Gene Summary

Gene:KIT; v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog
Aliases: PBT, SCFR, C-Kit, CD117
Summary:This gene encodes the human homolog of the proto-oncogene c-kit. C-kit was first identified as the cellular homolog of the feline sarcoma viral oncogene v-kit. This protein is a type 3 transmembrane receptor for MGF (mast cell growth factor, also known as stem cell factor). Mutations in this gene are associated with gastrointestinal stromal tumors, mast cell disease, acute myelogenous lukemia, and piebaldism. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:mast/stem cell growth factor receptor Kit
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 11 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: KIT (cancer-related)

Turáková K, Pavlíková L, Messingerová L, et al.
Reduced UDP-glucose Levels Are Associated with P-glycoprotein Over-expression in L1210 Cells and Limit Glucosylceramide Synthase Activity.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(5):2627-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: P-glycoprotein (Pgp) expression in neoplastic cells is known to reduce cell sensitivity to several cytotoxic Pgp substrates. A member of the ABC transporter family, Pgp, represents the most frequently described membrane efflux pump and its expression in neoplastic cells is responsible for multi-drug resistance. Several lines of evidence indicate that the expression and increased function of both Pgp and glucosylceramide synthase (GCS, an enzyme responsible for ceramide pathway de-activation in the regulation of apoptosis progression) enhance the resistance of Pgp-positive cells. Previously, we described a reduction in the uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose contents of mouse leukemia cells (R) expressing Pgp due to vincristine selection compared to parental L1210 cells (S). The reduced availability of UDP-glucose as a glucose donor in R cell glycosylation reactions could limit GCS-catalyzed ceramide glycosylation. Consequently, the over-expression of Pgp in Pgp-positive L1210 cells may be associated with reduced ceramide glycosylation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To test this idea, we measured the expression and activities of Pgp and GCS, UDP-glucose levels, cellular uptake of C12-NBD-ceramide (a fluorescent analogue of ceramide) and ceramide-induced cell death in S and R cells. T-cells, another Pgp-positive variant of L1210 cells that express Pgp due to their transfection with a gene encoding human Pgp were also used in this study.
RESULTS: We detected significantly reduced levels of C12-NBD-ceramide glycosylation and reduced UDP-glucose contents in Pgp-positive R and T-cells compared to S cells. C12-NBD-ceramide uptake assays revealed nearly identical dynamics of uptake time-dependency curves. The Pgp-positive L1210 variants (R and T) are more sensitive than Pgp-negative S cells to ceramide-induced cell damage, as measured by an fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled annexin V and propidium iodide apoptosis necrosis kit. Short chain C2-ceramide was more effective at inducing cell damage than ceramide analogues with longer chains.
CONCLUSION: These evidence indicates that the down-regulation of UDP-glucose contents in Pgp-positive L1210 cells is responsible for their collateral sensitivity to ceramide-induced apoptosis.

Oudijk L, Neuhofer CM, Lichtenauer UD, et al.
Immunohistochemical expression of stem cell markers in pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas is associated with SDHx mutations.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2015; 173(1):43-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Pheochromocytomas (PCCs) are neuroendocrine tumors that occur in the adrenal medulla, whereas paragangliomas (PGLs) arise from paraganglia in the head, neck, thorax, or abdomen. In a variety of tumors, cancer cells with stem cell-like properties seem to form the basis of tumor initiation because of their ability to self-renew and proliferate. Specifically targeting this small cell population may lay the foundation for more effective therapeutic approaches. In the present study, we intended to identify stem cells in PCCs/PGLs.
DESIGN: We examined the immunohistochemical expression of 11 stem cell markers (SOX2, LIN28, NGFR, THY1, PREF1, SOX17, NESTIN, CD117, OCT3/4, NANOG, and CD133) on tissue microarrays containing 208 PCCs/PGLs with different genetic backgrounds from five European centers.
RESULTS: SOX2, LIN28, NGFR, and THY1 were expressed in more than 10% of tumors, and PREF1, SOX17, NESTIN, and CD117 were expressed in <10% of the samples. OCT3/4, NANOG, and CD133 were not detectable at all. Double staining for chromogranin A/SOX2 and S100/SOX2 demonstrated SOX2 immunopositivity in both tumor and adjacent sustentacular cells. The expression of SOX2, SOX17, NGFR, LIN28, PREF1, and THY1 was significantly associated with mutations in one of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) genes. In addition, NGFR expression was significantly correlated with metastatic disease.
CONCLUSION: Immunohistochemical expression of stem cell markers was found in a subset of PCCs/PGLs. Further studies are required to validate whether some stem cell-associated markers, such as SOX2, could serve as targets for therapeutic approaches and whether NGFR expression could be utilized as a predictor of malignancy.

Simper NB, Jones CL, MacLennan GT, et al.
Basal cell carcinoma of the prostate is an aggressive tumor with frequent loss of PTEN expression and overexpression of EGFR.
Hum Pathol. 2015; 46(6):805-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Basal cell carcinoma (also referred to as adenoid cystic carcinoma) is a rare tumor of the prostate. Although largely characterized as indolent, poor outcomes have been reported in a considerable fraction of cases. As yet, optimum treatment strategies for this cancer have not been developed. This study investigates protein expression of common or potential molecular therapeutic targets and reports on the clinicopathological features of 9 new cases. We evaluated the expression of ERBB2, KIT, androgen receptor, PTEN, EGFR, ERG, and p53 via immunohistochemistry. We also examined EGFR amplification and TMPRSS2-ERG gene rearrangement by fluorescence in situ hybridization. The mean clinical follow-up was 44 months. We found that basal cell carcinoma behaved aggressively with almost one-half of the cases displaying high-risk pathologic features or local recurrence (44%). One patient died as a result of metastatic disease. The most consistent abnormalities included a loss of PTEN expression (56% of cases) and EGFR overexpression (67% of cases). EGFR overexpression occurred in the absence of gene amplification. The TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement was not detected in any of the tumors studied, nor was ERG protein positivity identified by immunostaining. In addition, ERBB2, KIT, p53, and androgen receptor expressions were either absent or showed only weak, limited reactivity. Our results suggest that there is a high morbidity associated with this tumor, and more intense follow-up and additional treatment may be indicated. Furthermore, targeted therapies directed against the EGFR and PTEN proteins or their constitutive pathways may be promising for future clinical management.

