Gene Summary

Gene:FOLR1; folate receptor 1 (adult)
Aliases: FBP, FOLR
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the folate receptor family. Members of this gene family bind folic acid and its reduced derivatives, and transport 5-methyltetrahydrofolate into cells. This gene product is a secreted protein that either anchors to membranes via a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol linkage or exists in a soluble form. Mutations in this gene have been associated with neurodegeneration due to cerebral folate transport deficiency. Due to the presence of two promoters, multiple transcription start sites, and alternative splicing, multiple transcript variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:folate receptor alpha
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (11)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 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.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • ras Proteins
  • Folate Receptor 1
  • Gene Expression
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Reduced Folate Carrier Protein
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Folate Receptors, GPI-Anchored
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Cell Surface Receptors
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Substrate Specificity
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Telomere
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Guanine
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous
  • Up-Regulation
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Endometrioid Carcinoma
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Transcription Factors
  • Chromosome 11
  • KB Cells
  • Tumor Markers
  • Lung Cancer
  • Folic Acid
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: FOLR1 (cancer-related)

O'Shannessy DJ, Gustavson M, Chandrasekaran LK, et al.
Prognostic significance of FRA expression in epithelial cancers using AQUA(®) technology.
Biomark Med. 2013; 7(6):933-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Although agents that target FRA have advanced through clinical trials, comprehensive analyses of FRA expression in epithelial cancers compared with clinical variables and prognosis are limited.
MATERIALS & METHODS: FRA expression was examined in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer cohorts using AQUA(®) technology.
RESULTS: For the NSCLC cohort, FRA expression was significantly higher in adenocarcinoma samples (p < 0.001) than other histologies, and in females (p = 0.003) versus males. High FRA expression was significantly associated with better survival in NSCLC cases (p = 0.01) while significantly and independently associated with worse prognosis in endometrial (p < 0.001) and ovarian cancers (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: These studies confirm the prognostic value of FRA in multiple indications. The opposing prognostic effects observed may suggest differential biology.

Weber CJ, Müller S, Safley SA, et al.
Expression of functional folate receptors by human parathyroid cells.
Surgery. 2013; 154(6):1385-93; discussion 1393 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human pituitary adenomas express folate receptors (FR); therefore, we hypothesized that parathyroid (PT) tumors also might express FR, whereas normal human thyroids might not. The purpose of our study was to characterize the functionality of FRs on human PT tumors, with the goal of developing an imaging tool that would concentrate in PT more than in the thyroid.
METHODS: Human PTs and thyroids were evaluated for FR expression by immunohistochemistry. Expression of genes for FRα and FRβ was measured with the Illumina Human HT-12 Expression Bead Chips and verified by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Folate incorporation by PT cells versus normal thyroid cells was determined by incubation with (99m)Technetium ((99m)Tc)(CO)3-folate and (99m)Tc-Etarfolatide, and uptake was determined by gamma counting. Specific targeting of FRs was demonstrated by blocking with cold folate. A549 cells and Jurkat cells served as FR-negative controls, and KB cells and HeLa cells were FR-positive controls.
RESULTS: On immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, human PT cells expressed FRs, whereas human thyroid cells did not. The FRα gene was expressed in all PTs analyzed, and the FRβ gene was expressed by most. Uptake of (99m)Tc(CO)3-folate was increased in PT cells versus thyroid cells. There was dose-dependent uptake of (99m)Tc-etarfolatide, and uptake was inhibited by preincubation with cold folate, confirming FR-mediated binding.
CONCLUSION: This is the first report of the expression and functionality of FRs on human PT cells. These findings suggest that (99m)Tc-folate holds potential for localization of PT tumors preoperatively and their treatment.

Lv L, Xu YP, Zhao D, et al.
Mitogenic and oncogenic stimulation of K433 acetylation promotes PKM2 protein kinase activity and nuclear localization.
Mol Cell. 2013; 52(3):340-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alternative splicing of the PKM2 gene produces two isoforms, M1 and M2, which are preferentially expressed in adult and embryonic tissues, respectively. The M2 isoform is reexpressed in human cancer and has nonmetabolic functions in the nucleus as a protein kinase. Here, we report that PKM2 is acetylated by p300 acetyltransferase at K433, which is unique to PKM2 and directly contacts its allosteric activator, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP). Acetylation prevents PKM2 activation by interfering with FBP binding and promotes the nuclear accumulation and protein kinase activity of PKM2. Acetylation-mimetic PKM2(K433) mutant promotes cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. K433 acetylation is decreased by serum starvation and cell-cell contact, increased by cell cycle stimulation, epidermal growth factor (EGF), and oncoprotein E7, and enriched in breast cancers. Hence, K433 acetylation links cell proliferation and transformation to the switch of PKM2 from a cytoplasmic metabolite kinase to a nuclear protein kinase.

O'Shannessy DJ, Jackson SM, Twine NC, et al.
Gene expression analyses support fallopian tube epithelium as the cell of origin of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2013; 14(7):13687-703 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Folate receptor alpha (FOLR1/FRA) is reported to be overexpressed in epithelial ovarian cancers (EOC), especially the serous histotype. Further, while dysregulation of the folate-dependent 1-carbon cycle has been implicated in tumorogenesis, little is known relative to the potential mechanism of action of FOLR1 expression in these processes. We therefore investigated the expression of FOLR1, other folate receptors, and genes within the 1-carbon cycle in samples of EOC, normal ovary and fallopian tube on a custom TaqMan Low Density Array. Also included on this array were known markers of EOC such as MSLN, MUC16 and HE4. While few differences were observed in the expression profiles of genes in the 1-carbon cycle, genes previously considered to be overexpressed in EOC (e.g., FOLR1, MSLN, MUC16 and HE4) showed significantly increased expression when comparing EOC to normal ovary. However, when the comparator was changed to normal fallopian tube, these differences were abolished, supporting the hypothesis that EOC derives from fallopian fimbriae and, further, that markers previously considered to be upregulated or overexpressed in EOC are most likely not of ovarian origin, but fallopian in derivation. Our findings therefore support the hypothesis that the cell of origin of EOC is tubal epithelium.

