Gene Summary

Gene:MCL1; MCL1 apoptosis regulator, BCL2 family member
Aliases: TM, EAT, MCL1L, MCL1S, Mcl-1, BCL2L3, MCL1-ES, bcl2-L-3, mcl1/EAT
Summary:This gene encodes an anti-apoptotic protein, which is a member of the Bcl-2 family. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. The longest gene product (isoform 1) enhances cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis while the alternatively spliced shorter gene products (isoform 2 and isoform 3) promote apoptosis and are death-inducing. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:induced myeloid leukemia cell differentiation protein Mcl-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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

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

Specific Cancers (6)

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: MCL1 (cancer-related)

Alvur O, Tokgun O, Baygu Y, et al.
The triazole linked galactose substituted dicyano compound can induce autophagy in NSCLC cell lines.
Gene. 2019; 712:143935 [PubMed] Related Publications
As seen in other types of cancer, development of drug resistance in NSCLC treatment causes adverse effects on disease fighting process. Recent studies have shown that one of the drug resistance development mechanisms is that cancer cells may acquire the ability to escape from cell death. Therefore, development of anticancer drugs which have the strategy to redirect cancer cells to any cell death pathways may provide positive results for cancer treatments. Autophagy may be a target mechanism of alternative cancer treatment strategy in cases of blocked apoptosis. There is also a complex molecular link between autophagy and apoptosis, has not been fully understood yet. The dicyano compound which we used in our study caused cell death in NSCLC cell lines. When we analyzed the cells which were treated with dicyano compound by transmission electron microscope, we observed autophagosome structures. Upon this result, we investigated expression levels of autophagic proteins in the dicyano compound-treated cells by immunoblotting and observed that expression levels of autophagic proteins were increased significantly. The TUNEL assay and qRT-PCR for pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic gene expression, which we performed to assess apoptosis in the dicyano compound-treated cells, showed that the cell death does not occur through apoptotic pathway. We showed that the dicyano compound, which was developed in our laboratories, may play a role in molecular link between apoptosis and autophagy and may shed light on development of new anticancer treatment strategies.

Demin DE, Afanasyeva MA, Uvarova AN, et al.
Constitutive Expression of NRAS with Q61R Driver Mutation Activates Processes of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Leads to Substantial Transcriptome Change of Nthy-ori 3-1 Thyroid Epithelial Cells.
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2019; 84(4):416-425 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Q61R mutation of the NRAS gene is one of the most frequent driver mutations of thyroid cancer. Tumors with this mutation are characterized by invasion into blood vessels and formation of distant metastases. To study the role of this mutation in the growth of thyroid cancer, we developed a model system on the basis of thyroid epithelial cell line Nthy-ori 3-1 transduced by a lentiviral vector containing the NRAS gene with the Q61R mutation. It was found that the expression of NRAS(Q61R) in thyroid epithelial cells has a profound influence on groups of genes involved in the formation of intercellular contacts, as well as in processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cell invasion. The alteration in the expression of these genes affects the phenotype of the model cells, which acquire traits of mesenchymal cells and demonstrate increased ability for survival and growth without attachment to the substrate. The key regulators of these processes are transcription factors belonging to families SNAIL, ZEB, and TWIST, and in different types of tumors the contribution of each individual factor can vary greatly. In our model system, phenotype change correlates with an increase in the expression of SNAIL2 and TWIST2 factors, which indicates their possible role in regulating invasive growth of thyroid cancer with the mutation of NRAS(Q61R).

Dusek J, Skoda J, Holas O, et al.
Stilbene compound trans-3,4,5,4´-tetramethoxystilbene, a potential anticancer drug, regulates constitutive androstane receptor (Car) target genes, but does not possess proliferative activity in mouse liver.
Toxicol Lett. 2019; 313:1-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
The constitutive androstane receptor(CAR) activation is connected with mitogenic effects leading to liver hyperplasia and tumorigenesis in rodents. CAR activators, including phenobarbital, are considered rodent non-genotoxic carcinogens. Recently, trans-3,4,5,4´-tetramethoxystilbene(TMS), a potential anticancer drug (DMU-212), have been shown to alleviate N-nitrosodiethylamine/phenobarbital-induced liver carcinogenesis. We studied whether TMS inhibits mouse Car to protect from the PB-induced tumorigenesis. Unexpectedly, we identified TMS as a murine CAR agonist in reporter gene experiments, in mouse hepatocytes, and in C57BL/6 mice in vivo. TMS up-regulated Car target genes Cyp2b10, Cyp2c29 and Cyp2c55 mRNAs, but down-regulated expression of genes involved in gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis. TMS did not change or down-regulate genes involved in liver proliferation or apoptosis such as Mki67, Foxm1, Myc, Mcl1, Pcna, Bcl2, or Mdm2, which were up-regulated by another Car ligand TCPOBOP. TMS did not increase liver weight and had no significant effect on Ki67 and Pcna labeling indices in mouse liver in vivo. In murine hepatic AML12 cells, we confirmed a Car-independent proapoptotic effect of TMS. We conclude that TMS is a Car ligand with limited effects on hepatocyte proliferation, likely due to promoting apoptosis in mouse hepatic cells, while controlling Car target genes involved in xenobiotic and endobiotic metabolism.

