Gene Summary

Gene:PITX2; paired-like homeodomain 2
Aliases: RS, RGS, ARP1, Brx1, IDG2, IGDS, IHG2, PTX2, RIEG, IGDS2, IRID2, Otlx2, RIEG1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the RIEG/PITX homeobox family, which is in the bicoid class of homeodomain proteins. The encoded protein acts as a transcription factor and regulates procollagen lysyl hydroxylase gene expression. This protein plays a role in the terminal differentiation of somatotroph and lactotroph cell phenotypes, is involved in the development of the eye, tooth and abdominal organs, and acts as a transcriptional regulator involved in basal and hormone-regulated activity of prolactin. Mutations in this gene are associated with Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, iridogoniodysgenesis syndrome, and sporadic cases of Peters anomaly. A similar protein in other vertebrates is involved in the determination of left-right asymmetry during development. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:pituitary homeobox 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 August, 2015


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

Research Indicators

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

Literature Analysis

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

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Prostatectomy
  • Up-Regulation
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Tumor Markers
  • Breast Cancer
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Promoter Regions
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Cancer Screening
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Markers
  • DNA Methylation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cancer DNA
  • CpG Islands
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Chromosome 4
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Epigenetics
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Risk Factors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Tamoxifen
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Cyclin D2
  • Base Sequence
Tag cloud generated 11 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: PITX2 (cancer-related)

Feltes BC, Bonatto D
Overview of xeroderma pigmentosum proteins architecture, mutations and post-translational modifications.
Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2015 Jan-Mar; 763:306-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group proteins (XPs), which include XPA through XPG, play a critical role in coordinating and promoting global genome and transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (GG-NER and TC-NER, respectively) pathways in eukaryotic cells. GG-NER and TC-NER are both required for the repair of bulky DNA lesions, such as those induced by UV radiation. Mutations in genes that encode XPs lead to the clinical condition xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Although the roles of XPs in the GG-NER/TC-NER subpathways have been extensively studied, complete knowledge of their three-dimensional structure is only beginning to emerge. Hence, this review aims to summarize the current knowledge of mapped mutations and other structural information on XP proteins that influence their function and protein-protein interactions. We also review the possible post-translational modifications for each protein and the impact of these modifications on XP protein functions.

Nikolic A, Cacev T, Aralica G, et al.
Mononucleotide repeats in the SMAD4 gene promoter in colon carcinoma tissue of Croatian patients.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 98(2):133-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study was aimed at the analysis of mononucleotide repeats -462T(15) and -4T(12) in the SMAD4 gene promoter in sporadic colon adenocarcinoma tissue of Croatian patients. The analysis has included 60 pairs of samples of colon tumor and adjacent normal tissue. The number of thymidines in the tracts -462T(15) and -4T(12) of the SMAD4 gene promoter was determined by PCR with fluorescently labeled primers followed by the analysis of obtained DNA fragments by capillary electrophoresis. In the normal colon tissue two haplotypes were present: -462T(15)/-4T(12) in 51 patients (85%) and -462T(16)/-4T(12) in 9 patients (15%). Among the cases with haplotype -462T(15)/-4T(12) detected in normal colon tissue, in 5 cases (8%) malignant tissue displayed different haplotypes: 462T(10)/-4T(10), -462T(12)/-4T(12), 462T(13)/-4T(11), -462T(14)/-4T(10) and -462T(15)/-4T(11). Haplotype -462T(14)/-4T(10) was previously found to be associated with significantly decreased SMAD4 gene promoter activity in comparison to the wild type, while the other detected haplotypes remain to be functionally characterized. This study has shown that functionally relevant somatic alterations of the SMAD4 gene promoter are found in some colon cancer tumors. Although not as frequent in colon as in pancreatic cancer, they may be of significance for certain cases and their role in colon tumorigenesis should be investigated further.

Hirsch GE, Parisi MM, Martins LA, et al.
γ-Oryzanol reduces caveolin-1 and PCGEM1 expression, markers of aggressiveness in prostate cancer cell lines.
Prostate. 2015; 75(8):783-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death among men due to the limited number of treatment strategies available for advanced disease. γ-oryzanol is a component of rice bran, rich in phytosterols, known for its antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and endocrinological effects. It is known that γ-oryzanol may affect prostate cancer cells through the down regulation of the antioxidant genes and that phytosterols have anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects. There are evidences showing that some of the components of γ-oryzanol can modulate genes involved in the development and progression of prostate cancer, as caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and prostate specific androgen-regulated gene (PCGEM1).
METHODS: To determine the effects of γ-oryzanol on prostate cancer cell survival we evaluated the cell viability and biomass by MTT and sulforhodamine B assays, respectively. Cell death, cell cycle and pERK1/2 activity were assessed by flow cytometry. The changes in gene expression involved in the survival and progression of prostate cancer cav-1 and PCGEM1 genes were evaluated by quantitative real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and cav-1 protein by immunofluorescence followed by confocal microscopy analysis.
RESULTS: We found that γ-oryzanol decreases cell viability and culture biomass by apoptosis and/or necrosis death in androgen unresponsive (PC3 and DU145) and responsive (LNCaP) cell lines, and signals through pERK1/2 in LNCaP and DU145 cells. γ-oryzanol also appears to block cell cycle progression at the G2/M in PC3 and LNCaP cells and at G0/G1 in DU145 cells. These effects were accompanied by a down regulation in the expression of the cav-1 in both androgen unresponsive cell lines and PCGEM1 gene in DU145 and LNCaP cells.
CONCLUSION: In summary, we used biochemical and genetics approaches to demonstrate that γ-oryzanol show a promising adjuvant role in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Ramos RB, Spritzer PM
FTO gene variants are not associated with polycystic ovary syndrome in women from Southern Brazil.
Gene. 2015; 560(1):25-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder, presenting polygenic traits as well as determined by environmental factors. Given the overlap between PCOS and obesity, we assessed the frequencies of SNPs rs9939609 and rs8050136 in intron 1 of the FTO gene and their haplotypes in women with PCOS and healthy controls with regular cycles from Southern Brazil and investigated their relationship with metabolic traits and endocrine parameters.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The sample comprised 298 women (199 with PCOS and 99 non-hirsute women with regular ovulatory cycles). FTO genotyping was done by real-time PCR. Haplotypes were constructed from the combination of both polymorphisms. Frequencies were inferred using PHASE 2.1.1 software.
RESULTS: The distribution of rs9939609 (PCOS: 32.6% TT, 45.9% TA, 21.5% AA; controls: 33.3% TT, 49.0% TA, 17.7% AA) and rs8050136 (PCOS: 21.7% AA, 43.3% AC, 35.0% CC; controls: 14.9% AA, 48.9% AC, 36.2% CC) was similar between groups. The mean age of participants was 22.7±7.1years. Women with PCOS had significantly higher BMI, waist circumference, total testosterone, and FAI vs. controls. In the PCOS group, no differences between genotypes and haplotypes were found for clinical variables. The presence of at least one risk allele for polymorphisms rs9939609 and rs8050136 was associated with higher fasting glucose levels.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that neither the FTO rs9939609 and rs8050136 polymorphisms nor its haplotypes are related to PCOS, but suggest an association between the presence of risk alleles of SNPs rs9939609 and rs8050136 in FTO and glucose levels in women from Southern Brazil.

