Gene Summary

Gene:FSCN1; fascin actin-bundling protein 1
Aliases: HSN, SNL, p55, FAN1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the fascin family of actin-binding proteins. Fascin proteins organize F-actin into parallel bundles, and are required for the formation of actin-based cellular protrusions. The encoded protein plays a critical role in cell migration, motility, adhesion and cellular interactions. Expression of this gene is known to be regulated by several microRNAs, and overexpression of this gene may play a role in the metastasis of multiple types of cancer by increasing cell motility. Expression of this gene is also a marker for Reed-Sternberg cells in Hodgkin's lymphoma. A pseudogene of this gene is located on the long arm of chromosome 15. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (18)

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.

  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Transfection
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Tumor Markers
  • Base Sequence
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • RT-PCR
  • RNA Interference
  • Chromosome 7
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Xenograft Models
  • Signal Transduction
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Stomach Cancer
  • siRNA
  • Phosphorylation
  • Gene Expression
  • Protein Transport
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Western Blotting
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Breast Cancer
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: FSCN1 (cancer-related)

Aoude LG, Pritchard AL, Robles-Espinoza CD, et al.
Nonsense mutations in the shelterin complex genes ACD and TERF2IP in familial melanoma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(2) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The shelterin complex protects chromosomal ends by regulating how the telomerase complex interacts with telomeres. Following the recent finding in familial melanoma of inactivating germline mutations in POT1, encoding a member of the shelterin complex, we searched for mutations in the other five components of the shelterin complex in melanoma families.
METHODS: Next-generation sequencing techniques were used to screen 510 melanoma families (with unknown genetic etiology) and control cohorts for mutations in shelterin complex encoding genes: ACD, TERF2IP, TERF1, TERF2, and TINF 2. Maximum likelihood and LOD [logarithm (base 10) of odds] analyses were used. Mutation clustering was assessed with χ(2) and Fisher's exact tests. P values under .05 were considered statistically significant (one-tailed with Yates' correction).
RESULTS: Six families had mutations in ACD and four families carried TERF2IP variants, which included nonsense mutations in both genes (p.Q320X and p.R364X, respectively) and point mutations that cosegregated with melanoma. Of five distinct mutations in ACD, four clustered in the POT1 binding domain, including p.Q320X. This clustering of novel mutations in the POT1 binding domain of ACD was statistically higher (P = .005) in melanoma probands compared with population control individuals (n = 6785), as were all novel and rare variants in both ACD (P = .040) and TERF2IP (P = .022). Families carrying ACD and TERF2IP mutations were also enriched with other cancer types, suggesting that these variants also predispose to a broader spectrum of cancers than just melanoma. Novel mutations were also observed in TERF1, TERF2, and TINF2, but these were not convincingly associated with melanoma.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings add to the growing support for telomere dysregulation as a key process associated with melanoma susceptibility.

Moraitis D, Karanikou M, Liakou C, et al.
SIN1, a critical component of the mTOR-Rictor complex, is overexpressed and associated with AKT activation in medullary and aggressive papillary thyroid carcinomas.
Surgery. 2014; 156(6):1542-8; discussion 1548-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) forms 2 active complexes in the cell: the rapamycin-sensitive mTOR-Raptor (mTORC1) and the rapamycin-insensitive mTOR-Rictor (mTORC2). The latter activates AKT kinase, which promotes tumor cell survival and proliferation by multiple downstream targets. Mammalian stress-activated protein kinase interacting protein 1 (SIN1), an essential subunit of the mTORC2 complex, maintains the integrity of the complex and substrate specificity and regulates Akt activation. The role of mTOR-Rictor complex activation in thyroid carcinogenesis remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated expression patterns of Sin1 in the cells lines of thyroid carcinoma and tumors and their association with AKT activation, histologic type, and tumor aggressiveness.
METHODS: Tissue specimens from 42 patients with thyroid cancer, including follicular (5), papillary (18), medullary (16), and poorly differentiated (3) carcinomas were analyzed via immunohistochemistry for SIN1 expression and AKT phosphorylation at Ser473 residue (Ser473-p-AKT). Eight of 18 papillary carcinomas were aggressive histologic variants. In addition, expression of Sin1 and activation of AKT kinase were analyzed in fresh-frozen tissue samples (normal/tumor), primary cell cultures (papillary thyroid carcinoma [PTC]), and an established thyroid cancer cell line (medullary thyroid carcinoma) by Western blotting.
RESULTS: With immunohistochemistry, we found that Sin1 was overexpressed in medullary thyroid carcinomas and aggressive variants of papillary thyroid carcinoma compared with conventional papillary and follicular carcinomas (P < .001). Sin1 expression correlated with AKT activation in the entire study group (P = .002). Using Western blot analysis, we found that Sin1 and p-AKT were detected at a greater level in cultured primary cells from aggressive PTC compared with conventional PTC as well as in cell lines of medullary and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. High expression levels of SIN1 were detected in papillary thyroid carcinomas compared with benign nodules in immunoblots in which we used fresh-frozen patient samples. Two of the Sin1 protein isoforms, p76 and p55, were detected predominantly in PTC samples.
CONCLUSION: Sin1, a critical factor of the mTORC2 complex is overexpressed in clinically aggressive thyroid cancer types and is associated strongly with activation of AKT kinase. Sin1-dependent AKT activation might represent a target for experimental therapy.

Tseng YY, Moriarity BS, Gong W, et al.
PVT1 dependence in cancer with MYC copy-number increase.
Nature. 2014; 512(7512):82-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
'Gain' of supernumerary copies of the 8q24.21 chromosomal region has been shown to be common in many human cancers and is associated with poor prognosis. The well-characterized myelocytomatosis (MYC) oncogene resides in the 8q24.21 region and is consistently co-gained with an adjacent 'gene desert' of approximately 2 megabases that contains the long non-coding RNA gene PVT1, the CCDC26 gene candidate and the GSDMC gene. Whether low copy-number gain of one or more of these genes drives neoplasia is not known. Here we use chromosome engineering in mice to show that a single extra copy of either the Myc gene or the region encompassing Pvt1, Ccdc26 and Gsdmc fails to advance cancer measurably, whereas a single supernumerary segment encompassing all four genes successfully promotes cancer. Gain of PVT1 long non-coding RNA expression was required for high MYC protein levels in 8q24-amplified human cancer cells. PVT1 RNA and MYC protein expression correlated in primary human tumours, and copy number of PVT1 was co-increased in more than 98% of MYC-copy-increase cancers. Ablation of PVT1 from MYC-driven colon cancer line HCT116 diminished its tumorigenic potency. As MYC protein has been refractory to small-molecule inhibition, the dependence of high MYC protein levels on PVT1 long non-coding RNA provides a much needed therapeutic target.

