Gene Summary

Gene:PLAU; plasminogen activator, urokinase
Aliases: ATF, QPD, UPA, URK, u-PA, BDPLT5
Summary:This gene encodes a serine protease involved in degradation of the extracellular matrix and possibly tumor cell migration and proliferation. A specific polymorphism in this gene may be associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease and also with decreased affinity for fibrin-binding. This protein converts plasminogen to plasmin by specific cleavage of an Arg-Val bond in plasminogen. Plasmin in turn cleaves this protein at a Lys-Ile bond to form a two-chain derivative in which a single disulfide bond connects the amino-terminal A-chain to the catalytically active, carboxy-terminal B-chain. This two-chain derivative is also called HMW-uPA (high molecular weight uPA). HMW-uPA can be further processed into LMW-uPA (low molecular weight uPA) by cleavage of chain A into a short chain A (A1) and an amino-terminal fragment. LMW-uPA is proteolytically active but does not bind to the uPA receptor. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:urokinase-type plasminogen activator
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (24)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (3)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 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.

  • Tongue Neoplasms
  • Breast Cancer
  • Up-Regulation
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Movement
  • Promoter Regions
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Xenograft Models
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • DNA Methylation
  • Young Adult
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator
  • beta Catenin
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sphingosine
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • MicroRNAs
  • Chromosome 10
  • Tumor Markers
  • siRNA
  • Cancer RNA
  • Receptor, EphA4
  • Genomics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cancer DNA
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Radiation Tolerance
  • Signal Transduction
  • Gene Expression
  • Staging
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Messenger RNA
  • Inflammation
  • Western Blotting
  • Pancreatic Cancer
Tag cloud generated 06 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: PLAU (cancer-related)

Nam EH, Lee Y, Moon B, et al.
Twist1 and AP-1 cooperatively upregulate integrin α5 expression to induce invasion and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(3):327-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important process implicated in tumor invasion and metastasis. Twist1 is a transcription factor that induces EMT, including E-cadherin suppression and cancer cell migration and invasion; hence it promotes cancer metastasis. Twist1 directly or indirectly regulates the expression of various genes and cellular functions involved in cancer progression. However, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the molecular basis for Twist1-mediated invasion and EMT. In human cancer cells, Twist1 was found to directly upregulate transcription of the mesenchymal gene integrin α5 in an E-box-independent, but activating protein-1 (AP-1) element-dependent, manner. Twist1 activated the integrin α5 promoter by interacting with and activating the transcription factor AP-1, composed of c-Jun and activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2); it also enhanced the nuclear presence of ATF-2. AP-1 was critical for Twist1-induced cancer cell invasion, primarily through the induction of integrin α5, which activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase and focal adhesion kinase-signaling activities. Using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, we found that Twist1 expression positively correlates with integrin α5 expression in human colorectal cancers. These findings suggest that cooperation between Twist1 and AP-1 represents a novel mechanism for EMT and tumor invasiveness. This study supports further investigation into the molecular basis underlying the diverse Twist1-mediated functions that occur during tumor progression.

Qi M, Liu Z, Shen C, et al.
Overexpression of ETV4 is associated with poor prognosis in prostate cancer: involvement of uPA/uPAR and MMPs.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3565-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
ETS gene fusions involving ERG, ETV1, ETV4, ETV5, and FLI1 define a distinct class of prostate cancer (PCa), and this might have a bearing on diagnosis, prognosis, and rational therapeutic targeting. In the current study, we focused on the clinicopathological significance of ETV4 in Chinese PCa patients and the mechanisms whereby ETV4 overexpression mediates tumor invasion in the prostate. Overall, ETV4 overexpression was identified in 30.4 % (45/148) of PCa cases by immunohistochemistry. Accordingly, ETV4 was rearranged in only 1.6 % (2/128) of PCa patients. Clinically, ETV4 overexpression was significantly correlated with Gleason score (P = 0.045) and pathological tumor stage (P = 0.041). Multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that ETV4 is an unfavorable independent prognostic factor (P = 0.040). Functional studies further showed that small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of ETV4 significantly decreases proliferation and invasion of PC-3 cell and partially reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition in vitro. Notably, ETV4 knockdown significantly downregulated expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR) at messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that ETV4 regulates uPA expression through direct binding to its promoter region. Additionally, ETV4 knockdown was also observed to significantly inhibit expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9. In conclusion, for the first time, our study suggested that ETV4 is an independent poor prognostic factor in Chinese PCa patients. Silencing of ETV4 suppresses invasion of PCa cells by inhibiting the expression of uPA/uPAR as well as MMPs. Further studies will be needed to determine whether ETV4 could be regarded as a potential target for the management and prevention of PCa.

Kacsinta AD, Rubenstein CS, Sroka IC, et al.
Intracellular modifiers of integrin alpha 6p production in aggressive prostate and breast cancer cell lines.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 454(2):335-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/11/2015 Related Publications
Cancer metastasis is a multi-step process in which tumor cells gain the ability to invade beyond the primary tumor and colonize distant sites. The mechanisms regulating the metastatic process confer changes to cell adhesion receptors including the integrin family of receptors. Our group previously discovered that the α6 integrin (ITGA6/CD49f) is post translationally modified by urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor, urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), to form the variant ITGA6p. This variant of ITGA6 is a cleaved form of the receptor that lacks the ligand-binding domain. Although it is established that the uPA/uPAR axis drives ITGA6 cleavage, the mechanisms regulating cleavage have not been defined. Intracellular integrin dependent "inside-out" signaling is a major regulator of integrin function and the uPA/uPAR axis. We hypothesized that intracellular signaling molecules play a role in formation of ITGA6p to promote cell migration during cancer metastasis. In order to test our hypothesis, DU145 and PC3B1 prostate cancer and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines were treated with small interfering RNA targeting actin and the intracellular signaling regulators focal adhesion kinase (FAK), integrin linked kinase (ILK), and paxillin. The results demonstrated that inhibition of actin, FAK, and ILK expression resulted in significantly increased uPAR expression and ITGA6p production. Inhibition of actin increased ITGA6p, although inhibition of paxillin did not affect ITGA6p formation. Taken together, these results suggest that FAK and ILK dependent "inside-out" signaling, and actin dynamics regulate extracellular production of ITGA6p and the aggressive phenotype.

