Gene Summary

Gene:IMP3; IMP U3 small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein 3
Aliases: BRMS2, MRPS4, C15orf12
Summary:This gene encodes the human homolog of the yeast Imp3 protein. The protein localizes to the nucleoli and interacts with the U3 snoRNP complex. The protein contains an S4 domain. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:U3 small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein protein IMP3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

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Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Latest Publications: IMP3 (cancer-related)

Kim HY, Ha Thi HT, Hong S
IMP2 and IMP3 cooperate to promote the metastasis of triple-negative breast cancer through destabilization of progesterone receptor.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 415:30-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of the most aggressive malignancies and is associated with high mortality rates due to the lack of effective therapeutic targets. In this study, we demonstrated that insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA-binding protein 2 and 3 (IMP2 and IMP3) are specifically overexpressed in TNBC and cooperate to promote cell migration and invasion. Downregulation of both IMP2 and IMP3 in TNBC cells was found to produce a synergistic effect in suppressing cell invasion and invadopodia formation, whereas overexpression of IMP2 and IMP3 in luminal subtype cells enhanced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis. We also showed that IMP2 and IMP3 are direct targets of microRNA-200a (miR-200a), which is downregulated in TNBC. Conversely, IMP2 and IMP3 suppressed the transcription of miR-200a by destabilizing progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA through recruitment of the CCR4-NOT transcription complex subunit 1 (CNOT1) complex. Together, our findings suggest that IMP2 and IMP3 partially determine the characteristic phenotype and synergistically promote the metastasis of TNBC by downregulating PR. The identified IMP2/3-miR-200a-PR axis represents a novel double-negative feedback loop and serves as a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of TNBC.

Burdelski C, Jakani-Karimi N, Jacobsen F, et al.
IMP3 overexpression occurs in various important cancer types and is linked to aggressive tumor features: A tissue microarray study on 8,877 human cancers and normal tissues.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(1):3-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IMP3 is an RNA binding protein required for ribosomal RNA processing, which has been suggested to be a prognostic marker in a large variety of human types of cancer. However, available data on the prevalence of IMP3 expression are largely discrepant. To systematically investigate the epidemiology and clinical relevance of IMP3 expression in human cancers we employed a two-step tissue microarrays (TMAs) approach. First, a normal tissue TMA and a multi-tumor TMA were analyzed for immunohistochemically detectable expression of IMP3 in 76 different normal tissue types and 3889 cancer samples from 95 different tumor categories. In a second step, we searched for associations between IMP3 expression and tumor phenotype and patient prognosis in TMAs containing 697 urinary bladder cancers, 1711 colon cancers, 343 esophageal adenocarcinomas, 251 esophageal squamous cell cancers, 673 lung cancers), 275 pancreatic cancers and 230 stomach cancers. In normal tissues, unequivocal IMP3 expression was found in placenta, lymphocytes and some types of glandular epithelial cells. In cancers, at least one case with weak expression could be found in 76 out of 95 (80%) different tumor types and 64 entities (67%) had at least one tumor with strong positivity. IMP3 expression was most frequently found in testicular cancer (including 71% seminomas and 96% non-seminomas), neuroblastoma (88%), and squamous cell cancer of various origins. Significant associations were found between IMP3 and adverse tumor features in esophageal adenocarcinomas and cancers of the urinary bladder, lung, stomach, and pancreas. In summary, IMP3 was frequently expressed in many different tumor types, and was typically associated with aggressive tumor features.

You S, Guan Y, Li W
Epithelial‑mesenchymal transition in colorectal carcinoma cells is mediated by DEK/IMP3.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(1):1065-1070 [PubMed] Related Publications
To investigate the inhibitory effects of DEK/insulin‑like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) on epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) in colorectal carcinoma cells. SW620 and SW480 cell lines were selected. DEK‑interfering lentivirus was transfected to knockdown DEK expression. Subsequently, MTT assays and flow cytometry were utilized to measure cell viability, and apoptosis, respectively. Cell invasion was detected using a Transwell assay. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were used to detect the expression of E‑cadherin, vimentin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑9. Compared with the blank control, cells transfected with DEK‑interfering lentivirus demonstrated a remarkable reduction in cell viability (P<0.05). The apoptotic rate in the DEK‑interfering lentivirus group was significantly enhanced compared with the blank control group (P<0.05). In the DEK‑interfering lentivirus group, the expression of E‑cadherin was significantly elevated (P<0.05), while the expression of vimentin and MMP‑9 were significantly reduced in both cell lines (P<0.05). The results of the present study demonstrated that EMT of colorectal carcinoma cells was partially mediated by DEK, which likely affected the invasive ability of colorectal carcinoma cells. In addition, cell proliferation and apoptosis were susceptible to DEK silencing. The current study has provided experimental evidence for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma using DEK silencing.

An MX, Li S, Yao HB, et al.
BAG3 directly stabilizes Hexokinase 2 mRNA and promotes aerobic glycolysis in pancreatic cancer cells.
J Cell Biol. 2017; 216(12):4091-4105 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known historically as the Warburg effect, is one of the hallmarks of cancer cells. In this study, we characterized the role of BAG3 in aerobic glycolysis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and its molecular mechanisms. Our data show that aberrant expression of BAG3 significantly contributes to the reprogramming of glucose metabolism in PDAC cells. Mechanistically, BAG3 increased Hexokinase 2 (HK2) expression, the first key enzyme involved in glycolysis, at the posttranscriptional level. BAG3 interacted with HK2 mRNA, and the degree of BAG3 expression altered recruitment of the RNA-binding proteins Roquin and IMP3 to the HK2 mRNA. BAG3 knockdown destabilized HK2 mRNA via promotion of Roquin recruitment, whereas BAG3 overexpression stabilized HK2 mRNA via promotion of IMP3 recruitment. Collectively, our results show that BAG3 promotes reprogramming of glucose metabolism via interaction with HK2 mRNA in PDAC cells, suggesting that BAG3 may be a potential target in the aerobic glycolysis pathway for developing novel anticancer agents.

