Gene Summary

Gene:PTHLH; parathyroid hormone-like hormone
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the parathyroid hormone family. This hormone, via its receptor, PTHR1, regulates endochondral bone development and epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during the formation of the mammary glands and teeth. It is responsible for most cases of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy, and mutations in this gene are associated with brachydactyly type E2 (BDE2). Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene. There is also evidence for alternative translation initiation from non-AUG (CUG and GUG) start sites, downstream of the initiator AUG codon, resulting in nuclear forms of this hormone. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:parathyroid hormone-related protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 17 March, 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: PTHLH (cancer-related)

Johnson RW, Merkel AR, Page JM, et al.
Wnt signaling induces gene expression of factors associated with bone destruction in lung and breast cancer.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2014; 31(8):945-59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is an important regulator of bone destruction in bone metastatic tumors. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) stimulates PTHrP production in part through the transcription factor Gli2, which is regulated independent of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in osteolytic cancer cells. However, inhibition of TGF-β in vivo does not fully inhibit tumor growth in bone or tumor-induced bone destruction, suggesting other pathways are involved. While Wnt signaling regulates Gli2 in development, the role of Wnt signaling in bone metastasis is unknown. Therefore, we investigated whether Wnt signaling regulates Gli2 expression in tumor cells that induce bone destruction. We report here that Wnt activation by β-catenin/T cell factor 4 (TCF4) over-expression or lithium chloride (LiCl) treatment increased Gli2 and PTHrP expression in osteolytic cancer cells. This was mediated through the TCF and Smad binding sites within the Gli2 promoter as determined by promoter mutation studies, suggesting cross-talk between TGF-β and Wnt signaling. Culture of tumor cells on substrates with bone-like rigidity increased Gli2 and PTHrP production, enhanced autocrine Wnt activity and led to an increase in the TCF/Wnt signaling reporter (TOPFlash), enriched β-catenin nuclear accumulation, and elevated Wnt-related genes by PCR-array. Stromal cells serve as an additional paracrine source of Wnt ligands and enhanced Gli2 and PTHrP mRNA levels in MDA-MB-231 and RWGT2 cells in vitro and promoted tumor-induced bone destruction in vivo in a β-catenin/Wnt3a-dependent mechanism. These data indicate that a combination of matrix rigidity and stromal-secreted factors stimulate Gli2 and PTHrP through Wnt signaling in osteolytic breast cancer cells, and there is significant cross-talk between the Wnt and TGF-β signaling pathways. This suggests that the Wnt signaling pathway may be a potential therapeutic target for inhibiting tumor cell response to the bone microenvironment and at the very least should be considered in clinical regimens targeting TGF-β signaling.

Huang DC, Yang XF, Ochietti B, et al.
Parathyroid hormone-related protein: potential therapeutic target for melanoma invasion and metastasis.
Endocrinology. 2014; 155(10):3739-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of PTHrP in the highly metastatic human melanoma disease is not known. This study investigates the mechanisms of action of this secreted factor through homozygous inactivation of the Pthrp gene in A375 human melanoma cells. In vitro, Pthrp-ablated cells (knockout [KO]-A375, -/-) showed decreased motility and anchorage-independent growth, rounder morphology, and a significant reduction in invasion capacity compared with nonablated A375 cells (wild-type [WT]-A375, +/+). PTHrP peptide 1-34 and conditioned medium from WT-A375 cells partially restored the invasive phenotype in KO-A375. Pthrp ablation substantially decreased actin polymerization, matrix metallopeptidase 9 expression and focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation. In vivo, green fluorescent protein-transduced ablated and nonablated A375 cells were injected intracardially or sc into nude mice to study proliferation and multiorgan metastasis. Dissemination of injected Pthrp-ablated cells to lung and liver was reduced by 85% and 50%, respectively, compared with nonablated controls (120 hours after injection). The number of metastatic lesions and the percentage of animals with metastasis were markedly lower in mice injected with Pthrp-ablated A375, and 45% of these animals survived a 7-week period compared with 15% of mice injected with nonablated WT-A375. When mice injected with WT-A375 were treated with our blocking anti-PTHrP monoclonal antibody raised against the first 33 amino acids of human PTHrP, tumor size was decreased by more than 80% over 4 weeks and survival was significantly improved over 8 months. This study provides direct evidence of the major role for PTHrP in melanoma invasion and metastasis and suggests that agents that suppress PTHrP may be beneficial against melanoma progression.

Kir S, White JP, Kleiner S, et al.
Tumour-derived PTH-related protein triggers adipose tissue browning and cancer cachexia.
Nature. 2014; 513(7516):100-4 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Cachexia is a wasting disorder of adipose and skeletal muscle tissues that leads to profound weight loss and frailty. About half of all cancer patients suffer from cachexia, which impairs quality of life, limits cancer therapy and decreases survival. One key characteristic of cachexia is higher resting energy expenditure levels than in healthy individuals, which has been linked to greater thermogenesis by brown fat. How tumours induce brown fat activity is unknown. Here, using a Lewis lung carcinoma model of cancer cachexia, we show that tumour-derived parathyroid-hormone-related protein (PTHrP) has an important role in wasting, through driving the expression of genes involved in thermogenesis in adipose tissues. Neutralization of PTHrP in tumour-bearing mice blocked adipose tissue browning and the loss of muscle mass and strength. Our results demonstrate that PTHrP mediates energy wasting in fat tissues and contributes to the broader aspects of cancer cachexia. Thus, neutralization of PTHrP might hold promise for ameliorating cancer cachexia and improving patient survival.

