Gene Summary

Gene:LCN2; lipocalin 2
Aliases: 24p3, MSFI, NGAL
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
Source:NCBIAccessed: 07 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (24)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 07 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Virilism
  • Liver Cancer
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Staging
  • Cell Movement
  • Western Blotting
  • NF-kappa B
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Lipocalins
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Disease Progression
  • LCN2
  • Signal Transduction
  • siRNA
  • Tumor Markers
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3
  • Gene Expression
  • Messenger RNA
  • MMP9
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • ras Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Chromosome 9
  • Protein Binding
  • DNA Methylation
  • Obesity
  • Promoter Regions
  • Breast Cancer
  • Siderophores
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Prostate Cancer
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Cell Line
Tag cloud generated 07 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: LCN2 (cancer-related)

Drew BG, Hamidi H, Zhou Z, et al.
Estrogen receptor (ER)α-regulated lipocalin 2 expression in adipose tissue links obesity with breast cancer progression.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(9):5566-81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Obesity is associated with increased breast cancer (BrCA) incidence. Considering that inactivation of estrogen receptor (ER)α promotes obesity and metabolic dysfunction in women and female mice, understanding the mechanisms and tissue-specific sites of ERα action to combat metabolic-related disease, including BrCA, is of clinical importance. To study the role of ERα in adipose tissue we generated fat-specific ERα knock-out (FERKO) mice. Herein we show that ERα deletion increased adipocyte size, fat pad weight, and tissue expression and circulating levels of the secreted glycoprotein, lipocalin 2 (Lcn2), an adipokine previously associated with BrCA development. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter studies showed that ERα binds the Lcn2 promoter to repress its expression. Because adipocytes constitute an important cell type of the breast microenvironment, we examined the impact of adipocyte ERα deletion on cancer cell behavior. Conditioned medium from ERα-null adipocytes and medium containing pure Lcn2 increased proliferation and migration of a subset of BrCA cells in culture. The proliferative and promigratory effects of ERα-deficient adipocyte-conditioned medium on BrCA cells was reversed by Lcn2 deletion. BrCA cell responsiveness to exogenous Lcn2 was heightened in cell types where endogenous Lcn2 expression was minimal, but components of the Lcn2 signaling pathway were enriched, i.e. SLC22A17 and 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase (BDH2). In breast tumor biopsies from women diagnosed with BrCA we found that BDH2 expression was positively associated with adiposity and circulating Lcn2 levels. Collectively these data suggest that reduction of ERα expression in adipose tissue promotes adiposity and is linked with the progression and severity of BrCA via increased adipocyte-specific Lcn2 production and enhanced tumor cell Lcn2 sensitivity.

Du ZP, Wu BL, Wang SH, et al.
Shortest path analyses in the protein-protein interaction network of NGAL (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin) overexpression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(16):6899-904 [PubMed] Related Publications
NGAL (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin) is a novel cancer-related protein involves multiple functions in many cancers and other diseases. We previously overexpressed NGAL to analyze its role in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). In this study, a protein-protein interaction (PPI) was constructed and the shortest paths from NGAL to transcription factors in the network were analyzed. We found 28 shortest paths from NGAL to RELA, most of them obeying the principle of extracellular to cytoplasm, then nucleus. These shortest paths were also prioritized according to their normalized intensity from the microarray by the order of interaction cascades. A systems approach was developed in this study by linking differentially expressed genes with publicly available PPI data, Gene Ontology and subcellular localizaton for the integrated analyses. These shortest paths from NGAL to DEG transcription factors or other transcription factors in the PPI network provide important clues for future experimental identification of new pathways.

Wu BL, Li CQ, Du ZP, et al.
Functional analysis of the mRNA profile of neutrophil gelatinase‑associated lipocalin overexpression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma using multiple bioinformatic tools.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(4):1800-12 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a member of the lipocalin superfamily; dysregulated expression of NGAL has been observed in several benign and malignant diseases. In the present study, differentially expressed genes, in comparison with those of control cells, in the mRNA expression profile of EC109 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells following NGAL overexpression were analyzed by multiple bioinformatic tools for a comprehensive understanding. A total of 29 gene ontology (GO) terms associated with immune function, chromatin structure and gene transcription were identified among the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in NGAL overexpressing cells. In addition to the detected GO categories, the results from the functional annotation chart revealed that the differentially expressed genes were also associated with 101 functional annotation category terms. A total of 59 subpathways associated locally with the differentially expressed genes were identified by subpathway analysis, a markedly greater total that detected by traditional pathway enrichment analysis only. Promoter analysis indicated that the potential transcription factors Snail, deltaEF1, Mycn, Arnt, MNB1A, PBF, E74A, Ubx, SPI1 and GATA2 were unique to the downregulated DEG promoters, while bZIP910, ZNF42 and SOX9 were unique for the upregulated DEG promoters. In conclusion, the understanding of the role of NGAL overexpression in ESCC has been improved through the present bioinformatic analysis.

Chiang KC, Yeh CN, Lin KJ, et al.
Chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effect of dietary supplementation of vitamin D on cholangiocarcinoma in a Chemical-Induced animal model.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(11):3849-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive cancer. Vitamin D, a pro-hormone, is getting popular due to its hormone-like functions after converted to its active form, 1α,25(OH)2D3. Here, we show that dietary supplementation with 6 IU/g of vitamin D greatly suppressed ICC initiation and progression without apparent toxicity in a chemically induced rat model. Microarray analysis of rat ICC tissues showed vitamin D supplementation modulated the expressions of several unique genes, including lipocalin 2 (Lcn2), confirmed by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. Further, 53 of 80 human ICC specimens (66%) exhibited high LCN2 expression and LCN2 knockdown in SNU308 cells decreased cell growth and migration, suggesting LCN2 be an oncogene in human ICC. As human ICC SNU1079 cells were treated by 1α,25(OH)2D3, LCN2 expression and cell proliferation were attenuated. The downregulation of LCN2 expression was blunted when vitamin D receptor (VDR) was knocked down, implicating that the in vivo Lcn2 downregulation is a direct consequence of vitamin D supplementation Our results support the prevailing concept that vitamin D status is negatively associated with cancer incidence and mortality and suggest LCN2 may be a potential target against ICC. Further studies of application of vitamin D or its analog against ICC are warranted.

