Gene Summary

Gene:PPP1R3A; protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 3A
Aliases: GM, PP1G, PPP1R3
Summary:The glycogen-associated form of protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) derived from skeletal muscle is a heterodimer composed of a 37-kD catalytic subunit and a 124-kD targeting and regulatory subunit. This gene encodes the regulatory subunit which binds to muscle glycogen with high affinity, thereby enhancing dephosphorylation of glycogen-bound substrates for PP1 such as glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase kinase. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 3A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Latest Publications: PPP1R3A (cancer-related)

Nisimova L, Wen S, Cross-Knorr S, et al.
Role of Raf kinase inhibitor protein in Helicobacter pylori-mediated signaling in gastric cancer.
Crit Rev Oncog. 2014; 19(6):469-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori is a helical bacterium that colonizes the stomach in over half of the world's population. Infection with this bacterium has been linked to peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. The bacterium has been shown to affect regulatory pathways in its host cells through specific virulence factors that control gene expression. Infection with H. pylori increases levels of phosphorylation of Raf kinase inhibitor protein (pRKIP) in gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS) cells in vitro and in vivo. We investigated the role of H. pylori in the phosphorylation of RKIP as a possible mechanism to downregulate pro-survival signals in gastric adenocarcinoma. pRKIP induces RKIP transcriptional activity, which serves to induce apoptosis of damaged cells to prevent further tumorigenesis. Infection of wild type and RKIP knockout mice with H. pylori for 2 months further confirmed roles of RKIP and pRKIP in the prevention of gastric cancer progression. Loss of RKIP in AGS cells results in increased expression of the Cag A virulence factor after H. pylori infection and RKIP overexpression inhibits H. pylori-mediated STAT3 phosphorylation and STAT3 and NF-κB transcriptional activity. We examined the role of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) after H. pylori infection on the phosphorylation of RKIP. Cells treated with rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR, displayed less expression of pRKIP after H. pylori infection. Microarray antibody analysis was conducted on wild-type and RKIP-knockdown AGS cells and showed that in the absence of RKIP, there was increased expression of pro-tumorigenic proteins such as EGFR, Raf-1, and MAPKs. Although further work is needed to confirm the interaction of RKIP and mTOR in AGS cells as a result of H. pylori infection, we hypothesize that H. pylori-mediated induction of pro-survival signaling in gastric epithelial cells induces a feedback response through the activation of RKIP. The phosphorylated, or active, form of RKIP is important in protecting gastric epithelial cells from tumorigenesis after H. pylori infection.

Yesilkanal AE, Rosner MR
Raf kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP) as a metastasis suppressor: regulation of signaling networks in cancer.
Crit Rev Oncog. 2014; 19(6):447-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases worldwide, accounting for about 8 million deaths a year. For solid tumors, cancer patients die as a result of the metastatic spread of the tumor to the rest of the body. Therefore, there is a clinical need for understanding the molecular and cellular basis of metastasis, identifying patients whose tumors are more likely to metastasize, and developing effective therapies against metastatic progression. Over the years, Raf kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP) has emerged as a natural suppressor of the metastatic process, constituting a tool for studying metastasis and its clinical outcomes. Here, we review RKIP's role as a metastasis suppressor and the signaling networks and genes regulated by RKIP in metastatic, triple-negative breast cancer. We also highlight the clinical implications and power of building gene signatures based on RKIP-regulated signaling modules in identifying cancer patients that are at higher risk for metastases. Finally, we highlight the potential of RKIP as a tool for developing new therapeutic strategies in cancer treatment.

Flynn RL, Cox KE, Jeitany M, et al.
Alternative lengthening of telomeres renders cancer cells hypersensitive to ATR inhibitors.
Science. 2015; 347(6219):273-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer cells rely on telomerase or the alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) pathway to overcome replicative mortality. ALT is mediated by recombination and is prevalent in a subset of human cancers, yet whether it can be exploited therapeutically remains unknown. Loss of the chromatin-remodeling protein ATRX associates with ALT in cancers. Here, we show that ATRX loss compromises cell-cycle regulation of the telomeric noncoding RNA TERRA and leads to persistent association of replication protein A (RPA) with telomeres after DNA replication, creating a recombinogenic nucleoprotein structure. Inhibition of the protein kinase ATR, a critical regulator of recombination recruited by RPA, disrupts ALT and triggers chromosome fragmentation and apoptosis in ALT cells. The cell death induced by ATR inhibitors is highly selective for cancer cells that rely on ALT, suggesting that such inhibitors may be useful for treatment of ALT-positive cancers.

