Gene Summary

Gene:USF1; upstream transcription factor 1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper family, and can function as a cellular transcription factor. The encoded protein can activate transcription through pyrimidine-rich initiator (Inr) elements and E-box motifs. This gene has been linked to familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL). Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants. A related pseudogene has been defined on chromosome 21. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2013]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:upstream stimulatory factor 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (29)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • DNA Methylation
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HeLa Cells
  • E-Box Elements
  • Protein Binding
  • Vault Ribonucleoprotein Particles
  • Liver Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Apoptosis
  • Binding Sites
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Chromosome 1
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Genotype
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Transfection
  • Messenger RNA
  • Promoter Regions
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Cell Movement
  • Signal Transduction
  • Mutation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • Base Sequence
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • rab5 GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Transcription
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • MicroRNAs
  • siRNA
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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

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

Latest Publications: USF1 (cancer-related)

Convertini P, Todisco S, De Santis F, et al.
Transcriptional Regulation Factors of the Human Mitochondrial Aspartate/Glutamate Carrier Gene, Isoform 2 (
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(8) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mitochondrial carriers catalyse the translocation of numerous metabolites across the inner mitochondrial membrane, playing a key role in different cell functions. For this reason, mitochondrial carrier gene expression needs tight regulation. The human

Malinen MM, Ito K, Kang HE, et al.
Protein expression and function of organic anion transporters in short-term and long-term cultures of Huh7 human hepatoma cells.
Eur J Pharm Sci. 2019; 130:186-195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Human-derived hepatic cell lines are a valuable alternative to primary hepatocytes for drug metabolism, transport and toxicity studies. However, their relevance for investigations of drug-drug and drug-organic anion (e.g., bile acid, steroid hormone) interactions at the transporter level remains to be established. The aim of the present study was to determine the suitability of the Huh7 cell line for transporter-dependent experiments. Huh7 cells were cultured for 1 to 4 weeks and subsequently were analyzed for protein expression, localization and activity of solute carrier (SLC) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters involved in organic anion transport using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy, immunocytochemistry, and model substrates [

Zeng K, He B, Yang BB, et al.
The pro-metastasis effect of circANKS1B in breast cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):160 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies indicate that circular RNA (circRNA) plays a pivotal role in cancer progression. Here, we sought to investigate its role in breast cancer.
METHODS: CircANKS1B (a circRNA originated from exons 5 to 8 of the ANKS1B gene, hsa_circ_0007294) was identified by RNA-sequencing and validated by qRT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. Clinical breast cancer samples were used to evaluate the expression of circANKS1B and its associations with clinicopathological features and prognosis. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments in cell lines and mouse xenograft models were performed to support clinical findings and elucidate the function and underlying mechanisms of circANKS1B in breast cancer.
RESULTS: CircANKS1B was significantly up-regulated in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) compared with non-TNBC tissues and cell lines. Increased circANKS1B expression was closely associated with lymph node metastasis and advanced clinical stage and served as an independent risk factor for overall survival of breast cancer patients. Functional studies revealed that circANKS1B promoted breast cancer invasion and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo by inducing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), while had no effect on breast cancer growth. Mechanistically, circANKS1B abundantly sponged miR-148a-3p and miR-152-3p to increase the expression of transcription factor USF1, which could transcriptionally up-regulate TGF-β1 expression, resulting in activating TGF-β1/Smad signaling to promote EMT. Moreover, we found that circANKS1B biogenesis in breast cancer was promoted by splicing factor ESRP1, whose expression was also regulated by USF1.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data uncover an essential role of the novel circular RNA circANKS1B in the metastasis of breast cancer, which demonstrate that therapeutic targeting of circANKS1B may better prevent breast cancer metastasis.

Gao F, Zafar MI, Jüttner S, et al.
Expression and Molecular Regulation of the Cox2 Gene in Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors and Antiproliferation of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:8125-8140 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) has had a significant increase over the past 4 decades. The pathophysiological role of the cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) gene and factors responsible for the expression in GEP-NETs is of clinical value. Current study determined the expression of cox-2 gene in human GEP-NET tissues and corresponding cell lines, investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of cox-2 gene expression and assessed the effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on both anchorage-dependent and independent growth of GEP-NET cells. MATERIAL AND METHODS GEP-NET tissues and QGP-1, BON, and LCC-18 GEP-NET cell lines were used. The expression of cox-2 gene was analyzed by immunohistochemistry, western blot, RT-PCR, and enzyme immunoassay. Transient transfection and luciferase assays along with electrophoretic mobility shift assays were conducted to explore the regulation of cox-2 gene expression. The effect of COX-inhibitors on GEP-NET cell growth was determined by proliferation assays and colony growth assessment. RESULTS We found 87.8% of GEP-NET tissues stained positive for COX-2. QGP-1 and LCC-18 cells expressed cox-2 gene. PGE2 (prostaglandin E2) amounts quantified in the supernatants of NET cells matched to cox-2 expression level. The CRE-E-box element (-56 to -48 bp) and binding of USF1, USF2, and CREB transcription factors to this proximal promoter element were essential for cox-2 promoter activity in GEP-NET cells. COX-2-specific inhibitor NS-398 potently and dose-dependently inhibited PGE2 release from QGP-1 cells. Interestingly, both NS-398 and acetylic salicylic acid effectively suppressed proliferation of QGP-1 and BON cells in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS The majority of GEP-NETs over express cox-2 gene. The binding of CREB and USF-1/-2 transcription factors to a proximal, overlapping CRE-Ebox element is the underlying mechanism for cox-2 gene expression. NSAIDs potently suppressed the proliferations and may offer a novel approach for chemoprevention and therapy of GEP-NETs.