Long XH, Zhou YF, Peng AF, et al.
Demethylation-mediated miR-129-5p up-regulation inhibits malignant phenotype of osteogenic osteosarcoma by targeting Homo sapiens valosin-containing protein (VCP).
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3799-806 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies demonstrated that increased Homo sapiens valosin-containing protein (VCP) may be involved in osteosarcoma (OS) metastasis. However, the underlying mechanism of VCP over-expression in OS remains unknown. In the present study, we found a significantly negative correlation between miR-129-5p and VCP protein expression in OS tissues with pulmonary metastasis (Spearman's rho, rs = -0.948). Bioinformatical prediction, Luciferase reporter assay, Western blot, and RT-PCR assays performed on OS cells indicated that VCP is a target of miR-129-5p. In addition, three CPG islands in the region of miR-129-5p promoter were detected by bioinformatical prediction, and significantly higher expression of miR-129-5p and lower methylation level of miR-129-2 gene in OS cells treated with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (a potent DNA demethylating agent) than in those untreated cells were observed. Furthermore, lower migratory and invasive ability was found in cells with elevated miR-129-5p than in those with decreased miR-129-5p. These findings indicated that increased miR-129-5p may be mediated by demethylation and inhibit OS cell migration and invasion by targeting VCP in OS, and targeting miR-129-5p/VCP signaling pathway may serve as a therapeutic strategy for OS management, although further studies will be necessary.

Meka PB, Cingeetham A, Nanchari SR, et al.
HIF-1α (1772C>T) polymorphism as marker for breast cancer development.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3215-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) is an important transcription factor that regulates different cellular responses to hypoxia. HIF-1α is rapidly degraded by von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein under normoxic conditions and stabilized under hypoxia. A common variant of HIF-1α (1772C>T) (rs 11549465) polymorphism, corresponding to an amino acid change from proline to serine at 582 position within the oxygen-dependent degradation domain, results in increased stability of the protein and altered transactivation of its target genes. The present study was aimed to find the association between HIF-1α (1772C>T) (rs 11549465) polymorphism and breast cancer development. For this purpose, 348 primary breast cancer patients and 320 healthy and age-matched controls were genotyped through PCR-RFLP method. The genotype frequencies were compared between patients and controls, and their influence on clinical characteristics of breast cancer patients was analyzed. Our study revealed a significant increase of TT genotype in breast cancer patients compared to controls (p = 0.038). Further, TT genotype and T allele were found to be associated with progesterone receptor (PR)-negative status (p < 0.09). None of the clinical variables revealed significant association with HIF-1α (1772C>T) (rs 11549465) polymorphism.

Stojsic J, Stankovic T, Stojkovic S, et al.
Prolonged survival after neoadjuvant chemotherapy related with specific molecular alterations in the patients with nonsmall-cell lung carcinoma.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2015; 98(1):27-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the most common cause of neoplasia-related death worldwide. Accounting for approximately 80% of all lung carcinomas, the non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is the most common clinical form with its two predominant histological types, adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Although surgical resection is the most favorable treatment for patients with NSCLC, relapse is still high, so neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is an accepted treatment modality. In this study we examined whether some of the key molecules associated with the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways could have predictive and prognostic value for the NAC application. To that end we examined the expression status of PTEN, pAKT, pERK and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of PTEN in two groups of NSCLC patients, those who received and those who did not receive NAC. LOH PTEN and low pERK expression is shown to be correlated with the longest survival of patients with SCC and ADC, respectively, who received NAC. These results point that the application of NAC is beneficial in the NSCLC patients with specific molecular alterations which could further help to improve constant search for the druggable molecular targets used in personalized therapy.