Zhang MZ, Yu Y, Yu RN, et al.
Tracking the down-regulation of folate receptor-α in cancer cells through target specific delivery of quantum dots coupled with antisense oligonucleotide and targeted peptide.
Small. 2013; 9(24):4183-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Based on the multivalent binding capability of streptavidin (SA) to biotin, a multifunctional quantum dot probe (QD-(AS-ODN+p160)) coupled with antisense oligonucleotide (AS-ODN) and peptide p160 is designed for real-time tracking of targeted delivery of AS-ODN and regulation of folate receptor-α (hFR-α) in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Fluorescence spectra, capillary electrophoresis (CE) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) are used to characterize the conjugation of AS-ODN and p160 with quantum dots (QDs), DLS results confirm the well stability of the probe in aqueous media. Confocal imaging and quantitative flow cytometry show that QD-(AS-ODN+p160) is able to specifically target human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Low temperature and ATP depletion treatments reveal the cellular uptake of QD-(AS-ODN+p160) is energy-dependent, and the effects of inhibition agents and co-localization imaging further confirm the endocytic pathway is mainly receptor-mediated. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) shows the intracellular delivery and endosomal escape of QD probe along with incubation time extended. Two transfection concentrations of QD probe (10 nM and 50 nM) below half inhibitory concentration (IC50 ) value are chosen according to MTT assay. Real-time PCR shows at these two concentration cases the relative mRNA expression levels of hFR-α reduce to 72.5 ± 3.9% and 17.6 ± 1.0%, respectively. However, western blot and quantitative ELISA analysis show the expression level of hFR-α protein has a significant decrease only at 50 nM, indicating that gene silence is concentration-dependent. These results demonstrate that the QD-(AS-ODN+p160) probe not only achieves gene silence in a cell-specific manner but also achieves real-time tracking during AS-ODN intracellular delivery.

He Z, Yu Y, Zhang Y, et al.
Gene delivery with active targeting to ovarian cancer cells mediated by folate receptor alpha.
J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2013; 9(5):833-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Folate receptor alpha (FRalpha) is overexpressed on ovarian cancer cells and is a promising molecular target for ovarian cancer gene therapy, but there was still no related report. In this study, folate modified cationic liposomes (F-PEG-CLPs) for ovarian cancer gene delivery were developed for the first time. Folate-poly(ethylene glycol)-succinate-cholesterol (F-PEG-suc-Chol) was firstly synthesized and then used to prepare folate-targeted cationic liposomes/plasmid DNA complexes (F-targeted lipoplexes). F-targeted lipoplexes were prepared by post-insertion method, and displayed membrane structure by transmission electron microscopy observation with the diameter of 193 nm-200 nm and the zeta potential of 35 mV-38 mV. DNase degradation experiments showed that plasmid DNA could be effectively shielded by F-targeted lipoplexes in vitro. F-targeted lipoplexes could transfer gene into human ovarian carcinoma cell line SKOV-3, and 0.1% F-PEG-CLPs composed by DOTAP/Chol/mPEG-Chol/F-PEG-suc-Chol (50:45:5:0.1, molar ratio) had the highest transfection efficiency. The transfection activity of F-targeted lipoplexes could be competitively inhibited by free folic acid, demonstrating that folate-FRalpha interaction caused high transfection efficiency of F-targeted lipoplexes. The uptake mechanism of F-targeted lipoplexes was further validated on human oral carcinoma cell line KB and human liver carcinoma cell line HepG2. The concentration-dependent and time-dependent cytotoxicity of targeted material F-PEG-suc-Chol was observed by MTT assay on SKOV-3 cell and its application would not increase the cytotoxicity of F-targeted lipoplexes in SKOV-3 cells. All the data indicated that F-PEG-CLPs would be a promising gene vector targeting for ovarian cancer therapy.

Leung F, Dimitromanolakis A, Kobayashi H, et al.
Folate-receptor 1 (FOLR1) protein is elevated in the serum of ovarian cancer patients.
Clin Biochem. 2013; 46(15):1462-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy in North America. Although survival rates are high when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, this decreases exponentially in late-stage diagnoses. As such, there is a need for novel early detection biomarkers. Through an integrated approach to ovarian cancer biomarker discovery that combines proteomics with transcriptomics and bioinformatics, our laboratory has identified folate-receptor 1 (FOLR1) and Dickkopf-related protein 3 (Dkk-3) as putative biomarkers. The objective of this study was to measure the levels of FOLR1 and Dkk-3 in the serum of patients with ovarian cancer, benign gynecological conditions and healthy women.
DESIGN AND METHODS: FOLR1 and Dkk-3 were analyzed in serum of 100 ovarian cancer patients, 100 patients with benign gynecological conditions, and 100 healthy women using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). All specimens were analyzed in triplicate.
RESULTS: FOLR1 was significantly elevated in the serum of ovarian cancer patients compared to serum of both healthy controls (P<0.0001) and patients with benign gynecological conditions (P<0.0001). Furthermore, FOLR1 was strongly correlated with CA125 as both were elevated in the serous histotype and in late-stage disease. FOLR1 did not outperform CA125 in receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and there was no significant complementarity between the two markers. Dkk-3 was not significantly different between the three serum cohorts and was not correlated with CA125.
CONCLUSIONS: FOLR1 is a new biomarker for ovarian cancer which correlates closely with CA125. The role of FOLR1 in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer warrants further investigation.

Zee RY, Rose L, Chasman DI, Ridker PM
Genetic variation of fifteen folate metabolic pathway associated gene loci and the risk of incident head and neck carcinoma: the Women's Genome Health Study.
Clin Chim Acta. 2013; 418:33-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of folate metabolic pathway (FMP) in the pathogenesis of head and neck carcinoma (HNC). Whether the genetic variation within the FMP associated genes modulates HNC remains elusive. To date, prospective, epidemiological data on the relationship of FMP gene variation with the risk of HNC are sparse.
METHODS: The association between 203 tag-SNPs (tSNPs) of 15 FMP associated genes (CBS, BHMT, DHFR, FOLR1, FOLR2, FOLR3, MTHFR, MTR, MTRR, MTHFD1, RFC1, SHMT1, SLC19A1, TCN2, and TYMS) and incident HNC was investigated in 23,294 Caucasian female participants of the prospective Women's Genome Health Study. All were free of known cancer at baseline. During a 15-year follow-up period, 55 participants developed a first ever HNC. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between genotypes and HNC risk assuming an additive genetic model. Haplotype-block analysis was also performed.
RESULTS: A total of 11 tSNPs within DHFR, MTHFR, RFC1, and TYMS were associated with HNC risk (all p-uncorrected <0.050). Further investigation using the haplotype-block analysis revealed an association of several prespecified haplotypes of RFC1 with HNC risk (all p-uncorrected <0.050).
CONCLUSION: If corroborated in other large prospective studies, the present findings suggest that genetic variation within the folate metabolic pathway gene loci examined, in particular, the replication factor C-1 (RFC1) gene variation may influence HNC risk.