Tanaka M, Yamazaki Y, Kanno Y, et al.
Ewing's sarcoma precursors are highly enriched in embryonic osteochondrogenic progenitors.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(7):3061-74 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Ewing's sarcoma is a highly malignant bone tumor found in children and adolescents, and the origin of this malignancy is not well understood. Here, we introduced a Ewing's sarcoma-associated genetic fusion of the genes encoding the RNA-binding protein EWS and the transcription factor ETS (EWS-ETS) into a fraction of cells enriched for osteochondrogenic progenitors derived from the embryonic superficial zone (eSZ) of long bones collected from late gestational murine embryos. EWS-ETS fusions efficiently induced Ewing's sarcoma-like small round cell sarcoma formation by these cells. Analysis of the eSZ revealed a fraction of a precursor cells that express growth/differentiation factor 5 (Gdf5), the transcription factor Erg, and parathyroid hormone-like hormone (Pthlh), and selection of the Pthlh-positive fraction alone further enhanced EWS-ETS-dependent tumor induction. Genes downstream of the EWS-ETS fusion protein were quite transcriptionally active in eSZ cells, especially in regions in which the chromatin structure of the ETS-responsive locus was open. Inhibition of β-catenin, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), or enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) suppressed cell growth in a murine model of Ewing's sarcoma, suggesting the utility of the current system as a preclinical model. These results indicate that eSZ cells are highly enriched in precursors to Ewing's sarcoma and provide clues to the histogenesis of Ewing's sarcoma in bone.

Yan Z, Jin S, Wei Z, et al.
Discoidin domain receptor 2 facilitates prostate cancer bone metastasis via regulating parathyroid hormone-related protein.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1842(9):1350-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer frequently metastasizes to the skeleton but the underlying mechanism remains largely undefined. Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is a member of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family and is activated by collagen binding. This study aimed to investigate the function and detailed mechanism of DDR2 in prostate cancer bone dissemination. Herein we found that DDR2 was strongly expressed in bone-metastatic prostate cancer cells and tissues compared to that in normal controls. Enhanced expression of constitutively activated DDR2 led to elevation in motility and invasiveness of prostate cancer cells, whereas knockdown of DDR2 through specific shRNA caused a dramatic repression. Knockdown of DDR2 in prostate cancer cells resulted in significant decrease in the proliferation, differentiation and function of osteoblast. Over-expression of DDR2 in prostate cancer cells resulted in notable acceleration of osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption, whereas knockdown of DDR2 exhibited the opposite effects. An intrabone injection bone metastasis animal model demonstrated that DDR2 promoted osteolytic metastasis in vivo. Molecular evidence demonstrated that DDR2 regulated the expression, secretion, and promoter activity of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), via modulating Runx2 phosphorylation and transactivity. DDR2 was responsive to TGF-β and involved in TGF-β-mediated osteoclast activation and bone resorption. In addition, DDR2 facilitated prostate cancer cells adhere to type I collagen. This study reveals for the first time that DDR2 plays an essential role in prostate cancer bone metastasis. The mechanism disclosure may provide therapeutic targets for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Wang Y, Lei R, Zhuang X, et al.
DLC1-dependent parathyroid hormone-like hormone inhibition suppresses breast cancer bone metastasis.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(4):1646-59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Bone metastasis is a frequent complication of breast cancer that is often accelerated by TGF-β signaling; however, little is known about how the TGF-β pathway is regulated during bone metastasis. Here we report that deleted in liver cancer 1 (DLC1) is an important regulator of TGF-β responses and osteolytic metastasis of breast cancer cells. In murine models, breast cancer cells lacking DLC1 expression exhibited enhanced capabilities of bone metastasis. Knockdown of DLC1 in cancer cells promoted bone metastasis, leading to manifested osteolysis and accelerated death in mice, while DLC1 overexpression suppressed bone metastasis. Activation of Rho-ROCK signaling in the absence of DLC1 mediated SMAD3 linker region phosphorylation and TGF-β-induced expression of parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH), leading to osteoclast maturation for osteolytic colonization. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of Rho-ROCK effectively reduced PTHLH production and breast cancer bone metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Evaluation of clinical breast tumor samples revealed that reduced DLC1 expression was linked to elevated PTHLH expression and organ-specific metastasis to bone. Overall, our findings define a stroma-dependent paradigm of Rho signaling in cancer and implicate Rho-TGF-β crosstalk in osteolytic bone metastasis.

Satcher RL, Pan T, Cheng CJ, et al.
Cadherin-11 in renal cell carcinoma bone metastasis.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e89880 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Bone is one of the common sites of metastases from renal cell carcinoma (RCC), however the mechanism by which RCC preferentially metastasize to bone is poorly understood. Homing/retention of RCC cells to bone and subsequent proliferation are necessary steps for RCC cells to colonize bone. To explore possible mechanisms by which these processes occur, we used an in vivo metastasis model in which 786-O RCC cells were injected into SCID mice intracardially, and organotropic cell lines from bone, liver, and lymph node were selected. The expression of molecules affecting cell adhesion, angiogenesis, and osteolysis were then examined in these selected cells. Cadherin-11, a mesenchymal cadherin mainly expressed in osteoblasts, was significantly increased on the cell surface in bone metastasis-derived 786-O cells (Bo-786-O) compared to parental, liver, or lymph node-derived cells. In contrast, the homing receptor CXCR4 was equivalently expressed in cells derived from all organs. No significant difference was observed in the expression of angiogenic factors, including HIF-1α, VEGF, angiopoeitin-1, Tie2, c-MET, and osteolytic factors, including PTHrP, IL-6 and RANKL. While the parental and Bo-786-O cells have similar proliferation rates, Bo-786-O cells showed an increase in migration compared to the parental 786-O cells. Knockdown of Cadherin-11 using shRNA reduced the rate of migration in Bo-786-O cells, suggesting that Cadherin-11 contributes to the increased migration observed in bone-derived cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of cadherin-11 expression in a human renal carcinoma tissue array showed that the number of human specimens with positive cadherin-11 activity was significantly higher in tumors that metastasized to bone than that in primary tumors. Together, these results suggest that Cadherin-11 may play a role in RCC bone metastasis.