Laakkonen JP, Lähteenvuo J, Jauhiainen S, et al.
Beyond endothelial cells: Vascular endothelial growth factors in heart, vascular anomalies and placenta.
Vascul Pharmacol. 2019; 112:91-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vascular endothelial growth factors regulate vascular and lymphatic growth. Dysregulation of VEGF signaling is connected to many pathological states, including hemangiomas, arteriovenous malformations and placental abnormalities. In heart, VEGF gene transfer induces myocardial angiogenesis. Besides vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells, VEGFs affect multiple other cell types. Understanding VEGF biology and its paracrine signaling properties will offer new targets for novel treatments of several diseases.

Konings GF, Saarinen N, Delvoux B, et al.
Development of an Image-Guided Orthotopic Xenograft Mouse Model of Endometrial Cancer with Controllable Estrogen Exposure.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(9) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most common gynaecological malignancy in Western society and the majority of cases are estrogen dependent. While endocrine drugs proved to be of insufficient therapeutic value in the past, recent clinical research shows promising results by using combinational regimens and pre-clinical studies and identified potential novel endocrine targets. Relevant pre-clinical models can accelerate research in this area. In the present study we describe an orthotopic and estrogen dependent xenograft mouse model of EC. Tumours were induced in one uterine horn of female athymic nude mice using the well-differentiated human endometrial adenocarcinoma Ishikawa cell line-modified to express the luciferase gene for bioluminescence imaging (BLI). BLI and contrast-enhanced computed-tomograph (CE-CT) were used to measure non-invasive tumour growth. Controlled estrogen exposure was achieved by the use of MedRod implants releasing 1.5 μg/d of 17β-estradiol (E2) in ovariectomized mice. Stable E2 serum concentration was demonstrated by LC-MS/MS. Induced tumours were E2 responsive as increased tumour growth was observed in the presence of E2 but not placebo, assessed by BLI, CE-CT, and tumour weight at sacrifice. Metastatic spread was assessed macroscopically by BLI and histology and was seen in the peritoneal cavity, in the lymphovascular space, and in the thoracic cavity. In conclusion, we developed an orthotopic xenograft mouse model of EC that exhibits the most relevant features of human disease, regarding metastatic spread and estrogen dependency. This model offers an easy to manipulate estrogen dosage (by simply adjusting the MedRod implant length), image-guided monitoring of tumour growth, and objectively measurable endpoints (including tumour weight). This is an excellent in vivo tool to further explore endocrine drug regimens and novel endocrine drug targets for EC.

Xiong DD, Li ZY, Liang L, et al.
The LncRNA NEAT1 Accelerates Lung Adenocarcinoma Deterioration and Binds to Mir-193a-3p as a Competitive Endogenous RNA.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(3):905-918 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) contribute to the development of multiple malignant tumors. Here, we focused on the biological function and underlying molecular mechanism of an lncRNA, nuclear-enriched abundant transcript 1 (NEAT1), in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD).
METHODS: In vitro experiments were conducted to determine the biological effects of NEAT1 in LUAD cells. A luciferase activity reporter assay was performed to corroborate the interaction between NEAT1 and miR-193a-3p. Data from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Oncomine, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and our in-house reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) were combined to examine the expression of NEAT1 and miR-193a-3p in LUAD. To further explore the regulatory mechanism of NEAT1, we searched for putative target genes of miR-193a-3p from 12 online prediction databases and determined genes positively correlated with NEAT1 as candidate targets. Furthermore, we analyzed the expression of these selected genes using data from TCGA.
RESULTS: In vitro experiments showed that knockdown of NEAT1 in LUAD cells markedly restrained cell proliferation, invasion, and migration and stimulated cell apoptosis. The dual-luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that miR-193a-3p directly targeted NEAT1 at its 3'-UTR. We then detected NEAT1 and miR-193a-3p in LUAD cells and normal lung epithelial cells and discovered high expression of NEAT1 and low expression of miR-193a-3p in LUAD cell lines. Simultaneously, the pooled results from the GEO, Oncomine, TCGA, and in-house RT-qPCR showed that the NEAT1 expression increased while the miR-193a-3p expression decreased in LUAD tissues versus normal lung tissues. Furthermore, the USF1 gene was not only upregulated in LUAD, but also positively correlated with NEAT1, suggesting that NEAT1 may function as a ceRNA to sponge miR-193a-3p and abrogate the inhibitory effect of miR-193a-3p on USF1.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that NEAT1 plays important roles in the occurrence and progression of LUAD. It may exert its role by acting as a ceRNA to regulate miR-193a-3p.

