 45 patients enrolled in a vitamin D3 randomized trial, we identified miR-100 and -125b as targets of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D). In patients, miR-100 and -125b levels were significantly lower in tumor tissue than in benign prostate. Similarly, miR-100 and -125b were lower in primary prostate cancer cells than in cells derived from benign prostate. Prostatic concentrations of 1,25D positively correlated with these miRNA levels in both prostate cancer and benign epithelium, showing that patients with prostate cancer may still benefit from vitamin D3. In cell assays, upregulation of these miRNAs by 1,25D was vitamin D receptor dependent. Transfection of pre-miR-100 and pre-miR-125b in the presence or absence of 1,25D decreased invasiveness of cancer cell, RWPE-2. Pre-miR-100 and pre-miR-125b decreased proliferation in primary cells and cancer cells respectively. Pre-miR-125b transfection suppressed migration and clonal growth of prostate cancer cells, whereas knockdown of miR-125b in normal cells increased migration indicates a tumor suppressor function. 1,25D suppressed expression of previously bona fide mRNA targets of these miRNAs, E2F3 and Plk1, in a miRNA-dependent manner. Together, these findings show that vitamin D3 supplementation augments tumor suppressive miRNAs in patient prostate tissue, providing evidence that miRNAs could be key physiologic mediators of vitamin D3 activity in prevention and early treatment of prostate cancer.

Mankame TP, Lingen MW
The RB tumor suppressor positively regulates transcription of the anti-angiogenic protein NOL7.
Neoplasia. 2012; 14(12):1213-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
The expression of the angiogenic phenotype is regulated by a balance of pro-angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors released into the tumor microenvironment. Nuclear protein 7 (NOL7), a novel tumor suppressor, acts as a master regulator of angiogenesis by downregulating pro-angiogenic factors and upregulating anti-angiogenic factors. Using cervical cancer as a model of investigation, we have previously shown that loss of NOL7 mRNA and protein expression is observed as early as the premalignant phase. Analysis of the gene failed to identify tumor-specific promoter methylation or coding region mutations, suggesting that NOL7 loss may be mediated by aberrant expression of its upstream regulators. In this study, we show that the RB tumor suppressor gene (RB) positively regulates NOL7 at the transcriptional level by recruiting transcription factors and transcription machinery proteins to its promoter region. Conversely, the loss of RB represses NOL7 transcription by inhibiting assembly of these proteins. This loss of NOL7 expression is also observed in RB-deficient human malignancies. Together, this work further characterizes the transcriptional activator function of RB and defines a potential role for RB in regulating angiogenesis through activation of NOL7. Current anti-angiogenic therapies lack long-term efficacy, as they are unable to target the diverse angiogenic signals generated by tumors. Our data provide evidence to support the hypothesis that reactivation of pRB can potentially modulate the expression of the angiogenic phenotype through regulation of NOL7. Therefore, this knowledge may be employed to design more comprehensive and effective therapies.

Hu QL, Jiang QY, Jin X, et al.
Cationic microRNA-delivering nanovectors with bifunctional peptides for efficient treatment of PANC-1 xenograft model.
Biomaterials. 2013; 34(9):2265-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Therapeutic strategies based on modulation of microRNA activity possess much promise in cancer therapy, but the in vivo delivery of microRNA to target sites and its penetration into tumor tissues remain great challenge. In this work, miR-34a-delivering therapeutic nanocomplexes with a tumor-targeting and -penetrating bifunctional CC9 peptide were proposed for efficient treatment of pancreatic cancers. In vitro study indicated that the nanoparticle-based miR-34a delivery systems could effectively facilitate cellular uptake and greatly up-regulate the mRNA level of miR-34a in PANC-1 cell lines. The up-regulation of miR-34a remarkably induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, suppressed the tumor cell migration and inhibited the target gene expressions such as E2F3, Bcl-2, c-myc and cyclin D1. More importantly, the in vivo systemic administration of the developed targeting miR-34a delivery systems in a pancreatic cancer model significantly inhibited tumor growth and induced cancer cell apoptosis. Such bifunctional peptide-conjugated miRNA-delivering nanocomplexes should have great potential applications in cancer therapy.