Feng Y, Zhu J, Ou C, et al.
MicroRNA-145 inhibits tumour growth and metastasis in colorectal cancer by targeting fascin-1.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(9):2300-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have reported miR-145 dysregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, miR-145 profiles were compared between CRC and corresponding non-tumour tissues.
METHODS: The expression levels of miR-145 were analysed in CRC cell lines and tumour tissues by real-time PCR. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed direct targets. The functional effects of miR-145 were examined in transfected CRC cells in vitro and in vivo using established assays.
RESULTS: Downregulation of miR-145 was detected in most primary CRC tumours, and was significantly correlated with a more aggressive phenotype of CRC in patients. In CRC cell lines, ectopic overexpression of miR-145 inhibited cell proliferation, motility and invasion in vitro. Stable overexpression of miR-145 suppressed tumour growth and pulmonary metastasis in vivo. Further studies indicated that miR-145 may directly interact with the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of Fascin-1 messenger RNA (mRNA), downregulating its mRNA and protein expression levels. In clinical specimens, Fascin-1 expression was negatively correlated with miR-145 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: MiR-145 has a critical role in the inhibition of invasive and metastatic capacities of CRC, probably through directly targeting Fascin-1. This miRNA may be involved in the development and progression of CRC.

Mouw JK, Yui Y, Damiano L, et al.
Tissue mechanics modulate microRNA-dependent PTEN expression to regulate malignant progression.
Nat Med. 2014; 20(4):360-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
Tissue mechanics regulate development and homeostasis and are consistently modified in tumor progression. Nevertheless, the fundamental molecular mechanisms through which altered mechanics regulate tissue behavior and the clinical relevance of these changes remain unclear. We demonstrate that increased matrix stiffness modulates microRNA expression to drive tumor progression through integrin activation of β-catenin and MYC. Specifically, in human and mouse tissue, increased matrix stiffness induced miR-18a to reduce levels of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), both directly and indirectly by decreasing levels of homeobox A9 (HOXA9). Clinically, extracellular matrix stiffness correlated directly and significantly with miR-18a expression in human breast tumor biopsies. miR-18a expression was highest in basal-like breast cancers in which PTEN and HOXA9 levels were lowest, and high miR-18a expression predicted poor prognosis in patients with luminal breast cancers. Our findings identify a mechanically regulated microRNA circuit that can promote malignancy and suggest potential prognostic roles for HOXA9 and miR-18a levels in stratifying patients with luminal breast cancers.

Zhao X, Gao S, Ren H, et al.
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 promotes pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma invasion and metastasis by activating transcription of the actin-bundling protein fascin.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(9):2455-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Because of the early onset of local invasion and distant metastasis, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most lethal human malignant tumor, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. In this study, we investigated the role of fascin, a prometastasis actin-bundling protein, in PDAC progression, invasion, and the molecular mechanisms underlying fascin overexpression in PDAC. Our data showed that the expression levels of fascin were higher in cancer tissues than in normal tissues, and fascin overexpression correlated with the PDAC differentiation and prognosis. Fascin overexpression promoted PDAC cell migration and invasion by elevating matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression. Fascin regulated MMP-2 expression through protein kinase C and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Importantly, our data showed that hypoxia induced fascin overexpression in PDAC cells by promoting the binding of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) to a hypoxia response element on the fascin promoter and transactivating fascin mRNA transcription. Intriguingly, HIF-1α expression levels in PDAC patient specimens significantly correlated with fascin expression. Moreover, immunohistochemistry staining of consecutive sections demonstrated colocalization between HIF-1α and fascin in PDAC specimens, suggesting that hypoxia and HIF-1α were responsible for fascin overexpression in PDAC. When ectopically expressed, fascin was able to rescue PDAC cell invasion after HIF-1α knockdown. Our results demonstrated that fascin is a direct target gene of HIF-1. Our data suggested that the hypoxic tumor microenvironment in PDAC might promote invasion and metastasis by inducing fascin overexpression, and fascin might be targeted to block PDAC progression.

Maeda O, Ando T, Ohmiya N, et al.
Alteration of gene expression and DNA methylation in drug-resistant gastric cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(4):1883-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mechanisms of drug resistance in cancer are not fully elucidated. To study the drug resistance of gastric cancer, we analyzed gene expression and DNA methylation profiles of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)- and cisplatin (CDDP)-resistant gastric cancer cells and biopsy specimens. Drug-resistant gastric cancer cells were established with culture for >10 months in a medium containing 5-FU or CDDP. Endoscopic biopsy specimens were obtained from gastric cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy with oral fluoropyrimidine S-1 and CDDP. Gene expression and DNA methylation analyses were performed using microarray, and validated using real-time PCR and pyrosequencing, respectively. Out of 17,933 genes, 541 genes commonly increased and 569 genes decreased in both 5-FU- and CDDP-resistant AGS cells. Genes with expression changed by drugs were related to GO term 'extracellular region' and 'p53 signaling pathway' in both 5-FU- and CDDP-treated cells. Expression of 15 genes including KLK13 increased and 12 genes including ETV7 decreased, in both drug-resistant cells and biopsy specimens of two patients after chemotherapy. Out of 10,365 genes evaluated with both expression microarray and methylation microarray, 74 genes were hypermethylated and downregulated, or hypomethylated and upregulated in either 5-FU-resistant or CDDP-resistant cells. Of these genes, expression of 21 genes including FSCN1, CPT1C and NOTCH3, increased from treatment with a demethylating agent. There are alterations of gene expression and DNA methylation in drug-resistant gastric cancer; they may be related to mechanisms of drug resistance and may be useful as biomarkers of gastric cancer drug sensitivity.