Noguchi K, Dincman TA, Dalton AC, et al.
Interleukin-like EMT inducer (ILEI) promotes melanoma invasiveness and is transcriptionally up-regulated by upstream stimulatory factor-1 (USF-1).
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(29):11401-11414 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
Interleukin-like EMT inducer (ILEI,

Dery KJ, Silver C, Yang L, Shively JE
Interferon regulatory factor 1 and a variant of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L coordinately silence the gene for adhesion protein CEACAM1.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(24):9277-9291 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/03/2020 Related Publications
The adhesion protein carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) is widely expressed in epithelial cells as a short cytoplasmic isoform (S-iso) and in leukocytes as a long cytoplasmic isoform (L-iso) and is frequently silenced in cancer by unknown mechanisms. Previously, we reported that interferon response factor 1 (IRF1) biases alternative splicing (AS) to include the variable exon 7 (E7) in CEACAM1, generating long cytoplasmic isoforms. We now show that IRF1 and a variant of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L (Lv1) coordinately silence the

Tammi MI, Oikari S, Pasonen-Seppänen S, et al.
Activated hyaluronan metabolism in the tumor matrix - Causes and consequences.
Matrix Biol. 2019; 78-79:147-164 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hyaluronan accumulates in the stroma of several solid tumors and promotes their progression. Both enhanced synthesis and fragmentation of hyaluronan are required as a part of this inflammatory process resembling wound healing. Increased expression of the genes of hyaluronan synthases (HAS1-3) are infrequent in human tumors, while posttranslational modifications that activate the HAS enzymes, and glucose shunted to the UDP-sugar substrates HASs, can have crucial contributions to tumor hyaluronan synthesis. The pericellular hyaluronan influences virtually all cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, controlling migration, proliferation, apoptosis, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, and stem cell functions. The catabolism by hyaluronidases and free radicals appears to be as important as synthesis for the inflammation that promotes tumor growth, since the receptors mediating the signals create specific responses to hyaluronan fragments. Targeting hyaluronan metabolism shows therapeutic efficiency in animal experiments and early clinical trials.

Cao C, Wu H, Vasilatos SN, et al.
HDAC5-LSD1 axis regulates antineoplastic effect of natural HDAC inhibitor sulforaphane in human breast cancer cells.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 143(6):1388-1401 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
Our recent studies have shown that cross-talk between histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) and lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) facilitates breast cancer progression. In this work, we demonstrated that regulatory activity at -356 to -100 bp promoter element plays a critical role in governing HDAC5 transcription. By using DNA affinity precipitation and mass spectrometry, we identified a group of factors that bind to this element. Among these factors, Upstream Transcription Factor 1 (USF1) was shown to play a critical role in controlling HDAC5 transcription. Through screening a panel of epigenetic modifying drugs, we showed that a natural bioactive HDAC inhibitor, sulforaphane, downregulated HDAC5 transcription by blocking USF1 activity. Sulforaphane facilitated LSD1 ubiquitination and degradation in an HDAC5-dependent manner. A comparative microarray analysis demonstrated a genome wide cooperative effect of HDAC5 and LSD1 on cancer-related gene expression. shRNA knockdown and sulforaphane inhibition of HDAC5/LSD1 exhibited similar effects on expression of HDAC5/LSD1 target genes. We also showed that coordinated cross-talk of HDAC5 and LSD1 is essential for the antitumor efficacy of sulforaphane. Combination treatment with sulforaphane and a potent LSD1 inhibitor resulted in synergistic growth inhibition in breast cancer cells, but not in normal breast epithelial cells. Furthermore, combined therapy with sulforaphane and LSD1 inhibitor exhibited superior inhibitory effect on MDA-MB-231 xenograft tumor growth. Taken together, our work demonstrates that HDAC5-LSD1 axis is an effective drug target for breast cancer. Inhibition of HDAC5-LSD1 axis with sulforaphane blocks breast cancer growth and combined treatment with LSD1 inhibitor improves the therapeutic efficacy of sulforaphane.

Zhu K, Li S, Liu J, et al.
Role of RAB5A in FSHR-mediated signal transduction in human granulosa cells.
Reproduction. 2018; 155(6):505-514 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polycystic ovary syndrome, a common condition characterized by endocrine dysfunction, menstrual irregularity, anovulation and polycystic ovaries, affects 5-7% of reproductive-age women.

Li P, Wang H, Hou M, et al.
Upstream stimulating factor1 (USF1) enhances the proliferation of glioblastoma stem cells mainly by activating the transcription of mucin13 (MUC13).
Pharmazie. 2017; 72(2):98-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive and deadly tumors among the adults. MUC13 is a membrane bound mucin and abnormal expression of MUC13 has been identified in various tumors. However, its specific role in glioblastoma has never been explored. Firstly, the expression of MUC13 was explored in glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) and we found that MUC13 was significantly enhanced in GSCs. Overexpression of MUC13 significantly enhanced GSCs invasion and migration capacities. Further study showed that overexpression of MUC13 significantly increased the phosphorylation levels of AKT and P38. Dual luciferase reporter and ChIP assay demonstrated that USF1 could bind the promoter region of MUC13, thereby enhancing the activation of MUC13. More importantly, when MUC13 was silenced, the phosphorylation levels of AKT and P38 were suppressed even in cells transfected with ad-USF1. These data showed that USF1 prompted glioblastoma progression mainly by activating MUC13. In summary, our study first demonstrated that USF1 could activate the transcription of MUC13, thereby enhancing the proliferation and self-renewal of GSCs.