Siu MK, Kong DS, Chan HY, et al.
Paradoxical impact of two folate receptors, FRα and RFC, in ovarian cancer: effect on cell proliferation, invasion and clinical outcome.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e47201 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite being an essential vitamin, folate has been implicated to enhance tumor growth, as evidenced by reports on overexpression of folate receptor alpha (FRα) in carcinomas. The role of another folate transporter, reduced folate carrier (RFC), is largely unknown. This study investigated the roles of folate, FRα and RFC in ovarian cancers. We demonstrated FRα mRNA and protein overexpression and reduced RFC expression in association with FRα gene amplification and RFC promoter hypermethylation, respectively. FRα overexpression was associated with tumor progression while RFC expression incurred a favorable clinical outcome. Such reciprocal expression pattern was also observed in ovarian cancer cell lines. Folate was shown to promote cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro, and down-regulate E-cadherin expression. This effect was blocked after either stable knockdown of FRα or ectopic overexpression of RFC. This hitherto unreported phenomenon suggests that, RFC can serve as a balancing partner of FRα and confer a protective effect in patients with high FRα-expressing ovarian carcinomas, as evidenced by their prolonged overall and disease-free survivals. In conclusion, we report on the paradoxical impact of FRα (putative oncogenic) and RFC (putative tumor suppressive) in human malignancies. FRα and RFC may potentially be explored as therapeutic target or prognostic marker respectively. We recommend caution and additional research on folate supplements in cancer patients.

Kajiwara T, Matsushita K, Itoga S, et al.
SAP155-mediated c-myc suppressor far-upstream element-binding protein-interacting repressor splicing variants are activated in colon cancer tissues.
Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(2):149-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
The c-myc transcriptional suppressor, far-upstream element (FUSE)-binding protein (FBP)-interacting repressor (FIR), is alternatively spliced in colorectal cancer tissue (Matsushita et al., Cancer Res 2006). Recently, the knockdown of SAP155 pre-mRNA-splicing factor, a subunit of SF3b, was reported to disturb FIR pre-mRNA splicing and yield FIRΔexon2, an exon 2-spliced variant of FIR, which lacks c-myc repression activity. In the present study, novel splicing variants of FIR, Δ3 and Δ4, were also generated by SAP155 siRNA, and these variants were found to be activated in human colorectal cancer tissue. Furthermore, the expression levels of FIR variant mRNA were examined in the peripheral blood of colorectal cancer patients and healthy volunteers to assess its potency for tumor detection. As expected, circulating FIR variant mRNA in the peripheral blood of cancer patients were significantly overexpressed compared to that in healthy volunteers. In particular, the area under the receiving operating characteristic curve of FIR, FIRΔexon2 or FIRΔexon2/FIR, was greater than those of conventional carcinoembryonic antigen or carbohydrate antigen 19-9. In addition, FIRΔexon2 or FIR mRNA expression in the peripheral blood was significantly reduced after operative removal of colorectal tumors. Thus, circulating FIR and FIRΔexon2 mRNA are potential novel screening markers for colorectal cancer testing with conventional carcinoembryonic antigen and or carbohydrate antigen 19-9. Taken together, our results indicate that overexpression of FIR and its splicing variants in colorectal cancer directs feed-forward or addicted circuit c-myc transcriptional activation. Clinical implications for colorectal cancers of novel FIR splicing variants are also discussed in the present paper.

Larysz D, Zebracka-Gala J, Rudnik A, et al.
Expression of genes FOLR1, BAG1 and LAPTM4B in functioning and non-functioning pituitary adenomas.
Folia Neuropathol. 2012; 50(3):277-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The mechanism of pathogenesis of adenomas pituitary is still unknown; differences between pituitary cells of different origin are observed. Identification of genes specific to pituitary adenomas should give better understanding of differences in their response to therapy, especially to radiotherapy. The aim of our study was to independently validate differences in the expression of FOLR1, BAG1, LAPTM4B between functioning (FA) and non-functioning (NFA) pituitary adenomas reported by microarray-based studies.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Analysis of gene expression was performed by real-time quantitative PCR (QPCR) in 76 pituitary adenomas, 25 functioning and 51 non-functioning ones. The expression of the examined genes was normalized to the reference index, obtained by calculation of the geometric mean of reference genes expression: GUS-B, B2M, ACTB, EIF3S10, UBE2D2 and ATP6V1E.
RESULTS: Two genes showed significant differences in expression between non-functioning adenomas and functioning ones (FA) (FOLR1 32.4 x greater p = 0.022, BAG1 2.2 x lower p = 0.0002). The expression of LAPTM4B (1.1 x lower) was only insignificantly changed. The expression of FOLR1 in all tumours (functioning and non-functioning) was higher in older patients (over 50 years of age) (p = 0.018). Expression of BAG1 was significantly lower in older patients (p = 0.015). In a subgroup of pure non-functioning adenomas there was a higher expression of FOLR1 in older patients (p = 0.006). Analysis of expression profiles and invasiveness of tumours did not reveal any significant differences both in non-functioning and functioning tumours.
CONCLUSIONS: Among pituitary adenomas, the highest level of expression FOLR1 is seen in NFA which are negative by immunohistochemistry to all pituitary hormones while GH-producing adenomas are the only class of pituitary tumours where FOLR1 expression is virtually absent. For BAG1 we confirm a significantly higher expression in functioning (both PRL and GH producing) adenomas than non-functioning ones, while LAPTM4B does not exhibit any expression changes between different classes of pituitary tumours.

