Gene Summary

Gene:GDNF; glial cell derived neurotrophic factor
Aliases: ATF, ATF1, ATF2, HSCR3, HFB1-GDNF
Summary:This gene encodes a secreted ligand of the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) superfamily of proteins. Ligands of this family bind various TGF-beta receptors leading to recruitment and activation of SMAD family transcription factors that regulate gene expression. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate each subunit of the disulfide-linked homodimer. The recombinant form of this protein, a highly conserved neurotrophic factor, was shown to promote the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in culture, and was able to prevent apoptosis of motor neurons induced by axotomy. This protein is a ligand for the product of the RET (rearranged during transfection) protooncogene. Mutations in this gene may be associated with Hirschsprung disease and Tourette syndrome. This gene encodes multiple protein isoforms that may undergo similar proteolytic processing. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2016]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: GDNF (cancer-related)

Pei J, Zhao X, Patchefsky AS, et al.
Clinical application of RNA sequencing in sarcoma diagnosis: An institutional experience.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(25):e16031 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Accurate diagnoses of sarcoma are sometimes challenging on conventional histomorphology and immunophenotype. Many specific genetic aberrations including chromosomal translocations have been identified in various sarcomas, which can be detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction analysis. Next-generation sequencing-based RNA sequencing can screen multiple sarcoma-specific chromosome translocations/fusion genes in 1 test, which is especially useful for sarcoma without obvious differentiation. In this report, we utilized RNA sequencing on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens to investigate the possibility of diagnosing sarcomas by identifying disease-specific fusion genes. Targeted RNA sequencing was performed on 6 sarcoma cases. The expected genetic alterations (clear cell sarcoma/EWSR1-ATF1, Ewing sarcoma/EWSR1-FLI1, myxoid liposarcoma/DDIT3-FUS) in four cases were detected and confirmed by secondary tests. Interestingly, three SS18 fusion genes (SS18-SSX2B, SS18-SSX2, and SS18-SSX4) were identified in a synovial sarcoma case. A rare fusion gene (EWSR1-PATZ1) was identified in a morphologically challenging case; which enabled us to establish the diagnosis of low grade glioneural tumor. In conclusion, RNA sequencing on FFPE specimen is a reliable method in establishing the diagnosis of sarcoma in daily practice.

Jia H, Xu M, Bo Y, et al.
Ras-ERK1/2 signaling accelerates the progression of colorectal cancer via mediation of H2BK5ac.
Life Sci. 2019; 230:89-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) is a key downstream gene of Ras pathway. Activation of Ras-ERK1/2 has been testified to be linked to the progression of diverse cancers. Nonetheless, whether Ras-ERK1/2-tumorigenic pathway is mediated by epigenetic factors remains indistinct. The purpose of the research attempted to disclose the functions of H2BK5ac in Ras-ERK1/2-evoked CRC cell phenotypes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Western blot assay was implemented for exploration of the relevancy between Ras-ERK1/2 and H2BK5ac. H2BK5Q was established and its functions in cell viability, colony formation and migration were appraised via utilizing MTT, soft-agar colony formation and Transwell assays. The mRNA and transcription of ERK1/2 downstream genes were estimated via RT-qPCR and ChIP assays. HDAC2 functions in SW48 cell phenotypes were evaluated after co-transfection with pEGFP-Ras
KEY FINDINGS: H2BK5ac expression was evidently repressed by Ras-ERK1/2 pathway in SW48 cells. Moreover, Ras-ERK1/2-elevated cell viability, the number of colonies and migration were both impeded by H2BK5ac. The mRNA and transcriptions of CYR61, IGFBP3, WNT16B, NT5E, GDF15 and CARD16 were both mediated by H2BK5ac. Additionally, HDAC2 silence overtly recovered H2BK5ac expression inhibited by Ras-ERK1/2, meanwhile abated Ras-ERK1/2-affected SW48 cell phenotypes. Beyond that, restrained H2BK5ac induced by Ras-ERK1/2 was concerned with MDM2-mediated ATF2 degradation.
SIGNIFICANCE: These investigations testified that Ras-ERK1/2 pathway affected SW48 cell phenotypes through repressing H2BK5ac expression. Otherwise, declined H2BK5ac might be linked to MDM2-mediated ATF2 degradation.

Zhang S, Ding L, Li X, Fan H
Identification of biomarkers associated with the recurrence of osteosarcoma using ceRNA regulatory network analysis.
Int J Mol Med. 2019; 43(4):1723-1733 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to identify the important mRNAs, micro (mi)RNAs and long non‑coding (lnc)RNAs that are associated with osteosarcoma recurrence. The GSE3905 dataset, which contains two sub‑datasets (GSE39040 and GSE39055), was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Prognosis‑associated RNAs were identified by performing Cox regression univariate analysis and were subsequently used to construct a competing endogenous (ce)RNA regulatory network for Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA). Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis was used to determine the associations between expression levels and survival prognosis. In addition, another independent miRNA profile, GSE79181, was downloaded from GEO for validation. Among the differentially expressed RNAs, 417 RNAs (5 lncRNAs, 19 miRNAs, and 393 mRNAs) were observed to be associated with prognosis. The GSEA for the ceRNA regulatory network revealed that 'Mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway', 'Chemokine signaling pathway' and 'Spliceosome' were markedly associated with osteosarcoma. In addition, three lncRNAs [long intergenic non‑protein coding RNA 28 (LINC00028), LINC00323, and small nucleolar RNA host gene 1 (SNHG1)] and two miRNAs (hsa‑miR‑124 and hsa‑miR‑7) regulating three mRNAs [Ras‑related protein Rap‑1b (RAP1B), activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) and protein phosphatase Mg2+/Mn2+ dependent 1B (PPM1B)] participated in the MAPK signaling pathway. The Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis also demonstrated that samples with lower expression levels of LINC00323 and SNHG1 had better prognosis, and samples with increased expression levels of LINC00028, hsa‑miR‑124 and hsa‑miR‑7 had better prognosis. Overexpression of RAP1B, ATF2 and PPM1B was positively associated with osteosarcoma recurrence. The roles of hsa‑miR‑124 and hsa‑miR‑7 in osteosarcoma recurrence were also validated using GSE79181. Thus, in conclusions, the three lncRNAs (LINC00028, LINC00323 and SNHG1), two miRNAs (hsa‑miR‑124 and hsa‑miR‑7) and three mRNAs (RAP1B, ATF2, and PPM1B) were associated with osteosarcoma recurrence.