Xiong HY, Alipanahi B, Lee LJ, et al.
RNA splicing. The human splicing code reveals new insights into the genetic determinants of disease.
Science. 2015; 347(6218):1254806 [PubMed] Related Publications
To facilitate precision medicine and whole-genome annotation, we developed a machine-learning technique that scores how strongly genetic variants affect RNA splicing, whose alteration contributes to many diseases. Analysis of more than 650,000 intronic and exonic variants revealed widespread patterns of mutation-driven aberrant splicing. Intronic disease mutations that are more than 30 nucleotides from any splice site alter splicing nine times as often as common variants, and missense exonic disease mutations that have the least impact on protein function are five times as likely as others to alter splicing. We detected tens of thousands of disease-causing mutations, including those involved in cancers and spinal muscular atrophy. Examination of intronic and exonic variants found using whole-genome sequencing of individuals with autism revealed misspliced genes with neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Our approach provides evidence for causal variants and should enable new discoveries in precision medicine.

Bresler SC, Weiser DA, Huwe PJ, et al.
ALK mutations confer differential oncogenic activation and sensitivity to ALK inhibition therapy in neuroblastoma.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(5):682-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/11/2015 Related Publications
Genetic studies have established anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), a cell surface receptor tyrosine kinase, as a tractable molecular target in neuroblastoma. We describe comprehensive genomic, biochemical, and computational analyses of ALK mutations across 1,596 diagnostic neuroblastoma samples. ALK tyrosine kinase domain mutations occurred in 8% of samples--at three hot spots and 13 minor sites--and correlated significantly with poorer survival in high- and intermediate-risk neuroblastoma. Biochemical and computational studies distinguished oncogenic (constitutively activating) from nononcogenic mutations and allowed robust computational prediction of their effects. The mutated variants also showed differential in vitro crizotinib sensitivities. Our studies identify ALK genomic status as a clinically important therapeutic stratification tool in neuroblastoma and will allow tailoring of ALK-targeted therapy to specific mutations.

Bhatnagar S, Gazin C, Chamberlain L, et al.
TRIM37 is a new histone H2A ubiquitin ligase and breast cancer oncoprotein.
Nature. 2014; 516(7529):116-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 04/06/2015 Related Publications
The TRIM37 (also known as MUL) gene is located in the 17q23 chromosomal region, which is amplified in up to ∼ 40% of breast cancers. TRIM37 contains a RING finger domain, a hallmark of E3 ubiquitin ligases, but its protein substrate(s) is unknown. Here we report that TRIM37 mono-ubiquitinates histone H2A, a chromatin modification associated with transcriptional repression. We find that in human breast cancer cell lines containing amplified 17q23, TRIM37 is upregulated and, reciprocally, the major H2A ubiquitin ligase RNF2 (also known as RING1B) is downregulated. Genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-chip experiments in 17q23-amplified breast cancer cells identified many genes, including multiple tumour suppressors, whose promoters were bound by TRIM37 and enriched for ubiquitinated H2A. However, unlike RNF2, which is a subunit of polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), we find that TRIM37 associates with polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). TRIM37, PRC2 and PRC1 are co-bound to specific target genes, resulting in their transcriptional silencing. RNA-interference-mediated knockdown of TRIM37 results in loss of ubiquitinated H2A, dissociation of PRC1 and PRC2 from target promoters, and transcriptional reactivation of silenced genes. Knockdown of TRIM37 in human breast cancer cells containing amplified 17q23 substantially decreases tumour growth in mouse xenografts. Conversely, ectopic expression of TRIM37 renders non-transformed cells tumorigenic. Collectively, our results reveal TRIM37 as an oncogenic H2A ubiquitin ligase that is overexpressed in a subset of breast cancers and promotes transformation by facilitating silencing of tumour suppressors and other genes.

Gasser JA, Inuzuka H, Lau AW, et al.
SGK3 mediates INPP4B-dependent PI3K signaling in breast cancer.
Mol Cell. 2014; 56(4):595-607 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Oncogenic mutations in PIK3CA, the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), occur with high frequency in breast cancer. The protein kinase Akt is considered to be the primary effector of PIK3CA, although mechanisms by which PI3K mediates Akt-independent tumorigenic signals remain obscure. We show that serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 3 (SGK3) is amplified in breast cancer and activated downstream of PIK3CA in a manner dependent on the phosphoinositide phosphatase INPP4B. Expression of INPP4B leads to enhanced SGK3 activation and suppression of Akt phosphorylation. Activation of SGK3 downstream of PIK3CA and INPP4B is required for 3D proliferation, invasive migration, and tumorigenesis in vivo. We further show that SGK3 targets the metastasis suppressor NDRG1 for degradation by Fbw7. We propose a model in which breast cancers harboring oncogenic PIK3CA activate SGK3 signaling while suppressing Akt, indicative of oncogenic functions for both INPP4B and SGK3 in these tumors.

Schell JC, Olson KA, Jiang L, et al.
A role for the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier as a repressor of the Warburg effect and colon cancer cell growth.
Mol Cell. 2014; 56(3):400-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/11/2015 Related Publications
Cancer cells are typically subject to profound metabolic alterations, including the Warburg effect wherein cancer cells oxidize a decreased fraction of the pyruvate generated from glycolysis. We show herein that the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), composed of the products of the MPC1 and MPC2 genes, modulates fractional pyruvate oxidation. MPC1 is deleted or underexpressed in multiple cancers and correlates with poor prognosis. Cancer cells re-expressing MPC1 and MPC2 display increased mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation, with no changes in cell growth in adherent culture. MPC re-expression exerted profound effects in anchorage-independent growth conditions, however, including impaired colony formation in soft agar, spheroid formation, and xenograft growth. We also observed a decrease in markers of stemness and traced the growth effects of MPC expression to the stem cell compartment. We propose that reduced MPC activity is an important aspect of cancer metabolism, perhaps through altering the maintenance and fate of stem cells.