Zhang Q, Lu Y, Xu X, et al.
MR molecular imaging of HCC employing a regulated ferritin gene carried by a modified polycation vector.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2019; 14:3189-3201 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Gao Y, Qian H, Tang X, et al.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-mediated expression of
Int J Nanomedicine. 2019; 14:2719-2731 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

He M, Chaurushiya MS, Webster JD, et al.
Intrinsic apoptosis shapes the tumor spectrum linked to inactivation of the deubiquitinase BAP1.
Science. 2019; 364(6437):283-285 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignancies arising from mutation of tumor suppressors have unexplained tissue proclivity. For example,

Yang L, Peng X, Li Y, et al.
Long non-coding RNA HOTAIR promotes exosome secretion by regulating RAB35 and SNAP23 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence indicates that tumor cells release a large amount of exosomes loaded with cargos during tumorigenesis. Exosome secretion is a multi-step process regulated by certain related molecules. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. However, the role of lncRNA HOTAIR in regulating exosome secretion in HCC cells remains unclear.
METHODS: We analyzed the relationship between HOTAIR expression and exosome secretion-related genes using gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). Nanoparticle tracking analysis was performed to validate the effect of HOTAIR on exosome secretion. The transport of multivesicular bodies (MVBs) after overexpression of HOTAIR was detected by transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy analysis of cluster determinant 63 (CD63) with synaptosome associated protein 23 (SNAP23). The mechanism of HOTAIR's regulation of Ras-related protein Rab-35 (RAB35), vesicle associated membrane protein 3 (VAMP3), and SNAP23 was assessed using confocal co-localization analysis, phosphorylation assays, and rescue experiments.
RESULTS: We found an enrichment of exosome secretion-related genes in the HOTAIR high expression group. HOTAIR promoted the release of exosomes by inducing MVB transport to the plasma membrane. HOTAIR regulated RAB35 expression and localization, which controlled the docking process. Moreover, HOTAIR facilitated the final step of fusion by influencing VAMP3 and SNAP23 colocalization. In addition, we validated that HOTAIR induced the phosphorylation of SNAP23 via mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling.
CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated a novel function of lncRNA HOTAIR in promoting exosome secretion from HCC cells and provided a new understanding of lncRNAs in tumor cell biology.

Wang L, Xu J, Yan Y, et al.
Synthesis of gold nanoparticles from leaf Panax notoginseng and its anticancer activity in pancreatic cancer PANC-1 cell lines.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2019; 47(1):1216-1223 [PubMed] Related Publications
Development of novel methods is needed for the synthesis of nanoparticles. Attention on such particles has elevated disquiet about the eco-friendly manner of their fabrication methods. In the present study, we equipped and synthesized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) from Panax notoginseng; investigated as an environmentally friendly and non-toxic substrate. Amalgamation of AuNPs was distinguished by numerous studies such as UV-absorbance and it shows peak values in the range of 520-550 nm. Nanoparticles sizes are confirmed by dynamic light scattering analysis and it shows 100 nm. Moreover, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) confirmed the shape of the Au particles present in the synthesized materials. FTIR analysis studies showed the active molecules positioned in the plane of the synthesized particles. The anticancer potential of AuNPs was evaluated in PANC-1 cells. Additionally, AuNPs efficiently induced cytotoxicity, ROS and apoptosis by intonating intrinsic apoptotic gene expressions in PANC-1 cells. Finally, our study confirmed the synthesis of AuNPs from Panax notoginseng, which showed anticancer effects in an environmentally friendly manner.

Qian L, Su W, Wang Y, et al.
Synthesis and characterization of gold nanoparticles from aqueous leaf extract of Alternanthera sessilis and its anticancer activity on cervical cancer cells (HeLa).
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2019; 47(1):1173-1180 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is the third most common highest mortality in women worldwide. The use of standard chemotherapeutic drugs against cervical cancer patients received several side effects. Therefore, we focused phytoconsituents-mediated synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) considered as greatest attention in the treatment of cervical cancer. In this present study, we reported that green synthesis of AuNPs by using with Alternanthera Sessilis aqueous extract. Synthesis of AuNPs were characterized by UV visible spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), selected area diffraction pattern (SAED), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) and atomic force microscope. Synthesized AuNPs confirmed by the UV absorption maximum at 535 and crystal structure of gold AuNPs was further confirmed by EDX and SAED. TEM and atomic force microscopy images show the size and morphological distribution of nanoparticles. FTIR analysis was confirmed the hydroxyl groups, amine and alkaline groups of biomolecules are present in the AuNPs. Moreover, AuNPs induce cytotoxicity in cervical cancer cells and also induce apoptosis through modulating intrinsic apoptotic mechanisms in cervical cancer cells. This green synthesis of AuNPs from Alternanthera sessilis approach was easy, large scaled up and eco-friendly.