Xu Y, Zhou W, Zhang C, et al.
Long non-coding RNA RP11-552M11.4 favors tumorigenesis and development of cervical cancer via modulating miR-3941/ATF1 signaling.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2019; 130:24-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
As one of the most aggressive malignancies, cervical cancer (CC) which mainly affects females has high risks of relapse and death. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) RP11-552M11.4 is verified to promote the progression of ovarian cancer; nevertheless, its role and the probable molecular mechanisms in CC remain unclear until the present study. Herein, we unveiled that the expression of lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 tested by qRT-PCR was enhanced in tumor tissues compared with the para-carcinoma tissues and related to FIGO Stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular invasion and distant metastasis in CC. Additionally, CC patients with high lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 level suffered from poor clinical outcomes. Moreover, silenced lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 restrained cell proliferation, migration and invasion in CC cells. Subsequently, the mechanistic studies revealed that lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 functioned as a ceRNA of ATF1 in CC by acting as the endogenous sponge for miR-3941, which was identified as a tumor suppressor in CC. Moreover, both miR-3941 inhibition and ATF1 overexpression restored the impacts of inhibited lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 on cellular processes in CC cells. Our observations elucidated the carcinogenic role of lncRNA RP11-552M11.4 in CC was mediated through miR-3941/ATF1 axis, giving a new insight into the effective target for the treatment and prognosis of cervical cancer.

Aghajan Y, Malicki DM, Levy ML, Crawford JR
Atypical central neurocytoma with novel EWSR1-ATF1 fusion and MUTYH mutation detected by next-generation sequencing.
BMJ Case Rep. 2019; 12(1) [PubMed] Related Publications
We present the case of a 13-year-old boy with a very unusual periventricular atypical central neurocytoma with unique molecular features treated with subtotal surgical resection and photon intensity-modulated radiotherapy. Histological features were most consistent with atypical central neurocytoma. However, next-generation sequencing analysis revealed a novel EWSR1-ATF1 gene fusion (EWSR1-ATF1) as well as a MUTYH mutation. The EWSR1-ATF1 raised the possibility of Ewing sarcoma or angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, however, FLI-1 immunohistochemistry was negative. MUTYH mutations have been reported in diffuse midline paediatric glioma. The role of EWSR1-ATF1 and MUTYH mutations in central nervous system tumours is not well established. We present the first case of EWSR1-ATF1 and MUTYH mutation in a rare paediatric atypical central neurocytoma. Further studies are indicated to elucidate the consequences of these gene alterations in the context of paediatric central nervous system tumours as well as to investigate the potential role for targeted therapies.

Jiang Y, Jiang J, Jia H, et al.
Recovery of miR-139-5p in Ovarian Cancer Reverses Cisplatin Resistance by Targeting C-Jun.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 51(1):129-141 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: In platinum-based chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, acquired drug resistance is a frequent occurrence. Because recent studies have demonstrated that dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is partly responsible for the induction of acquired drug resistance in cancers, we hypothesized that correcting the dysregulation of key miRNAs would reverse the acquired resistance to platinum-based drugs in ovarian cancer.
METHODS: Cisplatin-resistant SKOV3 and A2780 ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV3-R and A2780-R, respectively) were established by long-term exposure to cisplatin. MTT assays were performed to evaluate the viability of SKOV3, SKOV3-R, A2780, and A2780-R cells. Quantitative PCR was used to examine the expression of miR-139-5p in these cell lines. The regulatory mechanism was confirmed by western blot analysis and luciferase reporter assays. After treatment with miR-139-5p and cisplatin, mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptosis were measured by using flow cytometry. Interaction with c-Jun and activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) was evaluated by co-immunoprecipitation. Expression of B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xl) and activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 were detected by western blotting.
RESULTS: Expression of miR-139-5p was decreased in SKOV3-R and A2780-R cells. Recovery of miR-139-5p increased the sensitivity of SKOV3-R and A2780-R cells to cisplatin treatment, inhibited the interaction of c-Jun and ATF2, and decreased Bcl-xl expression in SKOV3-R and A2780-R cells. Expression of miR-139-5p promoted cisplatin-induced mitochondrial apoptosis through binding the 3' untranslated region of c-Jun mRNA.
CONCLUSION: Recovery of miR-139-5p suppressed the expression of c-Jun and thus reversed cisplatin-resistance in ovarian cancer.

