Gene Summary

Gene:TGFBR2; transforming growth factor beta receptor 2
Aliases: AAT3, FAA3, LDS2, MFS2, RIIC, LDS1B, LDS2B, TAAD2, TBRII, TBR-ii, TGFR-2, TGFbeta-RII
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a transmembrane protein that has a protein kinase domain, forms a heterodimeric complex with TGF-beta receptor type-1, and binds TGF-beta. This receptor/ligand complex phosphorylates proteins, which then enter the nucleus and regulate the transcription of genes related to cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest, wound healing, immunosuppression, and tumorigenesis. Mutations in this gene have been associated with Marfan Syndrome, Loeys-Deitz Aortic Aneurysm Syndrome, and the development of various types of tumors. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been characterized. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:TGF-beta receptor type-2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


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 (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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.

Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Colorectal CancerTGFBR2 and Colorectal Cancer View Publications158
Lung CancerTGFBR2 and Lung Cancer View Publications74
Breast CancerTGFBR2 and Breast Cancer View Publications66
Stomach CancerTGFBR2 and Stomach Cancer View Publications61
Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer TGFBR2 and Lynch Syndrome View Publications40
Pancreatic CancerTGFBR2 and Pancreatic Cancer View Publications33
Thyroid CancerTGFBR2 and Thyroid Cancer View Publications10
Ewing's SarcomaTGFBR2 Suppression by Ewing's Sarcoma EWS/FLI1 Fusion Genes
Hahm and colleagues (Nat Genet, 1999) reported that TGFBR2, a putative tumour suppresser gene, is a direct target of the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein. They found that Ewing’s sarcoma cell lines and primary tumours with the EWSR1-FLI1 expressed low or undetectable levels of TGFBR2 mRNA and protein product. However, in ES cell lines antisense to EWSR1-FLI1 restored TGFBR2 expression and introduction of normal TGFBR2-beta restored TGF-beta sensitivity and blocked tumorigenicity. They later demonstrated (Cancer Res, 2000) similar effects of EWS-ETV1 and EWS-ERG fusion proteins on the expression of TGFBR2 gene in ES cell lines.
View Publications8

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: TGFBR2 (cancer-related)

Verma R, Agarwal AK, Sakhuja P, Sharma PC
Microsatellite instability in mismatch repair and tumor suppressor genes and their expression profiling provide important targets for the development of biomarkers in gastric cancer.
Gene. 2019; 710:48-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
We evaluated microsatellite instability (MSI) in selected mismatch repair (MMR) and tumor suppressor (TS) genes with a view to exploring genetic changes associated with the occurrence of gastric cancer (GC). Moreover, expression of MSI positive genes was measured to get insights into molecular events operating in the tumor microenvironment. We anticipated discovering new molecular targets with potential as molecular biomarkers of gastric cancer. Of the 13 genes screened, we observed 15% to 52.5% MSI at eight microsatellite loci located in 3' UTR and coding regions of six genes (TGFBR2, PDCD4, MLH3, DLC1, MSH6, and MSH3). The union probability of different combinations of unstable microsatellite loci unveiled a set of four MSI markers from TGFBR2, PDCD4, MLH3, and MSH3 genes that allows detection of up to 85% incidences of GC. Significant downregulation of MLH3, PDCD4, TGFBR2, and DLC1 genes was observed in tumor tissues. Protein structure analyses of two unexplored targets, MSH3 (TG

García-García F, Salinas-Vera YM, García-Vázquez R, et al.
miR‑145‑5p is associated with pathological complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and impairs cell proliferation by targeting TGFβR2 in breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(6):3527-3534 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer patients who better benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NeoCh) are those who achieve a successful pathological complete response (pCR) represented by the absence of residual disease. Unfortunately, no highly sensitive and specific tumor biomarkers for predicting the clinical response to NeoCh have yet been defined. The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether miR‑145‑5p could discriminate between pCR and no‑pCR in triple‑negative breast cancer patients that received a cisplatin/doxorubicin‑based neoadjuvant treatment. miR‑145‑5p expression was determined in breast tumors by quantitative RT‑PCR. Our data showed that miR‑145‑5p had a significant low expression (P<0.005) in patients that achieved pCR in comparison to the non‑responder group. Kaplan Meier analysis indicated that low levels of miR‑145‑5p were associated with increased disease‑free survival. In addition, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis suggested that miR‑145‑5p is a good predictor of pCR (P<0.003, AUC=0.7899, 95% CI, 0.6382‑0.9416). Quantitative RT‑PCR expression analysis also revealed that miR‑145‑5p was downregulated in four breast cancer cell lines relative to normal cells. To study the functions of miR‑145‑5p, its expression was restored in triple‑negative MDA‑MB‑231 cells and its effects in cell proliferation were evaluated by MTT assays and in apoptosis using Annexin V experiments. Data revealed that ectopic expression of miR‑145‑5p resulted in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation and also induced apoptosis. Moreover, miR‑145‑5p led to sensitization of breast cancer cells to cisplatin therapy. In addition, western blot assays indicated that miR‑145‑5p downregulated the TGFβR2 protein. In conclusion, miR‑145‑5p could be a potential biomarker of clinical response to NeoCh in triple‑negative breast cancer. Functionally miR‑145‑5p may regulate cell proliferation, at least in part, by targeting TGFβR2.