Hübner M, Bozic M, Konrad PM, et al.
Analytical and clinical performance of a new molecular assay for Epstein-Barr virus DNA quantitation.
J Virol Methods. 2015; 212:39-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Quantitation of EBV DNA has been shown to be a useful tool to identify and monitor patients with immunosuppression and high risk for EBV-associated disease. In this study, the analytical and clinical performance of the new Realquality RS-EBV Kit (AB Analitica, Padova, Italy) was investigated. The clinical performance was compared to that of the EBV R-gene (bioMerieux, Varilhes, France) assay. When the accuracy of the new assay was tested, all results except of one were found to be within ±0.5log10 unit of the expected panel results. Determination of linearity showed a quasilinear curve, the between day imprecision ranged from 18% to 88% and the within run imprecision from 16% to 53%. When 96 clinical EDTA whole blood samples were tested, 77 concordant and 19 discordant results were obtained. When the results for the 69 samples quantifiable with both assays were compared, the new assay revealed a mean 0.31log10 unit higher measurement. The new assay proved to be suitable for the detection and quantitation of EBV DNA in EDTA whole blood in the routine diagnostic laboratory. The variation between quantitative results obtained by the assays used in this study reinforces the use of calibrators traceable to the existing international WHO standard making different assays better comparable.

Fumagalli D, Blanchet-Cohen A, Brown D, et al.
Transfer of clinically relevant gene expression signatures in breast cancer: from Affymetrix microarray to Illumina RNA-Sequencing technology.
BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:1008 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Microarrays have revolutionized breast cancer (BC) research by enabling studies of gene expression on a transcriptome-wide scale. Recently, RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) has emerged as an alternative for precise readouts of the transcriptome. To date, no study has compared the ability of the two technologies to quantify clinically relevant individual genes and microarray-derived gene expression signatures (GES) in a set of BC samples encompassing the known molecular BC's subtypes. To accomplish this, the RNA from 57 BCs representing the four main molecular subtypes (triple negative, HER2 positive, luminal A, luminal B), was profiled with Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus 2.0 chips and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. The correlations of three clinically relevant BC genes, six molecular subtype classifiers, and a selection of 21 GES were evaluated.
RESULTS: 16,097 genes common to the two platforms were retained for downstream analysis. Gene-wise comparison of microarray and RNA-Seq data revealed that 52% had a Spearman's correlation coefficient greater than 0.7 with highly correlated genes displaying significantly higher expression levels. We found excellent correlation between microarray and RNA-Seq for the estrogen receptor (ER; rs = 0.973; 95% CI: 0.971-0.975), progesterone receptor (PgR; rs = 0.95; 0.947-0.954), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2; rs = 0.918; 0.912-0.923), while a few discordances between ER and PgR quantified by immunohistochemistry and RNA-Seq/microarray were observed. All the subtype classifiers evaluated agreed well (Cohen's kappa coefficients >0.8) and all the proliferation-based GES showed excellent Spearman correlations between microarray and RNA-Seq (all rs >0.965). Immune-, stroma- and pathway-based GES showed a lower correlation relative to prognostic signatures (all rs >0.6).
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first study to report a systematic comparison of RNA-Seq to microarray for the evaluation of single genes and GES clinically relevant to BC. According to our results, the vast majority of single gene biomarkers and well-established GES can be reliably evaluated using the RNA-Seq technology.

Vasiljević N, Ahmad AS, Carter PD, et al.
DNA methylation of PITX2 predicts poor survival in men with prostate cancer.
Biomark Med. 2014; 8(9):1143-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We investigated if methylation of candidate genes can be useful for predicting prostate cancer (PCa) specific death.
PATIENTS & METHODS: Methylation of PITX2, WNT5a, SPARC, EPB41L3 and TPM4 was investigated in a 1:2 case-control cohort comprising 45 men with cancer of Gleason score ≤ 7 who died (cases), and 90 men who were alive or died of other causes with survival time longer than the cases (controls). A univariate conditional logistic regression model was fitted by maximizing the likelihood of DNA methylation of each gene versus the primary end point.
RESULTS: A 10% increase in methylation of PITX2 was associated with PCa related death with OR 1.56 (95% CI: 1.17-2.08; p = 0.005).
CONCLUSION: Our study strengthens prior findings that PITX2 methylation is useful as a biomarker of poor outcome of PCa and in addition we also suggest that it may be particularly useful in men with low Gleason score.

Heikinheimo K, Kurppa KJ, Laiho A, et al.
Early dental epithelial transcription factors distinguish ameloblastoma from keratocystic odontogenic tumor.
J Dent Res. 2015; 94(1):101-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was to characterize the molecular relationship between ameloblastoma and keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT) by means of a genome-wide expression analysis. Total RNA from 27 fresh tumor samples of 15 solid/multicystic intraosseous ameloblastomas and 12 sporadic KCOTs was hybridized on Affymetrix whole genome arrays. Hierarchical clustering separated ameloblastomas and KCOTs into 2 distinct groups. The gene set enrichment analysis based on 303 dental genes showed a similar separation of ameloblastomas and KCOTs. Early dental epithelial markers PITX2, MSX2, DLX2, RUNX1, and ISL1 were differentially overexpressed in ameloblastoma, indicating its dental identity. Also, PTHLH, a hormone involved in tooth eruption and invasive growth, was one of the most differentially upregulated genes in ameloblastoma. The most differentially overexpressed genes in KCOT were squamous epithelial differentiation markers SPRR1A, KRTDAP, and KRT4, as well as DSG1, a component of desmosomal cell-cell junctions. Additonally, the epithelial stem cell marker SOX2 was significantly upregulated in KCOT when compared with ameloblastoma. Taken together, the gene expression profile of ameloblastoma reflects differentiation from dental lamina toward the cap/bell stage of tooth development, as indicated by dental epithelium-specific transcription factors. In contrast, gene expression of KCOT indicates differentiation toward keratinocytes.