Adem J, Eray M, Eeva J, et al.
The combination of TRAIL and MG-132 induces apoptosis in both TRAIL-sensitive and TRAIL-resistant human follicular lymphoma cells.
Leuk Res. 2018; 66:57-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously shown that the human follicular lymphoma cell line, HF28GFP, is sensitive to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Nevertheless, when the same cells overexpress anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein, Bcl-xL (HF28Bcl-xL), they become resistant to TRAIL. Thus, these cell lines help us to investigate the action of novel apoptosis inducing candidate drugs. In the present study, we examined the effects of MG-132 (a proteasome inhibitor), LiCl (a glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitor) and/or TRAIL on pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins such as Bim and Bid. Here we demonstrate that the combination of MG-132 and TRAIL induced significant apoptotic cell death in both cell lines, HF28GFP and HF28BclxL. Apoptosis correlated with a decrease of phospho-ERK1/2, the accumulation of Bim and translocation of truncated Bid (tBid) and jBid. In addition, the combination of MG-132 and TRAIL seemed to target other apoptotic factors, which led to the accumulation of active capsase-3. Furthermore, co-stimulation of LiCl and TRAIL induced apoptosis in HF28GFP cells. However, HF28Bcl-xL cells were far less sensitive to the combinatorial effects of LiCl and TRAIL. Interestingly, we observed that LiCl did not target Bim and Bid proteins. In conclusion, these data show that targeting of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins simultaneously through a selective proteasome inhibition might help to overcome TRAIL resistance caused by overexpression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Moreover, the data may provide new strategies to develop targeted therapies against lymphomas.

Oikari S, Kettunen T, Tiainen S, et al.
UDP-sugar accumulation drives hyaluronan synthesis in breast cancer.
Matrix Biol. 2018; 67:63-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increased uptake of glucose, a general hallmark of malignant tumors, leads to an accumulation of intermediate metabolites of glycolysis. We investigated whether the high supply of these intermediates promotes their flow into UDP-sugars, and consequently into hyaluronan, a tumor-promoting matrix molecule. We quantified UDP-N-Acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) and UDP-glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcUA) in human breast cancer biopsies, the levels of enzymes contributing to their synthesis, and their association with the hyaluronan accumulation in the tumor. The content of UDP-GlcUA was 4 times, and that of UDP-GlcNAc 12 times higher in the tumors as compared to normal glandular tissue obtained from breast reductions. The surge of UDP-GlcNAc correlated with an elevated mRNA expression of glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase 2 (GFAT2), one of the key enzymes in the biosynthesis of UDP-GlcNAc, and the expression of GFAT1 was also elevated. The contents of both UDP-sugars strongly correlated with tumor hyaluronan levels. Interestingly, hyaluronan content did not correlate with the mRNA levels of the hyaluronan synthases (HAS1-3), thus emphasizing the role of the UDP-sugar substrates of these enzymes. The UDP-sugars showed a trend to higher levels in ductal vs. lobular cancer subtypes. The results reveal for the first time a dramatic increase of UDP-sugars in breast cancer, and suggest that their high supply drives the accumulation of hyaluronan, a known promoter of breast cancer and other malignancies. In general, the study shows how the disturbed glucose metabolism typical for malignant tumors can influence cancer microenvironment through UDP-sugars and hyaluronan.

Ye H, Liu XJ, Hui Y, et al.
USF1 gene polymorphisms may associate with the efficacy and safety of chemotherapy based on paclitaxel and prognosis in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Neoplasma. 2018; 65(1):153-160 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study was supposed to investigate the correlation between the functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2516839 and rs3737787) in USF1 gene and the efficacy and safety of paclitaxel-based chemotherapy and prognosis in the treatment of ovarian cancer (OC). In total 100 OC patients were selected and divided into the sensitive group and the resistantgroup according to the tumor response to paclitaxel-based chemotherapy after surgery, and the incidence of observed and recorded toxic reaction. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method was applied to test the polymorphisms of rs2516839 and rs3737787 in USF1 gene after extraction of DNA. The correlation between USF1 gene polymorphisms and paclitaxel-based chemotherapy resistance was analyzed using Logistic regression analysis. Stratified analysis was used to test the incidence of toxic reaction in OC patients. Cox proportional hazard model was adapted to make a multiple-factor survival analysis. Significant differences exhibited in the genotype and the allele frequencies of rs2516839 between the sensitive and resistant groups, which showed no obvious difference in the genotype and allele frequencies of rs3737787. OC patients carrying the GA+AA genotype had higher incidence of serious toxic reaction than those carrying the GG genotype. Physical status score, tumor type, maximum tumor diameter and rs2516839 were the independent risk factors for the prognosis of OC patients. Taken together, our results suggest that the rs2516839 polymorphism in USF1 gene may associate with the efficacy and safety of paclitaxel-based chemotherapy and prognosis in the treatment of OC.