Al-Hussain T, Bakshi N, Akhtar M
Intratubular germ cell neoplasia of the testis: a brief review.
Adv Anat Pathol. 2015; 22(3):202-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germ cell tumors of the testis may be divided into 3 broad categories according to age at presentation. The tumors in the pediatric age group include teratoma and yolk sac tumor. These tumors are generally not associated with convincing intratubular neoplasia. The second group consists of tumors presenting in third and fourth decade of life and include seminoma, embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac tumor, choriocarcinoma, and teratoma as well as mixed germ cell tumors. The precursor cell for these tumors is an abnormal gonocyte that fails to differentiate completely into spermatogonia. These abnormal cells stay dormant in the gonad during intrauterine life as well as infancy and childhood, but undergo proliferation during puberty and can be identified as intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (IGCNU). These tumor cells continue to manifest protein expression pattern that resembles primitive germ cells (PLAP, c-KIT, OCT3/4). After a variable interval following puberty, IGCNU cells may acquire ability to penetrate the seminiferous tubules and present as an overt germ cell tumor. Acquisition of isochrome 12 and other genetic abnormalities are usually associated with this transition. The level of DNA methylation generally determines the phenotype of the germ cell tumor. The third type of germ cell tumors is spermatocytic seminoma, which is a rare tumor encountered later in life usually in fifth and sixth decade. The cell of origin of this tumor is probably postpubertal mature spermatogonia which acquire abnormal proliferative capability probably due to gain of chromosome 9 resulting in activation and amplification of genes such as DMRT1. The tumor cells manifest many of the proteins normally expressed by mature sperms such as VASA, SSX2, and occasionally OCT2. Although spermatocytic seminoma may also have an intratubular growth phase, it completely lacks features of IGCNU.

de Macêdo MP, de Melo FM, Lisboa BC, et al.
KRAS gene mutation in a series of unselected colorectal carcinoma patients with prognostic morphological correlations: a pyrosequencing method improved by nested PCR.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 98(3):563-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Inhibition of EGFR is a strategy for treating metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. KRAS sequencing is mandatory for selecting wild-type tumor patients who might benefit from this treatment. DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues is commonly used for routine clinical detection of mutations, and its amplification succeeds only when all preanalytical histological processes have been controlled. In cases that are not properly processed, the DNA results can be poor, with low peak pyrosequencing findings. We designed and tested a pair of forward and reverse primers for a nested PCR method, followed by pyrosequencing, in a single Latin American institution series of 422 unselected CRC patients, correlating KRAS mutations with pathological and clinical data.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patient DNA samples from tumors were obtained by scraping or laser microdissection of cells from FFPE tissue and extracted using a commercial kit. DNA was first amplified by PCR using 2 primers that we designed; then, nested PCR was performed with the amplicon from the preamplification PCR using the KRAS PyroMark™ Q96 V2.0 kit (Qiagen). Pathological data were retrieved from pathology reports.
RESULTS: KRAS mutation was observed in 33% of 421 cases. Codon 12 was mutated in 76% of cases versus codon 13 in 24%. Right-sided CRCs harbored more KRAS mutations than left-sided tumors, as did tumors that presented with perineural invasion.
CONCLUSION: Our findings in this Latin American population are consistent with the literature regarding the frequency of KRAS mutations in CRC, their distribution between codons 12 and 13, and type of nucleotide substitution. By combining nested PCR and pyrosequencing, we achieved a high rate of conclusive results in testing KRAS mutations in CRC samples - a method that can be used as an ancillary test for failed assays by conventional PCR.

Cardoso HJ, Vaz CV, Correia S, et al.
Paradoxical and contradictory effects of imatinib in two cell line models of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2015; 75(9):923-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Imatinib mesylate is a chemotherapeutic drug that inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of c-KIT and has been successfully used to treat leukemias and some solid tumors. However, its application for treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) has shown modest effectiveness and did not follow the outcomes in cultured cells or animal models. Moreover, the molecular pathways by which imatinib induces cytotoxicity in prostate cancer cells are poorly characterized.
METHODS: Two cell line models of HRPC (DU145 and PC3) were exposed to 20 μM of imatinib for 6-72 hr. MTS assay was used to assess cell viability during the course of experiment. Gene expression analysis of c-KIT, cell-cycle and apoptosis regulators, and angiogenic factors was determined by means of real-time PCR, western blot, and/or immunocytochemistry. The enzymatic activity of the apoptosis effector, caspase-3, was determined by a colorimetric assay.
RESULTS: Imatinib significantly decreased the viability of DU145 cells but paradoxically augmented the viability of PC3 cells. DU145 cells displayed diminished expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein and augmented levels of caspase-8 and -9, as well as, increased enzymatic activity of caspase-3 in response to imatinib. No differences existed on the expression levels of apoptosis-related proteins in PC3 cells treated with imatinib, though the activity of caspase-3 was decreased. The mRNA levels of angiogenic factor VEGF were decreased in DU145-treated cells, whereas an opposite effect was seen in PC3. In addition, it was shown that DU145 and PC3 cells present a differential expression of c-KIT protein variants.
CONCLUSION: DU145 and PC3 cells displayed a contradictory behavior in response to imatinib, which was underpinned by a distinct expression pattern (or activity) of target regulators of cell-cycle, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. The paradoxical effect of imatinib in PC3 cells may be related with the differential expression of c-KIT protein variants. Moreover, the present findings helped to understand the discrepancies in the efficacy of imatinib as therapeutic option in HRPC.

Jiang L, Zhang C, Wu Y, et al.
67kDa laminin receptor regulates the activation of MAPKs through DUSPs in glioma cell line U251.
J BUON. 2015 Jan-Feb; 20(1):253-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: All-trans-retinoic-acid (ATRA), the active derivative of vitamin A, is critical in regulating cell cycle as well as inhibiting tumor growth and angiogenesis. It has been used in the clinical treatment of leukemia. 67kDa laminin receptor (67LR), as one of the receptor of laminin, plays an important role in tumor cells invasion, proliferation and metastasis. Current research indicates that 67LR is highly expressed in glioma and is associated with tumor progression. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms, especially the signaling pathways involved, have not been reported yet. Therefore it is of great importance to clarify its downstream targets.
METHODS: The U251 glioma cell line was used in this study. Cell Counting Kit-8 was used in cell proliferation assay. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to determine the transcription level of dual specificity phosphatases (DUSPs). Western blot analysis was used to detect the expression of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and phosphorylated MAPKs.
RESULTS: 67LR could influence the transcription of DUSPs and expression of MAPKs. ATRA could enhance the expression of 67LR in U251 cells and this enhancement was dose-dependent. ATRA was able to inhibit the growth of U251 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: ATRA expressed significant therapeutic effect on glioma cells, and 67LR is not the only factor that can influence the proliferation of U251 cells.