Bhargava S, Patil V, Shah RA, Somasundaram K
IGF2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) mediated regulation of transcriptome and translatome in glioma cells.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2018; 19(1):42-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA binding proteins mediate global regulation at the level of transcriptome and translatome of a cell. We studied the global level expression changes regulated by IMP3 in transcriptome and translatome by performing microarray using total cellular RNA and heavy polysome derived RNA of IMP3 silenced glioma cells respectively. Differentially regulated transcripts at the transcriptome level (n = 2388) and at the level of translatome (n = 479) were identified. Further, these transcripts were classified as direct and indirect targets on the basis of presence of IMP3 binding site. Additional investigation revealed that direct targets at transcriptome level were found to be associated with processes related to cell cycle, whereas direct targets at the translatome level participated in apoptosis related pathways. Probable mechanism of indirect regulation at both the levels is also investigated. Collectively, our study reveals multi-level gene expression regulation imposed by IMP3 in glioma cells.

Bhargava S, Visvanathan A, Patil V, et al.
IGF2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) promotes glioma cell migration by enhancing the translation of RELA/p65.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(25):40469-40485 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The diffusely infiltrative nature of glioblastoma (GBM) makes them highly recurrent. IGF2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3), a GBM upregulated RNA binding protein, promotes glioma cell migration. An integrative bioinformatics analysis identified p65 (RELA), a subunit of NF-κB heterodimer as a target and an important mediator of IMP3 promoted glioma cell migration. IMP3 increased p65 protein levels without any change in p65 transcript levels, but promoted its polysome association. RIP-PCR demonstrated the binding of IMP3 to p65 transcript. UV crosslinking experiments with in vitro transcribed RNA confirmed the specific and direct binding of IMP3 to sites on p65 3'UTR. Further, IMP3 induced luciferase activity from p65 3'UTR reporter carrying wild type sites but not mutated sites. Exogenous overexpression of p65 from a 3'UTR-less construct rescued the reduced migration of glioma cells in IMP3 silenced condition. In addition, IMP3 silencing inhibited glioma stem-like cell maintenance and migration. The exogenous overexpression of 3'UTR-less p65 significantly alleviated the inhibition of neurosphere formation observed in IMP3 silenced glioma stem-like cells. Further, we show that IMP3 is transcriptionally activated by NF-κB pathway indicating the presence of a positive feedback loop between IMP3 and p65. This study establishes p65 as a novel target of IMP3 in increasing glioma cell migration and underscores the significance of IMP3-p65 feedback loop for therapeutic targeting in GBM.

JnBaptiste CK, Gurtan AM, Thai KK, et al.
Dicer loss and recovery induce an oncogenic switch driven by transcriptional activation of the oncofetal Imp1-3 family.
Genes Dev. 2017; 31(7):674-687 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression critical for organismal viability. Changes in miRNA activity are common in cancer, but how these changes relate to subsequent alterations in transcription and the process of tumorigenesis is not well understood. Here, we report a deep transcriptional, oncogenic network regulated by miRNAs. We present analysis of the gene expression and phenotypic changes associated with global miRNA restoration in miRNA-deficient fibroblasts. This analysis uncovers a miRNA-repressed network containing oncofetal genes

Degrauwe N, Suvà ML, Janiszewska M, et al.
IMPs: an RNA-binding protein family that provides a link between stem cell maintenance in normal development and cancer.
Genes Dev. 2016; 30(22):2459-2474 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IMPs, also known as insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) messenger RNA (mRNA)-binding proteins (IGF2BPs), are highly conserved oncofetal RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that regulate RNA processing at several levels, including localization, translation, and stability. Three mammalian IMP paralogs (IMP1-3) have been identified that are expressed in most organs during embryogenesis, where they are believed to play an important role in cell migration, metabolism, and stem cell renewal. Whereas some IMP2 expression is retained in several adult mouse organs, IMP1 and IMP3 are either absent or expressed at very low levels in most tissues after birth. However, all three paralogs can be re-expressed upon malignant transformation and are found in a broad range of cancer types where their expression often correlates with poor prognosis. IMPs appear to resume their physiological functions in malignant cells, which not only contribute to tumor progression but participate in the establishment and maintenance of tumor cell hierarchies. This review summarizes our current understanding of the functions of IMPs during normal development and focuses on a series of recent observations that have provided new insight into how their physiological functions enable IMPs to play a potentially key role in cancer stem cell maintenance and tumor growth.