Zeitels LR, Acharya A, Shi G, et al.
Tumor suppression by miR-26 overrides potential oncogenic activity in intestinal tumorigenesis.
Genes Dev. 2014; 28(23):2585-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
Down-regulation of miR-26 family members has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple malignancies. In some settings, including glioma, however, miR-26-mediated repression of PTEN promotes tumorigenesis. To investigate the contexts in which the tumor suppressor versus oncogenic activity of miR-26 predominates in vivo, we generated miR-26a transgenic mice. Despite measureable repression of Pten, elevated miR-26a levels were not associated with malignancy in transgenic animals. We documented reduced miR-26 expression in human colorectal cancer and, accordingly, showed that miR-26a expression potently suppressed intestinal adenoma formation in Apc(min/+) mice, a model known to be sensitive to Pten dosage. These studies reveal a tumor suppressor role for miR-26 in intestinal cancer that overrides putative oncogenic activity, highlighting the therapeutic potential of miR-26 delivery to this tumor type.

Ashworth J, Bernard B, Reynolds S, et al.
Structure-based predictions broadly link transcription factor mutations to gene expression changes in cancers.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(21):12973-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
Thousands of unique mutations in transcription factors (TFs) arise in cancers, and the functional and biological roles of relatively few of these have been characterized. Here, we used structure-based methods developed specifically for DNA-binding proteins to systematically predict the consequences of mutations in several TFs that are frequently mutated in cancers. The explicit consideration of protein-DNA interactions was crucial to explain the roles and prevalence of mutations in TP53 and RUNX1 in cancers, and resulted in a higher specificity of detection for known p53-regulated genes among genetic associations between TP53 genotypes and genome-wide expression in The Cancer Genome Atlas, compared to existing methods of mutation assessment. Biophysical predictions also indicated that the relative prevalence of TP53 missense mutations in cancer is proportional to their thermodynamic impacts on protein stability and DNA binding, which is consistent with the selection for the loss of p53 transcriptional function in cancers. Structure and thermodynamics-based predictions of the impacts of missense mutations that focus on specific molecular functions may be increasingly useful for the precise and large-scale inference of aberrant molecular phenotypes in cancer and other complex diseases.

Westcott PM, Halliwill KD, To MD, et al.
The mutational landscapes of genetic and chemical models of Kras-driven lung cancer.
Nature. 2015; 517(7535):489-92 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 22/07/2015 Related Publications
Next-generation sequencing of human tumours has refined our understanding of the mutational processes operative in cancer initiation and progression, yet major questions remain regarding the factors that induce driver mutations and the processes that shape mutation selection during tumorigenesis. Here we performed whole-exome sequencing on adenomas from three mouse models of non-small-cell lung cancer, which were induced either by exposure to carcinogens (methyl-nitrosourea (MNU) and urethane) or by genetic activation of Kras (Kras(LA2)). Although the MNU-induced tumours carried exactly the same initiating mutation in Kras as seen in the Kras(LA2) model (G12D), MNU tumours had an average of 192 non-synonymous, somatic single-nucleotide variants, compared with only six in tumours from the Kras(LA2) model. By contrast, the Kras(LA2) tumours exhibited a significantly higher level of aneuploidy and copy number alterations compared with the carcinogen-induced tumours, suggesting that carcinogen-induced and genetically engineered models lead to tumour development through different routes. The wild-type allele of Kras has been shown to act as a tumour suppressor in mouse models of non-small-cell lung cancer. We demonstrate that urethane-induced tumours from wild-type mice carry mostly (94%) Kras Q61R mutations, whereas those from Kras heterozygous animals carry mostly (92%) Kras Q61L mutations, indicating a major role for germline Kras status in mutation selection during initiation. The exome-wide mutation spectra in carcinogen-induced tumours overwhelmingly display signatures of the initiating carcinogen, while adenocarcinomas acquire additional C > T mutations at CpG sites. These data provide a basis for understanding results from human tumour genome sequencing, which has identified two broad categories of tumours based on the relative frequency of single-nucleotide variations and copy number alterations, and underline the importance of carcinogen models for understanding the complex mutation spectra seen in human cancers.