Stordal B, Hamon M, McEneaney V, et al.
Resistance to paclitaxel in a cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell line is mediated by P-glycoprotein.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e40717 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The IGROVCDDP cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell line is also resistant to paclitaxel and models the resistance phenotype of relapsed ovarian cancer patients after first-line platinum/taxane chemotherapy. A TaqMan low-density array (TLDA) was used to characterise the expression of 380 genes associated with chemotherapy resistance in IGROVCDDP cells. Paclitaxel resistance in IGROVCDDP is mediated by gene and protein overexpression of P-glycoprotein and the protein is functionally active. Cisplatin resistance was not reversed by elacridar, confirming that cisplatin is not a P-glycoprotein substrate. Cisplatin resistance in IGROVCDDP is multifactorial and is mediated in part by the glutathione pathway and decreased accumulation of drug. Total cellular glutathione was not increased. However, the enzyme activity of GSR and GGT1 were up-regulated. The cellular localisation of copper transporter CTR1 changed from membrane associated in IGROV-1 to cytoplasmic in IGROVCDDP. This may mediate the previously reported accumulation defect. There was decreased expression of the sodium potassium pump (ATP1A), MRP1 and FBP which all have been previously associated with platinum accumulation defects in platinum-resistant cell lines. Cellular localisation of MRP1 was also altered in IGROVCDDP shifting basolaterally, compared to IGROV-1. BRCA1 was also up-regulated at the gene and protein level. The overexpression of P-glycoprotein in a resistant model developed with cisplatin is unusual. This demonstrates that P-glycoprotein can be up-regulated as a generalised stress response rather than as a specific response to a substrate. Mechanisms characterised in IGROVCDDP cells may be applicable to relapsed ovarian cancer patients treated with frontline platinum/taxane chemotherapy.

Nunez MI, Behrens C, Woods DM, et al.
High expression of folate receptor alpha in lung cancer correlates with adenocarcinoma histology and EGFR [corrected] mutation.
J Thorac Oncol. 2012; 7(5):833-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Folate receptor alpha (FRα) and reduced folate carrier-1 (RFC1) regulate uptake of folate molecules inside the cell. FRα is a potential biomarker of tumors response to antifolate chemotherapy, and a target for therapies using humanized monocloncal antibody. Information on the protein expression of these receptors in non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is limited.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Expressions of FRα and RFC1 were examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 320 surgically resected NSCLC (202 adenocarcinomas and 118 squamous cell carcinomas) tissue specimens and correlated with patients' clinico-pathologic characteristics. Folate receptor α gene (FOLR1) mRNA expression was examined using publicly available microarray datasets. FRα expression was correlated with thymidylate synthase and p53 expression in NSCLCs, and with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral (KRAS) gene mutations in adenocarcinomas.
RESULTS: NSCLC overexpressed FRα and RFC1. In a multivariate analysis, lung adenocarcinomas were more likely to express FRα in the cytoplasm (OR = 4.39; p < 0.0001) and membrane (OR = 5.34; p < 0.0001) of malignant cells than squamous cell carcinomas. Tumors from never-smokers were more likely to express cytoplasmic (OR = 3.35; p<0.03) and membrane (OR = 3.60; p=0.0005) FRα than those from smokers. In adenocarcinoma, EGFR mutations correlated with higher expression of membrane FRα and FOLR1 gene expressions. High levels of FRα expression was detected in 42 NSCLC advanced metastatic tumor tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: FRα and RFC1 proteins are overexpressed in NSCLC tumor tissues. The high levels of FRα in lung adenocarcinomas may be associated to these tumors' better responses to antifolate chemotherapy and represents a potential novel target for this tumor type.

O'Shannessy DJ, Yu G, Smale R, et al.
Folate receptor alpha expression in lung cancer: diagnostic and prognostic significance.
Oncotarget. 2012; 3(4):414-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
With the advent of targeted therapies directed towards folate receptor alpha, with several such agents in late stage clinical development, the sensitive and robust detection of folate receptor alpha in tissues is of importance relative to patient selection and perhaps prognosis and prediction of response. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the expression of folate receptor alpha in non-small cell lung cancer specimens to determine its frequency of expression and its potential for prognosis. The distribution of folate receptor alpha expression in normal tissues as well as its expression and relationship to non-small cell lung cancer subtypes was assessed by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays and fine needle aspirates and an optimized manual staining method using the recently developed monoclonal antibody 26B3. The association between folate receptor alpha expression and clinical outcome was also evaluated on a tissue microarray created from formalin fixed paraffin embedded specimens from patients with surgically resected lung adenocarcinoma. Folate receptor alpha expression was shown to have a high discriminatory capacity for lung adenocarcinomas versus squamous cell carcinomas. While 74% of adenocarcinomas were positive for folate receptor alpha expression, our results found that only 13% of squamous cell carcinomas were FRA positive (p<0.0001). In patients with adenocarcinoma that underwent surgical resection, increased folate receptor alpha expression was associated with improved overall survival (Hazard Ratio 0.39, 95% CI 0.18-0.85). These data demonstrate the diagnostic relevance of folate receptor alpha expression in non-small cell lung cancer as determined by immunohistochemistry and suggest that determination of folate receptor alpha expression provides prognostic information in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

Ziebarth AJ, Landen CN, Alvarez RD
Molecular/genetic therapies in ovarian cancer: future opportunities and challenges.
Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2012; 55(1):156-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic cancer. Traditional therapies have included surgical management and cytotoxic chemotherapy; however, treatment paradigms continue to shift from empiric cytotoxic chemotherapy to more individualized treatment. Recent research efforts have focused on determining and targeting the molecular biological mechanisms of ovarian cancer in an attempt to develop novel therapeutic modalities with the ultimate goal of improving outcome while limiting toxicity. This chapter reviews progress in the development of novel therapies directed at major pathways implicated in ovarian tumorigenesis including angiogenesis, PARP inhibition, signal transduction, antifolate therapies, death receptor-mediated therapies, histone deacetylase inhibition, immunotherapeutics, and oncolytics.

