Gene Summary

Gene:SPRY2; sprouty RTK signaling antagonist 2
Aliases: hSPRY2
Summary:This gene encodes a protein belonging to the sprouty family. The encoded protein contains a carboxyl-terminal cysteine-rich domain essential for the inhibitory activity on receptor tyrosine kinase signaling proteins and is required for growth factor stimulated translocation of the protein to membrane ruffles. In primary dermal endothelial cells this gene is transiently upregulated in response to fibroblast growth factor two. This protein is indirectly involved in the non-cell autonomous inhibitory effect on fibroblast growth factor two signaling. The protein interacts with Cas-Br-M (murine) ectropic retroviral transforming sequence, and can function as a bimodal regulator of epidermal growth factor receptor/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. This protein may play a role in alveoli branching during lung development as shown by a similar mouse protein. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:protein sprouty homolog 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 26 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 26 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 26 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: SPRY2 (cancer-related)

So WK, Cheng JC, Fan Q, et al.
Loss of Sprouty2 in human high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas promotes EGF-induced E-cadherin down-regulation and cell invasion.
FEBS Lett. 2015; 589(3):302-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sprouty (SPRY) proteins are well-characterized factors that inhibit receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. Our Human Exonic Evidence-Based Oligonucleotide (HEEBO) microarray results showed that the mRNA levels of SPRY2, but not of SPRY1 or SPRY4, are down-regulated in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSC) tissues and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cell lines. Molecular inversion probe (MIP) copy number analysis showed the deletion of the SPRY2 locus in HGSC. Overexpression of SPRY2 reduced EGF-induced cell invasion by attenuating EGF-induced E-cadherin down-regulation. Moreover, a positive correlation between SPRY2 and E-cadherin protein levels was observed in HGSC tissues. This study reveals the loss of SPRY2 in HGSC and indicates an important tumor-suppressive role for SPRY2 in mediating the stimulatory effect of EGF on human EOC progression.

Lin CL, Chiang WF, Tung CL, et al.
Sprouty2 protein is downregulated in human squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and suppresses cell proliferation in vitro.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 11(1):547-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sprouty2 is known for its tumor-suppressing effect in various human malignant diseases. In head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), the role of sprouty2 in tumorigenesis and clinical implication remains elusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of sprouty2 in patients with HNSCC and its function in vitro. Quantitative analysis of mRNA expression of sprouty2 was performed on frozen tumor samples from 42 patients with HNSCC and 19 with oral verrucous hyperplasia (OVH) with paired counterparts of normal mucosa. Downregulation of sprouty2 expression was demonstrated in 79% of HNSCC samples and in 58% of OVH samples compared with paired samples of normal mucosa. Enhanced expression of sprouty2 protein suppressed the growth of HNSCC cells and signaling of the phosphorylated AKT pathway. Following transfection of the sprouty2 plasmid, HNSCC cells were more sensitive to sorafenib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of Raf and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor. The present study suggested that sprouty2 expression was downregulated and behaved as a tumor suppressor in HNSCC. Sprouty2 expression in tumor cells enhanced sensitivity to sorafenib. Further studies are required to define the clinical impact of sprouty2 in patients with HNSCC.

Herold T, Metzeler KH, Vosberg S, et al.
Isolated trisomy 13 defines a homogeneous AML subgroup with high frequency of mutations in spliceosome genes and poor prognosis.
Blood. 2014; 124(8):1304-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), isolated trisomy 13 (AML+13) is a rare chromosomal abnormality whose prognostic relevance is poorly characterized. We analyzed the clinical course of 34 AML+13 patients enrolled in the German AMLCG-1999 and SAL trials and performed exome sequencing, targeted candidate gene sequencing and gene expression profiling. Relapse-free (RFS) and overall survival (OS) of AML+13 patients were inferior compared to other ELN Intermediate-II patients (n=855) (median RFS, 7.8 vs 14.1 months, P = .006; median OS 9.3 vs. 14.8 months, P = .004). Besides the known high frequency of RUNX1 mutations (75%), we identified mutations in spliceosome components in 88%, including SRSF2 codon 95 mutations in 81%. Recurring mutations were detected in ASXL1 (44%) and BCOR (25%). Two patients carried mutations in CEBPZ, suggesting that CEBPZ is a novel recurrently mutated gene in AML. Gene expression analysis revealed a homogeneous expression profile including upregulation of FOXO1 and FLT3 and downregulation of SPRY2. This is the most comprehensive clinical and biological characterization of AML+13 to date, and reveals a striking clustering of lesions in a few genes, defining AML+13 as a genetically homogeneous subgroup with alterations in a few critical cellular pathways. Clinicaltrials.gov identifiers: AMLCG-1999: NCT00266136; AML96: NCT00180115; AML2003: NCT00180102; and AML60+: NCT00893373.