Ezzat NE, Tahoun NS, Ismail YM
The role of S100P and IMP3 in the cytologic diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
J Egypt Natl Canc Inst. 2016; 28(4):229-234 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the role of the two markers, S100P and IMP3, in differentiating between pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) and non-neoplastic pancreatic tissue in (fine needle aspiration cytology) FNAC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective study that included 72 cases presented with pancreatic mass, where endoscopic guided FNAC was taken from pancreatic lesions. The final histopathologic diagnosis was considered the gold standard. Cell blocks were stained with anti S100P, and IMP3. Nuclear immunoreactivity with or without cytoplasmic staining for the first marker, and cytoplasmic staining for the second marker was considered specific. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and total accuracy of the two markers, as well as the combined accuracy of both markers were calculated.
RESULTS: S100P achieved 96.4% sensitivity, 93.3% specificity, 98.2% PPV, 87.5% NPV and 95.8% total accuracy, while IMP3 achieved 91.2% sensitivity, 86.7% specificity, 96.2% PPV, 72.2% NPV and 90.3% total accuracy for PDA. Both markers showed a total combined accuracy of 89%. S100P showed strong and diffuse staining pattern in most of cases, while the staining pattern for IMP3 was moderate and focal in most of cases.
CONCLUSION: Both markers were sensitive and specific for diagnosis of PDA. The staining pattern for S100P was easier to evaluate than IMP3.

Wang J, Zhao M, Xiao J, et al.
E-Cadherin, CD44v6, and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-II mRNA-Binding Protein 3 Expressions in Different Stages of Hydatidiform Moles.
J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2016; 30(9):455-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
E-cadherin, CD44v6, and IMP3 expression in partial, complete, and invasive hydatidiform moles (HMs) was evaluated. High E-cadherin expression with low CD44v6 expression was observed in partial, complete, and invasive HMs, as well as in normal placental tissues; and there was no significant difference in E-cadherin and CD44v6 expression among the four groups. However, IMP3 expression was gradually decreased in the order of normal placental tissues, partial HMs, complete HMs, and invasive HMs; wherein, invasive HMs had the lowest level. Low IMP3 expression may serve as a prognostic biomarker for HMs, and IMP3 may play a certain role in HMs progression.

Helbig D, Ihle MA, Pütz K, et al.
Oncogene and therapeutic target analyses in atypical fibroxanthomas and pleomorphic dermal sarcomas.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(16):21763-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Until now, almost nothing is known about the tumorigenesis of atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX) and pleomorphic dermal sarcoma (PDS). Our hypothesis is that AFX is the non-infiltrating precursor lesion of PDS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed the world-wide most comprehensive immunohistochemical and mutational analysis in well-defined AFX (n=5) and PDS (n=5).
RESULTS: In NGS-based mutation analyses of selected regions by a 17 hotspot gene panel of 102 amplicons we could detect TP53 mutations in all PDS as well as in the only analyzed AFX and PDS of the same patient. Besides, we detected mutations in the CDKN2A, HRAS, KNSTRN and PIK3CA genes.Performing immunohistochemistry for CTNNB1, KIT, CDK4, c-MYC, CTLA-4, CCND1, EGFR, EPCAM, ERBB2, IMP3, INI-1, MKI67, MDM2, MET, p40, TP53, PD-L1 and SOX2 overexpression of TP53, CCND1 and CDK4 was seen in AFX as well as in PDS. IMP3 was upregulated in 2 AFX (weak staining) and 4 PDS (strong staining).FISH analyses for the genes FGFR1, FGFR2 and FGFR3 revealed negative results in all tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: UV-induced TP53 mutations as well as CCND1/CDK4 changes seem to play essential roles in tumorigenesis of PDS. Furthermore, we found some more interesting mutated genes in other oncogene pathways (activating mutations of HRAS and PIK3CA). All AFX and PDS investigated immunohistochemically presented with similar oncogene expression profiles (TP53, CCND1, CDK4 overexpression) and the single case with an AFX and PDS showed complete identical TP53 and PIK3CA mutation profiles in both tumors. This reinforces our hypothesis that AFX is the non-infiltrating precursor lesion of PDS.

Kanzaki A, Kudo M, Ansai S, et al.
Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein-3 as a marker for distinguishing between cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and keratoacanthoma.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(3):1007-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the histopathological diagnosis of cutaneous tumors, the differential diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) with crateriform architecture and keratoacanthoma (KA) is often difficult so an accurate understanding of the biological features and the identification of reliable markers of SCC and KA are crucial issues. Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein-3 (IGF2BP3, also known as IMP3) is thought of as a bona fide oncofetal protein, which is overexpressed and is involved in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in several kinds of tumors. However, the role of IMP3 in cutaneous SCC and KA has not been well studied. Therefore, we focused on studying the biological functions of IMP3 in SCC and KA. In human skin SCC cell lines, HSC-1 and HSC-5, and the human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT, IMP3 mRNA levels were significantly higher than that of normal human skin. The knockdown of IMP3 expression reduced the proliferation of HSC-1, and significantly reduced invasion by HSC-1 and HSC-5. In contrast, the knockdown of IMP3 did not significantly affect invasion by HaCaT cells. In immunohistochemical studies of SCC and KA tissues, the Ki-67 labeling index (LI) of the suprabasal cell layer was significantly higher in SCC, compared with KA tissues and the tumor-free margin (TFM) adjacent to SCC and KA. Most SCC tissues stained strongly positive for IMP3, but KA tissues and TFM were mostly negative for IMP3. The Ki-67 LI of the IMP3-positive group was significantly higher than that of the IMP3-negative group in the suprabasal cell layer of SCC. These results suggest that IMP3 plays an important role in proliferation and, more significantly, in the invasion of SCC, and may be a suitable marker for the histopathological diagnosis of SCC with a crateriform architecture and KA. Furthermore, IMP3 may potentially be a new therapeutic target for SCC.