Jwala J, Vadlapatla RK, Vadlapudi AD, et al.
Differential expression of folate receptor-alpha, sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter, and amino acid transporter (B (0, +)) in human retinoblastoma (Y-79) and retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cell lines.
J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2012; 28(3):237-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The overall objective of this study was to investigate the differential expression of folate receptor-alpha (FR-α), sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT), and amino acid transporter [B ((0, +))] in retinoblastoma (Y-79) and retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells.
METHODS: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was performed to confirm the existence of FR-α, SMVT, and B ((0, +)) in Y-79 and ARPE-19 cell lines. Quantitative real-time PCR was also performed to determine the relative expression of FR-α, SMVT, and B ((0, +)) at mRNA level in these cell lines. Quantitative uptake of [(3)H] Folic acid, [(3)H] Biotin, and [(14)C] Arginine was studied in Y-79 and ARPE-19 cells. Further, saturation kinetics of [(3)H] Folic acid, [(3)H] Biotin, and [(14)C] Arginine was performed in the presence of various concentrations of respective cold substrates to determine the kinetic parameters (K(m) and V(max)) in Y-79 and ARPE-19 cells.
RESULTS: PCR analysis had confirmed the existence of FR-α, SMVT, and B ((0, +)) in Y-79 and ARPE-19 cells. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis had shown significantly higher expression of FR-α, SMVT, and B ((0, +)) mRNA levels in Y-79 cells compared with ARPE-19 cells. Quantitative uptake of [(3)H] Folic acid, [(3)H] Biotin, and [(14)C] Arginine was found to be significantly higher in Y-79 cells relative to ARPE-19 cells. [(3)H] Folic acid uptake process followed saturation kinetics with apparent K(m) of 8.29 nM and V(max) of 393.47 fmol/min/mg protein in Y-79 cells and K(m) of 80.55 nM and V(max) of 491.86 fmol/min/mg protein in ARPE-19 cells. [(3)H] Biotin uptake process also displayed saturation kinetics with K(m) of 8.53 μM and V(max) of 14.12 pmol/min/mg protein in Y-79 cells and K(m) of 138.25 μM and V(max) of 38.85 pmol/min/mg protein in ARPE-19 cells. [(14)C] Arginine uptake process followed saturation kinetics with K(m) of 16.77 μM and V(max) of 348.27 pmol/min/mg protein in Y-79 cells and K(m) of 52.03 μM and V(max) of 379.21 pmol/min/mg protein in ARPE-19 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrated for the first time the higher expression and affinity of FR-α, SMVT, and B ((0, +)) mRNA levels in retinoblastoma (Y-79) cells compared with retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells.

Ayala-Breton C, Barber GN, Russell SJ, Peng KW
Retargeting vesicular stomatitis virus using measles virus envelope glycoproteins.
Hum Gene Ther. 2012; 23(5):484-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has potent antitumor activity, but infects a broad range of cell types. Here, we used the measles virus (MV) hemagglutinin (H) and fusion (F) envelope glycoproteins to redirect VSV entry and infection specifically to tumor-associated receptors. Replication-defective VSV, deleted of its glycoprotein gene (VSVΔG), was pseudotyped with MV-F and MV-H displaying single-chain antibodies (scFv) specific for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), folate receptor (FR), or prostate membrane-specific antigen (PSMA). Viral titers were ∼10(5) PFU/ml, but could be concentrated to 10(7) PFU/ml. Immunoblotting confirmed incorporation of the MV-H-scFv and MV-F into functional VSV virions. Although VSV-G was able to infect all tumor cell lines tested, the retargeted VSV infected only cells that expressed the targeted receptor. In vivo specificities of the EGFR-, FR-, and PSMA-retargeted VSV were assessed by intratumoral injection into human tumor xenografts. Analysis of green fluorescent protein reporter gene expression indicated that VSV infection was restricted to receptor-positive tumors. In summary, we have demonstrated for the first time that VSV can be efficiently retargeted to different cellular receptors using the measles display technology, yielding retargeted VSV vectors that are highly specific for tumors that express the relevant receptor.

Naik PK, Lopus M, Aneja R, et al.
In silico inspired design and synthesis of a novel tubulin-binding anti-cancer drug: folate conjugated noscapine (Targetin).
J Comput Aided Mol Des. 2012; 26(2):233-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our screen for tubulin-binding small molecules that do not depolymerize bulk cellular microtubules, but based upon structural features of well known microtubule-depolymerizing colchicine and podophyllotoxin, revealed tubulin binding anti-cancer property of noscapine (Ye et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95:2280-2286, 1998). Guided by molecular modelling calculations and structure-activity relationships we conjugated at C9 of noscapine, a folate group-a ligand for cellular folate receptor alpha (FRα). FRα is over-expressed on some solid tumours such as ovarian epithelial cancers. Molecular docking experiments predicted that a folate conjugated noscapine (Targetin) accommodated well inside the binding cavity (docking score -11.295 kcal/mol) at the interface between α- and β-tubulin. The bulky folate moiety of Targetin is extended toward lumen of microtubules. The binding free energy (ΔG (bind)) computed based on molecular mechanics energy minimization was -221.01 kcal/mol that revealed favourable interaction of Targetin with the receptor. Chemical synthesis, tubulin-binding experiments, and anti-cancer activity in vitro corroborate fully well with the molecular modelling experiments. Targetin binds tubulin with a dissociation constant (K (d) value) of 149 ± 3.0 μM and decreases the transition frequencies between growth and shortening phases of microtubule assembly dynamics at concentrations that do not alter the total polymer mass. Cancer cells in general were more sensitive to Targetin compared with the founding compound noscapine (IC(50) in the range of 15-40 μM). Quite strikingly, ovarian cancer cells (SKOV3 and A2780), known to overexpress FRα, were much more sensitive to targetin (IC(50) in the range of 0.3-1.5 μM).