Zhong F, Zhang W, Cao Y, et al.
LncRNA NEAT1 promotes colorectal cancer cell proliferation and migration via regulating glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor by sponging miR-196a-5p.
Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2018; 50(12):1190-1199 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the one of the most common malignant tumors worldwide. Recent years, widespread long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been discovered and are known to regulate gene expression in cancers. However, the roles and underlying mechanisms of lncRNA in CRC remain largely unclear. Here, we firstly revealed that repression of lncRNA nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1 (NEAT1) inhibited cell proliferation and migration in HCT116 cells and overexpression of NEAT1 promoted cell proliferation and migration in SW480 cells using CCK8 assay and transwell assay. Then, we found that suppression of NEAT1 increased the miR-196a-5p expression in HCT116 cells, while elevation of NEAT1 decreased the miR-196a-5p expression in SW480 cells using qPCR assay. Furthermore, miR-196a-5p could bind to the predicted binding site of NEAT1. We then found that miR-196a-5p was involved in the role of NEAT1 in CRCs. In addition, we demonstrated that miR-196a-5p mimics inhibited the glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) expression in HCT116 cells and meanwhile, miR-196a-5p inhibitor promoted GDNF expression in SW480 cells using qPCR and western blot analysis. Then, we proved that miR-196a-5p exerted its function via regulating GDNF expression in CRCs. Ultimately, our study demonstrated that NEAT1 exerted its role via miR-196a-5p/GDNF axis in CRCs. In summary, this work provided the first evidence of a NEAT1/miR-196a-5p/GDNF regulatory pathway in CRC.

Chen C, Ge C, Liu Z, et al.
ATF3 inhibits the tumorigenesis and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via upregulation of CYR61 expression.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):263 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant cancers with a high incidence and high mortality in East Asia. Identifying biomarkers and clarifying the regulatory mechanisms of HCC are of great importance. Herein, we report the role and mechanism of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), a member of the ATF/cAMP-responsive element-binding protein family of transcription factors in HCC.
METHODS: ATF3 overexpression vector and shRNAs were transfected into HCC cancer cells to upregulate or downregulate ATF3 expression. In vitro and in vivo assays were performed to investigate the functional role of ATF3 in hepatocellular carcinoma. RNA-Seq was performed to screen the differentially expressed genes downstream of ATF3. The dual-luciferase reporter assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation (Ch-IP) analysis and functional rescue experiments were used to confirm the target gene regulated by ATF3. Tissue microarrays (TMAs) comprising 236 human primary HCC tissues were obtained and immunohistochemical staining were carried out to analyze the clinical significance of ATF3.
RESULTS: The results indicate that ATF3 significantly inhibited the proliferation and mobility of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 (CYR61) is a key target for transcriptional regulation by ATF3. Both ATF3 and CYR61 were consistently downregulated in human HCC tissues, and their expression levels were significantly and positively correlated with each other.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that ATF3 functions as a tumor suppressor in HCC through targeting and regulating CYR61.

Xin H, Deng Y, Cao J
Proviral insertion in murine lymphomas 2 promotes stomach cancer progression by regulating apoptosis via reactive oxygen species-triggered endoplasmic reticulum stress.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 506(1):145-152 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer is one of the most fatal cancers worldwide. The incidence and death rates are still increasing for gastric cancer. Increasing studies have shown that proviral insertion in murine lymphomas 2 (PIM2) functions as critical regulator of multiple cancers. However, it remains unknown whether and how PIM2 regulates gastric cancer progression. In this study, PIM2 was increased in the gastric cancer tissues of patients. Patients with high PIM2 expression levels had significantly shorter survival than those with low PIM2 expression. PIM2 knockdown reduced proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro by up-regulating E-cadherin, and down-regulating N-cadherin and Vimentin. Knockdown of PIM2 induced apoptosis in gastric cancer cells, which was regulated by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as evidenced by the increased expression levels of Activating transcription factor (ATF) 6, ATF4, X-box- binding protein-1 (XBP-1) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). In addition, our data showed that PIM2 silence induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, leading to the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Importantly, we found that PIM2 knockdown-induced apoptosis and ER stress could be abolished by reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In vivo, PIM2 knockdown showed a significant reduction in SGC-7901 xenograft tumor size. In summary, our findings provided experimental evidence that PIM2 might function as an important oncogene in gastric cancer, which supplied promising target for developing new therapeutic strategy in gastric cancer.

Kim H, Moon JY, Burapan S, et al.
Induction of ER Stress-Mediated Apoptosis by the Major Component 5,7,4'-Trimethoxyflavone Isolated from Kaempferia parviflora Tea Infusion.
Nutr Cancer. 2018 Aug-Sep; 70(6):984-996 [PubMed] Related Publications
Kaempferia parviflora (KP) is a famous medicinal plant from Thailand, and is a rich source of various kinds of methoxyflavones (MFs). Many kinds of food products such as tea, capsule, and liquor are manufactured from the rhizomes of KP. In this study, KP infusions were prepared with different brewing conditions, and the amounts of three major methoxylflavones, 5,7-dimethoxyflavone (DMF), 5,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone (TMF), and 3,5,7,3',4'-pentamethoxyflavone (PMF), were analyzed. The antiproliferative activities of DMF, TMF, and PMF isolated from the brewed tea samples were evaluated. TMF was discovered to be significantly effective at inhibiting proliferation of SNU-16 human gastric cancer cells in a concentration dependent manner. TMF induced apoptosis, as evidenced by increments of sub-G1 phase, DNA fragmentation, annexin-V/PI staining, the Bax/Bcl-xL ratio, proteolytic activation of caspase-3,-7,-8, and degradation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) protein. Furthermore, it was found that TMF induced apoptosis via ER stress, verified by an increase in the level of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78), inositol-requiring enzyme 1 α (IRE1α), activating transcription factor-4 (ATF-4), and the splice isoform of X-box-binding protein-1 (XBP-1) mRNA.