Pilat N, Grünberger T, Längle F, et al.
Assessing the TP53 marker type in patients treated with or without neoadjuvant chemotherapy for resectable colorectal liver metastases: a p53 Research Group study.
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2015; 41(5):683-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The type of a biomarker - whether it is prognostic or predictive - is frequently not known, although such information is crucial for assessing the clinical value of a marker. In order to evaluate the type of marker TP53 is, we identified a cohort of 76 patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM), homogeneously staged as resectable, who had been treated either with or without fluorouracil-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The TP53 genotype was assessed retrospectively from paraffin-embedded, diagnostic tumour biopsies using a standardised, p53 gene-specific sequencing protocol (mark53(®) kit). The overall median survival was 44.2 months, and the overall TP53 mutation frequency was 55%. A significant interaction was observed between chemotherapy and TP53 status (P = 0.045). To illustrate this effect, the 51 patients with and the 25 patients without neoadjuvant chemotherapy were described separately. In patients with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, mutated TP53 was significantly associated with poor survival (P = 0.0025), resulting in five-year survival rates of 22%, compared to 60% in patients with normal TP53. The hazard ratio was 3.12 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.46-6.95) to the disadvantage of TP53-mutated patients and 5.49 (P = 0.0001; 95% CI: 2.28-13.24) after adjustment for known prognostic factors. In patients treated with surgery alone, a mutated TP53 did not have a negative effect on survival (P = 0.54). A mutated TP53 status independently predicted survival disadvantage in CLM patients in the presence, but not in the absence, of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Our data suggest that TP53 might be a pure predictive marker.

Pal D, Sharma U, Khajuria R, et al.
Augmented telomerase activity, reduced telomere length and the presence of alternative lengthening of telomere in renal cell carcinoma: plausible predictive and diagnostic markers.
Gene. 2015; 562(2):145-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we analyzed 100 cases of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) for telomerase activity, telomere length and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) using the TRAP assay, TeloTTAGGG assay kit and immunohistochemical analysis of ALT associated promyelocytic leukemia (PML) bodies respectively. A significantly higher (P=0.000) telomerase activity was observed in 81 cases of RCC which was correlated with clinicopathological features of tumor for instance, stage (P=0.008) and grades (P=0.000) but not with the subtypes of RCC (P = 0.355). Notwithstanding, no correlation was found between telomerase activity and subtypes of RCC. Strikingly, the telomere length was found to be significantly shorter in RCC (P=0.000) to that of corresponding normal renal tissues and it is well correlated with grades (P=0.016) but not with stages (P=0.202) and subtypes (P=0.669) of RCC. In this study, telomere length was also negatively correlated with the age of patients (r(2)=0.528; P=0.000) which supports the notion that it could be used as a marker for biological aging. ALT associated PML bodies containing PML protein was found in telomerase negative cases of RCC. It suggests the presence of an ALT pathway mechanism to maintain the telomere length in telomerase negative RCC tissues which was associated with high stages of RCC, suggesting a prevalent mechanism for telomere maintenance in high stages. In conclusion, the telomerase activity and telomere length can be used as a diagnostic as well as a predictive marker in RCC. The prevalence of ALT mechanism in high stages of RCC is warranted for the development of anti-ALT inhibitors along with telomerase inhibitor against RCC as a therapeutic approach.

Tan C, Scotting P
Expression of Kit and Etv1 in restricted brain regions supports a brain-cell progenitor as an origin for cranial germinomas.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(3):55-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mismigrating germ-cell progenitors have historically been accepted as the cell of origin for central nervous system (CNS) germinomas. However, an alternative hypothesis suggests that CNS germinomas arise from a brain-cell progenitor. Germinomas often acquire Kit signaling pathway mutations, and there is evidence for an oncogenic relationship between KIT and the ETV1 transcription factor. KIT appears to be necessary to stabilize ETV1, and ETV1 then activates oncogenesis-associated genes. ETV1 expression is not increased by KIT, so ETV1 already needs to be expressed in order for KIT to have an oncogenic function. Therefore, if brain-cell progenitors are the cell of origin for germinomas, those cells would already need to coexpress ETV1 and KIT. We examined Kit and Etv1 in situ hybridization data from the Allen Brain Atlas, for mouse brain tissue at various stages of development. Both Kit and Etv1 were expressed in the regions where germinomas most commonly arise, and in the medulla oblongata. All human cases of germinomas correlated to the regions where ETV1 and KIT are coexpressed. We therefore postulate that germinomas in the brain share a similar mechanism with other KIT-driven cancers, which supports the hypothesis that germinomas arise from a brain-cell progenitor.

Stachler MD, Rinehart E, Lindeman N, et al.
Novel molecular insights from routine genotyping of colorectal carcinomas.
Hum Pathol. 2015; 46(4):507-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Routine tumor genotyping enables identification of concurrent mutations in tumors and reveals low-frequency mutations that may be associated with a particular tumor phenotype. We genotyped 311 colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) for 471 mutation hot spots in 41 cancer-associated genes. At least 1 mutation was present in 239 (77%) of 311 tumors. Two concurrent mutations were identified in 89 (29%) tumors, 3 mutations in 24 (8%), 4 mutations in 6 (2%), and 5 mutations in 1 tumor. KRAS mutations were most frequent and identified in 132 (42%) tumors, followed by APC in 79 (25%) and TP53 in 64 (21%) tumors. Mutations in PIK3CA, BRAF, CTNNB1, and NRAS were identified in 41, 27, 11, and 9 cases, respectively. Rare mutations not typically associated with CRC included AKT1 (4), AKT2 (1), IDH1 (1), KIT (1), MAP2K1 (1), PTEN (2), and GNAS (6). GNAS mutations in CRC correlated with a mucinous phenotype and were present in 20% of all mucinous adenocarcinomas evaluated in this study. Among CRCs with a PIK3CA mutation, 77% showed concurrent mutations in other cancer-associated genes, and 4% of CRC did not neatly fit into either the chromosomal instability pathway or CpG island methylator phenotype/microsatellite instability pathway, suggesting overlapping mutational profile in some tumors. Our findings indicate that routine tumor genotyping is helpful in identifying low-frequency mutations, such as GNAS, that may correlate with a specific morphological phenotype and also reveal multiplicity of concurrent mutations in a significant proportion of CRC that may have significant implications for clinical trial design and personalized therapy.