Hope ER, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Pejovic T, et al.
Nestin: A biomarker of aggressive uterine cancers.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(3):503-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Evidence of potential prognostic and predictive value for nestin was investigated in well-annotated uterine cancers (UCs).
METHODS: Nestin expression and previously-published biomarkers were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in UC tissue microarrays. Biomarkers were categorized as low vs. high, and nestin was cut at 10% positive staining. Relationship between nestin and clinicopathologic factors, biomarkers and outcome were evaluated using exact/log-rank testing or logistic/Cox modeling.
RESULTS: There were 323 eligible cases, 34% had advanced stage disease, 37% had type II disease, and 5% were carcinosarcomas. High nestin, observed in 19% of cases, was more common in advanced vs. early stage disease, type II cancers or uterine carcinosarcoma vs. type I cancers, grade 3 disease, positive lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) and tumors >6cm (p<0.05). Nestin was inversely correlated with ER, PR and TFF3, and correlated with p53 and IMP3. Women with high vs. low nestin had worse progression-free survival (PFS) and cancer-specific survival overall, and worse PFS in the subset who received no adjuvant therapy or radiation, or had early stage, type I disease or tumors with both low and high ER, PR, TFF3, PTEN, p53 or IMP3. The relationship between nestin and PFS was independent of stage, LVSI and risk categorization but not type of UC.
CONCLUSIONS: High nestin was more common in UCs with aggressive features and poor outcome. Nestin may represent a predictive biomarker for treatment selection for patients previously considered to be lower risk and a candidate for no or radiation-based adjuvant therapy, and compliment ER/PR testing.

Zhang H, Zhang T, You Z, Zhang Y
Positive Surgical Margin, HPV Persistence, and Expression of Both TPX2 and PD-L1 Are Associated with Persistence/Recurrence of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia after Cervical Conization.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0142868 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical predictors of the persistence/recurrence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) after cervical conization.
METHODS: Medical records of 502 patients who received cervical conization treatment of CIN between 2005 and 2012 were reviewed. The clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed using Cox hazard regression. Fifty patients with CIN persistence/recurrence were matched to 50 cases without CIN persistence/recurrence. These 100 cervical specimens were assessed for expression of insulin-like growth factor II messenger RNA (mRNA)-binding protein 3 (IMP3), targeting protein for xenopus kinesin-like protein 2 (TPX2), and programmed cell death-1 ligand-1 (PD-L1) using immunohistochemical staining.
RESULTS: Multivariate analysis found that the independent predictors of CIN persistence/recurrence were positive surgical margin (hazard ratio 5.777, 95% confidence interval 2.334-14.301, p < 0.001) and human papilloma virus persistence for 6 months (hazard ratio 20.685, 95% confidence interval 7.350-57.657, p < 0.001). Co-expression of TPX2 and PD-L1 was significantly higher in CIN persistence/recurrence group than the group without CIN persistence/recurrence (p = 0.013). The depth of glandular involvement (GI) was less than 3mm in about 86.8% (59/68) CIN2-3 lesions, However, No statistically significant associations between GI and persistence/recurrence were observed (P = 0.58).
CONCLUSION: Positive surgical margin, HPV persistence, and expression of both TPX2 and PD-L1 are associated with persistence/recurrence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia after cervical conization.

Yan J, Wei Q, Jian W, et al.
IMP3 Predicts Invasion and Prognosis in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma.
Lung. 2016; 194(1):137-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3) is an oncofetal protein associated with several aggressive and advanced cancers. Whether IMP3 can predict invasion, and prognosis in patients with human lung adenocarcinoma (LAC) remains unclear.
METHODS: Ninety-five LAC and 75 non-tumor lung tissue samples were included in a tissue microarray. IMP3 expression was assessed by immunohistochemical examination. Correlation between IMP3 expression levels, clinicopathological characteristics, and overall prognosis was evaluated. In a separate in vitro study, RNA interference method was applied for knockdown of IMP3 gene in human LAC cell lines. Invasive potential of LAC cells was then evaluated by transwell migration assay.
RESULTS: IMP3 immunoreactivity was observed in 39 out of 95 (41.1 %) LAC patients, but not in non-tumor lung tissues. IMP3 expression levels were closely associated with histological grade (P = 0.037), TNM stage (P = 0.034), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.011). Patients presenting with positive IMP3 expression (P = 0.000), an advanced TNM stage (P = 0.000), and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.001) had a worse overall survival, compared to those lacking these characteristics. Both IMP3 expression (hazard ratio [HR], 2.310; 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.192-4.476; P = 0.013) and TNM stage (HR 2.338; 95 % CI 1.393-3.925; P = 0.001) were independent predictors of poor prognosis. The invasive potential of LAC cells was significantly inhibited by IMP3 knockdown.
CONCLUSION: IMP3 appears to play an important role in tumor invasion in patients with LAC and may serve as a useful prognostic biomarker in these patients.

