Gene Summary

Gene:CD40; CD40 molecule, TNF receptor superfamily member 5
Aliases: p50, Bp50, CDW40, TNFRSF5
Summary:This gene is a member of the TNF-receptor superfamily. The encoded protein is a receptor on antigen-presenting cells of the immune system and is essential for mediating a broad variety of immune and inflammatory responses including T cell-dependent immunoglobulin class switching, memory B cell development, and germinal center formation. AT-hook transcription factor AKNA is reported to coordinately regulate the expression of this receptor and its ligand, which may be important for homotypic cell interactions. Adaptor protein TNFR2 interacts with this receptor and serves as a mediator of the signal transduction. The interaction of this receptor and its ligand is found to be necessary for amyloid-beta-induced microglial activation, and thus is thought to be an early event in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis. Mutations affecting this gene are the cause of autosomal recessive hyper-IgM immunodeficiency type 3 (HIGM3). Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants of this gene encoding distinct isoforms have been reported. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 5
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (34)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (9)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 16 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Thymus Neoplasms
  • Autologous Transplantat
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Apoptosis
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Paracrine Communication
  • Mutation
  • Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma
  • Solubility
  • Dendritic Cells
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Risk Factors
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Cancer RNA
  • Kaposi Sarcoma
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Liver Cancer
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Th1 Cells
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Cell Division
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • CD40
  • CD Antigens
  • NF-kappa B
  • Virus Latency
  • Viral Proteins
  • Tumor Markers
  • Chromosome 20
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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

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

Latest Publications: CD40 (cancer-related)

Ceccaldi R, Liu JC, Amunugama R, et al.
Homologous-recombination-deficient tumours are dependent on Polθ-mediated repair.
Nature. 2015; 518(7538):258-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Large-scale genomic studies have shown that half of epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) have alterations in genes regulating homologous recombination (HR) repair. Loss of HR accounts for the genomic instability of EOCs and for their cellular hyper-dependence on alternative poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP)-mediated DNA repair mechanisms. Previous studies have implicated the DNA polymerase θ (Polθ also known as POLQ, encoded by POLQ) in a pathway required for the repair of DNA double-strand breaks, referred to as the error-prone microhomology-mediated end-joining (MMEJ) pathway. Whether Polθ interacts with canonical DNA repair pathways to prevent genomic instability remains unknown. Here we report an inverse correlation between HR activity and Polθ expression in EOCs. Knockdown of Polθ in HR-proficient cells upregulates HR activity and RAD51 nucleofilament assembly, while knockdown of Polθ in HR-deficient EOCs enhances cell death. Consistent with these results, genetic inactivation of an HR gene (Fancd2) and Polq in mice results in embryonic lethality. Moreover, Polθ contains RAD51 binding motifs and it blocks RAD51-mediated recombination. Our results reveal a synthetic lethal relationship between the HR pathway and Polθ-mediated repair in EOCs, and identify Polθ as a novel druggable target for cancer therapy.

Tomasetti C, Vogelstein B
Cancer etiology. Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions.
Science. 2015; 347(6217):78-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Some tissue types give rise to human cancers millions of times more often than other tissue types. Although this has been recognized for more than a century, it has never been explained. Here, we show that the lifetime risk of cancers of many different types is strongly correlated (0.81) with the total number of divisions of the normal self-renewing cells maintaining that tissue's homeostasis. These results suggest that only a third of the variation in cancer risk among tissues is attributable to environmental factors or inherited predispositions. The majority is due to "bad luck," that is, random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, noncancerous stem cells. This is important not only for understanding the disease but also for designing strategies to limit the mortality it causes.

Comerford SA, Huang Z, Du X, et al.
Acetate dependence of tumors.
Cell. 2014; 159(7):1591-602 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 18/12/2015 Related Publications
Acetyl-CoA represents a central node of carbon metabolism that plays a key role in bioenergetics, cell proliferation, and the regulation of gene expression. Highly glycolytic or hypoxic tumors must produce sufficient quantities of this metabolite to support cell growth and survival under nutrient-limiting conditions. Here, we show that the nucleocytosolic acetyl-CoA synthetase enzyme, ACSS2, supplies a key source of acetyl-CoA for tumors by capturing acetate as a carbon source. Despite exhibiting no gross deficits in growth or development, adult mice lacking ACSS2 exhibit a significant reduction in tumor burden in two different models of hepatocellular carcinoma. ACSS2 is expressed in a large proportion of human tumors, and its activity is responsible for the majority of cellular acetate uptake into both lipids and histones. These observations may qualify ACSS2 as a targetable metabolic vulnerability of a wide spectrum of tumors.

Chaluvally-Raghavan P, Zhang F, Pradeep S, et al.
Copy number gain of hsa-miR-569 at 3q26.2 leads to loss of TP53INP1 and aggressiveness of epithelial cancers.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(6):863-79 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/12/2015 Related Publications
Small noncoding miRNAs represent underexplored targets of genomic aberrations and emerging therapeutic targets. The 3q26.2 amplicon is among the most frequent genomic aberrations in multiple cancer lineages including ovarian and breast cancers. We demonstrate that hsa-miR-569 (hereafter designated as miR569), which is overexpressed in a subset of ovarian and breast cancers, at least in part due to the 3q26.2 amplicon, alters cell survival and proliferation. Downregulation of TP53INP1 expression by miR569 is required for the effects of miR569 on survival and proliferation. Targeting miR569 sensitizes ovarian and breast cancer cells overexpressing miR569 to cisplatin by increasing cell death both in vitro and in vivo. Thus targeting miR569 could potentially benefit patients with the 3q26.2 amplicon and subsequent miR569 elevation.