Lv L, Li Y, Deng H, et al.
MiR-193a-3p promotes the multi-chemoresistance of bladder cancer by targeting the HOXC9 gene.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 357(1):105-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemoresistance prevents the curative cancer chemotherapy and presents a formidable challenge for both cancer researchers and clinicians. We have previously shown that miR-193a-3p promotes the multi-chemoresistance of bladder cancer cells via repressing its three target genes: SRSF2, PLAU and HIC2. Here, we showed that as a new direct target, the homeobox C9 (HOXC9) gene also executes the promoting effect of miR-193a-3p on the bladder cancer chemoresistance from a systematic study of multi-chemosensitive (5637) and resistant (H-bc) bladder cancer cell lines in both cell culture and tumor-xenograft/nude mice system. Paralleled with the changes in the drug-triggered cell death, the activities of both DNA damage response and oxidative stress pathways were drastically altered by a forced reversal of miR-193a-3p or HOXC9 levels in bladder cancer cells. In addition to a new mechanistic insight, our results provide a set of the essential genes in the miR-193a-3p/HOXC9/DNA damage response/oxidative stress pathway axis as the diagnostic targets for the guided anti-bladder cancer chemotherapy.

Shull AY, Noonepalle SK, Lee EJ, et al.
Sequencing the cancer methylome.
Methods Mol Biol. 2015; 1238:627-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation is the most studied epigenetic event in cancer, with focus being placed on studying the entire DNA methylation landscape in specific cancers. Due to the recent advances of next-generation sequencing technology, several effective methods have been developed for high-throughput analysis of DNA methylation, enabling DNA methylation markers to be innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in cancer. In this review, we discuss various current and emerging technologies in DNA methylation analysis that integrate next-generation sequencing with the basic principles of methylation detections including methylation sensitive restriction enzyme digestion, affinity purification with antibody or binding proteins, and bisulfite treatment. Variations to these described methods have also allowed for detection of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine marks on a genome-wide scale. We also describe several of the bioinformatic tools used to properly analyze methylome-sequencing data. Finally, recently developed artificial transcription-factor (ATF) targeting tools may provide flexible manipulation of DNA methylation events in specific gene regions, revealing the functional consequences of particular DNA methylation events.

Gokulnath M, Partridge NC, Selvamurugan N
Runx2, a target gene for activating transcription factor-3 in human breast cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(3):1923-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activating transcription factor (ATF-3) is a stress response gene and is induced by transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) in breast cancer cells. In this study, we dissected the functional role of ATF-3 gene in vitro by knocking down its expression stably in human bone metastatic breast cancer cells (MDA-MB231). Knockdown of ATF-3 expression in these cells decreased cell number, altered cell cycle phase transition, and decreased mRNA expression of cell cycle genes. Knockdown of ATF-3 expression in MDA-MB231 cells also decreased cell migration, and the expression levels of invasive and metastatic genes such as MMP-13 and Runx2 were found to be decreased in these cells. Most importantly, ATF-3 was associated with Runx2 promoter in MDA-MB231 cells and knockdown of ATF-3 expression decreased its association with Runx2 promoter. Hence, our results suggested that ATF-3 plays a role in proliferation and invasion of bone metastatic breast cancer cells in vitro and we identified for the first time that Runx2 is a target gene of ATF-3 in MDA-MB231 cell line.

Scheiber MN, Watson PM, Rumboldt T, et al.
FLI1 expression is correlated with breast cancer cellular growth, migration, and invasion and altered gene expression.
Neoplasia. 2014; 16(10):801-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/11/2015 Related Publications
ETS factors have been shown to be dysregulated in breast cancer. ETS factors control the expression of genes involved in many biological processes, such as cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. FLI1 is an ETS protein aberrantly expressed in retrovirus-induced hematological tumors, but limited attention has been directed towards elucidating the role of FLI1 in epithelial-derived cancers. Using data mining, we show that loss of FLI1 expression is associated with shorter survival and more aggressive phenotypes of breast cancer. Gain and loss of function cellular studies indicate the inhibitory effect of FLI1 expression on cellular growth, migration, and invasion. Using Fli1 mutant mice and both a transgenic murine breast cancer model and an orthotopic injection of syngeneic tumor cells indicates that reduced Fli1 contributes to accelerated tumor growth. Global expression analysis and RNA-Seq data from an invasive human breast cancer cell line with over expression of either FLI1 and another ETS gene, PDEF, shows changes in several cellular pathways associated with cancer, such as the cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction and PI3K-Akt signaling pathways. This study demonstrates a novel role for FLI1 in epithelial cells. In addition, these results reveal that FLI1 down-regulation in breast cancer may promote tumor progression.