Chan KT, Asokan SB, King SJ, et al.
LKB1 loss in melanoma disrupts directional migration toward extracellular matrix cues.
J Cell Biol. 2014; 207(2):299-315 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 27/04/2015 Related Publications
Somatic inactivation of the serine/threonine kinase gene STK11/LKB1/PAR-4 occurs in a variety of cancers, including ∼10% of melanoma. However, how the loss of LKB1 activity facilitates melanoma invasion and metastasis remains poorly understood. In LKB1-null cells derived from an autochthonous murine model of melanoma with activated Kras and Lkb1 loss and matched reconstituted controls, we have investigated the mechanism by which LKB1 loss increases melanoma invasive motility. Using a microfluidic gradient chamber system and time-lapse microscopy, in this paper, we uncover a new function for LKB1 as a directional migration sensor of gradients of extracellular matrix (haptotaxis) but not soluble growth factor cues (chemotaxis). Systematic perturbation of known LKB1 effectors demonstrated that this response does not require canonical adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity but instead requires the activity of the AMPK-related microtubule affinity-regulating kinase (MARK)/PAR-1 family kinases. Inhibition of the LKB1-MARK pathway facilitated invasive motility, suggesting that loss of the ability to sense inhibitory matrix cues may promote melanoma invasion.

Hu J, Ahuja LG, Meharena HS, et al.
Kinase regulation by hydrophobic spine assembly in cancer.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 35(1):264-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
A new model of kinase regulation based on the assembly of hydrophobic spines has been proposed. Changes in their positions can explain the mechanism of kinase activation. Here, we examined mutations in human cancer for clues about the regulation of the hydrophobic spines by focusing initially on mutations to Phe. We identified a selected number of Phe mutations in a small group of kinases that included BRAF, ABL1, and the epidermal growth factor receptor. Testing some of these mutations in BRAF, we found that one of the mutations impaired ATP binding and catalytic activity but promoted noncatalytic allosteric functions. Other Phe mutations functioned to promote constitutive catalytic activity. One of these mutations revealed a previously underappreciated hydrophobic surface that functions to position the dynamic regulatory αC-helix. This supports the key role of the C-helix as a signal integration motif for coordinating multiple elements of the kinase to create an active conformation. The importance of the hydrophobic space around the αC-helix was further tested by studying a V600F mutant, which was constitutively active in the absence of the negative charge that is associated with the common V600E mutation. Many hydrophobic mutations strategically localized along the C-helix can thus drive kinase activation.

Li N, Fassl A, Chick J, et al.
Cyclin C is a haploinsufficient tumour suppressor.
Nat Cell Biol. 2014; 16(11):1080-91 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Cyclin C was cloned as a growth-promoting G1 cyclin, and was also shown to regulate gene transcription. Here we report that in vivo cyclin C acts as a haploinsufficient tumour suppressor, by controlling Notch1 oncogene levels. Cyclin C activates an 'orphan' CDK19 kinase, as well as CDK8 and CDK3. These cyclin-C-CDK complexes phosphorylate the Notch1 intracellular domain (ICN1) and promote ICN1 degradation. Genetic ablation of cyclin C blocks ICN1 phosphorylation in vivo, thereby elevating ICN1 levels in cyclin-C-knockout mice. Cyclin C ablation or heterozygosity collaborates with other oncogenic lesions and accelerates development of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). Furthermore, the cyclin C encoding gene CCNC is heterozygously deleted in a significant fraction of human T-ALLs, and these tumours express reduced cyclin C levels. We also describe point mutations in human T-ALL that render cyclin-C-CDK unable to phosphorylate ICN1. Hence, tumour cells may develop different strategies to evade inhibition by cyclin C.

Giannakis M, Hodis E, Jasmine Mu X, et al.
RNF43 is frequently mutated in colorectal and endometrial cancers.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(12):1264-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
We report somatic mutations of RNF43 in over 18% of colorectal adenocarcinomas and endometrial carcinomas. RNF43 encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase that negatively regulates Wnt signaling. Truncating mutations of RNF43 are more prevalent in microsatellite-unstable tumors and show mutual exclusivity with inactivating APC mutations in colorectal adenocarcinomas. These results indicate that RNF43 is one of the most commonly mutated genes in colorectal and endometrial cancers.

Covington JD, Bajpeyi S, Moro C, et al.
Potential effects of aerobic exercise on the expression of perilipin 3 in the adipose tissue of women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2015; 172(1):47-58 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with reduced adipose tissue lipolysis that can be rescued by aerobic exercise. We aimed to identify differences in the gene expression of perilipins and associated targets in adipose tissue in women with PCOS before and after exercise.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in eight women with PCOS and eight women matched for BMI and age with normal cycles. Women with PCOS also completed a 16-week prospective aerobic exercise-training study. Abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were collected, and primary adipose-derived stromal/stem cell cultures were established from women with PCOS before 16 weeks of aerobic exercise training (n=5) and controls (n=5). Gene expression was measured using real-time PCR, in vitro lipolysis was measured using radiolabeled oleate, and perilipin 3 (PLIN3) protein content was measured by western blotting analysis.
RESULTS: The expression of PLIN1, PLIN3, and PLIN5, along with coatomers ARF1, ARFRP1, and βCOP was ∼ 80% lower in women with PCOS (all P<0.05). Following exercise training, PLIN3 was the only perilipin to increase significantly (P<0.05), along with coatomers ARF1, ARFRP1, βCOP, and SEC23A (all P<0.05). Furthermore, PLIN3 protein expression was undetectable in the cell cultures from women with PCOS vs controls. Following exercise training, in vitro adipose oleate oxidation, glycerol secretion, and PLIN3 protein expression were increased, along with reductions in triglyceride content and absence of large lipid droplet morphology.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that PLIN3 and coatomer GTPases are important regulators of lipolysis and triglyceride storage in the adipose tissue of women with PCOS.