Chokoeva AA, Ananiev J, Wollina U, et al.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2015 Jul-Sep; 29(3):695-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMP-3 is generally considered as an oncofetal protein, which plays a critical role in regulation of cell proliferation via an IGF-II-dependent pathway in K562 leukemia cells. IMP-3 expression has been detected in malignancies with various origins, while its appearance in adult tissue is generally considered abnormal, with some exceptions. IMP3 is also considered a prognostic biomarker in patients with renal cell carcinoma and clear-cell type ovarian carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and in patients with poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma and uterine cervical carcinomas, testicular cancer and malignant melanoma. To our knowledge, no more than 4 PubMed-indexed studies have investigated the expression of IMP-3 in melanocytic lesions, namely its role in the differentiation between benign and malignant neoplasms. We investigated the expression of IMP-3 in a small series of benign melanocytic lesions, dysplastic nevi and melanomas, aiming to establish its significance as a marker for their distinction, comparing the results with those from the literature. IMP- 3 immunostaining was performed in 30 melanocytic lesions: 10 malignant melanomas, 10 dysplastic nevi and 10 benign melanocytic nevi. Our results revealed expression in 20% of dysplastic lesions and 40% of melanoma cases, while none of the benign nevi showed positive expression. These data contradict some of the results from other studies and raise some questions regarding the correlation between IMP- 3 and the degree of dysplasia of melanocytic nevi, as well as its potential relationship with prognostic parameters in melanoma, including tumor thickness and mitotic rate. Our results suggest that IMP-3 expression could be only an auxiliary marker for differentiation between dysplastic nevi and benign nevi, since although it is not expressed in all dysplastic lesions, staining correlates with the degree of dysplasia/atypia. It seems that IMP-3 expression is not a useful discriminator between dysplastic nevi and melanoma nor a good prognostic marker in melanoma.

Mohanty SK, Lai JP, Gordon OK, et al.
BRCA-mutated Invasive Breast Carcinomas: Immunohistochemical Analysis of Insulin-like Growth Factor II mRNA-binding Protein (IMP3), Cytokeratin 8/18, and Cytokeratin 14.
Breast J. 2015 Nov-Dec; 21(6):596-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
To evaluate the expression of insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein (IMP3), CK8/18, and CK14 in BRCA mutated and sporadic invasive breast carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry for IMP3, CK8/18, and CK14 was performed on 39 cases of invasive breast carcinomas with BRCA mutation (24 BRCA1, 14 BRCA2, and 1 dual BRCA1/BRCA2) and 54 cases of sporadic invasive breast carcinomas. The relationship between the IMP3, CK8/18, and CK14 and the tumor grade and molecular phenotypes were analyzed. IMP3, CK8/18, and CK14 positivity were present in 20 (51%), 22 (56%), and 14 (36%) of 39 BRCA-mutated breast carcinomas, and 11 (20%), 53 (98%), and 24 (44%) of 54 sporadic breast carcinomas respectively. The rates of IMP3 expression and absence of CK8/18 (44% versus 2%) in BRCA-mutated breast carcinomas was significantly higher than the sporadic breast carcinomas (p = 0.002 and p < 0.001). No significant difference was observed for CK14 among the two groups (p = 0.408). No significant difference was observed among BRCA1-related and BRCA2-related breast carcinomas in the immunoprofile for IMP3, CK8/18, and CK14. No significant correlation was identified between the expression of IMP3 and CK8/18 and the tumor grade in both BRCA-mutated and sporadic breast carcinomas (p > 0.05). In cases with luminal A and B phenotypes, the rates of expression of IMP3 and loss of CK8/18 were significantly higher in BRCA-mutated as compared to sporadic breast carcinoma (p < 0.001). In cases with basal-like phenotype, the absence of CK8/18 expression was significantly higher in BRCA-mutated breast carcinomas (54% versus 0%, p = 0.001), while no difference was observed for IMP3 expression (p = 0.435). Regardless of mutation type, histologic grade, or molecular phenotype, the absence of CK8/18 expression and presence of IMP3 expression are seen at much higher rate in BRCA mutated breast carcinomas.

Chen L, Huang K, Himmelfarb EA, et al.
Diagnostic value of maspin in distinguishing adenocarcinoma from benign biliary epithelium on endoscopic bile duct biopsy.
Hum Pathol. 2015; 46(11):1647-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Histopathologic distinction between benign and malignant epithelia on endoscopic bile duct biopsy can be extremely challenging due to small sample size, crush artifact, and a propensity for marked inflammatory and reactive changes after stent placement. Our previous studies have shown that the insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3, S100P, and the von Hippel-Lindau gene product (pVHL) can help the distinction. This study analyzed 134 endoscopic bile duct biopsy specimens (adenocarcinoma 45, atypical 31, and benign 58) by immunohistochemistry for the expression of maspin, a serine protease inhibitor. The results demonstrated that (1) maspin expression was more frequently detected in malignant than in benign biopsies; (2) malignant biopsies frequently showed diffuse, strong/intermediate, and combined nuclear/cytoplasmic staining patterns for maspin, which were much less commonly seen in benign biopsies; (3) the malignant staining patterns for maspin observed in atypical biopsies were consistent with follow-up data showing that 67% of these patients were subsequently diagnosed with adenocarcinoma; (4) a maspin+/S100P+/pVHL- staining profile was seen in 75% of malignant biopsies but in none of the benign cases. These observations demonstrate that maspin is a useful addition to the diagnostic immunohistochemical panel (S100P, pVHL, and insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3) to help distinguish malignant from benign epithelia on challenging bile duct biopsies.