Cao C, Gao R, Zhang M, et al.
Role of LKB1-CRTC1 on glycosylated COX-2 and response to COX-2 inhibition in lung cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(1):358 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) directs the synthesis of prostaglandins including PGE-2 linking inflammation with mitogenic signaling. COX-2 is also an anticancer target, however, treatment strategies have been limited by unreliable expression assays and by inconsistent tumor responses to COX-2 inhibition.
METHODS: We analyzed the TCGA and Director's Challenge lung cancer datasets (n = 188) and also generated an LKB1-null lung cancer gene signature (n = 53) to search the Broad Institute/Connectivity-MAP (C-MAP) dataset. We performed ChIP analyses, real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunoblotting, and drug testing of tumor cell lines (n = 8) and primary lung adenocarcinoma surgical resections (n = 13).
RESULTS: We show that COX-2 is a target of the cAMP/CREB coactivator CRTC1 signaling pathway. In addition, we detected a correlation between LKB1 status, CRTC1 activation, and presence of glycosylated, but not inactive hypoglycosylated COX-2 in primary lung adenocarcinoma. A search of the C-MAP drug database discovered that all high-ranking drugs positively associated with the LKB1-null signature are known CRTC1 activators, including forskolin and six different PGE-2 analogues. Somatic LKB1 mutations are present in 20.0% of lung adenocarcinomas, and we observed growth inhibition with COX-2 inhibitors in LKB1-null lung cancer cells with activated CRTC1 as compared with LKB1-wildtype cells (NS-398, P = .002 and Niflumic acid, P = .006; two-tailed t test).
CONCLUSION: CRTC1 activation is a key event that drives the LKB1-null mRNA signature in lung cancer. We also identified a positive feedback LKB1/CRTC1 signaling loop for COX-2/PGE2 regulation. These data suggest a role for LKB1 status and glycosylated COX-2 as specific biomarkers that provide a framework for selecting patients for COX-2 inhibition studies.

Papatpremsiri A, Smout MJ, Loukas A, et al.
Suppression of Ov-grn-1 encoding granulin of Opisthorchis viverrini inhibits proliferation of biliary epithelial cells.
Exp Parasitol. 2015; 148:17-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
Multistep processes likely underlie cholangiocarcinogenesis induced by chronic infection with the fish-borne liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. One process appears to be cellular proliferation of the host bile duct epithelia driven by excretory-secretory (ES) products of this pathogen. Specifically, the secreted growth factor Ov-GRN-1, a liver fluke granulin, is a prominent component of ES and a known driver of hyper-proliferation of cultured human and mouse cells in vitro. We show potent hyper-proliferation of human cholangiocytes induced by low nanomolar levels of recombinant Ov-GRN-1 and similar growth produced by low microgram concentrations of ES products and soluble lysates of the adult worm. To further explore the influence of Ov-GRN-1 on the flukes and the host cells, expression of Ov-grn-1 was repressed using RNA interference. Expression of Ov-grn-1 was suppressed by 95% by day 3 and by ~100% by day 7. Co-culture of Ov-grn-1 suppressed flukes with human cholangiocyte (H-69) or human cholangiocarcinoma (KKU-M214) cell lines retarded cell hyper-proliferation by 25% and 92%, respectively. Intriguingly, flukes in which expression of Ov-grn-1 was repressed were less viable in culture, suggesting that Ov-GRN-1 is an essential growth factor for survival of the adult stage of O. viverrini, at least in vitro. To summarize, specific knock down of Ov-grn-1 reduced in vitro survival and capacity of ES products to drive host cell proliferation. These findings may help to contribute to a deeper understanding of liver fluke induced cholangiocarcinogenesis.

Nam S, Chang HR, Jung HR, et al.
A pathway-based approach for identifying biomarkers of tumor progression to trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 356(2 Pt B):880-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although trastuzumab is a successful targeted therapy for breast cancer patients with tumors expressing HER2 (ERBB2), many patients eventually progress to drug resistance. Here, we identified subpathways differentially expressed between trastuzumab-resistant vs. -sensitive breast cancer cells, in conjunction with additional transcriptomic preclinical and clinical gene datasets, to rigorously identify overexpressed, resistance-associated genes. From this approach, we identified 32 genes reproducibly upregulated in trastuzumab resistance. 25 genes were upregulated in drug-resistant JIMT-1 cells, which also downregulated HER2 protein by >80% in the presence of trastuzumab. 24 genes were downregulated in trastuzumab-sensitive SKBR3 cells. Trastuzumab sensitivity was restored by siRNA knockdown of these genes in the resistant cells, and overexpression of 5 of the 25 genes was found in at least one of five refractory HER2 + breast cancer. In summary, our rigorous computational approach, followed by experimental validation, significantly implicate ATF4, CHEK2, ENAH, ICOSLG, and RAD51 as potential biomarkers of trastuzumab resistance. These results provide further proof-of-concept of our methodology for successfully identifying potential biomarkers and druggable signal pathways involved in tumor progression to drug resistance.