Lopez-Chavez A, Thomas A, Rajan A, et al.
Molecular profiling and targeted therapy for advanced thoracic malignancies: a biomarker-derived, multiarm, multihistology phase II basket trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(9):1000-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2016 Related Publications
PURPOSE: We conducted a basket clinical trial to assess the feasibility of such a design strategy and to independently evaluate the effects of multiple targeted agents against specific molecular aberrations in multiple histologic subtypes concurrently.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We enrolled patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small-cell lung cancer, and thymic malignancies who underwent genomic characterization of oncogenic drivers. Patients were enrolled onto a not-otherwise-specified arm and treated with standard-of-care therapies or one of the following five biomarker-matched treatment groups: erlotinib for EGFR mutations; selumetinib for KRAS, NRAS, HRAS, or BRAF mutations; MK2206 for PIK3CA, AKT, or PTEN mutations; lapatinib for ERBB2 mutations or amplifications; and sunitinib for KIT or PDGFRA mutations or amplification.
RESULTS: Six hundred forty-seven patients were enrolled, and 88% had their tumors tested for at least one gene. EGFR mutation frequency was 22.1% in NSCLC, and erlotinib achieved a response rate of 60% (95% CI, 32.3% to 83.7%). KRAS mutation frequency was 24.9% in NSCLC, and selumetinib failed to achieve its primary end point, with a response rate of 11% (95% CI, 0% to 48%). Completion of accrual to all other arms was not feasible. In NSCLC, patients with EGFR mutations had the longest median survival (3.51 years; 95% CI, 2.89 to 5.5 years), followed by those with ALK rearrangements (2.94 years; 95% CI, 1.66 to 4.61 years), those with KRAS mutations (2.3 years; 95% CI, 2.3 to 2.17 years), those with other genetic abnormalities (2.17 years; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.74 years), and those without an actionable mutation (1.85 years; 95% CI, 1.61 to 2.13 years).
CONCLUSION: This basket trial design was not feasible for many of the arms with rare mutations, but it allowed the study of the genetics of less common malignancies.

Urrutia G, Laurito S, Marzese DM, et al.
Epigenetic variations in breast cancer progression to lymph node metastasis.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2015; 32(2):99-110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease characterized by the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations that contribute to the development of regional and distant metastases. Lymph node metastasis (LNM) status is the single most important prognostic factor. Metastatic cancer cells share common molecular alterations with those of the primary tumor, but in addition, they develop distinct changes that allow the cancer to progress. There is an urgent need for molecular studies which focus on identifying genomic and epigenomic markers that can predict the progression to metastasis. The objective of this study was to identify epigenetic similarities and differences between paired primary breast tumor (PBT) and LNM. We employed Methylation-Specific-MLPA (Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification) to assess the methylation status of 33 cancer-related genes in a cohort of 50 paired PBT and LNM specimens. We found that the methylation index, which represents the degree of aberrantly methylated genes in a specimen, was maintained during the progression to LNM. However, some genes presented differential methylation profiles. Interestingly, PAX6 presented a significant negative correlation between paired PBT and LNM (p = 0.03), which indicated a switch from methylated to unmethylated status in the progression from PBT to LNM. We further identified that the methylation status of PAX6 on the identified CpG site functionally affected the expression of PAX6 at the mRNA level. Our study unraveled significant epigenetic changes during the progression from PBT to LNM, which may contribute to improved prognosis, prediction and therapeutic management of metastatic breast cancer patients.

Shan W, Wang C, Zhang Z, et al.
ATM may be a protective factor in endometrial carcinogenesis with the progesterone pathway.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(3):1529-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of the study was to explore the role and mechanism of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein in endometrial carcinogenesis. A reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) was used to analyze the expression of ATM signal pathway proteins in Ishikawa and progesterone-insensitive Ishikawa. ATM expression was detected in endometrium specimens by immunohistochemistry, including 8 cases with proliferative endometrium, 6 cases with secretory endometrium, 10 cases with simple hyperplasia (SH), 13 cases of complex hyperplasia (CH), 11 cases of endometrial atypical hyperplasia (EAH), and 83 cases with type I endometrial cancer. The relationship between ATM expression and other clinicopathological indicators was also examined in type I endometrial cancer patients. The mechanisms of ATM were explored in vitro with the endometrial cell lines Ishikawa and RL95-2. A cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) test and Western blot analysis were performed to test proliferation and protein expression. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS19.0. The significance level was set at 0.05. ATM was increased with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) stimulation in Ishikawa in RPPA. ATM expression gradually decreased in endometrial hyperplasic lesions compared with the normal proliferative and secretory endometrium and was the lowest in type I endometrial cancer. ATM expression was negatively correlated with pathological grades in type I endometrial cancer. In vitro, ATM silencing retarded proliferation inhibition in Ishikawa and RL95-2 treated with MPA. ATM silencing could down-regulate the MPA-stimulated signal proteins, including Chk2, P53, and caspase-3 in vitro. MPA might exert its role through activating the ATM-associated pathway, ATM-Chk2-P53-caspase-3 (active), preserving normal endometrium and protecting it from malignancies. ATM might be a promising indicator for endometrial hyperplasia and cancer.

Joensuu H, Rutkowski P, Nishida T, et al.
KIT and PDGFRA mutations and the risk of GI stromal tumor recurrence.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(6):634-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Mutated KIT and platelet-derived growth factor alpha gene (PDGFRA) drive GI stromal tumor (GIST) oncogenesis, but the clinical significance of their single mutations is known incompletely.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We identified 11 population-based series of patients with GIST through a literature search and pooled individual data from 3,067 patients treated with macroscopically complete tumor excision. Mutation analysis was done from 1,505 tumors. We analyzed associations between KIT and PDGFRA mutations and recurrence-free survival (RFS) in the subsets in which patients were treated with surgery alone.
RESULTS: We identified 301 different single mutations in KIT and 33 in PDGFRA. Patients with PDGFRA mutations had more favorable RFS than those with KIT mutations (hazard ratio, 0.34; P = .004). Only one of the 35 GISTs with KIT exon 11 duplication mutations recurred. Patients with deletions of only one codon of KIT exon 11 had better RFS than those with another deletion type, and some KIT exon 11 substitution mutations (Trp557Arg, Val559Ala, and Leu576Pro) were also associated with favorable RFS. Patients with an identical mutation had greatly variable outcomes depending on the standard prognostic factors, notably, mitotic count. Commonly used risk stratification schemes tended to overestimate the risk for recurrence in subgroups with prognostically favorable mutations.
CONCLUSION: GISTs with an identical KIT or PDGFRA mutation may have widely varying risks for recurrence. Most of the patients with PDGFRA mutations and those with KIT exon 11 duplication mutation or deletion of one codon have favorable RFS with surgery alone and are usually not candidates for adjuvant therapy.