Wu BL, Luo LW, Li CQ, et al.
Comprehensive bioinformation analysis of the mRNA profile of fascin knockdown in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(12):7221-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fascin, an actin-bundling protein forming actin bundles including filopodia and stress fibers, is overexpressed in multiple human epithelial cancers including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Previously we conducted a microarray experiment to analyze fascin knockdown by RNAi in ESCC.
METHOD: In this study, the differentially expressed genes from mRNA expression profilomg of fascin knockdown were analyzed by multiple bioinformatics methods for a comprehensive understanding of the role of fascin.
RESULTS: Gene Ontology enrichment found terms associated with cytoskeleton organization, including cell adhesion, actin filament binding and actin cytoskeleton, which might be related to fascin function. Except GO categories, the differentially expressed genes were annotated by 45 functional categories from the Functional Annotation Chart of DAVID. Subpathway analysis showed thirty-nine pathways were disturbed by the differentially expressed genes, providing more detailed information than traditional pathway enrichment analysis. Two subpathways derivated from regulation of the actin cytoskeleton were shown. Promoter analysis results indicated distinguishing sequence patterns and transcription factors in response to the co-expression of downregulated or upregulated differentially expressed genes. MNB1A, c-ETS, GATA2 and Prrx2 potentially regulate the transcription of the downregulated gene set, while Arnt-Ahr, ZNF42, Ubx and TCF11-MafG might co-regulate the upregulated genes.
CONCLUSIONS: This multiple bioinformatic analysis helps provide a comprehensive understanding of the roles of fascin after its knockdown in ESCC.

Park SH, Song JY, Kim YK, et al.
Fascin1 expression in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma is a prognostic marker and knockdown of fascin1 suppresses the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(3):637-46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
Fascin1 (FSCN1) involved in cell motility and filopodia assembly plays important roles in biological processes such as cancer invasion and metastasis of multiple epithelial tumors. High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is aggressive and metastatic by acquiring an invasive phenotype and this step requires remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the expression of fascin1 in HGSOC tissues as well as its clinical significance such as prognostic predictors and its utility of therapeutic target. Fascin1 and β-catenin were evaluated using immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray of 79 HGSOC. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach was used to knock down fascin1 expression in ovarian cancer cell lines to determine whether fascin1 contributes to tumor cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Fascin1 expression levels were determined by western blot analysis after siRNA transfection using two human ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV3 and OVCAR3). Fascin1 overexpression was significantly correlated with lymph node involvement, distance metastasis and high International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage (III/IV) (P<0.05). A Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the fascin1 expression group was significantly associated with poor overall survival (P=0.010). We showed that inactivation of fascin1 by siRNA transfection led to a drop in cell viability, and significantly decreased tumor cell proliferation, migration and invasiveness compared to untransfected cells. We found that fascin1 expression is a potential poor marker of prognosis for patients with HGSOC and knockdown of fascin1 suppresses ovarian cancer cell proliferation and migration, this could be applied for therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer treatment.

Lim B, Park JL, Kim HJ, et al.
Integrative genomics analysis reveals the multilevel dysregulation and oncogenic characteristics of TEAD4 in gastric cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(5):1020-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumorigenesis is a consequence of failures of multistep defense mechanisms against deleterious perturbations that occur at the genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic and proteomic levels. To uncover previously unrecognized genes that undergo multilevel perturbations in gastric cancer (GC), we integrated epigenomic and transcriptomic approaches using two recently developed tools: MENT and GENT. This integrative analysis revealed that nine Hippo pathway-related genes, including components [FAT, JUB, LATS2, TEA domain family member 4 (TEAD4) and Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1)] and targets (CRIM1, CYR61, CTGF and ITGB2), are concurrently hypomethylated at promoter CpG sites and overexpressed in GC tissues. In particular, TEAD4, a link between Hippo pathway components and targets, was significantly hypomethylated at CpG site cg21637033 (P = 3.8 × 10(-) (20)) and overexpressed (P = 5.2 × 10(-) (10)) in 108 Korean GC tissues compared with the normal counterparts. A reduced level of methylation at the TEAD4 promoter was significantly associated with poor outcomes, including large tumor size, high-grade tumors and low survival rates. Compared with normal tissues, the TEAD4 protein was more frequently found in the nuclei of tumor cells along with YAP1 in 53 GC patients, demonstrating the posttranslational activation of this protein. Moreover, the knockdown of TEAD4 resulted in the reduced growth of GC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing and microarray analysis revealed the oncogenic properties of TEAD4 and its novel targets (ADM, ANG, ARID5B, CALD1, EDN2, FSCN1 and OSR2), which are involved in cell proliferation and migration. In conclusion, the multilevel perturbations of TEAD4 at epigenetic, transcriptional and posttranslational levels may contribute to GC development.

Gacche RN, Meshram RJ
Targeting tumor micro-environment for design and development of novel anti-angiogenic agents arresting tumor growth.
Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2013; 113(2):333-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis: a process of generation of new blood vessels has been proved to be necessary for sustained tumor growth and cancer progression. Inhibiting angiogenesis pathway has long been remained a significant hope for the development of novel, effective and target orientated antitumor agents arresting the tumor proliferation and metastasis. The process of neoangiogenesis as a biological process is regulated by several pro- and anti-angiogenic factors, especially vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, epidermal growth factor, hypoxia inducible factor 1 and transforming growth factor. Every endothelial cell destined for vessel formation is equipped with receptors for these angiogenic peptides. Moreover, numerous other angiogenic cytokines such as platelet derived growth factor (PGDF), placenta growth factor (PGF), nerve growth factor (NGF), stem-cell factor (SCF), and interleukins-2, 4, 6 etc. These molecular players performs critical role in regulating the angiogenic switch. Couple of decade's research in molecular aspects of tumor biology has unraveled numerous structural and functional mysteries of these angiogenic peptides. In present article, a detailed update on the functional and structural peculiarities of the various angiogenic peptides is described focusing on structural opportunities made available that has potential to be used to modulate function of these angiogenic peptides in developing therapeutic agents targeting neoplastic angiogenesis. The data may be useful in the mainstream of developing novel anticancer agents targeting tumor angiogenesis. We also discuss major therapeutic agents that are currently used in angiogenesis associated therapies as well as those are subject of active research or are in clinical trials.