Ongkeko WM, Burton D, Kiang A, et al.
Parathyroid hormone related-protein promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in prostate cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85803 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) possesses a variety of physiological and developmental functions and is also known to facilitate the progression of many common cancers, notably their skeletal invasion, primarily by increasing bone resorption. The purpose of this study was to determine whether PTHrP could promote epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process implicated in cancer stem cells that is critically involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. EMT was observed in DU 145 prostate cancer cells stably overexpressing either the 1-141 or 1-173 isoform of PTHrP, where there was upregulation of Snail and vimentin and downregulation of E-cadherin relative to parental DU 145. By contrast, the opposite effect was observed in PC-3 prostate cancer cells where high levels of PTHrP were knocked-down via lentiviral siRNA transduction. Increased tumor progression was observed in PTHrP-overexpressing DU 145 cells while decreased progression was observed in PTHrP-knockdown PC-3 cells. PTHrP-overexpressing DU 145 formed larger tumors when implanted orthoptopically into nude mice and in one case resulted in spinal metastasis, an effect not observed among mice injected with parental DU 145 cells. PTHrP-overexpressing DU 145 cells also caused significant bone destruction when injected into the tibiae of nude mice, while parental DU 145 cells caused little to no destruction of bone. Together, these results suggest that PTHrP may work through EMT to promote an aggressive and metastatic phenotype in prostate cancer, a pathway of importance in cancer stem cells. Thus, continued efforts to elucidate the pathways involved in PTHrP-induced EMT as well as to develop ways to specifically target PTHrP signaling may lead to more effective therapies for prostate cancer.

Samuel AM, Costa J, Lindskog DM
Genetic alterations in chondrosarcomas - keys to targeted therapies?
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2014; 37(2):95-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chondrosarcomas are malignant tumors of chondrocytes and represent the second most common type of primary bone tumors. Within the context of normal chondrogenesis, this review summarizes results from recent research outlining the key molecular changes that occur during the development of this sarcoma type.
RESULTS: Current data support the notion that a two-hit scenario, common to many tumors, also underlies chondrosarcoma formation. First, early-stage mutations alter the normal proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes, thereby predisposing them to malignant transformation. These early-stage mutations, found in both benign cartilaginous lesions and chondrosarcomas, include alterations affecting the IHH/PTHrP and IDH1/IDH2 pathways. As they are not observed in malignant cells, mutations in the EXT1 and EXT2 genes are considered early-stage events providing an environment that alters IHH/PTHrP signaling, thereby inducing mutations in adjacent cells. Due to normal cell cycle control that remains active, a low rate of malignant transformation is seen in benign cartilaginous lesions with early-stage mutations. In contrast, late-stage mutations, seen in most malignant chondrosarcomas, appear to induce malignant transformation as they are not found in benign cartilaginous lesions. These late-stage mutations primarily involve cell cycle pathway regulators including p53 and pRB, two genes that are also known to be implicated in numerous other human tumor types.
CONCLUSIONS: Now the key genetic alterations involved in both early and late stages of chondrosarcoma development have been identified, focus should be shifted to the identification of druggable molecular targets for the design of novel chondrosarcoma-specific therapies.

Prasad NB, Fischer AC, Chuang AY, et al.
Differential expression of degradome components in cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas.
Mod Pathol. 2014; 27(7):945-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Although the cure rate for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is high, the diverse spectrum of squamous cell carcinoma has made it difficult for early diagnosis, particularly the aggressive tumors that are highly associated with mortality. Therefore, molecular markers are needed as an adjunct to current staging methods for diagnosing high-risk lesions, and stratifying those patients with aggressive tumors. To identify such biomarkers, we have examined a comprehensive set of 200 histologically defined squamous cell carcinoma and normal skin samples by using a combination of microarray, QRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry analyses. A characteristic and distinguishable profile including matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) as well as other degradome components was differentially expressed in squamous cell carcinoma compared with normal skin samples. The expression levels of some of these genes including matrix metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1), matrix metallopeptidase 10 (MMP10), parathyroid hormone-like hormone (PTHLH), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A), A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 1 (ADAMTS1), FBJ osteosarcoma oncogene (FOS), interleukin 6 (IL6) and reversion-inducing-cysteine-rich protein with kazal motifs (RECK) were significantly differentially expressed (P≤0.02) in squamous cell carcinoma compared with normal skin. Furthermore, based on receiver operating characteristic analyses, the mRNA and protein levels of MMP1 are significantly higher in aggressive tumors compared with non-aggressive tumors. Given that MMPs represent the most prominent family of proteinases associated with tumorigenesis, we believe that they may have an important role in modulating the tumor microenvironment of squamous cell carcinoma.

Ferguson BW, Gao X, Zelazowski MJ, et al.
The cancer gene WWOX behaves as an inhibitor of SMAD3 transcriptional activity via direct binding.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:593 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The WW domain containing protein WWOX has been postulated to behave as a tumor suppressor in breast and other cancers. Expression of this protein is lost in over 70% of ER negative tumors. This prompted us to investigate the phenotypic and gene expression effects of loss of WWOX expression in breast cells.
METHODS: Gene expression microarrays and standard in vitro assays were performed on stably silenced WWOX (shRNA) normal breast cells. Bioinformatic analyses were used to identify gene networks and transcriptional regulators affected by WWOX silencing. Co-immunoprecipitations and GST-pulldowns were used to demonstrate a direct interaction between WWOX and SMAD3. Reporter assays, ChIP, confocal microscopy and in silico analyses were employed to determine the effect of WWOX silencing on TGFβ-signaling.
RESULTS: WWOX silencing affected cell proliferation, motility, attachment and deregulated expression of genes involved in cell cycle, motility and DNA damage. Interestingly, we detected an enrichment of targets activated by the SMAD3 transcription factor, including significant upregulation of ANGPTL4, FST, PTHLH and SERPINE1 transcripts. Importantly, we demonstrate that the WWOX protein physically interacts with SMAD3 via WW domain 1. Furthermore, WWOX expression dramatically decreases SMAD3 occupancy at the ANGPTL4 and SERPINE1 promoters and significantly quenches activation of a TGFβ responsive reporter. Additionally, WWOX expression leads to redistribution of SMAD3 from the nuclear to the cytoplasmic compartment. Since the TGFβ target ANGPTL4 plays a key role in lung metastasis development, we performed a meta-analysis of ANGPTL4 expression relative to WWOX in microarray datasets from breast carcinomas. We observed a significant inverse correlation between WWOX and ANGPTL4. Furthermore, the WWOX(lo)/ANGPTL4(hi) cluster of breast tumors is enriched in triple-negative and basal-like sub-types. Tumors with this gene expression signature could represent candidates for anti-TGFβ targeted therapies.
CONCLUSIONS: We show for the first time that WWOX modulates SMAD3 signaling in breast cells via direct WW-domain mediated binding and potential cytoplasmic sequestration of SMAD3 protein. Since loss of WWOX expression increases with breast cancer progression and it behaves as an inhibitor of SMAD3 transcriptional activity these observations may help explain, at least in part, the paradoxical pro-tumorigenic effects of TGFβ signaling in advanced breast cancer.