Sun W, Califano JA
Sequencing the head and neck cancer genome: implications for therapy.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014; 1333:33-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a disease with significant morbidity and mortality. The advancement of next-generation sequencing technologies now enables the landscape of genetic alterations in HNSCCs to be deciphered. In this review, we describe the mutation spectrum discovered in HNSCCs, especially human papilloma virus-associated and/or tobacco smoke exposure-associated HNSCCs. We also describe related research from two independent investigators and from the Cancer Genome Atlas. Emphasis is placed on the therapeutic implications of genes frequently altered in HNSCCs (i.e., TP53, PIK3CA, and NOTCH1) and their corresponding pathways, with a particular focus on recent findings of Notch signaling pathway activation in HNSCC. We also discuss the application of integrated genomic pathway-based analysis for precision cancer therapy in HNSCC.

Caruana I, Diaconu I, Dotti G
From monoclonal antibodies to chimeric antigen receptors for the treatment of human malignancies.
Semin Oncol. 2014; 41(5):661-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and their directly derived cell-based application known as chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) ensue from the need to develop novel therapeutic strategies that retain high anti-tumor activity, but carry reduced toxicity compared to conventional chemo- and radiotherapies. In this concise review article, we will summarize the application of antibodies designed to target antigens expressed by tumor cells, and the transition from these antibodies to the generation of CARs.

Hashizume R, Andor N, Ihara Y, et al.
Pharmacologic inhibition of histone demethylation as a therapy for pediatric brainstem glioma.
Nat Med. 2014; 20(12):1394-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
Pediatric brainstem gliomas often harbor oncogenic K27M mutation of histone H3.3. Here we show that GSKJ4 pharmacologic inhibition of K27 demethylase JMJD3 increases cellular H3K27 methylation in K27M tumor cells and demonstrate potent antitumor activity both in vitro against K27M cells and in vivo against K27M xenografts. Our results demonstrate that increasing H3K27 methylation by inhibiting K27 demethylase is a valid therapeutic strategy for treating K27M-expressing brainstem glioma.

Ma C, Giardiello FM, Montgomery EA
Upper tract juvenile polyps in juvenile polyposis patients: dysplasia and malignancy are associated with foveolar, intestinal, and pyloric differentiation.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(12):1618-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Patients with juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS), a hereditary autosomal dominant hamartomatous polyposis syndrome, are at increased risk for colorectal adenocarcinoma. The upper gastrointestinal tract is less often involved by JPS than the colorectum, and, consequently, upper tract juvenile polyps (JPs) are not well studied. We reviewed upper endoscopies and corresponding biopsies in JPS patients documented in our Polyposis Registry. A total of 199 upper gastrointestinal biopsies from 69 endoscopies were available in 22 of 41 (54%) JPS patients. Thirteen of the 22 patients (59%) had ≥1 gastric JP; 5 also had 6 small bowel JPs. Gastric JP was identified as early as age 7 in a patient with an SMAD4 gene mutation. Two patients (9%) had high-grade dysplasia in gastric JP. Invasive adenocarcinoma was diagnosed in the gastrectomy specimen of 1 patient. Five patients had a huge gastric polyp burden; 3 underwent total gastrectomy. Three patients died of complications associated with extensive upper JP. Histologically, 8 of the 56 (14%) gastric JPs identified had dysplasia. All of the 8 polyps demonstrated intestinalized and pyloric gland differentiation intermixed with foveolar epithelium. Dysplasia was seen arising in all 3 types of epithelium. The flat gastric mucosa in 11 patients was unremarkable without inflammation or intestinal metaplasia. The 6 small bowel JPs had no dysplasia. Our findings suggest that JPS patients are at increased risk for gastric adenocarcinoma. Detection of malignancy in syndromic gastric JP indicates that the current screening procedures are insufficient in removal of precursor lesions to prevent progression to carcinoma.

Liu Y, Mayo MW, Xiao A, et al.
Loss of BRMS1 promotes a mesenchymal phenotype through NF-κB-dependent regulation of Twist1.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 35(1):303-17 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) is downregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and its reduction correlates with disease progression. Herein, we investigate the mechanisms through which loss of the BRMS1 gene contributes to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Using a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) system, we show that loss of BRMS1 promotes basal and transforming growth factor beta-induced EMT in NSCLC cells. NSCLC cells expressing BRMS1 shRNAs (BRMS1 knockdown [BRMS1(KD)]) display mesenchymal characteristics, including enhanced cell migration and differential regulation of the EMT markers. Mesenchymal phenotypes observed in BRMS1(KD) cells are dependent on RelA/p65, the transcriptionally active subunit of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB). In addition, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrates that loss of BRMS1 increases Twist1 promoter occupancy of RelA/p65 K310-a key histone modification associated with increased transcription. Knockdown of Twist1 results in reversal of BRMS1(KD)-mediated EMT phenotypic changes. Moreover, in our animal model, BRMS1(KD)/Twist1(KD) double knockdown cells were less efficient in establishing lung tumors than BRMS1(KD) cells. Collectively, this study demonstrates that loss of BRMS1 promotes malignant phenotypes that are dependent on NF-κB-dependent regulation of Twist1. These observations offer fresh insight into the mechanisms through which BRMS1 regulates the development of metastases in NSCLC.