Klink JC, Tewari AK, Masko EM, et al.
Resveratrol worsens survival in SCID mice with prostate cancer xenografts in a cell-line specific manner, through paradoxical effects on oncogenic pathways.
Prostate. 2013; 73(7):754-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Resveratrol increases lifespan and decreases the risk of many cancers. We hypothesized resveratrol will slow the growth of human prostate cancer xenografts.
METHODS: SCID mice were fed Western diet (40% fat, 44% carbohydrate, 16% protein by kcal). One week later, human prostate cancer cells, either LAPC-4 (151 mice) or LNCaP (94 mice) were injected subcutaneously. Three weeks after injection, LAPC-4 mice were randomized to Western diet (control group), Western diet plus resveratrol 50 mg/kg/day, or Western diet plus resveratrol 100 mg/kg/day. The LNCaP mice were randomized to Western diet or Western diet plus resveratrol 50 mg/kg/day. Mice were sacrificed when tumors reached 1,000 mm(3). Survival differences among groups were assessed using Cox proportional hazards. Serum insulin and IGF axis were assessed using ELISAs. Gene expression was analyzed using Affymetrix gene arrays.
RESULTS: Compared to control in the LAPC-4 study, resveratrol was associated with decreased survival (50 mg/kg/day--HR 1.53, P = 0.04; 100 mg/kg/day--HR 1.22, P = 0.32). In the LNCaP study, resveratrol did not change survival (HR 0.77, P = 0.22). In combined analysis of both resveratrol 50 mg/kg/day groups, IGF-1 was decreased (P = 0.05) and IGFBP-2 was increased (P = 0.01). Resveratrol induced different patterns of gene expression changes in each xenograft model, with upregulation of oncogenic pathways E2F3 and beta-catenin in LAPC-4 tumors.
CONCLUSION: Resveratrol was associated with significantly worse survival with LAPC-4 tumors, but unchanged survival with LNCaP. Based on these preliminary data that resveratrol may be harmful, caution should be advised in using resveratrol for patients until further studies can be conducted.

Niini T, Scheinin I, Lahti L, et al.
Homozygous deletions of cadherin genes in chondrosarcoma-an array comparative genomic hybridization study.
Cancer Genet. 2012; 205(11):588-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chondrosarcoma is a malignant bone tumor that is often resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We applied high resolution oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization to 46 tumor specimens from 44 patients with chondrosarcoma and identified several genes with potential importance for the development of chondrosarcoma. Several homozygous deletions were detected. The tumor suppressor genes CDKN2A and MTAP were each homozygously deleted in four of the cases, and the RB1 gene was homozygously deleted in one. Two homozygous deletions of MTAP did not affect CDKN2A. Deletions were also found to affect genes of the cadherin family, including CDH4 and CDH7, each of which had a targeted homozygous loss in one case, and CDH19, which had a targeted homozygous loss in two cases. Loss of the EXT1 and EXT2 genes was uncommon; EXT1 was homozygously deleted in none and EXT2 in two of the cases, and large heterozygous losses including EXT1 and/or EXT2 were seen in three cases. Targeted gains and amplifications affected the MYC, E2F3, CDK6, PDGFRA, KIT, and PDGFD genes in one case each. The data indicate that chondrosarcomas develop through a combination of genomic imbalances that often affect the RB1 signaling pathway. The inactivation of cadherin genes may also be critical in the pathogenesis of the tumor.

Zhang W, Qian JX, Yi HL, et al.
The microRNA-29 plays a central role in osteosarcoma pathogenesis and progression.
Mol Biol (Mosk). 2012 Jul-Aug; 46(4):622-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer, with a peak incidence in the early childhood. The relationship between microRNAs (miRNAs) and cancer development attracted more and more attention over the last few years. Members of the miRNA-29 family, including miRNA-29a, miRNA-29b, and miRNA-29c were shown to participate in the development of rhabdomyosarcoma and hepatocarcinogenesis. Here, it has been demonstrated miRNA-29a and miRNA-29b expression levels to be downregulated in most of the osteosarcoma tissues (23 from 30). Besides, miRNA-29a displayed ability to induce apoptosis in both U2OS and SAOS-2 osteoblastic cells. While miRNA-29 members induced apoptosis through p53 gene activation, the effect of miRNA-29a on osteoblastic cells was independent on p53 expression level. Moreover, Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 were earlier demonstrated to be the direct targets of miRNA-29 in many types of cancer tissues and cancers. In both U2OS and SAOS-2 osteoblastic cell types, overexpression of miRNA-29a also downregulated Bcl-2 and Mcl-1, while silencing of miRNA-29a increased their expression. In addition, enhanced expression of miRNA-29a increased the expression of two tumor suppressor genes, E2F1 and E2F3. In summary, data obtained highlight the role of miRNA-29a in the regulation of osteoblastic cell apoptosis by silencing Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 and inducing E2F1 and E2F3 expression.

