Gene Summary

Gene:THRA; thyroid hormone receptor alpha
Aliases: AR7, EAR7, ERBA, CHNG6, ERBA1, NR1A1, THRA1, THRA2, ERB-T-1, c-ERBA-1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a nuclear hormone receptor for triiodothyronine. It is one of the several receptors for thyroid hormone, and has been shown to mediate the biological activities of thyroid hormone. Knockout studies in mice suggest that the different receptors, while having certain extent of redundancy, may mediate different functions of thyroid hormone. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been reported. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:thyroid hormone receptor alpha
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (40)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 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.

  • Triiodothyronine
  • ras Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Paraproteinemias
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Base Sequence
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Receptors, Somatostatin
  • Survival Rate
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Cancer DNA
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Chromosome 17
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Messenger RNA
  • Adolescents
  • Translocation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Mutation
  • Plasma Cells
  • Ukraine
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Young Adult
  • Oncogenes
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Signal Transduction
  • Receptor, erbB-2
  • Gene Amplification
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Cyclin D1
Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: THRA (cancer-related)

Wang HJ, Pochampalli M, Wang LY, et al.
KDM8/JMJD5 as a dual coactivator of AR and PKM2 integrates AR/EZH2 network and tumor metabolism in CRPC.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(1):17-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
During the evolution into castration or therapy resistance, prostate cancer cells reprogram the androgen responses to cope with the diminishing level of androgens, and undergo metabolic adaption to the nutritionally deprived and hypoxia conditions. AR (androgen receptor) and PKM2 (pyruvate kinase M2) have key roles in these processes. We report in this study, KDM8/JMJD5, a histone lysine demethylase/dioxygnase, exhibits a novel property as a dual coactivator of AR and PKM2 and as such, it is a potent inducer of castration and therapy resistance. Previously, we showed that KDM8 is involved in the regulation of cell cycle and tumor metabolism in breast cancer cells. Its role in prostate cancer has not been explored. Here, we show that KDM8's oncogenic properties in prostate cancer come from its direct interaction (1) with AR to affect androgen response and (2) with PKM2 to regulate tumor metabolism. The interaction with AR leads to the elevated expression of androgen response genes in androgen-deprived conditions. They include ANCCA/ATAD2 and EZH2, which are directly targeted by KDM8 and involved in sustaining the survival of the cells under hormone-deprived conditions. Notably, in enzalutamide-resistant cells, the expressions of both KDM8 and EZH2 are further elevated, so are neuroendocrine markers. Consequently, EZH2 inhibitors or KDM8 knockdown both resensitize the cells toward enzalutamide. In the cytosol, KDM8 associates with PKM2, the gatekeeper of pyruvate flux and translocates PKM2 into the nucleus, where the KDM8/PKM2 complex serves as a coactivator of HIF-1α to upregulate glycolytic genes. Using shRNA knockdown, we validate KDM8's functions as a regulator for both androgen-responsive and metabolic genes. KDM8 thus presents itself as an ideal therapeutic target for metabolic adaptation and castration-resistance of prostate cancer cells.

DiNardo CD, Stein EM, de Botton S, et al.
Durable Remissions with Ivosidenib in IDH1-Mutated Relapsed or Refractory AML.
N Engl J Med. 2018; 378(25):2386-2398 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mutations in the gene encoding isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 ( IDH1) occur in 6 to 10% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Ivosidenib (AG-120) is an oral, targeted, small-molecule inhibitor of mutant IDH1.
METHODS: We conducted a phase 1 dose-escalation and dose-expansion study of ivosidenib monotherapy in IDH1-mutated AML. Safety and efficacy were assessed in all treated patients. The primary efficacy population included patients with relapsed or refractory AML receiving 500 mg of ivosidenib daily with at least 6 months of follow-up.
RESULTS: Overall, 258 patients received ivosidenib and had safety outcomes assessed. Among patients with relapsed or refractory AML (179 patients), treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or higher that occurred in at least 3 patients were prolongation of the QT interval (in 7.8% of the patients), the IDH differentiation syndrome (in 3.9%), anemia (in 2.2%), thrombocytopenia or a decrease in the platelet count (in 3.4%), and leukocytosis (in 1.7%). In the primary efficacy population (125 patients), the rate of complete remission or complete remission with partial hematologic recovery was 30.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.5 to 39.3), the rate of complete remission was 21.6% (95% CI, 14.7 to 29.8), and the overall response rate was 41.6% (95% CI, 32.9 to 50.8). The median durations of these responses were 8.2 months (95% CI, 5.5 to 12.0), 9.3 months (95% CI, 5.6 to 18.3), and 6.5 months (95% CI, 4.6 to 9.3), respectively. Transfusion independence was attained in 29 of 84 patients (35%), and patients who had a response had fewer infections and febrile neutropenia episodes than those who did not have a response. Among 34 patients who had a complete remission or complete remission with partial hematologic recovery, 7 (21%) had no residual detectable IDH1 mutations on digital polymerase-chain-reaction assay. No preexisting co-occurring single gene mutation predicted clinical response or resistance to treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with advanced IDH1-mutated relapsed or refractory AML, ivosidenib at a dose of 500 mg daily was associated with a low frequency of grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events and with transfusion independence, durable remissions, and molecular remissions in some patients with complete remission. (Funded by Agios Pharmaceuticals; number, NCT02074839 .).