Reynolds AB, Kanner SB, Bouton AH, et al.
SRChing for the substrates of Src.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(37):4537-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
By the mid 1980's, it was clear that the transforming activity of oncogenic Src was linked to the activity of its tyrosine kinase domain and attention turned to identifying substrates, the putative next level of control in the pathway to transformation. Among the first to recognize the potential of phosphotyrosine-specific antibodies, Parsons and colleagues launched a risky shotgun-based approach that led ultimately to the cDNA cloning and functional characterization of many of today's best-known Src substrates (for example, p85-Cortactin, p110-AFAP1, p130Cas, p125FAK and p120-catenin). Two decades and over 6000 citations later, the original goals of the project may be seen as secondary to the enormous impact of these protein substrates in many areas of biology. At the request of the editors, this review is not restricted to the current status of the substrates, but reflects also on the anatomy of the project itself and some of the challenges and decisions encountered along the way.

Li D, Jin L, Alesi GN, et al.
The prometastatic ribosomal S6 kinase 2-cAMP response element-binding protein (RSK2-CREB) signaling pathway up-regulates the actin-binding protein fascin-1 to promote tumor metastasis.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(45):32528-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
Metastasis is the leading cause of death in patients with breast, lung, and head and neck cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying metastases in these cancers remain unclear. We found that the p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2)-cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) pathway is commonly activated in diverse metastatic human cancer cells, leading to up-regulation of a CREB transcription target Fascin-1. We also observed that the protein expression patterns of RSK2 and Fascin-1 correlate in primary human tumor tissue samples from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients. Moreover, knockdown of RSK2 disrupts filopodia formation and bundling in highly invasive cancer cells, leading to attenuated cancer cell invasion in vitro and tumor metastasis in vivo, whereas expression of Fascin-1 significantly rescues these phenotypes. Furthermore, targeting RSK2 with the small molecule RSK inhibitor FMK-MEA effectively attenuated the invasive and metastatic potential of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Taken together, our findings for the first time link RSK2-CREB signaling to filopodia formation and bundling through the up-regulation of Fascin-1, providing a proinvasive and prometastatic advantage to human cancers. Therefore, protein effectors of the RSK2-CREB-Fascin-1 pathway represent promising biomarkers and therapeutic targets in the clinical prognosis and treatment of metastatic human cancers.

Santarpia L, Iwamoto T, Di Leo A, et al.
DNA repair gene patterns as prognostic and predictive factors in molecular breast cancer subtypes.
Oncologist. 2013; 18(10):1063-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
DNA repair pathways can enable tumor cells to survive DNA damage induced by chemotherapy and thus provide prognostic and/or predictive value. We evaluated Affymetrix gene expression profiles for 145 DNA repair genes in untreated breast cancer (BC) patients (n = 684) and BC patients treated with regimens containing neoadjuvant taxane/anthracycline (n = 294) or anthracycline (n = 210). We independently assessed estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/HER2-negative, HER2-positive, and ER-negative/HER2-negative subgroups for differential expression, bimodal distribution, and the prognostic and predictive value of DNA repair gene expression. Twenty-two genes were consistently overexpressed in ER-negative tumors, and five genes were overexpressed in ER-positive tumors, but no differences in expression were associated with HER2 status. In ER-positive/HER2-negative tumors, the expression of nine genes (BUB1, FANCI, MNAT1, PARP2, PCNA, POLQ, RPA3, TOP2A, and UBE2V2) was associated with poor prognosis, and the expression of one gene (ATM) was associated with good prognosis. Furthermore, the prognostic value of specific genes did not correlate with proliferation. A few genes were associated with chemotherapy response in BC subtypes and treatment-specific manner. In ER-negative/HER2-negative tumors, the MSH2, MSH6, and FAN1 (previously MTMR15) genes were associated with pathological complete response and residual invasive cancer in taxane/anthracycline-treated patients. Conversely, PMS2 expression was associated with residual invasive cancer in treatments using anthracycline as a single agent. In HER2-positive tumors, TOP2A was associated with patient response to anthracyclines but not to taxane/anthracycline regimens. In genes expressed in a bimodal fashion, RECQL4 was significantly associated with clinical outcome. In vitro studies showed that defects in RECQL4 impair homologous recombination, sensitizing BC cells to DNA-damaging agents.

Sakai NS, Samia-Aly E, Barbera M, Fitzgerald RC
A review of the current understanding and clinical utility of miRNAs in esophageal cancer.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2013; 23(6 Pt B):512-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, well-conserved, non-coding RNAs that regulate the translation of RNAs. They have a role in biological and pathological process including cell differentiation, apoptosis, proliferation and metabolism. Since their discovery, they have been shown to have a potential role in cancer pathogenesis through their function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. A substantial number of miRNAs show differential expression in esophageal cancer tissues, and so have been investigated for possible use in diagnosis. Furthermore, there is increasing interest in their use as prognostic markers and determining treatment response, as well as identifying their downstream targets and understanding their mode of action.
METHODS: We analyzed the most recent studies on miRNAs in esophageal cancer and/or Barrett's esophagus (BE). The publications were identified by searching in PuBMed for the following terms: Barrett's esophagus and microRNA; esophageal cancer and microRNA.
RESULTS: Four miRNAs (mi-R-25, -99a, -133a and -133b) showed good potential as diagnostic markers and interestingly five (mi-R-21, -27b, -126, - 143 and -145) appeared to be useful both as diagnostic and prognostic/predictive markers.
CONCLUSION: The data so far on miRNAs in esophageal carcinogenesis is promising but further work is required to determine whether miRNAs can be used as biomarkers, not only in the clinical setting or added to individualized treatment regimes but also in non-invasive test by making use of miRNAs identified in blood.