Hsu KF, Shen MR, Huang YF, et al.
Overexpression of the RNA-binding proteins Lin28B and IGF2BP3 (IMP3) is associated with chemoresistance and poor disease outcome in ovarian cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 113(3):414-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RNA-binding proteins have an important role in messenger RNA (mRNA) regulation during tumour development and carcinogenesis. In the present study, we examined the insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding proteins (IGF2BPs; hereafter refered to as IMPs) and Lin28 family expressions in epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) patients and correlated their expression levels with the response to chemotherapy, hCTR1 expression and patient survival.
METHODS: Patients clinical information, real-time RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, western blot, Transwell migration invasion assays, and cytotoxicity assays were used.
RESULTS: From 140 EOC patients, high expression of IMP3 or Lin28B was associated with poor survival, and women diagnosed at advanced stages with elevated IMP3 and Lin28B were at higher risk of developing chemoresistance. High IMP3 levels combined with high Lin28B levels significantly correlated with the poorest 5-year survival rates. Knockdown of IMP3 or Lin28B decreased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, and increased the platinum sensitivity, but not taxol sensitivity, of ovarian cancer cells through increased expression of hCTR1, a copper transporter involved in platinum uptake. High expression of hCTR1 correlated with low expression of IMP3/Lin28B and better progression-free survival in advanced-stage EOC patients.
CONCLUSION: Testing for a combination of elevated IMP3 and Lin28B levels could further facilitate the identification of a patient subgroup with the worst prognosis.

Samanta S, Sun H, Goel HL, et al.
IMP3 promotes stem-like properties in triple-negative breast cancer by regulating SLUG.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(9):1111-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IMP3 (insulin-like growth factor-2 mRNA binding protein 3) is an oncofetal protein whose expression is prognostic for poor outcome in several cancers. Although IMP3 is expressed preferentially in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), its function is poorly understood. We observed that IMP3 expression is significantly higher in tumor initiating than in non-tumor initiating breast cancer cells and we demonstrate that IMP3 contributes to self-renewal and tumor initiation, properties associated with cancer stem cells (CSCs). The mechanism by which IMP3 contributes to this phenotype involves its ability to induce the stem cell factor SOX2. IMP3 does not interact with SOX2 mRNA significantly or regulate SOX2 expression directly. We discovered that IMP3 binds avidly to SNAI2 (SLUG) mRNA and regulates its expression by binding to the 5' UTR. This finding is significant because SLUG has been implicated in breast CSCs and TNBC. Moreover, we show that SOX2 is a transcriptional target of SLUG. These data establish a novel mechanism of breast tumor initiation involving IMP3 and they provide a rationale for its association with aggressive disease and poor outcome.

Pei X, Li M, Zhan J, et al.
Enhanced IMP3 Expression Activates NF-кB Pathway and Promotes Renal Cell Carcinoma Progression.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0124338 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) is expressed in metastatic and a subset of primary renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, the role of IMP3 in RCC progression was poorly understood. We aim to uncover the mechanism of IMP3 in regulating clear cell RCC (CCRCC) progression and validate the prognostic significance of IMP3 in localized CCRCC.
METHODS: Caki-1 cells stably overexpressing IMP3 and Achn cells with knockdown of IMP3 were analyzed for cell migration and invasion by Transwell assay. RNA-seq was used to profile gene expression in IMP3-expressing Caki-1 cells. A cohort of 469 localized CCRCC patients were examined for IMP3 expression by immunohistochemistry using tumor tissue array.
RESULTS: IMP3 promoted Caki-1 cell migration and invasion, whereas knockdown of IMP3 by RNAi inhibited Achn cell migration and invasion. Enhanced IMP3 expression activated NF-кB pathway and through which, it functioned in promoting the RCC cell migration. IMP3 expression in localized CCRCC was found to be associated with higher nuclear grade, higher T stage, necrosis and sarcomatoid differentiation (p< 0.001). Enhanced IMP3 expression was correlated with shorter recurrence-free and overall survivals. Multivariable analysis validated IMP3 as an independent prognostic factor for localized CCRCC patients.
CONCLUSION: IMP3 promotes RCC cell migration and invasion by activation of NF-кB pathway. IMP3 is validated to be an independent prognostic marker for localized CCRCC.

Pasiliao CC, Chang CW, Sutherland BW, et al.
The involvement of insulin-like growth factor 2 binding protein 3 (IMP3) in pancreatic cancer cell migration, invasion, and adhesion.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:266 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Over-expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP3) is correlated with poor prognosis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Previous studies examining other cancer types have implicated IMP3 in the regulation of several cellular functions that are characteristic of tumour cells. However, the role of this oncofetal protein in PDAC progression remained unclear.
METHODS: Using siRNA, we examined the effect of IMP3 inhibition on the motility, invasive ability, and matrix adhesion of PDAC cells. In addition, we also evaluated the expression of cytoskeleton-associated genes following IMP depletion.
RESULTS: Knockdown of IMP3 significantly decreased the motility, invasion, and extracellular matrix adhesion of select PDAC cells in vitro. In addition, IMP3-depleted cells exhibited lower levels of CD44 protein and KIF11 mRNA. Moreover, we also observed a reduction in downstream RhoA signaling following IMP3 knockdown, indicating that IMP3 modulates the levels of proteins involved in cytoskeletal organization.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that IMP3 facilitates PDAC progression by enhancing the pro-metastatic behaviour of tumour cells.

Del Gobbo A, Vaira V, Ferrari L, et al.
The oncofetal protein IMP3: a novel grading tool and predictor of poor clinical outcome in human gliomas.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:413897 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Morphologic criteria illustrated in WHO guidelines are the most significant prognostic factor in human gliomas, but novel biomarkers are needed to identify patients with a poorer outcome. The present study examined the expression of the oncofetal protein IMP3 in a series of 135 patients affected by high-grade (grade III and IV) gliomas, correlating the results with proliferative activity, molecular parameters, and clinical and follow-up data. Overall, IMP3 expression was higher in glioblastomas (68%) than in grade III tumors (20%, P < 0.0001), and IMP3-positive high-grade gliomas showed a shorter overall and disease-free survival than negative ones (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.006, resp.). IMP3 expression was significantly associated with the absence of mutations of IDH1 gene (P = 0.0001) and with the unmethylated phenotype of MGMT in high-grade gliomas (P = 0.004). High Ki67 levels were correlated with better prognosis in glioblastomas but IMP3 expression was not correlated with the proliferation index. These findings confirm the role of IMP3 as a marker of poor outcome, also in consideration of its association with IDH1 wild-type phenotype and MGMT unmethylated status. The data suggest that IMP3 staining could identify a subgroup of patients with poor prognosis and at risk of recurrence in high-grade gliomas.

Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Donson AM, Vogel H, Foreman NK
Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (PMA) Shows Significant Differences in Gene Expression vs. Pilocytic Astrocytoma (PA) and Variable Tendency Toward Maturation to PA.
Brain Pathol. 2015; 25(4):429-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pilomyxoid astrocytomas (PMAs) manifest a more aggressive clinical course than pilocytic astrocytomas (PAs). Development of effective therapies demands a better biological understanding of PMA. We first conducted gene expression microarray analysis of 9 PMA and 13 PA from infra- and supratentorial sites. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis demonstrated that tumors are grouped according to anatomic site, not diagnosis. Gene expression profiles were then contrasted between eight PMAs and six PAs, all supratentorial/hypothalamic/chiasmal. Clinical outcome of PMAs varied, with four out of four patients with diencephalic syndrome succumbing to disease, one of whom showed bulky metastatic leptomeningeal spread at autopsy, with bimodal maturation to PA in some areas and de-differentiation to glioblastoma in others. A surviving child has undergone multiple surgical debulking, with progressive maturation to PA over time. Ontology-enrichment analysis identified overexpression in PMAs of extracellular matrix and mitosis-related genes. Genes overexpressed in PMA vs. PA, ranked according to fold-change, included developmental genes H19, DACT2, extracellular matrix collagens (COL2A1; COL1A1) and IGF2BP3 (IMP3), the latter previously identified as an adverse prognostic factor in PMA and PA.

Chisté M, Alexis J, Recine M
IMP3 expression in serous tumors of the ovary.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2014; 22(9):658-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein (IMP3) is an oncofetal protein involved in embryogenesis, which is expressed in a variety of malignant neoplasms. It is rarely expressed in normal adult tissue and benign tumors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of IMP3 in benign and malignant serous tumors of the ovary. Seventy-nine ovarian tumors were examined for IMP3 expression by immunohistochemical analysis, comprising 16 benign serous tumors, 19 borderline serous tumors, and 44 serous carcinomas. Positive staining was defined as brown staining in the cytoplasm. Negative staining was defined as absent staining or staining of <5% of tumor cells. The intensity of staining (weak, moderate, and strong) and percentage (0% to 100%) of neoplastic cells staining positive for cytoplasmic IMP3 staining were recorded in each case. Moderate to strong cytoplasmic staining for IMP3 was observed in 30 of 44 (68%) serous carcinomas of the ovary; in contrast, <5% of the borderline and benign serous tumors expressed IMP3 ranging from weak to strong cytoplasmic staining. Statistically, the difference in IMP3 expression between these groups of tumors was highly significant (P<0.0001). Our findings demonstrate moderate to strong expression of IMP3 in the majority of ovarian serous carcinomas as compared with benign/borderline serous tumors, which demonstrated weak to strong expression in a small minority (<5%) of the tumors. Thus, IMP3 may be a useful adjunctive tool in the pathologic evaluation of ovarian serous tumors.

Wang BJ, Wang L, Yang SY, Liu ZJ
Expression and clinical significance of IMP3 in microdissected premalignant and malignant pancreatic lesions.
Clin Transl Oncol. 2015; 17(3):215-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3) is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, while remaining undetectable in the normal pancreas, indicating its important role in pancreatic cancer pathogenesis. The role of IMP3 in pancreatic carcinogenesis has not been fully understood. The main goal of this study was to probe the expression profile of IMP3 in different stages of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) development, and evaluate their prognostic significance in PDAC patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used quantitative real-time RT-PCR combined manual microdissection to precisely detect IMP3 expression in 97 microdissected foci from 50 patients with PDAC. Nonparametric test, Log-rank test and Cox regression analysis were used to evaluate the clinical significance of DNMTs expression.
RESULTS: Expression of IMP3 increased from normal duct to pancreatic intraductal neoplasia and to PDAC. IMP3 mRNA expression statistically correlated with TNM staging. Univariate analysis showed that high level of IMP3 expression, tumor differentiation, TNM staging and alcohol consumption were statistically significant risk factors. Multivariate analysis showed that high level of IMP3 expression and tumor differentiation were statistically significant independent poor prognostic factors.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggested that pancreatic carcinogenesis involves an increased IMP3 mRNA expression, and it may become valuable diagnostic and prognostic markers as well as potential therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer.

Su P, Hu J, Zhang H, et al.
IMP3 expression is associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(6):3008-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IMP3 plays an important role in tumor invasion and metastasis, to which epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) also contributes. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether IMP3 can regulate invasion and metastasis through EMT in breast cancers. The protein expression levels of IMP3 and EMT markers were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 180 paraffin-embedded human breast tissue samples. There was an inverse correlation of IMP3 with E-cadherin protein expression (P = 0.042). IMP3 expression directly correlated with both Slug (P = 0.004) and vimentin (P < 0.001). Changes in E-cadherin, vimentin, and Slug mRNA and protein levels were examined by quantitative real-time reverse polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blotting. Overexpression of IMP3 reduced the expression of E-cadherin and upregulated Slug and vimentin in transfected cells. In contrast, knocking down IMP3 had the opposite expression of the three proteins. Ribo-immunoprecipitation qPCR revealed that IMP3 binds Slug mRNA directly. In a transwell assay, overexpression of Slug rescued the cell migration and invasion caused by silencing IMP3 in MDA-MB-231 cells. On the other hand, knockdown of Slug in T47D-IMP3 cells could also have the opposite change. Our results strengthen the association of IMP3 with the regulation of EMT. Slug is a functional target of IMP3. IMP3 could therefore promote invasion and migration through the EMT in breast cancer cells.