Lempiäinen JK, Niskanen EA, Vuoti KM, et al.
Agonist-specific Protein Interactomes of Glucocorticoid and Androgen Receptor as Revealed by Proximity Mapping.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2017; 16(8):1462-1474 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and androgen receptor (AR) are steroid-inducible transcription factors (TFs). The GR and the AR are central regulators of various metabolic, homeostatic and differentiation processes and hence important therapeutic targets, especially in inflammation and prostate cancer, respectively. Hormone binding to these steroid receptors (SRs) leads to DNA binding and activation or repression of their target genes with the aid of interacting proteins, coregulators. However, protein interactomes of these important drug targets have remained poorly defined. We used proximity-dependent biotin identification to map the protein interaction landscapes of GR and AR in the presence and absence of their cognate agonist (dexamethasone, 5α-dihydrotestosterone) and antagonist (RU486, enzalutamide) in intact human cells. We reproducibly identified more than 30 proteins that interacted with the GR in an agonist-specific manner and whose interactions were significantly influenced by the DNA-binding function of the receptor. Interestingly, the agonist-dependent interactome of the GR overlapped considerably with that of the AR. In addition to known coactivators, corepressors and components of BAF (SWI/SNF) chromatin-remodeling complex, we identified a number of proteins, including lysine methyltransferases and demethylases that have not been previously linked to glucocorticoid or androgen signaling. A substantial number of these novel agonist-dependent GR/AR-interacting proteins,

Malinen M, Niskanen EA, Kaikkonen MU, Palvimo JJ
Crosstalk between androgen and pro-inflammatory signaling remodels androgen receptor and NF-κB cistrome to reprogram the prostate cancer cell transcriptome.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2017; 45(2):619-630 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
Inflammatory processes and androgen signaling are critical for the growth of prostate cancer (PC), the most common cancer among males in Western countries. To understand the importance of potential interplay between pro-inflammatory and androgen signaling for gene regulation, we have interrogated the crosstalk between androgen receptor (AR) and NF-κB, a key transcriptional mediator of inflammatory responses, by utilizing genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and global run-on sequencing in PC cells. Co-stimulation of LNCaP cells with androgen and pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα invoked a transcriptome which was very distinct from that induced by either stimulation alone. The altered transcriptome that included gene programs linked to cell migration and invasiveness was orchestrated by significant remodeling of NF-κB and AR cistrome and enhancer landscape. Although androgen multiplied the NF-κB cistrome and TNFα restrained the AR cistrome, there was no general reciprocal tethering of the AR to the NF-κB on chromatin. Instead, redistribution of FOXA1, PIAS1 and PIAS2 contributed to the exposure of latent NF-κB chromatin-binding sites and masking of AR chromatin-binding sites. Taken together, concomitant androgen and pro-inflammatory signaling significantly remodels especially the NF-κB cistrome, reprogramming the PC cell transcriptome in fashion that may contribute to the progression of PC.

Ren YQ, Li QH, Liu LB
USF1 prompt melanoma through upregulating TGF-β signaling pathway.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016; 20(17):3592-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The activation of TGF-β signaling contributes to abnormal EMT process and upstream stimulatory family1 (USF1) was recently found to activate the expression of TGF-β. However, the specific role of USF1 in melanoma has never been explored.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression of USF1 was analyzed using real-time PCR and Western blot. The changes of cell morphology were observed under a microscope. Cell migration was determined using in vitro scratch test. A specific siRNA was applied to knockdown of USF1.
RESULTS: The mRNA and protein levels of USF1 were significantly enhanced in melanoma cell lines, 1205-Lu, DO4, WM3211, and WM278, compared with normal human melanocytes PIG1. Overexpression of USF1 induced demonstrated an elongated and spindle-shaped morphology in the 1205-Lu cells. Meanwhile, USF1 induced the expression of α-SMA, Vimentin and Fibronectin, while the epithelial marker, E-cadherin (E-cad), was significantly decreased. Furthermore, in vitro scratch test demonstrated that overexpression of USF1 markedly enhanced 1205-Lu cell migration capacity at 24 h and 48 h. More importantly, knockdown of USF1 could partially reverse TGF-β1-treatment-induced changes of EMT markers as well as cell morphological changes.
CONCLUSIONS: We first demonstrate that overexpression of USF1 prompts the EMT process through the accumulation of TGF-β1 production in melanoma cells.

Salminen A, Kaarniranta K, Kauppinen A
AMPK and HIF signaling pathways regulate both longevity and cancer growth: the good news and the bad news about survival mechanisms.
Biogerontology. 2016; 17(4):655-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) signaling pathways are evolutionarily-conserved survival mechanisms responding to two fundamental stresses, energy deficiency and/or oxygen deprivation. The AMPK and HIF pathways regulate the function of a survival network with several transcription factors, e.g. FOXO, NF-κB, NRF2, and p53, as well as with protein kinases and other factors, such as mTOR, ULK1, HDAC5, and SIRT1. Given that AMPK and HIF activation can enhance not only healthspan and lifespan but also cancer growth in a context-dependent manner; it seems that cancer cells can hijack certain survival factors to maintain their growth in harsh conditions. AMPK activation improves energy metabolism, stimulates autophagy, and inhibits inflammation, whereas HIF-1α increases angiogenesis and helps cells to adapt to severe conditions. First we will review how AMPK and HIF signaling mechanisms control the function of an integrated survival network which is able not only to improve the regulation of longevity but also support the progression of tumorigenesis. We will also describe distinct crossroads between the regulation of longevity and cancer, e.g. specific regulation through the AMPKα and HIF-α isoforms, the Warburg effect, mitochondrial dynamics, and cellular senescence.