Zheng W, Sai W, Yao M, et al.
Silencing clusterin gene transcription on effects of multidrug resistance reversing of human hepatoma HepG2/ADM cells.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3995-4003 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abnormal clusterin (CLU) expression is associated with multidrug resistance (MDR) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, the CLU expression was analyzed in human hepatoma cells and chemoresistant counterpart HepG2/ADM cells. Compared with L02 cells, the overexpression of cellular CLU was identified in HepG2, HepG2/ADM, SMMC7721, Hep3B ,and PLC cells and relatively lower expression in Bel-7404, SNU-739, and MHCC97H cells. Specific short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to silence CLU gene transcription were designed, and the most effective sequences were screened. After the HepG2/ADM cells transfected with shRNA-1, the inhibition of CLU expression was 73.68 % at messenger RNA (mRNA) level by real-time quantitative RT-PCR with obvious enhancement in cell chemosensitivity, increasing apoptosis induced by doxorubicin using fluorescence kit, and Rh-123 retention qualified with flow cytometry. Knockdown CLU also significantly decreased the drug efflux pump activity through the depression of MDR1/P-glycoprotein (q = 11.739, P < 0.001). Moreover, silencing CLU led to downregulation of β-catenin (q = 13.544, P = 0.001), suggesting that downregulation of CLU might be a key point to reverse multidrug resistance of HepG2/ADM cells.

Wang YF, Liu B, Fan XS, et al.
Thyroid carcinoma showing thymus-like elements: a clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular analysis.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2015; 143(2):223-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the clinicopathologic, immunophenotypic, ultrastructural, and molecular features of thyroid carcinoma showing thymus-like elements (CASTLE).
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathologic data of 10 patients with CASTLE and described the immunophenotypic and ultrastructural features of these tumors. The expression of Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA and the gene status of EGFR, C-KIT, and HER-2 were also assessed by molecular techniques.
RESULTS: The tumor cells were positive for CD5, CD117, p63, HMWK, EGFR, GLUT-1, Pax8, E-cadherin, bcl-2, and p53 in all cases and for CA-IX, CEA, p16, HER-2, and neuroendocrine markers in some cases. Ultrastructural examination indicated that the tumor cells contained large quantities of tonofilament with abundant intercellular desmosomes, including intracytoplasmic neuroendocrine granules in one case. EGFR gene amplification in two patients and polyploidy of chromosome 7 in one patient were identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Sequencing analysis revealed that a synonymous mutation, Q787Q 2363 (G→A), occurred on exon 20 of the EGFR gene in three patients.
CONCLUSIONS: GLUT-1 can be used as a novel biomarker for CASTLE, and combined detection of GLUT-1 with CD5 and CD117 aids in the diagnosis of this tumor. Aberrant expression of Bcl-2, p53, p16, E-cadherin, EGFR, C-KIT, and HER-2 may play important roles in the development of CASTLE.

De Matteis G, Zanotti R, Colarossi S, et al.
The impact of sensitive KIT D816V detection on recognition of indolent Systemic Mastocytosis.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(3):273-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Patients with Systemic Mastocytosis (SM) need a highly sensitive diagnostic test for D816V detection of the KIT receptor gene. Along with histology/cytology and flow cytometry evaluation, bone marrow (BM) from 110 consecutive adult patients referred with a suspicion of SM to Multidisciplinary Outpatient Clinic for Mastocytosis in Verona were tested both by Amplification Refractory Mutation System Reverse Transcriptase quantitative real time Polymerase Chain Reaction (ARMS-RT-qPCR) and RT-PCR+Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) followed by Denaturing-High Performance Liquid Chromatography (D-HPLC) and Sanger sequencing. ARMS-RT-qPCR identified D816V mutation in 77 patients, corresponding to 100% of cases showing CD25(+) mast cells (MCs) whereas RT-PCR+RFLP/D-HPLC+sequencing revealed D816V mutations in 47 patients. According to the 2008 WHO criteria 75 SM, 1 Cutaneous Mastocytosis (CM), 1 monoclonal MC activation syndrome (MMAS), and 1 SM Associated with Haematologic Non-Mast Cell Disorder (SM-AHNMD) were diagnosed. Seventeen out 75 SM patients (23%) would have not satisfied sufficient WHO criteria on the basis of the sole RT-PCR+RFLP: these patients had significantly lower serum tryptase levels and amount of CD25(+) MCs. Therefore, ARMS-RT-qPCR might result particularly useful, in patients that do not fulfil major BM histological criterion, for the recognition of indolent SM with a very low MC burden.