Gillis NE, Taber TH, Bolf EL, et al.
Thyroid Hormone Receptor β Suppression of RUNX2 Is Mediated by Brahma-Related Gene 1-Dependent Chromatin Remodeling.
Endocrinology. 2018; 159(6):2484-2494 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) suppresses tumor growth through regulation of gene expression, yet the associated TRβ-mediated changes in chromatin assembly are not known. The chromatin ATPase brahma-related gene 1 (BRG1; SMARCA4), a key component of chromatin-remodeling complexes, is altered in many cancers, but its role in thyroid tumorigenesis and TRβ-mediated gene expression is unknown. We previously identified the oncogene runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) as a repressive target of TRβ. Here, we report differential expression of BRG1 in nonmalignant and malignant thyroid cells concordant with TRβ. BRG1 and TRβ have similar nuclear distribution patterns and significant colocalization. BRG1 interacts with TRβ, and together, they are part of the regulatory complex at the RUNX2 promoter. Loss of BRG1 increases RUNX2 levels, whereas reintroduction of TRβ and BRG1 synergistically decreases RUNX2 expression. RUNX2 promoter accessibility corresponded to RUNX2 expression levels. Inhibition of BRG1 activity increased accessibility of the RUNX2 promoter and corresponding expression. Our results reveal a mechanism of TRβ repression of oncogenic gene expression: TRβ recruitment of BRG1 induces chromatin compaction and diminishes RUNX2 expression. Therefore, BRG1-mediated chromatin remodeling may be obligatory for TRβ transcriptional repression and tumor suppressor function in thyroid tumorigenesis.

Leonetti CP, Butt CM, Stapleton HM
Disruption of thyroid hormone sulfotransferase activity by brominated flame retardant chemicals in the human choriocarcinoma placenta cell line, BeWo.
Chemosphere. 2018; 197:81-88 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been shown to disrupt thyroid hormone (TH) homeostasis through multiple mechanisms, including inhibition of enzymes that regulate intracellular levels of THs, such as sulfotransferases (SULTs). The placenta plays a critical role in helping to maintain TH levels during fetal development and expresses SULTs. This is concerning given that disruption of TH regulation within the placenta could potentially harm the developing fetus. In this study, we investigated the effects of two polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), two hydroxylated PBDEs, and 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP) on TH SULT activity in a choriocarcinoma placenta cell line (BeWo). BeWo cells were exposed to BFR concentrations up to 1 μM for 1-24 h to investigate changes in basal SULT activity and in mRNA expression of several TH regulating genes. 2,4,6-TBP was the most potent inhibitor of basal 3,3'-T2 SULT activity at all exposure durations, decreasing activity by as much as 86% after 24 h of exposure. BDE-99, 3-OH BDE-47, and 6-OH BDE-47 also decreased 3,3'-T2 SULT activity by 23-42% at concentrations of 0.5 μM and 1.0 μM following 24 h exposures. BDE-47 had no effect on SULT activity, and there was no observed effect of any BFR exposure on expression of SULT1A1, or thyroid nuclear receptors alpha or beta. This research demonstrates that total TH SULT activity in placental cells are sensitive to BFR exposure; however, the mechanisms and consequences have yet to be fully elucidated.

Lin SL, Wu SM, Chung IH, et al.
Stimulation of Interferon-Stimulated Gene 20 by Thyroid Hormone Enhances Angiogenesis in Liver Cancer.
Neoplasia. 2018; 20(1):57-68 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thyroid hormone, 3,3',5-triiodo-l-thyronine (T

Dou XW, Liang YK, Lin HY, et al.
Notch3 Maintains Luminal Phenotype and Suppresses Tumorigenesis and Metastasis of Breast Cancer via Trans-Activating Estrogen Receptor-α.
Theranostics. 2017; 7(16):4041-4056 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The luminal A phenotype is the most common breast cancer subtype and is characterized by estrogen receptor α expression (ERα). Identification of the key regulator that governs the luminal phenotype of breast cancer will clarify the pathogenic mechanism and provide novel therapeutic strategies for this subtype of cancer. ERα signaling pathway sustains the epithelial phenotype and inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer. In this study, we demonstrate that Notch3 positively associates with ERα in both breast cancer cell lines and human breast cancer tissues. We found that overexpression of Notch3 intra-cellular domain, a Notch3 active form (N3ICD), in ERα negative breast cancer cells re-activated ERα, while knock-down of Notch3 reduced ERα transcript and proteins, with alteration of down-stream genes, suggesting its ability to regulate ERα. Mechanistically, our results show that Notch3 specifically binds to the CSL binding element of the ERα promoter and activates ERα expression. Moreover, Notch3 suppressed EMT, while suppression of Notch3 promoted EMT in cellular assay. Overexpressing N3ICD in triple-negative breast cancer suppressed tumorigenesis and metastasis

Popławski P, Piekiełko-Witkowska A, Nauman A
The significance of TRIP11 and T3 signalling pathway in renal cancer progression and survival of patients.
Endokrynol Pol. 2017; 68(6):631-641 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: TRIP11 is a multifunctional protein localizing either to Golgi apparatus, acting as a golgin, or in the nucleus, acting as coactivator of transcription mediated by thyroid hormone receptor (THR) and hypoxia induced factor (HIF). Triiodothyronine (T3) regulates nuclear localization of TRIP11 by inducing its phosphorylation. The exact mechanism of this regulation unknown. The expressions of THR and HIF are disturbed in various cancers, including renal cell cancer (RCC). In this study we aimed to analyze: 1) the mechanism of T3-dependent subcellular localization of TRIP11; 2) the significance of TRIP11 and T3 signaling pathway in RCC progression.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: TRIP11 subcellular localization was analyzed using immunocytochemistry in RCC-derived cell line treated with T3, T3-agarose and PI3K inhibitor, wortmannin. The expressions of TRIP11 and genes involved in T3 signaling and hypoxia were investigated using qPRC in 36 pairs of RCC tumor-control samples, followed by validation/survival analysis in an independent cohort of >450 renal cancer patients.
RESULTS: Wortmannin disrupted T3-dependent nuclear transport of TRIP11. T3-agarose did not change TRIP11 localization, precluding extracellular T3-mediated mechanism. The expressions of TRIP11, HIF-1β, THRA, THRB, FURIN, VEGFA, and GLUT1 were disturbed in renal cancer. Expressions of TRIP11 and HIF-1β correlated with tumor grades. Decreased expressions of TRIP11, THRA, and THRB correlated with poor survival of RCC patients.
CONCLUSIONS: 1) T3 induces nuclear TRIP11 localization via PI3K-dependent mechanism; 2) disturbed expression of T3 signaling pathway genes correlates with RCC progression. The specific mechanisms by which altered T3 signaling may contribute to RCC progression require further investigation.

