Gene Summary

Gene:PAWR; pro-apoptotic WT1 regulator
Aliases: PAR4, Par-4
Summary:This gene encodes a tumor suppressor protein that selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells through intracellular and extracellular mechanisms. The intracellular mechanism involves the inhibition of pro-survival pathways and the activation of Fas-mediated apoptosis, while the extracellular mechanism involves the binding of a secreted form of this protein to glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78) on the cell surface, which leads to activation of the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. This gene is located on the unstable human chromosomal 12q21 region and is often deleted or mutated different tumors. The encoded protein also plays an important role in the progression of age-related diseases. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2017]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:PRKC apoptosis WT1 regulator protein
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (21)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 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.

  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Genome, Human
  • Gene Silencing
  • Gene Expression
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Drug Resistance
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Synaptotagmin I
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • VIP
  • Apoptosis
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Liposarcoma
  • Promoter Regions
  • Mutation
  • Disease Progression
  • Chromosome 12
  • Down-Regulation
  • DNA Methylation
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcriptome
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Up-Regulation
  • Skin Cancer
  • PAWR
  • Transfection
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Epigenetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 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: PAWR (cancer-related)

Wang M, An S, Wang D, et al.
Activation of PAR4 Upregulates p16 through Inhibition of DNMT1 and HDAC2 Expression via MAPK Signals in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells.
J Immunol Res. 2018; 2018:4735752 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A previous study showed that a downexpression of protease-activated receptor 4 (PAR4) is associated with the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). In this study, we explored the relationship between PAR4 activation and the expression of p16, and elucidated the underlying mechanisms in PAR4 inducing the tumor suppressor role in ESCC. ESCC cell lines (EC109 and TE-1) were treated with PAR4-activating peptide (PAR4-AP). Immunohistochemistry for DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) was performed in 26 cases of ESCC tissues. We found that DNMT1 and HDAC2 immunoreactivities in ESCC were significantly higher than those in adjacent noncancerous tissues. PAR4 activation could suppress DNMT1 and HDAC2, as well as increase p16 expressions, whereas silencing PAR4 dramatically increased HDAC2 and DNMT1, as well as reduced p16 expressions. Importantly, the chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR (ChIP-PCR) data indicated that treatment of ESCC cells with PAR4-AP remarkably suppressed DNMT1 and HDAC2 enrichments on the p16 promoter. Furthermore, we demonstrated that activation of PAR4 resulted in an increase of p38/ERK phosphorylation and activators for p38/ERK enhanced the effect of PAR4 activation on HDAC2, DNMT1, and p16 expressions, whereas p38/ERK inhibitors reversed these effects. Moreover, we found that activation of PAR4 in ESCC cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. These findings suggest that PAR4 plays a potential tumor suppressor role in ESCC cells and represents a potential therapeutic target of this disease.

McKenna MK, Noothi SK, Alhakeem SS, et al.
Novel role of prostate apoptosis response-4 tumor suppressor in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Blood. 2018; 131(26):2943-2954 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4), a proapoptotic tumor suppressor protein, is downregulated in many cancers including renal cell carcinoma, glioblastoma, endometrial, and breast cancer. Par-4 induces apoptosis selectively in various types of cancer cells but not normal cells. We found that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells from human patients and from Eµ-Tcl1 mice constitutively express Par-4 in greater amounts than normal B-1 or B-2 cells. Interestingly, knockdown of Par-4 in human CLL-derived Mec-1 cells results in a robust increase in p21/WAF1 expression and decreased growth due to delayed G1-to-S cell-cycle transition. Lack of Par-4 also increased the expression of p21 and delayed CLL growth in Eμ-Tcl1 mice. Par-4 expression in CLL cells required constitutively active B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling, as inhibition of BCR signaling with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs caused a decrease in Par-4 messenger RNA and protein, and an increase in apoptosis. In particular, activities of Lyn, a Src family kinase, spleen tyrosine kinase, and Bruton tyrosine kinase are required for Par-4 expression in CLL cells, suggesting a novel regulation of Par-4 through BCR signaling. Together, these results suggest that Par-4 may play a novel progrowth rather than proapoptotic role in CLL and could be targeted to enhance the therapeutic effects of BCR-signaling inhibitors.

Katoch A, Suklabaidya S, Chakraborty S, et al.
Dual role of Par-4 in abrogation of EMT and switching on Mesenchymal to Epithelial Transition (MET) in metastatic pancreatic cancer cells.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(9):1102-1115 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical event that occurs during the invasion and metastatic spread of cancer cells. Here, we conceive a dual mechanism of Par-4-mediated inhibition of EMT and induction of MET in metastatic pancreatic cancer cells. First, we demonstrate that 1,1'-β-D-glucopyranosyl-3,3'-bis(5-bromoindolyl)-octyl methane (NGD16), an N-glycosylated derivative of medicinally important phytochemical 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) abrogates EMT by inducing pro-apoptotic protein Par-4. Induction of Par-4 (by NGD16 or ectopic overexpression) strongly impedes invasion with inhibition of major mesenchymal markers viz. Vimentin and Twist-1 epithelial marker- E-cadherin. Further, NGD16 triggers MET phenotypes in pancreatic cancer cells by augmenting ALK2/Smad4 signaling in a Par-4-dependent manner. Conversely, siRNA-mediated silencing of endogenous Par-4 unveil reversal of MET with diminished E-cadherin expression and invasive phenotypes. Additionally, we demonstrate that intact Smad4 is essential for Par-4-mediated maintenance of E-cadherin level in MET induced cells. Notably, we imply that Par-4 induction regulates E-cadherin levels in the pancreatic cancer cells via modulating Twist-1 promoter activity. Finally, in vivo studies with syngenic mouse metastatic pancreatic cancer model reveal that NGD16 strongly suppresses metastatic burden, ascites formation, and prolongs the overall survival of animals effectively.

