Gene Summary

Gene:SERPINC1; serpin peptidase inhibitor, clade C (antithrombin), member 1
Aliases: AT3, AT3D, ATIII, THPH7
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a plasma protease inhibitor and a member of the serpin superfamily. This protein inhibits thrombin as well as other activated serine proteases of the coagulation system, and it regulates the blood coagulation cascade. The protein includes two functional domains: the heparin binding-domain at the N-terminus of the mature protein, and the reactive site domain at the C-terminus. The inhibitory activity is enhanced by the presence of heparin. More than 120 mutations have been identified for this gene, many of which are known to cause antithrombin-III deficiency. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • Chromosome 1
  • Antithrombins
  • Hormones
  • Heterozygote
  • Adolescents
  • Up-Regulation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pedigree
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Protein S
  • Risk Factors
  • Age Factors
  • Ewing's Sarcoma
  • Apoptosis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Breast Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Protein C
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Factor V
  • Antithrombin III
  • Homologous Transplantat
  • Placebos
  • Tumor Markers
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Thrombophilia
  • Menopause
  • Fibrinogen
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)
  • Tamoxifen
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Treatment Refusal
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: SERPINC1 (cancer-related)

He X, Wang Y, Zhang W, et al.
Screening differential expression of serum proteins in AFP-negative HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma using iTRAQ -MALDI-MS/MS.
Neoplasma. 2014; 61(1):17-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma(HCC) is serious condition associated with a high morbidity and mortality. Therefore is an urgent need to develop novel noninvasive techniques for early diagnosis, particularly for patients with AFP-negative [AFP(-)] HCC. In this study, iTRAQ-MALDI-MS/MS was used to identify differentially expressed proteins in AFP(-) HBV-related HCC compared with non-cancerous hepatitis B virus (HBV) and healthy controls subjects.Serum was obtained from 18 patients with AFP(-) HBV-related HCC, 18 matched patients with HBV without HCC and 18 healthy control subjects. High abundance proteins were removed from serum and the differentially expressed proteins from the three groups were screened out using iTRAQ-MALDI-MS/MS. The Gene Ontology (GO) function and the interaction networks of differentially expressed proteins were then analyzed. A total of 24 expressed differential proteins associated with AFP(-) HBV-related HCC were screened out, 15 proteins were up-regulated and 9 down-regulated. The most common molecular function of the 24 differentially expressed proteins was enzyme inhibition. Interaction network of the 24 differentially expressed proteins showed that 14 proteins (C5, KNG1, FN1, LRG1, HRG, SERPINC1, CRP, APOB, SAA1, APCS, C4BPA, CFI, CFB and GSN) were central to the functional network. The expression levels of the GSN protein were down-regulated in AFP(-) HBV-related HCC subjects compared with healthy controls and the HBV group (p<0.01), consistent with the iTRAQ results.The 14 proteins from the serum of AFP(-) HBV-related HCC appeared at the fulcrum of the functional network and were differentially expressed compare to HBV and healthy controls suggesting a possible association with HCC progression.

Serrano D, Lazzeroni M, Gandini S, et al.
A randomized phase II presurgical trial of weekly low-dose tamoxifen versus raloxifene versus placebo in premenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2013; 15(3):R47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: We previously demonstrated that 1 or 5 mg per day of tamoxifen (T) given for four weeks before surgery reduces Ki-67 in breast cancer (BC) patients to the same extent as the standard 20 mg/d. Given the long half-life of T, a weekly dose (10 mg per week (w)) may be worth testing. Also, raloxifene (R) has shown Ki-67 reduction in postmenopausal patients in a preoperative setting, but data in premenopausal women are limited. We conducted a randomized trial testing T 10 mg/w vs. R 60 mg/d vs. placebo in a presurgical model.
METHODS: Out of 204 screened subjects, 57 were not eligible, 22 refused to participate and 125 were included in the study. The participants were all premenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive BC. They were randomly assigned to either T 10mg/w or R 60 mg/d or placebo for six weeks before surgery. The primary endpoint was tissue change of Ki-67. Secondary endpoints were modulation of estrogen and progesterone receptors and several other circulating biomarkers.
RESULTS: Ki-67 was not significantly modulated by either treatment. In contrast, both selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) significantly modulated circulating IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio, cholesterol, fibrinogen and antithrombin III. Estradiol was increased with both SERMs. Within the tamoxifen arm, CYP2D6 polymorphism analysis showed a higher concentration of N-desTamoxifen, one of the tamoxifen metabolites, in subjects with reduced CYP2D6 activity. Moreover, a reduction of Ki-67 and a marked increase of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were observed in the active phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS: A weekly dose of tamoxifen and a standard dose of raloxifene did not inhibit tumor cell proliferation, measured as Ki-67 expression, in premenopausal BC patients. However, in the tamoxifen arm women with an extensive phenotype for CYP2D6 reached a significant Ki-67 modulation.

Kazerooni T, Ghaffarpasand F, Asadi N, et al.
Correlation between thrombophilia and recurrent pregnancy loss in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: a comparative study.
J Chin Med Assoc. 2013; 76(5):282-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased prevalence of thrombophilia, leading to higher rates of pregnancy loss. The aim of this study was to determine the association between thrombophilia and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) in patients with and without PCOS.
METHODS: In this comparative case-control study, we included 60 patients with RPL (≥3 consecutive pregnancy losses at <20 weeks of gestation) and PCOS (Group 1), 60 patients with PCOS and without RPL (Group 2), 60 patients with RPL and without PCOS (Group 3), and 60 healthy individuals (Group 4). These four study groups were compared regarding serum levels of testosterone, fasting insulin, homocysteine (Hcy), plasminogen activator inhibitor activity (PAI-Fx), protein C, protein S, antithrombin III, activated protein C ratio (APCR), factor V Leiden, prothrombin G20210A, and methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutations.
RESULTS: Patients in Group 1 had significantly higher levels of testosterone (p = 0.026), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (p = 0.035), fasting insulin (p = 0.015), Hcy (p = 0.036), and PAI-Fx (p = 0.008) compared to Group 3. They also had higher proportions of APCR (p = 0.009) and a higher prevalence of factor V Leiden mutations compared to Group 3 (p = 0.001). However, there was no significant difference in protein C (p = 0.088), protein S (p = 0.514), or antithrombin III (p = 0.627) between the four study groups.
CONCLUSION: Hyperinsulinemia, hyperandrogenemia, hypofibrinolysis, and hyperhomocysteinemia as well as APCR and factor V Leiden mutations are associated with RPL in patients with PCOS.