Elumalai P, Brindha Mercy A, Arunkamar R, et al.
Nimbolide inhibits invasion and migration, and down-regulates uPAR chemokine gene expression, in two breast cancer cell lines.
Cell Prolif. 2014; 47(6):540-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in women, worldwide. Urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) is a serine protease that is involved in cancer progression, especially invasion and metastasis of breast cancer. Nimbolide is a potent cytotoxic limnoid isolated from Azadirachta indica. Our previous studies have shown that nimbolide elicits pleiotropic effects on breast cancer cells; however, its roles in invasion and migration have not previously been fully elucidated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Protein expression of pEGFR, VEGFR, NFκB, IKKα, IKKβ, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-2 were analysed by western blotting. We also analysed expressions of uPA, uPAR genes and chemokines by real-time PCR. Breast cancer cell invasion was assessed by transwell invasion assay and cell migration analysed by scratch wound healing assay.
RESULTS: Our results showed that reduced protein expression of pEGFR, VEGFR, NFκB, IKKα, β, MMP-2, MMP-9 and TIMP-2 was higher in nimbolide-treated breast cancer cells. mRNA expression of uPA, uPAR, chemokines and their receptors were also significantly reduced in response to nimbolide treatment. Nimbolide inhibited breast cancer cell migration and invasion as shown in transwell invasion and wound healing assays.
CONCLUSION: These results clearly proved inhibitory effects of nimbolide on tumour cell invasion and migration by down-regulating proteins critically involved in regulation of cell invasion and metastasis, suggesting a possible therapeutic role of nimbolide for breast cancer.

Mori Y, Akita K, Tanida S, et al.
MUC1 protein induces urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) by forming a complex with NF-κB p65 transcription factor and binding to the uPA promoter, leading to enhanced invasiveness of cancer cells.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(51):35193-204 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 19/12/2015 Related Publications
Mucin 1 (MUC1) is overexpressed in various human malignant tumors and its expression is correlated with a poor prognosis. MUC1 engages in signal transduction by interacting with receptors for growth and differentiation factors, which contributes to the growth and survival of cancer cells. However, the mechanism by which MUC1 promotes cancer cell invasion remains unclear. Microarray analysis revealed that expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) was elevated in MUC1-overexpressing cells. Furthermore, up- and down-modulation of MUC1 expression was clearly correlated with the change of uPA expression. An immunochemical study showed that the distribution of uPA coincided with that of MUC1 in various human cancer tissues. The MUC1 C-terminal domain (MUC1-CD) was associated with nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 in MUC1-expressing cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays demonstrated that MUC1-CD existed with NF-κB p65 on the uPA promoter. Luciferase assays indicated that the uPA transcriptional activity was correlated with the level of MUC1 expression and that this MUC1-enhancing effect on the uPA transcription was abolished by introduction of mutations into the NF-κB binding sites on the uPA promoter. These results indicate that formation of the MUC1-CD and NF-κB p65 complex enhanced nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and subsequent occupancy of NF-κB binding region on the uPA promoter, leading to elevated transcription of uPA. We also demonstrated that uPA induced by MUC1 enhanced the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 activities, and consequently promoted cancer cell invasion. Thus, a MUC1 co-operating NF-κB signaling pathway plays a critical role in cancer cell invasion in MUC1-expressing cells.

Moon SU, Kang MH, Sung JH, et al.
Effect of Smad3/4 on chemotherapeutic drug sensitivity in colorectal cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(1):185-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Smad3 and Smad4 are signaling mediators in the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) pathway and play a major role in the progression and migration of many types of cancers. The TGFβ pathway is correlated with resistance against both targeted and conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Smad3/4 on drug sensitivity in chemotherapy-resistant colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. We isolated the TGFβ-mediated chemoresistant CRC cell line DLD1-5FU-C10, which showed high expression of Smad3/4 and p21. In order to analyze the influence of Smad3/4 on drug sensitivity in DLD1-5FU-C10 cells, we knocked down Smad3/4 using small interfering RNAs (siRNA). The results showed similar drug sensitivity between the DLD1‑5FU-C10 and the DLD1 control cells and reduced p21 expression. In addition, we found a significant increase in the levels of 3 TGFβ downstream factors: interleukin 6 (IL6), plasminogen activator (PLAU) and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2). Furthermore, we showed that Smad3/4 regulated the JAK1/STAT3 pathway via IL6 in the chemoresistant CRC cell line. In conclusion, we identified Smad3/4 as a novel drug sensitivity regulator in TGFβ-mediated chemotherapy-resistant CRC cells. Our results suggest that Smad3/4 regulate p-STAT3 signaling by IL6 and p21 and highlight an important role for STAT3 signaling in Smad3/4 regulated drug sensitivity in chemoresistant CRC cells.

Kwak TK, Sohn EJ, Kim S, et al.
Inhibitory effect of ethanol extract of Ocimum sanctum on osteopontin mediated metastasis of NCI-H460 non-small cell lung cancer cells.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14:419 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 19/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteopontin (OPN) is one of important molecular targets in cancer progression, metastasis as a calcium-binding, extracellular-matrix-associated protein of the small integrin-binding ligand and, N-linked glycoprotein. In the present study, anti-metastatic mechanism of ethanol extracts of Ocimum sanctum (EEOS) was elucidated on OPN enhanced metastasis in NCI-H460 non- small cell lung cancer cells.
METHODS: Cell viability was measured by MTT assay. Adhesion and invasion assays were carried out to see that EEOS inhibited cell adhesion and invasion in OPN treated and non-treated NCI-H 460 cells. RT-PCR was used to determine the mRNA levels of uPA, uPAR, and EGFR.
RESULTS: EEOS significantly inhibited cell adhesion and invasion in OPN treated and non treated NCI-H460 cells, though EEOS did not show any toxicity up to 200 μg/ml. EEOS effectively attenuated the expression of OPN and CD44 and also OPN activated the expression of CD44 in NCI-H460 cells. In addition, EEOS effectively suppressed the expression of phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and the phosphorylation of Akt at protein level in OPN treated NCI-H460 cells. Also, EEOS significantly attenuated the expression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), its receptor (uPAR) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) at mRNA level and reduced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production and MMP-9 activity in OPN treated NCI-H460 cells. Furthermore, PI3K/Akt inhibitor LY294002 enhanced anti-metastatic potential of EEOS to attenuate the expression of uPA and MMP-9 in OPN treated NCI-H 460 cells.
CONCLUSION: Overall, our findings suggest that anti-metastatic mechanism of EEOS is mediated by inhibition of PI3K/Akt in OPN treated NCI-H460 non-small cell lung cancer cells.