Safi R, Nelson ER, Chitneni SK, et al.
Copper signaling axis as a target for prostate cancer therapeutics.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(20):5819-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/10/2015 Related Publications
Previously published reports indicate that serum copper levels are elevated in patients with prostate cancer and that increased copper uptake can be used as a means to image prostate tumors. It is unclear, however, to what extent copper is required for prostate cancer cell function as we observed only modest effects of chelation strategies on the growth of these cells in vitro. With the goal of exploiting prostate cancer cell proclivity for copper uptake, we developed a "conditional lethal" screen to identify compounds whose cytotoxic actions were manifested in a copper-dependent manner. Emerging from this screen was a series of dithiocarbamates, which, when complexed with copper, induced reactive oxygen species-dependent apoptosis of malignant, but not normal, prostate cells. One of the dithiocarbamates identified, disulfiram (DSF), is an FDA-approved drug that has previously yielded disappointing results in clinical trials in patients with recurrent prostate cancer. Similarly, in our studies, DSF alone had a minimal effect on the growth of prostate cancer tumors when propagated as xenografts. However, when DSF was coadministered with copper, a very dramatic inhibition of tumor growth in models of hormone-sensitive and of castrate-resistant disease was observed. Furthermore, we determined that prostate cancer cells express high levels of CTR1, the primary copper transporter, and additional chaperones that are required to maintain intracellular copper homeostasis. The expression levels of most of these proteins are increased further upon treatment of androgen receptor (AR)-positive prostate cancer cell lines with androgens. Not surprisingly, robust CTR1-dependent uptake of copper into prostate cancer cells was observed, an activity that was accentuated by activation of AR. Given these data linking AR to intracellular copper uptake, we believe that dithiocarbamate/copper complexes are likely to be effective for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer whose disease is resistant to classical androgen ablation therapies.

Fu YP, Kohaar I, Moore LE, et al.
The 19q12 bladder cancer GWAS signal: association with cyclin E function and aggressive disease.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(20):5808-18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/04/2015 Related Publications
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of bladder cancer identified a genetic marker rs8102137 within the 19q12 region as a novel susceptibility variant. This marker is located upstream of the CCNE1 gene, which encodes cyclin E, a cell-cycle protein. We performed genetic fine-mapping analysis of the CCNE1 region using data from two bladder cancer GWAS (5,942 cases and 10,857 controls). We found that the original GWAS marker rs8102137 represents a group of 47 linked SNPs (with r(2) ≥ 0.7) associated with increased bladder cancer risk. From this group, we selected a functional promoter variant rs7257330, which showed strong allele-specific binding of nuclear proteins in several cell lines. In both GWASs, rs7257330 was associated only with aggressive bladder cancer, with a combined per-allele OR = 1.18 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09-1.27, P = 4.67 × 10(-5)] versus OR = 1.01 (95% CI, 0.93-1.10, P = 0.79) for nonaggressive disease, with P = 0.0015 for case-only analysis. Cyclin E protein expression analyzed in 265 bladder tumors was increased in aggressive tumors (P = 0.013) and, independently, with each rs7257330-A risk allele (P(trend) = 0.024). Overexpression of recombinant cyclin E in cell lines caused significant acceleration of cell cycle. In conclusion, we defined the 19q12 signal as the first GWAS signal specific for aggressive bladder cancer. Molecular mechanisms of this genetic association may be related to cyclin E overexpression and alteration of cell cycle in carriers of CCNE1 risk variants. In combination with established bladder cancer risk factors and other somatic and germline genetic markers, the CCNE1 variants could be useful for inclusion into bladder cancer risk prediction models.

Zhang X, Hyer JM, Yu H, et al.
DUSP1 phosphatase regulates the proinflammatory milieu in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7191-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
DUSP1 is a dual-specificity phosphatase that regulates mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activity. Studies have associated loss of DUSP1 expression with certain cancers, but there has been no report of a mechanism by which this supports tumor progression. In this study, we found DUSP1 mRNA and protein decreased in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tissues compared with adjacent nontumor controls. To evaluate the impact of this difference, we compared the susceptibility of Dusp1-deficient mice with oral squamous carcinogenesis induced by 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide. Dusp1-deficient mice displayed enhanced disease progression, characterized by advanced onset, histologic stage, and tumor burden. In a syngeneic model of tumor progression, subcutaneous injection of EO771 cells formed faster-growing tumors in Dusp1-deficient mice, an effect abrogated by inhibition of p38 MAP kinase with SB203580. Histologic and quantitative assessments demonstrated increased inflammation and deregulated chemokine and cytokine expression in Dusp1-deficient tumor tissues. Specifically, proinflammatory cytokine IL1β was elevated. IL1β production was recapitulated ex vivo in primary bone marrow-derived macrophages from Dusp1-deficient mice. Together, our results clearly establish the role of Dusp1 as a tumor suppressor gene that regulates cancer-associated inflammation.