Anderson T, Zhang L, Hameed M, et al.
Thoracic epithelioid malignant vascular tumors: a clinicopathologic study of 52 cases with emphasis on pathologic grading and molecular studies of WWTR1-CAMTA1 fusions.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2015; 39(1):132-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Malignant thoracic epithelioid vascular tumors are an uncommon and heterogenous group of tumors that include low-grade to intermediate-grade epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) and high-grade epithelioid angiosarcoma (EAS). We examine the morphologic and immunohistochemical features of 52 malignant epithelioid vascular tumors (10 low-grade EHE, 29 intermediate-grade EHE, and 13 EAS) involving the thorax (lung, pleura, mediastinum, heart, great vessels) including cases with exclusively thoracic disease (35) and with multiorgan disease including the thorax (17). Intermediate-grade EHE differs from low-grade EHE by the presence of necrosis, increased mitotic activity, and increased atypia. Morphologic features such as intranuclear inclusions, intracytoplasmic vacuoles, and stromal changes (chondroid, myxoid, or hyalinized stroma) are seen more frequently in EHE, whereas blood lakes, proliferation of slit-like vessels, and prominent nucleoli favor EAS. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed CAMTA1-WWTR1 fusions in 4/7 low-grade and 23/23 intermediate-grade EHE (P<0.001). In EAS, CAMTA1 rearrangement was negative in all cases, whereas a WWTR1 complex abnormality was found in 1/5 cases (P<0.001). This offers an objective means of differentiating intermediate-grade EHE from EAS, especially on limited biopsies. All cases show expression of at least 1 vascular marker, which allows differentiation from primary thoracic epithelial malignancies, although keratin expression is a potential pitfall with 29% of EHE and 25% of EAS showing keratin expression. Survival analysis shows that higher tumor grade for all tumors (P=0.026) as well as lung and pleural tumors only (P=0.010) and the presence of pleural involvement in lung and/or pleural tumors (P=0.042) correlate with poor prognosis.

Wang CA, Drasin D, Pham C, et al.
Homeoprotein Six2 promotes breast cancer metastasis via transcriptional and epigenetic control of E-cadherin expression.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7357-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Misexpression of developmental transcription factors occurs often in human cancers, where embryonic programs may be reinstated in a context that promotes or sustains malignant development. In this study, we report the involvement of the kidney development transcription factor Six2 in the metastatic progression of human breast cancer. We found that Six2 promoted breast cancer metastasis by a novel mechanism involving both transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of E-cadherin. Downregulation of E-cadherin by Six2 was necessary for its ability to increase soft agar growth and in vivo metastasis in an immunocompetent mouse model of breast cancer. Mechanistic investigations showed that Six2 represses E-cadherin expression by upregulating Zeb2, in part, through a microRNA-mediated mechanism and by stimulating promoter methylation of the E-cadherin gene (Cdh1). Clinically, SIX2 expression correlated inversely with CDH1 expression in human breast cancer specimens, corroborating the disease relevance of their interaction. Our findings establish Six2 as a regulator of metastasis in human breast cancers and demonstrate an epigenetic function for SIX family transcription factors in metastatic progression through the regulation of E-cadherin.

Priolo C, Pyne S, Rose J, et al.
AKT1 and MYC induce distinctive metabolic fingerprints in human prostate cancer.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7198-204 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Cancer cells may overcome growth factor dependence by deregulating oncogenic and/or tumor-suppressor pathways that affect their metabolism, or by activating metabolic pathways de novo with targeted mutations in critical metabolic enzymes. It is unknown whether human prostate tumors develop a similar metabolic response to different oncogenic drivers or a particular oncogenic event results in its own metabolic reprogramming. Akt and Myc are arguably the most prevalent driving oncogenes in prostate cancer. Mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling was performed on immortalized human prostate epithelial cells transformed by AKT1 or MYC, transgenic mice driven by the same oncogenes under the control of a prostate-specific promoter, and human prostate specimens characterized for the expression and activation of these oncoproteins. Integrative analysis of these metabolomic datasets revealed that AKT1 activation was associated with accumulation of aerobic glycolysis metabolites, whereas MYC overexpression was associated with dysregulated lipid metabolism. Selected metabolites that differentially accumulated in the MYC-high versus AKT1-high tumors, or in normal versus tumor prostate tissue by untargeted metabolomics, were validated using absolute quantitation assays. Importantly, the AKT1/MYC status was independent of Gleason grade and pathologic staging. Our findings show how prostate tumors undergo a metabolic reprogramming that reflects their molecular phenotypes, with implications for the development of metabolic diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.