Hsieh SC, Tsai JP, Yang SF, et al.
Metformin inhibits the invasion of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells and enhances the chemosensitivity to sorafenib through a downregulation of the ERK/JNK-mediated NF-κB-dependent pathway that reduces uPA and MMP-9 expression.
Amino Acids. 2014; 46(12):2809-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metformin has been shown to exert anti-cancer activities in several cancer cells and animal models. However, the molecular mechanisms of its anti-metastatic activities remain poorly understood and warrant further investigation. The aims of this study were to evaluate the ability of metformin to inhibit the migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and identify its effects on signaling pathways. Our data indicate that metformin inhibits the migration and invasion of human HCC cells. Metformin was also found to significantly inhibit the expression and secretion of MMP-9 and uPA in HCC cells, and suppress the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2. Treatment with an ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059) or JNK1/2 inhibitor (SP600125) enhanced the inhibitory effects of metformin on the migration and invasion of HCC cells. Moreover, metformin-induced inhibition of MMP-9 and uPA promoter activity also blocked the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and its binding to the MMP-9 and uPA promoters, and these suppressive effects were further enhanced by PD98059 or SP600125. Moreover, metformin markedly enhanced the anti-metastatic effects of sorafenib. In conclusion, metformin inhibits the migration and invasion of HCC cells by suppressing the ERK/JNK-mediated NF-κB-dependent pathway, and thereby reducing uPA and MMP-9 expression. Additionally, combination treatment with metformin and sorafenib yielded synergistic inhibitory effects in suppressing cell migration and invasion of HCC cells. These findings provide insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the anti-metastatic effects of metformin, as well as its ability to enhance the chemosensitivity of HCC cells to sorafenib.

Li J, Kong F, Wu K, et al.
miR-193b directly targets STMN1 and uPA genes and suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in pancreatic cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(5):2613-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer has the poorest prognosis among all cancer types, due to its late diagnosis and the lack of effective therapies. Therefore, identification of novel gene targets, which are differentially expressed in pancreatic cancer and functionally involved in the malignant phenotype, is critical to achieve early diagnosis and develop effective therapeutic strategies. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs, which negatively regulate the expression of their targets. Due to their various targets, miRNAs play a key role in a number of physiological processes and in oncogenesis. Therefore, investigating the role of miRNAs in tumor may contribute to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for various types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. Here, we investigated the role of miR-193b in pancreatic cancer. Our data showed that the expression of miR-193b is markedly decreased in pancreatic cancer tissues compared to adjacent healthy tissues. The Panc-1 cell line transfected with the miR‑193b exhibited significantly decreased proliferative, migratory, and invasive ability compared to untransfected cells. Moreover, miR-193b inhibited the expression of stathmin 1 (STMN1) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) in Panc-1 cells. These data suggest that miR-193b acts as a tumor suppressor in pancreatic cancer. Therefore, miR-193b may constitute a promising therapeutic agent for the suppression of pancreatic cancer cell growth and metastasis.

Zhang H, Liu X, Warden CD, et al.
Prognostic and therapeutic significance of ribonucleotide reductase small subunit M2 in estrogen-negative breast cancers.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:664 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 19/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ribonucleotide reductase (RR) is an essential enzyme involved in DNA synthesis. We hypothesized that RR subunit M2 (RRM2) might be a novel prognostic and predictive biomarker for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancers.
METHODS: Individual and pooled survival analyses were conducted on six independent large-scale breast cancer microarray data sets; and findings were validated on a human breast tissue set (ZJU set).
RESULTS: Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that RRM2-high breast cancers were significantly enriched for expression of gene sets that increased in proliferation, invasiveness, undifferentiation, embryonic stem/progenitor-like phenotypes, and poor patient survival (p < 0.01). Independent and pooled analyses verified that increased RRM2 mRNA levels were associated with poor patient outcome in a dose-dependent manner. The prognostic power of RRM2 mRNA was comparable to multiple gene signatures, and it was superior to TNM stage. In ER-negative breast cancers, RRM2 showed more prognostic power than that in ER-positive breast cancers. Further analysis indicated that RRM2 was a more accurate prognostic biomarker for ER-negative breast cancers than the pathoclinical indicators and uPA. A new RR inhibitor, COH29, could significantly enhance the chemosensitivity to doxorubicin in ER-negative MDA-MB-231 cells, but not in ER-positive MCF-7 cells.
CONCLUSION: RRM2 appears to be a promising prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for ER-negative breast cancer patients.

Chen H, Zou Y, Yang H, et al.
Downregulation of FoxM1 inhibits proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis of HeLa cells in vitro and in vivo.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(6):2355-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
FoxM1 is a specific transcription factor that has an important function in aggressive human carcinomas, including cervical cancer. However, the specific function and internal molecular mechanism in cervical cancer remain unclear. In this study, RNAi-mediated FoxM1 knockdown inhibited cell growth. This process also decreased the migration and invasion activities of HeLa cells in vitro. Downregulation of FoxM1 inhibited tumor growth and angiogenesis in vivo. In addition, the expressions of uPA, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9 and VEGF were significantly decreased in vitro and in vivo. These results suggested that the inactivation of FoxM1 could be a novel therapeutic target for cervical cancer treatment.