Suwa H, Hirano M, Kawarada K, et al.
Pthlh, a promising cancer modifier gene in rat tongue carcinogenesis.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(1):3-12 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Susceptibly to the induction of rat tongue cancer (TC) by oral 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4NQO) exposure is a polygenic trait. Among several quantitative trait loci identified by crosses between TC-susceptible Dark Agouti (DA) rats and TC-resistant Wistar-Furth (WF) rats, we focused on tongue cancer susceptibility locus (Tcas3) of chromosome 4. We examined tongue carcinogenesis in the reciprocal congenic strains DA.WF-Tcas3 and WF.DA-Tcas3 and in their parental strains. The Tcas3DA allele, and not the Tcas3WF allele, significantly favored tumor latency, incidence and TC number/size. In genomic DNA of TCs induced in (DA x WF) F1 rats, the resistant Tcas3WF allele was frequently and selectively lost, particularly in larger tumors. Thus, we searched the possible candidate genes in the Tcas3 region using microarray analysis of TCs in F1 rats and revealed significant upregulation of 2 cancer-related genes, parathyroid hormone-like hormone (Pthlh) and Kras2. The relevance of the WF allele of Pthlh as a cancer modifier was indicated by 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms specific to this strain. In contrast, no consistent strain-specific variations were found in Kras2. Moreover, the plasma Ca2+ level was consistently higher in DA rats when compared to the level in WF rats bearing TCs; moreover, the Pthlh-mRNA expression level was >30-fold higher in TCs when compared to this level in the normal tongue mucosa. Immunostaining experiments showed strong PTHrP protein expression in TCs of DA rats, and the signal was intensified in larger TCs. Kras2 was also upregulated in TCs, but to a lesser degree than PTHrP. Thus, Pthlh is a promising candidate modifier gene in the development and progression of rat TCs.

Luis-Ravelo D, Antón I, Zandueta C, et al.
A gene signature of bone metastatic colonization sensitizes for tumor-induced osteolysis and predicts survival in lung cancer.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(43):5090-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma (AC) is a frequent complication of advanced disease. The purpose of this study was to identify key mediators conferring robust prometastatic activity with clinical significance. We isolated highly metastatic subpopulations (HMS) using a previously described in vivo model of lung AC bone metastasis. We performed transcriptomic profiling of HMS and stringent bioinformatics filtering. Functional validation was assessed by overexpression and lentiviral silencing of single, double and triple combination in vivo and in vitro. We identified HDAC4, PITX1 and ROBO1 that decreased bone metastatic ability after their simultaneous abrogation. These effects were solely linked to defects in osseous colonization. The molecular mechanisms related to bone colonization were mediated by non-cell autonomous effects that include the following: (1) a marked decrease in osteoclastogenic activity in vitro and in vivo, an effect associated with reduced pro-osteoclastogenic cytokines IL-11 and PTHrP expression levels, as well as decreased in vitro expression of stromal rankl in conditions mimicking tumor-stromal interactions; (2) an abrogated response to TGF-β signaling by decreased phosphorylation and levels of Smad2/3 in tumor cells and (3) an impaired metalloproteolytic activity in vitro. Interestingly, coexpression of HDAC4 and PITX1 conferred high prometastatic activity in vivo. Further, levels of both genes correlated with patients at higher risk of metastasis in a clinical lung AC data set and with a poorer clinical outcome. These findings provide functional and clinical evidence that this metastatic subset is an important determinant of osseous colonization. These data suggest novel therapeutic targets to effectively block lung AC bone metastasis.

Zheng L, Zhu K, Jiao H, et al.
PTHrP expression in human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells is critical for tumor growth and survival and osteoblast inhibition.
Int J Biol Sci. 2013; 9(8):830-41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
This study examined the effects of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) derived from human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells on the tumor growth and osteoblast inhibition. Results revealed that knocking down PTHrP expression in the breast cancer cells strikingly inhibited the formation of subcutaneous tumors in nude mice. PTHrP knockdown dramatically decreased the levels of cyclins D1 and A1 proteins and arrested the cell cycle progression at the G1 stage. PTHrP knockdown led to the cleavage of Caspase 8 and induced apoptosis of the tumor cells. Interestingly, knocking down PTHrP increased the levels of Beclin1 and LC3-II and promoted the formation of autophagosomes. Knocking down PTHrP expression significantly reduced the abilities of the breast cancer cells to inhibit osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we found that PTHrP activated its own expression through an autocrine mechanism in MDA-MB-231 cells. Collectively, these studies suggest that targeting PTHrP expression in the tumor cells could be a potential therapeutic strategy for breast cancers, especially those with skeletal metastases.