Gil M, Komorowski MP, Seshadri M, et al.
CXCL12/CXCR4 blockade by oncolytic virotherapy inhibits ovarian cancer growth by decreasing immunosuppression and targeting cancer-initiating cells.
J Immunol. 2014; 193(10):5327-37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2015 Related Publications
Signals mediated by the chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 are involved in the progression of ovarian cancer through enhancement of tumor angiogenesis and immunosuppressive networks that regulate dissemination of peritoneal metastasis and development of cancer-initiating cells (CICs). In this study, we investigated the antitumor efficacy of a CXCR4 antagonist expressed by oncolytic vaccinia virus (OVV) against an invasive variant of the murine epithelial ovarian cancer cell line ID8-T. This variant harbors a high frequency of CICs that form multilayered spheroid cells and express the hyaluronan receptor CD44, as well as stem cell factor receptor CD117 (c-kit). Using an orthotopic ID8-T tumor model, we observed that i.p. delivery of a CXCR4 antagonist-expressing OVV led to reduced metastatic spread of tumors and improved overall survival compared with oncolysis alone. Inhibition of tumor growth with the armed virus was associated with efficient killing of CICs, reduced expression of ascitic CXCL12 and vascular endothelial growth factor, and decreases in i.p. numbers of endothelial and myeloid cells, as well as plasmacytoid dendritic cells. These changes, together with reduced recruitment of T regulatory cells, were associated with higher ratios of IFN-γ(+)/IL-10(+) tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes, as well as induction of spontaneous humoral and cellular antitumor responses. Similarly, the CXCR4 antagonist released from virally infected human CAOV2 ovarian carcinoma cells inhibited peritoneal dissemination of tumors in SCID mice, leading to improved tumor-free survival in a xenograft model. Our findings demonstrate that OVV armed with a CXCR4 antagonist represents a potent therapy for ovarian CICs with a broad antitumor repertoire.

Tripathi MK, Deane NG, Zhu J, et al.
Nuclear factor of activated T-cell activity is associated with metastatic capacity in colon cancer.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(23):6947-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Metastatic recurrence is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in patients with colorectal carcinoma. To capture the molecular underpinnings for metastasis and tumor progression, we performed integrative network analysis on 11 independent human colorectal cancer gene expression datasets and applied expression data from an immunocompetent mouse model of metastasis as an additional filter for this biologic process. In silico analysis of one metastasis-related coexpression module predicted nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) transcription factors as potential regulators for the module. Cells selected for invasiveness and metastatic capability expressed higher levels of NFATc1 as compared with poorly metastatic and less invasive parental cells. We found that inhibition of NFATc1 in human and mouse colon cancer cells resulted in decreased invasiveness in culture and downregulation of metastasis-related network genes. Overexpression of NFATc1 significantly increased the metastatic potential of colon cancer cells, whereas inhibition of NFATc1 reduced metastasis growth in an immunocompetent mouse model. Finally, we found that an 8-gene signature comprising genes upregulated by NFATc1 significantly correlated with worse clinical outcomes in stage II and III colorectal cancer patients. Thus, NFATc1 regulates colon cancer cell behavior and its transcriptional targets constitute a novel, biologically anchored gene expression signature for the identification of colon cancers with high risk of metastatic recurrence.

Spence JM, Abumoussa A, Spence JP, Burack WR
Intraclonal diversity in follicular lymphoma analyzed by quantitative ultradeep sequencing of noncoding regions.
J Immunol. 2014; 193(10):4888-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2015 Related Publications
Cancers are characterized by genomic instability, and the resulting intraclonal diversity is a prerequisite for tumor evolution. Therefore, metrics of tumor heterogeneity may prove to be clinically meaningful. Intraclonal heterogeneity in follicular lymphoma (FL) is apparent from studies of somatic hypermutation (SHM) caused by activation-induced deaminase (AID) in IGH. Aberrant SHM (aSHM), defined as AID activity outside of the IG loci, predominantly targets noncoding regions causing numerous "passenger" mutations, but it has the potential to generate rare significant "driver" mutations. The quantitative relationship between SHM and aSHM has not been defined. To measure SHM and aSHM, ultradeep sequencing (>20,000-fold coverage) was performed on IGH (~1650 nt) and nine other noncoding regions potentially targeted by AID (combined 9411 nt), including the 5' untranslated region of BCL2. Single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) were found in 12/12 FL specimens (median 136 SHMs and 53 aSHMs). The aSHM SNVs were associated with AID motifs (p < 0.0001). The number of SNVs at BCL2 varied widely among specimens and correlated with the number of SNVs at eight other potential aSHM sites. In contrast, SHM at IGH was not predictive of aSHM. Tumor heterogeneity is apparent from SNVs at low variant allele frequencies; the relative number of SNVs with variable allele frequency < 5% varied with clinical grade, indicating that tumor heterogeneity based on aSHM reflects a clinically meaningful parameter. These data suggest that genome-wide aSHM may be estimated from aSHM of BCL2 but not SHM of IGH. The results demonstrate a practical approach to the quantification of intratumoral genetic heterogeneity for clinical specimens.