Skálová A, Weinreb I, Hyrcza M, et al.
Clear cell myoepithelial carcinoma of salivary glands showing EWSR1 rearrangement: molecular analysis of 94 salivary gland carcinomas with prominent clear cell component.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2015; 39(3):338-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study examines the presence of the EWSR1 rearrangement in a variety of clear cell salivary gland carcinomas with myoepithelial differentiation. A total of 94 salivary gland carcinomas with a prominent clear cell component included 51 cases of clear cell myoepithelial carcinomas de novo (CCMC), 21 cases of CCMCs ex pleomorphic adenoma (CCMCexPA), 11 cases of epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma (EMC), 6 cases of EMC with solid clear cell overgrowth, and 5 cases of hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma of minor salivary glands. In addition, 10 cases of myoepithelial carcinomas devoid of clear cell change and 12 cases of benign myoepithelioma were included as well. All the tumors in this spectrum were reviewed, reclassified, and tested by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for the EWSR1 rearrangement using the Probe Vysis EWSR1 Break Apart FISH Probe Kit. The EWSR1 rearrangement was detected in 20 of 51 (39%) cases of CCMC, in 5 of 21 (24%) cases of CCMCexPA, in 1 of 11 (9%) cases of EMC, and in 4 of 5 (80%) cases of hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma. The 25 EWSR1-rearranged CCMCs and CCMCexPAs shared similar histomorphology. They were arranged in nodules composed of compact nests of large polyhedral cells with abundant clear cytoplasm. Necrosis, areas of squamous metaplasia, and hyalinization were frequent features. Immunohistochemically, the tumors expressed p63 (96%), cytokeratin CK14 (96%), and S100 protein (88%). MIB1 index varied from 10% to 100%, with most cases in the 20% to 40% range. Clinical follow-up information was available in 21 cases (84%) and ranged from 3 months to 15 years (mean 5.2 y); 4 patients were lost to follow-up. Ten patients are alive with no evidence of recurrent or metastatic disease in the follow-up period from 3 months to 15 years (mean 5 y), 3 patients are alive with recurrent and metastatic disease, and 8 died of disseminated cancer 9 months to 16 years after diagnosis (mean 6 y). Lymph node metastasis appeared in 5 patients within 5 months to 4 years after diagnosis (mean 22 mo), distant metastases were noted in 7 patients with invasion of orbit (2 cases), and in 1 case each metastasis to the neck soft tissues, liver, lungs, mediastinum, and thoracic vertebra was noted. We describe for the first time EWSR1 gene rearrangement in a subset of myoepithelial carcinomas arising in minor and major salivary glands. The EWSR1-rearranged CCMC represents a distinctive aggressive variant composed predominantly of clear cells with frequent necrosis. Most EWSR1-rearranged CCMCs of salivary glands are characterized by poor clinical outcomes.

Zwaenepoel K, Merkle D, Cabillic F, et al.
Automation of ALK gene rearrangement testing with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH): a feasibility study.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 98(1):113-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the past several years we have observed a significant increase in our understanding of molecular mechanisms that drive lung cancer. Specifically in the non-small cell lung cancer sub-types, ALK gene rearrangements represent a sub-group of tumors that are targetable by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor Crizotinib, resulting in significant reductions in tumor burden. Phase II and III clinical trials were performed using an ALK break-apart FISH probe kit, making FISH the gold standard for identifying ALK rearrangements in patients. FISH is often considered a labor and cost intensive molecular technique, and in this study we aimed to demonstrate feasibility for automation of ALK FISH testing, to improve laboratory workflow and ease of testing. This involved automation of the pre-treatment steps of the ALK assay using various protocols on the VP 2000 instrument, and facilitating automated scanning of the fluorescent FISH specimens for simplified enumeration on various backend scanning and analysis systems. The results indicated that ALK FISH can be automated. Significantly, both the Ikoniscope and BioView system of automated FISH scanning and analysis systems provided a robust analysis algorithm to define ALK rearrangements. In addition, the BioView system facilitated consultation of difficult cases via the internet.

Tafe LJ, Steinmetz HB, Allen SF, et al.
Rapid fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) for HER2 (ERBB2) assessment in breast and gastro-oesophageal cancer.
J Clin Pathol. 2015; 68(4):306-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Evaluation of HER2 (ERBB2) gene amplification or protein expression is standard of care in breast (BR) and advanced stage gastro-oesophageal cancers to identify patients eligible for anti-HER2 therapies. Here, we evaluate a rapid fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) technology (HER2 instant quality (IQ) FISH pharmDx Kit) for detection of HER2 in patients with BR and gastro-oesophageal cancer using 30 FFPE samples that had been previously evaluated with the PathVysion HER2 DNA Probe Kit. Cases were scored as positive (HER2:CEN-17 ≥2.0), negative (HER2:CEN-17 <2.0) or equivocal according to the ASCO/CAP 2013 BR cancer guidelines. Ten samples were positive for HER2 amplification while 20 were negative; none were equivocal. The IQ FISH was able to detect low level amplification (HER2:CEN-17 ratio 2.4). The HER2 IQ FISH pharmDx Kit is a FDA approved kit that offers a rapid turnaround time (approximately 3.5 h) and in our laboratory was 100% concordant with prior PathVysion results.

Jawhar M, Schwaab J, Schnittger S, et al.
Molecular profiling of myeloid progenitor cells in multi-mutated advanced systemic mastocytosis identifies KIT D816V as a distinct and late event.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(5):1115-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
To explore the molecular profile and its prognostic implication in systemic mastocytosis (SM), we analyzed the mutation status of granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming progenitor cells (CFU-GM) in patients with KIT D816V(+) indolent SM (ISM, n=4), smoldering SM (SSM, n=2), aggressive SM (ASM, n=1), SM with associated clonal hematologic non-mast cell lineage disorder (SM-AHNMD, n=5) and ASM-AHNMD (n=7). All patients with (A)SM-AHNMD (n=12) carried 1-4 (median 3) additional mutations in 11 genes tested, most frequently TET2, SRSF2, ASXL1, CBL and EZH2. In multi-mutated (A)SM-AHNMD, KIT D816V(+) single-cell-derived CFU-GM colonies were identified in 8/12 patients (median 60%, range 0-95). Additional mutations were identified in CFU-GM colonies in all patients, and logical hierarchy analysis indicated that mutations in TET2, SRSF2 and ASXL1 preceded KIT D816V. In ISM/SSM, no additional mutations were detected and CFU-GM colonies were exclusively KIT D816V(-). These data indicate that (a) (A)SM-AHNMD is a multi-mutated neoplasm, (b) mutations in TET2, SRSF2 or ASXL1 precede KIT D816V in ASM-AHNMD,

Han DF, Zhang JX, Wei WJ, et al.
Fenofibrate induces G0/G1 phase arrest by modulating the PPARα/FoxO1/p27 kip pathway in human glioblastoma cells.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3823-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fenofibrate, a fibric acid derivative, is known to possess lipid-lowering effects. Although fenofibrate-induced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) transcriptional activity has been reported to exhibit anticancer effects, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms behind the antiproliferative effects of fenofibrate in U87MG cells (human glioma cell line) using the WST-8 Cell Proliferation Assay Kit. Furthermore, we examined genome-wide gene expression profiles and molecular networks using the DAVID online software. Fenofibrate reduced the expression of 405 genes and increased the expression of 2280 genes. DAVID analysis suggested that fenofibrate significantly affected cell cycle progression and pathways involved in cancer, including the mTOR signaling pathway and insulin signaling pathway. Results of flow cytometry analysis indicated that fenofibrate induced cell cycle G0/G1 arrest in U87MG cells. Furthermore, we identified the FoxO1-p27(kip) signaling axis to be involved in fenofibrate-induced cell cycle arrest. Our findings suggest that in addition to its known lipid-lowering effects, fenofibrate may be used as an antitumor agent in glioma therapy.