Moquet-Torcy G, Tolza C, Piechaczyk M, Jariel-Encontre I
Transcriptional complexity and roles of Fra-1/AP-1 at the uPA/Plau locus in aggressive breast cancer.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(17):11011-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 19/12/2015 Related Publications
Plau codes for the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), critical in cancer metastasis. While the mechanisms driving its overexpression in tumorigenic processes are unknown, it is regulated by the AP-1 transcriptional complex in diverse situations. The AP-1 component Fra-1 being overexpressed in aggressive breast cancers, we have addressed its role in the overexpression of Plau in the highly metastatic breast cancer model cell line MDA-MB231 using ChIP, pharmacological and RNAi approaches. Plau transcription appears controlled by 2 AP-1 enhancers located -1.9 (ABR-1.9) and -4.1 kb (ABR-4.1) upstream of the transcription start site (TSS) of the uPA-coding mRNA, Plau-001, that bind Fra-1. Surprisingly, RNA Pol II is not recruited only at the Plau-001 TSS but also upstream in the ABR-1.9 and ABR-4.1 region. Most Pol II molecules transcribe short and unstable RNAs while tracking down toward the TSS, where there are converted into Plau-001 mRNA-productive species. Moreover, a minority of Pol II molecules transcribes a low abundance mRNA of unknown function called Plau-004 from the ABR-1.9 domain, whose expression is tempered by Fra-1. Thus, we unveil a heretofore-unsuspected transcriptional complexity at Plau in a reference metastatic breast cancer cell line with pleiotropic effects for Fra-1, providing novel information on AP-1 transcriptional action.

Miranda PJ, Vimalraj S, Selvamurugan N
A feedback expression of microRNA-590 and activating transcription factor-3 in human breast cancer cells.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2015; 72:145-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non coding RNA molecules (∼ 23 nt) that are capable of regulating several physiological and pathological processes by targeting mRNAs post transcriptionally, and miRNAs are also known to be regulated by their own target gene(s) in a feedback manner. In this study, we analysed the expression of miRNAs (pre-mir-93, pre-mir-20b, pre-mir-520 c, pre-mir-143, pre-mir-154 and pre-mir-590) by body map, an in silico method and by qRT-PCR in MDA-MB231 (highly invasive and metastatic in nature), and MCF-7 (poor invasive and metastatic in nature) cells. These miRNAs were down regulated in MDA-MB231 cells, and among these, miR-590 was found to putatively target activating transcription factor-3 (ATF-3), a stress response gene. ATF-3 expression level was significantly increased in MDA-MB231 cells and inhibition of ATF-3 expression in these cells increased the expression of pre-mir-590. Thus, these results suggest that there is a negative feedback expression of pre-mir-590 and its putative target gene, ATF-3 in human breast cancer cells.

Rudraraju B, Droog M, Abdel-Fatah TM, et al.
Phosphorylation of activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2) within the activation domain is a key determinant of sensitivity to tamoxifen in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 147(2):295-309 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2) has been implicated as a tumour suppressor in breast cancer (BC). c-JUN N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK phosphorylate ATF-2 within the activation domain (AD), which is required for its transcriptional activity. To date, the role of ATF-2 in determining response to endocrine therapy has not been explored. Effects of ATF-2 loss in the oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive luminal BC cell line MCF7 were explored, as well as its role in response to tamoxifen treatment. Genome-wide chromatin binding patterns of ATF-2 when phosphorylated within the AD in MCF-7 cells were determined using ChIP-seq. The expression of ATF-2 and phosphorylated ATF-2 (pATF-2-Thr71) was determined in a series of 1,650 BC patients and correlated with clinico-pathological features and clinical outcome. Loss of ATF-2 diminished the growth-inhibitory effects of tamoxifen, while tamoxifen treatment induced ATF-2 phosphorylation within the AD, to regulate the expression of a set of 227 genes for proximal phospho-ATF-2 binding, involved in cell development, assembly and survival. Low expression of both ATF-2 and pATF-2-Thr71 was significantly associated with aggressive pathological features. Furthermore, pATF-2 was associated with both p-p38 and pJNK1/2 (< 0.0001). While expression of ATF-2 is not associated with outcome, pATF-2 is associated with longer disease-free (p = 0.002) and BC-specific survival in patients exposed to tamoxifen (p = 0.01). Furthermore, multivariate analysis confirmed pATF-2-Thr71 as an independent prognostic factor. ATF-2 is important for modulating the effect of tamoxifen and phosphorylation of ATF-2 within the AD at Thr71 predicts for improved outcome for ER-positive BC receiving tamoxifen.

Lin CW, Chou YE, Chiou HL, et al.
Pterostilbene suppresses oral cancer cell invasion by inhibiting MMP-2 expression.
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2014; 18(10):1109-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Polyphenol compounds, present in a wide variety of natural plants, exhibit antioxidant and free radical scavenging ability and induce apoptosis in various cancer cells. However, the effect of pterostilbene on oral cancer cell metastasis has not been clarified.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The present study aimed to examine the anti-metastatic properties of pterostilbene in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)-9 cells.
RESULTS: In this study, pterostilbene treatment significantly inhibited migration/invasion capacities of SCC-9 cells in vitro. The results of zymography and western blotting revealed that the activities and protein levels of the MMP-2 and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) was inhibited by pterostilbene. Western blot analysis also showed that pterostilbene inhibits the phosphorylation of Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and p38. Determinations of the mRNA levels, real-time polymerase chain reaction and promoter assays were conducted to evaluate the inhibitory effects of pterostilbene on MMP-2 and u-PA expression in SCC-9 cells. Such inhibitory effects were associated with the upregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and the downregulation of the transcription factors of NF-κB, SP-1 and CREB signaling pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Pterostilbene may have potential use as a chemopreventive agent against oral cancer metastasis.