Gopal YN, Rizos H, Chen G, et al.
Inhibition of mTORC1/2 overcomes resistance to MAPK pathway inhibitors mediated by PGC1α and oxidative phosphorylation in melanoma.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(23):7037-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Metabolic heterogeneity is a key factor in cancer pathogenesis. We found that a subset of BRAF- and NRAS-mutant human melanomas resistant to the MEK inhibitor selumetinib displayed increased oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) mediated by the transcriptional coactivator PGC1α. Notably, all selumetinib-resistant cells with elevated OxPhos could be resensitized by cotreatment with the mTORC1/2 inhibitor AZD8055, whereas this combination was ineffective in resistant cell lines with low OxPhos. In both BRAF- and NRAS-mutant melanoma cells, MEK inhibition increased MITF expression, which in turn elevated levels of PGC1α. In contrast, mTORC1/2 inhibition triggered cytoplasmic localization of MITF, decreasing PGC1α expression and inhibiting OxPhos. Analysis of tumor biopsies from patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma progressing on BRAF inhibitor ± MEK inhibitor revealed that PGC1α levels were elevated in approximately half of the resistant tumors. Overall, our findings highlight the significance of OxPhos in melanoma and suggest that combined targeting of the MAPK and mTORC pathways may offer an effective therapeutic strategy to treat melanomas with this metabolic phenotype.

Tangen IL, Werner HM, Berg A, et al.
Loss of progesterone receptor links to high proliferation and increases from primary to metastatic endometrial cancer lesions.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(17):3003-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In endometrial cancer loss of progesterone receptor (PR, gene name PGR) is associated with aggressive disease and altered response to hormonal treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in PR expression level with disease progression, and explore whether differences in gene expression according to PR status can be linked to processes involved in cancer development elucidating new therapeutic opportunities.
METHODS: 686 primary endometrial cancers and 171 metastatic lesions were investigated for PR expression in relation to clinical and histopathological data. Protein levels were investigated by immunohistochemistry and reverse phase protein array, and mRNA levels by DNA oligonucleotide microarray.
RESULTS: PR protein level was significantly associated with PGR mRNA expression (P<0.001) and patient survival (P<0.001). Loss of PR increased with disease progression, with 23% of the primary tumours and 76% of metastases demonstrating PR loss. Using a cell cycle progression signature score, PR loss was associated with increased proliferation for both oestrogen receptor (ER) positive and negative tumours. Through a Connectivity Map search, CDK inhibitors and other drugs with anti-proliferative effects were suggested in particular for treatment of patients with loss of PR.
CONCLUSION: Loss of PR in endometrial cancer is associated with increased proliferation, poor survival, and increases from primary to metastatic lesions. Based on expression profiles, CDK inhibitors may have activity in PR negative tumours, supporting further testing in clinical trials for patients with systemic endometrial cancer dependent on PR status.

Konecny GE, Wang C, Hamidi H, et al.
Prognostic and therapeutic relevance of molecular subtypes in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(10) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Molecular classification of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) using transcriptional profiling has proven to be complex and difficult to validate across studies. We determined gene expression profiles of 174 well-annotated HGSOCs and demonstrate prognostic significance of the prespecified TCGA Network gene signatures. Furthermore, we confirm the presence of four HGSOC transcriptional subtypes using a de novo classification. Survival differed statistically significantly between de novo subtypes (log rank, P = .006) and was the best for the immunoreactive-like subtype, but statistically significantly worse for the proliferative- or mesenchymal-like subtypes (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.89, 95% confidence interval = 1.18 to 3.02, P = .008, and adjusted hazard ratio = 2.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.43 to 4.18, P = .001, respectively). More prognostic information was provided by the de novo than the TCGA classification (Likelihood Ratio tests, P = .003 and P = .04, respectively). All statistical tests were two-sided. These findings were replicated in an external data set of 185 HGSOCs and confirm the presence of four prognostically relevant molecular subtypes that have the potential to guide therapy decisions.

Shaw AT, Ou SH, Bang YJ, et al.
Crizotinib in ROS1-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2014; 371(21):1963-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/05/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chromosomal rearrangements of the gene encoding ROS1 proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1) define a distinct molecular subgroup of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) that may be susceptible to therapeutic ROS1 kinase inhibition. Crizotinib is a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), ROS1, and another proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase, MET.
METHODS: We enrolled 50 patients with advanced NSCLC who tested positive for ROS1 rearrangement in an expansion cohort of the phase 1 study of crizotinib. Patients were treated with crizotinib at the standard oral dose of 250 mg twice daily and assessed for safety, pharmacokinetics, and response to therapy. ROS1 fusion partners were identified with the use of next-generation sequencing or reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction assays.
RESULTS: The objective response rate was 72% (95% confidence interval [CI], 58 to 84), with 3 complete responses and 33 partial responses. The median duration of response was 17.6 months (95% CI, 14.5 to not reached). Median progression-free survival was 19.2 months (95% CI, 14.4 to not reached), with 25 patients (50%) still in follow-up for progression. Among 30 tumors that were tested, we identified 7 ROS1 fusion partners: 5 known and 2 novel partner genes. No correlation was observed between the type of ROS1 rearrangement and the clinical response to crizotinib. The safety profile of crizotinib was similar to that seen in patients with ALK-rearranged NSCLC.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, crizotinib showed marked antitumor activity in patients with advanced ROS1-rearranged NSCLC. ROS1 rearrangement defines a second molecular subgroup of NSCLC for which crizotinib is highly active. (Funded by Pfizer and others; number, NCT00585195.).