Walsh AM, Lazzara MJ
Differential parsing of EGFR endocytic flux among parallel internalization pathways in lung cancer cells with EGFR-activating mutations.
Integr Biol (Camb). 2014; 6(3):312-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Due to the existence of parallel pathways for receptor endocytosis and their complexities, a quantitative understanding of receptor endocytosis in normal and pathological settings requires computational analysis. Here, we develop a mechanistic model of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) endocytosis to determine the relative contributions of three parallel pathways: clathrin-dependent internalization mediated by mitogen-inducible gene 6 (MIG6), an endogenous EGFR kinase inhibitor that links EGFR to endocytic proteins; clathrin-dependent internalization mediated by the ubiquitin ligase CBL, which can be sequestered by the regulatory protein Sprouty2; or alternative pathways that may be non-clathrin mediated. We applied the model to interpret our previous measurements of EGFR endocytosis in lung cancer cells. Interestingly, our results suggest that MIG6 is responsible for at least as much wild-type EGFR internalization as CBL, indicating that a significant fraction of internalizing EGFR may be incapable of driving signaling. Model results also suggest that MIG6's endocytic function is reduced for the kinase-activated and internalization-impaired EGFR mutants found in some lung cancers. Analysis of Sprouty2 knockdown data indicates that Sprouty2 regulates EGFR endocytosis primarily by controlling EGFR expression, rather than by sequestering CBL, and supports the notion that CBL-mediated internalization is impaired for EGFR mutants. We further demonstrate that differences in internalization between wild-type and mutant EGFR cannot explain differences in EGF-mediated EGFR degradation without concomitant changes in EGFR recycling, which we previously quantified. This work provides new quantitative insights into EGFR trafficking in lung cancer and provides a framework for studying parallel endocytosis pathways for other receptors.

Walsh AM, Lazzara MJ
Regulation of EGFR trafficking and cell signaling by Sprouty2 and MIG6 in lung cancer cells.
J Cell Sci. 2013; 126(Pt 19):4339-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
The duration and specificity of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation and signaling are determinants of cellular decision processes and are tightly regulated by receptor dephosphorylation, internalization and degradation. In addition, regulatory proteins that are upregulated or activated post-transcriptionally upon receptor activation may initiate feedback loops that play crucial roles in spatiotemporal regulation of signaling. We examined the roles of Sprouty2 (SPRY2) and mitogen-inducible gene 6 (MIG6), two feedback regulators of EGFR trafficking and signaling, in lung cancer cells with or without EGFR-activating mutations. These mutations are of interest because they confer unusual cellular sensitivity to EGFR inhibition through a mechanism involving an impairment of EGFR endocytosis. We found that the endocytosis of wild-type and mutant EGFR was promoted by SPRY2 knockdown and antagonized by MIG6 knockdown. SPRY2 knockdown also significantly reduced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, EGFR expression, and EGFR recycling. In a cell line expressing mutant EGFR, this effect on ERK led to a marked increase in cell death response to EGFR inhibition. The effects of SPRY2 knockdown on EGFR endocytosis and recycling were primarily the result of the concomitant change in EGFR expression, but this was not true for the observed changes in ERK phosphorylation. Thus, our study demonstrates that SPRY2 and MIG6 are important regulators of wild-type and mutant EGFR trafficking and points to an EGFR expression-independent function of SPRY2 in the regulation of ERK activity that may impact cellular sensitivity to EGFR inhibitors, especially in the context of EGFR mutation.

Rathmanner N, Haigl B, Vanas V, et al.
Sprouty2 but not Sprouty4 is a potent inhibitor of cell proliferation and migration of osteosarcoma cells.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(16):2597-605 [PubMed] Related Publications
As negative regulators of receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated signalling, Sprouty proteins fulfil important roles during carcinogenesis. In this report, we demonstrate that Sprouty2 protein expression inhibits cell proliferation and migration in osteosarcoma-derived cells. Although earlier reports describe a tumour-promoting function, these results indicate that Sprouty proteins also have the potential to function as tumour suppressors in sarcoma. In contrast to Sprouty2, Sprouty4 expression failed to interfere with proliferation and migration of the osteosarcoma-derived cells, possibly due to a less pronounced interference with mitogen-activated protein kinase activity. Sequences within the NH2-terminus are responsible for the specific inhibitory function of Sprouty2 protein.

Acunzo M, Romano G, Palmieri D, et al.
Cross-talk between MET and EGFR in non-small cell lung cancer involves miR-27a and Sprouty2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(21):8573-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the past decade, we have observed exciting advances in lung cancer therapy, including the development of targeted therapies. However, additional strategies for early detection and tumor-based therapy are still essential in improving patient outcomes. EGF receptor (EGFR) and MET (the receptor tyrosine kinase for hepatocyte growth factors) are cell-surface tyrosine kinase receptors that have been implicated in diverse cellular processes and as regulators of several microRNAs (miRNAs), thus contributing to tumor progression. Here, we demonstrate a biological link between EGFR, MET, and the miRNA cluster 23a ~ 27a ~ 24-2. We show that miR-27a regulates MET, EGFR, and Sprouty2 in lung cancer. In addition, we identify both direct and indirect mechanisms by which miR-27a can regulate both MET and EGFR. Thus, we propose a mechanism for MET and EGFR axis regulation that may lead to the development of therapeutics in lung cancer.

Li X, Liu X, Xu W, et al.
c-MYC-regulated miR-23a/24-2/27a cluster promotes mammary carcinoma cell invasion and hepatic metastasis by targeting Sprouty2.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(25):18121-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Emerging evidence indicates that the miR-23a/24-2/27a cluster may possess a causal role in mammary tumorigenesis and function as a novel class of oncogenes. However, the regulatory mechanism of the miR-23a/24-2/27a cluster in mammary carcinoma cell invasion and migration is still largely unknown. We observed that the expression levels of miR-23a, miR-24-2 and miR-27a were significantly higher in breast cancer with lymph node metastasis, compared with that from patients without lymph node metastasis or normal tissue. Forced expression of the miR-23a/24-2/27a cluster promoted mammary carcinoma cell migration, invasion, and hepatic metastasis, through targeting Sprouty2 (SPRY2) and consequent activation of p44/42 MAPK. Epidermal growth factor induced the expression of the transcription factor c-MYC, which promoted the expression of mature miR-23a, miR-24-2, and miR-27a and subsequently decreased expression of SPRY2 and activated p44/42 MAPK to promote mammary carcinoma cell migration and invasion. We therefore suggest a novel link between epidermal growth factor and the miR-23a/24-2/27a cluster via the regulation of c-MYC, providing the potential for the miR-23a/24-2/27a cluster to be used as biomarker in the diagnosis and/or treatment of breast cancer.