Chen F, Chen J, Yang L, et al.
Extracellular vesicle-packaged HIF-1α-stabilizing lncRNA from tumour-associated macrophages regulates aerobic glycolysis of breast cancer cells.
Nat Cell Biol. 2019; 21(4):498-510 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. Here, we demonstrate that tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) enhance the aerobic glycolysis and apoptotic resistance of breast cancer cells via the extracellular vesicle (EV) transmission of a myeloid-specific lncRNA, HIF-1α-stabilizing long noncoding RNA (HISLA). Mechanistically, HISLA blocks the interaction of PHD2 and HIF-1α to inhibit the hydroxylation and degradation of HIF-1α. Reciprocally, lactate released from glycolytic tumour cells upregulates HISLA in macrophages, constituting a feed-forward loop between TAMs and tumour cells. Blocking EV-transmitted HISLA inhibits the glycolysis and chemoresistance of breast cancer in vivo. Clinically, HISLA expression in TAMs is associated with glycolysis, poor chemotherapeutic response and shorter survival of patients with breast cancer. Our study highlights the potential of lncRNAs as signal transducers that are transmitted between immune and tumour cells via EVs to promote cancer aerobic glycolysis.

Sun G, Zhang W, Wang J
Integrating systemic module inference with attract method excavates attractor modules for cyclophosphamide contributing to prostate cancer.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2019; 15(Supplement):S153-S158 [PubMed] Related Publications
Objective: The complete molecular mechanism that cyclophosphamide (CPA) induces the cell death is still unknown. To further reveal the mechanism of CPA contributing to prostate cancer, we conducted analysis on gene expression profile of E-GEOD-42913 to identify attractor modules by integrating systemic module inference with attract method.
Methods: First, case and control protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were inferred based on Spearman correlation coefficient; then clique merging algorithm was performed to explore modules in the reweighted PPI network, and these modules were compared with each other so as to select similar modules; in the following, attractor modules were identified via attract method; finally, pathway enrichment analysis of genes in attractor modules was carried out.
Results: A total of 11,535 genes were gained. A novel PPI network with 4698 nodes (20,541 interactions) was established via mapping the genes of the gene expression profile onto the original PPIs. Then, 1635 and 1487 interactions (P < 0.05) were selected to construct the destination network for CPA group and control group, respectively. Moreover, under the threshold value of overlap -threshold value of each two modules ≥ 0.5, 42 and 56 modules were separately determined for CPA group and control group. Twenty-six pairs of similar modules ([J (S
Conclusions: We predicted that during the process of chemotherapy, CPA mainly affected the pathways of DNA replication and nucleotide excision repair to induce the cancer cell's death.

Yang L, Song L, Zhao S, et al.
Isobavachalcone reveals novel characteristics of methuosis-like cell death in leukemia cells.
Chem Biol Interact. 2019; 304:131-138 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-apoptotic cell-death induction is a potential strategy for cancer treatment. Cytoplasmic vacuolation-associated cell death represents a novel type of non-apoptotic cell-death. Here, we showed that isobavachalcone (IBC), a naturally occurring chalcone compound, selectively induced cell death with massive cytoplasmic vacuolation in some leukemic cells but not in normal peripheral blood cells. Although the IBC-induced cell death displayed certain apoptotic changes, the caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK did not significantly suppress IBC-induced cell death. IBC-induced vacuoles are acidic in nature, as revealed by neutral red staining. However, these vacuoles could not be labeled by lysosome or mitochondrial trackers. Moreover, the knockdown of several autophagy-related genes, such as LC3, Beclin-1, and ATG7, did not inhibit IBC-induced vacuolation. Transmission electron microscope examination revealed that these vacuoles mainly derived from the endosome. Surprisingly, Vacuolar-type H + -ATPase inhibitors, weak bases, such as chloroquine and AKT inhibitors, markedly abrogated vacuolization but enhance IBC-induced cell death, suggesting that IBC-induced vacuolation and cell death go into different direction and the vacuolization is a protective action rather than a part of the death mechanism. In conclusion, by using IBC as a chemical probe, we provide new characteristics of methuosis-like cell death. Inducing methuosis-like cell death may represent a novel strategy to combat leukemia.

Klenke S, Akdeli N, Stelmach P, et al.
The small molecule Bcl-2/Mcl-1 inhibitor TW-37 shows single-agent cytotoxicity in neuroblastoma cell lines.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):243 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: High-risk neuroblastoma with N-Myc amplification remains a therapeutic challenge in paediatric oncology. Antagonism of pro-death Bcl-2 homology (BH) proteins to pro-survival BH members such as Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 has become a treatment approach, but previous studies suggest that a combined inhibition of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 is necessary. TW-37 inhibits Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 with almost the same affinity. However, single-agent cytotoxicity of TW-37 in neuroblastoma cell lines has not been investigated.
METHODS: Cell viability, apoptosis, proliferation and changes in growth properties were determined in SKNAS, IMR-5, SY5Y and Kelly cells after treatment with TW-37. After transfection with Mcl-1 or Bcl-2 siRNA, apoptosis and proliferation were investigated in Kelly cells. Mice with Kelly cell line xenografts were treated with TW-37 and tumor growth, survival and apoptosis were determined.
RESULTS: Cell lines with N-Myc amplification were more sensitive to TW-37 treatment, IC50 values for IMR-5 and Kelly cells being 0.28 μM and 0.22 μM, compared to SY5Y cells and SKNAS cells (IC50 0.96 μM and 0.83 μM). Treatment with TW-37 resulted in increased apoptosis and reduced proliferation rates, especially in IMR5 and Kelly cells. Bcl-2 as well as Mcl-1 knockdown induced apoptosis in Kelly cells. TW-37 led to a decrease in tumor growth and a favorable survival (p = 0.0379) in a Kelly neuroblastoma xenografts mouse model.
CONCLUSION: TW-37 has strong single-agent cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, combined inhibition of Bcl-2/Mcl-1 by TW-37 in N-Myc amplified neuroblastoma may represent an interesting therapeutic strategy.