Segawa K, Sugita S, Aoyama T, et al.
Detection of specific gene rearrangements by fluorescence in situ hybridization in 16 cases of clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue and 6 cases of clear cell sarcoma-like gastrointestinal tumor.
Diagn Pathol. 2018; 13(1):73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue (CCSST) and clear cell sarcoma-like gastrointestinal tumor (CCSLGT) are malignant mesenchymal tumors that share some pathological features, but they also have several different characteristics. They are well known to express chimeric fusions of Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 (EWSR1) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) family members; namely, EWSR1-activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) and EWSR1-CREB1. In addition, recent studies have suggested the presence of other fusions.
METHODS: We used fluorescence in situ hybridization to detect specific rearrangements including EWSR1, ATF1, CREB1, and cAMP response element modulator (CREM) in 16 CCSST and 6 CCSLGT cases. We also used reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect specific chimeric fusions of EWSR1-ATF1 and EWSR1-CREB1 using fresh tumor samples in available cases.
RESULTS: A total of 15 of 16 CCSST cases (93.8%) had EWSR1 rearrangement, of which 11 (68.8%) also had ATF1 rearrangement, suggestive of the presence of EWSR1-ATF1 fusions. One CCSST case (6.3%) was found to have EWSR1 and CREM rearrangements, and 4 of 6 CCSLGT cases (66.7%) had EWSR1 rearrangement, of which 2 (33.3%) showed ATF1 rearrangement and the other 2 cases (33.3%) showed CREB1 rearrangement. These cases most likely had EWSR1-ATF1 and EWSR1-CREB1 fusions, respectively. RT-PCR was performed in 8 available cases, including 6 CCSSTs and 2 CCSLGTs. All CCSSTs showed EWSR1-ATF1 fusions. Among the 2 CCSLGT cases, one had EWSR1-ATF1 fusion and the other had EWSR1-CREB1 fusion.
CONCLUSIONS: Rearrangements of EWSR1 and ATF1 or EWSR1-ATF1 fusion were predominantly found in CCSST, whereas those of EWSR1 and CREB1 or EWSR1-CREB1 tended to be detected in CCSLGT. A novel CREM fusion was also detected in a few cases of CCSST and CCSLGT. The cases in which EWSR1 rearrangement was detected without definitive partner genes should be considered for the presence of CREM rearrangement.

Hakozaki M, Tamura H, Dobashi Y, et al.
Establishment and Characterization of a Novel Human Clear-cell Sarcoma of Soft-tissue Cell Line, RSAR001, Derived from Pleural Effusion of a Patient with Pleural Dissemination.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(9):5035-5042 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) of soft tissue is exceedingly rare and frequently exhibits aggressive behavior. Toward the goals of improving the aggressive course and poor prognosis of CCS, and establish new therapeutic methods, molecular genetic and biological characterizations of CCS are required.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A new human CCS cell line (designated RSAR001) was established from the pleural effusion of a 44-year-old man with multiple lung metastases and pleural dissemination. The cell line and its xenograft were characterized including their morphology, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetic analysis, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, direct sequencing analysis, and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis.
RESULTS: The cell line has been maintained for over 12 months with more than 50 passages. RSAR001 cells exhibited a fascicular or diffuse growth pattern of short spindle- or oval-shaped cells with clear cytoplasm in heterotransplanted tumor, that was similar to the primary tumor. Immunophenotypically, RSAR001 cells in vitro and in vivo exhibited almost the same characteristics as the primary tumor. Cytogenetic analyses revealed a translocation, t(12;22)(q13;q12). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing analysis detected transcripts of the Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1-activating transcription factor 1 (EWSR1-ATF1) type 1 fusion gene. Fluorescence in situ hybridization using a break-apart probe for the EWSR1 gene on 22q12 showed a rearrangement.
CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that the RSAR001 cell line harbors EWSR1-ATF1 type 1 chimeric fusion gene, which is specific to CCS. RSAR001 cells might be useful for investigating biological behaviors and developing new treatments such as molecular-targeting antitumor drugs or immunological drugs for CCS.

Chen M, Ba H, Lu C, et al.
Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) Promotes Angiogenesis through the Demethylation of the Fibromodulin (FMOD) Promoter in Glioblastoma.
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:6137-6143 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND Angiogenesis plays an important role in the progression of glioblastoma, with a high degree of malignancy. Previous studies have proved that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and fibromodulin (FMOD) are strongly expressed in human glioblastoma. The purpose of this study was to explore the roles of GDNF and FMOD in angiogenesis and the molecular mechanisms underlying these roles in human glioblastoma. MATERIAL AND METHODS The effects of GDNF on the expression and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in human glioblastoma cell line U251 and angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were investigated. The molecular mechanism of GDNF-induced expression of FMOD was explored. The roles of FMOD in GDNF-induced expression and secretion of VEGF and angiogenesis were also examined. RESULTS In the present study, we showed that GDNF promoted the expression and secretion of VEGF in U251 cells. VEGF mediated GDNF-induced angiogenesis in human glioblastoma. In addition, GDNF significantly upregulated the expression of FMOD in U251 cells. Mechanistically, the results of luciferase reporter assay and methylation-specific PCR (MSP) demonstrated that GDNF facilitated the demethylation of the FMOD promoter. More importantly, we found that FMOD acted as an important mediator in VEGF expression and angiogenesis induced by GDNF in human glioblastoma. CONCLUSIONS Collectively, our data show that GDNF promotes angiogenesis through demethylation of the FMOD promoter in human glioblastoma, indicating that GDNF and FMOD may be potential therapeutic targets for glioblastoma.