Ordóñez-Morán P, Irmisch A, Barbáchano A, et al.
SPROUTY2 is a β-catenin and FOXO3a target gene indicative of poor prognosis in colon cancer.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(15):1975-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
SPROUTY2 (SPRY2) is an intracellular regulator of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling involved in cell growth, differentiation and tumorigenesis. Here, we show that SPRY2 is a target gene of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway that is abnormally activated in more than 90% of colon carcinomas. In human colon cancer cells, SPRY2 expression is induced by β-catenin in co-operation with the transcription factor FOXO3a instead of lymphoid enhancer factor/T-cell factor proteins. We found binding of β-catenin to the SPRY2 promoter at FOXO3a response elements. In vivo, cells marked by nuclear β-catenin and FOXO3a express SPRY2 in proliferative epithelial tissues, such as intestinal mucosa and epidermis. Consistently, inducible β-catenin deletion in mice reduced Spry2 expression in the small intestine. Moreover, SPRY2 protein expression correlated with nuclear β-catenin and FOXO3a colocalization in human colon carcinomas. Importantly, the amount of SPRY2 protein correlated with shorter overall survival of colon cancer patients. Our data reveal SPRY2 as a novel Wnt/β-catenin and FOXO3a target gene indicative of poor prognosis in colon cancer.

Xu L, Xiang J, Shen J, et al.
Oncogenic MicroRNA-27a is a target for genistein in ovarian cancer cells.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2013; 13(7):1126-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as important regulators in various pathobiological processes in cancer. Genistein, as a major isoflavonoid isolated from dietary soybean, possesses a wide variety of biological activities particularly in cancer prevention. However, the molecular mechanisms by which genistein elicits its effects on ovarian cancer cells have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we reported that expression of miR-27a was higher in human ovarian cancer relative to benign ovarian tissues. Meanwhile, transfection of SKOV3 cells with the inhibitor of miR-27a suppressed growth and migration of tumor cells. Our study also found that treatment of ovarian cancer cells with genistein caused an inhibition of ovarian cancer cell growth and migration. Further cellular mechanistic studies revealed that genistein down-regulated miR-27a expression, which was accompanied by significantly increased expression of Sprouty2, a putative miR-27a target gene. Taken together, our findings reveal that oncogenic miR-27a plays an important role in ovarian cancer cell growth and metastasis, and genistein, as nontoxic inactivators of miRNA, can block ovarian cancer cell growth and migration, offering novel insights into the mechanisms of genistein therapeutic actions.

Patel R, Gao M, Ahmad I, et al.
Sprouty2, PTEN, and PP2A interact to regulate prostate cancer progression.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(3):1157-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Concurrent activation of RAS/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways is implicated in prostate cancer progression. The negative regulators of these pathways, including sprouty2 (SPRY2), protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), are commonly inactivated in prostate cancer. The molecular basis of cooperation between these genetic alterations is unknown. Here, we show that SPRY2 deficiency alone triggers activation of AKT and ERK, but this is insufficient to drive tumorigenesis. In addition to AKT and ERK activation, SPRY2 loss also activates a PP2A-dependent tumor suppressor checkpoint. Mechanistically, the PP2A-mediated growth arrest depends on GSK3β and is ultimately mediated by nuclear PTEN. In murine prostate cancer models, Pten haploinsufficiency synergized with Spry2 deficiency to drive tumorigenesis, including metastasis. Together, these results show that loss of Pten cooperates with Spry2 deficiency by bypassing a novel tumor suppressor checkpoint. Furthermore, loss of SPRY2 expression correlates strongly with loss of PTEN and/or PP2A subunits in human prostate cancer. This underlines the cooperation between SPRY2 deficiency and PTEN or PP2A inactivation in promoting tumorigenesis. Overall, we propose SPRY2, PTEN, and PP2A status as an important determinant of prostate cancer progression. Characterization of this trio may facilitate patient stratification for targeted therapies and chemopreventive interventions.

Lito P, Pratilas CA, Joseph EW, et al.
Relief of profound feedback inhibition of mitogenic signaling by RAF inhibitors attenuates their activity in BRAFV600E melanomas.
Cancer Cell. 2012; 22(5):668-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BRAF(V600E) drives tumors by dysregulating ERK signaling. In these tumors, we show that high levels of ERK-dependent negative feedback potently suppress ligand-dependent mitogenic signaling and Ras function. BRAF(V600E) activation is Ras independent and it signals as a RAF-inhibitor-sensitive monomer. RAF inhibitors potently inhibit RAF monomers and ERK signaling, causing relief of ERK-dependent feedback, reactivation of ligand-dependent signal transduction, increased Ras-GTP, and generation of RAF-inhibitor-resistant RAF dimers. This results in a rebound in ERK activity and culminates in a new steady state, wherein ERK signaling is elevated compared to its initial nadir after RAF inhibition. In this state, ERK signaling is RAF inhibitor resistant, and MEK inhibitor sensitive, and combined inhibition results in enhancement of ERK pathway inhibition and antitumor activity.