Chen MB, Wei MX, Han JY, et al.
MicroRNA-451 regulates AMPK/mTORC1 signaling and fascin1 expression in HT-29 colorectal cancer.
Cell Signal. 2014; 26(1):102-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The earlier studies have shown that Fascin1 (FSCN1), the actin bundling protein, is over-expressed in colorectal cancers, and is associated with cancer cell progression. Here, we aimed to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating FSCN1 expression by focusing on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and its regulator microRNA-451. We found that microRNA-451 was over-expressed in multiple colorectal cancer tissues, and its expression was correlated with mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activity and FSCN1 expression. In cultured colorectal cancer HT-29 cells, knockdown of FSCN1 by RNAi inhibited cell migration and proliferation. Activation of mTORC1 was required for FSCN1 expression, HT-29 cell migration and proliferation, as RAD001 and rapamycin, two mTORC1 inhibitors, suppressed FSCN1 expression, HT-29 cell migration and proliferation. Meanwhile, forced activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the negative regulator of mTORC1, by its activators or by the genetic mutation, inhibited mTORC1 activation, FSCN1 expression, cell migration and proliferation. In HT-29 cells, we found that over-expression of microRNA-451 inhibited AMPK activation, causing mTORC1 over-activation and FSCN1 up-regulation, cells were with high migration ability and proliferation rate. Significantly, these effects by microRNA-451 were largely inhibited by mTORC1 inhibitors or the AMPK activator AICAR. On the other hand, knockdown of miRNA-451 by the treatment of HT-29 cells with miRNA-451 antagomir inhibited mTORC1 activation and FSCN1 expression. The proliferation and migration of HT-29 cells after miRNA-45 knockdown were also inhibited. Our results suggested that the over-expressed microRNA-451 in colon cancer cells might inhibit AMPK to activate mTORC1, which mediates FSCN1 expression and cancer cell progression.

Van Hauwermeiren F, Armaka M, Karagianni N, et al.
Safe TNF-based antitumor therapy following p55TNFR reduction in intestinal epithelium.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(6):2590-603 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
TNF has remarkable antitumor activities; however, therapeutic applications have not been possible because of the systemic and lethal proinflammatory effects induced by TNF. Both the antitumor and inflammatory effects of TNF are mediated by the TNF receptor p55 (p55TNFR) (encoded by the Tnfrsf1a gene). The antitumor effect stems from an induction of cell death in tumor endothelium, but the cell type that initiates the lethal inflammatory cascade has been unclear. Using conditional Tnfrsf1a knockout or reactivation mice, we found that the expression level of p55TNFR in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) is a crucial determinant in TNF-induced lethal inflammation. Remarkably, tumor endothelium and IECs exhibited differential sensitivities to TNF when p55TNFR levels were reduced. Tumor-bearing Tnfrsf1a⁺⁺/⁻ or IEC-specific p55TNFR-deficient mice showed resistance to TNF-induced lethality, while the tumor endothelium remained fully responsive to TNF-induced apoptosis and tumors regressed. We demonstrate proof of principle for clinical application of this approach using neutralizing anti-human p55TNFR antibodies in human TNFRSF1A knockin mice. Our results uncover an important cellular basis of TNF toxicity and reveal that IEC-specific or systemic reduction of p55TNFR mitigates TNF toxicity without loss of antitumor efficacy.

Koçer NE, Kayaselçuk F
Is availability of anti-EGFR therapy for the colorectal adenocarcinomas showing fascin expression limited?
Target Oncol. 2014; 9(2):171-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRC) is a major cause of death. Fascin expression in CRCs was proved to be related with higher metastatic rates and poor prognosis, while metastatic patients with only wild type K-RAS gene are the candidates of recent molecularly targeted anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapies. This study is designed to investigate the correlation between the fascin expression status and the K-RAS mutational status of CRCs in order to assess the availability rate of anti-EGFR therapies for patients with fascin-expressing CRCs. Immunohistochemical expression of fascin and mutational status of K-RAS were investigated in the archival materials of randomly selected 50 metastatic colorectal carcinoma patients. Strength of fascin expression and tumor percentage stained with fascin were scored semi quantitatively. c.34 > C (p.G12R), c.35 g > C (p.G12C), c.34G > A (p.G12S), c.35G > A (p.G12D), c.35G > T (p.G12V), c.35G > C (p.G12A), and c.38G > A (p.G13.D) mutations in K-RAS gene were studied by using RT-PCR. In immunohistochemical evaluation, 32 of the 50 cases stained positive with fascin, while 21 were positive for K-RAS mutations in codon 12 (10 patients) or in codon 13 (3 patients). The correlation between the positivity of fascin and the presence of K-RAS mutations, the strength of fascin staining and the presence of K-RAS mutations, and the tumor cell percentage stained with fascin and the presence of K-RAS mutations were found statistically significant. The results of this study suggest that patients with fascin-expressing CRCs have a greater tendency to carry an activating K-RAS mutation which will prevent them from taking targeted anti-EGFR therapies. Larger series are needed to confirm these results.

Di Leva G, Piovan C, Gasparini P, et al.
Estrogen mediated-activation of miR-191/425 cluster modulates tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells depending on estrogen receptor status.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(3):e1003311 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), single-stranded non-coding RNAs, influence myriad biological processes that can contribute to cancer. Although tumor-suppressive and oncogenic functions have been characterized for some miRNAs, the majority of microRNAs have not been investigated for their ability to promote and modulate tumorigenesis. Here, we established that the miR-191/425 cluster is transcriptionally dependent on the host gene, DALRD3, and that the hormone 17β-estradiol (estrogen or E2) controls expression of both miR-191/425 and DALRD3. MiR-191/425 locus characterization revealed that the recruitment of estrogen receptor α (ERα) to the regulatory region of the miR-191/425-DALRD3 unit resulted in the accumulation of miR-191 and miR-425 and subsequent decrease in DALRD3 expression levels. We demonstrated that miR-191 protects ERα positive breast cancer cells from hormone starvation-induced apoptosis through the suppression of tumor-suppressor EGR1. Furthermore, enforced expression of the miR-191/425 cluster in aggressive breast cancer cells altered global gene expression profiles and enabled us to identify important tumor promoting genes, including SATB1, CCND2, and FSCN1, as targets of miR-191 and miR-425. Finally, in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that miR-191 and miR-425 reduced proliferation, impaired tumorigenesis and metastasis, and increased expression of epithelial markers in aggressive breast cancer cells. Our data provide compelling evidence for the transcriptional regulation of the miR-191/425 cluster and for its context-specific biological determinants in breast cancers. Importantly, we demonstrated that the miR-191/425 cluster, by reducing the expression of an extensive network of genes, has a fundamental impact on cancer initiation and progression of breast cancer cells.