Wang L, Huang J, Jiang M, et al.
CAMK1 phosphoinositide signal-mediated protein sorting and transport network in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by biocomputation.
Cell Biochem Biophys. 2014; 70(2):1011-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
We data-analyzed and constructed the high-expression CAMK1 phosphoinositide signal-mediated protein sorting and transport network in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) compared with low-expression (fold change ≥ 2) no-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic tissues (HBV or HCV infection) in GEO data set, using integration of gene regulatory network inference method with gene ontology (GO). Our result showed that CAMK1 transport subnetwork upstream KCNQ3, LCN2, NKX2_5, NUP62, SORT1, STX1A activated CAMK1, and downstream CAMK1-activated AFP, ENAH, KPNA2, SLC4A3; CAMK1 signal subnetwork upstream BRCA1, DKK1, GPSM2, LEF1, NR5A1, NUP62, SORT1, SSTR5, TBL3 activated CAMK1, and downstream CAMK1-activated MAP2K6, SFRP4, SSTR5, TSHB, UBE2C in HCC. We proposed that CAMK1 activated network enhanced endosome to lysosome transport, endosome transport via multivesicular body sorting pathway, Golgi to endosome transport, intracellular protein transmembrane transport, intracellular protein transport, ion transport, mRNA transport, plasma membrane to endosome transport, potassium ion transport, protein transport, vesicle-mediated transport, anion transport, intracellular transport, androgen receptor signaling pathway, cell surface receptor-linked signal transduction, hormone-mediated signaling, induction of apoptosis by extracellular signals, signal transduction by p53 class mediator resulting in transcription of p21 class mediator, signal transduction resulting in induction of apoptosis, phosphoinositide-mediated signaling, Wnt receptor signaling pathway, as a result of inducing phosphoinositide signal-mediated protein sorting, and transport in HCC. Our hypothesis was verified by CAMK1 functional regulation subnetwork containing positive regulation of calcium ion transport via voltage gated calcium channel, cell proliferation, DNA repair, exocytosis, I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB cascade, immunoglobulin-mediated immune response, mast cell activation, natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity directed against tumor cell target, protein ubiquitination, sodium ion transport, survival gene product activity, T cell-mediated cytotoxicity, transcription, transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter, transcription initiation from RNA polymerase II promoter, transcription via serum response element binding, exit from mitosis, ubiquitin ligase activity during mitotic cell cycle, regulation of angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell growth, cell proliferation, cyclin-dependent protein kinase activity, gene expression, insulin secretion, steroid biosynthesis, transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter, transcription from RNA polymerase III promoter, cell cycle, cell migration, DNA recombination, and protein metabolism; also by CAMK1 negative functional regulation subnetwork including negative regulation of apoptosis, cell proliferation, centriole replication, fatty acid biosynthesis, lipoprotein lipase activity, MAPK activity, progression through cell cycle, transcription, transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter, cell growth, phosphorylation, and ubiquitin ligase activity during mitotic cell cycle in HCC.

Candido S, Maestro R, Polesel J, et al.
Roles of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) in human cancer.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(6):1576-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Cancer remains one of the major cause of death in the Western world. Although, it has been demonstrated that new therapies can improve the outcome of cancer patients, still many patients relapse after treatment. Therefore, there is a need to identify novel factors involved in cancer development and/or progression. Recently, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) has been suggested as a key player in different cancer types. Its oncogenic effect may be related to the complex NGAL/MMP-9. In the present study, NGAL was analyzed at both transcript and protein levels in different cancer types by analysing 38 public available microarray datasets and the Human Protein Atlas tool. NGAL transcripts were significantly higher in the majority of solid tumors compared to the relative normal tissues for every dataset analyzed. Furthermore, concordance of NGAL at both mRNA and protein levels was observed for 6 cancer types including bladder, colorectal, liver, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic. All metastatic tumors showed a decrease of NGAL expression when compared to matched primary lesions. According to these results, NGAL is a candidate marker for tumor growth in a fraction of solid tumors. Further investigations are required to elucidate the function of NGAL in tumor development and metastatic processes.

Wang HH, Wu MM, Chan MW, et al.
Long-term low-dose exposure of human urothelial cells to sodium arsenite activates lipocalin-2 via promoter hypomethylation.
Arch Toxicol. 2014; 88(8):1549-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported that the sustained exposure of human urothelial cells (HUCs) to low-dose sodium arsenite induces changes in the gene expression profile and neoplastic transformation. In this study, we used the HumanMethylation27 BeadChip to analyze genome-wide methylation profiles and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine to examine the involvement of promoter methylation in gene expression. Because the expression of lipocalin-2 (LCN2) was highly enhanced by promoter hypomethylation in inorganic arsenic (iAs)-HUCs cells as well as bladder cancer tissues, we further showed that mutations at the binding sequences for NF-κB and C/EBP-α significantly reduced LCN2 promoter activity. By chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we demonstrated the significantly increased binding of RelA (p65) and NF-κB1 (p50) to the hypomethylated promoter of LCN2 in the iAs-HUCs. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that LCN2 overexpression was crucial for the neoplastic characteristics of the iAs-HUCs, such as enhanced anchorage-independent growth, resistance to serum deprivation and activation of NF-κB signaling. In addition, our results indicated that enhanced NF-κB activity in iAs-HUCs was via LCN2-mediated increase in intracellular iron and reactive oxygen species levels. Taken together, our results show that sustained low-dose arsenic exposure results in epigenetic changes and enhanced oncogenic potential via LCN2 overexpression.