Hu Z, Tie Y, Lv G, et al.
Transcriptional activation of miR-320a by ATF2, ELK1 and YY1 induces cancer cell apoptosis under ionizing radiation conditions.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(4):1691-1702 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) play important roles in numerous cellular processes, including development, proliferation, tumorigenesis and apoptosis. It has been reported that miRNA expression is induced by ionizing radiation (IR) in cancer cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not yet fully understood. In this study, endogenous miR‑320a and its primary precursor (pri‑miR‑320a) were assayed by reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR (RT‑qPCR). Luciferase activities were measured using a dual‑luciferase reporter assay system. Western blot analysis was used to determine the protein expressions of upstream and downstream genes of miR‑320a. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by Annexin V apoptosis assay and cell proliferation was measured using the trypan blue exclusion method. The results revealed that miR‑320a expression increased linearly with the IR dose and treatment duration. Three transcription factors, activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2), ETS transcription factor (ELK1) and YY1 transcription factor (YY1), were activated by p38 mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) and mitogen‑activated protein kinase 8 (JNK) and by upregulated miR‑320a expression under IR conditions. In addition, it was identified that X‑linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) was an miR‑320a target gene during the IR response. By targeting XIAP, miR‑320a induced apoptosis and inhibited the proliferation of the cancer cells. On the whole, the results of this study demonstrated that miRNA‑320a, regulated by the p38 MAPK/JNK pathway, enhanced the radiosensitivity of cancer cells by inhibiting XIAP and this may thus prove to be a potential therapeutic approach with which to overcome radioresistance in cancer treatment.

Liu CY, Hsu CC, Huang TT, et al.
ER stress-related ATF6 upregulates CIP2A and contributes to poor prognosis of colon cancer.
Mol Oncol. 2018; 12(10):1706-1717 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is an adaptive response to various stress conditions and plays emerging roles in cancer. Activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6), one of the three major ER stress transducers, has been shown to contribute to chemoresistance by altering cancer cell survival. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) is an oncogene, and its expression has been correlated with the prognosis of patients with cancer. In this study, we aimed to explore the relationship between ER stress-related ATF signaling and CIP2A. We found that CIP2A expression was positively correlated with ATF6 expression by analyzing publicly available RNA sequence data of patients with colorectal cancer (The Cancer Genome Atlas, TCGA). In addition, we demonstrated that tunicamycin-induced ER stress in vitro upregulated ATF6 and CIP2A. Mechanistically, we found that ATF6 directly bound to the CIP2A promoter and induced CIP2A gene expression, which contributed to colon cancer cell survival. Furthermore, knockdown of CIP2A reduced the viability of cells under ER stress. Most importantly, immunohistochemical analysis of a tissue microarray from a colon cancer patient cohort showed that higher expression levels of ATF6 and CIP2A were associated with a trend toward poor prognosis. Taken together, our results show that ER stress-related ATF6 upregulates CIP2A and contributes to the prognosis of colon cancer. Targeting CIP2A may disrupt ER stress-mediated colon cancer cell survival and thus improve the prognosis of patients with colon cancer.

Ayanlaja AA, Zhang B, Ji G, et al.
The reversible effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the human brain.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2018; 53:212-222 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a potent survival factor, and a member of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily acting on different neuronal activities. GDNF was originally identified as a neurotrophic factor crucially involved in the survival of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway and is currently an established therapeutic target in Parkinson's disease. However, GDNF was later reported to be highly expressed in gliomas, especially in glioblastomas, and was demonstrated as a potent proliferation factor involved in the development and migration of gliomas. Here, we review our current understanding and progress made so far by researchers in our laboratories with references to relevant articles to support our discoveries. We present past and recent discoveries on the mechanisms involved in the protection of neurons by GDNF and examine its emerging roles in gliomas, as well as reasons for the abnormal expression in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). Collectively, our work establishes a paradigm by which the ability of GDNF to protect dopaminergic neurons from degradation and its corresponding effects on glioma cells points to an underlying biological vulnerability in the effects of GDNF in the normal brain which can be subverted for use by cancer cells. Hence, presenting novel opportunities for intervention in glioma therapies.

Ma J, Chang K, Peng J, et al.
SPOP promotes ATF2 ubiquitination and degradation to suppress prostate cancer progression.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):145 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Next-generation sequencing of the exome and genome of prostate cancers has identified numerous genetic alterations. SPOP (Speckle-type POZ Protein) is one of the most frequently mutated genes in primary prostate cancer, suggesting that SPOP may be a potential driver of prostate cancer. The aim of this work was to investigate how SPOP mutations contribute to prostate cancer development and progression.
METHODS: To identify molecular mediators of the tumor suppressive function of SPOP, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen in a HeLa cDNA library using the full-length SPOP as bait. Immunoprecipitation and Western Blotting were used to analyze the interaction between SPOP and ATF2. Cell migration and invasion were determined by Transwell assays. Immunohistochemistry were used to analyze protein levels in patients' tumor samples.
RESULTS: Here we identified ATF2 as a bona fide substrate of the SPOP-CUL3-RBX1 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. SPOP recognizes multiple Ser/Thr (S/T)-rich degrons in ATF2 and triggers ATF2 degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Strikingly, prostate cancer-associated mutants of SPOP are defective in promoting ATF2 degradation in prostate cancer cells and contribute to facilitating prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion.
CONCLUSION: SPOP promotes ATF2 ubiquitination and degradation, and ATF2 is an important mediator of SPOP inactivation-induced cell proliferation, migration and invasion.