Henke A, Grace OC, Ashley GR, et al.
Stromal expression of decorin, Semaphorin6D, SPARC, Sprouty1 and Tsukushi in developing prostate and decreased levels of decorin in prostate cancer.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e42516 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: During prostate development, mesenchymal-epithelial interactions regulate organ growth and differentiation. In adult prostate, stromal-epithelial interactions are important for tissue homeostasis and also play a significant role in prostate cancer. In this study we have identified molecules that show a mesenchymal expression pattern in the developing prostate, and one of these showed reduced expression in prostate cancer stroma.
METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Five candidate molecules identified by transcript profiling of developmental prostate mesenchyme were selected using a wholemount in situ hybridisation screen and studied Decorin (Dcn), Semaphorin6D (Sema6D), SPARC/Osteonectin (SPARC), Sprouty1 (Spry-1) and Tsukushi (Tsku). Expression in rat tissues was evaluated using wholemount in situ hybridisation (postnatal day (P) 0.5) and immunohistochemistry (embryonic day (E) E17.5, E19.5; P0.5; P6; 28 & adult). Four candidates (Decorin, SPARC, Spry-1, Tsukushi) were immunolocalised in human foetal prostate (weeks 14, 16, 19) and expression of Decorin was evaluated on a human prostate cancer tissue microarray. In embryonic and perinatal rats Decorin, Semaphorin6D, SPARC, Spry-1 and Tsukushi were expressed with varying distribution patterns throughout the mesenchyme at E17.5, E19.5, P0.5 and P6.5. In P28 and adult prostates there was either a decrease in the expression (Semaphorin6D) or a switch to epithelial expression of SPARC, and Spry-1, whereas Decorin and Tsukushi were specific to mesenchyme/stroma at all ages. Expression of Decorin, SPARC, Spry-1 and Tsukushi in human foetal prostates paralleled that in rat. Decorin showed mesenchymal and stromal-specific expression at all ages and was further examined in prostate cancer, where stromal expression was significantly reduced compared with non-malignant prostate.
CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: We describe the spatio-temporal expression of Decorin, Semaphorin6D, SPARC, Spry-1 and Tsukushi in developing prostate and observed similar mesenchymal expression patterns in rat and human. Additionally, Decorin showed reduced expression in prostate cancer stroma compared to non-malignant prostate stroma.

Wang C, Delogu S, Ho C, et al.
Inactivation of Spry2 accelerates AKT-driven hepatocarcinogenesis via activation of MAPK and PKM2 pathways.
J Hepatol. 2012; 57(3):577-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Aberrant activation of the AKT oncogenic pathway and downregulation of the Sprouty 2 (Spry2) tumor suppressor gene are frequently observed molecular events in human hepatocarcinogenesis. The goal of the present study was to investigate the eventual biochemical and genetic crosstalk between activated AKT and inactivation of Spry2 during liver cancer development by using in vivo and in vitro approaches.
METHODS: Activated AKT and/or Spry2Y55F, a dominant negative form of Spry2, were overexpressed in the mouse liver via hydrodynamic gene delivery. Histological and biochemical assays were applied to characterize the molecular features of AKT and AKT/Spry2Y55F liver tumors. The human HLE hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line, stably overexpressing AKT, was transfected with Spry2Y55F to study the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatocarcinogenesis driven by Spry2 loss.
RESULTS: Spry2Y55F overexpression significantly accelerated AKT-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in the mouse. AKT/Spry2Y55F liver lesions had increased proliferation and glycolysis and decreased lipogenesis when compared with AKT corresponding lesions. At the molecular level, AKT/Spry2Y55F HCCs exhibited a significantly stronger induction of activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) pathways than in AKT corresponding lesions. This phenotype was reproduced in HLE cells overexpressing AKT following transfection with Spry2Y55F. Furthermore, we found that concomitant suppression of the MAPK cascade and PKM2 strongly inhibited the growth induced by Spry2Y55F in AKT-overexpressing cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Inactivation of Spry2 accelerates AKT-induced hepatocarcinogenesis via activation of MAPK and PKM2 pathways.

Song K, Gao Q, Zhou J, et al.
Prognostic significance and clinical relevance of Sprouty 2 protein expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2012; 11(2):177-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In vitro experiments and mice models have confirmed the importance of Sprouty 2 (Spry2) in inhibiting tumorigenesis and the progression of human cancer. However, the prognostic value of Spry2 in cancer patients remains unknown. This study is aimed to investigate the clinical relevance and prognostic significance of Spry2 expression in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: With samples from 240 randomly-selected HCC patients who underwent surgery, immunohistochemistry was used to investigate Spry2 expression on tissue microarrays. The correlation of Spry2 expression with survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and univariate/multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis. Spry2, ERK and phospho-ERK expression in HCC cell lines was detected by Western blotting.
RESULTS: Among the patients, 86.3% (207 of 240) exhibited down-regulation of Spry2 expression. Patients negative for Spry2 showed poorer survival (P=0.002) and increased recurrence (P=0.003). Multivariate analysis further established Spry2 as an independent predictor of postoperative recurrence in HCC patients (HR=1.47; 95% CI, 1.02-2.08; P=0.037). Down-regulation of Spry2 was associated with highly malignant phenotypes like vascular invasion and advanced tumor stages, and was positively correlated with the metastatic potential of HCC cell lines.
CONCLUSION: In the era of molecular targeted therapy, the expression of Spry2 in HCC may have relevant clinical significance and turn out to be a key factor in prognostic assessment and in treatment planning.