Subburayan K, Thayyullathil F, Pallichankandy S, et al.
Par-4-dependent p53 up-regulation plays a critical role in thymoquinone-induced cellular senescence in human malignant glioma cells.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 426:80-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thymoquinone (TQ), the predominant bioactive constituent present in black cumin (Nigella sativa), exerts tumor suppressive activity against a wide variety of cancer cells. Cellular senescence, characterized by stable and long term loss of proliferative capacity, acts as a potent tumor suppressive mechanism. Here, we provide evidence for the first time that TQ suppresses growth of glioma cells by potentially inducing the expression of prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) tumor suppressor protein. In turn, TQ-induced Par-4 expression triggers cellular senescence, as evidenced by increasing cellular size, β-galactosidase staining, G1 phase arrest, and increased expression of senescence markers such as p53, p21, Rb, and decreased expression of lamin B1, cyclin E and cyclin depended kinase-2 (CDK-2). Further, overexpression of Par-4 significantly increases the expression of p53 and its downstream target p21, and increases β-galactosidase positive cells, while siRNA/shRNA mediated-knockdown of Par-4 reverses the TQ-induced effects. Altogether, we describe a novel mechanism of cross talk between Par-4 and p53, that plays a critical role in TQ-induced senescence in human malignant glioma cells.

Damrauer JS, Phelps SN, Amuchastegui K, et al.
Foxo-dependent Par-4 Upregulation Prevents Long-term Survival of Residual Cells Following PI3K-Akt Inhibition.
Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16(4):599-609 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor recurrence is a leading cause of death and is thought to arise from a population of residual cells that survive treatment. These residual cancer cells can persist, locally or at distant sites, for years or decades. Therefore, understanding the pathways that regulate residual cancer cell survival may suggest opportunities for targeting these cells to prevent recurrence. Previously, it was observed that the proapoptotic protein (PAWR/Par-4) negatively regulates residual cell survival and recurrence in mice and humans. However, the mechanistic underpinnings on how Par-4 expression is regulated are unclear. Here, it is demonstrated that Par-4 is transcriptionally upregulated following treatment with multiple drugs targeting the PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling pathway, and identify the Forkhead family of transcription factors as mediators of this upregulation. Mechanistically, Foxo3a directly binds to the Par-4 promoter and activates its transcription following inhibition of the PI3K-Akt pathway. This Foxo-dependent Par-4 upregulation limits the long-term survival of residual cells following treatment with therapeutics that target the PI3K-Akt pathway. Taken together, these results indicate that residual breast cancer tumor cell survival and recurrence requires circumventing Foxo-driven Par-4 upregulation and suggest that approaches to enforce Par-4 expression may prevent residual cell survival and recurrence.

Lu D, Tang L, Zhuang Y, Zhao P
miR-17-3P regulates the proliferation and survival of colon cancer cells by targeting Par4.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(1):618-623 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy worldwide. However, the pathogenesis by which CRC progression occurs remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated the role of miRNA (miR)‑17‑3P in the regulation of CRC cell survival. Firstly, miR‑17‑3P expression was aberrantly upregulated in human CRC tumor tissues compared with controls. Further results demonstrated that the proliferation capacity of human CRC SW480 and LoVo cells was significantly increased by an miR‑17‑3P specific mimic, and was inhibited by miR‑17‑3P silencing. Conversely, the apoptosis of human CRC cells was remarkably decreased by miR‑17‑3P mimic, and enhanced by miR‑17‑3P suppression compared with control. Additionally, it was observed that there was a potential binding site of miR‑17‑3P on the 3'‑untranslated region of Prostate apoptosis responde‑4 (Par4) and miR‑17‑3P may directly target Par4 mRNA. In human CRC cells, an miR‑17‑3P inhibitor significantly upregulated Par 4 expression, however the miR‑17‑3P mimic reduced Par4expression. Furthermore, Par4 expression exhibited an inhibitory effect on the proliferation of CRC cells transfected with miR‑17‑3P mimic, and exhibited a promoting role in the repressed apoptosis by miR‑17‑3P mimic. Inconclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that miR‑17‑3P is important in CRC cell survival by targeting Par4, indicating a novel finding regarding human CRC progression.

Wang J, Li Y, Ma F, et al.
Inhibitory effect of Par-4 combined with cisplatin on human Wilms' tumor cells.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317716689 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wilms' tumor is associated with a high treatment success rate, but there is still a risk of recurrence. Cisplatin, which is one of the chemotherapeutic agents used for its treatment, is associated with a very high rate of resistance. Par-4 (prostate apoptosis response 4) is a tumor suppressor, which is capable of sensitizing tumor cells to chemotherapy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether combined treatment with Par-4 and cisplatin is effective for inhibiting growth of Wilms' tumor. Wilms' tumor and control cell samples were collected and analyzed by immunofluorescence assay and immunohistochemistry. Total proteins extracted from cultured cells were analyzed using western blotting and flow cytometry. In addition, a mouse xenograft model was established. We discovered significantly low expression of Par-4 in the tumor tissue, which was positively correlated with high expression of GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein 78). In addition, we found that ectopic Par-4 co-localized with cell surface GRP78 and induced high expression of the endoplasmic reticulum proteins ATF4 and BAX, which activated the endoplasmic reticulum apoptosis pathway. Moreover, treatment with ectopic Par-4 and cisplatin suppressed xenograft growth in nude mice. In conclusion, our results showed that Par-4 overexpression and cisplatin had a synergistic effect on SK-NEP-1 cells, as a result of which cell growth was inhibited and cellular apoptosis was induced. Thus, in vitro and in vivo upregulation of Par-4 expression is indispensable for the trafficking of GRP78 to the cell membrane and subsequent apoptosis of cancer cells.