Lian S, Xie R, Ye Y, et al.
Simultaneous blocking of CD47 and PD-L1 increases innate and adaptive cancer immune responses and cytokine release.
EBioMedicine. 2019; 42:281-295 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Treatment multiple tumors by immune therapy can be achieved by mobilizing both innate and adaptive immunity. The programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1; or CD274, B7-H1) is a critical "don't find me" signal to the adaptive immune system. Equally CD47 is a critical "don't eat me" signal to the innate immune system and a regulator of the adaptive immune response.
METHOD: Both of CD47 and PD-L1 are overexpressed on the surface of cancer cells to enable to escape immune-surveillance. We designed EpCAM (epithelial cell adhesion molecule)-targeted cationic liposome (LPP-P4-Ep) containing si-CD47 and si-PD-L1 could target high-EpCAM cancer cells and knockdown both CD47 and PD-L1 proteins.
FINDINGS: Efficient silencing of CD47 and PD-L1 versus single gene silencing in vivo by systemic administration of LPP-P4-Ep could significantly inhibited the growth of solid tumors in subcutaneous and reduced lung metastasis in lung metastasis model. Target delivery of the complexes LPP-P4-Ep increased anti-tumor T cell and NK cell response, and release various cytokines including IFN-γ and IL-6 in vivo and in vitro.
INTERPRETATION: This multi-nanoparticles showed significantly high-EpCAM tumor targeting and lower toxicity, and enhanced immune therapeutic efficacy. Our data indicated that dual-blockade tumor cell-specific innate and adaptive checkpoints represents an improved strategy for tumor immunotherapy. FUND: This research supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (grant number 2015CB931804); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, grant numbers 81703555, U1505225 and 81773063), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant number 2017 M620268).

Zhang Y, Xiao Y, Dong Q, et al.
Neferine in the Lotus Plumule Potentiates the Antitumor Effect of Imatinib in Primary Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Cells In Vitro.
J Food Sci. 2019; 84(4):904-910 [PubMed] Related Publications
Imatinib, the prototype BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), is the first-line treatment for Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in the chronic phase. However, a subgroup of patients exhibit poor response or experience relapse. This issue may be overcome by combination therapy using natural compounds. Neferine, a major bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid extracted from "lotus plumule" (seed embryo of lotus) commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine and tea, was used herein in the combination treatment of CML. The MTT assay showed that neferine exerted cytotoxicity in primary CML cells in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, low concentrations of neferine (4 and 8 µM) sensitized primary CML cells to imatinib (CI < 1), and significantly decreased its IC

Zhang W, Ou X, Wu X
Proteomics profiling of plasma exosomes in epithelial ovarian cancer: A potential role in the coagulation cascade, diagnosis and prognosis.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(5):1719-1733 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian cancer remains the most lethal type of cancer among all gynecological malignancies. The majority of patients are diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the late stages of the disease. Therefore, there exists an imperative need for the development of early ovarian cancer diagnostic techniques. Exosomes, secreted by various cell types, play pivotal roles in intercellular communication, which emerge as promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for ovarian cancer. In this study, we present for the first time, at least to the best of our knowledge, the proteomics profiling of exosomes derived from the plasma of patients with ovarian cancer via liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC‑MS/MS) with tandem mass tagging (TMT). The exosomes enriched from patient plasma samples were characterized by nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and western blot analysis. The size of the plasma exosomes fell into the range of 30 to 100 nm in diameter. The exosomal marker proteins, CD81 and TSG101, were clearly stained in the exosome samples; however, there was no staining for the endoplasmic reticulum protein, calnexin. A total of 294 proteins were identified with all exosome samples. Among these, 225 proteins were detected in both the cancerous and non‑cancerous samples. Apart from universal exosomal proteins, exosomes derived from ovarian cancer patient plasma also contained tumor‑specific proteins relevant to tumorigenesis and metastasis, particularly in epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC). Patients with EOC often suffer from coagulation dysfunction. The function of exosomes in coagulation was also examined. Several genes relevant to the coagulation cascade were screened out as promising diagnostic and prognostic factors that may play important roles in ovarian cancer progression and metastasis. On the whole, in this study, we successfully isolated and purified exosomes from plasma of patients with EOC, and identified a potential role of these exosomes in the coagulation cascade, as well as in the diagnosis and prognosis of patients.