Xiang D, Han J, Yao T, et al.
Editor's Highlight: Structure-Based Investigation on the Binding and Activation of Typical Pesticides With Thyroid Receptor.
Toxicol Sci. 2017; 160(2):205-216 [PubMed] Related Publications
A broad range of pesticides have been reported to interfere with the normal function of the thyroid endocrine system. However, the precise mechanism(s) of action has not yet been thoroughly elucidated. In this study, 21 pesticides were assessed for their binding interactions and the potential to disrupt thyroid homeostasis. In the GH3 luciferase reporter gene assays, 5 of the pesticides tested had agonistic effects in the order of procymidone > imidacloprid > mancozeb > fluroxypyr > atrazine. 11 pesticides inhibited luciferase activity of T3 to varying degrees, demonstrating their antagonistic activity. And there are 4 pesticides showed mixed effects when treated with different concentrations. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor technique was used to directly measure the binding interactions of these pesticides to the human thyroid hormone receptor (hTR). 13 pesticides were observed to bind directly with TR, with a KD ranging from 4.80E-08 M to 9.44E-07 M. The association and disassociation of the hTR/pesticide complex revealed 2 distinctive binding modes between the agonists and antagonists. At the same time, a different binding mode was displayed by the pesticides showed mix agonist and antagonist activity. In addition, the molecular docking simulation analyses indicated that the interaction energy calculated by CDOCKER for the agonists and antagonists correlated well with the KD values measured by the surface plasmon resonance assay. These results help to explain the differences of the TR activities of these tested pesticides.

Maatough A, Whitfield GK, Brook L, et al.
Human Hairless Protein Roles in Skin/Hair and Emerging Connections to Brain and Other Cancers.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(1):69-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mammalian hairless protein (HR) is a 130 kDa nuclear transcription factor that is essential for proper skin and hair follicle function. Previous studies have focused on the role of HR in skin maintenance and hair cycling. However, the hairless gene (HR) is also expressed in brain and other tissues, where its role remains poorly understood. HR has been reported to contain functional domains that potentially serve in DNA binding, histone demethylation, nuclear translocation and protein-protein interactions. Indeed, HR has been shown to interact with and repress the action of the nuclear receptors for vitamin D and thyroid hormone as well as RAR-related orphan receptor alpha, possibly via recruitment of histone deacetylases. HR may also have important functions in non-skin tissues given that nearly 200 HR mutations have been identified in patients with various cancers, including prostate, breast, lung, melanoma, uterine, and glioma. This suggests that HR and/or mutants thereof have relevance to the growth and survival of cancer cells. For example, the reported intrinsic histone H3K9 demethylase activity of HR may activate dormant genes to contribute to carcinogenesis. Alternatively, the demonstrated ability of HR to interact with p53 and/or the p53 DNA response element to influence p53-regulated pathways may explain, at least in part, why many cancers express mutated HR proteins. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of HR bioactions, how HR mutations may be contributing to alopecia as well as to cancer, and, finally, outline future directions in the study of this largely enigmatic nuclear protein. J. Cell. Biochem. 119: 69-80, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Tassi RA, Todeschini P, Siegel ER, et al.
FOXM1 expression is significantly associated with chemotherapy resistance and adverse prognosis in non-serous epithelial ovarian cancer patients.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 36(1):63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a spectrum of different diseases, which makes their treatment a challenge. Forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) is an oncogene aberrantly expressed in many solid cancers including serous EOC, but its role in non-serous EOCs remains undefined. We examined FOXM1 expression and its correlation to prognosis across the three major EOC subtypes, and its role in tumorigenesis and chemo-resistance in vitro.
METHODS: Gene signatures were generated by microarray for 14 clear-cell and 26 endometrioid EOCs, and 15 normal endometrium snap-frozen biopsies. Validation of FOXM1 expression was performed by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry in the same samples and additionally in 50 high-grade serous EOCs and in their most adequate normal controls (10 luminal fallopian tube and 20 ovarian surface epithelial brushings). Correlations of FOXM1 expression to clinic-pathological parameters and patients' prognosis were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional-hazards analyses. OVCAR-3 and two novel deeply characterized EOC cell lines (EOC-CC1 and OSPC2, with clear-cell and serous subtype, respectively) were employed for in vitro studies. Effects of FOXM1 inhibition by transient siRNA transfection were evaluated on cell-proliferation, cell-cycle, colony formation, invasion, and response to conventional first- and second-line anticancer agents, and to the PARP-inhibitor olaparib. Gene signatures of FOXM1-silenced cell lines were generated by microarray and confirmed by RT-qPCR.
RESULTS: A significant FOXM1 mRNA up-regulation was found in EOCs compared to normal controls. FOXM1 protein overexpression significantly correlated to serous histology (p = 0.001) and advanced FIGO stage (p = 0.004). Multivariate analyses confirmed FOXM1 protein overexpression as an independent indicator of worse disease specific survival in non-serous EOCs, and of shorter time to progression in platinum-resistant cases. FOXM1 downregulation in EOC cell lines inhibited cell growth and clonogenicity, and promoted the cytotoxic effects of platinum compounds, doxorubicin hydrochloride and olaparib. Upon FOXM1 knock-down in EOC-CC1 and OSPC2 cells, microarray and RT-qPCR analyses revealed the deregulation of several common and other unique subtype-specific FOXM1 putative targets involved in cell cycle, metastasis, DNA repair and drug response.
CONCLUSIONS: FOXM1 is up-regulated in all three major EOCs subtypes, and is a prognostic biomarker and a potential combinatorial therapeutic target in platinum resistant disease, irrespective of tumor histology.