Wu Y, Yu DD, Hu Y, et al.
Genome-wide profiling of long non-coding RNA expression patterns in the EGFR-TKI resistance of lung adenocarcinoma by microarray.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(6):3371-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) make lung adenocarcinoma cells sensitive to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Long-term cancer therapy may cause the occurrence of acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in tumor formation, tumor metastasis and the development of EGFR-TKI resistance in lung cancer. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of EGFR-TKI resistance, we generated an EGFR-TKI-resistant HCC827-8-1 cell line and analyzed expression patterns by lncRNA microarray and compared it with its parental HCC827 cell line. A total of 1,476 lncRNA transcripts and 1,026 mRNA transcripts were dysregulated in the HCC827‑8-1 cells. The expression levels of 7 chosen lncRNAs were validated by real-time quantitative PCR. As indicated by functional analysis, several groups of lncRNAs may be involved in the bio-pathways associated with EGFR-TKI resistance through their cis- and/or trans‑regulation of protein-coding genes. Thus, lncRNAs may be used as novel candidate biomarkers and potential targets in EGFR-TKI therapy in the future.

Seibold P, Schmezer P, Behrens S, et al.
A polymorphism in the base excision repair gene PARP2 is associated with differential prognosis by chemotherapy among postmenopausal breast cancer patients.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:978 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Personalized therapy considering clinical and genetic patient characteristics will further improve breast cancer survival. Two widely used treatments, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can induce oxidative DNA damage and, if not repaired, cell death. Since base excision repair (BER) activity is specific for oxidative DNA damage, we hypothesized that germline genetic variation in this pathway will affect breast cancer-specific survival depending on treatment.
METHODS: We assessed in 1,408 postmenopausal breast cancer patients from the German MARIE study whether cancer specific survival after adjuvant chemotherapy, anthracycline chemotherapy, and radiotherapy is modulated by 127 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in 21 BER genes. For SNPs with interaction terms showing p<0.1 (likelihood ratio test) using multivariable Cox proportional hazard analyses, replication in 6,392 patients from nine studies of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) was performed.
RESULTS: rs878156 in PARP2 showed a differential effect by chemotherapy (p=0.093) and was replicated in BCAC studies (p=0.009; combined analysis p=0.002). Compared to non-carriers, carriers of the variant G allele (minor allele frequency=0.07) showed better survival after chemotherapy (combined allelic hazard ratio (HR)=0.75, 95% 0.53-1.07) and poorer survival when not treated with chemotherapy (HR=1.42, 95% 1.08-1.85). A similar effect modification by rs878156 was observed for anthracycline-based chemotherapy in both MARIE and BCAC, with improved survival in carriers (combined allelic HR=0.73, 95% CI 0.40-1.32). None of the SNPs showed significant differential effects by radiotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest for the first time that a SNP in PARP2, rs878156, may together with other genetic variants modulate cancer specific survival in breast cancer patients depending on chemotherapy. These germline SNPs could contribute towards the design of predictive tests for breast cancer patients.

Leinonen HM, Kansanen E, Pölönen P, et al.
Dysregulation of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway in cancer.
Biochem Soc Trans. 2015; 43(4):645-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence suggests that dysregulation of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1)-nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway resulting in constitutively active Nrf2 and increased expression of cytoprotective Nrf2 target genes, has a pivotal role in cancer. Cancer cells are able to hijack the Keap1-Nrf2 system via multiple mechanisms leading to enhanced chemo- and radio-resistance and proliferation via metabolic reprogramming as well as inhibition of apoptosis. In this mini-review, we will describe the mechanisms leading to increased Nrf2 activity in cancer with a focus on the information achieved from large-scale multi-omics projects across various cancer types.

Martikainen M, Niittykoski M, von und zu Fraunberg M, et al.
MicroRNA-Attenuated Clone of Virulent Semliki Forest Virus Overcomes Antiviral Type I Interferon in Resistant Mouse CT-2A Glioma.
J Virol. 2015; 89(20):10637-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Glioblastoma is a terminal disease with no effective treatment currently available. Among the new therapy candidates are oncolytic viruses capable of selectively replicating in cancer cells, causing tumor lysis and inducing adaptive immune responses against the tumor. However, tumor antiviral responses, primarily mediated by type I interferon (IFN-I), remain a key problem that severely restricts viral replication and oncolysis. We show here that the Semliki Forest virus (SFV) strain SFV4, which causes lethal encephalitis in mice, is able to infect and replicate independent of the IFN-I defense in mouse glioblastoma cells and cell lines originating from primary human glioblastoma patient samples. The ability to tolerate IFN-I was retained in SFV4-miRT124 cells, a derivative cell line of strain SFV4 with a restricted capacity to replicate in neurons due to insertion of target sites for neuronal microRNA 124. The IFN-I tolerance was associated with the viral nsp3-nsp4 gene region and distinct from the genetic loci responsible for SFV neurovirulence. In contrast to the naturally attenuated strain SFV A7(74) and its derivatives, SFV4-miRT124 displayed increased oncolytic potency in CT-2A murine astrocytoma cells and in the human glioblastoma cell lines pretreated with IFN-I. Following a single intraperitoneal injection of SFV4-miRT124 into C57BL/6 mice bearing CT-2A orthotopic gliomas, the virus homed to the brain and was amplified in the tumor, resulting in significant tumor growth inhibition and improved survival.
IMPORTANCE: Although progress has been made in development of replicative oncolytic viruses, information regarding their overall therapeutic potency in a clinical setting is still lacking. This could be at least partially dependent on the IFN-I sensitivity of the viruses used. Here, we show that the conditionally replicating SFV4-miRT124 virus shares the IFN-I tolerance of the pathogenic wild-type SFV, thereby allowing efficient targeting of a glioma that is refractory to naturally attenuated therapy vector strains sensitive to IFN-I. This is the first evidence of orthotopic syngeneic mouse glioma eradication following peripheral alphavirus administration. Our findings indicate a clear benefit in harnessing the wild-type virus replicative potency in development of next-generation oncolytic alphaviruses.