Li J, Guo L, Chai L, Ai Z
Comprehensive Analysis of Driver Genes in Personal Genomes of Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2019; 18:1533033819830966 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To characterize personal driver genes in clear cell renal cell carcinoma independent of somatic mutation frequencies.
METHODS: Personal cancer driver genes were predicted by Integrated CAncer GEnome Score in 417 patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma using 26 786 somatic mutations from The Cancer Genome Atlas, followed by an integrated investigation on personal driver genes.
RESULTS: A total of 233 personal driver genes were determined by Integrated CAncer GEnome Score. The coexpression network analysis found 5 coexpressed modules. The blue module was significantly negatively correlated with all 5 clinical features, including cancer stage, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, age, and survival status (death). CTNNB1, TGFBR2, KDR, FLT1, and INSR were the hub genes in the blue module. The expression of 79 personal driver genes was significantly associated with clinical outcomes of patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
CONCLUSIONS: The set of personal driver genes sheds insights into the tumorigenesis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma and paves the way for developing personalized medicine for clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Wang B, Xu X, Yang Z, et al.
POH1 contributes to hyperactivation of TGF-β signaling and facilitates hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis through deubiquitinating TGF-β receptors and caveolin-1.
EBioMedicine. 2019; 41:320-332 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hyper-activation of TGF-β signaling is critically involved in progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the events that contribute to the dysregulation of TGF-β pathway in HCC, especially at the post-translational level, are not well understood.
METHODS: Associations of deubiquitinase POH1 with TGF-β signaling activity and the outcomes of HCC patients were examined by data mining of online HCC datasets, immunohistochemistry analyses using human HCC specimens, spearman correlation and survival analyses. The effects of POH1 on the ubiquitination and stability of the TGF-β receptors (TGFBR1 and TGFBR2) and the activation of downstream effectors were tested by western blotting. Primary mouse liver tissues from polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C)- treated Mx-Cre+, poh1
FINDINGS: Here we show that POH1 is a critical regulator of TGF-β signaling and promotes tumor metastasis. Integrative analyses of HCC subgroups classified with unsupervised transcriptome clustering of the TGF-β response, metastatic potential and outcomes, reveal that POH1 expression positively correlates with activities of TGF-β signaling in tumors and with malignant disease progression. Functionally, POH1 intensifies TGF-β signaling delivery and, as a consequence, promotes HCC cell metastatic properties both in vitro and in vivo. The expression of the TGF-β receptors was severely downregulated in POH1-deficient mouse hepatocytes. Mechanistically, POH1 deubiquitinates the TGF-β receptors and CAV1, therefore negatively regulates lysosome pathway-mediated turnover of TGF-β receptors.
CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the pathological significance of aberrantly expressed POH1 in TGF-β signaling hyperactivation and aggressive progression in HCC.

Monsivais D, Peng J, Kang Y, Matzuk MM
Activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5) inactivation in the mouse uterus results in metastatic endometrial carcinoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019; 116(9):3883-3892 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The endometrial lining of the uterine cavity is a highly dynamic tissue that is under the continuous control of the ovarian steroid hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Endometrial adenocarcinoma arises from the uncontrolled growth of the endometrial glands, which is typically associated with unopposed estrogen action and frequently occurs in older postmenopausal women. The incidence of endometrial cancer among younger women has been rising due to increasing rates of obesity, a major risk factor for the disease. The transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family is a highly conserved group of proteins with roles in cellular differentiation, proliferation, and cancer. Inactivating mutations in the genes encoding the TGFβ cell surface receptors (

Liu XD, Xie DF, Wang YL, et al.
Integrated analysis of lncRNA-mRNA co-expression networks in the α-particle induced carcinogenesis of human branchial epithelial cells.
Int J Radiat Biol. 2019; 95(2):144-155 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To identify the mRNA and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) expression profiles and explore the lncRNA-mRNA co-expression networks associated with the carcinogenesis induced by α-particles.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immortalized human bronchial epithelial cell line, BEP2D, and its two malignant transformed cell lines, BERP35T-1 and BERP35T-4, were investigated. The lncRNA and mRNA expression profiles of BEP2D, BERP35T-1 and BERP35T-4 were generated. lncRNAs and mRNAs co-expression analysis was performed.
RESULTS: The microarray identified 668 lncRNAs in BERP35T-1 cells and 555 in BERP35T-4 cells that were differentially expressed compared to BEP2D cells. The GO terms and KEGG pathway annotation data indicated that mitotic cell cycle, DNA repair, apoptotic processes, and RNA splicing functional pathways were significantly associated with the α-particle induced cell carcinogenesis. Co-expression network analysis revealed 8902 interactions between 495 differentially expressed mRNAs and 430 corresponding lncRNAs in BERP35T-1 cells compared with BEP2D cells. The genes, situated at the important nodes of the co-expression network, include B3GNT5, RAD23, YWHAZ (14-3-3ζ), FBXW11, TGFBR2, LRP6, PSMD11, MYL12A, etc. Conclusions: This pilot study is the first to explore epigenetic mechanisms of α-particle induced carcinogenesis of human bronchial epithelial cells. It provides basic information for further investigation into the detail mechanisms underlying radiation-induced lung cancer.