Soliman NA, Zineldeen DH, El-Khadrawy OH
Effect of NUCKS-1 overexpression on cytokine profiling in obese women with breast cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(2):837-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Overweight and obesity are recognized as major drivers of cancers including breast cancer. Several cytokines, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10 and lipocalin 2 (LCN2), as well as dysregulated cell cycle proteins are implicated in breast carcinogenesis. The nuclear, casein kinase and cyclin-dependent kinase substrate-1 (NUCKS-1), is a nuclear DNA-binding protein that has been implicated in several human cancers, including breast cancer.
OBJECTIVES: The present study was conducted to evaluate NUCKS-1 mRNA expression in breast tissue from obese patients with and without breast cancer and lean controls. NUCKS-1 expression was correlated to cytokine profiles as prognostic and monitoring tools for breast cancer, providing a molecular basis for a causal link between obesity and risk.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 39 females with breast cancer (G III) that was furtherly subdivided into two subgroups according to cancer grading (G IIIa and G IIIb) and 10 control obese females (G II) in addition to 10 age-matched healthy lean controls (G I). NUCKS-1 expression was studied in breast tissue biopsies by means of real-time PCR (RT-PCR). Serum cytokine profiles were determined by immunoassay. Lipid profiles and glycemic status as well as anthropometric measures were also recorded for all participants.
RESULTS: IL-6, IL-12 and LCN2 were significantly higher in control obese and breast cancer group than their relevant lean controls (p<0.05), while NUCKS-1 mRNA expression was significantly higher in the breast cancer group compared to the other groups (p<0.05). Significant higher levels of IL-6, IL-12, and LCN2 as well as NUCKS-1 mRNA levels were reported in G IIIb than G IIIa, and positively correlated with obesity markers in all obese patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of cytokine levels as well as related gene expression may provide a new tool for understanding interactions for three axes of carcinogenesis, innate immunity, inflammation and cell cycling, and hope for new strategies of management.

Guo P, You JO, Yang J, et al.
Inhibiting metastatic breast cancer cell migration via the synergy of targeted, pH-triggered siRNA delivery and chemokine axis blockade.
Mol Pharm. 2014; 11(3):755-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Because breast cancer patient survival inversely correlates with metastasis, we engineered vehicles to inhibit both the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) and lipocalin-2 (Lcn2) mediated migratory pathways. pH-responsive liposomes were designed to protect and trigger the release of Lcn2 siRNA. Liposomes were modified with anti-CXCR4 antibodies to target metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cells and block migration along the CXCR4-CXCL12 axis. This synergistic approach--coupling the CXCR4 axis blockade with Lcn2 silencing--significantly reduced migration in triple-negative human breast cancer cells (88% for MDA-MB-436 and 92% for MDA-MB-231). The results suggested that drug delivery vehicles engineered to attack multiple migratory pathways may effectively slow progression of MBC.

Wu CH, Ko JL, Chen SC, et al.
Clinical implications of aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C3 and its relationship with lipocalin 2 in cancer of the uterine cervix.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 132(2):474-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Over-expression of the aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C3 (AKR1C3) has been demonstrated in many human cancers. Lipocalin 2 (LCN2) is reported to inhibit cervical cancer metastasis but little is known regarding its relationship with AKR1C3 in the development and progression of uterine cervical cancer. This study aimed to investigate the involvement of AKR1C3 and its relationship with LCN2 in cervical cancer.
METHODS: The roles of AKR1C3 and LCN2 were investigated using the lentivirus shRNA system in SiHa and Caski cervical cancer cells. LCN2 and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) promoters were constructed to demonstrate transcriptional regulation by shAKR1C3 and shLCN2, respectively. The influences of metastatic phenotypes were analyzed by wound healing, Boyden chamber, and immunofluorescence assays. The activity of MMP-2 was determined by zymography assay. The impacts of AKR1C3 and LCN2 on patient prognosis were evaluated using tissue microarrays by Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier models.
RESULTS: Silencing of the AKR1C3 gene increased the expression of LCN2 and decreased the migratory and invasive abilities and changed the cytoskeleton of cervical cancer cells. When AKR1C3 was over-expressed, it decreased LCN2 promoter activity and LCN2 expression and increased cell migration. The mRNA level and enzyme activity of MMP-2 increased in silenced LCN2 cells. Positive AKR1C3 and negative LCN2 were correlated with higher recurrence and poorer survival of cervical cancer patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Silencing of AKR1C3 increases LCN2 expression and inhibits metastasis in cervical cancer. Both AKR1C3 and LCN2 serve as molecular targets for cancer therapy to improve the clinical outcome of cervical cancer patients.

Cheng G, Sun X, Wang J, et al.
HIC1 silencing in triple-negative breast cancer drives progression through misregulation of LCN2.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(3):862-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumor suppressor gene HIC1 is frequently deleted or epigenetically silenced in human cancer, where its restoration may improve cancer prognosis. Here, we report results illuminating how HIC1 silencing alters effect or signals in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which are crucial for its pathogenesis. HIC1 expression was silenced only in TNBC compared with other molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Restoring HIC1 expression in TNBC cells reduced cell migration, invasion, and metastasis, whereas RNAi-mediated silencing of HIC1 in untransformed human breast cells increased their invasive capabilities. Mechanistic investigations identified the small-secreted protein lipocalin-2 (LCN2), as a critical downstream target of HIC1 in TNBC cells. Elevating LCN2 expression in cells expressing HIC1 partially rescued its suppression of cell invasion and metastasis. Notably, autocrine secretion of LCN2 induced by loss of HIC1 activated the AKT pathway through the neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin receptor, which is associated with TNBC progression. Taken together, our findings revealed that the HIC1-LCN2 axis may serve as a subtype-specific prognostic biomarker, providing an appealing candidate target for TNBC therapy.