Tufano A, Guida A, Coppola A, et al.
Risk factors and recurrent thrombotic episodes in patients with cerebral venous thrombosis.
Blood Transfus. 2014; 12 Suppl 1:s337-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of thrombophilic abnormalities in patients with cerebral vein thrombosis has been reported to be similar to that in patients with deep vein thrombosis of the lower limb. The role of gender-specific risk factors (pregnancy, oral contraceptives) is well established, whereas that of other acquired risk conditions is debated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We screened 56 patients with cerebral vein thrombosis and 184 age- and sex-matched apparently healthy controls for prothrombin (factor II, FII) G20210A and factor V Leiden polymorphisms; protein S, protein C, and antithrombin deficiency; anticardiolipin antibodies; hyperhomocysteinaemia and other putative risk factors.
RESULTS: The G20210A polymorphism was found in 29.1% of patients and in 5.7% of controls (odds ratio [OR] 7.1; P<0.0001; adjusted OR 12.67, P<0.0001). Frequencies of factor V Leiden and hyperhomocysteinaemia were not significantly different in patients and controls, nor were the other thrombophilic tests and some established cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, obesity or overweight and arterial hypertension. Conversely, 53.7% of the women who developed cerebral vein thrombosis did so while assuming oral contraceptives (OR 6.12; P<0.0001), with a further increase of risk in FII G20210A carriers (OR 48.533). Some associated diseases (onco-haematological disorders and infections) also had a significant role. Over a median 7-year follow-up, irrespective of the duration of antithrombotic treatment, 9/56 (16%) patients had further episodes of venous/arterial thrombosis. No significant risk factor for recurrent thrombosis was identified.
DISCUSSION: In spite of the limitations of the sample size, our data confirm the role of FII G20210A mutation in this setting and its interactions with acquired risk factors such as oral contraceptives, also highlighting the risk of recurrent thrombosis in cerebral vein thrombosis patients.

Yamaguchi Y, Shao Z, Sharif S, et al.
Thrombin-cleaved fragments of osteopontin are overexpressed in malignant glial tumors and provide a molecular niche with survival advantage.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(5):3097-111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteopontin (OPN), which is highly expressed in malignant glioblastoma (GBM), possesses inflammatory activity modulated by proteolytic cleavage by thrombin and plasma carboxypeptidase B2 (CPB2) at a highly conserved cleavage site. Full-length OPN (OPN-FL) was elevated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from all cancer patients compared with noncancer patients. However, thrombin-cleaved OPN (OPN-R) and thrombin/CPB2-double-cleaved OPN (OPN-L) levels were markedly increased in GBM and non-GBM gliomas compared with systemic cancer and noncancer patients. Cleaved OPN constituted ∼23 and ∼31% of the total OPN in the GBM and non-GBM CSF samples, respectively. OPN-R was also elevated in GBM tissues. Thrombin-antithrombin levels were highly correlated with cleaved OPN, but not OPN-FL, suggesting that the cleaved OPN fragments resulted from increased thrombin and CPB2 in this extracellular compartment. Levels of VEGF and CCL4 were increased in CSF of GBM and correlated with the levels of cleaved OPN. GBM cell lines were more adherent to OPN-R and OPN-L than OPN-FL. Adhesion to OPN altered gene expression, in particular genes involved with cellular processes, cell cycle regulation, death, and inflammation. OPN and its cleaved forms promoted motility of U-87 MG cells and conferred resistance to apoptosis. Although functional mutation of the RGD motif in OPN largely abolished these functions, OPN(RAA)-R regained significant cell binding and signaling function, suggesting that the SVVYGLR motif in OPN-R may substitute for the RGD motif if the latter becomes inaccessible. OPN cleavage contributes to GBM development by allowing more cells to bind in niches where they acquire anti-apoptotic properties.

Morrison C, Mancini S, Cipollone J, et al.
Microarray and proteomic analysis of breast cancer cell and osteoblast co-cultures: role of osteoblast matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 in bone metastasis.
J Biol Chem. 2011; 286(39):34271-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dynamic reciprocal interactions between a tumor and its microenvironment impact both the establishment and progression of metastases. These interactions are mediated, in part, through proteolytic sculpting of the microenvironment, particularly by the matrix metalloproteinases, with both tumors and stroma contributing to the proteolytic milieu. Because bone is one of the predominant sites of breast cancer metastases, we used a co-culture system in which a subpopulation of the highly invasive human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, with increased propensity to metastasize to bone, was overlaid onto a monolayer of differentiated osteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells in a mineralized osteoid matrix. CLIP-CHIP® microarrays identified changes in the complete protease and inhibitor expression profile of the breast cancer and osteoblast cells that were induced upon co-culture. A large increase in osteoblast-derived MMP-13 mRNA and protein was observed. Affymetrix analysis and validation showed induction of MMP-13 was initiated by soluble factors produced by the breast tumor cells, including oncostatin M and the acute response apolipoprotein SAA3. Significant changes in the osteoblast secretomes upon addition of MMP-13 were identified by degradomics from which six novel MMP-13 substrates with the potential to functionally impact breast cancer metastasis to bone were identified and validated. These included inactivation of the chemokines CCL2 and CCL7, activation of platelet-derived growth factor-C, and cleavage of SAA3, osteoprotegerin, CutA, and antithrombin III. Hence, the influence of breast cancer metastases on the bone microenvironment that is executed via the induction of osteoblast MMP-13 with the potential to enhance metastases growth by generating a microenvironmental amplifying feedback loop is revealed.

Farah RA, Jalkh KS, Farhat HZ, et al.
Acquired protein C deficiency in a child with acute myelogenous leukemia, splenic, renal, and intestinal infarction.
Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2011; 22(2):140-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report the case of a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (AML-M3V) when he presented with pallor, abdominal pain, anorexia, and fatigue. Induction chemotherapy was started according to the AML-BFM 98 protocol along with Vesanoid (ATRA, All-trans retinoic acid). On the sixth day of induction, he developed splenic and gallbladder infarcts. Splenectomy and cholecystectomy were performed while chemotherapy induction continued as scheduled. Four days later, he developed ischemic areas in the kidneys and ischemic colitis in the sigmoid colon. Hypercoagulation studies showed severe deficiency of protein C. Tests showed protein C 16% (reference range 70-140%), protein S 87% (reference range 70-140%), antithrombin III 122% (reference range 80-120%), prothrombin time 13.6 s (reference = 11.3), INR (international normalized ratio) 1.21, partial thromboplastin time 33 s (reference = 33), fibrinogen 214 mg/dl, D-dimer 970 μg/ml, factor II 98%, and that antinuclear antibody, antiphospholipid antibodies, mutation for factor II gene (G20210A), and mutation for Arg506 Gln of factor V were all negative (factor V Leiden). There was no evidence of clinical disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). He was treated with low molecular weight heparin and did well. He continues to be in complete remission 7 years later with normal protein C levels. Acquired protein C deficiency can occur in a variety of settings and has been reported in acute myelocytic leukemia. However, clinically significant thrombosis in the absence of clinical DIC, such as our case, remains extremely rare.