Chapman E, Skalova A, Ptakova N, et al.
Molecular Profiling of Hyalinizing Clear Cell Carcinomas Revealed a Subset of Tumors Harboring a Novel EWSR1-CREM Fusion: Report of 3 Cases.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(9):1182-1189 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a novel gene fusion, EWSR1-CREM, identified in 3 cases of clear cell carcinoma (CCC) using anchored multiplex polymerase chain reaction, a next-generation sequencing-based technique. CCC is a low-grade salivary tumor recently characterized to have EWSR1-ATF1 fusions in the majority of cases. Three cases of malignant tumor presenting in the base of tongue, lung, and nasopharynx were studied. All cases shared a clear cell morphology with hyalinized stroma, presence of mucin and p63 positivity and were initially diagnosed as mucoepidermoid carcinoma but were negative for evidence of any of the expected gene fusions. Anchored multiplex polymerase chain reaction demonstrated a EWSR1-CREM fusion in all 3 cases to confirm a diagnosis of CCC. This finding is biologically justified as CREM and ATF1 both belong to the CREB family of transcription factors. EWSR1-CREM fusions have not been previously reported in CCC and have only rarely been reported in other tumors. We show that the ability to discover novel gene variants with next-generation sequencing-based assays has clinical utility in the pathologic classification of fusion gene-associated tumors.

Sánchez-Hernández L, Hernández-Soto J, Vergara P, et al.
Additive effects of the combined expression of soluble forms of GAS1 and PTEN inhibiting glioblastoma growth.
Gene Ther. 2018; 25(6):439-449 [PubMed] Related Publications
The overexpression of GAS1 (Growth Arrest Specific 1) in glioma cells induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. We previously demonstrated that the apoptotic process set off by GAS1 is caused by its capacity to inhibit the Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)-mediated intracellular survival signaling pathway. Whereas on the other hand, PTEN is a tumor suppressor, inactive in many tumors, and both GAS1 and PTEN inhibit the PI3K/AKT pathway. Therefore, it is relevant to investigate the potential additive effect of the overexpression of GAS1 and PTEN on tumor growth. In particular, we employed secreted forms of both GAS1 (tGAS1) and PTEN (PTEN-LONG, or PTEN-L) and tested their combined effect on glioma cells. We observed that the co-expression of both the proteins inhibited the growth of U-87 MG human glioblastoma cells more effectively than when independently expressed, and decreased the activity of both AKT and ERK1/2. Interestingly, the combination of the soluble forms was always the most effective treatment. To improve the transfer of tGAS1 and PTEN-L, we employed a lentiviral vector with a p2A peptide-enabled dual expression system that allowed the generation of the two proteins using a single promoter (CMV), in equimolar amounts. The viral vector reduced the growth of U-87 MG cells in vitro and had a striking effect in inhibiting their proliferation after inoculating it into the immunosuppressed mice. The present results support a potential adjuvant role for the combined use of tGAS1 and PTEN-L in the treatment of glioblastoma.

Pieraccioli M, Nicolai S, Pitolli C, et al.
ZNF281 inhibits neuronal differentiation and is a prognostic marker for neuroblastoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(28):7356-7361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Derangement of cellular differentiation because of mutation or inappropriate expression of specific genes is a common feature in tumors. Here, we show that the expression of ZNF281, a zinc finger factor involved in several cellular processes, decreases during terminal differentiation of murine cortical neurons and in retinoic acid-induced differentiation of neuroblastoma (NB) cells. The ectopic expression of ZNF281 inhibits the neuronal differentiation of murine cortical neurons and NB cells, whereas its silencing causes the opposite effect. Furthermore, TAp73 inhibits the expression of ZNF281 through miR34a. Conversely, MYCN promotes the expression of ZNF281 at least in part by inhibiting miR34a. These findings imply a functional network that includes p73, MYCN, and ZNF281 in NB cells, where ZNF281 acts by negatively affecting neuronal differentiation. Array analysis of NB cells silenced for ZNF281 expression identified GDNF and NRP2 as two transcriptional targets inhibited by ZNF281. Binding of ZNF281 to the promoters of these genes suggests a direct mechanism of repression. Bioinformatic analysis of NB datasets indicates that ZNF281 expression is higher in aggressive, undifferentiated stage 4 than in localized stage 1 tumors supporting a central role of ZNF281 in affecting the differentiation of NB. Furthermore, patients with NB with high expression of ZNF281 have a poor clinical outcome compared with low-expressors. These observations suggest that ZNF281 is a controller of neuronal differentiation that should be evaluated as a prognostic marker in NB.