Wu CY, Carpenter ES, Takeuchi KK, et al.
PI3K regulation of RAC1 is required for KRAS-induced pancreatic tumorigenesis in mice.
Gastroenterology. 2014; 147(6):1405-16.e7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: New drug targets are urgently needed for the treatment of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). Nearly all PDAs contain oncogenic mutations in the KRAS gene. Pharmacological inhibition of KRAS has been unsuccessful, leading to a focus on downstream effectors that are more easily targeted with small molecule inhibitors. We investigated the contributions of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) to KRAS-initiated tumorigenesis.
METHODS: Tumorigenesis was measured in the Kras(G12D/+);Ptf1a(Cre/+) mouse model of PDA; these mice were crossed with mice with pancreas-specific disruption of genes encoding PI3K p110α (Pik3ca), p110β (Pik3cb), or RAC1 (Rac1). Pancreatitis was induced with 5 daily intraperitoneal injections of cerulein. Pancreata and primary acinar cells were isolated; acinar cells were incubated with an inhibitor of p110α (PIK75) followed by a broad-spectrum PI3K inhibitor (GDC0941). PDA cell lines (NB490 and MiaPaCa2) were incubated with PIK75 followed by GDC0941. Tissues and cells were analyzed by histology, immunohistochemistry, quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, and immunofluorescence analyses for factors involved in the PI3K signaling pathway. We also examined human pancreas tissue microarrays for levels of p110α and other PI3K pathway components.
RESULTS: Pancreas-specific disruption of Pik3ca or Rac1, but not Pik3cb, prevented the development of pancreatic tumors in Kras(G12D/+);Ptf1a(Cre/+) mice. Loss of transformation was independent of AKT regulation. Preneoplastic ductal metaplasia developed in mice lacking pancreatic p110α but regressed. Levels of activated and total RAC1 were higher in pancreatic tissues from Kras(G12D/+);Ptf1a(Cre/+) mice compared with controls. Loss of p110α reduced RAC1 activity and expression in these tissues. p110α was required for the up-regulation and activity of RAC guanine exchange factors during tumorigenesis. Levels of p110α and RAC1 were increased in human pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias and PDAs compared with healthy pancreata.
CONCLUSIONS: KRAS signaling, via p110α to activate RAC1, is required for transformation in Kras(G12D/+);Ptf1a(Cre/+) mice.

London N, Biggins S
Signalling dynamics in the spindle checkpoint response.
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014; 15(11):736-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
The spindle checkpoint ensures proper chromosome segregation during cell division. Unravelling checkpoint signalling has been a long-standing challenge owing to the complexity of the structures and forces that regulate chromosome segregation. New reports have now substantially advanced our understanding of checkpoint signalling mechanisms at the kinetochore, the structure that connects microtubules and chromatin. In contrast to the traditional view of a binary checkpoint response - either completely on or off - new findings indicate that the checkpoint response strength is variable. This revised perspective provides insight into how checkpoint bypass can lead to aneuploidy and informs strategies to exploit these errors for cancer treatments.

Takeda S, Ikeda E, Su S, et al.
Δ(9)-THC modulation of fatty acid 2-hydroxylase (FA2H) gene expression: possible involvement of induced levels of PPARα in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
Toxicology. 2014; 326:18-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
We recently reported that Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), a major cannabinoid component in Cannabis Sativa (marijuana), significantly stimulated the expression of fatty acid 2-hydroxylase (FA2H) in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) was previously implicated in this induction. However, the mechanisms mediating this induction have not been elucidated in detail. We performed a DNA microarray analysis of Δ(9)-THC-treated samples and showed the selective up-regulation of the PPARα isoform coupled with the induction of FA2H over the other isoforms (β and γ). Δ(9)-THC itself had no binding/activation potential to/on PPARα, and palmitic acid (PA), a PPARα ligand, exhibited no stimulatory effects on FA2H in MDA-MB-231 cells; thus, we hypothesized that the levels of PPARα induced were involved in the Δ(9)-THC-mediated increase in FA2H. In support of this hypothesis, we herein demonstrated that; (i) Δ(9)-THC activated the basal transcriptional activity of PPARα in a concentration-dependent manner, (ii) the concomitant up-regulation of PPARα/FA2H was caused by Δ(9)-THC, (iii) PA could activate PPARα after the PPARα expression plasmid was introduced, and (iv) the Δ(9)-THC-induced up-regulation of FA2H was further stimulated by the co-treatment with L-663,536 (a known PPARα inducer). Taken together, these results support the concept that the induced levels of PPARα may be involved in the Δ(9)-THC up-regulation of FA2H in MDA-MB-231 cells.