Sinclair DC, Mastroyannis A, Taylor HS
Leiomyoma simultaneously impair endometrial BMP-2-mediated decidualization and anticoagulant expression through secretion of TGF-β3.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 96(2):412-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Uterine leiomyomas occur in 30-70% of reproductive-age women. Leiomyoma reduce implantation, increase miscarriage risk, and increase menstrual bleeding. We hypothesized that endometrial defects induced by leiomyoma result in menorrhagia and reproductive dysfunction.
OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the effect of leiomyoma on endometrial gene expression essential for implantation and hemostasis both in vivo and in primary endometrial stromal cells (ESC).
DESIGN AND SETTING: We conducted a case control and in vitro study at a university medical center.
PATIENTS: The study included 24 subjects with or without leiomyoma. INTERVENTION/MAIN OUTCOME MEASURED: Endometrium, myometrium, leiomyoma, and ESC were obtained. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate TGF-β3, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptors (BMPRs), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), and thrombomodulin in vivo. BMP-2 secretion was assessed by ELISA. ESC were treated with recombinant human (rh) BMP-2 or rhTGF-β3. Expression of HOXA10, LIF, BMPRs, antithrombin III (ATIII), thrombomodulin, and PAI-1 was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR.
RESULTS: ESC from controls secreted more BMP-2 than those from women with leiomyoma. HOXA10 and LIF expression increased after rhBMP-2 treatment of normal but not leiomyoma-associated ESC. In vivo leiomyoma-associated endometrium expressed lower levels of BMPR 1A, 1B, and 2 than controls. Leiomyoma expressed high levels of TGF-β3; TGF-β3 treatment of ESC reduced expression of BMPRs. Similarly, leiomyoma-associated endometrium expressed less PAI-1 and thrombomodulin in vivo. In ESC, TGF-β3 reduced expression of PAI-1, ATIII, and thrombomodulin.
CONCLUSIONS: Leiomyoma-secreted TGF-β3 induces BMP-2 resistance in endometrium by down-regulation of BMPR-2, likely causing defective endometrial decidualization. TGF-β3 also reduces expression of PAI-1, ATIII, and thrombomodulin in endometrium, likely contributing to menorrhagia. A single molecular signal targeting endometrium may mediate both leiomyoma-induced infertility and bleeding.

Oltean S, Febbo PG, Garcia-Blanco MA
Dunning rat prostate adenocarcinomas and alternative splicing reporters: powerful tools to study epithelial plasticity in prostate tumors in vivo.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2008; 25(6):611-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Using alternative splicing reporters we have previously observed mesenchymal epithelial transitions in Dunning AT3 rat prostate tumors. We demonstrate here that the Dunning DT and AT3 cells, which express epithelial and mesenchymal markers, respectively, represent an excellent model to study epithelial transitions since these cells recapitulate gene expression profiles observed during human prostate cancer progression. In this manuscript we also present the development of two new tools to study the epithelial transitions by imaging alternative splicing decisions: a bichromatic fluorescence reporter to evaluate epithelial transitions in culture and in vivo, and a luciferase reporter to visualize the distribution of mesenchymal epithelial transitions in vivo.

Koseki M, Asada N, Uryu H, et al.
Successful combined use of tranexamic acid and unfractionated heparin for life-threatening bleeding associated with intravascular coagulation in a patient with chronic myelogenous leukemia in blast crisis.
Int J Hematol. 2007; 86(5):403-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The current therapeutic strategy for disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is limited to control of the underlying disease, and methods for the effective management of DIC have not been established. We report the successful use of tranexamic acid (TA) combined with unfractionated heparin in a patient with life-threatening bleeding from the sigmoid colon caused by DIC. A 35-year-old man who had undergone allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for chronic myelogenous leukemia was referred for relapse of his leukemia. The patient was first treated with imatinib at 600 mg/day. Although the disappearance of leukemic cells and a decrease in the BCR/ABL fusion gene were observed, he developed massive bleeding from the sigmoid colon after defecation. A laboratory diagnosis of DIC with prominent fibrinolysis was based on elevated levels of both plasmin-alpha2-plasmin inhibitor complex and thrombin-antithrombin III complex. Despite vigorous supportive therapy, including multiple transfusions and aggressive fluid resuscitation, the patient developed hypovolemic shock due to the uncontrollable bleeding. TA combined with unfractionated heparin was instituted to inhibit excessive fibrinolysis. A prompt response was observed soon after the commencement of therapy. No organ dysfunction was observed throughout TA and heparin use. To our knowledge, this report is the first to describe successful treatment with TA combined with heparin for life-threatening intestinal bleeding due to acute DIC associated with hematologic malignancy.

Abdul-Rahman PS, Lim BK, Hashim OH
Expression of high-abundance proteins in sera of patients with endometrial and cervical cancers: analysis using 2-DE with silver staining and lectin detection methods.
Electrophoresis. 2007; 28(12):1989-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
The expression of high-abundance serum proteins in newly diagnosed patients with endometrial adenocarcinoma (EACa), squamous cell cervical carcinoma (SCCa) and cervical adenocarcinoma (ACCa), relative to control female subjects, was analyzed by subjecting serum samples to 2-DE followed by image analysis of the silver-stained protein profiles. The three cohorts of cancer patients demonstrated different altered expression of serum high-abundance proteins compared to negative control women. The expression of alpha1-antitrypsin, alpha1-B glycoprotein, cleaved high-molecular-weight kininogen (light chain) and antithrombin III were consistently altered in all the patients. However, clusterin was upregulated only in the patients with EACa, while those with SCCa and ACCa were typically characterized by the upregulated expression of zinc alpha-2-glycoprotein. The aberrant expression of selective serum proteins in the various cohorts of cancer patients was validated by competitive ELISA as well as by lectin detection. Analysis by using the champedak galactose binding lectin further highlighted an unidentified protein that may be differently glycosylated in the sera of the EACa patients that were studied.