Feng YH, Wu CL, Shiau AL, et al.
MicroRNA-21-mediated regulation of Sprouty2 protein expression enhances the cytotoxic effect of 5-fluorouracil and metformin in colon cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2012; 29(5):920-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sprouty2 (Spry2) was identified recently as a tumor suppressor gene in cancer cells which inhibits the activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The present study explored the effect of Spry2 in colon cancer cells in order to assess its potential use in the treatment of colon cancer. Expression of Spry2 inhibited the growth of a colon cancer cell line, HCT116, and induced sensitization to fluorouracil (5-FU) and metformin. Spry2 promoted apoptosis of cancer cells in association with activation of the phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) pathway and the blockade of Ras-Raf-Erk signaling. Treatment of Spry2-HCT116 cells with metformin resulted in a more prominent effect on the inhibition of cell migration. Inhibition of microRNA-21 (mir‑21) induced upregulation of Spry2 and PTEN which underscores the importance of mir-21 in Spry2-associated tumorigenesis of the colon. These results point toward a potential strategy for colon cancer treatment worthy of further investigation.

Dorman K, Shen Z, Yang C, et al.
CtBP1 interacts with Ikaros and modulates pituitary tumor cell survival and response to hypoxia.
Mol Endocrinol. 2012; 26(3):447-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
C-terminal binding protein (CtBP) is a transcriptional corepressor that plays an important role in mammalian development and tumorigenesis. We demonstrate that CtBP is expressed in adenohypophyseal cells and is expressed at high levels in human corticotroph, somatotroph, and lactotroph pituitary adenomas. CtBP interacts with Ikaros isoforms in GH4 and AtT20 pituitary tumor cells. Ikaros and CtBP1 expression is coordinately induced by hypoxia, and this response is abrogated by CtBP1 deficiency. Forced reduction of CtBP1 leads to reduced cell growth, up-regulation of Sprouty 2, and down-regulation of ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase phosphodiesterase 2 (Enpp2). Consistent with diminished Enpp2 activity, CtBP1-deficient pituitary cells are more susceptible to hypoxia-induced apoptosis, which is rescued by Enpp2-derived lysophosphatidic acid treatment. These results identify putative oncogenic properties of CtBP1 and provide new insights into the overlapping functions of two members of the chromatin remodeling network in the response to hypoxic pituitary tumor cell drive.

Sirivatanauksorn Y, Sirivatanauksorn V, Srisawat C, et al.
Differential expression of sprouty genes in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Surg Oncol. 2012; 105(3):273-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Sprouty (Spry) proteins are important modulators of the RTK/Ras/MAPK pathway, overactivation of which is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thus far, the roles of Sprouty in HCC is still unclear.
METHODS: The expressions of SPRY1, SPRY2, SPRY3, and SPRY4, at the mRNA levels were determined by quantitative RT-PCR in paired HCC and non-tumor liver tissues from 31 patients.
RESULTS: The expression levels of SPRY1, SPRY2, and SPRY4 in tumor tissues were significantly different from those in non-tumor tissues with the average log fold change values of 0.15, -0.34, and -0.37, respectively; however, that of SPRY3 was not significantly different. SPRY1 expression was also found to be significantly up-regulated in the cases without underlying cirrhosis compared with those with cirrhosis (log fold change of 0.35 and -0.02, respectively, P < 0.05), whereas SPRY2 expression was significantly lower in the cases with advanced HCC (log fold change of -0.12 and -0.52 in early and advanced stages, respectively, P < 0.05) and in those with angiolymphatic invasion (log fold change of -0.47 and -0.16 in the presence and absence thereof, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that Sprouty genes are differentially expressed in HCC and might provide some insight into their roles in HCC carcinogenesis.

Faratian D, Sims AH, Mullen P, et al.
Sprouty 2 is an independent prognostic factor in breast cancer and may be useful in stratifying patients for trastuzumab therapy.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(8):e23772 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Resistance to trastuzumab is a clinical problem, partly due to overriding activation of MAPK/PI3K signalling. Sprouty-family proteins are negative regulators of MAPK/PI3K signalling, but their role in HER2-therapy resistance is unknown.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Associations between Sprouty gene expression and clinicopathological features were investigated in a breast cancer microarray meta-analysis. Changes in expression of Spry2 and feedback inhibition on trastuzumab resistance were studied in SKBr3 and BT474 breast carcinoma cell lines using cell viability assays. Spry2 protein expression was measured by quantitative immunofluorescence in a cohort of 122 patients treated with trastuzumab.
RESULTS: Low gene expression of Spry2 was associated with increased pathological grade, high HER2 expression, and was a significant independent prognostic factor. Overexpression of Spry2 in SKBr3s resulted in enhanced inhibition of cell viability after trastuzumab treatment, and the PI3K-inhibitor LY294002 had a similar effect. Low Spry2 expression was associated with increased risk of death (HR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.22-4.26; p = 0.008) in trastuzumab-treated patients, including in multivariate analysis. Stratification of trastuzumab-treated patients using PTEN and Spry2 was superior to either marker in isolation.
CONCLUSION: In breast cancers with deficient feedback inhibition, combinatorial therapy with negative regulators of growth factor signalling may be an effective therapeutic strategy.

McCormick JJ, Maher VM
Malignant transformation of human skin fibroblasts by two alternative pathways.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011; 720:191-207 [PubMed] Related Publications
We developed a telomerase-positive, infinite life span human fibroblast cell strain (MSU-1.0) by transfection of a v-MYC oncogene and spontaneous over-expression of transcription factors SP1/SP3. Loss of expression of p14(ALT) and enhanced expression of SPRY2 gave rise to the MSU-1.1 cell strain. Unlike MSU-1.0 cells, the MSU-1.1 cells can be malignantly transformed by expression of N-RAS(LYS61) or H-Ras(v12) oncoproteins (driven by their original promoters) and expression of a SRC-family protein, v-FES. MSU-1.1 cells can also be malignantly transformed by high expression of these RAS oncogenes or the v-K-RAS oncogene. PDGF-B transformed MSU-1.1 cells give rise to benign tumors (fibromas) in athymic mice. A second route to malignant transformation of the MSU-1.1 cells involves loss of functional TP53 protein by carcinogen treatment and loss of expression of wild type p16(INK). These studies indicate 6-8 "hits" are required to activate the oncogenes and inactivate the suppressor genes we identified.