Wen YS, Cai L, Zhang XW, et al.
Concurrent oncogene mutation profile in Chinese patients with stage Ib lung adenocarcinoma.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2014; 93(29):e296 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular characteristics in lung cancer are associated with carcinogenesis, response to targeted therapies, and prognosis. With concurrent oncogene mutations being reported more often, the adjustment of treatment based on the driver gene mutations would improve therapy. We proposed to investigate the distribution of concurrent oncogene mutations in stage Ib lung adenocarcinoma in a Chinese population and find out the correlation between survival outcome and the most frequently mutated genes in EGFR and KRAS in Chinese population. Simultaneously, we tried to validate the Sequenom method by real time fluoresce qualification reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in oncogene detection. One hundred fifty-six patients who underwent complete surgical resection in our hospital between 1999 and 2007 were retrospectively investigated. Using time-of-flight mass spectrometry, 238 mutation hotspots in 19 oncogenes were examined. Genetic mutations occurred in 86 of 156 patients (55.13%). EGFR was most frequently gene contained driver mutations, with a rate of 44.23%, followed by KRAS (8.33%), PIK3CA (3.84%), KIT (3.20%), BRAF (2.56%), AKT (1.28%), MET (0.64%), NRAS (0.64%), HRAS (0.64%), and ERBB2 (0.64%). No mutations were found in the RET, PDGFRA, FGFR1, FGFR3, FLT3, ABL, CDK, or JAK2 oncogenes. Thirteen patients (8.3%) were detected in multiple gene mutations. Six patients had PIK3CA mutations in addition to mutations in EGFR and KRAS. EGFR mutations can coexist with mutations in NRAS, KIT, ERBB2, and BRAF. Only one case was found to have a KRAS mutation coexisting with the EGFR T790M mutation. Otherwise, mutations in EGFR and KRAS seem to be mutually exclusive. There is no survival benefit in favor of EGFR/KRAS mutation. Several concomitant driver gene mutations were observed in our study. None of EFGR/KRAS mutation was demonstrated as a prognostic factor. Polygenic mutation testing by time-of-flight mass spectrometry was validated by RT-PCR, which can be an alternative option to test for multiple mutations and can be widely applied to clinical practice and help to guide treatment.

Togami K, Kitaura J, Uchida T, et al.
A C-terminal mutant of CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα-Cm) downregulates Csf1r, a potent accelerator in the progression of acute myeloid leukemia with C/EBPα-Cm.
Exp Hematol. 2015; 43(4):300-8.e1 [PubMed] Related Publications
Two types of CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) mutants are found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients: N-terminal frame-shift mutants (C/EBPα-N(m)) generating p30 as a dominant form and C-terminal basic leucine zipper domain mutants (C/EBPα-C(m)). We have previously shown that C/EBPα-K304_R323dup belonging to C/EBPα-C(m), but not C/EBPα-T60fsX159 belonging to C/EBPα-N(m), alone induced AML in mouse bone marrow transplantation (BMT) models. Here we show that various C/EBPα-C(m) mutations have a similar, but not identical, potential in myeloid leukemogenesis. Notably, like C/EBPα-K304_R323dup, any type of C/EBPα-C(m) tested (C/EBPα-S299_K304dup, K313dup, or N321D) by itself induced AML, albeit with different latencies after BMT; C/EBPα-N321D induced AML with the shortest latency. By analyzing the gene expression profiles of C/EBPα-N321D- and mock-transduced c-kit(+)Sca-1(+)Lin(-) cells, we identified Csf1r as a gene downregulated by C/EBPα-N321D. In addition, leukemic cells expressing C/EBPα-C(m) exhibited low levels of colony stimulating factor 1 receptor in mice. On the other hand, transduction with C/EBPα-N(m) did not influence Csf1r expression in c-kit(+)Sca-1(+)Lin(-) cells, implying a unique role for C/EBPα-C(m) in downregulating Csf1r. Importantly, Csf1r overexpression collaborated with C/EBPα-N321D to induce fulminant AML with leukocytosis in mouse BMT models to a greater extent than did C/EBPα-N321D alone. Collectively, these results suggest that C/EBPα-C(m)-mediated downregulation of Csf1r has a negative, rather than a positive, impact on the progression of AML involving C/EBPα-C(m), which might possibly be accelerated by additional genetic and/or epigenetic alterations inducing Csf1r upregulation.

Thaler S, Thiede G, Hengstler JG, et al.
The proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib (Velcade) as potential inhibitor of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(3):686-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Around 70% of breast cancers express the estrogen receptor α (ERα) and depend on estrogen for growth, survival and disease progression. The presence of hormone sensitivity is usually associated with a favorable prognosis. Use of adjuvant anti-endocrine therapy has significantly decreased breast cancer mortality in patients with early-stage disease, and anti-endocrine therapy also plays a central role in the treatment of advanced stages. However a subset of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers do not benefit from anti-endocrine therapy, and nearly all hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancers ultimately develop resistance to anti-hormonal therapies. Despite new insights into mechanisms of anti-endocrine therapy resistance, e.g., crosstalk between ERα and Her2/neu, the management of advanced hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers that are resistant to anti-endocrine agents remains a significant challenge. In the present study, we demonstrate that the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib strongly inhibits ERα and HER2/neu expression, increases expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, inhibits expression of multiple genes associated with poor prognosis in ERα+ breast cancer patients and induces cell death in ER+ breast cancer cells in both the presence and absence of functional p53. Although Bortezomib increased the levels of p53 and increased the expression of pro-apoptotic target genes in ERα+ breast cancer cells harboring wild-type p53, Bortezomib also exerts anti-tumoral effects on ERα+ breast cancer cells through suppression of ERα expression and inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and ERK signaling independently of functional p53. These findings suggest that Bortezomib might have the potential to improve the management of anti-endocrine therapy resistant ERα+ breast cancers independently of their p53 status.