Shi Y, Yang X, Xue X, et al.
HANR promotes hepatocellular carcinoma progression via miR-214/EZH2/TGF-β axis.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 506(1):189-193 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: LncRNA has been shown to associates with the initiation and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently, some studies showed that HANR function as an oncogene in HCC; however, the detailed mechanism of HANR-regulated HCC tumorigenesis and progression needs to be elucidated.
METHODS: We used RT-qPCR method to probe genes expression. MTT assay, wound healing assay and transwell invasion assay were utilized to examine proliferation and migration and invasion abilities of HepG2 cells. Xenograft tumor experiment was used to show the growth of tumors in vivo.
RESULTS: HANR was evidently upregulated in HCC tumors and cells compared to normal tissues and cells. Besides, HANR knockdown induces attenuated cell proliferation, migration, invasion of HCC cells. By bioinformatic analysis and dual luciferase reporter assay, we found that miR-214 was the downstream target of HANR. Furthermore, miR-214 inhibitor largely enhanced tumor phenotypes of HCC cells regulated by HANR knockdown. HANR and miR-214 regulated the EZH2, then affecting TGFBR2 level. Finally, we demonstrated that EZH2 overexpression could greatly rescue HANR knockdown or miR-214 mimic-induced HCC tumorigenesis and progression.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we report a newly identified regulatory mechanism HANR/miR-214/EZH2/TGF-β axis, which is implicated in tumorigenesis and progression of HCC. Our findings suggest that HANR facilitates the development of therapeutical strategies or diagnostic markers by targeting HANR.

Ordoni Aval F, Askarian Amiri S, Azadmehr A, et al.
Gene Silencing of TGFβRII Can Inhibit Glioblastoma Cell Growth
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2018; 19(9):2681-2686 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Objective: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant and aggressive type of glioma, associated with a high rate of mortality. The transforming growth factor-β receptor II (TGFβ RII) is involved in glioma initiation and progression. On the other hand, TGFβ RII silencing is critical to the inhibition of GBM. Therefore, we aimed to determine the effects of specific TGFβ RII siRNA on the survival of U-373MG cells. Methods: TGFβ RII siRNA was transfected, and qRT-PCR was performed to examine TGFβ RII mRNA expression. Cell survival was determined using colorimetric MTT assay, and platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) level was measured in the culture supernatant using ELISA assay. Result: Our findings indicated that specific siRNAs could dose-dependently suppress TGFβ RII mRNA expression after 48 hours. In addition, treatment with TGFβ RII siRNA significantly reduced tumor cell survival and decreased the amount of PDGF-BB protein in the cell culture supernatant. Conclusion: Our results suggest that TGFβ RII silencing can be a promising complementary treatment for glioma.

Paul D, Dixit A, Srivastava A, et al.
Altered transforming growth factor beta/SMAD3 signalling in patients with hippocampal sclerosis.
Epilepsy Res. 2018; 146:144-150 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) signalling cascade has been implicated in enhancing neuronal excitability and excitatory synaptogenesis following blood brain barrier (BBB) damage and inflammation. We aimed to study if TGFβ signalling expression is altered in patients with Hippocampal Sclerosis (HS). We probed into the protein expression level of the ligand transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1), transforming growth factor beta receptor II (TGFβRII) and downstream signalling molecule SMAD3 and phosphorylated SMAD3 (pSMAD3) on surgically resected hippocampal samples of thirty-four patients with HS through immuno-blotting. The increase in protein expression level of the ligand TGFβ1 was 285 ± 1.15% higher and its receptor TGFβRII was 170 ± 0.98% higher in hippocampus of patients with HS in comparison to the autopsy hippocampal control samples. The expression of the downstream signalling molecules, SMAD3 is 157 ± 0.13% and 106 ± 0.17% higher in patients with HS as compared to both types of non-seizure controls. The expression of active form of SMAD3, pSMAD3 (2.6010 ± 1.2735) was significantly upregulated in hippocampus of patients with HS compared to autopsy hippocampal controls (0.7899 ± 0.3688). While the expression of pSMAD3 (1.527 ± 0.9425) was significantly upregulated in hippocampus of patients with HS with another type of non-seizure control viz. tumour periphery tissue (0.5791 ± 0.2679), hence strongly supporting the altered expression of the pathway. This study provides the first evidence of alteration of TGFβ pathway in patients with HS which could be a potential therapeutic target.