Ko YC, Hu CY, Liu ZH, et al.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Internal tandem duplication of FLT3 juxtamembrane domain (FLT3-ITD)-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) leads to poor clinical outcomes after chemotherapy. We aimed to establish a cytarabine-resistant line from

Albamonte MI, Albamonte MS, Bou-Khair RM, et al.
The ovarian germinal reserve and apoptosis-related proteins in the infant and adolescent human ovary.
J Ovarian Res. 2019; 12(1):22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Normal pubertal ovary displays all stages of follicular development and a biased BAX/BCL2 protein ratio in favor of pro-apoptotic BAX protein comparable to the adult ovary. However, adolescents suffering malignant extra-gonadal disease show a limited follicle development after cytotoxic drug treatment and a reduced capacity of in vitro follicle growth. We evaluated the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic members of the BCL2 gene family, the FAS/FAS-L proteins from the extrinsic apoptosis pathway, the germ-cell-specific marker VASA, the pluripotency marker OCT3/4, and markers of early and late apoptosis in the ovary of pubertal patients with malignant extra-gonadal disease, which received or not pre-surgery chemotherapy, entering a cryopreservation program.
RESULTS: Ovarian biopsies from 12 adolescent girls were screened for follicle count and expression of VASA, OCT3/4, BAX, BCL2, MCL1L and S, cleaved-BID, FAS/FAS-L and CASPASE 3 through immunohistochemistry, western blot and RT-PCR. All stages of folliculogenesis, from primordial to antral follicle, were present in all 12 patients analyzed. VASA and most of the screened apoptosis-related genes showed a pattern of immune-expression comparable to that previously reported. OCT3/4 showed a cytoplasmic localization in the great majority of the primordial follicles; however, in some cases the localization was nuclear. In addition, OCT3/4B showed a significant reduction compared to OCT3/4A. Unexpectedly, BCL2 was detected at all stages of folliculogenesis, associated to the Balbiani's body in the primordial follicles, regardless of whether patients had or had not received chemotherapy, ruling out the possibility that its expression is a protective response to chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal new information on the morphological status of the follicular reserve and the expression of apoptosis-related genes in histologically normal adolescent ovary from patients undergoing extragonadal cancer. The unexpected expression of apoptosis-inhibiting BCL2 protein, both in patients that had or had not received chemotherapy, opens a new avenue for thorough investigations. Moreover, the nuclear localization of OCT3/4 protein in primordial follicle-enclosed oocytes suggests a possible increased activity of ovarian stem cells in response to chemotherapy and/or extragonadal cancer. This new information can be essential for a better managing of in vitro culture of follicles that can be removed by filtration from preserved ovarian tissue, especially in girls that entered a cryopreservation program.

Wei R, Xiao Y, Song Y, et al.
FAT4 regulates the EMT and autophagy in colorectal cancer cells in part via the PI3K-AKT signaling axis.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):112 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: FAT4 functions as a tumor suppressor, and previous findings have demonstrated that FAT4 can inhibit the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the proliferation of gastric cancer cells. However, few studies have investigated the role of FAT4 in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). The current study aimed to detect the role of FAT4 in the invasion, migration, proliferation and autophagy of CRC and elucidate the probable molecular mechanisms through which FAT4 interacts with these processes.
METHODS: Transwell invasion assays, MTT assays, transmission electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and western blotting were performed to evaluate the migration, invasion, proliferation and autophagy abilities of CRC cells, and the levels of active molecules involved in PI3K/AKT signaling were examined through a western blotting analysis. In addition, the function of FAT4 in vivo was assessed using a tumor xenograft model.
RESULTS: FAT4 expression in CRC tissues was weaker than that in nonmalignant tissues and could inhibit cell invasion, migration, and proliferation by promoting autophagy in vitro. Furthermore, the regulatory effects of FAT4 on autophagy and the EMT were partially attributed to the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway. The results in vivo also showed that FAT4 modulated CRC tumorigenesis.
CONCLUSION: FAT4 can regulate the activity of PI3K to promote autophagy and inhibit the EMT in part through the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and PI3K/AKT/GSK-3β signaling pathways.

Montalvo-Quiros S, Aragoneses-Cazorla G, Garcia-Alcalde L, et al.
Cancer cell targeting and therapeutic delivery of silver nanoparticles by mesoporous silica nanocarriers: insights into the action mechanisms using quantitative proteomics.
Nanoscale. 2019; 11(10):4531-4545 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/03/2020 Related Publications
An approach for safely delivering AgNPs to cancer cells and the evaluation of the affected cellular mechanism are presented. The use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) as nanovehicles decorated with transferrin (Tf, targeting agent) provides a nanoplatform for the nucleation and immobilization of AgNPs (MSNs-Tf-AgNPs). We performed the physico-chemical characterization of the nanosystems and evaluated their therapeutic potential using bioanalytical strategies to estimate the efficiency of the targeting, the degree of cellular internalization in two cell lines with different TfR expression, and the cytotoxic effects of the delivered AgNPs. In addition, cellular localization of the nanosystems in cells has been evaluated by a transmission electron microscopy analysis of ultrathin sections of human hepatocarcinoma (HepG2) cells exposed to MSNs-Tf-AgNPs. The in vitro assays demonstrate that only the nanosystem functionalized with Tf is able to transport the AgNPs inside the cells which overexpress transferrin receptors. Therefore, this novel nanosystem is able to deliver AgNPs specifically to cancer cells overexpressing Tf receptors and offers the possibility of a targeted therapy using reduced doses of silver nanoparticles as cytotoxic agents. Then, a quantitative proteomic experiment validated through the analysis of gene expression has been performed to identify the molecular mechanisms of action associated with the chemotherapeutic potential of the MSNs-Tf-AgNP nanocarriers.