Hojo H, Enya S, Arai M, et al.
Remote reprogramming of hepatic circadian transcriptome by breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(21):34128-34140 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancers adversely affect organismal physiology. To date, the genes within a patient responsible for systemically spreading cancer-induced physiological disruption remain elusive. To identify host genes responsible for transmitting disruptive, cancer-driven signals, we thoroughly analyzed the transcriptome of a suite of host organs from mice bearing 4T1 breast cancer, and discovered complexly rewired patterns of circadian gene expression in the liver. Our data revealed that 7 core clock transcription factors, represented by Rev-erba and Rorg, exhibited abnormal daily expression rhythm in the liver of 4T1-bearing mice. Accordingly, expression patterns of specific set of downstream circadian genes were compromised. Osgin1, a marker for oxidative stress, was an example. Specific downstream genes, including E2f8, a transcriptional repressor that controls cellular polyploidy, displayed a striking pattern of disruption, "day-night reversal." Meanwhile, we found that the liver of 4T1-bearing mice suffered from increased oxidative stress. The tetraploid hepatocytes population was concomitantly increased in 4T1-bearing mice, which has not been previously appreciated as a cancer-induced phenotype. In summary, the current study provides a comprehensive characterization of the 4T1-affected hepatic circadian transcriptome that possibly underlies cancer-induced physiological alteration in the liver.

Wrutniak-Cabello C, Casas F, Cabello G
Mitochondrial T3 receptor and targets.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017; 458:112-120 [PubMed] Related Publications
The demonstration that TRα1 mRNA encodes a nuclear thyroid hormone receptor and two proteins imported into mitochondria with molecular masses of 43 and 28 kDa has brought new clues to better understand the pleiotropic influence of iodinated hormones. If p28 activity remains unknown, p43 binds to T3 responsive elements occurring in the organelle genome, and, in the T3 presence, stimulates mitochondrial transcription and the subsequent synthesis of mitochondrial encoded proteins. This influence increases mitochondrial activity and through changes in the mitochondrial/nuclear cross talk affects important nuclear target genes regulating cell proliferation and differentiation, oncogenesis, or apoptosis. In addition, this pathway influences muscle metabolic and contractile phenotype, as well as glycaemia regulation. Interestingly, according to the process considered, p43 exerts opposite or cooperative effects with the well-known T3 pathway, thus allowing a fine tuning of the physiological influence of this hormone.

Romano M, Della Porta MG, Gallì A, et al.
Antitumour activity of trabectedin in myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Br J Cancer. 2017; 116(3):335-343 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) are myelodysplastic myeloproliferative (MDS/MPN) neoplasms with unfavourable prognosis and without effective chemotherapy treatment. Trabectedin is a DNA minor groove binder acting as a modulator of transcription and interfering with DNA repair mechanisms; it causes selective depletion of cells of the myelomonocytic lineage. We hypothesised that trabectedin might have an antitumour effect on MDS/MPN.
METHODS: Malignant CD14+ monocytes and CD34+ haematopoietic progenitor cells were isolated from peripheral blood/bone marrow mononuclear cells. The inhibition of CFU-GM colonies and the apoptotic effect on CD14+ and CD34+ induced by trabectedin were evaluated. Trabectedin's effects were also investigated in vitro on THP-1, and in vitro and in vivo on MV-4-11 cell lines.
RESULTS: On CMML/JMML cells, obtained from 20 patients with CMML and 13 patients with JMML, trabectedin - at concentration pharmacologically reasonable, 1-5 nM - strongly induced apoptosis and inhibition of growth of haematopoietic progenitors (CFU-GM). In these leukaemic cells, trabectedin downregulated the expression of genes belonging to the Rho GTPases pathway (RAS superfamily) having a critical role in cell growth and cytoskeletal dynamics. Its selective activity on myelomonocytic malignant cells was confirmed also on in vitro THP-1 cell line and on in vitro and in vivo MV-4-11 cell line models.
CONCLUSIONS: Trabectedin could be good candidate for clinical studies in JMML/CMML patients.

Mannarino L, Paracchini L, Craparotta I, et al.
A systems biology approach to investigate the mechanism of action of trabectedin in a model of myelomonocytic leukemia.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2018; 18(1):56-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study was designed to investigate the mode of action of trabectedin in myelomonocytic leukemia cells by applying systems biology approaches to mine gene expression profiling data and pharmacological assessment of the cellular effects. Significant enrichment was found in regulons of target genes inferred for specific transcription factors, among which MAFB was the most upregulated after treatment and was central in the transcriptional network likely to be relevant for the specific therapeutic effects of trabectedin against myelomonocytic cells. Using the Connectivity Map, similarity among transcriptional signatures elicited by treatment with different compounds was investigated, showing a high degree of similarity between transcriptional signatures of trabectedin and those of the topoisomerase I inhibitor, irinotecan, and an anti-dopaminergic antagonist, thioridazine. The study highlights the potential importance of systems biology approaches to generate new hypotheses that are experimentally testable to define the specificity of the mechanism of action of drugs.

Vázquez R, Riveiro ME, Astorgues-Xerri L, et al.
The bromodomain inhibitor OTX015 (MK-8628) exerts anti-tumor activity in triple-negative breast cancer models as single agent and in combination with everolimus.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(5):7598-7613 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive and heterogeneous subgroup of breast tumors clinically defined by the lack of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors, limiting the use of the targeted therapies employed in other breast malignancies. Recent evidence indicates that c-MYC is a key driver of TNBC. The BET-bromodomain inhibitor OTX015 (MK-8628) has potent antiproliferative activity accompanied by c-MYC down-regulation in several tumor types, and has demonstrated synergism with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus in different models. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-tumor activity of OTX015 as single agent and in combination with everolimus in TNBC models. OTX015 was assayed in three human TNBC-derived cell lines, HCC1937, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468, all showing antiproliferative activity after 72 h (GI50 = 75-650 nM). This was accompanied by cell cycle arrest and decreased expression of cancer stem cells markers. However, c-MYC protein and mRNA levels were only down-regulated in MDA-MB-468 cells. Gene set enrichment analysis showed up-regulation of genes involved in epigenetic control of transcription, chromatin and the cell cycle, and down-regulation of stemness-related genes. In vitro, combination with everolimus was additive in HCC1937 and MDA-MB-231 cells, but antagonistic in MDA-MB-468 cells. In MDA-MB-231 murine xenografts, tumor mass was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced by OTX015 with respect to vehicle-treated animals (best T/C = 40.7%). Although everolimus alone was not active, the combination was more effective than OTX015 alone (best T/C = 20.7%). This work supports current clinical trials with OTX015 in TNBC (NCT02259114).