Wan Abdul Rahman WF, Fauzi MH, Jaafar H
Expression of DNA methylation marker of paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 2 and growth receptors in invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(19):8441-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 2 (PITX2) is another new marker in breast carcinoma since hypermethylation at P2 promoter of this gene was noted to be associated with poor prognosis. We investigated the expression of PITX2 protein using immunohistochemistry in invasive ductal carcinoma and its association with the established growth receptors such as estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2).
METHODS: We conducted a cross sectional study using 100 samples of archived formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue blocks of invasive ductal carcinoma and stained them with immunohistochemistry for PITX2, ER, PR and HER2. All HER2 with scoring of 2+ were confirmed with chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH).
RESULTS: PITX2 protein was expressed in 53% of invasive ductal carcinoma and lack of PITX2 expression in 47%. Univariate analysis revealed a significant association between PITX2 expression with PR (p=0.001), ER (p=0.006), gland formation (p=0.044) and marginal association with molecular subtypes of breast carcinoma (p=0.051). Combined ER and PR expression with PITX2 was also significantly associated (p=0.003) especially in double positive cases. Multivariate analysis showed the most significant association between PITX2 and PR (RR 4.105, 95% CI 1.765-9.547, p=0.001).
CONCLUSION: PITX2 is another potential prognostic marker in breast carcinoma adding significant information to established prognostic factors of ER and PR. The expression of PITX2 together with PR may carry a very good prognosis.

Ying L, Lin J, Qiu F, et al.
Epigenetic repression of regulator of G-protein signaling 2 by ubiquitin-like with PHD and ring-finger domain 1 promotes bladder cancer progression.
FEBS J. 2015; 282(1):174-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ubiquitin-like with PHD and ring-finger domain 1 (UHRF1) binds to methylated promoters of tumor-suppressor genes and suppresses gene expression by forming complexes with DNA methyltransferases. Recent studies have shown that repression of regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) 2 increases cancer cell growth. However, little is known about whether UHRF1 promotes bladder cancer progression by epigenetic silencing of RGS2. Here, we show that UHRF1 expression is increased in bladder cancer cell lines and in most bladder cancer tissues as compared with normal controls. UHRF1 overexpression increases bladder cancer cell proliferation, whereas inhibition of UHRF1 suppresses cell proliferation. In bladder cancer cells, UHRF1 inhibits RGS2 expression by increasing the methylation of CpG nucleotides of the RGS2 promoter. DNA methylation analysis showed tumor-specific TGS2 promoter methylation in 73% (38/52) of bladder tumors. High UHRF1 expression of correlated with aberrant TGS2 promoter methylation in bladder tumors, which results in the loss of TGS2 expression, as confirmed by demethylation analysis in cell lines. Functionally, re-expression of RGS2 partly abrogates UHRF1-induced bladder cell proliferation. Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that low TGS2 expression is significantly correlated with reduced overall survival in patients with bladder cancer. These results demonstrate that epigenetic repression of RGS2 by UHRF1 contributes to bladder cancer progression.

Lee S, Rahnenführer J, Lang M, et al.
Robust selection of cancer survival signatures from high-throughput genomic data using two-fold subsampling.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e108818 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Identifying relevant signatures for clinical patient outcome is a fundamental task in high-throughput studies. Signatures, composed of features such as mRNAs, miRNAs, SNPs or other molecular variables, are often non-overlapping, even though they have been identified from similar experiments considering samples with the same type of disease. The lack of a consensus is mostly due to the fact that sample sizes are far smaller than the numbers of candidate features to be considered, and therefore signature selection suffers from large variation. We propose a robust signature selection method that enhances the selection stability of penalized regression algorithms for predicting survival risk. Our method is based on an aggregation of multiple, possibly unstable, signatures obtained with the preconditioned lasso algorithm applied to random (internal) subsamples of a given cohort data, where the aggregated signature is shrunken by a simple thresholding strategy. The resulting method, RS-PL, is conceptually simple and easy to apply, relying on parameters automatically tuned by cross validation. Robust signature selection using RS-PL operates within an (external) subsampling framework to estimate the selection probabilities of features in multiple trials of RS-PL. These probabilities are used for identifying reliable features to be included in a signature. Our method was evaluated on microarray data sets from neuroblastoma, lung adenocarcinoma, and breast cancer patients, extracting robust and relevant signatures for predicting survival risk. Signatures obtained by our method achieved high prediction performance and robustness, consistently over the three data sets. Genes with high selection probability in our robust signatures have been reported as cancer-relevant. The ordering of predictor coefficients associated with signatures was well-preserved across multiple trials of RS-PL, demonstrating the capability of our method for identifying a transferable consensus signature. The software is available as an R package rsig at CRAN (http://cran.r-project.org).

Gan CP, Patel V, Mikelis CM, et al.
Heterotrimeric G-protein alpha-12 (Gα12) subunit promotes oral cancer metastasis.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(20):9626-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has a propensity to spread to the cervical lymph nodes (LN). The presence of cervical LN metastases severely impacts patient survival, whereby the two-year survival for oral cancer patients with involved LN is ~30% compared to over 80% in patients with non-involved LN. Elucidation of key molecular mechanisms underlying OSCC metastasis may afford an opportunity to target specific genes, to prevent the spread of OSCC and to improve patient survival. In this study, we demonstrated that expression of the heterotrimeric G-protein alpha-12 (Gα12) is highly up-regulated in primary tumors and LN of OSCC patients, as assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). We also found that exogenous expression of the constitutively activated-form of Gα12 promoted cell migration and invasion in OSCC cell lines. Correspondingly, inhibition of Gα12 expression by shRNA consistently inhibited OSCC cell migration and invasion in vitro. Further, the inhibition of G12 signaling by regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) inhibited Gα12-mediated RhoA activation, which in turn resulted in reduced LN metastases in a tongue-orthotopic xenograft mouse model of oral cancer. This study provides a rationale for future development and evaluation of drug candidates targeting Gα12-related pathways for metastasis prevention.