Wang H, Wang G, Gao Y, et al.
Lnc-SNHG1 Activates the TGFBR2/SMAD3 and RAB11A/Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway by Sponging MiR-302/372/373/520 in Invasive Pituitary Tumors.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(3):1291-1303 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are critical regulators in various diseases including human cancer and could function as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) to regulate microRNAs (miRNAs).
METHODS: Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to analyze the expression of lnc-SNHG1 and miR-302/372/373/520 in pituitary tumor tissues and cell lines. Cell proliferation was investigated using MTT and cell count assays. The mechanisms by which lnc-SNHG1 affects pituitary tumor progression were investigated using Western blot assays, transwell migration assays, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, luciferase reporter assays, tumor xenografts, and flow cytometry Results: We found that lnc-SNHG1 was overexpressed in invasive pituitary tumor tissues and cell lines. Ectopic expression of lnc-SNHG1 promoted cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, as well as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), by affecting the cell cycle and cell apoptosis in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Further study indicated that overexpression of lnc-SNHG1 markedly inhibited the expression of miR-302/372/373/520 (miRNA-pool) which is down-regulated in invasive pituitary tumor cells. Moreover, overexpression of lnc-SNHG1 significantly promoted the expression of TGFBR2 and RAB11A, the direct targets of miR-302/372/373/520. Finally, lnc-SNHG1 activates the TGFBR2/SMAD3 and RAB11A/Wnt/β-catenin pathways in pituitary tumor cells via sponging miR-302/372/373/520.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that lnc-SNHG1 promotes the progression of pituitary tumors and is a potential therapeutic target for invasive pituitary tumor.

Breunig C, Erdem N, Bott A, et al.
TGFβ1 regulates HGF-induced cell migration and hepatocyte growth factor receptor MET expression via C-ets-1 and miR-128-3p in basal-like breast cancer.
Mol Oncol. 2018; 12(9):1447-1463 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. The tumor microenvironment contributes to tumor progression by inducing cell dissemination from the primary tumor and metastasis. TGFβ signaling is involved in breast cancer progression and is specifically elevated during metastatic transformation in aggressive breast cancer. In this study, we performed genomewide correlation analysis of TGFBR2 expression in a panel of 51 breast cancer cell lines and identified that MET is coregulated with TGFBR2. This correlation was confirmed at the protein level in breast cancer cell lines and human tumor tissues. Flow cytometric analysis of luminal and basal-like breast cancer cell lines and examination of 801 tumor specimens from a prospective cohort of breast cancer patients using reverse phase protein arrays revealed that expression of TGFBR2 and MET is increased in basal-like breast cancer cell lines, as well as in triple-negative breast cancer tumor tissues, compared to other subtypes. Using real-time cell analysis technology, we demonstrated that TGFβ1 triggered hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-induced and MET-dependent migration in vitro. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that TGFβ1 induces expression of C-ets-1 as a candidate transcription factor regulating MET expression. Indeed, TGFβ1-induced expression of ETS1 and breast cancer cell migration was blocked by knockdown of ETS1. Further, we identified that MET is a direct target of miR-128-3p and that this miRNA is negatively regulated by TGFβ1. Overexpression of miR-128-3p reduced MET expression and abrogated HGF-induced cell migration of invasive breast cancer cells. In conclusion, we have identified that TGFβ1 regulates HGF-induced and MET-mediated cell migration, through positive regulation of C-ets-1 and negative regulation of miR-128-3p expression in basal-like breast cancer cell lines and in triple-negative breast cancer tissue.

Pellatt AJ, Mullany LE, Herrick JS, et al.
The TGFβ-signaling pathway and colorectal cancer: associations between dysregulated genes and miRNAs.
J Transl Med. 2018; 16(1):191 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The TGFβ-signaling pathway plays an important role in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC). Loss of function of several genes within this pathway, such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been seen as key events in CRC progression.
METHODS: In this study we comprehensively evaluate differential gene expression (RNASeq) of 81 genes in the TGFβ-signaling pathway and evaluate how dysregulated genes are associated with miRNA expression (Agilent Human miRNA Microarray V19.0). We utilize paired carcinoma and normal tissue from 217 CRC cases. We evaluate the associations between differentially expressed genes and miRNAs and sex, age, disease stage, and survival months.
RESULTS: Thirteen genes were significantly downregulated and 14 were significantly upregulated after considering fold change (FC) of > 1.50 or < 0.67 and multiple comparison adjustment. Bone morphogenetic protein genes BMP5, BMP6, and BMP2 and growth differentiation factor GDF7 were downregulated. BMP4, BMP7, INHBA (Inhibin beta A), TGFBR1, TGFB2, TGIF1, TGIF2, and TFDP1 were upregulated. In general, genes with the greatest dysregulation, such as BMP5 (FC 0.17, BMP6 (FC 0.25), BMP2 (FC 0.32), CDKN2B (FC 0.32), MYC (FC 3.70), BMP7 (FC 4.17), and INHBA (FC 9.34) showed dysregulation in the majority of the population (84.3, 77.4, 81.1, 80.2, 82.0, 51.2, and 75.1% respectively). Four genes, TGFBR2, ID4, ID1, and PITX2, were un-associated or slightly upregulated in microsatellite-stable (MSS) tumors while downregulated in microsatellite-unstable (MSI) tumors. Eight dysregulated genes were associated with miRNA differential expression. E2F5 and THBS1 were associated with one or two miRNAs; RBL1, TGFBR1, TGIF2, and INHBA were associated with seven or more miRNAs with multiple seed-region matches. Evaluation of the joint effects of mRNA:miRNA identified interactions that were stronger in more advanced disease stages and varied by survival months.
CONCLUSION: These data support an interaction between miRNAs and genes in the TGFβ-signaling pathway in association with CRC risk. These interactions are associated with unique clinical characteristics that may provide targets for further investigations.