Gatius S, Velasco A, Azueta A, et al.
FGFR2 alterations in endometrial carcinoma.
Mod Pathol. 2011; 24(11):1500-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) is a tyrosine kinase receptor involved in many biological processes such as embryogenesis, adult tissue homeostasis and cell proliferation. Mutations in FGFR2 have been reported in up to 10-12% of endometrial carcinomas identical to those found in congenital craniofacial disorders. Inhibition of FGFR2 could be a new therapeutic target in endometrial carcinoma. FGFR2 immunostaining was assessed in three tissue microarrays: one constructed from paraffin-embedded blocks of 60 samples of normal endometrium in different phases of menstrual cycle, and two tissue microarrays containing endometrial carcinoma samples (95 and 62 cases). FGFR2 expression was correlated with stage, histological type and grade as well as with immunostaining of PTEN, RASSF1A, estrogen and progesterone receptors, KI67, Cyclin D1, STAT-3 and SPRY2. FGFR2 mutations were assessed by PCR and direct sequencing, with DNA obtained from 31 paraffin-embedded endometrial carcinoma samples. In normal endometrium, FGFR2 expression was higher in the secretory than in the proliferative phase (P=0.001), with an inverse correlation with Ki67 (P=0.00032), suggesting a tumor-suppressor role for FGFR2 in normal endometrium. Cytoplasmic expression of FGFR2 was higher in endometrial carcinoma when compared with the atrophic endometrium from the same patients (P=0.0283), but was lower in comparison with normal endometrium from women in the menstrual cycle. Interestingly, nuclear staining was observed in some cases, and it was less frequent in endometrial carcinoma when compared with the adjacent atrophic endometrium (P=0.0465). There were no statistical differences when comparing superficial and myoinvasive endometrial carcinoma samples. Endometrioid endometrial carcinomas showed higher expression of FGFR2 than nonendometrioid endometrial carcinomas (fold change 2.56; P=0.0015). Grade III endometrioid endometrial carcinomas showed decreased FGFR2 expression when compared with grade II endometrioid endometrial carcinomas (P=0.0055). No differences were found regarding pathological stage. Two missense mutations of FGFR2 gene were detected in exons 6 and 11 (S252W and N549K, respectively; 6.45%). Results support the hypothesis that FGFR2 has a dual role in the endometrium, by inhibiting cell proliferation in normal endometrium during the menstrual cycle, but acting as an oncogene in endometrial carcinoma.

Kwak HJ, Kim YJ, Chun KR, et al.
Downregulation of Spry2 by miR-21 triggers malignancy in human gliomas.
Oncogene. 2011; 30(21):2433-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gliomas are associated with high mortality because of their exceedingly invasive character. As these tumors acquire their invasiveness from low-grade tumors, it is very important to understand the detailed molecular mechanisms of invasion onset. Recent evidences suggest the significant role of microRNAs in tumor invasion. Thus, we hypothesized that deregulation of microRNAs may be important for the malignant progression of gliomas. We found that the aberrant expression of miR-21 is responsible for glioma invasion by disrupting the negative feedback circuit of Ras/MAPK signaling, which is mediated by Spry2. Upregulation of miR-21 was triggered by tumor microenvironmental factors such as hyaluronan and growth factors in glioma cells lacking functional phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), but not harboring wild-type PTEN. Consistently with these in vitro results, Spry2 protein levels were significantly decreased in 79.7% of invasive WHO grade II-IV human glioma tissues, but not in non-invasive grade I and normal tissues. The Spry2 protein levels were not correlated with their mRNA levels, but inversely correlated with miR-21 levels. Taken together, these results suggest that the post-transcriptional regulation of Spry2 by miR-21 has an essential role on the malignant progression of human gliomas. Thus, Spry2 may be a novel therapeutic target for treating gliomas.

Xu L, Zhou JL, Cohen M, et al.
Spry2 expression correlates with BRAF mutation in thyroid cancer.
Surgery. 2010; 148(6):1282-7; discussion 1287 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: BRAF mutations activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and often confer an aggressive thyroid cancer (TC) phenotype. Spry2 is an inducible negative feedback regulator of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Spry2 in TC.
METHODS: TC cell lines were analyzed for Spry2 expression and MAPK pathway activation. Cells were treated with MEK inhibitor and Spry2 small hairpin RNA. Cells were analyzed for Spry2 expression and MEK/ERK phosphorylation (pMEK, pERK). Thirty human papillary TCs were analyzed for mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activating mutations and Spry2 expression.
RESULTS: Increased baseline pMEK levels and Spry2 expression was found in BRAF V600E mutant (BRAF+) cells. MEK inhibition in BRAF+ cells showed decreased Spry2 expression and decreased pMEK/pERK levels. From our tissue samples, 10 papillary TCs had BRAF mutation, and increased Spry2 expression was found only in BRAF+ tumors.
CONCLUSION: Spry2 expression correlates with BRAF status in vitro and in human tissue. Spry2 may serve as a negative feedback regulator of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in BRAF+ TC. Increased Spry2 expression may serve as a surrogate marker of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activation with prognostic and therapeutic implications.