Theurillat JP, Udeshi ND, Errington WJ, et al.
Prostate cancer. Ubiquitylome analysis identifies dysregulation of effector substrates in SPOP-mutant prostate cancer.
Science. 2014; 346(6205):85-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Cancer genome characterization has revealed driver mutations in genes that govern ubiquitylation; however, the mechanisms by which these alterations promote tumorigenesis remain incompletely characterized. Here, we analyzed changes in the ubiquitin landscape induced by prostate cancer-associated mutations of SPOP, an E3 ubiquitin ligase substrate-binding protein. SPOP mutants impaired ubiquitylation of a subset of proteins in a dominant-negative fashion. Of these, DEK and TRIM24 emerged as effector substrates consistently up-regulated by SPOP mutants. We highlight DEK as a SPOP substrate that exhibited decreases in ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation resulting from heteromeric complexes of wild-type and mutant SPOP protein. DEK stabilization promoted prostate epithelial cell invasion, which implicated DEK as an oncogenic effector. More generally, these results provide a framework to decipher tumorigenic mechanisms linked to dysregulated ubiquitylation.

Guo H, Nagy T, Pierce M
Post-translational glycoprotein modifications regulate colon cancer stem cells and colon adenoma progression in Apc(min/+) mice through altered Wnt receptor signaling.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(45):31534-49 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2015 Related Publications
Deletion of GnT-V (MGAT5), which synthesizes N-glycans with β(1,6)-branched glycans, reduced the compartment of cancer stem cells (CSC) in the her-2 mouse model of breast cancer, leading to delay of tumor onset. Because GnT-V levels are also commonly up-regulated in colon cancer, we investigated their regulation of colon CSC and adenoma development. Anchorage-independent cell growth and tumor formation induced by injection of colon tumor cells into NOD/SCID mice were positively associated with GnT-V levels, indicating regulation of proliferation and tumorigenicity. Using Apc(min/+) mice with different GnT-V backgrounds, knock-out of GnT-V had no significant effect on the number of adenoma/mouse, but adenoma size was significantly reduced and accompanied increased survival of Apc(min/+) mice with GnT-V deletion (p < 0.01), suggesting an inhibition in the progression of colon adenoma caused by deletion of GnT-V. Decreased expression levels of GnT-V down-regulated the population of colon (intestine) CSC, affecting their ability for self-renewal and tumorigenicity in NOD/SCID mice. Furthermore, altered nuclear translocation of β-catenin and expression of Wnt target genes were positively associated with expression levels of GnT-V, indicating the regulation of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling. By overexpressing the Wnt receptor, FZD-7, in colon cancer cells, we found that FZD-7 receptors expressed N-linked β(1,6) branching, indicating that FZD-7 can be modified by GnT-V. The aberrant Wnt signaling observed after modulating GnT-V levels is likely to result from altered N-linked β(1,6) branching on FZD-7, thereby affecting Wnt signaling, the compartment of CSC, and tumor progression.

Muppidi JR, Schmitz R, Green JA, et al.
Loss of signalling via Gα13 in germinal centre B-cell-derived lymphoma.
Nature. 2014; 516(7530):254-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/06/2015 Related Publications
Germinal centre B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (GCB-DLBCL) is a common malignancy, yet the signalling pathways that are deregulated and the factors leading to its systemic dissemination are poorly defined. Work in mice showed that sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-2 (S1PR2), a Gα12 and Gα13 coupled receptor, promotes growth regulation and local confinement of germinal centre B cells. Recent deep sequencing studies of GCB-DLBCL have revealed mutations in many genes in this cancer, including in GNA13 (encoding Gα13) and S1PR2 (refs 5,6, 7). Here we show, using in vitro and in vivo assays, that GCB-DLBCL-associated mutations occurring in S1PR2 frequently disrupt the receptor's Akt and migration inhibitory functions. Gα13-deficient mouse germinal centre B cells and human GCB-DLBCL cells were unable to suppress pAkt and migration in response to S1P, and Gα13-deficient mice developed germinal centre B-cell-derived lymphoma. Germinal centre B cells, unlike most lymphocytes, are tightly confined in lymphoid organs and do not recirculate. Remarkably, deficiency in Gα13, but not S1PR2, led to germinal centre B-cell dissemination into lymph and blood. GCB-DLBCL cell lines frequently carried mutations in the Gα13 effector ARHGEF1, and Arhgef1 deficiency also led to germinal centre B-cell dissemination. The incomplete phenocopy of Gα13- and S1PR2 deficiency led us to discover that P2RY8, an orphan receptor that is mutated in GCB-DLBCL and another germinal centre B-cell-derived malignancy, Burkitt's lymphoma, also represses germinal centre B-cell growth and promotes confinement via Gα13. These findings identify a Gα13-dependent pathway that exerts dual actions in suppressing growth and blocking dissemination of germinal centre B cells that is frequently disrupted in germinal centre B-cell-derived lymphoma.