Hou J, Lambers M, den Hamer B, et al.
Expression profiling-based subtyping identifies novel non-small cell lung cancer subgroups and implicates putative resistance to pemetrexed therapy.
J Thorac Oncol. 2012; 7(1):105-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: A challenge of cancer therapy is to optimize therapeutical options to individual patients. Cancers with similar histology may show dramatically different responses to therapy, indicating that a refined approach needs to be developed to classify tumors by intrinsic characteristics that may predict response to chemotherapy. Global expression profile-based classification has the potential to identify such tumor-intrinsic subclasses. Pemetrexed effectiveness has been related to the expression of its target thymidylate synthase. The relatively frequent resistance of squamous cell carcinoma to Pemetrexed is correlated with high levels of thymidylate synthase expression.
METHODS: A global expression profile-based molecular classification of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was performed. Gene expression was used to predict Pemetrexed responsiveness. The distinct molecular attributes of NSCLCs predicted likely to be resistant to Pemetrexed were bioinformatically characterized. We tested if routine immunohistochemical markers can be used to distinguish putative Pemetrexed responders, predicted by gene signatures, from nonresponders.
RESULTS: Ninety NSCLCs were divided into six subclasses by gene expression signatures. The relevance of this novel phenotyping was linked to other tumor characteristics. Two of the subclasses correlated to putative Pemetrexed resistance. In addition, the identified signature genes characterizing putative Pemetrexed responsiveness predicted therapeutic benefit in a subset of squamous cell carcinoma.
CONCLUSIONS: Gene expression signatures can be used to identify NSCLC subgroups and have potential to predict resistance to Pemetrexed therapy. We suggest that a combination of classical pathological markers can be used to identify molecular tumor subclasses associated with predicted Pemetrexed response.

Li W, Tan G, Ma Y, et al.
Inhibition of α folate receptor resulting in a reversal of taxol resistance in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012; 146(2):250-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To further determine the role of FOLR1 in taxol resistance of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and whether inhibition of FOLR1 expression reverses the taxol-resistant phenotype.
STUDY DESIGN: Correlation study between gene expression and cancer cell survival.
SETTING: University hospital.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Three taxol-resistant sub-cell lines with a different resistant index were established from the parental CNE-1 NPC cell line. The correlation between FOLR1 expression and taxol sensitivity was statistically analyzed. Inhibition of FOLR1 expression was carried out by RNA interference and by a FOLR1-specific monoclonal antibody, and taxol sensitivity was examined by colony formation assays. FOLR1 expression was also examined in 72 NPC patient specimens by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: The levels of FOLR1 expression were positively and significantly correlated with a taxol resistance phenotype (P < .05). Inhibition of FOLR1 expression resulted in a significantly increased sensitivity of taxol to taxol-resistant NPC cells (P < .05). An increase of FOLR1 expression by gene transfection caused a taxol-resistant phenotype in parental NPC cells. The level of FOLR1 expression was found to be related to clinical stage in NPC tissue samples.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that FOLR1 plays an important role in taxol resistance of NPC cells.

D'Angelica M, Ammori J, Gonen M, et al.
Folate receptor-α expression in resectable hepatic colorectal cancer metastases: patterns and significance.
Mod Pathol. 2011; 24(9):1221-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Folate receptor alpha (FRα), encoded by folate receptor 1 (adult) gene, has emerged as a cancer biomarker and potential therapeutic target. In addition, its expression in tumors may offer prognostic information. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of FRα expression and other common molecular markers in resected liver metastases from colorectal cancer. To maximize potential biological differences, we selected two groups of patients with markedly different outcomes as study subjects. Immunohistochemical analysis of FRα expression and other common markers (thymidylate synthase, p53, p27, BCL2, ki67, MLH1, MSH2 and MGMT) on tissue microarrays was carried out on samples from 160 patients; 56 patients survived at least 10 years following liver resection, and 104 died within 2 years of surgery. These markers were evaluated and compared with standard clinical predictors of outcome including a previously validated clinical risk score. Our results showed that in addition to known clinical risk factors, FRα positivity was significantly associated with the early death group (32% compared with 13%; P=0.03). None of the other common molecular markers were differentially expressed between the two groups. On multivariate analysis, clinical risk score, margin status and FRα expression were independently associated with outcome. Specific multivariate comparisons confirmed that FRα expression was associated with outcome independent of the clinical risk score and margin. These data demonstrate that FRα expression is present in a subset of resected hepatic colorectal cancer metastases, and this marker is independently associated with survival after hepatic resection. The prognostic value of FRα expression and the utility of FRα-targeted therapies in stage-IV colorectal cancer patients deserve further exploration.

Brauckhoff A, Malz M, Tschaharganeh D, et al.
Nuclear expression of the ubiquitin ligase seven in absentia homolog (SIAH)-1 induces proliferation and migration of liver cancer cells.
J Hepatol. 2011; 55(5):1049-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Differential expression of tumor-relevant proteins based on aberrant proteasomal degradation may contribute to human (hepato)carcinogenesis. Recently, we identified the E3 ubiquitin ligase seven in absentia homolog (SIAH)-1 as frequently dysregulated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We therefore systematically analyzed the expression, functional relevance, as well as possible downstream effectors of SIAH-1 in human liver carcinogenesis.
METHODS: SIAH-1 expression was analyzed at the transcript and protein levels in human hepatocarcinogenesis and in HCC cells. Proliferation, apoptosis, and migration of different HCC cell lines were examined after siRNA-mediated inhibition of SIAH-1. In order to identify downstream effectors that mediate SIAH-1 effects, correlative analyses of protein expression profiles were performed.
RESULTS: In HCC tissues both reduction of cytoplasmic SIAH-1 and especially its nuclear accumulation positively correlated with HCC progression. RNA interference revealed that nuclear expression of SIAH-1 predominantly supported HCC cell proliferation and migration while only moderately affecting anti-apoptosis. In de-differentiated human HCCs, nuclear SIAH-1 accumulation significantly correlated with the expression of the transcription factor far-upstream element (FUSE)-binding protein (FBP)-3. In vitro, SIAH-1 positively and indirectly regulated FBP-3 which itself primarily supported HCC cell proliferation. Indeed, high level expression of FBP-3 in human HCCs significantly correlated with reduced overall survival of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Nuclear accumulation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SIAH-1 supports different pro-tumorigenic cellular processes associated with tumor growth and tumor cell dissemination in human hepatocarcinogenesis. It promotes HCC cell proliferation by at least partly employing the transcription factor FBP-3. Therefore, interference with SIAH-1 activity represents a promising approach to suppress HCC growth.