Minagawa K, Jamil MO, Al-Obaidi M, et al.
In Vitro Pre-Clinical Validation of Suicide Gene Modified Anti-CD33 Redirected Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cells for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(12):e0166891 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Approximately fifty percent of patients with acute myeloid leukemia can be cured with current therapeutic strategies which include, standard dose chemotherapy for patients at standard risk of relapse as assessed by cytogenetic and molecular analysis, or high-dose chemotherapy with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant for high-risk patients. Despite allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant about 25% of patients still succumb to disease relapse, therefore, novel strategies are needed to improve the outcome of patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We developed an immunotherapeutic strategy targeting the CD33 myeloid antigen, expressed in ~ 85-90% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia, using chimeric antigen receptor redirected T-cells. Considering that administration of CAR T-cells has been associated with cytokine release syndrome and other potential off-tumor effects in patients, safety measures were here investigated and reported. We genetically modified human activated T-cells from healthy donors or patients with acute myeloid leukemia with retroviral supernatant encoding the inducible Caspase9 suicide gene, a ΔCD19 selectable marker, and a humanized third generation chimeric antigen receptor recognizing human CD33. ΔCD19 selected inducible Caspase9-CAR.CD33 T-cells had a 75±3.8% (average ± standard error of the mean) chimeric antigen receptor expression, were able to specifically lyse CD33+ targets in vitro, including freshly isolated leukemic blasts from patients, produce significant amount of tumor-necrosis-factor-alpha and interferon-gamma, express the CD107a degranulation marker, and proliferate upon antigen specific stimulation. Challenging ΔCD19 selected inducible Caspase9-CAR.CD33 T-cells with programmed-death-ligand-1 enriched leukemia blasts resulted in significant killing like observed for the programmed-death-ligand-1 negative leukemic blasts fraction. Since the administration of 10 nanomolar of a non-therapeutic dimerizer to activate the suicide gene resulted in the elimination of only 76.4±2.0% gene modified cells in vitro, we found that co-administration of the dimerizer with either the BCL-2 inhibitor ABT-199, the pan-BCL inhibitor ABT-737, or mafosfamide, resulted in an additive effect up to complete cell elimination.
CONCLUSIONS: This strategy could be investigated for the safety of CAR T-cell applications, and targeting CD33 could be used as a 'bridge" therapy for patients coming to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant, as anti-leukemia activity from infusing CAR.CD33 T-cells has been demonstrated in an ongoing clinical trial. Albeit never performed in the clinical setting, our future plan is to investigate the utility of iC9-CAR.CD33 T-cells as part of the conditioning therapy for an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia, together with other myelosuppressive agents, whilst the activation of the inducible Caspase9 suicide gene would grant elimination of the infused gene modified T-cells prior to stem cell infusion to reduce the risk of engraftment failure as the CD33 is also expressed on a proportion of the donor stem cell graft.

Petrini I, Barachini S, Carnicelli V, et al.
ED-B fibronectin expression is a marker of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in translational oncology.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(3):4914-4921 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fibronectin is a component of the extracellular matrix that links collagen fibers to integrins on the cell's surface. The splicing isoforms, containing the ED-B domain, are not expressed in adult tissues but only in tumor stroma or during embryonic development. Fibroblasts and endothelial cells express ED-B fibronectin during angiogenesis. Also cancer cells can synthetize ED-B fibronectin, but its function in tumor growth needs to be further elucidated.We evaluated the expression of ED-B fibronectin in prostate cancer cell lines: PC3 and DU145. Using TGF-β, we induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition in culture and observed an increase of ED-B fibronectin expression. Thereafter, we evaluated the expression of ED-B fibronectin in multipotent mesangiogenic progenitor cells, and in mesenchymal stromal cells. The expression of ED-B fibronectin was much higher in mesenchymal than prostate cancer cells even after the epithelial to mesenchymal transition.Epithelial to mesenchymal transition is a key step for tumor progression contributing to the metastatic spread. Therefore, circulating cancer cells could seed into the metastatic niche taking advantage from the ED-B fibronectin that secrete their own.

Laé M, Gardrat S, Rondeau S, et al.
MED12 mutations in breast phyllodes tumors: evidence of temporal tumoral heterogeneity and identification of associated critical signaling pathways.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(51):84428-84438 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Exome sequencing has recently identified highly recurrent MED12 somatic mutations in fibroadenomas (FAs) and phyllodes tumors (PTs). In the present study, based on a large series, we confirmed the presence of MED12 exon 1 and 2 mutations in 49% (41/83) of PTs, 70% (7/10) of FAs and 9.1% (1/11) of fibromatoses. We show that MED12 mutations are associated with benign behavior of phyllodes tumors, as they are detected less frequently in malignant PTs (27.6%) compared to benign (58.3%) and borderline (63.3%) PTs, respectively (p = 0.0036). Phyllodes tumors presented marked temporal heterogeneity of MED12 mutation status, as 50% (3/6) of primary and recurrent phyllodes tumor pairs with MED12 mutation presented different MED12 mutations between the primary and recurrent tumors. There was no correlation between MED12 status and genomic profiles obtained by array-CGH. MED12 mutations are associated with altered expressions of the genes involved in the WNT (PAX3, WNT3A, AXIN2), TGFB (TAGLN, TGFBR2, CTGF) and THRA (RXRA, THRA) signaling pathways.In conclusion, this study confirmed that MED12 plays a central oncogenic role in breast fibroepithelial tumorigenesis and identified a limited number of altered signaling pathways that maybe associated with MED12 mutations. MED12 exon 1 and 2 mutation status and some of the altered genes identified in this study could constitute useful diagnostic or prognostic markers, and form the basis for novel therapeutic strategies for PTs.