Cologne J, Loo L, Shvetsov YB, et al.
Stepwise approach to SNP-set analysis illustrated with the Metabochip and colorectal cancer in Japanese Americans of the Multiethnic Cohort.
BMC Genomics. 2018; 19(1):524 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Common variants have explained less than the amount of heritability expected for complex diseases, which has led to interest in less-common variants and more powerful approaches to the analysis of whole-genome scans. Because of low frequency (low statistical power), less-common variants are best analyzed using SNP-set methods such as gene-set or pathway-based analyses. However, there is as yet no clear consensus regarding how to focus in on potential risk variants following set-based analyses. We used a stepwise, telescoping approach to analyze common- and rare-variant data from the Illumina Metabochip array to assess genomic association with colorectal cancer (CRC) in the Japanese sub-population of the Multiethnic Cohort (676 cases, 7180 controls). We started with pathway analysis of SNPs that are in genes and pathways having known mechanistic roles in colorectal cancer, then focused on genes within the pathways that evidenced association with CRC, and finally assessed individual SNPs within the genes that evidenced association. Pathway SNPs downloaded from the dbSNP database were cross-matched with Metabochip SNPs and analyzed using the logistic kernel machine regression approach (logistic SNP-set kernel-machine association test, or sequence kernel association test; SKAT) and related methods.
RESULTS: The TGF-β and WNT pathways were associated with all CRC, and the WNT pathway was associated with colon cancer. Individual genes demonstrating the strongest associations were TGFBR2 in the TGF-β pathway and SMAD7 (which is involved in both the TGF-β and WNT pathways). As partial validation of our approach, a known CRC risk variant in SMAD7 (in both the TGF-β and WNT pathways: rs11874392) was associated with CRC risk in our data. We also detected two novel candidate CRC risk variants (rs13075948 and rs17025857) in TGFBR2, a gene known to be associated with CRC risk.
CONCLUSIONS: A stepwise, telescoping approach identified some potentially novel risk variants associated with colorectal cancer, so it may be a useful method for following up on results of set-based SNP analyses. Further work is required to assess the statistical characteristics of the approach, and additional applications should aid in better clarifying its utility.

Ishii H, Vodnala SK, Achyut BR, et al.
miR-130a and miR-145 reprogram Gr-1
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):2611 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor-derived soluble factors promote the production of Gr-1

Li LQ, Pan D, Chen Q, et al.
Sensitization of Gastric Cancer Cells to 5-FU by MicroRNA-204 Through Targeting the TGFBR2-Mediated Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 47(4):1533-1545 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Gastric cancer (GC) is the most common gastrointestinal malignancy, causing cancer-related deaths in East Asia. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs aberrantly expressed in human tumors. In this study, we aim to investigate the roles of miR-204 in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated chemosensitivity.
METHODS: The expression of miR-204 was detected in clinical tumor samples and GC cell lines by real time PCR. Tumor cell's growth, invasion, and migration were measured by MTT assay, wound healing assay, and transwell invasion assay, respectively. Western blot method was used to detect the protein levels of indicated genes. Luciferase reporter assay was performed to validate the target gene of miR-204. The in vivo role of miR-204 was measured using a xenograft mouse model of GC.
RESULTS: By comparing the expressions of miR-204 in human gastric tumors and their adjacent normal tissues, it was disclosed that miR-204 was significantly downregulated in gastric tumors. Moreover, miR-204 was downregulated in multiple GC cell lines compared with normal gastric epithelial cells. Overexpression of miR-204 suppressed GC cells' proliferation, invasion, and migration. It is noteworthy that 5-FU treatments induced miR-204 expression and suppressed TGF-β pathway. By establishment of 5-FU resistant GC cell line, it was revealed that miR-204 was significantly downregulated in 5-FU resistant GC cells, representing mesenchymal features with downregulation of epithelial marker, while mesenchymal markers were upregulated. We identified TGFBR2 as a direct target of miR-204 by Western blot method and luciferase assay in GC cells and tumor samples as well. In addition, overexpression of miR-204 sensitized GC cells to 5-FU in vitro. Xenograft experiments demonstrated that the combination of miR-204 and 5-FU efficiently inhibited tumor growth and improved survival rate of mice as well. Eventually, we illustrated the restoration of TGFBR2 in miR-204 overexpression GC cells, which recovered resistance to 5-FU treatments compared with miR-204 overexpression GC cells.
CONCLUSION: This study describes a miRNA-based therapeutic strategy against 5-FU resistance in GC, contributing to the development of anti-chemoresistance therapeutic agents.