Lu R, Yang Z, Xu G, Yu S
miR-338 modulates proliferation and autophagy by PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in cervical cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 105:633-644 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer (CC) is a malignant solid tumor, which is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in women. Given that autophagy is an important factor promoting tumor progression, we aim to investigate the functional role of miR-338 in autophagy and proliferation of cervical cancer. In our study, expression of miR-338 was validated by quantitative RT-PCR in 30 paired cervical cancer tissues and normal tissues. We performed MTT, colony formation and cell cycle assay to explore the effect of miR-338 on cell proliferation. The level of autophagy was evaluated by observing the expression of LC3 formation under fluorescence microscope and detected the LC3 expression by western blot. We used luciferase reporter assays to identify the target gene about miR-338. We not only found that the level of miR-338 is decreased in cervical cancer tissues and cells, but also negatively correlated with the protein level of ATF2. In turn, restoring the expression of miR-338 inhibited proliferation in Hela and SiHa cells. Further mechanistic study identified that ATF2 as a direct target of miR-338. Forced lowexpression of miR-338 directly led to increased the level of autophagy in cervical cancer cells, which was similar to the mTOR signaling inhibitor rapamycin. The western blot analysis show that inhibited miR-338 expression could decrease the p-mTOR and p-p70S6 expression. Thus, we infer that miR-338 decreases autophagy level in cervical cancer cells by activating mTOR signaling pathway. In summary, our study demonstrate that miR-338 could inhibites proliferation and autophagy by targeting ATF2 via mTOR signaling pathway on cervical cancer cells. These results suggest a potential application of miR-338 in cervical cancer as a novel mechanism of tumor therapeutic.

Song L, Peng L, Hua S, et al.
miR-144-5p Enhances the Radiosensitivity of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells via Targeting ATF2.
Biomed Res Int. 2018; 2018:5109497 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level and are involved in many biological processes such as cell proliferation and migration, stem cell differentiation, inflammation, and apoptosis. In particular, miR-144-3p is downregulated in various cancers, and its overexpression inhibits the proliferation and metastasis of cancer cells. However, the role of miR-144-5p in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), especially radiosensitivity, is unknown. In this study, we found that miR-144-5p was downregulated in NSCLC clinical specimens as well as NSCLC cell lines exposed to radiation. Enhanced expression of miR-144-5p promoted the radiosensitivity of NSCLC cells

Gareton A, Pierron G, Mokhtari K, et al.
ESWR1-CREM Fusion in an Intracranial Myxoid Angiomatoid Fibrous Histiocytoma-Like Tumor: A Case Report and Literature Review.
J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2018; 77(7):537-541 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene fusions of EWSR1 with members of the CREB family of transcription factors (CREB1, ATF1, and CREM) have recently been described in exceptional intracranial myxoid mesenchymal tumors. Although this is a known gene fusion found in various mesenchymal tumors, EWSR1 fusion with CREM has only been observed in 3 intracranial myxoid tumors. In this paper, we present 1 such tumor with in-depth histopathological description and long-term follow-up. There is controversy regarding whether these tumors represent a novel entity or simply an intracranial localization of the myxoid variant of angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, a rare soft tissue tumor of the extremities. Out of 11 cases mentioned in the literature, the 3 isolated case reports by Dunham et al, Ochalski et al, and Alshareef et al are designated as angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, whereas the others are defined as a novel tumoral entity called intracranial myxoid mesenchymal tumor with EWSR1-CREB fusion. We believe the vast morphological and immunohistochemical spectrum of angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma makes it difficult to dismiss this diagnosis.

Tang CX, Gu YX, Liu XF, et al.
Cross-link regulation of precursor N-cadherin and FGFR1 by GDNF increases U251MG cell viability.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(1):443-453 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is considered to be involved in the development of glioma. However, uncovering the underlying mechanism of the proliferation of glioma cells is a challenging work in progress. We have identified the binding of the precursor of N-cadherin (proN-cadherin) and GDNF on the cell membrane in previous studies. In the present study, we observed increased U251 Malignant glioma (U251MG) cell viability by exogenous GDNF (50 ng/ml). We also confirmed that the high expression of the proN-cadherin was stimulated by exogenous GDNF. Concurrently, we affirmed that lower expression of proN-cadherin correlated with reduced glioma cell viability. Additionally, we observed glioma cell U251MG viability as the phosphorylation level of FGFR1 at Y653 and Y654 was increased after exogenous GDNF treatment, which led to increased interaction between proN-cadherin and FGFR1 (pY653+Y654). Our experiments presented a new mechanism adopted by GDNF supporting glioma development and indicated a possible therapeutic potential via the inhibition of proN-cadherin/FGFR1 interaction.

Su YR, Di C, Bien S, et al.
A Mixed-Effects Model for Powerful Association Tests in Integrative Functional Genomics.
Am J Hum Genet. 2018; 102(5):904-919 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have successfully identified thousands of genetic variants for many complex diseases; however, these variants explain only a small fraction of the heritability. Recently, genetic association studies that leverage external transcriptome data have received much attention and shown promise for discovering novel variants. One such approach, PrediXcan, is to use predicted gene expression through genetic regulation. However, there are limitations in this approach. The predicted gene expression may be biased, resulting from regularized regression applied to moderately sample-sized reference studies. Further, some variants can individually influence disease risk through alternative functional mechanisms besides expression. Thus, testing only the association of predicted gene expression as proposed in PrediXcan will potentially lose power. To tackle these challenges, we consider a unified mixed effects model that formulates the association of intermediate phenotypes such as imputed gene expression through fixed effects, while allowing residual effects of individual variants to be random. We consider a set-based score testing framework, MiST (mixed effects score test), and propose two data-driven combination approaches to jointly test for the fixed and random effects. We establish the asymptotic distributions, which enable rapid calculation of p values for genome-wide analyses, and provide p values for fixed and random effects separately to enhance interpretability over GWASs. Extensive simulations demonstrate that our approaches are more powerful than existing ones. We apply our approach to a large-scale GWAS of colorectal cancer and identify two genes, POU5F1B and ATF1, which would have otherwise been missed by PrediXcan, after adjusting for all known loci.