Khoi PN, Xia Y, Lian S, et al.
Cadmium induces urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor expression and the cell invasiveness of human gastric cancer cells via the ERK-1/2, NF-κB, and AP-1 signaling pathways.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1760-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cadmium exposure has been linked to human cancers, including stomach cancer. In this study, the effects of cadmium on urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) expression in human gastric cancer cells and the underlying signal transduction pathways were investigated. Cadmium induced uPAR expression in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Cadmium also induced uPAR promoter activity. Additionally, cadmium induced the activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase-1/2 (ERK-1/2), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and the activation of c-Jun amino terminal kinase (JNK). A specific inhibitor of MEK-1 (PD98059) inhibited cadmium-induced uPAR expression, while JNK and p38 MAPK inhibitors did not. Expression vectors encoding dominant-negative MEK-1 (pMCL-K97M) also prevented cadmium-induced uPAR promoter activity. Site-directed mutagenesis and electrophoretic mobility shift studies showed that sites for the transcription factors nuclear factor (NF)-κB and activator protein-1 (AP-1) were involved in cadmium-induced uPAR transcription. Suppression of the cadmium-induced uPAR promoter activity by a mutated-type NF-κB-inducing kinase and I-κB and an AP-1 decoy oligonucleotide confirmed that the activation of NF-κB and AP-1 are essential for cadmium-induced uPAR upregulation. Cells pretreated with cadmium showed markedly enhanced invasiveness and this effect was partially abrogated by uPAR-neutralizing antibodies and by inhibitors of ERK-1/2, NF-κB, and AP-1. These results suggest that cadmium induces uPAR expression via ERK-1/2, NF-κB, and AP-1 signaling pathways and, in turn, stimulates cell invasiveness in human gastric cancer AGS cells.

Lee KB, Ye S, Park MH, et al.
p63-Mediated activation of the β-catenin/c-Myc signaling pathway stimulates esophageal squamous carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 353(1):124-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The development of esophageal squamous carcinomas (ESC) results from numerous genetic alterations. Our previous study demonstrated that p63 is highly expressed in human ESC cells and stimulates their growth; however, the mechanism by which p63 regulates ESC cell adhesion and invasion remains unclear. In the present study, we further elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms by which p63 regulates metastasis in ESC cells. Knockdown of p63 significantly diminished the invasion of ESC cell lines TE-8 and TE-12, whereas overexpression of p63 significantly increased the migration rates of BE3 and OE33 cells. The mRNA and protein levels of vimentin, twist, SUSD2, and uPA were significantly decreased in p63-knockdown ESC cells, while overexpression of p63 induced an increase in vimentin, SUSD2, and uPA. In addition, knockdown of p63 in ESC cells significantly reduced levels of β-catenin and c-Myc, while overexpression of p63 increased β-catenin, but reduced p-β-catenin level. Therefore, p63 regulates the migration and invasion of ESC cells through activation of the β-catenin/c-Myc pathway. Our results suggest that targeting p63 may constitute a potential therapeutic strategy for ESC.

Ohno M, Otsuka M, Kishikawa T, et al.
Specific delivery of microRNA93 into HBV-replicating hepatocytes downregulates protein expression of liver cancer susceptible gene MICA.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(14):5581-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 19/12/2015 Related Publications
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To date, the lack of efficient in vitro systems supporting HBV infection and replication has been a major limitation of HBV research. Although primary human hepatocytes support the complete HBV life cycle, their limited availability and difficulties with gene transduction remain problematic. Here, we used human primary hepatocytes isolated from humanized chimeric uPA/SCID mice as efficient sources. These hepatocytes supported HBV replication in vitro. Based on analyses of mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression levels in HBV-infected hepatocytes, miRNA93 was significantly downregulated during HBV infection. MiRNA93 is critical for regulating the expression levels of MICA protein, which is a determinant for HBV-induced HCC susceptibility. Exogenous addition of miRNA93 in HBV-infected hepatocytes using bionanocapsules consisted of HBV envelope L proteins restored MICA protein expression levels in the supernatant. These results suggest that the rescued suppression of soluble MICA protein levels by miRNA93 targeted to HBV-infected hepatocytes using bionanocapsules may be useful for the prevention of HBV-induced HCC by altering deregulated miRNA93 expression.

Ciarmela P, Carrarelli P, Islam MS, et al.
Ulipristal acetate modulates the expression and functions of activin a in leiomyoma cells.
Reprod Sci. 2014; 21(9):1120-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine leiomyoma is the most common benign gynecological tumor in women of reproductive age and represents the single most common indication for hysterectomy. A development of new treatments is necessary for a medical management, and in this direction, several hormonal drugs are under investigation. Ulipristal acetate (UPA; a selective progesterone receptor modulator) is considered as one of the most promising because progesterone has a critical role in development and growth of uterine leiomyoma. The effect of steroids is partly mediated by growth factors like activin A which increases extracellular matrix expression contributing to the growth of leiomyoma. The present study aimed to test whether UPA acts on leiomyoma cells affecting expression and functions of activin A system. Cultured myometrial and leiomyoma cells were treated with UPA, and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of activin A (inhibin βA [INHBA] subunits), its binding proteins (follistatin [FST] and FST-related gene), and its receptors (activin receptor-like kinase 4 [ALK4], activin receptor type [ActR] II, and ActRIIB) were evaluated. The effect of UPA on activin A modulation of fibronectin and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) mRNA expression in cultured myometrial and leiomyoma cells was also studied. Ulipristal acetate decreased INHBA, FST, ActRIIB, and Alk4 mRNA expressions in leiomyoma cultured cells. In addition, UPA was able to block the activin A-induced increase in fibronectin or VEGF-A mRNA expression in myometrial and in leiomyoma cultured cells. The present data show that UPA inhibits activin A expression and functions in leiomyoma cells, and this may represent a possible mechanism of action of the drug on uterine leiomyoma.