Yoon SY, Kim JM, Oh JH, et al.
Gene expression profiling of human HBV- and/or HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma cells using expressed sequence tags.
Int J Oncol. 2006; 29(2):315-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. To identify novel target genes that are related to liver carcinogenesis, we examined new genes that are differentially expressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines and tissues based on the expressed sequence tag (EST) frequency. Eleven libraries were constructed from seven HCC cell lines and three normal liver tissue samples obtained from Korean patients. An analysis of gene expression profiles for HCC was performed using the frequency of ESTs obtained from these cDNA libraries. Genes were identified (n=120) as being either up- or down-regulated in human liver cancer cells. Among these, 14 genes (FTL, K-ALPHA1, LDHA, RPL4, ENO1, ANXA2, RPL9, RPL10, RPL13A, GNB2L1, AMBP, GC, A1BG, and SERPINC1), in addition to previously well-known liver cancer related genes, were confirmed to be differentially expressed in seven liver cancer cell lines and 17 HCC tissues by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, 73 genes, in which there was a significant difference (P>0.99) between HBV- and HCV-associated HCC cells, were selected. Of these, expression patterns of 14 (RPLP0, AKR1C, KRT8, GPX4, RPS15, ID1, RPS21, VIM, EEF1G, EIF4A1, HLA-C, FN1, CD44, and RPS10) were confirmed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR in four of HBV- and three of HCV-associated HCC cell lines. Among those genes, an immunohistochemical analysis for ANXA2 showed that it is expressed at high levels in HCC. Using an analysis of EST frequency, the newly identified genes, especially ANXA2, represent potential biomarkers for HCC and useful targets for elucidating the molecular mechanisms associated with HCC involving virological etiology.

Wang AG, Yoon SY, Oh JH, et al.
Identification of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma related genes by comparison with normal liver tissues using expressed sequence tags.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006; 345(3):1022-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), a malignant tumor derived from the bile duct epithelium, is one of the leading causes of death from cancer, worldwide. However, the mechanisms related to it remain largely unknown. In this study, an analysis of the gene expression profiles for ICC was done using the frequency of the ESTs obtained from nine cDNA libraries that constructed from 4 ICC cell lines and 4 normal liver tissues. One hundred and thirty-seven genes were identified as being either up- or down-regulated in human ICC cells. Thirty genes were randomly selected to confirm their differential expression in 4 human ICC cell lines and 5 ICC tissues compared to normal liver tissues by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Among these genes, ANXA1, ANXA2, AMBP, and SERPINC1 were further verified by immunohistochemical analyses. In conclusion, these identified genes represent potential biomarkers for ICC and represent potential targets for elucidating the molecular mechanisms that are associated with ICC.

Unal S, Varan A, Yalçin B, et al.
Evaluation of thrombotic children with malignancy.
Ann Hematol. 2005; 84(6):395-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to evaluate inherited and acquired prothrombotic risk factors among children with malignancies who have thrombosis and emphasize the importance of inherited prothrombotic risk factors. Thirty-seven consecutive children with thrombosis and malignancy were included in this study. The patients were evaluated separately for time of development of thrombosis, insertion of a central venous line (CVL), history of L: -asparaginase usage, and recent infections. Prothrombotic risk factors such as factor V G1691A and prothrombin G20210A mutation, protein C, protein S, antithrombin III deficiencies, factor VIII and lipoprotein(a) elevation, and antiphospholipid antibodies were analyzed for all patients. Of 387 children with thrombosis, 37 (9.5%) had a malignancy. Thrombosis was detected in 9 patients at the time of diagnosis, during maintenance therapy in 25 patients, and after the discontinuation of treatment in 3 patients. One or two additional prothrombotic risk factors other than L: -asparaginase therapy and insertion of central venous lines were present in 20 of these patients (54%). It was found that eight patients had the factor V G1691A mutation in the heterozygote state. One of them had the factor V G1691A mutation associated with a history of infection and one patient had the factor V G1691A mutation associated with factor VIII elevation. One had the the prothrombin G20210A mutation in the heterozygote state, four had lipoprotein(a) elevation, two had factor VIII elevation, one had a decreased protein S level, one had a decreased protein C level, one had antiphospholipid positivity, and two had histories of infection. Malignancy is an important risk factor for the development of childhood thrombosis. However, the risk of thrombosis increases when accompanied by additional prothrombotic risk factors. For this reason, especially children with malignancy and at high risk for the development of thrombosis, such as those who have received L: -asparaginase or a replaced CVL during their therapy, might be screened for additional prothrombotic risk factors and appropriate measures might be taken to prevent the development of thrombosis.

Michael IP, Sotiropoulou G, Pampalakis G, et al.
Biochemical and enzymatic characterization of human kallikrein 5 (hK5), a novel serine protease potentially involved in cancer progression.
J Biol Chem. 2005; 280(15):14628-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human kallikrein 5 (KLK5) is a member of the human kallikrein gene family of serine proteases. Preliminary results indicate that the protein, hK5, may be a potential serological marker for breast and ovarian cancer. Other studies implicate hK5 with skin desquamation and skin diseases. To gain further insights on hK5 physiological functions, we studied its substrate specificity, the regulation of its activity by various inhibitors, and identified candidate physiological substrates. After producing and purifying recombinant hK5 in yeast, we determined the k(cat)/K(m) ratio of the fluorogenic substrates Gly-Pro-Arg-AMC and Gly-Pro-Lys-AMC, and showed that it has trypsin-like activity with strong preference for Arg over Lys in the P1 position. The serpins alpha(2)-antiplasmin and antithrombin were able to inhibit hK5 with an inhibition constant (k(+2)/K(i)) of 1.0 x 10(-) (2)and 4.2 x 10(-4) m(-1) min(-1), respectively. No inhibition was observed with the serpins alpha(1)-antitrypsin and alpha(1)-antichymotrypsin, although alpha(2)-macroglobulin partially inhibited hK5 at high concentrations. We also demonstrated that hK5 can efficiently digest the extracellular matrix components, collagens type I, II, III, and IV, fibronectin, and laminin. Furthermore, our results suggest that hK5 can potentially release (a) angiostatin 4.5 from plasminogen, (b) "cystatin-like domain 3" from low molecular weight kininogen, and (c) fibrinopeptide B and peptide beta15-42 from the Bbeta chain of fibrinogen. hK5 could also play a role in the regulation of the binding of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 to vitronectin. Our findings suggest that hK5 may be implicated in tumor progression, particularly in invasion and angiogenesis, and may represent a novel therapeutic target.

Onizuka S, Kawakami S, Taniguchi K, et al.
Pancreatic carcinogenesis: apoptosis and angiogenesis.
Pancreas. 2004; 28(3):317-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Apoptosis and angiogenesis are critical biologic processes that are altered during carcinogenesis. Both apoptosis and angiogenesis may play an important role in pancreatic carcinogenesis. Despite numerous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer, its prognosis remains dismal and a new therapeutic approach is much needed. Recent research has revealed that apoptosis and angiogenesis are closely interrelated. Several reports show that a tumor suppresser gene that is expressed in pancreatic carcinoma and related to malignant potential can induce apoptosis and also inhibit angiogenesis. At present, it is generally accepted that tumor growth in cancers, including pancreatic cancer, depends on angiogenesis. We have identified 2 new angiogenesis inhibitors from a conditioned medium of human pancreatic carcinoma cell line (BxPC-3): antiangiogenic antithrombin III (aaAT-III) and vitamin D binding protein-macrophage activating factor (DBP-maf). These molecules were able to regress tumors in severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) mice, demonstrating potent inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation. Moreover, the angiogenesis inhibitors induced tumor dormancy in the animal model. These results suggest that antiangiogenic therapy using angiogenesis inhibitors may become a new strategy for treatment of pancreatic cancer in the near future.