Murillo-Garzón V, Gorroño-Etxebarria I, Åkerfelt M, et al.
Frizzled-8 integrates Wnt-11 and transforming growth factor-β signaling in prostate cancer.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):1747 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Wnt-11 promotes cancer cell migration and invasion independently of β-catenin but the receptors involved remain unknown. Here, we provide evidence that FZD

Luo L, Cai L, Luo L, et al.
Silencing activating transcription factor 2 promotes the anticancer activity of sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(6):8053-8060 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate the anticancer effect of sorafenib combined with silencing of activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and to assess the underlying molecular mechanisms. Huh‑7 HCC cell line was selected for the present study. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)‑ATF2 sequence was constructed to silence ATF2 expression. The experiment was divided into 6 groups: i) Control; ii) vector; iii) sorafenib (6.8 µM); iv) vector+sorafenib; v) siRNA‑ATF2; and vi) siRNA‑ATF2+sorafenib groups. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion were detected following treatments with sorafenib and/or ATF2 silencing. Additionally, expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‑α and c‑Jun N‑terminal kinase 3 (JNK3) was detected using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. The current findings revealed that siRNA‑ATF2 significantly reduced ATF2 expression. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion abilities in the sorafenib and siRNA‑ATF2 groups were significantly reduced compared with the control group (P<0.05). Apoptotic rate in the sorafenib and siRNA‑ATF2 groups was significantly increased compared with the control group (P<0.05). The mRNA and protein expression levels of ATF2 in the sorafenib or siRNA‑ATF2 groups was significantly reduced when compared with control group. The phosphorylation of ATF2 was also reduced following sorafenib treatment or ATF2 silence. Although JNK3 mRNA expression level was not affected, the phosphorylation level of JNK3 was significantly promoted following sorafenib treatment or ATF2 silencing. Additionally, TNF‑α mRNA and protein expression levels were increased following sorafenib treatment or ATF2 silencing. It is of note that siRNA‑ATF2 treatment promoted the anticancer activity of sorafenib in Huh‑7 cells. Additionally, siRNA‑ATF2+sorafenib treatment combined additionally promoted TNF‑α expression and phosphorylation of JNK3. Combined siRNA‑ATF2 and sorafenib treatment had a greater anticancer effect compared with sorafenib or ATF2 silencing alone. The possible mechanism involved in the anticancer effect of sorafenib and ATF2 silencing may be associated with the activation of the TNF‑α/JNK3 signaling pathway.

Rudat S, Pfaus A, Cheng YY, et al.
RET-mediated autophagy suppression as targetable co-dependence in acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(10):2189-2202 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many cases of AML are associated with mutational activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) such as FLT3. However, RTK inhibitors have limited clinical efficacy as single agents, indicating that AML is driven by concomitant activation of different signaling molecules. We used a functional genomic approach to identify RET, encoding an RTK, as an essential gene in multiple subtypes of AML, and observed that AML cells show activation of RET signaling via ARTN/GFRA3 and NRTN/GFRA2 ligand/co-receptor complexes. Interrogation of downstream pathways identified mTORC1-mediated suppression of autophagy and subsequent stabilization of leukemogenic drivers such as mutant FLT3 as important RET effectors. Accordingly, genetic or pharmacologic RET inhibition impaired the growth of FLT3-dependent AML cell lines and was accompanied by upregulation of autophagy and FLT3 depletion. RET dependence was also evident in mouse models of AML and primary AML patient samples, and transcriptome and immunohistochemistry analyses identified elevated RET mRNA levels and co-expression of RET and FLT3 proteins in a substantial proportion of AML patients. Our results indicate that RET-mTORC1 signaling promotes AML through autophagy suppression, suggesting that targeting RET or, more broadly, depletion of leukemogenic drivers via autophagy induction provides a therapeutic opportunity in a relevant subset of AML patients.

Horibata S, Rice EJ, Zheng H, et al.
A bi-stable feedback loop between GDNF, EGR1, and ERα contribute to endocrine resistant breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(4):e0194522 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Discovering regulatory interactions between genes that specify the behavioral properties of cells remains an important challenge. We used the dynamics of transcriptional changes resolved by PRO-seq to identify a regulatory network responsible for endocrine resistance in breast cancer. We show that GDNF leads to endocrine resistance by switching the active state in a bi-stable feedback loop between GDNF, EGR1, and the master transcription factor ERα. GDNF stimulates MAP kinase, activating the transcription factors SRF and AP-1. SRF initiates an immediate transcriptional response, activating EGR1 and suppressing ERα. Newly translated EGR1 protein activates endogenous GDNF, leading to constitutive GDNF and EGR1 up-regulation, and the sustained down-regulation of ERα. Endocrine resistant MCF-7 cells are constitutively in the GDNF-high/ ERα-low state, suggesting that the state in the bi-stable feedback loop may provide a 'memory' of endocrine resistance. Thus, we identified a regulatory network switch that contributes to drug resistance in breast cancer.

Han Y, Liu Q, Hou J, et al.
Tumor-Induced Generation of Splenic Erythroblast-like Ter-Cells Promotes Tumor Progression.
Cell. 2018; 173(3):634-648.e12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Identifying tumor-induced leukocyte subsets and their derived circulating factors has been instrumental in understanding cancer as a systemic disease. Nevertheless, how primary tumor-induced non-leukocyte populations in distal organs contribute to systemic spread remains poorly defined. Here, we report one population of tumor-inducible, erythroblast-like cells (Ter-cells) deriving from megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitor cells with a unique Ter-119

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