Tekedereli I, Akar U, Alpay SN, et al.
Autophagy is Required to Regulate Mitochondria Renewal, Cell Attachment, and All-trans-Retinoic Acid-Induced Differentiation in NB4 Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Cells.
J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2019; 38(1):13-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) is a potent inducer of cellular differentiation, growth arrest, and apoptosis as well as a front-line therapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The present study provides evidence that induction of autophagy is required for ATRA to induce differentiation of APL (NB4) cells into granulocytes. ATRA treatment causes ~12-fold increase in the number of acidic vesicular organelles and induces marked up-regulation of LC3-II, autophagy-related 5 (ATG5), and Beclin-1. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed a decrease in mitochondria and ATRA-induced differentiation. To determine the role of autophagy in the differentiation of APL, we knocked down ATG5 in NB4 cells to find that ATRA-induced differentiation is significantly inhibited during ATG5 knock down in cells, indicating the role of autophagy in differentiation of APL. Further experiments revealed restriction of autophagy during ATRA-induced differentiation and inhibition of tissue transglutaminase 2 (TG2) and phospho-focal adhesion kinase (p-FAK), which are known to have roles in differentiation and cell attachment. We examined expression of Beclin-1 and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and levels of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) after ATRA treatment. ATRA inhibits Bcl-2, up-regulates Beclin-1 expression, and reduces induction of mTOR activation/phosphorylation in NB4 cells. Our results reveal that autophagy has roles in regulation of differentiation, mitochondria elimination, and cell attachment during ATRA-induced APL differentiation.

Karimpour M, Feizi MAH, Mahdavi M, et al.
Development of curcumin-loaded gemini surfactant nanoparticles: Synthesis, characterization and evaluation of anticancer activity against human breast cancer cell lines.
Phytomedicine. 2019; 57:183-190 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Curcumin, the polyphenolic constituent of turmeric, has been recognized as an effective anticancer agent in the treatment of breast cancer. However, the poor bioavailability of curcumin triggers finding of new approaches for elevating its therapeutic efficiency.
PURPOSE: We aimed to use gemini surfactant nanocarriers for curcumin in order to overcome its limitations.
STUDY DESIGN: We investigated the in vitro characterization of gemini surfactant-curcumin (Gemini-Cur) and examined its antiproliferative & apoptotic activities on breast cancer cell lines.
METHODS: Gemini-Cur polymersomes were synthesized through nanoprecipitation method and characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission and scanning electron microscopies, HPLC and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The anticancer effect of Gemini-Cur nanoparticles was studied on three different breast cancer cell lines including MCF-7, SkBr-3 and MDA-MB-231 through uptake kinetics, viability & cytotoxicity recordings and apoptotic assays. Furthermore, qRT-PCR was performed to evaluate the expression of apoptotic genes including p16INK4a, p14ARF, Bax and Bcl-2.
RESULTS: According to physicochemical analysis, the average particle size, zeta potential value and drug entrapment efficiency for Gemini-Cur compound were recorded as 161 ± 6.2 nm, +5.32 mV and 89.13% ± 0.93, respectively. XRD analysis also confirmed the incorporation of curcumin in gemini surfactant micelles. Regarding the enhanced cellular uptake of sphere shaped Gemini-Cur, our data showed that this nano compound suppresses cancer cell proliferation via induction of apoptosis. Moreover, qRT-PCR analysis revealed that Gemini-Cur could effectively upregulate the expression of p16INK4a, p14ARF and Bax, while significantly decreasing the Bcl-2 expression in these breast cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrates the great potential of gemini surfactants for efficient delivery of curcumin and subsequently, the improvement of its anticancer effect. Therefore, it is sagacious to support the idea that Gemini-Cur nano compound might have the potential to be considered as an anticancer agent.

Ghaffari H, Varner JD, Petzold LR
Analysis of the role of thrombomodulin in all-trans retinoic acid treatment of coagulation disorders in cancer patients.
Theor Biol Med Model. 2019; 16(1):3 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Clinical studies have shown that all-trans retinoic acid (RA), which is often used in treatment of cancer patients, improves hemostatic parameters and bleeding complications such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). However, the mechanisms underlying this improvement have yet to be elucidated. In vitro studies have reported that RA upregulates thrombomodulin (TM) expression on the endothelial cell surface. The objective of this study was to investigate how and to what extent the TM concentration changes after RA treatment in cancer patients, and how this variation influences the blood coagulation cascade.
RESULTS: In this study, we introduced an ordinary differential equation (ODE) model of gene expression for the RA-induced upregulation of TM concentration. Coupling the gene expression model with a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model of RA, we obtained the time-dependent changes in TM and thrombomodulin-mRNA (TMR) concentrations following oral administration of RA. Our results indicated that the TM concentration reached its peak level almost 14 h after taking a single oral dose (110 [Formula: see text]) of RA. Continuous treatment with RA resulted in oscillatory expression of TM on the endothelial cell surface. We then coupled the gene expression model with a mechanistic model of the coagulation cascade, and showed that the elevated levels of TM over the course of RA therapy with a single daily oral dose (110 [Formula: see text]) of RA, reduced the peak thrombin levels and endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) up to 50 and 49%, respectively. We showed that progressive reductions in plasma levels of RA, observed in continuous RA therapy with a once-daily oral dose (110 [Formula: see text]) of RA, did not affect TM-mediated reduction of thrombin generation significantly. This finding prompts the hypothesis that continuous RA treatment has more consistent therapeutic effects on coagulation disorders than on cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the oscillatory upregulation of TM expression on the endothelial cells over the course of RA therapy could potentially contribute to the treatment of coagulation abnormalities in cancer patients. Further studies on the impacts of RA therapy on the procoagulant activity of cancer cells are needed to better elucidate the mechanisms by which RA therapy improves hemostatic abnormalities in cancer.