Gorlov IP, Moore JH, Peng B, et al.
SNP characteristics predict replication success in association studies.
Hum Genet. 2014; 133(12):1477-86 [PubMed] 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.

Cavalier MC, Pierce AD, Wilder PT, et al.
Covalent small molecule inhibitors of Ca(2+)-bound S100B.
Biochemistry. 2014; 53(42):6628-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 30/09/2015 Related Publications
Elevated levels of the tumor marker S100B are observed in malignant melanoma, and this EF-hand-containing protein was shown to directly bind wild-type (wt) p53 in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, dissociate the p53 tetramer, and inhibit its tumor suppression functions. Likewise, inhibiting S100B with small interfering RNA (siRNA(S100B)) is sufficient to restore wild-type p53 levels and its downstream gene products and induce the arrest of cell growth and UV-dependent apoptosis in malignant melanoma. Therefore, it is a goal to develop S100B inhibitors (SBiXs) that inhibit the S100B-p53 complex and restore active p53 in this deadly cancer. Using a structure-activity relationship by nuclear magnetic resonance approach (SAR by NMR), three persistent binding pockets are found on S100B, termed sites 1-3. While inhibitors that simultaneously bind sites 2 and 3 are in place, no molecules that simultaneously bind all three persistent sites are available. For this purpose, Cys84 was used in this study as a potential means to bridge sites 1 and 2 because it is located in a small crevice between these two deeper pockets on the protein. Using a fluorescence polarization competition assay, several Cys84-modified S100B complexes were identified and examined further. For five such SBiX-S100B complexes, crystallographic structures confirmed their covalent binding to Cys84 near site 2 and thus present straightforward chemical biology strategies for bridging sites 1 and 3. Importantly, one such compound, SC1982, showed an S100B-dependent death response in assays with WM115 malignant melanoma cells, so it will be particularly useful for the design of SBiX molecules with improved affinity and specificity.

Duan F, Duitama J, Al Seesi S, et al.
Genomic and bioinformatic profiling of mutational neoepitopes reveals new rules to predict anticancer immunogenicity.
J Exp Med. 2014; 211(11):2231-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/04/2015 Related Publications
The mutational repertoire of cancers creates the neoepitopes that make cancers immunogenic. Here, we introduce two novel tools that identify, with relatively high accuracy, the small proportion of neoepitopes (among the hundreds of potential neoepitopes) that protect the host through an antitumor T cell response. The two tools consist of (a) the numerical difference in NetMHC scores between the mutated sequences and their unmutated counterparts, termed the differential agretopic index, and (b) the conformational stability of the MHC I-peptide interaction. Mechanistically, these tools identify neoepitopes that are mutated to create new anchor residues for MHC binding, and render the overall peptide more rigid. Surprisingly, the protective neoepitopes identified here elicit CD8-dependent immunity, even though their affinity for K(d) is orders of magnitude lower than the 500-nM threshold considered reasonable for such interactions. These results greatly expand the universe of target cancer antigens and identify new tools for human cancer immunotherapy.

Fayngerts SA, Wu J, Oxley CL, et al.
TIPE3 is the transfer protein of lipid second messengers that promote cancer.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(4):465-78 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 13/10/2015 Related Publications
More than half of human cancers have aberrantly upregulated phosphoinositide signals; yet how phospholipid signals are controlled during tumorigenesis is not fully understood. We report here that TIPE3 (TNFAIP8L3) is the transfer protein of phosphoinositide second messengers that promote cancer. High-resolution crystal structure of TIPE3 shows a large hydrophobic cavity that is occupied by a phospholipid-like molecule. TIPE3 preferentially captures and shuttles two lipid second messengers, i.e., phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate, and increases their levels in the plasma membrane. Notably, human cancers have markedly upregulated TIPE3 expression. Knocking out TIPE3 diminishes tumorigenesis, whereas enforced TIPE3 expression enhances it in vivo. Thus, the function and metabolism of phosphoinositide second messengers are controlled by a specific transfer protein during tumorigenesis.

Chakrabarti R, Wei Y, Hwang J, et al.
ΔNp63 promotes stem cell activity in mammary gland development and basal-like breast cancer by enhancing Fzd7 expression and Wnt signalling.
Nat Cell Biol. 2014; 16(10):1004-15, 1-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
Emerging evidence suggests that cancer is populated and maintained by tumour-initiating cells (TICs) with stem-like properties similar to those of adult tissue stem cells. Despite recent advances, the molecular regulatory mechanisms that may be shared between normal and malignant stem cells remain poorly understood. Here we show that the ΔNp63 isoform of the Trp63 transcription factor promotes normal mammary stem cell (MaSC) activity by increasing the expression of the Wnt receptor Fzd7, thereby enhancing Wnt signalling. Importantly, Fzd7-dependent enhancement of Wnt signalling by ΔNp63 also governs tumour-initiating activity of the basal subtype of breast cancer. These findings establish ΔNp63 as a key regulator of stem cells in both normal and malignant mammary tissues and provide direct evidence that breast cancer TICs and normal MaSCs share common regulatory mechanisms.

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