Kaur S, Sharma N, Krishn SR, et al.
MUC4-mediated regulation of acute phase protein lipocalin 2 through HER2/AKT/NF-κB signaling in pancreatic cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(3):688-700 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
PURPOSE: MUC4 shows aberrant expression in early pancreatic lesions and a high specificity for pancreatic cancer. It thus has a high potential to be a sensitive and specific biomarker. Unfortunately, its low serum level limits its diagnostic/prognostic potential. We here report that a multifaceted acute phase protein lipocalin 2, regulated by MUC4, could be a potential diagnostic/prognostic marker for pancreatic cancer. Experimental Designs and
RESULTS: Overexpression/knockdown, luciferase reporter and molecular inhibition studies revealed that MUC4 regulates lipocalin 2 by stabilizing HER2 and stimulating AKT, which results in the activation of NF-κB. Immunohistochemical analyses of lipocalin 2 and MUC4 showed a significant positive correlation between MUC4 and lipocalin 2 in primary, metastatic tissues (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.71, P = 0.002) from rapid autopsy tissue sample from patients with pancreatic cancer as well as in serum and tissue samples from spontaneous KRASG(12)D mouse pancreatic cancer model (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.98, P < 0.05). Lipocalin 2 levels increased progressively with disease advancement (344.2 ± 22.8 ng/mL for 10 weeks to 3067.2 ± 572.6 for 50 weeks; P < 0.0001). In human pancreatic cancer cases, significantly elevated levels of lipocalin 2 were observed in patients with pancreatic cancer (148 ± 13.18 ng/mL) in comparison with controls (73.27 ± 4.9 ng/mL, P = 0.014). Analyses of pre- and postchemotherapy patients showed higher lipocalin 2 levels in prechemotherapy patients [121.7 ng/mL; 95% confidence interval (CI), 98.1-150.9] in comparison with the postchemotherapy (92.6 ng/mL; 95% CI, 76.7-111.6; P = 0.06) group.
CONCLUSIONS: This study delineates the association and the downstream mechanisms of MUC4-regulated elevation of lipocalin-2 (via HER2/AKT/NF-κB) and its clinical significance for prognosis of pancreatic cancer.

Kobara H, Miyamoto T, Suzuki A, et al.
Lipocalin2 enhances the matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and invasion of extravillous trophoblasts under hypoxia.
Placenta. 2013; 34(11):1036-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The invasion of extravillous trophoblasts (EVTs) to the decidua and spiral arteries in early pregnancy is a crucial step for a successful pregnancy; however, its mechanisms are not fully understood. Lipocalin2 (LCN2), a multifunctional secretory protein known as neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), reportedly enhanced invasiveness via the activation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in several cancer cells. In this study, the expression and function of LCN2 in early placenta were analyzed.
METHODS: Early placental tissues between 7 and 10 weeks of gestation were obtained from normal pregnant women who underwent elective termination. The expression of LCN2 was examined using immunostaining and RT-PCR. EVTs isolated from these placental tissues and a choriocarcinoma cell line (JAR) were used to investigate the effects of LCN2 on proliferation, invasion potential, and MMP-9 activity under hypoxia using a WST-1 assay, Matrigel invasion assay, and gelatin gel zymography, respectively.
RESULTS: The immunohistochemical expression of LCN2 was observed in the cytoplasm of EVTs, cytotrophoblasts and the decidua, but not in syncytiotrophoblasts. The addition of recombinant LCN2 did not affect proliferation, but enhanced the invasiveness (500 ng/mL, p < 0.01) and MMP-9 activity of primary cultured EVTs and JAR in a dose-dependent manner. Silencing LCN2 using shRNA reduced the invasiveness (p < 0.01) and MMP-9 activity of JAR. In addition, the hypoxic condition (2% O₂) increased LCN2 expression (p < 0.01), MMP-9 activity, and invasive ability (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: LCN2 was involved in the invasiveness of EVTs, especially under hypoxia, via increased MMP-9 activity.

Yang WC, Tsai WC, Lin PM, et al.
Human BDH2, an anti-apoptosis factor, is a novel poor prognostic factor for de novo cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia.
J Biomed Sci. 2013; 20:58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The relevance of recurrent molecular abnormalities in cytogenetically normal (CN) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was recently acknowledged by the inclusion of molecular markers such as NPM1, FLT3, and CEBPA as a complement to cytogenetic information within both the World Health Organization and the European Leukemia Net classifications. Mitochondrial metabolism is different in cancer and normal cells. A novel cytosolic type 2-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, BDH2, originally named DHRS6, plays a physiological role in the cytosolic utilization of ketone bodies, which can subsequently enter mitochondria and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Moreover, BDH2 catalyzes the production of 2, 3-DHBA during enterobactin biosynthesis and participates in 24p3 (LCN2)-mediated iron transport and apoptosis.
RESULTS: We observed that BDH2 expression is an independent poor prognostic factor for CN-AML, with an anti-apoptotic role. Patients with high BDH2 expression have relatively shorter overall survival (P = 0.007) and a low complete response rate (P = 0.032). BDH2-knockdown (BDH2-KD) in THP1 and HL60 cells increased the apoptosis rate under reactive oxygen species stimulation. Decrease inducible survivin, a member of the inhibitors of apoptosis family, but not members of the Bcl-2 family, induced apoptosis via a caspase-3-independent pathway upon BDH2-KD.
CONCLUSIONS: BDH2 is a novel independent poor prognostic marker for CN-AML, with the role of anti-apoptosis, through surviving.