Yang W, Wang J, Moore DC, et al.
Ptpn11 deletion in a novel progenitor causes metachondromatosis by inducing hedgehog signalling.
Nature. 2013; 499(7459):491-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The tyrosine phosphatase SHP2, encoded by PTPN11, is required for the survival, proliferation and differentiation of various cell types. Germline activating mutations in PTPN11 cause Noonan syndrome, whereas somatic PTPN11 mutations cause childhood myeloproliferative disease and contribute to some solid tumours. Recently, heterozygous inactivating mutations in PTPN11 were found in metachondromatosis, a rare inherited disorder featuring multiple exostoses, enchondromas, joint destruction and bony deformities. The detailed pathogenesis of this disorder has remained unclear. Here we use a conditional knockout (floxed) Ptpn11 allele (Ptpn11(fl)) and Cre recombinase transgenic mice to delete Ptpn11 specifically in monocytes, macrophages and osteoclasts (lysozyme M-Cre; LysMCre) or in cathepsin K (Ctsk)-expressing cells, previously thought to be osteoclasts. LysMCre;Ptpn11(fl/fl) mice had mild osteopetrosis. Notably, however, CtskCre;Ptpn11(fl/fl) mice developed features very similar to metachondromatosis. Lineage tracing revealed a novel population of CtskCre-expressing cells in the perichondrial groove of Ranvier that display markers and functional properties consistent with mesenchymal progenitors. Chondroid neoplasms arise from these cells and show decreased extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway activation, increased Indian hedgehog (Ihh) and parathyroid hormone-related protein (Pthrp, also known as Pthlh) expression and excessive proliferation. Shp2-deficient chondroprogenitors had decreased fibroblast growth factor-evoked ERK activation and enhanced Ihh and Pthrp expression, whereas fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor treatment of chondroid cells increased Ihh and Pthrp expression. Importantly, smoothened inhibitor treatment ameliorated metachondromatosis features in CtskCre;Ptpn11(fl/fl) mice. Thus, in contrast to its pro-oncogenic role in haematopoietic and epithelial cells, Ptpn11 is a tumour suppressor in cartilage, acting through a FGFR/MEK/ERK-dependent pathway in a novel progenitor cell population to prevent excessive Ihh production.

Cafforio P, Savonarola A, Stucci S, et al.
PTHrP produced by myeloma plasma cells regulates their survival and pro-osteoclast activity for bone disease progression.
J Bone Miner Res. 2014; 29(1):55-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
To promote their survival and progression in the skeleton, osteotropic malignancies of breast, lung, and prostate produce parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which induces hypercalcemia. PTHrP serum elevations have also been described in multiple myeloma (MM), although their role is not well defined. When we investigated MM cells from patients and cell lines, we found that PTHrP and its receptor (PTH-R1) are highly expressed, and that PTHrP is secreted both as a full-length molecule and as small subunits. Among these subunits, the mid-region, including the nuclear localization sequence (NLS), exerted a proliferative effect because it was accumulated in nuclei of MM cells surviving in starvation conditions. This was confirmed by increased transcription of several genes enrolled in proliferation and apoptosis control. PTHrP was also found to stimulate PTH-R1 in MM cells. PTH-R1's selective activation by the full-length PTHrP molecule or the NH2 -terminal fragment resulted in a significant increase of intracellular Ca(2+) influx, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) content, and expression of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Our data definitely clarify the role of PTHrP in MM. The PTHrP peptide is functionally secreted by malignant plasma cells and contributes to MM tumor biology and progression, both by intracrine maintenance of cell proliferation in stress conditions and by autocrine or paracrine stimulation of PTH-R1, which in turn reinforces the production of osteoclastogenic factors. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Zhang H, Yu C, Dai J, et al.
Parathyroid hormone-related protein inhibits DKK1 expression through c-Jun-mediated inhibition of β-catenin activation of the DKK1 promoter in prostate cancer.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(19):2464-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa)bone metastases are unique in that majority of them induce excessive mineralized bone matrix, through undefined mechanisms, as opposed to most other cancers that induce bone resorption. Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is produced by PCa cells and intermittent PTHrP exposure has bone anabolic effects, suggesting that PTHrP could contribute to the excess bone mineralization. Wnts are bone-productive factors produced by PCa cells, and the Wnt inhibitor Dickkopfs-1 (DKK1) has been shown to promote PCa progression. These findings, in conjunction with the observation that PTHrP expression increases and DKK1 expression decreases as PCa progresses, led to the hypothesis that PTHrP could be a negative regulator of DKK1 expression in PCa cells and, hence, allow the osteoblastic activity of Wnts to be realized. To test this, we first demonstrated that PTHrP downregulated DKK1 mRNA and protein expression. We then found through multiple mutated DKK1 promoter assays that PTHrP, through c-Jun activation, downregulated the DKK1 promoter through a transcription factor (TCF) response element site. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and re-ChIP assays revealed that PTHrP mediated this effect through inducing c-Jun to bind to a transcriptional activator complex consisting of β-catenin, which binds the most proximal DKK1 promoter, the TCF response element. Together, these results demonstrate a novel signaling linkage between PTHrP and Wnt signaling pathways that results in downregulation of a Wnt inhibitor allowing for Wnt activity that could contribute the osteoblastic nature of PCa.

Jun AY, Kim HJ, Park KK, et al.
Tetrahydrofurofuran-type lignans inhibit breast cancer-mediated bone destruction by blocking the vicious cycle between cancer cells, osteoblasts and osteoclasts.
Invest New Drugs. 2014; 32(1):1-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer frequently spreads to bone. The interaction between bone metastases and microenvironment, referred as the "vicious cycle", increases both tumor burden and bone destruction. Therefore, inhibition at any point in this "vicious cycle" can reduce malignant osteolytic lesions in patients with advanced breast cancer. In this study, we evaluated whether tetrahydrofurofuran-type lignans derived from Magnoliae Flos, commonly used in traditional Asian medicine to treat inflammatory diseases, could block breast cancer-mediated bone loss. Aschatin, fargesin, lirioresinol B dimethyl ether, and magnolin at noncytotoxic concentrations suppressed mRNA expression and secretion of osteolytic factor PTHrP in MDA-MB-231 metastatic human breast cancer cells. Fargesin inhibited TGF-β-stimulated cell viability, migration, and invasion and decreased TGF-β-induced PTHrP production in MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, these lignans reduced RANKL/OPG ratio in PTHrP-treated hFOB1.19 human osteoblastic cells and inhibited RANKL-mediated osteoclast differentiation in mouse bone marrow macrophages. Aschatin, fargesin, lirioresinol B dimethyl ether, and magnolin substantially reduced bone-resorbing activity of osteoclasts by inhibiting MMP-9 and cathepsin K activities. Furthermore, orally administered fargesin inhibited tumor growth and cancer-mediated bone destruction in mice with MDA-MB-231 cells injected into calvarial tissues. Aschatin, fargesin, lirioresinol B dimethyl ether, and magnolin blocked initiation and progression of the "vicious cycle" between breast cancer metastases and bone microenvironment by inhibiting PTHrP production in breast cancer cells and osteoclastic bone resorption. Therefore, these tetrahydrofurofuran-type lignans have the potential to serve as beneficial agents to prevent and treat cancer-induced bone destruction in breast cancer patients.