Su P, Hu J, Zhang H, et al.
Association of TRPS1 gene with different EMT markers in ERα-positive and ERα-negative breast cancer.
Diagn Pathol. 2014; 9:119 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease consisting of different subtypes. Trichorhinophalangeal syndrome type 1 (TRPS1) gene, a GATA-type transcription factor, has been found to be highly expressed in breast cancer. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is known to play an important role in tumour invasion and metastasis. Our objective was to elucidate the different roles and clinical relevance of TRPS1 in different estrogen receptor (ER) expression subtypes of breast cancer.
METHODS: An immunohistochemical study was performed. The correlation between clinicopathological features and other biomarker profiles were analysed statistically.
RESULT: TRPS1 expression was correlated with the patients' age (P=0.017). It was positively related with ERα (P<0.001), progesterone receptor (PR) (P<0.001) and ERβ (P=0.001) status, but negatively associated with Ki67 (P=0.002) and HER2 (P=0.025) status. In ERα-positive breast cancer, TRPS1 expression was positively associated with the expression of E-cadherin (P<0.001), β-catenin(P=0.001), ERβ (P=0.03), and p53 (P=0.002) status, while in ERα-negative breast cancer, TRPS1 expression was correlated with slug (P=0.004), vimentin (P=0.003), smooth muscle actin (SMA) (P=0.031), and IMP3 (P=0.005) expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on our findings, we conclude that TRPS1 is positively associated with E-cadherin and β-catenin status in ERα-positive breast cancer cells, while it is also significantly associated with mesenchymal markers of EMT in ERα-negative breast cancer cells. TRPS1 can be a prognostic marker depending on the type of breast cancer.
VIRTUAL SLIDES: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:

Guled M, Pazzaglia L, Borze I, et al.
Differentiating soft tissue leiomyosarcoma and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma: A miRNA analysis.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(8):693-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
The rare and highly aggressive adult soft tissue sarcomas leiomyosarcoma (LMS) and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) contain complex genomes characterized by a multitude of rearrangements, amplifications, and deletions. Differential diagnosis remains a challenge. MicroRNA (miRNA) profiling was conducted on a series of LMS and UPS samples to initially investigate the differential expression and to identify specific signatures useful for improving the differential diagnosis. Initially, 10 high-grade LMS and 10 high-grade UPS were profiled with a miRNA microarray. Two cultured human mesenchymal stem cell samples were used as controls. 38 and 46 miRNAs classified UPS and LMS samples, respectively, into separate groups compared to control samples. When comparing the two profiles, miR-199b-5p, miR-320a, miR-199a-3p, miR-126, miR-22 were differentially expressed. These were validated by RT-PCR on a further series of 27 UPS and 21 LMS for a total of 68 cases. The levels of miR-199-5p and miR-320a, in particular, confirmed the microarray data, the former highly expressed in UPS and the latter in LMS. Immunohistochemistry was performed on all 68 cases to confirm original diagnosis. Recently reported LMS- and UPS-associated genes were correlated with miRNA targets based on target algorithms of three databases. Several genes including IMP3, ROR2, MDM2, CDK4, and UPA, are targets of differentially expressed miRNAs. We identified miRNA expression patterns in LMS and UPS, linking them to chromosomal regions and mRNA targets known to be involved in tumor development/progression of LMS and UPS.

Gao Y, Yang M, Jiang Z, et al.
IMP3 expression is associated with poor outcome and epigenetic deregulation in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(6):1184-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMP3 is a fetal protein not expressed in normal adult tissues. IMP3 is an oncoprotein and a useful biomarker for a variety of malignancies and is associated with reduced overall survival of a number of them. IMP3 expression and its prognostic value for patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) have not been well investigated. The molecular mechanism underlying IMP3 expression in human cancer cells remains to be elucidated. Here we investigated IMP3 expression in ICC and adjacent nonneoplastic liver in 72 unifocal primary ICCs from a single institute by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction. IMP3 was specifically expressed in cancer cells but not in the surrounding normal tissue, and 59 (82%) of 72 ICCs were IMP3 positive by immunohistochemistry. Among 35 cases with lymphovascular invasion, 26 (74%) showed IMP3 positivity in lymph node metastases. IMP3 expression was significantly correlated with tumor size, pathological grade, metastasis, and clinical stage. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated an inverse correlation between IMP3 expression and overall survival rate. Multivariate analysis revealed that IMP3 was the only risk factor associated with survival. To further explore the mechanism of IMP3 expression in cancers, we identified 2 CpG islands at IMP3 proximal promoter. Interestingly, the IMP3 promoter was almost completely demethylated in ICCs in contrast to densely methylated promoter in normal liver tissues. IMP3 expression is a useful biomarker for ICCs and can provide an independent prognostic value for patients with ICC. To our knoweldge, this is the first direct evidence of epigenetic deregulation of IMP3 in human cancer.

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