Piltonen TT, Chen J, Erikson DW, et al.
Mesenchymal stem/progenitors and other endometrial cell types from women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) display inflammatory and oncogenic potential.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(9):3765-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
CONTEXT: Endometrium in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) presents altered gene expression indicating progesterone resistance and predisposing to reduced endometrial receptivity and endometrial cancer.
OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that an altered endocrine/metabolic environment in PCOS may result in an endometrial "disease phenotype" affecting the gene expression of different endometrial cell populations, including stem cells and their differentiated progeny.
DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a prospective study conducted at an academic medical center.
PATIENTS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proliferative-phase endometrium was obtained from 6 overweight/obese PCOS (National Institutes of Health criteria) and 6 overweight/obese controls. Microarray analysis was performed on fluorescence-activated cell sorting-isolated endometrial epithelial cells (eEPs), endothelial cells, stromal fibroblasts (eSFs), and mesenchymal stem cells (eMSCs). Gene expression data were validated using microfluidic quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: The comparison between eEP(PCOS) and eEP(Ctrl) showed dysregulation of inflammatory genes and genes with oncogenic potential (CCL2, IL-6, ORM1, TNAIFP6, SFRP4, SPARC). eSF(PCOS) and eSF(Ctrl) showed up-regulation of inflammatory genes (C4A/B, CCL2, ICAM1, TNFAIP3). Similarly, in eMSC(PCOS) vs eMSC(Ctrl), the most up-regulated genes were related to inflammation and cancer (IL-8, ICAM1, SPRR3, LCN2). Immunohistochemistry scoring showed increased expression of CCL2 in eEP(PCOS) and eSF(PCOS) compared with eEP(Ctrl) and eSF(Ctrl) and IL-6 in eEP(PCOS) compared with eEP(Ctrl).
CONCLUSIONS: Isolated endometrial cell populations in women with PCOS showed altered gene expression revealing inflammation and prooncogenic changes, independent of body mass index, especially in eEP(PCOS) and eMSC(PCOS), compared with controls. The study reveals an endometrial disease phenotype in women with PCOS with potential negative effects on endometrial function and long-term health.

Tung MC, Hsieh SC, Yang SF, et al.
Knockdown of lipocalin-2 suppresses the growth and invasion of prostate cancer cells.
Prostate. 2013; 73(12):1281-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) is a member of the lipocalin superfamily, and it has an important role in the regulation of cellular oncogenesis and apoptosis. However, the role for LCN2 in prostate cancer remains unclear.
METHOD: LCN2 expression has been determined by Western blotting, qRT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry in the human prostate cell lines PC3, DU145, LNCaP, and 22Rv, and in human prostate tissue array. In this study, we identified shRNA-LCN2 to determine the role of LCN2 in prostate-cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Cell proliferative ability was measured by MTT, colony-formation, and cell-cycle analysis. The role of LCN2 in prostate-cancer cell migration and invasion was analyzed by cell-migration assay and Matrigel invasion assay. The effect of LCN2 knockdown on prostate tumor growth was assessed in a subcutaneous xenograft model.
RESULTS: LCN2 protein and mRNA expression are higher in PC3 and DU145 cells than in LNCaP and 22Rv cells, and prostate cancer tissue correlated significantly with tumor differentiation (P < 0.017) and Gleason's grade (P < 0.02). LCN2 knockdown in PC3 and DU145 cells decreased cell proliferation, colony formation, cell cycle arrest, migration, and invasion. Conversely, LCN2 overexpression in 22Rv cells produced the opposite effect. Subcutaneous xenografts in mice models showed decreased tumor growth in the LCN2-knockdown mice.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that LCN2 might play an important role in regulation of proliferation and invasion of human prostate cancer, and that it can be a valuable marker of prostate cancer progression.

Tsao AS, Liu S, Lee JJ, et al.
Clinical and biomarker outcomes of the phase II vandetanib study from the BATTLE trial.
J Thorac Oncol. 2013; 8(5):658-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination trial prospectively obtained serum and tumor core biopsies and randomized 255 chemorefractory non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients into four phase II trials: erlotinib, erlotinib-bexarotene, vandetanib, or sorafenib. Herein, we report the clinical and biomarker results of the phase II vandetanib trial.
RESULTS: Fifty-four patients received vandetanib. The 8-week disease control rate was 33%, median progression-free survival (PFS) 1.81 months, and median overall survival (OS) 6.5 months. No demographic subgroups had PFS or OS benefit. Eight patients with EGFR mutations had a trend for higher 8-week disease control rate (63% versus 31%; p = 0.12) but worse OS (5.9 months versus 9 months; p = 0.8). Patients with EGFR gene amplification (n = 6) had a worse OS (3.9 months versus 9.5 months; p = 0.04). KRAS mutation patients (3.9 months versus 9.5 months; p = 0.23) also had a worse OS. For the serum biomarker analysis, patients with below the median serum expression of interleukin 9c (p = 0.019) and eotaxin (p = 0.007) had a shorter PFS. A trend toward a shorter PFS was also seen in patients with higher than the median neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (p = 0.079) and lower than the median TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (p = 0.087).
CONCLUSION: Our trial results are largely consistent with the literature in unselected pretreated NSCLC patients. Although vandetanib improved median PFS in EGFR mutation patients with epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor-resistance compared with EGFR wild-type, there was no OS advantage. Although vandetanib is no longer in development in NSCLC, identification of a molecular phenotype that responds to dual epidermal growth factor receptor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibition would contribute to the field.

Horn A, Chakraborty S, Dey P, et al.
Immunocytochemistry for MUC4 and MUC16 is a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma on fine-needle aspiration cytology.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013; 137(4):546-51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
CONTEXT: Diagnoses rendered as atypical/suspicious for malignancy on fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of pancreatic mass lesions range from 2% to 29% in various studies. We have identified the expression of 3 genes, MUC4, MUC16, and NGAL that are highly upregulated in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In this study, we analyzed the expression of these markers in FNA samples to determine whether they could improve sensitivity and specificity.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the utility of MUC4, MUC16, and NGAL in the evaluation of pancreatic FNA specimens.
DESIGN: Records of pancreatic FNAs performed during 10 consecutive years were reviewed. Unstained sections from corresponding cell blocks were immunostained for MUC4, MUC16, and NGAL (polyclonal). Immunostaining was assessed using the H-score (range, 0-3). Any case with an H-score of >0.5 was considered positive.
RESULTS: Cases were classified using cytomorphologic criteria as adenocarcinoma (31 of 64; 48.4%), benign (17 of 64; 26.6%), and atypical/suspicious (16 of 64; 25%). On follow-up, all cases (100%; 31 of 31) diagnosed as carcinoma on cytology were confirmed on biopsy/resection samples or by clinical follow-up (such as unresectable disease). Of the cases diagnosed as atypical/suspicious, 69% (11 of 16) were found to be positive for adenocarcinoma and 31% (5 of 16) were benign on subsequent follow-up. Overall sensitivity and specificity, respectively, for the various markers for the detection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma were as follows: MUC4 (74% and 100%), MUC16 (62.9% and 100%), and NGAL (61.3% and 58.8%). In cases that were atypical/suspicious on cytology, expression of MUC4 and MUC16 was 100% specific for carcinoma with sensitivities of 63.6% and 66.7%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Immunocytochemistry for MUC4 and MUC16 appears to be a useful adjunct in the classification of pancreatic FNA samples, especially in cases that are equivocal (atypical/suspicious) for adenocarcinoma on cytomorphologic assessment.