Michael JV, Wurtzel JGT, Mao GF, et al.
Platelet microparticles infiltrating solid tumors transfer miRNAs that suppress tumor growth.
Blood. 2017; 130(5):567-580 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Platelet-derived microparticles (PMPs) are associated with enhancement of metastasis and poor cancer outcomes. Circulating PMPs transfer platelet microRNAs (miRNAs) to vascular cells. Solid tumor vasculature is highly permeable, allowing the possibility of PMP-tumor cell interaction. Here, we show that PMPs infiltrate solid tumors in humans and mice and transfer platelet-derived RNA, including miRNAs, to tumor cells in vivo and in vitro, resulting in tumor cell apoptosis. MiR-24 was a major species in this transfer. PMP transfusion inhibited growth of both lung and colon carcinoma ectopic tumors, whereas blockade of miR-24 in tumor cells accelerated tumor growth in vivo, and prevented tumor growth inhibition by PMPs. Conversely,

de Bessa Garcia SA, Pavanelli AC, Cruz E Melo N, Nagai MA
Prostate apoptosis response 4 (PAR4) expression modulates WNT signaling pathways in MCF7 breast cancer cells: A possible mechanism underlying PAR4-mediated docetaxel chemosensitivity.
Int J Mol Med. 2017; 39(4):809-818 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Docetaxel is an effective drug for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. However, the exact mechanisms and/or markers associated with chemosensitivity or resistance to docetaxel remain unclear. We previously showed that the expression of prostate apoptosis response 4 (PAR4) inhibits the growth of MCF7 breast cancer cells and increases their sensitivity to docetaxel. Using cDNA microarray analysis, we evaluated transcriptome changes in MCF7 cells expressing increased levels of PAR4 and control cells before and after docetaxel treatment. Some of the top gene networks generated from the differentially expressed genes were related to the wingless‑type MMTV integration 1 (WNT) canonical (WNT/β-catenin) and non‑canonical (β‑catenin‑independent) pathways. The Human WNT signaling pathway RT2 profiler™ PCR array was used to validate the effects of PAR4 on the expression pattern of genes involved in the WNT pathway. CACNAD2A3, GDF5 and IL6 were upregulated and NANOG was downregulated in the MCF7 breast cancer cells expressing increased levels of PAR4 after treatment with docetaxel, likely indicating inactivation of the WNT/β-catenin pathway. Upregulation of FGF7, LEF1 and TWIST1 indicated activation of the WNT/β‑catenin pathway. Although preliminary, our findings could be of particular interest for understanding the action of PAR4 in chemosensitivity, particularly to increase the specificity and effectiveness of drug treatment and overcome resistance to chemotherapy. Further studies are needed to better understand the biological roles of PAR4 in the regulation of WNT pathways in breast cancer cells in response to docetaxel and other chemotherapeutic agents.

Brasseur K, Gévry N, Asselin E
Chemoresistance and targeted therapies in ovarian and endometrial cancers.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(3):4008-4042 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gynecological cancers are known for being very aggressive at their advanced stages. Indeed, the survival rate of both ovarian and endometrial cancers is very low when diagnosed lately and the success rate of current chemotherapy regimens is not very efficient. One of the main reasons for this low success rate is the acquired chemoresistance of these cancers during their progression. The mechanisms responsible for this acquired chemoresistance are numerous, including efflux pumps, repair mechanisms, survival pathways (PI3K/AKT, MAPK, EGFR, mTOR, estrogen signaling) and tumor suppressors (P53 and Par-4). To overcome these resistances, a new type of therapy has emerged named targeted therapy. The principle of targeted therapy is simple, taking advantage of changes acquired in malignant cancer cells (receptors, proteins, mechanisms) by using compounds specifically targeting these, thus limiting their action on healthy cells. Targeted therapies are emerging and many clinical trials targeting these pathways, frequently involved in chemoresistance, have been tested on gynecological cancers. Despite some targets being less efficient than expected as mono-therapies, the combination of compounds seems to be the promising avenue. For instance, we demonstrate using ChIP-seq analysis that estrogen downregulate tumor suppressor Par-4 in hormone-dependent cells by directly binding to its DNA regulatory elements and inhibiting estrogen signaling could reinstate Par-4 apoptosis-inducing abilities. This review will focus on the chemoresistance mechanisms and the clinical trials of targeted therapies associated with these, specifically for endometrial and ovarian cancers.

Liu F, Liu S, Ai F, et al.
miR-107 Promotes Proliferation and Inhibits Apoptosis of Colon Cancer Cells by Targeting Prostate Apoptosis Response-4 (Par4).
Oncol Res. 2017; 25(6):967-974 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies in the world, with a high incidence and a high mortality. However, the pathogenesis of CRC carcinogenesis is still unexplored. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-107 in the regulation of CRC cell proliferation and apoptosis. First, the expression of miR-107 was observed to be aberrantly increased in human CRC tumor tissues and cell lines when compared to the colonic control tissues and colon epithelial cells. Further study showed that the proliferative and apoptotic capacities of human CRC SW480 and LoVo cells were aberrantly regulated by miR-107. The proliferation of SW480 and LoVo cells was remarkably enhanced by the miR-107 mimic but suppressed by the miR-107 inhibitor when compared to the negative control. On the contrary, the apoptotic rate of both SW480 and LoVo cells was significantly inhibited by miR-107 overexpression but increased by miR-107 inhibition. In addition, we identified prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par4) as a direct target of miR-107 with a potential binding site on the 3'-UTR of mRNA, as evaluated by bioinformatics prediction and luciferase reporter assay. Par4 expression levels were significantly inhibited by the miR-107 mimic but upregulated by the miR-107 inhibitor in both SW480 and LoVo cells. Compared to the control, the increase in Par4 expression significantly inhibited the induction role of miR-107 in the proliferation of SW480 and LoVo cells, and the apoptotic rate of cells repressed by the miR-107 mimic was also reversed by Par4 overexpression. In summary, our results demonstrated that miR-107 exerts a positive role in the survival of CRC cells by directly targeting Par4. This might reveal a novel understanding about human CRC pathogenesis.