Eikesdal HP, Becker LM, Teng Y, et al.
BMP7 Signaling in
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(10):1568-1578 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Deregulated transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling is a common feature of many epithelial cancers. Deletion of

Liu B, Tan J, Wang X, Liu X
Identification of recurrent risk-related genes and establishment of support vector machine prediction model for gastric cancer.
Neoplasma. 2018; 65(3):360-366 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study sought to investigate genes related to recurrent risk and establish a support vector machine (SVM) classifier for prediction of recurrent risk in gastric cancer (GC).Based on the gene expression profiling dataset GSE26253, feature genes that were significantly associated with survival time and status were screened out. Subsequently, protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed for these feature genes, and genes in this network was optimized using betweenness centrality algorithm in order to identify genes potentially correlated with GC (named as GCGs). In total, 1202 feature genes were identified to be significantly associated with survival time and status of GC, among of which, 65 genes were identified as a classifier that was able to recognize recurrence and nonrecurrence GC cases with a high sensitivity and specificity, predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Furthermore, the classifier was able to reasonably classify tumor samples in GSE15459 into high and low recurrent risk groups. Among those genes, a set of genes were predicted to have interactions (e.g. RHOA interacting with TGFBR1, PRKACA and PLCG1; TGFBR1 interacting with TGFBR2) and be involved in pathways like MAPK signaling (e.g. TGFBR1 and TGFBR2), adherens junction (e.g. RHOA) and apoptosis (e.g. PRKACA).The genes in the classifier model may be related to GC recurrence, and the classifier model may contribute to the prediction of recurrent risk in GC.

Hao Y, Bjerke GA, Pietrzak K, et al.
TGFβ signaling limits lineage plasticity in prostate cancer.
PLoS Genet. 2018; 14(5):e1007409 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Although treatment options for localized prostate cancer (CaP) are initially effective, the five-year survival for metastatic CaP is below 30%. Mutation or deletion of the PTEN tumor suppressor is a frequent event in metastatic CaP, and inactivation of the transforming growth factor (TGF) ß signaling pathway is associated with more advanced disease. We previously demonstrated that mouse models of CaP based on inactivation of Pten and the TGFß type II receptor (Tgfbr2) rapidly become invasive and metastatic. Here we show that mouse prostate tumors lacking Pten and Tgfbr2 have higher expression of stem cell markers and genes indicative of basal epithelial cells, and that basal cell proliferation is increased compared to Pten mutants. To better model the primarily luminal phenotype of human CaP we mutated Pten and Tgfbr2 specifically in luminal cells, and found that these tumors also progress to invasive and metastatic cancer. Accompanying the transition to invasive cancer we observed de-differentiation of luminal tumor cells to an intermediate cell type with both basal and luminal markers, as well as differentiation to basal cells. Proliferation rates in these de-differentiated cells were lower than in either basal or luminal cells. However, de-differentiated cells account for the majority of cells in micro-metastases consistent with a preferential contribution to metastasis. We suggest that active TGFß signaling limits lineage plasticity in prostate luminal cells, and that de-differentiation of luminal tumor cells can drive progression to metastatic disease.

Ullmann P, Rodriguez F, Schmitz M, et al.
The miR-371∼373 Cluster Represses Colon Cancer Initiation and Metastatic Colonization by Inhibiting the TGFBR2/ID1 Signaling Axis.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(14):3793-3808 [PubMed] Related Publications
The vast majority of colorectal cancer-related deaths can be attributed to metastatic spreading of the disease. Therefore, deciphering molecular mechanisms of metastatic dissemination is a key prerequisite to improve future treatment options. With this aim, we took advantage of different colorectal cancer cell lines and recently established primary cultures enriched in colon cancer stem cells, also known as tumor-initiating cells (TIC), to identify genes and miRNAs with regulatory functions in colorectal cancer progression. We show here that metastasis-derived TICs display increased capacity for self-renewal, TGFβ signaling activity, and reduced expression of the miR-371∼373 cluster compared with nonmetastatic cultures. TGFβ receptor 2 (

Garcia DA, Baek C, Estrada MV, et al.
USP11 Enhances TGFβ-Induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Plasticity and Human Breast Cancer Metastasis.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(7):1172-1184 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a conserved cellular plasticity program that is reactivated in carcinoma cells and drives metastasis. Although EMT is well studied its regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. Therefore, to identify novel regulators of EMT, a data mining approach was taken using published microarray data and a group of deubiquitinases (DUB) were found to be upregulated in cells that have undergone EMT. Here, it is demonstrated that one DUB, ubiquitin-specific peptidase 11 (USP11), enhances TGFβ-induced EMT and self-renewal in immortalized human mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, modulating USP11 expression in human breast cancer cells altered the migratory capacity