Ross TL, Honer M, Müller C, et al.
A new 18F-labeled folic acid derivative with improved properties for the PET imaging of folate receptor-positive tumors.
J Nucl Med. 2010; 51(11):1756-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The folate receptor is a proven target for folate-based diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Several folic acid conjugates have been developed as radiopharmaceuticals, but a suitable (18)F-labeled folic acid derivative for routine clinical use is still lacking. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of 2'-(18)F-fluorofolic acid as a PET agent for folate receptor-positive tumors.
METHODS: The binding affinity of the cold reference compound 2'-fluorofolic acid was determined by in vitro displacement assays using human folate receptor-positive KB cells and (3)H-folic acid. (18)F labeling of 2'-fluorofolic acid was accomplished via a direct nucleophilic aromatic substitution of N(2)-(N,N-dimethylamino-methylene)-2'-nitrofolic acid di-tert-butylester followed by acidic cleavage of the amino and carboxylic protecting groups. The new radiofolate was evaluated in nude mice bearing KB tumor xenografts under control and blocking conditions. Animals were either scanned from 75 to 105 min after injection of the radiotracer or sacrificed 75 min after injection for ex vivo biodistribution studies.
RESULTS: 2'-fluorofolic acid showed a high binding affinity (inhibition constant, 1.8 ± 0.1 nM) for the folate receptor. Direct aromatic (18)F labeling of 2'-fluorofolic acid was achieved within 80 min via a convenient 2-step procedure in satisfactory radiochemical yields. The new radiotracer exhibited excellent pharmacokinetics with fast renal clearance and only moderate hepatobiliary elimination. Uptake of 2'-(18)F-fluorofolic acid in folate receptor-positive KB tumors was high and specific, allowing a clear-cut visualization by PET.
CONCLUSION: 2'-(18)F-fluorofolic acid, obtained via an integrated approach, is a promising PET agent for folate receptor-positive tumors and outperforms previously reported (18)F-labeled folates.

Davidson B, Stavnes HT, Holth A, et al.
Gene expression signatures differentiate ovarian/peritoneal serous carcinoma from breast carcinoma in effusions.
J Cell Mol Med. 2011; 15(3):535-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian/primary peritoneal carcinoma and breast carcinoma are the gynaecological cancers that most frequently involve the serosal cavities.With the objective of improving on the limited diagnostic panel currently available for the differential diagnosis of these two malignancies,as well as to define tumour-specific biological targets, we compared their global gene expression patterns. Gene expression profiles of 10 serous ovarian/peritoneal and eight ductal breast carcinoma effusions were analysed using the HumanRef-8 BeadChip from Illumina.Differentially expressed candidate genes were validated using quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering using all 54,675 genes in the array separated ovarian from breast carcinoma samples. We identified 288 unique probes that were significantly differentially expressed in the two cancers by greater than 3.5-fold, of which 81 and 207 were overexpressed in breast and ovarian/peritoneal carcinoma, respectively. SAM analysis identified 1078 differentially expressed probes with false discovery rate less than 0.05. Genes overexpressed in breast carcinoma included TFF1, TFF3, FOXA1, CA12, GATA3, SDC1, PITX1, TH, EHFD1, EFEMP1, TOB1 and KLF2. Genes overexpressed in ovarian/peritoneal carcinoma included SPON1, RBP1, MFGE8, TM4SF12, MMP7, KLK5/6/7, FOLR1/3,PAX8, APOL2 and NRCAM. The differential expression of 14 genes was validated by quantitative real-time PCR, and differences in 5 gene products were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Expression profiling distinguishes ovarian/peritoneal carcinoma from breast carcinoma and identifies genes that are differentially expressed in these two tumour types. The molecular signatures unique to these cancers may facilitate their differential diagnosis and may provide a molecular basis for therapeutic target discovery.

Figueiredo JC, Levine AJ, Lee WH, et al.
Genes involved with folate uptake and distribution and their association with colorectal cancer risk.
Cancer Causes Control. 2010; 21(4):597-608 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Folate status is an important predictor of colorectal cancer risk. Common genetic variants in genes involved in regulating cellular folate levels might also predict risk, but there are limited data on this issue. We conducted a family-based case-control association study of variants in four genes involved in folate uptake and distribution: FOLR1, FPGS, GGH and SLC19A1, using 1,750 population-based and 245 clinic-based cases of pathologically confirmed colorectal cancer and their unaffected relatives participating in the Colon Cancer Family Registries. Standardized questionnaires, administered to all participants, collected information on risk factors and diet. Standard molecular techniques were used to determine microsatellite instability (MSI) status on cases. tagSNPs (n = 29) were selected based on coverage as assessed by pairwise r2. We found no evidence that tagSNPs in these genes were associated with risk of colorectal cancer. For the SLC19A1-rs1051266 (G80A, Arg27His) missense polymorphism, the A/A genotype was not associated with risk of colorectal cancer using population-based (OR = 1.00; 95% CI = 0.81-1.23) or clinic-based (OR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.44-1.29) families compared to the G/A and G/G genotypes. We found no evidence that the association between any tagSNP and CRC risk was modified by multivitamin use, folic acid use and dietary folate intake and total folate intake. The odds ratios were similar, irrespective of MSI status, tumor subsite and family history of colorectal cancer. In conclusion, we found no significant evidence that genetic variants in FOLR1, GGH, FPGS and SLC19A1 are associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.

Jin M, Kawakami K, Fukui Y, et al.
Different histological types of non-small cell lung cancer have distinct folate and DNA methylation levels.
Cancer Sci. 2009; 100(12):2325-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant DNA methylation is a commonly observed epigenetic change in lung cancer. Folate has been suggested to play a role in the homeostasis of DNA methylation and has also been implicated in cancer chemotherapy. We investigated a possible role for folate in DNA methylation by measuring folate concentrations in tumors and adjacent normal tissues from 72 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. These were compared to DNA methylation levels and to clinicopathological features. Folate concentrations were determined as the sum of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate and tetrahydrofolate. The MethyLight assay was used to quantitate methylation in promoter regions of P16(CDKN2A), APC, CDH13, RARB, RASSF1, RUNX3, and MYOD1. Methylation of LINE-1 repeats was used as a surrogate for global methylation. Folate levels in tumors correlated positively with LINE-1, CDH13, and RUNX3 methylation. Folate concentrations and methylation of LINE-1, RASSF1, and RUNX3 were significantly higher in adenocarcinoma compared to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Two sets of array-based data retrieved from the Gene Expression Omnibus consistently showed that expression of FOLR1, a folate transport enzyme, and GGH, an enzyme that prevents folate retention, were higher and lower, respectively, in adenocarcinomas compared to SCC. This was independently validated by quantitative RT-PCR in 26 adenocarcinomas and 13 SCC. Our results suggest that folate metabolism plays a role in aberrant DNA methylation in NSCLC. The histological subtype differences in folate concentration and DNA methylation observed here were associated with distinct expression patterns for folate metabolizing enzymes. These findings may have clinical applications for histology-directed chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidine and anti-folates in NSCLC.