Velasco A, Pallares J, Santacana M, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation and expression of sprouty 2 in endometrial carcinoma.
Hum Pathol. 2011; 42(2):185-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sprouty 2 is a key antagonist regulator of receptor tyrosine kinases, and downstream signaling pathways, like fibroblastic growth factor (FGF) and Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase (RAS-MAPK). By controlling these pathways, sprouty 2 is involved in regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis. Alterations in fibroblastic growth factor receptor (FGFR) and members of the RAS-MAPK pathway are frequent in endometrial carcinoma. The expression of sprouty 2 has been found to be decreased in several types of human cancer, by mechanisms of promoter methylation. In the present study, we have assessed the expression of sprouty 2 in endometrial carcinoma, in correlation with sprouty 2 promoter methylation. Sprouty 2 immunohistochemical expression was assessed using 3 different tissue microarrays: one constructed from paraffin blocks of 80 samples of normal endometrium and 2 tissue microarrays containing samples of 157 endometrial carcinoma (1 tissue microarray constructed with 95 endometrial carcinomas previously studied for microsatellite instability and alterations in phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), k-ras, and b-catenin, and 1 tissue microarray containing 62 endometrial carcinoma, which were also subjected to sprouty 2 promoter methylation analysis). The immunohistochemical expression of sprouty 2 was correlated with cellular proliferation (Ki67) and clinicopathologic data. Sprouty 2 promoter methylation was assessed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, with DNA obtained from fresh-frozen samples of endometrial carcinoma and corresponding normal tissues, and correlated with promoter methylation of RAS association domain family-1A (RASSF1A). A highly significant decrease in sprouty 2 immunoexpression was seen in the proliferative phase of normal endometrium (P < .001). Differences were detected between types I and II endometrial carcinoma, but they were not statistically significant. Reduced immunoexpression of sprouty 2 was seen in 19.85% of endometrial carcinoma and was strongly and inversely associated with increased cell proliferation (Ki67; r = -0.367; P = .001). Sprouty 2 promoter methylation was detected in 31 (53.4%) of 58 endometrial carcinomas. Results from our study show that alterations in sprouty 2 may be involved in endometrial carcinogenesis by controlling cell proliferation.

Feng YH, Wu CL, Tsao CJ, et al.
Deregulated expression of sprouty2 and microRNA-21 in human colon cancer: Correlation with the clinical stage of the disease.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2011; 11(1):111-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sprouty protein is a novel feedback regulator involved in downstream inactivation of several growth factor receptor pathways. Sprouty2 (Spry2) protein was shown to be downregulated in human cancers. High levels of microRNA-21 (miRNA-21) expression have been associated with poor survival and poor response to adjuvant chemotherapy in cancer patients. But the effect of Spry2 in human colon cancer remained unknown. Paired tumor and normal mucosa samples from patients were examined for their expression of Spry2 mRNA and miRNA-21 by real-time quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Our results show that Spry2 was downregulated in human colon cancer, and its expression levels were lower in advanced-stage tumors than in early-stage tumors. There was a negative correlation between the expression levels of Spry2 and miRNA-21. Furthermore, overexpression of Spry2 suppressed the growth and migration of colon cancer cells with a concomitant increase in PTEN expression and reduction of Akt and MAPK phosphorylation. Spry2 inhibited the growth and tumorigenesis of colon cancer cells in vivo. Conclusively, we show for the first time that Spry2 expression is downregulated and miRNA-21 is upregulated in the clinical samples of colon cancer, which correlates with clinical stage of disease. Thus, Spry2 functions as a tumor suppressor in colon cancer.

Chen H, Kluz T, Zhang R, Costa M
Hypoxia and nickel inhibit histone demethylase JMJD1A and repress Spry2 expression in human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells.
Carcinogenesis. 2010; 31(12):2136-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes commonly occurs in human cancers via increasing DNA methylation and repressive histone modifications at gene promoters. However, little is known about how pathogenic environmental factors contribute to cancer development by affecting epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. Previously, we reported that both hypoxia and nickel (an environmental carcinogen) increased global histone H3 lysine 9 methylation in cells through inhibiting a novel class of iron- and α-ketoglutarate-dependent histone demethylases. Here, we investigated whether inhibition of histone demethylase JMJD1A by hypoxia and nickel could lead to repression/silencing of JMJD1A-targeted gene(s). By using Affymetrix GeneChip and ChIP-on-chip technologies, we identified Spry2 gene, a key regulator of receptor tyrosine kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling, as one of the JMJD1A-targeted genes in human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells. Both hypoxia and nickel exposure increased the level of H3K9me2 at the Spry2 promoter by inhibiting JMJD1A, which probably led to a decreased expression of Spry2 in BEAS-2B cells. Repression of Spry2 potentiated the nickel-induced ERK phosphorylation, and forced expression of Spry2 in BEAS-2B cells decreased the nickel-induced ERK phosphorylation and significantly suppressed nickel-induced anchorage-independent growth. Taken together, our results suggest that histone demethylases could be targets of environmental carcinogens and their inhibition may lead to altered gene expression and eventually carcinogenesis.