Dip N, Reis ST, Srougi M, et al.
Expression profile of microrna-145 in urothelial bladder cancer.
Int Braz J Urol. 2013 Jan-Feb; 39(1):95-101; discussion 102 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Bladder cancer (BC) is the second most common malignancy of the urinary tract, with high mortality. The knowledge of the molecular pathways associated with BC carcinogenesis is crucial to identify new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA molecules that play important roles in the regulation of gene expression by acting directly on mRNAs. miR-145 has been considered as a tumor suppressor, which targets the c-MYC, MUC-1 and FSCN1 genes. Our aim was to evaluate the expression profile of miR-145 in low-grade non-invasive and high-grade invasive bladder urothelial carcinomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We studied 30 specimens of low-grade, non-invasive pTa and 30 of pT2/pT3 high-grade invasive UC obtained by transurethral resection or radical cystectomy, followed over a mean time of 16.1 months. Normal controls were represented by five samples of normal bladder biopsy from patients who underwent retropubic prostatectomy to treat BPH. miRNA extraction and cDNA generation were performed using commercial kits. Analysis was performed by qRT-PCR, and miR-145 expression was calculated using the 2-(▵▵ct) method; we used RNU-43 and RNU-48 as endogenous controls.
RESULTS: miR-145 was under-expressed in 73.3% and 86.7% of pTa and pT2/pT3, respectively, with expression means of 1.61 for the former and 0.66 for the last. There were no significant differences in miR-145 expression and histological grade, tumor stage, angiolymphatic neoplastic invasion and tumor recurrence.
CONCLUSION: miR-145 is under-expressed in low-grade, non-invasive and high-grade invasive urothelial bladder carcinoma and may play an important role in the carcinogenesis pathway, being an interesting candidate diagnostic marker.

Bi JB, Zhu Y, Chen XL, et al.
The role of fascin in migration and invasion of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.
Urol Int. 2013; 91(2):227-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: To investigate the roles of fascin in migration and invasiveness in bladder urothelial carcinoma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immunohistochemical detection of fascin in urothelial carcinoma samples and inhibition the expression of fascin in the urothelial carcinoma cell line were performed, then the differences in cell behaviors before and after silencing of the fascin gene were tested.
RESULTS: In our study, we found that overexpression of fascin was more frequent in urothelial carcinoma tissues (p < 0.001). Fascin expression was positively correlated with histological grade (p = 0.024) and pT stage (p < 0.001). After transfection of fascin shRNA, the expressions of fascin in 5637 cells and BIU87 cells were efficiently decreased according to real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. When fascin was inhibited, a significant decrease in migration and invasion, and increase in adhesion were observed in 5637 cells and BIU87 cells. However, there was no significant change in the proliferation of 5637 cells or BIU87 cells with or without inhibition of the fascin gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Fascin expression can be used as a predictor for transformation and progression of urothelial carcinoma, and reduction of fascin levels may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.

Dynoodt P, Speeckaert R, De Wever O, et al.
miR-145 overexpression suppresses the migration and invasion of metastatic melanoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(4):1443-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional modulators of gene expression which play important roles in tumorigenesis and cancer metastasis. Since they are often highly deregulated in various types of cancer, miRNAs may be effective treatment targets. miRNA profiling studies of melanoma have led to the identification of several tumor suppressor miRNAs. One of these include miR-145, although functional data proving its specific function are limited. Therefore, in this study, we examined the expression levels of miR-145 in three melanoma cell lines (BLM, FM3P and WM793). Additional gain-of-function experiments revealed that miR-145 exerts an anti-proliferative effect in the primary, non-invasive melanoma cell line, WM793, whereas cell migration and the invasive potential of metastatic melanoma cells was suppressed following transfection with miR-145 mimics. In order to investigate the mechanisms by which miR-145 exerts its invasion suppressor function, we examined the expression level of target genes [fascin homolog 1 (FSCN1), myosin‑Va (MYO5A and SOX9] and that of an indirect target (RAB27A) following the overexpression of miR-145. The results showed that SOX9, MYO5A and RAB27A were not involved in the biological effects caused by miR-145 mimics. Surprisingly, we discovered that miR-145 in melanoma, in contrast to many other tumor types, does not necessarily act via the target, FSCN1, since the downregulation of FSCN1 did not inhibit cell proliferation or migration but, on the contrary, increased cell invasion in two out of the three melanoma cell lines examined. Our in vitro data is in accordance with previously reported in vivo data describing the low expression of FSCN1 in malignant melanomas when compared to dysplastic nevi, suggesting that the expression of FSCN1 decreases as the formation and progression stage of melanoma advances. In conclusion, our data provide evidence that miR-145 is an invasion suppressor in metastatic melanoma cells. Despite the fact that it remains unclear which genes or pathways are regulated by miR-145 in melanoma, miR-145 may serve as a useful therapeutic agent in melanoma when re-expressed in situ.