Li L, Xie X, Luo J, et al.
Targeted expression of miR-34a using the T-VISA system suppresses breast cancer cell growth and invasion.
Mol Ther. 2012; 20(12):2326-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Recurrence and metastasis result in a poor prognosis for breast cancer patients. Recent studies have demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in the development and metastasis of breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of miR-34a in breast cancer. We found that miR-34a is downregulated in breast cancer cell lines and tissues, compared with normal cell lines and the adjacent nontumor tissues, respectively. To explore the therapeutic potential of miR-34a, we designed a targeted miR-34a expression plasmid (T-VISA-miR-34a) using the T-VISA system, and evaluated its antitumor effects, efficacy, mechanism of action, and systemic toxicity. T-VISA-miR-34a induced robust, persistent expression of miR-34a, and dramatically suppressed breast cancer cell growth, migration, and invasion in vitro by downregulating the protein expression levels of the miR-34a target genes E2F3, CD44, and SIRT1. In an orthotopic mouse model of breast cancer, intravenous injection of T-VISA-miR-34a:liposomal complex nanoparticles significantly inhibited tumor growth, prolonged survival, and did not induce systemic toxicity. In conclusion, T-VISA-miR-34a lead to robust, specific overexpression of miR-34a in breast cancer cells and induced potent antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. T-VISA-miR-34a may provide a potentially useful, specific, and safe-targeted therapeutic approach for breast cancer.

Vimala K, Sundarraj S, Sujitha MV, Kannan S
Curtailing overexpression of E2F3 in breast cancer using siRNA (E2F3)-based gene silencing.
Arch Med Res. 2012; 43(6):415-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The E2F3 transcription factor claims its role in controlling cell cycle progression. As reported earlier, nuclear E2F3 overexpression leads to development of bladder and prostate cancer in humans. Accordingly, the present investigation has been designed to assess to what extent E2F3 would be overexpressed in breast cancer. The aim of this study was to emphasize that the levels of E2F3 are increased in breast cancer and highlights the efficacy of siRNA targeted to E2F3.
METHODS: To investigate the expression level of E2F3 and the progression of breast tumors, quantitative real-time PCR analysis was carried out. Western blotting analysis was performed to measure its counterparts, namely, E2F3a and E2F3b.
RESULTS: In the novel axis of E2F3, a large set of 11 breast cancer cell lines were identified to have the property of overexpression. Furthermore, the small interfering RNA (siRNA) developed against E2F3 significantly blocked the expression of the E2F3 in the selected breast cancer cell lines. Thus, the present findings authenticate the efficiency of siRNA (E2F3) to fight against breast cancer; hence, the siRNA mediated E2F3 gene silencing knockdown the E2F3.
CONCLUSIONS: This in vitro study demonstrates that E2F3 is a newly identified diagnostic and potential therapeutic target in breast cancer. Outcomes of this study affirm that siRNA for E2F3 facilitates the silencing of E2F3 overexpression and fights against breast cancer. Therefore, it plays a vital role as an alternative for diagnosis and clinical outcome for the treatment of breast cancer.

Wu CC, Yang TY, Yu CT, et al.
p53 negatively regulates Aurora A via both transcriptional and posttranslational regulation.
Cell Cycle. 2012; 11(18):3433-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
p53 plays an important role in mitotic checkpoint, but what its role is remains enigmatic. Aurora A is a Ser/Thr kinase involved in correcting progression of mitosis. Here, we show that p53 is a negative regulator for Aurora A. We found that p53 deficiency leads to Aurora A elevation. Ectopic expression of p53 or DNA damage-induced expression of p53 can suppress the expression of Aurora A. Mechanistic studies show that p53 is a negative regulator for Aurora A expression through both transcriptional and posttranslational regulation. p53 knockdown in cancer cells reduces the level of p21, which, in turn, increases the activity of CDK2 followed by induction of Rb1 hyperphosphorylation and its dissociation with transcriptional factor E2F3. E2F3 can bind to Aurora A gene promoter, potentiating Aurora A gene expression and p53 deficiency, enhancing the binding of E2F3 on Aurora A promoter. Also, p53 deficiency leads to decelerating Aurora A's turnover rate, due to the fact that p53 deficiency causes the downregulation of Fbw7α, a component of E3 ligase of Aurora A. Consistently, p53 knockdown-mediated Aurora A elevation is mitigated when Fbw7α is ectopically expressed. Thus, p53-mediated Aurora A degradation requires Fbw7α expression. Significantly, inverse correlation between p53 and Aurora A elevation is translated into the deregulation of centrosome amplification. p53 knockdown leads to high percentages of cells with abnormal amplification of centrosome. These data suggest that p53 is an important negative regulator of Aurora A, and that loss of p53 in many types of cancer could lead to abnormal elevation of Aurora A and dysregulated mitosis, which provides a growth advantage for cancer cells.