Shen Z, Qin X, Yan M, et al.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts promote cancer cell growth through a miR-7-RASSF2-PAR-4 axis in the tumor microenvironment.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(1):1290-1303 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), a major component of cancer stroma, play an important role in cancer progression but little is known about how CAFs affect tumorigenesis and development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that can negatively regulate target mRNA expression at post-transcriptional levels. In head and neck cancer (HNC), our analysis of miRNA arrays showed that miR-7, miR-196 and miR-335 were significantly up-regulated in CAFs when compared with their paired normal fibroblasts (NFs). FAP, α-SMA and FSP, specific markers of CAFs, were significantly expressed in CAFs. Functionally, exogenous expression of miR-7 in NFs induced a functional conversion of NFs into CAFs. In contrast, inhibition of miR-7 expression in CAFs could induce a functional conversion of CAFs into NFs. Our study demonstrated that overexpression of miR-7 in NFs significantly increased the migration activity and growth rates of cancer cells in co-culture experiments. Mechanistically, we confirmed that the RASSF2-PAR-4 axis was mainly responsible for miR-7 functions in CAFs using bioinformatics methods. Overexpression of miR-7 in CAFs led to down-regulation of RASSF2, which dramatically decreased the secretion of PAR-4 from CAFs and then enhanced the proliferation and migration of the co-cultured cancer cells. Thus, these results reveal that the inactivation of the RASSF2-PAR-4 axis controlled by miR-7 may be a novel strategy for gene therapy in HNCs.

Rasool RU, Nayak D, Chakraborty S, et al.
A journey beyond apoptosis: new enigma of controlling metastasis by pro-apoptotic Par-4.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2016; 33(8):757-764 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate apoptotic response 4 (Par-4) is coined as a therapeutic protein since owing to its diverse physiologically relevant properties, especially in the cancer perspective. Albeit, Par-4 expression is not restricted to any specific tissue/organ, apart from cell death promotion (due to challenging threats), the other biological role of Par-4 is convincingly emerging. In the recent years, several laboratories have intended to dissect the signaling or mechanisms involved in Par-4 activation to augment apoptosis cascades but new developments in Par-4 research have widened its therapeutic potential. One of these important avenues is the prevention of metastasis by pro-apoptotic Par-4. In this review, we will focus on the therapeutic perspective of Par-4 with a special reference to its (Par-4) virgin prospect of devastating metastasis control.

Cizmeci D, Dempster EL, Champion OL, et al.
Mapping epigenetic changes to the host cell genome induced by Burkholderia pseudomallei reveals pathogen-specific and pathogen-generic signatures of infection.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:30861 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The potential for epigenetic changes in host cells following microbial infection has been widely suggested, but few examples have been reported. We assessed genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation in human macrophage-like U937 cells following infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei, an intracellular bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of human melioidosis. Our analyses revealed significant changes in host cell DNA methylation, at multiple CpG sites in the host cell genome, following infection. Infection induced differentially methylated probes (iDMPs) showing the greatest changes in DNA methylation were found to be in the vicinity of genes involved in inflammatory responses, intracellular signalling, apoptosis and pathogen-induced signalling. A comparison of our data with reported methylome changes in cells infected with M. tuberculosis revealed commonality of differentially methylated genes, including genes involved in T cell responses (BCL11B, FOXO1, KIF13B, PAWR, SOX4, SYK), actin cytoskeleton organisation (ACTR3, CDC42BPA, DTNBP1, FERMT2, PRKCZ, RAC1), and cytokine production (FOXP1, IRF8, MR1). Overall our findings show that pathogenic-specific and pathogen-common changes in the methylome occur following infection.

Yang Z, Li C, Fan Z, et al.
Single-cell Sequencing Reveals Variants in ARID1A, GPRC5A and MLL2 Driving Self-renewal of Human Bladder Cancer Stem Cells.
Eur Urol. 2017; 71(1):8-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer stem cells are considered responsible for many important aspects of tumors such as their self-renewal, tumor-initiating, drug-resistance and metastasis. However, the genetic basis and origination of human bladder cancer stem cells (BCSCs) remains unknown. Here, we conducted single-cell sequencing on 59 cells including BCSCs, bladder cancer non-stem cells (BCNSCs), bladder epithelial stem cells (BESCs) and bladder epithelial non-stem cells (BENSCs) from three bladder cancer (BC) specimens. Specifically, BCSCs demonstrate clonal homogeneity and suggest their origin from BESCs or BCNSCs through phylogenetic analysis. Moreover, 21 key altered genes were identified in BCSCs including six genes not previously described in BC (ETS1, GPRC5A, MKL1, PAWR, PITX2 and RGS9BP). Co-mutations of ARID1A, GPRC5A and MLL2 introduced by CRISPR/Cas9 significantly enhance the capabilities of self-renewal and tumor-initiating of BCNSCs. To our knowledge, our study first provides an overview of the genetic basis of human BCSCs with single-cell sequencing and demonstrates the biclonal origin of human BCSCs via evolution analysis.
PATIENT SUMMARY: Human bladder cancer stem cells show the high level of consistency and may derived from bladder epithelial stem cells or bladder cancer non-stem cells. Mutations of ARID1A, GPRC5A and MLL2 grant bladder cancer non-stem cells the capability of self-renewal.