Carpagnano GE, Lacedonia D, Soccio P, et al.
How strong is the association between IPF and lung cancer? An answer from airway's DNA.
Med Oncol. 2016; 33(11):119 [PubMed] Related Publications
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic progressive disease of lung interstitium of unknown etiology with poor prognosis. In patients with IPF, the incidence of lung cancer is much higher than that in the general population. The identification of noninvasive biomarkers for early diagnosis of IPF is of great relevance in consideration of the management of these patients. Among the noninvasive omic markers, an increasing interest has been directed toward the study of genetic alterations of microsatellites (MAs) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC). The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the MAs, located in chromosomal regions 8p21.3-q11.1 and 17q11.2-q21, that harbor tumor suppressor genes, in EBC and in the paired whole blood (WB) of IPF patients. Eleven IPF patients were compared with 10 healthy control subjects. All subjects underwent collection of the EBC and WB. The EBC was collected using a condenser. Four microsatellite markers (THRA1, D17S579, D17S250 and D8S137) were used for the analysis of MAs. The EBC-DNA and WB-DNA were amplified by PCR; PCR products were analyzed using the ABI Prism 310 DNA. Microsatellite alterations were found in 58.82 % of EBC-DNA and 12.50 % of WB-DNA in patients with IPF (p < 0.01). None of the healthy subjects exhibited MAs in the studied markers. Our findings suggest that these genetic alterations, studied in EBC, may play an important role in the complex genetic basis of IPF. Since these MAs are frequently detected in cancer, they might explain the higher relative risk of tumorigenesis in this disease.

de Wit RH, Mujić-Delić A, van Senten JR, et al.
Human cytomegalovirus encoded chemokine receptor US28 activates the HIF-1α/PKM2 axis in glioblastoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(42):67966-67985 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encoded chemokine receptor US28 promotes tumorigenesis through activation of various proliferative and angiogenic signaling pathways. Upon infection, US28 displays constitutive activity and signals in a G protein-dependent manner, hijacking the host's cellular machinery. In tumor cells, the hypoxia inducible factor-1α/pyruvate kinase M2 (HIF-1α/PKM2) axis plays an important role by supporting proliferation, angiogenesis and reprogramming of energy metabolism. In this study we show that US28 signaling results in activation of the HIF-1α/PKM2 feedforward loop in fibroblasts and glioblastoma cells. The constitutive activity of US28 increases HIF-1 protein stability through a Gαq-, CaMKII- and Akt/mTOR-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, we found that VEGF and lactate secretion are increased and HIF-1 target genes, glucose transporter type 1 (GLUT1) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), involved in glucose metabolism, are upregulated in US28 expressing cells. In addition, PKM2 is phosphorylated and found to be in a tumor-associated dimeric state upon US28 expression. Also in HCMV-infected cells HIF-1 activity is enhanced, which in part is US28-dependent. Finally, increased proliferation of cells expressing US28 is abolished upon inhibition of the HIF-1α/PKM2 cascade. These data highlight the importance of HIF-1α and PKM2 in US28-induced proliferation, angiogenesis and metabolic reprogramming.

Vázquez R, Licandro SA, Astorgues-Xerri L, et al.
Promising in vivo efficacy of the BET bromodomain inhibitor OTX015/MK-8628 in malignant pleural mesothelioma xenografts.
Int J Cancer. 2017; 140(1):197-207 [PubMed] Related Publications
It has recently been reported that a large proportion of human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) cell lines and patient tissue samples present high expression of the c-MYC oncogene. This gene drives several tumorigenic processes and is overexpressed in many cancers. Although c-MYC is a strategic target to restrain cancer processes, no drugs acting as c-MYC inhibitors are available. The novel thienotriazolodiazepine small-molecule bromodomain inhibitor OTX015/MK-8628 has shown potent antiproliferative activity accompanied by c-MYC downregulation in several tumor types. This study was designed to evaluate the growth inhibitory effect of OTX015 on patient-derived MPM473, MPM487 and MPM60 mesothelioma cell lines and its antitumor activity in three patient-derived xenograft models, MPM473, MPM487 and MPM484, comparing it with cisplatin, gemcitabine and pemetrexed, three agents which are currently used to treat MPM in the clinic. OTX015 caused a significant delay in cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. It was the most effective drug in MPM473 xenografts and showed a similar level of activity as the most efficient treatment in the other two MPM models (gemcitabine in MPM487 and cisplatin in MPM484). In vitro studies showed that OTX015 downregulated c-MYC protein levels in both MPM473 and MPM487 cell lines. Our findings represent the first evidence of promising therapeutic activity of OTX015 in mesothelioma.

Demaegdt H, Daminet B, Evrard A, et al.
Endocrine activity of mycotoxins and mycotoxin mixtures.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2016; 96:107-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reporter gene assays incorporating nuclear receptors (estrogen, androgen, thyroid β and PPARγ2) have been implemented to assess the endocrine activity of 13 mycotoxins and their mixtures. As expected, zearalenone and its metabolites α-zearalenol and β- zearalenol turned out to have the strongest estrogenic potency (EC50 8,7 10-10 ± 0,8; 3,1 10-11 ± 0,5 and 1,3 10-8 ± 0,3 M respectively). The metabolite of deoxynivalenol, 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol also had estrogenic activity (EC50 3,8 10-7 ± 1,1 M). Furthermore, most of the mycotoxins (and their mixtures) showed anti-androgenic effects (15-acetyldeoxynivalenol, 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol and α-zearalenol with potencies within one order of magnitude of that of the reference compound flutamide). In particular, deoxynivalenol and 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol acted as antagonists for the PPARy2 receptor. When testing mixtures of mycotoxins on the same cell systems, we showed that most of the mixtures reacted as predicted by the concentration addition (CA) theory. Generally, the CA was within the 95% confidence interval of the observed ones, only minor deviations were detected. Although these reporter gene tests cannot be directly extrapolated in vivo, they can be the basis for further research. Especially the additive effects of ZEN and its metabolites are of importance and could have repercussions in vivo.