Glueck CJ, Wang P, Bornovali S, et al.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, the G1691A factor V Leiden mutation, and plasminogen activator inhibitor activity: associations with recurrent pregnancy loss.
Metabolism. 2003; 52(12):1627-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our specific aim was to assess associations of thrombophilia, hypofibrinolysis, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) (>/=3 consecutive pregnancy losses < 20 weeks gestation). Prospective studies were performed in 33 Caucasian women referred for diagnosis and treatment of PCOS who were subsequently found to have RPL and in 16 Caucasian women referred for diagnosis and treatment of RPL, who did not have PCOS. Cases (PCOS-RPL, RPL without PCOS) were compared with controls (116 healthy Caucasian females) for the G1691A Factor V Leiden, G20210A prothrombin, C677T methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), plasminogen activator inhibitor 4G/5G, and platelet glycoprotein PL A1A2 gene mutations. Cases were compared with controls (44 healthy adult Caucasian females) for serologic coagulation tests including homocysteine, proteins C, S, free S, antithrombin III, anticardiolipin antibodies IgG and IgM, dilute Russel's viper venom time, activated partial thromboplastin time, Factor VIII, Factor XI, lipoprotein (Lp)(a), and plasminogen activator inhibitor activity (PAI-Fx). The 33 Caucasian women with PCOS subsequently found to have RPL were 10% of a cohort of 322 Caucasian women who had >/= 1 previous pregnancy and had been referred for diagnosis and therapy of PCOS over a 4.3-year period. The Factor V Leiden G1691 mutation was present in 6 of 33 women (18%) with PCOS-RPL and in 3 of 16 women with RPL without PCOS (19%) versus 2 of 116 (1.7%) female controls, Fisher's P (p(f)) =.0016, p(f) =.013. The 33 PCOS-RPL cases also differed from the 44 female controls for high PAI-Fx (>21.1 U/mL), 38% versus 8%, p(f) =. 004. The thrombophilic G1691A Factor V Leiden mutation is associated with RPL in women with and without PCOS; hypofibrinolysis (high PAI-Fx) is also associated with RPL in women with PCOS.

Decensi A, Robertson C, Viale G, et al.
A randomized trial of low-dose tamoxifen on breast cancer proliferation and blood estrogenic biomarkers.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003; 95(11):779-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tamoxifen reduces the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease but increases the risk for endometrial tumors and venous thromboembolisms, possibly in a dose-dependent fashion. We compared the effects of tamoxifen at 1 mg/day and 5 mg/day with those of the standard dose of 20 mg/day on breast cancer proliferation using a surrogate endpoint marker (Ki-67 expression) and blood biomarkers associated with breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and bone fracture risk.
METHODS: We randomly assigned 120 women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer to tamoxifen at 1, 5, or 20 mg/day for 4 weeks. Expression of the tumor proliferation marker Ki-67 and of biomarkers of breast cancer (insulin-like growth factor-I, sex hormone-binding globulin), cardiovascular disease (cholesterol, triglycerides, ultrasensitive C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, antithrombin-III), and bone fracture (type I collagen C-telopeptide) risk were determined before (baseline) and after treatment. All levels were compared with those in two nonrandomized control groups (34 women with ER-negative breast cancer and 29 additional women with ER-positive breast cancer). Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: Expression of Ki-67 decreased in all three tamoxifen groups, with no difference in the magnitude of reduction among groups (P =.81). Relative to baseline, Ki-67 expression decreased by a median of 15.0% (95% confidence interval = 0.0% to 24.1%) among the tamoxifen groups but increased by 12.8% (95% confidence interval = 0.0% to 19.6%) among the nonrandomized control groups. Several blood biomarkers showed dose-response relationships with tamoxifen, including decreased insulin-like growth factor-I, increased sex hormone-binding globulin, and decreased low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, ultrasensitive C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and antithrombin-III levels.
CONCLUSIONS: The effects on Ki-67 expression of lower doses of tamoxifen were comparable to those achieved with the standard dose, although the effects on blood biomarkers were variable. The effects of lower doses of tamoxifen should be assessed further in randomized trials.

Tsanadis G, Vartholomatos G, Korkontzelos I, et al.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome and thrombophilia.
Hum Reprod. 2002; 17(2):314-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is associated with insulin-induced plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) elevations. Since thrombophilic states correlate with high miscariage rates, as does PCOS, this study aimed at looking for thrombophilic predisposition in PCOS women compared with non-PCOS controls.
METHODS: The prevalence of antithrombin III, protein S and protein C deficiencies, as well as factor V Leiden, prothrombin G20210A factor and methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) mutations, was compared between two different groups of women, one with PCOS (n = 30) and one without PCOS (n = 45).
RESULTS: Median proportions of activated protein C, S and antithrombin III as well as the activated protein C ratios were within normal ranges in both samples. There was no evidence that the genetic analysis for factor V Leiden or prothrombin factor differed between the two samples. The odds ratio (OR) of bearing a mutation on the MTHFR gene was 1.2-fold higher [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.470-3.065] in women with PCOS than in women without (P = 0.83). Although this difference is not statistically significant, it might indicate a slightly higher prevalence of heterozygous genotypes in women with PCOS (OR = 1.197, 95% CI 0.473-3.034).
CONCLUSIONS: Molecular risk factors of hereditary thrombophilia do not show increased prevalence in women with PCOS in comparison with women in the general population. The existence of a possible trend towards higher prevalence of MTHFR mutation in women with PCOS needs further study, particularly regarding homocysteine levels.

Murphy AM, Sheahan BJ, Atkins GJ
Induction of apoptosis in BCL-2-expressing rat prostate cancer cells using the Semliki Forest virus vector.
Int J Cancer. 2001; 94(4):572-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Semliki Forest virus (SFV) vector is a transient RNA expression vector that has an inherent p53-independent apoptosis-inducing property. It is administered as recombinant SFV particles (rSFV) that undergo 1 round of replication only and express a gene cloned into the multicloning site. In our study we have investigated the ability of the SFV vector to induce apoptosis and inhibit tumour growth in rat prostate cancer (AT3-Neo) cells expressing the Bcl-2 oncogene (AT3-Bcl-2 cells), which normally inhibits apoptosis. rSFV expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene (rSFV-EGFP), or recombinant RNA transfected into cells by electroporation, induced delayed apoptosis in AT3-Bcl-2 cells. SFV-mediated expression of a cloned pro-apoptotic Bax gene by the vector, however, enhanced apoptosis induction both in AT3-Bcl-2 cells and standard BHK-21 cells. Such Bax-expressing particles could be produced only at low titers compared to EGFP-expressing particles under standard conditions for particle production, but lowering the incubation temperature for particle production to 33 degrees C partially alleviated this effect. Bax-expressing particles were shown to inhibit the growth of AT3-Neo and AT3-Bcl-2 tumours in nude mice, as did high titre EGFP-expressing particles. It is concluded that SFV recombinant particles have potential as anti-tumour agents to treat apoptosis-resistant tumours.