Klintman M, Buus R, Cheang MC, et al.
Changes in Expression of Genes Representing Key Biologic Processes after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer, and Prognostic Implications in Residual Disease.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(10):2405-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The primary aim was to derive evidence for or against the clinical importance of several biologic processes in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) by assessing expression of selected genes with prior implications in prognosis or treatment resistance. The secondary aim was to determine the prognostic impact in residual disease of the genes' expression.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Expression levels of 24 genes were quantified by NanoString nCounter on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded residual tumors from 126 patients treated with NAC and 56 paired presurgical biopsies. The paired t test was used for testing changes in gene expression, and Cox regression and penalized elastic-net Cox Regression for estimating HRs.
RESULTS: After NAC, 12 genes were significantly up- and 8 downregulated. Fourteen genes were significantly associated with time to recurrence in univariable analysis in residual disease. In a multivariable model, ACACB, CD3D, MKI67, and TOP2A added prognostic value independent of clinical ER(-), PgR(-), and HER2(-) status. In ER(+)/HER2(-) patients, ACACB, PAWR, and ERBB2 predicted outcome, whereas CD3D and PAWR were prognostic in ER(-)/HER2(-) patients. By use of elastic-net analysis, a 6-gene signature (ACACB, CD3D, DECORIN, ESR1, MKI67, PLAU) was identified adding prognostic value independent of ER, PgR, and HER2.
CONCLUSIONS: Most of the tested genes were significantly enriched or depleted in response to NAC. Expression levels of genes representing proliferation, stromal activation, metabolism, apoptosis, stemcellness, immunologic response, and Ras-ERK activation predicted outcome in residual disease. The multivariable gene models identified could, if validated, be used to identify patients needing additional post-neoadjuvant treatment to improve prognosis. Clin Cancer Res; 22(10); 2405-16. ©2016 AACR.

Brasseur K, Fabi F, Adam P, et al.
Post-translational regulation of the cleaved fragment of Par-4 in ovarian and endometrial cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(24):36971-36987 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We recently reported the caspase3-dependent cleavage of Par-4 resulting in the accumulation of a 25kDa cleaved-Par-4 (cl-Par-4) fragment and we investigated in the present study the mechanisms regulating this fragment using cl-Par-4-expressing stable clones derived from ovarian and endometrial cancer cell lines.Cl-Par-4 protein was weakly express in all stable clones despite constitutive expression. However, upon cisplatin treatment, cl-Par-4 levels increased up to 50-fold relative to baseline conditions. Treatment of stable clones with proteasome and translation inhibitors revealed that cisplatin exposure might in fact protect cl-Par-4 from proteasome-dependent degradation. PI3K and MAPK pathways were also implicated as evidenced by an increase of cl-Par-4 in the presence of PI3K inhibitors and a decrease using MAPK inhibitors. Finally using bioinformatics resources, we found diverse datasets showing similar results to those we observed with the proteasome and cl-Par-4 further supporting our data.These new findings add to the complex mechanisms regulating Par-4 expression and activity, and justify further studies addressing the biological significance of this phenomenon in gynaecological cancer cells.

Satherley LK, Sun PH, Ji KE, et al.
Prostate Apoptosis Response-4 (PAR4) Suppresses Growth and Invasion of Breast Cancer Cells and Is Positively Associated with Patient Survival.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(3):1227-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prostate apoptosis response-4 (PAR4) plays an important role in apoptosis and survival of cancer cells. The current study aimed to further elucidate its role in breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: PAR4 expression in human breast cancer tissue was examined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemical staining (IHC). Plasmids containing full-length human PAR4 coding sequence were used to overexpress PAR4 in breast cancer cells and the effect on cellular functions was examined using both in vitro functional assays and an in vivo murine model.
RESULTS: Patients with low PAR4 transcript levels had poorer overall survival. PAR4 expression may be associated with differential expression of oestrogen receptors α and β in the tumours. Overexpression of PAR4 in MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in reduced cell growth and invasion, and also reduced in vivo tumour growth.
CONCLUSION: Decreased PAR4 expression in breast cancer is associated with shorter survival. PAR4 suppresses growth and invasiveness of breast cancer cells.

Das TP, Suman S, Alatassi H, et al.
Inhibition of AKT promotes FOXO3a-dependent apoptosis in prostate cancer.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7:e2111 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Growth factor-induced activation of protein kinase-B (PKB), also known as AKT, induces pro-survival signaling and inhibits activation of pro-apoptotic signaling molecules including the Forkhead box O-3a (FOXO3a) transcription factor and caspase in transformed prostate cells in vitro. Earlier we reported that Withaferin-A (WA), a small herbal molecule, induces pro-apoptotic response-4 (Par-4) mediated apoptosis in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that inhibition of AKT facilitates nuclear shuttling of FOXO3a where it regulates Par-4 transcription in CRPC cells. FOXO3a is upstream of Par-4 signaling, which is required for induction of apoptosis in CRPC cells. Promoter bashing studies and Ch-IP analysis confirm a direct interaction of FOXO3a and Par-4; a sequential deletion of FOXO3a-binding sites in the Par-4 promoter fails to induce Par-4 activation. To confirm these observations, we either overexpressed AKT or silenced FOXO3a activation in CRPC cells. Both methods inhibit Par-4 function and apoptosis is significantly compromised. In xenograft tumors derived from AKT-overexpressed CRPC cells, FOXO3a and Par-4 expression is downregulated, leading to aggressive tumor growth. Oral administration of WA to mice with xenograft tumors restores FOXO3a-mediated Par-4 functions and results in inhibited tumor growth. Finally, an inverse correlation of nuclear localization of AKT expression corresponds to cytoplasmic Par-4 localization in human prostate tissue array. Our studies suggest that Par-4 is one of the key transcriptional targets of FOXO3a, and Par-4 activation is required for induction of apoptosis in CRPC cells. Activation of FOXO3a appears to be an attractive target for the treatment of CRPC and molecules such as WA can be explored further for the treatment of CRPC.