Xu B, Zheng WY, Feng JF, et al.
One potential oncolytic adenovirus expressing Lipocalin-2 for colorectal cancer therapy.
Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2013; 28(5):415-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is an aggressive malignancy with a high mortality rate; however, effective therapies are currently lacking. Cancer-targeting gene-virotherapy (CTGVT) has been proposed to be a promising strategy for cancer therapy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antitumor activity of the oncolytic adenovirus harboring Lipocalin-2 (ZD55-Lipocalin-2, an example of CTGVT) in colorectal cancer. ZD55-Lipocalin-2 was generated by deleting E1B55-KD and inserting the Lipocalin-2 gene. Its cytopathic effects and cell growth inhibition were detected in vitro, and antitumor effects were examined in a nude mouse model of human colorectal cancer xenografts. Results showed that ZD55-Lipocalin-2 significantly inhibited the colorectal cancer growth by selective cytolysis, inducing apoptosis and decreasing the microvessel density in tumors. The anticancer potential of ZD55-Lipocalin-2 showed stronger than that of the isolated Lipocalin-2 gene therapy or isolated ZD55 oncolytic adenovirus therapy. ZD55-Lipocalin-2 may serve as a potential anticancer agent for colorectal cancer treatment.

Shiiba M, Saito K, Fushimi K, et al.
Lipocalin-2 is associated with radioresistance in oral cancer and lung cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(4):1197-204 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to identify a target molecule that could predict the efficacy of radiotherapy in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We used DNA microarray analysis to identify differences in gene expression after X-ray irradiation. We compared the gene expression profiles between X-ray (8 Gy)-irradiated Ca9-22 cells (an OSCC-derived cell line) and unirradiated Ca9-22 cells. A total of 167 genes with a 2-fold higher level of expression induced by X-ray irradiation were identified. Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) had the greatest increase in expression after X-ray irradiation, and it was categorized in a network that has cancer-related functions with the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis tool. Upregulated expression of LCN2 mRNA was validated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis. When the LCN2 gene was knocked down in OSCC cells (Ca9-22 and HSC-2) and lung cancer cells (A549) by using small interfering RNA, the radiosensitivity of these cells was enhanced. Our findings suggest that the overexpression of LCN2 is likely associated with radioresistance in oral cancer and lung cancer cells, and that LCN2 expression levels could be used to predict radioresistance. Thus, regulating the expression or function of LCN2 could enhance the radiation response, resulting in a favorable outcome of radiotherapy.

Qin W, Zhang K, Kliethermes B, et al.
Differential expression of cancer-associated proteins in breastmilk.
Breastfeed Med. 2013; 8(1):120-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer that develops during or shortly after pregnancy is frequently more aggressive than cancer diagnosed at other times in a woman's life. To better understand the patterns of cancer-related protein expression in the breasts of lactating women, we determined the differences in total and individual protein expression in milk based on (a) three time points during lactation (early, mid, and late), (b) length of lactation, and (c) parity. Breastmilk was collected from 72 healthy lactating women within 10 days of starting lactation (transitional [T]), 2 months after lactation started, and during breast weaning (W). Sixteen proteins whose expression is altered in breast cancer (11 kallikreins [KLKs], basic fibroblast growth factor [bFGF], YKL-40, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, and transforming growth factor [TGF] β1 and β2) were evaluated. The concentration of total milk protein decreased over time (p<0.01 at 2 months and W compared with T). After we controlled for total protein, KLK6 and TGFβ2 significantly increased, and bFGF decreased from T to W. Neither length of nursing nor parity significantly influenced individual protein expression at the W time point. On the other hand, length of nursing did influence the difference in KLK6, -7, and -8 expression between the W and T time points. Total milk protein concentration is lower in the mid and late phases of nursing. Biomarker differences between T and W milk samples in KLK6, TGFβ2, and bFGF are consistent with a protective effect of nursing.

Martínez-García MÁ, Montes-Nieto R, Fernández-Durán E, et al.
Evidence for masculinization of adipokine gene expression in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(2):E388-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Sex hormones, particularly androgens, may influence not only adipose tissue distribution but also its functions.
OBJECTIVE: We explored the possibility of sexual dimorphism in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle function.
DESIGN: This was a case-control study.
SETTING: The setting was an academic hospital.
PARTICIPANTS: Participants were severely obese men (n = 7), control women (n = 7), and hyperandrogenic women presenting with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (n = 7) submitting to bariatric surgery and an independent series of 40 patients with PCOS and 40 control women matched for age and body mass index.
INTERVENTIONS: Samples of subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and skeletal muscle were obtained during bariatric surgery in severely obese subjects.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Gene expression of chemerin, lipocalin-2, and omentin-1 in tissue samples was measured. We analyzed the effects of PCOS and obesity on serum concentrations of these adipokines in the larger series of women with PCOS and in control women.
RESULTS: Expression of chemerin and lipocalin-2 was higher in VAT than in SAT in men and women with PCOS; the opposite was observed in control women. Omentin-1 expression was higher in VAT than in SAT in the three groups. No differences were observed in the skeletal muscle expression of these adipokines. Obesity increased serum chemerin and lipocalin-2 levels and tended to decrease omentin-1, irrespective of PCOS.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest that there is sexual dimorphism in some adipose tissue functions and that this dimorphism may be related to differences in androgen concentrations because women with PCOS show a masculinized pattern of expression of some adipokines.