Zhang L, Yang X, Zhao B, Cai Z
Acquired resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor in A431 squamous cell carcinoma xenografts is mediated by c-Kit pathway transduction.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):2993-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor inhibitors (EGFRIs), the first targeted cancer therapy, are currently an essential treatment for many advance-stage epithelial cancers. These agents have the superior ability to target cancers cells and better safety profile compared to conventional chemotherapies. However, all responding patients eventually developed acquired resistance to EGFRIs and the mechanisms of acquired resistance invariably develops. In the current study, we reported the tumor xenografts of the human A431 squamous cell carcinoma, after 25-week consecutive therapy with EGFR inhibitor (gefitinib) that developed resistance as a result of c-Kit overexpression. Moreover, combined therapeutic inhibition of EGFR and c-Kit may abrogate this acquired mechanism of drug resistance due to an enhanced apoptotic effect in gefitinib-resistant xenograft model. Taken together, the results suggest that at least in the A431 xenograft model displaying acquired resistance to gefitinib can emerge in vivo, at least in part, by mechanisms involving the c-Kit overexpression.

Huang JW, Guan BZ, Yin LH, et al.
Effects of estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRα) on proliferation and metastasis of human lung cancer A549 cells.
J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2014; 34(6):875-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRα) plays an important role in the development of hormone-dependent cancers, but its roles in lung cancer remain elusive. The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of ERRα on the proliferation and metastasis of lung cancer A549 cells. The mRNA and protein levels of ERRα were detected in lung cancer A549 and MCF-7 cells and bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells by qRT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. ERRα plasmid transfection and XCT-790 (an inverse agonist of ERRα) were used to up-regulate or down-regulate ERRα expression in A549 cells, respectively. The viability of A549 cells was measured by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and the motility of A549 cells by wound healing assay and Transwell migration/invasion assay. The epithelial markers E-cadherin (E-Cad) and zona occludin-1 (ZO-1), the mesenchymal markers fibronectin (FN) and vimentin (Vim) and the transcription factors (Snail, Zeb1 Twist and Slug) were further detected at mRNA and protein levels by qRT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The results showed that ERRα promoted the growth of lung cancer A549 cells in vitro. XCT-790 significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of A549 cells. Over-expression of ERRα promoted the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of A549 cells, down-regulated the epithelial makers E-Cad and ZO-1, and up-regulated the mesenchymal makers FN and Vim. Silencing of Slug, but not other transcription factors, significantly abolished the ERRα-induced EMT of A549 cells. It was suggested that ERRα promoted the migration and invasion of A549 cells by inducing EMT, and Slug was involved in the process. Targeting ERRα might be an efficient approach for lung cancer treatment.

Zhang R, Chen X, Zhang S, et al.
Upregulation of miR-494 Inhibits Cell Growth and Invasion and Induces Cell Apoptosis by Targeting Cleft Lip and Palate Transmembrane 1-Like in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Dig Dis Sci. 2015; 60(5):1247-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Potential target genes of microRNA (miR)-494 have been reported in many types of cancers. However, the role of miR-494 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains unknown.
AIM: This study focused on the expression and biological function of miR-494 in ESCC.
METHODS: Using bioinformatics analyses, we found that cleft lip and palate transmembrane 1-like (CLPTM1L) was a potential target of miR-494. We performed quantitative real-time (qRT) PCR assays in 37 ESCC tumor tissues to determine the expression of miR-494 and CLPTM1L mRNA, and we analyzed the correlation between both of these factors and clinical characteristics. The cell counting kit-8 and colony formation assays were used to evaluate the effects of miR-494 expression on the proliferation of ESCC cells. The transwell migration assay and flow cytometric apoptosis assay were performed to study the influence of miR-494 on the invasion and apoptosis of ESCC cells. Western blotting, luciferase assays, and CLPTM1L knockdown experiments were used to determine whether CLPTM1L was a target of miR-494.
RESULTS: The qRT-PCR assays showed significant downregulation of miR-494 (P < 0.05) and upregulation of CLPTM1L mRNA (P < 0.05), both of which were significantly associated with lymph node metastases (P < 0.05). High expression of miR-494 inhibited cell proliferation and invasion and promoted cell apoptosis (P < 0.05). The results also showed that CLPTM1L was a target of miR-494.
CONCLUSION: These results show that the expression of miR-494, which can regulate cell growth, invasion and apoptosis of ESCC cells by targeting CLPTM1L, is downregulated in ESCC tumor tissues. The miR-494-CLPTM1L pathway could be further exploited to develop a new approach to treat ESCC.

Lynam-Lennon N, Connaughton R, Carr E, et al.
Excess visceral adiposity induces alterations in mitochondrial function and energy metabolism in esophageal adenocarcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:907 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Visceral obesity has a strong association with both the incidence and mortality of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Alterations in mitochondrial function and energy metabolism is an emerging hallmark of cancer, however, the potential role that obesity plays in driving these alterations in EAC is currently unknown.
METHODS: Adipose conditioned media (ACM) was prepared from visceral adipose tissue taken from computed tomography-determined viscerally-obese and non-obese EAC patients. Mitochondrial function in EAC cell lines was assessed using fluorescent probes, mitochondrial gene expression was assessed using qPCR-based gene arrays and intracellular ATP levels were determined using a luminescence-based kit. Glycolysis and oxidative phosphophorylation was measured using Seahorse XF technology and metabolomic analysis was performed using 1H NMR. Expression of metabolic markers was assessed in EAC tumor biopsies by qPCR.
RESULTS: ACM from obese EAC patients significantly increased mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial membrane potential in EAC cells, which was significantly associated with visceral fat area, and was coupled with a significant decrease in reactive oxygen species. This mitochondrial dysfunction was accompanied by altered expression of 19 mitochondrial-associated genes and significantly reduced intracellular ATP levels. ACM from obese EAC patients induced a metabolic shift to glycolysis in EAC cells, which was coupled with significantly increased sensitivity to the glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose. Metabolomic profiling demonstrated an altered glycolysis and amino acid-related signature in ACM from obese patients. In EAC tumors, expression of the glycolytic marker PKM2 was significantly positively associated with obesity.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates for the first time that ACM from viscerally-obese EAC patients elicits an altered metabolic profile and can drive mitochondrial dysfunction and altered energy metabolism in EAC cells in vitro. In vivo, in EAC patient tumors, expression of the glycolytic enzyme PKM2 is positively associated with obesity.

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