Bellon M, Ko NL, Lee MJ, et al.
Adult T-cell leukemia cells overexpress Wnt5a and promote osteoclast differentiation.
Blood. 2013; 121(25):5045-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is etiologically linked to infection with the human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-I). ATL is classified into 4 distinct clinical diseases: acute, lymphoma, chronic, and smoldering. Acute ATL is the most aggressive form, representing 60% of cases and has a 4-year survival of < 5%. A frequent complication and cause of death in acute ATL patients is the presence of lytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia. We analyzed the Wnt/β-catenin pathway because of its common role in cancer and bone remodeling. Our study demonstrated that ATL cells do not express high levels of β-catenin but displayed high levels of LEF-1/TCF genes along with elevated levels of β-catenin (LEF-1/TCF target genes) responsive genes. By profiling Wnt gene expression, we discovered that ATL patient leukemia cells shifted expression toward the noncanonical Wnt pathway. Interestingly, ATL cells overexpressed the osteolytic-associated genes-Wnt5a, PTHLH, and RANKL. We further show that Wnt5a secreted by ATL cells favors osteoclast differentiation and expression of RANK. Our results suggest that Wnt5a is a major contributing factor to the increase in osteolytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia found in ATL patients. Anti-Wnt5a therapy may prevent or reduce osteolytic lesions found in ATL patients and improve therapy outcome.

Trivedi S, Mattos J, Gooding W, et al.
Correlation of tumor marker expression with nodal disease burden in metastatic head and neck cancer.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013; 149(2):261-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the correlation between the percentage of metastatic tumor present in lymph nodes resected from patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) and level of expression of 3 marker genes: pemphigus vulgaris antigen (PVA), parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP), and tumor-associated calcium signal transducer 1 (TACSTD1). In addition, we investigated whether the level of expression of these 3 markers was associated with clinical outcomes for patients with HNSCC.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of previously harvested patient samples.
SETTING: The University of Pittsburgh.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 448 lymph nodes from 92 patients with HNSCC were evaluated for expression of the gene markers PVA, PTHrP, and TACSTD1 using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Confirmation of metastasis was determined by histologic examination. The expression level of these markers versus tumor percentage was analyzed.
RESULTS: All 3 markers were studied independently and were associated with tumor percentage in metastatic lymph nodes. PVA had the strongest correlation, followed by PTHrP and then TACSTD1. PVA levels had a trend toward association with clinical outcome, specifically time to death caused by cancer, but this was confounded by tumor stage.
CONCLUSION: All 3 tumor gene markers were associated with percentage of tumor cells in metastatic lymph nodes. PVA had the strongest correlation. PVA may add prognostic utility beyond pathologic staging, but this requires analysis of a larger cohort. Prospective studies of tumor volume in metastatic nodes should determine a lower limit threshold of molecular marker detection.

Colloton M, Shatzen E, Wiemann B, et al.
Cinacalcet attenuates hypercalcemia observed in mice bearing either Rice H-500 Leydig cell or C26-DCT colon tumors.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2013; 712(1-3):8-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) by tumors stimulates bone resorption and increases renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, resulting in hypercalcemia of malignancy. We investigated the ability of cinacalcet, an allosteric modulator of the calcium-sensing receptor, to attenuate hypercalcemia by assessing its effects on blood ionized calcium, serum PTHrP, and calcium-sensing receptor mRNA in mice bearing either Rice H-500 Leydig cell or C26-DCT colon tumors. Cinacalcet effectively decreased hypercalcemia in a dose- and enantiomer-dependent manner; furthermore, cinacalcet normalized phosphorus levels, but did not affect serum PTHrP. Ribonuclease protection assay results demonstrated presence of PTHrP receptor, but not calcium-sensing receptor mRNA in C26-DCT tumors. The mechanism by which cinacalcet lowered serum calcium was investigated in parathyroidectomized rats (i.e., without PTH) made hypercalcemic by PTHrP. Cinacalcet attenuated PTHrP-mediated elevations in blood ionized calcium, which were accompanied by increased plasma calcitonin. Taken together these results suggest that the cinacalcet-mediated decrease in serum calcium is not the result of a direct effect on tumor cells, but rather is the result of increased calcitonin release. In summary, cinacalcet effectively reduced tumor-mediated hypercalcemia and corrected hypophosphatemia in mice. Further investigation of cinacalcet for treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy is warranted.

Nagamine K, Kitamura T, Yanagawa-Matsuda A, et al.
Expression of parathyroid hormone-related protein confers malignant potential to mucoepidermoid carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 29(6):2114-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is known to induce bone resorption by activating RANKL as well as PTH. PTHrP plays a central role in humoral hypercalcemia, and its expression has been reported to be closely associated with bone metastasis of breast carcinoma. PTHrP expression in oral squamous carcinoma cell lines was investigated, and PTHrP was expressed in oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines similar to that in a prostate carcinoma cell line. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common malignant salivary gland tumor composed of different types of cells including a squamous component. Its clinical behavior is highly variable and ranges from slow-growing and indolent to locally aggressive and highly metastatic. We examined the PTHrP expression in mucoepidermoid carcinoma and assessed the significance of its correlation with clinicopathological features. Immunohistochemical detection of PTHrP was carried out in 21 cases of mucoepidermoid carcinoma in the head and neck region. PTHrP was highly detectable in intermediate and epidermoid cells, and abundant expression of PTHrP in intermediate cells had a significant association with cancer malignancy, including lymph node metastasis and/or tumor recurrence. These results suggest that PTHrP expression can be used as a prognostic factor for mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