Velázquez-Cervantes MA, Martínez-Castillo M, González-García LD, et al.
The BeWo cell line derived from a human placental choriocarcinoma is permissive for respiratory syncytial virus infection.
Virus Genes. 2019; 55(3):406-410 [PubMed] Related Publications
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main pathogen associated with upper respiratory tract infections during early childhood. Vertical transmission of this virus has been suggested in humans, based on observations recorded during animal studies that revealed an association of RSV with persistent structural and functional changes in the developing lungs of the offspring. However, human placentas have not yet been evaluated for susceptibility to RSV infection. In this study, we examined the capacity of RSV to infect a human trophoblast model, the BeWo cell line. Our results suggest that BeWo cells are susceptible to RSV infection since they allow RNA viral replication, viral protein translation, leading to the production of infectious RSV particles. In this report, we demonstrate that a human placenta model system, consisting of BeWo cells, is permissive to RSV infection. Thus, the BeWo cell line may represent a useful model for studies that aim to characterize the events of a possible RSV infection at the human maternal-fetal interface.

Chen WT, Hsu FT, Liu YC, et al.
Fluoxetine Induces Apoptosis through Extrinsic/Intrinsic Pathways and Inhibits ERK/NF-κB-Modulated Anti-Apoptotic and Invasive Potential in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells In Vitro.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(3) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/03/2020 Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to verify the effects of fluoxetine on dysregulation of apoptosis and invasive potential in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) SK-Hep1 and Hep3B cells. Cells were treated with different concentrations of fluoxetine for different times. MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide) assays were used for testing the effects of fluoxetine on cell viability. The regulation of apoptosis signaling, and anti-apoptotic, proliferation, and metastasis-associated proteins after fluoxetine treatment were assayed by flow cytometry and Western blotting assay. The detection of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation after fluoxetine treatment was performed by NF-κB reporter gene assay. The results demonstrated that fluoxetine significantly reduced cell viability, cell migration/invasion, NF-κB, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) activation, and expression of anti-apoptotic (Cellular FLICE (FADD-like IL-1β-converting enzyme)-inhibitory protein (C-FLIP), Myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1), X-Linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XAIP), and Survivin), proliferation (Cyclin-D1), angiogenesis (vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)), and metastasis-associated proteins (matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)). Fluoxetine also significantly induced apoptosis, unregulated extrinsic (activation of first apoptosis signal protein and ligand (Fas/FasL), and caspase-8) and intrinsic (loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) pathways and increased Bcl-2 homologous antagonist killer (BAK) apoptosis signaling. Taken together, these results demonstrated that fluoxetine induced apoptosis through extrinsic/intrinsic pathways and diminished ERK/NF-κB-modulated anti-apoptotic and invasive potential in HCC cells in vitro.

von Muhlinen N
Methods to Measure Autophagy in Cancer Metabolism.
Methods Mol Biol. 2019; 1928:149-173 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy, a dynamic pathway in which intracellular membrane structures sequester portions of the cytosol for degradation, plays multiple roles in physiological and pathological processes. Autophagy may have suppressive and promotive roles in the formation and progression of cancer. A growing number of methods to identify, quantify, and manipulate autophagy have been developed. Because most of these methods are semiquantitative and have significant limitations, it is important to emphasize that a combination of these assays is recommended for the analysis of autophagy. Here, I briefly discuss the autophagic process, its role in disease, and I summarize some of the best-known and most widely used methods to study autophagy in vitro in the context of cancer, including transmission electron microscopy (TEM), detection and quantification of the autophagy protein LC3 by western blot, and the use of GFP-LC3 to quantify puncta by fluorescence microscopy and tandem labeled RFP/mCherry-GFP-LC3 fluorescence microscopy to measure autophagic flux.