Zhao J, Wu XY, Ling XH, et al.
Analysis of genetic aberrations on chromosomal region 8q21-24 identifies E2F5 as an oncogene with copy number gain in prostate cancer.
Med Oncol. 2013; 30(1):465 [PubMed] Related Publications
The copy number gain of genes in chromosomal region 8q21-24 has been demonstrated to be associated with genesis and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The aim of this study was to identify novel and effective molecular markers in this chromosomal region for PCa. The differentially expressed genes in PCa specimens were screened by gene microarray analysis, which was validated by RT-QPCR analysis. Then, the DNA qPCR analysis was carried out to detect the copy number changes of these differentially expressed genes. Moreover, the clinical significance of candidate markers (MYC and E2F5) in PCa were further determined. E2F5 and MYC were identified as candidate markers in PCa tissues and PCa cell lines. The DNA qPCR revealed the significant copy number gains of E2F5 and MYC in PCa tissues but not in PCa cell lines. In addition, Western blot analysis and immunohistochemical staining both found the significant higher expression of E2F5 and MYC proteins in PCa tissues than those in adjacent benign specimens (all P < 0.01). Moreover, the overexpression of E2F5 protein was significantly associated with a high Gleason score (P < 0.01), an advanced clinical stage (P = 0.01), a positive metastasis (P < 0.01) and PSA Failure (P < 0.01). The overexpression of MYC was more frequently found in PCa tissues with positive metastasis (P = 0.02) and PSA failure (P = 0.02). Interestingly, there was a close correlation in the expression level of MYC in PCa tissues with that of E2F5 (r ( s ) = 0.5, P ≤ 0.001). Our data offers the convincing evidence that the copy number gains of E2F5 and MYC may play an important role in genesis and progression of PCa. Especially, E2F5 may be a novel potential candidate marker for malignant PCa.

Yamamoto H, Kohashi K, Fujita A, Oda Y
Fascin-1 overexpression and miR-133b downregulation in the progression of gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
Mod Pathol. 2013; 26(4):563-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that are up- or downregulated in several types of cancer, and have an important role in the tumorigenesis and progression. To better understand the role of aberrantly expressed miRNAs and their target genes affecting the biology of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), we performed miRNA array in 19 cases of GIST, and found that several miRNAs, including miR-133b, were downregulated in high-grade GISTs. Subsequently, quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR revealed that fascin-1 mRNA was upregulated in accordance with miR-133b downregulation in high-grade GIST; this result was consistent with a previous report showing that fascin-1 might be a direct target of miR-133b. We then examined the fascin-1 protein expression by immunohistochemical staining in 147 cases of GIST, and found that fascin-1 overexpression was significantly correlated with shorter disease-free survival time and several aggressive pathological factors, including tumor size, mitotic counts, risk grade, blood vessel invasion and mucosal ulceration. Our results suggest that downregulation of miR-133b and overexpression of fascin-1 may have an important role in the progression of GIST, and that fascin-1 may be a useful biomarker to predict the aggressive behavior.

Fujioka S, Son K, Onda S, et al.
Desensitization of NFκB for overcoming chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer cells to TNF-α or paclitaxel.
Anticancer Res. 2012; 32(11):4813-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced nuclear factor kappaB (NFκB) activation is thought to play a key role in acquisition of chemoresistance by cancer cells. We focused on blockade of this activation by using the observation so-called 'desensitization' of NFκB using known NFκB activator, doxycycline.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The human pancreatic cancer cell line PANC-1 was incubated with doxycycline, followed by treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α or paclitaxel. NFκB activity and the regulation of NFκB-related genes was analyzed.
RESULTS: Doxycycline induced sustained NFκB activation, followed by desensitization to further NFκB activation by TNF-α -or paclitaxel, which was accompanied by decreased expression of TNF receptor p55, p75, and epidermal growth factor receptor. Consistent with these observations, doxycycline-pre-treatment resulted in an augmentation of TNF-α- and paclitaxel-mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis.
CONCLUSION: These data indicate the possible clinical application of desensitization of NFκB to overcome chemoresistance by conventional chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.

McEwan MV, Eccles MR, Horsfield JA
Cohesin is required for activation of MYC by estradiol.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e49160 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
Cohesin is best known as a multi-subunit protein complex that holds together replicated sister chromatids from S phase until G2. Cohesin also has an important role in the regulation of gene expression. We previously demonstrated that the cohesin complex positively regulates expression of the oncogene MYC. Cell proliferation driven by MYC contributes to many cancers, including breast cancer. The MYC oncogene is estrogen-responsive and a transcriptional target of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα). Estrogen-induced cohesin binding sites coincide with ERα binding at the MYC locus, raising the possibility that cohesin and ERα combine actions to regulate MYC transcription. The objective of this study was to investigate a putative role for cohesin in estrogen induction of MYC expression. We found that siRNA-targeted depletion of a cohesin subunit, RAD21, decreased MYC expression in ER-positive (MCF7 and T47D) and ER-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cell lines. In addition, RAD21 depletion blocked estradiol-mediated activation of MYC in ER-positive cell lines, and decreased ERα binding to estrogen response elements (EREs) upstream of MYC, without affecting total ERα levels. Treatment of MCF7 cells with estradiol caused enrichment of RAD21 binding at upstream enhancers and at the P2 promoter of MYC. Enriched binding at all sites, except the P2 promoter, was dependent on ERα. Since RAD21 depletion did not affect transcription driven by an exogenous reporter construct containing a naked ERE, chromatin-based mechanisms are likely to be involved in cohesin-dependent MYC transcription. This study demonstrates that ERα activation of MYC can be modulated by cohesin. Together, these results demonstrate a novel role for cohesin in estrogen-mediated regulation of MYC and the first evidence that cohesin plays a role in ERα binding.

Guichet PO, Bieche I, Teigell M, et al.
Cell death and neuronal differentiation of glioblastoma stem-like cells induced by neurogenic transcription factors.
Glia. 2013; 61(2):225-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiform (GBM) are devastating brain tumors containing a fraction of multipotent stem-like cells which are highly tumorigenic. These cells are resistant to treatments and are likely to be responsible for tumor recurrence. One approach to eliminate GBM stem-like cells would be to force their terminal differentiation. During development, neurons formation is controlled by neurogenic transcription factors such as Ngn1/2 and NeuroD1. We found that in comparison with oligodendrogenic genes, the expression of these neurogenic genes is low or absent in GBM tumors and derived cultures. We thus explored the effect of overexpressing these neurogenic genes in three CD133(+) Sox2(+) GBM stem-like cell cultures and the U87 glioma line. Introduction of Ngn2 in CD133(+) cultures induced massive cell death, proliferation arrest and a drastic reduction of neurosphere formation. Similar effects were observed with NeuroD1. Importantly, Ngn2 effects were accompanied by the downregulation of Olig2, Myc, Shh and upregulation of Dcx and NeuroD1 expression. The few surviving cells adopted a typical neuronal morphology and some of them generated action potentials. These cells appeared to be produced at the expense of GFAP(+) cells which were radically reduced after differentiation with Ngn2. In vivo, Ngn2-expressing cells were unable to form orthotopic tumors. In the U87 glioma line, Ngn2 could not induce neuronal differentiation although proliferation in vitro and tumoral growth in vivo were strongly reduced. By inducing cell death, cell cycle arrest or differentiation, this work supports further exploration of neurogenic proteins to oppose GBM stem-like and non-stem-like cell growth.