Gorlov IP, Moore JH, Peng B, et al.
SNP characteristics predict replication success in association studies.
Hum Genet. 2014; 133(12):1477-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Successful independent replication is the most direct approach for distinguishing real genotype-disease associations from false discoveries in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Selecting SNPs for replication has been primarily based on P values from the discovery stage, although additional characteristics of SNPs may be used to improve replication success. We used disease-associated SNPs from more than 2,000 published GWASs to identify predictors of SNP reproducibility. SNP reproducibility was defined as a proportion of successful replications among all replication attempts. The study reporting association for the first time was considered to be discovery and all consequent studies targeting the same phenotype replications. We found that -Log(P), where P is a P value from the discovery study, is the strongest predictor of the SNP reproducibility. Other significant predictors include type of the SNP (e.g., missense vs intronic SNPs) and minor allele frequency. Features of the genes linked to the disease-associated SNP also predict SNP reproducibility. Based on empirically defined rules, we developed a reproducibility score (RS) to predict SNP reproducibility independently of -Log(P). We used data from two lung cancer GWAS studies as well as recently reported disease-associated SNPs to validate RS. Minus Log(P) outperforms RS when the very top SNPs are selected, while RS works better with relaxed selection criteria. In conclusion, we propose an empirical model to predict SNP reproducibility, which can be used to select SNPs for validation and prioritization.

Yepes MM, Romilly AP, Collado-Mesa F, et al.
Can mammographic and sonographic imaging features predict the Oncotype DX™ recurrence score in T1 and T2, hormone receptor positive, HER2 negative and axillary lymph node negative breast cancers?
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 148(1):117-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
To determine whether mammographic or sonographic features can predict the Oncotype DX™ recurrence scores (RS) in patients with TI-II, hormone receptor (HR) positive, HER2/neu negative and node negative breast cancers. Institutional board review was obtained and informed consent was waived for this retrospective study. Seventy-eight patients with stage I-II invasive breast cancer that was HR positive, HER2 negative, and lymph node negative for whom mammographic and or sonographic imaging and Oncotype DX™ assay scores were available were included in the study Four breast dedicated radiologists blinded to the RS retrospectively described the lesions according to BI-RADS lexicon descriptors. Multivariable logistic regression was used to test for significant independent predictors of low (<18) versus intermediate to high range (≥18). Two imaging features reached statistical significance in predicting low from intermediate or high risk RS: pleomorphic microcalcifications within a mass (P = 0.017); OR 8.37, 95 % CI (1.47-47.79) on mammography and posterior acoustic enhancement in a mass on ultrasound (P = 0.048); OR 4.35, 95 % CI (1.01-18.73) on multivariable logistic regression. A mass with pleomorphic microcalcifications on mammography or the presence of posterior acoustic enhancement on ultrasound may predict an intermediate to high RS as determined by the Oncotype DX(TM) assay in patients with stage I-II HR positive, HER2 negative, and lymph node negative invasive breast cancer.

Banerjee J, Al-Wadei HA, Al-Wadei MH, et al.
Differential modulation of nicotine-induced gemcitabine resistance by GABA receptor agonists in pancreatic cancer cell xenografts and in vitro.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:725 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is frequently resistant to cancer therapeutics. Smoking and alcoholism are risk factors and pancreatic cancer patients often undergo nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and treatment for alcohol dependence. Based on our report that low dose nicotine within the range of NRT causes gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer, our current study has tested the hypothesis that GABA or the selective GABA-B-R agonist baclofen used to treat alcohol dependence reverse nicotine-induced gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: Using mouse xenografts from the gemcitabine--sensitive pancreatic cancer cell line BXPC-3, we tested the effects of GABA and baclofen on nicotine-induced gemcitabine resistance. The levels of cAMP, p-SRC, p-ERK, p-AKT, p-CREB and cleaved caspase-3 in xenograft tissues were determined by ELISA assays. Expression of the two GABA-B receptors, metalloproteinase-2 and 9 and EGR-1 in xenograft tissues was monitored by Western blotting. Mechanistic studies were conducted in vitro, using cell lines BXPC-3 and PANC-1 and included analyses of cAMP production by ELISA assay and Western blots to determine protein expression of GABA-B receptors, metalloproteinase-2 and 9 and EGR-1.
RESULTS: Our data show that GABA was as effective as gemcitabine and significantly reversed gemcitabine resistance induced by low dose nicotine in xenografts whereas baclofen did not. These effects of GABA were accompanied by decreases in cAMP, p-CREB, p-AKT, p-Src, p-ERK metalloproteinases-9 and -2 and EGR-1 and increases in cleaved caspase-3 in xenografts whereas baclofen had the opposite effects. In vitro exposure of cells to single doses or seven days of nicotine induced the protein expression of MMP-2, MMP-9 and EGR-1 and these responses were blocked by GABA. Baclofen downregulated the protein expression of GABA-B-Rs in xenograft tissues and in cells exposed to baclofen for seven days in vitro. This response was accompanied by inversed baclofen effects from inhibition of cAMP formation after single dose exposures to stimulation of cAMP formation in cells pretreated for seven days.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest GABA as a promising single agent for the therapy of pancreatic cancer and to overcome nicotine-induced gemcitabine resistance whereas treatment with baclofen may increase gemcitabine resistance.