Jin R, Sterling JA, Edwards JR, et al.
Activation of NF-kappa B signaling promotes growth of prostate cancer cells in bone.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e60983 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Patients with advanced prostate cancer almost invariably develop osseous metastasis. Although many studies indicate that the activation of NF-κB signaling appears to be correlated with advanced cancer and promotes tumor metastasis by influencing tumor cell migration and angiogenesis, the influence of altered NF-κB signaling in prostate cancer cells within boney metastatic lesions is not clearly understood. While C4-2B and PC3 prostate cancer cells grow well in the bone, LNCaP cells are difficult to grow in murine bone following intraskeletal injection. Our studies show that when compared to LNCaP, NF-κB activity is significantly higher in C4-2B and PC3, and that the activation of NF-κB signaling in prostate cancer cells resulted in the increased expression of the osteoclast inducing genes PTHrP and RANKL. Further, conditioned medium derived from NF-κB activated LNCaP cells induce osteoclast differentiation. In addition, inactivation of NF-κB signaling in prostate cancer cells inhibited tumor formation in the bone, both in the osteolytic PC3 and osteoblastic/osteoclastic mixed C4-2B cells; while the activation of NF-κB signaling in LNCaP cells promoted tumor establishment and proliferation in the bone. The activation of NF-κB in LNCaP cells resulted in the formation of an osteoblastic/osteoclastic mixed tumor with increased osteoclasts surrounding the new formed bone, similar to metastases commonly seen in patients with prostate cancer. These results indicate that osteoclastic reaction is required even in the osteoblastic cancer cells and the activation of NF-κB signaling in prostate cancer cells increases osteoclastogenesis by up-regulating osteoclastogenic genes, thereby contributing to bone metastatic formation.

Lauriola L, Serini S, Granone P, et al.
Hu/elav RNA-binding protein HuR regulates parathyroid hormone related peptide expression in human lung adenocarcinoma cells.
Histol Histopathol. 2013; 28(9):1205-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
In 54 stage I and II human lung adenocarcinomas, HuR and PTHrP levels were positively correlated and the PTHrP-HuR status of the tumor was an independent prognostic marker of the clinical outcomes of patients. The possibility that HuR could upregulate PTHrP expression in lung adenocarcinoma was investigated by immunohistochemical, Western blot and RT-PCR analyses in HCC44 and DV90 human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. In both cell lines, knockdown of HuR by specific siRNAs reduced PTHrP mRNAs and both cellular and secreted protein. Moreover, it inhibited cell growth and induced cell apoptosis, as revealed by the increase of caspase-3 activity. These effects were partially rescued by the addition of exogenous PTHrP (1-34). Analysis by actinomycin D assay revealed that in both cell lines HuR silencing produced a decrease of PTHrP mRNA half-life by about 70%. These findings add PTHrP to the list of lung cancer-associated genes, whose mRNA is stabilized by HuR.

Gaudet MM, Kuchenbaecker KB, Vijai J, et al.
Identification of a BRCA2-specific modifier locus at 6p24 related to breast cancer risk.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(3):e1003173 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Common genetic variants contribute to the observed variation in breast cancer risk for BRCA2 mutation carriers; those known to date have all been found through population-based genome-wide association studies (GWAS). To comprehensively identify breast cancer risk modifying loci for BRCA2 mutation carriers, we conducted a deep replication of an ongoing GWAS discovery study. Using the ranked P-values of the breast cancer associations with the imputed genotype of 1.4 M SNPs, 19,029 SNPs were selected and designed for inclusion on a custom Illumina array that included a total of 211,155 SNPs as part of a multi-consortial project. DNA samples from 3,881 breast cancer affected and 4,330 unaffected BRCA2 mutation carriers from 47 studies belonging to the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 were genotyped and available for analysis. We replicated previously reported breast cancer susceptibility alleles in these BRCA2 mutation carriers and for several regions (including FGFR2, MAP3K1, CDKN2A/B, and PTHLH) identified SNPs that have stronger evidence of association than those previously published. We also identified a novel susceptibility allele at 6p24 that was inversely associated with risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers (rs9348512; per allele HR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.80-0.90, P = 3.9 × 10(-8)). This SNP was not associated with breast cancer risk either in the general population or in BRCA1 mutation carriers. The locus lies within a region containing TFAP2A, which encodes a transcriptional activation protein that interacts with several tumor suppressor genes. This report identifies the first breast cancer risk locus specific to a BRCA2 mutation background. This comprehensive update of novel and previously reported breast cancer susceptibility loci contributes to the establishment of a panel of SNPs that modify breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers. This panel may have clinical utility for women with BRCA2 mutations weighing options for medical prevention of breast cancer.

Cao Y, Zhang W, Gao X, et al.
PTHrP is a novel mediator for TGF-β-induced apoptosis.
Regul Pept. 2013; 184:40-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is a polyhormone secretory protein that plays fundamental roles in the development and function of various tissues. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is an important tumor suppressor that induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Increased PTHrP expression has been implicated in TGF-β-induced growth inhibition in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. However, whether PTHrP is involved in TGF-β-induced apoptosis remains unknown. Using Hep3B and HuH-7, two human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, the current study examined the hypothesis that TGF-β-induced apoptosis is mediated by the induction of PTHrP expression. We found that (1) TGF-β induces PTHrP mRNA expression, protein expression and secretion in a time-dependent fashion; (2) knockdown of PTHrP gene expression or neutralization of secreted PTHrP isoforms blocks TGF-β-induced apoptosis; and (3) TGF-β-induced PTHrP expression is Smad3-dependent. Thus, we have identified PTHrP as a novel mediator for TGF-β-induced apoptosis in Hep3B cells. Our findings provide further insights into the mechanisms through which TGF-β conveys tumor suppression activity.