Smith NL, Welcsh P, Press JZ, et al.
E2F3b over-expression in ovarian carcinomas and in BRCA1 haploinsufficient fallopian tube epithelium.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012; 51(11):1054-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously shown that the E2F3 oncogene is up-regulated as part of a "preneoplastic expression profile" in fallopian tube epithelium (FTE) of women with BRCA1 mutations. We studied E2F3 expression in FTE and carcinomas of women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations or wildtype for both genes. Significantly more foci of TP53 positive cells in histologically normal FTE from women with BRCA1 mutations but not in wildtype or BRCA2 mutated individuals had E2F3 protein overexpression relative to adjacent normal FTE, which occurred in the context of focally increased proliferation, potentially explaining the increased neoplastic potential of tubal TP53 foci in women with BRCA1 mutations. To assess mechanisms of E2F3 deregulation in ovarian or tubal carcinogenesis, we studied E2F3 and its two isoforms E2F3a and E2F3b in wild-type ovarian carcinomas and ovarian carcinomas associated with germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. The expression of E2F3b, but not E2F3a, was correlated with the expression of BRCA1 in all three genetic groups. In primary cultures of FTE from women with BRCA1 mutation or wildtype for BRCA1 and BRCA2, siRNA-induced BRCA1 deficiency led to increased E2F3b but not E2F3a expression. Our results suggest that E2F3b and BRCA1 are functionally connected, and BRCA1 haploinsufficiency in normal FTE may lead to up-regulation of E2F3b and increased proliferation before the development of intraepithelial neoplasia. These data support that E2F3b up-regulation is an important preneoplastic event in FTE from BRCA1 mutation carriers.

Lindgren D, Sjödahl G, Lauss M, et al.
Integrated genomic and gene expression profiling identifies two major genomic circuits in urothelial carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e38863 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Similar to other malignancies, urothelial carcinoma (UC) is characterized by specific recurrent chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations. However, the interconnection between specific genomic alterations, and how patterns of chromosomal alterations adhere to different molecular subgroups of UC, is less clear. We applied tiling resolution array CGH to 146 cases of UC and identified a number of regions harboring recurrent focal genomic amplifications and deletions. Several potential oncogenes were included in the amplified regions, including known oncogenes like E2F3, CCND1, and CCNE1, as well as new candidate genes, such as SETDB1 (1q21), and BCL2L1 (20q11). We next combined genome profiling with global gene expression, gene mutation, and protein expression data and identified two major genomic circuits operating in urothelial carcinoma. The first circuit was characterized by FGFR3 alterations, overexpression of CCND1, and 9q and CDKN2A deletions. The second circuit was defined by E3F3 amplifications and RB1 deletions, as well as gains of 5p, deletions at PTEN and 2q36, 16q, 20q, and elevated CDKN2A levels. TP53/MDM2 alterations were common for advanced tumors within the two circuits. Our data also suggest a possible RAS/RAF circuit. The tumors with worst prognosis showed a gene expression profile that indicated a keratinized phenotype. Taken together, our integrative approach revealed at least two separate networks of genomic alterations linked to the molecular diversity seen in UC, and that these circuits may reflect distinct pathways of tumor development.

Schreiber C, Vormbrock K, Ziebold U
Genes involved in the metastatic cascade of medullary thyroid tumours.
Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 878:217-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
The process of how a benign tumour turns invasive and capable to survive in distant organs remains poorly understood, despite the evidence that metastasis formation is the primary cause of cancer patient mortality. This ignorance is partly due to the lack of appropriate animal models from which to investigate this complex process. The retinoblastoma (Rb) tumour suppressor pathway (pRb/E2F) is mutated in almost all human tumours, and a number of laboratories have now established pRb- or E2F-deficient mouse models. Consistent with the role of mutation in retinoblastoma in cancer biology, Rb heterozygous mice are prone to develop tumours. Among the ensuing tumours, the medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTCs) have a lessened tendency to form secondary cancers and metastases. Intriguingly, if an E2f3 mutation is introduced in this genetic background, more aggressive MTCs develop, which metastasize more frequently. Gene chip microarrays, however, provide an unbiased approach for examining the genome-wide expression levels and enable identification of a large set of metastasis-enriched gene sets. The identified genes may simply represent putative markers of the disease stage. Alternatively, genes may be identified that causally determine a link to the onset of metastasis. We describe the use of gene chip microarrays for identification of putative markers enriched in metastatic mouse MTCs. The chapter details how the most promising candidates are verified using additional methods, such as quantitative real-time PCR. In this case, co-transfection of the E2F-transcription factor using a heterologous reporter gene system is suggestive of E2Fs directly regulating putative metastasis markers.

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