Yang K, Shen J, Chen SW, et al.
Upregulation of PAWR by small activating RNAs induces cell apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(4):2487-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA activation (RNAa) is a promising discovery whereby expression of a particular gene can be induced by targeting its promoter using small double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) also termed small activating RNAs (saRNAs). We previously reported that several small dsRNAs targeting the PRKC apoptosis WT1 regulator (PAWR) promoter can upregulate PAWR gene expression effectively in human cancer cells. The present study was conducted to evaluate the antitumor potential of PAWR gene induction by these saRNAs in prostate cancer cells. Promisingly, we found that upregulation of PAWR by saRNA inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells by inducing cell apoptosis which was related to inactivation of the NF-κB and Akt pathways. The decreased anti‑apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and activation of the caspase cascade and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) also supported the efficacy of the treatment. Overall, these data suggest that activation of PAWR by saRNA may have a therapeutic benefit for prostate and other types of cancer.

Almamun M, Levinson BT, van Swaay AC, et al.
Integrated methylome and transcriptome analysis reveals novel regulatory elements in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Epigenetics. 2015; 10(9):882-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer diagnosed in children under the age of 15. In addition to genetic aberrations, epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation are altered in cancer and impact gene expression. To identify epigenetic alterations in ALL, genome-wide methylation profiles were generated using the methylated CpG island recovery assay followed by next-generation sequencing. More than 25,000 differentially methylated regions (DMR) were observed in ALL patients with ∼ 90% present within intronic or intergenic regions. To determine the regulatory potential of the DMR, whole-transcriptome analysis was performed and integrated with methylation data. Aberrant promoter methylation was associated with the altered expression of genes involved in transcriptional regulation, apoptosis, and proliferation. Novel enhancer-like sequences were identified within intronic and intergenic DMR. Aberrant methylation in these regions was associated with the altered expression of neighboring genes involved in cell cycle processes, lymphocyte activation and apoptosis. These genes include potential epi-driver genes, such as SYNE1, PTPRS, PAWR, HDAC9, RGCC, MCOLN2, LYN, TRAF3, FLT1, and MELK, which may provide a selective advantage to leukemic cells. In addition, the differential expression of epigenetic modifier genes, pseudogenes, and non-coding RNAs was also observed accentuating the role of erroneous epigenetic gene regulation in ALL.

Wu T, Wang X, Li J, et al.
Identification of Personalized Chemoresistance Genes in Subtypes of Basal-Like Breast Cancer Based on Functional Differences Using Pathway Analysis.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0131183 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease that is clinically classified into several subtypes. Among these subtypes, basal-like breast cancer largely overlaps with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and these two groups are generally studied together as a single entity. Differences in the molecular makeup of breast cancers can result in different treatment strategies and prognoses for patients with different breast cancer subtypes. Compared with other subtypes, basal-like and other ER+ breast cancer subtypes exhibit marked differences in etiologic factors, clinical characteristics and therapeutic potential. Anthracycline drugs are typically used as the first-line clinical treatment for basal-like breast cancer subtypes. However, certain patients develop drug resistance following chemotherapy, which can lead to disease relapse and death. Even among patients with basal-like breast cancer, there can be significant molecular differences, and it is difficult to identify specific drug resistance proteins in any given patient using conventional variance testing methods. Therefore, we designed a new method for identifying drug resistance genes. Subgroups, personalized biomarkers, and therapy targets were identified using cluster analysis of differentially expressed genes. We found that basal-like breast cancer could be further divided into at least four distinct subgroups, including two groups at risk for drug resistance and two groups characterized by sensitivity to pharmacotherapy. Based on functional differences among these subgroups, we identified nine biomarkers related to drug resistance: SYK, LCK, GAB2, PAWR, PPARG, MDFI, ZAP70, CIITA and ACTA1. Finally, based on the deviation scores of the examined pathways, 16 pathways were shown to exhibit varying degrees of abnormality in the various subgroups, indicating that patients with different subtypes of basal-like breast cancer can be characterized by differences in the functional status of these pathways. Therefore, these nine differentially expressed genes and their associated functional pathways should provide the basis for novel personalized clinical treatments of basal-like breast cancer.

Amin H, Nayak D, Ur Rasool R, et al.
Par-4 dependent modulation of cellular β-catenin by medicinal plant natural product derivative 3-azido Withaferin A.
Mol Carcinog. 2016; 55(5):864-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Here, we provide evidences that natural product derivative 3-azido Withaferin A (3-AWA) abrogated EMT and invasion by modulating β-catenin localization and its transcriptional activity in the prostate as well as in breast cancer cells. This study, for the first time, reveals 3-AWA treatment consistently sequestered nuclear β-catenin and augmented its cytoplasmic pool as evidenced by reducing β-catenin transcriptional activity in these cells. Moreover, 3-AWA treatment triggered robust induction of pro-apoptotic intracellular Par-4, attenuated Akt activity and rescued Phospho-GSK3β (by Akt) to promote β-catenin destabilization. Further, our in vitro studies demonstrate that 3-AWA treatment amplified E-cadherin expression along with sharp downregulation of c-Myc and cyclin D1 proteins. Strikingly, endogenous Par-4 knock down by siRNA underscored 3-AWA mediated inhibition of nuclear β-catenin was Par-4 dependent and suppression of Par-4 activity, either by Bcl-2 or by Ras transfection, restored the nuclear β-catenin level suggesting Par-4 mediated β-catenin regulation was not promiscuous. In vivo results further demonstrated that 3-AWA was effective inhibitor of tumor growth and immunohistochemical studies indicated that increased expression of total β-catenin and decreased expression of phospho-β-catenin and Par-4 in breast cancer tissues as compared to normal breast tissue suggesting Par-4 and β-catenin proteins are mutually regulated and inversely co-related in normal as well as cancer condition. Thus, strategic regulation of intracellular Par-4 by 3-AWA in diverse cancers could be an effective tool to control cancer cell metastasis. Conclusively, this report puts forward a novel approach of controlling deregulated β-catenin signaling by 3-AWA induced Par-4 protein.