Bayraktar E, Igci M, Erturhan S, et al.
Reduced gene expression of bikunin as a prognostic marker for renal cell carcinoma.
Exp Oncol. 2014; 36(2):107-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Experimental and clinical studies showed that bikunin, a Kunitz-type protease inhibitor, found in urine and amniotic fluid has a role in spread of tumor cells by providing a significant reduction in the levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its specific receptor urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). The aim of this study was to investigate expression of bikunin at the mRNA level and screen for mutations in exon sequence in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tissues.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Total RNA and DNA were extracted from paired normal and tumor tissues of total 50 RCC (11 papillary, 8 chromophobe, 26 clear cell, and 5 other types) patients (23 females, mean age: 53.55 ± 14.17; 27 males mean age: 62.1 ± 7.92). Bikunin mRNA levels were detected using semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Mutational screening was performed by using single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) method and nucleotide sequence analysis.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant decrease in the 25 (50%) of tumor tissues comparing to normal tissues in terms of mRNA levels of bikunin (Wilcoxon signed rank test, p = 0.0337). According to the classification based on subtypes of RCC; clear cell RCC samples displayed a reduced gene expression (p = 0.0148). Additionally, the patients with the age above 50 had low bikunin expression. The SNP rs80057939 spanning 4(th) exon of bikunin was detected in 13 tumor tissues. However, it was not statistically significant (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Decreased bikunin mRNA level in renal cells might be associated with poor prognosis of renal carcinoma. Therefore, gene constructs or exogenous administration of bikunin might be a potential adjuvant therapy for RCC treatment.

Méndez-Lucas A, Hyroššová P, Novellasdemunt L, et al.
Mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-M) is a pro-survival, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response gene involved in tumor cell adaptation to nutrient availability.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(32):22090-102 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/08/2015 Related Publications
Mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-M), encoded by the nuclear PCK2 gene, links TCA cycle intermediates and glycolytic pools through the conversion of mitochondrial oxaloacetate into phosphoenolpyruvate. In the liver PEPCK-M adjoins its profusely studied cytosolic isoform (PEPCK-C) potentiating gluconeogenesis and TCA flux. However, PEPCK-M is present in a variety of non-gluconeogenic tissues, including tumors of several origins. Despite its potential relevance to cancer metabolism, the mechanisms responsible for PCK2 gene regulation have not been elucidated. The present study demonstrates PEPCK-M overexpression in tumorigenic cells as well as the mechanism for the modulation of PCK2 abundance under several stress conditions. Amino acid limitation and ER stress inducers, conditions that activate the amino acid response (AAR) and the unfolded protein response (UPR), stimulate PCK2 gene transcription. Both the AAR and UPR lead to increased synthesis of ATF4, which mediates PCK2 transcriptional up-regulation through its binding to a putative ATF/CRE composite site within the PCK2 promoter functioning as an amino acid response element. In addition, activation of the GCN2-eIF2α-ATF4 and PERK-eIF2α-ATF4 signaling pathways are responsible for increased PEPCK-M levels. Finally, PEPCK-M knockdown using either siRNA or shRNA were sufficient to reduce MCF7 mammary carcinoma cell growth and increase cell death under glutamine deprivation or ER stress conditions. Our data demonstrate that this enzyme has a critical role in the survival program initiated upon stress and shed light on an unexpected and important role of mitochondrial PEPCK in cancer metabolism.

Su Y, Guan XQ, Liu FQ, Wang YL
The effects of MIBG on the invasive properties of HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2014; 34(3):842-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) on the invasive properties of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and examine whether these effects are due to the ability of MIBG to inhibit arginine-specific mono-ADP-ribosylation. Samples from patients with HCC were divided into 2 groups, a metastatic group and a non-metastatic group. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR were used to detect the protein and mRNA expression of arginine-specific adenosine diphosphate-ribosyltransferase 1 (ART1) and integrin α7 in the HCC tissues. In addition, the expression of ART1 was measured in HepG2 HCC cells by immunofluorescence. The inhibition of the metastasis of HepG2 cells by MIBG at various concentrations was measured by MTT assay. In addition, the effects of MIBG on HepG2 cell metastasis were measured using a scratch wound assay and a transwell invasion assay. Western blot analysis was used to detect the protein expression of ART1, integrin α7, focal adhesion kinase (FAK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) in the HepG2 cells. The mRNA and protein levels of ART1 and integrin α7 were higher in the metastatic HCC samples than in the non-metastatic HCC samples. ART1 expression was detected in the HepG2 cells. The half maximal inhibition concentration (IC50) of MIBG in the HepG2 cells was 200 µmol/l (P<0.05). Within a certain dose range, MIBG exerted inhibitory effects on HepG2 cell migration in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with MIBG significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of the HepG2 cells relative to the control cells (P<0.05) and reduced the protein expression of ART1, integrin α7, FAK, PI3K and uPA (P<0.05). Our data demonstrate that ART1 and integrin α7 may be involved in the invasive and metastatic properties of HCC cells. MIBG inhibited the migration and invasion of HepG2 cells, possibly through the inhibition of arginine-specific single-adenosine diphosphate ribosylation and the suppression of the protein expression of integrin α7β1, FAK and PI3K and the secretion of uPA, leading to reduced invasion by HepG2 cells.