Lecona E, Fernández-Capetillo O
Replication stress and cancer: it takes two to tango.
Exp Cell Res. 2014; 329(1):26-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Problems arising during DNA replication require the activation of the ATR-CHK1 pathway to ensure the stabilization and repair of the forks, and to prevent the entry into mitosis with unreplicated genomes. Whereas the pathway is essential at the cellular level, limiting its activity is particularly detrimental for some cancer cells. Here we review the links between replication stress (RS) and cancer, which provide a rationale for the use of ATR and Chk1 inhibitors in chemotherapy. First, we describe how the activation of oncogene-induced RS promotes genome rearrangements and chromosome instability, both of which could potentially fuel carcinogenesis. Next, we review the various pathways that contribute to the suppression of RS, and how mutations in these components lead to increased cancer incidence and/or accelerated ageing. Finally, we summarize the evidence showing that tumors with high levels of RS are dependent on a proficient RS-response, and therefore vulnerable to ATR or Chk1 inhibitors.

Di Narzo AF, Tejpar S, Rossi S, et al.
Test of four colon cancer risk-scores in formalin fixed paraffin embedded microarray gene expression data.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(10) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prognosis prediction for resected primary colon cancer is based on the T-stage Node Metastasis (TNM) staging system. We investigated if four well-documented gene expression risk scores can improve patient stratification.
METHODS: Microarray-based versions of risk-scores were applied to a large independent cohort of 688 stage II/III tumors from the PETACC-3 trial. Prognostic value for relapse-free survival (RFS), survival after relapse (SAR), and overall survival (OS) was assessed by regression analysis. To assess improvement over a reference, prognostic model was assessed with the area under curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. All statistical tests were two-sided, except the AUC increase.
RESULTS: All four risk scores (RSs) showed a statistically significant association (single-test, P < .0167) with OS or RFS in univariate models, but with HRs below 1.38 per interquartile range. Three scores were predictors of shorter RFS, one of shorter SAR. Each RS could only marginally improve an RFS or OS model with the known factors T-stage, N-stage, and microsatellite instability (MSI) status (AUC gains < 0.025 units). The pairwise interscore discordance was never high (maximal Spearman correlation = 0.563) A combined score showed a trend to higher prognostic value and higher AUC increase for OS (HR = 1.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.44 to 2.10, P < .001, AUC from 0.6918 to 0.7321) and RFS (HR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.33 to 1.84, P < .001, AUC from 0.6723 to 0.6945) than any single score.
CONCLUSIONS: The four tested gene expression-based risk scores provide prognostic information but contribute only marginally to improving models based on established risk factors. A combination of the risk scores might provide more robust information. Predictors of RFS and SAR might need to be different.

Venè R, Cardinali B, Arena G, et al.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 regulates cell death and survival signaling in tumor cells under redox stress.
Neoplasia. 2014; 16(9):710-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Targeting tumor-specific metabolic adaptations is a promising anticancer strategy when tumor defense mechanisms are restrained. Here, we show that redox-modulating drugs including the retinoid N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4HPR), the synthetic triterpenoid bardoxolone (2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid methyl ester), arsenic trioxide (As2O3), and phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), while affecting tumor cell viability, induce sustained Ser9 phosphorylation of the multifunctional kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine decreased GSK3β phosphorylation and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage induced by 4HPR, As2O3, and PEITC, implicating oxidative stress in these effects. GSK3β phosphorylation was associated with up-regulation of antioxidant enzymes, in particular heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and transient elevation of intracellular glutathione (GSH) in cells surviving acute stress, before occurrence of irreversible damage and death. Genetic inactivation of GSK3β or transfection with the non-phosphorylatable GSK3β-S9A mutant inhibited HO-1 induction under redox stress, while tumor cells resistant to 4HPR exhibited increased GSK3β phosphorylation, HO-1 expression, and GSH levels. The above-listed findings are consistent with a role for sustained GSK3β phosphorylation in a signaling network activating antioxidant effector mechanisms during oxidoreductive stress. These data underlie the importance of combination regimens of antitumor redox drugs with inhibitors of survival signaling to improve control of tumor development and progression and overcome chemoresistance.

Strand SH, Orntoft TF, Sorensen KD
Prognostic DNA methylation markers for prostate cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(9):16544-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed neoplasm and the third most common cause of cancer-related death amongst men in the Western world. PC is a clinically highly heterogeneous disease, and distinction between aggressive and indolent disease is a major challenge for the management of PC. Currently, no biomarkers or prognostic tools are able to accurately predict tumor progression at the time of diagnosis. Thus, improved biomarkers for PC prognosis are urgently needed. This review focuses on the prognostic potential of DNA methylation biomarkers for PC. Epigenetic changes are hallmarks of PC and associated with malignant initiation as well as tumor progression. Moreover, DNA methylation is the most frequently studied epigenetic alteration in PC, and the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers for PC has been demonstrated in multiple studies. The most promising methylation marker candidates identified so far include PITX2, C1orf114 (CCDC181) and the GABRE~miR-452~miR-224 locus, in addition to the three-gene signature AOX1/C1orf114/HAPLN3. Several other biomarker candidates have also been investigated, but with less stringent clinical validation and/or conflicting evidence regarding their possible prognostic value available at this time. Here, we review the current evidence for the prognostic potential of DNA methylation markers in PC.