Lee YC, Tzeng WF, Chiou TJ, Chu ST
MicroRNA-138 suppresses neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin expression and inhibits tumorigenicity.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(12):e52979 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
The expression of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is up-regulated in some cancers; therefore NGAL has potential as a tumor biomarker. Although the regulation mechanism for this is unknown, one study has shown that it is likely to involve a microRNA (miRNA). Here, we investigate the relation between miRNA expression and NGAL expression, and the role of NGAL in tumorigenesis. Using miRNA target-detecting software, we analyze the mRNA sequence of NGAL and identify a target site for microRNA-138 (miR-138) in nucleotides 25-53 of the 3' UTR. We then analyze NGAL and miR-138 expression in three cancer cell lines originating from breast, endometrial and pancreatic carcinomas (the MCF-7, RL95-2 and AsPC-1 cell lines), respectively, using quantitative (real-time) PCR and western blot analysis. Metastasis is a critical event in cancer progression, in which malignant cell proliferation, migration and invasion increase. To determine whether miR-138-regulated NGAL expression is associated with metastasis, the proliferation and migration of the cell line are examined after miR-138 transfection. Using nude mice, we examine both the tumorigenicity of these cell lines and of miR-138-transfected cancer cells in vivo, as well as the effect of treating tumors with an antibody against NGAL. Our results show that these cancer cell lines down-regulate NGAL when miR-138 is highly expressed. Ectopic transfection of miR-138 suppresses NGAL expression and cell migration in RL95-2 and AsPC-1 cells, demonstrating that miR-138-regulated NGAL expression is associated with cell migration. Additionally, injection of the NGAL antibody diminishes NGAL-mediated tumorigenesis in nude mice, and miR-138 transfection of cancer cells reduces tumor formation. As the cell proliferation data showed that the tumor size should be regulated by NGAL-related cell growth. Taken together, our results indicate that NGAL may be a good target for cancer therapy and suggest that miR-138 acts as a tumor suppressor and may prevent metastasis.

Kumandan S, Mahadevan NR, Chiu K, et al.
Activation of the unfolded protein response bypasses trastuzumab-mediated inhibition of the PI-3K pathway.
Cancer Lett. 2013; 329(2):236-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
HER2-positive breast cancer initially responds to trastuzumab treatment, but over time, resistance develops and rapid cancer progression occurs, for which various explanations have been proposed. Here we tested the hypothesis that induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR) could override HER2 inhibition by trastuzumab, leading to the re-activation of growth signaling and the activation of the downstream target Lipocalin 2 (LCN2). Trastuzumab significantly inhibited the basal expression of LCN2 in HER2 (+) SKBr3 human breast cancer cells. The induction of the UPR completely abrogated trastuzumab-mediated LCN2 downregulation, and, in fact caused an increase in transcription and secretion of LCN2 over baseline. Reduction of the UPR using 4-phenyl butyric acid (PBA) a chemical chaperone that ameliorates ER stress, restored trastuzumab-mediated inhibition. Inhibition of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in trastuzumab-treated/UPR-induced SKBr3 cells partially reduced the upregulation of LCN2. These results suggest that the UPR is a possible way to override the effect of trastuzumab in HER2(+) cancer cells.

Chappell WH, Abrams SL, Franklin RA, et al.
Ectopic NGAL expression can alter sensitivity of breast cancer cells to EGFR, Bcl-2, CaM-K inhibitors and the plant natural product berberine.
Cell Cycle. 2012; 11(23):4447-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL, a.k.a Lnc2) is a member of the lipocalin family and has diverse roles. NGAL can stabilize matrix metalloproteinase-9 from autodegradation. NGAL is considered as a siderocalin that is important in the transport of iron. NGAL expression has also been associated with certain neoplasias and is implicated in the metastasis of breast cancer. In a previous study, we examined whether ectopic NGAL expression would alter the sensitivity of breast epithelial, breast and colorectal cancer cells to the effects of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. While abundant NGAL expression was detected in all the cells infected with a retrovirus encoding NGAL, this expression did not alter the sensitivity of these cells to doxorubicin as compared with empty vector-transduced cells. We were also interested in determining the effects of ectopic NGAL expression on the sensitivity to small-molecule inhibitors targeting key signaling molecules. Ectopic NGAL expression increased the sensitivity of MCF-7 breast cancer cells to EGFR, Bcl-2 and calmodulin kinase inhibitors as well as the natural plant product berberine. Furthermore, when suboptimal concentrations of certain inhibitors were combined with doxorubicin, a reduction in the doxorubicin IC 50 was frequently observed. An exception was observed when doxorubicin was combined with rapamycin, as doxorubicin suppressed the sensitivity of the NGAL-transduced MCF-7 cells to rapamycin when compared with the empty vector controls. In contrast, changes in the sensitivities of the NGAL-transduced HT-29 colorectal cancer cell line and the breast epithelial MCF-10A cell line were not detected compared with empty vector-transduced cells. Doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7/Dox (R) cells were examined in these experiments as a control drug-resistant line; it displayed increased sensitivity to EGFR and Bcl-2 inhibitors compared with empty vector transduced MCF-7 cells. These results indicate that NGAL expression can alter the sensitivity of certain cancer cells to small-molecule inhibitors, suggesting that patients whose tumors exhibit elevated NGAL expression or have become drug-resistant may display altered responses to certain small-molecule inhibitors.