Liu C, Wu HT, Zhu N, et al.
Steroid receptor RNA activator: Biologic function and role in disease.
Clin Chim Acta. 2016; 459:137-146 [PubMed] Related Publications
Steroid receptor RNA activator (SRA) is a type of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) which coordinates the functions of various transcription factors, enhances steroid receptor-dependent gene expression, and also serves as a distinct scaffold. The novel, profound and expanded roles of SRA are emerging in critical aspects of coactivation of nuclear receptors (NRs). As a nuclear receptor coactivator, SRA can coactivate androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor α (ERα), ERβ, progesterone receptor (PR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), thyroid hormone receptor and retinoic acid receptor (RAR). Although SRA is one of the least well-understood molecules, increasing studies have revealed that SRA plays a key role in both biological processes, such as myogenesis and steroidogenesis, and pathological changes, including obesity, cardiomyopathy, and tumorigenesis. Furthermore, the SRA-related signaling pathways, such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), Notch and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) pathways, play critical roles in the pathogenesis of estrogen-dependent breast cancers. In addition, the most recent data demonstrates that SRA expression may serve as a new prognostic marker in patients with ER-positive breast cancer. Thus, elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying SRA-mediated functions is important to develop proper novel strategies to target SRA in the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.

Carr FE, Tai PW, Barnum MS, et al.
Thyroid Hormone Receptor-β (TRβ) Mediates Runt-Related Transcription Factor 2 (Runx2) Expression in Thyroid Cancer Cells: A Novel Signaling Pathway in Thyroid Cancer.
Endocrinology. 2016; 157(8):3278-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dysregulation of the thyroid hormone receptor (TR)β is common in human cancers. Restoration of functional TRβ delays tumor progression in models of thyroid and breast cancers implicating TRβ as a tumor suppressor. Conversely, aberrant expression of the runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) is established in the progression and metastasis of thyroid, breast, and other cancers. Silencing of Runx2 diminishes tumor invasive characteristics. With TRβ as a tumor suppressor and Runx2 as a tumor promoter, a compelling question is whether there is a functional relationship between these regulatory factors in thyroid tumorigenesis. Here, we demonstrated that these proteins are reciprocally expressed in normal and malignant thyroid cells; TRβ is high in normal cells, and Runx2 is high in malignant cells. T3 induced a time- and concentration-dependent decrease in Runx2 expression. Silencing of TRβ by small interfering RNA knockdown resulted in a corresponding increase in Runx2 and Runx2-regulated genes, indicating that TRβ levels directly impact Runx2 expression and associated epithelial to mesenchymal transition molecules. TRβ specifically bound to 3 putative thyroid hormone-response element motifs within the Runx2-P1 promoter ((-)105/(+)133) as detected by EMSA and chromatin immunoprecipitation. TRβ suppressed Runx2 transcriptional activities, thus confirming TRβ regulation of Runx2 at functional thyroid hormone-response elements. Significantly, these findings indicate that a ratio of the tumor-suppressor TRβ and tumor-promoting Runx2 may reflect tumor aggression and serve as biomarkers in biopsy tissues. The discovery of this TRβ-Runx2 signaling supports the emerging role of TRβ as a tumor suppressor and reveals a novel pathway for intervention.

Wang T, Xia L, Ma S, et al.
Hepatocellular carcinoma: thyroid hormone promotes tumorigenicity through inducing cancer stem-like cell self-renewal.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:25183 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) play a key role in maintaining the aggressiveness of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the cell-biological regulation of CSCs is unclear. In the study, we report that thyroid hormone (TH) promotes cell self-renewal in HCC cells. TH also increases the percentage of CD90 + HCC cells and promotes drug resistance of HCC cells. By analyzing primary human HCC samples, we found that TRα transcript level is significantly elevated in primary liver cancer and portal vein metastatic tumor, compared to that of adjacent normal liver tissue. Knocking down TRα not only inhibits HCC self-renewal in vitro but also suppresses HCC tumor growth in vivo. Interestingly, treatment of TH leads to activation of NF-κB, which is required for the function of TH on inducing HCC cell self-renewal. We also found TRα and p65 cooperatively drive the expression of BMI1 by co-binding to the promoter region of BMI1 gene. In summary, our study uncovers a novel function of TH signaling in regulating the CSCs of HCC, and these findings might be useful for developing novel therapies by targeting TH function in HCC cells.

Achille NJ, Othus M, Phelan K, et al.
Association between early promoter-specific DNA methylation changes and outcome in older acute myeloid leukemia patients.
Leuk Res. 2016; 42:68-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Treatment options for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) range from supportive care alone to full-dose chemotherapy. Identifying factors that predict response to therapy may help increase efficacy and avoid toxicity. The phase II SWOG S0703 study investigated the use of hydroxyurea and azacitidine with gemtuzumab ozogamicin in the elderly AML population and found survival rates similar to those expected with standard AML regimens, with less toxicity. As part of this study, global DNA methylation along with promoter DNA methylation and expression analysis of six candidate genes (CDKN2A, CDKN2B, HIC1, RARB, CDH1 and APAF1) were determined before and during therapy to investigate whether very early changes are prognostic for clinical response. Global DNA methylation was not associated with a clinical response. Samples after 3 or 4 days of treatment with azacitidine showed significantly decreased CDKN2A promoter DNA methylation in patients achieving complete remission (CR) compared to those who did not. Samples from day 7 of treatment showed significantly decreased RARB, CDKN2B and CDH1 promoter DNA methylation in responders compared to nonresponders. Gene-specific DNA methylation analysis of peripheral blood samples may help early identification of those older AML patients most likely to benefit from demethylating agent therapy.