Xia W, Unger P, Miller L, et al.
The Src-suppressed C kinase substrate, SSeCKS, is a potential metastasis inhibitor in prostate cancer.
Cancer Res. 2001; 61(14):5644-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
The molecular mechanisms leading to prostate cancer remain poorly understood, especially concerning the progression to the metastatic form. SSeCKS, a major protein kinase C substrate with tumor suppressor activity, is likely the rodent orthologue of human Gravin/AKAP12, a scaffolding protein for protein kinases A and C. Gravin was mapped as a single-copy gene to 6q24-25.2, a hotspot for deletion in advanced prostate cancer, and therefore, we investigated the role of SSeCKS/Gravin in prostate oncogenesis. SSeCKS/Gravin protein was detected in untransformed rat and human prostate epithelial cell lines EP12 and PZ-HPV-7, respectively, and in human prostatic epithelium, especially basal epithelial cells. In contrast, SSeCKS/Gravin protein and RNA levels were severely reduced in human (PC-3, PPC-1, LNCaP, DU145, and TSU) and rat Dunning (AT3.1 and MatLyLu) prostate cancer cell lines. The regulated reexpression of SSeCKS in MatLyLu cells induced filopodia-like projections and a decrease in anchorage-independent growth. In nude mice, SSeCKS reexpression slightly decreased primary-site tumor growth but severely decreased the formation of lung metastases. Primary-site tumors that progressed lost regulated SSeCKS reexpression. SSeCKS/Gravin expression was detected in benign human prostatic lesions and well-differentiated carcinomas but not in undifferentiated lesions with Gleason sums > or =6. Our data suggest a role for the loss of SSeCKS/Gravin in the metastatic progression of human prostate cancer.

Tombal B, Weeraratna AT, Denmeade SR, Isaacs JT
Thapsigargin induces a calmodulin/calcineurin-dependent apoptotic cascade responsible for the death of prostatic cancer cells.
Prostate. 2000; 43(4):303-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: New agents are required for the treatment of androgen-independent prostate cancer. Due to the low rate of proliferation of these malignant cells, agents which can activate the apoptotic death of these cells without requiring the cells being in the proliferative cell cycle are critically required. Thapsigargin (TG), via its ability to perturb intracellular free calcium [Ca(2+)](i), is such a cell proliferation-independent cytotoxic agent. The present study focuses on more completely describing the biochemical cascade during the apoptotic death of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells induced by TG and on the mechanistic requirements for this death.
METHODS: A variety of cell and molecular biology techniques (e.g., time-lapse video, fluorescence image analysis, Northern and Western blotting) were used to examine the temporal relationship between changes in [Ca(2+)](i), GADD 153 transcription, translocation of the NFATc transcription factor to the nucleus, translocation of BAD from the cytosol to the mitochondria, caspase 9 activation, DNA fragmentation, and the loss of clonogenic survival induced by TG treatment of both human TSU-prl and rat AT3.1 prostate cancer cells in vitro. Additional studies using both microinjection of inhibitors of calmodulin and DNA transfections to induce expression of Ca(2+) binding proteins, e.g., calbindin, were performed to evaluate the causal relationship between [Ca(2+)](i) elevation, calmodulin/calcineurin activation, and apoptosis of prostate cancer cells.
RESULTS: Using simultaneous fluorescence ratiometric and phase contrast image analysis in individual cells followed longitudinally for several days, it was documented that TG induced early (1-12 hr) moderate (i.e., <500 nM) elevation in [Ca(2+)](i). During this early rise in [Ca(2+)](i), genes like GADD 153 are induced at the transcriptional level. This early rise is followed by a return of [Ca(2+)](i) to baseline (i.e., approximately 50 nM) before the induction of a delayed (i.e., >12 hr) secondary rise ( approximately 10 microM) in [Ca(2+)](i). During the secondary rise in [Ca(2+)](i), Ca(2+) binds to calcineurin and calmodulin, allowing these proteins to form a complex which activates calcineurin's latent phosphatase activity. Once activated, calcineurin dephosphorylates NFATc and BAD, allowing translocation of these proteins to the nucleus and mitochondria, respectively. BAD translocation induces the release of cytochrome C from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm, which results in activation of caspase 9 and DNA fragmentation. If the TG-induced rise in [Ca(2+)](i) is blocked by overexpressing calbindin, or if calmodulin function is inhibited, these apoptotic events are prevented.
CONCLUSIONS: TG induces the apoptotic death of prostate cancer cells via the activation of a reversible signaling phase induced by a transient nanomolar rise in [Ca(2+)](i), which involves new gene transcription and translation. This reversible signaling phase is followed by an irreversible commitment to undergo the execution phase which is induced by a secondary micromolar rise in [Ca(2+)](i). This secondary [Ca(2+)](i) rise irreversibly commits the cell to a calmodulin/calcineurin-dependent cascade, which results in DNA and cellular fragmentation into apoptotic bodies.