Yang WC, Lin PM, Yang MY, et al.
Higher lipocalin 2 expression may represent an independent favorable prognostic factor in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2013; 54(8):1614-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Abstract Several molecular markers, such as NPM1, FLT3 and CEBPA, have been incorporated into both the World Health Organization and European LeukemiaNet classifications as routine assessments for the diagnosis and evaluation of prognostic significance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Lipocalin 2 (LCN2) is related to cancer development and is believed to be associated with the outcome of cytogenetically normal (CN)-AML. In the present study, we analyzed the prognostic effects and interactions of LCN2 expression (by molecular analysis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction [qRT-PCR]) with neucleophosmin 1, fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha mutations in 85 patients with CN-AML receiving intensive induction chemotherapy. Our results indicate that patients with higher LCN2 mRNA expression in the bone marrow (LCN2high), especially in combination with wild type FLT3-ITD, had better prognoses. FLT3-ITD compensated LCN2-overexpression-enhanced oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in cell line studies. In conclusion, LCN2high was associated with better prognosis, and FLT3 status had an adjuvant effect on overall survival.

Volpe V, Raia Z, Sanguigno L, et al.
NGAL controls the metastatic potential of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cells.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(1):228-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: We have previously identified neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) as one of the genes mediating the oncogenic activity of nuclear factor-κB in human anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATCs).
OBJECTIVES: To further investigate the role of NGAL in thyroid cancer, we established NGAL knocked-down and NGAL overexpressing ATC cell lines.
RESULTS: We found that the ability of NGAL knocked-down cells to degrade Matrigel in a transwell invasion assay and to form lung metastasis in nude mice was decreased. Because NGAL binds matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), to form a macromolecular complex involved in the regulation of metastatic spread of cancer cells and given the strong expression of both genes in tissue specimens from human ATCs, we analyzed the MMP-9 enzymatic activity in NGAL-null ATC cells. Enzymatic immunoassays show that MMP-9 activity is reduced in NGAL-null ATC cells, even if its expression is not affected by NGAL inhibition. Ectopic expression of NGAL in an ATC cell line not expressing NGAL determines an increase of its metastatic property. The use of a mutated form of NGAL, unable to bind MMP-9, has no positive effect on the invasive potential of ATC cells and does not improve the MMP-9 enzymatic activity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate NGAL as a novel target of nuclear factor-κB prometastatic activity in thyroid cancer through enhancement of MMP-9 enzymatic activity.

Kudo-Saito C, Shirako H, Ohike M, et al.
CCL2 is critical for immunosuppression to promote cancer metastasis.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2013; 30(4):393-405 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously found that cancer metastasis is accelerated by immunosuppression during Snail-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the molecular mechanism still remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that CCL2 is a critical determinant for both tumor metastasis and immunosuppression induced by Snail(+) tumor cells. CCL2 is significantly upregulated in various human tumor cells accompanied by Snail expression induced by snail transduction or TGFβ treatment. The Snail(+) tumor-derived CCL2 amplifies EMT events in other cells including Snail(-) tumor cells and epithelial cells within tumor microenvironment. CCL2 secondarily induces Lipocalin 2 (LCN2) in the Snail(+) tumor cells in an autocrine manner. CCL2 and LCN2 cooperatively generate immunoregulatory dendritic cells (DCreg) having suppressive activity accompanied by lowered expression of costimulatory molecules such as HLA-DR but increased expression of immunosuppressive molecules such as PD-L1 in human PBMCs. The CCL2/LCN2-induced DCreg cells subsequently induce immunosuppressive CD4(+)FOXP3(+) Treg cells, and finally impair tumor-specific CTL induction. In murine established tumor model, however, CCL2 blockade utilizing the specific siRNA or neutralizing mAb significantly inhibits Snail(+) tumor growth and metastasis following systemic induction of anti-tumor immune responses in host. These results suggest that CCL2 is more than a chemoattractant factor that is the significant effector molecule responsible for immune evasion of Snail(+) tumor cells. CCL2 would be an attractive target for treatment to eliminate cancer cells via amelioration of tumor metastasis and immunosuppression.

Jung M, Weigert A, Tausendschön M, et al.
Interleukin-10-induced neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin production in macrophages with consequences for tumor growth.
Mol Cell Biol. 2012; 32(19):3938-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/02/2016 Related Publications
Tumor cell-derived factors, such as interleukin 10 (IL-10), polarize macrophages toward a regulatory M2 phenotype, characterized by the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines and protumorigenic mediators. Here we explored molecular mechanisms allowing IL-10 to upregulate the protumorigenic protein NGAL in primary human macrophages. Reporter assays of full-length or deletion constructs of the NGAL promoter provided evidence that NGAL production is STAT3 dependent, activated downstream of the IL-10-Janus kinase (Jak) axis, as well as being C/EBPβ dependent. The involvement of STAT3 and C/EBPβ was shown by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and ChIP-Western analysis, as well as decoy oligonucleotides scavenging both STAT3 and C/EBPβ in human macrophages. Furthermore, the production of NGAL in macrophages in response to IL-10 induces cellular growth and proliferation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. We conclude that both STAT3 and C/EBPβ are needed to elicit IL-10-mediated NGAL expression in primary human macrophages. Macrophage-secreted NGAL shapes the protumorigenic macrophage phenotype to promote growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Our data point to a macrophage-dependent IL-10-STAT3-NGAL axis that might contribute to tumor progression.

Hsin IL, Hsiao YC, Wu MF, et al.
Lipocalin 2, a new GADD153 target gene, as an apoptosis inducer of endoplasmic reticulum stress in lung cancer cells.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012; 263(3):330-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is activated under severe cellular conditions. GADD153, a member of the C/EBP family, is an unfolded protein response (UPR) responsive transcription factor. Increased levels of lipocalin 2, an acute phase protein, have been found in several epithelial cancers. The aim of this study is to investigate the function of lipocalin 2 in lung cancer cells under ER stress. Treatment with thapsigargin, an ER stress activator, led to increases in cytotoxicity, ER stress, apoptosis, and lipocalin 2 expression in A549 cells. GADD153 silencing decreased lipocalin 2 expression in A549 cells. On chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, ER stress increased GADD153 DNA binding to lipocalin 2 promoter. Furthermore, silencing of lipocalin 2 mitigated ER stress-mediated apoptosis in A549 cells. Our findings demonstrated that lipocalin 2 is a new GADD153 target gene that mediates ER stress-induced apoptosis.

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