Lee YR, Kim KM, Jeon BH, Choi S
The hexane fraction of Naematoloma sublateritium extract suppresses the TNF-α-induced metastatic potential of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells through modulation of the JNK and p38 pathways.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1284-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Naematoloma sublateritium (Fr.) P. Karst is a basidiomycete that has been used as traditional medicine. N. sublateritium produces a triterpenoid antitumor compound, clavaric acid, but, in general, the effects of N. sublateritium constituents against tumor invasion and metastasis have been poorly studied. To investigate the inhibitory effect of N. sublateritium constituents on highly invasive and metastatic tumor cells, the TNF-α-stimulated human breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB‑231 was treated with the hexane fraction of an N. sublateritium extract (HFNS). Non-cytotoxic concentrations of HFNS markedly inhibited the invasion and migration of the MDA-MB‑231 cells in the Matrigel invasion assay and wound-healing analysis, respectively. Gelatin zymography showed that HFNS suppressed the activity of MMP-9, but not of MMP-2. Immunoblotting demonstrated that treatment with HFNS had decreased the level of MMP-9 and urokinase plasminogen activator-1 (uPA-1), but had upregulated expression of the endogenous inhibitor proteins, including TIMP-1,-2, and PAI-1, in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, HFNS suppressed the phosphorylation of p38 and JNK1/2, but not that of ERK1/2. This was confirmed by pretreatment of cells with specific inhibitors prior to stimulation with TNF-α. HFNS treatment also led to a dose-dependent inhibition of the DNA-binding activities of AP-1 and NFκB, which are downstream targets of JNK and p38. These data suggested that HFNS inhibits the metastatic potential of MDA-MB‑231 cells by inhibiting the phosphorylation of JNK/p38 and reducing AP-1 and NFκB DNA-binding activities. Therefore, HFNS may be a potential therapeutic agent against metastasis of breast cancer.

Edagawa M, Kawauchi J, Hirata M, et al.
Role of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced sensitization of p53-deficient human colon cancer cells to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis through up-regulation of death receptor 5 (DR5) by zerumbone and celecoxib.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(31):21544-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/08/2015 Related Publications
Death receptor 5 (DR5) is a death domain-containing transmembrane receptor that triggers cell death upon binding to its ligand, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), and a combination of TRAIL and agents that increase the expression of DR5 is expected to be a novel anticancer therapy. In this report, we demonstrate that the stress response gene ATF3 is required for endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated DR5 induction upon zerumbone (ZER) and celecoxib (CCB) in human p53-deficient colorectal cancer cells. Both agents activated PERK-eIF2α kinases and induced the expression of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)-CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) homologous protein, which were remarkably suppressed by reactive oxygen species scavengers. In the absence of ATF3, the induction of DR5 mRNA and protein was abrogated significantly, and this was associated with reduced cell death by cotreatment of TRAIL with ZER or CCB. By contrast, exogenous expression of ATF3 caused a more rapid and elevated expression of DR5, resulting in enhanced sensitivity to apoptotic cell death by TRAIL/ZER or TRAIL/CCB. A reporter assay demonstrated that at least two ATF/cAMP response element motifs as well as C/EBP homologous protein motif at the proximal region of the human DR5 gene promoter were required for ZER-induced DR5 gene transcription. Taken together, our results provide novel insights into the role of ATF3 as an essential transcription factor for p53-independent DR5 induction upon both ZER and CCB treatment, and this may be a useful biomarker for TRAIL-based anticancer therapy.

Subimerb C, Wongkham C, Khuntikeo N, et al.
Transcriptional profiles of peripheral blood leukocytes identify patients with cholangiocarcinoma and predict outcome.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(10):4217-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a slow growing but highly metastatic tumor, is highly prevalent in Northeast Thailand. Specific tests that predict prognosis of CCA remain elusive. The present study was designed to investigate whether peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) transcriptional profiles might be of use as a prognostic test in CCA patients. Gene expression profiles of PBLs from 9 CCA and 8 healthy subjects were conducted using the Affymetrix HG_U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip. We indentified informative PBLs gene expression profiles that could reliably distinguish CCA patients from healthy subjects. Of these CCA specific genes, 117 genes were up regulated and 60 were down regulated. The molecular and cellular functions predicted for these CCA specific genes according to the Gene Ontology database indicated differential PBL expression of host immune response and tumor progression genes (EREG, TGF β1, CXCL2, CXCL3, IL-8, and VEGFA). The expression levels of 9 differentially expressed genes were verified in 36 CCA vs 20 healthy subjects. A set of three tumor invasion related genes (PLAU, CTSL and SERPINB2) computed as "prognostic index" was found to be an independent and statistically significant predictor for CCA patient survival. The present study shows that CCA PBLs may serve as disease predictive clinically accessible surrogates for indentifying expressed genes reflective of CCA disease severity.

Banyard J, Chung I, Migliozzi M, et al.
Identification of genes regulating migration and invasion using a new model of metastatic prostate cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:387 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Understanding the complex, multistep process of metastasis remains a major challenge in cancer research. Metastasis models can reveal insights in tumor development and progression and provide tools to test new intervention strategies.
METHODS: To develop a new cancer metastasis model, we used DU145 human prostate cancer cells and performed repeated rounds of orthotopic prostate injection and selection of subsequent lymph node metastases. Tumor growth, metastasis, cell migration and invasion were analyzed. Microarray analysis was used to identify cell migration- and cancer-related genes correlating with metastasis. Selected genes were silenced using siRNA, and their roles in cell migration and invasion were determined in transwell migration and Matrigel invasion assays.
RESULTS: Our in vivo cycling strategy created cell lines with dramatically increased tumorigenesis and increased ability to colonize lymph nodes (DU145LN1-LN4). Prostate tumor xenografts displayed increased vascularization, enlarged podoplanin-positive lymphatic vessels and invasive margins. Microarray analysis revealed gene expression profiles that correlated with metastatic potential. Using gene network analysis we selected 3 significantly upregulated cell movement and cancer related genes for further analysis: EPCAM (epithelial cell adhesion molecule), ITGB4 (integrin β4) and PLAU (urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)). These genes all showed increased protein expression in the more metastatic DU145-LN4 cells compared to the parental DU145. SiRNA knockdown of EpCAM, integrin-β4 or uPA all significantly reduced cell migration in DU145-LN4 cells. In contrast, only uPA siRNA inhibited cell invasion into Matrigel. This role of uPA in cell invasion was confirmed using the uPA inhibitors, amiloride and UK122.
CONCLUSIONS: Our approach has identified genes required for the migration and invasion of metastatic tumor cells, and we propose that our new in vivo model system will be a powerful tool to interrogate the metastatic cascade in prostate cancer.

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