Wierzbicki PM, Klacz J, Rybarczyk A, et al.
Identification of a suitable qPCR reference gene in metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12473-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
There is no data on reference gene (RG) selection in metastatic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (mccRCC) for quantitative PCR (qPCR) data normalization. We aimed at selecting the most stable RG for further determination of new prognostic markers. Thirty-five nonmetastatic and 35 mccRCC patients undergoing radical nephrectomy were included. Paired primary tumor (T, n = 70) and normal (C, n = 70) kidney fragments were collected; from 12 out of 35 mccRCC cases, we also collected metastasized regional lymph nodes and adrenal gland tissues (M, n = 12). After RNA extraction, reverse transcription and qPCR were performed. Samples were divided into four analyzed groups. Fifteen candidate RGs were tested by RefFinder tool and manual statistics. To present the importance of RG selection, TP53 gene expression levels in samples were normalized with the use of RG data. RPL13 gene was the most stable RG in analysis of 35 primary tumor nonmetastatic versus 35 mccRCC samples and matched metastasized T/C/M samples (n = 12, each group). GUSB was the most suitable RG in total 152 samples and in paired T and C (n = 140) kidney samples. Expression of GUSB, RPL13, and the RPL13 + RPLP0 pair were independent of clinical/sample variables. Normalization of TP53 expression levels showed variability of GAPDH and ACTB assays. GUSB or RPL13 assays should be used in mccRCC for qPCR data normalization whereas GAPDH and ACTB assays should be avoided. Prior RG studies should precede each qPCR gene expression study since RG selection is associated with the origin and proportion of specimens.

Parikh SA, Shanafelt TD
Risk factors for Richter syndrome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2014; 9(3):294-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Richter syndrome (RS) is defined as the transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to a more aggressive B-cell lymphoma, most commonly diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Approximately 5-10% of CLL patients develop this complication during long-term follow-up. Traditional risk factors for future RS include clinical (advanced Rai stage), biological (ZAP-70, CD38, CD49d) and genetic (del17p, del11q) characteristics at the time of CLL diagnosis. The impact of CLL therapy (purine-nucleoside analogue and/or alkylator-based chemoimmunotherapy and kinase inhibitor therapy) on the risk of RS remains controversial. Both heritable (germline) and acquired (somatic) genetic mutations contribute to risk of RS. Germline polymorphisms in genes related to CD38, LRF4, and BCL-2 have been implicated in the development of RS. Somatic mutations contributing to the development of RS include TP53 disruption, c-myc activation, CDKN2A loss and NOTCH1 mutations. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the biological and genetic factors contributing to RS in CLL patients.

Khodakarim S, Tabatabaei SM, AlaviMajd H
The multivariate nonparametric methods for identifying gene sets with differential expression.
Gene. 2014; 552(1):18-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene Set Analysis (GSA) identifies differential expression gene sets amid the different phenotypes. The results of published papers in this filed are inconsistent and there is no consensus on the best method. In this paper two new methods, in comparison to the previous ones, are introduced for GSA.
METHODS: The MMGSA and MRGSA methods based on multivariate nonparametric techniques were presented. The implementation of five GSA methods (Hotelling's T(2), Globaltest, Abs_Cat, Med_Cat and Rs_Cat) and the novel methods to detect differential gene expression between phenotypes were compared using simulated and real microarray data sets.
RESULTS: In a real dataset, the results showed that the powers of MMGSA and MRGSA were as well as Globaltest and Tsai. The MRGSA method has not a good performance in the simulation dataset.
CONCLUSIONS: The Globaltest method is the best method in the real or simulation datasets. The performance of MMGSA in simulation dataset is good in small-size gene sets. The GLS methods are not good in the simulated data, except the Med_Cat method in large-size gene sets.

Luo QS, Wang JL, Deng YY, et al.
Interleukin-16 polymorphism is associated with an increased risk of glioma.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2014; 18(10):711-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown that interleukin (IL)-16 is overexpressed in human and rat gliomas. Potential links between IL-16 polymorphisms and glioma risk are currently unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between IL-16 polymorphisms and glioma risk.
METHODS: We examined IL-16 gene polymorphisms (i.e., rs 4778889, rs 11556218, and rs 4072111) in 216 patients with glioma and 275 controls in a Chinese population. Genotypes were determined using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay. Odds ratios (OR) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to evaluate the effect of the IL-16 polymorphisms on glioma risk.
RESULTS: The rs 11556218TG genotype is associated with an increased risk of glioma compared with the TT genotype (OR=1.76; 95% CI, 1.22-2.54; p=0.002). Similarly, the rs 11556218G allele is associated with an increased risk of glioma compared with the T allele (OR=1.41; 95% CI, 1.06-1.87; p=0.017). However, no significant association was observed between the IL-16 rs 4778889 and rs 4072111 polymorphisms and the risk of glioma.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the IL-16 rs 11556218 polymorphism may be used as a susceptibility marker for glioma.

Dedong H, Bin Z, Peisheng S, et al.
The contribution of the genetic variations of the matrix metalloproteinase-1 gene to the genetic susceptibility of gastric cancer.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2014; 18(10):675-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), an interstitial collagenase, is responsible for the proteolytic degradation of basement membrane and extracellular matrix. MMP-1 plays a major role in the invasion of gastric cancer (GC). The role of the genetic polymorphisms in the functional regions of MMP-1 on the risk of GC remains unclear. To identify the markers that contribute to the genetic susceptibility to GC, we examined the potential association between GC and nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs 1799750, rs 498186, rs 475007, rs 514921, rs 494379, rs 996999, rs 2071232, rs 1938901, and rs 2239008) of the MMP-1 gene using the MassARRAY system in this study. The participants enrolled in this study included 422 patients with GC and 428 healthy subjects as the healthy controls from a Chinese Han population. The analysis revealed a weak association between the rs 1799750 (in the promoter region) genotype distribution and GC (p=0.020). The frequency of the 2G allele was significantly higher in the patients with GC than in the healthy controls (p=0.005, odds ratio [OR]=1.324, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.087-1.613). Moreover, the patients with the 2G/2G genotype of rs 1799750 had a significantly increased risk of cancer invasion compared with patients with the 1G/1G+1G/2G genotype (p=0.001, OR=0.505, 95% CI: 0.331-0.771). Strong linkage disequilibrium was observed in three blocks (D'>0.9). Significantly, more C-2G haplotypes (block 3) (p=0.0005 after Bonferroni correction) were found in GC subjects. These findings point to a role for MMP-1 promoter polymorphism in GC among a Han Chinese population, and may be informative for future genetic or biological studies on GC.