Takabe P, Bart G, Ropponen A, et al.
Hyaluronan synthase 3 (HAS3) overexpression downregulates MV3 melanoma cell proliferation, migration and adhesion.
Exp Cell Res. 2015; 337(1):1-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant skin melanoma is one of the most deadly human cancers. Extracellular matrix (ECM) influences the growth of malignant tumors by modulating tumor cells adhesion and migration. Hyaluronan is an essential component of the ECM, and its amount is altered in many tumors, suggesting an important role for hyaluronan in tumorigenesis. Nonetheless its role in melanomagenesis is not understood. In this study we produced a MV3 melanoma cell line with inducible expression of the hyaluronan synthase 3 (HAS3) and studied its effect on the behavior of the melanoma cells. HAS3 overexpression expanded the cell surface hyaluronan coat and decreased melanoma cell adhesion, migration and proliferation by cell cycle arrest at G1/G0. Melanoma cell migration was restored by removal of cell surface hyaluronan by Streptomyces hyaluronidase and by receptor blocking with hyaluronan oligosaccharides, while the effect on cell proliferation was receptor independent. Overexpression of HAS3 decreased ERK1/2 phosphorylation suggesting that inhibition of MAP-kinase signaling was responsible for these suppressive effects on the malignant phenotype of MV3 melanoma cells.

Malinen M, Toropainen S, Jääskeläinen T, et al.
Androgen receptor- and PIAS1-regulated gene programs in molecular apocrine breast cancer cells.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015; 414:91-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have analyzed androgen receptor (AR) chromatin binding sites (ARBs) and androgen-regulated transcriptome in estrogen receptor negative molecular apocrine breast cancer cells. These analyses revealed that 42% of ARBs and 39% androgen-regulated transcripts in MDA-MB453 cells have counterparts in VCaP prostate cancer cells. Pathway analyses showed a similar enrichment of molecular and cellular functions among AR targets in both breast and prostate cancer cells, with cellular growth and proliferation being among the most enriched functions. Silencing of the coregulator SUMO ligase PIAS1 in MDA-MB453 cells influenced AR function in a target-selective fashion. An anti-apoptotic effect of the silencing suggests involvement of the PIAS1 in the regulation of cell death and survival pathways. In sum, apocrine breast cancer and prostate cancer cells share a core AR cistrome and target gene signature linked to cancer cell growth, and PIAS1 plays a similar coregulatory role for AR in both cancer cell types.

Kanninen KM, Pomeshchik Y, Leinonen H, et al.
Applications of the Keap1-Nrf2 system for gene and cell therapy.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2015; 88(Pt B):350-361 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oxidative stress has been implicated to play a role in a number of acute and chronic diseases including acute injuries of the central nervous system, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The redox-activated transcription factor Nrf2 has been shown to protect many different cell types and organs from a variety of toxic insults, whereas in many cancers, unchecked Nrf2 activity increases the expression of cytoprotective genes and, consequently, provides growth advantage to cancerous cells. Herein, we discuss current preclinical gene therapy approaches to either increase or decrease Nrf2 activity with a special reference to neurological diseases and cancer. In addition, we discuss the role of Nrf2 in stem cell therapy for neurological disorders.

Sobral-Leite M, Wesseling J, Smit VT, et al.
Annexin A1 expression in a pooled breast cancer series: association with tumor subtypes and prognosis.
BMC Med. 2015; 13:156 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Annexin A1 (ANXA1) is a protein related with the carcinogenesis process and metastasis formation in many tumors. However, little is known about the prognostic value of ANXA1 in breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association between ANXA1 expression, BRCA1/2 germline carriership, specific tumor subtypes and survival in breast cancer patients.
METHODS: Clinical-pathological information and follow-up data were collected from nine breast cancer studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) (n = 5,752) and from one study of familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations (n = 107). ANXA1 expression was scored based on the percentage of immunohistochemical staining in tumor cells. Survival analyses were performed using a multivariable Cox model.
RESULTS: The frequency of ANXA1 positive tumors was higher in familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations than in BCAC patients, with 48.6 % versus 12.4 %, respectively; P <0.0001. ANXA1 was also highly expressed in BCAC tumors that were poorly differentiated, triple negative, EGFR-CK5/6 positive or had developed in patients at a young age. In the first 5 years of follow-up, patients with ANXA1 positive tumors had a worse breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) than ANXA1 negative (HRadj = 1.35; 95 % CI = 1.05-1.73), but the association weakened after 10 years (HRadj = 1.13; 95 % CI = 0.91-1.40). ANXA1 was a significant independent predictor of survival in HER2+ patients (10-years BCSS: HRadj = 1.70; 95 % CI = 1.17-2.45).
CONCLUSIONS: ANXA1 is overexpressed in familial breast cancer patients with BRCA1/2 mutations and correlated with poor prognosis features: triple negative and poorly differentiated tumors. ANXA1 might be a biomarker candidate for breast cancer survival prediction in high risk groups such as HER2+ cases.