Stelling A, Hashwah H, Bertram K, et al.
The tumor suppressive TGF-β/SMAD1/S1PR2 signaling axis is recurrently inactivated in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2018; 131(20):2235-2246 [PubMed] Related Publications
The sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor S1PR2 and its downstream signaling pathway are commonly silenced in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), either by mutational inactivation or through negative regulation by the oncogenic transcription factor FOXP1. In this study, we examined the upstream regulators of S1PR2 expression and have newly identified the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/TGF-βR2/SMAD1 axis as critically involved in S1PR2 transcriptional activation. Phosphorylated SMAD1 directly binds to regulatory elements in the

Nagy A, Bhaduri A, Shahmarvand N, et al.
Next-generation sequencing of idiopathic multicentric and unicentric Castleman disease and follicular dendritic cell sarcomas.
Blood Adv. 2018; 2(5):481-491 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Castleman disease (CD) is a rare lymphoproliferative disorder subclassified as unicentric CD (UCD) or multicentric CD (MCD) based on clinical features and the distribution of enlarged lymph nodes with characteristic histopathology. MCD can be further subtyped based on human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) infection into HHV8-associated MCD, HHV8

Zhao Y, Wang X, Wang Q, et al.
USP2a Supports Metastasis by Tuning TGF-β Signaling.
Cell Rep. 2018; 22(9):2442-2454 [PubMed] Related Publications
TGF-β has been demonstrated to promote tumor metastasis, and the regulatory mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we report the role of USP2a in promoting metastasis by facilitating TGF-β-triggered signaling. USP2a interacts with TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 upon TGF-β stimulation and removes K33-linked polyubiquitin chains from Lys502 of TGFBR1, promoting the recruitment of SMAD2/3. Simultaneously, TGFBR2 phosphorylates Ser207/Ser225 of USP2a, leading to the disassociation of SMAD2/3 from TGFBR1. The phosphorylation of USP2a and SMAD2 is positively correlated in human tumor biopsies, and USP2a is hyper-phosphorylated in lung adenocarcinomas with lymph node invasion. Depletion or pharmacologic inhibition of USP2a dampens TGF-β-triggered signaling and metastasis. Our findings have characterized an essential role of USP2a as a potential target for treatment of metastatic cancers.

Kokaji E, Shimomura A, Minamisaka T, et al.
Endoglin (CD105) and SMAD4 regulate spheroid formation and the suppression of the invasive ability of human pancreatic cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 52(3):892-900 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we investigated the ability of pancreatic cancer cell lines to form spheroids with the aim of identifying factors involved in cell invasiveness, a property that leads to a poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. For this purpose, 8 cell lines derived from human pancreatic cancer tissues were cultured in non-adherent culture conditions to form spheroids, as well as normal monolayers. The morphology of the cells was observed and spheroid diameters measured. mRNA expression was compared between cells cultured under both culture conditions. The gene knockdown of endoglin (ENG) and SMAD4, components of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling system, using siRNAs was conducted in spheroids in order to identify affected protein signaling factors, determine the morphological changes occurring over time and to measure the invasive capacity of the cells constituting spheroids. The cell lines exhibited differences in their spheroid-forming abilities. The expression of SMAD4 and ENG concomitantly increased in the cells that formed spheroids. SMAD4 was transported into the nucleus when spheroids were formed. The expression of ENG was decreased in the cells in which SMAD4 was knocked down; by contrast, the expression of BMP and activin membrane-bound inhibitor (BAMBI) and noggin (NOG), further components of the TGF-β signaling system, increased. In the cells in which ENG was knocked down, the decreased mRNA expression of TGF-β receptor type 2 (TGFBR2) and SMAD9 was observed, as well as a change in the expression of pSMAD1/5/9, and a tendency of spheroids to decrease in size. Spheroids cultured on Matrigel exhibited a tendency towards a reduction in size over time, as well as a tendency to invade into the Matrigel. In particular, the cells in which ENG was knocked down exhibited spheroids which were reduced in size, and also exhibited an increase in invasiveness, and a decrease in adhesiveness. Thus, our data indicate that in pancreatic cancer cells, the expression of ENG may be controlled by a pathway mediated by SMAD4. In addition, ENG was found to be related to the spheroid-forming ability of cells and to be involved in the invasive capacity of pancreatic cancer cells.

Lu X, Jin EJ, Cheng X, et al.
Opposing roles of TGFβ and BMP signaling in prostate cancer development.
Genes Dev. 2017; 31(23-24):2337-2342 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
SMAD4 constrains progression of

Meng X, Vander Ark A, Daft P, et al.
Loss of TGF-β signaling in osteoblasts increases basic-FGF and promotes prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 418:109-118 [PubMed] Related Publications
TGF-β plays a central role in prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastasis, and it is crucial to understand the bone cell-specific role of TGF-β signaling in this process. Thus, we used knockout (KO) mouse models having deletion of the Tgfbr2 gene specifically in osteoblasts (Tgfbr2

Sakai E, Nakayama M, Oshima H, et al.
Combined Mutation of
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(5):1334-1346 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is driven by the accumulation of driver mutations, but the contributions of specific mutations to different steps in malignant progression are not fully understood. In this study, we generated mouse models harboring different combinations of key colorectal cancer driver mutations (