Lee SA, Ladu S, Evert M, et al.
Synergistic role of Sprouty2 inactivation and c-Met up-regulation in mouse and human hepatocarcinogenesis.
Hepatology. 2010; 52(2):506-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Sprouty2 (Spry2), a negative feedback regulator of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, is frequently down-regulated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We tested the hypothesis that loss of Spry2 cooperates with unconstrained activation of the c-Met protooncogene to induce hepatocarcinogenesis via in vitro and in vivo approaches. We found coordinated down-regulation of Spry2 protein expression and activation of c-Met as well as its downstream effectors extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT) in a subset of human HCC samples with poor outcome. Mechanistic studies revealed that Spry2 function is disrupted in human HCC via multiple mechanisms at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, including promoter hypermethylation, loss of heterozygosity, and proteosomal degradation by neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4 (NEDD4). In HCC cell lines, Spry2 overexpression inhibits c-Met-induced cell proliferation as well as ERK and AKT activation, whereas loss of Spry2 potentiates c-Met signaling. Most importantly, we show that blocking Spry2 activity via a dominant negative form of Spry2 cooperates with c-Met to promote hepatocarcinogenesis in the mouse liver by sustaining proliferation and angiogenesis. The tumors exhibited high levels of activated ERK and AKT, recapitulating the subgroup of human HCC with a clinically aggressive phenotype.
CONCLUSION: The occurrence of frequent genetic, epigenetic, and biochemical events leading to Spry2 inactivation provides solid evidence that Spry2 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in liver cancer. Coordinated deregulation of Spry2 and c-Met signaling may be a pivotal oncogenic mechanism responsible for unrestrained activation of ERK and AKT pathways in human hepatocarcinogenesis.

Chitra E, Lin YW, Davamani F, et al.
Functional interaction between Env oncogene from Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus and tumor suppressor Sprouty2.
Retrovirology. 2010; 7:62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) is a type D retrovirus capable of transforming target cells in vitro and in vivo. The Envelope (Env) gene from JSRV and from related retroviruses can induce oncogenic transformation, although the detailed mechanism is yet to be clearly understood. Host cell factors are envisaged to play a critical determining role in the regulation of Env-mediated cell transformation.
RESULTS: JSRV Env-mediated transformation of a lung adenocarcinoma cell line induced rapid proliferation, anchorage-independent growth and tumor formation, but completely abrogated the migration ability. An analysis of the signaling scenario in the transformed cells suggested the involvement of the ERK pathway regulated by Sprouty2 in cell migration, and the PI3K-Akt and STAT3 pathways in proliferation and anchorage-independence. On the other hand, in a normal lung epithelial cell line, Env-mediated transformation only decreased the migration potential while the other functions remained unaltered. We observed that Env induced the expression of a tumor suppressor, Sprouty2, suggesting a correlation between Env-effect and Sprouty2 expression. Overexpression of Sprouty2 per se not only decreased the migratory potential and tumor formation potential of the target cells but also made them resistant to subsequent Env-mediated transformation. On the other hand, over expression of the functional mutants of Sprouty2 had no inhibitory effect, confirming the role of Sprouty2 as a tumor suppressor.
CONCLUSIONS: Our studies demonstrate that Env and Sprouty2 have a functional relationship, probably through shared signaling network. Sprouty2 functions as a tumor suppressor regulating oncogenic transformation of cells, and it therefore has the potential to be exploited as a therapeutic anti-cancer agent.

Holgren C, Dougherty U, Edwin F, et al.
Sprouty-2 controls c-Met expression and metastatic potential of colon cancer cells: sprouty/c-Met upregulation in human colonic adenocarcinomas.
Oncogene. 2010; 29(38):5241-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sprouty negatively regulates receptor tyrosine kinase signals by inhibiting Ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways. Sprouty is downregulated in breast, prostate and liver cancers and appears to function as a tumor suppressor. The role of sprouty in colonic neoplasia, however, has not been investigated. Sprouty-2 protein and mRNA transcripts were significantly upregulated in human colonic adenocarcinomas. Strikingly, the c-Met receptor was also upregulated in tumors with increased sprouty-2. To delineate a potential causal relationship between sprouty-2 and c-Met, K-ras mutant HCT-116 colon cancer cells were transduced with purified TAT-sprouty-2 protein or stably transfected with full-length human sprouty-2 gene. Sprouty-2 upregulation significantly increased cell proliferation by accelerating cell cycle transition. Sprouty-2 transfectants showed strong upregulation of c-Met protein and mRNA transcripts and hepatocyte growth factor-stimulated ERK and Akt phosphorylation and enhanced cell migration and invasion. In contrast, knockdown of c-Met by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly decreased cell proliferation, migration and invasion in sprouty-2 transfectants. Further, knockdown of sprouty-2 by siRNA in parental HT-29 and LS-174T colon cancer cells also decreased cell invasion. Sprouty-2 transfectants formed significantly larger tumor xenografts and showed increased proliferation and angiogenesis and suppressed apoptosis. Sprouty-2 tumors metastasized to the liver from cecal orthotopic implants, suggesting that sprouty-2 might also enhance metastatic signals. Thus, in colon cancer sprouty functions as an oncogene and its effects are mediated in part by c-Met upregulation.

Ma Y, Yu S, Zhao W, et al.
miR-27a regulates the growth, colony formation and migration of pancreatic cancer cells by targeting Sprouty2.
Cancer Lett. 2010; 298(2):150-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs are short regulatory RNAs. A growing body of data implicates altered miRNA participate in the development of cancers and miR-27a is abnormally upregulated in several types of cancers identified as an oncogene. Although overexpressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the oncogenic role of miR-27a has not yet been reported. In this study, we showed that inhibition of miR-27a suppressed the growth, colony formation and migration of pancreatic cancer cells. By using a reporter-screening assay, we discovered that the 3'UTR of Sprouty2 (Spry2) carried a putative miR-27a binding site. Furthermore, the Spry2 protein, which has a low expression level in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, was upregulated by transfection with a miR-27a inhibitor. The data reported here are the first to indicate that miR-27a plays an oncogenic role by targeting Spry2 and modulating the malignant, biological behavior of pancreatic cancer cells. This suggests the potential for miR-27a to be used as a target in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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