Mak IW, Turcotte RE, Ghert M
Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) modulates adhesion, migration and invasion in bone tumor cells.
Bone. 2013; 55(1):198-207 [PubMed] Related Publications
Parathyroid-hormone-related protein (PTHrP) has been shown to be an important factor in osteolysis in the setting of metastatic carcinoma to the bone. However, PTHrP may also be central in the setting of primary bone tumors. Giant cell tumor of bone (GCT) is an aggressive osteolytic bone tumor characterized by osteoclast-like giant cells that are recruited by osteoblast-like stromal cells. The stromal cells of GCT are well established as the only neoplastic element of the tumor, and we have previously shown that PTHrP is highly expressed by these cells both in vitro and in vivo. We have also found that the stromal cells exposed to a monoclonal antibody to PTHrP exhibited rapid plate detachment and quickly died in vitro. Therefore, PTHrP may serve in an autocrine manner to increase cell proliferation and promote invasive properties in GCT. The purpose of this study was to use transcriptomic microarrays and functional assays to examine the effects of PTHrP neutralization on cell adhesion, migration and invasion. Microarray and proteomics data identified genes that were differentially expressed in GCT stromal cells under various PTHrP treatment conditions. Treatment of GCT stromal cells with anti-PTHrP antibodies showed a change in the expression of 13 genes from the integrin family relative to the IgG control. Neutralization of PTHrP reduced cell migration and invasion as evidenced by functional assays. Adhesion and anoikis assays demonstrated that although PTHrP neutralization inhibits cell adhesion properties, cell detachment related to PTHrP neutralization did not result in associated cell death, as expected in mesenchymal stromal cells. Based on the data presented herein, we conclude that PTHrP excreted by GCT stromal cells increases bone tumor cell local invasiveness and migration.

Kuo PL, Liao SH, Hung JY, et al.
MicroRNA-33a functions as a bone metastasis suppressor in lung cancer by targeting parathyroid hormone related protein.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1830(6):3756-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bone is a common site of metastasis for lung cancer, and is associated with significant morbidity and a dismal prognosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are increasingly implicated in regulating the progression of malignancies.
METHODS: The efficacy of miR-33a or anti-miR-33a plasmid was assessed by Real-time PCR. Luciferase assays were using One-Glo Luciferase Assay System. Measurement of secreted factors was determined by ELISA kit.
RESULTS: We have found that miR-33a, which is downregulated in lung cancer cells, directly targets PTHrP (parathyroid hormone-related protein), a potent stimulator of osteoclastic bone resorption, leading to decreased osteolytic bone metastasis. We also found that miR-33a levels are inversely correlated with PTHrP expression between human normal bronchial cell line and lung cancer cell lines. The reintroduction of miR-33a reduces the stimulatory effect of A549 on the production of osteoclastogenesis activator RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand) and M-CSF (macrophage colony-stimulating factor) on osteoblasts, while the expression of PTHrP is decreased in A549 cells. miR-33a overexpression also reduces the inhibitory activity of A549 on the production of OPG (osteoprotegerin), an osteoclastogenesis inhibitor. In addition, miR-33a-mediated PTHrP downregulation results in decreased IL-8 secretion in A549, which contributes to decreased lung cancer-mediated osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings have led us to conclude that miR-33a may be a potent tumor suppressor, which inhibits direct and indirect osteoclastogenesis through repression of PTHrP.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: miR-33a may even predict a poor prognosis for lung cancer patients.

Bretschi M, Cheng C, Witt H, et al.
Cilengitide affects tumor compartment, vascularization and microenvironment in experimental bone metastases as shown by longitudinal ¹⁸F-FDG PET and gene expression analysis.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2013; 139(4):573-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Aim of this study was to investigate the specific treatment effects of inhibiting αvβ3/αvβ5 integrins by cilengitide in an animal model of breast cancer bone metastases using dynamic (18)F-FDG PET and gene expression analysis.
METHODS: For this purpose, nude rats bearing bone metastases were treated with cilengitide, a small molecule inhibitor of αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins, from day 30 to 55 after tumor cell inoculation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (25 mg/kg, 5 days per week; n = 8 rats) and compared to control rats (n = 8). Dynamic (18)F-FDG PET data were assessed at days 30, 35 and 55 after tumor cell inoculation determining the vascular fraction VB and the metabolic variables k1-k4. At day 55, genome-wide mRNA expression analysis was performed to assess the treatment-specific expression changes from cilengitide-treated and control rats.
RESULTS: In a longitudinal (18)F-FDG PET study, the vascular fraction VB was significantly decreased in bone metastases between days 30/35, 30/55 and 35/55, whereas the kinetic parameters k1 and k4 were significantly decreased between days 30/55 in skeletal lesions of treated animals. Gene expression analysis from bone metastases at day 55 revealed that tumor-produced integrins (αvβ5) as well as factors relevant for angiogenesis (αvβ3, VEGF, PDGF), bone resorption (PTHrP and RANKL), extracellular matrix remodeling (collagen, CD44) and bone marrow microenvironment (CXCR4) were significantly reduced upon therapy with cilengitide.
CONCLUSIONS: Here, we provide evidence that cilengitide inhibits pivotal factors of all compartments of bone metastases including tumor cells, vasculature and bone microenvironment in vivo and by whole-genome transcriptome analysis.

Hauer K, Calzada-Wack J, Steiger K, et al.
DKK2 mediates osteolysis, invasiveness, and metastatic spread in Ewing sarcoma.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(2):967-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma, an osteolytic malignancy that mainly affects children and young adults, is characterized by early metastasis to lung and bone. In this study, we identified the pro-metastatic gene DKK2 as a highly overexpressed gene in Ewing sarcoma compared with corresponding normal tissues. Using RNA interference, we showed that DKK2 was critical for malignant cell outgrowth in vitro and in an orthotopic xenograft mouse model in vivo. Analysis of invasion potential in both settings revealed a strong correlation of DKK2 expression to Ewing sarcoma invasiveness that may be mediated by the DKK effector matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1). Furthermore, gene expression analyses established the ability of DKK2 to differentially regulate genes such as CXCR4, PTHrP, RUNX2, and TGFβ1 that are associated with homing, invasion, and growth of cancer cells in bone tissue as well as genes important for osteolysis, including HIF1α, JAG1, IL6, and VEGF. DKK2 promoted bone infiltration and osteolysis in vivo and further analyses defined DKK2 as a key factor in osteotropic malignancy. Interestingly, in Ewing sarcoma cells, DKK2 suppression simultaneously increased the potential for neuronal differentiation while decreasing chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation. Our results provide strong evidence that DKK2 is a key player in Ewing sarcoma invasion and osteolysis and also in the differential phenotype of Ewing sarcoma cells.

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