Tsai WC, Lin CK, Lee HS, et al.
The correlation of cortactin and fascin-1 expression with clinicopathological parameters in pancreatic and ampulla of Vater adenocarcinoma.
APMIS. 2013; 121(3):171-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cortactin and fascin-1 are important factors affecting progression and metastasis of carcinomas. We tested the hypothesis that cortactin and fascin expression has significant correlation with clinicopathological parameters in pancreatic and ampulla of Vater adenocarcinomas. Immunohistochemical analysis of cortactin and fascin-1 was performed in 50 pancreatic and 40 ampulla of Vater adenocarcinomas. The specimens were from 29 R0, 8 R1, and 13 palliative resections of pancreatic adenocarcinomas and 18 R0, 14 R1, and 8 palliative resections of ampulla of Vater adenocarcinomas. 'R0' resection is defined by complete removal of the tumor and histologically negative surgical margins and 'R1' resection indicates the presence of microscopically residual disease at the surgical margins. The level of expression was assessed by scoring the intensity of cytoplasmic or membranous immunostaining on a 4-point scale. Higher immunostaining scores of cortactin and fascin-1 were both significantly correlated with histological grade, American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage, and survival rate in all patients. In conclusion, overexpression of cortactin and fascin-1 implies poorer tumor differentiation, advanced AJCC stage, and shorter survival rate in pancreatic and ampulla of Vater adenocarcinomas.

Gopisetty G, Xu J, Sampath D, et al.
Epigenetic regulation of CD133/PROM1 expression in glioma stem cells by Sp1/myc and promoter methylation.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(26):3119-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
Tumor stem cells, postulated to be the source cells for malignancies, have been identified in several cancers using cell-surface expression of markers including CD133, a pentaspan membrane protein. CD133+ve cells form neurospheres, exhibit self-renewal and differentiation, and are tumorigenic. However, despite its association with stem cells, a causal relationship of CD133 to tumorigenesis remains to be defined. Hypothesizing that specific epigenetic and transcription factors implicated in driving the stem cell state may concurrently regulate CD133 expression in stem cells, we analyzed the structure and regulation of CD133 promoter in glioma stem cells and glioma cell lines. Initially, a minimal promoter region was identified by analyzing the activity of CD133 promoter-driven luciferase-expressing 5'-and 3'-deletion-constructs upstream of the transcription start site. This region contained a CpG island that was hypermethylated in CD133-ve glioma stem cells (GSC) and glioma cells but unmethylated in CD133+ve ones. Of several predicted TF-binding sites in this region, the role of tandem Sp1 (-242 and -221) and two Myc (-541 and -25)-binding sites were examined. Overexpression of Sp1 or Myc increased CD133 minimal promoter-driven luciferase activity and CD133 levels in GSC and in glioma cell line. Mithramycin, a Sp1 inhibitor, decreased minimal promoter activity and downregulated CD133 levels in GSC. Gel-shift assays demonstrated direct binding of Sp1 to their predicted sites that was competitively inhibited by oligonucleotide-binding-site sequences and supershifted by anti-Sp1 confirming the interaction. Sp1 and Myc-antibody chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis in GSC showed enrichment of regions with Sp1 and Myc-binding sites. In CD133-ve cells, ChIP analysis showed binding of the methyl-DNA-binding proteins, MBD1, MBD2 and MeCP2 to the methylated CpG island and repression of transcription. These results demonstrate that Sp1 and Myc regulate CD133 transcription in GSC and that promoter methylation and methyl-DNA-binding proteins cause repression of CD133 by excluding transcription-factor binding.

Liu B, Zhang J, Huang C, Liu H
Dyskerin overexpression in human hepatocellular carcinoma is associated with advanced clinical stage and poor patient prognosis.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e43147 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 29/04/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dyskerin (encoded by the DKC1 gene) is an essential nucleolar protein involved in cell proliferation, where it is required for the pseudo-uridylation of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) molecules and the stabilization of the telomerase RNA component. Dyskerin expression has been reported to predict poor survival in some cancer patients. The aim of the present study was to analyze the expression of dyskerin in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to determine its correlation with clinicopathologic features, including the survival of patients with HCC.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Dyskerin protein expression was detected by immunohistochemistry in paraffin sections of 252 HCC cases and 80 noncancerous liver tissues. The correlation was analyzed between dyskerin expression levels and clinicopathologic variables and prognosis. Dyskerin protein was significantly overexpressed in HCC tissues when compared to noncancerous liver tissue. Dyskerin overexpression was positively correlated with the hepatitis B surface antigen status, serum alpha-fetoprotein, and advanced clinical stage in HCC patients. A survival analysis indicated that HCC patients with higher dyskerin expression had a significantly shorter overall survival and 5-year survival time when compared to those with low expression. A multivariate analysis suggested that dyskerin overexpression was an independent factor for prognosis (hazard risk, 2.912; P = 0.007). Expression of DKC1 mRNA was measured by quantitative RT-PCR in 80 HCC and 50 non-cancerous tissues. The relationship between DKC1, TERT, MKI67, and MYC mRNA expression in HCC tissues was also evaluated. DKC1 mRNA was significantly overexpressed in HCC tissues and showed a significant correlation with MKI67 and MYC mRNA but a weak correlation with TERT mRNA.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Dyskerin overexpression in HCC patients was correlated with MYC and MKI67 expression and showed a possible involvement in the tumorigenic process. Dyskerin overexpression may be an unfavorable prognostic factor in patients with HCC.

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