Yuan Q, Bu Q, Li G, et al.
Association between single nucleotide polymorphisms of upstream transcription factor 1 (USF1) and susceptibility to papillary thyroid cancer.
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2016; 84(4):564-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Thyroid cancer, predominantly by papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), is a malignant tumour of endocrine system with increasing incidence rate worldwide. Upstream transcription factor 1 (USF1) regulates a variety of biological processes by transactivation of functional genes. In this study, we investigated the association between USF1 polymorphisms and PTC risk.
MATERIAL & METHODS: A total of 334 patients with PTC, 186 patients with benign nodules (BN) and 668 healthy controls were enrolled in our study. Tag-SNPs were identified in Chinese Han in Beijing (CHB) from International HapMap Project Databases. Genomic DNAs were extracted by TaqMan Blood DNA kits. SNPs of USF1 were genotyped by TaqMan SNPs genotyping assay. Odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to assess the association between USF1 genetic variants and PTC risk. The statistical analyses were carried out with spss 13.0 software.
RESULTS: Five tag-SNPs were retrieved to capture all the genetic variants of USF1. Among the five tag-SNPs, genetic variants in rs2516838, rs3737787 and rs2516839 have significant association with PTC risk. The rs2516838 polymorphisms dominant model (CG+GG vs CC: OR = 0·71; 95% CI: 0·52-0·97; P = 0·033) and allelic model (C vs G: OR = 0·031; 95% CI: 0·56-0·97; P = 0·031) indicated it may act as a protective factor against PTC. On the contrary, the results of rs3737787 polymorphisms: dominant model (CT+TT vs CC: OR = 1·55; 95%CI: 1·09-2·02; P = 0·001) and allelic model (C vs T: OR = 1·35; 95%CI: 1·10-1·64; P = 0·003), as well as the results of rs2516839 polymorphisms: dominant model (GA+AA vs GG: OR = 1·77; 95%CI: 1·31-2·38; P < 0·001) and allelic model (G vs A: OR = 1·36; 95%CI: 1·13-1·63; P = 0·014), revealed that they may act as risk factors for PTC.
CONCLUSION: In this study, we found the SNPs of rs2516838 (mutant G alleles vs wild C alleles), rs3737787 (mutant T alleles vs wild C alleles) and rs2516839 (mutant A alleles vs wild G alleles) were significantly associated with PTC risk. Further large-scale studies with different ethnicities are still needed to validate our findings and explore the underlying mechanism of USF1 in PTC development.

Pelkonen M, Luostari K, Tengström M, et al.
Low expression levels of hepsin and TMPRSS3 are associated with poor breast cancer survival.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:431 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepsin, (also called TMPRSS1) and TMPRSS3 are type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) that are involved in cancer progression. TTSPs can remodel extracellular matrix (ECM) and, when dysregulated, promote tumor progression and metastasis by inducing defects in basement membrane and ECM molecules. This study investigated whether the gene and protein expression levels of these TTSPs were associated with breast cancer characteristics or survival.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining was used to evaluate hepsin levels in 372 breast cancer samples and TMPRSS3 levels in 373 samples. TMPRSS1 mRNA expression was determined in 125 invasive and 16 benign breast tumor samples, and TMPRSS3 mRNA expression was determined in 167 invasive and 23 benign breast tumor samples. The gene and protein expression levels were analyzed for associations with breast cancer-specific survival and clinicopathological parameters.
RESULTS: Low TMPRSS1 and TMPRSS3 mRNA expression levels were independent prognostic factors for poor breast cancer survival during the 20-year follow-up (TMPRSS1, P = 0.023; HR, 2.065; 95 % CI, 1.106-3.856; TMPRSS3, P = 0.013; HR, 2.106; 95 % CI, 1.167-3.800). Low expression of the two genes at the mRNA and protein levels associated with poorer survival compared to high levels (log rank P-values 0.015-0.042). Low TMPRSS1 mRNA expression was also an independent marker of poor breast cancer prognosis in patients treated with radiotherapy (P = 0.034; HR, 2.344; 95 % CI, 1.065-5.160). Grade III tumors, large tumor size, and metastasis were associated with low mRNA and protein expression levels.
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the TTSPs hepsin and TMPRSS3 may have similar biological functions in the molecular pathology of breast cancer. Low mRNA and protein expression levels of the studied TTSPs were prognostic markers of poor survival in breast cancer.

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