Yu G, Jiang P, Xiang Y, et al.
Increased expression of protease-activated receptor 4 and Trefoil factor 2 in human colorectal cancer.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0122678 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Protease-activated receptor 4 (PAR4), a member of G-protein coupled receptors family, was recently reported to exhibit decreased expression in gastric cancer and esophageal squamous cancer, yet increased expression during the progression of prostate cancer. Trefoil factor 2 (TFF2), a small peptide constitutively expressed in the gastric mucosa, plays a protective role in restitution of gastric mucosa. Altered TFF2 expression was also related to the development of gastrointestinal cancer. TFF2 has been verified to promote cell migration via PAR4, but the roles of PAR4 and TFF2 in the progress of colorectal cancer are still unknown. In this study, the expression level of PAR4 and TFF2 in colorectal cancer tissues was measured using real-time PCR (n = 38), western blotting (n=38) and tissue microarrays (n = 66). The mRNA and protein expression levels of PAR4 and TFF2 were remarkably increased in colorectal cancer compared with matched noncancerous tissues, especially in positive lymph node and poorly differentiated cancers. The colorectal carcinoma cell LoVo showed an increased response to TFF2 as assessed by cell invasion upon PAR4 expression. However, after intervention of PAR4 expression, PAR4 positive colorectal carcinoma cell HT-29 was less responsive to TFF2 in cell invasion. Genomic bisulfite sequencing showed the hypomethylation of PAR4 promoter in colorectal cancer tissues and the hypermethylation in the normal mucosa that suggested the low methylation of promoter was correlated to the increased PAR4 expression. Taken together, the results demonstrated that the up-regulated expression of PAR4 and TFF2 frequently occurs in colorectal cancer tissues, and that overexpression of PAR4 may be resulted from promoter hypomethylation. While TFF2 promotes invasion activity of LoVo cells overexpressing PAR4, and this effect was significantly decreased when PAR4 was knockdowned in HT-29 cells. Our findings will be helpful in further investigations into the functions and molecular mechanisms of Proteinase-activated receptors (PARs) and Trefoil factor factors (TFFs) during the progression of colorectal cancer.

Mußbach F, Henklein P, Westermann M, et al.
Proteinase-activated receptor 1- and 4-promoted migration of Hep3B hepatocellular carcinoma cells depends on ROS formation and RTK transactivation.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2015; 141(5):813-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: There is growing evidence for a role of proteinase-activated receptors (PARs), a subfamily of G protein-coupled receptors, in cancer. We have previously shown that PAR1 and PAR4 are able to promote the migration of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells suggesting a function in HCC progression. In this study, we assessed the underlying signalling mechanisms.
METHODS: Using Hep3B liver carcinoma cells, RTK activation was assessed by Western blot employing phospho-RTK specific antibodies, ROS level were estimated by H2DCF-DA using confocal laser scanning microscopy, and measurement of PTP activity was performed in cell lysates using 6,8-difluoro-4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate (DiFMUP) as a substrate.
RESULTS: Thrombin, the PAR1 selective agonist peptide TFLLRN-NH2 (PAR1-AP), and the PAR4 selective agonist peptide, AYPGKF-NH2 (PAR4-AP), induced a significant increase in Hep3B cell migration that could be blocked by inhibitors targeting formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), or activation of hepatocyte-growth factor receptor (Met), or platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), respectively. The involvement of these intracellular effectors in PAR1/4-initiated migratory signalling was further supported by the findings that individual stimulation of Hep3B cells with the PAR1-AP and the PAR4-AP induced an increase in ROS production and the transactivation of Met and PDGFR. In addition, PAR1- and PAR4-mediated inhibition of total PTP activity and specifically PTP1B. ROS inhibition by N-acetyl-L-cysteine prevented the inhibition of PTP1B phosphatase activity induced by PAR1-AP and the PAR4-AP, but had no effect on PAR1/4-mediated activation of Met and PDGFR in Hep3B cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our data indicate that PAR1 and PAR4 activate common promigratory signalling pathways in Hep3B liver carcinoma cells including activation of the receptor tyrosine kinases Met and PDGFR, the formation of ROS and the inactivation of PTP1B. However, PAR1/4-triggered Met and PDGFR transactivation seem to be mediated independently from the ROS-PTP1B signalling module.

Chan KT, Asokan SB, King SJ, et al.
LKB1 loss in melanoma disrupts directional migration toward extracellular matrix cues.
J Cell Biol. 2014; 207(2):299-315 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Somatic inactivation of the serine/threonine kinase gene STK11/LKB1/PAR-4 occurs in a variety of cancers, including ∼10% of melanoma. However, how the loss of LKB1 activity facilitates melanoma invasion and metastasis remains poorly understood. In LKB1-null cells derived from an autochthonous murine model of melanoma with activated Kras and Lkb1 loss and matched reconstituted controls, we have investigated the mechanism by which LKB1 loss increases melanoma invasive motility. Using a microfluidic gradient chamber system and time-lapse microscopy, in this paper, we uncover a new function for LKB1 as a directional migration sensor of gradients of extracellular matrix (haptotaxis) but not soluble growth factor cues (chemotaxis). Systematic perturbation of known LKB1 effectors demonstrated that this response does not require canonical adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity but instead requires the activity of the AMPK-related microtubule affinity-regulating kinase (MARK)/PAR-1 family kinases. Inhibition of the LKB1-MARK pathway facilitated invasive motility, suggesting that loss of the ability to sense inhibitory matrix cues may promote melanoma invasion.