Handkiewicz-Junak D, Swierniak M, Rusinek D, et al.
Gene signature of the post-Chernobyl papillary thyroid cancer.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016; 43(7):1267-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Following the nuclear accidents in Chernobyl and later in Fukushima, the nuclear community has been faced with important issues concerning how to search for and diagnose biological consequences of low-dose internal radiation contamination. Although after the Chernobyl accident an increase in childhood papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) was observed, it is still not clear whether the molecular biology of PTCs associated with low-dose radiation exposure differs from that of sporadic PTC.
METHODS: We investigated tissue samples from 65 children/young adults with PTC using DNA microarray (Affymetrix, Human Genome U133 2.0 Plus) with the aim of identifying molecular differences between radiation-induced (exposed to Chernobyl radiation, ECR) and sporadic PTC. All participants were resident in the same region so that confounding factors related to genetics or environment were minimized.
RESULTS: There were small but significant differences in the gene expression profiles between ECR and non-ECR PTC (global test, p < 0.01), with 300 differently expressed probe sets (p < 0.001) corresponding to 239 genes. Multifactorial analysis of variance showed that besides radiation exposure history, the BRAF mutation exhibited independent effects on the PTC expression profile; the histological subset and patient age at diagnosis had negligible effects. Ten genes (PPME1, HDAC11, SOCS7, CIC, THRA, ERBB2, PPP1R9A, HDGF, RAD51AP1, and CDK1) from the 19 investigated with quantitative RT-PCR were confirmed as being associated with radiation exposure in an independent, validation set of samples.
CONCLUSION: Significant, but subtle, differences in gene expression in the post-Chernobyl PTC are associated with previous low-dose radiation exposure.

Huang QX, Cui JY, Ma H, et al.
Screening of potential biomarkers for cholangiocarcinoma by integrated analysis of microarray data sets.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016 Feb-Mar; 23(2-3):48-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) continues to harbor a difficult prognosis and it is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. The molecular mechanisms of CCA oncogenesis and progression are poorly understood. This study aimed to identify candidate biomarkers for CCA. Integrated analysis of microarray data sets was performed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between CCA and normal tissues. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis were then performed to identify the functions of DEGs. Furthermore, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of DEGs was constructed. The expressions of DEGs were validated in human CCA tissues by qRT-PCR. A set of 712 DEGs were identified in CCA compared with normal tissues, including 306 upregulated and 406 downregulated DEGs. It can be shown from the KEGG pathway analysis that some pathways may have important roles in pathology of CCA, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor signaling pathway, bile secretion, cell cycle, fat digestion and absorption. PPI network indicated that the significant hub proteins were PKM, SPP1 and TPM1. The abnormally overexpression PKM, SPP1 and TPM1 were closely related to oncogenesis and progression of CCA. PKM, SPP1, TPM1, COL1A1 and COL1A2 may serve as candidate biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of CCA.

Khan S, Wall D, Curran C, et al.
MicroRNA-10a is reduced in breast cancer and regulated in part through retinoic acid.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:345 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA molecules that play a critical role in mRNA cleavage and translational repression, and are known to be altered in many diseases including breast cancer. MicroRNA-10a (miR-10a) has been shown to be deregulated in various cancer types. The aim of this study was to investigate miR-10a expression in breast cancer and to further delineate the role of retinoids and thyroxine in regulation of miR-10a.
METHODS: Following informed patient consent and ethical approval, tissue samples were obtained during surgery. miR-10a was quantified in malignant (n = 103), normal (n = 30) and fibroadenoma (n = 35) tissues by RQ-PCR. Gene expression of Retinoic Acid Receptor beta (RARβ) and Thyroid Hormone receptor alpha (THRα) was also quantified in the same patient samples (n = 168). The in vitro effects of all-trans Retinoic acid (ATRA) and L-Thyroxine (T4) both individually and in combination, on miR-10a expression was investigated in breast cancer cell lines, T47D and SK-BR-3.
RESULTS: The level of miR-10a expression was significantly decreased in tissues harvested from breast cancer patients (Mean (SEM) 2.1(0.07)) Log10 Relative Quantity (RQ)) compared to both normal (3.0(0.16) Log10 RQ, p < 0.001) and benign tissues (2.6(0.17) Log10 RQ, p < 0.05). The levels of both RARβ and THRα gene expression were also found to be decreased in breast cancer patients compared to controls (p < 0.001). A significant positive correlation was determined between miR-10a and RARβ (r = 0.31, p < 0.001) and also with THRα (r = 0.32, p < 0.001). In vitro stimulation assays revealed miR-10a expression was increased in both T47D and SK-BR-3 cells following addition of ATRA (2 fold (0.7)). While T4 alone did not stimulate miR-10a expression, the combination of T4 and ATRA was found to have a positive synergistic effect.
CONCLUSION: The data presented supports a potential tumour suppressor role for miR-10a in breast cancer, and highlights retinoic acid as a positive regulator of the microRNA.

Teng X, Jin T, Brent GA, et al.
A Patient With a Thyrotropin-Secreting Microadenoma and Resistance to Thyroid Hormone (P453T).
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(7):2511-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: Resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) β is due to mutations in the β-isoform of the thyroid hormone receptor (TR). TSH-secreting adenomas (TSHomas) are presumed to represent clonal expansion and have been reported to contain TRβ gene mutations. Mice with a knock-in mutation in the TRβ gene spontaneously develop TSHomas, although as yet no patient has been reported to have both a TSHoma and RTHβ.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated a 12-year-old girl with elevated serum T4 concentration, inappropriately high TSH levels, and a pituitary adenoma.
DESIGN AND INTERVENTION: Clinical, biochemical, and radiological assessments were performed at baseline and after a transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy.
RESULTS: The patient's laboratory results included: TSH, 21.12 mIU/L (0.35-4.94 mIU/L); free T3, 14.25 pmol/L (2.63-5.7 pmol/L); free T4, 28.79 pmol/L (9.01-19.05 pmol/L); serum glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit (α-GSU), 0.32 ng/ml (0.22-0.39 ng/ml); and α-GSU/TSH, 0.15. Thyroid radioiodine uptake was increased by 94.4% at 24 hours. A T3 suppression test showed incomplete suppression of the serum TSH concentration and blunted response of the peripheral thyroid hormone markers. The sequence of TRβ exons confirmed a P453T mutation in the TRβ gene. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging revealed a microadenoma in the left side of the pituitary. The patient underwent transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy. Histologically, the tumor stained positively for TSH-β, human Chorionic Gonadotropin alpha (HCG-α), GH, prolactin, and ACTH. After removal of the tumor, the patient's thyroid function improved significantly, and she experienced the onset of menarche and an increase in linear growth as well.
CONCLUSIONS: This patient with RTHβ had a TSHoma consistent with previous findings linking somatic TRβ mutations to TSHomas.

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