Allgayer H, Babic R, Gruetzner KU, et al.
c-erbB-2 is of independent prognostic relevance in gastric cancer and is associated with the expression of tumor-associated protease systems.
J Clin Oncol. 2000; 18(11):2201-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The c-erbB-2 gene (encoding the protein p185) is overexpressed in diverse human cancers and has been implicated to be of prognostic value in gastric cancer. Recent studies suggest a role of p185 in tumor progression by specifically promoting the invasive capacity of tumor cells. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the following three objectives: (1) to support the prognostic value of c-erbB-2 in gastric cancer in a large prospective series using a monoclonal antibody and a highly sensitive immunohistochemical method; (2) to determine the association of c-erbB-2 expression with the expression of invasion-related genes; and (3) to perform the first overall multivariate analysis including c-erbB-2 and the invasion-related tumor-associated protease systems.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a consecutive prospective series of 203 gastric cancer patients (median follow-up, 42 months), expression of c-erbB-2 and a panel of tumor-associated proteases and inhibitors by tumor cells were evaluated semiquantitatively (score 0 to 3) and analyzed for correlation (chi(2) test, Bonferroni-corrected). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariate Cox analysis were performed to determine the relative prognostic impact of c-erbB-2 and the invasion-related parameters.
RESULTS: Kaplan-Meier analysis (log-rank statistics) revealed a significant association of increasing expression of c-erbB-2 with shorter disease-free (P =. 0023) and overall survival (P =.0160). High amounts of p185 were significantly associated with a high expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) (P <.010), uPA-receptor (P =.030), type-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI) (P <.010), type-2 PAI (P =.021), cathepsin D (P =.036), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (P =. 024), alpha-1-antichymotrypsin (P =.025), and alpha-2-macroglobulin (P =.017). Multivariate analysis considering these proteases/protease inhibitors, in addition to alpha-1-antitrypsin, tissue plasminogen activator, plasminogen, alpha-2-antiplasmin, and antithrombin III, and established prognostic parameters revealed that, in addition to surgical curability, pT stage, pN stage, and PAI-1, c-erbB-2 is an independent prognostic factor for overall survival of curatively resected patients (n = 139; P =.049; relative risk, 1.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.08 to 1.67) and all patients (P =.028; relative risk 1.33; 95% CI, 1.28 to 1.38).
CONCLUSION: c-erbB-2 is confirmed as a new independent, functional prognostic parameter for overall survival in gastric cancer, even when a panel of invasion-related factors, including the strong prognostic parameter PAI-1, are considered. The significant correlation of p185 with several tumor-associated proteases supports the hypothesis that c-erbB-2 is a promoter of invasion and metastasis. This strongly suggests that c-erbB-2 may be a promising target for anti-invasive therapy in gastric cancer.

Ho CH, Chau WK, Hsu HC, et al.
Causes of venous thrombosis in fifty Chinese patients.
Am J Hematol. 2000; 63(2):74-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
In a whole year from July 1997 to June 1998, a total of 50 patients with sonogram-proved venous thrombosis who called on our hematology clinic consecutively entered into the study. Their mean age was 59.1 +/- 17.5 years, range 18-83 years, and 29 were male. A series of examinations were performed in order to find out the cause of venous thrombosis. These examinations included antithrombin, protein C, protein S, plasminogen, heparin cofactor II, activated protein C ratio, factor V Leiden mutation, fibrinogen, factors VIII and XII, euglobulin lysis time, 677 C-->T mutation of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), prothrombin 20210 (PT 20210) A allele mutation, lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibody, and complete blood count. Five patients (10%) were found to have malignancy; an inferior vena cava thrombosis in one patient was due to venous compression by hydronephrosis; two patients had lupus anticoagulant; two had varicose veins of legs; two had protein C deficiency; four had protein S deficiency; two had plasminogen deficiency; two had antithrombin deficiency. No activated protein C resistance, elevated factor VIII level, factor V Leiden, PT 20210 A allele or heparin cofactor II deficiency was found in the present study. Homozygous MTHFR 677 C-->T gene mutation was found in 7 patients (14%); one of them also had a plasminogen deficiency. No possible risk factor of venous thrombosis could be found in 24 patients (48%). In conclusion, malignancy and protein S deficiency were the most frequent acquired and congenital causes of venous thrombosis in the Chinese, respectively.

Denmeade SR, Lin XS, Tombal B, Isaacs JT
Inhibition of caspase activity does not prevent the signaling phase of apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
Prostate. 1999; 39(4):269-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Caspases are a family of cysteine proteases capable of characteristically cleaving after an aspartic acid residue. Various members of the caspase family (e.g., caspases 8 and 9) have been implicated as critical initiators in the signaling phase, while others (e.g., caspases 3, 6, and 7) have been implicated in the effector or execution phase of apoptosis. Thapsigargin (TG) is capable of inducing cell proliferation-independent apoptosis of prostate cancer cells. This study was undertaken to determine if caspase inhibition can prevent TG- or 5-fluorodeoxyuridine (5-FrdU)-induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
METHODS: Caspase activity was evaluated by Western blot analysis of the cleavage of retinoblastoma (Rb) protein, a caspase substrate during TG-induced death of prostate cancer cells. In addition, hydrolysis of caspase-specific fluorescent peptide substrates was assayed in lysates from TG-treated cells. Clonogenic survival assays were performed following treatment of rat AT3 and human TSU-Pr1 prostate cancer cell lines with TG and 5-FrdU in the presence and absence of peptide caspase inhibitors. AT3.1 cells transfected with the crmA gene, encoding a viral protein with caspase-inhibitory activity, were also tested for clonogenic survival following TG and 5-FrdU exposure.
RESULTS: During treatment with TG, Rb is first dephosphorylated and then proteolytically cleaved into 100-kDa and 40-kDa forms, indicative of caspase activity. A 6-8-fold increase in class II (i.e., caspases 3, 7, and 10) hydrolysis of the caspase substrate Z-DEVD-AFC was observed after 24 hr of TG or 5-FrdU. AT3 cells expressing crmA (i.e., an inhibitor of caspases 1, 4, and 8) were not protected from apoptosis induced by TG or 5-FrdU. The caspase inhibitors Z-DEVD-fmk (i.e., an inhibitor of caspases 3, 7, and 10) and Z-VAD-fmk (i.e., a general caspase inhibitor) were also unable to protect TSU and AT3 cells from apoptosis induced by TG or 5-FrdU.
CONCLUSIONS: Caspase activation may play a role in the downstream effector phase of the apoptotic cascade; however, in this study, caspase inhibition did not prevent the signaling phase of apoptosis induced by two agents with distinct mechanisms of cytotoxicity, TG or 5-FrdU. These results suggest that caspase inhibition by recently described endogenous caspase inhibitors should not lead to development of resistance to TG. A strategy for targeting TG's unique cytotoxicity to metastatic prostate cancer cells is currently under development.

Lin XS, Denmeade SR, Cisek L, Isaacs JT
Mechanism and role of growth arrest in programmed (apoptotic) death of prostatic cancer cells induced by thapsigargin.
Prostate. 1997; 33(3):201-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: More than 95% of metastatic androgen independent prostatic cancer cells per day are in a proliferatively quiescent G0 state [Berges et al.: Clin Cancer Res 1:473-480, 1995] limiting their responsiveness to anti-proliferative chemotherapeutic agents. Novel therapeutics capable of activating the programmed (apoptotic) death pathway in these cells without requiring entrance into the proliferative cell cycle are urgently needed. Thapsigargin (TG) treatment of rapidly growing androgen independent prostatic cancer cells arrests such cells in G0 and induces their programmed death. This raises not only the issue of the mechanism for such growth arrest, but also whether this programmed death is simply a response of rapidly growing cells to growth arrest making cytotoxicity still dependent upon the initial rate of cell proliferation.
METHODS: To resolve the mechanism of TG induced growth arrest, rat AT3.1 prostatic cancer cells were analyzed for RNA and protein expression of the growth arrest gene, gadd153, intracellular free Ca2+ levels (Cai), and cell cycle distribution on exposure to TG alone and in combination with Ca2+ chelation induced by BAPTA-AM or BAPTA-AM/EGTA. To resolve whether growth arrest is required for TG cytotoxicity, primary cultures of proliferatively quiescent, human prostatic cancer cells were exposed to TG.
RESULTS: Co-treatment of androgen independent AT-3 rat prostatic cancer cells with the Cai chelator BAPTA plus TG prevented growth arrest, as monitored by DNA flow cytometry, and failure to induce mRNA and protein for gadd153, demonstrating that growth arrest is due to Cai elevation, not depletion of intracellular Ca2+ pools. In addition, proliferatively quiescent G0 primary cultures of human prostatic cancer cells were resistant to anti-proliferative agents, but could be induced to undergo programmed death by TG as documented by morphological criteria and 14C-labeled DNA fragmentation assays.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that TG with its ability to elevate Cai induces proliferating prostate cancer cells to growth arrest. Such Cai dependent growth arrest is not required, however, since TG can induce the programmed death of proliferatively quiescent G0 prostatic cancer cells without requiring either growth arrest or progression through the proliferative cell cycle.