Parra-Palau JL, Morancho B, Peg V, et al.
Effect of p95HER2/611CTF on the response to trastuzumab and chemotherapy.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(11) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancers are currently treated with trastuzumab, an anti-HER2 antibody. About 30% of these tumors express a group of HER2 fragments collectively known as p95HER2. Our previous work indicated that p95HER2-positive tumors are resistant to trastuzumab monotherapy. However, recent results showed that tumors expressing the most active of these fragments, p95HER2/611CTF, respond to trastuzumab plus chemotherapy. To clarify this discrepancy, we analyzed the response to chemotherapy of cell lines transfected with p95HER2/611CTF and patient-derived xenografts (n = 7 mice per group) with different levels of the fragment. All statistical tests were two-sided. p95HER2/611CTF-negative and positive tumors showed different responses to various chemotherapeutic agents, which are particularly effective on p95HER2/611CTF-positive cells. Furthermore, chemotherapy sensitizes p95HER2/611CTF-positive patient-derived xenograft tumors to trastuzumab (mean tumor volume, trastuzumab alone: 906 mm(3), 95% confidence interval = 1274 to 538 mm(3); trastuzumab+doxorubicin: 259 mm(3), 95% confidence interval = 387 to 131 mm(3); P < .001). This sensitization may be related to HER2 stabilization induced by chemotherapy in p95HER2/611CTF-positive cells.

Zheng Q, Peskoe SB, Ribas J, et al.
Investigation of miR-21, miR-141, and miR-221 expression levels in prostate adenocarcinoma for associated risk of recurrence after radical prostatectomy.
Prostate. 2014; 74(16):1655-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate a broad array of cellular and disease processes. Several miRNAs are differentially expressed in cancer and many are being considered as biomarkers for predicting clinical outcomes. Here we quantified the expression of three miRNAs, miR-21, miR-141, and miR-221, from prostate cancer surgical specimens and evaluated their association with disease recurrence after primary therapy.
METHODS: A pilot nested case-control study was designed from a large cohort of men who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1993 and 2001. Total RNA was extracted from malignant prostate tissue of 59 cases (recurrence) and 59 controls. Cases and controls were matched on age, race, pathologic stage, and grade. The relative expression of each miRNA was then determined for each sample by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of recurrence for tertiles of miRNA expression. We noted block storage time effects and thus, used separate tertile cutpoints based on the controls by calendar year of prostatectomy.
RESULTS: Lower miR-221 expression was associated with a higher risk of recurrence; the ORs were 3.21 for the lowest tertile and 2.63 for the middle tertile compared with the highest tertile of expression (P-trend = 0.02). This pattern was unchanged after multivariable adjustment (P-trend = 0.05). No statistically significant trends were observed for miR-21 or miR-141 after multivariable adjustment.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on this small pilot study, men with localized prostate cancers with lower miR-221 expression may have a greater risk for recurrence after surgery.

Stanford JC, Young C, Hicks D, et al.
Efferocytosis produces a prometastatic landscape during postpartum mammary gland involution.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(11):4737-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancers that occur in women 2-5 years postpartum are more frequently diagnosed at metastatic stages and correlate with poorer outcomes compared with breast cancers diagnosed in young, premenopausal women. The molecular mechanisms underlying the malignant severity associated with postpartum breast cancers (ppBCs) are unclear but relate to stromal wound-healing events during postpartum involution, a dynamic process characterized by widespread cell death in milk-producing mammary epithelial cells (MECs). Using both spontaneous and allografted mammary tumors in fully immune-competent mice, we discovered that postpartum involution increases mammary tumor metastasis. Cell death was widespread, not only occurring in MECs but also in tumor epithelium. Dying tumor cells were cleared through receptor tyrosine kinase MerTK-dependent efferocytosis, which robustly induced the transcription of genes encoding wound-healing cytokines, including IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, and TGF-β. Animals lacking MerTK and animals treated with a MerTK inhibitor exhibited impaired efferocytosis in postpartum tumors, a reduction of M2-like macrophages but no change in total macrophage levels, decreased TGF-β expression, and a reduction of postpartum tumor metastasis that was similar to the metastasis frequencies observed in nulliparous mice. Moreover, TGF-β blockade reduced postpartum tumor metastasis. These data suggest that widespread cell death during postpartum involution triggers efferocytosis-induced wound-healing cytokines in the tumor microenvironment that promote metastatic tumor progression.

Lee W, Teckie S, Wiesner T, et al.
PRC2 is recurrently inactivated through EED or SUZ12 loss in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(11):1227-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) represent a group of highly aggressive soft-tissue sarcomas that may occur sporadically, in association with neurofibromatosis type I (NF1 associated) or after radiotherapy. Using comprehensive genomic approaches, we identified loss-of-function somatic alterations of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) components (EED or SUZ12) in 92% of sporadic, 70% of NF1-associated and 90% of radiotherapy-associated MPNSTs. MPNSTs with PRC2 loss showed complete loss of trimethylation at lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3) and aberrant transcriptional activation of multiple PRC2-repressed homeobox master regulators and their regulated developmental pathways. Introduction of the lost PRC2 component in a PRC2-deficient MPNST cell line restored H3K27me3 levels and decreased cell growth. Additionally, we identified frequent somatic alterations of CDKN2A (81% of all MPNSTs) and NF1 (72% of non-NF1-associated MPNSTs), both of which significantly co-occur with PRC2 alterations. The highly recurrent and specific inactivation of PRC2 components, NF1 and CDKN2A highlights their critical and potentially cooperative roles in MPNST pathogenesis.