Borkowska EM, Kruk A, Jedrzejczyk A, et al.
Molecular subtyping of bladder cancer using Kohonen self-organizing maps.
Cancer Med. 2014; 3(5):1225-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Kohonen self-organizing maps (SOMs) are unsupervised Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) that are good for low-density data visualization. They easily deal with complex and nonlinear relationships between variables. We evaluated molecular events that characterize high- and low-grade BC pathways in the tumors from 104 patients. We compared the ability of statistical clustering with a SOM to stratify tumors according to the risk of progression to more advanced disease. In univariable analysis, tumor stage (log rank P = 0.006) and grade (P < 0.001), HPV DNA (P < 0.004), Chromosome 9 loss (P = 0.04) and the A148T polymorphism (rs 3731249) in CDKN2A (P = 0.02) were associated with progression. Multivariable analysis of these parameters identified that tumor grade (Cox regression, P = 0.001, OR.2.9 (95% CI 1.6-5.2)) and the presence of HPV DNA (P = 0.017, OR 3.8 (95% CI 1.3-11.4)) were the only independent predictors of progression. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering grouped the tumors into discreet branches but did not stratify according to progression free survival (log rank P = 0.39). These genetic variables were presented to SOM input neurons. SOMs are suitable for complex data integration, allow easy visualization of outcomes, and may stratify BC progression more robustly than hierarchical clustering.

Ullrich M, Bergmann R, Peitzsch M, et al.
In vivo fluorescence imaging and urinary monoamines as surrogate biomarkers of disease progression in a mouse model of pheochromocytoma.
Endocrinology. 2014; 155(11):4149-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Pheochromocytoma (PHEO) is a rare but potentially lethal neuroendocrine tumor arising from catecholamine-producing chromaffin cells. Especially for metastatic PHEO, the availability of animal models is essential for developing novel therapies. For evaluating therapeutic outcome in rodent PHEO models, reliable quantification of multiple organ lesions depends on dedicated small-animal in vivo imaging, which is still challenging and only available at specialized research facilities. Here, we investigated whether whole-body fluorescence imaging and monitoring of urinary free monoamines provide suitable parameters for measuring tumor progression in a murine allograft model of PHEO. We generated an mCherry-expressing mouse PHEO cell line by lentiviral gene transfer. These cells were injected subcutaneously into nude mice to perform whole-body fluorescence imaging of tumor development. Urinary free monoamines were measured by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. Tumor fluorescence intensity and urinary outputs of monoamines showed tumor growth-dependent increases (P < .001) over the 30 days of monitoring post-tumor engraftment. Concomitantly, systolic blood pressure was increased significantly during tumor growth. Tumor volume correlated significantly (P < .001) and strongly with tumor fluorescence intensity (rs = 0.946), and urinary outputs of dopamine (rs = 0.952), methoxytyramine (rs = 0.947), norepinephrine (rs = 0.756), and normetanephrine (rs = 0.949). Dopamine and methoxytyramine outputs allowed for detection of lesions at diameters below 2.3 mm. Our results demonstrate that mouse pheochromocytoma (MPC)-mCherry cell tumors are functionally similar to human PHEO. Both tumor fluorescence intensity and urinary outputs of free monoamines provide precise parameters of tumor progression in this sc mouse model of PHEO. This animal model will allow for testing new treatment strategies for chromaffin cell tumors.

Jin M, Yang Z, Ye W, et al.
MicroRNA-150 predicts a favorable prognosis in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, and inhibits cell invasion and metastasis by suppressing transcriptional repressor ZEB1.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(8):e103965 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
MicroRNA (miR)-150 has been reported to be dramatically downregulated in human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) tissues and patients' serum compared to normal controls. This study aimed to investigate clinical significance and molecular mechanisms of miR-150 in EOC. In the current study, quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that miR-150 was significantly downregulated in human EOC tissues compared to normal tissue samples. Then, we demonstrated the significant associations of miR-150 downregulation with aggressive clinicopathological features of EOC patients, including high clinical stage and pathological grade, and shorter overall and progression-free survivals. More importantly, the multivariate analysis identified miR-150 expression as an independent prognostic biomarker in EOC. After that, luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that Zinc Finger E-Box Binding Homeobox 1 (ZEB1), a crucial regulator of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), was a direct target of miR-150 in EOC cells. Moreover, we found that the ectopic expression of miR-150 could efficiently inhibit cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis by suppressing the expression of ZEB1. Furthermore, we also observed a significantly negative correlation between miR-150 and ZEB1 mRNA expression in EOC tissues (rs = -0.45, P<0.001). In conclusion, these findings offer the convincing evidence that aberrant expression of miR-150 may play a role in tumor progression and prognosis in patients with EOC. Moreover, our data reveal that miR-150 may function as a tumor suppressor and modulate EOC cell proliferation, and invasion by directly and negatively regulating ZEB1, implying the re-expression of miR-150 might be a potential therapeutic strategy for EOC.

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