Wells MJ, Hatton MW, Hewlett B, et al.
Cytokeratin 18 is expressed on the hepatocyte plasma membrane surface and interacts with thrombin-antithrombin complexes.
J Biol Chem. 1997; 272(45):28574-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
During experiments to identify putative hepatic receptors for thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complexes, a 45-kDa protein was identified by ligand blotting. Following gel purification, amino acid sequencing revealed the 45-kDa TAT-binding polypeptide to be cytokeratin 18 (CK18). The presence of CK18 on the surface of intact rat hepatoma cells was demonstrated by binding of 125I-anti-CK18 antibodies. Anti-CK18 antibodies reduced the binding and internalization of 125I-TAT by rat hepatoma cells. Immunocytochemical analysis, to determine the location of CK18 in vivo, revealed a periportal gradient of CK18 staining; with hepatocytes around the portal triads demonstrating striking pericellular staining. In addition, anti-CK18 IgG associated with perfused livers to a significantly greater extent than preimmune IgG. Taken together, these data provide evidence that CK18 is found on the extracellular surface of hepatocytes and could play a role in TAT removal. Finally, these data, in conjunction with recent reports of CK8 (Hembrough, T. A., Li, L., and Gonias, S. L. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 25684-25691) and CK1 cell membrane surface expression (Schmaier, A. H. (1997) Thromb. Hemostasis 78, 101-107), indicate a novel role for these proteins as putative cellular receptors or cofactors to cellular receptors.

Gao AC, Lou W, Dong JT, Isaacs JT
CD44 is a metastasis suppressor gene for prostatic cancer located on human chromosome 11p13.
Cancer Res. 1997; 57(5):846-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have used microcell fusion-mediated chromosomal transfer to introduce normal human chromosomes into highly metastatic rodent prostatic cancer cells to map the location of a metastasis suppressor gene(s). Using this approach, several chromosomal regions have been identified that harbor such metastatic suppressor genes, including human chromosome 11 between p11.2-13 (T. Ichikawa et al., Cancer Res., 52: 3486-3490, 1992, 54: 2299-2302, 1994; N. Nihei et al., Genes Chromosomes & Cancer, 14: 112-119, 1995; C. W. Rinker-Schaeffer et al., Cancer Res., 54: 6249-6256, 1994). Using positional cloning, a metastatic suppressor gene, termed KAI1, was identified, which is located at human chromosome 11p11.2 (5). Overexpression of KAI1 results in metastasis suppression in certain highly metastatic Dunning R-3327 rat prostatic cancer sublines, such as AT6.1, without metastasis suppression in other highly metastatic sublines, such as AT3.1. This suggests that an additional metastasis suppressor gene is located within the human chromosome 11p11.2-13 region. The CD44 gene is located on human chromosome 11p13 and encodes an integral membrane glycoprotein that participates in specific cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Down-regulation of CD44 expression both at the mRNA and protein levels correlates with metastatic potential within the Dunning system of rat prostatic cancer sublines. Transfection-induced enhanced expression of the Mr 85,000 standard form of CD44 in the highly metastatic AT3.1 rat prostatic cells greatly suppresses their metastatic ability to the lungs without suppression of their in vivo growth rate or tumorigenicity. These results suggest that CD44 is a metastasis suppressor for prostatic cancer and that decreased expression of the standard form of CD44 is involved in the progression of prostatic cancer to a metastatic state.

Umekita Y, Hiipakka RA, Liao S
Rat and human maspins: structures, metastatic suppressor activity and mutation in prostate cancer cells.
Cancer Lett. 1997; 113(1-2):87-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
The rat homologue of human maspin cDNA was cloned. The deduced amino acid sequence of rat maspin was homologous to human maspin with 88% of the amino acids conserved. Rat maspin mRNA was detected in rat mammary gland, vagina, urinary bladder, thymus, small intestine, skin, ventral prostate, seminal vesicles, and thyroid but not in many other organs, such as heart, lung, liver, brain and kidney. Rat maspin cDNA retrovirally introduced into highly metastatic Dunning AT3.1 rat prostate cancer cells did not suppress metastasis of these tumor cells in Copenhagen rats. Maspin mRNA was detected in 5/10 human prostatic carcinoma tissue samples. Two human prostate cancer cell lines, PC-3 and LNCaP, and two human prostatic carcinoma and two benign prostatic hyperplasia tissue samples contained maspin mRNA having an isoleucine to valine mutation at amino acid 319.

Terradillos O, Billet O, Renard CA, et al.
The hepatitis B virus X gene potentiates c-myc-induced liver oncogenesis in transgenic mice.
Oncogene. 1997; 14(4):395-404 [PubMed] Related Publications
The hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) is thought to be implicated in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, but its exact function remains controversial. Transgenic mice from PEX7 and AX16 lineages that express HBx in the liver under control of different viral regulatory elements develop no liver pathology (Billet et al., 1995). We have crossed these two mouse lineages with WHV/c-myc oncomice in which liver-specific expression of c-myc driven by woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) regulatory sequences causes liver cancer in all animals. The average tumor latency was shortened by 2 to 3 months in bitransgenic animals from all populations compared with simple c-myc transgenic littermates. At preneoplastic stages, adult bitransgenic mice showed four to fivefold enhanced expression of the c-myc transgene, increased hepatocyte proliferation and more extensive liver lesions compared with simple WHV/c-myc transgenics. Thus in this model, HBx alone has no direct pathological effect but it is shown to accelerate tumor development induced by c-myc. The data presented here firmly establish the oncogenic potential of HBx, apparently acting as a tumor promoter. This model offers unique opportunities to investigate the mechanisms by which HBx trans-activates the expression of target genes and deregulates the hepatocyte growth control in vivo.

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