Rashid NU, Sperling AS, Bolli N, et al.
Differential and limited expression of mutant alleles in multiple myeloma.
Blood. 2014; 124(20):3110-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 13/11/2015 Related Publications
Recent work has delineated mutational profiles in multiple myeloma and reported a median of 52 mutations per patient, as well as a set of commonly mutated genes across multiple patients. In this study, we have used deep sequencing of RNA from a subset of these patients to evaluate the proportion of expressed mutations. We find that the majority of previously identified mutations occur within genes with very low or no detectable expression. On average, 27% (range, 11% to 47%) of mutated alleles are found to be expressed, and among mutated genes that are expressed, there often is allele-specific expression where either the mutant or wild-type allele is suppressed. Even in the absence of an overall change in gene expression, the presence of differential allelic expression within malignant cells highlights the important contribution of RNA-sequencing in identifying clinically significant mutational changes relevant to our understanding of myeloma biology and also for therapeutic applications.

Mishra DK, Scott KL, Wardwell-Ozgo JM, et al.
Circulating tumor cells from 4D model have less integrin beta 4 expression.
J Surg Res. 2015; 193(2):745-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Currently, there is no in vitro or ex vivo model that can isolate circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Recently, we developed a four-dimensional (4D) lung cancer model that allows for the isolation of CTCs. We postulated that these cells have different properties than parental (2D) cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We obtained CTCs by growing A549, H1299, 393P, and 344SQ cell lines on the 4D lung model. The CTCs were functionally characterized in vitro and gene expression of the cell adhesion molecules was compared with respective 2D cells. Integrin beta 4 (ITGB4) was further investigated by stably transfecting the A549 and H1299 cells.
RESULTS: We found that all cell lines produced CTCs, and that CTCs from the 4D model were less adherent to the plastic and have a slower growth rate than respective 2D cells (P < 0.01). Most of the cell adhesion molecules were downregulated (P < 0.05) in CTCs, and ITGB4 was the common molecule, significantly more underexpressed in CTCs from all cell lines than their respective 2D cells. The modulation of ITGB4 led to a differential function of 2D cells.
CONCLUSIONS: CTCs from the 4D model have different transcriptional, translational, and in vitro characteristics than the same cells grown on a petri dish, and these CTCs from the 4D model have the properties of CTCs that are responsible for metastasis.

Sun Y, Hu L, Zheng H, et al.
MiR-506 inhibits multiple targets in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition network and is associated with good prognosis in epithelial ovarian cancer.
J Pathol. 2015; 235(1):25-36 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
Extensive investigations have shown that miRNAs are important regulators of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), mainly targeting the transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin (E-cad). Less is known about the post-transcriptional regulation of vimentin or N-cadherin (N-cad) in EMT. Our previous study identified miR-506 as a key EMT inhibitor through directly targeting the E-cad transcriptional repressor SNAI2. In this study, we provide evidence that miR-506 simultaneously suppresses vimentin and N-cad. The knockdown of vimentin using siRNA reversed EMT, suppressed cell migration and invasion, and increased E-cad expression on the cell membrane in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells. In a set of tissue microarrays that included 204 EOCs of all major subtypes (eg serous, endometrioid, clear cell, and mucinous), miR-506 was positively correlated with E-cad and negatively correlated with vimentin and N-cad in all subtypes of EOC. A high level of miR-506 was positively associated with early FIGO stage and longer survival in EOC. Introduction of miR-506, mediated by nanoparticle delivery, in EOC orthotopic mouse models resulted in decreased vimentin, N-cad, and SNAI2 expression and increased E-cad expression; it also suppressed the dissemination of EOC cells. Thus, miR-506 represents a new class of miRNA that regulates both E-cad and vimentin/N-cad in the suppression of EMT and metastasis.

Al Olama AA, Kote-Jarai Z, Berndt SI, et al.
A meta-analysis of 87,040 individuals identifies 23 new susceptibility loci for prostate cancer.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(10):1103-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 76 variants associated with prostate cancer risk predominantly in populations of European ancestry. To identify additional susceptibility loci for this common cancer, we conducted a meta-analysis of > 10 million SNPs in 43,303 prostate cancer cases and 43,737 controls from studies in populations of European, African, Japanese and Latino ancestry. Twenty-three new susceptibility loci were identified at association P < 5 × 10(-8); 15 variants were identified among men of European ancestry, 7 were identified in multi-ancestry analyses and 1 was associated with early-onset prostate cancer. These 23 variants, in combination with known prostate cancer risk variants, explain 33% of the familial risk for this disease in European-ancestry populations. These findings provide new regions for investigation into the pathogenesis of prostate cancer and demonstrate the usefulness of combining ancestrally diverse populations to discover risk loci for disease.

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