Kondo R, Ishino K, Wada R, et al.
Downregulation of protein disulfide‑isomerase A3 expression inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis through STAT3 signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(4):1409-1421 [PubMed] Related Publications
Protein disulfide‑isomerase A3 (PDIA3) is a chaperone protein that modulates folding of newly synthesized glycoproteins and responds to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Previous studies reported that increased expression of PDIA3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a marker for poor prognosis. However, the mechanism remains poorly understood. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to understand the role of PDIA3 in HCC development. First, immunohistochemical staining of tissues from 53 HCC cases revealed that HCC tissues with high PDIA3 expression exhibited a higher proliferation index and contained fewer apoptotic cells than those with low expression. In addition, the knockdown of PDIA3 significantly inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in HCC cell lines. These results suggest that PDIA3 regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis in HCC. An examination of whether PDIA3 knockdown induced apoptosis through ER stress revealed that PDIA3 knockdown did not increase ER stress marker, 78 kDa glucose‑regulated protein, in HCC cell lines. Furthermore, the association between PDIA3 and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway were investigated in vitro and in vivo. Immunofluorescence staining and co‑immunoprecipitation experiments revealed colocalization and binding, respectively, of PDIA3 and STAT3 in HCC cell lines. The knockdown of PDIA3 decreased the levels of phosphorylated STAT3 (P‑STAT3; Tyr705) and downstream proteins of the STAT3 signaling pathway: The anti‑apoptotic proteins (Bcl‑2‑like protein 1, induced myeloid leukemia cell differentiation protein Mcl‑1, survivin and X‑linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein). In addition, PDIA3 knockdown provided little inhibitory effect on cell proliferation in HCC cell lines treated with AG490, a tyrosine‑protein kinase JAK/STAT3 signaling inhibitor. Finally, an association was demonstrated between PDIA3 and P‑STAT3 expression following immunostaining of 35 HCC samples. Together, the present data suggest that PDIA3 promotes HCC progression through the STAT3 signaling pathway.

Wu X, Luo Q, Zhao P, et al.
MGMT-activated DUB3 stabilizes MCL1 and drives chemoresistance in ovarian cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(8):2961-2966 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/03/2020 Related Publications
Chemoresistance is a severe outcome among patients with ovarian cancer that leads to a poor prognosis. MCL1 is an antiapoptotic member of the BCL-2 family that has been found to play an essential role in advancing chemoresistance and could be a promising target for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Here, we found that deubiquitinating enzyme 3 (DUB3) interacts with and deubiquitinates MCL1 in the cytoplasm of ovarian cancer cells, which protects MCL1 from degradation. Furthermore, we identified that O

Zhang X, Wang S, Wang H, et al.
Circular RNA circNRIP1 acts as a microRNA-149-5p sponge to promote gastric cancer progression via the AKT1/mTOR pathway.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CircRNA has emerged as a new non-coding RNA that plays crucial roles in tumour initiation and development. 'MiRNA sponge' is the most reported role played by circRNAs in many tumours. The AKT/mTOR axis is a classic signalling pathway in cancers that sustains energy homeostasis through energy production activities, such as the Warburg effect, and blocks catabolic activities, such as autophagy. Additionally, the AKT/mTOR axis exerts a positive effect on EMT, which promotes tumour metastasis.
METHODS: We detected higher circNRIP1 expression in gastric cancer by performing RNA-seq analysis. We verified the tumour promotor role of circNRIP1 in gastric cancer cells through a series of biological function assays. We then used a pull-down assay and dual-luciferase reporter assay to identify the downstream miR-149-5p of circNRIP1. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence assays were performed to demonstrate that the circNRIP1-miR-149-5p-AKT1/mTOR axis is responsible for the altered metabolism in GC cells and promotes GC development. We then adopted a co-culture system to trace circNRIP1 transmission via exosomal communication and RIP experiments to determine that quaking regulates circNRIP1 expression. Finally, we confirmed the tumour suppressor role of microRNA-133a-3p in vivo in PDX mouse models.
RESULTS: We discovered that knockdown of circNRIP1 successfully blocked proliferation, migration, invasion and the expression level of AKT1 in GC cells. MiR-149-5p inhibition phenocopied the overexpression of circNRIP1 in GC cells, and overexpression of miR-149-5p blocked the malignant behaviours of circNRIP1. Moreover, it was proven that circNRIP1 can be transmitted by exosomal communication between GC cells, and exosomal circNRIP1 promoted tumour metastasis in vivo. We also demonstrated that quaking can promote circNRIP1 transcription. In the final step, the tumour promotor role of circNRIP1 was verified in PDX models.
CONCLUSIONS: We proved that circNRIP1 sponges miR-149-5p to affect the expression level of AKT1 and eventually acts as a tumour promotor in GC.

Du Q, Shi Z, Chen H, et al.
Two Novel CCM2 Heterozygous Mutations Associated with Cerebral Cavernous Malformation in a Chinese Family.
J Mol Neurosci. 2019; 67(3):467-471 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a congenital vascular anomaly that predominantly involves the central nervous system (CNS). CCM occurs in either a sporadic or an inherited form; the latter is called familial cerebral cavernous malformation (FCCM). FCCM has an autosomal dominant transmission with incomplete penetrance and variable clinical expression that is associated with germline mutations in the CCM1/KRIT1, CCM2/MGC4607, and CCM3/PDCD10 genes. Herein, we disclose two novel heterozygous mutations in the CCM2 gene in a Chinese family: a deletion mutation (c.55C>T; p. R19X, 426) in exon 2 and a mutation (c.*18G>A) in the noncoding region of exon 10. Our findings provide new CCM2 gene mutation profiles and further evidence for phenotypic heterogeneity.

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