Salis O, Bedir A, Gulten S, et al.
Cytotoxic effect of fluvastatin on MCF-7 cells possibly through a reduction of the mRNA expression levels of SGK1 and CAV1.
Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2014; 29(9):368-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fluvastatin (FLU) prevents the conversion of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) to mevalonic acid by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase and decreases cholesterol level. Although the effects of FLU treatment on several cancer types through many mechanisms have been identified, its relationship with unfolded protein response and apoptosis has not been clearly understood. In this recent study, we aimed to investigate the cytotoxic effect of Fluvastatin on MCF-7 cells and define the transcriptional regulation of specific genes during the occurrence of this cytotoxic effect. We administered 0.62, 2.5, 5, and 40 μM FLU on MCF-7 cells singly and in combination with 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG), and we monitored cell viability and proliferation for 48 hours using real-time cell analyzer system (xCELLigence). At the same time, we measured the mRNA expression levels of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), CCAAT/enhancer binding protein, homologous protein (CHOP), caveolin-1 (CAV1), NDRG1 Variant 1 and Variant 2, HMOX1, SGK1, and prostate apoptosis response-4 (PAR4) genes using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (LightCycler 480 II). We accepted GAPDH gene and control groups as the reference gene and calibrator, respectively. We performed relative gene expression analyses of the study groups using the QIAGEN 2009 Relative Expression Software Tool (REST). FLU revealed an antiproliferative and cytotoxic effect on MCF-7 cells, while causing the transcriptional regulation of many genes. Of these genes, the mRNA expressions of CHOP, heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1), N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) V1, and NDRG1 V2 increased. On the other hand, the mRNA expression levels of SGK1 and CAV1 decreased. The antiproliferative effects of FLU may be related to the decreased expression levels of SGK1 and CAV1.

Lavallée VP, Gendron P, Lemieux S, et al.
EVI1-rearranged acute myeloid leukemias are characterized by distinct molecular alterations.
Blood. 2015; 125(1):140-3 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The genetic and transcriptional signature of EVI1 (ecotropic viral integration site 1)-rearranged (EVI1-r) acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs) remains poorly defined. We performed RNA sequencing of 12 EVI1-r AMLs and compared the results with those of other AML subtypes (n = 139) and normal CD34(+) cells (n = 17). Results confirm high frequencies of RAS and other activated signaling mutations (10/12 AMLs) and identify new recurrent mutations in splicing factors (5/12 AMLs in SF3B1 and 2/12 AMLs in U2AF1), IKZF1 (3/12 AMLs), and TP53 (3/12 AMLs). Mutations in IKZF1, a gene located on chromosome 7, and monosomy 7 are mutually exclusive in this disease. Moreover IKZF1 expression is halved in monosomy 7 leukemias. EVI-r AMLs are also characterized by a unique transcriptional signature with high expression levels of MECOM, PREX2, VIP, MYCT1, and PAWR. Our results suggest that EVI1-r AMLs could be molecularly defined by specific transcriptomic anomalies and a hitherto unseen mutational pattern. Larger patient cohorts will better determine the frequency of these events.

Li SM, Jiang P, Xiang Y, et al.
Protease-activated receptor (PAR)1, PAR2 and PAR4 expressions in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Dongwuxue Yanjiu. 2014; 35(5):420-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Here, we used reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and western blot to detect protease-activated receptor (PAR) 1, PAR 2 and PAR 4 expression in cancer tissues and cell lines of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and investigated the co-relationship between PAR expression and clinic-pathological data for esophageal cancer. The methylation of PAR4 gene promoter involved in esophageal carcinoma was also analyzed. By comparing the mRNA expressions of normal esophageal tissue and human esophageal epithelial cells (HEEpiC), we found that among the 28 cases of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, PAR1 (60%) and PAR2 (71%) were elevated in 17 and 20 cases, respectively, and PAR4 (68%) expression was lowered in 19 cases. Whereas, in human esophageal squamous cells (TE-1 and TE-10), PAR1 and PAR2 expression was increased but PAR4 was decreased. Combined with clinical data, the expression of PAR1 in poorly differentiated (P=0.016) and middle and lower parts of the esophagus (P=0.016) was higher; expression of PAR4 in poorly differentiated carcinoma was lower (P=0.049). Regarding TE-1 and TE-10 protein expression, we found that in randomized esophageal carcinoma, PAR1 (P=0.027) and PAR2 (P=0.039) expressions were increased, but lowered for PAR4 (P=0.0001). In HEEpiC, TE-1, TE-10, esophageal and normal esophagus tissue samples (case No. 7), the frequency of methylation at the 19 CpG loci of PAR4 was 35.4%, 95.2%, 83.8%, 62.6% and 48.2%, respectively. Our results indicate that the expression of PAR1 and PAR2 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is increased but PAR4 is decreased. Hypermethylation of the promoter of the PAR4 gene may contribute to reduced expression of PAR4 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Sharma S, Kaul D, Arora M, Malik D
Oncogenic nature of a novel mutant AATF and its interactome existing within human cancer cells.
Cell Biol Int. 2015; 39(3):326-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Since apoptosis presents a natural defense in cancer development, the anti-apoptotic factor AATF/Che-1 has emerged as a crucial 'Epigenomic-Switch'. We have tried to understand the double-edged nature of AATF, showing for the first time the conspicuous existence of an aberrant AATF/Che-1 transcriptome encoding for 23 kDa mutant AATF protein, which evolves its unique interactome within human cancer cells derived from different tissue origins. This mutant AATF along with its interactome consisting of SP1, DNMT3B and Par-4 ensures cancer cell DNA methylation required for down-regulation of tumor suppressor genes. Hence, the proposed mutant AATF interactome-based pathway can have the inherent ability to ensure human cells become and remain cancerous.

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