Banz C, Ungethuem U, Kuban RJ, et al.
The molecular signature of endometriosis-associated endometrioid ovarian cancer differs significantly from endometriosis-independent endometrioid ovarian cancer.
Fertil Steril. 2010; 94(4):1212-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether endometriosis-associated endometrioid cancer (EAOC) is a specific entity compared with endometrioid cancer not associated with endometriosis (OC).
DESIGN: Case-control study.
SETTING: University hospital research laboratory.
PATIENT(S): Seven patients with endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer EAOC and five patients each with OC, ovarian endometriosis, and benign ovaries.
INTERVENTION(S): Ovarian tissue samples were collected from surgical procedures.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): We hybridized cRNA samples to the Affymetrix HG-U133A microarray chip. Representative genes were validated by real time polymerase chain reaction.
RESULT(S): We identified two main groups of genes: The first group contained the genes SICA2, CCL14, and TDGF1. These genes were equally regulated in endometriosis and EAOC but not in OC and benign ovaries. The second group contained the genes StAR, SPINT1, Keratin 8, FoxM1B, FOLR1, CRABP1, and Claudin 7. They were equally regulated in EAOC and OC but not in ovarian endometriosis and benign ovaries.
CONCLUSION(S): That the first group is composed of the cytokines SICA2 and CCL14 and the growth factor TDGF1 indicates that the regulation of the autoimmune system and of inflammatory cytokines may be very important in the etiology of endometriosis and EAOC. That the second group is composed of genes that play a central role in cell-cell interaction, differentiation, and cell proliferation indicates that they may be important in the development of ovarian cancer in women with endometriosis.

Yuan Y, Nymoen DA, Dong HP, et al.
Expression of the folate receptor genes FOLR1 and FOLR3 differentiates ovarian carcinoma from breast carcinoma and malignant mesothelioma in serous effusions.
Hum Pathol. 2009; 40(10):1453-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of this study was to analyze the diagnostic and clinical role of the folate receptor-alpha (FOLR1) and folate receptor-gamma (FOLR3) genes in effusion cytology. Expression of the FOLR1 protein product, FR-alpha, was additionally studied. Ninety-one effusions (71 ovarian carcinomas, 10 breast carcinomas, 10 malignant mesotheliomas) were assayed for FOLR1 and FOLR3 gene expression using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. FR-alpha expression was analyzed using flow cytometry. Ovarian carcinoma expression levels were analyzed for association with clinicopathologic parameters and survival. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed significantly higher FOLR1and FOLR3 mRNA levels in ovarian carcinomas compared with both breast carcinomas and mesotheliomas (P < .001). FOLR1 and FOLR3 mRNA levels were directly interrelated in ovarian carcinoma (P < .001). FR-alpha protein levels were similarly higher in ovarian carcinoma compared with the 2 other cancer types (P < .001). FOLR1and FOLR3 mRNA and FR-alpha protein expression in ovarian carcinoma effusions showed no association with clinical parameters or survival. Our data suggest that folate receptor levels effectively differentiate ovarian carcinoma from other cancers affecting the serosal cavities and that folate receptor genes are coexpressed in this tumor. The high expression of folate receptors in ovarian carcinoma supports their validity as molecular therapeutic targets in this disease.

Matsushita K, Tomonaga T, Kajiwara T, et al.
c-myc suppressor FBP-interacting repressor for cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2009; 14:3401-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Based on the genetic background of cancer, we have been trying to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies against human cancers. c-myc gene activation has been detected in many human cancers, indicating a key role of c-myc in tumor development. Thus targeting c-myc gene suppression is a promising strategy for cancer treatment. Recently, an interaction between FIR (FUSE-Binding Protein-Interacting Repressor) and TFIIH/p89/XPB helicase was found to repress c-myc transcription and so might be important for suppressing tumor formation. Previously, we have shown that the expression of splicing variant of FIR is elevated in colorectal cancer tissues and promotes tumor development by disabling FIR-repression to sustain high levels of c-Myc, opposing apoptosis in cancer cells. In this study, FIR recombinant adenovirus vector induces tumor growth suppression against tumor xenografts in animal model experiment. Together, one clue to the development of cancer diagnosis and therapies directed against c-Myc may go through FIR and its splicing variant.

Jang M, Park BC, Kang S, et al.
Far upstream element-binding protein-1, a novel caspase substrate, acts as a cross-talker between apoptosis and the c-myc oncogene.
Oncogene. 2009; 28(12):1529-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Far upstream element-binding protein-1 (FBP-1) binds to an upstream element of the c-myc promoter and regulates the c-myc mRNA level. Earlier, FBP-1 was identified as a candidate substrate of caspase-7. Here, we report that FBP-1 is cleaved by executor caspases, both in vitro and during apoptosis. Cleavage occurs at the caspase consensus site (DQPD(74)) located within the classical bipartite nuclear localization signal sequence. In cells subjected to apoptotic stimuli, the caspase-mediated cleavage of FBP-1 leads to its decreased presence in the nucleus, concomitant with the marked downregulation of c-Myc and its various target proteins. By contrast, cells transfected with a non-cleavable mutant of FBP-1 (D74A) maintain higher levels of c-Myc and are protected from apoptosis. On the basis of these results, we suggest that the oncogenic potential of c-Myc is 'switched off' after apoptosis induction as a consequence of the caspase-mediated cleavage of FBP-1.

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