Qu Y, Zhang H, Sun W, et al.
MicroRNA-155 promotes gastric cancer growth and invasion by negatively regulating transforming growth factor-β receptor 2.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(3):618-628 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and has high morbidity and mortality rates. It is essential to elucidate the molecular events of GC proliferation and invasion, which will provide new therapeutic targets for GC. The inactivation of transforming growth factor-β receptor 2 (TGFβR2) correlates with cancer cell growth and metastasis, but the mechanisms underlying the downregulation of TGFβR2 expression remain unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) act as post-transcriptional regulators and play a key role in the development of cancers. Bioinformatics analysis and luciferase reporter assays have shown that miR-155 directly binds to the 3'-UTR of TGFβR2 mRNA. In this study, we found that the TGFβR2 protein levels, but not mRNA levels, were downregulated in GC tissues, and the levels of miR-155 were significantly increased in GC tissues. We deduced that miR-155 was inversely correlated with TGFβR2 in GC cells. In vitro studies showed that overexpression of miR-155 in SGC7901 inhibited the expression of TGFβR2 and then promoted GC cell proliferation and migration, whereas miR-155 inhibitor showed opposite effects. In addition, the tumor-suppressing function of TGFβR2 was verified by using siRNA and TGFβR2 overexpressing plasmids. The results showed that miR-155 promotes cell growth and migration by negatively regulating TGFβR2. Thus, miR-155-regulated TGFβR2 as a potential therapeutic target in GC.

Shah K, Patel S, Mirza S, Rawal RM
Unravelling the link between embryogenesis and cancer metastasis.
Gene. 2018; 642:447-452 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cancer as opposed to embryonic development is characterized by dysregulated, uncontrolled and clonal growth of cells. Inspite of that they share certain commonality in gene expression patterns and a number of cellular & molecular features. Consequently, in the present study we aimed to evaluate the role of a definite set of genes in fetal liver, primary liver cancers and metastatic liver tissue.
METHODS: The relative expression of fourteen candidate genes obtained by data mining and manual curation of published data (CXCL12, CXCR4, CK7, CDH1, CTNNB1, CLDN4, VEGFA, HIF1A, MMP9, p53, OPN, CDKN2A, TGFBR2, MUC16, β-actin) were performed on 62 tissues (32 liver metastasis tissues and 30 primary Liver cancer tissues), Fetal liver tissues (below and above 20weeks of gestation) and 2 sets of control samples by real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR).
RESULTS: Results showed significant down-regulation of MMP9 and TP53 in Fetal liver above 20weeks of gestation whereas it was up-regulated in fetal liver below 20weeks of gestation, primary liver cancers and liver metastasis. Contradictory to that OPN and CDKN2A were significantly up-regulated in primary liver cancer, liver metastasis; down-regulated in fetal liver above 20weeks of gestation but were not expressed during early embryo development (below 20weeks of gestation). Moreover, MMP9 and TP53 demonstrated a strong correlation with MUC16 whereas CDKN2A and OPN showed correlation with CXCL12/CXCR4 signifying that MUC16, CXCL12/CXCR4 might be involved in the complex process of cancer metastasis.
CONCLUSION: MMP9, OPN, TP53 and CDKN2A were the identified markers that were expressed in a similar pattern in early embryonic development and cancer development & invasion suggesting that these genes are activated during embryogenesis and might be re-expressed in cancer metastasis. Moreover, these genes govern a pathway that might be activated during cancer metastasis. Thus, targeting these molecules may provide better treatment for metastatic liver cancers.

Naji M, Aleyasin A, Nekoonam S, et al.
Differential Expression of miR-93 and miR-21 in Granulosa Cells and Follicular Fluid of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Associating with Different Phenotypes.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):14671 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
The heterogeneous and multifactorial essence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) renders a remarkable significance to microRNAs (miRNAs). Normo-androgenic (NA) and hyperandrogenic (HA) PCOS patients were compared with matched healthy women. Expression of miRNAs and TGFβ signaling genes was studied by qRT-PCR and western blotting. Effect of androgen on expression of miR-93 and miR-21 and involvement of androgen receptor were appraised. In granulosa cells (GCs), miR-93 and miR-21 showed significantly increased levels in HA patients compared to NA patients. On the contrary, follicular fluid (FF) levels of both miRNAs were significantly decreased in HA group compared to control women. No significant change in the expression of miRNAs in serum samples was detected. Furthermore, mRNA levels of SMAD7 and TGFBR2 were significantly downregulated in GCs of HA group compared to NA and control subjects. TGFBR2 protein level was significantly decreased in HA patients compared to controls. Free testosterone and free androgen index were positively correlated with expression of miR-93 and miR-21 in GCs of PCOS group. Our findings show distinct molecular signature of different subtypes of PCOS. Intermediary position of miRNAs as androgen responsive factors may play critical role in the pathogenesis of PCOS in hyperandrogenic condition.

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